Monday, 29 March 2010

Another two Killed catalogues!

These two wouldnt load up on the previous post but they are
two more to alter!
Someone gave me copies of The Fortean Times, so am going to bury them during the summer, to see what state they end up in and of course their pages are full of Alien abductions and conspiracy theories, so they might well have interesting text to play with lol

NEC Visit

Now I have to include this chair because it was simply SO stunning and I wanted to there and then chase off with it in my arms. This was being exhibited by Dr Isabel Elliott whose 3 or 4 display stalls were marked up 'A Celebration of Stitch' and by jove they were exactly that! They weren't even all her lifes work, she said she had as much again and more,
 at home!
Isabel was former Mistress of Embroidery ( now I LOVE that title!) at Gloucester Cathedral but way before that was a Geologist for the, what is now Natural History Museum.
She may be an elderly lady, but what a 'Gentlewoman' she is. A Lady from an era long gone now,she is articulate, interesting, a lively communicator and seemed to have boundless energy considering she must have been there thursday to sunday! I spoke to her both friday and saturday and she kindly allowed me to take these photos, to show friends who are Miniaturists primarily, but who also recognise fascinating stitchery too.
The chair she saw and felt sorry for, at an auction and bought it though in well worn condition for  a £1. It had been upholstered very well in its day she recognised and she hung onto it, until one day it dawned on her what to do with it.......well, it was Childs chair afterall, she said!

These were what I knew my friends would have found such fun, an alternative wall hung miniature house, well, shops in this case!
But she had also stitched a whole village! Her houses ranged from twelfth scale down to 24th scale and smaller. She displayed all manner of cushions, cosies, pillows and other such items but these were what took my eye especially.
Now Im starting to work my way through the treats that I bought and it must be said Im happy with what I brought home lol
I now have The Art of Felt - by Francois Tellier-Loumange but Im saving that to feast on later so it satill plastic wrapped........such self discipline eh!

And having watched Lynda Monk and her fabric altering techniques on the Art Van Go stand, I now have her Stitching the Textured Surface. And its a cracking book, laid out well and very informative with sumptious photos.

I have no idea why, but I bought The Creative Edge by Mary Todd Beam and tho it is for painters, it struck me as showing good instructional paint techniques that could well transfer to some fabrics. It has lots of mini workshops within it, so you extend your confidence with colours and mediums.

Then an absolute treat for me at only £6 on the second hand books stall.......Patty McCormick's ( as new) - Pieces of an American Quilt. Now this is about the making of the quilts used in the film
- How to Make an American Quilt.
I saw this film years and years ago and have never managed to find it again to watch! Yes it was shmaltsy but I had just become interested in patchwork back then and I loved it.
The film was from a fictional book by Whitney Otto, who is an author, not a quilter or patchworker and when Spielberg, yes HIM, set his team on to make the fim......the Props Department soon realised, they would need a person with historical, cultural, patchwork and quilting knowledge, to organise the various quilts mentioned in the story and the blocks being made by the actresses in the film.
Now Anne Bancroft had appliqued before but Dr Maya Angelou, Jean Simmons, Ellen Burnstein, Kate Nelligan, Lois Smith and Alfre Woodward all needed much help along the way!
Winona Rider was in it too but didnt stitch, in fact in one scene she runs with the Friendship Quilt of the story wrapped round her and she trailed it through all sorts of muck! She will never be forgiven for that, despite it being part of her role in the story!
I also now own several wonderful threads but more of those later lol

OH and finally, here are some of the Killed Catalogues, that Maggie Grey has inspired me to try and alter. She mentions them on her blog
www. and Im trailing behind but hope to catch up!
Bear in mind, mine are not so much catalogues as Funeral Directors Diaries from about 1921 and I want to try and preserve some of the text!
It will bring a whole new twist to 'Who Do You Think You Are'
and local family history!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Normality returns but for how long?!

 This was the view from my hotel window, one delightful evening where the sky was the most amazing colours, my little point and shoot camera doesnt do it justice sadly, but it was simply wonderful. The Humber Bridge looking lost against the magnificent clouds, the river Humber to the left and the metal bar, outside my window, presumably to stop  me from jumping out!
But Im home now and am getting back to normality, still cant find things but thats nothing new....
Just had friday and saturday at the NEC and had a really great time, infact you could say Ive been overloaded with inspiration! I went with a friend and we stayed overnight at a hotel and though they were small little single rooms each, they were adequate to rest your weary feet, sleep and ready yourself for the next days allecking round the shows! I recommend doing it that way, staying overnight I mean. It was amazing how much we saw the second day, that we had walked right past or simply not seen the first day!
Now I went to the old Madeira Show when it was at Harrogate at the Showground and do love that venue. You dont feel crushed there and there was always a great atmosphere. Then they altered it to the Fashion & Embroidery Show and it managed to maintain its splendour and I have always come away, exhilarated by what I have seen.
This year and from now on Im told, the show is to be held at the NEC but you still had access to the Hobbycraft and Stitching for Pleasure show within the cost of your ticket, so good value anyway.
Now I have to say I am not a fan of the NEC for the F&E Show and it lost some of its magic for me by being in the huge hangar venue, tho the NEC is a tremendous venue dont get me wrong! But there were expanses of vacant space all round the edges, the stalls centrally situated and it lost the 'feel' that the Harrogate Showground has to it.
That said I was as stunned as ever,with what I saw there, so wasnt short changed from that point of view. I do wonder if many folk dropped out and I didnt see as many of the northern colleges exhibiting for instance. On the other hand I suppose I will have seen work from people further south, who might not have ventured up north for the F&E in Harrogate, so maybe it will all sort itself out in my head for next year.
Now Hobbycraft left me stone was a dreadful crush and to be fair I have limited interest in card making or scrapbooking and we wasted some time looking for the Stitching for Pleasure Show, until we realised it was all a part of the F&E show! Stalls were simply labelled iether Stitching For or F&E on their top most banners.
We'd been told there was a blanket ban on taking photographs, so we didnt take any, but on saturday we noticed others doing so, so I did ask a delightful lady who had some of her lifes work displayed there, if I might take photos to show Miniaturist friends of mine. I will put her pics on the blog later but suffice to say, she had an alternative example of 'dolls houses' which was fascinating and her stitchcraft was amazing.
Now I went there proclaiming that I was not going to buy any more books or wool.............well I did manage not to buy any more wool...waheyyyyy!
However ....... books?
Well that was a very silly idea of mine can you NOT buy books?!
Whats the point of a bookshelf without LOTS of books on?
I will list and review what I bought later, when Ive gathered it all together and taken stock of how much I spent.....sheeshhhhh.
But for now, afew pics of the tactile book I was working on before I went off to the Midlands lol

Obviously, The Gingerbread Man!
This book is for our visually impaired Yr1 and 2 children to use so a simple tactile version of the story. I have copied the origional illustrations from a particular book we own and laid them beneath the laminated pages so that any child with some degree of sight, may be able to enjoy those too. I adapt if necessary any text and a Teachers Aide will assist the child to understand what he/she is accessing. I Braille the text too and it is stuck over the printed text on the left hand pages, so children learning to use Braille, will have simple text to read. Notice the Fox's lower jaw is moveable, so its an interactive page!
Now obviously we dont sell these books and I can only adapt printed books so that our children can access them for educationbal purposes and we have alicence which allows us to do this.
I have three and a half stories that I have written myself, that I could sell adapted in this way, if I wished to...though I should really finish that half one! 
Okay time to feed the dogs and to sit with a cupper and read some of the books I bought lol thouigh I making the next 'ribbon' phase of my Shelagh Folgate Challenge now Im more settled at home...... I promsie I will get stuck in this week Shelagh, watch this space..... :)

Monday, 22 March 2010

i heart fiber art

Back home!!!

Well Im home at last, but still sorting boxes and bits out, so normal crafting is stalled for a week or two yet.....
but I have taken chill time out to review some newsletters and blogs I follow and theres a smashing RIT dye giveaway on the always interesting "C&T Publishing > do take a look, but be quick it closes tommorow!

There's a hand dyed silk wrap on the RIT dye site C&T link you through to and for me it struck a chord right away! I would want to 'play' with the dyes and produce fabrics with both subtle and loud, autumnal shades that run languidly into each other.
Languidly? I wonder if that would work.........given my inability to do things by rote, rather more results achieved by spontenaity!
I would use the resultant dyed fabrics for making textual leaves, some ruched with an embellisher, others distorted with machine stitching and then laid 3D onto a background of bark-like textured upholstry fabrics maybe, all muckled up into bark like ridges.............I can 'see' it in my mind!

Tommorow I will post my killed catalogues, though they arent exactly catalogues.......more pages from an undertakers log.........they arent as mucky as Maggie's but then I have yet to damage them abit more and harrass them with a carder perhaps!
Watch this space! [...]
Good luck if you have a go too!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Animal welfare issues

No pictures to include today, but a couple of links for folks to maybe look at if they feel inclined. has an article explaining some of the animal care practises in the rearing of sheep for the wool industry and I have to admit I hadnt known about them. Using Merino for felting I feel really guilty now on reading about some of the awful conditions they are kept in.

Cut and paste the link and read about it. The link wont be horendous to look at dont worry but it will certainly make you think. For example I didnt know that sheep would only grow enough of a fur-y coat to keep them warm, if left to themselves. We shear them to provide us with wool and given that shearers are paid per sheep they decloathe........then sheep are often cut and bleed in the process.
And breeders rear sheep to have such hugely thick wool fur coats, that in the heat of Australia, many die.
Worth thinking about folks.
Thanks to Christy on the yahoo crochet group for that link.

Now I call myself 'RecycLin' since I use second hand clothing and items, to make something else with and I found reference to 'Zakka' recently. Well now Wikipedia's explanation about it is worth reading, and I simply loved the description included therein, that says...
Zakka has been described as 'the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane'.................... now dont you just love that comment!!!
Apparently to qualify as a Zakka, a product must be attrcative, sensitive, and laden with subtext.

My teacups and lampshade trees HAVE to be considered Zakka surely? !

I may be able to move back home next weekend and I am SO ready to do so! Things seem to be going to plan, ( fingers are crossed, have Hail-ed Mary and have thrown afew bones....)with laminate flooring all but laid, the kitchen mostly in place and a painter is painting the ground floor, stairs and landing.
Next week kitchen flooring goes down, tiling is to be done in the kitchen and loo and a couple of additional airbricks are to be placed in front and back walls.
I will use next sat and sunday to get the upstairs clean of all the plaster dust that has settled on every surface, despite bedroom and bathroom doors being closed. The furniture comes back in on Monday 16th and the animals will come home tuesday. So I will still need to sleep at the hotel sat and sunday but it should be the last weekend there! Waheyyyyyyyy
I caught sight of a catalogue that I buried a while ago, so must go out tomorrow and raise it so it can begin its drying process.
Maggie Grey has published on her blogspot about what to do with them and it tickled me so much I have buried a couple of items, so hope they might turn out to be fun to work on. ( what a clever lady and her blogs fun to follow)
One is a ledger I picked up which has lists of burials in it! From way back when I have to say, not recent and I will be sure to obliterate nay names anyway. Must take some pics of them if its another bright sunny afteroon. Okay time to go back to Colditz on Humber, the hotel lol