Sunday, February 26, 2006

The new maritime museum in Falmouth.  Posted by Picasa

Determination!  Posted by Picasa

Cold rough sea!  Posted by Picasa

Superb piece of driftwood.  Posted by Picasa

Little Elf having a quiet moment!  Posted by Picasa

No time, no time!

I feel like the White Rabbit in Alice and Wonderland. There is no time for me! Wah! I managed to escape yesterday as I had a workshop to do locally with members of the local quilting guild. It was a cold but dry day and there were ten altogether so it was very cosy. The workshop was on handstitching and seam embellishment for crazy quilting. I took along loads of samples and we had a great day. There are about six or seven stitches that I use constantly so we concentrated on these and then I showed them how to amalgamate stitches to make complex embellishments. Some great work was done and I think they all really enjoyed it, even though it was very cold! It was good to get out and talk to adults again! Grin! Last week was half term so I didn't have my usual Friday class even.
I have seen more of the beach in the last week than I ever do at this time of the year. Fenella is unphased by the bleakness of the weather and can make sandcastles for England. Fred is usually warmly wrapped in his pushchair with only his eyes showing and fast asleep. And Caroline aka Mum, is a fiend for shell collecting. In fact she would be there for hours if we let her but usually Fenella and I end up in the beach cafe with super hot chocolate and home made Brownies.
I have been unable to do any stitching but I have lots of ideas and I've taken lots of pictures of rocks and stones. The shells are of the small variety and really quite ordinary but collectively look quite interesting. I can't remember now where I saw it but somewhere I saw a sculpture that had been completely covered in shells and it looked magnificent.
Another week to go and then the family go back to London. I shall miss them but on the other hand my workroom is calling me and I need to do more dyeing. This house is too small!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Still here!

I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth ...I am still here in spirit if not in the flesh. I'm not being able to do anything at all with textiles but I'm having fun and the reason is.....

Fenella and Fred! A rare peaceful moment! Posted by Picasa

Getting Grandad involved while Little Ted looks on!  Posted by Picasa

Fenella on the beach Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Keeping on Track

So far, so good! I have quilted the small quilt for Fenella. Nothing spectacular and not the most wonderful of quilting but it is OK. I set my MP3 player up and put my headphones on and had a couple of mindless hours doing some free machine quilting. In future I must quilt things when they are ready as I need time to ponder and work out what I'm going to do not rush in all gung ho and turn out something that just manages not to be a disaster.
My list now is as follows:
1. Have a cup of coffee! a
2. Generally tidy up.
3. Have lunch. a
4. Start dyeing. a
5. While waiting for dyed fabric to cure
------a) Hoover and dust upstairs and clean bathroom a
------b) Make up beds a
6. Wash out dyed fabric. a
7. While waiting for fabric to wash out
------a) Go into attic and put boxes in and take toys out a
------b) Make sure house is child proof a
8. Take fabric out and iron while damp I'm doing this now!
9. Tidy up kitchen a
10. If I'm still up start on embroidery samples and handouts
otherwise start this tomorrow morning. This will be
tomorrow's Frog
I may never blog again! I can see my time just being eaten up by that Frog! Grin

Friday, February 17, 2006

Close up. Posted by Picasa

Unfinished notebook cover Posted by Picasa


I am now officially on holiday for nine days! Yes! The thought is exhilarating. However although the grand tidy up and clear out is progressing well I am now finding that I can't find things because I've cleared them away. Not to somewhere where they will live permanently but a temporary home which I won't remember. I brought home a big box of paper that they were chucking out at work as I thought it would be superb for Fenella to draw on. She isn't going to worry that there is a logo on one side of each sheet. For days it sat on the floor next to the computer along with some fine continuous sheet computer paper and some old Christmas cards. Then I tidied up. Tonight I wanted that paper to put in the box with her toys and things that we keep in the living room when she is visiting. Could I find it? No! I looked everywhere. I found the listing paper and the cards but not the drawing paper. I gave up in despair coming to the conclusion that a) I was rapidly going round the twist and b) I had a paper and sample stealing poltergeist in the house! Then I saw it. Right in full view on a table! So simple but too simple which is why I'd over looked it each time! Its got to be (a). So sad!
In the search I found a notebook cover I'd started some time ago. Probably the same time as I started the red piece I posted yesterday. Similar ideas. This one is on yellow silk with wax crayon marks and an ironed on nappy liner which had been crayoned over as well. Then I bondawebbed some hand-dyed fabric triangles and bits onto it. I then added hand coloured hand-made paper and dyed fleece (off a sheep) and then machined over all this. Well I started but need to continue. The trouble is that now I'll have to use different paper and fleece as I doubt I can find the same stuff but then that will give it more interest anyway. Think of all the things I'd find if I moved!
I am reading this book! It was recommended by
Alyson B Stanfield who is an ArtBiz coach. It is very good; one of the best books of this kind I've read. And I am following its principles to the letter. So my frog of the day being the cat quilt that is the first thing I'm going to do tomorrow morning. I haven't finished the book I have yet to learn all the wisdom that is included here but I have no doubt it will help me to be more organised and make the most of my limited time. I have been very good today and didn't have the computer on at all this morning. It can't be off all day as I need to check business emails but I haven't allowed it to distract me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I have to quilt this before Sunday! It is a small quilt I made for Fenella ages ago and then procrastinated over the quilting. I have ear-marked Friday night and some of Saturday for quilting it. Fingers crossed!  Posted by Picasa

Exhaustion overtakes me!

It is Thursday morning, just after 8pm and I could easily crawl back into bed! I am so exhausted from moving books into boxes and boxes down the road to my Mum's garage. When Caroline has gone back I'm going to sell my surplus books to the local bookstore but I just don't have time to go through them right now. This has tidied up my bookcases and thereby made the rooms look tidier and neater too. However I'm not having such a good effect in the spare bedroom, aka overflow room. I'm loathe to put things in the attic because I know if I do this I'll probably never look at them again or else I'll need something desperately and be needing to go in the attic either at the crack of dawn or midnight. Always works that way. Caroline and babies arn't coming until Sunday now so at least I have Saturday to get finally organised. I should make another start now but I'm eating my porage so decided to make up for lost time and blog a bit. Perhaps if I make a list it will firm up what I have to do. Or else it will make me feel even tireder and I'll go back to bed in desperation! Grin!
1. I have to send a digital card to Sue who, lucky devil, is going to the Maldives for a fortnight!
2. I must print off handouts for tomorrow's class.
3. Go through files in spare room and put those that are absolutely necessary on top of bookcase in workroom and take files from top of bookcase that I don't use into spare room and from there to box and then to attic!
4. Decide what to do with pile of UFO's on stool in workroom.
5. Move tub of fabric for dyeing into workroom. Where I don't know...yet!
6. Do something with stool. What I don't know...yet!
7. Make sure bolts of fabric behind door are stable and not going to fall over.
8. Anything else that needs to be done before I make up the beds. And dust and hoover! ugh!
OK so now I'm tired but nothing for it. I have to get started! I want to be working on this.......

I have been doing some more work on this and really want to continue but finding any spare time at the moment is impossible! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day Posted by Picasa

Valentine's Day

I hope you are all having a wonderful Valentine's Day. I have never received a Valentine's card in my entire life! :-( My husband, darling as he is, just doesn't do Valentine's cards or birthday cards or cards at all come to that. But he is good on surprise presents so I am not complaining! The biggest thrill today has been going to Asda to do the weekly shop and surprise, surprise I didn't buy a book! That is because I have three new books to read, so I am spoilt for choice. Two are in the Merrily Watkins series by Phil Rickman and the third is a Mary Higgins Clark spooky thriller. Plus a couple of bottles of good red wine and I'm set for a relaxing evening after we've eaten the Chinese I got to save the bother of cooking. I adore Chinese food; my favourite being sweet and sour king prawns in batter.
The day has been wisely if over energetically spent clearing up more stuff. I now look as if I'm moving house as I have boxes all over the place instead of stuff. And with a crawling 6 month old baby and an inquisitive 3 year old due to arrive at the weekend I am having to make sure that everything is child proof. Plus a daughter who is a kleptomaniac when it comes to my stuff! Grin! Fortunately I'm a size larger than her in clothes and a size smaller in shoes so I am safe there. Its the beads, ribbons, fabric, books etc that are at risk!

Flowers for Valentine's day! Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 13, 2006

Children's books mème

This mème is courtesy of Bayou Quilts where I saw it earlier. As I love books, any books I thought it would be fun to do. So here goes
1. 3 favourite children's series- had to pick more here
Anne of Green Gables
What Katy Did
Famous Five by Enid Blyton
Narnia series
2. 3 favourite non-series children's books- more than three here too
Wind in the Willows
Black Beauty
All Summer Through - Malcolm Saville
Fantastic Mr Fox -Roald Dahl (sp?)
Swish of the Curtain - Pamela Brown
White Boots - Noel Streatfield
Peter Pan
3. 3 favourite children's books characters
Peter Pan
Sally from All Summer Through
Harriet from White Boots
There are more, many more but it was supposed to be only three for each category. And it really depends on the age you are working from. When I was very young I loved Milly Molly Mandy and the Pooh books. Then as I got older it was Swallows and Amazons and the Adventure series by Enid Blyton. And also Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy. I could read by the time I was three and never had my head out of a book. I can remember in Primary School always being in trouble for reading a book under my lifted up desk lid. We had those old fashioned desks with lids that lifted up to access the storage space underneath. And they had ink wells which were filled with real ink. My first grown up writing was done using a dip pen and ink. The ink was made from a powder mixed with water and it was the ink monitor's job to do this. This is really making me go back and remember all kinds of things.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I'm a sucker for a quiz!

I really do enjoy these quizzes. I found this one on MargaretR's blog. I like the shininess of the picture and also it reminds me of chocolate. Can't be bad! And yes, I suppose the result is a bit me. I am a dreamy soul and can quite happily go off in my own thoughts. My grandmother used to say when I was small that my imagination was too big for my body. Well I reckon I've grown into it now!

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

This photo doesn't do this one justice. It is so electric. I'm going to find it hard to give up!  Posted by Picasa

Some of yesterday's dye painting. The bottom right is just like a spider's web!  Posted by Picasa

Mandela using navy and red.  Posted by Picasa

What I've just read.

I've just finished reading this book. A quick synopsis is: A single mother who has become Vicar of an olde worlde parish with cobbled streets and timberframed houses starts her job with lots of problems not least of which is a haunted vicarage. She also has to contend with village feuds, especially over the putting on of a play about a 17th century cleric accused of witchcraft. The historical happenings of that time have been carried on into today and interwoven with these goings on are also some side issues involving the daughter. Murder and mayhem! I started it on Thursday and have to admit that I found it a bit slow and tedious to begin with. However I picked it up after the dyeing yesterday and got so into it that I didn't get to bed until gone 2.30 it was that enthralling. I HAD to know what happened. I wasn't totally enthusiastic about the ending as it didn't clear up all the little mysteries but left things to the reader to work out. Personally I like everything wrapped up at the end of a book but as there is another follow on book in this series then probably these things could be followed up then. But on the whole a most riveting book. If I can make some time today I will start on the next one in the series which is called Midwinter of the Spirit.
I say if I can make some time because suddenly I am in a panic. Firstly I have to press all the beautiful fabric I dyed yesterday and then I have to make a gargantuan effort to get the spare room, which acts as an overflow from my workroom, habitable because my daughter phoned last night and said she was coming down next weekend with the two children. So suddenly my lazy efforts at doing a gentle clear out is going to become a mad whirlwind of activity shoving things into boxes and no doubt sequestering them in the attic, never to be seen again! Aaaaah! I am looking forward to seeing her but I'm not going to hold my breath as she is as flaky as they come and it could be March before we see her! Grin! I do know one thing though. If I don't clear out this room she will definitely be here this coming weekend. Isn't that always the way! So onwards and upwards!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I haven't got time to blog as I'm in the middle of a big dye! So here is a pastel drawing of African Violets that I did recently. I tore the paper so have stuck some crayon coloured fabric ivy leaves over the tear! A bit incongruous but at least it holds it all together!  Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

Working backwards!

I'm working upside down. You should really read the bottom and work up! I hope this has answered your question Micki!

Very useful for adding a shaded colouring to a print. This was a black and white voile and I painted a piece of paper that shaded from blue to yellow. I could have printed patterns into each circle. Next time.  Posted by Picasa

top left the original painted paper. top right and bottom left are original prints on different fabrics. top right is a textured fabric and you can see how the texture is accentuated. Bottom right is the one I did just now - much paler as this was a piece I did nearly five years ago to try out the colours.But still a glimmer!  Posted by Picasa

Feather prints - positive and negative. The paper looks strong still but is old (4years) though still giving a faint pattern.  Posted by Picasa

top right is over printed and the other three are printed through lace. The fabric is ordinary cotton but has a lacy pattern from the lace. At the same time the lace is also dyed from the painted paper. Two for one!  Posted by Picasa

Satin  Posted by Picasa