Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Quick Catch Up

Well, whether I'm nattering to myself, some peekers you other lovely people, here's a brief of what else I've been up to. 

I managed to collect some lovely bits in Devon when we took the girls there for our anniversary last month.  I've been trying to not go overboard on just shells, I have hundreds already, but try to find the more unusual.  I picked up some nice water worn wood, a lovely cluster of big barnacles and a fab bottle neck with cork still in it.  The cork shrank as it dried but I glued it back in before mounting them all in a deep box for one of the bathrooms.  

I think this is a lovely way of keeping memories from beachcombing and I have quite a few now.  

I really, really got fed up with waiting for the finishing instructions for the bead-a-long I took part in which started on 1st August for National Beading WEEK! Despite having several messages on her FB page from several ladies she was always doing other things. Why start something if you can't finish it? I would be devastated if I did that to others.  Anyway, I had to clear the space on my desk so strung everything together in what i thought was a pleasing way and it's finished.  

I have space on my desk!  Only a little mind and I have a commission to be doing.  Maybe I should try clearing some more first.  

I never seem to show the continuous stream of knits I do for the grandchildren any more but this little waistcoat is the latest.  Olivia doesnt seem to like sleeves, well I always seem to be knitting short sleeves for her anyway.  This is such a quick and easy pattern and I loved the repeat in the wool, quite short which is important when doing small garments or you end up with huge blotches of colour and it just looks wrong. I hope she likes it anyway 

My list for the K&S at Ally Pally is starting to grow and the next load of yarns is part of it.  There was also a fabulous button lady at Westpoint, I wonder if she will be there too?  I will have to check! 

And our wonderful Facebook Pointer dog group had another local get together when some of the northern members were down, two from the very top of Scotland and one from Yorkshire.  John calls the gatherings a stand arounds as 'walk' is a bit of a misnomer.  There is always a lot of chatter!! He didn't mind the coffee and donuts afterwards though.  The dogs love it and they really are a lovely bunch of people so worth going to. 

I have a West Country Embroiderers meeting with Fay Maxwell now so I will let you know how that goes later.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Plein Air Stitching

Last Saturday, 9th September, I went to Sculpture by the Lakes, the rather lovely gardens of friends Simon and Monique Gudgeon, to take part in the Plein Air day.  

My view for the day.

Of course I wasn't going to do the usual painting thing!  So I loaded up the sack trucks with a yellow box of stuff, including beach shelter, table and chair, quite a few threads and some silk cotton mix fabric.  

The weather was forecast to be changeable with thunderstorms and it was!  Very!! I even took a quilt to wrap up in as, after spending many years lurking near water in it's various forms, I know how cold it can get.  If you are with me on Facebook or Instagram you may have seen the video of one of the downpours we had.  I was so relieved I had shelter!  The thunder and lightening was a little scarey especially with carbon fibre rods holding the shelter up but John mentioned that any strike would probably go to the pylons in the next field first.  I just trusted his judgement!! 

Anyway there was about 25 artists in all and the majority survived to the BBQ at the end of the day when the sun came out and everything was lit beautifully.  

Some are so well equipped they bring frames to pop their creations in! 

Just to the side of where I sat was a little inlet full of lilies that slowly opened through the day.  Had the sun been out they would have done it rather faster no doubt.  

I had finished my first piece and still had about an hour to go so did a quick stitch of that view too.  These are the results, mounted and ready for framing.  

You can also see them in the picture above next to the five little black framed pieces by Stephen Bithell. 

I was really rather proud that I could actually Plein Air stitch and I had lots of wonderful comments through the day. The best was a nice gentleman who came back and said I had inspired him to try something different.  

If I am invited again I would most certainly do it.  I may even try something completely different!! But still stitchy of course.  

I've noticed more and more there is a huge drop off of people commenting on blogs.  Not just mine either. I do wonder sometimes whether this is down to other social media taking over (see above comment about FB and Insta!!), content of blogs or the way they are now presented.  It's so easy to just read the headlines and not bother interacting now! Anyway, I did have a conversation with myself about carrying on but I've come to the conclusion that I mostly do this for me, like a diary, and sometimes being able to refer back to a post has been quite useful especially as I'm not a diary keeper.  I will keep nattering to myself for a little while longer anyway.  

Friday, 8 September 2017

Making Mess

I have spent years collecting Junk for doing something arty with.  I always knew I wanted to do something with it but hadn't found the what yet.  Recently I've started junk journalling.  

I stained up some papers, with able assistance dog.  

This is about half the pile left. 

Gathered stuff, i.e. trashed my studio.

and joined in Nik the Booksmith on her course to make some.  She has and interesting and almost traditional technique which I have enjoyed doing.  

First one is now bound too. 

I'm just beginning to stuff with the Junk. 

In case you are wondering they are to be used as notebooks or diaries but are already filled with lots of ephemera to make them a little more exciting to use.  At least the stuff I have is finding a home at last!! 

I also spent an enjoyable day making beads and dangles to add to the Journals.  

I also listened to a big chunk of audio book too and felt totally great at the end of the day!! 

This Saturday I have been invited to take part in a Plein Air painting festival at Sculpture by the Lakes owned by friend and sculptor Simon Gudgeon.  I will be attempting to paint with thread of course and feel honoured to be asked even though I don't actually wield a paintbrush.  We will see how it goes!! 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Stitch, Paint, Stitch

In the last post I mentioned a charity dog quilt I made.  Well I've had the photos back.  This is the lovely English Pointer Bruc snuggled up in his new home in Scotland with it and teddy.   

The request came at very short notice and with a lot of tooing and froing of messages.  We decided on a nice blue colour for him and to just keep it simple.  The Foster carers wanted a couple of days to have the blanket with them to make it smelly so he wouldn't be leaving them without something he knew.  

Couldn't have been a simpler design but i did manage to quilt his name into it.  

Summer returned very briefly at the end of August and it was lovely.  We had a good walk with friends and the lunch afterwards was rather nice too even if there was the most enormous thunderstorm.  Luckily it didn't come over while we were all out in the middle of nowhere! 

Did I show a pastel painting I did of Ruby?  I don't think so.  She's a Griffon and a mischievous minx.  Her mum says I caught that look in her eyes.  Bless her.  

I was recently given a box with some old and very, very decrepit bibles.  They are truly in a right mess.  Totally foxed, old damp and falling to pieces from what bindings they have.  I was given them with the reasoning that I make books and could probably use them in my art.  I was sad to see them in such a state and, as thier future wasn't looking too bright, I brought them home.  Now I'm not religious but I do have respect for a Bible and what it stands for.  I was in a bit of a dilemma over what to do with them.  In the end I asked the opinion of a group of bookmakers I am in and in the end the overwhelming consensus was to use them as they were only good for the bin, the words in them should already be in the heart of those to whom it matters and surely it's better to keep them alive in some small way anyway.  As so many of the replies were from practising Christians I felt better about that.  

I still only started with a hand sized New Testament, still dated 1880 mind, and looked up online verses which were classed as favorites.  I took the plunge and cut the verses from the book, mounted onto linen and then into a scroll book.  

I'd like to think I have made something good out of a bad thing. I won't feel so guilty over using the rest of the little book now but it is only 6x4 inchs.  Still not sure what to do with the others which are enormous tombs but maybe the fact that they're not in a tip or burnt is enough for now.  Am I being daft?? Who knows.