Sunday, 31 July 2011

Strolling through the gardens at Tatton Park:

We had a fabulous day out yesterday at Tatton Park. We did not go until late afternoon so we only managed to see the garden.  That means we need to go again to see the house and the farm.
Arr isn't this a lovely picture of mother and daughter!
Peek a boo:
A couple of photos of the Japanese garden. It was so peaceful and tranquil here.

The weather was glorious and we baked in the afternoon sun. We had a lovely picnic lunch then a leisurely walk around the gardens.  The whole day was such a tonic and it certainly recharged my batteries.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Lost mojo and felt flowers;

I am sorry I have not post for a little while now but unfortunately I recently lost my mojo and I am really struggling to get even a small part of it back. I have not done any sewing since I tried to quilt my spring flowers quilt.  I have however, unpicked all the terrible quilting on this quilt and I am now back to a top, the wadding and the backing. As you know I could not bare to even look at this quilt, I was so sad because I had ruined it.   When I went to Liverbirds a couple of weeks ago I was so inspired by my friends Gwen and Sue's spring flowers quilt I came home and retrieved the quilt and began unpicking it. I have requested the help now of my fab friend Janet who I hope, will help me fall in love with quilting once again.  In the meantime I did manage to make these beautiful felt flower broaches. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Beside the sea side, beside the sea.....

You may or may not remember a little while ago I was all fired up about a post card challenge but unfortunately it did not happen. Well I purchased several postcards at the time and this was one of them. I really liked the little huts and the lovely colours. I could visualise a small applique wall hanging using the image from the postcard. A few days ago I decided to make the little wall hanging and here it is.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Art on the go:

I have two sketch books on the go at the minute both are my summer work for art college in September.
This page is from the to kill a mocking bird sketch book. You have to read a book from a list given to you by the college and make sketches or gather images that depict passages or descriptions in the book. I chose to kill a mocking Bird, it is a book I have wanted to read for a long time so here was the perfect opportunity.
I love doodling and this page is just one big doodle.
Above Sea Horses, after a trip to the world wild Musuem and below still life, apples.
I am suppose to draw for 20 minutes each day in the second sketch book. The subject matter can be anything I like and this sketch book has lots of various subjects. I have put a few pics of different pages in this book. This project is not new to me, as I have kept a sketch book on the go since City & Guilds. However, the other sketch book is something different and I'm enjoying reading the book then trying to imagine what the character looks like based on the description.  How people may have dressed during the 1930's, what the houses where like etc...... I have to say I also do a little bit of research in the Internet to help me with some visual aids, not sure if this is a bit of a cheat. Never mind, I will soon find out in September.

Friday, 15 July 2011


Block 16 Calico Puzzle
Block 9 Box
This morning I thought I would do another two blocks from the FWSQ. I am not sure if I am suppose to wait for Janet and follow the blocks she makes? If I am sorry Jan :).  Last night in bed I was looking through the book  and decided that just using the pink and green colour scheme would not work for this quilt. Therefore, I have decided to go with the flow and use a vast range of colours. Today's colour choice was blue and white. 

The farmer's wife quilt along:

Block 2 Autumn tints
Block 4 Basket Weave
Block 84 Spool
Block 109 Windows

You may or may not remember but a few months ago I posted about purchasing the Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt book. Over the past several months I have often flicked through its pages and drawled at the prospects of having a go at making it. My friend Janet also has this book and  a few days ago posted on her blog (lemon tree quilts) if anyone would like to join her in a Farmers Wife Quilt along. I immediately left a message saying I would love to join her and when she told me we would only be making the easy blocks I was even more up for the challenge.  Here are my first four blocks. I have decided to do my blocks in the colours pink and green. Seeing as I have four draws full of both these colours I think the chances of me running out of fabric for this project is extremely slim.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Thank goodness for family and friends:

As you may have gathered from my earlier post today did not start good. However, a phone call from my amazing sister and a tex message from my lovely friend Janet helped chase the blues away.  Later this afternoon I went into town with my hubby to look at possible locations for his next photo shoot. Whilst there he treated me to a cup of tea and a very big scrummy yummy double chocolate cake at the new Patesserie in town. I have to say I did not manage to eat it all, far too sickly but I throughly enjoyed the bit I did eat.

Doomed spring flowers:

I give in! How can a person get worse at something the more they try. I always believed practise makes perfect, unfortunately not in this case. I have progressively gotten worse at quilting. I have once again ruined another lovely quilt with my appalling attempt at layering and quilting.  I am heart broken because I truly love the fabrics and the colours in this quilt.  I am so upset at my inability to be able to layer and quilt, be it machine quilting or hand quilting my tops. I think its time for me to take a step back from quilting for a while. My apologise for this being a rather doom a gloom post. 

Monday, 11 July 2011

How bizare?......

This morning I called into Asda to get a few bits of shopping, as I passed the magazines one caught my eye and I stopped to pick it up. I don't know why that particular magazine made me stop in my tracks, I just felt the need to look through it. I flicked through the pages and just before the end I saw something that made me gasp!!!! Vintage Home Southport and a little write up about the shop but look at the items Jill has used to show what she sells. MY BAG AND MY CUSHION!!!!!! She mentions Cath Kidston but not me! but do you see any of her work in the picture er? no! (I know sour grapes Susan, blah blah there told myself off for being jealous lol) I am stunned to say the least of all the stuff she sells in her beautiful shop she chose two of my items for the photo. This little event has certainly freaked me out because lets face it is so bizarre!!!!!!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A sketch book page and a bit of history:

Here is a glimpse into my new sketch book. The images you see where inspired by the costumes I saw yesterday at Sudley House.

In a glass cabinet at the exhibition was a garment called a Spencer jacket. It was made from velvet and the colour was a lovely emerald green. I couldn't figure how to turn the flash on my camera off so I have tried to capture the Spencer Jacket from memory. It reminded me of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. When I got home I looked it up on the net and here is what I found.

Earl Spencer and the Short Spencer Jacket 1795Regency Fashion history - 1817 - Very Short Cropped Spencer Jacket.

The Spencer was a short top coat without tails worn by men during the 1790s as an extra covering over the tailed coat. It had long sleeves and was frequently decorated with military frogging. Picture of woman wearing a Spencer.Its originator is thought to be Earl Spencer who singed the tails of his coat when standing beside a fire. He then had the tails trimmed off and started a fashion.

A female version was soon adopted by gentlewomen who at the time were wearing the thin light muslin dresses of the 1790s.

The Spencer was worn as a cardigan or shrug is worn today. It was a short form of jacket to just above waist level cut on identical lines to the dress.

Right - A Lady Wearing a Spencer to read. A Spencer was perfect to keep chills away.
Left - A very cropped short high waisted Regency Spencer of 1817.

Friday, 8 July 2011

A Fall, a House and a Church.

This is Sudley House.
Today I went to see the Costume Drama Exhibition (1790-1850's clothing) that is being held at Sudley House despite the rain. I have never been to Sudley House before and I really enjoyed my visit. The special exhibition made it all the more exciting.  I have to say that women during this period of time must have been tiny, my daughter who is a size 8, would have been hard pushed to fit into them.  Not only small in size but in height too. It really was fascinating to see such garments and wonder about the woman who wore them.  

On the corner of Mossley Hill Road just before you get to Sudley House is a beautiful church called, St Mathew and St James. Unfortunately it was closed so I did not get to see inside. However, I did walk around its little grounds and took several pictures of its arc windows and wrought iron gates. This beautiful yellow flower caught my eye in the grave yard, I don't know what it is but I think it is just lovely. 
I was having such a lovely day until the bus journey home I did not feel very well. Yesterday I had a bit of a fall on the train. It was all very very embarrassing, I stood up to fix me grandson in his pram and did not realise the seat I was sitting on was spring loaded. Yes you guessed it I sat back down only to land on the floor. At the time I knew I had hurt my arm but other than that I was fine, just embarrassed.  People on the train where so nice helping me up etc... I rang my sister when I got in and we laughed about it. Later on in the evening I felt quite unwell but still did not associate it with the fall.  I must have banged my back in the fall and the hour long bus journey to Sudley House and back home did not help. So I think I may have to take it a little easy for the next few days.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I bought this tiny paint set at the shop in Port Sunlight, I just couldn't resist it.
When I was a little girl my Nanna worked in a post office. She worked on the side that sold the greeting cards, stationary and other bits and bobs. It also sold some kids toys, not many just a few little things. On a Saturday morning I would call into the post office to escort my Nan home and she would say pick a toy I often picked a little plastic basket with tiny balls of wool in and little knitting needles. Then for the rest of the day I would mither the life out of her to teachme how to knit. Or a dolly peg and she would show me how to work the dolly with the wool to make a big long plated chain. Occasionally I would chose a paint set exactly like this one only bigger and a colouring book. Looking back she must a breathed a sigh of relief when I chose the paints and the book because I would sit at the table painting away for hours.  only occasionally requesting some clean water. So you see I had to buy these little paints they flood my mind with such wonderful memories.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Port Sunlight and a vintage fair:

Yesterday I read my friend Janet's blog, her and another friend (Shirley) had gone to see an exhibition in Port Sunlight (Lady Lever Art Gallery) called The Finishing Touch and I knew I had to go an see this exhibition myself. I rang my niece Paige and asked if she would like to come with me and she said yes. Port Sunlight is just over the water (the Wirral)  a mere train or bus ride away from where I live.  However ,we did not get either of these modes of transport as to my surprise my sister and brother-in law decided to come.  Paul does not do public transport so he drove. We had a great day, the weather was glorious (hence me with a very very red face, I was roasting). I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition as well as the rest of the Lady Lever Art Gallery.  It holds quite a few pieces of work from some of my most favorite artist, the Pre-Raphaelite Brothers. I think my all time favorite of the PRB is Burn Jones. I love his later work of  Pegasus it is so very modern, almost cartoon like and wouldn't be out of place in today's art society. We then drove back to Liverpool as there was a Vintage Fair being held at the Met Quarter. You may remember I went a few weeks ago to one there and got the free tote bag. This time I got another free tote bag and one of those tokens you put in the trolley instead of a pound coin. Best of all look what I bought for my nice new flat (the moving home is suppose to be happening this August but I am not holding my breath).  A 1930's phone, isn't she fab and she only cast me £14 and she actually works. I have named her Lady Lever after my trip today. I know I am completely crackers! but life would be very dull if I was any other way.