Monday, 2 December 2013

Books , Freebies and Belated Comments

Following my last blog, there were some really interesting comments concerning the cutting machines. I had a little difficulty publishing them – sorry about that. I will put them on the end of this post and follow up on some of them.

It’s been a very exciting couple of days with the launch of the 'Approaches to Stitch' book and the December issue of Workshop on the Web. There have been so many book orders already and we’ve been helping to put books in envelopes while trying to keep up with Facebook and the phone.  Now we have handed the book over to Fiona and her gang of helpers so, if you’ve put in an order, it’s on the way.

 I think it is a wonderful book and Karen Platt gave it an excellent review in WoW. The printers have excelled themselves and, if you need any printing, I can recommend The Colour Factory in Sittingbourne, Kent.

Siân Martin has written a brilliant free workshop (whether you buy the book or not) about observing and recording information, which is something that we should all be doing.

 It’s on the d4daisy site – just go to and follow the link from the online classes button. Tell your friends.

I had a really good ‘doing’ week last week, playing with the die cutter. I wanted to make flowery poles, based very loosely on ‘folk art’ - flowery, brightly painted wooden or metal articles.

Mine are stiffened silk and I was going to add a lot of stich but preferred them without when I sampled some. There will be five poles (or possibly three if I run out of time).

Here are the ingredients. I left these lying about and they got ‘Smudged’ and were scattered all over the room. Are we the only daft sods who buy their cat an advent calendar? Smudge has a Dreamies one but he becoming addicted and has to have his treat in the kitchen as he dribbles so much.


I had such trouble getting these from my last blog post to publish that I’ve copied and pasted them all below in case they disappear again!

These run from wonky loos to cutting machines and cat nightmares. Thank you all for your thoughts.

Hi Maggie I saw that you had mentioned the Silhouette machine. I have been thinking about buying one and then discovered a new machine the Brother ScanNCut CM100DM which is a cutting machine with a built-in scanner. Looks interesting and easier to use especially with your own drawings. There is talk of it being available internationally in December. You can find  information about it on and videos on You Tube. Sheila.

Sheila, I have a contact at Brother and intend to give him a ring as soon as the book work dies down. I always loved the creative possibilities of the scan and stitch machines so this sounds like a must. I think Wabbit is up for this, too.

Congrats Amanda! Suztats

Prize should be with her soon!

It must be so exciting when you see the proofs of a new book for the first time. Your Christmas cards will be mini works of art. Love the loo planter and poor Smudge just needs a bit of homespun therapy. Heather

Yes, the proofs are hard to follow and I am always relieved when I get my hands on the book proper and find that the pages run in order. I think the printer’s software probably does this bit.

Maggie, yes the Silhouette works well with fabric..... just follow the instructions and it is worth using the fabric blade... if only to ensure that you aren't using a blunt one that has been used for paper and card... much the same as we do with scissors. We were just discussing this in the mixed media class today and decided that the Silhouette seems to be the best for fabric. Hope Mr Smudge has calmed down again by now.  Dorothy

Interesting, Dorothy. This machine can be computer linked, too. Good point about the blade for fabric.

I've just bought a Silhouette Portrait... as paper is my fabric of choice. Plus I have a Gelli Plate and want to cut my own stencils. So forthcoming book sounds interesting. Poor Smudge, think cats do dream, they sometimes wake with a start, and hiss. Beverley

My collaborators (Sam Packer and Paula Watkins) on the cutting book are doing things with stencils and gelli plates and I hope I have time to play that game too. I love using the cutters for collagraphs.

Very excited!!!! The things you do for your art, I hope the knees are behaving again now. And the loo looks lovely, I'm sure you're both flushed with success. I hope Smudge is over it all now. Amanda

Ho, Ho – very flushed. Just a joy to have a stable loo. Oh No! That’s an opportunity for a gag as well!

Yikes, poor Mr Smudge! I wonder if he saw a ghost? Or someone being mean to a cat? Poor baby! Please give him my sympathy. Wabbit

Smudge appreciates the sympathy  and says. ‘ Thanks Wabs but I just need more Dreamies.