Sunday, 29 April 2012

A natty gadget and the Cross Bones Burial ground

I was driving home today, having been drowned by rain and blown about  by a furious wind as I dodged from store to store.......did I mention we are officially in drought here abouts?
Since the water authorities pronounced official drought, Mother Earth has shown her sense of humour and its been raining blummin buckets...

Well rolling around on the road ahead of me, was a stunningly beautiful lime green plastic bottle, I have never seen one such a glorious bright I didn't stop and pick it up............but I did wonder........
if you watched the link I gave you yesterday....    .........  if you used the lime green bottle, would you have deliciously green light in your little home? !

So, yes I had to go back to Hobbycraft today, I was there only yesterday...buying lilac paper for lovely daughters wedding invites.
And today I needed even more lilac would have easier and cheaper to have had the invites printed, but they wouldnt have been as personal of course that way.

I also needed royal purple thread so I can take in the purple dress for the wedding...yeahhhhh!
But in wandering around.............big mistake that isn't it?....I stumbled on the following gadget and I do like gadgets.
And yes I could have lived without it, but it looked abit of fun and there may well come a time when I desperately need evenly spaced holes in paper, that's to be hand stitched to a textile collagey thing I'm making ... you follow that logic don't you?
Its that Creative Gene at work...........making me spend money....but playing with said gadget will keep me off street corners at least..

"Want to add stitching to your paper project without having to drag out the sewing machine? It's Sew Easy!
The rotary stitch piercer creats perfectly aligned holes that can easily be stitched up. Piercer head provided is a straight stitch.
Includes free needle and piercer handle has built-in storage for same.
A variety of design are available to achieve almost any look. Simply twist and pull stitch piercer head to remove then replace with desired head (sold separately) by aligning the knobs and twisting."

So I bought a couple of interchangeable heads too........a lazy daisy hole maker, so for once I could stitch evenly spaced daisy's, hearts, a vine design and the word love.
Now it will really only be useful with paper but I must admit hand sticthing evenly on paper doesnt always come that easy.
And this would be a natty little gift for children I reckon too, who could then stitch onto card or paper and get perhaps a more even and attractive result, if they are new to stitching.
So I may have a play with it later this evening and see what it can and cant do.
I quite like more naive sticthing but now and then, especially on paper, it can look so much sharper and pleasing if the stitches are evenly spaced.

Oh and go take a look at Purple Missus blog and read about the Cross Bones Burial Site, mentioned near the end of the post.
(But don't miss the stunning shrines shes making at the moment!)
 Cross Bones is amazing, follow her link and read all about its medieval history.
Id known nothing about it, but its both fascinating and deeply saddening too.
An area was set aside and known as the Single Women's Churchyard...

"In his 1598 Survey of London, the historian John Stow refers to a burial ground for 'single women' - a euphemism for the prostitutes who worked in Bankside's brothels or 'stews'.

At a time when we were expected to marry and become a man's property, the term 'single women' was deemed to mean women of lower morality, who sold their bodies....
Im not going to say any more, it just makes me mad lol

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Quite lovely links to watch....

Grab a cupper, sit comfy and watch this through......its about 25 minutes long but it's an utterly charming narrative.....

Its called The Man Who Planted Trees

and also....

how clever is this?! ( thanks Mary for this link..)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Vintage Sanderson fabric and what to do with a calender

Nowt' stays the same, have you noticed?
Blogger is improved - but now I have to learn how to use this version lol

Just look at this vintage Sanderson fabric, isnt it amazing!
There's 5.8m of it thats been given to me, along with shed loads of other Sandersons, Grafton, Alan J Naness vintage fabrics.....all furnishing, unused lengths.
Before I cut it up, Im trying it on Ebay incase someone out there could use it to recover something or wants lush vintage curtains.
If it and any other pieces sell, I will donate half achieved to charity.
I love this design, with a passion.
Anyone know what the design is actually called by any chance?

Pal Jean picked up some 2012 calenders for only 50p each a short while back. She got me one or two as well........cheers gal!
One featured fabulously coloured and patterned pages and I was sure I could make something out of it for our (hearing impaired) kids to use.
I should have taken a pic of the calender before of course........
but didnt!
What Ive made is a matching game with 4 options for matching.

I sliced up the patterned pages into small and large rectangles.
Also into small squares.
Ive used the smaller pictures from the very back page and the main pages themselves.
The calender days/months are on the backs of the patterned pages so
I backed the pages with scrap white card, to cover over the writing.
I laminated all the shapes and rounded off the corners with a corner punch because laminated corners can be quite sharp for little fingers and hands.

The large rectangle can be matched to the smaller rectangle in the same pattern.
The squares can be matched to the large or small rectangles as well.
The squares can also be matched together in small and larger pattern sizing.
And of course a child can find any 2 rectangles and 2 squares of the same design and have a full set of 4, of each patterns.
So its made an inexpensive activity for a child, to encourage them to talk and look carefully, matching, sequencing and guessing what the patterns are pictures of. There are 12 different patterns and 12 of each shape and size.
Here's another 4.5 m piece of Vintage Grafton fabric this time..
and a 8.25m length of Alan J Naness 'Central Park' fabric too..

My settee is layered in chintz and it looks just lovely! lol

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Gail Lawther at our club

We had a fascinating talk today from Gail Lawther whose books, A Trip Around the World
( which I picked up, new, for only £2 in a book shop in town, an unbelievable price for whats in it!) and Glimpses of New Zealand are a feast of design inspiration.
Well Gail delivered a fun and spirited talk about her love of New Zealand and showed 35 of her slim, vertical hangings, which all feature specific things that inspired her creative mind and fingers.
My most favourite was the maori face above, up close its all browns but stand away from it and there's the tattoed face! Its very clever.
But here's a taste iof some of the others that rung my bell...
these three are of the Rotarua geothermal springs where the hot geysers have forced up salts to the earths surface and they sparkle and look crusted in such wonderful colours...apparently!
The Queen never sent me to NZ when I was flying..godamit!

Now the feather represented a specific bird, that is the unofficial, official symbol of Nz.....since you rarely ever see a kiwi bird, they are so shy and timid. I will look out my book of hers, cos am sure the name of that bird will be in there, along with a pic of this feather hanging.

its amazing how different all 35 if the hangings are, and how many different techniques Gail had used therein!

Now many thousands first went to NZ in the goldrush and this next piece has the names of many of those who remain, but in the graveyards. So many died before ever making their fortune......whole families with children of all ages. So gail has named some of them and layered their names beneath net and voiles.........and here's the gold seam, running from top to bottom, through the stones of the NZ land.

This one above captures the paua (abalone) shells inner deeply colourful, mother of pearl like sheen. It was such stunningly beautiful colours.

As always some members had brought in some pieces of work they had completed or that were WIP.
I liked the use of such small pieces of fabric in Jill Steels ( bookcover I think)
and more good use of scraps.. Betty Finchams CQ and yes more little jumpers! I took in 94 but there were some 6 or 7 carrier bags taken in too.

and a clever piece here...........nets catching fish I Jackie Ward-Lomox..........some of the couched down net is plastic, probably from a bag of Baby Bells maybe. 

Oh and I finally had a go at making myself some shoe insoles, to slip in and out of the shoes that tend to cling to my bare feet when its hot. The stitching is abit skew whiff but I will perfect the quilting on the next few I make. I used felted woollens as the padding to use up some of my stash lol
They feel really comfy in my espadrilles and of course can be easily washed through.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The mood lifts..........yeahhhhh.... with wild violets

And probably more to do with stitching than much else lol

But these little beauties are growing in my back garden and they always make me smile, year after year, they blossom forth against weather and footfalls.
Though lilac, rather than the blue they photograph............odd that....they are from the seeds of wild violets that grew behind Whitby Abbey, in a hedgerow there, many years ago when I took the kids for an early may holiday on a farm.
Sturdy little souls that each year provide zillions of seeds.

Despite my dog suddenly deciding to rive up my landing carpet outside my bedroom now its holey and torn, dam him. And despite my (neutered) male cat spraying in a downstairs room this afternoon, presumably because there was a butch entire male stray cat peering at him thru the french doors when I got I have had to overdose on air spray lol
Guess it could be worse sure skunks smell worse..............yes, despite these mood is Yeahhhhh!
But I suspect its cos I determindly stitched like an obsessed creature over this last the hope that my stitching really is my therapy! seems it is lol
Inspired by Karen Turners hand stitching I had been intending to use up some of my off cut stash bits and pieces. Since Ive been making blocks with floral fabrics and adding lace pieces and  doilies, supposedly using laura ashley fabrics but when I couldnt find any fresh laura ashley fabric dresses in charity shop ....... I began using other recycled cotton fabrics too.
Now I WAS going to make a bed cover with these blocks but its occured to me that since the cats and the darned dog at times too, sleep on my bed when Im not in...........which is why my bedroom door is so often closed........and no doubt why the dog decided to haul the carpet up and dig under the door....then the lacey bits might well get damaged and pulled by their claws.
So now Im not sure what to do with it, once Ive finished it lol
But anyway..........these offcuts may end up as side strips...
Oh and Ive moved my feather filled chair because its annoying how the feathers flatten when my backside sits on them lol so now...........
you can see how thrilled my cats are with the chairs new position!
You can also see how annoying feather filled cushions can be, they simply dont keep their shape lol

Another thing Ive done is revamp my small Posh Cat hanging from this
to this

but I can no longer call this Posh Cat lol

At work Id been asked to make a book bag for one of our teenage visually impaired kids. This is what I ended up making her.

And another delightful thing happened today, to lift my spirits ............. these arrived from Mary Anne!
Thank you SO much!
We are swapping magazines with eachother and Im sure Im getting the better deal with this batch! Yummy magazines, niether of which Ive ever seen before...........what fun!

Oh and finally.............94 little 'fish and chip' jumpers ......... ! In an untidy mess cos I was counting how many there was.... : )

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Abit down but.............why is it

Okay theres abit going on around me, the kids have issues and you never can just stop worrying for them, can you...
though I should stop worrying, they are old enough to ............... cope.

So anyway have been feeling abit down and yesterday it came to a head.....full of self pity cos I cant actually do anything to help them..........
 I managed to wade through a 900ml tub of ice cream and drink a
( left over from xmas)bottle of Jacobs Creek rose wine.............but............
why is it, that on the scales this morning I was half a pound lighter?!!!
Im doing this weight loss thing ALL wrong!
Maybe I should buy ice cream and wine by the crate!

Hope your all having a great easter, be it snowy, sunny, chilly or warm!