Wednesday, 30 May 2018

My Anniversary day ...

Well this day each year always bites abit, I would have been married for
37 years today. 
Of course because himself jiggered off with a younger model, wanted a divorce and then went and died still aged only 40 - its always a hard day for me.
My kids of course never even think about it lol thankfully I suppose.
I never ventured back into the mating/hurting game and now I guess its just as well, looking around me at the half made this, that or the others : )

Okay enough nostalgia!
Hands up who remembers Bagpuss and the Clangers?
The original puppets have been on display at our Art Gallery, the Ferens.
I took a grandchild along to see them this week and he was not surprisingly, somewhat underwhelmed by their simplicity lol

Lovely to see original illustration artwork, the way it was before CGI and computers lol

     Ive forgotten what she was called, I didn't recognise her, a really spooky crow mind you! Do any of you recognise her?

The Poggles
                                                                   The Clangers 

              Interesting to see the dragon with its simply felt scales stuck on                      

                     Asparagus and Carrot rag dolls - late 1800s/early 1900s
                Ma-Coney rabbit 1930s
                Rag doll 1920s 


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Blue eggs!

I couldn't resist buying them, they were such a pretty shade of blue!
To be fair they tasted like any other egg but are much prettier : )

Just completed another book for work about a child's train journey, my own idea, for sighted children rather than visually impaired this time.

The book shows things seen from the carriage window and the window pages turn and enable the tactile character to be felt.

My granddaughters been creative too ----

The conversation went something like this -

Her Mum - Evie why on earth did you do that to your shoes?
Evie        - Because it makes them look pretty!
Her Mum - You do know your not supposed to draw on your shoes dont you?
Evie - Yes but I wanted to anyway.
Her Mum - Well that was naughty and there are consequences when your naughty aren't there?
You will use your birthday money to buy yourself a new pair of shoes and go to bed early tonight too for starters.
Tomorrow we will talk about this behaviour again.
Apparently Evie threw a tantrum and was not a happy lass LOL

To be fair, her Mum at about a year younger, scribbled on the back of our newly delivered air force blue leather suite chair - far less artistically - and it took me ages to remove most of it without her dad knowing it was there.
Brillo pads worked a treat but I did have to reposition the chair into a corner so he didn't find out that his precious suite was damaged by his precious daughter - until much, much later on : )

Sunday, 6 May 2018

May and glorious sunshine for a change from the rain : )

Amazing how wonderful you feel when after deluges of rain we finally have bright blue skies and the fauna is bursting with colour.
Trees and road side shrubs are burgeoning with leaf and blossom as well my back garden looking full of promise.
Mind you the tomatoes are abit slow so have given them some verbal encouragement, not that that always works with the grandchildren but maybe I will get more response from the plants!

It warms the soul to see all that expanse of blue above you and then to see how beautiful Mother Nature can be - frilly tulips - although spot the sneaky snail - pesky mite RIP

Thought you might like to see an alternative to Braille used in some of the adapted books I make.
Children with sight or cognative impairments in the special schools whose educational abilities are more seriously limited can sometimes learn to read MOON.
(Makaton is another probably better known alternative you may have heard of.)
MOON is a much simplified font that we print out onto Zychem paper, which is then fed through horizontally, what is basically a 'toaster' machine and that raises the surface of the font.
The font rises with the heat and the letters can then be felt with the fingers in the same manner that Braille is.
However MOON is a much simplified construct.
I had to make up a simply nursery rhyme 'book' last week and thought you might like to see it as an example of MOON in use.

 Not all the words are printed just titles so this child can say the words themselves with the teachers assistant.
But in keeping with the 'book' format the tactile item is alongside on the facing pages.
As in Hickory Dickory there is a small mouse for example and on/off sandpaper 'bricks' for Humpty's wall.
Further info about MOON in this link, scroll down a bit.

Took the dogs bed apart and before I could do much else Hilly had made herself comfy in the innards lol

Right must away and do some stitching outside beneath that  beautiful blue sky whilst its still here and listen to the birdsong.
You can never guarantee how long it the sun will stick around afterall!
Hope its warm and pleasantly wonderful wherever you are too : )

Oh and as an alternative to either hexagons or crazy patchwork nip across and take a look at this great idea!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

April is here and we may even get some sun and warmth!

Well another roundup here - as time seems to whizz by me and I try very hard to catch up with it.
I'm off work today having tripped and clattered splat, on a patio yesterday, reajusting my nose and upper lip abit and jolting my neck and shoulders, so am not at my best today.
I will refrain from any selfie since its not a pretty sight at the best of times, but with swollen nose and lips its far worse and I'd like you to pop back now and then!

I had a lovely Easter break, hope you all did too.
I went with my daughter, SIL and 2 kids and her in-laws to Cabo Roig in Spain where Tylah and Rich have an apartment.
The in-laws rented an apartment alongside and had their other son and daughter staying with them too.
So it was real family holiday.
It was lovely weather 21-24 degrees,  really welcome after a long grey and soggy winter here.
I enjoyed spending time with the grandchildren and when they went to the beach in the afternoons, I was able to sit and stitch in peace either at the apartment or in the Irish bar round the corner lol 
Not for me the sandy toes on the walk back to the apartment no,
rather the cocktails or beer, with an audio book and stitching for me and an occasional chat with other customers : )

Anyway some work bits Ive made 

A Storysack for Commotion in the Ocean 

                                 had some fun crocheting the barnacles

The tactile story books I make up has a large font print version of the story itself.
I use the original illustrations ( photocopied so the hard copy book isn't harmed) simplified and laid beneath the laminated pages, so the illustrator too, gets their work shown to anyone with sight that sees the book.
In this case I brailled the text and laid that over the print text too.
Then the tactile illustration elements are laid alongside the original illustrations and is always relevant to what is in the story on that page. 

The back board enables the tactile pieces to be added or taken off either the pages or the Velcro accepting fabric board itself.
Old wallpaper books are perfect for making these back boards, nice and strong enough to stand up safely.
Great fun to make these.

Also made this fastening cushion for a young lad with motor skills difficulties too.

We had Catherine Lawes speak at club last Saturday and she brought loads of her work to show us, some of which was wonderful.

and samples of her work are on

She stayed overnight and we had a workshop with her on the Sunday using layered strips of voiles and other fabrics to form a landscape.
Here's a couple in process of being made, neither of which are mine LOL cant find my camera at the moment!

Oh found it ... but its not finished and now I look at it,
I'm not sure I like it after all lol
Its supposed to be the Aurora but isn't bright enough, so will let it settle until I sort out my own voiles and silks.
I dont much like the moon either but again I didn't have a suitable moon fabric with me, so that will have to change too.

We used whatever Catherine had brought for us to use and I fancied making an Aurora picky to remind me of the times I had seen it for real, whilst sat on the jump seat on the flight deck, way back when I was an Air Load Master.
But its hard to recreate that utterly magical effect in textiles so needs abit of rethinking in fabric choices.

I have been making up some three quarter inch hexis, for something to do whilst sitting on the settee, with or without a cat and dog laid on or next to me.

I took some with me to Spain and managed 4 blue diamonds whilst there.
Evie took it upon herself to be the 'puller out of snipped basting stitches' and 'remover of papers' - since she said, she has smaller fingers LOL

I have been told that she will do all the rest for me as I make more diamonds too, so it seems she has given herself a role in the making of this quilt to be.

Of course I have no plan to it as such although I have joined together 3 of the blue diamonds so far and those with eagle eyes might have spotted my mistake?

I have stitched them staggered rather than alongside each other and I haven't noticed any stitched like this on Pinterest - so I'm guessing there must be a reason why others have not used this design ...!
But I'm not taking them apart now so have to see how it looks as it grows. 

I quite like the blue colourways so might just make more blues and keep the browns and purple aside for another cover. But its another way to use up scraps of course so an ongoing 'pick up and put down' activity.

Someone on FB told me about a book, which I have managed to pick up for £1.74 on Amazon!
The postage was £2.95 lol
It's called The Careless Quilter by Kristin Millar

It's actually an interesting book, explaining a manner of making a quilt from the centre out, allowing the quilt to form itself rather than set out with a precise pattern in mind.
It is an old book but choc full of advice and interesting information and how to's, so a very useful book to have. 

I have always said how resistant I am to strictly following patterns and this almost gives you permission to explore 'add ons' and spontaneously including corners and strips here and there.
It doesn't encourage sloppy stitching though, just creative exploration so an interesting book to read through.
Okay had best top up the pain relief, I thought I was healing nicely but actually I was just fully dosed up on pain relief I realise now!
My daughter was in the shower when she heard the splat sound and when she came downstairs, I was giving my grandson his lunch with a very red and swollen nose and lips - but he didn't seem to be scarred by the event at all! Phew lol
Well there was little point making a fuss when an 18 month old needed his lunch after all.
But as she came in and after explaining, I set off to the A&E, where I sat amongst some of lifes extremes of humanity - less said about that really!
Fortunately the Max facial Dr said I didn't need stitches although theres a really good sized split inside my upper lip and no, the nose wasn't broken, so it could have been far worse.
But the sort of whiplash my neck got is blummin painful still so codeine and paracetomol here I come : ) 
I will try and post again before May! Take care all : )

Monday, 12 March 2018

March? March!!

Well, what can I say except ..... its blummin March and this year
no longer last year! 

Happy New Year folks LOL

Here's a run down on what I've been making at work recently, there was much more but mostly duplicates of what I've shown on here before, but these are new.
The delightful little book 'Where's My Hug'

I bought a copy for myself since the illustrations were originally made with textiles and stitching and i have a small collection of books where textiles have featured.
My 4 year old granddaughter loves it as much as I do which is fun.
So I made a tactile book for work too  and here's a look see -
Tania Neasby is a talented textile artist who makes delightful pictures with textiles, often nursery rhyme like scenes, do look her up and this story is really charming.
You can see it pan out on the link Ive given above.

Then I was asked to make a story back board for the various books about Percy the Park Keeper which was fun.

This is mainly for use with hearing impaired children so it didn't need to be tactile so much and all the picture parts are on/off items to encourage story telling by the child him/her self.

I also had to make up a storysack based on the book Dachy's Deaf

As my daughter and I sat down in the cinema one evening 
( The Greatest Showman - just wonderful!)
 a text came through from my grandson on my phone
just as I was about to turn it off.

'Nannie I need to make a gallows with a hanging man for school.'

You know, as you do when you've had Crime & Punishment as the topic of the term lol
So I gathered the bits and he made the gallows with his Dad,
who held the nails whilst Jack wielded the hammer -
sore thumb and fingers later the gallows was built!
He made the man at mine the next week lol 

Okay that's a catch up of sorts, I realise I've missed shed loads of what I've done out, but am sure most of it wasn't worth mentioning anyway!
I went to see an open art exhibition today and must show you a trio of quilts I saw but not this post, need to get the pics off my phone first
Will be back later this week with another catch up : )

Take care all!