Sunday, 26 June 2011

A lovely birthday week

All I've got to say is 51 is not as exciting as 50! But, I like my own year for new year resolutions & I'm determined to make this year as wonderful as the last one ;)

I picked myself a bunch of flowers from the garden & no I wasn't drunk!

Lovely cards from my DH

my middlest, cheeky so & so & he got my age wrong!

Phone call from the eldest & the youngest is treking in deepest Mongolia as we speak but wished me happy birthday before he went.

A beautiful card from Linda , it's lovely, thank you! Look at that beautifully stitched tree in the middle & those scrumpcious colors!

An arty friend came over for coffee & cake & it was a sunny breezy day, wonderful. Cards across the mantlepiece & the middlest pointed out I should visit facebook; not been for weeks! where I found 15 more lovely wishes!

Managed lunch out in the garden sitting at the back of the house looking along a path to the right of which is this uncultivated border with all these lovely colors jostling together. At the weeping pear at the back there is the start of the dug over bit. I'll get to it one day! On the left is the fruit with a few herbacious.

Need to cover these soon. No plums for me this year ;( I don't think I'm alone in having no flowers in the spring. I can't think of a better birthday present than to be able to sit in my garden soaking up all that sunshine & color, such balm for the soul.

I've been struggling with my work this week, I'm always trying to decide whether what I want to do has 'meaning' or not - have I said ths before? whether it has value. I consider myself someone who works intuitively (I just love that word!) but only once I get going! I learnt from making the series of pennants - I got to 8 - that if you make a sketch, or a 'map' as Cas Holmes & Melenie Testa call it, you make life easier by telling yourself in which direction to go next, instead of struggling & wallowing around in a big black angst filled hole. Easy, get your stuff out, seperate out the pieces you're drawn to & lay them out as per your recent sketches. You can loosely follow a theme, just enjoy yourself& hopefully the meaning will come! I must come back & read this next time it gets dark out there ;)

                                     Samples, or maybe small parts of something (there's intuitive!)

Another sample, horizontal too, strange for me! Tried to print on organza, the bottom smudgy daisy on the brown paper. Didn't really work, any tips? ;)

A part of a collage or a hanging, perhaps, if I keep going, intuitively, that is. I used the Julia Capara/Cas Holmes method of very thin white glue (the link to JC is to D4Daisy & then follow the link to an interview for Workshop on the Web - interesting & some fabulous pieces of work even if you don't read it all, such a shame she died too early) - no wallpaper paste in the house, well, no wall paper at all! then stamped & stitched. It does feel quite intuitive but I need to be thinking about line shape form & balance etc don't I? ( I've only got so much space in my brain!) I'll keep trying & enjoying while I am.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

I love my blog buddies!

Particularly when I get such lovely get well messages, tips & tricks for creativity & advice on the sex life of a courgette plant, I'm grateful for it all ;) I'm much better, thanks!

Had a good few days with an old school friend of the DH - he was our best man & one of ours is his godson & one of theirs is my goddaughter, & she came too, just to see where it's all happening! Went for a drive round the 'loop' road which takes you across the peninsula & stopped fro a walk to Dunscaith castle...that was.

See them up there? There's a bridge over that arch on the right, only there's only a foot wide ledge now & I didn't breath once while they were crossing over !

Had a 3 hr slot with a small crafty table at a cancer charity fundraiser at a more solid castle, Duncraig Castle over at Plockton on the mainland. There was a fab documentary a while ago about 17 members of one family who lived there.

That poor piper, midged alive & sodden, after such a beautiful morning too! So the best part of it , other than sitting looking at a wonderful lawn & peaceful trees was the bottom of this fishbox, part of the new Kyle Deli on a stall next to me.

I made 3 small collage, about 4x8" for the little event - you'll be fed up looking at this color scheme! But while I've got all the fabrics out.... ;) These collage for a 'collage a week' really belong to the book making weeks so I'll have to catch up with some extras, & anyway, September is looming!

A couple of weeks ago Suztats (blog roll) sent me some lovely cards, really generous, & fitting that she should have won one of the little books I made for the giveaway - good to be able to 'pay back' naturally ;) One for an 'old' blog buddy & one for a 'new' blog friend. Just lovely.

Happy Father's Day. I'm lucky to still have mine - to those who don't, happy memories.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Another eventful week

I recovered from the family visit only to get the fluey cold going around, dripping nose, sore throat, sexy voice! I felt a bit drunk in the alchohol either & even decided not to go to my yoga class, now for me, that's not well at all ;(  To compoud it all, when I went to the Chemist in my lunch break on Tuesday to see if they had any cream for a tick bite, they said go to Casualty!!!! Heavens! so I'm on Anti-Biotics for 2 weeks to hopefully avoid Limes Disease ;( The bite grew to the size of the bottom of an average sized coffee cup, about 3" across so everyone's pretty impressed. We'll see what the blood test says!

Despite being tired...still, I got a pennant finished - working from home I can down tools & rest up for a bit every so often.


Color's gone a bit odd - after 8 years we have bought a new computer. My DH had been installing & backing up everything for a few days - so clever! & today was the day we plugged in the newish moniter & keyboard with mouse to the new...laptop. So, the laptop will be the 'hard drive' & run things in my comfy study & the DH can unplug it & go anywhere else & use it as a laptop. Not at the same time tho.....

so far so good but a few things have changed over the years & I'm looking forward to speed increase while blog hopping - we've gone from 1/2 a Megabit to 4 so that should improve things ;)

Anyway the Fleur de Lys is using velvet from the kind Heloise - I had the incredibly bright idea to use some bondaweb - velvet is sooo wriggly! Drew a pic of the shape on the back - my Dad sent me a pic of the F de L from one of their many history books - stitched from the back, stitched  gold on the front, cut it out (kept the reverse, see sample) Ironed it to the square, so easy!!!! then stitched round with zigzag. I don't know why, I think of  bondaweb as cheating - I should have used it in the bigger book I made last week as it ruched up so much but I generally learn by my mistakes ;) I need to get on with some brooches, cuffs & notebook bits & pieces as  have a 3 hr 1/2 table at a garden party next week...

Heloise also introduced me to Roben-Marie Smith in a post a while back, I LOVE her work. I came across a utube video by her on how to make paper bags & as I ran out, well, I made some a la R-MS. My DH thinks I'm mad but so far the one or 2 customers have loved them ;)

Anyone know what's happened to my courgette, below? Apart from needing a feed it's produced beautiful flowers but only male ones. Not a female bulge behind any of them. In my little experience I thought each plant had both sexes; I remember getting the youngest to fertilize them once, he couldn't believe that a plant practically had body parts within the flowers! But not this one. Oh well, I can eat the flowers in my salad at least.

                                                                     I can enjoy these tho from the greenhouse.

Despite being rather weary I took my arty budy to have a look at an exhibition in the gallery/hall in Plockton where mine will be held in September. It's called Impressions & they're frinds from the art groups I belong to. Patricia Shone is a ceramicist - wonderful textured work, Laura West, Bookbinder I mean, real books here & Ann Coomber, sculptor. so smooth to touch.(couldn't find a pic link)

All 3 feature on the above pic

They've covered up the rather dark hessian lined walls with calico, I think, & what's more they've offered to lend it to me, thanks! Much lighter.

Last but not least  drew the giveaway.

Sustats has won the lacy booklet &

Stitchety Grub has one the colorful one.

They both make lace, too ;) Hope you like them, can I have your addresses, please?

Right, i have a tiny amount of energy left to go & catch up with some blog buddies, see you, x.

Monday, 6 June 2011

If I thought I was tired last week

the week just gone was even more exhausting with my Eldest & my 'dil' staying for a week & my parents coming all the way up from Oxford for half a week (staying at the local hotel for a treat) impressive at nearly 82, the Middlest to & from work in the bar at the same local hotel & the Youngest home for study leave but exams finished. Oh & B&B & (some) visitors to the studio. Phew! At least it's a worthy tiredness & it was wonderful seeing them all together & having a celebratory meal in that local bar for the engagement. She went down "150%" with her prospective Grandparentsinlaw. So that was good!

Showed my parents the lovely blue iris in my little bog garden. The light Northerly sent them in to the warm after not too long.

We saw an eagle over the garden....honestly! We were so excited thwt we left the binoculars out in the rain overnight. Ooops.

The book above is what I've been practicing for, something for the Eldest & my 'dil' to keep all their wedding ideas in. Well, they'll need to over 2 years! My Dad said the lace made him think of knickers & my Mum couldn't understand what you'd need a wedding book for. Hmmmm I didn't bother to show them the Beryl Taylor book 'Mixed Media Explorations' which I've been pouring over! I've just thought, I'd like to call my exhibition in September "An Exploration in Mixed Media & Textiles" , the title came to me a while ago.That's not being too copycat of Beryl's book is it? I am exploring after all, we all are....

Anyway, I didn't finish the book in time to hand it over so I showed it to them & will post it. They loved it, specially the E & J fme & beaded on there & the velvet heart & the little paper flowers punched with a punch just like Beryls! Well, similar. I tried to use fabric paper but too stiff. The painted paper & chocolate paper mix looks sweet but too delicate. Similar colors to the other books but the 'dil's fave colors are turquoise blue & plum - she even got a new jacket walking boots & socks for the climb up a Munroe they all did (well, I had to keep house& studio didn't I!) & they all had plum on them - why didn't they have those beautiful colors when I was being kitted out for the mountains?!

Need to go to work soon, but as they all left, one by one this morning in a great flurry of activity I went into the garden & heard the Great Tits from the box on the shed & knew they'd fledged. I'd ome out to photograph the book so crept about, listening.

There were at least 5 & I caught 4 of them in this photo. The parents were about with bugs in their beeks & they were talking, chattering.

So fluffy! After the wonderful week I've had I couldn't help but have at least one tear in each eye!

Looking forward to visiting everybody again, & my new followers! Any comments from this post (if they can get thru - just email me if not!) I'll add to last weeks comments for the draw next weekend.