Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Have a Creative New Year !

Well, it's that time of the year again, time to look back and forward at the same time. Neat trick if you can do it!
No real resolutions for me other than to get fit and be creative. Latest on the arm is that it will take at least another two month, possibly three so I get to keep the mecanno kit on it for a further 4 weeks.
I do have a lace challenge starting in March which I am determined to do and I suspect that Lace will be a big part of my creative life for a while BUT I will still be doing everything else as usual.
A quick look back at some of my work from this year,
2008 summary

A big thank you to all of you for your encouragement and friendship in 2008.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Boxing Day Stroll

I'm trying hard not to go stir crazy at the moment. Whilst I've been having fun looking back at my City and Guilds work,I am finding it very frustrating not to be sewing or painting at all.

However as you may have noticed, I can take photos as long as I hold my small Fuji camera upside down with my left hand which has made me realise that some pictures look better that way :-) So when offered the chance to go out for an hour or so, I donned my funky sling (batik elephants) and grabbed the camera.

Rufford Country Park

Rufford Country Park in Winter

Rufford Country Park

I love the touch of red at the end of the lake

Rufford Country Park

now grown up niece and nephew at the centre of the photo

Rufford Country Park

food fight!!

Rufford Country Park


Rufford Country Park


Thursday, 25 December 2008

Biker Teds first Christmas Pressie

Amongst a pile of Christmas Pressies from Lise was one very special one addressed to Biker Ted. Earlier this morning a very excited little bear opened his first ever present. Just look at that wonderful scarf!! such a cool dude!!!
Ian and myself received a calender ( perfect Lise, will stop me forgetting family birthdays like I did this year! ) a wine bag which will be tried out later to day and a Christmas decoration with my favourite food, chocolate!"!
Thanks Lise, wonderful surprises!
Biker Teds first christmas pressie

Monday, 22 December 2008

geological design board, from sketch to stitch, part four

I printed and hand quilted it

stitch from geographical formation design boards

I printed and hand stitched it
stitch from geographical formation design boards

I then had to decided what to make from it, watch this space.......

Saturday, 20 December 2008

geological design board, from sketch to stitch, part three

I made it as a rag rug sample

stitch from geographical formation design boards

I tried cut back applique on black velvet
stitch from geographical formation design boards

I stitched it as a tapestry using hand dyed wool

stitch from geographical formation design boards

Friday, 19 December 2008

A quick plea

following Bumblevees recent comment 'Okay, that does it...I must find some tres simple recipes for you guys...' I am now on the lookout for easy peasie recipes to keep us going.......Anyone got any?

by the way, my Mums casserole was delicious!!

Have a great weekend!!

geological design board, from sketch to stitch, part two

So we have a design- then what? well I just play with it for a while................
stitch from geographical formation design boards
stitch from geographical formation design boards
machine stitch design onto layers of organza and cut back
stitch from geographical formation design boards
free machine embroidery on soluble fabric

Thursday, 18 December 2008

geological design board, from sketch to stitch, part one

this simple shell design provided plenty of inspiration for stitch.

geological  formation design board
selection of designs

my mother is calling round later today with soup and sympathy and a casserole for which Ian will be very grateful as he has been having to cook since I came out of hospital.

oh, and if you've not alredy seen it, Susan Lenz hs posted the CYBERFIBRE videos of postcards and ATCs here

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

my kind of smocking

creative smocking

my usual take on things- smocking with thick velvet and beads, dyed cotton and beads,

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

first casualty

The first casulty of my broken arm is my wok, I wasn't able to stop it falling off the draining board as I reached for a mug. Wok now more oval than round!

challenges for 2009

I've been giving some thought to next years fibre challenges and so far I have three which is probably enough for me. In 2008 I took part in the take it further challenge run by Sharon on her blog Pintangle, great fun in spite if not being able to complete the December piece andTAST on Stitchin Fingers which I hope to rejoin in the New Year sometime.
Unfortunately a change in working hours meant that I had to drop out of unlimited textiles group.

This year I will follow Sharons Stitch Explorer with interest but will not partake, I hope to take part in some of the monthly swaps with unlimited textile and I have a brand new challenge to start in March prompted by this post on Jennys blog.

We are both lace makers, my favourite traditional lace is Bucks Point,

bucks point lace

I have only tried Bedfordshire lace once.

bedfordshire lace

We both have this book

2009 challenge

As both of my samples are around 15 years old, I need the practise. SO we have decided that in March we will start to work through this book together! A joint challenge taking part on both sides of the world!! Isn't the Internet fantastic.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

A little light reading

Whilst I'm not stitching, I'm filling my time with some reading and I thought I would share some of my books with you over the next few weeks.

Today's offering is First Steps to Needlecraft by Eunice Close, published December 1947 and intended to supplement school lessons in needlework. The book assumes basic skills in tacking, running stitch hemming and over sewing and starts with usual instructions to make sewing box, scissor case etc.

I love the sentence ' and please get away from the crinolined lady in a garden type of transfer. Some of these are very pretty, but they have been sadly overdone'
also 'many people prefer hand knitted undies as they are warmer and wear better than those made by machine' I hope this refers to vests, not knickers.

It then goes on to cover making samplers,openwork, cross stitch,canvas stitch, Jacobean, quilting,, this is beginning to sound like city and guilds!

The last section includes knitting, crochet, tatting, carickmacross lace, needle lace and bobbin lace.

Given the date of publication, it acknowledges the post war problems of coupons and shortage, even to point of giving instruction for making lace bobbins and using flour bags as fabric.

I love old books like this and have a small collection that I browse from time to time giving me a glimpse of a long past life style and always reminds me that I am continuing a long tradition of embroidery and lace making, using techniques that have been passed down through the centuries.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

sea and sky design board

well, you can tell that I have time on my hand, left hand only :-) So here is a design experiment from around 1999 involving over head projector sheets (the type that you can print onto), uhu glue and blue ink, Seem to remember just painting on ink and gluing together two sheets and squidging!
sea and sky design board
Maybe I should print this onto fabric sometime.

Traditional smocking

we had to explore fabric manipulation so here is a very traditional method that works extremely well with spots-see black sample

very wet and dreary mormimg here, going to stay wrapped up. I had a lovely get well card from a friend at work and as soon as my camera is recharged I will post a photo.

Just a quickie, I saw a patterm for a crochet Christmas Scene here,

Friday, 12 December 2008

more living forms

desidn, living forms

For this exercise we were encouraged to select a selection of papers and bind them to make a book. This way you never encounter a stark, white page. The picture of tree bark is a combination of photo and painted black and white photocopy.

The most difficult thing about being incapacitated in this manner is learning to slow down and accept help!! I'm taking time out to watch Angel, the buffy the vampire spin off and browse my library of books for a design theme to develope next year.

Surfing and blog reading is filling the gaps even if I do look a bit daft with my arm in the air :-)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Daunting syllabus

So September 1997 saw me back in a class room for the first time in many years and faced with a huge list of work, most of which made very little sense. As well as the embroidery side of things, we had to complete 10 design boards for competence in preparing working designs.

The next few posts will rely on photos more than writing as this is easier for me at the moment.Also, if you are like me, eye candy is gentler at the end of a hard day at work.
pwd living forms

work from desigh sheet "living forms" printing and stencil using paint and paper

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

the accidental embroidery student

now the strange thing is that I never intended studying embroidery!
In the eighties I made a couple of rag dolls and stitched one kit, prior to that I has taken art O and A levels, late eighties I picked up on bobbin lace which was later abandoned until recently and got caught up in the cross stitch trend as it swept across the UK. Completed a few kits, designed my own pictures, discovered black work, and stitched one embroidery kit.
I did however discover patchwork and followed the instruction in the magazine to make a cover for the chess table.
Everything changed in 1997 when we decided to go to the Artic Circle on our motorcycle, Biker Ted takes up the story here.
The quilts grabbed my imagination and when I saw the advert for C&G courses I went so sign up for Patchwork and Quilting! See, even when I got there I was intent on doing patchwork, just a one year course to learn the basics.
I never thought about the fact that I would be "interviewed" before being able to sign up! so after being reprimanded for not making an appointment I found myself meeting the tutor with two other prospective students who had bought their portfolios of work with them. Sitting there, quietly wishing the ground would swallow me up, I listened to the tutor explain both the patchwork and embroidery courses and realised that the embroidery courses actually sounded more fun although it meant several years of study.
so there you are, I never intended to study embroidery!
We were strongly encouraged to use recycled materials and cover any files and books used.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

postal treats

Sometimes events coincide quite nicely. On Saturday, having enjoyed a night in my own bed rather than on a hospital ward, Ian opened the door to find that the postie had left a package in the porch.
This envelope of Christmas goodies was from my good friend Lise in Norway, made my day!!

Also made Biker Teds day as it is the first time he has ever had a Christmas present just for him!! He is so excited that we have had to get special permission from Lise for him to open it on Christmas Eve.On the doorstep yesterday was a gentleman delivering these beautiful flowers from my work colleagues. My thanks to all of you for this touch of sunshine on a winters day.
May I say a huge thank you to everyone here and on Stitchin Fingers for all your get well wishes and I will be blogging some of my past work, please let me know if it gets too boring.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

still here

hi all, well I've been practising with my left hand typing and it is coming along nicely, right hand is currently elevated above shoulder as per doctor instructions.

the next problem will be what to blog about as the view from my room will not be changing much! I thought maybe about posting some of my c&g work- what do you think?

in the meantime, I am goings to sort out some photos no yet posted from this years holiday.

any advice on stitching/sewing left handed would be appreciated he he!!

Friday, 5 December 2008

tempting fate

ok, it was my own fault, remember the ice skating post (of course you do) remember this line- If my posts suddenly stop you know that my attempts were unsuccessful and I'm nursing a broken something.

Well, I've just spent 3 days in hospital having a metal frame put on my arm to a support a broken right wrist!! looks like no sewing for quite sometime as it will probably take 10 weeks or so to heal :-(

feeling a little bit fed up at the moment.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

spoke too soon

This was the scene about 20 mins after the previous post....I take it all back....we do get snow, about 0.25 centimetre!!

cold, cold Tuesday

Morning everyone! they promised us snow last night and they lied ! its cold and frosty but no snow as yet. I tend to get excited about snow because we seem to live in a UK hotspot. Every year snow falls around us, even my sister seems more than I do and she only lives 15 mile away, but misses Nottingham.
On the agenda this week is Guzzisue ice skating!! main problem is that I don't know how but I'm sure we can overcome that one hahaha. If my posts suddenly stop you know that my attempts were unsuccessful and I'm nursing a broken something.
The Ice skating proves that Christmas grows closer, the open air rink is up and running, the German Market is buzzing and I get to have time off work next week to catch up with the dreaded housework etc.

In the meantime I am still embroidering the felted surface and making some slow progress on the lace.The brass coloured "beads" are actually the heads of the pins pushed down into the pillow. I hope any serious lace makers following this experiment aren't too horrified by the way I am misusing traditional techniques. I love making traditional lace as well.

Bobbin lace

Monday, 1 December 2008

work in progress

work in progress

Working on the embellished background and taking time to enjoy some hand embroidery.