Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Finally finished June Journal Page

I didn't have a theme for this years challenge but I did intend to recycle as much of my stash as possible, including bits of work I'd started previously.  So far I've managed to do this but its been more of a challenge not to go out and buy new stash.    I also wanted the JP's to be a sort of diary, somthing that happened or was important during that particular month.   The first four months were relatively easy and I had an idea for the next four - I would create journal pages featuring some of the many abbeys and cathedrals in this part of the world.  Well I managed one - May's page is my interpretation of Easby Abby near Richmond (North Yorks one).  We often go down to Richmond and walk along the dismantled railway line to Easby Abbey,

I started with a photo and turned it into black and white, then a sketch in Paintshop Pro.   Using a  piece of left over silk from another project I traced the design onto it.   I used Inktense pencils in sepia shades to colour in the sketch then hand quilted round the shapes.   The back piece I found lying around in one of my many boxes and the colours matched what I had in mind for Easby Abby.   Finally added some ribbon trimmings which I thought looked a bit like the markings on the columns in Durham Cathedral.

June's journal page was going to be about my visit to the Lake District, okay I know it was in May but I didn't think it mattered too much.   My intension was to do a landscape but landscapes are more difficult to fit into portrait orientation, not impossible just a bit more difficult.   I had a piece of fabric I'd been playing with, it had paint, stamping, stencilling and screen printing on it.  It looked horrid but I thought if I sliced it into l" strips and wove it I could make a background.  Hang on a bit, where's the landscape, well it escaped at this point.  All I could think of was the wonderful colours of the flowers in the lakes at that time of the year.  The hymn "All things bright and beautiful" kept going round in my head so this is my version of that hymn.

So much for landscapes then, maybe next time.   The colour on the close up is a bit blue.  The large yellow flowers are machine embroidered and the small flowers fmed onto silk dyed with alcohol inks.

The only other thing I've done in the last week is to make a small needlecase for the U3A group.  I started to do the one in last month's Stitch magazine but got side tracked.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Went to London yesterday

to see the Quilt exhibition at theV&A and to meet my friend Judy who has now settled in Kent.  Had a lovely day together although Judy has back problems and found walking round the quilts a bit tiring.

Some of my favourites were, the small baby's cot quilt with embroidery (one of the first ones shown in the exhibition), the Royal Clothograph quilt, the blackout quilt because I had one just like it on my bed at my Gran's, the Wandsworth HMP quilt and Tracy Ermin's bed.  I didn't buy the exhibition book but I did buy postcards of quilts I was particularly interested in and Diana Springall's "Inspired to Stitch".  Well okay I know I could have got that anywhere but its one I've been looking to buy and I couldn't go home without one now could I.

Whilst we were there we managed to go into the Islamic room where three small coatsbelonging to princes,e colourful tiles, silk carpets from Isfahan were exhibited.  I was in Isfahan several years ago and lucky enough to be invited into the home of a carpet maker who exported his carpets to Harrods.  There was no way I could have afforded one then or now but seeing the colours brought back the memories.

Now that I have two new sewing areas to use, I'm sitting in this one at the moment, I've actually done some work.   I've almost finished my June Journal Page, photos next time, and completed a couple of swaps although most of the work was done in my second sewing area.  It's now as dark as it appears in the photo in fact its sometimes so bright I have to pull the blind down.

Two swaps for the Surface Design group, first an ATC on the theme of 'any technique'.  I've used a fractured fabric technique for this one.   It's one I first encounted with Maggie Grey where you repeatedly bond and cut fabrics in different directions, the more you cut and bond the greater the fracturing.

The second swap was again with Surface Design this time to produce a bookmark using soluble fabric.  I sewed tiny scraps of silk fabric onto the soluble fabric then using a metallic thread free motioned a lacy fabric around the edges and linked the fabric fragments.  Just realised that both these swaps entired tiny pieces of fabric.

Back to my journal page now and I have the big decision as to which room I will use.   I hate to admit it but I think I worked better in a smaller area but daren't tell Keith that.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Back again

We really enjoyed our holiday in the Lake District and were lucky enough to get some beautiful weather.  We stayed  in a cottage on the Priory Manor Estate,  The cottage was small but large enough for the two of us with the most stunning views over lake Windermere. The only downside was the steep bank back up to the main road.  It seemed like walking up a 1:3 and by the time we got to the top we were too tired to go much further.  After the first time we took the car to a view point just slightly along from the estate entrance and walked from there.

Our cottage unfortunately there also my shadow!!
What laid at the bottom of the garden.

We never got tired of watching the light change on the lake or the boats passing up and down.  There were several short walks near to where we were staying and managed to do several of them. One of the reasons we went to the lakes was to see just how far Keith could walk without too many problems.  He did really well and since we've got back we've continued to walk.

Besides walking we did some seeing and visited several tourist sites such as Hill Top Farm where Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit and her other animal stories. It was smaller than I expected but the gardens were wonderful. In fact the Lakes were in full colour while we were there, especially the Rhododendroms.

We even found the watering can that Peter Rabbit hid in from Mr McGregor, well that's what I think.

We went to Kendal to deliver my evening purse for the charity exhibition and called in at Sizergh Castle while we were in the area.   I enjoyed the house but I loved the gardens.   The door knocker reminded me of the one on Durham Cathedral, its not the same but similar.  And I loved these steps that had seen better days.
We spent a day at Penrith, well I couldn't go there without calling in a Just Sew could I and Keith had discovered there was a timeryard that sold wood for woodturning. That made for two happy bunnies!!  On the way we called in at Aire Force and walked up to the waterfalls.   I did take some photos of the falls but the angle I had to take them at makes them look odd.  
The trees around Aira Force are some of the largest in the country, one a giant PuzzleTree we named the "Nora Batty" tree because its bark looked like her wrinkled stockings.  The bark of others just asked to be turned into textile art of some description.   I'm thinking about what right now.

Everywhere we went the ferns were blooming in great profusion.  These primordial plants seem to take on a personality of their own.  This one reminded me of a druid raising his arms to the sky.  Whilst the larger one is keeping his eye on you.