Sunday, 27 January 2013

In Preparation

Some of you may have noticed a link through to my web page in the right hand bar.  I cannot tell you the agonies I had over making it!  I really quite like keeping things close to my chest so to open a proper web page, me!  Well really!  Actually it's all part of the build up to the Dorset Art Weeks next year, my front page if you like. I still feel it is incredibly pretentious that I should have one but I'll just have to get over that!
Aquarium 3
The Art Weeks last year were wonderful and John and I met some great people and I was so encouraged.  If your county has an open studios event, and I think most do, I thoroughly recommend them.  There are so many disciplines and levels of work. Some are professional and I can feel out of my depth and then there are groups of amateurs who are encouraging and tell me to just do what I love doing. The advice given to anyone who asks from all levels is so supportive and useful and quite often eye opening!

Aquarium 4
I have been having moments of panic now and then about doing this.  Well my first port of call for support is of course John who is really keen for me to do this.  My second is my friend Jan who I asked first off if she wanted to do this with me.  She paints wonderful watercolours and I was almost shocked when she said, 'yes please', almost before the sentence was out of my mouth!  I, at the very least, will be surrounded by her work so I don't have to fill a hall on my own.

I am mentally taking two steps to encourage myself.  First, I am not in this to sell my work, I am in it to show it.  The amount of pressure that left when I made that decision was huge.  I have no need to make a living out of this, though of course there are a lot that do, I would just like for people to see my work in the real world.  I will have some things for sale of course but it doesn't really bother me if they don't sell (can I really bear to part with a Troll??!) Secondly I remind myself constantly of one professional textile tutor we visited who only actually had six pieces up to show and none were for sale.  It just reminds me that this event is what you make it, a small window or a full on shop front display.  

Perhaps it seems a little early in this year to be thinking about May/June 2014 but we all know the horrors of last minute panic and how virulent procrastination is and I am going to do my best to avoid that.  I would like to have a few things done so I have pieces to show by Easter and see how it stands from there. Apart from anything all our paperwork and photos have to be in by about the end of October this year for the catalogue and promotional material to be ready for the new year.  Shortens the time-scale a lot doesn't it?  And life has to be lived in the mean time!  

As you can see I have the Aquariums framed in deep boxes, in reality you have to look into them to see all the picture.  I also have the machine on to work on other pieces, my poor abused darning foot!  I have had a few sketches in my books that needed to come out and it's great to see them coming together after all this time.  I am actually starting to think about working in series!  Me!  Mrs make it up as I go along!  Well we'll have to see what comes out the other end.

Hopefully I won't have last minute collywobbles and panic.  John won't let me and I can't let Jan down now!!!


Friday, 25 January 2013

The First Colinette Throw

I finished the first of the Colinette Yarns Perugino throws.  It's here being beautifully modelled by Miss Tullamore Dew looking rather elegant.  Actually I think a bird just landed in the garden behind me so she's not paying me any attention at all. 

It was a lovely easy pattern and it's rather a nice thing to have over your knees whilst making it in this snowy weather.  The other colour way I think I will be crocheting a pattern but I haven't decided whether to do rows or squares.  I think I'm leaning towards rows as the differences in the yarns, three Mohair and three tapes, would possibly cause sizing problems.  I know I would work around it but the knitting and crocheting thing is for mindless finger occupation whist watching the TV in the evenings. Working out patterns is not why I'm doing it.  I spent years making Arans and Fairisles so I certainly don't think I'm missing something!

Elsa and Mike's training is going really well as you can see from the photos below.  I pinched them from their donations page (link on the top right of the blog should you wish to see), but I'm sure they won't mind.  They are very lucky to live right on the edge of the New Forest so they can train on similar terrain regularly.

Even Remi is loving the running in his Hi Viz!

I hope the weather is kind to you, have a great weekend.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Those Iddy Biddy Bits

Shirley over at Stitcherydo recently had a post where she used up and used up and used up all her fabric pieces until she was left with the tiny unusable bits.  I perhaps don't go quite as small as she was left with but I certainly use quite small pieces for my Aquariums.

Especially if they are a little glitzy!

These two are about A4 size each and only have 'L's or masking tape around them at the moment so I can see where to hand stitch and bead too before trimming.  Cutting through hand stitches = mess and loss of beads.

I'm off to add some more before trimming and framing.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

More Stitch

I've managed to actually start on the little collection of bits I found on my desk HERE.  This is the little, wooden needle case done in size 15 bead peyote.

This I put on Facebook and not on here, daft eh!! Another notebook cover.  My friend Jan has signed me up to another set of courses so I thought I'd better start taking notes.  This is done with a brown paper bag. It feels quite robust and is layered to fusible wadding and has a finish of acrylic wax but it will be interesting to see how it holds up. (It was terrible to photograph too!  I found the least glare was in the kitchen.)

And I started the Travellers Blanket.  It took me an age to put thread to fabric but now it's under way it's very easy to pick up and put down.  I'm using the basic shape of a butterfly wing for the silk patches.  It's nice and easy for the TV or audiobook.

Thank you to those who have sponsored Elsa and Mike in their triple marathon challenge!  I will keep you all informed as they progress.  Training is going well, even in this weather! 

I hope the snow isn't too disruptive for you (or the heat if you're in Australia!).

Have a good week.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

If You Would Be So Kind

My daughter Elsa and her husband Mike are both running in the Jurassic Coast Challenge at the end of March in aid of Help for Heroes. This isn't just running one marathon, it's running THREE marathons over three days along our very beautiful but rather undulating coastline.

Below is a link to the website that has all the information should you wish to read it.  

I personally need a comfy sofa and a strong coffee to just look at the maps.  I've walked one or two of those coastal paths and that was bad enough.  Running over 80 miles of it is really going to take some stamina and grit and I don't envy them one bit!!! 

Sadly most of us now-a-days have links with, or know of, those affected by an injury through being a serviceman or woman.  I would be so grateful if any of you would be willing to sponsor them, every penny counts. Thank you!! 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Dragon Ho!

I had a finish yesterday.

You may remember a pile of my hand dyed fabrics at the bottom of this post here back May(!!)  and a quick glimpse of some stitching on this post here  in October.  Well this is what I was aiming at.

The three panels are connected and measure 48 x 34 inches.

Of course Roger Dean's 'Morning Dragon' had a small influence, the joy in that painting from the book Magnetic Storm has been with me for 30 or so years.  Chris recently found my original copy of the book and it sparked a quilt.  

I suppose the sleeping dragon in his cave at the bottom is perhaps more Smaug, but don't all dragons have piles of treasure to sleep on?   

We have it hanging now but there are still a couple of tweaks I could do to it.  For now it's finally off my wall and I can perhaps think of other things!!


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A New Year Begins

Happy New Year!!! 

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and thank you for following my bloggy ramblings.  If there is one great thing that comes out of blogging, (apart from chatting to and sometimes meeting other bloggy peeps), it's having the slice of time diary to look back on.  Sometimes it's quite surprising!  

I did have to do a bit of scrambling in the email box to find out when exactly this little lot had arrived. 

They have been sitting on my desk since AUGUST!!! I'd better pull my finger out.