Wednesday, 19 November 2014

You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover

A few weeks ago I met up with friends Lynne and Libby for one of our 'rambles' - that's a walk, not an incoherent conversation - although if I'm honest we probably had some of those too.  Anyway we met at Libby's and I was impressed with some folded book structures that she'd made.  Then on Saturday, I was helping out at a local bazaar on a book and bricabrac stall.  We didn't have many visitors, and were clearly going to be left with quite a few books, so I thought I'd have a go at folding.  I chose a paperback - When God Was A Rabbit (although until I just went and checked, I'd misread the title as When God Was A Rabbi) by  Sarah Winman.  I'd not read it, although now I wish I had.  Maybe I'll unfold the pages one at a time and read it.  I chose it because I liked the colour and texture of the paper, it had an interesting typeface, and there were little illustrations of trees at the start of every chapter (that accounts for the little blocks you can see half way up the book)  This is the end result - 
Apparently you can tuck postcards in between the pages - maybe it would be a good way to keep my Christmas cards tidy?
A couple of days later I was clearing out some catalogues that had come in the post, and the Cath Kidston one was made of nice paper, so I experimented with that.  It didn't have enough pages to stand up like the one above, so I folded the corners up and down,
 added some beads and metallic yarn and it finished up like this -
I didn't get where I am today without knowing how to waste time.
Still, better than just chucking it the recycling bin. Now, if I can just find an innovative way of using all those pizza fliers that drop through the letterbox, I'm onto a winner.
Talking of letterboxes, the postman just delivered a parcel - and he was wearing shorts!  I know the weather has been really mild, but blimey.
To prove how mild the weather has been though - yesterday I picked a rosebud from my garden

and it prompted me to see what else was still blooming, even though it is November -  - all of these were photographed in my garden yesterday .....

You Can't Judge a Book By The Cover - The Yardbirds 
(And goodness knows how many others, but this version just happened to be playing on 6Music as I started typing this)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Don't Know What I Was Thinking

I wasn't sure I was going to post again - I seem to have been struck by a temporary blogging boredom  - I think the problem is that I now tend to read blogs on my ipad, and I haven't figured out how to post from it yet.  I'm sure it's possible but maybe it's just a bit beyond my technical abilities, and I don't seem to get around to logging on to the computer and posting.
This morning though, I happened to be on the computer for something else and read Gina's post about our trip to the Fashion and Textile Museum yesterday for the "Knitwear - Chanel to Westwood" Exhibition.
It was another fantastically inspiring exhibition - I wanted to dash home immediately and start knitting - I was very envious of Gina on the way home - she'd had the foresight to take some knitting with her on the train.

Anyway, back to Gina's post - I feel that as she was brave enough to post a picture of her 24 year old self, wearing a knitted suit, the least I could do was show a bit of sisterly solidarity and post a picture of me in a knitted suit that I made (and wore!) many years ago.  
I had a knitted machine and as a result two coloured patterning was a breeze - so, hey, why not knit a leopardskin sweater?
Obviously, a matching leopardskin skirt would be overkill, so you see me wearing a co-ordinating black knitted skirt with allover pleats.  Oh my! What a flattering two piece, complete with massive shoulder pads - and with the added benefit of being very warm and itchy too.  
I'm not sure exactly how old I was - late 20's or early thirties.  Believe it or not, I was quite slim then - but thanks to the big boxy top no-one would ever know.  And all topped off by an exceptionally hideous curly perm.  I'm off to see my hairdresser this afternoon - do you think I should go for it?

PS - I've just had another look at this - why am I standing there with my arms just ... dangling?
I can understand the facial expression - if you looked like this you wouldn't have much to smile about either.

Don't Know What I Was Thinking - Teddy Thompson

Sunday, 12 October 2014

She Sells Sanctuary

I had a couple of good days out this week - on Tues I went to the V&A with my cousin to see the exhibition of wedding dresses - not the most inspiring exhibition I'd seen there, to be honest, but we both enjoyed our visit, and agreed that we preferred our own dresses to any of those on display.

On Wednesday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Day at Alexandra Palace. I'm not sure if everyone realised it was on for five days this year - but it was certainly less crowded than usual, and there was plenty of room to move around and see things - and blissfully no queues for refreshments or toilets.

I used to go the the show to spend, spend, spend, and then, if there was any time left at the end, I'd go and have a quick look at the exhibition section.  These days, however, I think I have more than enough 'stuff' so I spent the greater part of the day looking at the various exhibitions.  I love seeing the Graduates' work - the knitting and crochet section was really exciting - certainly not the "old fashioned women's hobby" that non-knitters seem to believe.

I especially loved the designs of Nicky Barfoot who specialises in 'knitted doggie taxidermy'!
There was also work on display from several of my friends, who work with different textile groups, including Gina who was exhibiting (and selling!) with Prism 
Anyway, the exhibitions were wonderful and made me want to get the next train home and start stitching.  I resisted though, and having perused all the exhibitions, there was still time to go and have a little spend.  A few ribbons, a little bit of fabric and three indie dress patterns.  
Even my coffee stops were interesting - in the morning I shared a table with two ladies who didn't know one another.  We got chatting about the show and one of the ladies - Jean said that she comes over from New Zealand every year to go to K&S for all four, or in in this case, five days.  She mentioned Art Van Go and when I told her I used to work for them, she said "Oh, you're not vintagerockchick are you?"  Small world, eh?  
And then in the afternoon, I was having coffee with Caroline from SewLaDiDa and we were joined by an elderly lady who was rather eccentrically dressed (yes, even by my standards - she topped off her handmade outfit with a pink crocheted hat which had silver lurex crenulations around the brim!)
She turned out to be a retired doctor from Russia who was over here to learn English, and who was fascinating to talk to.  
All in all a very good day.

I've also managed to fit in a bit of making in the last few weeks - we had Jamie Malden from Colouricious come to our Embroiderers' Guild to take a workshop on block printing, and apart from lots of textile pieces, we all went home with a printed personalised apron
I'm at the back of that picture, so here's a close up - with a rather jolly face!
I've also made another Coco dress.  I narrowed the pattern a bit and judging by this photo, I may have narrowed it a bit too much.
and finally a red Laurel dress
Photo taken yet again in Creative Sanctuary in Hertford .  In case you think I spend all my spare time lurking there, I should tell you that I'm working there occasionally, just a few hours here and there, so it's a good place to wear my me-mades and get a picture taken.

She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Blimey, where did that month go?
Anyway, longer post on way soon, but in the meantime - are you watching Strictly?  
If so, I don't know if it's just me, but I can't help thinking that professional dancer Trent Whiddon ....
 bears more than a passing resemblance to -
John Tracy, Thunderbird.

THUNDERBIRD - Seasick Steve.

Friday, 12 September 2014

It's Not Over Yet

No, OWOP is not quite over, but it's the last day, so I'm going to do a quick round up of the skirts I've worn this week ..
Saturday -
Sunday -
Monday -
Tuesday -
Wednesday -
Thursday -
and finally, Friday
I only finished this today - I couldn't go out until I'd hemmed it up and could wear it out!
Same venue as Wednesday - The Creative Sanctuary in Hertford, although I didn't actually get the fabric there, this is from Belle Fabrics in Leigh on Sea.
At least the fabric of my seven skirts is a bit varied - even if it's a very basic, simple pattern.  It was my intention to make the newest two skirts (Saturday and today's) more of an A-line shape, but the width of the fabrics didn't allow it, so they are all the same shape and only the fabric (and maybe the length) varies.
It's been an interesting exercise, and what it has revealed is that I definitely need to make some plain tops - I'm going to carry some scraps from the skirts with me for colour matching plain fabric.

Right that's it.  I might even put a pair of jeans on tomorrow.

It's Not Over Yet - The Klaxons

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Stately Homes of England

OWOP Thursday, and I'm wearing my comic book skirt - previously blogged about here
I took a quick reflected selfie in my drawing room ....

Oh ok, that's a downright lie.  I went to Wrest Park in Bedfordshire today with my cousin. It was a bit chilly so, you'll be glad to hear, no more bare knees.
The house was splendid - designed in the style of a French chateau
and the gardens were lovely
But some of the planting led me to wonder - after the referendum, will the gardeners of England be ripping all the blue plants out of their patriotic planting schemes?
One last photo, for no other reason than the sun made a fleeting appearance, enabling me to briefly remove my denim jacket cardie, and because the planting matched my hair and boots.

The Stately Homes of England - Captain Sensible (or Noel Coward if that's more to your taste)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Now I'm All Over The Shop

OWOP Wednesday - today is the turn of my graffiti skirt
The 'graffiti' fabric .................
was purchased from The Creative Sanctuary - our wonderful local fabric and yarn shop - so I thought the shop would be an ideal venue for today's photoshoot.

The top is Jalie pattern 2804, blogged about HERE.  In case you are wondering whether the fabric is creating the unsightly bulges around my middle - no, they are all mine.  
Orange fabric just enhances them.

Now I'm All Over The Shop - Maximo Park