Last year I started taking part in a few artist trading card swap with other stitchers, via lovely Ali at VeryBerryHandmade, and got hooked on making things tiny. The latest swap was on the theme of ‘home sweet home’. This was the one I made and sent off:
…and this is the little piece of gorgeousness I received from Cynthia:
All this working in miniature inspired me to try some well known views of Bath and frame them in 3″ flexihoops…my version of Bath bubbles!
I also embroidered a few more birds…
All were very well received at my stall at the Larkhall Festival on Saturday – had a lovely time; thank you to the organisers and all the lovely people who came to support me (and Su selling her willow work). We also had lots of interest in our Grownups Playgroup craft workshops!
Last weekend I ran a Fun with Freemotion workshop with Grownups Playgroup – it was so much fun! We started with tea and homemade biscuits (of course) while I chatted about the basics of freemotion applique and embroidery and we had a bit of practice with paper and pencil, to get used to moving the paper rather the pencil. Then it was time to move on to a calico doodle sheet…one of the most fun things to do with your clothes on! Seriously, just let your imagination run wild and sew whatever shapes and squiggles and pictures pop in to your head, making use of fabric flowers I had spent an evening cutting out in preparation.
Once everyone was comfortable with whooshing the fabric about under their needle and darning foot, we moved on to the pieces to be finished in an embroidery hoop. I had provided some applique templates in case anyone was short of ideas and it was so nice that everyone had their own designs in their heads…and they completed them beautifully! Moose, robin and dog.
It was just a half day workshop, but it seemed nice to finish with a tasty, veggie-friendly meal…lots of chat, and afterwards we had a tour of Su’s garden and admired her tadpoles (and willow work, of course!)
Finally, don’t forget to come along and say hello at the Larkhall Festival craft market (New Oriel Hall, Saturday 2nd May, 12.00 to 17.00)! Su and I will also be in Alice Park on Monday 4th May…being willowy!
…and that means a bit of Spring cleaning! Since I started Deerey Me I have been selling through Etsy.com, but most of my orders head off to the USA, so I am going to have a go at selling on Folksy.com to see if I get more UK sales: https://folksy.com/shops/DeereyMe
I am starting with pieces not previously available for sale and am concentrating on freemotion applique and embroidery.
If you fancy having a go at freemotion embroidery and applique yourself, you can have your chance on 11th April as we still have a few spaces on our Grownups Playgroup workshop! You will have a fun day learning about the equipment and materials that will help you along the way, getting to play by producing a stitched doodle sheet like this…
…and then make and take home a piece of your own hoop art, perhaps a couple of owls…
One of the things I love about working from home is being able to interact with the garden birds. We put out food and try to keep our garden wildlife-friendly – with a big, deep hedge between us and the other half of our semi, and shrubby bushes and trees in both the back and front garden gardens. So I need no encouragement to take an hour to watch and count the birds for the Big Garden Birdwatch.
In honour of the birdwatch I made a couple of 3″ embroidery hoop stitched pictures of black caps on Kaffe Fassett backgrounds (the female has a ginger cap, rather than a black one).
I am looking forward to sewing a flock of bird art!
Ooh it’s been a busy Winter. Busy, but profitable. What has slipped has been writing (and housework…sorry Mark!). So here goes…a brief summary of 6 weeks in the life of Sue Deere, textile artist.
I have worked on a teeny weeny Artist Trading Card for the Very Berry Handmade swap:
I have had lots and lots of orders – many for pieces using the customers’ own photos, so I can’t really share them here while others were freemotion pieces and now Christmas is over, I can let you see!
My photos as well as textile art:
I had a number of craft markets and hugely successful and enjoyable open studio with my friend and willow artist, Su Macpherson (involving plenty of mulled wine and mince pies too!) – for the Christmas Fair at Bath Library I even had a very lovely young French lady to help me run the stall.
Su and I treated ourselves to a half day fused glass course at Silversides in Larkhall:
Excitingly, Su and I have also decided to work together running craft workshops – a creative fun day out, suitable for the absolute beginner: Grownups Playgroup
We are now booking for:
21 March 10.00 – 16.00 willow plant supports (only two places left)
28 March 10.00 – 16.00 willow sculpting
11 April 10.00 – 16.00 introduction to free motion embroidery
Please email email@example.com if you are interested in attending.
I will also be running a workshop for the Bath WI, making pincushions in teacups:
As well as all this crafty loveliness we have had a lovely selection of frosty mornings and Winter sunshine…stunning sunrises and delicate moonfalls.
A few brisk Winter walks to put roses in our cheeks:
Lots of wildlife to admire, including a kingfisher in the Botanical Gardens in Bath!
In contrast, the cats have been making the most of the central heating. Max has been experimenting with different resting places including Christmas presents, a hamper, boxes and a rather nice pack of truffles! Rio stuck to Mark’s dressing gown and the ironing board…
There were decorations…
…and lots of baking…
…injuries – little ones like burning my arm on the oven and bigger ones involving an ambulance ride to A&E when our neighbour tripped and cut her head badly.
There were party hats, racing wind-up robins, cocktails, two Christmas dinners, accounts and my first tax return…
A little while back I had a vision. It wasn’t spiritual or enlightening, I just had a picture in my head I wanted to put in to fabric. A picture of a tree on a hillside in rich autumnal colours. This was the result:
I have now sold this piece and the lovely lady who bought it commissioned me to make the other three seasons. It has been an absolute delight making these fabric pictures. Have a look at the rest of the year…
With a shed load of Christmas craft markets coming up, I could do with some little elf helpers! As the house fills with Christmas goodies I am already feeling festive…just hope it doesn’t wear off before Christmas! All available to buy or to order in my Christmas shop.
Of course you can come along to one of my Christmas stalls – Friday 21st Nov Yatton Keynell Village Hall (2pm to 4pm), Saturday 29th Nov King Edward’s School, Bath and Saturday 6th Dec Bath Central Library.
This year you could be wearing a Deerey Me creation…brooches and earrings!
Of course you can dress your Christmas tree too!
…and don’t forget Christmas cards!
Last but not least, it was my mum’s 80th birthday last week…she got a round of applause and and a birthday cupcake at the Pump Room on the day and then a family get together at the weekend. Happy birthday (again) Mum!
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, hoopy is defined as “a really together guy” and a frood is defined as “a really amazingly together guy.”
As an example to put it in context, Zaphod says, “Hey you, sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is!”
Now I do know where my towel is (soft and fluffy and neatly folded in the airing cupboard), but in truth I am merely searching for a title for this post that might make embroidery hoops a little less…pedestrian.
[short aside: did I ever tell you that my old neighbours in Bristol reckoned I probably worked for MI5, as they couldn’t believe I was really a (then) thirty something who enjoyed quilting, National Trust gardens, and spending time with my cat Brian? Needless to say, they were wrong…but then if I were in MI5, I would say that wouldn’t I?]
So then, hoops. I like embroidery hoops as frames for textile pieces. I have a number of traditional frames, but they are more clunky – and much heavier to post – so I find myself stocking up on embroidery hoops. I have made a few ‘Mama Bear’ size pieces of hoop art that have been fun to do and have sold well…
Then I woke early one morning with an idea in my head and grabbed a ‘Daddy Bear’ size hoop…
Next I picked up a collection of ‘Baby Bear’ hoops and made some Christmas tree decorations…the most fun thing to do with your clothes on! I started with some sketches like this one:
Then I chose a snowy background and cut fusible fleece to the size of the inside of the hoops, ironed it on to the back of the background fabric, cut out my images from lovely thick pure wool felt (using my own pattern pieces), dropped the feed dogs and fitted a darning foot and away I went!
I am making the Christmas tree decorations to order for £5.50 each plus p&p – order through my Etsy shop or drop me an email: Christmas tree decorations
I have long been meaning to try a few applique/embroidery pictures of buildings. I had initially intended to start with our own humble home, but after recently visiting Prince Charles’ residence of Highgrove I felt inspired to set my sights a little higher. Photography is understandably not allowed in the grounds of Highgrove House and, although I loved every minute of the tour, I was itching to record the place somehow…and so here is my first building portrait (I don’t think my beach hut pictures and bags count!).
This is the view along thyme walk (the thymes having been planted by HRH Prince Charles himself, our guide informed us!). I really loved making this picture and my head is full of ideas for more!
The gardens at Highgrove are amazing – each ‘room’ has a different feel and the attention to detail is incredible. What I wouldn’t give to be allowed free reign to wander around the gardens one early morning with my camera…!
Happiness is…dropped feed dogs and a darning foot….oh and a garden!
My lovely other half has an alluring way of softly asking, “can we do a card for my dad…my brother…my god-daughter…?” I do love his use of the word ‘we’. It is a team effort, I sit at the sewing machine and create and he…ummm…well he watches sport on tv. When I question this, he asks whether I would rather be the one watching sport…and, well, I don’t, so I guess he really is doing me a favour!
I am not really complaining; I really enjoy a bit of free motion machine thread-drawing.
My other love is outside in the garden:
The pots and hanging baskets are bright and colourful.
The cosmos I sewed is finally coming in to flower.
My old blue strawberry planter never did well with strawberry plants…or herbs…or anything, but now the sempervivum (houseleeks) have decided that it is the perfect home and are thriving!
The dwarf sunflowers have taken a long time to flower (too much shade from the trees, I suspect) but are now showing their finery.
Even the aubergines are in flower!
The tomatoes are huge – just need them to turn red now.
Our cats have the cleanest paws on the street!
Oh and the cylcamen are flowering (which makes it feel rather Autumnal)
Our wild area is coming along nicely – lots of flowers for the bees and butterflies. We still have a lot of turf to dig up to sew our wildflower meadow, but we’ll get there eventually.
Max the cat has the softest, fluffiest tummy in the known universe!
The apples are nearing ripeness…
…and finally, the new solar fairy lights work a treat!