Thursday, 30 June 2011

Off to Ipswich in the morning

Just a quick note really to tell you how excited I'm beginning to feel at going to the Contemporary Quilters Summer School for the first time.  There are some names on the workshop lists that I know are extremely tallented and I hope some rubs off on me.

I'm doing a course with Linda Maynard doing dyeing, surface design stuff.  For once the requirements list isn't too bad and I've managed to pack all my stuff in the case with my clothes.  Just hope I've got enough polythene to wrap up wet fabric when I come home or I could end up with multi-coloured tshirts.

Not got anything to show you today as I've not done any sewing for a few days.   My Bernina 830 came back today from Cardiff.  I sent it to Edinburgh for servicing and they sent it to Cardiff to be upgraded to the latest model.  Not had time to play with it yet so I've got that to look forward to.

Will post pictures of my weekend workshop when I get back.

Saturday, 25 June 2011


I had great difficulty choosing what 'food' was my favourite for this BQLPC swap as I like so many, I'm not a fussy eater.   Being diabetic I watch my carbohydrate intake as best I can (well most of the time) but I do have a liking for a biscuit with my morning cuppa, especially if taken in the garden.   So my favourite food would have to be something I  try to limit, cakes, biscuits, donuts etc.   These here are the less fattening variety!!

I created the backgrounds with scraps of fabric in the colours found in my garden.  Some have lace on them, some not, that's my try at biscuits on a lace cloth, hmmm.   I cut the felt, some bought, some handmade, into circles and had fun decorating them.   Bon appetite...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

More Tangled Art Dolls

Sometimes I just have to work through an obsession and I think I'm almost there now with the latest tangled dolls.
I needed something to hang the dollies from and display them at the same time so I drew a picture
of what I needed and Keith bravely set off and made this for me.  I'm really pleased with it, didn't he do well.
All the dolls have slightly differing bodies, I basically drew a rough shape on thin card, folded it in half and tried to cut out a symetrical shape.   To be on the safe side though when I drew out the shape onto fabric I marked the card F for front and B for back just in case there was a slight difference and they wouldn't fit together properly.    Once I had the shape transferred onto fabric I drew the strings and filled in the spaces with patterning.   I started off with a black Micron pen (00.5) and filled in with coloured Micron pens (0.5).

 I then sewed round the doll shape and cut it out leaving a seam allowance, clipped the allowance where the lines curved for a smooth shape and stuffed them tightly.   Once I'd done that I sewed up the gap I'd left so I could stuff the doll and started to add decoration.
 This was the thinnest one and to be honest if I were to make a second one I'd widen the neck a little as it was a real pain to stuff the head the neck was so narrow.
This one you've seen before but I thought I'd add it as its now on the stand with the others.

We went to Leeds on Saturday where we were taken out to lunch for Father's Day by Marc and Alix.  I know it wasn't until Sunday but we were going to Sy and Julies for Father's Day dinner.  While we were there Alix took me to The Skep at Farsley which is a fairly new knitting and patchwork shop. There I bought several metres of Benetex fabrics for a lot less than I could have got them locally.  So now I'm in the throws of cutting out a quilt top.   Pictures to follow once I have something other than fabric to show. 

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bumper set of cards have arrived over the past few days.

I thought I'd not bore you with more photos of holidays but show you what has been sent to me by hardworking swappers.  I've not done a very good job of sorting them into group themes and apologise for that but all the work has been done by members of Surface Design and the BQLPC Group.

These two cards have been made by Pauline Mackenzie the top one 'Painted Card' and the bottom "Textured Landscape"  Both cards have painted background and Pauline's 'Painted Card' also has painted puff paint for texture.

These two cards are from different groups, I really should not have scanned them together but I was getting tired and wanted my supper.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  

The top card is really something, click on it to enlarge it and have a look how creative Miki Rodriquez is.   She lives in Arizon and decided to create her set of cards based on the landscape near her home over a 24 hour period.  Each of the swappers got a different time frame.  Mine was 12:00am and represents "drizzle" with cacti, insects and tumbleweed.  I hope the other swappers post photos of their cards I'd love to see the set together.

The second card is from Alice Gray and is also very creative.  It represents the "Simmer Dim" , the standing stones in Orkney when the stars come out but it never gets really dark.

Another Summer Solstice card but this one represent the orbit round earth at the time of the solstice.
This cards by Avril.

 Two 'foodie' cards now by Plum and Janet Boorman.  These represent their favourite food, Plum obviously likes sweeties and Janet Strawberries and cream.  Our strawberries have taken a bit of a battering from the wind and rain we've been having recently.

Two more "Coast" cards this time from Cindy Mott and Carol Jamieson.  Cindy shows the sunset over the sea and Carol has been very inventive with bits and pieces.  This is another card worthy of a closer look.

Now for my "Painted Card" set.   I'm really not an artist but I did enjoy creating the tangled landscapes.

I found out that it's better to paint the background then do the tangling - ask me how I know!!!   I ended up having to redraw all the tangles......   I used Copic pens to paint the fabric and Micron pens to draw the tangling.  I discovered that a .005 was best for the outlines then either a .01 or .05 for filling in.  I did try to use the Faber & Castell Pitt pens, the finest one S worked fine but anything larger bled a bit.  It could be due to the fabric I used,some old sheeting that had been givne to me by a friend.  I must say that I find it usually takes paint, inks, pens anything in fact that I like to throw at it very well as its been very well washed over the years.   Just hope she has some more to left to play with.

Friday, 17 June 2011

If anyone wants a photo of a Spitefire - I've got one.....

We spent last weekend in Lincolnshire visiting a woodworking show in Spalding then we went to Cambridge to visit the Imperial War Museum.  Keith's weekend out.......   Actually I enjoyed the museum and the spitefire (picture above) was just about to take off.  It was one of the privately owned military planes housed on the airfield.   Below is one you might remember from the film -"Memphis Belle"  It was a static exhibit, not an airworthy one like the spitefire.

One of the hangers housed the land warfare exhibits, here's Keith with a Tiger Tank.  Picture is a bit blurry due to the lighting.
The ops room as it was on D Day.
But this was my favourite plane.
The woodworking show turned out to be rather small and by lunchtime we'd been round it four times so decided to spend the rest of the day by the sea at good old Skegness

We had doughnuts and coffee joined by a couple of friends.   The sun stayed out for us and all in all it was a good weekend.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

I've actually got down to doing some more work

Not a lot but a little. Well at least that's a start. I've really found it difficult to get my butt in motion since my holidays. Ideas just haven't been flowing and all I've really wanted to do is sleep. That seems to be in the past now and my muse is beginning to wake and shake me. I've completed the Textured Landscape swap for Surface Design and will post them tomorrow.

 The backgrounds are handmade felt, one felted knitting yarns (grey) and the others felted wool tops.  I felted them further on my embellisher and added a few embroidered items.   The stone walls are made from painted Tyvek which was then wrinkled with a heat gun.  Keith had given me an old Tyvek coverall and I had great fun cutting it up and playing with it.  It's a while since I did that and it felt good.
 Next Monday is our Dippy Day where 6 of us get together to play and have fun.   We're having a tangling day.  I've been into zentangles for a while now and I'm going to show the others how to have fun.   One of the projects for Monday is to make a little Tangled Art Doll and this is my sample.   It didn't take long and it could become an obsession as I intend to make several more.   The photos show back and front of my little doll.
While the name Zentangle is the property of Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas (check out their website  here ) people have been doing similar doodles for centuries.   Just look at the carvings on stones and patterns found in nature.   Fractals such as ferns are particularly good tangles.  

I'm going to Spalding on Thursday for a few days, Keith wants to go to the woodworking show there and to visit the Imperial War Museum near Cambridge.  As he's very good a taking me where I want to go its his turn now.   I'll be taking along my tangling kit and hope to be creative.   I'll show you what I do when I get back.

Meanwhile the postman has been busy again.   Deb Cragan's Textured Landscape is a collage of items and very effective too.   It looks better in real like than my poor scanning.

These two beauties are from Pauline Mackenzie in Australia.  Pauline is obviously an artist just look at her painted card (top) and her Textured Landscape (bottom) she has a great eye for colour.

Back to tangling I bought Yoga for the Brain - A Zentangle Workout by Sandy Steen Bartholomew.  It's not only full of patterns but some really great ideas and a book I would recommend.  I'm taking it away with me.

Friday, 3 June 2011

A few more holiday photos

This time from the Alhambra Palace in Granada.  It is a truly wonderful place and well worth a visit if you ever in Granada.   The photos speak for themselves, the stucco work is beautiful and quite well preserved where people haven't continually touched it.  The tilework was very similar to that we'd seen in Morocco and again reminded me of quilts.

 There are fountains down the length of this pool but they weren't playing the day we were there.
 The views from the windows in the Palace are spectacular and you can see the length of the wall that protected it from the outside.
 More examples of stucco and tile work.

 The gardens stretched for acres and were a series of small rooms, some sunny, others cool all peaceful.
 This little boy was talking to the fish and they were coming to talk to him, or perhaps they thought he would feed them.
 I've done a little sewing since I got back, the first card is based on Summer Solstice and is supposed to be Stonehenge with the sun just rising and a Druid.   I really should have turned him to look at the rising sun and if I had it would have been a lot easier, durr....
This card is based on "Coast" and is of an area of beach not far from where I live.  We often take Buster down here to run along the beach and chase the waves.  You frequently see wind surfers of people flying kites as there is normally a breeze even on the calmest day.