29 November 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday and I'm now an ancient 55 - how did that happen - where did all those years go?  Anyway shouldn't agonise over that I did enjoy my birthday weekend even though the snow made the journey home yesterday afternoon a rather long one.

I booked to go on a weekend workshop at the Silver Thimble workshop situated between York and Malton and is at the Station House right by the railway line between York and Scarborough (though it is no longer a station). I'd also arranged for us to stay over at the Beansheaf Hotel on Saturday night just the other side of Malton and it was just as well as there's been some snow fall before we went and more during our stay.  There was more snow during Sunday after the workshop and with Christmas shoppers in York making their way from the city it was a long slow drive along the ring road to the A1.

Anyhow the workshop was taught by Pat Archibald on Ghost Images of the Orient, which is her method of using sheers and nets on a fabric background to produce "ghosting" images as seen here
if you look below the kimono to the Moon Reflections 1 & 2.  I chose a fan design to work on and this is my in progress here, the front image being darker, the middle being more faint and the top one you may barely see taking in the perspective of the design.  It was great workshop and has given me some ideas to work on my wall hanging.

When we stayed at the hotel we found this on our bed can you guess what it is?

It was a small dog made from a bath and a hand towel - never seen that before! After a lovely meal in the evening, we went out to more snow! But it was sunny and a lovely scene from the hotel. 

When we arrived home I found some postcards amongst my post to wish me happy birthday.  If you have been following my blog this year I have taken part in a Birthday Postcard Swap and mine is the last birthday this year.  So these are from (clockwise from top left) Ruth, Barbara, Claire, Carole, Janet and Plum.

I'd also found another black and white card, this time from Jacquie, which got me wondering why had I got 6 cards when I'd only sent out 5 and found that a one of the ladies from the other group in this swap had sent me one - so I've promptly put my spare black and white card in the post to here - good job I had actually made 6 cards.

The above cards are from Benta, Carole, Jan, Jacquie, Annette and Avril. They're a lovely collection of cards too.

21 November 2010


On my earlier blogs I said about taking part in the Friday Night Sewing which was this Friday just gone, the 19th and I totally forgot!  I made up for it yesterday, making things that I can't show here because they are for Christmas presents!

However I have been busy with other stuff.  I've made a birthday postcard for Claire, whose birthday is today as part of the BQLPC birthday swap.  She opted for a Pot Luck card so I came up with the idea of using fabric from a charm pack of Japanese fabrics and this lovely one that reminded on Chrysanthemums (November flower) and that flower appears in Japanese designs. Appliqued onto navy blue I used white stranded cotton for the sashiko to go with it.  I hope she likes it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Since being in Yorkshire, one of things I like is Yorkshire Curd Tart, which I used to able to get when I worked at the bakery until recently.  So having Googled a recipe and found one on the Channel 4 website I made this and some tea bread too.  I don't bake that often but enjoy when I do.
I've also been back to the card classes at Elsecar and made these two cards.  The tri fold card was quite tricky but I quite like the effect of that.

And this is my go to sort of replicate the Christmas tree one.  I don't have a tree stamp so coloured some card green and made simple triangle trees.
I'm going to a workshop next weekend which I'm really looking forward to and hope to show something from that soon.

Photos of Edinburgh

Let's see if this works as I've posted onto facebook here.  But here's some more if you can't view through facebook. 
Map of Edinburgh outside the art gallery

Turret outside Holyrood House Palace, see the faint rainbow on the right

Views over Edinburgh from the Camera Obscura viewing point

Another view of the city

Edinburgh Castle

David at the Camera Obscura

14 November 2010

Black and White

Just come back from a few days away in Edinburgh and David has taken lots, lots of photos and I've taken one or two.  A nice break away, even if it was cold, windy and rainy but what could we expect for November.

Before going away I posted off my Black and White postcards which I made back in September thinking I would be returning to paid work but that hasn't happened yet.  This I decided would be a bargello technique, joining strips of black and white fabrics and recutting and rejoining again.  Here's the orginal piece that I made and I cut the 6" x 4" pieces on the diagonal which produced 5 cards then had to make up a 6th with joining up 2 diagonally cut pieces that sort of matched.
This was the original Bargello piece
Cut on the diagonal into postcard sized pieces
One of the completed cards
As you can see from above I added some white flower sequins which just about show up and I used some black ricrac to edge the card.  This was the only card I had left as I posted off the other 5 without having taken a photo of them all before they wended their way to their recipients.

Another postcard that I've made has been a birthday one for Jacquie in the BQL birthday swap group and her birthday was at the end of October, as it was a pot luck request I decided to make her a card with autumn leaves on.  Based on what I'd seen in John Lewis store where some cushions with leaves and contrasting stitches were sold like this one here.  I used rusty/orangey scraps of fabric and embroidery thread to achieve the effect.

I've also been getting on with the big Christmas swap which will be posted in December.  They are all ready bar the stamps.  These ones will go in cellophane bags (which I haven't done before) and here they are waiting to go...
And for postcards that I've received from the Black and White swap these are some I got from Avril (Boo! in luminous paint) and Benta
 And below from Carole and Annette.
 I liked Annette printing on the reverse of the card (I've blanked out the address here)

As today is David's birthday (he's just a year older than me for a fortnight!) he received a surprise of his own in the post.
Pictures of Leo and Freddie!

07 November 2010

The trouble with blogging is....

You get sidetracked.  I follow some blogs, that link into other blogs and you think "that's a good idea".  I've gone into challenges this way, though I have been strong and said "no" to myself I have more than enough to deal with, but it is interesting to see other people's take on the same thing.

Kate's site has a couple of things going on - a Stay at Home Round Robin, here, where participating bloggers are given instructions of the next round of a quilt each month and it's interesting that although the same design is achieved the individual's colours and interpretation creates very different outcomes.  She's also running Another Little Quilt challenge too which isn't on a theme but is a specific size. I don't know how she keeps up with it all, but there is always interesting things to see.

Through Online Quilting, Lis' blog, there's another, not so much of a challenge but more of putting aside time for quilting, with the Friday Night Sew In, which I think runs once a month. This month on the 19th will be the second time I've taken part and I do have a few Christmassy things to do. I have a posting from last month's Sew In here.

E-mail groups have been just as bad and someone on the BQL list had suggested to someone else as a small item to make to get back into the swing of sewing, like a mug rug (like a large coaster big enough for mug and accompanying biscuit) on this site, Pleasant Home.
 On this site are tutorials and photos of what people have made from them. Lovely pics and the thought "I want to make one of those" on the one hand and "no I've got enough to do" on the other.

No photos to share today (shame) as I don't want to spoil any Christmas surprises, but I have finished off the postcards for the forthcoming "Bit of Bling" swap coming up in December and sent of the Black and White postcard swap.

Better not get sidetracked then.