Thursday, October 11, 2012

Arty Farty!

Much as I love stitching and embroidery, sometimes it's nice to take a short break and do something else. Over the past few days it's been getting the coloured pencils out and having a scribble. I started this a while ago, this is the Work In Progress!

(Click on photo for bigger image) This was a scan, so not a good reproduction

and here is the finished work.

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I also finished this one:

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and made a start on this:

(Click on photo for bigger image) Very lightly penciled in.

And this:

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I occasionally splash about in watercolour, but I really enjoy working in coloured pencil. In some ways, it is similar to embroidery. Fine work with precise placing of marks. And although I do sometimes use a stand-up easel, I can do it anywhere!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

What to do with those samples?

We had an on-street art expo here last week, so I decided to use up some of my samples to make cards to sell. Here's a selection:
(Click on photo for bigger image) By the end of the day, I had sold ONE!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Still in the mood!

I came across this, fast becoming a UFO, so I finished it.

(Click on photo for bigger image) (Click on photo for bigger image) Now I just have to find a use for it!

Sometimes, life gets in the way ........

There have been a few changes over the past couple of years - bereavement, surgery - and you could say the latest has turned my world upside down. In March, my son-in-law was made a job offer that was too good to pass up and he has taken Jen and our four grandchildren to Melbourne, Aus.  Of course, I didn't want them to go but I couldn't say so.  It's such a good opportunity for all of them for all sorts of reasons.

The one and only silver lining I could find was that the grandchildren would be older when and if they returned, so now we could safely contemplate replacing the carpets and the sofas. Then they fostered - or rather foisted - Ned on us. It was absolutely the last thing we wanted, but he was eight years old and too old to go. They were coming to realise that they would probably be saying a last goodbye to him. What else could we do? Don't get me wrong. He's a lovely, friendly, affectionate and agreeable little dog. He is family and the children miss him. Not one of them can remember when he wasn't there.

Oh this dog!

I've just cleaned up after him yet again. His fine hairs are impossible to vacuum up. He wipes his face on the furniture and the door frames. I am constantly on the alert with the antibacterial spray to deal with smears, smudges and worse at Ned height. He brings in cut grass from the garden and rabbit “currants” from his walks on the Downs. Oh, those walks on the Downs! Sometimes twice a day. Lovely in fine weather, but not so good when it is cold, wet and windy. Ned's wet, hairy feet leave stains on the carpet when we get home. He's making an excavation in the garden to hide his chew sticks. Piles of soil get scooped up and deposited on the patio and a trail of muddy pawprints follow him as he runs excitedly indoors to tell us all about it. He goes in and out all evening, guarding his hidden chew stick from seagulls and foxes. Seagulls, hedgehogs and foxes are not allowed in or near the garden. They are summarily dismissed with much growling, snarling, barking and leaping about. He smells. Not bad, just like a dog. He likes to curl up on the cushions at the end of The Boss's sofa when he's not using it. The cushions smell of Ned, and sometimes so does The Boss. He sneaks upstairs to the bedroom whenever he gets the chance and his favourite place to curl up is against The Boss's pillow. He waits outside the door when I'm in the toilet or the bathroom? He picks out all the meat that I mix in with his dog food and leaves the rest. He would rather eat doggy treats than proper dog food anytime. He objects to The Boss 's bad language and slinks off upstairs in a huff. We no longer get up and decide to go out for the day at the drop of a hat because Ned needs his walk and cannot be left on his own for too long.

On the other hand..................

Ned is always pleased to see us when we come home. He loves to go out with us, even if it's only for a quick trip in the car. He shares The Boss's sofa in the evenings and during the day he catches forty winks at the same time. He lets us know if anyone comes to the door. We get lots of fresh air and exercise - we have to leave the house every single day! His funny mannerisms and his naughtiness make us laugh. He is friendly and affectionate and he likes us. We like him too. As Stanley said “Although he's not living with me just now, he's still part of my family”. And so he is................

As a consequence of all this, I've been either too busy or too sorry for myself to keep up with my embroidery for a while. 

Anyway, I've finally picked up what has become a REALLY SLOW CLOTH. I haven't done much to it yet, just a couple of TAST stitches, but I do feel more like getting on with things now!

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And just to show that I am getting back into the swing of things, I've marked out some more of the cloth ready to catch up with the TAST challenge stitches.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A picture's worth a thousand words.....

(Click on photo for bigger image) A few plastic washers, cut up cardboard circles in two sizes and a pen with disappearing ink. Draw round the circles with the pen. Choose segments from the cardboard circles and draw around them. Outline in stem stitch ready to fill in with TAST stitches. Simple. No compass or measuring required! I could have used a compass and ruler and measured carefully but then I don't think I would enjoy it so much. There will be gaps between the circle motifs to be filled in somehow. And some of the TAST stitches may not be suitable, but that is part of the challenge; to use, not to use or how to use.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A little more on the slow cloth

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(Click on photo for bigger image) Finishing the first motif:
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Slow Cloth

I've started a new slow cloth, something to keep by my chair to pick up when I have a little time, but not enough to work on a project. Once again, I'm using stitches from the TAST2012 challenge. This time in brighter, happier colours.

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I'm working in a hoop on a long piece of fine cotton batiste from my stash.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

In my Easter bonnet........................................

One of the Groups I belong to has a meeting this week, so we are each to wear an Easter Bonnet. I decided to make mine.

Here's the inspiration:

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Celandines and violets in my garden ...

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and daffodils.

And here's how I made it.

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Fabric made on the embellisher machine with scraps of silk and wool tops (roving) in a soluble fabric "sandwich"....

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moulded around an empty plastic poppodom container.

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Flowers for decoration.

And the finished article!

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I can guarantee that no-one else will have one the same!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tag Tuesday - Valentine's Day

Made this small art doll for Tag Tuesday. The theme was Valentine's Day.

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On a bit of a roll with these, I've scraps of felt and recovered computer wire to use up!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Tag Tuesday - lace

For Tag Tuesday, the word is LACE.

It doesn't seem so at the moment, but Spring will come. To cheer me up, I used a spare coloured pencil face and needlelace stitches to make this green man tag.

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He has needlefelted eyebrows and beard.

Friday, February 03, 2012

A bit more Ottoman art

Still stitching on this piece. It's handy to pick up now and again with a cup of tea!

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I changed my mind about satin stitch for the the small circle, and split stitched it instead.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

More Ottoman Art

I traced another copy of my "Ottoman Art" design onto a scrap of white cotton.
First of all, I worked the outlines in stem stitch. I started to use stem stitch to fill in the red circle.

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Now, I've started to fill in with split stitch. Split stitch was used by medieval embroiderers to make precious silk threads go further. I'm not sure about the variegated bit at the top. The smaller circle is to be padded satin stitch.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tag Tuesday Challenge

This week's word is White.

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A scrap of silk, machine quilted to felt. Wrapped wire arms and legs. A fabric painted face left over from making spirit dolls, outlined in trellis stitch on a foundation of buttonhole. Knotted fringe and two tiny buttons.
Instead of adding a hanging loop, I think I might put a pin on the back!

Monday, January 09, 2012

A challenging time

Feeling a bit stale after Christmas. The weather doesn't help. Cold and grey, short days and long nights. Britain at it's best!

To try and pep things up a bit, I've signed on for a couple of challenges.
First of all, Sharon B's Take a Stitch Tuesday to keep up the embroidery, it sometimes get neglected in favour of the doll-making.

Secondly, to keep the little grey cells active, I've also signed up for
Tag Tuesday. Each week there is a new theme or word to use to design an art tag.

This week's word is SNOW.

Here is my effort:
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Very simple. Drawn in coloured pencil and pen on paper then bonded to felt and machined around the edges. I'm planning to use these designs next Christmas in applique or fabric painting.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year and those UFOs

Compliments of the Season to one and all! Have you made a reluctant resolution to finish off those UFOs? Know that you are unlikely to do it? Have no fear, go here!

It's a project to find out why we have unfinished pieces and to find a way to use them! The submission date has been extended to 31st January so if you have a UFO and a story to go with it, there is still time to send it in. If your UFO is too precious to part with, you can also send in digital photos.

I wish I had come across this sooner, I just read about it in Embroidery magazine.