Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Yeah, I just got my requirements list in the post today for a workshop with Janet Bolton, which I signed up for at the local quilt store. I'm so excited as I've been admiring Janets work for a long time so it should be a great day.

I've signed up for a few different day workshops coming up over the next few months from creative knitting to felting and I'm looking forward to every one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will all have enough participants to go ahead.

Before I sign off here is the hat of the day I love the colours of this one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blackberry Dyeing

Last night I got to squashing some blackberries into some fabric to see what dyed effect I could get. I only saved about 20 blackberries from the stash we collected the other day but the juice went far and I now have a 24" x 11" piece of blackberry dyed cotton.
Sorry the scanned image isn't the best but you get the idea. Now the fabric has dried the colour is a lot paler than I thought it might turn out, it was a lot of fun to do though so I might go get some more berries and try some different squashing techniques to see if I can come up with different effects.
Of course I can't end the post without another hat on location. This is one of my favourites, I think it looks great nestled in the tree.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hats on location

A couple of posts ago I showed you a picture of me knitting in the great outdoors. I thought I ought to share with you a what I've been making. I think I told you about the Innocent Big Knit challenge. So for the past week I've been making the odd hat here and there. Rather than just share pictures I thought it would be fun to put Mark's photography skills to good use and take some of my hats 'on location'

Yesterday we went for a walk up Windmill Hill near Avebury and I took some hats with me. Sadly it was quite windy yesterday and as we managed to quickly empty the contents of the bottle it was difficult to find places out of the wind to get some good pictures but we managed a couple. Here is my hat of the day. Look out for more in the coming posts :)

Originally I had hoped to make and donate 30 hats, they only take about 30 mins to make from start to finish so a perfect in front of the TV project. So far I have made about 15, although I have a reasonable yarn stash, I have already made a hat with all the different types of yarn that I have and I don't really want to make too many duplicates as I think I will get quickly bored with that so I might just leave it at 15.

On a totally different note I just realised that I forgot to tell you all about my meeting with the wonderful Maggie Harris last week. I have been admiring Maggie's blog for sometime and asked her whether she knew of any groups that meet in the local area. Kindly she told me about the Swindon branch of the embroiders guild and I went to their meeting last Monday. It was such fun, all of the ladies there were so friendly and very welcoming and we had a lovely talk from Jenny Smart a local spinner and weaver. I had a great evening and hope they will let me become a permanent member of the group.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


It seems that we are being blessed with another day of beautiful weather here. Rather than waste it Mark and I decided to go for a walk to enjoy the sunshine. Along the way we collected lots of yummy blackberries.
I think maybe I'll make some jam and perhaps a couple of apple and blackberry crumbles. I have it in my head that I might squash a few onto some fabric too just to see how well the colour takes. It might for some interesting results, my hands were certainly a nice shade of purple by the time we were done.

Along the way we managed to pick up this cute fellow. Of course we nicknamed him Blackberry.

We think he probably belongs to the farm that was up the track from where we were walking. He was such a friendly cat and followed us for ages. It was such an unusual pleasure to go for a walk in the sun accompanied by a feline friend. He was definately a fiesty little chap and hissed down a couple of dogs along the way. I think a few people thought we were a bit odd taking our cat for a walk so I had to explain a couple of times that he wasn't actually ours, just keeping us company for a while.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Knitting in the Beacons

Part of the reason that I haven't blogged much this last week was that I went camping at the weekend. Mark and I decided to take off to the the Brecon Beacons for a couple of days. We had lovely weather and who could fail to feel refreshed after a weekend of wonderful views and fresh air.

Mark had a great time looking for photo opportunities and I love to try and snap him when he's engrossed in capturing the images he thinks are interesting.
We sat by the stream that Mark is photographing above for a bit of lunch. Not only is Mark a great photographer but I think he might have a career in sculpture if he try, here is the rock frog he made while we were just hanging around. I am entirely unfit at the moment and had to sit around a beautiful mountain lake enjoying the sun while Mark climbed to the summit. You can just about make out his silhouette (he's stood on a huge boulder) against the skyline here.To help keep myself busy I took some knitting with me. Innocent Smoothies are having their knitted hat campaign again this year to raise some money for Help the Aged. You can find all the details here. Last year I bought some of the hatted drinks but this year I thought I'd join in and make a couple. I don't usually post pictures of myself as I'm horribly ashamed of how I look being far too overweight but what the heck, here I am knitting up a storm in the lovely Beacons landscape.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I've been tagged

I can't believe how fast time is disappearing at the moment it's been well over a week since I've blogged...

I've been tagged by my wonderful friend Vi, to write something about myself for each letter of my name so here goes

A - Adventurous, I love to try out new things or go new places. Even a walk down a well trodden path can be an adventure as you never know who you might might or what you might see.

N - Nice, well at least I hope so. I like to think that others see me as a nice person, I try and be as helpful and kind to others as I can.

G - (good looking, lol ok so one can dream!) Generous, I'm happy to donate my time to others and if I have money in my pocket I'd much rather treat friends and family than spend on myself.

E - Eager, to learn new things and seek out new experiences.

L - Lustful - ok now I don't mean in the X rated sense, I mean in the sense that when it comes to crafts and creative things I'm always wanting new toys to play with, sadly my budget is not as limitless as my lust!

A - Always grateful that I have been blessed with a wonderful family and many great friends.

Ok so now I have to tag a few people. I've never done this before, so am not really sure who likes to play along with these. I'm going to tag Helen, Terri, Kate, Ali and Melinda, but don't worry if you ladies don't want to play I won't be offended.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yes, you guessed it more postcards.....

Well it's been a few days since I posted about my elephant cards. It's not that I haven't been doing anything it's just that I've been a bit restless. I've started 5 or 6 different things but never quite seemed to finish any of them. Finally last night I decided to knuckle down and tick some more postcards off the list. First up here is one of the cards I made for the Cats and Dogs swap we had a while back at Artsnthemail. These were great fun to make. Took a while cutting and fusing all the pieces, especially on the dog and then appliqueing them down with tiny satin stitch. I finished them off with little felt noses and goofy button eyes.

Next up was the Something Beginning with F swap. I decided F is for felting. For ages I have dreamed of getting an embellisher machine but sadly they are way out of my budget at the moment so I'll still keep dreaming. Instead I decided to try out the budget option from Clover.

Actually it was a lot of fun to do but quite time intensive for even the small areas that I was working on, but I really like the soft felted finish. Here is the result.
F is for felting and flower, actually the flower didn't work too great I think it might have been the pink on orange colour. It seems to show up a bit better in this picture than it does to the naked eye.

In progress I have postcards for an Autumn themed swap, Something Beginning with G (anyone want to guess it's not as straight forward as E!), a padfolio and a page for a fabric book swap. Phew, well at least I won't have time to get bored finishing up all of those.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

E is for Predictable

Lol, I had to laugh at Helen's comment on my last post which said the only E she could think of was elephant. Well I had a similar experience and elephant was all that came to mind.

I really enjoyed hand stitching these little fellows, from a pattern in the current issue of Classic Stitches. I worked them over 22 Count Hardanger. I've done a lot of cross stitching in the past as this was my Mum's favourite pastime, but never anything as small as 22 count, I'm not sure my eyes would hold up to doing a large piece on this type of fabric.

Also a bit of creative recycling going on for this card as the background fabric used to be a pair of my favourite trousers (pants) which I recently wore a hole in. I was sad to see them go but being a larger lady at least has some advantages, I now have plenty of this beautiful fabric to use in future projects ;)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Back to work Blues

Yuck! Today was my first day back to work after a week off, boy was it hard to get my butt out of bed this morning. I was so tempted to phone in sick but my conscience got the better of me. Still it's over and done with now.

I have an evening full of creating planned but before I get to that I thought I'd share with you what I got finished yesterday. More postcards I'm afraid, I know it's probably getting boring me posting about postcards all the time but although I'm making good progress into my 'things that I am way behind in' list I've still got quite a few to go.

Here is a baby postcards for an internet friend of mine Dawn who just had a baby girl. I had fun getting pink hands dyeing the cheesecloth for the background :)Also an embroidered dress that I made for a 'Fashion' swap, with a little help from another rubber stamp that I had in my collection. Sorry about the picture quality but it's a grey day here today and if I try with the flash on there is just too much glare.

OK how about a quick quiz? Tonight I am working on a postcard swap the theme is Something Beginning with E. Anyone want to try and guess what my E is?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

My painted Soul

I've seen this quiz on a few blogs and thought it would be fun to take it myself. The result is interesting as I don't feel any particular affinity to the colour purple but hey if I must be associated with royalty and divinity so be it,lol

What color is your soul painted?


Your soul is painted the color purple, which embodies the characteristics of sensuality, spirituality, creativity, wealth, royalty, nobility, mystery, enlightenment, arrogance, gaudiness, mourning, confusion, pride, delicacy, power, meditation, religion, and ambition. Purple falls under the element of Earth, and was once a European symbol of royalty; today it symbolizes the divine.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Dorset Steam Rally

We had a wonderful day at the steam rally yesterday. To be honest I didn't realise how big it would be. There was so much to see and do I think you really needed to have stayed a couple of days to do it justice. Most of the photos I took didn't really capture the atmosphere or the scale of the event too well but I have kept a couple to share with you.

Just one of the hundreds of magnificent steam engines on display.

There were dozens of engines roaming around in the heavy haulage ring. This picture gives an idea of how steamy the event really was!

There were many old traditional fair organs to be seen throughout the fair. This one looked spectacular all lit up at dusk just after sunset.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Feathers and Dolls

Ok here is what I have been up to this last couple of days. More postcards I'm afraid. I still have quite a long list of postcard swaps to catch up on but slowly the list is getting shorter yipee! I was doing really well keeping up to date at the start of the year before Dad's op but it only took that couple of weeks for things to get out of kilter and I'm still struggling to catch up.

Both of these sets of cards are for ARTSnTHEMAIL swaps. First up feathers. When I first signed up for this swap I had grand ideas of embroidering some beautiful feathers but after a couple of tried attempts which looked nothing like elegant feathers I gave up on that one, lol! Instead I decided to keep it simple and just cover my card in craft feathers. Ok so this may not be the most artistic card I ever made, but it feels beautifully soft to touch and for a while my creative space was like a whimsical fairie land with bits of feather floating around everywhere.

Next theme is Something beginning with D. I had a few different ideas before remembering a beautiful mermaid rubber stamp that I bought from Patti Culea's collection. Now you might be thinking what has a mermaid to do with the letter D. Well nothing really but the idea of the stamp is to help you create a wonderful paper doll which seems to be all the rage in the papercrafting world at the moment so D is for Doll. Boy did these little mermaid's take me an age to stamp, colour and stitch but I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.(The stitching detail shows up better if you click on the picture for a larger image). It was an enjoyable afternoon sat at my machine with the Marie Antoinette DVD playing in the background. (If you haven't seen this movie it's worth watching for the beautiful costumes and sets if nothing else). Anyway I hope that my swap partners don't mind the fact that the mermaids don't strictly fit into the 6" x 4" format. I think it gives the cards an added bit of fun.

Today Mark and I are off to the Dorset Steam Rally as Mark is itching to do some photography so far the sun has been shining this morning so hopefully it will be a great day.