Wednesday, December 29, 2010

not quite the new year

but I don't do new year resolutions anyway, no point in setting yourself up to fail :)

I have gesso on my hands for the first time in a year.  Wahoooooooo

Monday, September 27, 2010

no tears

I have dry eyes so got some artifical tears from the pharmacy.  Instructions say to put one drop in the eye, there may be some blurriness.  I take off my specs, stand in front of the mirror, tip head back and can't see to put the blooming drop in.  Finally managed it and noticed vision very blurred.  Waited for eyesight to get back to normal.  Waited.  Started to worry and went to look for leaflet, found it with specs sitting on top!  Put specs on, eyesight just fine!!!

The thing is, I only put the drop in one eye, I couldn't understand why blurriness was in both eyes - I scare myself sometimes...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

something that I should have finished ages ago

I finally finished this little book.  Well two really but one has already gone to it's new owner. It is only pocket sized and has hand made rag paper pages.  This one will be in the mail this week. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Medieval Shreswbury

So many medieval buildings, so little time to take pictures....

Because the properties are painted in black and white, the pattern is so easy to see. The leaded glass was intricate too. 

St Mary's Church had so many gems.  The ironwork on the door was wonderful and in places it glowed orange with rust.

B spotted this gem, it was on the outside of the church over the main entrance door.  If you can't read it, click and it will be bigger. 

The floor tiles in St Mary's are Victorian copies of Medieval tiles, my photos aren't fantastic but the patterns are.  here

Medieval patterns from tiles and stuff

There were medieval tiles amongst the ruins of Haughmond Abbey, I love these floor tiles, imagine how many feet have walked over these.

These are from Wenlock Priory 

Whilst these are Victorian copies of medieval tiles from St Mary's Church in Shrewsbury. 
There are more pics of tiles here


What is a Misericord?  In Medieval times monks spent many hours standing praying.  These shelf-like seats were for leaning on when they got super tired.  Strangely the designs were on the underside of the seat so were rarely seen.  The carvings had deep meanings but the craftsmen showed amazing sense of humour.  The armrests had equally fantastic carvings, unfortunately the ones here at Ludlow Parish Church were very worn. 

There are more pics of misericords from Ludlow here 

The joy of finding a quilt exhibition whilst on holiday

It was by a mysterious coincidence that we strolled past the Minerva Arts Centre when they had a quilt exhibition.  Or not.  It was a wonderful surprise to find Jackie Smith's work on display. 

Dramatically modified sweetcorn was incredibly textured.  Close up below.

The work entitled 'soft stone armour' was the one I wanted to bring home with me.  It looked very subtle but once you got close it had amazing textures and colour. 
This small area of 'summer' shows the delightful quirkiness of Jackie's work. 
Sheena J Norquay is another name I recognised.   I was hopping from one piece to another in excitement when I saw these.  The one on the right is from a hanging called '25'

This and the one below are from 'silver circles' and are great examples of how to turn simple mark making into a lovely hanging

'Uplifted' was another great use of simply painted fabric.  This shows just a tiny glimpse of the quilt.
There are more photos on flickr including photos of the quilts to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the European Quilt Assoc

Monday, August 30, 2010

I finished something else

The latest swap on cps was to make three pins inspired by Paisley.  This one was the first one I made.

These were number two and three. All three are now on their way to their new owners and I am on my way to finish something else :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Woven pendants

The challenge was to make woven pendants approx 2 inches high for a swap on Cloth Paper Studio   I started with 1mm copper wire, wrapped around a domino. 

These will be winging their way across the Atlantic tomorrow ready to be swapped out.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This is the beautiful Yorkshire Countryside, home to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and close to where I grew up and where Claire lives now. 

The path to the entrance is made of steel with the names of those who contributed to the building of the exhbition space, sorry about my feet getting into the picture :)

This is the first sight of the David Nash exhibition, carved and burnt wooden columns. 
The exhibtion is spread over two indoor galleries with more outside. These are carved and burnt.
These are bronze castings of carved sculptures, rusty and very interesting, click to zoom in for a closer view.
Carved and burnt wooden sculpture
Click to zoom in for a closer look
This was my favorite.

There are many sculptures to see, spaced over many acres, but we only looked at the David Nash as we had children with us, but I did see a Henry Moore in the distance

Monday, July 05, 2010

Kizzie ate my specs

Kizzie chewed my glasses, I needed an eye test so wasn't too cross.  Well I was but c'est la vie.  (move over Del Boy).  Astigmatism in both eyes was a bit of a blow as it was only in one eye last year, but the cataracts came as a bit of a shock. 
I will be picking up my four new pairs of glasses on Friday, in the meantime the delightful young woman in Specsavers in Sleaford made my old pair wearable for me, even though I didn't buy them from there.  Unless you look very closely you won't see the chew marks and they no longer fall off each time I move :)  I wouldn't normally bother to name a shop but the opticians that I have been going to for several years told me they were unrepairable and I needed to claim on my insurance.  So grrr to them.

I guess my style will be more abstract than ever and I may interject a little quirky colour into my work from now on - hey! my stuff may improve out of all recognition from now on ...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

There goes the groom

Ros and I went to Kisco in Leicester today.  We bought dyeing cotton and a fat Quarter bundle each and on the way out we saw a groom setting off to his wedding. 

He looked very self-consious but very happy.

I understand he was accompanied by his family to the hall where his bride was waiting. 

I hope they have a long and happy marriage.

Indigo happy dancing

I set up my first solo indigo vat.  It is pretty obvious that the dyed pieces are not perfect so why the happy dance?
I wanted an indigo dyed fabric with rust marks.  But I didn't want to rust my fabric because I am afraid it will rust my sewing machine.  I scrunched dyed some cotton poplin with orange rust procion dye. It came out orange with white marks. Then I stitched and tied the fabric and dipped it into my indigo bucket.  You can see the results.   (Two of the pieces were undyed)

I used the Hydros recipe in Janice Gunner's book, it was simple 'bung it in the bucket and stir' and it worked.  The hydros bleached out the orange colour where it reached = the blue fabric with orange marks = happy dance.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

bark inspiration

Today I went off to Peterboro with Roz and Julie to visit some of the open studios.
We started at  (16) 'Art and Stitch' where Sarah was teaching how to make beaded buttons, along with showing her quilts, embroideries and sketch books.  Angela Watson and Pam Pardo also had work on show.  There is a shop attached and I bought some wool felt to dye. 

On to (4) with Sue Shields, Carol Burnett  Anita Bruce and Lindsay Wisniewski. Carol's freeform beaded bracelets were especially

Next stop was (5)   Julie Reid Ann Bellamy and Kathryn Moore.  Julies
paintings were serene, absolutely lovely.  Ann's jewellery was quirky and fun and I came home with this pin.  Kathryn hand spun, hand dyed and then wove the resulting yarn.  She also plays the piano rather well.

Julies garden was wonderful, interesting and restful and we did indeed rest and ate a scrummy cream tea whilst sitting in a shady spot. 

On to (8) where Kay Hall was showing her embroideries and mosaics along with Nadine Gereson and her silver jewellery.  Kay's mosaics were made using glass, textured, coloured and with metal and paper and goodness knows what.  (I wanted one in particular and may go back for that at a later date.)  Kay's garden  was amazing too with mosaics and rusting metal sculptures and glass mobiles and a simple pine tree with the most interesting bark.  The tree had been covered by jasmine until recently and what a beautiful and inspiring trunk reappeared when the jasmine was trimmed. 

I didn't take many pics of the work on show, so you will have to visit either the studios or the web sites for a look.  Most studios are open tomorrow and next weekend, info here 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Copper wire and a blowtorch

I treated myself to a copy of  Metal-Embellishments with Mary Hettmansperger it took ages to come but was worth waiting for.  I have Marys book Fabulous Woven jewellry and love her work but watching her demonstrating is so much easier. 
I was inspired to get out my copper wire and the blow torch.  My little copper piece is sitting on hand dyed wool felt from Oliver Twists and once embellished a bit will become the focal for a book cover. 

I am sure the pain in my little finger will go away soon, I got a bit over excited and stuck my finger in the flame of the torch. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

From me to you 2

As so few people commented on my bookmark offer, I will be sending everyone a bookmark.  Rebecca and Susan, would you send me you snail mail address.

Thanks to those very few people who still read my blog, I feel like 'Billy no mates'.

***Susan, thank you for sending your address, your bookmark is in the mail

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

From me to you

I have been blogging for a while now and made many friends so I thought it was time I gave away one or two things.  Does anyone remember this post bookmark-anyone ?  I have some of those left and would like to give away three this week.  Simply leave a comment and on Sunday I will randomly pick three names.  These are light and easy to mail so I don't mind where in the world you live.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Out and about in Ely

I was invited to join Julie and Jackie for a day in Ely, Cambridgeshire.  It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed a little stroll along the waterside. 

The babylon-gallery had an textile
exhibition by Stitch-links. 

The three of us had different favorites, mine was the work of Liz Hunter, indigo dyed rusted pieces of fabric, some with added rusty objects. 

Marilyn Carter had some lovely layered pieces too.  This one is called 'Power of Money' and had layers of sheer fabric with printed Euro, dollar and £notes with added hand stitching.  For some reason it was quite hard to keep my hands off this :)

Sheila Cahn's work had multiple layers of hand-dyed fabrics, stitched and slashed. 

It was a very varied and interesting exhibition.

Next door to the gallery is the Peacock Tea Rooms and we popped in for a cup of tea and a sandwich.  Emma joined us, she had spent ages stuck in her car because there was a problem with railway signals and the barriers wouldn't go up.  Just to keep her company we had to have cake!  After a long lunch sharing links, tips and gossip, Julie and I had a leisurely walk back to the railway station. 

On the platform there is a delightful shop which reminded me of East (Covent Garden) but tons cheaper.  I purchased these Indian Print Blocks for a song. 

I also received three gorgeous presents, I am embarrassed to say I hadn't taken anything of mine, so until I have returned the compliment I won't show you my goodies.