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.

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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It must be Spring!

Oh yes despite the weather I feel Spring is here. Why? you ask. Yesterday I walked down to the local shops - just 5 minutes away - to collect my good Winter coat (which I don't wear very often). I had taken it to Mendys on Front Street and asked them to replace the pocket which for several years has had a BIG hole. BUT I hear you cry why pay someone to do a job you could do yourself? That is true I had intended to do it, however I know that I would not have done it well and because it was an expensive, good looking coat I didn't want to spoil it.

I digress, while walking in the sunshine I realised I had gone out in a jumper and fleece waistcoat and I didn't feel cold! 

Then in one of the gardens I saw some small catkins. I didn't take a photo as I didn't have my camera with me. I have to do the same walk today so must remember to take it with me.

The days are finally starting to draw out and we have had a few days of partial sunshine - not today which is dull and damp.

I am in a flurry of sorting and clearing and cleaning. Yes I do clean - sometimes. I'm having a 'short' break to have a cup of tea in the middle of cleaning the kitchen sitting at my kitchen table. However typing is quite difficult because cat number 1 insists that lying between my arms, sitting in front of the screen and walking up and down in front of the screen is a good thing.

Final Point I have had a 'spring clean' of some of my crafting stash. Regular followers will know what I mean.

Coming back to the title of this post - all of the above make me feel that 'Spring has Sprung'. At the same time I am aware that those of you who live in the south of the UK will not agree with this sentiment. I feel so upset that so many people may have had to leave their homes and possessions behind.

Well my tea break is over so I must review this post and get back to it. Bye for now and thank you for reading to the bitter end.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Tidy V Disorganised?

Well I usually know where everything is! That is until I loose something! Then I realise that it really is time to tidy up my workroom.

I have searched the house for something that is quite precious to me and my family. I really don't know where I have put it. While looking I have found:-

1) I can no longer access my family tree on Genes Re-United - it's been so long since I visited.
2) The lovely trolley full of stuff that has been there for a year - I know because it was filled with the remnants of a course I did. Now everything is back in it's rightful place because I will need the trolley soon.
3) A blanket to replace the white one the cat has been using for a bed.
4) A metal box that will be great for some of my beads
5) I can now walk into my workroom without tripping over things.
6) Yes I can throw things out because they are really of no use any more! Not much though!
7) I now have no time to do my creative 15mins but I can console myself because this is what I created today on a course with Mandy Putullo

It is still looking a bit lumpy and bumpy but it will look much better after a little more tweaking. 

The ladies in the photo are my Mum - Agnes, her Mum, my Gran - Isabella and her Mum, my Great Grandmother and there is my problem. I can't remember my Great Gran's first name. She was always Granny Connell to us. So I have been searching for some photographs and old newspaper articles I know I have - somewhere! Then I can add her initial on the left-hand side of the pin cushion in pins. yes the other two initials are in pins!

Time for bed now. I will have to resume the search tomorrow!

Friday, February 07, 2014

New beaded necklace

Just finished this tonight. It is quite a heavy necklace to wear but I've put a proper clasp on it this time. In reality the purple beads are much darker than they look in this photo. I hope the small magnetic clasp does it's job.

Over the last few days I have been working on some papers - I showed you some on my last post - working on the theme of erosion. Well I got this lovely book by Francis Pickering - Under the Cover: Paper and Fabric Books. I now knew what do do with my papers.  

The journal is nowhere near finished yet but I'm still working on it.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


Last week I shared with you my trip to York. I have been playing with some of the photographs I took while walking along the walls.  Nobody but my DSis guessed what I took photographs of.

                        Yes it was the worn paving slabs on the wall walk. 

It got me thinking about erosion and the photographs I took quite a few years ago on the beach in Whitley Bay. I've had a search for them but they could be anywhere so I'm afraid I can't show you the one I am thinking of. You could imagine lovely sandstone rocks with water eroded pits in it. they can be found in so many places including the lovely sandstone pavements at Malham Cove. Do a Google search and you can see what I mean.

I was playing with magazine papers, Gesso and Koh-I-Noor paint and had a bit of a disaster when I stacked them all and they stuck together! The top paper however pooled and I took the heat gun to it and got these beautiful markings.

Could I repeat the marks on the salvaged wreck of my other papers? No not on these ones but I did get some lovely marks after adding more paint and drying again. They look a bit like intestines

You can see the markings more clearly on this paper

Monday, February 03, 2014


Thank-you to all my friends and family who have given me birthday wishes today. I was feeling a bit down as DH was leading a walk and I was left to my own devices.

Well what was I going to do with my day? First my 15 mins creative time - I set up my work station and was all set to Gesso some magazine papers ready to take some colour. I knew my tub of Gesso was almost finished but I hadn't realised that the lid hadn't quite been shut properly and the little bit in the bottom had gone quite goey and unusable, it looked like a piece of blue-tack but white. So I put some water in and shook it - but it was still too watery. So a trip into Newcastle was called for. I wanted to go into Clas Ohlson anyway. Oh boy was that a mistake - 10 items and £40 later - but NO Gesso so a trip to the University bookshop/art shop was called for. I was quite restrained in there!

Here is a photo of the ten items I got in Clas Ohlson. I just love the nest of baskets. They are so useful for projects when I need to keep my threads/fabrics separated. I already have a nest of three and they are well used.
BTW the small grater is not for my kitchen! Although the measuring spoons are - I'm so fed up of recipes that call for 3/4 cups or 1 and 1/2 cups of an ingredient! 
By this time my bag was full so I made my way home on the Metro.

My second picture for today is of my lovely new Kipling bag

The day is not ended but I'm quite tired. My papers are Gessoed, the painting will have to wait for another day! So a task that should have taken 15mins has taken all day! 

Cat number1 is pleased I'm home and is demanding some stroking, shame my laptop is on my knee.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Clock Journal

I've spent this afternoon working on my Clock Journal. This is going towards an exhibition later this year. I have almost completed one embroidered item and have another to start. This journal will go towards explaining some of my thoughts and how I made decisions for these pieces.

This is the journal front - I used some of my painted serviettes in the background.

 This page has some lovely markings from the doily stained with coffee 

I made pockets by stitching them in place to hold some fabric sample coloured with Bonda-web, transfer foils and stitching.

This page was unfinished when I took this photograph. It has now been completed. They are i-chord samples, I wasn't sure which colour to use, so I had to do several. Decision has now been made and the small pieces are waiting to be stitched onto my work.

So sorry I can't share the stitching until the exhibition is up which won't be until August.

Saturday, February 01, 2014


Well February, my birthday month, started well today with sunshine. The first we've seen for quite some time here on the NE coast. It looked beautiful! 

Later in the morning we went for a walk - just a mundane food shopping trip. BUT the clouds had started to roll over and it was bitterly cold!

I walked down to our local Embroiderers' Guild meeting by which time the wind had started to blow the clouds in and it was still bitterly cold. We had a nice small workshop - no creativity - but we had a good natter and catch-up. I felt very bad that I hadn't completed the small needle woven butterfly I started at a day workshop last month. I've completed the two large wings and everyone loved my colour combination. I must keep this project near the top of my TO DO list.

By this time the wind was really blowing a gale and I was nearly blown over as I walked past a road end. However we noticed that at 4.45pm there was still light in the sky, the days are really starting to draw out again. Amazing what a bit of sunshine can do to lift the spirits!

As part of a project I am taking part in I am researching old clocks. If anyone comes across good photographs please let me know. I'm sick of looking at clocks on Google images.

There is a beautiful French clock I found on the Bonhams website. I can't download the photo but if you click on the Bonhams link it should show in your browser. So I have started brainstorming different types of clocks. Again if you know of a different type of clock that I may have forgotten, let me know.

Here is a picture of one of the long-case clocks at Wallington Hall and a very interesting table clock. Sorry they are not very good pictures - the light wasn't very good when I was there and I was using my small i-Pod so not a very steady hand.

That's all for now. More about this project later. I can't give too much away at the moment. It is stitching related! Honestly!