Saturday, 20 December 2014

A chook and a snowman.

I finished Uni a week ago for the Christmas holidays and I am loving every minute of the break. I have even managed to do some sewing just for me which has been simply bliss. Last year one of the Southport ladies introduced me to the Missouri Star quilt tutorials and I occasionally watch them on you tube. A few days ago I watched her make a Chicken pin cushion and decided I too needed a chicken pin cushion. The lady recommends lizard litter as part of the stuffing because it is made from crushed walnuts and apparently these stop the needles from blunting. I tried to buy lizard litter but the two girls in Pets at Home looked at me blankly and said, they had never herd of Lizard litter. I asked what did they sell for lizards to do the business on and they said "sand"! So I went to Asda and bought a packet of dried chic peas. I loved making my chook, he is sitting on my desk and he makes me smile every time I look at him.  The beautiful snowman was a gift from my very talented friend Sue, isn't he adorable? Sadly, I do not have my Christmas tree up this year because of a certain little lady named Poppy.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Lovely mail.

Postcard swap with Iraelia.

My first Christmas card all the way from Bermuda from Tanya
Oh how nice to get beautiful mail through the letterbox. Last month a joined a fabric postcard swap via Shelia's blog my swap partner was Iraelia from Puerto Rico, sadly I did not take a photo of the card I sent her. :( Never mind I did get a lovely email from Iraelia saying thank you and she liked the card. The second bit of post today was all the way from Bermuda from Tanya. A while ago I came across Tanya on you tube "Cardinal Crafts" she was appealing for people to send her postcards from where they lived. I sent one from Liverpool and I also sent her a fabric card which she loved. She even showed it and thanked me on her you tube channel. I didn't hear from her again so her Christmas card (which is so cute) was a total surprise. Its amazing that such a small gesture of sending someone a card, be it bought or handmade can lift a persons spirits. If you read my blog thank you both from the bottom of my heart your cards have made my day. :)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy......

Pencil drawing of a Honey Suckle

Rough Sketch of a bird  in flight over a messy background.

Pen drawing of a sunflower head onto hand dyed cotton fabric .

Daisy under the sunflower head on the same piece of fabric.

Water colour painting of Crab Apples

Poppy not letting me finish the water colour of the crab Apples.
I realised I have not blogged in a while but the truth is I have not really had the time. As per the norm my days are taken up with Uni, trying to fit a bit of housework in and a bit of family time. Yesterday I had a real treat and went to a area day at Thornton Hough with my delightful friend Judith. The speaker was Dorothy Russel and her work was amazing and I had a lovely morning. I had decided not to stay for the work shop in the afternoon so I could get back handy to do homework, unfortunately I don't know what they made.  Seeing as I don't have any show and tell from the area day I thought I'd share some of the drawings and paintings I've been doing over the last couple of days. These are for the new brief we have been given. I have to say its the first time in months I have really enjoyed doing homework. As you can see Poppy however, had other ideas, so I am now going to have a cup of tea and watch an episode of the secret life of drawing. If you are interested in drawing and have not seen these programmes I highly recommend them. You can watch them on you tube. Hope you have all had a great weekend. :)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Southport to Westkirby

Demo by Lisa Winnard in Southport Craft Shop.

Christmas wreath

My lovely friend Hilary's sew a row quilt.

The Forgotten Seamstress Quilt
Well! what a very busy day I have had and I've enjoyed every minute. Its been a very stressful week and I was so glad to see the back of it so today I decided to have a day off from Uni work and go out and about. My first port of call was to Southport to the Craft Centre, a lovely shop owned by Angela Pluck. There was a free demonstration on how to use gold flakes in card making demonstrated by Lisa Winnard who made the most beautiful greetings cards. Then I was off to Westkirby to see the Wirral quilters quilt exhibition.  It was a lovely show with plenty of quilts to see and scrummy homemade cakes. I met a lady named Pat who told me she had made the quilt from the book called the Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow, I was thrilled as I've recently read the book. What a beautiful quilt it was to. Then it was back on the train and home.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Birthday, Bonfire, cupcakes.

At the beginning of the week it was Natalie's birthday and tonight she is having a little firework display and has invited us all round. I have been in my sewing room most of the day doing Uni work but by lunch time I needed a break. I decided to surprise Natalie with a batch of cup cakes and some of her favourite chocolates. The butter cream is meant to look like fire with the hundreds and thousands representing the fireworks but I think they look like beautiful roses. I don't think the family will care what they look like as long as they taste good. 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Cuff sketchbook.

Cuff before ebelishments.
Front of Cuff Sketchbook
Back of cuff sketchbook.
Various weights of paper.

Remember I said in my last post that I took a black cuff with me to the area day last Saturday and it did not quite go with the vintage theme. Well I was determined not to let it go to waste as it was such a beautiful cuff. Using Nichola's techniques on how she made her vintage needle case cuff I decided to put my own spin on the black cuff. I started off by stamping various images onto calico, egyptian cotton and brown paper. I lightly coloured some of the images using my Derwent Inktense pencils to give them a little lift. Next I added some lace, beads, feathers and a few decorative stitches. I covered the back of the cuff with the fabric from the same shirt before adding various different weights of paper. Here is my black cuff transformed into a mini Sketchbook. I have to say I am rather pleased with this little creation and seeing as I have another cuff exactly the same I will be making another cuff sketchbook. :)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Simply Vintage

At the risk of repeating myself I am truly blessed. Yesterday, I had a fabulous day with members of region 13 at our area day in Crosby. The speaker was a very talented lady called Nichola Hulmston "Ninneynoo". She told us about her journey so far in the world of stitch and mixed media which was really interesting. She has recently started selling pieces of her work in her Etsy shop. Nichola's pieces where full of vintage charm as well as childhood memories and where a joy to see. The afternoon work shop was great, we turned an old shirt cuff into a vintaged collage needle case. I turned up with a black shirt cuff and though it is a gorgeous, it did not quite go with the vintage theme.  However, my lovely friend Gwen kindly gave me her two cuffs as she was not able to stay for the afternoon. I decided to make Gwen's needle case first. I sat with my fab LB friends and our lovely region coordinator Val. We all had a great time lots of chatter and laughter oh yes and lots of coughing from me (sorry girls). When I got home I finished Gwen's and I then had to make one for myself. Here are the two vintage collage needle cases. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Gwen will like hers. Now sadly, its back to uni work :(

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tea For Three....

Yesterday Natalie and I went to visit Paige. We had a fab day walking around Nottingham city centre. We even managed to find the Cathederal, once inside we lit three candles in memory of my Mum, Dad and Terry. Then it was on to one of our favourite places "The White Rabbit Tea Room", where we had a very scrummy tea for three. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sewing day with friends.

Yesterday I took time out from the endless Uni work and enjoyed a great day sewing with my Liverbird friends. It was bring your own sewing project so I decided to make Alfie's clothes. Unfortunately, I did not manage to make Alfie's shirt, possibly due to a combination of drinking tea, eating scrummy cakes (whoops there goes the diet) and definitely to much chatter, I ran out of time. I had a fab day, lots of laughter as usual and amazing company. I am truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful bunch of ladies. Thanks Janet for arranging these wonderful sewing days. 
Now for something completely different: Comments:Please note, if you leave a comment I always reply to you in the comment box below. However, my lovely friend Lin has advised me that sometimes people may not always know this. She has kindly shown me how to reply to people who leave comments, on my blog, by email in my blog settings. Fingers crossed, we think it has worked so in the future if you leave a comment my reply will go to your email. Thanks for all your help Lin. So please leave a comment so I may test this. I look forward to hearing from you all. X:)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

October Regional Day.

Last Saturday (11th October) was regional day, the speakers where, Gillian Travis and Val Jackson. Both are amazingly talented textile artist. I have met Gillian a few times at FOQ and I have to confess I adore her work.  I've even bought a couple of her kits, some of you who read my blog, may remember the Indian ladies and more recently Kira, both Gillian Travis pieces. I have to confess I had not herd of Val Jackson but after seeing her work and listening to her talk I was blown away. I thoroughly enjoyed both speakers and as ever had a great time. I had the pleasure of sitting by my friend Jackie Martin and two of her friends, who just happen to show me a challenge they had done in their group. They had made the most adorable little sewing purse/pouches out of a circle and half a circle, Such a simple but extremely clever idea. I tried to discretely put Jackie's in my bag but my cunning plan was foiled and I had to give it back. For days I have fought the urge to raid my stash and make myself one. I finally gave in last night and abandoned the homework to make one. Even though I say so myself it turned out pretty good.  Considering I didn't have a pattern and only my memory to rely on (not alway a good combination). These will make great little Christmas gifts for several friends I just have to find the time to make them!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

No time to be unwell.

Yesterday I was feeling very frustrated with myself because I am full of cold. I have so much work to do and this nasty cold is slowing me down.  However, I was determined I was not going to lapse on my daily drawing but could not decide what to draw. My last couple of images have come from photos which made me realise I'd not drawn anything from life. The nearest thing to hand was my uni rucksack so I dug deep and out came the brolly. I have to say it was challenging to draw but I did it, (pat on the back for me) well almost, didn't do much shading towards the nose as it was late and I was getting tired. Feeling a little better today I am hoping to pick up the pace a bit and get back to the research. Hope you all have a creative Sunday.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Daily Drawings 2 and 3..

Well so far so good with my daily drawing challenge. The last two pages are of thistles which I have taken from the images in the book I got the other day, Nature Notes of  Edwardian Lady. After I had finished today's drawing I felt that the thistles seemed lost on the white page so I decided to add a wash of colour, which I then carried across to the previous days page. I love the subtlety of water colour paints. I have had my little pallet of Windsor and Newton water colours for many, many years. However, I think the time has come to replace some of the little pots as tonight I noticed I was scraping the bottom of the ultramarine blue and the sap green.  I can feel a trip to the local art shop is called for.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

World Wide blog hop.....

Oh dear I am so ashamed, last week I was asked by a wonderfully talented lady Lin to take part in a World wide blog hop. I was very flattered that she asked me and I said yes. I was supposed to do my post on Monday and I completely forgot all about it until I have just been reading my friend Lin's blog. Lin I can not apologise enough. I thought maybe better late than never so here goes. 

What have I been working on?
Sadly I have not managed to do any sewing over the last two weeks as I am now back at uni and I have very little spare time to sew for pleasure. I am currently working on two new briefs the first is designing 4 D Shaped flags for a Festival. Whilst the second brief is all to do with the Language of Text, Typography in Textiles. The latter is in its early stages so I am currently researching and looking at other artist who use text in their work. My research took me to China town on Saturday where I took several photos.
The Chinese Gates Liverpool.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Err. Can I ask a friend as I'm not sure I can answer this? I don't compare my work to that of other quilters or textile artist I just do whatever grabs my creative attention at the time. I might see a quilt in a magazine or book and think mmm I like that I think I'll make it. I watch endless You Tube videos mainly on art journaling and mixed media and I think ooo I need to get my paints out and get messy. At the moment I like to mix the two together in my fabric postcards.

Why do I create what I do?
Oh that's easy! I simple love being creative because I enter a world of imagination and endless possibilities, a beautiful escapism. I have so many things that I am passionate about, (please do not confuse this with "I am good at" Noooo :) quilts, drawing, painting and crafting.  

How does my creating process work?
I am a great believer in the Sketchbook. Now I know its not every ones cuppa but for me its my bible, a life line of thoughts and ideas. I was introduced to using a sketch book when I did my City & Guild in Patchwork and Design in 2004/2008. I was totally hooked and Ive kept one (OK maybe several) on the go ever since. Some ideas materialise, whilst others may never see the light of day. This is how "The Balloon" quilt began its life, as a little sketch of a rabbit in a sketchbook.
 Well folks I hope you will all forgive me for not posting my Worldwide Blog Hop last Monday. A big thank you to Lin for nominating me.  I have not nominated anyone to join the hop but I can recommend several very talented ladies. If you would like to take a peek at what they do nip over to their blog.

Is it really October.....

Where did September go? Life is busy again with uni but I was stopped in my tracks yesterday when I realised it was the first of October.  Last month my daily drawing challenge did not go as well as I would have liked so I decided to invest in a new A5 landscape sketchbook and a packet of Faber Castell graphite pencils and start again. Seeing as I don't have any other work to share with you I thought I'd share yesterdays daily sketch challenge. I think there is something so lovely when dandelions start to seed. I like to think of them as little wishes carried away by the wind.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A great find....

I love drawing and painting but sitting for to long can be hard on the hip joints, not to mention my  back.  After a couple of hours doing uni homework I decided to go for a little walk.  With no particular place in mind I soon found myself at the local car boot sale. It was late and people where already packing up but as I entered this book was the only thing on the table of the first car. It was only 30p, what a bargain. It is beautifully illustrated and ties in perfectly with the brief I am currently working on as the theme I have chosen is plants.  I am sure it would also make a great altered book and if I am lucky enough to do a work shop with Laura Kemshall next year this is the book I will use.

Friday, 26 September 2014

A lovely gift....

A few days ago I got a lovely gift from my gorgeous daughter Michaela, specifically for my sewing room. It is the little string of bunting ( sew susan). I think it is adorable and it fitted perfectly on one of my shelves. It is always nice to receive gifts but when that gift ticks all the boxes for you it makes it extra special. On a different note I almost managed to finish Luna's coat before returning to Uni. She is missing her buttons and button holes. I have not done many button holes and seeing as these are going to be tiny I think I need to practise before putting them on the coat. However, this will have to go way down the to do list as I am now back at Uni and have my first three briefs of the year. Tonight I will be on the lap top researching festivals as well as sending emails to possible work placements. Well that's the plan but you know what the say about best laid plans?

Friday, 19 September 2014

Lapsed daily sketch.

At the beginning of September Laura Kemshall started a "Daily Sketch Challenge" and I thought oooo that's a really good idea I should have a go. I started my daily sketch challenge a week into September because I kept forgetting to start and the days rolled by.  When I final did start, I managed six consecutive days then lapsed for four, got back on the challenge and lapsed for two.  I have come to the conclusion I am not very good at managing my time and I spend far to much time thinking about all the things I want or need to do but don't actual do anything.  Is this because I have become so lost in the summer break that I put everything off till tomorrow?  Well this week I return to Uni and even though it will be a shock to my system, it should also be the perfect opportunity to commit to the daily sketch challenge whilst travelling on the trains.  

Monday, 15 September 2014

Meet Jan and Luna

This is the sewing machine I got when I won the Theme catergory at Harrogate, it is a Janome DKS30.  Today I finally got it out the box and had a play. I know it's not original but Ive named her Jan and I have to say I think Jan is fab.  It is a lovely sewing machine and I made Luna's summer dress using Jan. I still love Bernie she has always been my work horse but I am so thrilled that I have a great fall back in Jan. I am such a lucky girl X:)

Sunday, 14 September 2014


I love turning journal pages into fabric postcards. I really enjoy thinking of ways to substitute paper for fabric. The other challenge is finding quotes. The quote on the journal page is from the Theme song off the film "Lost Boys". The image I found on the Internet and I knew straight away they would work well together to create a journal page.   For the House fabric card I had several quotes in mind (home is where the heart is, home sweet home, an Englishman's home is his castle) but in the end I chose "it takes hands to build a house but a heart to make a home. However, sometimes I struggle with originality and I wonder if I'm looking for them in the wrong place? I google quotes, I look on pintrest and I find quotes from seeing other peoples journal pages. My favourite one this evening I found on the journal soup fb page "You are about to exceed the limits of my medication" it has tickled me and I can feel a new fabric card slowly evolving in my mind. So I'm off to grab the sketch book to get my idea down on paper.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Journal soup 2 and daily drawings.

Journal soup 2 online workshop with Kate Crane.

Daily drawing day two.

Daily drawing day four.
I bought Journal soup 2 a online workshop with the very talented Kate Crane a couple of days ago. Great value for money. Yesterday I settled down with a cuppa tea and watched the first four videos.  I was hooked and couldn'y wait to have a go. I had just recieved a set of rubber stamps through the post and they arrived in a stiff cardboard envelope so I decided to recylcle and use the card for my journal soup page. The card was grey and I was to kean to get started and I did not gesso the card. I think this has made a bit of a difference to the finished colours but I am still really pleased with the end result. I can see this becoming a fabric post card but I have other things on the to do list before I can play with Journal soup 2 in my textiles. I am enjoying daily drawing but you will notice day three is missing this is because I tried to sketch Poppy but she moved to many times and my pencil marks where so light they are not showing on the camera. I am off to pick up my gorgeouse little man from school and seeing as its another lovely day I will try to do my daily drawing outside.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Two new friends and a daily challenge.

Luna and Alfie.

Meet Luna and Alfie. The rabbits are from a kit I bought at the festival of quilts from a company called Cool Craft. These delightful Bunny's are mainly sewn by hand so I have enjoyed several night of watching the goggle box whilst sewing them together.  Next to be sewn is their lovely little outfits. However, last night I decided to swap the needle for a pencil and attempt some sketching. I have been following Laura Kemshalls blog, who recently started a daily drawing challenge. I think this is a fab idea as I to have quite a few empty sketch books sitting on my shelf. Last night I randomly grabbed one of these sketchbooks, a pencil and decided to join the daily drawing challenge. Seeing as I'd just finished sewing the second rabbit they where close to hand I decided to sketch them. It was only a quick sketch before bed, it reminded me just how much I love to draw. I must have been tired as notice I have done the date back to front! Sept 07 instead of 07 Sept :) I might do my daily drawing challenge a little earlier today.