Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Feeling sad today as we lost a good friend and neighbour on Sunday to a sudden heart attack.  We have known the family for nearly 40 years and as children our sons all played together.  As Isabel is 10 years younger than me and appeared perfectly healthy when we spoke last week its really shaken Keith and I.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Holiday Swap Postcards

I recently took part in a Holiday swap with the Surface Design group.  It was a small swap of five people and here are the cards I received and sent.

From Pauline in Australia.

From Sonya in the USA
From Lesley in Scotland a lovely use for all those inchies.
And from Jenny in Cumbria a really fun penquin.
As for me I sent variations of these:

.Actually these photos show the cards before I edged them but you get the idea.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Flynn update

Gosh, Flynn is nearly 6 months now and grown so much.  They came over to see us last week when I had an opportunity to take the odd photo.

I've got two new teeth and still got my 'best man' bib from Gran and Granpa's wedding.

This is what Supergran has made me for Xmas but I'm not supposed to know so I'll pretend I haven't seen them. 

Another day at the office...

We had fun on Monday at our monthly bitch and stitch group.  We had decided last month to bring an extra sandwich or two and share our lunch:

Linda and Elspeth were first to sample the wares.

Then Jenny entertained us all with her singing hat:
It's abit blurred because it started to sing and shake as I tool the photo, or I was laughing so much I shook the camera, you decide which.

Jenny had brough some presents for us and as she couldn't decide which one to give to whom we all put our names in a plastic bag and picked names out of it.

Linda chose my name and I 'won' a pretty boxmaking set.  I'm going to have fun making it up after Christmas.  Jenny was very generous and we all got a beautiful present, she also made us each an origami box with chocolates in it.
We were all very impressed with the boxes and wanted to know how she had made them.  Not having any suitable paper with us, after all we were expecting to use our embellishers today, we used the envelopes from our Christmas cards. 

 We did actually do some work before we started our playday.
Still trying to make inroads into Jenny's stash.

Jenny is making a bag

Linda is working on the white bits in Jenny's stash don't think she has decided what it is going to be yet.

Pat has used fibres and silks for her piece, still undecided as to what it will eventually be.

Elspeth is bonding two pieces of felt together, one turquoise and one yellow to be used in a future project.   This is what it looked like when she had almost finished.

As for me, well I just made a mess.


Friday, 7 December 2012

Guess who is all of a glitter!!!

Me..... if anyone is wondering how far a very small tube of detail glitter particles will go well so far.
 Covered the whole of my sewing room, spread along the landing, down the stairs, through the kitchen into the dining room and into the living room.  Anyone in close proximity also picked the stuff up, including Buster.   How - I sneezed when opening the tube..... now I guess the vacuum will also be all glittered up.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

It's a wee bit nippy today

Winter seems to have come with a shove, we've waded through the floods, put extra woollies on in the snow and now comes the lazy wind that goes right through you.   We've been unable to take Buster for more than a very brief walk recently as its extremely slippy underfoot.  He has four feet on the ground mine were more in the air so I gave up and went home.

One good event though was our EG Christmas lunch.  For the past few years tutors and students at our local college have provided food and a demonstration of how they produced some of the items.  These demos have gone down really well, as has the eating of their creativity afterwards.  On that day we usually have displays of work done by the young embroideres and this year was no exception.  Christmas Stocks was the order of the day but unfortunately I missed who'd won as I was out of the room at the time.

 We also had a display of some of the work done on a morning workshop run by Carole Wilson who is a very talented and creative member of the EG.   Very festive display of angles, trees, bells a dove and Carole's own tree nympy.
 Closer look of Carole's tree nymph and dove, which is balanced on a cotton reel.
 After the meal we had a flower arrangeing demonstration.  Each member was given a raffle ticket on arrival and these four beautiful arrangements were the prizes.  Sorry about the picture quality.  I forgot my camera and had to take these with my phone and email them to myself.  They lost some of their clarity in transition.
I've been busy finishing off the cardigan and sweater I've made for Flynn.   I will post photos next time along with my attempt at making one of Carole's angles.  Carole has sent me the pattern for the dove but so far I've done nothing about it but want to make one before Christmas, watch this space.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Last of the 2012 Journal Pages

I really wanted to get this years Contemporary Quilters Journal Page challenge finished as I've found the blue ones difficult to create.  I really enjoyed doing the red and yellow ones  and though I do likethe colour blue, the monochromatic blue journal pages were just a bit too much. 
I have continued with the origin of nursery rhyme theme for this last one and chosen:
Humpty Dumpty
 From around the 15th century the name Humpty Dumpty was used to describe a large person (perhaps egg shaped..)   However in the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty was an oversized cannon used by the Royalists in the seige of Colchester.   The Royalists mounted the cannon on the church tower of St Mary at the Wall.  They used it to excellent effect on the Parlimentarian troups (aka Roundheads) and appeared at one point to be winning.  However, someone, probably Lord Fairfax got fed up of being hammered by Humpty and gave the order for the Roundheads to concentrate all their fire power at thechurch tower.  Which they did and eventually managed to breakdown part of the tower wall.   With the result that Humpty Dumpty then fell off the tower (wall) and rolled down the hill.   The Royalists tried unsuccessfully, despite all the Kings horses and all the Kings men, to put Humpty back on the wall.  
This took place in the Summer of 1648 and eventually on the 27 August (my birthday!!) after 11 and half weeks of seige, Lord Goring surrended the city to the Parlimentary forces.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Fun day at the office...

Well maybe not quite at the office anymore but the +4 monthly Stitch & Bitch group got together yesterday and we did have fun.

Last month we decided it had been quite a while since we had used our embellishers that's what we'd do this month  There were five of us yesterday all armed with embellishers and fabrics to play with.  However Jenny had said she had a bag full of tweeds and yarns she wanted us to use up for her.

What she didn't way was that it was Wheelie Bin bag......

The rest of us were fairly modest in comparison.

Elspeth is somewhere behind the silks Pat brought.  She dyes all her own fabric and has some really beautiful pieces, far to grand to use on the embellisher.

Here are some of the pieces we made with Jenny's 'bag full'.

Blogger has gone mad and has placed the photos where it likes and won't allow me to resize but I think you can get the jist of what we did. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Where has all the time gone

Well a lot has been taken up with visits to hospital.  I've ha dmy MRI scan to check out the status of my PIP implant.  It was not as uncomfortable as a mammogram but not pleasant because you are enclosed in a very noise machine.  For this particular MRI had had to lay face down, not the most comfortable position and it took 35 minutes in all.  I was told it would take 15 but then is anything ever straight forward.  I get my results this week but I'm not expecting any unpleasant surprises.  Will let you know what they are later.

In the meantime I've been catching up with my Christmas cards and knitting a sweater and cardigan with reindeer on for Flynn, will put up photos once I've taken them, I need to sew buttons on first.

But here are my cards, I've made 40 so far just got another 10 to do.

I've made lace snowflakes for some cards, used my Big Shot to cut out tree on others.  I was given a layered tree for my birthday and I love it.   I bought some 'Sparkle Medium' from Imagination Crafts at the Creative Craft show I went to with my son and dil and used it with a tree stencil (front and right).  I got better at putting the medium on, the first couple were a bit thick and smudged but the others turned out oka.   I also doodled (zentangled) some card and cut other trees out.  I think I might make the res tof the cards using the layered tree as so far that is my favourite, or I might use more lace snowflakes I have about 20 left over!!!  Think I went a bit mad there.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Sheila Smith's workshop

I've got tired of the nursery rhymes, I'm finding the blue challenge giving me the blues so I've taken a risk and left it till December, just hope I do get back to finishing it.  I have definitely decided not to take part in next years JP challenge, I think I'm a bit saturated and need to do something else.
Talking of something else, I took Sheila Smith's Stitch & Felt workshop held by our local EG a couple of Saturdays ago.  I really enjoyed the day, Sheila was very helpful and full of enthusiasm.  I took a few photos
Sheila is in the middle in the blue checked shirt and these are my friends from the EG who shared the day.  We were quite prolific between us and surprised at how different each piece came out.
 Mine is the purple piece in the middlie, I was a bit enthusiastic with my felting and shrunk the tops a bit more than I had intended, it should be the same size as the other pieces, but I liked it.

The purple flowers were arrived at by binding marbles into the prefelt, tying them tightly then finishing off the felting. After which the marbles were cut out leaving a flower shape. I made felt balls to go in the middle of the flowers to create centres for them.

This one is a bit bigger, the orangey green one in the middle.  I've started to do some hand stitching into the piece.  I'll take a photo when I've completed it.   The raised areas here are pieces of felt laid onto a prefelt with chiffon laid over the top, stitched round the shapes and then felted.

Here is the same piece before it dried and before I started to put stitch onto it.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Journal Page for November

I am really struggling with the blue challenge and still not sure whether I will do the challene in 2013.  I know I am supposed to do one a month but if I don't get these blue ones finished I will give up and then I'd hate myself later.  So Novembers blue JP is based, once again, on the origins of a nursery rhyme.

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.

The rhyme is about Queen Mary's persecution of Protestants, she executed over 300 in her short reign.  The silver bells and cockleshells refer to instruments of torture, silver bells were thumbscrews and cockleshells - well they crushed an intimate male body part.   The Maiden was a crude guillotine later refined to cut cleanly.  Her garden grew expotentially as the graveyards expanded to take the bodies of Protestants cut down in their prime.

And now for my interpretation:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Journal Pages Sept and Oct

I've found the restricted colour challenge for blue a bit more difficult than I thought it would be.  I like to work to a theme, that way I'm likely to actually finish the series, this blue section is based on Nursery Rhymes.  I've been reading about the origins of some of our English nursery rhymes and how they are linked to important historical events.  My JP's therefore reflect the origins rather than the more popular childhood versions.  The majority of nursery rhymes, mainly passed on by word of mouth, fall into two sections 'subversive' and 'teaching'.  They may be more sections but the majority of songs fall into these two.

Nursery Rhymes such as Monday's Child is Fair of Face,  One, Two Buckle my shoe, As I was going to St Ives teach numbers, days of the week, logic puzzles etc.  Boys and Girls come out to Play refers to the time of child labour and the only time they had to play was at night.  However if they played they ran the risk of being too tired to work and therefore earn money. This is summed up in the last line of the rhyme

 "Those who would eat must work - tis true."

My September journal page is not truly a nursery rhyme but the earliest 'subversive rhyme' recorded.  It is associated with the itinerant preacher John Ball who used it to incite the 'Peasants Revolt" in 1381 against their feudal lords. 

September JP - When Adam delved and Eve Span.

My October Journal page is "Ring a Ring a Roses" and most people would know that the 'ring a roses' refers to the rosy red rash in the shape of a ring of the Bubonic plague.  Although there was a great plague in the 1300's this rhyme goes back to 1665 when the Great Plague hit London.

Ring a Ring of Roses
A Pocket full of Posies
Atishoo Atishoo
We all fall down

I've used hand dyed fabric and lace for both journal pages together with printed fabric, ribbon and hand stitching.  The background for the Ring a Roses page was spray dyed over a piece of lace curtain.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Chunky Book Page

The final page of the Chunky Book swap has arrived.   This one is from Carol Jamieson and is based on the first couple of lines of  Tennyson's "Lady of Shallot".  Carol has used hand painted fabric with hand and machine stitching.  I like it a lot.

And this is the card she sent with it, is'nt it gorgeous.

After all the rain we've had the sun came out and as Buster was in rather a grumpy mood we decided to cheer him up and take him to the seaside as a treat.   He was in a much better mood when we got home as well as being tired out.

As soon as he sees a camera he either turns his back or puts his head down, guess which one he decided to do today.

There was hardly a soul on the beach just the odd pensioner like us and their dog.

We decided to walk along the beach from Redcar to Maske then back along the sand dunes.  This is Maske.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Turned left and headed for the border

Well that was yesterday.   I'd had an invitation to see Helen Cowan's exhibition held in Galashiels and as the day looked pleasant Keith decided we should go and make it a day out.   Naturally I had not taken my camera with me but luckily his lordship had is Ipad and so we got a couple of photos at the border between England and Scotland.

This is looking back into England

And this is looking forward into Scotland
Unfortunately those are the only photos I've managed to get off Keith's Ipad because he's playing with it. Maybe later.

Helen's exhibition pieces were hung around the walls of a small tea room and, as usual, Helen produced pieces that were visually interesting and well executed.  A lot of  her pieces were of the, what I call, 'journal' type.  She had created them from vintage laces, linens, fabrics and reprinted ephemera.   Had we lived nearer I may have made more than one visit to see Helen's work but with the cost of fuel today I would need to have more than one objective to justify the cost.

And I did...... I found Borderland Fabrics.  I've seen their advert in the Northern Star, our local QG newsletter but had forgotten where it was until we passed it on the way to Galashiels, yeh.....   It is a lovely little shop and I browsed to my hearts content while Keith sat in the Husbands Waiting Room (cafe) and chatted to another husband in waiting.  I did managed to restrain myself and only bought a couple of patterns and a book.

Well the 'C' word isn't far off.

I've been wanting to make one of these bags for ages but couldn't find the pattern.  There is a zipped central panel which makes it easy and safe to travel with.

I know Flynn is only 3 monthys old but by the time I've finished this for him he'll be at school.