Sunday, 28 September 2008

Where's all the fabric?

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday, was that Nickie and I popped into John Lewis. I used to work in Oxford Street and Wigmore Street and was often in this shop, drooling over the fabric and haberdashery bits. I bought the fabric for my wedding dress and my bridesmaids dresses here as well. Time to re-visit we thought. The fabric dept used to be on the ground floor and it was huge, now it is on the 4th floor and if you blink you would miss it! A sign of the times? I know my daughter who is in her 3rd year of Secondary school has not had a textile lesson in this time. The school where I work doesn't have a textile room, Art and textiles are a joint subject. Art being the predominant one! Sorry I will get off my soap box!!!!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Oh what fun we had!

<Due to being laid low with a tummy bug (the penalty of working with three year old's!) I haven't been inside my 'playroom'. On Thursday evening when I felt that I was on the mend, I decided that I needed to do something that didn't require me to use any brain cells- time to do a bit more on a bag I started knitting some time ago. In my lunch/tea breaks, I can not sit idle in the staff room and I need a bit of a 'chill out' from the classroom, so I try and have something that is easy to pick up and put down. Hence the knitted bag. I don't do much knitting as I hate stitching up, which is what was needed on Thursday. While babysitting Friday night, I finished the stitching up and have almost finished knitting the frill that goes around the edge. Tomorrow it will go through a cycle in the washing machine to 'felt' it and then I can attach the frill and embellish with knitted flowers and beads. Photo of the bag to follow when it is finished.
Today is the first Saturday for ages when Nickie and I have not dashed off to a workshop, so we decided that we would visit the 4 by 4 exhibition in London at the Menier Gallery and it was the final day too!
We stopped quickly at Pitsea Market to get some sheers for the postcard workshop that is taking place at Schoolhouse Arts next weekend, before getting on the C2Cto Fenchurch Street. (we needed help getting a ticket from the machine, as we are not seasoned train travellers).
The weather was glorious so we had to do a photo shoot at Trinity Square Gardens beside the Tower of London . We had decided to visit this exhibition because we know Yvonne Pedretti from our C&G course at Southend. There was some lovely work to view and far too many to mention. But to give you a taster of what we saw:- Yvonne knits and crochets mono filament thread and adds LEDS and fibre optics. Sandra Hurl's work was vibrant in colour with lots of texture- wonderful! I loved 2 panels made by Audrey Critchley- images of London onto sheer that have been distressed to enable you to view the panel behind. There was two floors of work to view- thirsty work, so we had to go to the Chocolate Factory to get some coffee to keep us going! Downstairs we saw the work from Margaret Talbot. She had used images from her travels with lots of stitch. Gilda Baron also had some of her distinctive work down there too. We were allowed to take photo's of the exhibition but they can not be put on the blog as they are for private use only.When we had finished at the gallery we went to Borough Market-WOW!!! what a market!. I have never seen a market like it - it was just for food- every type of food you could want (and vegetable) There was lots of free taste samples as well. It is London's oldest market and is mentioned in documents dating back to 1276, it was granted it's first royal charter in 1406. It is next door to Southwark Cathedral .The atmosphere, the sights, sounds and smells were truly wonderful! A place well worth a visit. It was then off to Oxford Street for some retail therapy. At Tower Bridge we met some people off to celebrate a 30th Birthday all dressed to go to a Medieval banquet at the Tower of London and allowed us to get their photo. We finally arrived back at Pitsea at 10.00pm( 12 hours from when we left home) , footsore, broke, tired and inspired . I felt that I had been on holiday.

P.S I'm sorry for some of the photo's being the wrong way round. On my computer I rotated them before uploading, but they have reverted back in the uploading process!!!!
p.p.s just had a lesson in how to rotate them.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Embroiderer's Guild workshop

Yesterday I went to an Embroiderer's Guild workshop with Mary Crehan, 'Darning with a Difference'. Mary is a member of TAGS and uses architecture, stone carvings found on Neolithic sites as well as the Irish landscape. Mary bought some of her work to talkabout and inspire us as well as images that we could use for our own 'inspirations'.

Mary soon had us weaving on our frames, not all of us using stones as our source of inspiration. Mary kept us entertained with her stories of her trip 'Down Under' with Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn and her life. To give our eyes and back a break we stopped several times to walk round the room to see each others work and how they were interpreting their design.

This is my piece of work so far, (based on an image of a rock) I was out partying last night so haven't had a chance to do more. OH! to be a lady of leisure, as I came back from the workshop with my head buzzing with ideas of how I could use this technique. What a great workshop!!!!! Pity you had to babysit Nickie!

Today I had to go to Craft Arena to get another reel of thread (I fancy doing something with the colour peacock blue, when I have finished my wall hanging) Denise stocks some of the Hemingworth threads and I love them. They sew beautifully, the plastic cover that keeps out the dust and stops the reel unravelling. My ambition is to have one of every colour- I have got a long way to go as they have 300 colours!

My collection so far!

As I had to do some shopping for school at Tesco's yesterday, I picked up one of their free catalogues to 'Maggie Grey' it,I'm now off to get the Stanley Knife!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Another night of not getting any stitching done as I was at Nickie's house getting ready for the next Schoolhouse Arts workshop, this one is fabric postcards. I painted bits of ????(you'll have to do the workshop to find out) took photo's, made coffee and wrote my shopping list- Nickie doesn't do shopping so I am her personal shopper! To get an idea of what we are doing you need to go to Nickie's blog to see the photo's. Not many spaces left. Be prepared to get messy!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Springfield Quilters

As I was late home from work today, I had very little time to sort out my requirements for our meeting tonight with guest Annette Morgan, so left my 'play room' in a bit of a state (understatement!). Annette demonstrated how to make a little house block which could then be made into a small wall hanging by putting four blocks together. As there was then very little time left for sewing a block she gave us tips on applique and answered any other quilting questions we had. We were then able to look at some samples of her work.
When I got home I HAD to tidy my room, putting away all the fabric that I had just thrown on the floor in my haste to be ready on time. (If my daughter had gone out leaving her room in this mess I would not have been happy!) When I had run out of storage space for my fabrics in my room, my husband bought this packing case home from work. I know fabric should not be in contact with wood, but as I have nothing else big enough I will have to take the chance that it does not spoil them. My fabrics that I dye are kept in another large box, though not one made of wood.
It is hard to believe that I had sorted out a lot of my fabrics and donated them to a group of ladies who make quilts for sick children in Basildon Hospital not very long ago.
As I dye all my fabrics now, I had got rid of the many fat quarters that every quilter buys when she starts to learn. Tidying the 'few' that I had kept bought back memories of the many shops and quilt shows that I have visited since I started this hobby in 2002.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Embroiderer's Guild meeting.

Tonight at our meeting we had a very entertaining and amusing talk from Lee Ault. Lee is a costume historian, the curator of the Dickens House Museum in Broadstairs, Kent and is reputed to own the largest private collection of historiacl costumes in the country. Lee arrived at our talk in full Victorian dress followed by her husband carrying a very large trunk. Her talk, 'The Caged Lady', gave us an insight into the many garments that a well-dressed lady would wear. Lee also bought along some of the many accessories, fans, parasol's, calling card cases, purses to name just a few. I am so glad that we don't have to wear clothes like this nowadays-to iron just your petticoats, would take 6 hours!!!!!!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Dabble day

What a busy day!!!!!! Everyone worked very hard and produced some lovely work. To enable us to get the four panels made in the time available, we had to 'cook' the sample bits in the oven to dry them, so that we could wax, paint or stitch. As the sun decided to shine (and we haven't seen much of it this summer) we ate our lunch 'al fresco' on the front lawn. Deb made a wonderful boiled fruit cake for us to eat with our afternoon cup of tea before having show and tell. Some of the work will need a bit more stitching done at home before it is ready for mounting.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Dabble Day Workshop

We had a get-together at Nickies last night to put the zig-zag book together. We have all made a piece of work using various mediums on the theme of Autumn. The idea of the 'Dabble Day' is to show people what can be done with all those materials that are just sitting on the shelves.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

I have been more creative in the kitchen than in my 'playroom' as I have been entertaining family and friends for the last few days. In my very little free time I have been getting ready for Saturday, as are holding a mixed media workshop. I am doing a panel with wrapping paper and Lutrador. Water soluble paper, metal and gesso are also the mediums that will be used in the panels being taught by Margaret, Nickie and Deb.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

I had to pop into Craft Arena yesterday to get some Dynaflo paint for my wall hanging, I also managed to find some shell beads that will look good on a piece of work I started with Gwen Hedley at Belstead. I also bought Cloth,Paper Scissors. I used to have a subscription for this publication, but have not renewed it this year. I hope to sit down with a cuppa tomorrow and have a read of it.

This is the photo' that I have been asked to translate into a wall hanging.

This is the W.I.P, I am adding lots of little running stitches in various shades of greys and orange to the 'sea'. I hope to start stitching the boat and ducks tomorrow, though there is an Embroiderer's Guild Committe meeting

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

I have spent too much time trying to get the slideshow gadget to work. I am going to give up for now and get on with some stitching!

Monday, 1 September 2008