Thank you all for reading my rambles. All comments are read and appreciated. There have been some great comments recently so many, many thanks. I'm sorry if I haven't managed to comment on your blog I do read them as often as I can.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy accidents

Happy Accidents. These are happening to me a lot recently. First the blood on my work. It did improve my work. It was while I was perusing a friend's blog I was reminded of my love of scraps. I started listing the scraps I have.

1) there's the TUSAL jar, all the threads and tiny fabrics that most people throw in the bin. Totally Useless. NO not to me as I create fabrics with them, either with dissolvable fabric and sheers. Or they are embellished into felt or other fabrics.
My TUSAL jar                                

2) there are the papers I have painted and played with over the years, especially tissue. They are used in ATCs and postcards. Any tiny scraps are kept for completing pieces.

3) there are the pile of dyed and painted fabrics used for many projects. Any left overs are kept, divided into strips and smaller scraps. This is a small piece, no completed yet.

4) there are the things that didn't quite work or were experimented on - my mop up cloths for example. Recently quite a few of these have come into their own.

Some of you know that I am working towards an exhibition in the summer. My topic is Clocks, one piece is completed bar it's label and I have ideas for them. (see later on in this post.) So number two was started a few weekends ago on my course with Yvonne Brown. The piece I produced still isn't quite finished but the old kitchen clock fabric I created with TUSAL scraps quite a few years ago was cut up to create one of the backings for my tiles. 

I then found the photograph I had taken of the clock tower at Wallington Hall, Northumberland. DH, bless him, played with the image and printed out several clocks, all the same but different sizes.

I set to work choosing, at random - almost - fabrics that would melt and would cut with a soldering iron. Those of you who have seen Margaret Beal at some of the shows will have seen some of the intricate work she does. Yvonne works in a similar way with Kunin felt. Google the word and find out what it is.  A lot of traders don't know what it is. Three clocks were made and I sat and  looked at them for a while on the lovely orangey brown fabric that I had painted and printed on with my Colouricious blocks and had been going to be the grouting for my tiles. It was too small for that project so put aside, but not forgotten.

Two nights ago I was sitting looking at the work so far. In my bag I just happened to have some blue painted Bondaweb that was for another job and never used. The pieces had been folded and looked a bit disheveled so I tore them into smaller pieces and placed them on top of the orange fabric and under the clocks. Voila, simple but looking good. Even DH said yes that's looking good! Maybe he's more interested because he's been involved from the start! The end of clock 2 is in sight. Just one more piece and I know what I want to do for that.
This is the WIP.

My new labels made from scraps of dyed paper napkins
Scraps of yarn used in this felted hanging

Thank-you for looking. Night for now.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

ATC Give Away

Would you like to own this little piece of textile art? Then leave a comment here before 10pm Easter Monday  (tomorrow) I will post here if you are successfully.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lost ATCs

During March I took part in a Be Creative online weekend event. As a result some of us made some ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). Some we swapped with others within the group and at least one in the series was 'lost' somewhere in the artists local area. The small pieces of art have a blog reference number and a website address . If you click on my link you can have a look at these ATCs and see if there is one near you. If you find one please leave a comment and perhaps a photograph. We would love to hear what has happened to these pieces. If you want to see mine you will have to visit the website. Remember to come back here to see what else we have been up to.

We would also love to have you join us for our next events. This does mean you need a Facebook account which some people dislike. It is the only way we could see of having a 'safe' group site as all members are vetted and come usually by recommendations from others within the group. You do not need to have posts seen by the general public and can restrict them to friends only.

Beware however :) there is a lot of chatter depending on which activities you choose to join. I know there are one or two of my friends who follow this blog. So please take a look at my ATCs and see if you can 'find' them and give them good homes. Hint:- one of my favourite local wool shops is involved. Try one in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Below is just one image I found during the weekend event. It is an enlarged microscope image of a piece of expanded popcorn. Would you believe it? Honey bees create similar structures within a honeycomb. I can see me using this image in a future piece of work.

That's all for today. If you would like to know more about what I have been up to since my last blog entry then visit my Facebook page.

I hope the sun is out where you are. This morning here on the North East coast has dawned with a lovely clear sky, which probably means it's very cold outside.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It is nearly April

Well March is nearly over and I don't really know where it has gone. I have been busy. Health-wise not so good, I won't dwell but it has involved lots of doctor and hospital appointments.

So what have you done in March? I hear you ask. Well I attended Region 15E  Quilters' Guild Regional Day followed by a course with Yvonne Brown, an inspirational teacher and prolific quilter. Below you can see my tidy desk on the course, well it's tidy for me! Then the photo of the workers at the end of the afternoon. I'm the one with very little done and gingerly holding all my little experimental scraps together when all the rest had a quilt block finished. Photo three shows the blocks I made 1/3 completed the next day. It has progressed on since then but I don't have a photo to show you, yet!

I've made several ATCs and Postcards, here are a selection

This is a selfie done on my iPad

I went to London to visit my daughter for my birthday she took me to see War Horse. That was a fantastic show, If you haven't seen the stage production do it's amazing. Those who know me will say but your birthday is in February, why a birthday treat in March?Well to tell the truth DD said when do you want to come down? and I said March because there is a stitching show at Olympia and I had never been before. Here are just a few of the goodies I got.
Beautiful fabrics from Burma

 Stash laid out on my bed

a little book made by Gilda Baron and some felted pebbles I made at a workshop with Ailish Henderson

 Back home and here is a small book I made when playing with some newly acquired artists inks, it really is quite small/

 Playing with disperse dyes
 Finally my small memory pin cushion which was actually made on Valentines Day in February. I don't think I have shared this with you but I love it.
 The image is my Mum, my Gran and my great Gran

I have done other things as well this month because I am working towards an exhibition at Wallington Hall in Northumberland in the summer with the textile group TWYNE. I'll tell you more about that in a later post when the advertising poster is completed. I have finished one item and am planning two more so will have to pull my finger out and get going.

That's all for now. If you are interested have a look at this link on our upcoming Creative Weekend.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Inspirational Weekend

On Saturday I went to our Region 15E Quilters' Guild Regional Day. Whow was it good! In the morning there was a talk from Dorothy Osler entitled "Insight into Durham's Traditional Quilting Communities from the Diaries of a London Lady" amazing how these entrepreneurial ladies in the 30's - 50's made Northern Quilting as well known as it is now. In the afternoon, after a raffle, show and tell (when I showed my Mandy Patullo Sweetheart Pincushion) and Linus Quilts we heard about the Life of a very inspirational lady Yvonne Brown.

I was interested in Yvonne's story, not just because of her interesting life and inspiration quilts but also because of her married surname - Brown. Before I was married I was Sheila Brown. No relation whatsoever! There are lots of Browns in the UK.

When I became aware that there was a place going spare on Yvonne's workshop yesterday (Sunday) I just had to sign up. However I quickly realised that both my sewing machines were in Tully's in Sunderland and I wouldn't get them back until Monday I was bitterly disappointed. However Anne our  lovely treasurer came to the rescue and lent me her Bernina, just like mine so there was no trouble doing free machining on it.

On arrival at 9.30 in the morning Anne was already there and had set up the machine for me. I then turned round and saw an old friend from the Embroiderers' Guild, Norma, turned round again and saw Melitta who I've known for quite a few years and another friend Kate who was in my C&G class and is now on the EG regional committee with me. Call it a small world! The stitching community of Embroiderers and Quilters are so generous and I have made friends through my various craft activities because of it.

Thank you QGGB Region 15E for being so welcoming.

Sorry Blogger is not letting me post the photos I wanted to share. So you will have to make do with my report.

Thanks for reading

Friday, February 14, 2014

Beautiful fabrics

I've just washed and ironed my beautiful fabrics. Some are over printed, some are not. Some I like, others I'm not too sure of. Some look better on the back! Some have had a mask put over while drying, others before painting. There are two colour-ways. One green and yellow. The other reds, blues, purples and a small amount of other colours. All have been painted at least twice.

I show the mop-up cloth underneath because, although it is not beautiful in it's own right, there are some lovely markings on it.

What do you think? Please let me know as I love hearing from you.
Can you see any hidden marks I have missed?
Zoom into the first mop-up cloth and see if you can find the small yellow lines.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter is back!

Forget what I said yesterday morning. Winter is back with a vengeance because we had snow overnight. Not much but it has left today feeling very cold and dark. However I promised you a picture  of catkins and here it is.

During the morning I discovered Cat no 1 (Holly to give her her proper name) rooting around under the TV.

We are decorating this room so I wondered if one of her toys had ventured under there. Later on I discovered this little felted ball in the hall. 

So I returned it to it's home inside my lap tray. can you see it?

Every time I went into the room I found the small felted ball somewhere else. So I decided to stand and watch what happened, camera in hand. Here goes. 
What is this?
 It's not me honest!

Later in the afternoon she decided that she had had enough of that game and lay down beside me and fell asleep

Or so I thought! One eye is still watching!

You might notice that I have my apron on because I had just been playing with my fabric journal and the papers that I showed you the other day. The fabric journal is starting to move on. I have stitched some new papers into it. A magazine bought by mistake - I'll never do some of the projects in it - but it was beautifully set out with some lovely torn papers decorating the edges of some of the pages. So out they came and torn up into strips.

Here are some glimpses of the pages now. Some stitched, others waiting to be stitched. You can't really tell from these photographs the relative sizes of each piece.

The last one still needs to be stitched. The small beaded piece was something I picked up at a Vintage Fair and I felt it fitted into my theme of erosion. Most of the beads are still there but if you look carefully they are starting to come away. I think it looks a bit like a butterfly or a jeweled moth. This is going to be a very small book that will sit inside the pocket in the journal.

Last of all to show you - thank goodness you say - are my three new knitted beads. I think I will make a series of the same for my next necklace. The yarn is beautiful, short runs of colour with a sparkle through it. The photo doesn't really do it justice.