Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jessie Chorley Workshop......

another great day at Sew Not Strawberry Jam we arrived to find the workroom had been adorned with bunting by Jessie and she was already sitting stitching as she greeted everyone.
So much to look at,  Jessie is a very generous tutor both in materials and ideas.  The theme of the day was to make a journal, we glued and stitched, talked and laughed and feasted on the delicious lunch, biscuits and cake provided by Sam of SNSJ, another generous lady.
 These were some of the "toys" we had to play with, I lusted over the rubber stamps of pages from an old French children's book whcih Jessie had found.  These are our books, mine is the one on the right.
Today was another of the un-seasonally warm days so we made the most of it, just in case this is summer. I sat and stitched in an effort to try and remember some of the things Jessie showed us.
(I think my scanner need cleaning)

We decided the magic words of the day were "and then", a little different from "what if" but just as exciting.A thing of wonder that all my favourite tutors teach hand sewing with vintage fabrics and yet they all have such individual character. I am looking forward to the book Jessie is bringing out in August and hope to re-visit her shop in the Columbia Road .

I could go to SNSJ without taking a few photographs of the Shepherd's Hut  (before the sun came out)
the Studio

and the geese.

Off to see A Little Chaos tomorrow, trying to pack things in as DH is due to have a rather nasty operation in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My idea......

............of a perfect day.
The girls and me went to see Cinderella

and we all enjoyed it.  The film was good but for me the outdating thing was the costumes.  A clever mix of the the 1950's (so in vogue) and the past. Stunning, I wanted to be able to freeze frame and examine.
cinderella 2015 movie amazing costumes 
Seriously, grab a little girl (or two big girls) who are little inside and go and enjoy. Disney really appreciates that little girls like to "twirl" in a dress.
Follow the film, if you can, with a laughter filled lunch in the sunshine and there you are.....the perfect day.   Thanks girls.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Busy Weekend......

This weekend was our long awaited exhibition which was held in the Lecture room of a local garden centre, (unfortunately for my bank balance my favourite garden centre Coolings  but that is another story)

Here is a flavour,
We had examples from group challenges like "seed packets" (executed before we knew we were exhibiting at a garden centre)
and jigsaw pieces with the theme "Spring"

 Me and my friends had decorated vintage napkins which we turned into boxes here we have "
a box of boxes","a seed box" and "a red box"

There is also my friends heart which I should have done more in close up.
One of our most successful exhibits was the table of teddies (and a dog)

It never fails to amaze me how you can start with the same thing, the bare bear in the middle, and each individual creates something unique.
My Seth Apter piece became the centre piece of our table devoted to books and fairy stories.
It is now taking centre stage in my hall way.
On Saturday we played hookey especially to go to the Renegade Craft Fair in the Truman Brewery in east London.  I am sorry to say it was quite a disappointment. I don't know what they are like in New York, Los Angeles and the other venues the advertise but we found the London version,  instead of being far out and innovative, to be no more exciting than the usual craft market in Old Spitalfields. Such a shame.  The most exciting part of the day was finding this glorious graffiti wall.
The weather here is very warm for April which is very welcome and we have spent the last two days putting our little patch of garden to rights.  Today under the bird feeder I found this strange black growth.  It was very difficult to photograph but is I say it resembled fine black wire wool it might give you some idea. It was quite metallic in character.

My Google investigation leads me to believe it is a fungi which come with either Niger seed or black sunflower hearts.  Whatever, it looked vaguely evil so it has now been removed.
One more day of warmth promised for tomorrow and then back to normal.
 Looking forward to "Cinderella" at the cinema tomorrow and a workshop at Sew Not Strawberry Jam this weekend with Jessie Chorley.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Keeping a secret......

for months now. Way back in September 2013 I treated myself to two stencils designed by Seth Apter and produced by Stencil Girl.

I was really pleased with them and I used them on my gelli plate. The TIME one spoke to me and the more I looked at it the more I had a picture in my mind  of Times Square in New York  with all the theatre and advertising lights.
How replicate that? ......total madness.......in beads. 
It has taken me nearly a year to complete, putting it away when I grew tired of picking beads out of the sofa, the carpet and other places.  When we had cats I used to blame them for the fact that beads spread everywhere but no....it's me.
So here it is, I am pleased to say that Seth likes it and is happy for me to exhibit it.
and a close up
I have an idea to use the first stencil to decorate the lid of a box to hold all my UFO's but I think I will probably chose another medium rather than beads.

Thanks again Seth is was great fun.
Happy Easter everyone.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Clever idea,,,,,,

Of late I seem to have a lot of people re-pinning things from my Pinterest board so I thought in future I would try to remember to post something here as well when something catches my eye.

Penny of Tanglewood Threads came up with this idea for organising threads using the insides of "various paper products"
Penny has a fascinating ongoing project she calls "scratchings" you can see the latest here

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bad start.....

but a great ending to last week.  It started with a cold sore which turned into a full blown streaming cold.... yuk.
Fortunately I recovered in time to be able to take a trip to Sew Not Strawberry Jam for a workshop with Viv of Hen's Teeth.  Now you will have gathered by now that SNSJ is one of my most favourite places. 
Who wouldn't want to work in that glorious workroom, with geese patrolling outside in  the beautiful Kent countryside outside, a range throwing out warmth to match the welcome from Sam and, of course,  the most delicious cakes .Add to this a tutor as friendly and generous as Viv and you have the makings of a really good day. There were moans and groans when it was time to pack up.
 This is what I made
The cat was a gift from Viv to do whatever we wished.  I painted mine and added a stitch outline.  I was, as ever to see how different everyone reacted to the same brief. 

For once I decided to make sure I finished my needle case., this is what serves at the moment.
I know, I know.........but it works.
Here is my lovely squishy new one
Inside I have placed the little date reminder which Viv gave us to embellish any way we wanted as a reminder of the day..
Now, I am looking forward to the Jessie Chorley workshop in a couple of weeks time. 

The town I live in is not known for it's beauty but I had realised just how much is right on the doorstep.  While waiting for my car to have it's MOT I wandered round the local fishing lakes.  Quite beautiful on that morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2 Temple Place.......

It was this kind of morning in London.
Pre-Spring sunshine with a chill breeze. Idea for a stroll through  the Embankment Gardens to 2 Temple Place built by William Waldorf Astor as his estate office in the 1890's and now  home to the Bulldog Trust Charity.  This is their website ,

We went to see their current exhibiton "Cotton to Gold" which I mentioned in a previous post but the building turned out to be as interesting as the exhibition.

The highlight of the exhibition was the books, from a rare Shakespeare Folio to exquisite Book of Hours. Like this one.
 We are so used to the printed image you have to remind yourself that these are all hand painted. 

Another favourite was this icon.

Their were coins, not something that usually grasps my attention but this caught my eye.  A large but thin Charles the First £3 piece.
Probably a very large sum of money then and probably worth a small fortune now. My one criticism was the textiles were badly hung, above head height so you couldn't examine them closely.

 The central hallway has a pattered marble floor which would fill a post on it's own and these fine fellows on the wall.(also marble)
There were beetles in the hall, hundred's of them.
A strange obsession.
 The staircase is decorated with carved characters from "The Three Musketeers", there is amazing carving everywhere. This is the most elaborate door to the "Ladies" I have ever seen. (It was quite grand inside too.)

We skipped the room with the taxidermy but I was amused by this.
The last room was a little too dark to photograph. It had more magnificent carving, more books,some ivory and some beautiful glass and  these windows, one at each end.
Before we left we lunched on delicious Lancashire cheese baps. I will look forward to their next exhibition  (it is only open during exhibitions) in the meanwhile there is a very good virtual tour of the building from Google here 
We finished out day with a wander through Covent Garden  and I don't like to end such a good day on a sad note but we spotted this little fellow.
I like to think someone came and claimed him.  Sad to think there are real children in the world in this position.