Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bunged up and fed up ...

Yes, am bunged up - nasally not innards! 
 - and am now fed up at being so.
The right side of my nose has been blocked for weeks, the cough and head-achey cold that so many have had and cant shake off, but its so tiring and I'm fed up of it now!

Anyways that aside I've not been too prolific but ....
I got annoyed so much with myself that I couldn't find the Janie Crowfoot crochet pattern Mystical Lanterns
- which is tucked safely away here at home somewhere -
I bought another copy!
Its a lovely shaped module, although here they are blocked out flatter: when you stitch them they go all skew whiff and I doubted they'd ever stitch together correctly lol
I am going to make a cushion with these wool oddments anyway.

This building is next to where I work and I find it really odd lol ....
its the Language Unit where children go who need help to speak properly! That's its buildings name!

Oh and I made a silly little pin cushion out of some narrow strips of acrylic felt, but it could be a good quick make idea for children.
I saw somewhere - strips of felt had running stitches along their length and they were then strung on xmas trees like garlands of pop corn.
Although they still looked like slightly gathered strips of felt to me lol

So I ran stitches along narrow felt lengths and pulled them into a coil, then stitched it all together then backed it with some scrap leather.
It wont win any prizes but it is easy enough to make.

And of course if you made enough you could stitch them altogether
and make a natty plate mat, table runner or penny rug!

Oh and I have to confess - I'm worried in case its my age ...
Have you seen Tom Hardy in his role in Taboo?
Swooon ...........................even though he's a terrible character!
I have always loved those long black maxi coats, maybe that's the appeal...

Image result for tom hardy

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Turbine blades are huge! and some stitchy bits

As part of our City of Culture celebrations we have a Siemen's wind turbine blade snuggled in amongst our old buildings and what an incredibly involved and lengthy process it was to get in amongst the Queen Victoria statue and the buildings!
75' long too.
Siemen's have built a factory here in Hull where they make these blades and they went to enormous lengths to transport this from there in to the city centre.
I mean, these things do NOT bend well round corners at all!

The blade was secretly installed overnight and throughout the following day, so secret was this celebratory City of Culture art installation,
that they hadn't obtained Planning permission!
Had they done so ahead of time, the secret would have been out of course, but naturally some 'Jobs Worth' in the Council has raised the issue. So retrospective permission is being sought. DUHHHH
It is pretty impressive!
If your interested how this mammoth made it in amongst the buildings, follow this link - clever work all round this.

And I make no apologies for reposting this, by far the best version of the made in Hull light show on the City Hall.

Our Ferens Art Gallery has been revamped with super clever up to the minute, humidity controls to enable us to have some of the wonderful (Turner) art exhibitions in future and it opened last weekend.
I popped in with my grandson to see the Ferens Open Art Exhibition and there were some stunning pieces submitted.
He was totally Unimpressed lol

Remarkably, every man, woman and child there seemed to be taking photos with their mobile phones or Ipads!
This was certainly never allowed before but I gladly followed suit lol
Apparently in its first week of reopening, there were well over 30,000 visitors!
( My apologies but I will pop back and add in the makers names when I unearth the galleries brochure ..... which is somewhere safe at the moment ... bear with me!)

Loved this character, all made up from washers, serviette rings, bicycle cogs and other odds and ends!

This stunning mosaic rocking horse listed at over £2000 was superb!
If you embiggin ( do love your word Mary Ann lol ) the pictures, you will see that there are several of those delightful vintage porcelain half dolls sat on the saddle!

Lovely also to see textile pieces included again, the Ferens was often resistant in the past at including stitched or textile work, but I'm happy to see that is continuing to change!

Also loved the penguins!!

This was a large and stunning piece of work which I think was etched onto metal with fine silvery paint added onto the surface. Remarkable.

My grandson sat last weekend and archeologically 'dug' a few artifacts out of a lump of 'sand' that he had as a Christmas gift and he soon lost interest in archaeology!
Oh how short a concentration some span youngsters have!
Until that is, I suggested that he could make a mini tomb to house the artifacts.
With that he set to digging with much enthusiasm and there was bloody sand everywhich where in my lounge!
But he made great use of double sided tape, a discarded cat food satchet box, some sandpaper for the inner walls, sugar paper on the outside of the box and strong glue to fasten the artifacts in position.
He was chuffed to bits with it too bless him.
Car boot hunting now include further Egyptian artifacts to put in.....he tells me.

Workwise I've been making a Storysack of Marion Gambles childrens book 'Jack wants a pet', a story set in Australia.

Eagle eyed amongst you, might notice the bodged hedgehog!
He has additional claws on his front feet, an extended nose and a small hard hairbrush stitched onto his back lol
He is a bad representation of an Echidna, a seriously spikey hedgehog like creature!
Image result for echidna pictures

I'm using the same storyboard idea with Velcro accepting fabric on it and gathering in all the various animals from the story .... though so far Ive had to make everything but the dingo!
Duck billed platypuss, goanna, wombat, possum and koala to follow ...
I will be lucky to get this finished before Australia Day for our Peri teacher to use!

Today at stitchy club, we had a Hope Flag making workshop and it was really successful.
I was theoretically running it but it wasn't a case of giving everyone a template pattern thankfully and everyone mucked in.
Most of the 25 or so members already had an idea what they might do, all I provided was a stash of scraps to ferret through, books and printed pictures for inspiration, basic rules of requirements, a Big Shot machine and dies plus stamps and stamp pads to play with.
(Many thanks to Jean too for bringing in her die cutting machine and being the tutor on die cutting!)
We are making our version of Prayer Flags - ie.  Hope Flags, to display along with some of members work, in Beverley Minster in May this year.
Here are some pictures of some completed ones.
We have limited the size to A5 since they will be hanging above the heads of visitors.
Oh and they need to have something front and back too!

  one side of mine : )

Margaret above had sued some self adhesive letters she got in Hobbycraft, don't they look great!

A couple of the ladies had made themselves one of these below and I reckon they must be really useful.
I don't recall seeing the pattern before but if anyone recognises it I would be grateful to know whose pattern it is please?
I forgot to ask them and it will be weeks till I see them again.

It has a carry handle, is a pin cushion, has pockets all round for scissors, pencils etc and one of the ladies added the buttons on each corner to hang things off.
Clever eh!
Take care all : )

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

I do like being off work lol

Its all over bar the New Year celebrations, it went quicker than last year - all that organising and Christmas is been and gone already!
Hope you all had a wonderful time anyway, as did I.

I had a go at the jelly roll race method of making a quilt top, used a Moda Scrap Bag I'd picked up a while back.
It's true, you can make a jelly roll race top within an hour!
This is about 45" x 60" ish and the top went together in around 40 minutes, probably less because I made 2 mugs of tea in that time too.
Next day I simply quilted straight lines and put it all together.
I may applique a bird or two onto it to add some brightness and interest and then gift it to Linus to use as they see fit.

I also put together some of the smaller scrappy log cabin blocks I've been hand stitching now and then.
But stitched them between some cat squares, with no real plan as yet. 

I might just make lots of scrappy blocks and then jigsaw them in some kind of pleasing arrangement.
The larger ones aren't stitched together, but I've made quite a few of those and am hand quilting them one by one, again to use up the scraps.

I nabbed a charity shop pine desk today for £45, well £60 with delivery.
It should be perfect to set the sewing machine on and then - in theory - my dining table will be clear, to eat off - lol
The drawers should hold all the cutting rulers, machine extra bits and possibly one of the other machines in the right side cupboard.
Think I will almost certainly paint it cream inside and out in the better weather. That way it will match my reclaimed wood topped dining table which has cream painted pine legs.

Happy New Year to you and yours all : )

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Almost Christmas - 2016

Crikey, almost a month since I wrote a post ... I'm slipping, packing too much into too little time - though it could also just be my appalling time management lately!

I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
and Happy Hanukkah Deanna to you too : )

 Spencer arrived safely 13 days late and both Mum and baby are doing just fine. He arrived at 9lbs 1oz, lost no weight at all and is now 9lbs. 10oz.

I have broken up from work for a couple of weeks but this is some of  what I made just before we split up.
A batch of drawstring bags for children to identify the contents by touch alone and some sensory cushions too.

I met a pal for a coffee the other day and this is the natty advertising campaign they have had to resort to, since there is so much building going on about the entrance to the lane they are in.

Clever, although I had a long blonde hair laid across the cake I ordered and Jean had an eyelash in her coffee! 
I wont be going back there lol

This impressive mosaic above is on the now very empty British Home Store building in Hull. Can you see the cities name in the sails?
It's an iconic piece of artwork and happily the new owners of the building are going to renovate it and allow it to remain a part of the cities history.
It was created by Alan Boyson in the 1960s.
More of his artwork can be seen here -

Interestingly they have uncovered a 22 foot long interior mosaic too, that will also now be exposed for all to see.

Below is a bit of this particular artworks history in case your interested, if not scroll on by !

: )

The concave mosaic of Three Ships on the front of British Home Stores, home of the co-op building in Hull, is a well-known city centre landmark. However, there is an equally important artwork on the interior of the building which was recently rediscovered by the developers of the of the five storey property.
Manor Property Group is currently developing plans to refurbish the former co-op store and recently unveiled the interior mosaic on the top floor in the former Skyline Restaurant and ballroom. It is 6.85m (22.5 feet) long and made of ceramic tiles, marble and stone that depict ceramic fish swimming freely in a tile background of bubbling water. The whole piece is set between massive columns of kelp-like fronds in stone. 
The significance of both the exterior and interior mosaics only came to light when Manor was contacted by Christopher Marsden, a researcher writing a paper for the Journal of the Tile and Architectural Society.
Robert Lane a director of Manor Property Group says the interior mosaic has survived very well and only requires a clean to bring it back to its original state. He commented: “We were delighted to hear from Christopher and to know we have a piece of history on the front of our building, and even more excited to rediscover the fish mural on the fourth floor of the building. 
“This work has been covered up and forgotten for many years, but it has survived very well and we have plans to clean and refurbish it and incorporate it into the exciting plans for the redevelopment of the building now known as Manor Point, Hull.
“The exterior Three Ships requires some repair work as there are many scaffold holes in the face of the mural and we will be addressing this work as part of the buildings refurbishment with specialist contractors.”
Both mosaics were created by Alan Boyson who was commissioned to design Three Ships in Hull by Co-op project architect Philip Andrew in 1963. He created the iconic exterior ‘fishing town’ image, which was executed in glass tile mosaic as it was too big for traditional ceramic work.  
Christopher Marsden explained: “The Hull mosaic symbolises the city’s fishing industry and captures the important role it played in the city’s heritage. I hope this research will re-awaken interest in the mosaic which has been on the front of the store for over 40 years. It looks as good today as it did when it was first created. It remains a testament and a reminder to residents and visitors to Hull of the importance and associated dangers the fishing industry brought to the city.”
The whole piece is 66 feet high x 64 feet wide. The face of the mural includes 4,224 foot-square slabs (each made up of 225 tiny glass cubes); altogether there are 1,061,775 pieces.  The mosaic work was carried out by Richards Tiles Ltd from (now part of Johnsons Tiles Ltd) and affixed by A. Andrews & Sons (Marble & Tiles) Ltd of Leeds who is still trading today.
Boyson was commissioned to produce the second mural for a prominent position under what was regarded at the time as ‘an innovative and daringly thin concrete handkerchief shell roof’ on the
fourth floor of the building. The work was re discovered when Mr Marsden visited Hull to research the work and made contact with the owners of the building

Monday, 28 November 2016

Private EJ Bassett RIP

Another month has gone by and we await the arrival of my third grandchild, currently a week overdue and clearly a football player to be, since he is kicking merry hell out of Tylahs' tummy!
Before I go on, below is a post I put on my Facebook page, its an abbreviated story about my dear pal Jen and a Private Bassett who lost his life at the Battle of the Somme.
Maybe you too will think it touching .. the pins in question can be obtained from the Royal British Legion.

Must tell you folks because I suspect you will all understand : )
My pal Jen bought a poppy broach.
A firm is selling a metal poppy made from WW1 shell cases which they have then painted with red enamel paint which is mixed with a portion of soil actually from the Somme.
You got the broach and it has a commemorative card with it, with the name and number of a soldier that died at the Somme,
You didn't get to choose who it was, it was a name from the very long list of fatalities.
Jen got Private Bassett of the Devonshire Regt. She researched him and found he died aged 32, wasn't married and neither of his surviving sisters married, so there was no surviving family left to think about him.
This year she and hubby Steve went to see the huge crater left after the biggest bomb in WW1 and to be at the Somme on the very day, 100 years ago that it all happened. She was going to take wooden crosses to place somewhere in remembrance of her own ancestors and also one for this Private Bassett.
On the way there the guide on the coach ( a Birmingham firm organised the tours and most of the guides are ex police ) said he would take them, off the cuff, to a trench graveyard, where men had died and were simply buried in the trench they held onto - to the end.
What were the chances - It was the Devonshire Regt !
And the second gravestone in was Private Bassett ...................
Isn't that simply wonderful?
All his details checked out and she was able to actually place her wooden cross on his own grave.
What are the chances of that happening spontaneously like that and how lovely that someone who has no one left to remember him, was personally commemorated by someone all these years later.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Stash pic update, Elsa Tree and the Speedweve loom

Nannette said she would like to see the cd cabinets stocked with fabrics and so I've had a go, who knew I shook so much taking pi!
AND who knows where the lead is to transfer pics off my phone to the laptop?
Come on, own up!
Well after several emails from my phone to my email service
and then several more because the first batch were fuzzy wuzzy lol
Here's a view of the inside of the odd little curtained off part of my what is my back room downstairs.
It was once a shower and loo, then it became a little office then I came along and turned it into a curtained off glory hole, where now, its theoretically a stash-behind-the-curtain area.
It also houses a table behind the camera : ) - on which the cat food is and beneath which the litter box sits, so its an altogether multi functioning area.
I had no idea over the years I had accumulated quite so much fabrics ...

: )
 looking right are some ore cuts and a layer cake or two, paper patterns and boxes of ufos ..
 looking further right is another stand tucked away ..
 and looking left at that point is the dark wood, odd cd stand the store threw in as a freebie since Id bought all the others lol  which is fuzzy because I sneezed, sorry!
Years ago someone gave me a lot of perle threads and I am slowly working my way through them, some of which hang on the metal hoops.
Looking down you will see that the floor area is still in chaos but its perfect for throwing bags in when someone is due to arrive and you want the illusion that the living room is tidy - Ha!
The blue bag is my Singer One machine, not very expensive but super!
Don't ask whats under the table there!
Well, okay its 2 huge bags of scrap fabrics, a big container of beads and notions I once thought would be fine all jumbled together - big mistake really that.
And another big bag of used fabric offcuts, denim etc.
So there, my confession is over.
That's the downstairs stash ..............
then there is still some large fabric lengths and the wool stash upstairs .....

I forgot to show you this natty little gadget, I paid 25p for it, or did I?
Well anyway if I did, its worth looking at again : )
It intrigued me that's why I bought it, so I could look it up on the all knowledgeable and too powerful Google.

The Speedweve Model 2 is a natty gadget from yesteryear, made by a Lancashire Firm and was basically I think Lancashires smallest commercial weaving loom. For a full update on it, please go to the following informative blog post, with a full step by step how to use it!

Now is that natty or what, rather wish I had the accompanying mushroom bit now but I simply adore the method of changing the warp!
Inspired : )
Oh and I have finished an Elsa tree, so now must make a few more for the stall. Now I know how I want them to basically look, each one will be slightly different and there are some Anna's to make too.
This one is 8" diameter the others may well be 10", this was the prover size.

And finally a gratuitous pet picture: companionship reigned this afternoon whist the sun shone, my washing wafted briefly and I had a cupper out back, hoping there might be some vitamin D in the weak suns rays!


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