Tuesday 30 June 2009

Roobarb and Gaydon

Look who just came through my letter box..well not actually through the letterbox but you know what I mean.
Its Roobarb!
He's here and I am delighted with him and feel guilty having won the giveaway so easily.

He's just reclining against a packet of biscuits recovering from the trauma of having gone to bed in Soggibottom and woken up in Lancashire.
He looks a little wistful if not traumatised by being woken up with many hugs .

Thank you so much Michelle.
I am sorry he won't have as beautiful a garden here to romp in but I'll show him your blog from time to time so he knows what you're up to.
I can't tell you how much I admire the work you did to create him.
How are your wrists?
I get aches and pains just using my laptop scroll pad.

I thought I'd show you this beauty.

I had two aunts who worked at the Melamine factory years ago so we acquired quite a bit of it, including this never used cake stand.

Its even still in the box.
I think the name would be different today!
I've put this on the well known auction site.
De cluttering..but its hard to part with.

I used to hate the stuff.
When we went on picnics as children just think how handy the unbreakable Gaydon mugs were for drinking tea from the flask.
But not for me.
I refused to put a plastic cup near my lips.
Especially one that was cherry red or olive green inside and out. There was just something about the way the liquid condensed on the plastic that made me cringe.
Even at such a tender age I insisted my mum had to pack a china cup for me.
Sorry Mum.

Saturday 27 June 2009

What a week.


What a week.
I have just returned from Woolfest with Margaret who drove, and am sitting reflecting on the past week.
It corresponds with this week last year when I didn't get to Woolfest so I have done better this year. And yes the 'big clean' has been done again.
Plus a major paint job on the kitchen. (Why do these things always get done in a rush ?)
But more later.
So, there I was, cleaning washing ironing vacuuming shopping ironing ironing ironing and there was a knock on the door, and the postman handed me a hoooge parcel from Daisie Davies
She said she had something for me and we couldn't manage a meet up because I was so busy so she very kindly sent it.

I couldn't imagine what it could be in this massive package...but look....can you read it?
Harris Tweed !
Its a thing of beauty, a solid wooden hanger with an engraved brass plate.

Just imagine my tweets hanging from that when I do a craft fair.
Thank you so much dear Daisie, I know you've had a sad week. It so kind of you.

Later that same day.........

My Fellpaintings arrived. This is a terrible photo but I can assure you it is a beautiful painting and I love it and its companion.

Sometime midweek I learnt that I had won this little chap in Michelle's giveaway which she ended early having received only 4 comments. I told her to try again but she very generously insisted I should have him so I'm very excited.

So onto Thursday.(.oh I nearly forgot our romantic evening out on Wednesday taking the old fridge to the tip followed by a supermarket shop, then on Thursday morning taking my elderly neighbour for her podiatry appointment)

On Thursday at 4 pm our first guests of the week arrived.
Our tutor for The Embroidery 2000 workshop on Friday, Carol Naylor and her husband.
This is a small sample of her work. I treated myself .

We had an enjoyable evening together, a meal and a walk, and plenty of wine, and the following day our group workshop in the studio on the bank of the river with a gorgeous garden, where we sat for lunch.

We all made lots of noise with our sewing machines and Carol was so generous with her techniques and materials.

Mine's the little wobbly one on the back row .

Friday afternoon, home, bit of ironing, change beds, quick clean round in prepapration for our next guest who I had never met before, a folk musician who wrote one of my favourite songs.
My husband brought him from the Traditions festival and I met him this morning briefly before I rushed out to Woolfest.

What a great day.
The first person I met was the lovely and talented Jenny Pepper.
The weather was just a bit sultry and I think I was fairly purple most of the day.

But other people were other colours!

I watched a young woman shear 4 young female sheep and one big ram in about 20 minutes.

The fleece was snowy white and beautiful and can you believe it could be bought for £3?

I spent a little bit more than £3!
I bought some lovely dyed silk tops from Oliver Twists.

I had intended to but large amounts of merino tops but I always buy less than I want .
I think I'm intimidated by the volume of it.

I got the colours I need for my next project.
I also met a lot of friends, sold a lot of brooches (Kandj I can't reply to you,I don't recognise the name,terrible memory,but thank you!)and saw a lot of beautiful things.
But, I have decided, that just because you can make something from wool, doesn't mean you necessarily should.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Woolly Weekend ahead

Well, the pictureless post sorts the sheep from the goats!
Thank you those who read and followed the links and enjoyed them and those who then commented.
I succumbed and actually bought something on ETSY! I am one of those annoying people at craft fairs who sells but keeps her hands in her pockets.
It was not always so but I am no longer earning a crust in the classroom so I have to be realistic.
I apply the same stingy attitude to etsy but I just HAD to have a Fellpainting. It hasn't arrived yet but I know a lot of you who visited the site will appreciate how excited I am.

I've had a lovely weekend of walkies with this little sweetie. My son-and-his-ex-girlfriends- shared-dog, Denny..named after Sandie Denny of Fairport Convention.

She doesn't sit still for long so its hard to get a good picture.
She is far cleverer than Willow was, far more obedient but still.....she isn't Willow who was beautiful but it has to be said, fairly thick. The Bimbo of the dog world.
When the above son was little he heard the word 'Bimbo' and asked me what it meant.
I said it usually applied to someone who was beautiful but not very clever.
He said 'Oh well you're not a bimbo because you're clever and you're.......er......er....'

I promised a photo of my goodies from Helen of Cocoa and Blankets. I'm sorry, I was so excited that its all blurred. Just look at these yummy things she sent me. Shimmering blurry colour!

I spent a couple of days on my sewing machine making some brooches to send to Woolfest.
I heard an annoying squeak so I decided to unscrew the flywheel to find out where it was squeaking.
How hard can it be?
Two hours later, having tried every combination of the three components I could imagine, I was on the phone to Bambers in Manchester with my screwdriver in my hand and my machine on its end while he talked me through re-assembling it.

Just in time to get more brooches made.

These are Woolfest Specific!
They are going on the International Feltmakers Association stand.

I wish I'd thought of it sooner.
Just imagine..

I Love EWE!


See you there Saturday?

Saturday 20 June 2009

Three Artists and some threads.

Sorry there are no pictures. Click the links for visual delights, and just think of the megabytes I'm saving!

Its been an interesting week in the mailbox department.
First of all we received a couple of copies of this book.
My husband conserved a number of the paintings before they were photographed for the book.
As his unofficial PA I enjoyed long chats with the author on the phone as well the artists daughter in law, and son and owners of some of the paintings.
All were delightful , friendly and generous and it was a shame we couldn't attend the launch of the book a couple of weeks ago due to other commitments.
On Womens Hour this last week the Author and Winifreds daughter in law were interviewed and it drove me to google Winifred Nicholson .
As well as the usual search results I found this blog, Adventures in a Painted landscape.
This 'Fell Painter' has a collection of beautiful works that truly evoke the landscape in which she lives. I live about 60 miles away from this area and when I visit I often wish I could capture the hills and the skies in stitch but I don't have the skills. She does however. She goes out and paints on the fells and then blogs about it, and mine was the only comment.
She deserves more attention.
PLEASE do visit the blog, enjoy the skies and experience the atmosphere of the Cumbrian Landscape.

My next postal delight was a package of threads from Helen of Cocoa and Blankets
Amazing gorgeousness, and more generosity than I can possibly repay.
Beautiful silky treasures.
Photo tomorrow when its light again.

A different kind of post was this one. I'm sure you will recognize the subject of the portrait! It made me cry.
I have been friends with Carol since long before my online days. I met a relative of hers in England when I was doing my first exhibition and I sent her a sketch book. We have been penpals, now blogging friends, ever since.

Update: At last i've found This, another protrait of Willow by another blog friend. Its a very different style but just as thoughtful. Thank you Marilyn. It was done very shortly after Willow's death and I wasn't thinking straight so forgot where it was.

In the 'Mail out' department ..I have had a few etsy and folksy sales.

My son who moved home for a couple of weeks has shared custody of the dog he and his former Girlfriend had.
This has been his week so she and I have had many long walks.
She's not Willow but she's very sweet and I've enjoyed her company.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Blast from the Past I

I had quite a few inquiries about my blank sketch books.
I have one or two left and have just listed this one on etsy. I am only listing them one at a time as I have another craft fair imminent and don't want to have them sitting there doing nothing.
(SOLD, new one listed now;

OOOPS! SOLD NEW ONE ..will list a third now.
Only three left after this.!)

The weekend at Art and garden was, as ever, delightful.

My stall was a bit different to last years. Maybe I didn't have quite as much stuff but I still did quite well. I have one or two little sketch books left and might list them one at a time on etsy. an you see the taller red one peeping out on the bottom row? That will be first.
Even if I didn't sell anything I would probably still go, just to be able to sit in such a gorgeous place, chatting to such wonderful people, catching up with old friends and meeting new.
If you live near and didn't come then shame on you!
You missed a lovely time and place.

The weather was absolutely perfect.
I did meet a fellow blogger but I am reluctant to link to her because she has a picture of me on her blog.
Go on then its only fair. Its Lyn at Everyday Life.
She is a friend of Shan who is very beautiful but refused to be photographed! Come on Shan, click that blogger button!
I am wearing a voluminous cotton shirt and wish I had patted it flat before the picture.
But lets face it, it wouldn't have made that much difference.
Some, but not a lot.

I thought I would show a some of my past triumphs in the next few posts.
I am a great fan of hand stitch and used it for my very first City and Guilds piece in 1993.
You can click the pictures for details.

This piece is my interpretation of a little hollow in a rock wall on st Martins Isles of Scilly.

We went in June the first time and the walls were covered with Hottentot figs and Rock Pennywort.

I was cleaning today in preparation for our visitors in two weeks and I took this off the wall to dust it and was quite delighted with it.
I hadn't really looked at it for years.

I used Picasa to blog these pictures on advice from Julie and because I'm panicking about my 'using 34%' of my space. I don't think I did it right because I still notched up another few MBs.
I usually go to the blogger compose box, upload pictures in 5s(and thats when the numbers appear at the bottom) and then do the writing.
How do you blog?

Update: Gretel from The middle of Nowhere has explained all to me. My pictures are too big so for a try out I have added a new one that has been re sized. Its the top one.
Thank you! thank you! thank you!

Friday 12 June 2009

Now we are six

Tired though you must be of seeing my latest creations I now present two more blocks to make the whole up to six.
Several people have remarked on the fact that they look like Protozoa, which if I remember my school Biology, are single cell organisms.
I like that idea, but they started with 'retro' in mind.
Maybe they should be called 'Retrozoa'.

Or for exhibition purposes and so I don't have to go teaching, 'Will sell Separately'.

However I don't think I could sell them.
I find it very hard to part with things.
I clung to the bumper of the car which took these long buried treasures to the tip.
Buried under a pile of junk in the garage that is. Or was.
We still have plenty more bikes in there to be parted from.

Much sewing has been done this week for Art and Garden tomorrow and Sunday. I am taking the entire contents of my etsy shop and praying for fine weather.

Maybe when its over, I can get on with a bit of housework .
But if you look closely at the picture you will see that there are other pressing jobs outside.

By the way, what happens to your blog when you use up all your 1024 megabytes?
I hope bits don't disappear.
I like my first few posts, its a lovely diary of last year. Especially this one.
Two of the dogs in the last picture have gone to pastures new.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Tuesday and Wednesday::Cuffs and Purses

Business first:: I've had lovely comments on my recent production thank you. So many people are still telling me how much they liked my article.

I've been awarded a Favourite Blog award by Joanne May
As I don't know how to copy the picture and have a migraine coming induced by the stress of accommodating masses of 'belongings',a take away curry full of additives no doubt, too much sewing and three glasses of shiraz I can't summon up the oomph to pass them on.( My sight is fading as it does with migraine, zig zags flickering about, and when it returns I will have the mother and father of a headache. Most of the rest of this post was written before it came on.)
UPDATE Thursday: Migraine went but not before it had actually affected my speech.I was quite frightened as I was trying to read a blog and couldn't make any sense of it, and when I tried to tell my husband, the words that came out were not what I was trying to say. Is that normal for migraine?
(I know its normal for me!)
And I've managed to upload the pic! Yay!

I must mention Cat from the Raggy Rat.
She has spent the last year making an amazing fursuit.
Do visit her blog and don't forget to vote for her in The Dorset Cereals blog award.
Cat, I pass this award to you and your lovely girls!
All the blogs I read are worthy winners. So consider yourselves all my favourites!

The second Tuesday of the month is the felt group.
I was a reluctant recruit well over a year ago but I have found a wonderful medium and a fantastic group of people.
I don't know if the the other members relish my joy as it makes me garrulous and possibly annoying.
I took my brooches to show and came home minus 10 of them and quite a lot better off.
I spent the day making small squares of felt for Wednesday. (More on that in a moment)
I came home and started work on a few more cuffs to bulk out the 'silk' section of my stall.

I got three new pieces of silk in Norwich last month.
A gorgeous bronzey gold very rich, a scrumptious rose pink , and a really unusual shot one, lilac crossed with gold so its very mysterious. You can't really tell from these pics.
(By the way, I've been doing my photography lately on my IKEA ironing board, nice isn't it?)

Here's the gold.

So, remember I said I made a lot of squares of felt on Tuesday?
Well I put them in the drier and FORGOT THEM!
They were like lumpy postage stamps when I got them out. Useless. So on
I had to use up whatever pieces I already had to make my new idea incorporating the felt brooch motif, these little phone pouches.
This is my favourite one.

They are a bit 'beta' at the moment..you know, still in the try out phase.Like Folksy.
Feedback welcomed.

I must put in a word of praise here for the place I got my hooks and brooch backs. I only ordered them on Monday and they came yesterday. The brooch backs are the best I've had.
They are called BFNT Bead findings and things.
I am not connected to them in any way but I believe if a business is good it needs to be shared.

On monday I also made this ..for a man.

Talking of men...I went to an office supplies shop last week. Its very small and as I was leaving a man was walking up the stairs and I had to wait before I could go downstairs. He was immaculate in a blue and white pin stripe shirt, with shiny shoes and pressed trousers, and about 45. He had a beautiful King Charles Spaniel on a lead.
'What a cutie' I said , by way of making conversation.
'Thank you.' He replied.' Do you like my dog as well?'

Monday 8 June 2009

If its Monday it must be.....

I don't make the books.
I buy them in bulk from The Pink Pig and work my embroidery magic on them!
Because I'm a bit of a perfectionist and like the minute things in life I have to add a little bit on the first page.
As if they didn't take long enough already.

I enjoy combining the colours and stitching.
No change there then.

I am wondering if anyone reading this is planning on coming to Art and Garden?
It would be good to see you.
The weather forecast is 'White Cloud'
But there's stormy weather before that.

My son is moving home on Thursday.
Yes Thursday.
This Thursday.
His bed is invisible under the ironing pile.
His old room is full up with our big computer and all its accompanying paraphernalia.
And a Singer Irish Industrial sewing machine.
And all the stuff he left last time.
The spare room is booked for a visiting tutor and her husband later in June, and then three folk musicians the night after.
His timing is impeccable.
His belongings are immeasurable.
They include a washing machine.
If we get rid of the old piano in the wash house we may have a chance.
But the village is awash with unwanted old pianos.
I asked in the post office if they knew anyone who wanted an old piano.
They said 'Another one?'

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.