Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ruby's Spoon

A newly-published writer visited our local library on Thursday. She is Anna Lawrence Pietroni and her book is Ruby's Spoon - a dark fantasy set in an industrial town in 1933. Absolutely magical. I can recommend it!

Bumblebee Glass

My good friend Sarah James has launched her website She makes stained glass pieces and is now into fused glass jewellery. She also takes commissions. These Xmas decorations are so contemporary and, of course, each is unique. Take a look.

Moving on

Since my mum passed away I've been thinking about what I really want to do. Top of the list - to finish two books I've been writing for YEARS, to persevere with Distant Stitch and to enter some competitions in the Spring. Phew.
If you ever get the chance, do visit Muncaster Castle in West Cumbria. There are lush gardens featuring a collection of rare Himalayan plants and the World Owl Research Centre.
And this - can you tell what it is yet?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

I know, I know

Before ....

I'm teetering on the edge of finishing Module 3, having had a mental breakthrough regarding the accessory. However I'm still messing about with distressing via discharge paste and I am trying to assemble a selection of fabrics for an Italian-themed wall hanging.
The red check had a more brown tone than the photo shows. I'm quite pleased with the way this turned out.....

Friday, 19 August 2011

Layers and layers

Off work today so I completed my wallhanging for Module Three, having made some adjustments to the first version and taken note of Sian's comments about allowing movement.
This is the original centre "panel".
I couched a copper spiral shape in the centre disc and printed the word "spiral" on the radiating strips. At Sian's suggestion, I added the gold stitching to all 6 "wheels".
I painted and stamped a square canvas
I added a backing square of fabric at 45 degree angle to the central section. I added loosely-coiled copper wire spirals and wriggly gold wire twirls and couched them lightly.
I finished off with directional brush strokes with an almost dry brush in broad sweeps across both fabric and canvas areas.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Busy August

Phew - Maggie Grey talk at Sutton Coldfield last week (fun!) and a chance to catch up with Julia Green. Off to Festival of Quilts on Thursday - quieter than previous years, but loads to see and admire. I was delighted to meet Chris Gray and husband Alan - lovely varied work and fab home-dyed threads, which I couldn't resist! It's so lovely to actually meet someone whose blog you've been faithfully following.
Today I took myself off to Solihull. Picked up some nice silk remnants at John Lewis. In the stash they go. Had to pop into a gorgeous treasure-trove of a shop - Toga and Loll. Look at their website - full of exotic, quirky, vintage and just lovely things. Always worth a visit to see what's new in.
Finally - this one's for you Chris. Remember I mentioned the barbed wire I had to make ?????

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Home again, home again ....

from Urchfont. Jan Evans and Mary Sleigh were this year's guest tutors, ably assisted by Lizzie. Sian gave unstintingly of her time to ensure each student had some one-to-one time with her. It was lovely to meet so many new people, as well as seeing familiar faces again. Please may this positive feeling last! Well, we had wasps in bedroom 6 and bats - not exactly in the belfry, but in one of the studios - only one tiny one, thankfully! Meg graduated and Eila found herself on the trip of a lifetime. Here's a couple of soothing photos of the grounds to keep you going ......

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

And this week it's dyeing

Have been having such a good time playing with Myfanwy Hart's dyeing technique. It actually works. Have a look ...

Camera doesn't do justice to the colours. I've overdyed some samples to get the colour I wanted - in effect using the old watercolour painting technique of putting a coloured "wash" over the whole thing to lift it.

Dyeing is the sort of thing I like to do when I can't settle to anything else. Delia Smith roasts a chicken - I get out the rubber gloves!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

This week I have mostly been ......PRINTING

All thermofax screens supplied by Ineke Berlyn.

Ammonite - fabric paint on scrap of furnishing fabric contrasts with discharged sample on some shibori'd cotton.

A stylised leaf discharge printed on green cotton.

Dutch lace screen suggests moorish architecture and Indian cloth - or is that just me? I used discharge paste (Jacquard is ready-mixed), then overdyed with a light red commercial dye.

You might be able to detect scraps of the lace pattern in my creature bag - see
March 14 blog.

Below - I used the same screen on a really boring brown checked fabric, along with a few dollops of bleach. This is a close-up.

The one that got away

When I was clearing up, found this little scrap. I just couldn't find aplace for it on my bag. I'm learning that you can't use all your ideas and you end up rejecting more ideas than you use.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Creature bag

Finished at last! What a big fuss over a little creature bag. Remember the fluffy interior from way back? Here's some snaps of the finished article ....

Below - the "feathery" side - the bag is not meant to resemble a creature but has echoes of feathers / tracks / claws - the base fabric for the outer is a heavy cotton sateen that was a beast to sew .... and below it a close up

Below the reverse side - surface stitching resembling cells and also slashes and scarring ... and close ups below main pic

Below- both sides are the same. Again, use of net which feels rough, and jagged shapes which say, "Don't mess with me."

I tried to form a contrast between the downy inner and the leathery, scarred, spiky outer.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Musical tastes differ BUT ...... if you like bands like Elbow, you will love the new EP by local band Silhouettes. There's a gorgeous video on i-tunes called "Paint me as you see me" and this alone is worth a look.

PS. I am working furiously to finish off Modules 2 and 3 and am indeed back on track after my time in the wilderness. Oh, it's nice to be back.