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Friday, November 09, 2007

Pay it forward?

Hmmmmm....so no one has taken me up on my offer. I could take this personally, but after Amanda's comment I think that the idea of getting something and then needing to pay it forward to someone else has put people off.

Actually, that wasn't part of what I was thinking with the project. I was more thinking that I would like to "pay forward" things that had been done for me. Whether you then do anything for someone else isn't an issue......so please comment whether you plan on doing the same project. I really would like to make things for people that actually appreciate them!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pay it forward......

a friend and I were talking the other day about "paying forward" for things that have been done for us. I have had so many "aunts" over the years. I tend to collect them a bit. If you are reading this, you might be one of them. I've loved them all and they have been in my life when I particularly needed them. I'm now of the age that I can pay forward these wonderful deeds. Whether it is taking a young friend out to eat or encouraging them in their craft, I feel such a kinship with those that have been there for me.

While reading Whipup I came across a post about Heather Smith Jones. She has posted here about a really cool project she is doing..... and I thought the idea was wonderful. So here goes....the first 3 people to write a comment to this blogpost, I will handmake you something. It won't be right away, in fact she has given herself a year and I think that I'll do that too. The reason I'm doing it is because I would like to keep an eye out on your blogs and get to know you (if I don't already). I love the friendships I've made through this medium and I would love to pay you back (or forward) for all the wonderfulness that you have given me! It is another way for me to pay forward all the love that has been done for me over the years.

I look forward to seeing who responds!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Needlepoint - anyone?


Nothing like scanning a piece to realize that you STILL need to stretch it!!!! How weird. I love this piece though. This is a kit that I bought at the NEC show. The designer, Abigail Bury, was sitting amongst beautiful colors and I couldn't resist stopping and chatting. Her use of color was amazing and even though she had some more traditional kits, the use of the purple color and the bright pinky/orange in this kit just made me smile. I've never really done needlepoint, but now I'm hooked! I bought the apple tree kit for one of my sis-n-laws (don't worry she doesn't check my blog!) I haven't put the buttons on this yet, because I now have to stretch it.....ugh....but at least you can see how nice the kit is and the colors. I'm now going to use the pattern for a beading project. That is what I love about pixel type patterns, they lend themselves to so many different uses! Don't worry, I will be sending Abigail a picture of the beaded project and hopefully she will be able to show that off as another use for her patterns! I'll take a pic of what I ended up doing with it...which I think will be a pillow!

The kit came with more then enough yarn to go with it, the canvas and a needle. The directions were very clear and the chart easy to read. The canvas was unpainted, but she does have some that are painted. Being use to cross stitch I didn't really mind. It was sooo worth the cost of the kit.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Finally getting down to some Embroidery

I've had this book for a while...I've probably posted about it...though I can't remember. I've been inspired by many of the patterns. I have to admit it, I'm getting really excited about free-style stitching. I'm trying to not use a pattern that is copied on to the material. I want to see if my stitching is better then my drawing. So far it isn't too bad.


This is my interpretation of the cover.....





(wool felt - cotton 6 strand)



and this is a poor scan of my edging.




(Cotton Velvet hand dyed, wool thread, cotton 6 strand, cotton one strand)

I have to admit something to you all. I'm knitting, but it isn't my first passion. I've become obsessed with fiber in all of its guises. I also like to blog about Indie craft/arts people that I come across. I will be doing more and more of that. I love buying stuff from other crafters and I love spreading the message about them. Like many of you, I've been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging.... work and life gets in the way. But I pledge to do better. I've got lots of pictures of stuff that I want to post about...lots of stuff I need to take pictures of.....so I will try and work out how I can post more often and hopefully get others excited about what I see out there too!
I can't even believe that I've not posted about Knitting and Stitching at the NEC, Origins - London craft fair, or the Knitting and Stitching at Alexandra Palace....not to mention Wingham wools at the Guild this weekend...where I swore I wasn't going to spend much...and ended up with a huge bag full of lovely fleece to spin...and other things......

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shows! Shows! Shows!

I've been able to go to several shows lately. This last one was the best. I decided this year to go to both the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC in Birmingham and Alexandra Palace in London. So last weekend I went with a group of gals from Shropshire and visited the NEC. It was a small show, but packed with good stuff. There weren't many people, no elbowing people like at the Alexandra Palace. I got to see some great stuff from up north, Yorkshire in particular that I would have missed and a great couple of girls in the graduate show that weren't going to make the trip to London.

First off I have to exclaim over the graduates. They were wonderful. One of the best was a girl who makes these lovely items for children (or just young at heart like me.) Rebecca Shreeve prints her own fabric and hand stuffs and sews her little critters. I have to say that her blankets are just what I would want if I had a little one....shoot I'm tempted to buy me one! I did buy a little mole that she was finishing up in front of me. How cool is that!!!!

There were three exhibits there that were just too stunning for words. Most of them I had seen in Selvedge magazine. Tilleke Schwarz was the first person I saw. Her work is wonderful. She makes embroideries that reflect things she hears and sees during a period of time. They are very much like graffiti, which is very cool. She signed a book for me and I'm looking forward to sitting down and reading about her inspirations.

The next people I know where in Selvedge. Their work is so inspiring. They are Primmy and Jessie Chorley and their exhibit was called "Like Mother Like Daughter" and it is so true. Looking at their work, it is difficult to tell who might have done which piece. I bought a broach that Jessie had made and I plan on buying one of her journals when I see them again at the next show. Their work was so vivid and sweet, but not so sweet that it wasn't grown up. Check out Jessie's website and see what you think. I'm trying to get a book that was written about her mother at the moment. We shall see if it comes in.

The last person I want to talk about in this post is someone else I've been longing to see her work in person. She is Julie Arkall. She doesn't have a website, but you can see some of her work here. (You can also see Primmy's work there.) The works were stunning and I've got plans on a book of hers, because she ran out of them, and something from her small collection that she sells.

I'm not sure if I'll bother buying any supplies at the next show. The exhibits are so great.

I'll try to get sometime to take pics of some of the stuff I bought. There are a few more people I would like to talk about. Sorry no pictures...but I wanted to get this posted!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Goodbye Sybil...you will be missed!



This is Sybil, one of the Librarians who has decided to retire this summer. She will be sorely missed, especially by me. She has been an inspiration for some of my crafting, even though she doesn't really know it. The neck piece that she is wearing was her going away present from me. I've been wanting to make this for a while. I bought tons of beads in black...which most of you know really isn't me!...and had a good time trying to decide how do make a piece that I knew that Sybil would like. She is very creative and arty and I new that she could pull off this idea I had. I got the inspiration from a piece I saw on-line that I thought was a shade for a lamp (it ended up being a neck piece....but hey. I can't find the picture right now. )

Monday, August 06, 2007

Artist and Crafters from southern UK

Recently, a friend and I went to the Art, Craft and Design show that was held at Winchester Cathedral. I bought a few things, but first I thought I would show you a few artists that inspired me the most.

First, was Rachel Jennings she is a textile artist that incorporates paper and other materials into her projects. The picture of the trees on the front page is one that we were able to see. It is spectacular in person! Amazing work.

Another, was Monica Boxley. I bought a pair of earrings from her, more for the fact that they had a great chime. They are sterling silver, and I've not been able to get a good picture of them. They are wonderful though. I loved her necklaces very much, and Victoria (my friend) was in love with her perspex.

Also, there was Ellie Gosse of Loominellie. I loved the use of color in her weaving. As most of you know, I'm a big fan of color color color!

Have a look at some of the work by these extraordinary artists! I feel so lucky to be able to see this type of work. It inspires me to continue with my projects!

(Note to self....must finish weaving project!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thanks to my Secret pal


Sorry I took a bit to get this posted. I did say thanks to her when I got it, but I wanted to show everyone what a great package she put together for me. There was also a little bit of food for the pets, but they have already ate them!!!!

Thanks so much! I love it all, and I'm putting the purple beads to work already!

Speaking about the pets...aren't those noses cute???

Kenner's blanket

This is one of two blankets I made out of the same pattern with the same yarn (bought too much obviously!) It is really nice though and I think my nephew will enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blogger is acting up and I can't put a title on this....oh well. Do you guys do this? You buy books, you look at them...and you still design something yourself? I bought Sasha Kagan's new book about crochet. It is very good and I've enjoyed looking at it. I bought several Japanese books on crochet motifs, and yet I still designed the motifs in the picture.

I have just finished another baby blanket, that I hadn't realized I didn't post about. (I took a pic, but the camera is now dead so I'll post about it later.) I've got lots of left over yarn, so I decided that it would be nice to put together some crocheted squares...which became circle motifs instead. I'm enjoying doing them. They are very simple and good stress relief since I'm home finishing up a paper for my MA, that is turning into a Diploma instead (long story...to long actually.) Anyway, I started this yesterday at 5 and I got all these done by 6:30.....and that is deciding what the pattern was going to look like. I have to admit, I'm loving the fact that crochet is back "in". Need to work on the sweater that I have the material for....these motifs are more fun!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Computer Wallpaper

I'm always on the look out for something pretty to put on the wallpaper (desktop) of my computer. Why? I hardly ever look at it, because the internet is almost always one...but I like it anyway. I like to read the blog "How about Orange" and she posted about Pixelgirl. There are so absolutely beautiful wallpapers on this site! I love it! I've chosen "Fly Free 2" by Santiago Nicolalde. With so many to choose from though, I'll probably be changing these quite frequently! (I have to admit to having family pictures on my work computer....they make me smile!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ATC for June


This one was difficult. "On the waters edge" was the prompt. I wasn't sure what to do. I've had these markers for a bit, they are suppose to be like watercolor. I used the paper that came with it, which is a bit thin, but I like the look it gave me. I smudged a bit, as you can see...which aggravated me, but then I decided that it made it more "arty" ....well that is my story anyway. We are having all kinds of flooding over here, so I was tempted to draw sandbags! Fortunately, not around our house, but every where else. Shropshire where we are heading tomorrow has been hit pretty badly. I'll have to take some photos!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Next Swatch....

Here is swatch 2. I liked this one, had to learn how to do a Tunisian Purl....very cool!

I've decided that these swatches will be washcloths since I'm using a nice cotton. They are really good for that!

On to the third, which is a bit more complicated!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tunisian Crochet

One of the items I bought at Wonderwools was this Tunisian crochet hook. As most of you know, I can't let a craft technique alone. Must try them all. So I bought this with the idea that I would look on the net and find the instructions. Well...they found me. One of the blogs I follow sent me to the Art of Crochet blog where they have started a swatch-along.













This is the first ribbing swatch...
front...................................


















and back.
















Now it is time to try the next swatch...anyone else interested? The website has really good video instructions, and the hooks aren't that expensive.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What is home....

I've come across some very interesting creative blogs recently, too many to mention at the moment. But one of them asks you to post on your blog answers to some of the questions they ask. I really like this blog "Create a Connection". Everyday there is something to think about. Today is a discussion about what "Home" means to people. I always find my use of this word confusing for most people. As many of you know, I'm from the States but live in the UK. I have to admit, even when I lived in the States, I would say I was going "home" for the weekend....meaning going to see my family. So one definition is "home is where my Mom and Dad are....." But I also say going to the States is going home.....and going to the place I live is home....going back to the UK is home.....Rich is from Shropshire (we live in Hampshire) so we go "home" when we go see his family.

So where does that leave me. After one of our first trips back the States for Christmas, I was having the jetlag blues....I was tired...homesick...and fed up. Hubby doesn't like me to sleep when I get home from the long 24hrs of being awake (not exaggerating). He thinks that our jetlag gets better if we stay to the timezone we are in....I however have learned I need to sleep!!! Anyway, I came downstairs shuffling through piles of mail feeling sorry for myself. I sat in My chair and reached over without looking and picked up my lip balm. I stopped for a moment and realized what I had done. I knew that the lip balm was there. I had reached for it over and over many times. I was HOME.

So, "home" is where your comfortable. I'm comfortable many places, my Mom's and Dad's...even though they have moved many times. My grandparents farm, where they have lived my whole life. My sister-in-law who we stay with when we go up to Shropshire. My work place....well I do now it's ever square inch. And of course the place where I have now...for 5 years... lived with my lovely Husband. I feel that they are all valid definitions....now to contact the Oxford Dictionary!!!

Yes, today is hubby and my 5th anniversary. It has been a wonderful 5 years, and he has been soooo very patient while I've been unwell, getting adjusted to a whole different life and putting up with my pets! (All rodents). I love him very much...and I hope that even though we aren't spring chickens...we still have many many years as happy as I have been the last 5!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brighton Knit In

A few of us from my Knitting group got together and took the train to Brighton to attend the Knit In. They had a few interesting things to knit...ie the cupcake I made in the picture to the left.











And the flower I also made....














A student was putting together a blanket that is to represent the bacteria in her house. She allowed us to be part of the project, so we had a length of yarn and free form crocheted. In the middle you can see my contribution.










Here are a couple of the girls I could fit into the picture. At one time there were 8 children each knitting on one of the tentacles. It was such a great idea! Everyone could choose their own colors and pattern that they wanted to do.

Good fun had by all!

Note: you can find the websites for the different events at Knit In

Monday, May 28, 2007

ATC for May

Playing with more new stuff I bought a few shows ago....trying to get the stuff put away, what better way then to use it! Not sure how "artistic" this is...but I'm doing more drawing...so that is good!

Thanks to my Secret pal






I received these from my secret pal the other day. They are really wonderful. The only thing I'm not crazy about the one-skein book is that the have the colored pictures in the middle and the patterns in the rest of the book. I always prefer to have the pictures with the pattern. But there is some scope for inspiration there, and that is what I wanted. The spinning book is one that I've wanted for awhile. It shows you how to spin without needing a spindle, but just a wire with a hook on the end. I thought that was cool, and how to ply.

Wide Open is great. I've been trying to do more art journaling. This is a kit more then a book. There are cards to use as prompts and a journal in it that is already colored. At first I wasn't sure if I could write on the beautifully colored pages, but when I did I understood why people do that. It really makes the writing come to life, no matter what you are writing about.

Anyone in the UK going to Brighton for the Knit In? Some of us from my Stitch 'n Bitch are going. Looks like it should be fun!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wonderwool Wales

At the moment I don't have any pictures from the trip. My hubby has the camera with him and he won't be back to this evening. True fully, I didn't take that many pictures.

We did camp, even though it rained all afternoon. We didn't put up the tent until the evening, which seemed to be a good thing. We had a good time, though we had to call it early day on Sunday.

What I will talk now is the workshops we did. They were just want I wanted, something to inspire me. The first was about using natural materials such as basket material for knitting. Ruth Lee that I bought. It is really experimental and showed us some swatches that she had knit from daylillys that she had dried and then soaked in water. it was amazing. She gave us all a chance to knit with very think reed. It was very easy really. Could make some nice art. She also had written a book about scarves and boas really interesting. Not the usual scarves patterns which is good. We also went to a workshop with Di Gilpin. She is another experimental knitter that was so inspirational. She showed us slides of some of her travels that inspire her knits. She doesn't start with a pattern, just an idea and the yarn. She then tries to duplicate the textures, colors and structure of what has inspired her. She then writes up the patterns. Below is one of her books . She has us try it ourselves, my piece is a bit of an embarrassment because I was tired and couldn't get my fingers to do with what my mind was telling it. But what was so good was how freeing it was, and how it made me think about embellishing knits. I might even take a pattern that I'm working on and add texture etc just for the fun of it.

I bought lots of equipment that I will take a picture of when I can.

This blogging is so strange for me at the moment. I have lots to post about, but never seem to get the time to do it. I also am having trouble keeping everything organized. I have to redo my bookcase by my chair in the living room and my craft room again.....sigh...I seem to be organizing more then I get to spend time actually crafting....sigh.....oh well!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Experimenting....

Does this look like a heart? I feel it is good, would be better if I had pulled the center a bit more I think....don't know. What do you guys think?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sorry for the delay in posting....

I didn't realize it had been so long. I've meant to post, and I've got tons of pictures to post....but just haven't done it yet.

Anyway, I'm off to WonderWool Wales this weekend, so I promise pictures of sheep and etc. I also hope to profile some of the traders I come across.

See ya next week!

PS...if you haven't seen Elastic Waist you have been missing some fun!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weaving Workshop



So there it is....the start of a new skill. I should take a picture of the selvedge. I'm so proud of it! I finally can WEAVE! I've wanted to do this all my life. I bought the loom several months ago for really cheap at the guild. It is worth joining a guild for the cheap supplies you can get! Anyway, Mary Keer was kind enough to slip me into her course and I had the best time. Warping was ok, until you started threading the heddle. (I actually know what I'm talking about now!). But the weaving was great and Mary is so good and patient. She has been teaching for many years, and she is still so enthusiastic!

Thanks again Swap Pal!

Sorry, I tried to get this last night and the stupid camera died! Thanks so much for the wonderful gifts!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crochet goodness

So this is what I've been up too! I bought these two japanese books from SaucyLouise. I love them! I picked up some tapestry yarn at a textile gallery they have in Llandiloes where my sis-in-law lives. The flowers are So much fun to make! I'm going to make the purse on the front of the book on the left. I can't get over how much I enjoy these Japanese magazines.

Easter

Thought I would post a few of the pictures from the Easter weekend we spent with my sister-in-law. The Welsh countryside is so beautiful that I had to throw in a few of them. (Sorry about the dates being wrong on the pictures, we have to reset it...again!)

In the distance you can almost make out one of many controversial wind farms. I think they are beautiful, and so eco-friendly! But a lot of people thin they are unsightly. The post shows two walks in the area. All walks are well marked and are usually called so and so way. A lot of times they are pilgrimages walks that were used for years for those who were going from church too church until they reached St. Davids in Pembrokeshire (well the ones in Wales do.)


We got very close to these guys. They were in with a ruined abbey that was razed by Henry the VIII. There are a lot of these ruins around, even in Much Wenlock where my hubby is from. This one is far away from Llandiloes where my sister-in-law lives, but they still managed to move the arches from this abbey and put them in the chapel they were building in Llandiloes. We went to church there for Easter Sunday and it was amazing! You could tell how much older the arches were. This church was made 100s of years ago, can't remember exactly when....sorry Dennis (my bro-in-law).
I took this pictures because it shows very well how they "lay" hedges here. In Wales and Shropshire they use laid hedges to keep the sheep in. They let the hedge trees grow up to about 5 feet or so. Then they, and you can tell in the picture, lay the trees on their sides. They weave posts in to keep the trees on their sides. Then the branches shoot up and become impenetrable. They say that you can tell how hold a hedge is by how many different plants are growing in them. A lot of times there are black berries in them, yum!
This is New Quay on the Welsh coast. It was such a nice little village, but packed with people on the day we were there...it was warm enough for the kids to be in the water....which I found so unusual. In fact you can tell in the pictures how clear it is. Wales gets lots of rain usually, but we didn't get a single drop while we were there! I was a bit dissapointed really...it is nice to have a day in by the fire with your crochet hook or book!

I was worried about getting good pictures of the sheep....and then we came across this paddock with the little guys dying to be petted....well they thought we might have food....but aren't they CUTE!!! I have to admit a weakness for the black lambs!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Thanks to my swap pals....

I received these the other day and it really made me happy! The first pictures is some lovely things from my secret pal. I couldn't wait to put my keys on the key change. The pink box has stickers in it and the box with the lamb and rabbit on it is a tin that I can put embroidery stuff in! Yeah!!!










This was a gift from Tora from the tote exhange. It is lovely, and I can't get over how well she did the roses. They are lovely. The bowl has some homemade stitch markers that a friend of hers made. It really is lovely.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday craft night

So this is what I had to hurdle to get into my craft room...left over mess from the bathroom remodeling. Oh well, I made it in and managed to ....









to kill a die cutter.... ruin three ears and finish one rabbit! I wanted to have so many more of the flowers. I thought it would look really neat, but unfortunately I broke the cutter. Oh well...it was going so well! Now I know why they buy already cut felt flowers! It just felt good to get in there!

New Zine


I purchased this from Elsie Sampson from Chinese Sweatshop. The yellow book with the thread and the blue behind are the drawing zines. They are wonderful. She draws and tells you stories about how she started drawing and what she likes to draw etc. The green book is a sketch book and she added the pencil, 2 crayons and other bits and pieces to draw on. It is wonderful and worth a look. She has other zines also at her webpage. I found her through Croq zine. Her zine is so original though. She cuts and pastes and handpaints color. It is a wonderful inspiration.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Toby's present.....


I love buying things off of Etsy.com for gifts if I don't have the time to make something myself. I sent this to my nephew Toby first birthday. Maya from Maidenlove made this lovely elephant. I was so impressed, because when I told her it was a present, she took this picture and sent it to me. It was so nice to see how it looked and made it really personal as a gift. She makes these elephants and blankets from fabrics she has collected over the years. She will even make things out of your own fabric if you send it to her. She is in my Etsy favorites for sure!

ATC for March

The them for this Creative Mom ATC was Space of ones own. I couldn't resist doing my favorite space. I didn't know how to do it quickly, so I just drew it. I've been working on my drawing anyway...so hopefully this will be alright for my swap person. Can you identify the objects in the pictures??? It is pretty well how my bed looks at the moment...or will when I go upstairs. I always think of Virgina Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" and think how important my bed is to me. I have always been a person who craves "me" time. My bedroom has been such a haven to me in the many bad and good times of my life.

This is the ATC I received from Kimberly for the Alphabet Soup exchange for February. I'm impressed how well she created the earth, without really drawing it. It is really cool. Thanks Kimberly.

Tote exchange.....


done with the tote for this exchange. It is a shopper, so I've not lined it. It should be useful to take into a shop when my pal has only a few things to pick up....like when they go to the drug store or something. Hopefully she will get good use out of it. I'll fill it with some goodies I've bought for her too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Easter projects

So here is what I've been up too. I've actually...shock...horror...have been assembly lining! I've never done that before, I must admit I'm usually a one time project maker. With all the Secret pals and just plain friends I have, I thought I would make a few of these up. I'm going to embellish the heck out of them once they are sewn up. I got the pattern from a wonderful felter Betz White. One of these days I'm going to try my hand at making my own pattern. At the moment, it is easier to have a pattern and then embellish it with my own ideas. Some of this fabric is new, some I've had, and some was given to me.


Doesn't she look cute! This one will be getting some embroidery on it I think. Who are the lucky recipients? Well, we shall see.....