Tuesday 28 June 2011

Scoring in Extra time

Our planned weekend away has been cancelled and I have been given some extra time to complete my exhibition pieces. 

So, yet another 'Midnight's all a Glimmer' for which the other two were trial runs. 

But more exciting for me, and I don't want to sound smug or self satisfied, but here's "Peace comes dropping slow' and I have to say I am delighted with it. rather poor photograph in raking sunlight.

Update: I took the photo below in dull weather today. Click to enlarge.

 I used palest colours and light coloured velvet and added machine embroidery which was a joy to do. I used the little seedhead motif to evoke  the 'slow dropping' floating down feeling. I kept the colours very pale and added tinges of ..yes you guessed it- ochre, teal, grey, cream, aqua.
 Each one is different and instead of using the holey felt I went back to the (despised in some quarters) blank white canvas and they just began to speak more clearly. I chose a grid pattern because it reminds me of Mid century fabric patterns, it pleases me. 
How does that happen? I had no idea what the outcome would be when I started.
Below is my very favourite one.

 Its almost too sunny at the moment to take decent pictures. I might try more later. In fact I'll bore the internet to death with them!

 In the meantime
..anyone want to buy some holey felt?

Saturday 25 June 2011


 Well its been a long time since I was here because I've been a busy bee. Sometimes lovely weeks come along when quite ordinary events happen and make you feel good.  Along with all the events I've finished another piece for an open exhibition locally. Its another version of 'Where the Cricket sings' and is smaller and goes alongside 'Midnights all a-glimmer'. 
 I'm just showing one or two details.
 I really must change my palette don't you think?
 But I do love these colours.
 Here they are together.
 Embroidery 2000 are gearing up for our next stage of the exhibition which will be at Astley Hall Coach House Gallery, Chorley, starting on 9th July and open weekends 12-5, until 4th September.
The Gallery is big so we are all doing more work and putting some older work in. I've made several floppy pieces of cobweb felt as the basis of a piece called 'Peace comes dropping slow' . My other piece with that title was a bowl so I've renamed that and transferred the title to this one. I'm going to add some small delicate motifs and hang it from a batten in layers. Fingers crossed. I'll bore you with a load of photographs.
 I put silk fibres on the felt and graded the colours .
 Its holey!
 I suppose the veils of morning would have been the perfect title but I've already made that piece.

 For photographing I've hung it inappropriately fro my flowery ironing board!

 Here's one of my nice events of the week: Dexter. He came for the day and had hundreds of kisses. He's the most kissable doggie I've ever met. We had a lovely long long walk. It wasn't going to be long but I bumped into an old friend and her son and we walked for miles, so when his minder came for him we were out!
 Another day my husband had to take a painting back to Didsbury so we picked up my son and went for lunch to 'The Art of Tea' a lovely 'shabby ' cafe with a second hand bookshop in the back. I googled it and it hasn't got universally good reviews but we thought it was great. Lovely staff and delicious food.
 Rocket salad with sunflower seed dressing. 

Last weekend was Art and Garden and as usual its a beautiful event. Here's my tree with brooches. I sold quite a bit of stuff but not as much as usual. 
 So many people who were there said it didn't matter f they didn't sell anything because they love it. 
I agree.
And here's my next door neighbours' honeysuckle growing over their back wall. The leaves looked a bit wiggly and I thought it was diseased  but I've never seen it so fluorescent.
Add in a Confirmation where I was the sponsor and had a lovely time afterwards drinking wine with the parents, a workshop with my embroidery group and a plea to take part in a good craft fair in November, and even the weather hasn't dampened my spirits.
I do have a cold though.

Friday 10 June 2011

Two by two

Its that time of year again...the annual 'Art and Garden ' event next weekend, and I haven't been making for quite some time, so I had a go this last week to get a bit of stock together. I had also promised some more brooches to a local gallery that I always keep supplied so making things in pairs seemed a good idea.

 Not exactly alike but near enough.
 It halves my thinking time and doubles the output.
 Th etrouble is when you then split them into two separate orders they don't look like much. I showed the pink ones last time and I have added some deep scarlet ones.
 When I thought I had enough for the gallery I made a few more singles in slightly different colours.
Slow and steady......

Shoshi, Jude, Magic Cochin, Heather, Sheep Rustler, Rachel, Aileen , Beverly, Beacee, Monica, Annie and Lyn thank you all for your comments. You are all 'No reply ' bloggers and because I don't reply individually it doesn't mean I don't appreciate your comments.

Monday 6 June 2011

Different creativity

In the first year of my blog I revealed my appalling failure as a gardener with the above picture..
These are the easiest thing in the world to grow ..nasturtiums ...and I had failed. 
But this year I have determined to have a better go at it.
 I think I gave up on gardening when we had dogs running all over the flower beds, so felt doomed to failure. 
Now, with a new, possibly chemically induced optimism...(Yes the pills are working) may I present the instant-tetris-bookshelf-raised-garden?

 Yes these little units were once my sons bookshelves made in tetris modules shapes.  I have asked for raised beds for the last six months. 'I'll have to look for some wood' came the reply.  
See if we have some wood?!!!!!
You can't look in our garage without getting splinters.  
So I went in the garage and saw these and knew they would work. They are only MDF so won't last long, but have had a coat of 'Ball green' inside and out and are sealed along the bottom edge with duct tape.
I have to admit that B&Q grew the chard and the strawberries..But I grew the broad beans from seeds.
 Impressed? I hope so. I am. I have a chair right next to them so I can sit and watch them grow, and listen to the army of slugs gnashing their teeth at the edge of the gravel. 

 Just pass me my  lace up wellies , an organic hemp smock, and a trug, and there's not much between me and Sarah Raven. Well, except about a foot in height and few acres.
 I know that in the south and east, broad beans are bearing fruit now,  and mine may seem pathetic, but its cold here, and often dull. Believe me this is a triumph in these parts. 850 feet above sea level and on the moors, clay soil, in the shade.

I've been creative in the kitchen too. (Oooh just call me Nigel Slater, what with the Swiss chard and everything)
Chocolate covered crinkle cut ready salted potato crisps .

One of my gifts for my friends 60th birthday after a conversation where they cropped up as a joke. 
Here's the recipe:

Ingredients: 4 bars of Cadburys Dairy Milk Chocolate
I bag of milky bar buttons
2 bags of Seabrookes crinkle cut ready salted crisps.

Method: Eat one of the bars of dairy milk.
Melt the other three.
In another bowl melt some of the milky bar buttons. Eat the rest.
Empty out the two bags of crisps and eat all the broken ones.

Dip the round ones in chocolate and put onto waxed paper. 
If you don't have waxed paper use a yard of bondaweb wrong side up with the adhesive bit peeled off.
Dribble with some milky bar chocolate melted.
Put in the fridge .

Try one.
Then another.
Just to see if they are ok.
And another.

Quality tested by me.
I think.

Friday 3 June 2011

Busy bees

As I have a few requests for 'stock' I thought I'd venture back into the production field.
 I can't say I enjoy it as much as I did but I have to do a few things for my annual trip to Art and Garden ..details later, but if you're in the area it would be good to see you.

I was feeling in need of some cheery stuff so I produced these brooches and pendants. 

Then I got bored after making 4 things I went outside  to 'pot on' my broad bean plants which are in ridiculous pots just to start them off, and I could wait forever for the raised beds my husband promised.
(But..big update on that , next post)

Well, there I was, thinking about' The Lake Isle of Innisfree' my poem for the exhibition thinking I'd need a lot more beans to compete with old WB ..'nine bean rows will I have there and a hive for the honey bee' when I heard the sound of the ' bee loud glade' right there outside the back gate.
A swarm. What a beautiful noise!

Worth a silver spoon ..its June! 
So I phoned my friends who live in the next village and who keep bees to come and see. 
He came and then went off to collect his wife from work, and left me with the instruction to ask the people whose garden it was if we could go in. There is an avenue of modern houses locally known as 'cumfy 'omes', some backing onto our garden and thats where the bees were.

Imaging my horror when I discovered they thought they were wasps and had called the exterminator!!
(We are really up against it here: think 'We chop the trees down because the birds make a mess')

Anyway my friends and a woman who lives nearby whose bees they could be, arrived in beekeeper garb and investigated.
It was a huge ..maybe several swarms.
Duncan chopped the branches off, (enlarge the pics to see the bees.)
and shook them into a 'skep'. 
The woman whose bees they were had a lot of bees -too many- in her hives so my friends went home with a new hive full.
    Heres Anne taking her boxes home.

                           Here's the investigation into the owner's hives to see how many queens she has.
                               This is the best way to view the beekeeping if you don't have the gear, from the top of the pergola.
Such excitement. And I was only sewing. I do wish I could eat honey.

Anyway back to the sewing though I say it myself:
This pink velvet is LUSCIOUS!

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

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