Sunday, 29 September 2013

Summer Project Bits

I thought it high time I share with you some bits and bobs from the project I have been working on over the summer. The photos are a bit jumbled but I'm sure you won't mind.

The inspiration for this project originally came from a poem by Elizabeth Browning about the Herefordshire landscape. Want to read?

I dared to rest, or wander, - like a rest
Made sweeter for the step upon the grass, -
And view the ground's most gentle dimplement,
(As if God's finger touched but did not press
In making England!) such an up and down
Of verdure, - nothing too much up or down
A ripple of land; such little hills, the sky
Can stoop to tenderly and the wheatfields climb;
Such nooks of valleys, lined with orchises,
Fed full of noises by invisible streams;
And open pastures, where you scarcely tell
White daisies from white dew, - at intervals
The mythic oaks and elm-trees standing out
Self-poised upon their prodigy of shade, -
I thought my father's land was worthy too
Of being my Shakespeare's...
Then the thrushes sang,
And shook my pulses and the elms' new leaves...
I flattered all the beauteous country round,
As poets use; the skies, the clouds, the fields,
The happy violets hiding from the roads
The primroses run down to, carrying gold, -
The tangled hedgerows, where the cows push out
Impatient horns and tolerant churning mouths
'Twixt dripping ash-boughs, - hedgerows all alive
With birds and gnats and large white butterflies
Which look as if the May-flower had caught life
And palpitated forth upon the wind, -
Hills, vales, woods, netted in a silver mist,
Farm, granges, doubled up among the hills,
And cattle grazing in the watered vales,
And cottage-chimneys smoking from the woods,
And cottage-gardens smelling everywhere,
Confused with smell of orchards.


I thought that rather than using the Herefordshire Landscape, I would use my own beloved Ashdown Forest landscape.

So what do you think? I have been sketching, painting, stitching, colouring, combining... I really love the combination of my new Inktense pencils (brilliant and totally worthwhile purchase!!) with machine stitching on the top. What do you think?

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Stitchy Business

Gosh, has it really been a week since I posted on here? So much has happened it feels much longer. At the weekend I packed up all my bits and bobs, said goodbye to the cats and was yesterday driven back to Leicester. I have to admit, I still haven't quite unpacked so my room is a bit of a state (ssssh, don't tell The Mother). Still, before I did the big move (and it does tend to be rather big!) I managed to get a few stitchy things done and dusted. What do you think of my entry for the Great Bit Stitched Postcard Swap? I am thrilled to pieces with it!!! So much so I might have to make another one so that I can keep this one....

I am particularly proud of my little stitched birds, they make my heart go skippety skip whenever I see them! I hope whoever my swap partner is likes my little bit of textile art.

Did I mention this magazine find? I can't remember, so apologies if this is a repeat. The Mother and I popped into town the other week and to our excitement came across a new magazine (you know those ones where they have collectable items or build something with each issue?) called Sew & Stitch. Not only does it have some lovely makes for you to do, but you also work towards making your own patchwork quilt!!! Apparently it takes about 90 issues to finish the whole thing and the magazine comes out every week.

This was the first issue and you get all the bits and bobs to make the first patch!! A postcard patch to be precise. The only things I slightly changed for this was to Vilene the back of all of the fabrics. They seem to be quite good quality but I thought that because the patches are going to be hanging around for 90 issues, they might fray quite a bit. I also added the red stitching on the picture part of the postcard because I didn't feel bondaweb would secure it sufficiently and to me it looked a bit strange as that was the only bit without stitching around it. I think it looks quite cool. =D

So if you aren't one for long intensive projects, why not join me and The Mother with this one as it is in monthly, manageable chunks and if you subscribe you get the most amazing complimentary (free-ish!!) things which make it totally worth it. We could have a quilt-along!!! Whaddaya think?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Girl Guide Crafts!

Hello my lovelies!! Golly what a busy few weekends. Yesterday I came back from my unit's guide camp and have some photos to show you from that, but I realised I haven't shown you our fantastic float at the Uckfield carnival!!! How very remiss of me. (I warn you now, this is going to be a lengthy post so now is the time to make yourself a cuppa!!)

Look at our fabulous pirate ship!! Sailing away there on the high seas. We had cannon flaps, portholes, a huge mast (originally 13 foot of cardboard carpet tube which myself and a friend had to carry up the high street- we got some funny looks I can tell you!!), flags, treasure chests, a treasure map....all sorts of things. And not forgetting of course our gorgeous waves, choc full of glittering fish and other watery creatures.

The girls did a really good job with the fish- it always surprises me to see what they have come up with. Some of the older girls took some bits and bobs home and we had all sorts of things turning up on the day; bejewelled starfish, seaweed, octopuses (octopi?)... Do you like the vampire fish below?



Some of the leaders got carried away and brought even more stuff on the day!! The mermaid, shark, turtle and crab were all made by a very enthusiastic and talented Brownie leader (aren't they fab?!).


The paper plate pirates were also a great success. They were given all kinds of accessories. What do you think of me in my pirate hat?

Hamish turned out pretty well too!! I think he enjoyed the evening as all the girls loved him and took turns to carry him along.

The carnival was good fun, lots of Rainbows/Brownies/Guides/Senior Section/Leaders came and dressed up and took part. And our float came 3rd in an unknown category!
This weekend we took 19 guides to a nearby camping spot for the weekend. Some of you may have noticed- it was the wettest weekend in several months!!! Friday evening was spent inside one of the convenient huts making scrapbooks so luckily the girls didn't get too wet and we had managed to get all of the tents up before most of the downpour began. Ooh, it was chilly though!

This was what the campsite looked like early Sunday morning. Misty and absolutely freezing, but with a few tentative fingers of sunshine peeking through the clouds.

The Saturday had been spent doing lots of crafty things and playing games in the woods during dry spells. They all made the ladybirds I designed for them, and some interesting accessories appeared here too!

Lots of bow ties, hair ties, special antennae, bug houses, bug beds, bug moustaches and even four eyed ladybirds were created!!

In the evening we got out the paint and glue and had a very messy session with leaves and twigs collected that morning combined with scrap fabrics/papers to create recycled bugs. I particularly liked the little green bug things in the top ladybird picture, and the leafy caterpillar below.

All in all, a very crafty camp that the girls thoroughly enjoyed!! What can I think up for next year?


Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

I found something truly exciting this afternoon that I think all crafty people should be joining in with!!! A great big stitched postcard swap!! It is free to enter and basically all you have to do is make a postcard any way you like (don't forget to include some form of stitching), then send it to your swap partner- who could be anywhere in the world (you do have to pay postage)!!!
The theme is Celebrate and can be interpreted any way you like. You can click here for more info on how to enter and the swap itself, or I have (very cleverly) attached a button on my sidebar for easy access. We might end up swapping with each other!!
(There is also a Flickr group and if you send in your photo you could end up being showcased in a magazine or online, plus there is a free giveaway!! Hop on over and check it out!!)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Rebecca Bourne: Textile Artist

Good Evening my friends!!! I know I have already posted today but I have been given the all clear to write a post especially about the creator of my latest piece of acquired artwork.
I have to admit, I do love a good giveaway and there is no place like the arty backstreets of Facebook to find all these beautiful, wacky, quirky, handcrafted pieces which are simply being given away for free! (As long as you win the giveaway of course). I have been lucky enough to win two in about the same amount of weeks and it has been tremendously exciting!!! (Possibly not for the postman though as he does get rather ambushed every time he walks down the path). The latest one, as you may well know, was a hand stitched card by the talented Rebecca, who also stitched my name as a little extra (modelled here by her gorgeous cat Pebbles).

Before I show you lots of fabulous pictures of her work, let me give you her details so that you can commission a piece for yourself or just follow her work and gaze adoringly over the intricate stitching, collaged fabrics and hand painted brush strokes. As I mentioned in my previous post she has a regularly updated Facebook page, as well as a BlogSpot blog so do head on over and say hi, I'm sure she would be thrilled to see you.

Don't you just love the tablecloth in the above piece?