Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Sketchbook Project

My first picture for The Sketchbook Project [see link on right], my theme is 'Below the Surface'.
The paper is a bit thin so I don't think I will be painting on the other sides, I will probably paint on something else and attach it some way. I didn't start at the very front of the book either, just in case I made a total mess of it!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Limpets & Seaweed

I took pictures of these limpets and seaweed in July on the Northumberland coastline.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Chalk or Make Up

I don't wear make up very often but because of the wedding I decided to buy some new items. I decided to throw my old stuff out as I'd had some of it for years. But then I thought - the eye shadow could be similar to the chalks you can buy [ie pebbles chalks] so I experimented and the result is the sample above. I used a paintbrush and water, then covered it with a thin layer of napkin/pva, then painted over with the chalks again. I finished with a coat of pva so it wouldn't rub off. I added the photograph of the swan [below] on the computer.

Friday, 27 August 2010


I often find mushrooms growing in my garden, but I have never seen any like this before. They shot up in a matter of days and today the largest one measured 17cm across. There were 4, now down to 2 as something is finding them tasty. There are chunks bitten out of the remaining two. Does anyone know what they are called? I wondered if they were boletus impolitus.
There are more photos of them on flickr

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Take a Stitch Tuesday - Week 26

This weeks stitch [Take a Stitch Tuesday] is Chained Cross Stitch. I think it is a much more interesting stitch than the normal cross stitch. It would make a good filling stitch too. I have done two versions, one making the stitch a lot bigger [below], I've also stitched on a few beads.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Flowers and Cakes

The flowers included herbs, like rosemary.
The wedding cakes were 2 large hearts, named and edged with cupcakes. Between these was a cheese cake, or rather a cheese tower. I didn't make the cakes this time.
I did start a new project yesterday but it didn't go to plan, hopefully I'll have a better creative day tomorrow.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Gorgeous Beaded Wedding Dress and Bag

These are pictures of the beaded wedding bag [continued from yesterday]. Both the dress and the bag were made and embroidered by Emma's friend Debbie.
And on the inside is a label specially made by Debbie for Emma & Jack
This is the front of the dress, again exquisite beading and embroidery, with pleats from the yoke and another embroidered/beaded section around the waist. Emma drew a picture of the kind of dress she had in mind and Debbie designed and made it.
This is the back, which has a row of lovely decorative buttons.
A label on the inside of the dress too.
And this is the very talented Debbie with Emma. This is the first wedding dress Debbie has ever made! Wow!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Emma & Jack get married

I've been away for a few days to attend my daughter Emma's wedding in London. Emma married Jack at Marylebone Town Hall in the yellow room. I took the photo in the park and my son James took the others including the creative black, white & red one above.
The reception was at Home House, Portman Square and we had photographs taken in the park opposite.

Home House is a Gordgian town house and the interior was designed by Robert Adam [neoclassical style - developer of the 'adams style' fireplaces]
I shall post more photos tomorrow of the lovely wedding dress and beaded bag

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Take a Stitch Tuesday - Vandyke Stitch

This week's 'Take a Stitch Tuesday' is vandyke stitch. It is a very easy stitch to do. I did one row and then did another one next to it over the lace to catch it down. I put a row of pink beads down the middle but I didn't like it so I took them out and I did a row of chain stitch instead. I think it would look better if the pink was a lighter shade but I decided to leave it. As usual I put my sample in my altered book.

Monday, 16 August 2010

When Colours Collide - Art Quilt

I started this quilt for the international patchwork competition called 'when materials collide' and I call my quilt 'when colours collide' as it has so many different colours in it. As part of the competition one had to 'overcome the restraints of fibre and to integrate non-textile materials into the piece'. I have blogged about the start of the quilt and bits of it previously in June. The  non-textile bits include paint, DVD's [cut up], plastic net, string, beads, sequins and tomato puree tubes. The deadline came and I didn't finish it [still not finished], I probably could have if I had really tried but I wasn't sure about it [it's not my usual style - which can be seen on my website] and with the cost to enter & delivery to France I talked myself out of it. It took a lot of hours as it has been all hand stitched and quilted apart from the edging, and was quite difficult to stitch in places where the paint was thick. I did try quilting it on the machine but I find big pieces too difficult and stressful[how do people do it?]. The question now is - do I finish it? What shall I do with it if I do? Would anybody want to buy it? Or shall I chop it up and use it in other work? I would be grateful for your comments, and tell me whether you like it or not, even if you think it is hideous. I do like bits of it but I'm not sure about the whole thing. To finish the quilt I need to finish the edging & I also have another stringy/bead thing to put on, so probably not loads of work, but now the competition deadline is way gone, the inclination to finish has too.

I'm sorry the photos aren't as good as they could be. When the quilt was hanging on the door the quilt was at an angle [I couldn't shut the door or open it fully], likewise when it was on the floor I took the picture from one end and some photos are a bit blurry.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Scottish Trip - The Trossachs

Last weekend I went to Scotland for a couple of nights with hubby, sister and brother-in-law and we stayed at Balloch near Loch Lomond. On a tour around the Trossachs area we called in at a tearoom called Wee Blether at Linlochard. As well as the beautiful views from the balcony, see photo above, there were funny signs to read and interesting things to see. Directly below is a crocodile in the grass
It's a beautiful area - and the weather stayed nice for two days.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Moose Tree & Illustration Friday

Can you see a moose?

Click here for my picture for today's Illustration Friday - Star Gazing

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Arrow Poison Frogs and IF - Caged

The Illustration Friday [link on right] challenge [6th] is 'Caged'

The gorilla was in one of my sketchbooks, done with Faber Castell Pitt Brush Pens in shades of grey & black. The lime green chicken wire was actual wire which I scanned into the computer.