Thursday, June 28, 2007

A trip to Town....

I popped up to London today. I visited the Opus BA Show wonderful work but a little beyond me I'm afraid. I will go to their Pathways exhibition next week. Having the day to myself I went up to the British Museum,what a treasure house this is...I have to take it in little bites. Today I looked at the Snettisham Hoard I had never heard of it before but I was fascinated by these strange neckpieces They must have been uncomfortable to wear but must also have been impressive as some were very thick.

Photographs courtesy The British Museum.
I had a lovely wander when I came out, there are some wonderful old building around the museum, my walk was enlivened by a great idea from the National Gallery. Around corners and in the oddest places where reproductions of some of the gallery's treasures.

I thought the juxtaposition of the street sign gave this one a Banksy feeling
A brilliant idea, I often pop into the National I wanted to go off in search of more but I didn't have any time left today as I spent a happy hour(and a bit of money) in the London Graphic Centre I bought some inks and nib pens.......because they were there. Delighted and a bit dismayed(for my bank managers sake) that the are now stocking Golden Liquid Acrylics.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The long and the short of it.....

In an effort to be neat and I decided that straight edges were the order of the day.
As you can see it didn't quite work. I actually think the name of this stitch is a bit misleading because in fact apart from the beginning it could almost be called "all the same stitch"!!!

I think it shows that this isn't one of my favourites.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


is the name of this piece!!!

Desparate for inspiration!

Last week my son looked into my room, shook his head(in a loving way) and said "So much stuff", now I thought this a little harsh as, bless them, he and my daughter provided much of it for birthdays and Christmas. They are both very good at bringing me things that I didn't know where just what I wanted which is marvellous,the trouble is for some time now I have been longing to do something with it all, even knowing what I wanted to do but not knowing where to start. I have been mulling over it all week and last night I went down and just pulled things out and this is the result. Absolutely nothing to do with what I have in mind (which I am not going to put into the air right now) but does seem of have helped with a partial unblocking.

One of my problems was that everything I tried to do was derivative, you know what I mean "as seen in this magazine,... that blog.....the workshop. I think I am now coming to terms with the fact that this is how it has to be for me, I can imitate but not invent. So having come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be Grandma Moses I am going to try and create, albeit in the style of others, just for the process of making something, hopefully just a little bit different.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dumbing down.......

Facts I thought I knew were true:

1. The BBC is one of the most respected television networks in the world.

2. The post of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdon is a very important.

Therefore, can somebody please explain to me why the candidates for this post were presented to us on the BBC 6 o'clock news as though they were taking part in the latest "reality" television programme. Would we,otherwise, not be able to understand?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Normal service resumed...........

...sort of. It's been a strange, not to say expensive, week. My computer is sort of fixed, still can't scan but at least I can get to my photo files. So fingers crossed....

Here in the UK it is the longest day today, nearly half way through the year and the nights will start drawing in. My son thinks it's very funny when I say this and it is silly because this is really only the start of summer but the it is also the silly season. I saw a definition that it was because Parliament was closed but I don't really think that would make that much difference!!!!

Augusten Burroughs
"I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions." This was a timely entry on the Quotes of the Day blog One of the things that has come out of this week is a promise to myself to make a real effort to stop saying "I must do....xxxx......tomorrow, soon, next week e.g. back up my computer!!!!! But not only that but important things like contacting friends, it is too easy to let the weeks slide by.

And now to last weeks TAST, French knots. I love French Knots, there is something very satisfying to me in making them. So in keeping with the silly season and summer here is an ice cream dotted with hundreds and thousands (can you still buy them?) Oops I spilt some...

I would have preferred to scan this for better definition but it will have to do for now.

This is one I did sometime ago, a representation of a pebbley stream.

So now for long and short stitch.....she said enthousiastically, it is a stitch that I love when other people do it but I am never satisfied when I try it, I think you realise by now that I am not awfully good at neat!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Unepected silence....

Just as I was getting back into the swing of things, my computer collapsed. It is away being given new innards and I hope to get it back next week. At the moment I am using my husbands laptop. The good news is that I can keep up with what everyone is doing, the bad news(for me) is that I cannot post my TAST French knots photo as I haven't worked out the connections to scanner etc.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Everybody's do'in it,................

do'in'in it..........Rust dyeing that is, so of course I just had to have a go and look what I have,

This was the bottom of an old baking tray. I am do excitied, can anyone else see the dragon, Ken can see a mouse wearing glasses(spectacles)!!!! I really want to do something special to this but will have to think about it for a while.

I have been touched by the responses to my last post both here and on Flickr, I am so touched to have awakended memories in others, I only wish I had started to research my past at a much younger age, when there were people around, like grandparents, who could have added the "flesh" to the names that came before them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wheat Dreamer

My TAST sample this week is not very original but it has been a very interesting piece to do. First of all the background. Ken was cutting down a dead tree in the garden which was covered by the most gorgeous green lichens. Ignoring raised eyebrows and pitying looks I wrapped some pieces in wet calico and then in cling film and waited to see. I was delighted with the result and decided this would make the perfect background for the wheatear stitch. As I stitched I was carried back to childhood walks with my dog, watching the fields change from ploughed brown to gold. I don't usually add other stitches to my samples but I just had to add some poppies. Isn't it amazing how you can remember scents? The one I liked best was after the wheat had been cut, a mixture that I can't describe but I can smell it now. One of natures miracles of packaging, (like the egg and the pomegranate) one of the other things I liked to do with a ripe ear was take out the seeds, one by one, out of the little cup that holds them. Aagh simple pleasures!!!
When I was researching my ancestors I found that many of them were agricultural workers and I tried to find out about the kind of life they would have had. For many families the gleanings of the wheat field would be all they had to keep them through the winter. Women and children would scour the fields picking up every grain that had been missed. A far cry from deciding whether to have white or wholegrain this week!!
This article gives a very good description.

Millet "The Gleaners" Courtesy Wikipedia.

Another interesting piece I came across (and gave me my title) was about the man who saved the farmers of Kansas by introducing new strains of wheat.
Isn't it wonderful where a stitch can lead you. Thank you Sharon.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back on track..

Here is my Crossed Buttonhole Stitch, I had a hard time getting passed the first stitch because the second stitch kept making a loop.....I kept peering at samples others had produced and couldn't see loops anywhere.......then daylight dawned and I realised that the "loop" was actually the cross and the base and if I just continued it would all come right.

and this is my Satin Stitch, when I look at embroideries with perfectly worked satin stitch it fills me with awe. Hovever, I have always had difficulty with the stitch because, there is no getting away with it, I am not neat. I can still remember agonies of unpicking, at school, over this one and that was a long,long time ago. However the sun was shining and DMC have just added to the varigated threads so here is my little piece of summer, not perfect but dare I say "naive charm"!!!

and now I can look forward to whatever Sharon has dreamed up for us this week.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Just amazing...

I am totally fascinated by the video Women in Art. I found this on the The Practically Creative site. It is one of the most amazing things I have seen. Beautiful and fascinating.

Catching up...

Thank you for the welcome back messages they mean a lot. I caught up with two of my friends yesterday. There is something very special about friendship between women, hard to define but it certainly is one of the most precious parts of my life.

I have come back with my head buzzing with things I want to do but don't seem to be able to settle to getting on with things. However I have done one piece for TAST. This is my Butterfly stitch.

As you can see it is a very quick sample but I do like the stitch and can see all kinds of variety for it with different thicknesses and lengths of thread.

Now for Crossed Buttonhole stitch