Sunday, 31 August 2008
Art boundaries are also constantly being pushed, textile artists in particular merge tradition with experiemental.
With the latter in mind I decided that my boundaries would be the non-boundaries of the universe, of space of imagination and of the freeing boundaries of art.
So here is my postcard made from heat bubbled synthetic chiffon, fabric paper painted with acrylics and sprayed with interference paint, fme quilted and beaded. My universal circles are free to wander without the constriction of boundaries.
Friday, 29 August 2008
When I'd finished these I made little bags for them to be stored and carried in.
Both bags were made with the left over scraps from their respective mats. I was quite pleased with these when I'd finished, they are fully lined and reversible.
In retrospect it might have been a nice touch if I'd put the quilt motif on the bags - too late now they're all packed. I just hope the great godchildren like them. Now life can get back to its normal hectic pace. Keith's now on holiday for a week, we don't have much planned well to be truthful we have more than enough plans to last a month but we'll decided on a day to day basis.
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
So with several days internet free ahead of me I decided I'd buckle down and get the baby floormats finished, well on the way at least. The photos aren't too good Oliver's train mat has a yellow and blue backing it looks rather grey here. I created some applique trains using a child's colouring book as the pattern. I still have to stitch round these so that they will stand out. I did wonder whether to do the applique before putting the back on then decided I wanted the outline to show on the back. Just got to sew down the binding and as I said stitch round the trains.
Grace's floormat is in two shades of green with a black/beige border insert and it has sheep on it, well it will when I've finished them. This time I've put the applique on before the backing but I wish I'd put them on before I sewed the blocks together. The sheep are fleece and the faces cream cotton, lets the border print and I have to embroider some eyes on them. It's based on one of Lynne Edwards patterns from her Stack Buster book.
TAST has also taken a bit of a back seat and this is my cross stitch sample I've used different weight threads and different size stitches. I'm not entirely happy with it and feel I could have done a better job if I'd given more thought to what I was doing. It sort of grew. I still have two more to catch up on.
More of my 100 stitches.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
The day though was put to good use, I finished off the tea cosies I've been making for an auction. A local (well 30+ miles away) fabric shop was having a tcosie auction in aid of the Air ambulance.
The air ambulance helipad at James Cook was almost outside the radiotherapy department and it obvious how much these helicopters and crew are needed.
This blue tea cosie was started quite a while back and is foundation pieced by hand. It's a strange shape, the teapot is placed in the centre and the arms are wrapped over it. leaving the spout and handle poking through the gaps in the side. There is no need to take the cosy off when you pour out the tea.
These two were made from jelly roll strips left over from another project. I had lots of 2.5" squares but not enought to make a quilt but enough for a small cosie. I sewed them together randomly and embroidered the seams with faggotting.
This last one was just plain old jelly roll strips sewn together and machine embroidery down the seams, the inside is similar. I thought it a reasonable way to use some scraps up.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Its a background of machine embellished wool tops with more tops for the tree. The stone wall is painted and heated tyvek and the whole arch was then handstitched. The arch is again an embellished background this time chiffon over a cheap floorcloth and handstitched to resemble stone blocks. I hope she likes it. Now I did say Carole likes garden themes and this second arch was in fact my first attempt for her. I had intended it to be a garden but somehow my muse stepped in and it became a piece of the Pembrokeshire coastline. It's a bit like though not identical to Barafundle Bay on the Stackpole Estate nearby to where we stayed. It must have stuck in my mind but now its out I expect I can get on with other things. Does anyone else have these sort of problems? You know where you start out intending to make one thing and it somehow ends up completely different without any conscious effort from yourself.
I've only uploaded just a sample of those I've caught up with. If you are interested you can see them all on my Flicr account. All in all I've caught up with 9 days, so 9 down,8 to go then I'm up to date.
Friday, 15 August 2008
The Postman also brought me this card from Cindy which is her response to the Japan themed swap. I've just realised I've not scanned Christine's sashiko card must do that tomorrow.
These are my Japan theme cards they are based on the chrysanthemum, and take the form of a Kanzashi. Kanzashi are Japanese traditional hair adornments and were worn for formal occasions such as a wedding as well as by Geisha. Today they are sometimes used on business suites as accessories by Japanese women.
I think they are quite pretty and might make a few more. It took me quite a while to work out how to make them but think I've figured it out. The centres should be a solid circle with a hairpin pushed through but I just beaded the centres. I started with a 2" square and spray starched it until I could fold it like paper. I made individual petals and sewed them together. It probably isn't the correct way to do it but it worked.
I believe you can make lots of origami pieces with fabric if you spray start the fabric first so that you can crease it like paper. Must have a go at something else.
The chrysanthemum fabric of the Kanzashi (which was darker than the background one) didn't blend in as well as I wanted it to so I've painted it with gold paint and added a bit to the ribbons as well as they were a bit stark.
My mum had a new bedroom carpet laid on Thursday but when my nephew went to put her furniture right he found a big tear in her wallpaper about two thirds of the way up the wall. The carpet fitters had moved her wardrobe in front of the tear so she wouldn't see it until they'd left. I'm disgusted that they would do this to an old lady but my brother is on her case and will get it sorted out for her. If they'd told her they'd accidentally knocked her wallpaper with the roll of carpet she'd have been upset but not angry now she's both. I'll let you know the outcome next week.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
On the same day we called in Black Pool Mill which wasn't really worth the visit and Carew castle. Pembroke is full of castles, I thought we had lots in Durham but I think they beat us, we have more accessible beaches though. As I said it was raining and by this time we were sick of it going down the back of our necks, Carew had an interesting history but gave us little cover from the rain which was getting heavier. We went back to our holiday cottage to put our feet up and watch telly.
Pembroke Castle on the other hand was wonderful, this was a bright sunny day and it could have influenced our opinion but not by much. It's every little boys idea of a castle and there were lots of them around running up and down towers, hanging over battlements, peering down the dungeons. Much of the castle was destroyed during the Civil War when Cromwell's army blew up its walls. However in the 1880's restoration was begun and today much of it is restored. It is possible to walk through lots of connecting rooms and corridors leading to more rooms and towers. This was great fun for the children that were there. I just wish I'd taken my two boys there when they were small, I could have left them and gone back for them in a weeks time. Apart from missing someone to give them a meal they wouldn't noticed we'd gone.
We were staying just outside of a village called Bosherston (it got its name from the once time Lords of the Manor who were called Bosher). Nearby is Govan Head where St Govan landed in the 6th century. History has it that he was being pursued by pirates when a cave appeared in the cliffs. These same cliffs closed around him and hid him thereby saving him for posterity. In gratitude he then proceeded to build a church on the cliff path and lived there as a hermit and converting the heathen (that's Keith outside St Govan's church, Ithink he's lookng to see if he can get a mobile signal!!).
Rumour has it that the steps down to the church cannot be accurately counted and I know I got 76 and Keith got something else. It was amusing to hear everyone coming up the steps counting them, all different totals.
This sunset was just after a rainstorm, the sun came out just to leave us again - typical.
I said these weren't in order - Whittingham Castle fwe stopped here for a break on the drive down to Pembroke. Whittingham is in the Welsh Marshes (border country) and was one of the castles where the Marshall tried to keep the peace - or something like that.
Lower Fishguard where herring fishing used to be the local way of life, now it's tourism and second homes for people with boats. At the top of the photos is FishgardFort this was built to defend the port from Napoleon. Apparently Fishguard was invaded by the French but they didn't get any further into Wales.
We did find a beach that was accessible without a long climb down from above and it wasn't too far from where we lived. We came across Freshwater Beach on the way back from diner at the Hibernia Inn in Angle. There were lots of people hanging around in cars just waiting so we stopped to see what was going on. They were waiting for the waves to build up then out they went on their surf boards. The coast around here was a surfers coast unfortunately we left our skateboards at home.
This I found interesting, though you might not. It was a triangular hut on the top of the cliff at Freshwater Beach. It's a seaweed drying hut, not in use now but it was up to a couple of decades ago. The wives of the fishermen would collect the seaweed, leave it on the floor of the hut to dry (they'd turn it over at regular intervals) then sell it to shops to be made into lavabread. Well I thought it was interesting, Keith just grunted.
Barafundle Bay - castellated walls again and another steep climb down to the beach. The beach was completely devoid of people but pretty. It's on the StackpoleEstate and you can walk from here back to our holiday cottage if you have the stamina, we didn't.
Stackpole Quay, the smallest UK quay in daily use. These men were unloading crabs from their nets, some of the crabs got away....
One of the best places we visited was Castell Henllys (don't ask me to pronouce it can't get my tough round those double ll's) Iron Age fort. This place has apparently been on tv and I think I vague remember seeing it. The large hut facing you at the top of the picture would have been the headman's hut as the doorway has the best view and faces out over the valley. There were three large huts and a couple of smaller ones and several marked out for restoration. They do activites for children, paint their faces, show them how to build a hut, take them hunting for their dinners, baking bread etc. They are dressed in iron-age woollen shawls and all seemed to be enjoying themselves, wish I'd been a kid.
There is a communal fire outside as well as inside one of the huts. Inside the huts were painted with patterns, there were beds, tools, looms as well as a really good herb garden at the back.
Monday, 11 August 2008
I caught up with a couple of TAST stitches, while I was away, the top picture is my Algerian Eye Stitch piece and
this one is my feather stitch piece. This is all the sewing I did as I left everything but these at home. After all my careful sorting stuff to take with me I left it sitting on the table.
When I got back I found these on the door mat,. This lovely brooch from Betsy I must ask her how she made it. It looks like several pieces of sheer fabric layered and stitched then charms, threads and glass beads added to the top. Its very pretty.
These are Brigitte and Jennifers Japan cards from the private group. Brigitte has made a lovely art jacket have a look at it here Jennifer's card wishes me good luck.
Before we went away I put my folder containing all the stuff I had still to do for different groups etc safe. Can I find it, no course not. I've searched the house from top to bottom but it just seems to have disappeared into a black hole. I'll have to trawl through the various group databases to see if I can remember which swaps I'm in and relist everything - darn why do I bother putting stuff away I always loose it.
As promised I'll upload some holiday snaps later, that is if I can get onto the web. Virgin have been disconnecting us until we upload a patch for our Belkin router. They say our router may be contributing to their server problems. Apparently our router keeps asking their server for information but when we asked what information it was asking for they didn't know!! The routers that are giving Virgin problem though is not the same as the one we have, ours according to Belkin doesn't have the glitch Virgin are complaining about. So its hit and miss whether I get connected or not, here's keeping my fingers crossed.