Sunday, 29 April 2012


Despite all of the cheerfulness of the last few posts, I have been having a bit of a depressing week with just one thing after another. The weather isn't helping either! Not a good time for the sun to go on holiday!
Still, I have tried to cheer myself up with some gorgeous flowers which I have arranged in several glasses around the room. I reorganised my windowsill just to fit them in!

I have my three little glasses on the window sill and then my usual big jumbled bunch in the Santa mug. Just look at the colours!!!

 A bit of summer sunshine during one of the wettest droughts I have seen!!

It was so lovely to be snuggled up in my room last night listening to the rain lashing against the window and knowing I didn't have to go anywhere. It was so cosy, look..

Ah, you eagle eyed readers will have noticed my ripple blanket amongst all the other crocheted goodness. It isn't completely finished, there are a few rows left to do, but I was so excited about it that I have started using it already and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to wake up and look down the length of the bed at all the cheerful stripeyness- a great way to start the morning!!
Even more eagle eyed readers will have noticed my new project sitting waiting to be completed. It is a blooming flower cushion, as described by the lovely Lucy in the Attic. It isn't finished yet and I have to keep dragging myself away from it to get on with some university work so it might take me a while. Still, here is what I have so far...

Tee-hee, looks so funky lying on my ripple blanket!!

So regardless of how disgusting and wet it is outside (the canal has risen an awful lot lately)... is warm, woolly and cosy in my room!!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Pin Tucks & Tucks

I have been working extremely hard this week with my work, and thought I would share a few bits and bobs with you. The lesson for this week was on pin tucks and tucks which was very exciting as we had to use a special grooved foot and a double needle!! Apparently there are different sizes of the feet and needles- small, medium and large- which you use depending on the weight of your fabric. I was using a blue linen so used the larger size to make the pin tucks more prominent (if I used the smaller size the fabric wouldn't bunch up significantly enough for you to notice it).
I was kind of working from previous drawings and sketches where I was looking at the knots in tree bark, experimenting with using both the front and the back of the pin tucks to create different textures, as well as incorporating strips of other fabrics to add colour and layers.
Here are my pin tuck samples...

Ah, I loved doing the second sample! You stitch your first stripe and then for the others you keep the first stripe in one of the grooves on the foot and the next stripe lines itself up perfectly!! You may wonder what is happening to the non-stitched bits on the samples; well I will show you as I have taken the first sample a bit further, adding some reverse applique and some hand embroidery.
What do you think of this?

 Now that I have discovered I can do french knots, they are appearing everywhere!! Ah, when I think of the tangles I used to get in!
I'm not sure whether this sample needs anything else added to it- any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

We also had a look at tucks, although this wasn't quite as exciting as I have done them previously and you don't need a special foot or a double needle, it is literally a case of folding the fabric, stitching along the fold and then unfolding it. You can get interesting results if you do a curvy fold or start overlapping folds though. Both of the samples I am about to show you need some work done to them and some interesting things added- there are a few ideas floating around in my head but nothing concrete yet. Again, if you have any ideas....

I was thinking of doing a bit of smocking in the first sample with things oozing out of the folds- maybe a bit of stitching on water soluble fabric to create interesting shapes should do the trick!

This Terrible Drought!!

I decided to get out of the flat today (dragging a flatmate along with me) braving the terrible drought we are having, went for a stroll along the other canal direction to see what was there. It seems to me that no matter which way along the canal you go there are derelict factory building,s which is quite sad- although once we got past the buildings we found ourselves in a flooded nature reserve- which will have to explored further when it is less drowned. There was some really interesting graffiti on the bridges and walls though...

And some interesting textures for my texture albums too...

Love the contrast of the green paint and the glass!

We made some water fowl friends too...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

View Hunting In Odd Weather

In the last few days of the holiday myself and the family packed the car with map and 'nocilars and went view hunting.
We chose an afternoon where the world and his wife seemed to be out on the roads, including hundreds of cyclists who we came across whilst going up and up and up a very steep road. They were mad, completely bonkers to try cycling up that hill!!- we were all winding around the hill together at about 2 miles an hour!

When we did get to the top we gave them a round of applause for their achievement- I think they just wanted a lie down.
The views were glorious!

You could even see Brighton's new football stadium.

We didn't stay in this particular place long, and soon waved the cyclists goodbye. I tried taking some photos of us on the move, just look at the greeness!!

We ended up at a place called Devil's Dyke, where the view of the weather was quite spectacular- look at the rain!

Speaking of rain, has anyone else noticed what strange weather we are having at the minute? Currently (as I type this in Leicester) it is pouring with rain and is cold and extremely windy. The other day (when I was in my country house) we had hail, sun and a rainbow (all at the same time)! The hailstones were huge!

 Ominous black clouds...

At one point it looked like the grass was dancing like rice on a big speaker as the hailstones bounced off the ground.

You Haven't Forgotten About ATCs Have You?

So I am now safely ensconced in my town house and am knee deep in sketchbook work- however, I have had to save some time to make ATCs, especially as I have been really naughty this month and had to ask for an extension to the deadline!!!
The long time readers will know that several months ago now I decided to start a new blog dedicated entirely to artist trading cards. It doesn't get updated as regularly as this blog- mainly because the ATCs are made and received in a bit of a monthly rush- but if you are interested then please head on over.
I found a use for those little pink crocheted flowers too and have glued them on to some of the ATCs for a Wildflower swap. I think they look quite sweet nestled together in groups of three.

(To see the post in it's entirety, then click here!)

Lots more exciting things are happening over there as well, it is the final month of an Alphabet Swap (two letters of the alphabet every month- the relief when it is over will be immense!), I am halfway through a Rainbow Accordion Book and I am expecting several returns any day!!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A Truly Satisfying Day

Today was the final crafting taster session for this holiday, but more on that later. First I have to show you two very heart warming things that have recently made their way into the house.
First up:

 A new bunch of daffs in my fabric paper vase!!! The vase that I moulded the paper around is inside the paper so that the water doesn't leak out for those that are mildly concerned.

Second up:

The bowl that I painted at Glazy Daisy!! It was delivered to me today by my friend and I absolutely love it!! It is a bit of a wrench to leave your creation at the shop for it to be glazed, and of course there is always that slight worry that something terrible will happen to it in the kiln- but everything turned out fabulously well!! The white bits on the ends of the stalks are all bobbly and I love, love, love it!!!

And of course, today was pom pom day in the creative sessions. There is something very soothing about making pom poms- as long as you don't get tangled up in knots like some people did...- just wrapping the wool around the cardboard rings, round and round and round....ahhh.

Then of course when you have finished wrapping, you cut between the two rings, tie a piece of wool around the middle, pull off the cardboard...

And hey presto!!! Much excitement.

You can do them any size you like- and be warned, once you make one you will be addicted!!!!