Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Scrap happy summer Challenge!

A quick post for now to tell you about the Scrap Happy Challenge that Ive stumbled on and fancy doing along with folks, button alongside to click to see what its all about.
So Im doing Shelagh Folgates' current challenge, which is so much fun already though my fingers are now permenantly stained with dye lol and now Ems one too.
Like it sounds as if I have all the time in the world doesnt it and am well organised?
Dont hold your breath lol  but it is true, I do work best when I have deadlines, except when it comes to dieting!
And on that subject.............I've bought some scales, working up the courage to use them of course but hell, theres no rush..........I know I'm abit overweight so it wont hurt to just look at the scales a while longer will it!
If I could win Lotto, I could just have an abdominoplasty and give the scales to charity, that would be good wouldnt it? They are such depressing things to have in the house and I threw my last ones away 3 years ago, because they LIED, all the time!!

Im no longer limping.....Waheyyyyy! No longer much pain at all from the sprain and dodgy ligament, but still got abit of ankle swelling, though that is now manageable. cant drive too far though and am depserate to go beach comb........not for the driftwood and detrious but for the wind in my hair feeling. Spurn Head is calling me..........maybe theres a mermaid in my family history somewhere?
Okay, more likely, a beached whale ...

Got loads of pics to put in my next post, am making a Viking helmet at work, out of a plastic veg strainer and waste bin lol well, as you do from time to time.
Am having so much fun though its doubtful it would do much to protect the head in a fight! Have tried to take pics in stages so may post them, in just in case anyones daft enough to try and make one too!
Also picked up 35 small white cotton with lace edges ......... now they are either 1950s place mats for dressing tables etc or maybe upmarket cotton doylies, but for £2 I couldnt leave them when I saw them at car boot.
May need ideas how to use them please!  Have a couple of ideas already but will post pics prob tomorrow and would welcome any ideas that spring to mind.
Oh and picked up about 4 metres of two tone voile that had been used to festoon a window she told me, also £2...........well I couldnt leave that iether.... and I didnt feel I could haggle for either buy, felt I was getting the better deal on each purchase!

Then there's the box of test tubes........yes test tubes that I 'won' off our Freegle site, which is really a Freecycle site, but for some reason THE Freecycle folks, made Hull change the name of their site. Not sure why at all, surely its a franchise name isnt it all across the world? All very odd. But thanks to Jean who picked them up for me and whose looked after them, until she reminded me she had them! Naturally she will have some too. Now dare I put them in the dishwasher do you think???!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Dyeing and wreathing!

The shibori wrap is shown above and the effect is gives, varies of course with each wrap. This tube is too small really but worked better than I'd expected. These pics compliment the previous post, better late than never.
The orange fabric is painted on fabric dye, using a toothbrush, shibori style, ie. wrapped and all scrunched up around the plastic tube, then liberally daubed and sprayed with water to encourage the colours to travel through the fabric.

The other brown rusty looking one was similarly wrapped and liquid Brusho squirted on it, using a very fine animal syringe. Then Brusho powders alone were sprinkled here and there, think I eased back afew folds too, so the powders would migrate abit.
The bluey lilac which has metallic fabric paint in amongst it .............. looks better than photographs!
The succulent plant must be about to flower unless its got an erection!
The wreaths shown here are bamboo thinnings, whichw ere still supple so bent nicely and Ive left the leaves on for effect. The clamatis frond wreath has yet to dry properly but thats it so far.

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Kevin Costner didnt call so ....

Had a simply lovely evening and didnt manage to take a single photo .. << dummy!
A physio visit has helped the ankle a great deal, and its not the tendon, its a stretched ligament and sprained ankle, so no wonder its so blessed painful and taking its own good time in mending. 
Its got to be bad when the gin doesn't take the edge off the pain -
you know?
Anyways, Ive had another dyeing session and now have jam jars of fabric fixing and rolls of painted fabric........shibori-ing-ish.
Dont hold your breath though, if I wash them, they are bound to all end up pale and less vibrant, so I may just keep the dyes in them this time.

I watched the repeated Simon Scharma tv prog about the first 4000 years of British history. 
He's a clever soul to fit all that, in an hour I reckon!
He's fascinating and makes history interesting, but I do find it hard to watch him. Its as if he has body tourettes, his shoulders twitch and his arms jig about, even when his hands are thrust into his pockets!
Yet he talks with such passion, knowledge and makes you want to learn what went on, when. So I watch him and feel as guilty as hell, that I am critical of the poor chap.
I am a wicked person I've decided lol

So having watched that and dyed my fingers nicely  .. dohhh, I then took to lopping off the clematis's long tendrilly things, that were reaching for the heavens and reminding me of Triffids.
My clematis have established themselves so well out back, they are fast advancing along the fence tops, so its abit like they are going to grow down and swallow the whole garden up!

Seeing all the tendrils on the floor,  ' such a shame to throw them in the compost ' springs to mind.........I Know! Sad or what! 
So, I made a mug of redbush tea and sat out in the half light making wreaths out of the tendrills, as you do ......
They dry very nicely if you weave them round, when the tendrils are still supple and whippy. Just take off the larger leaves.

As it darkened closer to 10pm, there was a three quarter moon up there peeping at me, a bat came flying back and forth and the dogs chased eachother about playfully. It was mild enough to be comfortable sitting out there and there were no bothersome mozzies or midgies.

It was simply lovely out there........until a couple of pr*^~# started yelling and swearing at eachother in the side street nearby, having probably drunk too much and arguing on their way home from the pub.....
Some kind of fight ensued, big wheelie bins clattered to the floor. Some woman must have joined the frey screaming......"why'd you do that to my bins, you F' in this that and the other......"
Then what sounded like one of those little dwarfy dogs that live in handbags, joined in by constantly yapping.
It must have been running amuck because one of the women was screaming at the dog to " F'in come here" and they all occupied themselves like that for some 20 minutes or so.
Naturally it was all too exciting for me and when I recognised the urge in me, to go out there and slap someone, I came indoors ... I will look for blood and bodies in the morning, no rush.

Yes, and all this delightful dallying, because Kevin Costner, obviously too busy, didn't ring to arrange a night out.............

Monday, 21 June 2010

Flower Power Pin style

So having spent alot of time on the sofa with the offending ankle raised, I've had to DO something. Hence the many flower pins! They are very therapeutic to make and having them all laid out on the coffee table, for some reason reminded me of the old tv ad for Roses Chocolates ... you know the slogan they used?
Roses Grow You!
Ive used a variety of fabrics here from voiles to the selvedges of ribbons, madras to upholstery.
Oh yes and the two moggies got in on the act, though Fergus looks quite eerie with the white out eyes!!
Hilly, his shadow and amore-ay!

Follow on pics in next post and yes...more flowers!

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Now this flower is a bit different, Shelagh please take note!
This is a little something that Shelagh Folgate inspired me to make.
Go on over and take a look at her blogspot please.
The leaves are from an old voile headscarf that I found in a charity shop, 99p well spent I reckon.

I have bitten the bullit and asked to reduce my hours from 37.5 to 32 a week.
Maybe not a big jump really, but by working 8am to 4.30 monday to thursday, it will enable me to have fridays off.
A 4 day week..waheyyyy.
Or as my pal Mary said, a 3 day weekend!

Thats more crafting time for me, days out time, or grandson time, so roll on, and less time at work  !
Plus, a step towards a 3 day week and 4 day weekend maybe next year?

So what are you reading out there at the moment peoples?
Im in melt down with thrillers since injuring my ankle. Just read Blindsighted and Kisscut and now on Fractured all by Karen Slaughter.
Also found Alex Kava interesting, finished her At the Stroke of Madness recently too.
I have another Slaughter and another Kava on the bedside table and found pristine copies of Alexander McCall Smiths latest 3 books in a charity shop, so scooped them up to read too.
Did I mention the bookshelf downstairs too, with alot of paperbacks yet to be opened?
So is it specific authors we read, book covers we are attracted by or the titles that capture our imagination?
Ive begun to remember authors names that I have enjoyed reading so now have a list in my purse but confess to being drawn in by the artwork on book covers too.
You see, clever marketing that kind of artwork.

AND I found 4 National Geographic mags at the charity shop too, from 2001 with fab articles and photos, so will read them and then Citrasolve them!
Wonder if that method of daubing Citrasolve on the pages, then laying art paper within to pick up the dissolving pics would work on fabric?
Must try that, cant see why it wouldnt on the right fabrics... watch this space or if you try it before I do, please let me know how you got on!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Feel good factor


I have to link to this birthday blog entry, because it's the most wonderful commentary and outlook on life and living. Its a lesson in accepting what we have, what is truly the most valuable and I cannot possibly improve on what's said there.
All too often we get wound up with the day to day hopes for 'when' and we don't see what wonderfully inspiring things are under our noses ....... and this post says it all, please take time to read it.

The above piccy is of the fossil beach at Cabo Roig in Spain, rocks with fossils that you cant miss! Talk about texture!
Am busy finishing things........anything except tidy up or cut back the front hedge - which is growing like a spiky haircut now, cos the last time I did it, I wasnt concentrating whilst using the electric hedge trimmer and it would be fair to say.........I massacred the hedge!
In trying to stay off my dodgy ankle, I am doing stuff on my lap, so UFOs and flower pins appealled to me, anything that can be hand stitched.
Of course the settee looks like a fabric wagon fell on it and there are buttons all around but you that saying.........like pig in summatorother?
Thats me lol

Monday, 14 June 2010

Trying Dyeing

My big boy above got butted out on the last post by grandson Jack's pic ......so Rocky has his own slot here lol
Have been trying dyeing - trying being the operative word here.......
I dont have any Procion dyes so am using up what fabric dyes Ive unearthed, because of course, Im using up my stash before buying any more, right?
Wrong, of course. I bought some Crafty Notions sprays last saturday so  liberally sprayed away last saturday morning, what fun! But, when the fabrics were rinsed through, ( using rain water from the butt) so were the dyes, despite the soda bath to the fabric before hand lol

So now Im going to not wash the blessed dye out and use the fabrics as they are, rich and vibrant and the hell with it!
I will of course have to buy some Procions, but the Brusho paints gave me the subtle seascape above and the CraftyNotions sprays gave me the 3 on the line drying in the sun.
I have more, but theres only so much dyed fabric you want to look at so will post them when theyve been creatively ravaged!

Our East Yorkshire Embroidery Society had the guest speaker Kathleen Laurel Sage last saturday and she was interesting, bringing alot of her machine embroidered voile flowers with her and many pieces embroidered on plastic too.
Now next saturday theres a Yorkshire Wildlife's Secret Garden event in Pearson Park here in Hull.  Kirsty who runs The Art Box Gallery( Newland Avenue, Hull) has requested anyone interested in or practising anything arty, come along and DO something in the park.
So in support of her, Yorkshire Wildlife and Pearson Park, I intend to go along and Flower Pound.....well, less pound, more spoon really!
Im going to use some of the subtley dyed cottons I now have, since the dyes washed out so well lol and collect any fallen flower heads there in the park and 'spoon blether' them onto the fabric............cant be doing with pounding in public!
Then I will handstitch them, weather permitting of course. I will take a batch of my own flower heads just in case the flowers in the Park are not fallen, but proudly blowing in the wind! Cant be caught dead heading flowers that are alive and well, wouldnt do at all would it!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

My lovely boys, bowler hats, killed catalogues and more!

My bowler hat stretcher, a rare find at the car boot last weekend  for £6. It will be great for stretching and shaping felt hats...........22", so one size will have to fit all!
 Oh and two part copies of The Fortean Times magazine whichj I had left out in the garden, beneath a tub of ivy, so they'd weather and mellow abit... 

Had been busy before the holiday............. see above.
Earthsong, is now finished, though think Ive copped out by using the small metal letter tags...

I added a sea weathered twig and piece of bone that I picked up on a beachcombing wander a while back. But thats it now, no more titivating, its done.

Yup, my three lovely boys, Grandson Jack two next month, Rocky nigh on 14 and Max, well not really sure, but suspect hes about 4 + years old. He has impossibly twisted front legs, like corgis have, almost Queen Anne furniture style !

Made it back to work after the injured ankle tendon, but its still very painful and am sure pottering about is doing me no good at all.

I had the notion to dab dye some pieces of guipure lace, and then read Shelagh Folgates instructions for the 4th Challenge and blow me, it involves dyeing! Telepathy maybe! lol
So heres the lace, never done this before and when I say dab dyeing, thats exactly what I did, dab bits of dye here and there with a sea sponge.

The bottom left figure is one of my 'Surregate Sisters', cant recall if Ive posted them before. They are made from felted woolies, each individually decorated with recycled beads, lace and a fabric printed face. Am making a batch for a craft stall later in the summer. Most of the lace here is modern guipure I picked up cheaply but the doily is hand made and vintage '50s I reckon.
Now I have been moving bedrooms about, so that I now have my daughters almost new king size cream wrought iron bed and my own double is now in the back bedoom for guests. Thats left the middle bedroom for me to now sue as a craft workroom! Naturally its too small for all the stash I have.............but bet Im not alone in that!
But whilst moving stuff, I was in search of the sinamey I knew I had, somewhere, so I could make a fascinator head base. I intend to use pieces of what I made on Shelagh Folgate's last Challenge into a fascinator. However here is a pin made from parts of the finished fabrics.
No I lied..............the picture has appeared way up top.........godamit!

Okay will try again here with a  picture lol  When at the car boot the other day and chuffed to monkeys with my bowler hat stretcher block........I picked up two more rusty bits off the ground.
So even more chuffed was I then!
I have so far only copied a Buddha piccy, torn it out and set it in position onto one of the rusty pieces and intend to use them on one of the former killed catalogues I have as WIP (- work in progress) but it speaks to me of the Kumari Princess again
Lets see if it prints here or up top again!
Nope its way up at the top again...........theres a knack to this positioning pics and I definatelty havent got it!
Anywhichways thats enough for now!


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