Thursday, 22 September 2011

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Moving on

My first little sampler is finished, a mere 5cm x 7cm I had to be quite careful about what threads to use as the fabric, calico and cotton, is quite a close weave. I particularly like the way the shiny purple rayon catches the light and looks like some exotic ammonite, and the transition from closed to open chain stitch in the centre part, blending from rust to indigo. I've tried to echo that in the finer chain stitch coil to the left

Now for the next one, in bright hot excitable colours! This one 6cm square ('ish) and just beginning.

What fun!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

sampler number 1

A little bit of embroidery, just tickling along, trying out stitches, seeing what I can do next. This is the cool colours version, still have the hot to go.
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Thursday, 8 September 2011

design beginnings

here's how it;s going so far!

You can look at the photos and more of the fabric and design process here. With apologies for the blurriness. I've not quite got this sussed yet!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

oooh, learning

I'm really rather excited! I've embarked on a City and Guilds in hand embroidery being run by the Guild I've recently joined. We're being taught by Barbara Walters, whose work you can see here.

So I spent Saturday in the company women, doing things that felt almost guiltily like play! We sploshed paint onto paper and fabric in Barbara's lovely back garden to start with, preparing the bedrock of our later creativity. Then we were treated to tea and biccies before spending the rest of the day learning about line and mark making, colour, design, thread and stitching. We were given much sage advice about preparing to work, using copious notes and taking pictures to document our work. I shall post piccies soon. Suffice to say I am having enormous fun trying out threads, fiddling with design and wondering about transferring to the fabric.

Oh yes, we did eat our packed lunches as well .......

And there are more sessions to come!

Watch this space.

Friday, 2 September 2011

slow trees

This time of year is perhaps my favourite. The robin starts to sound plaintive, the garden is beginning to slow down, sap seeping back to sleepy winter mode, though only in the most delicate way just now; there is still plenty of energy in the sun, and today was still and muggy. I took the time to spend a while amongst my trees. They sit in a cluster in my back yard, where I can see them from the kitchen when I look from the window. Nestled under this wonderful rusty roof, which covers what used to be a coffin maker's workshop, they are sheltered and warm, with the sun on them for plenty of the day.

At this time of year it's all about tidying up the pots, pulling out weeds, clearing dead leaves and stems, cutting out any wood that hasn't survived the year. They have done better this year as my good man waters with much more regularity than I. This year too, I have had more time to give them,. Clearing the pot surfaces always brings one close to the trunks, and to the wonderful patterning of the leaves that begins to herald autumn's colours, so I photographed some to share with you,

along with a few other things that caught my eye today.

 this clematis was just a single weedy stem with one shoot clambering for the light. I took courage and cut it right back to about 12 inches of bare stem, and it has rewarded me more than I could have hoped
whilst this alignment of rooves and shadows always catches my eye - my daughter will be painting the big shed this weekend I hope

happy Friday!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

September welcome!

The September garden is dreamy quiet, with all sorts of wonderful shapes and patterns in the low laying light. Things that are giving me pleasure at the moment are:

These blue pots, scruffy though they are, planted with the babies of the babies of a plant I had as many as 20 years ago from Uncle Andrew. 

He was Dad’s twin brother, and the closest thing I had to knowing my father, though Mum always said they were very different. So these little spikes are older than they may appear, and have travelled with me through several moves. They always remind me of him.

The wonderful shadows on these rescue petunias from Rotherview.

This rose, which was the smallest weediest stem until we cut a huge shrub  back. It’s been watered and fed, gently pruned, and has been giving us these wonderful tresses of flowers since early June.

A sedum, one of several, which came from cuttings taken at the old garden, and blend beautifully with the above in the same bed.

Echinacea and Achillea
and the colours and light captured in these two beds, both created since we got here. I'm so pleased with the way they are already looking settled.

The cats revel when any of us are out there. They squirm about, legs waving ecstatically in the air, demanding worship. They usually get rewarded. 

while in the greenhouse, tomatoes are just zingy

Then as the breeze brushed the trees, I heard the sound of shouting crows. I glanced up and saw,

a disturbance in the air!

Wonderful! Though sadly blurry photos