Monday, 28 May 2012

Little bits of stitch

I've made about twenty more beads for my collection over the last week or so - nice little pieces of stitch that have not taken much thought but are very satisfying when seen altogether.

I have so enjoyed the sun and high temperatures this week but a cooler week to look forward to might inspire some more demanding work. I'm not feeling very pro-active at the moment with regards to crafting but that's part of the cycle of creativity for me. I'm lucky to be able to treat it as a hobby (all  be it a very obsessive one) and not have to worry about deadlines and commitments. I know that when the muse strikes again I will be churning work out at my usual rate of knots. 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Heatwave Inertia

Appropriate piece of work to be working on as the days slip by, I hope things slow down a little when my son and daughter-in-law get home at the end of June for a month's holiday. It's hard to believe they have been in Shanghai for almost a year. The difficult things to deal with in life seem endless and the good things rush by. 
Today is a celebration of our eldest grandson's eighth birthday so when the last bit of cooking is finished John and I are off to Ringstead for a birthday picnic.
It's too hot in my work room for any serious crafting to take place so I have fallen back on producing some new colourways for my embroidered beads.

I will take a small sewing kit with me today and produce another bead whilst sitting in the sun and watching my grandsons use up boundless amounts of energy and I shall be very happy. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Cupcake day at the Guild

What a great afternoon - spent with some good friends at the monthly meeting of The Embroiderers Guild. Lots of laughter, a bit of stitching, an embroidered cupcake competition, a little bit of shopping to add to the stash and a strawberry tea to finish it off. A perfect Saturday afternoon. Look at the fantastic stitching done by Linda for the bead challenge, amazing to see such a skilled version of my beads. That is the kind of excellence you find at the Guild!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


It's good to have a break from the intense stitching for my 'timepieces.'  I've made a cupcake for the next Guild meeting and had a day with my two fellow members of Trident. Today we went all retro and had an experimental foray into sheer organza and the soldering iron (a la Margaret Beal style).
It was fun but frustrating that nothing worked the way I wanted it to - until a half an hour before finishing time when I started to pick up all the discarded pieces and took out a needle and thread and made this raggy flower. By no means a masterpiece but it saved the day for me.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Cold Day In Fens

The wind is whipping across my garden all the way from the arctic, sudden squalls of rain and hail are interspersed with intense glimpses of the sun. The light keeps changing by the second making it feel like I'm in Ullapool in the Highlands rather than a sleepy village in the Fens of England.
Not an ideal day for garden photography but spring is rushing by me and must be recorded.

Our record rainfall of the past month or so has given an intensity to the leaf canopy that is exceptional so I have made a collage of just some of the plants in my garden today.

Always a heart stopping moment for me is the sight of the first Lily of the Valley. It takes me back to being seventeen again and working as a florist (in the sixties) and the anticipation of opening the first box of the season of these heralds of spring. They would be sent up by rail from Covent Garden.Tucked in with them would be damp little posies of fragrant violets. So precious, they would bring a tear to the eye of the shop owner who would gruffly pretend to have something in his eye.

The woodland border is just about at it's best - the plant on the far right is a Uvularia that I grew from seed, not a fast grower it has taken years to reach this size. I'm honoured by it's presence it's a very fussy plant but obviously like it's present home. The fading Hellebores, the Brunnera and the Solomon's Seal are such an archetype of spring that they are almost a cliche but they please me intensely.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

More Timepieces

In between lots of gardening I have been slowly unpicking my vintage quilt and removing the parts that are too fragile to save. I've made two backings for another two 'timepieces'. I have not used a fusion method to make these as I wanted the textures and creases to show thus highlighting the age of the fabrics. This pink background clearly shows the faded interiors of each the patchwork pieces and the original colours show on the edges of each patch where they were folded under and protected from the light. I have loved sewing with tiny stitches all round each piece of fabric.The cloth is so soft and thin - almost like an old rag.


The blue piece will not photograph well but it is very beautiful in a soft faded kind of way. I must be careful not to overwhelm it with too much stitch and embellishment. I've attached each patchwork piece to an old tray-cloth that conveniently had blue drawn thread-work around it. The next thing to work on is what method of stitch and design I use to complete each piece. Some drawing is called for.  

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

What next?

It's been a while since I last blogged - the switch from my familiar PC to an all singing and dancing new laptop has taken place. All with the minimum of fuss thanks to eldest son. Even switching to windows 7 from XP has been relatively painless. I'm also pleased that all my work on finding the right machine for me has proved successful. It's a worry and a big responsibility when you spend that amount of money and find that you have not chosen well.

The bank holiday has passed - I'm not even going to mention the weather!

I have finally finished the first of my 'Timepieces' and dearly beloved has made the most delicate of stands for this piece of work. It needed light behind it to show the fragility of the piece and this solves the problem beautifully. I will probably put a wash of a creamy white acrylic over the frame at some point. I have the next piece in the series in my mind. I just need a kick in the pants to get started!! 
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