Thursday, 31 December 2015

And the bead keeps going on...27-31 Dec

Week 53 - December 2015

Oops! Sorry for the glitch! I forgot I set this for the 31st and I have been enjoying time with family.






I did a couple more to complete the set - going with the first one of the month.
December bead extra-a

December bead extra-b

All of December's beads

Sunday I will show the starting of the beads for the New Year.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

And the bead keeps going on...20-26 Dec

Week 52 - December 2015

Yes, I know. It seems strange to say week 52 already, but the calendar I have been following started the first part week in January as week 1. So, next week, on their calendar is called week 53.








Saturday, 26 December 2015

Icicle moon

The other night the skies were clear and crisp and the moon was bright. I looked out and there was a vapour trail from an airplane falling down like icicles!
When I saw it, it was above the moon, but by the time I got the photo right, it was below.
It is hard to get photos of the moon without a tripod I think. You have to have very steady hands/arms to keep it from blurring.

Today is Boxing Day, so I am relaxing with the Thoughtful Man and A Certain Young Man ... oh, and Holly.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Trying out an idea

This is a present I made for my friend. She will get it when she gets back from her Christmas away.
It started out to be coasters, but I realised the squares were much too small for coasters, so it became this!
One of those times when you try it out and then keep going till it is right.

The holly is stitched free hand on the machine, then I cut back the top layer to show the tiny gingham.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


In the front garden

A Cyclamen...I love these. I have said so before, but I still do. These ones you get as pot plants aren't meant to be put outdoors, but I find they are quite happy.
Especially this year when we are not having winter yet.
We are meant to be getting sand from the Sahara this week though! It does this in the Spring/Summer, but I don't recall it happening in December.

Yesterday, my legs decided they had enough from the weekend. So, I read a book all day rather than try to get them to do anything else. I haven't done that for ages. And it was actually just the type I like. A charity shop find a few years ago that I had never read. Black Trillium And now I will have to find the sequels. Not so easy when it is an older book.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

And the bead keeps going on...13-19 Dec

Week 51 - December 2015








Saturday, 19 December 2015

Mince Pies at the Shops

Each Christmas, we get involved with what we have come to call "Mince Pies at the Shops". Several friends from the church gather at the shops to spread a little cheer with Christmas songs playing, balloons for children, and offer of mince pies a hot spiced fruit juice or some chocolate/sweets.
Balloons anyone?

We also invite them to our Candlelight Carol service which is tomorrow evening (20th December) this year.
Would you like a chocolate or a sweet?

I got a few photos of them as I went down to join them. This year I only helped out for the last hour. My legs were still not their best, but better than going for the whole morning.
Hang on to it so it doesn't fly away!

Most people were quite friendly and open. We got through 3 small tanks of helium for the balloons! (Actually, somehow Eric the Balloon Man managed to convince several older people to have a balloon!) I suppose because Christmas is still several days away, they weren't madly dashing for all the bits for the Christmas dinner.

A quiet moment looking out for the next family with kiddies

It was a bit windy, but not a bitter wind. More because of the position I think, the wind goes down that row of shops like a wind tunnel. But also this year we were prepared with pegs and paperweights, etc!

Happy Christmas at Birch Hill Shops!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Sample updates

The even count peyote is now 17cm.

The ladder stitch is now 31 1/2 in.

I have been working on them off and on. Major projects have been put on hold or cancelled whilst I am just taking it easy for a while.

I have been doing a weekly course about managing fibromyalgia pain. However it is in a town to the south of us about 1/2 hour, so the to and fro added to 2 hours learning does take a lot out of you. We have a break now for Christmas and will have the last 2 sessions out of the 9 after the New Year.

There is so much stuff - mostly good - but you really can only take one or two things a week and try them out. After we are stopped, then we can concentrate on getting to grips a bit better with what we have been discussing. And then we have a session about 3 mo later to see how we are getting on. Probably for motivation as much as anything!

Monday, 14 December 2015

even count peyote progress

Over the weekend, I took time off the computer ( because of a bad head again on Saturday), so yesterday I just worked more on the sample of even count peyote.
It has grown from around 2cm to 10cm. If you look, you can see that once I got the technique down, my tension was not as tight.

I don't know what I am doing with these things, but for now, they are samples and practice and something that doesn't require a lot of energy/headspace.

Perhaps the above will eventually go on the top of a Christmas Stocking or something.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

And the bead keeps going on...6-12 Dec

Week 50 - December 2015








Friday, 11 December 2015

more peyote

This sample I have started is called even count peyote.

The instructions I followed were to make a little tassel to attach to scissors...or you can keep going and make something longer. At the moment, I am going to go with making it longer because I am still getting stuck now and then.
Probably something to do with making patterns to begin with rather than solid colours!

This little box of beads I have had for a very long time. The red, white and green never seemed to want to be a part of anything. I did use most of another similar box - the ones you can see in there with stripes that are close together. But for them, the red worked in some instances when I wanted green and orange.

So, now the rest get their call up.

By the way, the misshapen beads, I have been using for 'tension beads' which you take off after you have finished so you can weave the thread tail in. At the start, they are good for having something to hang onto. The circle I did yesterday worked so well with the tension bead left in, that I wove the finishing tail through to catch it into the centre even firmer.

I love that curly bead, but haven't worked out a way to use it yet, because you can't get a needle through it.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Sampling again

I sat down to play with a few Christmassy beads today. I have been watching some videos about doing what they call circular peyote.
This is what I came up with. Yeah, change the instructions the first time you do it. But using different types of beads helped me to learn more than I would have done just going round and round!

Cool! Blogger told me the other day I could drag and drop a photo into the post. It didn't work when I tried it last, but it worked today!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Wax paper seams

So, today was another bad head day. So after spending most of the day getting it to tolerable levels, I decided I might manage stitching wax paper.*

I have been stitching pleats, up to now, rather than seams, as I haven't been able to get my head round how they might be waterproof.

I also was having a hard time working out how to do the overcasting stitch which I learned about in my research, shown in the photo below. So, I did a few more pleats and stitched them together and then got a better idea of how to do a seam. Also, I finally worked out the overcast. (I should have flipped the image - I normally work right to left, and I think this is where I was struggling.)

I used red linen to reference the touches of red that were often used as decorative tufts. I am going to do some overcasting on some other seams with a woad dyed linen. (Not that they had linen or woad, it is just one of the other colours I have seen used for tufts.) The tufts also helped with shedding water, as they wicked the sea water or rain away.

Holding the pleats in place.
So, now I have pleated the edges of two of my previous pieces that have pleats sewn with running stitch, and I think I finally have a plan.

In all of the pleats I sewed so far, I have encase a length of twine, mimicking the concept of the grass stems within the seam. As I understand, this would soak up any water getting into the seam and the beach grass would swell up and thus keep any further water from getting through to the inside.
If I can get the proper seam to work, I will see if I can encase a length of twine or some other thread.
with a possible thread to be encased.
And so, I managed to get something done today after all.

*(one of the benefits of doing something strange is that you get distracted from aches and pains!)

Monday, 7 December 2015

next up

Thanks for the comments about the meal. It was wonderful. A Certain Young Man excelled at the turkey. He had read about brushing the skin with butter to create a glaze, but did it before the main baking instead and added spices. But, that meant the flavour was not just on the surface...very yummy. And he roasted onions under it as well.

And for me, hardly any stress. I had all my part ready and did not have to worry about the turkey. So, when I came back from having parsnip soup and chatting at South Hill Park with my friends, I sat and did something totally random...mended necklaces and bits of jewellery in my new beading and etc space! and following the meal, I sat and read a book, which I haven't done for sometime.
Someone asked who did the washing up. The Thoughtful Man of course! He always finishes before me anyway, so he gets up and gets the teas/coffee and on major meals does the washing up.(We use the dishwasher for most things.)

So, on to the next project...
As you can tell, I have several things on the go. It keeps me from being bored!

The revised deadline for the Stretching Art challenge is January (it had been August). So, having cleared the decks from some things and choosing to change other deadlines for a more achievable deadline. I realised I better get back to this so I can get it off.

Some things you wonder why you waited! But then, I know I was under a lot of pressure - mostly on my self - in the summer, so took advantage of the chance to quit just then.

Anyway, all that to say I have sandwiched the piece about Abebe Bikila. I had some scraps of the vintage fabric which were just enough to piece for the backing. And like the pieces I did the previous year, I have used felt for the wadding.

We recently got this message:
Remember last summer when you were furiously working to finish your quilt for the fall PNQE show in Pennsylvania, only to find out that they had inadvertently omitted our exhibit from the program? WELL....

Good things come to those who wait.

Stretching Art and Traditions - "From Whence I Came" has been invited to TOUR. Our quilts will be displayed in March in New Jersey (as originally rescheduled...), in New England during the summer of 2016, and finish at the PNQE show next September in PA.

Furthermore: The new news is that Mancuso is willing to tour our exhibit on an annual basis!
So, that is me set for January over the next several years. I actually like doing this one because
-I have a chance to be involved with something I am not running
-The emphasis is Stretching Art and Traditions - so I can legitimately try out something new to me which has a purpose.

Not that I am reluctant to try new things, as you may know if you have been reading this blog long! but my trials are welcome for this group. This one is small enough that you aren't competing for a place. And as I said, I am not involved with making up the theme, curating or finding venues.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

And the bead keeps going on...29-30Nov and 1-5Dec

Week 49 - November/December 2015



I had cut the little fabric strips at the beginning of the year, trying to make sure to cut enough for the whole year.
And now, with them completed, I had one left over! So, here is an extra one with gold lined beads.

All the November Beads

---------Plan for December
I bought some interesting shaped lined beads from Bead Merchant at the Knitting and Stitching show.
They have a bit of a glow about them. I thought it would make a good end of the year to come up with a project for them.
I quite liked the 'tassel' shape I did for October. I have also been puzzling away at an idea to do branch like bits sticking out, rather than the loops I did for October.

So, here is the plan. Not all of the beads along the top of the photo are the 'glowing' ones but they fit the brief.
I will use the three metallic ones at the bottom and cycle through the ones at the top. Plus crystal beads to pull it all off. So, green metallic accent for 10 days, blue metallic accent for 10 days and the coppery/pink metallic accent for the last 3 days. And add the trial tassel in this photo and you have 31!