Sunday 27 June 2010

Woolly and Wild

Woolfest is over for another year.
By the time I got there on Saturday afternoon there were only six of my brooches left.
 I added three pendants to them so this is all I could photograph.

They were on the IFA stand and you can see the lovely hanging made by Lesley King to the left. She uses prefelts and makes amazing patterns. Her felt for this piece is on scrim and contains silk fibres and has a lovely sheen to it. Her website is here
You can see my vessels and 'The Bag' here.
Someone almost bought 'The Bag' but decided to be economical!
I told her there would never be another but it was no good...

So its still available.
Here's the opposite side of the IFA stand. as you can probably deduce the theme was vessels!

The  hanging at the back is by Fiona who has a flickr set here.
I met another Fiona, lovely Fiona Dix who has a great blog called Love Fibre. She used to live a lot nearer to me and I didn't meet her then and now she lives about as far North as you can get and I met her yesterday!

We are dog sitting at the moment so Indi had to come with us. I think she enjoyed a few eyeball to eyeballs with sheep like this Herdwick.

She was a bit hot and demonstrated this on the way home when we stopped for a while on the shores of Bassenthwaite.

I wanted to join her I can tell you . It was idyllic and hot and peaceful. I won't break into song but indeed 'the fish were jumpin' , no cotton though!
Further on I saw a heron, and then a bird of prey gliding by and at this point we remembered that this is one of the few Osprey breeding places in the country and I think it was an Osprey. How lucky I was to see it.
Naturally we were quite tired when we got home so we slobbed out watching TV and I was was engrossed in facebook scrabble when suddenly my husband said 'Look out..there's a bat in room.

Indeed there was. It flew around for about two minutes, landed briefly on the curtains and we opened the doors and it flew out.
 How exciting.(I just told my Mum and she's horrified!)
Then my husband did his favourite TV thing ..flicking through the channels and stopped on a film called 'Phantoms' about some horrible giant moth like creatures that fly in through the window and eat your face off.....

I was glad I hadn't seen it earlier.

Driving back through the Lake District yesterday we couldn't help notice how low the water levels were in the lakes, particularly the one which supplies the drinking water for the Manchester area, Thirlmere. There are
islands were there were never islands and metres of dry exposed rock around the edges.
Quite worrying.
It really has been a dry June for which at the moment I am very grateful. A downpour or two would be welcome I suppose.
Its such a great time of year.
I took our canine visitor a short walk the other night and as I walked past the front of our house I noticed the remnants of a rose bush which I thought had been taken out during some work out next door neighbours had done. The branch was in danger of being trampled by the general public and it had lots of buds so I cut it off and put the buds in water. They opened into the most delicate and fragrant flowers and I want to identify the variety so I can get another. The flowers are  small and white (no not edelweiss) with a peachy hint and the gorgeous scent of geranium. Here's a picture.

I'll finish with a picture of some flowers I bought for a friend .
I had just been reading about paeonies on Alice's blog and there they were at the growers so I had to have some. I can't aspire to her turn of phrase and beautiful writing, but I can stick a few flowers in a vase!
I bought bunches of Sweet William , Blue Scabious, deep pink Virginia stock and pale pink paeonies. I added Ladies Mantle and yellow Loosestrife from my own garden.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Lovely June

Isn't it wonderful in June when the weather is like this? Everything is flourishing and the fields are a joy.
The trees stand knee deep in grass.

We really haven't had this sort of a June for two years. 
Its not too hot but sunny enough to walk about outside, leave the door open and take a drink outside and sit.

You know if you have been reading this blog for a while that I have garden failures, but we actually have a few flowers this year. I don't know if I dare say this out loud but it may be that a garden without a dog succeeds as a garden more easily than one with.(But of course its a bit empty otherwise).
Because the sun is shining I am noticing the things that come up every year.

This close up reminds me of my spiky brooches.

Or  little starfish.

Can you tell what it is yet?

Lovely no-fuss annual display. It smells of apples. I have never noticed this before.
Viewed closely its like lace.
Climbing hydrangea.
Here's another kind of lace....

Oh dear....
Isn't it a shame the days fly by? Is it because I'm getting older?

Its Woolfest on Friday and Saturday and I sent my two vessels and some brooches.
Do you remember the 'bleurrgh' vessel?

It now has a shape change and applique..

and a title

I left the plain one plain.

It also has a title:   '...peace comes dropping slow..'
They are lines from the poem by Yeats 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'.
 They are inspired by my visit to the west of Ireland in March where I was filled with the peace and the beauty of the Burren. I hope I have captured the colours and the atmosphere in these two vessels.
Perhaps you will see me or them at Woolfest on the IFA stand.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Cheerio little babes

What a spectacle this morning.
A little yellow face at the window of the bird box, a sudden flurry of feathers and then up in the tree a baby blue tit.

I don't think it was the first but it wasn't the last. It sat and cheeped in the tree looking very grumpy

and calling to its parents. ...

who came and fed it and supported it.
Then I ran about the house looking for a better camera and came back just in time to see this...
A little head looking right...


and then making the struggle ....

and out.
(Click to enlarge the pictures, sorry they are a bit fuzzy ...I was excited)

Its a breezy chilly day. Its the Village festival day. The fairground has arrived on the sports field about 300yards away. In about an hour the children of the combined schools and nurseries of the surrounding area will process noisily through the villages and make merry on the field.
And there are half a dozen new baby blue tits in the hedges and trees in our garden.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Pictureless post.

If you can't be bothered reading this please don't feel bad!
I just feel the need for an update and a few odds and ends.

First moan: I keep getting people wanting to write 'guest posts'. Now why on earth would anyone want to do that? Why would I want anyone to do that? My blog is what it is. If some of the posts are not up to scratch it doesn't matter..I don't necessarilly want other people sticking their oar in because then it wouldn't be mine.

Second moan while I'm at it (and I've been thinking about this for quite some time so I may as well get it out here and now) When we were in Norwich we went to the Loch Fyne Seafood Restaurant. We'd been to the one on Loch Fyne once and loved it so thought we'd try it.  No table for 45 minutes so we went off for a drink, came back and were seated by a bossy young woman who made much of the fact that she was going to be 'Looking after' us. Well call me old fashioned but I don't want to be 'looked after ' in a restuarant I just want nice food to come without having to wait ANOTHER 45 minutes. Obviously her idea of 'looking after' wasn't the same as my idea of 'looking after'. There was much jumping about and asking how we were 'doing' and a very mediocre meal.
Ahh thats better.

Now for something good.
The blue tits are having a busy time keeping up with their noisy brood flying in and out every two minutes. (Its a good job they're not at the Loch Fyne) and yesterday there was a 'beak at the window ' moment when one of the littlies stuck its head up and looked out of the hole. You could tell it was a babe because it was all yellow beak with that silly cartoon expression that only baby birds can do!

Something else good: My son ..(oh aren't sons lovely?)came and rigged up the telly in my sewing room with a digital aerial so  now I can watch BigBrother Cultural Programmes  while I sew.

I was needing a way of hiding all the wires which accompany this major breakthrough, so while looking for an extension cable in the 'spare room' (not really spare..full of 'stuff' which is the boys equivalent of my stash) when I found a box containing the following: One National geographic Fleece ( free gift when I subscribed years ago); one old 'Bench' fleece; two pots of spike your hair up stuff; a jar of pennies;  and here's where it gets good....a craft knife, a roll of wide masking tape, a roll of duck tape and a tape measure. Yes there's gold in them thar hills..... I greedily took them from my sons' stash and added these last items to my own. Yes that apostrophe is correct..two sons..two stashes all in one room.

And finally  a plea. have you ever lost a blogger?
I read one last year and have completely lost it.
It was when I was contemplating doing a certain craft fair and I was convinced I'd had a long discussion with this particular blogger about it but then she wasn't there.

Here are the details:

Makes printed letters and cards.
Has wavy blonde hair longish.
Blogged about doing well at a craft fair maybe 8 months ago. Said something like "I realised maybe I could make a living doing this'
Wrote a post about how to present yourself at a craft fair.Said you are part of the product and should look the part.
Is it you?
Do you know who it is?

(I feel I should add here that I only want to know who it was...I'm not a stalker. Or even a lurker...I was having a conversation with someone who I thought was this blogger and turned out to be a different one!)

Its driving me almost as mad as trying to find the film with two little boys playing in the snow and putting an important  telegram in a round tin and losing it in the snow that I watched hundreds of years ago. (Well half a hundred years ago)
But I've given up on that one.

If you have been...thanks for reading.
Your a star..or a galaxy ...

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Not much

Art and Garden was as usual a delightful experience. I only took one photograph and this is it.
Even with nice weather though the 'spend' was down on last year. I think all the gloomy budget talk has people afraid to part with their money.
Never mind, there's always Etsy and I have just spent a good hour listing  stuff possibly in time for Fathers day?
I was very pleased that my first sale of the weekend was to a very smart man who bought himself a tweed iphone case.
Lets hope he tells everyone where he bought it!

Every year after Art ad Garden I have 'The Cleaning Week'. The house gets completely messed up before a sale and I spend the following week sorting it out. There is a gap between Art and Garden and 'Woolfest'  when I tidy clean dust iron...I thought it was a one week gap but I have just discovered its two weeks.
 How strange. Its been the weekend for the last two years of 'toomanythingsatonce' .

Last year we had a tutor for our embroidery group staying on the Thursday night, a musician for a folk festival on Friday and Saturday and just before all that, my son arrived with all his belongings temporarily homeless.

Two years ago we had a musician, and I was doing a craft fair at the festival so I didn't get to Woolfest.

This year we have Indi staying with us.
A golden retriever who I'm sure will enjoy Woolfest.
I am looking forward to having her.

But the best thing of all is that my husband isn't working away from home again for quite a long time.
Mind you, that also means we have to watch the world cup.The good thing about football is its nice when it stops.
Since the digital switchover  my sewing room TV is useless as we have no aerial in there.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Tweed daaaaahhh!

Here they are the Tweedies.

This is Vintage Tweed, not definitely 'Harris ' but looking at it I recognise some of the designs.

My favourite didn't photograph well on its own. Its the one on the far right of the first picture.
Far left of this one.

I love piles of stuff like this but I'm at that stage where I think I should have piles more for Art and Garden at the weekend..

I hate the construction bit though so I don't know if I'll be making many more of these.
Here are the finished jade linen ones.

I like the linings peeping out at the top.

Two brown linen ones.

This one is in artists' canvas. Nice colour linen.

Does this look like a splodge of red paint?

Finally lime and purple silk and velvet.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Not what you were expecting.

These are not tweed iphone cases are they?
And its a blurred picture.
Sorry. Its such a dull day today weather wise.
But otherwise quite bright. I started with a visit to the dietician with my elderly neighbour who just can't seem to gain weight. It started on the wrong foot because the dietician only called her name once in a very busy hospital department and neither of us heard so he called the next person in. After an hour he came out of his room and called another name at which I leapt up and told him we'd been waiting for an hour. He said 'I did call you' so I didn't exactly say 'well you should speak up young man' but he got the picture.
Then it was very funny to sit and listen to the exact opposite advice to that I normally get, being given to Alice.
Drink full milk, eat more biscuits, have lots of snacks.......

At home I had received my trigger hooks from BFNT and I can't praise them enough. I ordered them on Monday pm and they arrived today. I bet if I ordered them Monday am I'd have got them yesterday. They really are good.

After that I met the men in charge of the ruination of my favourite walk. Their suggestion. Pointless now its finished. We walked and talked. I told them I hated it. My case was not helped by quite old pensioners coming along saying things like'Its marvellous' and 'I'm sure you'll get an award for this' and 'Do you mean to say you've gone to all the trouble of seeding the edges, how wonderful'.
 All punctuated by me saying 'I hate it'.
I can't deny that within their brief they have done a wonderful job. I just didn't think it was necessary.
My Mum was worried about me meeting two strange men in the woods and thought they might get fed of my complaining and throw me in the Goit. (River)
They didn't. They were very polite and forbearing. I did apologise for constantly criticising their great work.

Then I came home to a message that someone wanted 10 sketch books for Friday.
So ..thats why I haven't finished the Tweedy Phone cases.

It seems many of you, like me, do not own an iphone.
The one in the original picture is my husbands. 
You can tell this because it is switched off.

After a visit to the dietician what better thing to do but to nip to the village store, buy frozen chips (not oven) frozen crumbed fish (not environmentally friendly) and a b***** great big vanilla slice. (not healthy)?
I feel full.
Too full. was Alice who needed to eat more...silly me.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Cellphone as Barbie?

How can you tell its pre-sale  time?
I have a lot of projects on the go and its nice to report a flurry of creativity and get a reaction so I can tell if its worth continuing with certain things.
Thanks for the comments on the i phone case. I'm making more.
A couple of years ago I bought the most lovely linen for curtains which I have still not made, so I've 'borrowed' a bit from the bottom and made some phone cases. It looks grey on my laptop but is lovely subtle Jade green

I've also made some 'going out' wear for the i phone in pure silk dupion. Its like having a Barbie doll with a change of clothes!

It's a fragile fabric but so luscious and if you know the kind of person who is always on their phone at Dinner/ in the pub/ with friends? Well it gives those around them something nice to look at while they chat and ignore them.

I wish you could see the true colours of this silk.

I'm just waiting for the arrival of some trigger hooks before I can finish these.

Today I'm making some in tweed. This isn't just any old tweed . Its Vintage Tweed sent to me by Viv of Hens Teeth. For the last year I've been stroking it lovingly and saving it for something special.

Pictures tomorrow.

Monday 7 June 2010

Quitting the Velvet?

Velvet is my addiction. I love adding it to different background fabrics and stitching and sculpting it, like these felt brooches.

But wait!

What is that I spy?

A velvet-less piece...

Just the one.

I can't really kick the habit but maybe now and then a bit more stitch and a bit less surface is fun.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Pink and three blues

The first blue is hardly visible but of you look closely you can just see the backside, legs and tail of this blue tit as it disappears into the nest box for the zillionth time that day.
 The hole is small so the little legs flail about while it pushes itself in and five minutes later its off leaving the tiniest peeping sounds coming out of the box. Thrilling to have this little drama going on just outside the kitchen window. I wish I could see inside.

The next blue is surprisingly still visible in June.

The bluebells haven't been so spectacular this year due to first the cold and then the dry weather. I think the rain usually helps with the lushness.This is yet another new path but I don't find this so offensive as the one in the woods.
This one surrounds the 'Lodge', a body of water in our village used by anglers, and now more accessible to walkers or people who just want a stroll in the sun and not the mud.

The third blue is  mixed with pink..
A little phone case made from duck egg blue linen and one of my felt motifs.
I spent the day yesterday developing this. I've made little purses before but people always ask if I have any for an i phone so here it is.

There are lots of things to take into account when you know the value of one of these phones. For their price they are amazingly fragile and vulnerable so I had to think of a way of keeping it in the case, so there's a velcro tab ....

and an easy way of getting it out of the case so there's a cut out corner.

This is my husbands i phone and he has a rubbery sort of cover for his phone so the case will hold it with or without that cover. Without above, and with below and in the closed picture at the top. The velcro tab is adjustable to accommodate the extra thicknes.

My only reservation is the pink.
But I love the lining.

Did I mention the hook too?
Now, obviously my husband won't be using this and he paid a vast amount of money for the rubbery cover, mass-produced of course.
I wonder if anyone will pay a mere £18 for my individualy made, carefully developed and totally unique version?
Well its 'Art and Garden' next weekend so we'll see.
You may want to look at Art and Garden 2008 and 2009 by using the links. I think 2008 gives a better picture.
You may even visit if you live near enough.
I haven't checked the weather forecast for next weekend.

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

Dear Anonymous.....

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