Friday, 25 November 2011

Thanks giving

I've been doing a little of my own thanks giving this week, after all I did celebrate it as a child in Princeton NJ. Being on the constant quest to find 'the perfect balance' in life & despite the list of 50 things to do for the craft fair I took the dog for a walk on Friday inbetween the sleet showers. We woke up to thunder & lightening, quite dramatic still snuggled under the duvet & dark outside. When light eventually came it was that warm yellow gold light of sun filtered thru snow clouds.

more crazy fabric

By mid afternoon  the snow was on the hills down to 1 1/2 -2000 feet & just a little breezy so I put on 2 coats, 2 scarves & a wooly hat (nobody could see me ;) I start off most walks thinking it's just for the dog's benefit but every time I'm out there I realise it's so good for me. I know it's obvious but with your head down doing stuff you love  (or rushing around doing stuff you don't ;(  it's easy to forget to look up sometimes! I sat on a rock gazing at Ben Sgritheall (screel) in the eerie light, listening toTam hurtling thru the purple birch wood, sleet clouds to the left,  blue sky over my head, with horizontal rain coming in.

 made some hearts out of it

 I've been here in this house 11 years next month (12 1/2 on Skye) & I've never seen a rainbow falling down the front of the mountain. If you took a photo you wouldn't believe it yourself. If I hadn't gone out I wouldn't have seen it.

 a tiny fern plant emerged in these dark days so to preserve it's memory I took a print & made more cards

I've also done some sorting on the explosion of magazines front - on  coffee breaks from intense stitching I'm flicking thru just in case there's something I've missed - imagine picking up a pile of old mags & just recycling them...couldn't do it!


I read about lots of intrepid rural women, doing the things they love ( I've 'written' many an imaginary article about myself, my little secret!) & making it work (or not?) with determination & hard work & I realise that I am, really, living the dream; how lucky am I?

more notebooks
Zoffany fabric - speaks for itself. I'm not a designer lover but when I worked in a Curtan Exchange when my lads were toddlers i fell in love with some wonderful curtain/upholstry fabrics, some like tapestries, wonderful.

Wasn't so lucky with the weather on Saturday for my craft fair - 85 m winds but I'm amazed anyone came & even tho I'd hoped for a big weeks shop worth of takings I at least got a small weeks shop worth. Still lucky, I guess.

My hearts went well!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Such exciting post this week

I thought Christmas had come early!

I won a little test on Jan's blog & this was my prize, one of her Dooleybobbers, in fact No 3 which was certainly one of my favorites. Can't believe it's mine & as I told Jan I'm so pleased & delighted to have won such a wonderful thing. It's gone straight to the studio to be hung in pride of place. Thank you, Jan!

I had to do the slow opening/taking pics as I went thing - difficult when you're so excited!

Love the yarn & gift tag & some ribbon.

 some batting....I think. If it is I may have to invest in some as I've never found anything in a charity shop that could replace soft & you want to sink into it.....& I'll have to stop resisting buying it as ALL the quilters in the world seem to use it & I'm just missing out!

 A bit closer. So lovely & such a lot of beautiful amount of work & now it's all mine!

It made the fact that someone...SOMEone de-followed me ;( I was enjoying my round number of 125 too. How could they? I can only imagine they had the misfortune of having to discontinue their blog, & that's sad.

Anyway, there are far more important things to think about ;) Here are the cuffs I needed to finish, so they're up to 10 for the fairs (only managed 4 last yr!)

Then I made 2 more purses out of the fabric I was working on last week & I'm pleased & they are up to 10.

I didn't get as far as I wanted on notebook covers

The top 2 is fabric I painted a couple of seasons ago, bottom right some fabric I found in a bag full of fat 1/4's someone gave me & bottom left is part of a pair of jeans with the gold  from a wonderful blouse I snapped up in the local charity shop & the heart shape is chopped up bits of fmed organza topped fabric . I'll use the cut out heart next time. I chose lining carefully out of the pile & forgot to take a pic. The book cover method is by Lyric Kinard & is so wonderfully simple even I could do it! You've probably all been doing this since you were in nappies but I only recently discovered it ;) I downloaded her DVD a while back. ( when it was an affordable price)

I got pretty far with these.

enjoyed making them. Lots of time consuming stitching of course but what isn't time consuming in this life we've chosen?! The DH thought they were great... I guess coz they aren't hairy ;)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

time is running out

& all I could come up with this week is a few more purses!

The middle one is using fabric kindly sent to me along with the Thermofax screen I ordered from Linda Stokes, printed with her lovely design. The 3 pale blue printed are old ones I hand printed &  made up a couple of seasons ago & I tart them up more each yr, well, I added lace to one. I might add some hand stitching in a quiet moment. Top left & bottom right I started ages ago & kept putting them off, waiting for the perfect button. I finally made my own buttons. The bottom left is the sequins & foil fabric from Stitches Straps & Layers, Maggie Grey's book that I'm working thru.

I was so impressed with Lorna at Artymess & her purse linings - it's difficult, I don't want to 'waste' good fabric on a lining but I also want it to 'go' nicely. Tricky.

 I started a new background for a couple more purses but I'm not sure, needs a bit of work!

Got my pieces & Janets to Inchmore but haven't heard whether they've been accepted yet. go here to see some entries.

I wanted to visit Patches Corner near Beauly since Fibrefrolics mentioned it, I think & I finally got there as it's near Inchmore. I thought I'd walk in & just enjoy the fat quarters but they've got lots of 'creative embroidery' stuff too, lovely. I was restrained, spent under £10!

  A beautiful Steff Frances piece, organza & metallic organza, tiny tastes of deliciousness, more purple/pink sequins! & a button making kit. Thought I'd try it - the buttons I made for the purses are fun but bulky to stitch on.

On the way to Beauly - the long winter shadows from these haybales were wonderful.

Finally, a couple more examples from the book Stitches, Straps Layers. The next bit is laying down yarns &ribbons & couching them down on the foiled felt. ( I love that expression 'couching down' I remember 100 yrs ago asking what 'gimp' was  & being told 'you couch it down'...a whole new language!) Maggie says it's easiest to use Colinett flat tape but to try anything. I had a great time making my own ribbon out of fabric strips & combining them with yarn when I was making the beads for my hangings for the show, heres a spare bit from the first hanging made.

I'll add some more stitching & keep a small bit for my samples book & make a cuff or a brooch or another purse....theres not enough for it all!

Another suggestion is to weave (or darn?) on a piece of soluable film/fabric (I remember doing that with Jan Beany!) but as I had the 'other side of the frame' bit from the piece that wet to Inchmore, well, i didn't want to waste it, I lay that on film & stitched a bit to attach the warps & wefts together. Of course I tried it without the film first & had it dissapear down the feed dogs - these people seem to know what they're talking about! The idea is you then wash the film away, lay it over foiled felt & the foil peeps thru. Oh, I love layers!

Other ideas were to wrap straws with yarns various or cable stitch in geometric partterns but I didn't go there this time. There aren't enough hours in the day ;)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

3 more 12x12's

Hope you're all having a happy & safe bonfire night - I'd forgotten til I heard fireworks in the village as with the older 2 away & the Youngest at a propper fw party I wan't asked for any sparklers. I admit I've always felt a little self concious running around waving one about...

These are the next lot of 12x12 pieces for Inchmore Gallery. The idea to put a piece of art into a CD was the previous owners, Gwen Black, lovely work, & Jane the new owner a jewellery designer, has reinstated it.

 A piece using painted, tissued & fabric paper with a little bit of sunprinting thrown in (I hear you, Jill ;) This based on a design ( I really do use that term loosely!) of a card I made for the DH once & just managed to remove frome the jaws of the dog. It's been hanging around the studio for so long wanting to inspire a bigger piece.

 I started this a while ago, well, the  painting of a wash of gesso & turquoise on corrugated cardboard. Really I started it when tearing up an empty box of ever ready batteries at work - it was amazing ripping the front layer of paper off exposing the ridging but kept quiet about it in case noone understood what I was getting excited about... So the 12x12 thing inspired me to carry on, just need the odd kick up the b ;) More turquoise & gesso, & then more finishing with gold metallic powders wich was too brassy so finished that with my wonderful gold leaf pen.  Jute (or something) stitching with the inevitable tails but I covered most of that with builders scrim, smooshing it into the spaces. Can't seem to avoid sticking things out over the edge. Simple, hopefully not too simple.

You might recognise this, part of a spare  postcard from my birthday last year. Another piece I've altered to fit. The (off) central piece was going to be a card, one from the A4 sheet I mde a while ago when clearing up my desk & when stitching it I tought it would be a good mate for the pc.I like the alteration. All these were taken with the inevitable flash & look like they have a wash of Paynes Grey, despite the fact it was a stunning day today. I just forget the early dark.

Some samples for my little book.

black smooth stuff I found in my drawers, foiled, covered in crumpled tissue paper, ironed, painted with maroon & gold & when the paper was wet ripped to expose the foil, cool! I get confused with too many suggestions in a book, thinking yes but how does the tissue stay on, nobody mentioned glue, did I miss a vital word? etc, etc, which is why actually doing it helps my small brain to understand (ripping paper by mistake wasn't actually mentioned, but I enjoyed that bit!) Fused nappy liner (not buying felt) to stablise for stich, as the book told me to. See I can follow some instructions!

Pale for me, but interesting. This is thin crumpled tissue white glued to  printed paper, (using an old meat tray plate I made) with trapped gold leaf flakes. The left one is sprayed with walnut ink. Stablised for stitch which I might do a little of before putting into my little book. Or I might chop a bit off to make a paper brooch, or two ;)