Wednesday 12 September 2018

Handmade Style Tunics

The pattern for this tunic made in cotton was from a book called "Handmade Style" by Anna Graham  and features an overlapped shoulder detail which means it does not need a zip or other opening.

On the first version I accidentally reversed the shoulder overlap.  This did not notice very much and I found the garment came together very easily.

I decided to make a second tunic but  I found the shoulders harder to work this time and they did not lay correctly, so I sewed on some buttons which corrected the problem.

This photo shows the shoulder detail with added button.  I also added buttons on the sleeve cuffs.
The tunic also features two front pockets.
The cuffs also overlap and turn back on themselves.
I love this book as there are so many great projects in it.
This is the first version which I made in a grey cotton with the shoulder flaps going the wrong way.

I have worn both garments many times.

Embroidery Wrapped Sticks

Many years after finishing my City and Guilds in machine embroidery I found that I had many samples sitting in books which were bulky to store and so I had a good sort out and condensing session.  I took some of my samples and developed them into items or cards and some I used to wrap stick bundles as a house decoration. I made some wrapped cord to tie them and used hand made beads and other bits and pieces to finish them off.
Now I can enjoy them again and remind myself of some of the techniques I have tried.

Thursday 19 July 2018

Front Garden 2018

My front garden had really matured in the two years since it was built, and this year has been a brilliant year for my roses. The rampler over the garage is a Pauls Himalaya Musk.

We have eaten eight artichokes this year from these plants.  There are still a few to mature.

Persian Eyes bought at the Hampton Court Flower show one year.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

My sister and I decided to visit the Summer Exhibition at the RA for the first time and we really enjoyed the experience.  There really was everything there from the sublime to the rediculous and we were very inspired.
There were so many pieces that I loved including Anselm Kiefers fantastic piece which was so textural.  I could talk for hours about the work but decided that I would only photograph pieces that had stitching on them.  I was very pleased that there were some and they were excellent and diverse.
Please excuse my terrible photography but Some of the work was high up or low down and it was hard to take a good photo.

The Bristol 2 Litre Engine - Julie Heaton

The Young Stevie Nicks - Amy Burt
Material Tenderness - Michelle Holmes
Via Con Me (Dreaming of you) - Francesca Colussi

Emmaline - Francesca Colussi

Map Mundi 1 - Renata Adela
Europe Running Through My Veins - Tisna Westerhof
Sunlight And Shadows - Alison Holt
Rabbexit(An Homage To Brexit) - Yimiao Shih

Little House on the Prairie - Julia Hall

I hope that I matched all of the names correctly, if not I appologize now!

Monday 25 June 2018

Holiday Sketchbook

I recently went on an interesting trip with a friend Rita, my sister Sonia and my brother Julian.   We flew to Singapore and then sailed on a cruise ship across to Phuket in Thailand, on to Colombo, Sri Lanka and then up the side of India visiting Goa, Kochin and Mumbai.  we then crossed the Arabian Gulf to visit Muskat, in Oman and Dubai and Abu Dhabi where we stayed for two nights before flying home.

What a journey visiting 6 countries and boy it was hot!  I challenged the girls to keeping a simple journal with photos, ephemera, notes and anything else we fancied. We found it very hard keeping up as when we were not touring, we were either tired or busy on the ship.

When I had a moment I tried to do some simple drawings with pen and watercolour. These pages  were of the costumes of the beautiful dancers who greeted the ship in Colombo.
We decorated the pages to add interest and record the colours of the  region. This was a photo of a statue in a church in Kochin India.
A sketch of the jungle at the Spice farm which we visited in Goa.  MMMM  Was it here that I picked up the bug which gave me the runs for 8 days!!!

It was a brilliant day though.
There was not much time for stitch but I tried to recreate a ceiling design from a temple in Columbo.
I love the crinkle page edges.

This project took some time but made us look and observe more.  We now have a brilliant record of our trip, as I wrote up on some of the pages what we did and where we went.  There is enough material here for countless future projects and of course reliving our amazing jouney.

Despite the few health issues we had!!!

Thursday 14 June 2018

More Fairy Shoes

These fairy shoes were made for a gift and were framed. They now live in France with a beautiful little girl.

Thursday 7 June 2018

My Forgotten Fairy

I discovered this little fairy whilst going through some of my City and Guild work and decided that she needed to come out of the box and see the light of day.

we were instructed to make something that incorporated hand made ribbons.

Her skirt is made with chiffon, net and organza strips, some of which have been stitched with automatic patterns from my machine.  She also carries a small bag stitched on water soluble material.

I have placed her in my studio so that she can keep watch over me.  That is if she forgives me for locking her up for so long!

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Barn Development - The Front Garden

We drafted out a design for  the area in front of the large barn windows as we did not want to look out on to cars and a stark brick wall.

The builders set to work building a small pagoda.

They paved underneath so that I could place a couple of chairs there.
The area next to the small summerhouse needed sorting and with the help of the digger the area was transformed.
The builders then made some raised beds out of sleepers.

The areas around the paving were lined with sleepers to keep the soil from the gravel.  A gate way was left so we can nip next door quickly if need be.

The new area in front of the summer house was paved.
This was how it was originally and many years ago housed a pig pen.
On the right hand side some of the drive was dug out for more raised beds.

I bought a rusty reflection pool and started planting right away.