Friday, March 27, 2009

Moving one of my blogs!

I have moved my blog 'My small Cornish Garden' to Blogspot as I just couldn't get on with Wordpress. I know some people love it but it just wasn't for me. I have told myself that I will write more consistently so that next year I have a record of what I have done and what the weather was like!

Handmade books

I have been spending my time making handmade books. The picture above shows a selection. I am in the process of making larger books (A3 size) but haven't finished them yet.

This one is covered in handmade paper. All the paper I bought from Paper Chase in London. This is one of my favourite shops and one could spend a fortune there as there is such a variety of paper which makes it difficult to choose. I have some handmade paper that I made myself but the only problem is that the biggest piece is only A4 size. The binding cord is coloured string.

This is the inside of the book showing the endpaper and flyleaf. The flyleaf paper is very pretty with inserted rose petals and ferns.

This little book is so easy to make being just two covers held together with suede and a post-it block inside which you can see below. Great idea for small gifts!

I love these miniature books. They could be hung on a chain and attached to one's bag or key chain. Very handy for making notes of measurements etc. They are approximately 2x3 inches.

I am having such fun doing this and will soon have quite a collection. It will solve some of my Christmas present dilemmas. As I've got my workroom set up to do this it seems only sensible to do as many as possible!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Well I have solved the problem. We are going to run our classes once a month and have a coffee morning once a month so that in effect we will all get together twice in the month. I will organise one project per month and we will be open to guests. Students who just want to attend for that one session.(So you would be very welcome Susan) Works for me!
I have 100 metres of fabric to dye and I have lots of ideas for colour runs,value runs and one of a kinds. There will be competition if the weather is good between dyeing and working in the garden. I am wanting to do some batik pieces so
perhaps I could actually dye in the garden! More room and less mess!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Blog

I have started another blog. As if I need another blog! The link can be found in the sidebar. I wanted a blog where I could post inspirational pictures. These will be of things and scenes which motivate me to create and I will add a few bon mots as to what it is about the picture that gets the juices flowing. Sometimes I will follow up with actual work that has resulted from the picture.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In a quandary!

I don't know what to do. We are coming to the end of this term's classes and there is going to be a shortage of students for the summer term. In fact we will barely make the room hire money which means I will be teaching for next to nothing. Do I do this as a labour of love because there is every possibility that it will pick up for the winter term or do I call it a day and stop teaching? I can always advertise again for the winter sessions. I do enjoy teaching but do I really want all the work of planning classes for very little in return. There is a core element of students whom I really don't want to let down but on the other hand I could be using my time more productively. I really don't know what to do. The summer is always a difficult time because people go on holiday, have gardens to tend and just like to be free to do what ever and not tied down to a class. I can understand this! I suppose in the back of my mind is the fear that if I get off the track I won't be able to get back on. Should I perhaps just run one class a month for the next six months and see how this goes? Make it more of a group than a class? I shall have to discuss it with those students who are keen to continue but I don't know what to offer them for the best. These things are sent to try us and they do. Not forgetting that I actually sell a fair amount of fabric at class! Always an important point to remember! Though with less students and a recession that too could go down. I need help and advice!

Friday, March 13, 2009

This and that!

These are a few of the kaleidoscope blocks done in class last week. Heather had a very large repeat (top row)and we had to move the fabric around a lot but we got there in the end and these lovely patterns were the result. This is a superb block to do as each pattern is subtly different. The difference between the pansy material and the japanese fish material is decidedly marked though both are attractive. The ooh's and aah's as the patterns were laid out were most gratifying. One of my favourite classes to do!

This week we made a crazy patchwork armchair tidy. This is my sample for the class. It is a very simple pattern and once the crazy patchwork is done quick to make up. I used silk on the top side but a linen underneath so that it wouldn't slip.

Next week we are making journals. The one below is covered with fabric and is A4 size with corners in the same fabric as the spine.

This is the fly leaf of another one which was covered with hand-made paper bought at Paper Chase - one of my favourite shops! The fly leaf is a piece of onion paper that I made myself. I haven't made paper for quite a while but stocks are getting low so perhaps I'll have a paper making day this summer.

My son is coming down from Scotland tomorrow for a few days so I won't be posting for a while. We don't get to see him that often due to the distance, so I am really looking forward to this visit.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How Time Flies!

A month has gone by since I last wrote anything. It has gone so quickly but then February is a short month. My daughter and the two grandchildren, Fenella and Fred, were down for nearly three weeks and that made time speed by.This is a photo of them building a mousetrap in the garden. I don't think the mice need to worry just yet!

Fenella had a camera for the sixth birthday in January and is an avid picture taker! Suddenly she is becoming very grown up.

One day we went to Newquay Zoo and I loved the shell on this tortoise.The markings on it were exquisite.

Then I had a workshop to do for a local quilting group and that needed work preparing for it plus my regular Friday morning classes which need a new sample every week. Considering I also work in the afternoons I am kept quite busy.
At the moment I am making a kaleidoscope quilt which is not growing very quickly and this weekend I hope to make a selection of hand-made journals. I love doing this and will take pictures of the process. Hopefully I will make a dent in the pile of hand-made paper I have stored up and free up some room.I will also make some fabric covered ones using some of my hand-dyed fabric. I have finally found a new supplier. For those who are interested I am getting my fabric from Whaleys. I couldn't find a cheaper supplier and get the quality. This is working out well though.

I dyed some wool last weekend which will be useful for decorating the covers and fastening the covers together. The picture above is an old one but the wool I dyed is exactly the same. I love these colours. I also did some deep ruby reds and dark blues. The wool is a rough spun fibre with lumpy bits in it. Lovely for decorative work. I have some more in hanks which I will dye up soon as I don't think what I have done will last for long! I also have a fleece living in the boot of my car which needs carding and then dyeing so that I can make some felt. It has been there for a few years now and really needs to see the light of day! It is there, along with some sacking and various plastic pots and a portable ironing board, two irons, a folding chair, an umbrella and a roll of cardboard. It is as good as having another cupboard! There is just room for my sewing machine when I go to class! One day I must give it a good clear out and see just what I have there. I think I've even got some wadding and embroidery threads. It's no wonder I have a job finding the spray can of de-icer when it's frosty!!