Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hotch Potch

I missed out a couple of artists from my prefious post on the Knitting and Stitching Show.  One of them I do not have any images for but I would recommend you have a look here at the beautiful work of Hilary Hollingworth.  I have not come across the work of this lady before (where have I been!?) and I fell in love with her beautiful small pieces incorporating her signature darn/weave technique.  The surfaces she achieves are fascinating with their open, loose texture. 

Just as I was leaving the exhibition I stumbled on the canvases of RA Webb .  I spotted the work from some distance away and I think it was the texture that drew me in.

The artist discovered that he could use his wife's sewing machine to make marks and attach things to his canvases and his world opened up to endless new possibilities.  We should probably all be careful of inviting our significant others to have a try on our sewing machines, you never know where it may lead.  

Today has been Sit and Stitch day at Stitchcraft Studio and it was great to spend time stitching with friends as I was unable to go last week.  

At the moment there are just a few of us but hopefully a few more people will come along and join our motley crew.  Actually, sssssh, don't tell anyone!  We're enjoying spreading out ;-)  One of the group is a blogger and you can meet her here.  If you pop over and check out her post for yesterday you'll see a super 'pocket' that she's made for a swap.  I'm planning to make some of these too courtesy of another blogging and real life friend.

Of course, the joy of having a stitching day is the impromptu moments shared when people call in with a selection of work to inspire you.

This was the gaggle  of 'ooing and aahing' at the variety of fabric books brought in by Tina, otherwise known as Sweetypie.  These are going to be the subject of a workshop at Stitchcraft Studio.  I will be there!  

I don't think I've shown you this before but I've made my first advent calendar.  It was made from a kit I bought at Stitchcraft and I'm pleased with the way it went together.

All it needs now is the chocolate!  Oh, and Stitchcraft are given a 10% discount on purchases if you are a member of the Quilters' Guild.  An added bonus!  Thanks Stitchcraft!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Knitting and Stitching Harrogate

Last week was a very busy one for us and culminated in a trip to Harrogate for me to see the displays again of the Knitting & Stitching Show.  I had seen the Show at Alexandra Palace a few weeks ago but didn't spend very long there so thought I would have another look while I had the chance.   

The 'Tales of the Unfinishable'  display featured again but in a more resplendent setting, if that's possible.

The marquee style display was set up in the glorious setting of the refurbished Harrogate Theatre.  If you follow the link and scroll down you can open the 2007 refurbishment brochure and read about its history.

This time I ventured inside the marquee and was surprised to find it filled with the sound of a sewing machine running and of recordings of the many explanations of how the pieces shown came to be unfinished.  The banners are the written explanations that accompanied the pieces.  

As you can see the theatre was also being used as a welcome place to take a break and enjoy a well earned cuppa.

Many of the stands either didn't allow photography or allowed it only for my own use so Ido not have a lot to share with you.  However, some were more generous.  The Textile Art Group, who had not shown at Alexandra Palace, had a fabulous display by some very talented artists and I was pleased to see again a piece by Lesley Bohanna that I had previously seen at The Beetroot Tree gallery earlier in the year.

Lesley is interested in "the ‘history’ of materials, focussing on surface wear and repair."  Her page at Textile Art Group gives more information on her working practices.

I loved this heavily textured piece by Margaret Brown, also a member of TAG. Her surfaces incorporate her own photographic images and are rich with texture.  

These three pieces pictured above are by Jackie Ford.

Some time ago I took a sneaky photo of some aerial views pictured at a nature reserve in Suffolk and these pieces reminded me of their overlaid images.  

The remaining displays I enjoyed were Cas Holmes, again, and Curiouser and  Curiouser and Curiouser by O2 Textile group.  Photographs were not allowed but their work was joyful and provided a welcome relief from some of the more sombre themed works I had seen and read about.  If you follow the link you can see and read more about this group.  

I was very good in the shopping department and apart from buying some machine needles (Sharps as recommended by Dawn Cameron-Dick) and some Matt Medium my own succumbing was to Sandra Meech's latest offering 'Connecting Design to Stitch'.  I was afforded a look at this very beautifully illustrated book by a lady who joined us at coffee in the morning and casually offered the books she had just bought to anyone who wanted to have a look!  Very generous I thought.  I probably shouldn't have bought it as I already have 2 of her earlier books but it does look a very good book and hopefully it will give me something to work with over the winter as there are lots of design exercises in it.

At the beginning of last week we went across to Macclesfield to visit some friends for  a few days.  More of that next time.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Crisp Autumn Day and a little Creativity

My system had a bit of a shock this morning when I had to get up early, for me, and accompany my DH to a local village where he was selling (he hoped) his photocards at a Craft Fair.  We woke to a frosty but sunny start and I soon found consolation in the early start by exploring the village while DH set up.

The village is Barkston (also known as Barkston-le-Willows), on the A607 just a few miles north east of Grantham and is mentioned in the Domesday Book when it was known as Barchestune.  The village sign makes reference to its history of having four mills (it sits on the River Witham) and to the close proximity of Barkston Heath which is an RAF station involved in pilot training.  There are many deer in the area as it is close to the Belton Estate where deer roam free.  Barkston has a further claim to fame through its connection with Stan Laurel whose father is buried in the local churchyard.  I believe the village pub was once run by Stan Laurel's aunt.

The paths were littered with piles of frosty leaves in varying shapes and sizes.

Walking round to the church the light was beautiful,

I would have liked to have explored the churchyard but sadly couldn't manoevre the gate open.

Walking a little further and greeting one or two dog walkers who were taking an early stroll I came to a newly ploughed field and found some interesting stitching potential.

 These are not the strongest of marks as the furrows are fairly shallow but they have design potential.

This is the view looking back to the church along the field edge.

 I wouldn't wish to be this tall but it's a good indicator of the angle of the sun.

Wandering back to the main road I came across this young lady (I think) who was very interested in me,

and venturing down a lane I found a beautiful distressed door.

You probably need to click on it to see the lovely paint swirls.

By the time I got back to the village hall DH had finished setting up and the fair was about to open.  We had a very pleasant day with a few sales and met quite a few people we hadn't seen for some time and to top it all off we won a hamper of Christmas foodie goodies in the raffle. Yum!

There has been some creativity going on here this week.  

This angel is about 9" tall and is made very simple of three separate parts.  You can make it from old quilt blocks and they are sometimes made from 'cutter quilts' (old damaged quilts).  I'm making another one in a smaller size too. The idea is very versatile as you could make them as fancy or as plain as you wish and add beads, buttons, lace, whatever to trim.  Think also of using vintage linens to make these little angels.  I have been busy on another small project too but as it concerns an article written by a friend, that will be appearing in an issue of Stitch magazine next year, I think I will have to wait to show you what I've made.  Sorry!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

At The Going Down of The Sun

and in the morning, we will remember them.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wedding Card

I havn't been showing much of my creative work here recently as I have been busy with a project that could not be shared until after my stepdaughter's wedding.  I wanted to use my skills to make her a special card instead of just buying one and fortuitously we explored a technique at a recent meeting of our quiting group.  

Blogger has loaded the images in reverse order with the front side at the bottom. (I have switched Lightbox back on so it should be easier for you to view the images.  You no longer need to click on each individual image).

I made each signature individually on a felt backing and then stuck it to the vilene bases which had been edged in a neutral cotton.  (Affixing the  panels caused me some deep thought as I found I couldn't stitch them to the vilene.  In the end I went for strong carpet tape.  Hopefully they will stay stuck!)

These are details of some of the pages:

I used some of my printed fabrics, bridal lace and fabrics, beach glass, printed text and embellishments and  had a lovely time sewing special wishes into it.    Once the card was made I realised I needed something to put it in so set to and made a box with some of the butterfly fabric.

The box is lined with dupion silk and I  thought my stepdaughter could use it for her bits and pieces if she wished.  The knob on the lid is made with a small stack of buttons including a lovely copper button from The Thread Studio.

Just as we were leaving the house to travel to Chichester where the wedding took place I grabbed a few sewing supplies because I had it in mind to make something on the lines of a lucky horseshoe, although I don't think people give those so much these days.

Anyway, this is what I came up with,

I cheated a little and used a ready made heart but I had a lovely time decorating it with vintage fabrics and trims and embellishing it.  I think L liked it but hopefully she'll tell me more on her return from honeymoon, the day of the wedding was very hectic as you would expect so there was very little time for conversation.

I have a few fabric hearts in my stash so I may make a few more, maybe on a Christmas theme (sorry for using that word!).  

On Wednesday I went to the first Sit & Stitch day at Stitchcraft Studio and had a lovely day with a few ladies stitching and nattering.   This is going to be a weekly occurance on a Wednesday and hopefully the word will get around and more people will come along.  It will be lovely to have a regular place to go and spend time with like-minded people and to dedicate that particular time to the project in hand.  I'll show you what I was making when I get it finished, which could quite easily be next Wednesday!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Love is..........

my very beautiful stepdaughter and her very new husband on Saturday.   My DH and I were invited to share this very special day with my stepdaughter, her about-to be husband and their family and friends in Chichester in the south of England.

All of the photographs in this post are courtesy of my DH as my camera wasn't up to the light conditions and besides, I didn't want to miss a moment by being behind the lens!

The groom awaits the arrival of his bride and keeps his nerves calm by chatting to his soon to be brother-in-law.

The bride's mother and stepdad, otherwise known as WSD ;-) , precede the bride.  I think Laura's mum was as happy and emotional as I was!

The moment we had all been waiting for, the first glimpse of a delightfully happy and radiant bride, escorted by her brother.

The ceremony was really lovely with a few laughs and some heartfelt words exchanged.  The bride and groom are pictured with both mums.  I have to admit to a tear or two escaping, well, you'd expect it wouldn't you?  

Formalities over it was time to leave.

Laura's dress was so beautiful.  I barely recognised this stunning, sophisticated, elegant young woman.

Time to relax at the wedding breakfast.

Beautiful butterflies denoted our places and brought very special memories of Laura's late Dad to share the day.  He was very much with us in thought and he would have been so proud of his beautiful daughter and her new husband.

Could any bride look happier?

The venue for the wedding meal was the beautiful Vicars' Hall, part of Chichester Cathedral and its high vaulted ceiling added to the sense of occasion.

Our nephew, Johnathan Clover, was the official photographer but that didn't stop DH from sneaking up on him while he was working and grabbing a few shots!  I'm looking forward to seeing the official versions.

No wedding would be complete without the cutting of the cake,

and special people to share the day with.

Sweeties were an extra treat, 

and chips were a welcome supper.

There was plenty of dancing going on, although sadly DH failed to capture me but Iwas dancing, honest! (I think this was a bit of  'Summer Lovin' ' going on).

The bride enjoyed herself too and managed to control her beautiful dress.

Eventually and all too soon it was time to leave the newlyweds and go back to our B&B after a wonderful day that I will always remember.  Our hearts are full of happiness for Laura and Nik and of faith in their future together and who knows where the future may lead them?

Nik looks very much at home with his niece in his arms. :-)


John, another family member who was running the disco, was definitely in the moment!