Thursday, 14 October 2010

Where Do I Begin?

I have had such a busy time on my blogging break and I really don't know where to start with all the photos I have taken.  Why all the photos?  Well, in case you hadn't realised, we have been on our annual pilgrimage to St Ives in Cornwall.  Both my DH and I thought we wouldn't be taking many photos this time as this was our 6th visit and we already have thousands of photos between us.  Famous last words!  Between us we took over 2000 photos, not that they all made the computer.  

So, where to start?  A joyful part of our holiday was meeting up again with our very talented blogging friend, Carolyn, who lives in that beautiful part of the world.  We had a lovely day exchanging gifts and chatting over coffee and then lunch which my dear DH prepared for us.  Carolyn was most generous with her gifts.

Lots of lovely fabrics, beads and embellishments to play with a book for inspiration with lots of techniques that can be used in other projects too.  The fabrics in the yellow package were dyed by Carolyn form Monbretia flowers and are gorgeous.

Aren't I lucky?  Two of Carolyn's beautiful lavender filled hearts to enjoy and to remind me of my favourite place and a special friend.

On the second of our 2 week stay Carolyn and I met up for a super day of play at a workshop with the St Ives artist Sally Maccabe.  I have been wanting to do a workshop with Sally for a long time so this was a great opportunity to share the experience with a friend and have some fun too.  Sally does a lot of work in creative sketchbooking and that was the theme for the day.  We spent the morning covering our sketchbook covers in gesso ready for painting and in making lots of monoprints.  In some cases the printplate was just as exciting as the print that came from it and Carolyn and I both photographed our plates to use in digital work later.  

You won't be at all surprised to see that I stuck with my sea colours and motifs.  Nothing like staying in your comfort zone!

 This is part of Sally's shop and studio.  Notice all her sketchbooks on front of the fireplace.

Sally supplied us with a large assortment of different papers, everything from tissue, tracing paper and sheet music to watercolour paper and we spent the rest of a happy morning mark making and printing.

We played with drawing shapes,( are they pebbles or shells? ) with twigs and ink,

Made a folded pocket book which was great fun and easy to do,
and ended up with a pile of papers to use in our sketchbooks.

All of these sketchbook pages are only the beginning but already the cropped images in the picture above are suggesting further work and even pieces in their own right.

It's amazing how much time it takes to prepare pages like these and the pages above were made in a great hurry so they are not wonderfully impressive but they are a start and I may well use some of them in the Sketchbook Project (more of that another time).

While we're on a creative thread (pardon the pun!) I'll just show you the stitching I took with  me to stop me from going bonkers in the evenings.  I can never just sit I have to have something to do.  

This piece is based on a rock pool and the inspiration came from a project on the Embroiderer's Guild Website. I prepared the base and background before we left home and it consists of felt cut from a piece that Gina gave me some time ago, silkpaper,silk tops, sinamay, yarns, and scrim.  It was all held down with tiny stitches through strips of organza and then cuts were made in the organza to let the fibres underneath show through.  I stitched various yarns on top and added beads and found pebbles and shells.  Carolyn had included distressed ribbon in her gift to me and I used that to break up the line of rather glaring silk rod across the middle to suggest ripples in the water.  As ever the colour is a  bit off in this photo and the piece is more on the turquoise side.  I used very simple stitches for the embroidery, just french knots,seeding stitch and a few cross stitches.

This post is getting very long but I have just a couple more things.  First, Cameron is having a giveaway on her blog of some lace dresses and some of her beautiful felted work .  Cameron needs at least 10 people to join in so go across and leave her a comment on her post of 12 October, her work is unique and beautiful and she is a very special lady.  

Second I must express my own pleasure and amazement at the rescue of the Chilean miners over the last couple of days.  These must be very strong men to have survived their ordeal, to have been lost and now found and brought out of their dark place is nothing short of miraculous.  I hope that they and their families recover from this life changing experience with strength and happiness.

Talking of strength mine seems to have deserted me again for a while.  You'd think after a lovely holiday I'd be raring to go wouldn't you? Nup! Someone let the air out of my balloon and I'm vary flat.  Have no fear!  I will recover my mojo and thank you to Emma and Annabel for your lovely supportive words.  You can see, Emma that I've found some energy for this increasingly long post lol

What was that?  Where are the holiday photos?  Well, I now need a lie down but I'll leave you with a photo of my DH, otherwise known as ET!  Taken on board the open-top bus on the way back from Land's End. (My DH has been blogging some photos of our hols and there will no doubt be many more over there).

It was a lovely afternoon but a trifle chilly!  Bye for now :)


ju-north said...

Great to have you back! What a wonderful and busy time you had - I can definitely see you both in a new setting! Hope you are feeling better soon.x

Heather said...

What a super post Julie, and after such a busy holiday I'd need a rest too! Love the goodies - those hearts are delightful. Your piece of stitching is lovely and that workshop sounds and looks fantastic.

jan said...

What a lovely post, I love all your photos. Sounds like you had a great holiday!

silverpebble said...

Welcome home Julie. It sounds as though you had a wonderful time away. So sorry you feel so wiped out. Rest up x

Sarah said...

Wow you have been busy! It is nice to see you back in the world of the bloggers!

Kayla coo said...

What a perfect holiday sand,sea and stitch!
Lovely to hear you had a wonderful time.x

Jackie said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the break. Its no wonder you're tired after all that travel and creativity.

Sharne's Bit 'n' Bobs said...

Thank you for your birthday wishes. It is lovely to see you back blogging. So glad that you had a lovely holiday. Off to see the photos on your hubbys blog now.

JP said...

I did guess where you were and then Carolyn told us all about it - glad you had a great time - love the workshop and embroidery - a great post and nice to see you back

pam said...

Lovely to have you back - glad you had a wonderful time - all those photos - so does that mean lots of creative thoughts!! Look forward to your future blogs

Cameron said...

Julie, Thank you for the mention. We have enough for the drawing, so look for results. What fun!!! Love You, Love your post, great pictures, what an adventurer you are.

Julie said...

Thank you Heather, Jan and JP, it was a lovely holiday. More pics soon.

JP I think you sent me your email address a while ago but typically for me I am now not sure whether I kept it as I have a couple of people under 'J' in my contacts who I am not sure who they are. Duh! Could you email me again please? Many thanks :)

sweetypie said...

that photo does not do that beautiful piece of work justice can you put some close ups on so everyone can see them, that is such a lovely piece, I feel honoured to have seen it you should feel nvery proud of yourself


Such a lovely post to remind us of our time together. Take your time getting back into the swing of things, we shall look forward to a few photos of St. Ives (can there ever be enough?) as and when. The Cornish Pisky will pop over to see Imac's piccies. I agree with Sweetypie. I would love to see some close up of your seascape. Lots of love xoxo

Carolyn xoxo

Angela said...

Sounds like you had a great time even if it was busy. You recieved some lovely goodies.Your papers are fantastic I look forward to seeing you use them. Your stitched piece inspired by thr E.G is wonderful. Nice to see you back.

Helen Suzanne said...

great to see you've been busy having fun :) and to be intouch again.

I was going to say just a little note to add... I'm changing my blog and webpage to if you'd like to update your link, but you've found me already. Hope you don't mind me still leaving the link here though in case I miss some one who's linked me as well.

looking forward to reading more
Helen S

Cameron said...

Julie, You won the flapper dress. Congratulations. I will be sending out the drawing prizes on Monday. I think that I still have your address, let you know if I don't. Hugs to you

Sharon said...

Sounds like a dream vacation to me. Beautiful treasures and all. I would love that workshop. Lucky girl.