Saturday, June 30, 2007

Time for Textiles-- at last

Finally...... have found time to do some textiles the last couple of days. What a pleasure!

The withdrawel symptoms are hard to handle, so I am pleased to be able to get going again. The past few days have seen better weather here, and certainly some very pleasant breezes, so why am I sharing a weather report with you? Its ideal weather for dyeing fabric and getting it to dry.

My thoughts were that I would dye a bit differently. So I have been tie dying and batik dyeing. Thats why the weather is quite important.

For Health and Safety purposes I like to batik dye with lots of fresh air, preferably not in the rain -wax and water are not a good solution in fact downright dangereous!

The tye dying has been washed through, and yes I have hung them to dry under cover, and they are very simple. I just wanted to have some basic fabrics to cut into, in my stash. I seem to have used most of my tie dye stash up.

The batiks are narrative images rather than abstracts. Here is the first with the wax removed by ironing. A very simple line drawing of a swan. Still have the other batiks to iron, a long process. Will blog those as and when they are ironed. May be a wait, as this is not the part I like doing.
Now, how and what with, will I embellish the swan? I'd like to keep it simple, as the batik has worked well IMHO. Do you get the same problems getting going on your work and deciding which direction to take?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Water, water everywhere..................

Not much sun about for this sundial in the garden. It has a birdbath around it and on Saturday there was no water in it at all. Surprising how quickly it has filled up with the recent torrential rain.

Have been so busy with the exam paperwork that I have had to neglect the blog. Nearly done now though.

It was celebration time on Saturday evening, and we had a small street party with the neighbours. We had a roasting pig and music to help the festivities, and we all provided our own wine or drinks. The cause of the celebration? We have lived in these houses for ten years now, how time flies.

We have had a lot of rain in the last few days and the fountain is now full too. We are very fortunate that we live on top of a hill, we have not suffered with the flooding which prevails over much of England today. Have a look at the news ...... here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Royal Ascot

Had to visit Ascot today on exam business, and as I had a 2pm appointment-

It was great fun to watch the crowds going to the races. The hats were very boxy with rims ( lots of black) and wiry petals hanging off the brims, as the wearers were walking they were bouncing around ( the wiry bits I mean), very animated. I also noted that there were some very high heeled winkle pickers and the ladies wearing them were not necessarily in their first flush of youth, and looked most uncomfortable. The gentlemen were resplendant in their top hats and tails. The dress code is of course well established, and its ladies day tomorrow ( Thursday) - watch the papers for the lastest fashions. For does and don'ts on the dress code...... look ........ here.

Needless to say I was driving..... so lack of photos, of the fashions. Here is the photo of the new stand opened last year.

These are the front gates, lots of police in attendance in their bright yellow jackets.

And here are the remnants of the champagne picnics in the grounds.

However on the way back, my chauffeur allowed me to get a few photos, alas from a moving car , so sorry for the poor quality of he photos. If you click on the images they will enlarge for you.
Exams are nearly over now, just the paperwork to do..... may be able to get back to my stitching soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Well Done - Sue

I promised my internet buddie Sue M that I would bake a cake in celebration of her winning first prize for her textile hanging " Regeneration". Sue lives downunder in Oz, we are so proud of you Sue. Well done.

We finished eating the cake tonight.

Out and About

What a busy week, out and about, travelling all over the South of England. Being an examiner means lots of visiting of schools all over the southern counties. I love doing it and I meet some wonderful teachers and see lots of students work.

Here are some pictures of a recent trip down to the West Country, taken just before the torrential rain and storms that caused lot of flash floods.

This photo is of the channel that comes from the Atlantic, and not any flooded river! It is a working port, so not very pretty.

I know some of my internet buddies who visit my blog reguarly will be able to tell where these photos were taken. I usually drive myself ( hence no photos) but I had a chauffeur on this particular journey.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nostalgic tales, the Canada Connection.

Had a look round the garden today, found some weeds, as you do. Also found some special flowers blooming.

My grandparents both emigrated to Canada at the beginning of the last century, and were married at Niagara Falls, and then lived at Simcoe, Canada to start their married life. My grandfather was a furniature maker, and his brother and his family still lives in Canada now. Although I have never had the good fortune to meet them
However when Grandmother became pregnant with her first child, she became very homesick for her family , and they returned to England, Oxford to be precise. They lived in the same house all their married life, then my Aunt continued to live in the same house until recently, so for approx 75 years the same family lived in the house.

The front garden of the house in Oxford was planted with flowers by my grandmother, and my father was given a plant from grandmas garden to put into his garden as did his 3 sisters. This flowering plant had apparently come from Canada, and all the family have a cutting of this plant in their gardens, including my children. Its a strange link to the past.
Why am I telling you this story? I noticed this morning it was flowering in my garden. I do not know what it is called, I do not have "green fingers", so am always pleased to see it again.

The snails have walked over them, but I have let them be.

By strange co-incidence I have also had some flowers delivered, quite unexpectantly, by Interflora. They were sent by my colleagues at the school I have just left. So kind.

I took my camera with me yesterday into the depths of Wiltshire ( as promised)... amazingly I saw another field of poppies, knowing I had my camera with me, I wanted to take a photo for you, but there was nowhere safe to stop the car. Most frustrating. So sorry will have to make do with this boring and bland photo of Wiltshire yesterday.
Brilliant sunshine we had, but today they are forecasting thunderstorms and torrential rain..... hasn't arrived yet!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Can you believe it?

Went on a car trip to the depths of Hampshire today, and forgot to take my camera!!! Can you believe it? At first I was not too stressed about it, the weather was misty and murky, not good conditions for taking photos.

On the way home I noticed that the rapeseed oil I had been moaning about in previous post had been harvested, and it was wonderful to see green fields again. Then I saw a wonderful sight, and had not got my camera, it was a field full of poppies, the sun was shining and the whole field was glowing red. With the green fields surrounding it , a truly wonderful sight. Very impressive, but I cannot share the vision with you. Sorry.

Tomorrow I am travelling down south, to deepest Wiltshire, I will wish for good weather and will take my camera.

This is a picture of sheep I took recently (in Hampshire), better weather than today. (click on the picture to see the sheep under the trees).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Gallery Fun - for free.

Are you impressed? Good fun playing with these illusions. Thanks for the link Helen S.

Click on the picture to take you to the link.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Straight stitch (Satin) TAST 22

I really enjoyed this challenge... so much so I have overrun the time. In the photo above, I have created a Bargello ( Florentine stitch), and also in my hand dyed even weave linen I have withdrawn the thread, then stitched it back in with straight stitches to make the colour sequences change. Rather like Ikat weaving.

Hey ho.... trouble is I got a bit too enthusiastic and started slanting the straight..... thinking on the terms of What if......? So please forgive me for getting carried away. So here are some more photos of this challenge.

I started with some of my own dyed canvas and silk and threads, I had some bought threads in the right colours too, and had some paper drinking straws. For a little variety - I also had some wire used for keeping the flies out of greenhouses. I did find this too hard on the fingers and threads though.

I was so pleased that I have mounted the pieces onto an A3 sheet of paper ( I coloured it) then I can use it for reference.

Then I did some wild experiements- using a transparent nylon fabric as a ground, I used velvet ribbon, glitzy thread, shiny rayon thread and the red..... is a plastic net used by the supermarkets to wrap oranges. Great fun!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Day trip to Cirencester

Had some exam business to attend to today in a neighbouring county, so on the way home, decided to call into this town.

Gill of elegent sufficiency blog should be able to recognise where this is! Some really nice chocolate in this shop. If not recognised yet..... is another clue!

However one of the reasons to visit, was to go to the art shop ( the green fronted one in the photo) to get some more inktense pencils. I am really enjoying using these, so decided to invest in a couple more colours. Another reason to go was to pick up dearly beloveds Fathers day gift from the Jewellers . So quick reminder for all interested ..... its June do I know? My children told me!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Green Fields.....

England is renowned for its green fields, and one thing that strikes you as you step off a ferry, or plane on returning to the UK, is how green everything is. Much to do with the amount of rain this little island gets.

I was procrastinating a short while ago about the yellow invasion of our fields. This is the subject of a small journal quilt. I have called it "Yellow Invasion - Raping the green fields of England." In case you are not sure, this relates to the Rape seed oil.
I feell better now!

Crossed buttonhole- TAST 21

Cannot say I enjoyed this stitch very much, I made a background of hand -dyed silk on organza, in pale greys and pink. I chose a fine grey pearl thread.
Try as I may I could not keep the stitching even.