Saturday, 31 August 2013


A piece of Mistletoe from the garden - it always grows in 'Y' shapes and increases each year by adding more 'Y's.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


This is my letter 'X' and I have just realised that I have forgotten 'Y' - whoops, that will teach me not to try to be too clever by going backwards through the alphabet.

It was an exhibit in the sculpture trail at the Jinney Ring Craft Centre.

Jinney Ring

As we do not normally meet in August, eight members of The Running Stitchers met up for lunch at Jinney Ring Craft Centre on Wednesday.  It gave us an opportunity to exchange our Travelling Journals for the month.  We had a lovely time dining and chatting followed by a walk in the grounds and browse around the many craft shops.  Most appropriately there were lots of 'Running' ducks - Indian Runners I believe.  Very comical.  Very difficult to photograph as they will not stand still ....

Sunday, 25 August 2013


This is the first letter, but I have cheated.  I scanned it from a book called 'Illumination' by Christopher Jarman and fiddled with it in Photoshop.  The source was a Fifteenth Century manuscript.  It would translate very nicely into an embroidered piece.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Alphabet Challenge

Whilst looking for a suitable letter 'N' to use as a template for a new larger needlecase I am making (to put all those sewing needles in that are lieing about all over the house) I came across a new challenge I might try.  An alphabet challenge.

The person had photographed the letters of the alphabet in order, one for each day, and put them on their blog.  I do not think I will be doing it daily, but I might make a start and do it in reverse - starting with 'Z'.  That should be a challenge in itself.

Watch this space .....

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Woodpeckers go Nuts

Had an interesting afternoon.  I have heard a woodpecker hammering away at a tree for the past few days, but because there are so many leaves at the moment have not been able to see it.  Got the binoculars out this afternoon and managed to find the culprit - a juvenile greater spotted woodpecker sat on a dead branch that had either a convenient hole or fork in it.  It was putting nuts into the gap and then pecking them to get at the contents.  Not sure how it got the hoard of nuts up there because it was not an Hazel tree. 

I then realised that there was a juvenile green woodpecker perched up a dead weeping willow further up the stream, not in our garden.  It looked very lost and was not doing much of anything, just sitting there. We have seen it quite a few times, at first with its parents but now it is by itself.

There seems to be an abundance of nuts this year which the squirrels are making the most of.  The oak tree has also got lots of acorns.  It suffered dreadfully from gall last year with the result that there were no unaffected acorns for the wildlife to eat.

I am back making curtains again and have almost finished a pair for Bedroom 2.  I do hate making them and it means I cannot get on with any creative stitching.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Rust revisited

I decided to bring this piece of rusted cloth in off the Amelanchier tree it has been tied to in the back garden.  It has been there since at least January or February and it has not done what I expected and wanted it to.  I thought the newspaper would disintegrate, but as you can see it is just as I stitched it all those months ago.  It has had rain, snow, wind and sunshine on it but it seems to be indestructable.

This is the reverse side of it, which I have flipped in Photoshop so that the writing is decipherable. Perhaps I should soak the cloth and give it a scrub to distress the newspaper?

This is the other thing I have been trying.  Using Alice Fox's method of putting strong tea onto metal this is the result I got.  It is a washer I picked up in a car park somewhere and three nails out of our floorboards.  The paper is watercolour paper, not too heavy.  This is the result after being left overnight.  Fortunately I have a pile of nice bits of watercolour paper that are offcuts from when I did collagraph printing at college.

This second piece is on a heavy watercolour paper, the top part of which has had white acrylic rollered on it over a template, then some Inktense block washed over it.  The bottom half has had the strong tea treatment over an assortment of nails, a washer and what I believe is a link from a bicycle chain.  I flicked tea over the pieces to re-wet them and ended up with the blobs further up the paper.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bookbinding Summer School

On Sunday I spent the day at one of the Malvern College Summer School classes and produced a Split Thong Leather Binding.  Think my brain was in overload as I could not get the leather to do what it should and ended up in a blind panic.

The central red piece of leather has been embossed with a 2p coin.

I managed to finish off constructing the book at home by glueing the red circle in place, adding the endpapers and plaiting the leather thongs.
This was a very nice method of constructing a book and I will probably attempt a version more related to embroidery and textiles at some time in the future.  Certainly not at the moment as I need to get my next Travelling Journal finished for Worcester EG 'Running Stitchers'.

Monday, 12 August 2013

NEC 2013

One of the highlights of the show was the work of Hilary Beattie and the demonstrations she was doing on her stand.  I hope she does not mind my posting a photograph of this quilt which was 'Highly Commended'. She appears to be a woman after my own heart ... just play, enjoy and see what happens.
The Apple Tree Man and The Orchard Scrumpers
This was the other item I really enjoyed.  It reminded me of some little books I had seen at the Textile Bazaar at Hellens Manor, Much Marcle earlier in the year.  It was a delight and had lots of hidden surprises throughout its pages.  These included a game, recipes and the names of apple varieties.

The Bookwrap Gems Tombola organised to raise money for The Quilt Museum was also a huge success with lots of happy quilters going home with a bookwrap or two or even three.  Well done

Monday, 5 August 2013

3 August 2013

Worcester Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild organised two venues in and around Worcester on Saturday as part of the national "Celebration of Stitch".  Our group, who are also members of one of the Venture groups "Running Stitchers", were outside at the Guild Hall.  Would you not think after all this beautiful weather we could have expected a nice dry day.  Oh No!!  It decided to rain heavily mid morning and we had several showers and all got very wet.

The staff at the Guild Hall were so helpful and found space for us to move inside at lunchtime.  Then the sun came out so some members went outside again with a table, fabric and materials and carried on stitching.

However, we did enjoy ourselves and we were bouyed up by some willing members of the public who kindly added some stitches to our Stitching Line.

Can you see thesweet little pink bird on this section?

The lovely lady who made this butterfly had not stitched for years and had developed problems with her eyesight in recent years.  I think she did a brilliant job.