Monday, 28 December 2009

Help Needed

Thanks for all your good wishes. My mind was mushy too, JP, so decided that the only thing to do was to make something. Unfortunately at the moment I am focused on that which I should not be focused, Doreen. I should concentrate on the home front today, as we need a new rug. I was going to venture out to the sales but it's so cold, Dale ( for UK ) and snow is forecast. So I went online instead and purchased this one. On my plain terrcotta carpet I think it will be OK.
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Glad you got the book, Gill. Don't forget to join the free classes.

I am looking forward to some time to stitch, Gina but I was better before we started the festivities. Now it is officially 'twixtmas' - according to our local paper - and I am feeling rather lazy. Went for a huge walk this morning and haven't felt warm since!



We had a lovely Christmas and on Boxing Day (the proper one, not this bank holiday nonsense) we took the whole family to Frankie and Bennys. It was great and we all chose non Chrimo food, as you can see from youngest GC, shown here colliding with a plate of spag bol!
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I honestly think it wasn't much more expensive than buying in all the stuff and cooking it - although I did make two posh puddings and we had those at home afterwards.


Now, to business. I need help with an article I am writing on on-line learning for Workbox magazine. I want to include as much free stuff (on blogs etc) as poss, along with reasonably priced internet courses and the more expensive C&G options. Can you give me some ideas, please? I have a few give-aways of useful materials (I am cupboard clearing) for the best ones.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Thingy

Just a quick blog to wish you the whatsits of the season. My brain has turned to mush in the frantic pre-Christmas attempt to remember everything. Now I can't remember anything - hence the title.

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Not much time to be creative today but yesterday was great - we got marooned on our hill. It rained and then froze solid and the roads were like ice rinks, so we decided to leave the food shopping and have a lazy day. I started to look through some books to stir up some design ideas.
Wessex Textiles, the group I belong to, is exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching shows this year so I needed to get going. We decided that, rather than choose a single inspiration, we would celebrate the fact that our individual work is so varied and call our exhibition Not Set in Stone. We will all work to our separate themes and mine will be called Inscribed Landscapes. Some of the work I've been doing on the Australian rock art will be in it and, thanks to yesterday's browsing, I'm going to have a Buddha or two. These are also rock paintings, from the Chinese province of Xinjiang, and I've worked on them before. Always good to stretch a design source to the max.
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I have an idea that they might be heavily machined faces, sort of wrapped around and slightly above a base - in this case a map of their location. Started on that already using my lovely Mulberry Silks threads. I'm doing some of this technique - see above - in Italy when I teach there in May.

Today I sneaked a little time to do a pastel drawing of a Buddha face in close up. White pastel on black surface and then a litte colour. I used tinted charcoal pencils for the details.


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Having seen an amazing exhibition by Julia Polonski which mixed pattern with drawing, I stamped over his face with Distress Ink and a rubber stamp with a wheel, which seemed fitting.
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Then a little more pastel to merge it in.



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Hope to use the Christmas break to get on with this so might have some stitching to show you.

In the meantime you'll be glad to hear that we did eventually get to the shops and have a massive turkey and all the trimmings.
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Have a wonderful Christmas - see you later.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A Pear in a PartridgeTree

I am back from a few days at Urchfont College in Wiltshire. A group of us meet up several times a year to explore new avenues of stitch and it is always such a great time. This time I didn't get much done as I was so tired, but the rest has done the trick and now I am raring to go. The food is always wonderful there but this time they excelled themselves and our Christmas dinner was truly delicious. We had a separate small dining room and played Christmas music on my iphone. It was great fun, especially the Health and Safety note in the crackers - a bit late after they'd been pulled. I left a little early as snow was forecast but no such luck, although it is bitterly cold here - for England!

Remember the pear in the last blog? Here is the finished piece - a pear in a partridge tree.

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My daughter gave me a family photo tree but I hadn't got around to adding the photos so this is a seasonal conversion. Looks very Christmassy on the mantlepiece.

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It was lovely using my Mulberry Silk threads on the brightly coloured carrier rods. With regard to splitting them, I usually soak them for a few minutes in cold water and then flex them. Finally I try to find a flaky bit along the edge. I don't like them too thin and the ones shown here were just peeled in half - no soaking needed.
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I left Smudge with Clive when I was away, something of a risk as he is always more wicked than usual in my absence. He usually goes down to daughter Claire, but this time he was fine and they did some male bonding. So now he no longer sits with me, preferring male company.
He is still bad, though and has developed a nasty habit of tormenting my neighbour's (very well behaved) dog until it pushes through the hedge. He then bolts through the cat flap and comes in shouting, 'Dog! Dog in the garden, go and tell it off!' Spiteful, I'd say.
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Monday, 14 December 2009

Pears and Partridges - a mini blog

I have so much work to do that I have rebelled and turned to displacement activities. Inspired by my lovely silk thread from Mulberry silks I am into a hand-stitching phase. What will these components turn into?
As you can see they are made from a fabric built up by straight stitching split carrier rods to felt. Then shapes are cut out and embellished with simple hand stitching.
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This one is strangely pear shaped.

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While these resemble stylised partridges. What can be the significance? Seasonal, perhaps?.
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All will be revealed in a day or two.

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Party

Thanks to all those who commented or sent messages about the new Workshop on the Web format http://www.workshopontheweb.com/ Great to know that you're all so delighted with it.


I think that I have blogged about our charity party every year since I started blogging. It is really an ex C&G event and it began twenty-seven years ago when Yvonne Morton first started teaching the creative embroidery C&G course in a village hall near Christchurch, Dorset.


Sadly there is no longer a local C&G running but the party continues and my Beyond Stitch group are currently the ones organising it, in particular Maureen Beale. We choose a local charity (this year it was the Youth Cancer Trust who give young people with cancer fabulous holidays and a support group for when they go home), organise a speaker and traders and everyone who buys a ticket brings something fabulous to eat.


On Saturday we had Sue Chapman as a speaker and she was great. She brought along so much work for us to see. We also had the bag challenge competition and a mini exhibition of work from anyone who cared to bring a piece along. Where are the pics, you ask? The answer is that I forgot the ****** camera! I am hoping that someone else took some so you may yet get to see them. I am so cross as the work was excellent. If all else fails, I'll get Beyond Stitch to bring their bags in and show them to you then.


It really was a lovely day and we were all exhausted but we made lots of money for our good cause and had a really good time. The tickets are like gold dust as the hall only holds about sixty people and we think we'll lose the special atmosphere if we move. i reckon we could sell them on ebay!


Anyway here is a lovely pic for you. I treated myself to some Mulberry Silks threads as I am doing lots of hand stitching. The medium weight silk is lovely to use. Thye are all wrapped up in ribbons.
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I can understand why Jean Littlejohn used to run counsellimg classes for those who can't bear to open them - they look so pretty in the pack. Here's the website for those who lust after them, as I do, http://www.mulberrysilks-patriciawood.com/. Must go now - I can hear them calling!