Friday, 30 May 2008

Day 37

It's been a busy half term, as usual. We've been at school quite abit with rehearsals and scenery painting. Inbetween all that and a sleep-over last night I have been trying to create the Resolved Piece. After looking through the Computer Designs for inspiration I had an idea which just had to be created...

Inspiration for Resolved Piece

This piece has to evolve, no planning required, which is a freedom I love. Each layer is like the next generation of the original idea!


Computer generated designs, felted embellishment with embroidery and rubbing made with Markel sticks

First Layer

Space Dyed Cloth

Second Layer

Markel Sticks rubbings in green and pink

Third Layer

Felted Embellishment using a Clover hand embellisher
Felting fibers and woollen threads follow the Markel pattern

Fourth layer

Hand embroidery

with a variety of threads

Inspiration for Fifth Layer
The Sunday Times had an article about St. Paul's which reminded me that I had postcards from my last visit of the spiral staircase in my reference folder. Using the photo from the article I traced an abstract design to use for the fifth layer.

The larger spiral - in the picture above - has been cut into "bit size" pieces and foam board blocks made. I have printed spiral designs onto green fabric and am waiting for them to dry before I iron them to fix the fabric paint, after that I will machine and hand embroider into the printed fabric. Once that has been done I will wrap the fabric around the foam-board forms and embellish further before mounting the piece on a board.

Hopefully by the end of the week-end the Resolved piece will be completed.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Day 39

Current jobs being done

  1. Creating the hat - toile done, fabrics sat on workbench like "The Elves and the Shoemaker" - sadly no Elves have appeared yet! - to be ready by 6th July
  2. Resolved Piece - this "appeared" on Monday within a hour of thinking of the design, this too is awaiting completion with it's third layer still at the pattern stage - to be ready by 6th July
  3. School Summer Fayre Programme - last one as Son leaves this school in July - Fayre is on 8th June
  4. Sign for Church notice board for Town Fayre this Sunday
  5. Boutis Quilt - ready by 16th June
  6. Denim Quilt ready by 16th June
  7. Large display for School notice board in the school hall as scenery for school play - being created today and tomorrow with some of the school children - design just finished!

It was my Daughter's birthday on Monday and we had a lovely family day, the celebrations continue with a lunch party with Auntie, Partner and their twins and Godmother and her two Sons once we have returned from School at 12noon

One of her Primary School friends (who is now at a different secondary school) is coming for a sleepover on Thursday and day out Friday and then her friends from her secondary school are having a day out on the 7th June.

So the list above will be fitted around being waitress, chef, taxi driver, designer, housekeeper , hostess etc, etc. I wouldn't be without my Children but I can see why great artists were men.

Slightly frustrated but Happy Mum now off to school!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Day 45

Thursdays are supposed to be for Coursework, so I've swept the kitchen floor and pegged the washing out, chatted to a teacher regarding the scenery she would like me to do for the school play, which my son is in and opens while I am at the Summer school! Son and I are counting the days while I create and he rehearses.

So no more excuses - COURSEWORK...

This is the paper idea I had for the accessory I need to make, well actually this is the base - the accessory will be the buttons and tassel attached to the hat. The idea came from the punchline of a joke told to me once I had mentioned I was making a "fascinator"

"I have a donkey jacket it is great, it has nine buttons but I can only fascinate!"
This is the title for this piece, it has nine buttons of varing sizes and only eight will be fastened.

I made another toile in vilene and calio, but it was far to large - more hat then fascinator.

Did some resizing and here is the new toile

From the top
I am now creating the fabrics - fabric printing and embroidery and will use the toile as a pattern to make up the finished piece. The nine buttons will "move" down the spiral, eight will be fastened through button holes but the nineth will sit on the spiral and the "empty" button hole will bend down the side of the head into a spiral tail and the tail will end with a tassel.
Off now to do some more!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Summer School Countdown

As of the 20th May there will be 47 days until the Summer School and the end of Module 3

From tomorrow I shall keep you all (?) informed as to the status of the module and what as been done with the coursework each day - see if I spend the 47 days wisely!

Quilt madness

Tonight I set up my folder, money box, stapler and hole punch and waited with baited breath...

At 7.15pm I was in demand as the Ladies of Thameside Quilters swamped me with entry forms for the quilt show which is to be held in June. Well I say swamped, it was a steady stream and a few queue jumpers! All seems in order as I have banked the money with the Treasurer and inputted the info in the spreadsheet the previous Quilt Organiser used. It seems a big responcibility for if I mess up there will be no quilts to show!!!

I have entered two quilts the Frayed Denim Quilt and the Boutis - neither are finished yet, but it's not June yet is it?

Friday, 16 May 2008

End of SATS, a trip to the Loft and a break through

Darling Son has been very patient and had a break from the PS2 for approx 3 months while practice SATS and revision have been going on. Today was the last SAT paper so I went to the loft to return the PS2 to it's "rightful place" - attached to the dining room tv!

Very happy boy, he's confident he has done well and I know he has worked hard so a well deserved treat.

I have been busy making my accessory for chapter 9 and 10, after a frought time catching an idea! On Tuesday I got the idea while completing a circuit at my Curves gym (where do you get your ideas?) after the owner told me a joke! - of all things to trigger a design! On arriving home I scribbled out different curved spirally drawings, but nothing really came. Later on I went to bed with this design swimming around my head but still it wouldn't come out. On Wednesday I took my design diary to my toddler group and kept trying to get the design out. It wasn't until the afternoon that I nailed it and created a basic paper touile of the 2D idea. Thursday I was able to make a fabric and vilene touile which I am happy with - it needs afew tweaks here and there but it is basically near to what I want to make as the finished piece. Once the final piece has been completed - hopefully very soon - I shall post the developement photos.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Meet the Frogs!

They may look the same to some, but here are the three main visitors to the pond

This bigger one may be responcible for the frog spawn - then one of you will tell me that this is actually a male!

If I'm sounding abit over the top with these frogs please forgive me, but I've waited nearly four years for the pond to be accepted by the wildlife. I felt like a property developer who couldn't sell his flats and had squatters - the fish, in my case who appeared from nowhere, seemed to scare off other pond dwelling creatures. When I find my first newt I'll probably scare them all off myself as I whoop for joy!

Busy Sunday

Darling Daughter made croissants for breakfast, sadly, although I read the recipe, my hand reached to the wrong side of the ready made pastry and bought short-crust insead of puff! Despite the pastry fiasco everyone enjoyed them, especially DH who secretly ate one after this photo was taken.

With this evidence we found him out!

What you don't know is that they are filled with chocolate - a substance DH cannot say no to.

Chocolate is left in the fridge at your peril.

It is Pentecost, so lots of card flames were made today at Sunday school.

Today was so nice it would have been a disgrace to stay indoors, so I took the ironing board outside and tackled the pile that had been staring me in the face all week.

There was abit of a breeze which made the job interesting as I battled with the fabric!

Sunday Lunch

I thought I'd do something different on the vegetable front and found this recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's books

I had to avoid the olives and anchovies as the children aren't keen, but I did everything else as per instructions

Here's the result

It made a boring vegetable much more interesting although views were mixed on the "Shall I do this again?" question, so I might make this for myself as a main meal

What bit was left was made into a pasta sauce.

I spent the rest of the day continuing to sew the design on the Boutis quilt, having already done the ironing I had the evening to sew, but still it's not ready to stuff!

Saturday, 10 May 2008


I am off this morning to pack boxes of household goods for the charity FURNISH. Each year our deanery of the Mothers' Union get together and pack around 100 boxes of bedding and kitchen goods for single people and families who have need. For example homeless people who have been found accomodation will be eligable for one of these boxes to start them off.

See you later...


Boxes waiting to be sealed

We've packed 97 boxes of bedding - single and double beds, towels, utencils and crockery. It would have been over 100, but we had to double up on some boxes - two lots of towel sets per box - as the charity didn't send enough boxes. All the duvets and pillows are new, as are the dishcloths and flannels - bought from money raised from a Maundy Thursday lunch, but we rely on donations of good quality second hand towels, bedding and kitchen goods. So we did well again this year.

Now that I've done something good, I'm off to do something for myself...

How decadent!

I had to eat it, you understand, as part of Module 3's spiral research!

I'm thinking hat designs, can you see where I'm going with this?

Friday, 9 May 2008

Whoops, I did it again...

well a change is as good as a rest. Changing the blog template feels like going shopping for a new outfit. Does my bum look big in this?

The Wonders of Architecture in Windsor

DH took a day off today and we visited Windsor, didn't stop for the Tattoo at the Castle, although DH did return to Windsor in the evening for dinner at Anthony Worrel Thompson's restaurant. He said he was sitting facing a picture of a pig's head that was on a table, dripping blood and had a tag on it's ear which read "Gordon"! Ramsey, I presume?

So earlier, we had a wander over the bridge to Eton, where the House on the Bridge restaurant stands. I think the big letters on the side give it away abit.

Further into Eton is this building with a split personality - it's Tudor with Georgian aspirations!

We had a walk along the river bank to build up an appetite for lunch and dined at the Tapas restaurant in the old station, they have changed their menu and the set menu for two was different from our visit for my birthday, sadly I felt the choice was not as nice, but we enjoyed it. Possibly as we had some "quality time" together without having to referee the Darlings or be the font of all knowledge to the numerous questions they like to ask!

This building close to the castle just goes to show the extremes we Brits go to to avoid paying taxes - during the window tax of 1696-1851 many people bricked up the windows to stop having to pay! Tax was payable on a house with more than 6 windows, although not officially acknowledged it would be nice if the phrase "Daylight robbery" could be attributed to this time!

For those who are wondering where the patchwork and quilting has gone I have been working hard on coursework ready for the Summer School in July and creating a piece for the Quilt Show in June. I have been working on a Boutis quilt. A technique I haven't done before so it's taking some time as I have quilt the design before I can begin to put in the stuffing that will raise up particular parts of the design.

The photographs are not brilliant as the light was poor and the flash didn't really help as the design is on red fabric with red thread! Hopefully it you click on the photo you will get a larger version and see the detail.

The photos are of the top section which has daffodils on. The middle and bottom sections - not shown - are part of the Welsh Dragon and the Prince of Wales Feathers. The quilt will be called "A Bit of Rare Welsh" and will be in the challenge section whose theme is "Wales".

A close detail of the daffodil

I hope I can get it completed in time as it won't be much good for next years show as the theme will be different!!!

Thursday, 8 May 2008


Having visited Helen's blog From Down the Well yesterday and today, I have got myself organised and opened a google reader account so the I can read all my favourite blogs as soon as they are updated instead of trawling through the list daily. If you wish to do the same Google "Google reader" and you find yourself at the site, just follow instructions - hey, if I can do it anyone can!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

One day my Football Hating Prince will come...

Having had the pond for four years now I like nothing more than to venture out at night with a torch to see what's lerking amid the vegetation, so it came to no surprise to find the resident frog taking the evening air. The thing that startled me was I found it sat on a lily pad! I thought this only happened in Fairy Story Illustrations (!) as I had never seen it for myself. Declined to give it a kiss as my Prince was indoors watching Match of the Day - then again if this frog didn't care much for football it might be a different matter! If he's there tonight I'll ask him!!!!

Hiding amongst the Iris stems were two other frogs, I wish they would go over to the flower bed and clear up the slugs that a bent on munching through the vegetation!

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Jobs Worth

DH went to the ticket office at the Cobblers ground to collect his, and Son's, Season Tickets for next season. He could have his BUT because he had not brought Son's birth certificate the Lady behind the glass could not give him Son's...

Son, who's 10, was stood next to him, DH had Son's current ticket and the Lady was able to look on the computer details to see that Son's date of birth was correct. They had issued him last years Seasons ticket with the birth certificate and no details had changed over the year other than he is a year older(!) and Son was within the age bracket - 10years to 17 years BUT no ticket could be issued with out the birth certificate - ARRGH!!!!!!!

SO DH now has to email(!) birth certificate to the office and they will post it to us free of charge!

Son has had a season ticket for the last four years and been the mascot twice, appearing in the programme, and he receives a birthday card from the mascot each year so go figure that one out...

It's the Week-end!

The Boys are off to the final match of the season, so after today Saturdays will be a more family affair and DH will be collared to do a few DIY jobs around the house! I have him until August, when the Football Madness begins again. The season tickets have already been ordered - birthday presents for the July boys.

On our last girly week-end Daughter has arranged to go to the cinema with a girlfriend - Made of Honour - and I'll take them and head off to the library to get some serious C &G stuff out of the way. The artists appreciation bit in Chapter 13 is probably the worst bit of this coursework, but has to be done all the same, so it's heads down and get on with it.

I am also itching to get started on the Design an Accessory, so want to clear chapter 13 and have lots of fun to look forward to! Off to gather note book and pens - just like being at school again , off to the library on a Saturday to do my homework!

Friday, 2 May 2008

Final Samples

Here are the final samples before I begin the Accessory, leaving me May and June to create design boards and the hat in time for the Summer School in July. I have astounded myself in how much I have done in the last 10 months bearing in mind how long it took for module 2!

I'm itching to get started on the next chapters but thought it best to clear up the bits and pieces before I do.

Sequin Sampler

The following is a sample of "Trapped Beads and Buttons". This had originally started as my bead sampler but then went big time spiral - see earlier post - I hate to waste anything and loath to waste time unpicking stuff so the top leaft hand corner of the sampler stayed and I developed the design from there.

Covering the beads and buttons with a shere fabric which I then sewed into

The completed Sampler

I really enjoyed making this, the resulting sampler isn't too good in the photo but looks good in real life! I would like to make another but use a calico so that the colour of the beads and buttons don't show through and only the shapes are important. I'll add it to the list!!!!
Daughter's on an INSET day so we're off shopping for spring/summer clothes. It's great being a school girl - since the two weeks holiday she's been on a four day week, what with teacher's strike, INSET day and next week a Bank Holiday. Never mind, there's the dreaded SATS coming up!!!!!