Sunday, 9 October 2011

back to the needles!

My son has just been to New York and I am hoping he will bring me a NY times, which I have a mind to use in a newspaper teacup. I am getting a bit bored of the Daily Mail which my Mum in law let's us have (primarily for Mr D'Arcey's litter tray..) I really fancy doing some little naieve pictures on this tea-cup-to-be but kind of washed out, so the paper shines through.

But I am back to the needles, knitting, that is. Watched Star Trek (the movie) last night and last Saturday. Cannot quite believe that! But when you are knitting you miss most of the visuals on telly and just have the sounds. At least when you are doing fair isle. The idea is to have a go at those 1970's tank tops, mainly for me, as I am anticipating a cold winter!

I was asked to needle felt a little dog for one of Rosie's friends and he is now done. How to charge? Last time I was happy with a big bunch of flowers. He is made from wool washed and gathered from the fences around here. But this is a good place to get wool

Just found this lovely drawing of a lurcher on Folksy.

Meanwhile, until I can actually get a real doggie, I will be content with Mr D'Arcey who is fine company.

Yesterday I had another look here and drooled over the wool and their new craft workshop. Great lunch too! Plus I treated myself to a nice new jacket (one of those tatty looking indian ones that can look a bit too hippy if you are not careful...)

Monday, 15 August 2011

paper and stitch

I am continuing to experiment with paper and stitching and treated myself to the latest cloth paper and scissors mag which is American. It is pretty good for ideas and inspiration but they seemed to be so geared up over their craftwise and I think we could learn a lot. I love the idea of working with ephemera and have made this card combining my favourite old postcard and sketching with stitching. I love old sketchbooks, and by the time my daughter Rosie went to art college over 10 years ago, the sketch books became fat and packed with ideas, drawing, texture and bits of writing. I think that eclectic mix has more possibilities and is more immediate than the finished product. I love the spontaneity of this and the fact the it's not finished and perfect. I would rather look at an artist's sketchbook, to get an insight into how ideas are played around with.

This card has been made bits of an old postcard (well a copy of it!) and some white cotton I have, plus a tiny piece of vintage tray cloth. The flowers are made from some gauzy fabric from a scarf I found in Help the Aged, (new actually!) and the sequins are from a stash I got a few years ago when I was rummaging in the remnants bit of a Sue Ryder charity shop. I certainly have done my bit for charity over the years! Besides, it's good to reinvent things. I have drawn on the card and distressed it with gold just to add to the texture.

I have also been given a tesco bag of old costume jewellery which is quite a treasure trove. I dismantled a necklace and made into a bracelet with lovely autumn colours and a bronze sequinned bead for a bit of sparkle. I am not sure if I should keep it or try to sell it.

Sales on folksy are somewhat erratic. I did okay in July as I was listing every day but now it's fallen off a bit probably because I am not!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

little boxes

I have tried papier mache and wood and am loving making these boxes! I have rediscovered influences from the past like William Morris. I had his wallpaper on my first house - a tiny terrace cottage, but adored the grandiose paper but could only afford to put it on one wall. And nostalgia! Down the road at Blakemere there is an enormous antiques emporium which is stacked sky high with all kinds of things, jewellery, hideous plates, football memorabilia but I spent ages looking though their old books (bit pricey though) and got loads of inspiration, but the best is a little section where they have old postcards. One of them must have been written very early on in the 20th century and says 'Dear Edna, I enjoying myself very much at London. I have seen a balloon with men in called the sausage. I have been on a steamer, down the River Thames, love from Marion'. That dates it a bit.

Anyway, the boxes are going well on Folksy and I have so many ideas. Getting very stuck in the past though.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I am on a roll

After much gluing, cutting and sticking I did what I set out to do and made a couple of cups and saucers. The better one has petal shaped overlapping pieces of paper and they are both surprisingly sturdy. I actually cut a piece from Selvedge magazine to make one saucer and felt a bit naughty about it. But I did read the bit I was cutting out and it mentioned both Etsy and Folksy. The article pointed out that it is not such a good idea to sell through shops as they take such a large cut, which is true, but at least they sell!
Collected a modest cheque today for selling cards in the Creative recycling Gallery href="">

That's nice. And I have now started to use some off cuts that Rosie has given me - roses on a black background. Interesting and not quite so pink and sugary. Like these felt balls...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

working with ephemera

or seeing what can be done with paper, maps and newspaper. I am thinking about the transient nature of flowers and enjoying sticking, gluing, tearing up strips and all that as well as working with cups of tea, both for real and otherwise. It's the day to day, mundane and what is around rather than looking for some Holy Grail.

Consequently I love things that aren't that precious, rare, and sought after. Rather, it's about turning something discarded into something else through some kind of transformation. I have collected the dead roses heads, left over from my birthday bunch, and continuing to enjoy the quality of dried rose petals. I have tipped out the fruit from the gloriously kitchen golden goblet that once housed the bananas and now it's filling with incredibly romantic faded roses, and the soft peachy tones of the papery petals.

I intend to make a papier mache cup and saucer, and instead of tea, the cup will be filled with gold and inspiring words of wisdom. The cup that cheers!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

it started with an idea....

I bought a fabulous book a while back called 'Ribbonwork The complete Guide' by Helen Gibb and started playing around with a very simple petal idea.. and then I found some tatty little fake flowers, which looked pretty good when incorporated into the petal (which I made in layers) and then I went into the garden and snipped a bit of clematis and wound it into a wreath, and then decorated this with my new flowers.

Then I looked in a book by Sue Reeves which had some fabulous totally over the top type fabric wreaths and took this up into the hills at the back of Buxton to absorb (with OH and a flask of coffee). Saturday night was spent painstakingly putting all this together and I am really pleased with the result!

This evening I tackled another unfinished knitting project, made from old bits of yarn, which I then pulled off the needle and backed with bondaweb and made a lovely knitted hanging heart which is like recycling recycled stuff. I quite like the idea of working with something and turning it into something else. It means I make quite a mess.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Why is it that I always want to try something new? These past few weeks I have been making cards, houses,dolls, crochet stuff, painting, drawing and I think I have been pursuing a certain kind of emotional response. I love Julie Arkell's work

Warm, cosy, comfortable, funny, poignant and colourful. The colours are a little odd - I am not going for obvious bright splashes but something more subtle, like the almost random selection in my crochet blankets.

And then I have been keep a daily facebook link to my influences for the day like these:

Friday, 6 May 2011

LIfe has changed

My dear darling daughter Amy passed away in March. No time or inclination for writing blogs, when your world has caved in. We have had a terrible time of it, and so had Amy, suffering from organ failure and struggling to survive. You think that hope and love can make a difference, but it didn't. Now we have to pick up the pieces and find a way through.

Needless to say, I am finding crafting keeps me sane, just about, but there is a huge sadness and hole in my life. They say time eases it, but the longer I am without her, the worse it is. The flowers have now all died on her grave and I am determined to keep fresh flowers there, to remember her by. I have inherited her wonderful cat, Mr Darcy, and he is a constant comfort and companion.

I am making tea cosies as they are small and cheerful like this:

Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year

I see I have been far too busy to blog and no wonder. Amy is out of hospital but due for a transplant in a few weeks. She has done brilliantly and we have had some scary moments but met some wonderful caring nursing staff at the MRI.

Crafty wise it's been all about ACEO's! Wow I love these little tiny pictures only 2.5 and 3.5 and there are some amazing ones around. It's whole new field for me brought into spotlight by teabreaks.

who has done this tree in springtime which I love:

and also Mochalulu who does some beautiful work like this of the parrot. as above (not good at getting my pictures in the right place!)

The great things is that people are having a go and seeing what they can do - there is a great outpouring of creativity and people are starting their own collections which is good for everyone. I have got quite hooked and here is one mine of a still life (now sold!)