31 December 2007


As one year ends and another begins it's time to review what I've accomplished over the past year

52 stitch samples for TAST
6 challenges/chapters of The Artist Muse
5 Quiltie swaps on Unlimited Textiles plus Bookmark, Xmas Decoration swap
2 Joggles classes - Temple Dancer Doll (completed) and Doodling Designs (5 lessons completed and lesson 6 half done)
Module 1 of C & G Embroidery completed - Module 2 started
Open College of Art Textiles course completed and assessed with Grade A awarded
Padfolio for SIL birthday
ATC swaps - Make 5 Take 5

Not much to show for a years work is it really. It's not as if I don't have plenty of time to do things but I keep putting things off until later but hopefully the challenges I've signed up for this year will keep me focussed and I'll accomplish a lot more.

I've stopped making New Year Resolutions because however good my intentions are I never keep to them. But (a big BUT) this year I must try to lose some weight. I know it is bad for my health, I already have to take 3 lots of tablets for High Blood pressure and my hip aches if I stand or walk for too long so I realise the excess weight is putting a strain on my joints.

To all my blogging friends I wish you a

Happy New Year

I hope it is peaceful, prosperous and above all a very creative year for you all.

Doodle lesson 5 finished

I was hoping to have finished all my doodle lessons by New Year so I could start fresh in 2008 but they've taken me longer than I expected, I suppose because there has been so much hand stitching on them.

I've got my eye on 2 more classes with Susan Sorrell at Joggles - Monoprinting and Fertile Earth
and this class looks a lot of fun as well.

30 December 2007

TAST finished

Hurray! I've managed to finish TAST weeks 51 and 52 with less than 12 hours of 2007 to go.

The top 3 are Week 51 Chained Bar which was very easy to do and the bottom 3 are week 52 Spanish Feather Stitch which I'm still not sure if I've got right.

I started with such good intentions at the beginning of the year. To be experimental with the various stitches but ended up just doing basic sample but at least I can say I stuck with the challenge and finished all 52 stitches. I'm looking forward to the new challenge which I think will be much easier to stick with as it is only monthly instead of weekly.

24 December 2007

Season's Greetings

Merry Christmas
and a very
Creative New Year

13 December 2007

Doodles and Stamps

I wanted to make some stamps from my doodles so went surfing to find some suitable carving blocks. The first one's I found on this website Graphicus

Then I found this website and I got a Speedball Block printing starter kit for half price £8.50 which I got just in time it's sold out now and no longer available

and a load of Speedy stamp for £1.99 each, they should keep me going for quite a while.

I had a quick go at making a small stamp from a doodle, it's the top part of the speedy stamp where the printing is 4 x 6 inches.

I used the second stamp to print a background on a 12" square piece of white cotton for Doodling Design lesson 6.
then using white fabric paint, doodled on top

and finally used blues and greens to overpaint the white.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this next. I'll have to give it some thought.

TAST catchup again

I've caught up with TAST at last, well nearly I'm in the middle of this weeks.

I've just realised that I've not done these in order but here goes -
A in the photo is Week 45 Pekinese Stitch
B is Week 44 Zig Zag Spanish Knotted Stitch which I can honestly say I'm not keen on
C is Week43 Drizzle Stitch which I found fun to do
D is Week 46 Chain Braid Stitch
E is Week 47 Thorn Stitch and very appropriate for this time of year don't you think and finally F is Week 48 Knotted Cable Chain Stitch.

Week 49 Pistil Stitch.

We're up to week 50 now so only 2 more stitches to go, where has the year gone too???

I'm looking forward to Sharon's new challenge for 2008 it should be interesting. On the 1st day of each month Sharon will post a key concept and there will be 2 options, a colour scheme or a design element like a shape. The challenge will be to use one or both of them to develop into a resolved design. If you want to know more have a look at this page. It's going to be a popular challenge as so far 198 people from various countries have signed up, what a great way to bring us all together.

12 December 2007

Early Christmas present

Sally of Feather on a wire had posted about a Graphics tablet she'd bought from Aldi. I've wanted one for quite a while but they can be expensive and Aldi usually sell out of special offers quite quickly but I thought I might as well go along and see if they still had them. Hurray!!! they did so it is my early Christmas present to myself. It cost £29.99 which isn't a bad price.

I put the software on the my laptop and desk top pc but for some reason it works better with the laptop. The laptop has Vista and the pc has XP but is over 5 years old, perhaps it's getting a bit old. Here's a couple of doodle I did on it to practice.

02 December 2007

Goodies in the Post

I've been a bit lax posting about all the swaps I've received over the past few weeks so here goes in no particular date order:-

I got this from Ali in her birthday present draw. I've got it pinned to my coat.

The next two are bookmarks I got as part of the 'Feeling Blue' swap on Unlimited Textiles. The first is from Liz Counsell and the second from Sue Krekorian

I got this from Anna when her blog was 1 years old, I was one of the lucky first 10 to leave a comment. They are made from Silk carrier rods that Anna dyes so no two are the same and are just big enough to hold a pair of glasses or a mobile,

and this came in the post yesterday from Anne as part of a PIF (Pass it forward) swap. It's a shame you can't smell it as it contains allspice berries, cinnamon bark and whole cloves.

27 November 2007

Doodling Designs Lesson 5

For this lesson we had to use one of our doodle stamps and fabric paint on to a piece of material before choosing a doodle to stitch on top.

I've gone a bit mad and started two pieces.

I've finished stitching the doodle in black on the pink one and half way through stitching on the blue/green one.

Doodling Designs Lesson 4 finished

I've finally finished the doodle for lesson 4. I added different stitches to each of the the fabric shapes and then some beads to the background to make it sparkle a bit.

I think if I did this lesson again I'd overlap some of the doodles but overall I'm pleased with the finished result.

The fabric on the back is some I bought a few weeks ago at Abakhans in Liverpool. It was reduced by 75% so couldn't resist buying a metre of it, I knew it would come in handy one day but I didn't realise how soon I'd be using it.

Take it Further 2008 Challenge

I've nearly caught up with TAST stitches but I thought I'd let you know Sharon has announced what next years challenge will be, it's the "Take It Further Challenge".

I've enjoyed learning some of the new stitches that Sharon has introduced us to over the past year and I hope I'll be able to use some of them in this new challenge.

17 November 2007

C & G Module 1 finished

Hurray I've finished Module 1 of my C & G course. I thought I was never going to get it done. You know how it is you lose the momentum and go on to other things. Anyway I put it in the post yesterday so if you want to see what I've done go to my other blog

Doodling Designs Lesson 4

For this lesson we made our doodles out of fabric.

I followed Susan's instructions and put the back on before putting the fabric doodles on. If I do this again I'll finish the doodle part before putting the backing on.

I decided to FME the background so that is now on the backing as well but it doesn't detract too much from the patterned fabric I've used. Doh!! haven't taken a photo of the back, memo to self to take one once I've finished adding more embroidery, beading etc.

16 November 2007

On this day.....

... 50 years ago my Mum and Dad got married.

Unfortunately they had less than 12 years together as man and wife, Mum has been a widow 3 times longer than she was a wife. I couldn't let today pass without commemorating what would have been their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

The lady to the left of Mum is her mother, and the man to the right of Dad is his father.

11 November 2007

Doodling Designs lesson 3

For this lesson we had to use a doodle or part of it and make a stamp. I've not got any of the Artist's carving block Susan recommended, it's a bit expensive to use just for experimenting with but I must get some to have in for proper work. Anyway I used a piece of garden kneeling pad to make my stamp.

I used lino cutting tools but it didn't cut cleanly, but it will do for a practice one. I've got some 2 x 6 cm rubbers that I think I'll have a go with. They'll only make small stamps but I should be able to get something out of them. Anyway this is what the finished stamp looks like when stamped on to a piece of white cotton with fabric paint.

Doodling Designs lesson 2 update

I've finished all the stitching on my collage at last. I had to re-do the french knots because I'd rubbed so much to get rid of the water soluble paper it had made a mess of them. The 2nd photo makes the colours look a bit washed out they are darker than that but I'm wondering whether to add some more paints to the background to darken it plus add other colours. What does everyone think????

Just had a thought I could leave this as it is and colour another piece of fabric to have a go on!!!

05 November 2007

Doodling Designs lesson 2

I'm half way through lesson 2 but thought I'd post what I've done so far. We had to make a collage of photo's from a magazine, but I must be one of the few women in the UK who never buys women's magazines so I had to find another solution. I decided to use some of my own photographs to make my collage.

Then I cropped and enlarged the part I wanted to use

then used the filter 'Find edges' in Photoshop.

Next I used some Javana silk paints to colour a 12 inch square of cotton fabric, it's not as light as the photo shows but I still think it will need some more paint putting on when I've finished embroidering.

The design was drawn on to a piece of water soluble paper

and then I used black embroidery thread to back stitch the design. I thought I was running out of thread as well at one point but I looked through my stash and found 2 skeins so I should have just enough to finish this piece. Black isn't a colour I usually have much of but I'll have to stock up with some next time I go to town, module 2 of C & G is about Tone so I'll be using a lot of black and white.

Can't say I'm very keen on water soluble paper either. I managed to pull at lot of it off but had to wet the rest to get it of but it sticks like mad. I even used a toothbrush to see if that helped but it didn't, much. Now it's dry you can see a slight haze on the black thread where it must still be stuck.

Now I've just got to doodle on the rest of the fabric and embroider it.

PS to clarify how I got the black and white design to work with. In Photoshop click on 'image>mode>grayscale' to discard the colour information then click on 'filter>stylize>find edges' and you should get something similar to my design.


Jackie had a link to the work of Vincent Floderer so I had a look and what amazing thing he can do with paper. I found this You Tube of him making a mushroom. I used to watch a programme on origami in the early 70's so I've got to have a go at this one day.

October Swaps

I can show you the Quiltie and bookmarks I made for Octobers swap on the them of 'Feeling Blue' because the ladies have received them.

I made them all on my new embellisher. The quiltie is made with wool, silk and hand dyed scrim on a piece of felt with some heart shaped crystals and a few beads sewn on.

The bookmarks are wool, silk and scrim on silk painted vilene.

29 October 2007

Doodling Designs lesson 1 ATC's

I finally got my new reading glasses on Friday so spent the weekend stitching. Susan said it was best to do something small to start with so I chose to make a couple of ATC's.

After making a load of doodles I isolated part of one to use.

I didn't have Timtex so had to use some thickish Vilene to paint with Javana Silk paints, then stitched the design with black thread. I added a few diamente shapes to this one,

and a few beads on this one as well.

22 October 2007

Doodling Designs lesson 1

I got lesson one of Doodling Designs on Friday so spent the weekend doing some doodles. Probably like most people I doodled on the front of my exercise books at school I've but not really done much since. I started off a bit tentatively and put too much thought into it instead of letting my mind wonder and letting the stick do it's own thing with the Indian ink.

Once I stopped thinking about what I was doing and changed to using some artists pens and a brush pen I think I managed to do some better doodles!!!! but I'll still find a use for the first ones.