Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bowled over

'scuse the pun.

Big one. 
Wool tops inside (with beads) and paper outside; free machining; water sol.

Showing outside of big one.

Little one. 
Paper outside and in, with extra paper stuck on the bottom as an afterthought.  Wish I hadn't thought it, but oh well.  Beads, free machining, water sol.

Inside of little one.

Little one inside big one.

What a busy week.  Lots of exams, another teaching sesh, a visit to Prism (where I found and rescued a little lost soul known as Mandy, created by Gina - thank you!). 

I've also made a little canvas, same colour scheme as the bowls.  Pic later.  And because yesterday was an Inset day, the Girl and I made a lookalike Mandy aka button babe - with green hair (pic later, also) - to give to Granny, who is coming to supper tonight.  Girl has an attention span of a gnat, so this was a struggle, and my asparagus quiche is beeping at me from the oven.  Must go!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Round and round

I have discovered, much to my delight, that if one stitches round and round and round then things that are supposed to be bowl-shaped really do become bowls, all of their own accord.

I sort of knew this, but forgot.  I am chuffed.

This is an experiment with paper, water soluble and wool fibres - felty on the inside and distressed papery on the outside.  When I've added a few beads to the edge, I'll coat the outside with something stiffening.

I'm also chuffed that I seem to have made another thing without even trying, so that's two bowls this week.  This despite being busy with exams (other people's, not mine - I just pace up and down and hand out pencils) and finally teaching the much-anticipated session on dyeing.  If you add up all the hours I spent fretting and preparing and mixing stuff and so on, it took a whole week of preparation for two and a half hours of teaching. 

I think it was worth it though:

 These are one of my student's nine rainbow dyed squares, which I did for her as she was unable to make the class.  The others took theirs home to rinse so if they've all turned out as vibrant as this I'm deeply chuffed (not to mention relieved) all over again!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Why make life easy?

I'm getting in a bit of a flap about the Art I thought I'd better start getting my act together and MAKE SOMETHING.

But why make life easy?

Why should I just stitch FLAT things when I can try and stitch CURVED things and get all the lacy bits tangled up in the presser foot lever every fifth stitch?

I'm hoping this will grow up to be some sort of decorative bowl...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The cat's out of the bag now

On Saturday I was given a lovely surprise present:

A bag-full of machine embroidery threads!

The thing is, I only have room on my cupboard shelves for three thread storage boxes.

So I had to find another box for them.

But they wouldn't all fit, so I had to empty a drawer for them all:

Problem is, the family were also so impressed by the generosity of the gift they had to get the calculator out to work out the value of the threads - and we reckon it's well over £100.

So of course it was only a matter of a few moments for my husband to look at the calculator screen, look at the relatively small drawer of new threads, then look at the three thread boxes on my shelf...which are double sided and packed solid...and put two and two together to make quite a substantial amount of capital outlay.  And that doesn't include the two drawers of "hand" threads and the other various stashes of "yarn", but I wasn't going to point them out in a hurry.

Just as well I won't be needing to buy any more threads for a while!

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Here 'tis then:

The theme for our EG branch President's Challenge was "water". 
So I made a waterfall. 

I was going to make a shower, but  I couldn't find the appropriate hardware...the people in Homebase just didn't understand....

 It's hard to photograph without getting the wheelie bins in the frame.

and here is a photo of a bandaged finger, finishing off the top bit:

And no, the needle doesn't go through your finger if you leave it in the wrong place at the wrong time, the needle just snaps in half.  I won't be trying it again to check.  Don't want to see another beaded cord for quite some time thank you very much.

I won't know what our President thinks of it until June: fingers (and plasters) crossed!

Sunday, 1 May 2011


I've been doing a lot of this recently:

And it tends to fry my brain (doesn't take much).  Saying that, I've only smashed three beads and broken one needle, and haven't sewn through my finger once.  Yet.

But it is a bit dull and I've been easily distracted, but because this is the final realisation of an idea I had months ago for a competition and the closing date is next Saturday, I've had to crack on and get it done. 

And suddenly I've found all sorts of other interests.

Digging over the garden; creating a new design for the vegetable beds; buying and planting plants; nurturing my peas and beans in their toilet tube pots; researching woad and weld and madder and wondering if there's room to grow some; researching dyeing with a fermented 5 litre pot of urine and deciding that I quite like procion dyes after all; baking ginger cakes to take to friends; moving furniture and resolving the problem of what fits where; researching foods poisonous to whippets and what to do if they eat them; writing a scheme of work for the coming term's teaching; stitching yet more teaching samples; knots and how to tie them; plants and the folklore thereof; where to put the rhubarb plant because it's not happy where it is; sorting through old photos found by chance on a visit up into the loft to look for something else; what does the dress look like; oh my goodness look at all those trees inside Westminster Abbey I think they should stay there.....

And so on.

I just hope it all comes together by Saturday.  Me and my ideas.

Back to it.  Only another 10 metres or so to go...