Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Boxing Day Stroll

Malvern Hills

Had a walk with DH on Boxing Day .... that is if you can call it a walk?  We covered quite a bit of the hills but I had to keep waiting for him to catch up as he saunters rather than walks and keeps stopping to take millions of photographs.

Lots of flowers on the gorse bushes

Looking towards Herefordshire

Even came across a bit of yarn bombing up a 'Narnia' lamp post near West Malvern.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Happy Christmas

Managed to drag DH out for a walk on Christmas Eve morning.  We went to Croome only to find that it was closed so had to park on the road near the arch.  It was very muddy and breezy but enjoyable. Came across this unusual installation ....

It faces the main house and is built around the tree trunk.  Very, very strange??

Monday, 18 December 2017

Miserable Weather

Sunday was wet and miserable so took myself for a nice walk into Great Malvern taking in the two sculptures.  The one above is of two buzzards and the new one is a skylark.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Malvern Yarn Bombers

Took myself off for a walk this afternoon as I cannot ride my bike as it is too cold (and wet today). Came across this nativity scene in the middle of Great Malvern outside the Priory.

The local bible shop had a fantastic Christmas tree in its window made out of opened books.  Unfortunately I could not photograph it as there were iron railings in the way but I did take a picture of one of their book page angels ... there were spectacular candles made from the same technique too.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Yorkshire Journal Returns

This week I received my Yorkshire Travelling Journal back completed with work from all my lovely friends up in Yorkshire.  It is always such a surprise when the package arrives and you get to see all the fantastic pieces of work created by everyone.

This was my 'artwork' page and it has a little hole cut into it which reveals a picture from the previous page.  The shed also unfolds and has seasonal writing inside it.

The finished piece of stitching had to be a work of love.  I stitched together lots of tiny hexagons and then overlayed them with sheer fabric, stitched by hand and machine over the top. I think there might even be a little bit of white paint on there for the smoke from the bonfire.  It is a long time since last February when I made it and I have done several other groups of pages since then for the other YTJ's.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Worcester Cathedral Christmas Trees

The annual festival of Christmas Trees is open in the quadrangle of Worcester Cathedral again this year and got chance to pop in whilst having the car repaired at the Toyota garage. Loved this outfit ....

Simple pieces of wood made a spectacular platform for this display.

Very classy glass ...

Worcester Embroiderers Guild felt gingerbread men (women)

and a giraffe from the St Michael's Hospice tree.  Apparently there are going to be large sponsored giraffes all over Worcester during 2018.

Monday, 11 December 2017

And Then It Snowed ....

We had non stop snow on  Sunday but we managed to get a short walk around the back of the housing estate.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Quick Sketch

I am endeavouring to sketch some guinea pigs from photographs which I can then transfer onto a bag for a lucky little boy who needs it for school to carry his pumps in ....

Guess they look a bit like actual guinea pigs just need to work out how to construct the fabric panels for the colours?  They have always seemed to me to be such squidgy things with little evidence of a skeleton underneath all the fat. Love their excited squeaks though.  I used to look after a couple when their owners were on holiday and they always welcomed me enthusiastically when I took them goodies like carrots and apples.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Short Excursion on my Bike

Desperate to get out on my bike again after two weeks of inactivity so drove to Croome only to find it was raining.  Not to be deterred decided to have coffee and brownie in the NT cafĂ© and wait to see if the weather cleared and it did.  Did almost 9 miles circular route ending up back here ...

Sun was shining but 'Billy No Mates' this week.  Highlight of the excursion was discovering the Christmas Market at Croome.  Put Victoria into my little car and then went home after a very enjoyable bit of exercise.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Early Christmas Lunch?

Met friends from the Running Stitchers (Venture 2) today for lunch at Bevere Gallery nr Worcester.  It was lovely to see everyone and catch up with what they have been doing over the past few months, especially the person who had travelled all the way from Islington to join in the fun.

Eagerly awaiting the arrival of coffee ....

A bit of 'Show and Tell' going on here ....

The dreaded mobile phone makes an appearance!!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Upper Edge Workshop

Collage and Mixed Media
Had a lovely few days in Yorkshire this past week.  I did a two day workshop with some lovely ladies over in Elland.  The first day we were tutored by Amanda Hislop and on the second day we played by ourselves.  Oh such fun.

Not all my work on this page
The week ended with a day at the Knit & Stitch Show in Harrogate and I managed to restrain myself  with only one or two essential(?) purchases.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Autumnal Weather

Had a nice walk on Sunday afternoon at Brockhampton.  A bit chilly and very muddy but really enjoyed it.

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 ...