Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Money matters....

I see we can expect a new line of TV advertising. Persuming that they lift the ban on Gambling advertisements I am sure it will be swiftly followed by a new line from the loan companies....."It's so easy to pay your gambling debts, just give us your house and all your money for the rest of your life".............

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Guild day

Embroider's Guild today, talk was "20th century collectables" , just made me wish I had hung onto even more "stuff" than I have. Paticularly the Woolworths china we had when we were first married which now, apparently, fetches £10 a plate!!! Told anyone who'd listen about TAST, stitched a bit,admired other people's expertise, set the world to rights, laughed a lot,acquired some knowledge from generous members (tips on mounting fabric) in other words what I've come to expect of a day at the guild!!
I think this is the time to reveal my difficult working conditions.

I bought the basket so that I could bring things from my workroom to the living room, well, it's a bit nippy down there in the winter and I do like to spend time with my husband. Electra, my old lady cat decided that this was just what she had been waiting for and immediately claimed it as her own. She will only sleep in it if it contains something I may need to work with, if I empty it she refuses to sit in it. Thomas just likes to sit on my knee period. So the minute I pick up a needle he knows I am going to be there for some time and he arrives.
This photograph is filed under "quailty time"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A piece of felting and a surprise...

I love it when this happens. This weeks stitch for TAST is Open Cretan Stitch, a stitch I have attempted before but not used much. Still being a good girl I went to my notebook,

I really do find this helps me think out exactly how the stitch is constructed because when you are drawing what's on the surface you have to think what is happening behind.

Because of the happy accident of the needle felting kit having come in sort of garnet colours I wanted to use it for the background. So I made a background which I am now wishing I had photographed before I started stitching. It was quite abstract and sort of nebula-ish nebula (I love that picture).

I started with the open cretan stich following the lines in the background. Suddenly I looked down and what could I see

A SHOE, definitely the shape of a shoe. So driven by the piece I carried on and so here is The Red Shoe.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Look what we've got.......

This will confuse the geraniums!
Incidentally if I can take a photograph and send it winging round the world in five minutes, why does it take over four weeks for my x-rays (which the operator boasted were going straight on computer, and I saw them) to reach my doctors which is half a mile down the road????????????

Monday, January 22, 2007

I'm hooked......

or should that be "punched". Here is my first experiment with my new needle punch, it is only 3inches square (about 8cms)

and I only broke one needle!!!!

Had this little dangly thing hanging in my workroom for ages decided my felty thing finished it off quite nicely. So here's my felty, dangly, thingy


I have just received a needle punch kit from those nice people ay crafty notions (ordered it late Friday arrived today) the funny thing is that I left them to chose the colours for the fibres and look what came, garnet, or as near as ..... Will have to go and play as two more "garnet" TASTs to do. Would be great to produce a background for whatever is the next stitch.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

getting detached

This weeks TAST stitch is Detached Buttonhole Stitch, I started by drawing the stitch again, i must say I really find this useful in thinking out the actual mechanics of the sketch.

As you can see there is a sketch of what is supposed to be a pile of jewels (still continuing my January garnet theme) This I thought might be a good idea using what is usually a scattered stich as a filler. I was wrong! Well for this idea anyway,I couldn't represent the facets well enough but I did like the way, on felt , it made a lovely cushioned stitch which I'm sure I can use somewhere, sometime.

So I abandoned it and went to bed to think again, I did a bit more research on garnets and found that one type is found almost as though the had been scattered on rock. This gave me the opportunity to go to my newly tidied work room and make some rock with some bondaweb, silk handkerchief and some silk tops.

I attached the beads with detatched chain and then made some more "garnets" with cotton perle using an idea I had found in "Stitch Magic" by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. One of their suggestions for experimenting with a stich is to pile one on top of the other, I found this makes very acceptable "beads".

Question: When does detatched chain become fly stitch? :-)

Monday, January 15, 2007

M&S goes green.......

From today's Guardian online "The programme, to be announced today, promises to "change beyond recognition" the way M&S operates. Initiatives within the 100-point plan include transforming the 460-strong chain into a carbon neutral operation; banning group waste from landfill dumps; using unsold out-of-date food as a source of recyclable energy and making polyester clothing from recycled plastic bottles."
Perhaps to this they can add "noise pollution" and stop playing music in their stores!!!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Creativity everywhere...

I subscribe to a site called damn cool pics. He finds pictures which make me a laugh or just amaze me. Last December he published pictures of designs made in coffee. This morning one of my bloglines sights gave me this great link to latte art I was able to share the photos with my daughter who is a great coffee lover (double machiato). Unfortunately I can't remember where I found the link so if it was you please contact me so I can say thank you and I thank "tonx" for these great photographs. I'm a tea girl myself, I love the smell of coffee but don't like the taste but I can see how appealing these would be if set in front of you..

Saturday, January 13, 2007

It's that time of year.....and the Playoffs.

First thing this morning I was down at B&Q buying storage boxes for my workroom, I am bursting at the seams and can't move. In front of me in the queue was another lady doing the same thing. She looked at me smiled and said "It's that time of year"

Checking my bloglines this evening I found that Gerry at http://sewing-southpaw.blogspot.com/ was similarly occupied.

I have found that the only way that works for me is to thow it on the floor. Then you have to pick it up. I stopped to make our evening meal at 5.30pm and I dread going back in the morning. One wall is done but there are still three more to go.

I have a slight problem is that in the morning I have to catch up with my NFL Football. I have been a fan for quite a few years. I can't catch a ball to save my life therefore the first time I saw someone throw a Hail Mary pass, which was caught, I was hooked, to me it was pure magic, how could that guy throw the ball to somewhere that someone was going to be.!!!! But the season is so short (in England soccer seems to go on all year) and the timings so difficult. I stay up for the Superbowl but I can't make that kind of committment every weekend so I have to watch the repeats the next day. So if I want to know how New Orleans got on my room will have to wait!
I claim allegiance to the Washington Redskins, they were hot stuff the year I started watching but as they haven't done too well of late so I tend to support whichever team appeals to me for whatever reason. This year I have been rooting for New Orleans because I figure that the people there could do with something to celebrate my other teams are the Seahawks and of course the Pats.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Butterfly Heaven

That is the title in my mind for my TAST buttonhole stitch. As I have mentioned the challenge gets to us on Monday evening so on Tuesday night I went to bed thinking of how you do buttonhole stitch and how I could experiment. For some reason Wings came into my head, and then flying cubes. True to my new self (well it is only the second week of January, give me time to revert...) I started trying to draw what was in my head and by whatever magical process it is that goes on suddenly I knew what I wanted to do.

The scan is not A1 I may try to replace it with a photograph tomorrow.

So what have I learned about buttonhole stitch, I think the main thing is that this is not a stitch for cutting corners. It needs to be coaxed. For the caterpillars I worked them in buttonhole and then wrapped them with the same yarn. The jewel under the ring is held down with buttonhole stitch which I am telling you because otherwise you wouldn't know I had been so thorough!!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A puzzlement....

Can someone please put me staight on the correct blog etiquette when you wish to acknowledge a complement or answer a question raised on your blog comments. Do you
a) reply on your own blog (if the person does not re-visit they won't know you responded)
b) go to their blog and leave a comment (then it looks, to other visitors, as though you're ignoring it)
c) or both (which is time consuming but probably the right way) Any help would be appreciated.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dumbing Down

Isn't it amazing that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which used to be a by word for quality in broadcasting can devote hours of prime time television to so called"reality" shows and yet it schedules a the 650th edition of "the Sky at Night" at 1.55am. Patrick Moore is one of our National Treasures,he has been presenting the show for nearly 50 years, a record by anyones standards. Come on Beeb you can show a little more respect than this.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back to class

I cannot believe that the first week of January is gone, Christmas seems weeks ago. Time is a very peculiar thing, goes to fast when you have things to enjoy and stands still when you want it to pass quickly.

Sharon has done her first round up of the TAST samples.( amazing woman how does she cram it all in?) I have been following Flickr and my bloglines sites all week and I am just bowled over by the variety and and the expertise. Some are so inventive and others exquisite in their neatness(a quality I lack). I don't want time to go any quicker but I am dying to see what's next.

Apart from neatness one of the things I'm bad at is retaining instructions. I have been making the same pudding on Christmas day for about 35 years but I still have to get the recipe book out. My usual trick is one I've done something I think I have it licked so I launch in and do it again and invariably leave out some crucial step, this applies to cooking, creative techniques, whatever.... It is therefore with relief that I can turn to the excellent note from Sharon as I start my next CQ block.
I bought the fairy fabric at the Knitting and Stitching show last year. The reason for the rather odd shape of the fairy pictures is that I wanted the whole "fairy ring"

Now to those notes...ah yes!...seam embellishment....how about a nice herringbone....................

Friday, January 05, 2007

I would like to say thank you to the people who have taken the time to comment on my stitching. Elizabet asked how I did the curves and I found I didn't really know. I made the sketch as I had this image of a looped ribbon and then I started the stitch in the usual way and just let the design dictate where the needle should go.

I love it when whatever I'm working on takes over. It is almost like it is saying "you could do this and then you could do that" and I run to find the bits I need to do its bidding. I had that experience a lot when taking Sharon's Encrusted CQ class and it was really exciting.

One of the things I have found so far with TAST is that it has kick started me into other things and my head is buzzing with things I want to try.

Amy has some beautiful postcards on her blog which is one of the things I have been trying out.

Blogger doesn't seem to want to do pictures at the moment so I will add later.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We're off...

Well here we are the long awaited day has arrived. Take a Stitch Tuesday started late Monday evening in the UK, which is going to be great because then I can go to bed and think about the stitch I think what Sharon has started is something amazing, especially after all her technical problems over Christmas.

It may not look much but this is a "design" folks.It is , I think, the first time I have ever plannesd sowething instead of just diving straight in.

I wanted something that wasn't the usual straight herringbone, and this is the result of my doodlings.I am also going to try a bit of colour exploration using the colour of the gem associated with the month. Therefore January is a garnet. Usually dark red a beloved by the Victorians they are also found in amber and rarest of all lime green.

Here is my stitched "design"

Thank I remebered what Sharon said about working over the stitches, this is the result.

I really enjoyed producing something so different for me.