Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A Bit of Out and About

John and I have just been away for a few days to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  We went back to Lewtrenchard on the edge of Dartmoor and took the girls with us while the other two stayed at home. 

There was some of this 

More than a few miles of beach

A bit of being real fire dogs

And, of course, lots and lots of very noisy....... 
I think they enjoyed themselves! 

Back home I have been having the itch to decorate so we are starting to make a few in roads to that.  Creatively I've finished off a few silly bits, you've either seen or it's knitting crochet type like this bag.

I saw the crochet basket weave stitch for doing a blanket and loved it.  It's also a great scrap buster as you use three strands of yarn so my bulging yarn bag is now a little less fat.   There was also another charity dog quilt which I forgot to photograph before wrapping it for posting!  I will ask the recipient to send me one when she receives it.

On Monday I took myself off to Salisbury to finally see the Ancient Landscapes exhibition in the Salisbury Museum.  

Well there were some Turners, Ravilious and Constables, several Henry Moore sketches (above) and a Barbara Hepworth sculpture (below) all playing on the theme of our amazing and beautiful local landscape which, of course, includes many, many barrows and Stonehenge.  

I love the history of where I live and can spend ages sitting on barrows where I walk the dogs along the Ackling Dyke and Dorset Cursus just absorbing it all. 

Also at the museum, which has some very fine artefacts, was a small textile exhibition History Through the Eye of a Needle by the Machine Embroidery Group.  A book by someone it seems I didn't take a photo of their name and vessel by Adrianne Woodfine caught my eye.

Village meeting tonight and the pub AGM and I'm trying to write a bit up for the Workshop on the Web new bookazine which will be coming out in December.  I'm back to making lists to try and keep on top of myself as there is also a commission to do, a couple more bits for the November exhibition and life in general to live with four looney dogs. I need a coffee! 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Being a Bit Bookish

I've had a tub of wonderful shells for a few years now and a lot of them I've collected with the specific purpose of making books.  I have actually achieved this on a few occasions but this last couple of weeks I had another rummage as the urge was upon me again! 

The scallop shells were pretty standard but the enormous cockle shells (those are 5cm squares they are sitting on) needed a little thought.   I ended up grading the pages to fit the concave shells better.  Rather pleased with them. 

I will actually take some decent photos soon!! 

There was another scroll book finished too and I have another in the pipeline which still needs a little thought.  

I also put together this little palm sized notebook in leather.

It feels lovely to hold and I can see where I could take different fabrics to make covers with this one.  Perhaps a few to sell at the Art Weeks for the GSP Rescue UK charity.  

One thing I have been working on for a little while is another compendium.  This one came from the fact that I bought this beautiful, chunky frame some time ago and then promptly broke the glass in it.  

I am constantly on the lookout for little bits of 'stuff'.  They usually end up on display in my printers trays but I do have a basket where I collect up things that will need a home at some point or another.  This was the perfect chance to showcase them.  That and I had a clock mechanism to use too and it all came together nicely.  As with my other ones there is still spaces to fill but these things do evolve.  And to clean them you just use a soft paint brush, just in case you were wondering. 

I have several little bits on the go like knitting and crochet and also a bit of a bead-a-long with Fran Griffith for National Beaders Week so no excuses to be bored at the moment! 

I hope the sun eventually decides to show it's face again up here soon though I do feel for those in southern Europe at the moment.  

Happy creating! 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Creating Has Gone AWOL!

I have no idea where the last two weeks have gone!  As I usually mark the passing of time by going through the photos I have taken I don't think I have achieved much in the creative department at all!! There have been a few personal milestones involving DNA and solicitors but that's another story altogether!!! 

I have worked on parts for a couple more books for November but nothing to show really.  Ann Small has a new book out and I was given a copy.  At first I thought it was going to be another rehash of an old technique, slashing in this case, but Ann actually does some amazing and beautiful things.  I loved the grey skies of Rape fields hanging she did probably as that is the view we have from the house.  I had a new notebook started for the West Country Embroiderers group and needed a cover so read up on her technique and I'm really quite pleased with the result.  Very soft and tactile to handle. 

Speaking of WCE we had a lovely meeting last week before the summer break and I managed to finish off the rock pool piece I showed in the last post.  I also have been fiddling with designing a web page for them as there isn't one as yet and it would be a good place for members to find information rather than phone around.  (I know, telephone, so old fashioned!!) 

John opened the bathroom blind the other morning to find a heron strutting his stuff on the garage roof.  

Not too sure why he was there as we don't have a pond.  He hung around for a few minutes and then flew off towards the pub.  They don't have a pond either!  Slim pickings unless he went down the valley to the stream.  

I had a lovely coffee with friend Karren this morning at the local big house and garden centre.  They have a little antiques barn there and I found these two! 
The knife box is perfect for pens on my desk and I have been looking for a little case to keep the books I am making safe in.  This one is absolutely perfect!  It's lined with newspaper from 1929, whether that's genuine or not I don't know but it certainly could be contemporary. 

Finally if you know me on Facebook you know we've been having a bit of a sad time with Ellie.  She had a lump that kept coming up on her neck.  Well we managed to get her to the vet while it was very inflated and they aspirated it.  We were more than a little shocked when they found mast cells.  She had the lump removed last week and is recovering well.  We are still waiting for the results from the surgery but I'd rather they were absolutely sure they took all the nasty away.  

She's still our beautiful girl even if she has had a bit of rearranging of her neck!! 

Now, back to the studio......

Monday, 10 July 2017

Oh Deer

Reindeer to be precise.  I did another stab along and did this guy.  He's 18 inches from nose tip to antler top.  

There was the option to add a red nose.  I chose not to but he will showing an appearance just at that time of year.

Other projects have included this hoop for my embroidery group.  Theme of the sea.

Lots of encrusting and beads.

Also a bit of nice slow stitch using up some odd bits onto a little scroll.  I see a few of these in my future.  

This crochet bag made a change from knitting in the evenings.  As I did it using DK yarn rather than chunky I did a few extra rounds to make up the size.  There are pockets all around inside, some I stitched to make channels for needles and hooks so they don't become lost in the bottom. I think I will make a smaller version too.  A great way of using all the leftover yarn from the grandchildrens knitting! The pattern is HERE

The Blackbirds flew the nest on 1st July and I just missed them go! They had regular postings on my Facebook page and I was a little sad I didn't have a photo of them leaving.  I hope they have all fully fledged now.  

I have also been in training again as I will be doing another walk in October with Elsa and my friend Natalie.  Not as far this time, just down the Test Valley.  This time GSP Rescue UK will be the 80% beneficiary.  The other 20% goes to the Rotary Club who are the organisers.  

We have a shiney new Justgiving page if anyone would like to donate.  Every pound helps and I am very grateful if you do give to us.  We haven't started nagging people yet but there will be a little nearer the time.

I have the pleasure of lunch out today and a broken filling to sort asap.  Have a great week. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Hare Finished

I finished the needle felted hare I had started in my last post.  

I chose to put him a slightly more active pose than others who made one.  Most of my hares here, and there are many all over the place, are moon gazers so I thought I'd be different.  

Other than that I have been pottering in the garden when cool enough and not too much else creative.  I did have a day with West Country Embroiderers yesterday with guest Margaret Beal. 

The village hall was stifling and using hot soldering irons only added to it. I put together a little sample piece of some of her processes but concentration was lacking! The car which had been in the shade all day read 32 centegrade. 

I have a current pick up and go project, other than the continuous knitting, of some felt garland pieces.  The pattern is on Shiny Happy World.  It's small and simple and nice to do sitting the the shade of a tree.  

We had a lovely day, before it become silly hot, at West Wittering with some friends and the Pointer dogs.  

It was glorious and cool with the tide out.  All 16 dogs could run and run and run. 

And run a bit more.

There was plenty of snores going on afterwards.  

We have Remi staying with us for a while.  I think he enjoyed the trip home in the convertible. 

Also Chris arrived with his Rotti Polly for a visit so we had a family photo opportunity. They actually sat still for 10 seconds! 

Remi, Ruger, Polly, Tully, Willow and Ellie

And finally our Robins fledged but I missed it.  I did see one go but it was all so quick.  However this little lady and her beau has been back again. 

We now have more Blackbirds in the studio nest. This was Sunday 18th June.

And this was this morning.  

Growing like weeds!  I'm quite pleased it's a shady part of the garden at least.  I count four this time.  

We have a house of men changing the boiler for the next couple of days and a few visits out and about.  I hope you can keep cool if you have the heatwave too. 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Some Bits Used Up

I have a little box of bits and I thought I could do something with a few of them so I made some pages. 

They're all sorts of papers and fabrics layered up onto Khadi paper and stitched into. The cover was made the same way onto a backing fabric.

All now made up into a little book. 

I've also been doing a stab-a-long and felting a hare.  It's taking an absolute age waiting for the videos though. Mustn't complain as they're free but the kit wasn't.  He'll be another nice addition to all the others when finished though.  

Some of you may remember the Robins who nested outside the studio window in 2014 HERE and fledging HERE . Well, after we had the blackbirds nesting earlier this year some Robins moved back in to the, now very overgrown and hidey, robin box.  

So pleased to see some back in there and now it's well and truly hidden in the ivy I hope to see more. 

We also had The Greater Spotted Woodpecker dad, on left, showing baby, on right, how to find food in the lawn.  They were there for a good 10 minutes and baby was quite impatient at times! 

We're now through the un asked for General Election and the result has left us in quite a mess in my humble opinion.  No one party, whichever you voted for, is strong enough to take us through the Brexit process.  We will more than likely be shredded as all the bickering and backbiting goes on here.  This could be a bumpy ride, not that the dogs were too worried. 

Have a peaceful and creative weekend. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

End of a Non Month

Well that's May over with, I'm still waiting for it to start to be honest. Being out of it on morphine for the first week or two doesn't really help in the scheme of things.  Everything is mostly back to normal.  I'm now allowed to drive again and I have a blood and other tests today to check liver function etc.  It will be nice to start June on a positive note! 

I have been twiddling about in the studio.  I made some scenery on a long strip of Khadi paper... I did put these up on my Instagram last week HERE

 Added some angular stitch so it was twiggy...

And after a bit of hand stitch it became a little zigzag book inspired by the hedgeline at the back of the house.  

 I also layered some tweeds and put them through the embellisher to mush them together and then put on some woven slub silk.

Blank pages in this one. 

It's a bit like a hairy caterpillar. 

The neckpiece is also finished.  It's not the one in my imagination though.  I didn't find this a self making piece at all, in fact I unpicked a good portion of it three times.  I don't think it has earned the name Super Nova, which is what I was living with all this time, but it's done and off my desk. 
I started this just before we went to Devon and I took it with me.  I did manage a few hours sitting at the dining table there stitching but then all hell broke loose with my gallstones and it was well and truly out of the picture. Maybe that's why it wasn't the piece it was supposed to be, I just didn't bond with it. 

In other news Ellie's gum is all healed but boy can she pout!  This was after John gave a piggy ear to the other dogs and she didn't get one. She did have other softer things but they obviously weren't the same! 

Willow has discovered Marmite.  After ten minutes of lip licking and face pulling she decided she likes it.  

And our village chalk stream has been a wonderful place to cool off at the end of the day.  It's a winterbourne so this stretch usually disappears in the summer but at the moment it's still deep enough for Tully to swim and Ruger to be adequately wet.  

Have a good last day of May but I'm welcoming June with open arms!