Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Textiles in Focus, Cambridge 2009

The information and booking forms for Textiles in Focus are now available, by sending an sae to Cottenham college. Pauline Verinder is one of my favorite textile artists and this exhibition is always excellent with a good choice of workshops, relevent traders and plenty of seating for tea and cake.
Sleaford Embroiderers are privileged to have been asked to exhibit this year and if you missed us at 'the Hub' then come and see us in Cambridge. We will be showing the 'on the waterfront' challenge pieces and plenty of other work. I am taking my little amulet bags from the quilting arts article and if you come and find me, I will let you peek inside :)
Cottenham is just off the A14, north of Cambridge.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas time

I love the simplicity of this tree, loads of tiny square mirrors and three birds. It has pride of place in the kitchen/family room. DH loves the baubles and flashing lights etc so that tree lives in the room he occupies most of the time along with the tv set :)
After 33 years of marriage, I have my in-laws coming for Christmas for the first time - how scary is that. The house has been scrubbed, bedrooms emptied of all my tut, the decorations are up, the mince pies made (home made mince and pastry), I have done the shopping and wrapped the presents and I am ready. I feel quite virtuous. Dh decided yesterday to re-paint one wall but only did half, so today I had to do the other half. Duh!
I hope everyone reading this will enjoy a happy holiday and the very best of health, wealth and happiness in the new year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


One of the things I love about the k&s show is that I get to see and chat with old friends and catch up with what is going on. This year I was amazed to see Ruth Lee had a stand with some gorgeous machine knitted and felted (fulled) things. Ruth was my hero when I was taking the c&g and of course I had to go and chat. Ruth believes that machine knitting is about to make a come back and she is hoping to write a new book. That's fantastic news. Ruth's "old" books are still valid and every machine knitter should have copies. imho. There may be a new blog soon too.

Nicky Dillerstone is normally to be found up to her elbows in paint and glue and with a heat gun close by, so I was surprised to see her sitting hand knitting. Nicky's workshops are always great fun too.

As soon as I get the water issues sorted out in my studio, I will be setting up my faithful Brother and getting back into knitting too. I have missed the rythmic peaceful feeling I always get when I knit - I don't miss the bruised and bashed toes though. You have to be a knitter to understand that one :)

Harrogate K&S Part 3

I took three classes over the two days, the first was 'Bold and Lacy' with Jean Draper. We used sticky water soluable fabric, lay stuffed ribbon down then covered it with a lightweight film disolvable. I have joined the ribbons with stitch and now it needs loads of extra bits and stitching and embellishing etc. The sticky soluable is expensive but I can see why it is raved about. It saves all the tacking that you normally have to do for needle lace.

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden's one hour workshop was 'Revealing and Concealing'. Alysn sets a frantic pace and first we painted some gauze fabric. Whilst that was drying we used texture plates and sand paper to texture a piece of printer photograph paper, painted it and set it aside to dry. Whilst that was drying, we ironed ink jet prints onto cotton fabric, we distressed those too with our sand paper. Back to the photo paper, another texture plate, more sanding and painted again. By now the gauze was dry so we ironed fuse fx over it. We managed to blow the fuses in the room and the technician came and confiscated 1/2 of the irons.

The various pieces were torn and collaged together and finished with a piece of copper tape. It will need some stitching to finish but goodness what a lot we did in one hour.

Linda Westerman's workshop was 'Angels 2008' - I made this rather dishevelled little angel. Unfinished of course, and her halo is missing, but she is just the kind of angel I like :)

Knitting and Stitching show part 2

I was very restrained this time and didn't buy nearly as many books as I wanted. I have a few in my wish list for later though :)

I had to buy this issue of Embroidery magazine as it has some great articles, including one about Ruth Issett's Connected with Colour exhibition. Ruths work is amazing, this body of work is uplifting and full of joy. I have spent many hours watching Ruth demonstrating over the years and recognised some of the pieces, it is good to see them finished and properly displayed. It also has a piece about Jan and Jeans 'Seeing double' exhibition, which is also at the K&S show.

My favorite exhibition this year was 'Art Cloth', and I had to buy the Paper and Metal Leaf Lamination book, and the cd book. (Also two thermofax screens and a set of printing inks!). The book explains many methods of getting images onto cloth, and is worth every penny. I had a lovely chat with Claire Benn, she was so generous with information about her processes and suppliers. Jan and Jean have a new dvd and it leapt into my bag too.

The Graduate Showcase was interesting and Jackie Langfeld's work was outstanding. See for a pic of one of Jackie's pieces. She has stitched 'warriors' from cardboard and string, but they are unbelievingly moving and set my imagination on fire.

The Royal Hall has been restored and is fully open, lots of seating, tea, coffee and cakes. And an excelent short cut from Hall TG to the learning curve rooms.

Knitting and Stitching show part one

These are the goodies I got at the Knitting and stitching show in Harrogate. The texture plates and metal work tools were from 'Time to Sow', they had an amazing selection of embossing plates and metal tools and rubber stamp stuff.
The Lanartus yarns are perfect for using with the embellisher, the Da Masi is my very favorite and is getting hard to find.
The machine threads were in a box under a stand at £1 a reel, but I got 13 reels for £8. Wandering around I saw them on sale at £3.15 per reel so they are my bargain from the show.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Screen printing

I have never tried screen printing before so I booked myself on a class with Joathan Korejko - to learn how. I have an ear infection which is affecting my balance but was determined to get there, so my prints aren't as adventurous as I would have liked but I did learn the techniques along with tips and tricks.

The first stencil I cut was a very simple bird design, which I printed onto previously hand dyed cotton.

The second day I used a design I am using for the finyovislan classes, cut two stencils and then played with those.
I cropped one of the pieces and can see possibilites, a little foiling and a little stitch and I may have something worthwhile.
I like screen printing and can't understand why I have never tried it before, guess what will be at the top of my christmas pressie list this year?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baggie with pin cusion

I was fed up of picking stray threads from the floor, so made myself a baggie with a handy pin cushion attached. It looks prettier than my usual polythene bag selotaped to the edge of the desk.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

'im indoors

I am occasionally glad to have him indoors around. First it is blooming cold and he let me borrow his 'big fleece' so that I could go out to the studio and rinse out my dyed fabric. Hiding right in the corner of my sink was the biggest spider. Not sure who got the biggest shock but it won on the face-off. I calmly went indoors and requested the presence of the big chap.
I am not afraid of spiders, but I don't like them, they run so fast and I don't like not knowing where they are. We do swapsies, I catch the rodents and take them away, and he deals with spiders and moths.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Green Woman

I am still avoiding going into my studio so more photos today. I love the way that moss has grown on this garden ornament, what wonderful hair. And if you click on the other pic and zoom in, there is a bust of a man hiding in the virginia creeper, I wonder how much work it takes to keep this wall looking like this.
Both pics were taken at Belton House near Grantham in Lincolnshire.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

St Denys Church Door

I was fed up today so went for a walk with my camera. The doors of St Denys church in Sleaford have amazing ironwork.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Eraser stamps

Rubber erasers from Woolworths turned into stamps. (74p for 6 in the back to school dept). I used solvent to transfer the photocopied design onto the rubber, cut it out then stamped onto a second to get the mirror image. I need more practice at cutting the rubber, but these will be stamped onto fabric so the rough bits won't show.

Duck part two

I was aimlessly playing around with the duck photo in PaintShopPro8, using the effects menu and the negative setting in the adjust menu. No idea what steps I went though to get to this pattern, possibly 30 stages. I think it definately has possibilities though, would easily turn into a textile piece.


Some little blighter has pooped on my catalogue.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Finding your own visual language

It seems like a lifetime ago since I completed my city and guilds and I thought it was time to go back to doing some designwork of my own. To give myself a kick-start, I bought a copy of 'Finding your own visual language' written by Leslie Morgan, Claire Benn and Jane Dunnewold. This is a great book because it takes you through exercises which will develop your own style, rather than follow step by step instructions to do a project. I have done the first exercise, it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours just playing with a piece of paper.
Diane, aka Yarngoddess is going to be working her way through the book too and we hope to share ideas and experiences. if anyone else has a copy of the book and would like to share ideas and progress please let one of us know.
Pics from my first exercise are here

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ducking but not diving

I like ducks, they have such happy smiley faces. This one would not let me take a picture of his face though. As I walked around him trying to take a pic from another angle, he turned too. Either shy or proud of his plumage.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

On the Waterfront

Our embroidery group have a bi-anual challenge, the pieces then form part of our exhibition. This time we were given a wooden frame, a piece of canvas and instructions to make a piece measuring 14"x6", we were asked to use the bottom 4 1/2 inches for the water and the top 4 inches for sky so that the panels could be mounted together. No restrictions on technique.
I decided to use my embellisher to make the background. I used a base of polyester felt and mushed wool fibres, all sorts of nep and stuff into it. I did intend to stitch into this, and there is some stitching , but in the end I decided that I liked it the way it was. I painted the piece of canvas to match my landscape, mushed the felt onto it and then sort of 'gallery wrapped' the wooden frame with it.
There are 24 panels on display. Pics on Flickr

The atc's I have been making lately

The atc's I made are now part of this group. I hasten to own up that I didn't make all of these, I just encouraged other members of the group to make a few each. I did paint the craft vilene which we used as a base. There are 188 atc's here, don't they look smashing?

Textile Exhibition at the Hub Sleaford

If you are in our locality, please come and see the textile exhibition. There is a lot of work to view, some of it is absolutely stunning, and includes 24 panels from our group challenge "On the Waterfront".
From the 5th to 7th there will also be threads and things for sale.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wild Woman

This little lady was needlefelted (by hand), stitched and beaded whilst I was at OMAR this spring. I added the hands and brooch back today. Another WIP finished.

Weaving with copper and beads atc

I love weaving with copper. The background is paper with distressed scrim, painted with acrylic paint. I think this atc needs something more, but am not sure what to add.

Silk paper atc's

I made some silk paper ages ago and put it somewhere safe. I found it yesterday, carefully rolled inside something else! The blue pieces are bits of a silk rod which I dyed using procion. I re-wet the rod and split it into 8 slices. I used a cotton variagated yarn to do a little free machining and couldn't resist adding some of my huge stash of colourful buttons.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

beaded doll

This little doll is 4 inches high. She was a real labour of love, made for my mother in law. I have borrowed her back so that she can appear at the exhibition next month. Beading these little dolls is a pleasure, they take ages but are worth the effort. They are very heavy, lovely and tactile and by the time I have finished making one, they have character and personality. It is very hard to let them go :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This is a small part of a landscape that I am currently working on. The challenge at Sleaford Embroiderers this year is 'on the waterfront'. Each member is to make a piece the same size, same title but we can interpret in any way. Use any techniques. I got out my embellisher and had a play. These waterfront pieces will be on display at the exhibition in September.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

David Drummond

David Drummond of Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, 0131 539 7766 has been supplying machinery to me for years. They never let me down, if they say it will be delivered tomorrow, then it is. If they don't have it in stock, they say so. They are fantastic and if you don't have a local sewing machine dealer, then keep David in mind.

So Bernina clonked. I do abuse it and I know it should be serviced more often. But I always need it. Anyway DD have a system where they will send a courier to collect the machines, repair it and then deliver it back. No charge, it is covered in the cost of the service. So Bernie has gone for a little holiday and I have a new baby to play with. This time I bought the good old workhorse, the 1008. With any luck it won't clonk for a long time. I have already managed to break a needle. sigh.

I walked my legs off

I learned how to do needle weaving. You can't see the feet, but they are there, attached to the legs with their 'varicose veins'. You can see a better pic of the legs here
The fabric is my usual hand-dyed, I stencilled some leaves using Markal (Shiva) paintstick, then free machined a couple of leaves, the rest are woven. I would have fme'd more but my machine clonked and had to go to be serviced/repaired.
If you would like to see this piece in real life along with other stuff I have done and loads of fab embroideries, you can. Sleaford Embroiderers will be exhibiting in the roof gallery at The Hub in Sleaford from the 4th to the 14th September.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lutradur landscape

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend a one day workshop with Pam Watts, using Lutradur. We made landscapes but mine was absolute rubbish - I wasn't feeling brilliant but didn't want to miss the day. I threw it in the bin as soon as I got home.
I had another go using Pams idea, and made this piece. A little tweaking and I think it will do.
I transfer printed the lutradur, green on one side and blue on the other. Free machine stitched using the gorgeous Oliver Twist cotton threads. Where the lutradur has been distressed, a little of the blue shows through. I can recomend transfer printing, works very well on this cloth.
If you click on the photo you will get a closer look at the texture.


I have been playing with Grilon thread this week ready for a workshop tomorrow in Lincoln. This was supposed to be a piece of bark but it looks more like a squashed spider in this pic.

The second one has a light coloured chain stitch running through the middle, didn't notice that when I was laying out the fibres.

This was going to be a mythical creature but it kinda reminds me of a road runner, so I will give it some nice long legs and call it "beep beep". I actually saw a road runner recently whilst driving through New Mexico, so this one can be a nice reminder of my fab holiday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weed 'n Feed

Proof that weed and feed works. He has been told to get another box and finish the job :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sheep hearts and angelina

Two sheep atc. The sheep parts were cut from lutradur using a soldering iron. There is a little texture too, but I covered most of that with the fme. The eyes are French knots (I can do those so gottta use them). Legs are tiny beads. My own hand dyed fabric and yes it is green!

Whilst I had the soldering iron out, I cut these little lime and purple pieces from some sheets of Angelina I made ages ago. The little heart beads are bronze, I have had them a while and occasionally admire and fondle them. Thought it was time to use some of my precious stash :) I have loads of scraps of my hand dyed fabric so used some to make the background, bit of bondaweb and some zig-zag stitch. I call this one 'hearts and angelina', because I love angels and the heart symbol and it amuses me to give grand names to tiny atcs.

Rachel finds the most incredible stuff and she gave me a very nice piece of crochet. Unfortunately I left it in the back of her car and Nicki texturised it. I salvaged some of these crocheted motifs and thought this one looked fine on another hand dyed scraps background, with a few beads (because it isn't done until it has beads on it)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy birthday to me

Do you think my daughter is trying to tell me something?
Three cookbooks for my birthday.

Gg drew this picture on the back of the envelope containing my card.

Not very happy about the being a year older malarky but worth it for all the nice thoughts and the lunch with Brian.

A small side note. My brother asked me how old I was?? I replied that I am four years younger than him, same as always :)

Friday, June 20, 2008


ATC's. I like to try out stuff and these are a great way to pretend I am producing something worthwhile when I am really just
playing. The first has a base of pelmet vilene
painted with dyn-a-flo with a tiny bit of sparkle added in. I punched out a circle and rubbed Markal oil stick through the hole, then again just under to make the reflection. Then I tore the paper and rubbed Markal over the torn edge to make the waves. I will probebly stitch a tiny boat on the hoizon line.

For the second one, I scanned the image from a rubber stamp into the pc, enlarged it and printed it onto hand dyed fabric pre soaked in bubble jet set. Then I stitched french knots. So what? you say. I learned how to stitch french knots, that's what! One more stitch learned :)

The third atc is on a base of hand dyed fabric, with a stampers paper (angelwire, I think) and a piece of painted lace. The little heart is made from confetti fabric. The confetti fabric is a favorite of mine, it takes ages to make an A4 sized piece, so I only use tiny amounts.