Tuesday, 30 December 2008

New Toys to Play With

The Postman brought the packet I have been waiting for from the US today. I have bought a quantity of already hand-rolled silk chiffon scarves to dye, felt, paint and anything else I can think of. I am going to have a go at rust dyeing. I bought the stuff I need from Art Van Go at the Festival of Quilts so now there is no excuse to start making a mess. I have also enrolled on an online class 'Textured Surfaces' with Fibre-in-Form. I thought it would be a good idea to help get rid of all the stuff I have accumulated over the years of my City and Guilds courses. When I read the requirements list it changed my mind!!!!! I need to buy loads more stuff. I do already have a lot of stuff but there are things I have been meaning to get for ages but have always forgotten about them as there was no need at the time. Now there is. I am really excited about this. I am also following Maggie Grey's free classes that come when you buy her Textile Translations book. This has become my new Bible! along with about four dozen others!! I haven't started anything yet on Maggie's classes except for putting a catalogue outside to be killed!! Now that Christmas is over I will have more time - in between work and re-decorating our living/dining room which involves laying a new floor!!!!! Still I like to keep busy.!!

Monday, 29 December 2008

More Journal Quilts

More Devon Reds.
This one has been made with pieces left over from my large wall hanging 'Devon Reds, that I entered at the Festival of Quilts 2008.

I have been in a creative backwater for sometime now and haven't been able to get myself out of it. I have had the foul virus that seems to be attacking most people for four weeks now and it has gone beyond a joke. Writing this post has made me want to get started again and tomorrow I intend to do something. I have Journal Quilts and Notes to do before the deadline in January so must get my act together. There is also another piece I want to start working on for March and I have not been able to decide how I am going to do this yet. I must make some things for my Etsy shop and finish a lot of UFO's. Not to mention going back on the road with my Antique Textile Fairs.! Oh dear, all this makes me break out in a sweat every time I think about it. Why do I give myself so much work to do!!!!! Psychiatrist's dream. that's me.

Journal Quilts2008

I have been part of the Contemporary Quilt Group Journal Quilt challenge for 2008. This year the format had to be 12" x 12". I found this to be a little easier that the previous year when it was A4. This year I have tried to be more disciplined and set myself the task of working to a theme. I decided to use my Jurassic Coast Sketchbook (for obvious reasons) as my source of design together with my photographs of my home town Lyme Regis and the places near to where I live such as the wonderful Portland Bill in rough and frantic weather and lovely Chesil Cove at sunset on a soft still summer's evening. I am quite passionate about this coastline, I feel part of it and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes. The Sea, The Sea, such a powerful force - wild, beautiful, gentle, angry, calm, cruel, unforgiving, not to be underestimated or taken for granted - but always a source of wonder and amazement to me. I spend many hours just looking at it and if it is warm enough, bobbing about in it. I can't imagine not living beside it. I love the countryside fordifferent reasons but gazing out into the wide blue yonder is all the therapy I need on bad days.
I chose to work with ammonites for the first phase of quilts. The image I used was one of an ammonite found at Lyme Regis in the late 1800's. The first quilt with the single ammonite is a transfer paint print on to a piece of neutral coloured fabric. I did all the machine stitching and quilting and then rollered acrylic paint all over it. I then highlighted areas with gold paint and crayon. The hand stitching and beading was done after the paint had dried. The second one 'Triplets' was again a transfer print but this time I used a piece of mono-printed fabric for the background. I found this in a box of City and Guilds samples and as it looked a bit like rocks and sky I thought it would do the job. The ammonites were overdrawn, then stitched and then painted with metallic textile paint. I have been working along the coast so these first ones were based on Lyme Regis.

This quilt shows the change in colour along the coast towards Devon with its wonderful red cliffs. It is strip pieced using my own hand dyed fabrics. The little ammonites are transfer prints again.
I used to spend all my school holidays with my cousins at Exmouth in Devon when I was a child. We used to have such fun in a simple way. Picnics on the red sandy beaches sitting under the towering cliffs and also on Dartmoor when sudden squalls of rain meant everything had to be packed up quickly. Swimming in the icy rock pools on the Moor on better days. We all used to pile into my Uncle John's old Ford - I'm talking 1950's here - I was always afraid it wouldn't make it up the hills. 'Oh Happy Days'.


First one.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Monday, 22 December 2008

Day out in Corfe Castle

Today I spent the day with my daughter and grand-daughter at Corfe Castle. Corfe Castle is such a pretty little place. There are lots of interesting little shops and cafes. The town is dominated by the ruined Castle and this is now administered by the National Trust.
We had some lunch and then spent a couple of hours exploring and looking around the shops and galleries. We visited the Boilerhouse Gallery which is close to the old station where a friend of mine had some of her work on display.
I just love this group of old cottages with their tiny windows and gorgeous slate roofs.
This is a picture of my grand-daughter Annie sitting in the 'Wishing Chair' outside the 'Ginger Pop' shop in the square. The shop is dedicated to Enid Blyton and is full of all the things that bring back happy memories of childhood.
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Monday, 15 December 2008

Lunch with the Girls

Today I have been to Lunch with my girlfriends.
I was determined to make the effort even though I haven't been out very much for the last two weeks and was still not feeling one hundred per cent. We have all been friends since we were teenagers and have been through a lot together at various stages in our lives. Monday is a bit of a dodgy day to go out and find somewhere that has plenty of atmosphere so we opted for our local Wetherspoon's - The Swan - which is always busy and full of local people. We were not disappointed!!!!

We always have a 'secret santa' sack and this year we had to wear something sparkly on our heads!! As you can see from the photographs we were not short of liquid refreshments!! The food was good too. I have had my first Christmas dinner of the festive season and very nice it was too. I can thoroughly recommend Wetherspoon's food - I had Crayfish Tail salad as a starter and then a huge platter of Roast Turkey, Roast Potatoes, Stuffing Balls, Bacon wrapped Chipolatas, Yorkshire Pudding and Peas, Carrots and Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Sauce and Gravy. All that was followed by Christmas Pudding and Ice Cream. I was absolutely stuffed, and it didn't break the bank either - £12 was the price for all that food and it also included a free drink!

We had a thoroughly good time and we were on our best behaviour as they are very strict in Wetherspoons. They have been known to throw people out just for having a good time and laughing too loudly!! I was really glad I made the effort but started to flag after about 4 hours!! and as they were thinking about starting the drinking games I thought it politic to leave.!! My stamina is not what it was.

Back in the Land of the Living Again.

I have spent the last two weeks trying to get rid of the 'dreaded lergy'. I went down with a nasty virus after the Battersea Fashion Fair on 30th November. I have been running on empty for quite a while now with a Diary full of work dates and it finally got me. The Ilminster Textile Fair was a lovely day again. The building is so beautiful and makes a gorgeous venue for a Textile Fair.
We bought these gorgeous ostrich feathers in France. As usual there was a stunning array of goodies on offer at Ilminster, and lots of enthusiastic customers.

I had some of my hand made felt flower brooches and a few sketchbooks that I had made. I have set up an ETSY shop and I shall be putting all my hand made textiles in there. During the next couple of weeks before I start work again I am going to spend time getting the ETSY shop up and running and do some work on my website.
The next date for the Diary is
a new Fleamarket run by Sheila Hyson of Hyson Fairs Ltd. which is going to be held at Exeter Livestock Centre on 10th January 2009.
I had intended to be at Shepton Mallett Fleamarket last Sunday but was not well enough. I am looking forward to this new Fleamarket at Exeter as I am going to have a giant clear out. Lets hope the weather will be kind to us and also that there will be plenty of customers!
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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Christmas Crafts at Cowslip Workshops

I am just back from Cornwall. I have been to Cowslip Workshops at Launceston again. This time it was for the Christmas Craft Market held over four days from Friday until Monday 18th. As you may know this is one of my favourite places and I was happy to go back again for the Christmas Market. All the stallholders were in the house and it was a smaller event this year but it was great. There was a friendly, cosy atmosphere and everyone had made the most stunning displays of their wares.
There was a good selection of goods on offer from Plants and Decorations to Hand knits and Hand Felted items.
Maggie's Christmas decorations were very popular and rightly so. All made by hand and superbly finished.
These are some of the things I had for sale as well as my vintage textiles. I love making the raggy rings they always look so plumptious when finished. I made some more sketchbooks and there were some hand knitted and felted bags. I also had some of my Nuno felted scarves. I am pleased to say I sold some of my scarves and bags as well as lots of things for people to use to make their own stuff!!
Of course I couldn't resist visiting Jo's shop and bought another book on making Art Cloth by Rayna Gilman and some lovely dark indigo dyed batik fabric tape. I don't know what I am going to do with this but it was irrestible. I also bought a small piece of fabric with the Cowslip logo on it to put into a Diary page. While I was there I started a piece of experimental work using a piece of wrecked 19th century hexagon patchwork. It is absolutely in shreds but there are a few sound pieces and I have been darning one on to a piece of Polly Lyster's madder dyed linen. I will post a picture when I have finished. I don't know what I shall do with it but it is a good exercise. I get so much beautiful old stuff that is so badly damaged it has no saleability but can never bear to throw it out, so I am hoping that this technique will give things a new lease of life.

This Sunday, 23rd November I am at the fabulous Assembly Rooms at Bath participating in the Ashley Hall Vintage Fashion Fair. It is fully booked and is going to be a very exciting shopping place so my advice is to make sure not to m iss it or you will regret it.
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Monday, 10 November 2008

Bisley Rag Market

I hadn't realised that I have been absent from this blog for such a long time. Can't think where the last month has gone.! However I won't dwell on that but carry on with telling you all about the Rag Market at Bisley in the Cotswolds that was held last Saturday. We drove up on Friday afternoon in glorious weather. The colours of Autumn were spectacular in the brilliant sunshine and we were keeping our fingers crossed that Saturday would be good too as there is nothing worse than unloading all the goodies in the rain. Polly Lyster was set to be outside with all her gorgeous textiles so it was important for the weather to be good.

This was Linda's and my stands. We tend to stall out close together so that we can run in to one. We had an eclectic mix of fabulous french linens, buttons, beads and trims.

There was an eager queue outside and I am sure that they weren't disappointed with all the goodies on offer.

It was a great day and we managed to buy some super things too in readiness for our next three Fairs.
We are at Cowslip Workshops, Launceston, Cornwall this coming Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Then its the fabulous Bath Assembly Rooms Vintage Fashion Fair on Sunday 23rd November and then we are off to 'The Big Smoke' for Battersea Vintage Fashion Fair on Sunday 30th November. Lets hope it will all be worth it as it is jolly hard work, but if we didn't enjoy it we wouldn't do it.
My last note is about my dear old Jasper ginger cat. We finally said goodbye to him on Monday of last week. It was all very stressful but he was home with us and we will miss him terribly. He has ruled this house and cul de sac even, ever since he first arrived as a baby from Bristol seventeen years ago.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Some of my work

This is a display of some of my City and Guilds work that I took to an Area Day of South West Quilters held in Weymouth in the Summer.
I am going to be teaching a workshop for them on Mixed Media techniques. The plan is to spend the day making samples of techniques that will build in to an interesting sketch book. We will spend the morning doing the messy stuff and after lunch the cleaner stuff and maybe a bit of stitching if there is time.
The day is being run by the South West Quilters and is on Saturday October 25th in Weymouth, Dorset.
This is a photograph torn from a local newspaper of the Cobb at Lyme Regis. The papers has been distressed by crumpling over and over until it is broken down into a soft pliable texture. This has then been ironed on to lightweight vilene and then heavily stitched.
This is a page from my Jurassic Coast sketchbook and comprises loose layers of stitched chiffon, patched hand painted cotton sateen and a scrummy collage made with corrugated papers, string, tissue paper and scrim which was then painted many times with gesso and acrylic paint.
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Back to Work

I realise having read the description of this blog that I have posted very little, if any of my work!!! I seem to have concentrated on my travels!! It is true that I have been away from home a lot this summer and have not done very much Textile work. This will soon be remedied as there are several events coming up where I will be able to take some of my own work to sell.
The first is this Friday - Oh Lord!! - this is a Charity Sale in aid of SAVE THE CHILDREN FUND at Castle Cary, Somerset. I have two days to make some things. The things on my list are Lavender Bags made using vintage lace and silk and some Blanketty things and felted things.
I like making felt and while I was in France I bought some silk scarves to use for felting. I love soft, floaty Nuno felt and intend to produce some things using this technique. Whether it will be for this event or the next, time will tell. I have also been felting knitted things. I haven't done any knitting for years but now the winter is coming nearer it is a good thing to do sitting up in bed watching television!!!. My house is not the warmest even when the Central Heating is on and a log fire going, so the best option is to take some work to bed.!!

I must also start designing the quilt I want to do for the Contemporary Quilt Group for the Annual General Meeting of the Quilters Guild to be held at Swansea next year. I haven't been to an AGM since the last one held on the South Coast. Swansea is not too far for me to go and much easier than travelling up North. I would like to go to more of the Quilters Guild Events and Exhibitions but the majority are held a long way from Dorset, and most involve three to six hour drives. An outing like this would need a bit of planning and involve overnight stays which means that they cannot be undertaken spontaneously.

I am still enrolled on the Journal Quilt project run by the Contemporary Quilt Group which is an achievement in itself this year as I have been so busy. Last lap coming up. I enjoy taking part in this as it makes me do something competely different from the type of things I make to sell. This is also why I make a Quilt for the Festival of Quilts every year. I don't expect to win a prize but commiting to enter something makes me make it otherwise I would be juist making things for work all the time.

Monday, 29 September 2008


These are the fishing boats at Roscoff. The tide was right out and they were beached in the mud. They look so strange propped against the harbour wall. The reflection in the sea of their different colour paintwork is very interesting.
Rust and rope.
This harbour never fails to entrance me. The sun on this day was glorious and the colours of the boats are like a rainbow reflected in the sea.
More rust and rubber floats.
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Beautiful Britanny

Just back from Beautiful Brittany again. I have been on the annual Pilgrimage to La Foire de St. Michel held at Brest, Brittany, France. I look forward to this trip every year. The weather was glorious when we left Plymouth on Friday morning. Once on board ship we always make a bee line to the Restaurant for a long leisurely lunch of the 'Glorious Brittany Ferries Buffet'. I adore sea food and the choice on this buffet is amazing. After over-indulging for about a couple of hours we made our way to the Cinema and watched 'Mama Mia'. I had already seen it but I love it so much I could watch it every day. It is fantastic and has a great feel good factor. I find myself smiling all the way through it. But I am biased I LOVE the Greek Islands and this film brings back all the wonderful memories of my holidays there during the 1980's.
We were up bright and early Friday morning to search out the textiles and by 10.30 a.m. had found loads of stuff and we were then able to relax a bit and enjoy the rest of the day with a bit of sight seeing. Brest is a very interesting city. It was very badly damaged during World War II and there are a lot of new buildings integrated with the old. Our Hotel 'LE VAUBAN' is set in the very best position for the Markets. It has a nightclub in the basement and is not the quietest of places. Its Restaurant serves the most delicious food and it is the greatest place for people watching. Its clientel is truly cosmopolitan. The atmosphere is very very French - noisy and bustling - waiters rushing around and people coming and going. Saturday night is Disco night and we were in for a very noisy time. I don't think I slept at all - when the music finished at 4 a.m. the people turned out on to the pavements and were laughing and talking for what seemed an endless time. When they had gone the Market Traders started to arrive and set up their stalls for the days' trading. Even though I know that I am not going to sleep properly for a couple of days I still wouldn't miss it for the world.
One of the highlights of the trip is to be able to spend an hour at ROSCOFF before we board ship. It was another glorious day on Sunday and we were so looking forward to being able to take even more photographs of this charming little town but this time in glorious sunlight. When the coach stopped we were told we only had a 15 minutes stop. We were so disappointed but the sailing time was earlier than usual because of the tide. It was out a long way and still receeding so time was of the essence. I managed to take a lot more photographs of the type of things I usually spot. Piles of rust and rope and fishing boats.

I have masses of this type of photograph stored on my computer. I use them as inspiration for my textile works.
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Sunday, 7 September 2008

Another Trip to France

Just back from another trip to France buying gorgeous linen. We have a route now that we stick to for our 24 hour trip. The Ferry arrives at Cherbourg at 11.45 a.m. and this gives us just enough time to get to our first shopping stop. After shopping we have lunch at a super little Bar/Restaurant overlooking the town square. The weather wasn't very good for this trip so we ate inside. We have the same thing every time as it is so delicious. Quiche du maison. The pastry base is the lightest I have ever eaten and is always cooked to perfection.
After lunch we went on to various places and finished up at our Hotel laden with goodies and gasping for a glass of wine and one of their excellent meals.
I sometimes wonder what we go for??? Is it the textiles or is it the food.
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Sunday, 24 August 2008

More buttons and trims

These are some of the trimmings and buttons that were taken to Cowslip Workshops this week-end.

We are going to be down there again in November for the Christmas Market. Full details of this is on their website : http://www.cowslipworkshops.com/ and also on my Diary page on my website: http://www.oldfashionedstuff.co.uk/ .

If you missed us this time try not to miss us next time. We won't be there on our own this time there will be other interesting people and things to see.
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