Saturday, 11 September 2010

Feeling Good

I don't usually 'do' big gigs - preferring smaller venues.  But last night I made an exception and found myself at Wembley.  
I can't begin to tell you how spectacular Muse were last night - first time I've seen them but it won't be the last.  Worth every penny of the ticket price, and I didn't even care that I went on my own.  A fabulous night.
The light show was pretty impressive too.
I've got a lot on at the moment - work and family stuff, so I've decided to have a  short break from blogging for a month or so.  To ensure that you come back when I start again, I promise to have my first ever giveaway - so watch this space!

Feeling Good - Muse (or Nina Simone, if that's more you're thing)

Friday, 10 September 2010

Second Hand Rose

I saw this blouse in a charity shop - I loved the fabric which  was a well-washed  cotton and  is consequently soft, rather than crisp, and having tried it on, it fitted well, but I hated the puffed sleeves.  Inspired by regularly reading New Dress a Day who takes some unbelieveably hideous garments and transforms them into something wearable, I decided to give it a go. 
So, I cut out the sleeves and stitched a little turning, and now I love it.  All for £2.99.
I had quite a productive day, doing some stitching on my rust dyed fabric, using metallic thread (as per my homework) and taking ideas from my sketchbook as inspiration. 
The ones above are ATC sized - and I've decided I'm not very good at doing edges, especially the corners - so any advice would be welcome! 

I think that the black stitching on the last one is a bit heavy looking for the background, but I like the rust markings.
I'm probably too slapdash - but I guess if I keep practising they will improve.  At least I've had more success with the metallic thread - I used a different machine, and put the spool in a jam jar behind it, rather than on the spool holder.  (Blimey - this is interesting stuff isn't it)
Anyway, I'm going now before you doze off.  I'm going to see Muse at Wembley later - all by myself - so I do hope it doesn't rain.

(Second Hand Rose - Fanny Brice) Who knew she was a real person?!?

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Pictures In An Exhibition

I popped into Art Van Go yesterday, partly to see the Made at Art Van Go exhibition, which looked brilliant - really varied with some great work, including a couple of paintings by my friend Jill,
some fabulous books 
 this huge piece, which I loved ....
and even a couple of bits you may have seen on here before .....
I have posted more photos on the Art Van Go blog if you'd like to see more.

My other reason for going today, was that Pauline Verrinder was in the studio, demonstrating machine embroidery, and she had produced some lovely stitched textile jewellery

It just so happens that she has recently been working on seed pods - which is what I'm supposed to be working on in my sketchbook.  Fortuitous or what??

(Pictures In An Exhibition - Death Cab for Cutie)
You didn't think I was going to go for Emerson Lake and Palmer, did you?

Friday, 3 September 2010


On Wednesday we had the first meeting of our "Embroidery Group That Dare Not Speak It's Name"  - but only because it hasn't got one yet.  We are made up of members from our  previous City and Guilds Group, plus one welcome addition, and with Gina, aka Fan My Flame as our mentor. This term we are focusing on metals, so to that end I spent the best part of a day trying to stitch with metallic thread.  At a conservative estimate, I would say that my thread broke about 8,256 times, and that I completely re-threaded the machine approximately 3,008 times.  And all without a single swear word.  Next class I will be mostly stitching in quilting thread.
The other activity was considerably more successful (how could it not be?) with Gina showing us how to do rust dyeing.  We soaked fabric in salt water, and wrapped up various rusty objects - I'm SO glad I come from a long line of hoarders - although what my Grandad would have made of me sorting out the rustiest nails and bolts from his collection, and then wrapping them in wet fabric is anybody's guess.

We had to leave them for at least 24 hours, and I managed nearly 48.
 (I did think it might be another unmitigated disaster like the metallic stitching, so I was just delaying things I suppose.  I took my parcel outside 
I started unwrapping, and it was clear that at least something had happened

 And it had - although I think my neighbours may be a bit concerned about my washing
I'm going to use it for my homework, and then for a piece for our first exhibition (cos "The Mentorist" says so)
You may notice my usual heart shape - in the middle of the right hand piece.
I didn't get where I am today without a battered and rusty old heart.
(Rust - Echo and The Bunnymen)