Category Archives: textiles

Stitchbook Collective

Last year I joined with  Cathy in entering a Heart in the Sawdust Heart collective exhibition. Helen Birmingham, of Untangled Threads, who organised that amazingly moving event, is now hosting another collective venture and I am delighted to be taking part.

The Stitchbook Collective of 150 people are each making a 12 page textile book that will culminate in an exhibition in November next year.

There is a Starter Pack.

Everything arrives beautifully packaged and presentedstitchbook collective

Presents arriving in the post!

Helen has made some very easy-to-follow videos which are suitable for complete beginners and experienced embroiderers alike. Anyone can buy the kits and make a textile book following her excellent tutorials – I can highly recommend them.

The whole experience is a complete and utter treat!

The Starter Pack includes instructions for some stitching samplers and a collage pack.IMG_4651

The first task is to divide a piece of calico into 9 and work the suggested stitches with different thicknesses of stranded cotton. Helen’s videos give very clear instructions, but she is also happy for us to make our samples unique to us – the main emphasis is on relaxation and enjoyment.

Whilst stitching I kept thinking of my travel doodles and how they might look in stitch

travel sketchbook doodles

It has got me wondering how I might combine the two together

Included in the Starter Pack are materials to make a collage to be sewn on one of the pages.collage kit

fabric collage

Helen even provides a drawstring bag in which to keep the work.

starter pack materials

Although the 150 places in the Collective have been filled, the packs are available to all, with access to the teaching videos. I can highly recommend them.

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the September Pack pinging its way through my letterbox.

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Dorset Arts and Crafts

On Monday I went to  the DACA Exhibition, there were masses of wonderful exhibits to enjoy but here are a few that particularly caught my eye.

A set of exquisite little gardens on painted fabric rendered in French Knots

french knots

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Quilting is obviously very popular in Dorset as there were masses of quilts, but this one I thought was particularly beautiful

patchwork quilt

quilt

It makes my brain ache to think how all those pieces were put together.

I loved this piece

machine embroidery

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I liked the ideas behind this collage and took the photo for future reference

collage

another charming piece of quilting

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and this embroidery on painted silk – stunning in the detailIMG_5112

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Knitting and crochet seemed a little thin on the ground, I’m wondering whether to enter some next year …….

 

Egypt: inspiration

embroidery

The first thing I notice in any new place is the colours, designs, textures and textiles – like this gorgeous cushion in the villa where I was staying in Hurghada. chain stitch embroidery

I’m assuming this is a chain stitch done with a machine – do you think so?

I really like the effect.

And I would have loved to have brought home some of these mandala decorated ceramic bowls, but I didn’t think they would survive the trip

mandala decorated ceramic bowl, Egypt

ceramics

So I contented myself with having my breakfast muesli in them each morning.

Just look at the colour combinations in this woven table runner

faded colours

I see Stylecraft Special Dk : Duck Egg, Buttermilk, Pale Rose, Raspberry, Mushroom, Storm Blue, Parma Violet, Clematis, Pistachio, Lincoln, Blush and Vintage Peach

Makes me want to rush for my hook – but no – I must not start another new project ….. ………  😉

There was an interesting mix of art on the walls of the villa collage

I have a bit of a thing for zebra stripes at the moment, and would love to be able to carve out some time for making more collages

Here is one of my own zebra doodles

rainbow zebra stripes

Don’t be surprised if you see more in another post – as another mini-obsession takes hold.

(you can see more on my Instagram Page)

There is inspiration for doodling everywhere you look – even tiles in a public toilet!

marble tiles

And how about this as inspiration for a Valentine’s or Anniversary card

your smile makes me smile

I’m thinking it would be a fun on a Never Ending card, like the ones I made here and here

My friend and I went to the shop that sold the ceramic bowls, Wood U Like

to see what else they had to offer – oh so many interesting things – sorry for the quality of the photos (taken on my friend’s phone)

 

The wooden cabinets were made of a wonderful jumble of decorative wooden off cuts. And although I did not particularly like the style of the bags, I loved the combination of needlepoint on canvas, with leather. I have lots of needlepoint I don’t know what to do with – so maybe they could be turned into bags …. hmmmm – now to find somone who works with leather.

Hanging in the hall of the villa was this beautiful piece of Arabic calligraphy

arabic

Apparently the meaning it conveys is something to do with love – but I can’t remember exactly what. (I have just sent a message to my friend to ask her and will edit in the meaning later)

 

Sawdust Hearts

Sawdust Heart

Sawdust Heart

The Dorsetshire Regiment, commemorated in this vintage heart, on loan to the exhibition.

Dorset Regt

So moving, the unsold hearts representing the unaccounted for casualties of war.

missing in action

sawdust heart, WW1, art project

Sawdust Heart, art project

So much creativity – so much emotion – so beautifully created – so beautifully curated.

I am glad to have been part of this amazing project. sawdusthrt

And still I find it hard to write about.

I only knew about the project through Cathy’s blog. Cathy has written a brilliant post about the exhibition – you can read it by clicking on this link.cathy

You can also go to the Sawdust Hearts Website to find out more

and can see a video about the exhibition here with Helen Birmingham talking you through a virtual tour of the Hearts.

Thank you to Cathy for the picture of Helen below, signing my book for me.Helen Birmingham

This is the heart Helen decorated

Sawdust Heart

Which was part of a previous exhibiton of 100 hearts, the inspiration for the 1,568 Hearts.

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I was intrigued by number 1000, I’d love to know the thinking behind this one

Sawdust Heart

Sawdust Heart

But the one with barbed wire at the top of the post is my favourite for the way it simply sums up so much.

The Exhibition ended on 30th November.

We have had an email from Helen to say that the hearts have been packed away and she is taking a much needed break until the New Year. Helen hints at the possibility of another event that will include the hearts. I do hope that happens as even though there were over 4,000 visitors in Scarborough, the project deserves a wider audience.

 

1,568 Sawdust Hearts

Thanks to Cathy of Nanacathydotcom, I am taking part in a beautifully poignant Sawdust Heart project curated by Untangled Threads.

My Sawdust Heart is decorated in Memory of my Great Uncle, John Henry Absalom

who died, aged 17, on 10th July, 1916, in the Battle for Mametz Wood on the Somme in France. (photo courtesy of my second cousin HA)

His body was never found but his name is recorded on the Thiepval Memorial, northern France, which commemorates 72,246 soldiers missing in action.

I ordered some organic cotton printed with Welsh Dragonssawdust heart

I found this project surprisingly difficult to do. Each time I started thinking about what to do I felt shaky and anxious.

My Grandfather was 11 when his beloved brother John left for France, never to return. My Grandfather never got over it and would talk to me of John with tears in his eyes. He hated anything to do with War, as did my father, who fought in the RAF in WW2.

In November 2016 I had the huge honour of being present at a very special ceremony at a school in Nailsea honouring the fallen, including my Great Uncle John.

Being born on Armistice Day has always held great meaning for me, and as a child, I thought of my birthday as Peace Day. I donate to the Poppy Appeal, but I wear a white poppy. My father was proud to fight in ‘A War to End All Wars’ ….. or so he thought ….. sadly human conflict continues.peace poppy

My initial ideas for the heart were far too complicated which meant every time I made a start I hit a hurdle. I did a trial run and decided that would be ‘good enough’, or it would never be finishedsawdust heart

At last it was ready to send.

In the back I tucked a copy of the letter John wrote home to his family

sawdust heart

Letter:

 

France, 13th 1916

 

Dear Mother and All,

Received your most welcomed parcel safely everything was allright packed a treat.

You can imagine how glad I was to receive it, quite a change from our Army diet, hoping you will continue sending them the same, the battery fitted my flash lamp a treat. Received John Bull and Reynolds a few days ago. We have had glorious weather up to date with the exception of a few showers just what you can expect this month.

Our furlow have been cancelled for the time being, but I think we will get it shortly again as they tell me that they often cancel it out here and in a few weeks it starts again.

We are going back to the line again tonight but it is a very quiet place.

Now that the weather is coming we are much more comfortable wile in the trenches.

According to the papers the allies intending to advance all along the line. The sooner it comes the better. Well as we are barred from saying to much about our doings out here I will conclude hoping to find you all as it leaves me in the best of health.

Yours etc John

mind write by return JHA

~

Tomorrow I go with Cathy to the Armistice Commemoration gathering.

 

 

 

Monthly Photographic Meet-Up: PATINA

It’s November and our Prompt this month is PATINA

leather chair

Last Thursday I entered the delightful sepia world of Nuffield Place, nr Henley-on-Thames, where my camera could have a patina feastold furniture

vintage writing desk

vintage fan

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and I found myself falling a little bit in love with the man who had this little workshop

tools

….. in his bedroom!

and with his wife who loved needlework and made clothes for her staffvintage chair

writing desk

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This quote is taken from an article written in the Telegraph

Morris, later Lord Nuffield, was Britain’s greatest ever philanthropist and gave away over £30m of his fortune, equivalent to £700m in today’s money. Yet, despite his enormous wealth, his lifestyle could not have been more modest.

William Morris, the designer of the car the Morris Oxford, left school at 15 and started his working life repairing bicycles. How is it that I have never heard of this man before now? This is the sort of person children need to learn about in History! This is the sort of role model we need to know about.

I feel quite cross that my teenage history-hungry mind was filled with the war-mongering men of yesteryear when there was THIS MAN to learn about! as well as plenty of wonderful women through the ages.

The couple had no children and the house is full of evidence that they enjoyed the company of friends

billiard table

Nuffield Place

vintage dining table

The room guide explained that the carpet we could see was in fact a photograph of the original carpet printed onto fabric and laid on the floor. The original, which was being restored, when new, had been the same blue as the glasses.

They each had a bedroom, with a delightful connecting room and it struck me how modest their rooms were compared to the more luxurious feel to the guest bedrooms.

vintage guest bedroom

dressing table

Every room of the house had windows framing views of the garden, but Thursday was a dull day and I only had time for a quick visit so I did not get out into the garden.

The house held so much evidence of a gentle cosy life well lived

old radio

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some of the photos are a bit blurred as the lighting was low, no flash allowed and I was in a hurry…….

as I am now …. there is more I want to tell you about this marvellous William Morris, but I can tell you another day (hint: iron lung)…. and you can click on the links to discover more

EDIT: since writing this I have discovered some disturbing and hideous information about this man: link to an article in the Daily Mail

Now I understand why this man can not be publicised as the hero he so plainly wanted to be seen as.

 

For now I leave you with a photo of the patina put on my cappucino in the suitably modest little coffee shop on site coffee

~

To join us in our Photographic Meet-up please leave a link in the comments – I’m really looking forward to seeing what you have found to photograph this month.

 

 

 

What on Earth have I made

 

Whilst I was putting together yesterday’s enjoyable jaunt through the year’s galavanting, I skimmed past photos of all the things I have made.

When I started the blog it was mainly to keep a diary of creative adventures. As you can see I have a grasshopper approach to creativity, jumping hither and thither, following thoughts, ideas and inspirations. It is easy for me to forget what I did and how I did it.

Here I can store projects and methods, should I ever want to re-create them at a later stage. It is also particularly useful when I re-visit abandoned projects. I can remind myself of the tools I used and the links I followed.Mandala Madness with Spiro Star centre

Going through my photos, gathering together all my 2017 makes in one place, has been fun. Many are still works in progress, but I have finished four crocheted blankets one for my grandson, The Wizard; two of them for my nieces The Mermaid and The Country Girl; and one, of my own bold zig-zag designs for my daughter’s best friend who wanted a blanket in Mexican colours.

Creative collaborations make my heart sing and working with others to create new colour palettes is such a joy. Well I say a joy – the Wizard caused me some struggles as you know – but we got there in the end.

I gain so much inspiration and knowledge from your blogs and Pinterest pages, it is thrilling to me if anything I share inspires you. Creative sharing has to be one of the BEST feelings ever! Please let me know if you think we could work together, that would be very exciting. Joining forces with Judy for our Silly Saturdays came about through a ‘Comment’ conversation and it has been such good fun inspiring each other in our shell art and poetry respectively.shell art, humour, silly saturday

I thoroughly enjoy joining in with Cathy’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ when I can. Flowers from the garden not always ending up in a vase.

I’m looking forward to a creative 2018 and feel so very grateful for all the wonderful support and inspiration that comes from this fabulous community.

A huge and heartfelt thank you to all the Wild Daffodil visitors and followers which makes this blogging journey such a joyful delight. I really do appreciate each and every comment and connection.

May 2018 bring you happiness, joy and fun in blogland and beyond.

Happy New Year!