Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I love leaves and I love autumn leaves especially. Our neighbour has a flowering cherry whose leaves turn lovely shades of pink and red in the autumn and today the wind blew a great swathe of them over our lawn. That was the moment I decided to play. I already had some Virginia Creeper leaves and some variegated, possibly a kind of laurel, leaves so these were just right to fit in with them. They would be ideal for using as templates for some leaf appliqu├ęs. I already had a base made from some over-dyed and stamped fabric which I had woven together. The colours were just right. I then started to use pens, fabric crayons, pastels and felt tip pens to shade in some leaf shapes. Unfortunately I ran out of time before I'd really got started but I have left it all out so that I can do more tomorrow. I have done leaf collages before; several times! This time I shall try and have a new approach, if possible. But I never get tired of using leaves in my work. They seem to call to me! I shall go away and ponder the layout ready for a session tomorrow after I have been to a sale of fabric which our local mobile shop is having not far way. These people really need every support! Well that's my excuse!
To be continued......

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dyeing 2night!

Well actually that ought to read Dyeing last night but it was today that I ironed and packaged it. And while writing this I was thinking of fried fish so go figure! Among my various bits and pieces that I found when clearing out stuff so that I can make more room in my various cupboards, I found a selection of white on white fabrics in various combinations of fibres. So I decided to chop them up in fat eights and put selections together to dye in one colour. This was really successful as you can see from the picture above. I was really pleased with how they came out and will take them to class with me tomorrow to offer them to my students. This is a close up of the lilac selection.

My roll of fabric arrived yesterday as well so this weekend I will be able to have a mammoth dyeing session. Time seems to be rushing by and I don't seem to be achieving much in the creativity stakes. Once my classes get well underway I think I will have more time for doing things for me. At the moment I am trying to get my sampler quilt finished and my rooms organised. The thought of having to empty the attic is making me feel quite weak. But I will look back and be so pleased that it has all been done. Now to try and be creative with dinner!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Total Exhaustion!

I am totally exhausted. I have spent the last two days, well an evening and today, moving stuff back into my spare room. As you can see from the pictures above it is now totally ruined. Crammed full of my junk and rapidly becoming overcrowded. The biggest problem is that no way will it take back all the stuff that came out. Why this should be I really don't know but it is always happening to me. I pack my bags to go to class and they are full but they do shut. Coming home I have to put things into carrier bags as no way will the case shut with everything in it. Nothing has been added and I fold and put everything in exactly as before but during those three hours of teaching every single bit of stuff has grown! Is it just me or does this happen to others? I'd really like to know as I could get paranoid about it!
Last night I carried all my computer stuff upstairs and placed them lovingly into my new computer hide-away cupboard. This wasn't easy and entailed a lot of grovelling on the floor and copious amounts of swearing under my breath. I have short arms! This makes life difficult when trying to marry up socket and plug when they are both out of sight and round a bend! But eventually I did it. Neither of my printers would fit into the designated printer place. The biggest now sits on the top and the smaller of the two, which I thought at first was going to fit, has to sit sideways on. It is bigger at the front than the back and no amount of pushing would make it fit properly! I bet a man designed this cupboard! There is a lot less room and I am going to miss my small drawer but I can use one of the small drawers in the dressing table which is right next to it. Not the same though as being an integral part of the cupboard. And joy of joys when I turned on the power everything worked!
Today I started to bring back all the books, boxes, folders, bags and other assorted bits to try and find homes for them. It didn't take long to fill up the shelves that Martin put up for me in the alcove. And because of the size of the books a whole heap of them will now have to live on their sides. This means that I'll have to be desperate before I look at them! These arn't my number one books though; they are actually in my workroom. I also managed to be brave and get rid of some with some bric a brac as well. However when I look in the garage I see that the pile of things looks almost as high as before I started which is very deflating. And I still have some boxes and stuff down at my mum's. Just the thought of it is making me tired! But the room is so much better than it was previously in spite of having the furniture and stuff filling it up. And I am enjoying having my computer up here next to my workroom. And if you notice I have a large space on a wall for hanging completed works of art! In fact there are two or three places just crying out for some work to be displayed. And now I'll be able to get to it and make some pieces!
Also today I went into town and indulged myself by buying fabric for the sample quilt I am making along with my class. The one I have nearly finished is in burgandy, navy, turquoise and greens. So this time I am working in purple, dark green, lilac and mauves. Here is a picture of what I bought and I will dye more fabric to go with these pieces.If I ever recover from my moving activities. This is worse than moving as it has come out to go back into the same space. There isn't even the fun of having a completely new room to play with!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This, that and t'other

Martin needed to test out his new car after doing some major alterations to it so on Sunday we went for longish drive up to Port Isaac. A round trip of about a hundred miles. It was a misty day to start with and eventually it came on to rain so the photos, taken from a moving car, arn't that brilliant! Sorry!
From the top the first picture is a view of the River Camel at low tide with lots of muddy bank on show. The next two are of a church that I found interesting complete with ancient Cornish cross. These Celtic crosses are to be found everywhere and are often used as quilting patterns. In the middle row there are two views showing the very narrow lanes that we were traversing down. Meeting another vehicle meant reversing back until one found a gateway or turning place so that they could pass. I would definitely avoid these places in the summer when the tourists are around. In the middle is a picture of Port Isaac beach which I tried to take through Martin. I did tell him to lean back but he didn't lean back far enough. As he kept saying, he was driving! And in the bottom row firstly is a picture of Port Isaac town centre! Then a view through a gap in the wall as we left Port Isaac and finally a view cornfield in foreground taken at speed as by now we were very hungry and cold! But all in all and interesting outing and it was good to see places I hadn't been to since I was a young girl. I believe that the television series Doc Martin were shot in Port Isaac but I wouldn't have recognised it from the series. Also the film 'Saving Grace'. But then I could have got it wrong.
The room is now almost done. The wardrobe is in, as is the dressing table. For the first time in years the wardrobe actually closes properly! Now all that remains is to slowly wade through all the accumulated junk; which is reposing in the garage, my Mum's garage and her spare room, and replace that which is most desirable and necessary to my existence and give, sell or throw away the rest. This I can see will take forever! And I have to remove my computer from the living room and install it in it's new home. However I can't do this until Martin sets me up a lead to the broadband router. Perhaps we'll go wireless! Moving all this heavy Victorian furniture has given me muscles of iron and also turned me into a hunchback! Every single bit had to be lifted over the banisters as there was no room to turn. With 4 and 5 foot pieces of solid wood, 3 foot high on average this was no joke. I am still bearing the scars! But the room, to me, looks lovely. Martin's comment as the first piece of furniture went in was to the effect that the room was now ruined! He has put me up useful shelves in the alcove though! There will be pictures soon. Our next job is to clear the attic preparatory to laying a floor up there. This means that a load of 'junk' will find a resting place temporarily in the spare room! I must enjoy it while I can!
The quilt is progressing well. I now have the middle sewn and quilted and two sides are sewn and quilted and attached. The other two sides are sewn and need to be quilted and attached. I hope to be able to do this tomorrow. Then at least the quilt will show the students what they can achieve. I am missing my Bernina when it comes to quilting but the Husqvarna is performing manfully. The only problem is that I have got used to the knee lift on the Bernina and I keep going to use it only to find it isn't there. Old habits die hard! I shall be glad when this quilt is finished as I'm dyeing to get on with some new ideas I've had. I'm not into series as I get bored after finishing one piece and want to try out something new. But when it comes to applique I do like to have sets. I've added some flower wreathes to my leaf designs and want to do a couple of samples to see how they fit in. Do I mix them up or keep them separate? I won't know until I've done a few. Time, give me time!