Friday, 30 July 2010


One of the presents I received for my birthday was a posh steamer for pressing hard to press things like completed art garments. I tried it out today on some of the pile of ironing.

It worked well for shirts, trousers and the tablecloth, but really should be used before things have been wadded up in a basket of clean clothes that has not been sorted for a week. Well, I normally sort it the same day, but there you are... you can't do everything at once.

I do think it will be a good addition to the studio...just the thing for what I really want it for. Of course, Sky Princess had to go off without it, but I will be doing some talks about my art garments this Autumn, so it will be great for getting storage wrinkles out.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Time and Tide

Feeling a bit like time and tide wait for no woman.

This week I have been right out straight trying to get my FOQ entries finished. very late nights...last night was it 3 am when my husband came and said "you need to get to bed."
What with extra things at college and 50th birthdays, It was very nip and tuck for 2 of the entries. One at least I will "finish" when it comes home!(Sky Princess) Well it is nearly alright, but not as many clouds as I had meant to do.

Furiously trying to finish and hoping the courior would come later rather than sooner, I felt like this boat from Saturday which ended up needing a tow from the lifeboat.

Thanks to the man from TNT, who came 45 min before expected, but said he would come back a few hours later, I got one of them finished. Needed at least 1/2 hour for the hem of the Sky Princess, so was considering alternatives. But then told me where he was parked up on the industrial estate waiting for delivery from a company around 5:00pm. So,I managed to get the hem done and the coat padded up and nicely boxed. I stopped to get him a box of chocolates which I handed over with the box. He was surprised. But I was soooo glad to have a delivery man that was understanding!

Thanks TNT man!!! Didn't know that was the motto, but I guess he believes in it.

So! all 4 of my FOQ entries have gone off to arrive for the deadline tomorrow. (The other 2 were Endless Possibilities and Bits and Pieces)
Phew. I am off to bed, thank you very much!

I promise not to do this to myself again. If there is nothing already in hand to enter, I will not enter it!

So, we will all have to wait for photos til I can take some at the Festival of Quilts.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

what I am doing

quilting dragon flames

and back to the machine

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


I had decided to treat myself for my birthday. I have really enjoyed working with fabric dyed by Val Bennett of Farne Designs. Somehow her dyeing processes make such interesting patterns. I seem to be able to find dragons quite easily in them!

Anyway, Val dyed up some reds through oranges and yellows and also some other combinations of colours for me. I didn't have much by way of yellow and orange for fire. I have actually avoided oranges in the past.
These are going to be great! They are very exciting! I can't wait to begin doing something with them!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Inspiration Monday

The beach we went to on Saturday was where D-Day was practiced previous to the actual rescue of the British Army.

There were several ruins left which had very inspiring textures and patterns.

This is one of a bunker with awesome rusty texture.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

50! today

Hard to believe, but I have reached the half century. I wouldn't want to be any other age, though!
We had a shared meal after church.
And earlier I played games with my Sunday School friends.
Here we are all together.
I have been helping to train the 2 ladies. In the Autumn they will be taking the younger children (in the front of the photo). I will have the older ones so we can cover lessons more geared to their age level.
So it was also a bit of an end of school sort of morning, too.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A good time was had by all

We got up twirly in the morning and were at the seaside before the park ranger opened the carpark gates. So, had a lovely quiet time of it before it got crowded.

Pepper refused to give up on having the ball thrown into the sea so she could swim out to get it and repeat...repeat...repeat. tonight she is exhausted and can hardly move!

It was a very lovely day.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Sky Princess - sunlit clouds

With aching muscles from all the packing and moving, and very grateful for a day to sew.
Tomorrow off to the seaside with the family and Pepper...away from computers and phones.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Sky Princess collar

A bit of fiddling with a bit of paper for a pattern and then with bits of the silk and silk metallic tissue with some tear-away stabiliser and here we go...a collar.
Once it is attached, I will do some beading. and sequinning. Is that a word?
Because the copper silk metallic tissue was not yardage, but small rectangles, I had to cut the collar in 2 pieces. I didn't want to show a join, so I made a little cloud to cover the centre back!

Yesterday was a bit of time out and getting end of year paperwork done. Tomorrow is helping to relocate the fashion department rooms!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Happy Birthday - 75

My dad is 75 today!

Here he is in the midst of his thousands (literally) of gladioli flowers. He cuts them and sells them at a farmer's market. He has "cut back" in recent years...which means he no longer does the 100's of tomato plants as well!

Photo of a photo since my printer hasn't learned to send scans to the computer yet.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

I have been doing a bit of research online looking for links about fabric manipulation for my students. These can be used for adding texture and 3D areas to a garment or even a quilt.

These videos are great! They are made by one of the Threadbangers contributors.

The best part? In the Part 1 video intro, you have to watch what her rabbit is doing! You will have a good laugh!

Part 2 has some really 3D flowers that I can already think of great ideas for.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Sky Princess sleeves

Well, the "sun on the edge of the clouds cuffs" are just pinned at present and it all needs a bit of a press. But the cuffs may also get a few of their own beads.

If life doesn't continue to conspire against me, I should get them attached tomorrow.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

fond farewell

Last night I was with colleagues to say farewell to one of the loveliest people you could ever meet. This pottery tutor has also been the aide to the head of our department. It will be hard to imagine meetings without her calming influence!

Good Luck in settling in where you are heading. I hope you find a place to express your skills in your art and in your teaching.

and I hope those you find to work with will truly appreciate how precious you really are!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

new niece

across the pond, born today

I hope to meet you one day!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Inspiration Monday and Headache Tuesday

I think this is the " Do Not Disturb" look.

This was on Friday after I had been out all day 2 days in a row and Pepper had to sleep on the dog bed on the floor in her "bedroom" all day. So this was her way of saying " you are NOT going out today are you?"

Today it was my turn in the chair, trying to get rid of a migraine.

How can it be inspirational? Well what about a series of pieces about "the look"? There can be all sorts of emotions and communications in a look.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Sky Princess clouds

 and more clouds

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Sky Princess clouds

what I have been doing

Student exhibition

Work from some of the students I had for design last year. These 2 are finishing the 7923 (old Diploma course). The EV was quite pleased with how well they took the design work into the garments.


These 2 are finishing the 7922 (old Certificate course)

And photos across each of the rooms. There were about 34 students in total who were showing their work!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Student exhibition

Some photos of the displays of student work for my C+G fashion course. Some of the work is not finished, as we have a couple more weeks.
The comments from the C+G verifier today were very positive and also reassuring that I am heading in the right direction.


The students set up their own displays, however I didn't get photos until after the work had been looked at, so (in case they are looking here!) some of their delicately arranged scenes are not quite like they started.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Trims and more exitement

One of my colleagues at the college brought in a lot of fabric she was clearing out. She also brought a bag with metres and metres of this trim.

It is JUST the thing for some of the work I like to reminds me of the colours in Communication:Letter.
So, although it is meant to be there for students, she said I could take some. Believe me, what is left is at least double of what I have here!
So, look out for more work with a medieval look.

Speaking of Communication: Letter...
Some of the pieces that were in the Reading Arts Week are going to be put into the Reading Museum community display cases and some in the Mayor display cases in the Civic Centre. The dragons I had in the exhibition have been selected. They also asked me to bring something larger, too. So, I have taken in Communication: Letter and Lady Constant. It will be up to the Museum Curator to select which one. The displays will be up from mid-July to mid-September. Both should relate well with the exhibits at the museum about the Reading Abbey and also the textile/embroidery copy of the Bayeaux Tapestry made by Victorian stitchers.

How cool is that! It has been a great year. Especially for the Communication: Letter piece. Slough Museum in Feb, a ribbon at the National Patchwork Championship in June and Reading Museum in the Summer!
Lady Constant

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

V + A Fashion

A few more photos of historical fashion at the V+A.
A lovely embroidered teagown

confectionary to swoon about in!
graphic frivolity

And some of Grace Kelly's gowns

love the texture
I love this one. With the sheer overlay, the whole dress has a different look than it would have done with just the striped silk.

A wedding dress from one of her films.


I didn't realise til I saw my photos together that I must have been inspired by cream/pastel that day! I did take some photos of black dresses, but they didn't come out so well.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Inspiration Monday

One of my favourite roses from the garden is recovering. (It is actually a red rose, but the photo shows it more pink.) The dog used to dig near the roots, but my husband has been doing up the garden, so gave this a bit more attention...and put loose bricks round the bottom!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

V + A Fashion

A few highlights of some of the items in the fashion collection at the V+A. These are some of the more modern garments.

A fascinating shrug type garment made by the designer Hussein Chalayan. The information on the label said he had used the decomposition dyeing process... wrapping the fabric with iron and burying it in his garden. How cool is that? I had no idea that top designers were doing rust dyeing! This gown was from a collection a few years ago.

A 70's suit of brilliant tapestry fabric

A gown of leather strips connected by hooks and eyes. Made as part of the designer's student collection. Encouraging!
A fascinating garment made using draping techniques. Interesting use of the printed fabric.