Friday, 23 July 2010

Been buying books again

I just couldn't resist Jane Dunnewold's new book 'Art Cloth' when I saw it advertised, then I saw Inspired to Stitch, Digital Quilting, Art Quilts and the list went on.  I drew the line at these four.  As yet I've only browsed each book but they look interesting.  Inspired to Stitch has some really beautiful photos of work from twentyone artists.  I think I'm going to enjoy reading them all.

I have also done a little sewing.   When all the excitement of the World Cup was on I loved the 'Rainbow' countries theme and decided to make a journal page using the colours of the rainbow.   I had a 'brights' jelly roll and chose the seven colours from it and started cut it up into strips.  It sort of grew on its own.  In my mind the colours would blend from one corner to the other but it didn't turn out like that.  There wasn't really enough of any one colour in the jelly roll to do this so I just sewed the strips together.   When it was assembled it looked like a dogs dinner, very disappointing so I cut it again, diagonally.  Then again in wavy lines.   Naturally as I reassembled the pieces none of the lines matched up because there wasn't any seam allowance.   The resultant rainbow piece was too big for a journal page so I cut it again, this time in half and made a cushion.
I took these photos late evening so they don't look quite as bright as they actually are.  I'm showing both sides of the cushion here. 

Keith also has been busy making thread stands.  One of my friends asked if he could make her one like her husband had bought her, then another friend also wanted one so I thought I might as well ask for one too.
Here's the result.
They are made from elm and each spindle is slightly different.  It was a learning experience for him but we did ask him to alter the top on the one on the right hand side.   It was much fuller and rounder and looked a bit rude!!
I've received several goodies through the post this week:

This Art4Mail group are running a creative challenge swap are running whereby you choose 5 numbers from 1 to 50 and you are issued with a technique to match your numbers.   This is Charlie Davidson's card who chose 1, 7, 17, 27 and 37 her techiques were piece something, pleat/origami something, ribbon or trim, something organic and unusual textures.   I'll leave you to sort out which bit relates to which technique but I will tell you the organic bit is pumpkin seeds underneath the crochet.

The same group are running two continuous atc challenges one based on colour and the other the alphabet. I've completed only two of them, Red and L is for.

My Red cards (left) are red fabric covered in red sheer, quilted in red metallic thread.  Red trim was then applied and I embroidered red stalks and attached pink flowers.   My "L is for" card is L is for line.   I stitched lines of embroidered on the background, stitched a line of ribbon down with embroider, the angelina was embossed with a swirling line to which lines in various directions were then added.

I've signed up for two quilting course one in August with Dijanne Cevaal and one in September with Faye Labanaris.  I'm really looking forward to these.  One other course, which has already started, that I'm doing is Lino Cutting with Dijanne Cevaal.  I'm a bit late in starting as it has taken me ages to find the correct materials for the course but they have now arrived and next time I hope to show you some fabrics stamped with my very own stamps.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Whitby weekend

This weekend I'd arrange to meet my friend Sylvia and her husband in Whitby.  The four of us have lunch together every couple of months but this time we decided to take in the Queen Bee Quilt Show inWhitby with lunch.   On Friday Keith announced that he thought it would be a good idea to go down a day early and have some relaxation time before the show.  I quickly booked us accommodation in a pub in the old town of Whitby and shoved some overnight stuff in a bag and we left.   It was a glorious ride over the moors, the weather had been beautiful for some time now but it looked as though we could have rain soon.   In case of rain we packed waterproofs, sweaters and boots.   Naturally it was a heat wave...

We had to park the car down near the harbour as there isn't any parking in the old part of Whitby.  The old part is typical fishing village type with narrow winding, cobbled streets with alleyways (snickles) leading off to other narrow, winding, cobbled streets.  When we found the pub I was delighted to see that it was the one photographed to use in my 'Green Door' journal page for the Contemporary Quilters challenge in 2008.

We were at the top of the pub, some three storeys high again fairly typical burgerage type properties with narrow fronts leading to long narrow buildings behind.  We looked down on Church Street and across to the Butter Market whose bell rang every hour!!  We decided to walk down to the pier before finding some food but we left things a bit late as all the restaurants, cafes and pubs stopped serving food around 9pm.  It had been such a lovely evening we'd lost track of time.  Even though it was getting late there was still a queue of people waiting to be served at the famous Magpie cafe.  Unfortunately they had bookings, we didn't so we settled for fish and chips from the local chippie, which were delicious.  A stray cat also enjoyed some of our 
fish as did the seagulls. 

We checked the car in the morning to see how many parcels the seagulls had left us and found none, much to Keith's relief.   The small fishing boats were just heading out with customers for some fishing.
We had a couple of hours to spare before meeting and pottered round Whitby looking at the shops and up the winding alleyways to our hearts content.
Naturally you can't come to Whitby and not see the 199 steps up to St Mary's Church and Whitby abbey or the whalebone arch
at the top of the West Cliff. 
By now the temperature was rising and we were really feeling the heat.  Some people had the right idea and were swimming in the river.
It always amazes me that flowers can grow in some of the most unrewarding surfaces.  We saw these blooming on the sides of the steps leading down to the beach near the pier in the photo above.

We headed off to the pier for an ice cream and a drink before going to the quilt show.  Now I like piers but have the parts that are planked as I'm always afraid they'll move and I'll fall through.  Seeing the sea below always makes me feel a bit dizzy so I avoid them. They do however give me ideas for designs.

The quilt show was small but really interesting and all the quilts and wallhangings were really beautiful and very well made.  There were a few traders so naturally I had to buy more fabric.  I bought three Jelly Rolls, I know I wasn't going to buy any more but I just love the colours when they are altogether like that.  I have absolutely zero resistance.  Wendy and I spent a couple of lovely hours browsing, purchasing and talking to old friends.  However the heat in the hall became unbearable to us and two hours was as much as we could cope with.  We met up with the boys and set off to walk down the cliff side to enjoy a lovely lunch of, yep you've guessed - fish and chips.  Nowhere does fish and chips as good as Whitby.

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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Just a quick hellow

Don't have any photos to show you today as I forgot to take my camera with me when we went out for a walk yesterday.  We're trying to get at least a couple of walks of around 4 - 5 miles in a week, knees won't let me do much more than that though I am getting stronger.  

It's been really hot recently and its difficult to get Buster out of the water.  He'll paddle in just about anything, puddle, pond, river although he doesn't like to get his manhood wet and he hates having to come out of the water.  Sy and Julie thought they'd buy him a paddling pool to play in at home.  Problem is he thinks its bathtime and won't go anywhere near it.

I'm off to make some penants for the Quilters Guild hope I can have some photos next time.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Hadn't realised it had been so long

Since I last blogged.  Time just seems to have got away from me.  Must be the sun.   We've been walking quite a lot, mainly in Teesdale and the garden has demanded a lot of our attention so by the time I've settled down for the night I've just been dropping off to sleep.  Been to the Embroiderers Guild today so I'm not so tired.   Carol Coleman gave the talk and showed us quite a lot of her very creative jewellry made with solvy products and fme.  

Teesdale has been absolutely beautiful this year and the famous haymeadows are awash with colour.  Although having said that my camera hasn't done them justice, I think the light was just too bright and has taken away a lot of colour.  I understand the best time for photography is early morning and just before dusk was the light values are at their best. 
The day this was taken poor Buster got so hot he found a large oak tree and flopped down under it and refused to go any further.   We'd taken a water bowl with us and gave him a drink and poured some of the water over his head and ears.   Once he'd got his second wind we headed for the River Tees so he could play in the water for a while.  It was lovely sitting by the river eating our lunch while Buster covered us with water.

I've been to see my friend Jenny this week who lost her husband a few weeks back.  She's coming to terms with her loss but didn't feel like restarting her tutorials.   She did however give me some homework!!!
Jenny designs beading and hardhanger projects for magazines, this is the scissor keeper from a sewing set she designed.   I've got all the surface embroidery done on mine, just got the woven bar bits to do and then the beading.   I've also finished the first postcard swap this year.  It was a create your own challenge swap on Art4Mail group.  We had to chose five numbers between 1 and 50 when adding our name to the database.  When the deadline had been reached we were emailed with the technique or word relating to the numbers we had chosen.  Mine were: pieced, stripe, colour a doodle, organic and glitter.
This is what I did, pieced triangles, striped border, doodled designs on an applique hand then coloured the doodle using Copic pens, the organic bit was a small feather in the middle of a glittery hand.  Phew Ireally had no idea what I was going to do with that selection of words but I'm pleased I managed to think of something.
Three more atc's arrived from the Surface Design 'Technique' swap the top one is from Dotti Cullen who's technique was sun printing.  Its really a very pretty purply-blue than shown in the photo, my scanner is giving off blue shadows and I can't seem to get rid of them.   The middle one is from Gale Wrigley who uas used solvy and slashed fabrics and the bottom one is from Susan McIntyre.  Susan has used fabric paper to create a patchwork background and fibres and machine stitching.

Keith and I are off tomorrow to a woodturning club he's heard is being held in Thirsk.  I hope he finds it as interesting and as entertaining as I do the EG.