Sunday, November 19, 2006


Just a quicky blog - here are an evening version of the Christmas tree earrings


Yesterday I went to a workshop held by my good friend Ann Pearson. There were about 13 attendees and we set to to create Christmas beadwork ornaments including: stars, Father Christmas's, trees and earrings. Many of the attendees were new to beadwork and found it fiddly to begin with. Even though Ann was run ragged trying to keep up with the demands at the beginning, great fun was had by all and the outcome was fantastic, everyone went home happy with the treasures they had created - me included. Here are the earrings I created using fine wire taken from an old electric flex.

Whilst I had my beadwork box I also mended a necklace I made over a year ago - the trouble was I kept fiddling with the lovely dangly beads and eventually one broke. I must not fiddle...I must not fiddle...I must not fiddle...

I also finished a victorian style drop lace necklace that I had bought at a show last year. The reason I did not finish it was that I did not like the clasp that came with the kit, preferring instead magnetic clasps.

So all in all yesterday was a good day for learning new tricks and finishing UFO's

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Digital Fun

It is half term and I am having a rare day off from work, and after a morally acceptable amount of house work - well minimum - I have set to and had some fun with one of my digital photos that I took on holiday.

This one looks like viewing the fern through a drop of water. I kept most of the border as I thought it looked better with the green to frame the image.

The second one I had fun with converting the colours to negative, applying a mystic effect then polarising the finished picture. I especially love the inky blue colours.

The final one after doing a few effects then I created a mirror image, which looks like one of those pictures that are made using blobs of colour on a piece of paper then folding it over - what do you see?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Photos on Flickr

I have now started to update my Flickr account with some of my digital photos, which include Flora and Fauna, Land and Seascapes
Many of these photos I have taken with future projects in mind.
Here are a couple that I took today:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Postcard: Goonhilly, Cornwall, UK

Well here I am down in sunny Cornwall, where we are visiting Goonhilly which is UKs premier satellite station.
There are loads of interactive technical gizmo's to keep my son entertained as well as free internet access with super fast connection.
My husband has been going via satellite to view the Grand Prix - so all in all we are having a brilliant time.

There is lots to do in Cornwall and there are loads of galleries with excellent art, together with the fantastic scenery I feel very inspired... Have loads of photos which should keep me going for some time.


Sunday, August 20, 2006


We are going on our summer holiday tomorrow - down to Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, so I will not be able to moderate comments until my return.
I will be taking my CQ so I will endeavour to finish the block which has been progressing slowly.
No doubt I will have loads of photos - so see you all at the beginning of September.

Embroidery: Ribbon

Here is a card that I made at a ribbon embroidery class that my good friend Ann Pearson gave for the local WI. I did make another one of a cluster of wine and pink coloured flowers which I liked better, but I gave it away before taking a photo - never mind.
I really enjoyed using the silk ribbon and found that it was quite easy on this type of open weave fabric. However, I did try some on my crazy quilt but unpicked it as I did find it more difficult on cotton.
Soon after I took some pictures of sunflowers down at the allotments, so next time I will have some pictures to refer to. I just love this bee!

(Category: embroidery)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Embroidery: Old Design New Technique

After a visit in 2005 to Coats Crafts UK Archive by a couple of our committee members a challenge was made to re-work an old design by using new techniques.

This was indeed a challenge to me as I was a new member to the Guild and had yet to explore not only traditional techniques but also the vast array of new materials and techniques that are now available.

I started by scanning the original design into my computer, then I created a basic pattern for my design.

After a lot thought and deliberation I came up with an outline as shown. The foundation of the design is layers of organza over net embellished with traditional freehand stitches, as however you look at it these traditional techniques can never be replaced.

I then did a lot of research and by accident came up with ‘Tyvek’ stitched with ‘Fab Film’, then heated to create the ideal scrunched effect for my centre pieces. The metallic clusters of multi coloured beads provide an ideal base to these to allow the centre pieces to stand away from the fabric to add another dimension. Liking the idea of rag rugging; but being allergic to hessian, I found that the rubber underlay that is now sold to protect tables as well as being a new material this was an ideal substitute. These small pieces using strips of the base organza fabric for the rugging are used to lift the centres like fluffy covered seeds from a seedpod. Finally the work was quilted to produce a raised effect.

At times I almost gave up but with the encouragement of fellow members I persevered and produced the final piece in time for the City of York Branch ‘Visible Threads’ Exhibition in June 2006. The piece was also exhibited in the recent Pocklington Art Exhibition.

So here I am, even though I feel the piece is naive I have now gained invaluable experience and feel more confident going onwards and hopefully upwards in my work.

(Category: embroidery)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Weather, sunset and owls!

Well we have had a better start to August and temperatures have been in the early 20's which is normal here for this time of the year. July was far too hot and as records were broken we melted which made day to day activities in the home unbearable.

I took this photo tonight of the sunset from our balcony, which shows that we now have more interesting skies than we had in July.

Within half an hour of me taking this photo we had an owl alight on the water (bottom right of the picture) that we leave out for the birds. Its the first one that we have seen (so close to the house) - but alas it was too dark to take a photo, and anyway I would not want to upset it as it may not come back!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Embroidery: Crazy Quilt Block update

Well I have managed to get started despite being so busy!

Using DMC Perle 5 I started by attaching some lace (cheap from the Market) using buttonhole stitch then basic herringbone embellished with silver lined beads. I have also applied some feather stitch which I have layered.
In the centres of the flowers I have done some french knots in both DMC Perle 5 and Anchor 3 stranded embroidery threads.
Along one seam there are some half buttonhole wheels and have started some grape embellishments using french knots
Today I am back at the exhibition so I maybe able to get some more done there.

The 100 details for a 100 days stitch-a-long was created by SharonB and for anyone who has not seen this blog it is well worth a visit.

(Category: embroidery)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Embroidery: Exhibition

The York Embroiderers' Guild had an exhibition in June at Askham Bryan on the outskirts of York. This is a triannual event and my first - it blew me away.
Anyway, I entered a competition and I will blog that at a later date but here is a taster from my piece.

After the exhibition some of the items were kept to one side and are now showing at Woldgate College, Pocklington, which is literally down the hill (Wold) from where I live. So for the next 2 weekends I have volunteered in the afternoons to go along and look after the exhibits and be on hand for queries etc.
Busy, busy, busy I also have to do the books and produce invoices for our local afternoon school club - no time for housework this weekend!
(category: embroidery)

Format problems!

I now know what the problem is regarding the different views of my blog - at work my monitor is set to 800x600 resolution because I have difficulty seeing the screen set back on my desk and at home I have a resolution of 1024x768 which 80% of people use.

This means 800x600 see the blog on a full screen, and 1024x768 see the blog down the middle and if I set my pictures with word wrap and put in spaces to move some of the words down to align them to the pictures it looks brilliant on 1024.. but atrocious on 800..

As yet I have not found a way to make both happy except to posting pictures in the middle with words above or below (as per DigitalGran).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Embroidery: Crazy Quilt Block

Well here it is - my first attempt at a complete block. Upto now all I have done are a few ATC's, which I was very happy with but because I was in a rush for a meeting forgot to take a photo before I swapped them.
Anyway, tonight I have created a nude block with a digital print on percale of some osteospermum (Cape Daisy) flowers at the centre (of course from my Mums lovely garden).
So now I can join in with Sharon B's 100 details for a 100 days of which I have been an avid follower, but because of other commitments have not been able to join in.
(category: embroidery)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Format problems!

What is going on! posts look fine on my PC at home but when I look at work they are a mess. Will have to investigate further. Maybe I will have to take off the word wrap and post words and pictures underneath each other.
Oh and what is with the date stamp! I have it set to British Summer Time but the stamp sometimes says otherwise.
Any ideas welcome.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Embroidery: Free Machine

Well here we go, I have pressed and tweaked the project and this is what I have - not too sure still!

Anyway, here is what I created on the beginners course part 1 which was run by Eileen Gibson, as I mentioned in my previous blog.

Layers of base fabric, iron-on pelmet vilene, bondaweb, base fabric, bondaweb, snippings and finished with free machine stitches.

We created a piece 20" x 8" and I decided to create a bag, which has a gusset but you cannot see this on the picture.

The toggle was created by using a triangular piece and rolled. The cord was some furnishing cord with zig-zag stitches applied over the top.

(category: embroidery)

Flowers: Allotment

Neil has taken up a new hobby and has an allotment, although up to now has not shown any interest in gardening! Must be a male thing!.

Anyway, I sometimes accompany him and yesterday I got a few photos of poppies, flowering teasles, which are rampant on the plot - the poppy shot I particularly like and could be an inspiration for a future project.

The last flower is an onion.

We cannot grow veg in our garden as our house is on the first Wold on the edge of the Vale of York, and the soil is heavy with clay.

I must admire some of the plots as they are pristine (see our local website) - but Neil has a long way to go!

(category: photos)


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Embroidery: Free Machine

Went on a day school yesterday (my last one before the summer break), Machine Embroidery with Eileen Gibson. This is the second class of 3 - I will blog the first one later as I was very pleased with the bag I made.

Anyway, this class was to explore the use of free machine embroidery using water soluble fabrics and an embroidery hoop.

OK not wanting to make excuses for myself but I was feeling a little under the weather as the previous day I was diagnosed with acute vertigo due to an ear infection. But nothing was going to keep me away from this class. As I had to travel about 20 miles, Neil my husband very kindly gave me a lift as I was not up to driving.

The day went very well and Eileen is an excellent teacher.

We started with a 9 inch square piece of material (I chose a piece of hand dyed silk from a scarf that I purchased at our local charity shop) then machined pin tucks across the bias, finishing by joining to sides together to make a conical shape.

The conical was then pinned to the water soluble sheet (I used Romeo) once the sheet had been stretched over the frame, the shape was stitched down then we were set free to machine to our hearts content, making sure that all stitched interlinked.

At this stage Judy said that they all looked like 'Sorting Hats'! and some of the doll makers were very pleased with the idea to make them into hats. However, the finished items are meant to be the other way up (small bags) - maybe to hang on a wall - but at the end of the day they are what ever you want them to be.

Once we were happy then the fabric was dissolved in warm soapy water - but as you see mine needs a lot more soaking as it is still quite stiff. It is not a disaster yet! but I thought I would show it to you all anyway as a before picture.

By this time I was pooped! and felt that I could not go on to do a handle.

Hopefully during the week I may have time to restart and finish the little wall hanging with handle and embellishments.

Great fun - many thanks to Eileen and the York Embroiderers' Guild

(category: embroidery)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Embroidery: Canvas work UFO

I was just searching in my sewing room for a small piece of aida, when I came across this piece of canvas work that I completed last October when I was on holiday. It is a canvas work sampler consisting of Norwich stitch (that's the woven diamond shaped squares), cross-cornered cushion stitch and a form of Half Rhodes - perhaps I could convert it into a panel for a bag? but suggestions welcome.
As I have previously said 'I am new to embroidery' and what I have learnt from people who have been doing this for many years is: 'not to have too many UFO's (Unfinished Objects)' - so perhaps by blogging this it will galvanise me to get going....So watch this space (in a year or so!!!)

(category: embroidery)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Embroidery: Darning

So you thought darning was for socks and knitwear! - well here is a picture that I created using left over threads and beads. For the water I used strips of a plastic sandwich bag that I twisted to create a lovely thread with a sheen. However, I am not too happy with the sky but then again even painting skies are difficult - I will have to investigate other techniques.

(category: embroidery)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Web site plans....

I am hopefully going to re-build my web site and then house various galleries and projects so that my web log will be able to link to archive categories easily. The trouble is time to do all this, but it should be worth it in the long run.

Firstly I am going to have to have a plan, then some graphics (this is where my 15 year old son may be able to help his old mum out!)

Anyway it is late and I do witter on.....

Summer Flowers

Just a few photos that I took whilst visiting my mums garden, I expecially like the rose as it appears so perfect and such a lovely colour. My mum lives near Morecambe in Lancashire - she loves her garden and always has such a wonderful array of colours.

(category: photos)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Canvaswork and Free Embroidery

Here is a canvas work picture that I finished for the guild meeting at the beginning of July.

A picture of Loch Ness inspired “Lakeside” even though the final piece took on a Lakeland scene. The magnificent colours were what drew me to the picture.

As I was creating a piece of canvas work I started by “pixelating” the picture on my computer, as a basis for the background (as seen below). This was printed onto a piece of canvas to which I applied a cross corner stitch to represent the pixels.

Once this was complete, I felt that the picture was very regimented so I decided to break up the foreground by applying free embroidery stitches.
Here is some detail:

(category: embroidery)

Acrylic Canvas and Embroidery

I went on a day school with the embroiderers' guild 'Textured Landscapes' where we explored painting canvases and embellishing them with anything to hand. Here I painted a landscape and applied dried wheat then embellished it with embroidery.

The seed head and the centre of the poppy are pieces of stump work. Although you may not be able to see threads were also painted into the canvas to create texture.

I was in my element and created 2 during the day.

(category: embroidery)

Well here I am!

Friday, July 14, 2006


This is my first post but as it is late on a Friday night and it has been a very long week I do not have any energy left to witter today.

Tomorrow is another day! and hopefully I will have got the hang of this.