Things [ Hand Made ]


My chance to wonder about hand made things and tell the world about those I make, love and cherish!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

A Christmas wreath or 3

2 poorly children and a beautiful sunny day.
Not really poorly just full of colds and needed a restful day.
Once the frost had cleared we went for walk with a pair of secateurs
We breathed in the air, looked at the blue sky and just allowed ourselves to be.
Finding ivy and berries we twisted wreaths and bought them home.
One for the door, one for the table and one by the fireplace.

We all feel a lot better now.

I wouldn't have let myself do that on my own, I would have found other things that needed doing.......and it was nicer doing it with other people.

Only thing to do now is settle down to watch Arthur Christmas! I have an excuse, 2 poorly children aged 8 and 10. It seems a fine plan.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Weaving the river


A meeting I was supposed to be attending today has been cancelled and I am using the time to finish a piece of weaving I started last week. It's only on a small scale but it reflects the river that runs through the town where we live.

Like many people I adore the sea. It was instilled in my by grandparents who lived on a beautiful stretch of Yorkshire coastline. It's one of the few places I have connection to. A deep grounded connection. I don't have it to the places I grew up in. The place where my grandparents lived was a constant in my childhood and still calls me back.

We now live in land and often I yearn to see the sea. Like many people do. We don't live close to the sea and the closest coast line is uninspiring and very developed. A proper trip to the sea is an hour and half away. Doable but only with planning and preparation.

We do live with a river. We don't live by a river, we don't live near a river, we live with a river. It's a living thing that ebbs and flows with the seasons. Notably flooding the town and regularly interrupting our lives with footpaths and roads closed. We live in a town that accepts the river as a character within the town and we watch and try to predict it's ways.

As a family we have walked different stretches around the town. It has crept into me in the way it creeps higher into the town as the waters rise. I now watch the river, feel the river, crave the open space it provides, the bank on the other side. I plan to walk it's whole length one day. From source to sea.

The threads picked up from an exhibition by Sarah Beadsmore flowed through my fingers and grew slowly like a river rising.

It's almost finished, it's not that I never finish anything, I just find it hard to show you finished things. I guess that's another post altogether!

Monday, 20 October 2014

An embroidered sunflower patch

While we were on holiday this year I was bowled over by the beauty of the sunflowers. Field after field of glororius sunflowers.
It got me started on a couple of sunflower projects to hold onto them a little longer. The first was my skirt and t he second was a small pouch.
Originally planned to be attached to the skirt but they went separate ways in the design process and would now look awful together.
Both of these projects have been made in quite a spontaneous way.
I ten not to overplan work anyway but this idea for a punch was inspired by a beautiful rainbow range of coloured napkins I saw in a french sewing shop in Bergerac.
Knowing that it would be a little ridiculous to buy one of each colour I resisted and went for one green, a beautiful spring green that I am really drawn to at the moment. Picked up a few threads and streets it on holiday.
What do you take on holiday? I wouldn't dream of going without a small embroidery hoop, scissors and needles for just such an event of inspiration.
Anyway, some doodle later and a lot of bullion stitche later I have an origami pouch doodled with sunflowers.
It's stitched both sides in heavy embroidery and has 3 pockets.

Not quite sure what I will do with it but it has helped to work out a bit of sunflower addiction.


Friday, 10 October 2014

A "new" dress


I have a new system for getting things done, it's nothing new or exciting juts a list that I stick to, where things cannot be added until things are done.

I know, there is a pending list where things wait to get on the list but I just ignore that.

This is a vintage dress that I found for £15.

Yes, £15

It has sat waiting to have a simple alteration to the neckline and then today seemed to be the day to do it.

Just like that, job done.

Another ticked off the list.

Now something can move on.

.........and I have something " new " to wear.

Off to the Ashmolean in Oxford to see the embroidery exhibition. I think this dress might just say arty traditional in just the right way.


Friday, 26 September 2014

A sunflower skirt

A project finished.
I have been mulling this one over for most of the year. It probably started seeing 2 of Van Gogh sunflower paintings in London back in Februaury. It has started a bit of year of sunflowers.

Followed by reading the blog by one of my design heros Sarah Campbell

Then a great summer trip to France and Spain, seeing fields of ripe sunflowers.

Then finding a lovely cotton sheet for £3 at a flea market.

I know, I wish I had bought the other one now

Painting the cloth with lovely big blousy sort of sunflowers.

Had to be in the garden as the kitchen table had been taken over by a variety of other projects.

Finding time to paint the second piece.
GettIng excited to see it washed and pressed, sitting on the shelf earlier this week.

Then a frustrating couple of days teaching with fingers itching to get it started.

I know, I am always telling the learners that life shouldn't get in the way of making things.

Finally this morning getting round to cutting into it using my trusty a line pattern

and Ta Dah........a new sunflower skirt.

Not bad, from February to September.

I'm off to wander through fields wearing it trying to look like something from the Boden catalogue.

Well, when I say fields, I mean the bit where everyone walks their dogs.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

A room of my own


Most days I could have a rather dramatic tantrum about not having having a room of my own......a space to make....... a studio.........somewhere
I usually make at the kitchen table which allows me to stay at the centre of the family. It means I can hear all they do and they can see the processes I go through. We share making things and everyone usually has an opinion on what is needed.
Today however the table was taken with the mending of a remote control car, some glitter art and a school project that needed mending.
I was pushed out to the garden.
Actually it was rather nice.


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Painting the garden bench

At last..

One of those jobs I have been meaning to do.

It's not pink.

I have been meaning to repaint the bench for the garden. I don't have a big garden and I don't particaurly enjoy gardening but there is a little corner I am often found just sitting.
Made all the nicer by the next door neighbours having one of those tinkly water things that just make a background noise.
The bench isn't pink.
I was going to paint the bench as I had found this half tin of not quite pink paint in the garage. I added a genourous squirt of blue acrylic and it took on a more lilac tone.
It's not pink.

I wanted is to match this little table I made. The bottom of the table comes from a little table that was slowly falling apart. The top is a mosaic I did on a workshop with the effervescent Caroline Jariwalla.

It took me a while to work out what I could use the mosaic for but together with the bench it has just refreshed my favourite little corner.

Now if someone could just fetch me a Pimms and my embroidery....

Where has that 14 year old gone?