Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mostly not my work. . .

. . . like a Bethlehem scene, drawn out for people to paint, who came to the Christmas Fun Day our church had this month, which included also crafts and a performance of Sheila Wilson's Hosanna Rock. And on my table, stencilling and nice choice of colours produced some tasteful bits of wrapping paper.
A similar exercise at a similar Day focussing on Africa had a village landscape to paint and . . .
. . . . some Mali mudcloth patterns to play with, not using fermented mud, but freezer paper masking and black and blue acrylic paint!
And going back a bit further still to the . . .
. . . Quilters' Guild 3 Corners Day in October, 3 workshops to circulate round, of which i did one (in the exalted company of Kate Dowty and Carol Dowsett!) In my workshop we made small purses, from 5 x 5" fabric squares. It is one of these random things that comes out with unexpected charm.
But this is all my own work, and not in a breadmaker either! Not sure why it comes out all craggy, but DH says it gives it a nice rustic look.

Wild weather inspirations

I wanted to put these first two pix at the end but blogger is being contrary about arranging photos, sorry about that. Sunset, seen from the back of our house. Sun heading down, Poole harbour, Brownsea island across the water.
Another winter day at Sandbanks, with wild waves and kite surfers, and sun. Great for November.
And at Upton Country park, some autumn colour, quite spectacular.
More wild waves, at Bournemouth beach this time, on the windiest day of the year. We went with family to the Oceanarium down by the beach, and the grandchildren were leaning on the wind. But then the peaceful moments come, to our road anyway!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hello, I'm still here . . .

. . . and will try to stay this time, a reformed character, keeping my blog more up to date with pix of visual interest and inspiration . . . I very much hope so anyhow. So here are some things I have been making lately - beads, from coloured magazine pages. There is nothing complicated about them, you simply cut long strips of paper, roll them up round a knitting needle or similar rounded stick thing, and apply glue to the last bit of the strip so that it sticks itself to the roll. If you want cylindrical beads you cut a straight strip. If you want a more rounded effect you cut a wedge shaped strip. You start rolling at the wide end, keep the narrowing strip in the centre as you roll, and it builds up a more rounded shape.

I made a book cover from nappy liners. There was a workshop online using dryer sheets and not knowing quite what they were I decided to try nappy liners, which I thought might be similar. They aren't really, but they gave a nice result.

I put 3 liners together, having printed and painted some colour on them. They don't take colour so very well, but enough for the purpose. I then stitched them together onto a piece of felt, with free machine stitching all over. Then a little zap with a heat gun and a bit more stitching.
Then I neatened the edges, wrapped some cord by zigzagging over threads, and couched that down, leaving ends to wrap round a button to fasten and threaded on some of my paper beads to look decorative.The piece was just the size of the book opened out, so I had to attach separate panels to each side to make pockets into which the book covers could be pushed. The book happened to be one I had made, A5 size, but any could be used.
It feels nice to handle, and was easy to stitch, so is on the list of 'Try that again sometime' ideas.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Next batch of journal quilts

4 quilts on 2 themes, bottles and boats. The 'bottles' are made with clingfilm with threads etc trapped between layers and ironed (don't forget to iron over baking parchment).
'Boats' involved colouring the base fabric with oilbars/paintsticks, some layered strips, and free machine stitching. One has felt boats and the other various sayings about boats ('Don't rock the boat', 'all in the same boat' etc, that kind of thing) stitched over.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Holiday time . . .

. . . in the Peak District of Derbyshire. [I started this message ages ago, and gave up because it wouldn't let me move the pics around. Coming back to have another go today, 12 Sept, I still can't do it and have decided to post anyway. So they are a bit muddled! But hopefully nice to look at!]
Well dressings are a feature of summer life in the Peak villages and this was one of 3 in Bradwell, neat Great Hucklow where we had a cottage. The pictures are made with flower petals, leaves, seeds, all sorts of plant pieces. Another place we visited is Eyam, a village famous for cutting itself off during the Plague in 1665 so that the infection wouldn't spread. Nice Celtic design cross in the churchyard.
Now this is in the gardens at Chatsworth! Talk about dodging around! Its a viewpoint
from which you can lock down over the rock garden.
This isn't a stately home but the cottage we stayed in, at least, the lefthand end of it is!

Flowers at Chatsworth.

WE had the use of the patio at our cottage and very nice it was in the sun, though here it was raining!

Here's a nice old stone house, typical of the area, local stone. It is in Eyam, one of a number of cottages where the plague victims who died in the house are listed on a board outside. So many from each family, so sad.

. . . and the famous fountain at Chatsworth.

We were there with grandchildren so a visit to the farm was obligatory, and most entertaining with these little rascals wriggling and sucking.

Another visit was to Caudwell's Mill where they have examples of different sorts of grain growing and sell lovely flower ground on the premises in the historic mill.

And up on Baslow Edge we did some kite flying with grandson, sharing the space with . . .
. . . some not-so-local looking inhabitants! (The grandchildren had come all the way from Scotland to find highland cattle here.) . . .
. . . and some radio-controlled planes.
A brilliant view . . .
. . . in all directions.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It was well worth . . .

. . . digging up the front garden. It is a riot of green at the moment . . .

. . . outdoors. . .
. . . and indoors . . . yummy yummyBut where these (below) came from we have no idea! Funny, times when I think out carefully what to grow where, go and buy it, get it planted in just the right place etc etc, the stuff doesn't always grow. Other times things just appear, don't know where from, in places you would never choose, and flourish amazingly. Is there a life message there somewhere??? If you think you know what it is, please tell me! Meanwhile they brighten up the bed with the brussel sprout plants in.I'd like really to have these poppies in the back garden alongside these . . . a pink geranium that survived from last year, an unusual geranium-type plant from the local garden centre and fuchsias bought at a sales table at church.
If your local allotment waiting list is too long, an alternative is to find an elderly person who is willing for you tidy a bit of their garden by digging a veg patch in return for some of the produce. Derek has been able to do this and as well as strawberries, peas and broad beans we have had these . . .
. . . and these come from our own greenhouse, doing a bit better than last year. Red and green again, but perhaps a bit more attention to the background when taking pix might be a good idea!
Nice printed batik though, from Togo in West Africa, bought at a craft village when we visited friends doing linguistic, literacy and Bible translation work there, in 1994.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fabric salvage now . . .

. . . bits and pieces not much use for anything else, sometimes rescued from other people's bins at workshops (how sad is that?).
This is one of the first set of postcards I ever made, discovered tucked away somewhere when having a workroom clearout recently.
I think it is the colour grouping that makes these interesting.

The compulsion to make these strip things seems to go on for ever, but at last I am moving on a bit . . .
. . . though not for long. Back to strips, but thinner, even more likely to be in the bin, and running stitch all over them . . .

These bags also use up all sorts of offcuts - strips, trimmings and tiny scraps any normal person would just throw away. Lay them out on a piece of fabric cut to the size required for what you want to make. Cover with organza (stripy bag) or net (blue/red bag), pin everywhere then machine stitch all over, handling carefully so bits don't escape. Of course you could use fusible web but I hate the stuff. This bag is done with straight stitch, to show that you don't have to be able to do free machining to use this method of creating fabric.

And this one used up a lot of tiny scraps and bits of thread, and has been free machined with scribbles and zigzaggy lines.