Oh where does the time go??!! I cannot believe how long it is since my last blog post…since then we have had Christmas, put the house on the market, taken it off again, started building work, I have stitched a lot of commissions and been blown away by how well my work has sold at Made in Bradford on Avon, and been accepted as a member of the Society for Embroidered Work!
Pet portrait commissions are great fun to do, and have been winging their way around the world – flatteringly, most have gone to other artists.
…Bradford on Avon scenes sell well at the gallery, and some don’t make it beyond Instagram!
Mice, it seems, sell like hot cakes!
Wildlife…and the not so wild life…are still popular…(really helped with a recent thread recommendation)
I have a sneaky suspicion there are a number of plump, older ladies with poodles around – have made and sold several each of these designs.
I still love designing and making greetings cards, and they always do well…pocket-friendly mini art!
Other free motion appliqué too.
There have also been miscellaneous creations, including Christmas tree decorations, fabric ‘paper’ boats, cushions (and chair painting) and felt chefs!
I have also had the privilege of spending some time with an incredibly talented 11 year old, as we made a toy turtle, a baby chair cover and plenty of free motion embroidery!
Maybe it’s the effect of a wet, grey day or two, but I have been feeling a little old this last week. Old dodgy knees (to be fair they have been dodgy since I was six years old, so I cannot entirely blame old age), tinnitus that had me saying “pardon” every couple of minutes at the Bath WI wine tasting and an inability to sleep beyond 04.00 have worked together to make me feel 40 years older than I am. I’m actually not feeling terribly sad about it all, just…pensive. As I tidied up the flowers Mark bought me a week or so back, it struck me that some people are like roses – glamorous and showy when young but quick to fade and wilt, and soon on their way to the green recycling bin.
Perhaps others are more like the ornamental cabbage – rather homely but with a delicate beauty as they grow older. Well I know I was never a rose, but maybe, just maybe, I’m a cabbage!
Even my once fierce pumpkin…
…has become old and gummy. Ah well, at least I’m not mouldy!
These cooler Autumn days I do have to hold on to a little ferocity though, or lose my work chair to the cats…well fierce isn’t so much my thing…and the wooden dining chairs are not so uncomfortable. Would you have the heart to move them???
While the cats don’t want to move much at all, George the spaniel from down the road gets quite huffity with me if I hold him up on his walk to take a photo. Although, he may just have the cafe in the park in his sights – he always pulls to go in.
Ah well, had a lovely family lunch yesterday – laughing so much my face hurt. I have the best sister! Mum seemed to have a good time too as she modeled her new scarf.
I suppose I should include some craft – it is supposed to be a craft blog – so here is the birthday card I made Mum. It was quite a change to make a card that was not Christmassy – I am so hooked on free motion machine sewing, and will be making a load more this afternoon. I have an idea of a snow globe…!
Just a quick post – the lovely people at Making magazine chose my dalek pincushions as the winning entry for this week’s Monday Makes! I have been getting Making for a little while now (since Sue in my old office recommended it) and have sneakily been waiting for a good subscription offer. Last month’s issue offered a huge bundle of sewing goodies; really useful things like shears and pinking shears and a number of large reels of extra strong thread and…well you get the picture…so I took the plunge and took out a subscription (you don’t need to subscribe to enter the weekly competition on Facebook). I have entered a few things in the weekly competition on the Making Facebook page and was really delighted to win this week. I know it’s just a weekly Facebook competition, but it means a lot to me!
While I am here, I have made a few more things:
Christmas cards with robins…
I like the way the fabric frays a little around the edges; rather like feathers I think.
glove cats and dogs (not in the shop, as I can’t CE mark them as have not yet been able to track down reasonably priced gloves with EN71-3 dye data – if anyone knows of a suitable manufacturer, do let me know!)…
and a couple more linen zip pouch bags with round trees and little bird buttons…
I also made a child’s apron with a flower pot pocket and a white daisy growing out of it – will take photos tomorrow.
Well I suppose whether the news is good or bad rather depends on your perspective…gloves that are happy being gloves and find fulfillment in their hand-warming role may experience alarm in hearing that I plan to cut off some of their fingers, sew up the holes and fill them with flame retardant toy stuffing. On the other hand (excuse the pun), those gloves looking for more from their existence than to squished up at the bottom of handbags and pockets and school bags, collecting bits of fluff and getting left over throat sweets stuck to them may rejoice in the knowledge that they will soon evolve in to…dogs!
I fell instantly in love and started collecting socks and gloves. I have had some expressions of interest in these cuddly critters, so emailed the author to ask permission to sell a few…and she very kindly said yes!! I still have to carry out the CE Mark testing to self-certify (a company called Conformance sells a very reasonably priced downloadable guide and checklist to CE Marking, I would have been lost without. No doubt others are available too). So this coming week I will be torturing one poor glove-dog, hanging heavy weights from his seams, trying to poke out his stuffing, washing and drying him and worst of all, setting fire to him. One glove-dog must suffer so that others may safely go out in to the world.
hippy chick book bag
I have also been busy working out the simplest way to make a patchwork book bag to put together a tutorial. I love the fabric in this one, but want to try it with a plain border to make it a little bigger and remove the need be too precise matching up the side seams for anyone new to patchwork. I am wondering about making step-by-step photo instructions on postcards – what do you think? Would that be useful?
so cute! dolls house coat hangers!
Last week I posted photos of my Ellen Mouse mannequin and now my little eBay purchase has arrived, the dress and pants are ready to head off to my friend Jacquie.
There are a number of these hangers on eBay, but I bought mine from spacemop, and was very pleased with them.
walk and draw
Anyone who followed my old blog before I moved to wordpress will know that I am a big fan the Bath WI. Our June meeting was with Andrew Lansley of walk and draw in Bath. He is a lovely, unpretentious chap who chatted about how he came to start walk and draw, via art therapy, and then got us scattered around the vicinity (including several brave young women sitting in the middle of the roundabout!) drawing whatever took our fancy. The point of this is to slow down and look at things and just see what you can do. Andrew emphasised that it is not about the drawing. However, several people had said to me that they thought I would be very good at drawing and by the time I sat down to sketch a rather lovely Georgian terrace, I was so anxious not to disappoint, I lost all sense of perspective (in every sense of the word) and was part way through quite possibly the worst drawing I have ever done. Andrew came over to chat to me for a few minutes and I calmed down completely and realised just how stupid I was being. It wasn’t about producing a perfect drawing in less than an hour, it was about allowing myself to stop, breathe, enjoy a beautiful Summer evening and push all my to do lists out of my head while I just looked and put pencil to paper. I really want to try to build some of this sort of down time in to my life as an ongoing thing. Doing something, not for the the finished result (or the photo to put in my blog), but for the sense of calm the process itself produces. I would also like to attend one of Andrew’s events…he did mention he works with the Royal Crescent Hotel and it can be combined with their champagne afternoon tea – now how good does that sound??!!
It may be a little warm for wooly gloves, but they have other uses too! I turned this pair in to a soft and cuddly dog.
Over the last few weeks our cherry tree has looked amazing, but strong winds recently have scattered the petals over the vegetable patch, like a layer of snow. Mind you, it has given the apple trees and the choisya their chance to shine. I don’t think I am the only one appreciating them either…bzzzzzzzz.
Lovely days for walks by the canal with George the spaniel, who I walk for a friend once a week.