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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2010 is a good year for you all.

My resolutions have to be - once again - to blog more often.
Complete my C&G course
Keep my new workroom a little tidier - not much hope of keeping that one!
Try to loose a little weight
and finally do more experimental work in my embroidery and journals

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Have a fantastic Day today and I hope you all get some lovely pressies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

I've just found this picture of winter trees and had to share it with you. As you may know trees speak to me and I just love these ones. They look so beautiful with their coats of snow. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas One and All

Well Christmas is almost upon us. It's lovely to look out of my workroom window and see the snow down below in the garden. I was watching the birds feeding on the remains of the apples that I put on the table.

I have finished a project for my course but it must be kept under wraps for now. The house is almost tidy and work in my study has come to a stop until after the holidays. I had to tidy up and put things away so the place looked relatively tidy. DH still has one cupboard to put the facing wood onto, door nobs and staining of wood will happen in the new year along with wall paper and paint which are chosen and bought. I haven't finalised what I want on the floor either.

I haven't put my sewing machine away as I want to do some machine embroidery over the holidays. DH raised his eyebrows when I blu-tacked some work onto the bare walls where I want a big pinboard. I did assure him I could take it down very easily.

My family arrive on Wednesday so this is the peace before the storm. I made the second lot of mince pies this morning, the first load went into the freezer yesterday. Now what else do I have to do? Not much except the presents to wrap and a trip into Mark & Spencers on Monday morning.

I have been playing with some Zentangles after seeing them in a magazine. They are great if you want to switch off. Below is a picture of the journal I made to hold my zentangles. The front is my first play with some stamped images with rusting powders.

Here is another Zentangle that I almost copied from the magazine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some new 'fabric'

A new 'fabric' for you to see. This has a backing of fine scrim and two layers of crumpled white tissue which I then painted with acrylic paints and gold Fingering and then stitched into the piece with a machine stitch. I crumpled the 'fabric' even more when it was dry and it is now quite soft and manipulable. You might gather that I'm having fun creating these fabrics, I just love the beautiful texture of this piece.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Scraps into fabric

The other day I told you that I was going to make some fabric from some of my TUSAL scraps. Well I actually made two! The first is very soft and drappes beautifully. The second is a much more substantial fabric.

Then I changed a 'lovely' dog printed fleece fabric by adding some silk fibers and chiffon, I love it.

Finally - for now -I've free machined a piece of rescued cotton trouser fabric by free machining all over it. Unfortunately my camera has refused to talk to my failing old machine with this picture. I'll try and post a picture of it later.

All these pieces are going into a hanging I am making. More about that later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TUSAL and Swine Flu

No I don't have IT. I've just had my jab and my left arm is feeling a bit swollen.

Here are some photos of my new wardrobes in my workroom. If you want to see the progress reports then pop over to my webshot album You can see what my workroom and study looked like before we started changing them. There is still a lot to do and I still have some things to sort in the little bedroom (The new bedroom we made out of my old study).

Next is a picture of my TUSAL. You may notice that it's actually a bit smaller than last month because today I had to delve into it to get the right colours for a new project. I'm creating a new fabric using Bondaweb and fabric and thread scraps for a fabric I will be using in a wall hanging I'm making. It took me 3/4 hour to cut up all the scraps you can see in the last picture. I'll post later when I have the fabric created.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Back home

Well I'm safely home and I had a great time in Italy. Here is a picture of the Massaria where we were staying.

If you are interested I've put a few more of my photos here. Just click and you will be taken to my webshot album.

We worked very hard sketching and painting, designing and then transfering our observations into stitch. I have three pieces finished one - a 3D 'stone' I haven't taken a photo of yet. There are also three other pieces that I'm working on. They are all samples and quite small. My sketchbook is full of my sketches not all very good I'm afraid. Have you ever tried to sketch and paint a stone - trust me it's difficult!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hello all

No you're not imagining things, I'm still in Italy and I have the use of a laptop, hurrah. I've taken lots of photos of lovely trees, surprise, surprise, stones, rocks and pillars. No I'm not uploading them yet, you'll have to wait until I get home.

We've sketched details from all of the above using pencil and Aquarel crayons (water and dry). We've painted our observations in Co in Noor paints (water colour dyes). Oh and yes we've stitched some of our pieces, they are all small samples using different techniques and this afternoon we all sat needle-felting 'stones'. It was so funny seeing everyones hands going up and down felting the wool to get it firm enough. Tonight we started stitching into the stones but I got tired so came out to 'talk' to you.

Speak again soon.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Italy here I come. I travel to Stansted this morning to travel over to Italy tomorrow morning, bright and early - 7.30 flight that means 5.30 at the airport. I know I'm an early riser but that's early even for me. Then on to Masseria della Zingara in Pyglia. I'll be there for 6 nights and doing a course with Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. 'From sketch to stitch' Now if anyone has seen my sketching then this is the biggest laugh - I'm useless, but I'll have a go after all it will be great back-up work for my course.

I'm quite nervous though as I've never flown before on my own, always had DH's hand to hold on to. I'll just have to grip the seat hard on landing and take-off. I've got the new copy of Somerset Studio to read, one hour to Stansted and two hours to Italy, seems strange that it's so long just to get to the other end of the country.

Well, bye for now as I'm about to turn the 'puter off and I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Sorry I haven't been around much. College work and reorganisation of workroom has got in the way.

First here is a picture of my October TUSAL. I'm just pushing things further and further down and there's still room for lots more.

Then college well, I've completed my study of Italian Embroidery, that was very interesting and I think you saw the pictures of the withdrawn threadwork I did. For my three country studies I just have to do a sample for the African one. I've also completed my eight backgrounds for stitch, some are stitched and others not.

There are lots of other pieces in another file but I had to choose the best eight and I've included a couple more on the front cover of the fabric book containing the main eight samples.

Finally here's a picture of my before shelves and one of the cupboards that are being built. A long way to go yet! Sorry about the poor quality but they were taken with my phone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September TUSAL

Well better late than never I say. You can see the white threads a the top of my jar they are the withdrawn threads from a sample I'm doing for my Italian study. The piece isn't quite finished but I'm nearly there, I'm doing a pulled thread piece next but that will be a contemporary piece - watch this space. I know the lines don't look straight but that's just because of the tightness of the fabric in the frame.

I've also done some colouring of fabric with Markel sticks and acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. The first piece is a sketchbook page of cut up painted sheets like the second picture.

There are then two bark rubbings done with Markel sticks

and finally a coffee and tea shibori dyed piece. Unfortunately you can't see the leaf shapes I tied on the piece, it was a bit of a failure. If you click on the thumbnail you might just be able to see a leaf shadow in places, they should have been clearer.

We are nearly finished bedroom #2. the carpet is coming tomorrow so DD and friend WILL have somewhere to sleep.

Monday, September 07, 2009

New bedroom

I think I told you a while ago that we were changing my office into a spare bedroom. Well it's done. All I have to do is get some tie backs for the curtains and DH has to bleed the radiator. Wow are you impressed it's taken such a short time to do. Unfortunately as we have used part of our bedroom carpet on the floor we have to start decorating that straight away.
The light from the window doesn't show up the curtains very well - sorryOh yes my workroom/office is a mess again as I've been very busy with the work I have to do before college starts again. As a result I've only just started putting things away from our two recent trips.

As far as college work is concerned I've completed the back-up work for my tree trunk vessel and also two country studies (looking at the embroidery in Africa and The Canaries) Now I'm on to Italy so if anyone has any info or good links about Italian embroidery then I'm interested. Bye for now as I'm off to do a bit more clearing up. Thanks for reading my rambles.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


You might be wondering at the title of this post. I am doing some research and the Italian word is 'sfilature'. The nearest I seem to be able to get as a possible translation is what we know as 'pulled thread work'. Anyone out there know any better? Doing a Google search gave me pictures of drawn thread work which is where I got the definition from. If you know any better and can help me please post. Many thanks.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ben Nevis inspired hanging

I have been working on my Ben Nevis inspired hanging since last Wednesday. Thanks to Helen Cowans our lovely tutor. We had a three day intensive workshop and I've been working on it since then. There is still a bit of tying in to do (that is tying the front to the backing) and I need to get a better hanging device, this was the only piece of wood DH could find in the garage. Hope you like it. Sorry the perspective is a bit off.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HD All the unwanted bits

You might remember that last week I made a fabric bowl. Well the girls I was making it with started to throw their 'waste' bits away. I rescued them and this is what I produced.

TUSAL August

Well sorry I forgot to post my TUSAL progress last month, but here it is. It looks as if the jar is full but there's plenty of room. The top piece is an offcut from a project that wasn't used and will flatten down quite a lot. I can't believe how much I've collected in just two and a bit months. There'll be more this weekend when I come back from Wooler where I'm doing an EG workshop with Helen Cowans.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fof Q update

Thankyou Tracie for a great day on Saturday. Tracie is a fantastic teacher and helped us all paint some fantastic pieces. Even my FiL thought the butterfly looks very real.

Here is Tracie with some of her work.

This is the piece I created. The only stitching - at the moment was to stitch on the butterfly. I intend to stitch the whole onto another background with some wadding so that it becomes a small art quilt. I've also bought some materials to create the rusting effects you can see in the background of my piece. I want to quite a few experiments with this technique and have quitea few ideas running through my head.

The quilts were fabulous - as usual. I was so surprised to see a small block the same design as my very first ever quilt . It is based on an exploding square and I made mine for my DS a few years ago. If you would like to see my quilt then go here. Yes it is a King size quilt. It was a mammoth undertaking and took me about 3 years to complete.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Festival of Quilts

I'm away from home for a few days at FiL's in Leicester. Tomorrow I have a Day masterclass at The Festival of Quilts with Tracie Huskamp from The Red Door Studio I'm quite excited about it as I've never done a Mixed Media workshop before although I've been playing around with MM for a few weeks myself.

In the evening I'm meeting up with a friend in Nuneaton and on Sunday I'm going back to FoQs just to look around. I'll let you all know about it with a few pictures after I come back.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


If you have been following my blog you will know that I've just started exploring the wonderful world of ATCs and Art Journaling. If you want to know more then look at Frieda's Blog she has some fantastic examples of ATCs and some Journal Quilts. They are fantastic.

Here are just some of my ATCs. They are a series of 8 and the first two have been given to my friends Sue and Lee.I want to keep at least one of each series and this time I remembered to take photos. The last set I forgot before they went out.

Here are the two I'm keeping for myself.
If you would like one then I might just have one for you. Just let me know and I'll make a draw at the start of September.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I made a soft bowl a long time ago from 'Fast Fun & Easy Fabric Bowls' by Linda Johansen. On Thursday we made some more bowls here are mine.

ROFL it's actually only one bowl. It is reversible. I used fabric hand dyed by Helen Cowans and the other was one I bought from E-quilter quite some time ago. I choose the piece that toned in best with the other two as the whole piece had a lot of colours in it.

This small post card was made as a thank-you to a friend who lent me her flat in Edinburgh. DH and I had a lovely time at the start of The Fringe Festival.

Friday, August 14, 2009


August is slipping away quite fast and the weather is starting to take a turn for the worst. While still quite warm and muggy the rain didn't really seem to want to stop. I had a short time clearing out the pots in the shed. The cucumber plants needed to be potted on and the water in the self watering trays needed changing. Why oh why do some of my pepper plants have little bugs on them. The ones on the kitchen window-sill don't have them and one has actually got a baby pepper starting to grow.

We went up to the start of the Edinburgh Fringe over the weekend. It was great fun and my did we walk. We saw one free show and several stand up and an improvised show, that was good. The best was a flamenco circus. 6 dancers/musicians who were also jugglers and acrobats. An excellent show. The Royal Mile was heaving. We had a great time.

I've been working on a new set of ATCs (Artists Trading Cards) They are not complete yet and I will have two or three to give away. If you're interested in getting one then please leave me a comment and send me a private email with your snail mail address. I'll get DH to pick some names out of the bag at the start of September. Sorry no photos until they are complete and sent off. I think there will be 10 in the series but the theme is embellishment so most of them have a few beads or dangles on.

I think I told you that my bark vessel is complete and I'm busy finalising the written support work for it. Here are two close up pictures of some of the details on it.
I've finished my turquoise bracelet and I'm so pleased with it.

Last night I started a soft bowl, I'm still doing some machine embroidery on it before I stitch the pieces together. I'll take a photo when it's finished. I made one several years ago and it became quite distorted after having heavy things (like fruit) put in it so this will be a replacement.

That's all for tonight must go and have some beauty sleep.