Wednesday, 30 September 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to Ingleston

We lost our hotel!!! I did an on-line booking into one of the Premier Inns only 6 minutes drive from Ingleston but when we arrived at the spot it should have been it wasn't there!! We'd left home around tea-time and with a stop en route it was dark bythe time we got into Edinburgh and there were, of course, roadworks. We drove down the A8 until we reached the Zoo by which time we knew we were well off track. I jumped out of the car and accosted two ladies who after a long discussion decided there'd never been a Premier Inn on the Glasgow Road. Next I tried the Holiday Inn next to the Zoo, they couldn't find it either, then a garage on Glasgow Road, no luck there. By now we were getting a bit panicky and stressed. We stopped a taxi driver who told us he knew where it was. Turn left before the traffic lights he said, its there. So we did and ended up in the car park of the Marriot Hotel. Taking my nerve in my hands I went and asked them if they knew where the Premier Inn was. No, they too hadn't heard of it but the Concierge was a star. He told me to tell Keith to park up and he'd ring round to see if he could find where we were booked in. The address on the confirmation gave 111 Glasgow Road. Two minutes later he came out asked my first name and said "you're booked in here". Phew were we pleased.

Friday morning we were up and off to the Quilt Championships at Ingleston. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined and we'd done the rounds by lunchtime. So we had lunch and did them again.
I did take photos of some quilts but as I don't have permission to post them I thought I'd better keep them in my albumn. This though is a fragment of my friend Ros Pollock's quilt. Her quilting is exquisite and there always such a lot going on in her quilts that each time you look you find something else.
We thought as it took such a long time to find the hotel we'd better stay another night. On Saturday we went into Edinburgh and this time I had time to actually go to the Art Gallery. The exhibits this time were from Goya to Picasso. We enjoyed it very much, especially the impressionists but it was too hot for Keith and he went and sat outside.
One disappointment with Edinburgh was the roadworks, most of Prince's Street seemed to be under construction so it was difficult to get a decent photo of the castle. You can just see the diggers in the bottom of the photo.
Last time we came there was a service going on in St Giles Cathedral so I couldn't take any photos. But this time I managed to get a couple. There was a sponsored music practise going on inside the church and when we were there a small girl was playing "Happy Birthday". I liked the idea of a sponsored practise, if they'd been one when Sy was learning to play the violin I would willingly have paid for him to practise elsewhere.
St Giles from the Royal Mile.

One of the many beautiful stained glass windows.

Keith thought this man's wife had sent him outside to practise too. We were piped out of Scotland. - actually he was quite good.

Before we went to Ingleston I'd been to a beading day run by my friend Jenny. We made beaded tassels and I promised her I would finish it before I went away and I did.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Just a quick hello

Just got back from a holiday in Warwickshire and these little beauties were awaiting my return. Lorna Jones is a new member of our swap group and I have a feeling in my bones that she is going to keep us all on our toes. Her September nautical postcard has an extra piece on the bottom of thread ends etc sewn into a fabric. This has then been attached to the corner of her card giving a three dimensional feel to the card. I just love it.
I also love Jennifer's card. It's not clear on the photo but she has created a really beautiful background giving the whole piece a peaceful day sailing.

There's been quite a bit recently about zentangles and Joni from the Surface Design swap has sent me one as her 'Technique' atc. I love the detail in this atc and feel inspired to create one for myself. Zentangles I believe are small pieces of artdoodling. Normally around 3.5" square drawn with a Micro pen onto fabric that has previously been coloured in some way. You 'doodle' a design then fill in the 'doodle' with patterning which is then coloured in too. If you want to see more of them you'll find them here. I'm so impressed with them that I've decided to join in the Zentangle Ornament swap on Surface Design, now there's a challenge.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

ATCs and Danglys

I've had a host of atc from the Surface Design 'technique' swap. There are ten of us in this swap and they are almost all in now.
Tracy made a double sided atc using bonding, painting and heat stressing techniques. Maria used tinfoil, paint, gel media and embossing techniques.
Joanna used Yupo handyed fabrics I really like the depth of field she has created in this atc. Mags, as usual has produced a really pretty atc with transfer paint and paper resists on felt.

Dotti has used rusted fabrics, metal embossing and beading and a really attractive envelope.

I love this atc and enveloped made by Aynsley using monoprinting techniques and a lot of creative imagination.
Michelle has used similar techiques to Tracy but hers have a base of scrim over cotton. Jan's atc is layered throwsters silk, threads, glitter, leaves soaked with diluted textile medium. She then stamped and painted it further.
I've loved everyone of the atc's so far and am looking forward to remaining one.

In the meantime I've actually been doing some sewing. My effort for this month's 'nautical' theme turned out slightly different than intended. My first thoughts had been mermaids, ships, rock pools, anchors etc but in the end I decided on a coastline approach. I free cut the background fabrics into a roughly sea/sand contour, covered the sea part with irridescent sheer and started stitching and beading.

Friday was the monthly U3A meeting and I needed something to show what the craft group was going to do in October. We'd decided loosely on a Christmas theme - giving people plenty of time to complete before it arrived with a bang!! There is a great variation in people's ability in this group so I needed something that would suit all. I couldn't come up with one item but made four for them to choose from.

The one-winged angel (she is still knitting the other one!!) is a bit fiddly and as the skirt is knitted lace should appeal to those who want a bit of a challenge.

The folded patchwork 'dangly' is not quite so complex and can be made very quickly. The beaded dangly is very quick and easy to make so should suit those who want to complete something within the class time. (I hope!!)

But I could not resist making an Angel Dotee for those members who like something a bit more 'funky'.
We're off again in the morning to Warwickshire to look at gardens - ours is a patch of weeds. I will be back in a week and this time should be around long enough to blog more often.
On the home front Keith had his steroid injections into his spinal cord on Friday and is now beginning to get over the discomfort. Hopefully he should feel the benefit of it while we are away. It's Alix's 30th (shhhhh we have to say it quietly) and last night she celebrated with two of her friends who are also 30 this week. They took over the Students Union in Leeds for the night and at the moment I haven't heard how it went. I expect they are all sleeping it off.
Still miss Mum, I keep seeing places, things I'd like to talk to her about - then I remember but I expect I'll keep doing this for quite some time to come.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Goodies from the postman

I got back from Kent on Monday to find lots of goodies from the postman, bless him. First to open were the Dotee Doll from the MixedMedia ATC swap. This Dotee isn't really for me it was sent to me by mistake but isn't she lovely. Its from Pat Reeth and I will be reluctantly sending her on her way to Kari tomorrow.
Such a self-satisfied grin and with cause, her beautiful beaded hear and tail make Maureen's Dotee feel I'm lucky to have her.

While Kari's dotee is a little red head with a dazzling beaded dress and tail. I love all the dotees if anyone has made one you'll know how addictive they are. I'm in the process of making an angel dotee for the U3a meeting on Friday. The members of the craft class wanted to make something small that could be hung on a Christmas tree. I've made a beaded bauble but thought a dotee angel wouldn't look out of place.

The private swap theme this month is 'nautical' and the sailing ship above was done by Cindy who has gone home to the States for a month, but not in a boat like this one.

Christine's nautical card is very clever. She has manipulated a photo she took, played around with it in then copied and painted it onto fabric.
I had seven atc's to show but blogger is refusing to download them so I will save them for tomorrow. I might also get to show you some of my Kent photos.