Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tag Tuesday - Lace

Have decided to 'Tag' along
This weeks theme ~

Lace


Card: Re-cycled greeting card
Embellishments: Lace remnants, Paper rose, gold foil chocolate wrapper, Shoes from an old diary to which I added the lace fronts Vintage mother of pearl button.
Ribbon tie from a greeting card.

I missed out on previous weeks but I'm enjoying making tags to the rest of the January themes
White
Card: recycled greeting card back
Embellishments: Cotton trim, hand embroidered with lazy daisy and french knots, various yarns and ribbons, pearly button, beads,moonstone bead, sequin flowers with two moonstone crystal bead centres and cord trim. White organza ribbon tie.
Snow

Tag: Recycled Christmas card
Embellishments: Silver snowflake sequin, Dangle Crystal and glass hex beads,  snowflake sequins and featuring one of my handmade and embellished metal beads.
(this little card is much prettier in real life than I can ever capture on image its so sparkly and shiney)


I'm hoping that by joining in with the Tag Tuesdays themes I will:

1. Use up some of my stash of saved items such as cards, embellishments & mementos
2. Will hopefully try new techniques & work on some unfamiliar themes
3. Create a collection perhaps for display to hang up in my studio or in a book or mounted on canvas.

Thanks for stopping by!

Yvonne x

Recycling cards


Yesterday 'C' and I spent a lovely afternoon cutting out


I now have a fab collection of tags to embellish recycled from some old birthday cards


Charlotte is just learning how to use scissors and having lots of fun I bought her children's scissors


 but her hands are so tiny that she cant work them

so I fished these out of a little sewing kit I had....perfect size!


Cutting is now her favourite thing to do :)


thanks for stopping by!
Yvonne x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sketchbook Challenge

There was a time in my life when I wouldn't have been anymore than a few feet away from my sketchbook, where I would loose myself in samples of dyed and stitched fabrics, thread, papers and found objects where time would be spent cutting and manipulating samples and gluing them randomly into the pages of my little A6 sketchbook and jotting down ideas and notes of things I needed to try out and doodling in the pages in between. I don't know when I stopped doing this, or got out of the habit but I want need to get back to that, it was the best source and development of all my work
I have read various posts recently about keeping and using a sketchbook the 3 that most come to mind are Karen, Connie and Alisa and each has got me thinking about how much I'm missing my sketchbooks, more so, how little I'm turning to them to explore and experiment, yes I always use them for drawing out a design, or planning a project but for simply having a doodle or splash around with the paints for no reason in mind..... it's been a long time......

So I have decided to take part in the Sketchbook Challenge to get my little books going again just for the fun of it. January's subject is 'Doodles'


Charlotte had me up before 7am and I was reading about it all, still in my PJ's but keen to get started, I grabbed the nearest sketchbook which was in the house and not in the studio at the end of the garden my A5 size TATE  and my favourite fine point pen and had a little play these are my sort of doodles ......


then Leslie's post later inspired me to have a little collage fun in my studio in the evening
not sure about this one but I enjoyed the process and
it was nice to get my paints out again



I'm looking forward to next months Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by
Yvonne x

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Red Bridge

Charlotte and I went for a little drive today across the Forth road bridge on a little errand,
it was a beautiful sunny day, a little cold, but we wrapped up warm

 

Looking proud in a new red coat, the painting looks complete.



Every time I come to see it I cant help but marvel over this beautiful towering structure and feel too, the sadness for the many who lost their lives in its construction and all to make possible a way across the Forth on train to Fife and beyond
  

We walked right down to the waters edge where the life boat enters the water, Charlotte loved it,
she just looked around and up and across in quiet thought, even to a 2 year old this is impressive


Then she heard the rumbling . . . . .
  
a train on the bridge . . . she was so in awe


 she wanted to get closer to the edge but I kept her way back, she wanted to see the three swans that were swimming around close to the side


We walked across to the 'Railbridge' bistro where we sat on one of their most comfy sofas by the wood burning stove. Charlotte was quite tired from her Friday morning dance class so it was a nice but not to long outing. She amused herself with a selection of toys from the basket while I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and wrote out my postcard purchased from the gift shop for my swap partner in Anne's postcard swap and the purpose of our little trip to
    South Queensferry

I cant show you the one that I made just yet as I will have to wait until it has arrived at its destination accross the pond :)



Friday, 20 January 2012

Three Old Singers

On my quest for a neater tidier and more practical studio space I cleared out a couple of cupboards and decided that I should make way for my collection of old treasured sewing machines two of which have been up in the attic for 14 years.
It all started when I read Louise's Christmas day post about her Singer sewing machine problem and how she had contacted Dan for some advice and he had promptly replied and help her fix it, so that she could finish her quilt, and all on Christmas Day..... What a kind soul indeed :)
It prompted me to get mine down from the attic when packing away the decorations for yet another year.
I spent a fascinating three days cleaning oiling and researching each one from the original Singer records now available on line here if you have an old singer you want to find out more about.

No1 1958 Singer 99K Hand Crank built in Scotland


features 'Eye' decals

 ( K stands for Kilbowie / Clydebank)


I bought this machine in the late 90s from an auction house in the Borders it cost me £5. I thought it would be a nice machine for my April when she was a bit older, I think she was about 4 at the time and it was in immaculate condition you could even say unused. When I got it home I couldn't get it to stitch the needle would go down and up but the spool thread wasn't catching. I put it in somewhere to find the cause and paid £15 to have it repaired and serviced it had a bent needle bar. It now sews perfectly. Unfortunately April doesn't share the same passion as her mother for sewing machines, or even sewing for that matter so it's still in my collection. It had suffered a bit from its time in the loft I don't have a cover for it, it only had a thin plastic dust cover when I bought it, not sure where it went. It had started to show signs of rust setting in on the footplate and other chrome parts but after a good clean and polish it came up fine, now its safely stored in my studio where it will get used.
  
No2 1945 Singer 99k-13 knee control motorised



I like this one because it is operated by a knee leaver


which is stored in the lid of the Bentwood cover


Beautiful floral endplate


I bought this one the same day as the hand crank one in the same place, in fact I actually bought 3 the other one was similar to this but with a square box lid but I gave this to my niece Bianca at the time for her birthday. Unfortunately it was badly damaged in storage and was discarded about 4 yrs ago. I paid out a total of £15 for the 3 of them.
 When I arrived home with them I'm sure everyone thought I was a bit mad as I had already been given an old treadle singer from a church house clear out which I was using as a dressing table.
Sadly I don't have a picture of that one and gave it away when I moved from to Fife

However this was not my total collection as my oldest most favourite and treasured Singer was bought from a second hand furniture place in Kelso in 1985 for, again the sum of £5. I still remember the day, we spent £28 and got a Creeda tumble dryer the sewing machine and an old oak framed mirror. I was still using the tumble dryer up until 2005! they build them to last just like the Singers :)
and I still have the oak frame which I paint stripped.....Oh those were the days lol!
here I am ranting about my quality thrift buys from the 80s and
 I'm supposed to be showing you my little treasure .....

No3 Singer 28k 1917

Vibrating shuttle

or Rocket spool as I call it.

beautiful grapevine embossing on the endplate
 'Victorian' decals,
 a name given by enthusiasts to differentiate between them all as Singer did not give any of the decals names.

 sews in a slightly diagonal line and was the only sewing machine I used on a regular basis for all my quilting and craft projects,  preferring the hand crank for its control and the beautiful stitching, up until 2001 when I was told by my city and guilds embroidery teacher that things might move along faster if I had an electric sewing machine with stitch width changer and a drop facility on the feed dogs :)

Hope you have enjoyed my little show and tell if you like these little old things then you might like to pop over to Dans blog where he has just restored an old Singer 66 which is the larger/ full size version of the 99 and what a stunning job he has made of it.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sunny side up



This light and magnifier that clips onto my floor stand broke a few months ago,

 bought about 4 years ago on eBay along with the stand so, not sure how old it is. I'm hoping I might be able to pick up a new clip for it but I have forgotten the name and make of the lamp. Its a good lamp and the magnifier is very powerful......I found that out when this happened!

 to my chair in the studio at the window and the sun came through it.........after that I made sure it was kept covered in its little pocket for safety.


If I manage to get a new clip I will keep it at my sewing machine table but I have decided I needed something a little less weighty and more portable for use on my stand and my hoops.

My mum gave me some money for Christmas and I knew just what I wanted to buy!
After a little bit of research I bought this great little clip on sewing light / magnifier


as soon as it arrived I couldn't wait to try it out , it's so lightweight and easy to use on the hoop and it clips on to its own weighted magnetic base for sitting on a table.

I have been using to sit in the evenings and do a little more on the 28 squares.

Feeling quite pleased today even though its raining and very cold outside, booked a couple of sites for trips away in the caravan .....looking forward to those sunny days!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Not waiting for change


I don't normally talk about my health here, I have always intended it to be about creating, sharing ideas and enjoying art and textiles, but if I think back, the reason I started my blog a little over four years ago was to give me a focus while going through treatment for and coming to terms with a Molar pregnancy.
 It helped a lot, I did not write about it but rather everything that I enjoyed and it helped so I just kept going.
 The treatment (Methotrexate injections) affected my concentration and my eyes so badly that I was unable to spend the many enjoyable hours that I used to on my miniature embroidered pictures.

I forgot that I did this one, I enjoyed working in these colours.
I miss working on the miniature pictures and always hoped to go back to them, after the treatment I had my eyes tested and needed glasses, the optician told me it was just my age and nothing to do with the treatment but how can a person go from working in miniature close up, (6 inches from my eyes) to being unable to see one of her works in her own hands without a magnifying glass within 4 months...is that possible?...perhaps it is I don't know if there are any readers out there who can enlighten me I would love to hear from you, if you had the treatment or if you know about the side effects of the treatment.

 I'm waiting to go for tests on my arms. For some time now more than a couple of years I have had pain in my arms, elbows fingers and sometimes my wrists. Some days are more painful than others I wake up feeling as if someone has been jumping on top of my arms all night and that's when it gets me down, I'm not out of bed and already they hurt!
 In my head I want to create but at the moment my body is letting me down, and on those days,I find it frustrating, and difficult to accept. I have made several appts. at the doctors and been given various pills, sent for x-rays but the main problem has never been dealt with nor found...that is until now, I waited another year putting up with pain in the hope that it might go away.....silly of me really to think that. We had a new doctor join the practise, she sent me to the hospital consultant, both think it might be Ulnar nerve damage and to determine how bad it is, I need to go for tests, to see how bad the suspected nerve damage is.  Apparently my arms will be hooked up to a machine and currents sent to the nerves to assess the damage, I'm not looking forward to it but at the same time I don't want to waste any more time getting to the route of the problem but now, whats worse is the hospital has called to cancel and re-arrange the appointment 3 times since November! I'm now beginning to think that this is how they deal with the statistics of waiting for treatment and actually getting it on the NHS and wondering how long it will be till I get the tests, will this always be something I have to live with. I hope not.

This time I refuse to stop doing the things I want to do, I'm still clearing out my studio of excess clutter and various household unwanteds which always seem to find their way in there,  making changes, to make things easier with better use of wall space, drawers and cupboards.
I will take some pictures when its all done.
 Things will be a lot easier to find than in the past and I'm hoping to finish all those little projects that have been shuffling their way to the bottom of my basket drawers like this little piece that I worked on at the beginning of the summer.......

A piece of dyed calico from my college samples provided a lovely background for this hand embroidered flower stem which I did quite a few years ago on a plain white cotton handkerchief, I blended both together with tiny straight stitch lines in varigated thread then outlined in my favourite french knots. 
Looking at it from a different angle sitting in the work basket I decided this view was better
and perhaps a little heart shaped...now what to do with it......?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Rag rug ramblings & Quilt

It seems the more stitch this rug together the more its not going to plan.
This is a view of it sitting face down on the table but it's really not very flat!

It's buckling no matter how I sew it, the middle gets more distorted the more I coil round it.
I even tried going a bit looser with the fabric pieces and the stitching.... its turning into a bowl!
Kevin says maybe its meant to be a hat !
So I have unravelled it and wondering if perhaps I should try going for an oval rather than round rug.

Wanted to show you this.....the next little item of clothing to be made into another patch

sweet isn't it

On her 1st Birthday

Monday, 9 January 2012

Studio re-shuffle

A shiney new year and after a bit of a wander around those wonderful ideas on Pinterest
I decided to give my studio a bit of a re-shuffle, I wanted to do a 3 way swap

With  my cutting/work table,

 my sewing machine table

 and the worktop along the back wall. 

I felt that as I spend most of the time at the cutting / work table it would be best situated in the middle of the room where the sewing machine table was and that the worktop would serve just as well at the door where the table was under the fabric, button and bead stash. This would leave the back wall free for the sewing machine table.
 I got a bit of time in the evening a couple of days ago to get in there and do the swap around.
Two hours later I had managed to re-shuffle it all and then realise that it was all terribly wrong!
It was midnight, I was exhausted and I could see so many things that were 'not' going to work in my favour, so I put out the lights and closed the door on it.
I mulled the whole thing over in my head for about an hour and I realised that with the sewing machine desk in the centre of the room I could see the garden and it has always been very comfortable there, keeping an eye on Charlotte playing and helping daddy in the garden. Changing this would mean having my back to the view the windows were actually placed to accomdate the sewing table position and moving it would cause more negatives than pluses.
So I came to the conclusion that  it wasn't a re-shuffle that was needed but a clearout. 
 Yesterday I put it all back and decided to loose some more things and add some things,

 Im still working on it but its getting there, and Im looking forward to a new look and more storage in my studio.....more pictures soon!
Thanks for stopping by I wish you all a happy, peaceful and creative 2012

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