Monday, 24 January 2011

Work in Progress

I've been quite busy over the past few  working on my sketchbooks.  I'm not very good as I really can't draw but I hoping that if I keep trying maybe.......  One thing I forgot to mention in my last posting was that the Sketchbook Challenge has a monthly theme and January's was "Highly Prized".  I realised that I hadn't said in my sketchbook what it was that I prize highly - its freedom to move.  Over the past couple of years as you will no doubt be aware Keith has had real problems walking.  The op on his back has worked really well and now he can walk almost as far as I can   It's not ntil you loose the ability to get about without pain that you  appreciate the freedom to move.   Walk in the woods is a symbole of mobility.

Now for some scribbles:
Just playing, the sun was out and I had been out tidying the rubbish in the garden.

Our guild has drawn Uganda as its country for the Olympic Postcard Project and I've been tasked with co-ordinating the project.   I found out that Uganda has lions that can climb trees.

I came into the room to find Buster asleep, yet again and thought what a life he has, eating, sleeping, playing, walking and guarding his people and terrorising the local cats.  No wonder my Mum always maintained that she wanted to be reincarnated as a lap dog.

Since I saw the Sarah Vedeler quilt at the FOQ on the Quilt Direct stand I've lusted after her designs but unfortunately they are way out of my pocket money league.  Then I had a 'what if' moment.  Could I do something similar,  obviously not copy her designs but digitize embroidery to match some of the dies I have with my Accuquilt GO cutter.    So after many hours of making mistakes I finally managed to produce a design that will fit on the middle sized GO heart.   On the right you can see the design sewn out onto fabric and on the left (blue) you can see it  embroidered on an applique heart using the die cutter.  I used the wrong thread weight on the appliqued shape but now I've got the hang of things I'm going to have another go at digitizing other GO shapes.

Two beautiful cards arrived over the last few days from the Surface Design Group.  First  one (above) is from Normal Riehm called Winter Storm.   The second one (below) is a mixed media piece from Deb Cragan and has just about every technique you can think of.

Finally this is for Keith's friend Dave who I know reads my blog.  Thank you Dave for helping Keith with the electrics in his 'shed' and sorry the roof kept banging your head, next time we'll lower the floor.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Well I've done it now

I've signed up for the Sketchbook Challenge, see button on sidebar for details.  I keep a journal when travelling, mainly because I forget where we've been and seen unless I write it down.  I also try to do a bit of art journaling but not very successfully.  Each year I tell myself I WILL keep a sketchbook, I used to when I was doing C&G but then got out of the habit. I can't draw two sides of a bottle the same shape but I thought have a go, what have I to loose but my dignity and I don't have much of that.  I have done several pages and none of them are very good.  I started by spray dyeing the pages with Arondack Colour Wash, some pages were sprayed over templates others just to take the blank look off them. 
 I've also received a bumper crop of postcards today, the first two are the 'Handstitched' theme cards from Surface Design.
 Love this simple card from Francoise who says her unkempt garden was her inspiration.
 Dayle who is new to the group, made this simple but striking card by embellishing the background fabric.
 The last two are 'New Beginnings' the one above is from Helen in Hume and is of Janus, RomanGod of doorways new New Starts, very apt.  Helen has printed it onto tshirt fabric I think and added sequins in different shapes.

This last card is from Jan Simmons who said that the Koru is a traditional Maori design which represents the fern frond.  As the fern frond opens it brings new life and purity to the world.  Jan has felted the 'fern' onto a printed/stamped background.

Our house is a pigsty at the moment as Keith has filled it with wire, plugs and all sorts of different electrical bits and bobs.  For tomorrow Keith and his friend are putting a permanent electricy supply to his 'shed' rather than running an extension which is what he has been doing. I think tomorrow I might go into town out of the way.

Been watching some qilting videos on Ebony Love's web site.  Ebony uses the Accuquilt Go cutters in her quiltmaking and has several showing how to use them, her site is well worth a visit though for everyone interested in quilting.  Her blog is also very enjoyable and can be found here.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

BQLPC Postcards

Keith went off to his woodworking club on Saturday and came back with a large pizza cutter.  He actually only made the handle but we  don't eat pizza very often so I'll have to buy one so we can use it.  While he was out I made a start on the January swaps I'd put my name down for on BQLPC.  

 Music is the first swap with BQLPC I used a machine embroidery pattern of a bookmark and turned it into am embroidered tile for the middle of the card.  Not a lot of skill really but it took ages to sew out and by the time I'd done three I wish I'd done something else.  My brother used to sing in the church choir and I remember going to hear him sing a solo once, it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.  He still sings with a group but its R&B now.
 My second and last swap this month was again with BQLPC with a theme of New Beginnings.  My interpretation is the 'Race' for a new beginning with the smallest and largest cells in the human body.  On the  address side I've put a clipart of a baby to indicate that the race was won and a 'new beginning' has begun. I cut a circle, bonded it then quilted it, cut out sperm cell heads appliqued them down then using a zigzag stitch made their tails.
Alice Gray's interpretation of 'new beginnings' is this rather fetching bulb.  Alice has painted the centre and round the sides are embroidered the word 'Spring'. 
The Winter themed swap on Surface Design Yahoo Group also brought lots of different interpretations.  This snow globe was made by Sue Cox.  Inside the globe are a pair of ice skates and clear crystal beads turning the globe into a shaker card.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Block 7 of SHRR

I received two postcards this morning, the first 'Handstitched' from Pauline and the second 'New Beginnings from Liz.  My 'Handstitched went out yesterday but I have yet to finish my 'New Beginnings'.

One thing I have finished is Block 7 of Kate North's 'Stay at Home Round Robin'  It's not quite to Kates stated dimensions and I hope she forgives me for that.  We had to make three blocks, two 5" x 5" and one 5" x 6".   All three of mine are 5"x6".  That is due to the fact that my quilt top is slightly out and would have needed drastic trimming to fit the given sizes.   I think this is the last block and further instructions will be given for quilting/embellishing etc next month.  I look forward to seeing what Kate has in mind.
We were sick of being in the house today and I fanced a trip to my 'local' quilt shop to see what was new.  The trip takes us close to the North York Moors.  Today even though everything was sort of colourless green/brown they still give me a lift.
These are actually the Hambleton Hills on the outer edge of the moors.

I love the trees at this time of the year.  The leaves may have all gone but now you can see how beautiful the tree skelton is.   Again a backdrop of the moors but this time nearer the Cleveland Hills.

A well know spot on the NY Moors is Roseberry Topping just outside of Guisborough where my quilt shop is situated.  Every time we go past the colours are different.  Joe Cornish, a local photographer has some absolutely stunning photos of Roseberry Topping, I just wish mine came within a hairs breath of his.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

What I did on holiday

What I did on holiday....
I was taking part in a 'handstitched' swap on Surface Design so took fabric to do the middle bits on these three above.  The top one is based on buttonhole stitch, the reddish one on the left is based on cast-on stitch and the one on the right bullion knots.

Did I tell you we had a name change while in Ireland?  Well the locals called us Han-nut and Keet and after a while everyone was calling us that.  Now we're back home we back to Annette and Keith though. 

Bought a small heater today for my workroom.  There is a radiator in the room but the low temperatures we've been having recently it was too cold to work in the room.   Now I have the extra heating the temperature has risen to 11C.  Mind I can't blame the cold for my lack of creativity, my creative fairy must not have liked the cold either for I've done absolutely nothing for days now.   Tomorrow though I've freed up almost a whole day to play so we'll have to see what happens.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A few more Irish photos

I can hear you saying "that's not an Irish photo" but Buster was born in Ireland so I think it counts.   Buster watching cats on the telly.

We were surprised at the number of yellow houses until we were told they were painted the 'papal yellow' for the pope's visit.  We found one that wasn't yellow though.

New Years day we went for a tour of the Beara Pennisula via the mountain road.  This is the County Cork side.

Viewing platform at the top

And down the other side into County Kerry.  I'm sure its beautiful in the sun.

We stopped off at the Leprechaun Inn for a drink on the way back.

Keith wanted to take the beer pump home but the driver said he couldn't as everyone would want one and there wasn't room.

I bet you think I haven't done any sewing recently, well you'd be almost right but not completely.  I did take some to do while on the ferry.  Three and a half hours is a long time with nothing to play with.  Tomorrow I'll show you what I did.

One thing I have done though is join the mug rug swap on the Quilting Gallery its open until 18th January if anyone wants to join in.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Happy New Year and what is 2011 going to bring

We spent New Year in Southern Ireland, at one point I wasn't sure whether I would feel well enough to go but I was and did.   In one respect its a pity my first visit was at this time of the year.   You know how it is, after the snow comes the muck and unfortunately that's what we saw - the detrius of weather.   It's the sleeping time of year where life is under the surface leaving the surface a bit dreary and that's what we saw.  Having said that the hotel was lovely, the food was great and plentiful and the people were lovely, friendly and warm in their welcome.  Perhaps we'll go again when the sun shines.

This is our holiday hotel, the Eccles in Glengarriff in South West Cork.

The view of Bantry Bay from our hotel window

There were plenty of birds to be seen on the seashore.

We thought we might go and have a look round the village one morning so we started from the dead centre.

We soon found our directions

to the nearest point of interest

On the way back we were fascinated watching the fishermen putting one of their boats into the water.   It had to be lifted off dry land and over the blue boat.

I should tell you that Santa brought me a new camera a Fuji T300 XTR with a much bigger zoom than my panasonic.   Only problem came when I tried to upload my photos but I've solved that now and tomorrow I'll post some more photos of our holiday.