Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Little Lady is finished now ....

Well, I did attach that piece of frazzled upholstery fabric and prefer it now that the overall shape is more balanced. 
http://spiritcloth.typepad.com/ This is the link to Judes blog and online classes, hadn't got it to hand when I mentioned her in a previous post. Her work is simply wonderful and her animals are just a joy.
I'm doing her Cloth to Cloth which is the precursor to other, more involved classes of hers. Some of which are to be released on dvd...and I may have to treat myself to those lol
I won't divulge her methods but this is one of the samples I did using her ideas. Jude likes to use old shirts and clothing and I did make a block with some shirting Id been given. Although it was beautifully soft I could not get inspired by the fabrics. I seem to have a glitch in my brain and see those shirt checks in Janet Bolton designs.........which are formulating in my minds eye and have been for a while now. But my own versions using her style, rather than recreating her actual designs themselves.

This little Jude style sample used up many of the oddments from bits used in the little lady above, so I can see several more like this one evolving. I love to sit and take from a bag of bits and create then
hand stitch from there....too lazy to waltz upstairs to the workroom...some might say....yes Jean your probably right!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Almost done....

Well here she is, can't decide if shes finished yet, so she's sat on the wall, whilst I consider some more ............ I have a piece of heat zapped fabric that may need to be hand stitched onto the bottom right corner...Oh the decisions we have to make on a daily basis eh!!

There's button hole strips in there and also half a teabag but there's none of my mother of pearl yet, so that needs to be included too.......will have made my mind up by tomorrow.... :)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What I'm up to now.........

I mentioned last post I think it was that I was going to use some of the eco dyed bits of fabric up and had the idea for some little stitched fabric collages of sorts. So this is far as I've got and I'm really enjoying doing it. I much prefer to hand stitch than machine. This way, I can stitch with my feet up on a padded cushion and one ear and eye on the tv and whatever programme Im interested in at the time. Therapy in action!
This little lady is printed on a cotton fabric, Ive used her afew times now. She came out of an early 20th Century sewing book  I found. I think shes a cutey.  The fabrics have been either rusted or eco dyed, though the flash of yellow simply came to hand, when I fished in the bag for another something to lay down and its not been altered in anyway. Think I will keep it in though, I quite like it.
Theres more to do on it and am not so sure how to back it yet. Its base is a thoroughly machine washed cream wool coat that refused to felt down.

The below pic is of some rolls of synthetic edging I think, though what it might have been for I have no idea! A friend at work gave them to me last week, wondering if I could use them for something ... Well yes says I, I'm sure I can ~ lol when really I should have said.........no, I have enough junk!
At first I could see them woven together and then embellished maybe, but am going to put them to one side because I have other things I must crack on with first and am sure, I'll think of something else to use them for at some point.
(Assuming I can find them, when I next want them.......)
I have overdone myself abit I think... in that I have begun Shelagh Folgate's Smashees workshops...well, I say begun.... Im still reading through what I need to do and the next workshop will be here before I know it!

But theres no hurry to those series of workshops and we can do them as we please, which is a nice relaxed way of doing them.
Check them out via shelaghs blog, google her name, she'll pop up!
Though if I do them out of cinc, I will miss out on the relevance of the chat in the workshops yahoo group!

Then I decided to try one of Jude Hill's workshops too............google JH and 'Cloth Whispering', sorry havent got the link to hand just now, and signed up for the pdf and video tutorial workshop Cloth to Cloth.

So I won't be able to say I've nothing to do for a while yet!
But what fun!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Icy Marina, stones, cracks, and a denim bag

 A trip to town and the top storey of the car park which overlooks Hull's Marina.... this shows how icy it was there at that time. There followed a heavy snow storm which an hour later, when I emerged from the stores, had not only stopped but there was bright blinding sunshine!

Anywhichways the ice also took my eye in the back garden, making the pebbles look interesting .......... and also the patio area, with the cross hatch of slabs, all with that layer of thick frost....

Made this jeans pocket shoulder pouch, thought it might be cute for a child as a stocking filler, front and back views here.

Having read the three books by Steig Larson recently..The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo being the first one........ I watched the dvd today and was quite pleased the way they had made it into film.
So sad that the guy never saw the success his books have achieved.
The first one did take me a while to get into, but then its all go and I couldnt put it down. I had to read the second hot off after that first one too and then the third lol you know its a winner, when your hooked like that!
Okay off to handstitch, the need to do so, is upon me ~ and to weave with natural dyed fabrics too........ yet theres UFOs sat here, still waiting for the inspiration to move me, to add whatever is needed for it to be complete.......go figure!

Monday, 13 December 2010

An angel, an owl, head hugger, wreath, scarf and gloves....

These makes show how butterfly brained my Creative Gene is I reckon. I trip from one thing to another, lacking in discipline just following the creative urge lol
I knitted up two Head Huggers, but forgot to put the second in the picture dohhhhh. This one has 3 vintage buttons stitched in place at one side. The owl xmas decoration was made from fulled woollies and the doily angel which looks like Susan Boyle I realise as I look at it..........spooky! Shes made from a tea stained blank dolly with old cotton fabric doily's. And though you cant see them, she has a small piece of hand made lace stitched in position like a thong........lest anyone look up her skirt should she be on a xmas tree..
The wreath was made with fulled fabrics all pinioned onto a wire coat hanger, which I have to tell you, to find,
are like rocking horse sh+~.....
They were once like road side traffic cones, everywhere in the world. But
now, they are so hard to find! This one was found after visiting several different charity shops and had just been dumped in their skip out back! The lass went and retrieved it for me, so I gave her 50p for the collection box.  So if you see any........grab em and save them for when you need them...they'll be on Antiques Roadshow one day, you'll see!
Mind you, its everso heavy with all that wool on it!

Then I made up some fingerless gloves and finished stitching here and there on the almost matching scarf......... now to bed, work tomorrow.... with more snow forcast for the weekend coming... !

Monday, 6 December 2010

View from an office window, gas mask box and more woolly makes

 Not  a bad outlook from a works window is it this? The sun was trying to break through the clouds as I opened the office blinds.
Am working from home though tomorrow, because we had no water to wash or make hot drinks with, since the pipes had frozen and Id had to abandon my car in the car park which was several inches thick with snow and packed ice.
It was right ball game trying to get out to come home this afternoon lol og the fun we had...........sighhhh

This is the finished gas mask box that the lovely work experience lass made for me for the Topic Box. She only had 2 days with us before the school building closed, so our unit was unable to get in and we all had to work from home last week. The weather short changed her of her weeks work experience, such a shame.
She also stitched round the hood for me for this hooded gas mask so i will crack on  and complete this now.

These two I sat and made last night but the gaudy crochet head hugger  is made of 70% wool, so I may felt that up abit, to make it nice and snug.
The blue n purple is made from vintage wool 4ply with an acrylic variegated. 2 x the 4 ply with the variegated double knit, so it knitted up really fast.
At this rate I will never, ever, knit up all the wools I have in my stash lol Im gonna HAVE to live forever!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Dont think Ive posted this tree before, but then with all this snow it seems kind of appropriate to post it, it has a snowy look and feel to it! I still think it needs a cat sat beneath it, must get the polyclay out and make one.

Needed a break from stitching so gathered up some yarns and curled up with some knitting needles and a crochet hook. These Head Huggers are surprisingly warm and I like making them. Each ones always different cos I dont follow patterns very often, just wing it with whatever yarns Ive used. These two are simple garter stitch of course so no real artistry involved anyway!

(jean take note!) I finally altered the hot water bottle cover I made from an old but fabulous woollen blanket into a bag. Only taken what, two years to get round to it?!
Put a phone pocket inside it and added the belt strap to it and it looks the part at least now.
Did consider dyeing a cream belt in an elderberry eco bath but mines on its last legs now and I couldnt rob the wild birds of any more berries with this snow!
Besides the strap could likely rub colour off onto clothing so thought better of that idea.
Lunch is calling me, and I may have to knit more Huggers, my 'Creative Gene' has knitting on her mind at the moment.
Though last night I did start a Doiley Angel for my xmas tree, so have her wings to fashion yet, guess thats mu Sunday planned, with dvd films to watch in the background. Its a hard life isnt it!
OH!!! Must show you this......... was on our local Freecycle site earlier ( called Freegle here in Hull for whatever reason)
I love this Offer.........

Drive full of snow, unwanted gift. Free to collect at a time to suit you. Unlucky people please note there may be more on offer early next week

Fair Offer Policy: I agree to take a period of time to see what responses I get before deciding who to give item(s) to. This gives members on Daily Digest, or those who don't have continual access to the Internet a fair chance to reply.

Great or what!!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Remember those presstuds? And the frazzled seat head cover!

I wondered what would happen if I put those presstuds Id been given, into a balsamic and vinegar rust bath, so wrapped up abit of linen with them and afew bits of rust and low and behold!
They didnt rust but have a blue tinge to many of the exposed ones, which in itself is interesting and this was the above fabric before I rinsed it out and dried it. You can see the presstuds in places on it dried! The 2nd pic below is the fabrics reverse side.

And as promised heres the heat gun frazzled, rust effect on that seat head cover. It tears away from itself easily and is abit harsh to the touch but interesting yes?
Thanks Jean for finding it for us to faff with!

A mummified angel, flight seat head covers and snow.....ho ho ho

I have no idea why my Creative Gene had me clad this poor little damaged doll in mummification wraps! But having said that, I quite like her lol  Shes wearing a fabulous but broken old button. I swathed her in strips of onion skin dyed fabric, then stitched on torn shreds of heat gun frazzled, rust dyed aircraft seat head covers....see below about them.....and finally wrapped her round with some elderberry dyed builders scrim. Poor lass! Still theres no sign of the broken leg now that she had before I swaddled her!

The trapped heart in the cage is made from fulled woollens, beaded and blanket stitched together with a bundle of hand tied glittery threads.......it does nothing for me lol
so I may take it all apart yet!
 This little madonna and child was made from a quick sketch I did whilst doodling a week or two back. I unearthed the pad with the sketches of ideas Id had and happened to have blue felt to hand, so made one as a prototype xmas decoration, to see if she worked.
I quite like her so may do afew more, each that little bit different though, no two quite the same.

Now Ive finally stitched in position my stems for the final Shelagh Folgate Challenge piece we were doing...she'll likely faint at seeing this if she reads my blog lol Im WAY behind! I still have leaves and some additional layering to do on it.
Yet I now have the first workshop to start, from her new bumper 8 workshop series so im kind of playing catch up right from the word go lol
8 workshops for £40 and well worth the doing! Sent to us at monthly intervals to do at our own pace, so please do have a look at shelaghs blog......simply google shelagh folgate  and youll find a link to her.
Ive enjoyed, learned and picked up loads of additional advice along the way, by following her this past year or two, and theres the bonus of a yahoo groupalong when you join these workshops, so bonus commarderie.

Doesnt this pic make my street look pretty? The snow covers the dropped beer cans and dropped cig ends!!! I could quite believe I lived in a smart area lolol

This caught my eye out back, its the clematis branches frozen above the water butt 
A pal gave me some white fabric, like the head covers you often find on coaches or aircraft seats you know? Our local Scrapstore had them in ages ago and I cant have picked any up to faff with, but she did.........put them somewhere safe........and then unearthed them again lol you know how it goes!
 The lower pic may shows the edge where it would be velcroed onto the head rest. I wrapped them round rusty bits and soaked them in balsamic vinegar for a week or two so this is why they have this rich colour to them. Now add to this that if you heat zap them, they distress into lacey formations that tear easily...well, what fun! This is what i stutched onto mummified angel but not sure whether you can enlarge her pic and pick it out. But I will take a pic of it heat zapped and post it next time.
SO! If your on a coach trip, ask if you could have some of the head seat covers esp if they are going to be changed and thrown away after your trip! :)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Yes more K&S and my alternative angels

Ive been meaning to use a small collection of little dolls that Ive gathered for a year or two now. Funny how the Creative Gene kicks in and you 'have' to do a thing 'then', isnt it.
Tho maybe thats just me!
I so envy those disciplined Creatives out there  but spontanious is my thing in truth.
Thank goodness I make OOAK!

So here are two little alternative angels.
Entrapment below and Rusty Angel (1) because shes clad in some of the fabrics Ive rusted up through the summer. Ive several more of these cages, bargain car boots buys mid summer so toying with what to dow ith the others now....lol  maybe her arms and legs should be in the others and it be a set!
hmm now that was joke but.......

Theres alot more rusting fabric pickling out back come to think of it, but its too cold to go get it from the garden!

Yes, thats my bed above......Posted by PicasaI vacated it this morning and by the time I came back both dogs had taken up position next to the radiator!
Damned cheek lol ~ but not daft are they!

Our school is closed -  having scraped the car off of snow.....(with a plastic tray which makes the job so much easier, the hell with car scrapers where the fingers get wet!)
I get indoors to find Ive had a call saying work at home......so I am, well not RIGHT now, but I had brought stuff to do just in case, no hardship and at least Im warm!

The pastel pic on the wall was done by an ex work colleague, Sally Nicholson, but I thought it was somehow special and had to buy it.
Though it wouldnt be everyones taste I realise.
Its always struck me as being 'what might have been', had my hubby not left and then not died. But in reality, I know it wouldnt have happened so guess its an 'if only' but I still love it lol <<<<< dippy mare yes I agree!

I cant have taken pics of one of the members of the Smallchat exhib at Harrogate that Id been struck by. But Id so like it if you visited their website and browsed there to see some of the work.

Ann Small is inspired by the fragile forms of nature and one of her pieces especially struck me, it was about 12" wide and very, very long.
A sort of strip piece of an amonite, but worked in layers of fabric, then cut back to reveal layers beneath..............cant think what that technique is called, barins on go slow.
Thats a crap explanation and am sure if you look at her work it will make far more sense to you!
It was a very clever method of using thick wadges of fabrics to create the fragile effects of shell and so wonderfully done that it had depth and movement to it. Loved her work.
http://www.smallchat.co.uk/ look for Ann Small
I did buy their postcard pack and have to mention Helen Oleary too, her work was nostaligic and quite beautiful. But sad somehow. Though its about womens lives lost and long gone and how textiles were a part of them, to me it was less a celebration, more a solemn remembrance.
But I did like what she had done, it was very touching.
Ok had best do abit of work. Need to research more for the topic boxes.

Ive had a work experience lass in monday and tuesday and shes made me a gas mask box for the WW1 topic box. Ive given herthe job of making the hood for the pull on gas mask Id started too so she had something interesting to do, rather than shed loads of filing or laminating!
So will post her work as well next entry so you can follow the idea I had about the gas mask hood.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Whilst I remember

I sat next to a lovely canadian lady on the coach the other day and her friend in Canada keeps all seams off jeans when she uses them for their fabric.
You know like when you cut the front and back jeans legs apart and you have 2 x 31" lengths of the seams left over?

Well I already have a bag full of seams from girly dresses and other clothing, they can be twisted to make lovely flowers for pins or decorations.
I also have used the jeans seams to make flowers as well, but they are bulkier and dont twist quite as nicely.
But this lady had saved up all those leg seams and then stitched them together into a fabric bowl which by the nature of it being doubled up denim, was a very sturdy bowl cum basket!
I love this idea so am now on the cadge for more jeans!
What a smashing door mat it could make, oversewing with strong, maybe colourful thread, those long seams?
Maybe they could be woven into a warp of pretty fabric?
They could make table mats, coiled up and oversewn as baskets like this lady had done...
or coiled similarly to make a hat!

Im on a mission!!!!

Oh and the pockets?
At K&S there was a wall hanging made out of jeans pockets stitched onto a backing fabric. About 3 across and 3 down, looked to be mens jeans cos they were big pockets but it was a hanging to store pencils in, to tuck bits into.........ideal for a kids bedroom next to the bed or for alongside the computer maybe...loved that idea too.........
Fun for the making lol

WW1 gas mask, scarves and sad news

Am back to work at last after having a lengthy cold and my eyes are almost back to normal after the secondary conjunctivitus, so am able to get stuck into the Topic Boxes again. This gasmask outline above is a freebie online pattern  with instructions to make it in card. But Id seen a photograph of what WW1 soldiers were issued with first off, and they were basically this design face mask, set within a hood that fit over the head and shoulders.
It cant have offered very much protection from the gasses and it would have been difficult to have any useful field of vision from within it.
But it would be ideal for a VI child to place over the head, if they are willing to!...to recreate the wearing of such a mask.
And as such it would go well with the trenches model Ive made and psoted about previously.
 Ive made the mask out of fun foam though and used a cut down thick cardboard carpet roll inner for the mouth bit.
That's been covered as in the original insts. with (I used several) layers of bubble wrap at both ends and around, the cardboard tube.
Its then been set into the mouth opening from behind and secured in position with double sided and sellotape.
Will take a pic of the inside so you can see that I have overlapped the last layer of bubble wrap, so there is means to secure it in place.

It yet needs see thru plastic set in the eye areas and then stitching into position in a fabric hood. I'm going to hand stitch the fun foam mask in place though, because I suspect machining it, might enable the fun foam to tear away? Its a prototype so if it doesnt appear to work I will rethink that as and when though.
The other two pics are of some fulled scarves Ive made, with holes in them and oddly sliced out areas. so you can tuck the ends of the scarves in much like a cravat.
It was vintage wool felt and has fulled beautifully, though the greyish one is thinner and as you can see I didnt iron it very well lol but thats going in for another felting, so the crumplyness of it is more even.
Now I have to say I read the  http://red2white.wordpress.com/author/red2white/ blog post the other day and there were these stunning scarves with holes in them, in sumptious colourways, felted from scratch.
And I had been sat there for a several nights already cutting away at this vintage felt I had, to make much the same kind of thing, but by cheating!
I left a comment saying that mine would never be a match for hers but wasnt it funny the way we Creatives have similar ideas, wherever we are in the world BUt thats oem of us are just MUCH cleverer at it than the rest of us lol
Youve seen mine, now see some perfect examples at the link above!

Thats one of the last wreaths I made, think thats been posted previously.

Lovely pal Mary from Oz told me to expect a cheesy book for my birthday which was ordered in Oz but shipped from the USA.......and it had arrived on saturday when I got home laden with the K&S goods.
So there am I unwrapping it, expecting a cookery book about cheese.... but...it wasnt! lol
But this is a lovely surprise, it has short essays for each day of the year and quotes and snippets of poems too. The idea being that you read an essay a day over the year and presumably find a peaceful thought and place at least that once each day.
Since my birthday was last month, not sure if I should hang fire and start it on january 1st or try and read back and catch up till today............but then I wont have that simple pleasure of reading the one piece each day, if that makes sense?! So thankyou Mary. I love it xx

I had sad news last week, my sons godfather had died after a 6 month battle with cancer. 6 months to the day they had told him he probably only had 6 months to live.
Drew was a simply lovely man who adored his wife and kids and grandchild, something I so admired in him, throughout the years.
A chap with a lilting scots brogue to his speech and the most infectious laughter of any man I've ever met. A smoker all his life sadly.

We flew together now and then when both on10 SQN in the RAF, before he was posted onto The Queens Flight and galavanted about places with members of our Royal Family.

Drew and I once went to Hanover as part of an RAF crew and had several days there till the flight home. So I had intended to take the opportunity to sample German white wines, which at the time I needed for my upcoming wedding ( back in 1981).
Drew being a helpful soul, staight way offered to assist me in this.
He was a canny shopper and Maz his wife, says they had the best loft insulation in the world, cos he would buy "bargains" from overseas and she would stuff most of it in the loft, till when it was ever needed.
If they were ever short of anything, there would be another, in the loft!

So we went off shopping for various labelled bottles, pricing and fathoming what was the better deal and taste.
I dont think we were sober for 3 or 4 days and we laughed so much that we cried buckets. 
  Fortuneatly we were sober by the time we had to return the aircraft to UK lol
But we had managed to select both a white German wine and a sparkling wine, so I came back laden with a small cargo of 'crew baggage' wine cases.
Even with a customs payment at this end, I was still quids in!
So Maz, Leanne and Ashley have lost a Treasure and the world is very much the poorer.
Whilst I dread his funeral on 9th December, I cant miss it and wish to goodness I had seen him before he left us.
However, we did once agree that whoever went first, we'd keep a stool for the other at The Bar................so hope he remembers!

Yes more K&S uniform pics......youre bored now arent you lol

Am reposting these pics the right way round because I felt they deserve to be seen right.
There were two awful full face and headgear things that I cant have photographed, presumably for the chap to wear over the face/head for protection during the course of the treatments stages.
They must have been very restrictive and were in standard military fabrics so wouldnt have been kind to the delicate facial areas.
I love what Paddy did to the pockets though dont you?
Like layers. And I pick up from this that the army was his life or maybe they were army doctors who undertook this reconstruction?
It would have been a pioneering proceedure Im sure back in 1939.

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More Knitting & Stitches and a uniform pic right way up!

Okay this triptych ( is it?) was hung impresively together like below.

Im 5' 8" and they were longer then I am tall. By Ann Deckers who told me it took her a whole 6 months to make..........
like I could manage anything like that within a year or more!

The shoal of fish were delightful and the floaty chap alongside here was so delicate you could almost anticipate his next gentle pulse movement forwards.

The technique used is shibori, dye resist, in which I know very little. She used only indigo and worked from the front and the back.....and then laboriously and carefully cut back the velvet pile.

Quite amazing but sadly the pics dont do the colour justice. There was subtle shading to the velvet background.

This face blew me away, called About Face by Lynne ProsserIt was impressive, not as scary as it may at first appear, because you could clearly see the care taken to merge the fabrics together. All manner of fabrics were used.
Whilst I may not want to live with him on my wall, I do like the technique and have seen cats and old faces done in a  similar way which were stunning too.

Here's one of the uniforms right ways up, I found which button I hadnt clicked lol


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