Saturday, 21 February 2009

Stitches, Layers and Strips


Robin - don't throw anything away. I'm sure we can do something with it - good idea to start another catalogue off - I feel this project may call for several experiments.
Welcome back Arti - I wondered where you had gone. Nice to have a wedding, though.
Penny - if your catalogue looks too thick pull it apart into two or three - mine is quite thin. Alternatively open it up part way through and distress a new bit - then it could have fat 'pages' and be the ultimate altered book.
Hi Beverly and welcome. I can't remember when we started this nonsense but basically you just put out a catalogue and allow the elements to do their worst for a while.
Then you disinfect it (cats) and dry it. The next stage has yet to be revealed.
My friend Liz has popped up on the snowballs blog of February 5th - would love to see her dog with the snowball ears. Great to chat again, Liz.
Things I have done this week:
  • Eaten too much
  • Exercised too little
  • Lots of stitching and writing for the next book
  • Met with Michael and the design team, also for book
  • Took GCs to local stately home to see snowdrops
  • Bought Smudge a collar with a bell which is driving him to distraction
  • Nearly set house on fire with soldering iron

The last bit was really scary - I unplugged the sewing machine instead of the soldering iron. I am usually quite paranoid about pulling out all plugs in the workroom when I leave it but I thought I was going back for more. Luckily Smudge had knocked the soldering iron onto the floor which helped as it was near to some papers before. I have a hole in the workroom carpet but, as we are now staying in this house, I may get a more sensible floor covering.

The snowdrops at Kingston Lacy were as wonderful as usual but photos don't do them justice. I like the misty effect of this bank with trees behind.
Then we played a game with the boys called 'Looking through'. You have to find something to peer through for a photo, so here is Jungle Boy.
Followed by 'Jailbird'.
We will draw a line under the episode of little Toby's 'looking through' - the Gents toilet door! Also the race through the mini maze with Turbo-grandad, during which several innocent bystanders were almost upended. Good fun was had by all (except the bystanders).
We have had a great time with the book planning. Our designer Liz lives in Australia which means that Michael becomes nocturnal during the final stages of preparing to print. However she was staying with MW in London with her partner Drew - the Photoshop wizard. We had a great brainstorming session on forthcoming books which made me feel really inspired.
I am working on fragments at the moment - all layered and tatty, burned, torn, crusty and distressed.
I am, of course, fortunate in having my own, private, fabric distressing machine.
Chewed lace is the latest thing, don't you know?
I've also seen some photos of the work that Carol and Lynda are doing for their d4daisy book - wonderful stuff. The books are selling really well - in spite of the recession and problems with one of the wholesale distributors who supply Amazon. This is why Amazon have so many books showing as 'out-of'stock'. I'm sure it will be sorted soon but, if you are trying to buy my Textile Translations or Julia Caprara's book on colour, go to to get them right away.
We are being courted by several firms of distributors for wholesaling and even have someone who wants to buy the rights for a Swedish translation. Amazing.
I have thought of a new title for the book. Stitches, Layers and Strips - along the lines of Eats, Shoots and Leaves. They might think it's me doing the stripping though - not a good thought.
Ah well - back to the distressed stitching.


Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Okay - my 8 year old son and I are game! We just put catalogs out in the garden and Brandon said "but Mommy, won't this turn into compost?"

It should rot fairly well here - we live in the Puget Sound area of Washington State and get lots of rain. One question: Should the pages be splayed or closed?

Clare Wassermann said...

What fabulous snowdrops. I had taken a picture of my little patch in the garden today but I feel a bit outdone now!!

Digitalgran said...

A lovely post as usual Maggie. Great to have a day out with the GC's. Going to see mine tomorrow.

Aussie Jo said...

Inspiring post, I may do a piece on field of snowdrops instead of field of poppies!
You may get some interesting comments with that title. We were going to call our Textile group "Creative T'Arts" (for textile arts) but one of our members was worried who would start sending mail.

Heather said...

The new book sounds fantastic and I think you have a great selling angle there!!! Your young rascals sound great fun and obviously bring out the worst in Grandad! Those snowdrops are a glorious sight - I thought ours looked good this year but I can't compete with Kingston Lacy. Glad you didn't set fire to the house - it just goes to show how easily these things can happen, even when we are careful.

Penny said...

The new book sounds great, but I must confess I am re reading some of the old ones and I think I now have an overloaded brain.
Not much use placing a catalogue outside at the moment, no rain for about 4 months and non forecast and the dams are drying so not a lot of garden watering going on either.
Really a bit depressing but off to Melbourne tomorrow to see grand children and their parents and do some retail therapy at Dale's stand at the Quilt thing on Thursday.
That should make me feel better.

Karen Hurrell said...

Wasn't it thoughtful of Smudge to knock your soldering iron onto the floor! And judging by the look on his face, he takes his 'job' of distressing lace very seriously.

Judy said...


So enjoyed your entry bout catalogues, faces looking through,new form of distressing macine and chewed lace, perhaps the latter is a new way to go; most of all I loved the snow drop snap thought it breathtkaing.

Kate said...

Those snowdrops are wonderful. I don't know of any like that round here, just the odd clump on the grass verges once in a while.

Smudge is an absolute character. I imagine he has you in stitches with his antics. Just lost one of our two cats to a road accident and he was a really funny boy.

I had to throw my catalogue away as the cats used it as a convenient toilet!

Phoenix Contemporary Textiles said...

Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your new book. Stunning photography from Michael (as always)and very inspirational. Many thanks!
Jen Ford
PS Is there another book in the pipeline!!?:-)