Monday 23 January 2012

Loving and Living

February is nearly here and for the first time ever I am actually going to have some luvverly hearts ready for the big day. 
(I say 'the big day' but in our household it goes fact completely ..unnoticed. 
Ah its a good job love is more than hearts and flowers isn't it?)
But for those who like a bit of romance, there are some heart brooches here.

 As with all my restarts, it takes a time to get going again. (I've made something else this year but thats under wraps as its a gift. I'll show it later.) Here's a first purple one..with whirly bits.
 Talking of love....I love where I live. The North West of England.  My actual village is pretty wonderful for walks, but we are also in such a good spot for getting to other places! Less than an hours drive took us the village of Staveley near Kendal, where we had a walk along the river with Hetty and then a drink and a sticky bun in the dog friendly Wilf's cafe. Then a drive home via Arnside, which, by the time we arrived, was a picture glowing in the late afternoon sun.
 With the sea on our right we drove along the coast road looking for flocks of starlings (which we missed by 5 minutes) and watching the sun set over the bay.
Really lovely, and home in time for tea.

I was having a root through some old things that came from my in-laws- house. In a box I found this little wooden turned tube.

 On unscrewing the top I discovered these. The one on the right is easy to identify,
 a vey fine crochet hook which sits inside its own handle.

 But the other thing took a bit of experimentation to work out what it is. There is a large tube, with a shorter tube and it contains three small crochet hooks, with a sort of pin head on each one.
 After fiddling about with each one, I've discovered that you put the pinheaded hooks through the short tube (the pinhead bit stops them falling out)
 then you put the short tube into the large tube and give it a little turn to lock it into place. 
I can only wonder who used these precious items before I found them . We absorbed all the bits and pieces that came from my mother in laws, and her parents' home. These include a basket made from an armadillo, several carpet beaters and a device for making an ice cream sandwich! 
I'm so sentimental. I can't bear to throw stuff away. (but I might draw the line at the armadillo. Its got hairs!)
Anyway I thought I'd share the crochet hooks. 

I'm busy collecting my own heirlooms of the future and two more arrived last week.
I was contacted by Al from 'All Tea Towels.' before Christmas asking me to review some tea towels. I said yes then forgot all about it, but have been in touch again and have received two fantastic tea towels of my choice. 
And talking of was really hard to decide. There are so many lovely ones to choose from. Just click the link on the name to go and have a look for yourself.
 Nice and big, great quality fabrics and really well printed. 
Nice enough to go in frames even!

First I chose this iconic 'Tunnocks teacakes' wrapper design. 
I love the graphic and it takes me back. I never liked the things..but I loved squashing all the tops in the packet! 

As I'm a very big fan of tea I just had to choose this one

 I love 'monkey' and thought it was a bit of fun. 

 I love his grey face 

 but I wonder if I have been influenced by someone?

 Who was really non-plussed by having to sit on my sewing room table and be photographed in monkey mode.
Look at the eyelashes!

Friday 13 January 2012

Sunshine and Schnauzers

Writing this blog has made me many friends all over the world. Its amazing to think of someone in other parts of Britain and Europe, Japan, Australia, North and South America, Europe  or South Africa reading what I've written and looking at pictures of my world when theirs is so different. 
Even better when a bit of 'their' world appears in mine. 
This is what happened recently when Elizabeth Armstrong, feltmaker, teacher, and wool dyer extraordinaire, sent me some of her hand dyed wool for feltmaking.
Wasn't that lovely of her? Thank you Elizabeth. It arrived a while ago and I took it the felt group today. It was like a bit of Australian sunshine lighting up the dreary grey of Lancashire! 

 There was a lovely pink and orange combination too. It reminded me of 'fruit salad' chews we had as children. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of it.
I laid out the wool and its even nicer when the colours blend together.
It produced a grogeous piece of felt ready to be made into some luscious brooches..perhaps hearts for Valentine's Day.
I have the velvet exactly to match it.

Thanks for all your comments about my last post . My piece is still on ebay with 47 know who you are! 11 bids and a reasonable total so far. Someone asked me today how much I'd like to get for it. 
£10,000 of course..I replied.
But I am realistic. I'm hoping all those watchers will swoop in with high bids at the end, but then two of my friends have bid and I don't want to upset them either! Ooooh...I'll never make a good businesswoman will I?

Do you remember this little moppy puppy?
 With hair all over her face?
 Well Ta daaaaa! 
 She's been for a haircut. We love her all over again in a different way. Her fur is so soft and smooth. She looks so grown up. We can see her eyes.

She's a little Princess.
Mind you ..her behaviour reminds me of the Princess and the Pee...(Yes I meant that)

Time for a diamante collar I think!

(Or perhaps a Harris Tweed coat?)

Saturday 7 January 2012

New Year Old Piece

Happy New Year.
There are no resolutions on this blog.
I've taken my time to get my first post of 2012 off the ground haven't I?
The truth is I've been a slob. Just playing Tetris battle and eating Christmas Cake and chocolate orange.
Not the healthy lifestyle for Olympic Year I'd hoped for.
When I took the decorations down yesterday I felt all energised and did quite a bit of cleaning and tidying.
I came across this piece, which was made for the 'Anthology' exhibition but never exhibited, mainly because I didn't get a frame or canvas for it.
Its been seen here before I think.
So I decided to have a bit of fun with it and I've listed it on Ebay. Yes Ebay.
Now, I have sold other stuff on Ebay but never a piece of my work and I thought it would be interesting to watch what happens.

 I love the colours of this piece, and the texture is very seductive too. 
 Yes there are bees. Can you hear them?
I love the colours too, and enjoyed the handstitching.
Ebay is such an unknown quantity isn't it so I will enjoy seeing what happens. It may go for a fiver! Or it may not get a single bid. 
If its a success I may put its predecessor up there too.
 A smaller, but more textured piece where I'd stitched motifs onto a background but then cut them out and transferred them.

I rather like this piece but it isn't mounted or framed.
Ooh I love a good bidding war..lets hope it isn't completely ignored over there. If you want to watch it go to ebay.
I've just been..its had two views! (Probably me)

Meanwhile a modicum of inter species harmony has broken out at the dogdaisy house. Its a little strained as Hetty get jittery when she is in the vicinity of Jools and stays on alert.

 But what better way to surf the net or play scrabble or Tetris battle (addicted) than between two little furry heads.
Yes that is my stomach at the bottom of the shot. I was on widescreen what do you expect?

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

Dear Anonymous.....

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