Monday, November 30, 2009


I had an exciting e-mail this morning ot tell me that the first edition of the Hand Embroidery Network magazine NEEDLE is now on line.  I have only had time to skim through but it looks very impressive.

This is the cover

Early Christmas....

Because we don't meet in December the Sevenoaks branch of the Embroiderers Guild had our Christmas celebration on Saturday.  Lee Ault brought some of her wonderful collection of antique and vintage dresses, which also included exquisite baby garments and handkerchieves which were definitely just for show.  The most amazing part was that she allowed us to handle the pieces, a rare priviledge.  While we relaxed , after  our huge shared lunch, Lee showed us how a dress should be packed. with layers of tissue paper in each fold and "doughnuts" of tissue packing the sleeves, it can take two hours to pack a dress properly, as Lee and her husband were off to New Zealand the next day I hoped their packing was done. Unfortunately Lee doesn't have a web site but if you ever have the chance to listen to her grab it.This is Lee in a vintage gold embroidered coat which she wore over a black dress.

Some of the lace and beaded pieces, click on them to see the detail and imagine yourself doing work this fine day in day out.

and imagine yourself doing the Charleston in this

this had a matching jacket, gorgeous!

For a bit of extra fun we had a dress the doll competition,remember those days with paper and crayons designing, colouring cutting out.  How many times did you accidentally cut off the tabs?  Queen Elizabeth won.

a few of the others

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A little trip....

Yesterday I journeyed right across south London to the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington. The venue, a former church, was fascinating in itself. The purpose of the visit was an exhibition called Sparkle and one of the main reasons for the visit was to see the work of  Jackie Cardy of Dog Daisy Chains who hails from the north west like me. This is my little memento

She loves to work with tweed and velvet and her bags were delicious.
While speaking to Jackie I discovered that another exhbitor was from my home town.  Karen A Ruane has a beautiful blog called Contemporary Embroidery.

Another little treat to myself was this box of cards by Mary Thorp

Couldn't be so close and not go and look at the river at the narrow end....


and of course I had to play

A good day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Domestic crisis........

My freezer stopped working last Thursday and I had to wait until yesterday for them to come and repair it!!! With massive cooking session and help from my magical neighbour Jan we managed to salvage quite a bit.  One victim, though,  was a bag of frozen blackcurrants which really didn't look at all appetizing. I was on the point of throwing them when I looked at my hands and the red stain on my fingers.....Hmmmm.....dash down to the workroom and grab assorted scraps... put blackcurrants and scaps in a pan and simmer gently for about an hour.  Leave overnight and this morning.....

Non of the fabrics reproduced the colour on my fingers but they did produce this wonderful assortment of purples and greys.  It never fails to fascinate how different fabrics react to the same dye in different ways. Now what to do with them...............

Monday, November 16, 2009

More trees.......

Over the last two years my participation in the Calendar Girls swap has brought me many treasures and non more so than the card that arrived this morning from Pippa. The envelope would have been a more than saitisfactory interpretation of this months picture by Arthur Rackham chosen by Jenny

This is the envelope

Looks like a walk through an enchanted wood, but this is the card.

Click on the picture to get just a little feel for the wonderful texture of this little work of art.
And as though that were not enough these came scattering out of the envelope, found on the forst floor I'm sure.

In Keeping....

As I wrote below I was very moved  by my visit to the Keeping Gallery. I couldn't wait to try out the thread technique which Renate Keeping used to produce stunning portraits.  Now, the only thing that I can draw with any confidence (thanks not to my Arts teacher to my French teacher Mr Emmerson) are trees. An artist I came to know when I visited America a few years ago is Pat Buckley Moss,(this is the museum we visited)  I particularly loved her winter scenes with stark trees. So here is my thread "painting".

No stitiching, just layed threads.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Calendar Girls.....

 The November inspiration  for the Calendar Girls was this picture by Arthur Rackham.chosen by Jenny.

As Jenny chose the subject and  loves felt  I was taking a bit of a chance trying out my new fascination with wet felting and it took three attempts.

Too dark, not enough detail..

 Too light, not enough detail

and finally what I hope is quite near.

You will notice that the figures defeated me and I haven't neatened the edges but I did cut off the stray threads before I sent it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Idle hands......

The latest issue of Cloth Paper and Scissors arrived yesterday, perfect was a wet and horrible day so what better excuse to browse.  Near the back was an article by Sandy Steen Bartholomew using Zentangles, I love this form of doodling and haven't done it for a while. 

The first one turned itself into this rather pensive bird. I don't know if she is wondering if she is going to fall off the fence or what is going to emerge from the egg before it falls!

Turning the page in the note book I came to a page I had painted,  this was the result by bedtime.
This morning I scanned it in and then worked throught the effects menu in Paintshop Pro. Can you spot the dinosaur and the cute lttle house?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Teesha Moore......

 ......  has produced some fascinating videos of how she makes her collage journals.  This is the second one in the series  

You can see the others on her blog or on You Tube. Makes your fingers itch to have a go.