Thursday, 30 June 2011

A fab swap! new life and some circles with a moon

My cyber pal Peggy 
and I have done a sort of swap and this is what I got in the post this week...yummy stuff! Thanks so much Peggy!

Spot the fabrics below Peggy?

Think this may well end up in a larger cloth. 
 I have a feeling this might work with the whale and moon piece I made a short while back....  made up in the style of Judes cloth workshops...slow, slow and done thoughtfully.
I may do a few more circles like this to place around the central rectangular whale piece.........the idea is in my head at the moment, not even on a drawn page.
Maybe with the phases of the moon.
So this is WIP for now.

I was invited to see the hatched eggs in the nursery, in the school alongside our offices this morning.
A not far away agricultural college give heated hatching boxes to the school, so the kids can watch the eggs breaking open and see the chicks.
I saw two newly born chicks, feathers still all cute!
I would love to have chooks, nubian goats and a donkey if I were in the right environment.
Why on earth didnt I find myself a farmer!
But what fun to see these littlies never the less.
And as the kids all came in to class, the sound of the cheep, cheep, cheeping, was just delightful!

Super cute!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

My hexies another Rose and an Etsy Shop!

 I fancied doing a little more with the colour catcher hexies, so mounted it on a black fulled sweater, then running stitched about a bit. Added one of my very favourite mother of pearl buttons and now it sits once again, until I suss out what to do next!
I had also completed the last of my Folgate Roses. Its been sliced up somewhat, from what we were doing with Shelagh Folgate in her Rosey, Rosey workshop.........but its now complete....
Though maybe....I might take out the dark green feather stitch and replace that with a lighter shade..which wont be easy, since its got other stitches and thread laid over it and Ive backed the blumming thing. But only now do I not like that darker green! DUHHH

It was either 2006 or 2008 when I first opened an Etsy shop  .........and have I used it since then?
 I've an idea a local gallery I have sold afew things through, may now be diversifying into art materials because they are struggling to get by.
There seems to be a continued delay in them paying out now, for what they've sold.
I hope they do survive, for themselves as well as me. The lass running it has worked hard and was so hopeful, but then of course the banks killed the ecconomy.
Another local shop I sold from has closed now and it looks as if Ive gotten burnt there.
I did finally manage to speak to that owner, who said she hadnt got my address to post me what was owed to me! Yeah right.
But having been given it, again, there is still no sign of any payment.

So I have opened up the Etsy shop.........anyone know how I put an Etsy badge on the blog by any chance?
I havent been able to suss that out!
I've put just a few things in so far like these below, so will see what happens to them. But Im not sure anyone other than our own crafty selves know about and look at Etsy!

Dont mind if this Head Hugger and fingerless gloves doesnt sell though, cos I like them both anyway!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tylah IS taking after me! Alexandra Soup and home made Acid Drops

I imagine it could be most parents dream, that their offspring might take after them in some way. So imagine my thrill to know that my lovely daughter Tylah, was hand stitching some clothing ! ............ and since she was popping over to mine, I asked that she bring it for me to see......

 She had bought fringe and sequin braid to decorate this waistcoat....

and designed the back centre piece herself...
If I tell you this is for a pal of hers to wear on his stag night.....

with pink hold up stockings, a skimpy t-shirt, ultra skimpy cut down shorts, high heels and and a sign saying he is
'The only gay in the Viallge'........
( he isnt by the way !)

It might give you an idea what the decoration on the back is meant to represent!

But it IS a start right?
She may yet take a more serious interest in stitching, right?
Okay Alexandra Soup a la circa 1930/1940 ~

" Take a cup of lentils and 2 heaped tablespoons of ( pearl?) barley and soak them together for at least 12 hours.
Next day chop up an onion and fry it in half an ounce of margerine, add the lentils and barley, with three breakfast cup fulls of water.
Cook until the lentils are tender.
Add a couple of fresh tomatoes when the soup is nearly ready.
Rub all through a sieve, then reheat before serving."

No Im not at all sure either!  BUT what about....?

Acid Drops.....

"  Boil one and  half pounds of loaf sugar, half a pint of water and half a teaspoon cream of tarter together until mixture turns a pale yellow.
Then add essence of lemon to taste and turn out on to and oiled slab.
Sprinkle preparation with tartaric acid, work it thoroughly in, and when sufficiently cool to touch, from into thin rolls.
Cut off small pieces with scissors and roll to shape by hand.
Sift with sugar andf dry before storing in a tin. "

Now I just know you're desperate to try the recipes for
Almond Cake, Almond Cheese Cakes, Almond Fingers, Almond Paste, Almond Pudding ( featuring breadcrumbs ....), Almond Rock and Almond Toffee!
Please email me for those ................... lol

...............and to think Im not half way through the A's yet!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Car boot buys, bad language and altered books

I really MUST stop going to car boot sales
........... of course living about 300 yards or so round the corner from the site of a huge one, thats on almost every sunday morning, doesn't help my self discipline at all...
That, and all the years of having an indoor stall myself for cat rescue fund raising, means its sort of in my blood to go wandering around them maybe too .....
Okay, yes, and the fact that I am a hoarder......of items....that might come in handy, could be made into... or I cant live without .....but it's a BARGAIN!......might have something to do with it too!
I meant to go to the store today to collect my new prescription glasses, which is in the other direction, but the car went the wrong since I was passing the car boot, I thought I may as well pop in, en route as it were.

It's like wandering around a foreign country there these days. In the past few years, the influx of other nationalities has so increased locally, that now the chatter is almost all, other languages.
Its nice to listen to the flow and lift of african, polish, french and spanish speech, those I recognise - but there are also folks that appear to be from maybe, Gulf areas, and I have no idea what languages they are speaking, but again, I do like to hear the cocophany of sounds.

Sadly that can't be said for the large majority of blessed Brits that wander around there. They can be picked out by their talking yes, but because  their speech is loudly littered with F words and it makes me ashamed to be a Brit as well, very often.

They use the 'F-ing' word as an adjective, several times within one sentence and it sounds course and unsavoury. Not just afew Brit folks, but dam near all of the men and women Brits that go there.
Don't get me wrong, having worked on VC10s as aircrew I have used the word myself to make sure a smart arse soldier or officer if needs be, needed to be reminded that he would have to do what my crew were telling him to do, whilst on board our aircraft!
In context maybe it is an appropriate adjective to enforce your point of view, in the right situation that is.
But in every day conversation,I would argue it isnt necessary.

The parents who bring to, and collect their kids from, the school (where our Services offices are situated) are the same.....shouting
'f-ing come here Chelsea/ do what I f-ing told you Jordan etc. etc.'
It's heartbreaking to listen to another generation of children with role models that have so little communication skill, that they have to repeat the F word to make them selves heard or taken seriously?
It makes me despair for the future for the human gene pool.........

Okay rant over lol
Want to see what I picked up today?
A set of 3 of these, for 50p - all 3!
And they are metal! Largest is about 2' wide and tall.
Naff pics on the side but they would paint or decoupage right?
Thought one might do nicely on a Christmas craft stall maybe as it is.......will see.

Then for another 50p these old magazines, part works from another time, but great illustrations for an altered book maybe, and two little fabric doilies for Peggy ~
Then I paid an extortionate £2 for this old book which is feast, if abit tatty! But it is a mine of information, the recipe for acid drops for example!
( NO..the suck a sweet kind lol......)
Cant see when it was published but it has a 40s feel to it I think.
It reminds me of The Arthur Mees Encyclopaedia's that I had as a child in the 50s, given to me by my Grandad.
It's pages will be used for many things but not before I have tried afew of the recipes myself!
Alexander Soup merits an entry so I reckon it must have been quite a main stay somewhen or other. I will feature some of the recipes now and then in case you feel brave enough to recreate them !
Do it yourself electro plating!

This dolls house instruction design I have seen before and I would love to have it made up myself.
There's the furniture designs too...the house itself, seems abit 30s like ( Jean what do you think?)
If anyone wants the info and designs copied let me know, all measurements are included to get you going.

And to prove how old this is, there are patterns to knit toys and there is the shamefully called Black Sambo doll to knit.
How cruel a time that must have been for so many people, to be so labelled and perhaps ridiculed by those same words.
Thankfully we have learnt much, but are still falling short .........lets face it.
And this replica Home Guard Manual, which will go in the Topic Box for the hearing impaired children, when I get round to starting them.

So not a bad haul and not alot spent!
But then paid £140 for new glasses.......bummer lol

Oh and the Harrogate Etiquette book so far, with holes cut out inside and pages torn and gessoed......not much to see as yet, but proof Im still doing it!

.....and the ghost book too

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Wishing my life away, altered books and what Im stitching at the moment

Its lunacy.
I go to bed sunday night thinking..........oh hell, work again tomorrow and then muddle through the day, banking on it being tuesday next day.
Then I only have to work wednesday and thursday, before I have my own long weekend time
What  a daft way to live, mentally rushing through the week days, so I can have my weekends to myself again!
I'm wishing my life away and Im in the last quarter of it anyway!
I should just bite the bullit and go down to 3 days a week and manage on what money I have coming in and the hell with it!
Okay some bits here Ive cold water dyed, on bargain 10p each old linens from the sunday car boot sale. I used bicarb as a premordant for these fabrics and the blues are bright and striking.

Saturday last was our monthly stitching groups meeting and we had a visiting speaker who told us about devore, well her style of devore. I have to admit its not a thing I could see myself doing, clever though it is.
I was so uninterested in it all, Im afraid I snook out and went back to a charity shop to buy some things Id seen previously but chose not to buy..... then!
A tiered lamp shade that will become a goth/halloweeny hanging I think and some wool blankets.

The bottom Witney merino blanket has felted beautifully on a 40 degree wash. Just enough to to be firm but not so firm to be harsh. The other two Witney blankets are mohair and merino but being interlock, they havent felted up much at iether 40 or 60 degrees.
I may have to try a higher temperature but having said that they may be useful to weave into, anyone else done that with a holey blanket like this? Did it work okay?
Any other ideas spring to mind folks?
If nothing else they will be good wadding for hangings and they have retained their handle, which is nice.
How much? £8 and all three are doubles and looked, felt and smelt(!) as new. My pal bought another of the beige merino ones too, they must have seen us coming I reckon!

Now this is a book that I'm altering. If I told you I started it some 2 years ago, I might be misleading could be far longer than that!

I am doing the Shelagh Folgate workshop Follow My Heart........
and we are going to alter a book and also make a fabric version of it too.
Im at the gessoing pages stage of that book just now, but I remembered this long lost book, so have resurected it.
I intend to faff with this too, at the same may stand a chance of getting finished then!

It was a car boot find, called 'Modern Manners - A Season at Harrogate'
and is full of all manner of impossible twaddle about how one should behave, when 'out' in the spa town of Harrogate.

That picture is from an old advertisement, as you can see I'd lightly coloured the pages way back, then remebered that I ought to have gessoed the pages first DUHH put it down and forgot about it, as you do...
Its now also had the gesso treatment, so will take pics of it as I go along.

Then this hanging sprung to mind after seeing a sunset picture with a pyramid in the foreground. This is nothing at all like the wonderful picture though! This is more an interpretation, from some dark and daft area of my brain I think!

It looks quite good with the table cloth behind it now I see it on here!
 Of course you cant see the horizontal lines of stitching on the pyramid, so I may have to do some more in a noticeable colour maybe.
Rusted fabric on the bottom and a burgundy sky, no more aubergine really. Maybe it needs a camels beady eyed head in the foreground, or Bast herself or a snake even!
Hmm will think about it whilst I gesso more sets for Shelaghs workshop.......
I do wish I could paint or gesso and make less mess on ME!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Posh Puss is found....

I had not decided if she was finished and must have put her down, then forgot where .....
some of you may recognise that phenomena .....cough, cough...
Isn't it blummin annoying!
... especially when there is no one else to blame but yourself!

Anyways she appeared beneath something else that had been 'lost' and I reckon she is finished after all lol
She probably hid herself, so I wouldnt tag any other bits on to her

So Posh Puss she is, made with kimono silk, as are the trees. The circular 'moons' are cut from a vintage silk tie and the backing is predominantly an indigo cotton cloth.
 I think I must have been the only person awake and bidding one night on Ebay for the indigo and white cloth  but there are afew odds and ends of navy cotton cloth to infill, here and there too.

So pleased Id found her, Id almost convinced myself she had run away!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Ursa Minor ish lol

Well I think Im about done on this fish, moon and ursa minor hanging.
Its hanging abit skew whiff because the nail behind it sticks out, so the hanging that normally is there, sits just right lol
I used several bits of old lace doily in here, for ursa minor and for the wave crests too.
Theres a lot of stitching in the sky and amongst the waves on this one, which I enjoyed doing. But I put the fringe too on too early so spent ages untangling them from my threads as I stitched....wont do that again, will put the fringe on last!
I might call it 'Luscious Lips' after the fishies full red lips.....but will wait and see if anything else comes to mind first.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sea fret at Spurn and thoughts on Judes workshops

Incredibly hot hot today - and mid morning I needed a beach and sea air fix, so took off for a drive to Spurn Head.
I was rewarded with a wonderful sight. The sea fret ( mist off the sea) was gently rolling across the sands, blown by the breeze, it swirled round my ankles and wafted around me, there one minute and gone the next.
It was quite beautiful and it was one of those occasions where I wished Id had a fancy camera...and knew how to use it!
If you enlarge the pics you might get a glimpse, but these are poor shots with a point and shoot.

As I drove in, on the marsh estuary side of the Spurn spit, the fret was creepily rolling off the spit back across the rivers surface. Creepy but amazing to watch.

On the beach side and I was in the fret....

the tide not that long out.....

It was magical and not another soul in sight....
............then a blink and it cleared and all that sky was blue as blue and went on forever! The skies are amazing out there and the light when its good weather is stunning.
Then I found this stone which looked abit like the great beyond, jam packed with planets and galaxies.....and made me think of the sun, moon and stars whispering workshop Ive been doing... 

And to cap it all on the drive home, I saw a sun bathed, blazingly russet fox trotting along the side of a field, as if he had not a care in the world.
Bonus magic that.
Oh yes then at yesterdays dental examination new pictures in the waiting room and this one reminded me of Judes Beasts workshop as well !