Friday, 31 December 2010

In Bloom & Happy Hogmanay!

The end of 2010 is almost here, and my bicycle basket has bloomed. Detached chain stitches and french knots have blossomed into a bunch of flowers. The new year will see it on a journey with the Papergirl project.
Happy Hogmanay to you all & best wishes for 2011.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bicycles and Beatrix

During the bank holiday I have been getting on with my Papergirl entry. Free machine embroidery on felt.
I like the squiggly lines and poorly drawn wheels. Next to put something in the basket.

Like any good bank holiday, I have been mostly sitting on the sofa, constantly snacking and watching TV. This afternoon was Miss Potter. And the same time the guinea pigs were out and about, doing their very best Peter Rabbit impressions!
PS, Ever wondered which Beatrix Potter character you are most like? Apparently I am most like Mr Jeremy Fisher!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Playing with my food.

Last week I heard someone say that if you can get to do the things you enjoyed as a child, when you are an adult - then life isn't too bad. With this in mind I did some vegetable printing!
Inspired by Geninne's fantastic wrapping paper, I attempted to make some paper for Mr Crafty's presents. In hindsight I probably cut my celery too close to the base, but I had to make sure the beasts were fed! And possibly blue paint with gold glitter isn't the most festive thing ever - but hey-ho, it was fun to do!
Things I like this week are: an article on Glasgow Yarn bombing, Twisty Foldy photography exhibition at the 13th note and festive dancing goats! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Christmas Tree Brain Decoration!!!

Who wouldn't want an extra brain at Christmas time? You could have one spare just in case the other one gets too drunk or forgets where the presents are hidden.
I have a friend with a PhD in psychology, what would be more apt to hang from her Christmas tree than a brain! I set to work, using felt, metallic thread, stuffing, ribbon, a little bell and an old physiology textbook that I had at university - I knew it would come in handy one day!
I cut out a brain shape in pink felt (including the important brain stem!) and stitched it on to a green felt circle.
I then stitched the texture of the brain, including lots of folds and crevices.
Then I joined this on to another green felt disk, using back stitch around the edge. Before sealing up completely I stuffed, and added hanging ribbon and a little bell. Now the brain is finished. Hang on your tree to give you extra brain power this Christmas!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Mr Crafty & his terrible glove problem.

Yes, Mr Crafty has a terrible glove problem. I'm sure he won't mind me sharing this. You see, Mr Crafty gets the train to work. In the winter he sits on the train, takes his gloves off, puts them on his lap, and starts to read the paper or a book. Now Mr Crafty often gets so engrossed in his reading material that he doesn't notice when it is his stop. Often he only realises when the train has stopped, meaning that Mr Crafty has to quickly rush off the train. It is only when the train goes off in to the distance and Mr Crafty is walking out the station, that he realises in the rush to get off the train, he has dropped his gloves.

Now this happens fairly regularly throughout winter. The train company must have a small mountain of Mr Crafty's gloves. I suggested that Mr Crafty tie a piece of string to each of his gloves and thread this through the sleeves of his coat, a look à la school playground. However Mr Crafty is far too serious for this. Then I remembered my
super action hero fingerless mittens. Maybe a pair of these would be the answer to Mr Crafty's problems. However this did raise one very important issue, the dreaded sweater curse. Every knitter knows that knitting for your partner is dangerous. They will never fully appreciate the love that went in to each stitch. But could I let Mr Crafty go on with his terrible glove problem? After much soul searching I decided I could knit mittens for Mr Crafty as:
  • they are not a sweater
  • they will only take a few hours to knit
  • I can knit them in front of him so he realises how long they take to make
  • I can use yarn that I already have in the house, so that if he loses them I don't have to cry about the loss of some beautiful alpaca
  • I can use acrylic yarn, it is practical, and if they accidentally go in the washing machine, then the mittens won't have to be donated to a small child.
So that was that. The mittens were completed a few weeks ago.
Mr Crafty is very grateful for them, and wears them every day as he walks to the train station. There is no sign of the sweater curse coming to fruition. And best of all when he sits down on the train to read, he can leave them on his hands, so no more lost gloves. A happy ending to Mr Crafty's glove problem after all.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside...

My last sketch before hurting my elbow was of a beach. I had realised that my new sketchbook had no colour in it, so when thinking of what to add, I thought of the seaside. Using watercolours and pastels, I sketched a beach from a magazine.
At the weekend I actually got to go to the beach. Admittedly it was rather bracing, as an English seaside resort generally is in December, but I wasn't there for sunbathing. Minehead Butlins played host to Bowlie 2. Twee indie pop stars Belle and Sebastian curated the event.
And my reading for the journey, Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Inspiration for the forthcoming Centenary of International Women's Day events. Back home to chilly Glasgow now.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Cathedral textiles & not so funny bones...

Firstly this post might take me ages to write. I slipped on the ice yesterday, which resulted in two very bruised knees and a sore elbow. On waking this morning I realised that I couldn't straighten my arm and my fingers were a little tingly. Off to the minor injuries unit I went to discover that I had fractured my elbow - doh! Slight bit of chaos trying to get a cab home in a snow blizzard, but home sweet home now. Fortunately it is my left arm (I'm right handed) but you realise how much you use your arm when you can't! Anyways, as promised, pictures of the textiles I found in Glasgow Cathedral.
An embroidered altar piece.
A seat cover.
Patchwork cloth cover of the shrine of Saint Mungo, by Malcolm Lochhead. And finally a tapestry triptych.
Beautiful textiles all hidden within the cathedral. Now, for my next project, to make a prettier sling - can I use a sewing machine one-handed???

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Glagow Cathedral in the snow...

For my UWA course I spent a chilly day walking around Glasgow Cathedral. I found some beautiful textiles inside, but I will share these tomorrow - otherwise there will be picture overload! For today, some pretty images!
I particularly like the stained glass, and went animal spotting on the many panes.
The stained glass gives an ethereal feel to light. Behind the cathedral is the necropolis, where wealthy Victorians were buried. This city of the dead dominates the skyline.
The patron saint of Glasgow and is St Mungo and images of his alleged miracles are seen around the cathedral. They are remembered by the following rhyme:
Here is the bird that never flew
Here is the tree that never grew
Here is the bell that never rang
Here is the fish that never swam