Monday 27 October 2014

Venetian memories

A very long time ago it seems, I met a lovely lady who asked me to make a piece of embroidery for or rather a collection of small pieces mounted together. We discussed colours and she said 'think old Venice'   Well I'd never been to Venice so I put it on the back burner for a while. 
Earlier this year we went to Venice and I took a million photos. It was still on the back burner as I was busy up until Yarndale but after that I got going. 

Looking back through my photographs, at the colours of Old Venice, I saw faded lime-washed walls, grey green water, curly iron work, and bare stone and white marble. 

I had some lovely felt coloured with natural dyes some time ago at our felt group. Soft and muted and perfect for the task.

I made a start, using the motif Wyn liked, which I suppose is reminiscent of Gondola 'pointy bits' 

I used muted velvets for the centres with the exception of the terracotta which I thought was a very accurate match for the view from the apartment we stayed in in Venice.

A little pale green echoes the verdigris on the spire (Although I've only just spotted that!)

Ahh lovely Venice, beautiful scenes around every corner.

I mounted them on a card, just slightly raised from the background 

and used an unfinished deep pine frame which can be painted or varnished.

Well I'm extremely pleased with the way it turned out and I think Wyn loves it too.

It makes me think I might do more in a similar vein.

Wednesday 22 October 2014


This is retro in more ways than one..I've had this fabric for years and years. I think it's early 60s and was in my scraps box. I almost used it as brooch backing fabric. 
But then I examined the pattern and voila !
Can you spot it? 
So my old style brooches and old style fabric have combined.
Here they are uncluttered by fabric backgrounds. 
Just three at the moment but altogether there are a dozen made now.
And here's a size guide. 

Small and cute.

Going into my etsy shop soon. 

If you came here from facebook I apologise for the 'emotion manipulation headline'. Don't they annoy you? But I didn't drag you here to advertise at you like they do. Or come to think of it....I suppose blogs are all self promotion so I'm sorry.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Alice, Sebastian, Colm, and Cheska, Elton.......and me.

Last week we had a little visitor. Cheska. Of course, despite the fact that I was the one who welcomed her, introduced her to Hetty, kept the peace, kept the cat away, guess whose knee she preferred?
Hetty is not the most gracious hostess, which is a bit worrying as we are having TWO dogs next week!

Now the Alice bit. I went to an event in Manchester lit festival. It was held in a building in the University where I was delighted to spot these two wonderful wallhangings. I recognised them instantly as the work of Alice Kettle. I took a couple of pictures. 

It wasn't until I was on my way out that I saw the photography prohibited notice and the list of dire consequences if caught taking pics, but I think it meant in the auditorium. I did confess but no action was taken. 

Anyway. About the auditorium. 

Two brilliant Irish authors were in there chatting about their work and reading from their latest books. 
I have read three Sebastian Barry books and they always leave me mesmerised by his beautiful prose, so I was really there to hear and see him and he didn't disappoint. I also enjoyed listening to Colm Toibin reading and talking. 
The banter between them was very entertaining. 

Afterwards there was a signing (after a little buying!) so I am now in possession of signed copies. 

I'm glad I made the effort to get there even though it meant wandering up Oxford Road on my own due to a time miscalculation. I phoned number two son who lives near there and he came and met me halfway and entertained me in his new flat until my dear husband switched his phone on! He'd been to a music class at the Irish centre and my Irish thing finished earlier than his Irish thing.

Thanks everyone for the comments on my last post. 
I've had a go at doing some smaller brooches. 
First I made some 'silk heavy ' felt, to echo the surface of the old-style brooches I wanted to return to. 

Then I got going and copied one of them which appeared In Quilting Arts magazine a few years ago. 

I like how it turned out and had a go and made a few more. 
Here they are. About two inches long. Maybe a bit more, but definitely not as big as my usual brooches which are often over three inches. 
Now I have to see if they sell.
The proof of the pudding etc?
And Elton?
Last weekend I had a mini reunion with some college friends. 
One of these friends has an amazing memory. 
I remembered that way back in 1971 I had persuaded the social sec at college to book Elton John for the Saturday night concert/dance. He did, but Elton at that time wasn't a big enough draw, and didn't have enough material for the entire night, so they had to book another band as well. 
My friend with the memory says she remembers Elton John sitting all alone in the college refectory and she had to restrain me from going over to sit with him! 
Well I never. 

Thursday 9 October 2014

Musings on the past and the future.

In the haitus between the great thrash for Yarndale, and the coming thrash for Christmas, I have been musing on my work.
At Yarndale, I had a lovely appreciative couple who loved my work. 

However the woman said though she liked the brooches, they were too big for her and she wouldn't wear one.
The next day she came back and found and bought this one ,

much smaller, and one of only two I had left from an old batch.

2008 in fact!

They were 'mid-century' inspired and very popular.

I blogged about my work back then and included this picture.

and this.

I went on to make lots and lots more.

The base was silk fibre paper which was a joy to stitch on but a beast to oversew the edges.

I went on to create a few pieces of wall Art in the same vein.

They appeared in Quilting Arts Magazine. 
I sent them all the way to America to be photographed .

Exciting times!

 I made little round ones...I sold all of them but one..which I sold at.....???

Yes, Yarndale.

Then I discovered I could make the same patterns in felt.

This was the prototype.

And that was the beginning of a whole new production line.
But they are big and quiet hard to make smaller.

So I'm thinking 'back to the future'?

They are very pretty.
I have an idea.
And new skills I didn't have back then.
Watch this space.

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

Dear Anonymous.....

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