Friday 29 April 2011

Third bloggiversary.

Just popped in between 'The Ceremony' and 'The balcony' to announce my third bloggiversary.
How thoughtful of Will and Kate to celebrate it so grandly for me!
Also second doggiversary ...Willow's demise was today two years ago.
I won't dwell.
I took this from my bedroom window a few minutes ago.
The moors above the village are on fire.
 It hasn't rained for ages and the wind must be fanning the flames.

I am shocked by the news from Marrakech. My friends and I had a meal in the Cafe Argana, which has just been badly damaged by a suicide bomber.
It really brings it home doesn't it?

Wednesday 27 April 2011


 After all my umming and aaahing about perspex v canvas I have eventually decided and here is the finished piece. I used a blank stretched canvas, 2 feet square, with deep sides, attaching the pieces on small pieces of foamcore board first glued then stitched to the backing. You can see the distance from the canvas in this raking light.
 This piece will be called 'The Veils of morning' I think. Or maybe 'Midnights all a-glimmer'.
I'm using 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' by WB Yeats as my poem. The colours are from my peaceful place, The Burren, and I'm translating the sounds from the poem into motifs swirling mistilly....I hope!
 I enjoyed making these little pieces and if I had time before the exhibition, would have liked to have made a similar piece for the line  '..noon a purple glow'. 
I can see it in heather and stone and sea colours. 
 I like these darker pieces.
The blues and greys are supposed to recall the limestone and sea. 

You may remember this piece of felt.
 Well..I've had a little go at it with my sewing machine.
 What fun and there's more to do yet.
Talking of fun. I had a lovely time last week at Keswick Embroiderers' Guild. I drove up through the lakes a week ago tonight and stayed with a lovely couple in a beautiful house in a beautiful village.
The next day I gave a talk and we played with dyes, then I had an equally wonderful drive home, past Derwentwater, Thirlmere, Grasmer, Rydal Water and  Windermere. The weather was gorgeous and people were out in force, little groups standing at bus stops with rucksacs, couples hand in hand strolling about with big smiles on their faces, blossom everywhere and sunshine...SUNSHINE!! It makes all the difference. Especially in the Lake District.
Oh, and I made a few brooches.
I hope everyone had a good Easter. I did. We sat in the garden in the sun.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Etymology and Acronyms and Innocence

At fifty nine and three quarters exactly,  I might have realised by now that 'Jaundice' comes from the French for Yellow.
I was born with Jaundice.
I learnt French at school.
But it took John Humphries and a question on last weeks 'Mastermind' to help me put two and two together.

Similarly, when I was about 55 and three quarters and was probably on my way to the Post Office, I had the dull thud  exciting 'ting' of realisation that an envelope was called that because its 'en-vel-opes' whats inside.
I'm interested in the origins of words but that commonplace one hadn't ever made me think before.

So you may not be surprised to know that on a recent visit to an unfamiliar health centre, I saw a notice for a gum clinic.
I went to the counter to ask about it for someone I knew who hadn't been to the dentist for a long time and was suffering.
They looked at me pityingly and pointed to the bigger picture. The whole board was a campaign for young people, against STDs. (And I do know that does not refer the old fashioned name for direct phone calls).
I wondered what people might be doing that would cause them to have gum problems.

The other night I strayed into the distant areas of the TV network to a programme called ' Embarrassing bodies' and now I know that it has nothing to do with Gums. Google it if you don't know what it means. (But cover your eyes if you are of a nervous disposition)

I have an embarrassing mind.

That last post was so boring.
I could have called it 'Canvassing opinion' but I didn't think of it until I replied to a comment.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Thinking aloud.

This trophy has been in my possession for three years and I have just handed it back. Phew..what a relief. It belongs to the Embroiderers Guild and I won it for designing the cover of the NW Journal three years ago. 
Its solid silver and very valuable.
I am only blogging about it now when I am no longer responsible for it.

The sad thing is that the cover I designed had to be altered drastically because I did it on a black background and the ink was too expensive! In fact they didn't even use it this time.
It was very smart. 
It had a sort of 'wordle' on it before wordles were around. 
I typed out all of the names of the all the branches in the Northwest and then cut them out 
and stuck them down in all different directions on a black background. 
It was very smart but there was a slight technical hitch. 
 Blackpool blew away!
It was only noticed after it was printed.
I am very sorry Blackpool Branch.

Another piece made up of lots of bits is a bit further along the way now.
This was what I wanted the perspex for. Thanks for all the helpful comments. 
I was going to attach each piece to a two inch perspex rod and have them protruding from a background hanging on the wall.

 Despite having an offer of help from my cousins wonderfully practical daughter, I had a bit of a rethink. Perspex is difficult to hang and if the wall behind it isn't white, it won't look good.
Soooooo.....on second thoughts..I think I am going to attach them to a blank primed canvas with each piece raised very slightly from the backing. 
It will be easier to hang and transport and easier to construct. It will be about 24 inches square.

 I have a bit of a dilemma about this. Those primed canvases are not really meant to be displayed 'bare' are they? But on the other hand I really like the bright white background as a foil for the felt. 
It sharpens it up a bit. 
If the canvas could be seen by a viewer as giving the pieces their 'own bit of wall' it would be fine. 
I have to arrange them more carefully for the final piece.

Talking of arranging..the place where we have our group meetings has a beautiful garden full of weird and wild sculptures and at the moment these.

 Just look and enjoy.

Monday 11 April 2011


Once upon a time I worked with someone whose daughter wanted to give up piano lessons.
Her mother said "I've told her she must carry on until she starts enjoying it''.

Well...thats what I've been doing and at  LAST....I have derived some enjoyment again from my sewing. The pieces in the last post were ok..and then I cut them out which I hadn't planned to do.

I seem to work better on 'modules'. Perhaps I'm hooked on brooch mode?

I started to like them. I was back in my stride.

Some are better than others and some have been here before.
I seemed to get my 'vocabulary' back.
So does that mean its really just more of the same?

Yes yes, I know the colours are the same, because I'm working towards creating the essence of this
The Burren and the sea.
 Today I made some more interesting shapes in darker colours but the photos were so awful I can't really show them properly. I'll save them for next time.

Does anyone know anything about perspex for display purposes?

Thank you for sticking with me on my blog through thick and thin, leaving lovely comments and helping me through a difficult patch. I'm still not ready for the brooch making treadmill again yet, but I am out of the tunnel and the light is dazzling.
Spring is here.
I know that, because I left a cup in the garden overnight and there was a slug in it this morning.

Friday 1 April 2011


Here's the book I bought in Ireland which I threatened to add two posts ago but forgot.
Its full of lovely close up  photographs. see for yourself.

I've had a go at re creating the atmosphere and colours in felt , but what spoke to me wouldn't say anything to a viewer so its not being shown here.
However I took the colours and tried more.

This is the result. A work in progress. To be embroidered

a bit like this.
But its such a struggle.
What seemed to tumble out of my head once now has to be dug for, deeply,  .....forced..much like rhubarb. 
Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.
(Spot the hidden message)

Oh and I forgot to say, the silk flower purse tutorials are selling like hot cakes. Thank you for buying.

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

Dear Anonymous.....

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