Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year.......

everyone, mine hasn't quite got off to the start I would have wished as DH is in hospital having his blood sorted but hopefully he will be home tomorrow or the next day.
In the meantime I have been doing some Family Treeing and catching up with some blogs. If you have time on your hands they have made a film of Neil Gaiman's
"Coraline". I was terrified by the book and the film looks charming but is probvably scary too. But there is fun to be had here Coraline and there is some fascinating stuff on how the effect were achieved including a video of how they knitted the tiny clothes for Coraline but you will have to search to find it. Have fun.

If you have been hooked on altering books by Maggie's lessons then you should enjoy this fascinating little video by Roberta Lavadour I found this link thanks to Laura K.

The Cyber Fyber exhibition starts soon and the work of the invited artists is now on dislpay here Congratulations to you all, it is going to be a wonderful exhibition. I am still hoping to get some ATC's there in time for the swap.

A new year, new beginnings and new challenges.(A new header, not satisfied with it yet though) A new Calendar Girl 2009 challenge will be taking place and it promises to be an exciting one. I failed in the Take it Further challenge, I fell by the wayside in November and am not sure if yet if I will commit to the new one which starts on January 15th it is called Stitch Explorer details here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good game....good game....

(for those of you outside the UK this is a catch phrase of a TV personality)

Christmas Day we had a lovely day with the children(Yes, I know they're grown up but...)
it was only marred by the fact that DH had a pain in his leg. To cut a very long story, involving emergency doctors and 9 hours in local hospital, short he has a suspected Deep Vein Thrombosis, they are treating it and hopefully he will soon be fine but it certainly made for a different holiday break...anyone want some cold turkey???..... They kept asking if we had had a recent long haul flight...I wish!!!

The other games I am referring to I found thanks to a link from Carol and I see Anna is also playing. This is how they go:

You look where you have stored your photographs and you chose the 6th folder and then the sixth photograph. This is mine

This was in my Digital folder, one of my playtimes with displacement maps.

TRhe other game was to take the nearest book too you, no choosing, just the nearest....then you turn to page 56 and take the 5th sentence.

Well there is a reason why the book I had nearest to hand was there but that is for the New Year. Here is the sentence...

"For example, sheets that are getting a little worse for wear as "sheets" can be cut right way down and the sides hemmed up, and turned into a pair of curtains suitable for a backroom window, or for the nursery."

So darlings off you go and get busy.........and thank you Carol

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Strictly the last word....

so Tom and Camilla won ...

and I must say Saturday evenings will be a little duller without the glitz and the general silliness.

I had to go to the National Theatre to change some tickets and found my self in the foyer of the Olivier Theatre (I always get lost in that, to me, confusing building however this time it was good because there was an exhibition called Dazzle it is mainly contemporary jewellry but there were two textile atrists on show, here are links to see the work ofLaura McCafferty and
Claire Coles

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have you put your sprouts on yet........

Only one week to go, shopping nearly done, the threat of present wrapping beginning to loom large. I have to confess, I loathe wrapping presents. I think it comes from the years when I was still wrapping presents at 2a.m. knowing that they were going to be ripped open at about 6a.m.

Thank you for the messages about Electra. It really is strange not to have a feline friend in the house.

Just in case you think I have put away my needle here is a picture of a piece of my extremely slow cloth
. One of the best parts is that it keep my legs warm while I'm stitching.

Have you seen the little videos that Susan has made of the Cyber Fyber postcards and ATCs? It must have taken her ages. See here

Monday, December 15, 2008

Retail Therapy.....

Well, window shopping really. I needed to go to London to buy a Christmas present and I also wanted to see the Giacommetti statues at the Royal Academy which ends January 2nd.

I like these small exhibitions at the RA, you don't become so overwhelmed. After the exhibition I made my annual pilgrimage to see Fortnum and Mason's windows. This year the story was the Ice Queen,

The a drool through the Burlington Arcade and up Bond Street, didn't dare take photographs in these in case they though I was planning a heist. Though I did take one of Fenwicks in Bond street. Gorgeous model don't you think.
More fun for the kiddies in Debenham's windows

Selfridges next with Father Christmas getting up to all sorts of things.

I don't know what the genteel ladies who used to buy their dimmity and lawns from Liberty's would think of this window
. A wander down Carnaby Street
and a final look at the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square which is a gift from the people of Norway.

Oh sorry did I not mention the visits to VV Rouleaux, the Bead Shop and a shop selling old fashioned Sweets!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


For some time now our last remaing cat has been showing signs of her 19 years. She has been lonely, I think, since Thomas died just before last Christmas. Last Sunday evening she started to walk into things and we realised she had become blind. We thought we would have to take her to the vets then but for the whole of this week she has been amazing, she has found her way around, even going out, much to our concern. Last night however there was a marked change she became disorientated and was mewing in some distress and this morning we said goodbye. She was a pretty little thing and a bit of a flirt, always made a beeline for any men coming into the house. It is the first time in 33 years that we have not had a cat in the house and it seems very still and quiet. The weather isn't helping, grey and dismal. I think this is the time to try out that Rocky Road recipe!!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Calendar year....

These are the cards that I made for this years Calendar Girl 2008 swap, it has been great fun and I have learned a lot but most importantly I have made new friends. Thanks girls.

"Christmas in Australia

on a Blazing Summers Day". A quote from a very different Jingle Bells from the one I know.It comes com[lete with translation. If you want a taste of what Christmas is like in warmer climes than the UK take a look at this post from Paula Hewitt You can also take a look at the beautiful sewing set she has made for her little daughter. I love that pin cushion!!.

And for after Christmas

Two exhibitions at the V&A Magnificence of the Tsars starts 10th December and Quilts starts March 2009

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas started....

a week has gone by since we had our "Christmas" meeting at the EG(we don't meet in December) I meant to post these days ago. These are the results of our Christmas challenge, to make a tree decoration to be swapped. Good fun and some lovely work.

There were 25 takers for the next challenge, more of that nearer the time.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cold enough for you?.......

This is just one of some stunning photographs of Russia which I found from a link on Les passions de Solange

Can any one tell me what "incentivising" means heard in a BBC Television News report? Because I didn't know "incentive" was a verb!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

I don't like to say I told you so.....

Of course I do........., see here and then see here what I had to say. Manufacturers please take note.

Ideas in the air.......

When I started blogging I was very much "into" altering books (hence the title of the blog....)then as I entered further into the blogging world I was drawn into other delights and didn't do much altering. There seems to be a plot afoot to get me back into it. When I spent the day with Jessie Chorley she spent some of the time preparing a book and that sent me home thinking I haven't done that for ages. Then Maggie posted the requirements for lesson 2 and it was an altered book. Finally I was contacted by someone from the Yahoo group Altered Books that I belonged to but hadn't visited for an age.

I rummaged around and found a book which I had half prepared. i.e the boring bit was done and I have tuned it into a journal. The book is blank pages ready for those meaningful thoughts but this is the first page, something I have wanted to make for ages.

Anyone who gets hooked by Maggies lesson will find the group very useful as there are loads of tips and experiences and some great pictures.

One of my big problems with altering books is that I think I have found the perfect book to alter and then when I get it home I find it is just to interesting or charming to alter and they are added to the other books I can't bear to part with. This happened when I was looking for a small book for Maggie's lesson. But more of that another day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bits ands pieces....

My favourite are out of Strictly Come Dancing, I have loved watching Jodie Kidd and Ian Waite, they have been so refreshing in their attitude and their sense of fun. Won't be the same without them. Love this video of their "best bits"

While wandering I found these links. On the V&A Webb site Doroty Hogg is an artist in residence and has started a challenge which is open to all it is called Find..Make..Wear and has produced some very interesting jewellry which you can see onV&A Find Make Wear flickr. The rules are on this link

I found this fascinating and well worth watching on many levels."Don't let it all unravel"

STOP PRESS Helen Cowans has started a new blog in which she is going to document the History of Embroidery

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Take a little gesso......

Two similar techniques, very different results.
I took two of my recent experiments and worked with them to see where they lead me. This is from the Firbre in Form workshop
Possible book or box lid cover I think.
This is the one from my first dib into Maggie Grey's Textile Translations

A little personal reminder to me of magical visit to the caves at Niaux in France a few years ago.
For all of you who have been playing with gesso these last few weeks here is an inspirational page by Michelle Ward.
By the way who pinched my Links list?.........well I guess I must have, I was carefully (I thought) moving things to the new blog list (which I like) and when I returned my old list had vanished, so if your names not there yet it isn't because I don't love you anymore...

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Christmas present......

to me. Yes, I know it's a bit early but having seen Jessie Chorley's work at the Knit and Stitch show when a friend alterted me to the fact that she was holding a workshop I jumped at the chance.

Jessie had hired a studio in a cobbled steet in the east of London (her own is too small) there were eight of us including a delightful young couple from Thailand.The young man could not sew but by the end of the day was producing some very neat blanket stitch!! You can see how pleased he was

When we arrived the table was spread with examples of Jessie's work which we could handle and analyse, oh joy!!!

We had taken stuff and we just pitched in to start making a wearable "book", as I sat looking blankly at the piece of material I had chosen (what is it about workshops that scambles your brain?) Jessie came round and rifled through my bits selecting one, which she placed on the material, perfect I was off. This is my first effort

and this is my second

which is not quite finished.
There was a lot of good conversation, did you know there are people with a phobia about buttons, I certainly didn't and lots of tips I just hope that I can decipher the notes I made!!!
I made a new blogging friend, Mandy who has a blog called Feltbug, she made a brooch which looked like a fun piece but also had a close personal meaning for her.

At the end of the day we had a mini exhibition and then we visited Jessie's tiny shop in the Columbia Road and then home on a cattle truck! Thank goodness I don't have to travel in the rush hour every day.

It's on my list to do but I must not let a visit to the Flow Gallery pass me by to see the exhibition called "Making Stories" which feature pieces by Jessie, Julie Arkell, Jeanette Orell and Cleo Mussi.

Just going back to the button phobia, of course I had to look it up, it rejoices in the name of koumopounophobia and this is an article from the BBC magazine

Right woke up a 5.40am with head buzzing with ideas better write them down somewhere.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Narcissi in November.......

still a few Sweet Peas left too....
Just behind these early birds you can see the dreaded catalogues....this is what they look like in their full glory.

I see Maggie has suggested that it is time to bring them in, I would like the one on the left to have one more wetting. I will miss them out there, perhaps I will put another in their place.
Time to catch up with my other experiments from Maggie Grey's online tutorial which accompany her book Textile Translations
The outside

The inside in progress, I liked this effect so just enhanced it a little.

And here is the finished article

It has taken days but it was great fun and hopefully I wuill take up Maggie's challenge to use the technique on a shape of my own devising.
This is what I made out of one of my other Maggie experiments

and finally when I went to tweak one of the photographs of the teepee in PSP the Brightness/Contrast was on still on the setting from my last play and this is what it gave me.

Click on picture for full glory.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunshine in November....

Here is my card for Sharon for November, not a stitch on it!!! I wanted to something different. At first I was going to try the some of the techniques of the http://www.fibreinform.com/workshop and then when I was messing around with Molding Paste this happened.

Something cheerful for a grey November.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The nation votes.......

No, not THAT election (can any human being attain that level of expectation, we can only hope!) ....no I am talking about Strictly Come Dancing....I am nailing my colours to the mast here. I love Austin and Erin but I adore Ian and Jodie, there is something about the chemistry between them which makes them great to watch though I think the BBC Wardrobe should remember that they are dressing a model, they have not been kind.(once a wardrobe mistress always a wardrobe mistress...for Pam) Unfortunately the judges didn't like either of my couples tonight so fingers crossed. I think, when the whole series is over (OH NOOOOOOO!), I will always remember John stomping across the floor dragging Kristina behind him. (I'm giggling now!)

Now to weightier matters.... Fibre-in Form experiments. This is the before and after result of acrylic paint.

Reminds me of "Little dabs of powder, little dabs of paint...makes a litle lady look like what she ain't." Sort of sums up what we do now I come to think of it!! Transform things, I mean.

This is on a wallpaper and scrim sample

These two are using ink on gesso some paper stuff and on couched threads and gesso.

Too much fun, just not enough free hours in the day, how did I ever have the time to go out to work????????.........

Some of you may have noticed some comments from Tony,(DH of my BF) if you want to see some stunning bird photography and some interesting pictures and stories from an English village visit him here,

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slow, slow, quick, quick slow........

Yes, I am totally addicted to Strictly Come Dancing but what I am talking about here is what I have been up to this week. Firstly I have been in a frenzy of making samples from the really exciting Fibre in-Form Textured surfaces online course. At the moment we are into preparing backgrounds here's what I have so far
You can make them quite quickly(apart from waiting for them to dry)so they are great fun and quite addictive and full of what if's.

This on the other hand is my slow cloth, I have been working on this for ages and the best bit is that I don't know where it's going. Inspired by Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth I wanted to make a little lap quilt for the chilly evenings,I wanted it to be slow so I made a chain stitch rose
and then my son gave me some undyed silk rods for my birthday and I made the door, "roses round the door" wouldn't go out of my head so here is the story so far

Now I have to fill in the gaps and the edges, full of ideas but like I said, this is a slow cloth, could be next wintwe before I have it finished.

I thought you might like to see my golf girls, they are already for Wear it Pink day tomorrow. They are very excited!!!!