Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bit more stitching . .

Rust seems to be all the rage these days so I thought I'd have a go. DH has been making items of garden furniture out of reclaimed wood and had a lot of rusty nails lying around. I wrappedsome up in a piece of calico and left it in a wet heap in the garden. Then promptly forgot about it. Eventually I had a look at it and this is the result.

These two pieces are indulging my delight in running stitch and fragments of fabric.

2 small needle books and 2 notebooks, using up some of my stash of free machine embroidery samples.
Ditto, 2 postcards . .
. . . and 2 more postcards. Straight stitching this time, on left, appliqué, on right disguising an 'ugly' fabric.
And a notebook cover. Very cheap notebook from Tesco. When I went to get some more, thinking, a good fundraiser here, there hadn't any!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Seen this year at Chelsea . . .

(RHS Chelsea Flower Show, just finished last week). . . herbs . . . . . . grasses and aquilegia . . .
. . . hardy geraniums . . .

. . . dark version of elder . .

. . . california poppies . . .

. . . butterfly lavender . . .

. . . scupture.

Yes, well, I did see them all there, but on the telly. These pix are all in our garden, I must confess!!! Nice to be at the cutting edge of garden design without even trying!

Front garden veggies

This idea was promoted at Chelsea this year too . . . . . . . .but we were there first! Spring cabbages . . . that reminds me, we'll have one tonight. Strawberries and lettuce . . .

. . . rocket and strawberries

. . . more strawberries and rocket.

Cornwall holiday part 2

An image for embroiderers . . . . . . then you add a bit of stitching . . . Tide's out, suddenly the bay doubles in size, there's a bit round the corner we didn't know was there. Rugged north cornish coast

In Padstow there is a lobster hatchery (if anyone saw the BBC Coast programme about the relevant bit of coastline, it was featured) and this is a prize specimen lurking in its tank, very rare colouring.
Off to the beach at Porthcothan, 2 minutes, down the lane, cross the road by the white houses and you are there.Most evenings there was an amazing sunset, right in the bay.Going, going . . .

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cornwall holiday

. . . . Easter week this year. And at that time our front garden, dug up to grow more edible things, looked like this -----
We had a self catering bungalow at Porthcothan, a small settlement by this lovely bay westwards along the coast from Padstow . . . . . . where cute fishing boats like this were at be seen, that don't look quite real.
On the journey there we stopped off to eat our sandwiches at a National Trust property near Okehampton, Finch Foundry, a 19th century water-powered forge. Read about it here.
Here's some of the tools they made there, about 400 pieces a day, with a local workforce of 25.
Then we went on to Padstow for a quick look before going to the cottage, oh, and a cup of tea, and, well, why not an icecream too.
Next instalment later.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Genesis 1, seven days of creation

These are seven paintings 6' x 3', on calico, using household acrylics, illustrating the account of creation as given in the first chapter of Genesis in the Bible. They were done when we were looking at the story in the all-age services we have at our church (St. Nicholas, Corfe Mullen, in Dorset), mostly by me, with input from the vicar and several children and adults who come to those services. I didn't really know I could paint like that till I tried! Big and messy, like my stitching! The first one has pieces of paper stuck on, painted over words using oilbars, - "In the beginning . . . The earth was formless and void. . . . God said, 'Let there be light'"
For this one, dry land emerging and plant life developing, I looked up prehistoric plants and found photos of fossils of some very early plants and trees, and some reconstructions drawn from fossil evidence. Interesting!
The constellations Ursa Major, Orion and Cassiopeia have stars/planets made with large holographic discs stuck on. The sun and moon are photos with some additional paint effects.
For this one, birds and fish, I didn't really want to divide the canvas into two, with birds at the top and fish in water below, so hit on the idea of painting just water, with fish suspended over it, and a mobile for the birds to 'fly' around. This was partly with an eye to the practicalities of storage - they are all going to be rolled up when taken down.The creation of humans and animals has an abstract treatment. the hands represent response to the breath of God giving life, response upwards to God and outwards to each other.
And the last one, God resting, has a spiral which symbolises God moving out from a still centre to us, or us moving in towards God. Written on it using a felt tip pen are various words from the Bible about rest, stillness and peace.

They have been used a lot, as backdrops for various activities, and are proving to be very useful and quite inspiring for many people.

Phew! There's sometimes more to what we do than we realise when we are doing it.

Banjara embroidery . .

. . . at West Country Embroiderers last month. All the horizontal stitches were done beforehand at home, then on the day we enjoyed playing with the interlacing, making pretty patterns. The tutor was Tig Rawling, see I'd rather be in India blog.
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Friday, May 01, 2009

New season's journal quilts . . .

These have uploaded in reverse order - April, March, February and January, but never mind! I've never done a JQ so fast, discovering at 5pm yesterday, with an evening out ahead of me, that the pix and some blurb about them had to be with the challenge organiser that day! Well, I did it, finished off the last one, and emailed everything off, with 10 minutes to spare. The local group, Infinity, that I belong to, makes a JQ every 2 months, picking a theme from ideas we have put in a box. I decided to do 2 per theme, thus having one a month for the Quilters' Guild Contemporary Quilt group challenge. March and April are Monuments, and I had great difficulty thinking of something. It even got me started mind-mapping, which I hadn't done before, so that was a good thing! The idea of gravestones and remembrance struck me, carved monumental lettering, and crosses in war cemeteries in Normandy came to mind. Then poppies of course. So, painted and printed calico, a fibre tip pen, free motion machine stitching, thick thread on the bobbin, came into use.
The first theme of the year was glass, and I have wanted to try windows for a while now. The 'glass' in them is 3 layers of organza (you have to have 3 layers in a quilt!). And I also wanted to try out the chain stitch effect on a finished piece, so a creeper is beginning to push out a few buds (this is for February after all).
Glass 1 is shards of broken glass, organza pieces bonded on with fusible web, and straight lines of machine quilting. Doesn't show up too well in the photo but the real thing catches the light interestingly.