Friday, 10 November 2017

Change of Format

The Yorkshire Travelling Journal participants are currently contemplating a change of format for the A5 Journal we have been doing for several years.  I have cut out 8 long strips of fabric which we are going to work on and then pass on to the next person.

This led me to trying a mock up on a spare piece of fabric to see what it was possible to do with it.  Suggestions to date have been a folded fabric book, a hanging or a scroll.  The logistics of a scroll may rule out the last one, but we shall see.

Anyway, below is work to date on my dummy one. I have used a Gum Arabic transfer of one of my drawings on the front of it and added some buttonholes onto the turned back edge - this was formed from a piece of the fabric that was not quite the right width for a page, but seemed to lend itself to becoming a nice additional feature rather than being trimmed off.  It looks a bit like a shirt front to me!!  The folded edge of each page has been overstitched by hand to hold a nice firm crease and I may add some decorative loops or lace to some of the pages.

I have started to add another piece of fabric from my scrap box onto the end of the fabric (final page).  Not sure where I am going from here .... so watch this space.  The 'real thing' does not have to be completed and passed on until the end of January 2018, so plenty of time to play.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Felt Exhibition

Managed to get to the latest exhibition of felted work at The Weavers Gallery in Ledbury this morning.  Some beautiful work and very inspirational.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Textile Fair

Could I use this picture for Gum Arabic Transfer I wonder?
Went to Compton Verney Textile Fair on Saturday.  Bumped into a friend from Venture Group amongst the textiles. Loved both the Quinten Blake 'Inside Stories' exhibition and The Lost Words exhibition (featuring words and paintings by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris from their book of the same name).  Have not been for a while and the improvements to the facilities were a lovely surprise.  Catering facilities appeared to be an improvement, but there was much confusion about how to queue and get served there being two tills in operation, one at either end of the serving area. Entrance to the park has also been improved.

A view across the lake to the installation - 'The Clearing' created by Alex Hartley and Tom James as a collaborative artwork.  The little white dots on the left of the photograph below were actually free ranging chickens, that were entertaining everyone at the entrance when we arrived with their antics as they scrabbled about around and on the picnic tables.

Saturday, 4 November 2017


This last week I had managed to get myself in a bit of a panic as I had to prepare some fabric collage plus some black and white images for the Solo Printing class with Sue Brown as she had decided we would have a playday with Gum Arabic Transfer.  The fabric collage took me forever to get my head round and the drawing was a last minute thing using a dip pen and a bottle of black ink ... here are some of the results

A scrap of linen, a photocopy of a pencil sketch of a shed from my sketchbook, plus the blue tit below reduced in size and reversed before transferring.

Full size sketch but printed in Raw Sienna onto a scrap of calico I had in my box

This one is the piece that took me the longest to prepare. It is A4 and not only did I collage it, but I also did some machine and hand stitching onto it in preparation.  If I wish (or have the time) I can now add more stitching.  Scanning the work really shows how cockeyed I got the fabric!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Poor Jenny Wren

Came home from a lovely cycle ride to find DH had found this poor little wren dead in the garden.  Not sure what had happened to it but it was so beautiful. Very sad.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Friday Spin

Did a longer ride with one of the group on Friday morning.  This was the view looking back to the Malvern Hills after a fairly scary bit of cycling along the main road through Bransford and then turning off towards a quiet road in the general direction of the Elgar Museum. We did 23 miles in all and there were some steep hills near to the end that I was not expecting but I did okay.

Have also been desperately trying to create some collaged fabric pieces to print onto this next week using Gum Arabic Transfer. They are still not finished so must get on with them today. Did, however, tidy the log shed and sew up some branches that have needed doing for months and got them neatly stored away.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Water Splash

Took myself off for a 20 mile ride today on the 'Ledbury Loop'.  It would have been even better if I had managed to take the correct road at the start.  As far as I could tell (when I eventually got back on the right road) the whole route appears to be well signposted and mainly on nice quiet roads.  The ford above was fun, but you are advised not to ride through it, so I had to negotiate the narrow bridge with my bike.

Lots of wildlife about: millions of pheasants, squirrels, two different hairy caterpillars making a mad dash across the road, rabbits, lots of birds and plenty of sunshine. Nice Hereford cattle, with a bull in the field.

Seeing the Eastnor obelisk and knowing I had not got much further to ride was a relief as I knew a lot of the remaining part of the journey was downhill.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Spooky Finds

Met a friend from the 'Couch to 50 K' group this morning for a cycle ride with some of her friends.  We went via Worcester to Croome Park. Around 17 miles.  They continued on to return to Malvern (a further 15+ miles) and I stopped off for coffee and scone and met my DH for a lift home.  We had a walk around the grounds plus went to see the latest art exhibition in the house by their current Artist in Residence.

I am definitely looking the old lady among them
Of course it was the start of Half Term here in Worcestershire so there was a trail for Halloween for children around the grounds.

I have only just spotted the mouse on the ledge above the table in the Rotunda.  There were broomsticks and skeletons, plus hands trying to crawl out of a coffin.  Very spooktacular.

Nice weather too.  A bit chilly and windy but still pleasant.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Up The Garden Path

I have been really struggling to finish a piece of stitching for the Yorkshire Travelling Journal this week.  A 'Sewcial' with Kathleen Murphy using voids as inspiration started me on a bit of a journey looking at ways of using these 'voids'.  I had the bright idea they could become a winter path.  Below are a couple of snapshots of what I produced ...

I do not usually post things that have not been seen by the others in the YTJ group, but do not think I have given too much away with this one.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A Bit More Easy Cycling

Yet another picture, but including me this time with the other 9 on the ride on Sunday.  Photo taken by the kind husband of one of the ladies on the ride.  Been out again today to Croome and done just over 11 miles.  Beautiful weather and a really enjoyable ride.

The scrape on my knee from last Friday's fall is slowly mending and the bruises on my shoulder, arm and hand are now starting to go a lovely colour!! Teach me to be more careful in future.  It was all my own fault.

The weather is now turning very autumnal here ...

Monday, 16 October 2017

A Spot of EASY Cycling

Did a 12 mile 'EASY' Ride with Women on Wheels on Sunday morning with a friend from 'Couch to 50K'.  It was very leisurely and ended with cake and coffee at this lovely tea shop.  Yummy Lemon Drizzle cake warm from the oven. Sam was the Ride Leader. Nikki did an excellent job of leading the group on her first outing in this role. Well done everyone!!  Unfortunately the sun failed to appear so it was a rather autumnal grey morning with damp roads. Managed to stay upright on my bike which is more can be said for me on Friday evening.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Another Tweet

Making slow progress at Solo Printing.  Today's effort was a drypoint print of a long tailed tit.  Experiencing lots of problems with some ink and have had to resort to Prussian Blue again until I sort out the problem.  The strange background was caused by my using some plastic(?) based material that I think is meant for drypoint.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Jolly Weekend

Had a jolly weekend for a change.  I cycled 12 miles from Malvern to Worcester on Sunday morning on quiet roads and then, finally, alongside the River Severn. Then DH picked me up, but I had thought about carrying on as far as Croome Park.

In the afternoon I visited the Ledbury Quilters exhibition at Tarrington and was treated to some lovely work.  There was a special display of work by the late Marie Roper who had been an important member of the group over the 25 years they have been in existence.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

More Reptilian than Bee

Decided the gold outer casing of The Hive looks more like snakeskin than a honeycomb when I was there today.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Coracle Shed

Like lots of people I love sheds - the colour, texture, smell, the stories they could tell.  I found this one at Ironbridge and it had been used to make coracles.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

It must be Autumn

Fantastic weather on Tuesday here so took myself off on my new bike to Croome for a 12 mile ride.  Whilst consulting the map at a road junction came across these amazing fungus.  They were quite large, which is probably how I managed to spot them.

I seem to spend a lot of my time when out cycling by myself trying to remember where I ought to be going.  Think I need SatNav for bikes!!  I am sure even that would take me the wrong route.

Monday, 25 September 2017

A Little Green Fella

Look what I found yesterday enjoying the sunshine on one of the hosta leaves.  He had huge antenna.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Faded Glory

Took my new bike out for a spin today in the sunshine.  Managed to go the wrong way on part of the route, but it all adds to the enjoyment of the countryside.  Have watched this allotment full of sunflowers change from glorious blooms over the weeks we have been riding to these lovely seedheads which the birds will be grateful of as the weather turns colder.

Almost a Tweet!!

Started Solo Printing class with Sue Brown in Cheltenham this week.  This little chap is going to be another Silk Aquatint printing plate.  I have just got the preliminary sketch laid down using white acrylic and now need to spend some quiet time adding the layers of texture to the plate.

Have not seen the long tailed tits in the garden for a few days but lots and lots of goldfinches.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Couch to 50 Kilometers

This morning saw 4 of the group of 8, plus 2 tutors, meeting up at 9.15 am to set off on our 'Big Ride', the culmination of 10 weeks of tuition, guidance and lots of practice.  I personally managed to do 37.76 miles in 3 hours 21 minutes.  Not a record breaking achievement, but amazing for me.  Seriously contemplating buying a new bike to make life easier for riding up hills.  We all want to keep up our cycling now we have got this far and have the confidence to go out on the road so who knows where this will lead?  At least it will keep me a lot fitter than I was.

We were all kept going by the thought of cake and coffee at Croombe, which some managed to change to bacon sandwiches by the time we actually arrived!!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Book Art Exhibition - Hereford

Went out to do some H-Art venues today and also visited the HARC in Fir Tree Lane to see the 'Re-Imaging the Laws of England - Magna Carta through bookarts, textiles and paintings' exhibition.  It was wonderful although you did need to read the information in the accompanying booklet to fully understand the thinking behind each piece.  I believe it is open Monday to Friday until 24 November, but recommend checking if you plan a visit.

Just a few pictures to whet your appetite
Loved these little shoes

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Green Pears?

Over the weekend we visited one or two H-Art venues and came across these lovely pods that had became rather neglected and wild.  I think they had originally had herbs crowing in them with a soil filled moss lining wrapped around with hessian fabric and string.  The moss had obviously enjoyed its damp environment and taken over with the herbs dying.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A Jolly Sewcial

On Friday of last week four of us joined Kathleen Murphy for our second Sewcial of the year in Cheltenham.  We had a jolly good time with much hilarity.  We were making bound dolls.

From humble beginnings we produced several charming characters ...

A large family group

A very beautiful peasant lady

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bear Necessities

DH and I spent the afternoon at Ironbridge on Wednesday and came across these bear heads on top of the railings at the Merrythought car park.  Not a very nice sight.  The weather was very pleasant and the Tile Museum was fabulous.

Lovely wild flower planting to enjoy with a view of the famous bridge ....

Is this a wise old owl I wonder?

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Lone Cycling

I was 'Billy No Mates' this morning and went out on my own for a cycle ride near Croome.  I was supposed to do the same route I did a couple of weeks ago but managed to do something wrong and got a little bit lost.  Still managed to do almost 13 miles so pleased with that.  I then had egg sandwich, scone and coffee at Croome sitting in the glorious sunshine.

Fabulous views on the ride ....

This is not the fabulous view, this is my trusty bike and a bench near Pirton from where the view opposite is this ....

or this ....