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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