Saturday, 30 April 2011

TV offcuts meeting

There was some debate as to whether we should have the Sewing group today as several were to be away. But we actually had a good number.

And we were all quite busy:

Anne S with her first project

Sheila who was busy with the winding gadget most of the time.

Julie was binding a colourful quilt.

Gill G was transfering her cling wrapped toile to pattern.

Anne K was making another patchwork bag.

Elaine was working on her project for the Thames Valley Contemporary Group exhibition coming up at the Slough Museum. A glimpse of mine is on the photo with Sheila, as I was also doing the stitching on it today.

Gill C was making another jacket a fusion of fabrics that were not quite enough but will now be even better as a one off.

and a new member, Gemma, made use of the space to develop her wedding gown.

She beavered away at positioning the lace motifs in just the right places throughout the day and the transformation was amazing.
I am sure she wouldn't thank me if her fiance got a glimpse of what it will really look like, so I will leave the photos at that.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Out and About other interests

Today I am watching the WEDDING.

So some of the other interesting features of Virginia Water

Some of the more unusual plants:

I could never work out why they want vistas of skunk cabbage. But I guess I have never seen them all in bloom. I guess it keeps people from walking down to the lake that way!

wild rhubarb - but cultivated!

Various trees had their version of colour:

Some of the man made features. We didn't try to walk to the ones on the sign, like the Greek Temple folly and the water fall because we went in from a different entrance and I only managed to walk the bit that we did. If you go round the main lake it is something like 5 miles. I have done it before though.

The oblisk

The totum pole: A gift from British Columbia

It was a lovely day enhanced by the fact that it wasn't a bank holiday, so wasn't teeming with people and dogs!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Out and About in Colour

Today, I went with my Husband to see the glorious rhododendrons and azaleas at the 'Punch Bowl' arena at Virginia Water.
A view from a distance
and a walk through the paths that make it up.
A blaze of colour

and over-the-top seduction of the close-up view.

An amazing range of pink

and a bit of  yellow

Click any of these to see a bit closer.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


My husband has been doing some sorting. We are having a young lady from the Netherlands stay with us this summer, so he is sorting his gadgets out of the guest room.

So he comes down to show me this. He has done surgery and replaced the battery, so I am meant to stitch it back up again.

If you don't know what it is meant to be, you can have a look here.

A Tribble. For some reason my dad sent it to us when we were first married. We used to trick one another by putting it under the pillow or a cushion on the settee. You'd lay your head down and it would purr at you.

This is how it works with a sort of computery bit in it.

I didn't realise the mottled fake fur was done with stripes inside.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Back to the Slough Museum Project

I rather reached a stopping point with the piece I was doing for the Slough Museum Project. But now that the deadline is nearing, I just decided to get a start and see what happens.

One of the problems was that I had sprayed walnut ink on the lutrador base I was using. I thought it would give it a more aged look. then I left it to dry. I blotted the excess with a piece of white muslin. But, even after some weeks, it hadn't actually dried. If you touched it, it rubbed off on your hands.

So, I gave up eventually and ran it through a rinse in the washing machine. (I wasn't sure what even a quick wash would do to the lutrador.
here it is laying in the tree to photograph because I didn't want it to get on anything else in the house!)

The plus side of washing it was that it was at least more of an off white than a pure white, which suited me better. The white muslin was still stained after the rinse, too. It basically looked dirty not aged.

So, that was where I left it for sometime. Although I had ordered a range of natural/skin coloured viscose rayon embroidery threads.

At last I thought I better get on with it. I had meant to use white muslin to stitch through, but now hadn't enough of it. I did have enough cream muslin and found that would suit. And having decided that, I proceeded to tear strips and make patches to cover the lutrador. The lutrador could just be more like a support for the inside. It is still more of a fragile feel than interfacing would have been used in the same way. I also realised the stained white muslin wasn't as bad as I thought and would make a good backing.

and so now I am listening to audio books and doing the stitching. I like the raw edges of the patches peeking through the stitching. I may still add some frayed strips like I did with my sample, but I will see what it looks like when it is all stitched.

I had thought to use sticks through the 'boning' channels to make it into a 3D piece, but since there is already alot of 3D work being done, I may go ahead and make it to hang on the wall. I will see what it looks like.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Art in the Garden

Also last week - Thursday - I participated in the Art in the Gardens event at Caversham Court Gardens in Reading.

You might remember last year's event was on the 1st April and I was sewing with layers of clothing and gloves on my hands!

This year I had summer clothes! I have been seeing on some of the blogs I follow from New England that they have had snow! We have had summer in April. It does go a long way to cheering you up with you have been a bit unwell.

We were meant to be doing things about the Royal Wedding. I couldn't quite bring myself to do twee things like they were suggesting - hearts and whatnot. So what would I do with it later? and after all, what do you even do with any of the Royal Wedding trinkets that are cluttering the shops? Do I need to add to that?
So, I brought my Tudor pieces and used those for a focus (with the dragons on the wall at the back). So, I decided to do a crown for the demo. It is close enough of a connection with Royal Weddings and I can actually find a use for it someway in the future.

It was a lovely day chatting to people and getting them interested in trying new things on their own machines or of showing them what could be done with a machine.

It was good publicity for the college, but for me as well! Someone came from a Radio Station and did an interview. It should be broadcast on Tuesday. I need to work out which one it was because all she said was the frequency numbers.
Also, one of the marketing team from the college came and did a video was really more about me talking about the work I was doing and explaining a bit. Some of the same things I say to people as they come around to visit my stand. It will be on the College Website soon.

One of my colleagues came by and I ask him to get a photo of me demoing. He seemed to be trying to get the focus just right. I didn't realise he was just snapping away to "get the right photo", as he put it. Someone was there wanting to talk to me and I was getting more and more self conscious, so was sort of joking. But the results were some pretty good photos. Some of the more silly ones I haven't put up here though!

A very good day...Just being out in the sun sewing and talking to people about sewing has been quite helpful in getting me motivated again.