Friday, April 30, 2010

Its a long time . . .

. . . since I've been on Upton Heath, but the other Sunday we had a New Zealand couple who had been teaching the day before at our church at our home to lunch, and afterwards, in the sunshine, we went for a walk. it was hazy, butin the distance you could see the Poole harbour entrance, just, and the isle of Purbeck to the west.
Some of the gorse was out, the rich yellow always amazes me, all that enticing colour on a bush with fierce thorns that repel you.
But there were more delicate beauties - tiny birch leaves unfolding themselves and catkins . . .
. . . and more in the next instalment. I'm posting from picasa and it is not letting me have all the pix I selected in one shot.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flowers and butterflies . . .

. . . on the book some of whose pix got lost while uploading yesterday.  What a contrived link!  Sorry.  Here's the stitching on the spine, using a fine perlé thread.

And now the flowers, that have grown a bit since the last Spring pix.  I've arranged them in a sort of sequence of colour.  It is quite amazing how many gradations there are in colours.  I suppose really it just goes in a continuous shading, not in separatable steps!

I like the shadows on the wall
and the shape of these pointy tulips
contrasted with the blunt curves of these primroses
and the small round bell-shaped blobs of the grape hyacinths.
This horse chestnut has been growing for 4 years, I think.  It needs a proper home somewhere, out of its pot.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


With reference to my wail at the end of the previous post I seem to have discovered how to add pix here using the new system.  it isn't too ad, but why, oh why did it change?  Perhaps tomorrow it will all be back to normal.
Anyway, in between making books i am making bread, using the sort of yeast you have to activate with warm water and sugar.  Actually a pic if that would be interesting, i must see what I can do.  i am a bit proud of these. 

A book for a graddaughter.

This is the book I mentioned in the previous post, that was sent as a birthday present. Same size, 1/4 A4, same method, coptic binding. The butterflies are cut with one of those punches and stuck on.

The cover paper, stuck over card, is coloured by doing a rough rubbing with wax crayons, and a black ink wash over.
Posting is very odd today. When i try in the usual way to get photos on the window that comes up is one I've never seen before and i have no idea how to find the pix i want with it. It's not the new blogger system that I had just got used to and used with success. It seems to keep asking me to choose pix that are already on the blog. Wierd. So For this and the previous post I've gone from Picasa, selecting pix there and clicking on 'Blog this'. But it has lost some of the pix I chose!! What is going on???

I'm giving up on capital I's btw. They nearly always come out wrong and i'm tired of changing them.
Posted by Picasa

Another book . . .

. . . a small one, 1/4 of A4 size, with codex binding. I made one like this and sent it to a granddaughter for her birthday, so made one in the same way to keep for myself. Samples of various types are handy for my classes.

The cord is attached through a hole poked in the cover, and is threaded through the button. It wraps round the book and round the button to keep the book shut.
With this style you get the chain stitches where the signatures are linked to each other. If thick thread is used it tends to make a gap between signatures where the thread loops round, so I thought what if I use a fine thread? But I like lots of visible stitching, and fine thread would be a bit insignificant. So, solution, have lots of holes, thus lots of lines of stitching. Result - smaller gaps (though still some space) and lots of nice stitching to be seen. Success!
I find too, that stitches should not be pulled up as tight as with some other sorts of binding. You would think that to pull the thread up would help with the gap problem. But it also scrunches the spine so the signatures bunch untidily and the book will not close. So some careful judgement is needed. Not straightforward! It is a nice compact little book.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cornwall holiday

We went to the same place as last year, Porthcothan, along the coast from Padstow, in the same self-catering bungalow, 2 minutes walk from the beach.  On the way we stopped off at Cowslip workshops at Launceston and I bought some fat quarters for the granddaughter who wants to make herself a quilt, with Grandma's help of course.  Its a very cute place, with nice cafe, tempting shop, and lambs in the field just now.
Extra family members joined us for the weekend and we all went to Bedruthan Steps, a national Trust place a few minutes drive away.  Well, DH and I drove and had a coffee in the NT cafe while the other 8 walked there along the cliff path!  Interesting vegetation on the cliff top, some kind of lichen I guess, with design possibilities?
But I do take proper holiday snaps too, so here's the beach at Bedruthan, from above.
And down on it, some more design ideas!

We didn't get off all the walking, there are about 10,000 steep concrete steps (wet ones that day!) to get down and then up again!  I was wondering on the way down how you got to book a helicopter to get back up again.
Looking down from about a quarter of the way up . . .
. . . and with some relief, from the top again.
Back to Porthcothan, a nice level walk, the bay at half past eight, on the way to get the newspaper from the shop
Strange rock sculptures, when the tide is out . . .
. . .and 3 daughters enjoying the view.
Amazing sunsets.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I've been getting a strange mix of comments lately to the blog.  Some are very encouraging, and I do thank the writers of those.  Others unfortunately have included a lot of commercial  fishing and a couple of porn sites from China!!!  (I got a translation from Google).  So I'm reluctantly giving the comment facility a rest for the time being, hoping this will break those links.  I'll enable it again in a while. 

Holiday reading . . .

. . .on a cold day.  The next best thing to reading books is to make them!  These two were made by eldest daughter Claire and granddaughter Rebecca at one of a series of 'informal book making' classes I'm running at home at the moment, and were finished off on holiday in Cornwall last week (pix to come).
I'd made this one earlier, using Inktense pencils to colour the cover . . .
. . .and this one on holiday, printing the pattern in acrylic paint with a wine bottle cork, and putting a watercolour wash over.
Hannah made this one, a concertina fold with pamphlet stitched pages in the valley folds.
Then Claire made this one . . .
. . . and this one.
. . . and this one!
Hannah (left) and Rebecca (right) made these, using the cork.
And here's the class ones again, closeup of the stitching, to which Claire added some beads and a twisted place marker looped into one of the stitches at the top.
The covers are all made from corn flakes packet card.  Those that aren't printed with the cork have been coloured by drawing on the inside, the uncoloured side, using oil pastels, including metallic ones, then putting a watercolour wash over.  The coloured side of this cereal packet card I have found needs to be painted over with black acrylic paint to hide the colour, but the other side does take the other mediums pretty well.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blues and the water of life. . .

. . . . were the ideas behind a new altar frontal at our church, St Nicholas. Plus, we had to use a piece of a holographic sort of lamé somewhere.  Eight of us in the church stitching group, Threads of Faith, did a strip each (ah, so you can count, yes one person did 2 while another member made the 3 strips for the Bible stand).  They are not joined together, but attached individually by press studs to a piece of cloth that goes across the table and is held by a counterweight (plastic pipe filled with sand!) in a sleeve on the other side.  We each chose the sort of pattern or technique we wanted to do and worked individually, showing each other as we went along what we were doing and getting support and suggestions when needed.  It was agreed that any sort of blue could be used and it is most interesting to see the range, from greeny blues to purply ones.  Here's the Bible stand one . . .

. . . the whole piece of work . . .

. . . and three closer views of parts of it.