Sunday, 26 July 2009

Saturday, 25 July 2009

I love books!

I love books! I love the smell of new books especially! Do you find yourself opening a new book and having a good sniff? I have always loved reading, maybe something to do with the fact that there was no tv or other distractions when we were young (I'm making myself sound ancient here!) and maybe the fact that my dad was a librarian had an influence. I remember my first visit to Blyth library to choose a book and being bitterly disappointed that the assistant chose a book for me thinking she was doing me a good turn!
Anyway, the tenuous link is that I recently made some covers for some sketchbooks! All sold!

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

What are you having for dinner?

We had salmon one evening for dinner ....

and it became this!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The good old days

Last week we went to an end of term performance by the school which our eldest grandson attends. The whole school took part, lots of smiles and excited children, although the reception class looked a little overwhelmed! This is the same school which K and I went to as small children and it certainly brings back some memories - not all good, in fact I don't seem to remember many good things although there must have been some. The school was ruled by the cane and the strap and fear, nothing out of the ordinary for the times. Monday morning in one class was particularly nerve-racking as the teacher doled out the cane if you hadn't been to Sunday School. Another teacher, who shook permanently as a result of shell shock, controlled his class solely with the cane. But there was an outstanding teacher (unfortunately not mine) whose classroom was a feast for the eyes - plants and insects and even an old tin bath full of tadpoles. But such a teacher was a rarity. I don't recall ever going on a school trip or doing some of the exciting things which are taken for granted today. Just a grey school drained of colour. I'm so thankful for the schools today which on the whole are happy places.

Monday, 20 July 2009

A new image

A displacement map image using a photo of a eucalyptus tree and a verse from an old grave in Wigton.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

More sketchbook pages

After looking through this lovely new book I tried out some molding paste in my sketchbook. It's only a start - the book has lots of great ways to use the paste which I'll try out when I have time!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Harbour again

Some more harbour piccies taken at Blyth, not today I hasten to add as there are streams of water coming down our windows and huge puddles everywhere.

This one is one of my favourites - the leaves seem to set off the colours of the nets

And a stitched shell. We don't find a lot of shells here but it is fascinating why you find different sorts of shells on different beaches. Hmmm .. a good question for a rainy day.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Harbour sights

The harbour at Blyth is almost always deserted when we go there after walking along the beach, but it is a rich source of images of all sorts - lots of yachts, some fishing vessels and everything that goes with fishing. Here are just a few of some recent images.

I love the colours on this old container - now what to do with them ... ! or just look at them!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Sketchbook piccies

I like working in a sketchbook but sometimes worry that I may not get beyond it. How to move on to fabric and stitch and other media? I'm sure I will do something with these ideas ... one day!

This is lutradur, painted and zapped, with grungeboard swirls.

I used the same grungeboard piece to make a water soluble cast which was then painted with acrylics.

Did some paper work of a different kind today as well -new wallpaper in the kitchen. It had to be done! but we don't like doing it! Too many other interesting things to do ...

Saturday, 11 July 2009

All work and no play ...

Today we forgot about all the jobs waiting to be done (there's always some!) and went to a lovely wedding

Congratulations Emma and Michael! We have known Emma since she was little - mum and dad must be very proud!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Weaving sticks

The weaving sticks have small holes in the ends for the warp yarn - you can use more or fewer sticks depending on what you want to make. This was just a trial piece with a thick knitting yarn.

Plastic bag weaving -

and a piece of woven wool tops with embellished strips -
Hopefully I'll improve with time (and inspiration!)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Where has the sun gone?

Where has the sun gone? Wrong question - why don't the clouds get out of the way?

Today we went to the Laing Art Gallery to see part of the Northern Print exhibition. I was surprised how many different ways there are of printing images. I think we only saw a fraction of the prints as they are scattered around different venues. Some were huge images and some minute - magnifying glasses were supplied! Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed. This was followed by another visit to the new library which meant that we had a heavy load to lug home, but worth it! (and we had to sample the food in the library cafe!)

Still experimenting with the peg loom and weaving sticks. Some more pics later.

Monday, 6 July 2009


I've always avoided weaving because some of the looms (the big ones) look so complicated but today a friend showed me how to use a peg loom and some weaving sticks. A whole new world of possibilities opened up!

These small pieces are made of wool tops, pulled and twisted slightly. I'm going to try using the embellisher on one piece and having a go with other materials. Plastic bags sounds promising!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Altered images

Two new images using the displacement effect in psp. Might try printing them onto fabric and taking it from there.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Taking pics

I love taking photos - all I do is point and press but the camera seems to know what it is doing! Changing the photo in PSP means that I have interesting (to me at any rate) images to add stitch to. Here are a few I have been playing with before stitching .

Friday, 3 July 2009

Sunny Blyth

We are fortunate enough to live near our favourite beach - Blyth. We both come from the town and met at school here. We always joke that we don't like to tell people about Northumberland in case too many people come!! Only joking! We love the big beaches and wild hills. Blyth council made a great effort to improve the promenade and area. The old concrete beach huts have been replaced by painted wooden ones with a great moss and pebble roof and the bandstand was given a makeover. Now all we need is more hot weather!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Rummaging around

Today I was able to follow a favourite pastime - rummaging around charity shops (aka thrift stores or Goodwill as my sis-in-law in Canada says). I found a large skirt to cut up for bag fabric and then a curtain sample. Seems to be a theme going on here - hope it's not going round in circles!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

If it moves. knit it!

Today we took the ferry over the Tyne to see a crazy exhibition at The Customs House in South Shields. Crazy because everything in the exhibition had been knitted- fish, sea creatures, wellie boots, anything to do with the sea and fishermen. The exhibition was called "A Coat for a Boat"; a 21ft coble (NE fishing boat) had been specially made and then completely coated with knitting. It's even going to be launched in the Tyne! Unfortunately photos weren't allowed.

We didn't stop for a drink here .....
but came across these street paintings which celebrate the heritage of shipbuilding and mining in the NE. A great day out! and hot!