Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snow Dyeing

Yet again, a long blogging gap.
It's snowed!!
Decided not to miss out on the opportunity this time.
On Sunday I put some fabric to soda soak. Then came
the problem of what containers to use for the process.
I like to use what I've got.
I've got - a load of small-ish heavy duty plastic bags
and lots of cat litter trays in two sizes.
Plastic bags - snip holes in the bottom for drainage.
Use small litter tray, upturned and in the larger one -
to catch the dye and melted snow.
What I've learned - get organised before you add snow,
wear warm gloves then rubber gloves ot move the snow,
make sure you have enough room to leave the trays (not
on top of the freezer!).
Results later, waiting to do more dyeing.
Patience, they tell me, is a virtue!!!!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Lists, Piles and a Ball.....

It's been a while.....Hi.......
Suffering from lists and 'piles' at the moment!
For a demo, what to wear, daily essentials, food, etc.
Getting ready to go to the FOQ
Did something today that I've never done before......
I bought a football!! It's just a kids thing, only cost a £1.
It's so I can do my list of exercises that the Physio gave
me this morning.
It does make me smile - the only ball game I've ever been
any good at is table football. The sign of a misspent youth.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

World Cup Football

We set off for home just after the England match had
started. This was the newly widened M1 motorway just
after England had scored!
We arrived home (nearly) about 30 minutes later and saw
3 people on foot and only a couple of cars.

Monday, 31 May 2010

All new and the first....

Went for a walk this morning with a friend to a local
park. It was a morning for new life and the first of the
year. We saw a male swan attempting to see off
any thing that went near his new babies. This is mom
and two of her babies. There were another two but it
was impossible to get them all together.
Next a female mallard swam by with her three babies.
She probably had more but this is all she has left.A few yards further on we spotted this coot on her nest.
We sat on some convenient rocks and watched and
waited. She seemed restless and eventually out
popped a couple of chicks - the red blobs are their
beaks. One made it into the water and back. She was
probably sitting on lots more eggs so these two were
very young.
These next three were taken in my garden. The chives are
just starting to flower.........
The double purple poppies will probably flower in a
couple of weeks...............
And this is the first 'Love in a Mist' flower this year........
And finally, this is one on my old tin tubs plantedup
with salad leaves. I've already had a weeks worth of
salad already..........

Friday, 21 May 2010

What's new?

I saw this the other day - a field of dandelions, half the
clocks had blown away. So many dandelions this year!
I want butterfly spotting yesterday without leaving my chair
in the garden. I saw this orange and white butterfly shortly after
I'd seen a small blue one. I went to get my camera but it had
gone by the time I got back, that's when I spotted this one.
I then saw this one, looking rather battered. It actually looks
as if something has taken a chunk out of its wing.
Don't know why the photo is small....
This is a new doll, much more delicate looking than I've
done before. The face is Angelina fibres pressed onto a
face mould and heat fixed. I find 'shiny' doesn't photograph
very well.
The body is made from fleece - I find it easy to work with
and forgiving! It's used as a base then wrapped with other
textiles - strips of fabric, lace, ribbon, threads, then
stitched to hold everything in place. Other embellishments
are added before limbs and wings. I always have to
remind people these are not toys.

I've been working on a series of small pieces based on
a lino print of a tulip. This was a green print onto green
hand dyed cotton sateen. Strips of different green polyester
organza were layered over the top with a pink piece for the
flower head. I wanted to try some rayon thread which can break
easily, and did, but then can stitch for ages without breaking,
and did. I have yet to finish off the ends but here's a look.
I used my favourite (only because I do it without thinking) free
motion quilting pattern. I usually use an ordinary polyester sewing
thread but I'd just read this.
In June a sewing group my mum goes to is having a tea party
for Marie Curie and they are madly making tea cosies to
raffle, I think. Anyway it set me thinking, I've never made a
tea cosy so I thought I'd have a go. This is it so far, my first attempt.
With this I really just wanted to test out some practical ideas
before gatting decorative. The wadding is polyester fleece (again)
and the usual quilting pattern. The fabric is a tea towel I've had for
ages, I bought it because I liked the fabric. It wil be more
decorative and it will be washed to see what happens to it -
fabric, wadding, decoration.
I've also agreed to do this
which was initiated by Helen Conway. Done some thinking and
research but nothing on paper or fabric yet.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Spring and new printing

Just one of the pieces I created yesterday. Hand dyed
pdf cotton, screen printed with the lettering and over
printed with a leaf block in several colours.
For all the printing I used acrylic paint mixed with a fabric
medium. I'd already got the screen, a thermofax screen
I'd had done a few years ago. The leaf block came as
a freebie from a magazine years ago. Remember
'Inspirations' - it used to be a good magazine before
home makeovers became fashionable, then it folded.
They always had give aways of blocks, they'd be called
stamps now, or stencils or something you could push in
a drawer and use years later!
One of the reasons for doing this was to use what I'd
got - acrylic paints and fabric medium and to see what
results I'd get. The next step is to get some quilting done.
This plant has started flowering. Can't remember it's name
but it these beautiful flowers. They're hidden beneath the
heart shaped glossy leaves and are only abour 5cm high.
I've love rhubarb and have always wanted a plant in the
garden. I treated myself last year but it failed miserably.
Last autumn we dug it up and planted it in the compost bin
that we'd also moved. We have rhubarb growing in the
garden at last. I believe that you're not supposed to eat from
it in the first year - good job I'm patient!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

From utility room to print space

Up early, cleared the ironing and made ready to have
a print session today. The large white board is the
print table - just board covered with wadding - and the
drop cloth draped over it. On the work surface is
everything I think I'm going to need.
The ironing board goes up...................
The print table goes on top of the ironing board. It's abit wider
and quite stable if I'm careful! The airer, on the right, will go
outside later.
There isn't alot of room by the sink and it pays to be
organised but I always end up in a bit of a pickle....

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


I finished my 'Word for 2010' at last. I was procrastinating
about finding the black car spray paint that I wanted to use
for the grafitti. I decided to use a very dark green as it was
handy, it looks black aswell. The test piece worked well,
just needed to remember to mask off the edges on the
main piece.
Just made one error(as ususal) on the wall. I'm cross because
I'd even remembered to keep the little bits that dropped out
when I cut the stencil. I even stitched on the hanging sleeve
which was already made. It's now hanging on the book shelves
being looked at!
I also finished some hand stitching for a couple of journal
quilts. It's a series of pieces based on buttons and buttonholes.
All I had to do was finish stitching the buttons - it's done now.
Just got the edges to deal with now.

I found this chap in the garden on Saturday afternoon.
I disturbed him and we eyeballed each other for quite
some time before he hopped off into Love in a Mist
seedlings that had survuved the winter.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Lino printing, Goodies

I re-discovered lino printing the other week. There are
some new lino products that are much easier to cut than
the traditional lino. This image was taken from a photo of
the tulips in my garden. Isn't modern technology wonderful!
I used acrylic paint and 'Ormaline' because I'd got it.
The resulting ink was a little looser than traditional lino inks
and didn't work as successfully on some of the prints.
After ironing I started quilting some of the pieces to see
what they'd look like. This one needs some ends finishing
I layered this one with organza. A couple of greens torn
into strips and overlapped over the print then quilted.
Quite like this one!
Some of the goodies from Quilts in the Garden...........

This photo tickles me - my old cd player and a textile piece
of my old house.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Quilts in the Garden

Had a lovely day out yesterday. Arrived here, Uttoxeter
Racecourse, in glorious sunshine for the 'Quilts in the
Garden' show. I was immediately envious of the first
sight I saw - a full caravan site, in the middle of the track.
Parking was easy and free.
The entrance to the show......
You can only guess what this might be used
for at a quilt show......
Had to visit this show being so close to home. Glad I went.
Got some books that I'd been wanting a look at and had
to buy a bit of fabric of course. An interesting and very
varied collection of quilts on display. Arrived home tired
but contented (had a textile fix) and in desperate need
of a decent bucket of tea!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Snow dyeing

I remembered this last night - I missed a chance to do some
snow dyeing yesterday. It would have been perfect.
Never mind. It was more important to get the fibres.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Snow, fibres and othe extras

Well, what a day! Woke up to this today of all days,
totally unexpected. Had to go out to collect some fibres
for a felt making workshop on Tuesday. Couldn't rely on
the post to get them to me in time, only knew about it
10 days ago. The OH was tasked with taking me
Just signs of birds and cats or foxes in the garden.
Not sure what these marks are but I think they are made
by bird wings.
The robins were the first of the feathered visitors to come
after I'd put out breakfast.
This was how it looked at the front of our house when we
left on our intrepid journey.
We went through the road widening road works on the M1.
Just 2 lanes ........

Due to snow problems on the motorway we had to leave
the M1 at the Meadowhall junction and go across Tinsley
Viaduct - that's what it used to be called!
Meadowhall, still loads of people going in despite the weather.
The sat.nav. took us on a pretty route but with lots of snow.
Thank goodness for four wheel drive.....

We ended up here, Wentworth village ......
We were heading for Wingham Wool Work.
I'd already ordered this......
but had to get some more coloured tops, a hat block and
some cotton gauze.
Needed to call at the local garden centre for a cuppa and loo stop.
Hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows is the thing for a
snow day.
The staff at the garden centre had been working very hard
to clear the car park and footpaths.
Back to the M1 and 3 lanes now but very wet.
The sun made an appearance......
And this is what we came home to. It didn't feel like the same day.
Our adventure is over! Time to download photos and get
tea started.