Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Bobbin Robin

This little chappie was a surprise present at Christmas which I received from one of my very dear friends in Yorkshire.  He certainly made me smile.  The snow like spots in the background are actually raindrops on the window.  Luckily we have not had the amount of rain that my Northern friends have had to endure.

Scissor Poke

I have been messing about with this Scissor Poke for the past few weeks.  It was a kit I purchased a long time ago and which I really wanted to complete and use.  Well I have completed it at long last, but I cannot use it .....

.... as my embroidery scissors will not fit inside it!!  Perhaps it's an excuse to buy some more.

More Travelling Journal

As I am due to receive my own completed Yorkshire Travelling Journal back in January 2016 I thought I could possibly reveal some of the entries from 2014 now.  Above is the inspiration page for September 2014.  One of my friends is obsessed with pears and it set me off thinking, perhaps I could do something too.  I made a compressed sponge print block of a pear and then found a cutting in The Daily Telegraph and off I went ....

Front laid on a piece of dyed or painted paper or fabric

The reverse after a bit of daubing
We have completed three years of the YTJ's now and there have been between 7 and 10 of us participating in total. After the first year one or two new people joined the group.  Last year one person had to drop out due to family and work commitments and another is having a 'Holiday' for the time being due to ill health, but hopefully she will be back with us when we start again in February 2016.

It has been a tremendous way of keeping in touch with my stitching pals up in Yorkshire and has also made me complete a piece of something stitched every 6 weeks which I would never have achieved otherwise! An added bonus is going out to dinner at the end of the 'Journey' so that we can all look at each other's YTJ's and see what marvellous things have been added since we last saw them.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Allotment Surprise

Some of you may know that I have been working on a very loosely based allotment theme in the Yorkshire Travelling Journals this year so it was a lovely surprise to receive a Tamsin Abbott print for Christmas with a similar title ...
It is approximately A4 size and is a giclee print of one of her stained glass pieces. Lovely.

Also discovered a bit more about the sculpture.  It was inspired by the local environment and nature and was a collaboration between a sculptor and a local school.  When viewed from a  particular angle it is meant to represent the concentric curves of the design of a radar screen.  Shall have to go and have another look as I did not get it! It is called 'The Copse'.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Sculpture Discovery

I discovered this sculpture on the large housing estate not too far away from where we live when I went out to get some milk on Boxing Day.  It has no plaque to tell you what it is meant to represent but I presume it is something organic as they look like leaves.  It is next to one of the water catchment lagoons.  There are lots of bullrushes and some time ago when we had friends staying we spotted a Reed Bunting sat on one of the reeds.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Almost finished ...

This is a tiny piece of Sue Hawkin's canvaswork I have been doing.  It will eventually be a scissor poke.  I have really struggled stitching it and have pulled it out umpteen times.  Not a good idea when you are stitching with rayon and silk threads.  The colour here does not really show it off to its best and I am sure there will be a few errors in it here and there.  I have enjoyed doing it and the variegated thread is a delight with the randomness throwing up all manner of colourways you would never put together yourself.

I have decided to give away my little vintage caravan hanging and was surprised to find bits of the stitching which were really pleasing. I am sure I have blogged it before, but here are parts of it again.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Oh Christmas Tree .....

I know these are not a Christmas tree, but they were on the way to going to see some in Worcester Cathedral.  They are a feature of the River Severn in Worcester and a nice lady with a small child was throwing bread at them.  The river was well and truly in flood again, but not over the banks thank goodness.

I had to take my little car 'Nobby' in for his MOT test so spent a couple of hours in Worcester.  Going to see the Worcester EG Christmas tree at the cathedral was on my list of 'Things to Do'.  I was absolutely overwhelmed when I eventually got there.  There were lots and lots of them and they were fabulous.  The schoolchildren singing carols added to the general ambience.  Think they were rehearsing for a concert.

View towards the entrance
Worcester EG Tree
The Embroiderers' Guild tree was decorated with purple felt stars decorated in purple and silver which had been made by the individual members of the branch.  It did look very nice.

Cathedral Library Tree

Afternoon Tea Tree?

Spetchley Park Tree

Pershore British Legion Tree
Elgar School of Music Tree
This tree had to be my favourite one but it was difficult to get a decent photograph of it.  It was made from music stands adorned with stars made from sheet music.  It was just lovely in all its silvery presence.

Loved this one.  It was covered in tiny patchwork trees and underneath it there were several larger patchwork trees.  I think I might have to go back and have another look at all the trees as there were so many and it was easy to miss some of the detail.

Friday, 11 December 2015

In a Twist

Since I came back from Rydal Hall I have been messing about with some hyperbolic crochet.  There was lots of crocheted sculpture in the trees at Rydal and I seemed to recall that I had done something similar whilst at college several years ago. Ever since then I have been trying to work out what it was.

These are my first efforts and I am now on my second set of samples to perfect the technique.  I want to hang them from the trees in the garden like catkins, probably in the wild part.  Hopefully they will weather nicely and may even get some lichen growing on them like the ones at Rydal.


I used non-machine washable wool in the hope that they will eventually felt.  I may yet put them in the washing machine at 60 degrees to see what happens.

The ones I am working on at the moment are much shorter than these two and I think I have perfected how to add a bobble edge.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Mystic Circles

For some time I have been fascinated by the rock carvings called 'Cup and Ring' so it si no surprise that I have done some embroidered work based on them.  The piece below is something I made for a travelling journal, which has recently been resurrected by the Running Stitchers group ....

The page on the left is my 'artwork' and includes a couple of Gelli Plate prints which I made using a block made from funky foam printed onto Deli Paper using Golden acrylics.

The page on the right is my resolved work using a piece of fabric which had been pre-dyed with potassium permanganate. A flour paste resist was added.  Marks were made into it with a wooden skewer  and circular bits and pieces prior to cracking the surface.  DIY store finds (rubber grommits) were used to stitch over and form circles and some gold thread couched here and there to add a bit of interest.

Monday, 7 December 2015

How many men does it take .....

to erect a bus shelter?
This wonderful edifice took 2 weeks and 1 day to erect, plus many men.  It involved an awful lot of looking at and discussion, and much sitting in cabs to consider.  I am sure the local community are going to find it invaluable over the coming months whilst waiting for the rerouted bus service that now passes along this road.

For the Love of Books

For the past two weekends the bookbinding group I belong to have had a stall at a local H-Art craft market and it was my turn to steward on Sunday.  I do not know where all the lovely people were, but they were certainly not in Ledbury.

We also have a Facebook page now and hopefully this link will work Cut Fold Bind

Friday, 4 December 2015

All Boxed Up

Not done any blogging for a while for various reasons, one of which was problems with some major software on my computer which now has Windows 10 as its operating system.  None of my old creative software will work with it so I have spent absolutely ages trying to sort it out.  The problem is not yet resolved, but hopefully will be this next week, at great expense I might add.

Today I actually finished the two boxes that look like books that I seem to have been working on for weeks, so here are some pictures .... unfortunately I have not got the actual boxes at the moment as our tutor has gone off with them. I think the blue one may be for sale at The Hive in Worcester shortly as we have an exhibition in one of the cabinets there.

This is the pair of them finished.  The pink one is the better finished off, although I prefer the piece of embroidery on the blue one.
 The boxes are quite small, slightly smaller than A5 in size.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Victorian Postbox

There are one or two nice postboxes in Malvern and this is one of them and it appears to be from the Victorian era.  It is outside Malvern Community Hospital, which is somewhere I have been rather a lot over the past week or so!!  The lovely neighbour I take shopping each week tripped and fell and has ended up in hospital until she gets back on her feet so I have been visiting her as often as I can as she has only a few friends and relatives around to do so.  It means I am not getting much done at home which is disappointing.

The other frustrating thing this past week is, that for some unknown reason, the computer has been playing up and some of the Adobe Creative Suite software has stopped working, mainly Photoshop and Illustrator. I am going to have to take the hard drive to a man to fix it as it is beyond me.  I think it is probably one of the updates from Microsoft that has caused the glitch.

A Day Out in Birmingham

Met a friend from 'Up North' in Birmingham today and we had a jolly time.  She showed me the 'Custard Factory' and we went around the 'Rag Market', followed by a quick shop in the new John Lewis which was fabulous.  I came back with a new King Size Quilt and a couple of towels, plus some bits of fabric and some leather cords which I will use in bookbinding when I get round to it.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

More on the Fungi

Having looked at the Internet I think our fungi are either Meadow Waxcaps (hygrocybe pratensis) or Scarlet Waxcaps (hygrocybe coccinea).  We have certainly got a lot of them on the front lawn.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumnal Feast

Our front lawn is covered in strange fungi.  We usually get lots over in the Dell on the other side of the stream as there is lots of dead wood and tree stumps, but these are something new.

I am not sure whether these last ones are the same type.  They were situated some distance from the others - of which there are lots.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

More Felt Sculptures

Several of the trees at Rydal had been 'Felt Bombed' at least that is my interpretation of them.  Felt had been made to wrap around their trunks.  The one above had slate buttons stitched onto it.

 The trunk below had a crocheted fringe which looked like lichen.

This blue piece below (ignore the strange circles which are rain drops on my camera as it was pouring down at the time) was located close to the Ice House footpath and had wrapped rods attached to it, which featured in quite a few of the sculptures.  Unfortunately I have had to discard several of my photographs from the morning it was raining as I must have knocked the dial on my camera and they have all come out virtually black.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

More Spoons

Whilst away I found time to produce a couple more watercolour sketches of teaspoons to which I collaged sections of a page from an old cookery book.  They both need some more work doing to them.  Scanning them has really drawn my attention to the errors in my drawing and painting which is quite helpful.

Rydal Retreat

Whilst I did not get to do the work I had planned whilst at Rydal Hall I did start a small concertina book about my visit.  This is 'Work in Progress' I am afraid and I have lots of ideas of further pieces to include in the blank spaces.

I started off by bringing in some leaves and moss from the sculpture trail with felted work by Dianne Standen which was to the side of the Hall.  I then made a couple of drawn and painted leaves from part of the watercolour paper I had cut off when joining an extra sheet to the book.  The real leaves were pressed and then glued and stitched onto the pages.

The yurts in the grounds inspired me to cut a hole through one of the pages behind which I pasted a piece of an OS map showing the location of Rydal Hall.

A surprise on the other side of the yurt cut out were the pine needles I had slashed into the paper with my craft knife.  A quick sketch of one of the eco pods with my new water soluble graphite pencils filled a small gap on the next page.

Members of the group were asked to suggest words that reflected their stay at Rydal Hall.  Those who know me will know why 'Wot-Sits' got on there.  It probably should have been joined by 'Thingamybobs' too.  I ripped up a free tourist map of Grasmere to use the trees depicted on it.

A walk to Grasmere influenced the cut out piece about Heaton Cooper, showing lots of running water.  The sketches of cones were done from the pocket full I brought in from the woods when we visited the Rydal Hall sculpture trail.

Finally, the last page has a wrapper from the fantastic ice cream two of us enjoyed prior to setting off back on the walk from Grasmere to Rydal Hall along the Coffin Path.  The flavour had some wonderous name which I cannot recall at the moment, but had cinder toffee in it.  The receipt is for the map I bought to chop up and use in the book.

Sunday, 1 November 2015


 The trees were phenomenal but too many people!!

Out of focus but I still like it

Stable Window

Church Door Handle