Friday, 12 September 2014

The Shocking Finale..... Sixteen Shades of Blue.

Family life was causing a lot of stress for our duo yesterday. Who would have thought those dear little blue spotted eggs would cause so much trouble?

                                                         Just think how things were.

                                    Then there was the dreadful gapes with their insatiable demands.

Now they are faced with these cross little creatures, jumping up and down and shouting...

                                                               'we will stay in nest till 12'

                                                          and 'bring us lots of food - NOW!'

( I got the idea for these on 'Springwatch'  - those little tufts amuse me.)

Well, I did warn you of the shocking end. (You can imagine the tabloid headlines.) But, you're still here so read on.

                                                          Mr Blue Bird made a decision.

Now the question is ...were they just off for a week end break?   Or was this long term?

                                                       Flying off into the's final!

                                                               ( The 'poem' in it's entirety.)

                                                               Whilst alone and feeling blue,
                                                               How often have I dreamed of you?

                                                               I found this place to bill and coo
                                                               And maybe lay an egg or two.

                                                               Family Life I must confess,
                                                               Is causing us a lot of stress.

                                                              So come my love, away we fly,
                                                              And leave the brood to D.I.Y!

If you missed the first part of the story, go to blog archives and start again with 'Whatever happened to 'Sixteen Shades of Blue.'

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Did you see this' Sixteen Shades of Blue'?

The scene is set.
Peace and tranquility surround the bird house from heaven.
The nest had been lovingly crafted by our blue bird couple.
The most delightful spotted eggs had been laid.
Now fussing about with a few blue threads was all they could do.
Everything needed to be perfect.

(Do not show the rest of this story to your children.)

                             You know as well as I do that the thunder bolt is about to strike.

                                                    Over night they went from bliss to this.

What a nightmare! All those gaping beaks to feed! What's more it does not goes on and on and on!

                                                   It's enough to drive them over the edge.

Their feathers are looking a bit ruffled now. The stress is knocking his spots off.
No time to tend their lovely garden. All the flowers are trampled to bits.
Will they ever get it together again?

Find out in the next episode of 'Sixteen Shades of Blue'.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The next episode of 'Sixteen Shades of Blue'.

Somehow I've got to make this story seem decided to serialise it.
Yesterday, you learned that our bluebird couple met and fell in love. Now, without giving too much away, they are on the hunt for somewhere to live.

Myself, I think he has been scouting round desirable residences prior to their chance encounter. But, hey, she looks suitably impressed! Have a closer look.

(Used up two more of the blue pieces in this house.)

And before you know it, the inevitable happened and they were moving in.

He's still making minor adjustments to the interior decor and she is still starry eyed.
Let's get closer.

Let's take a peek inside to see what is going on.

They look to have taken delivery of a whole load of lovely spotted eggs.
( Interior decor used 4 more pieces of the stash!) 

Well things got off to a good start........ we'll leave them in peace.
What could possibly go wrong?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Whatever happened to Sixteen Shades of Blue?

I'm blowing the dust from our blog spot even as I type but there is news!
My fabric book which I began last year in our group project called 'Sixteen Shades of Blue' is almost finished.Hurrah! (I have really enjoyed doing it...but 'slow stitching' I think they call it.) However, it occurred to me that it would be easier to photograph the pages before I stitched it altogether, so here goes.

First a bit of background.We took an idea  from the book by Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly called 'Connected Cloth'. They talk about starting points. One idea was where each person is given identical bits and pieces. I've documented this in a previous blog December 2013 describing how we got going.

Now my little sad blue bird, having a fit of the winter blues, and all alone.

                                  Page One with the first line of a special poem written for him.

All is not lost...Spring follows Winter.....hope is renewed. Someone is not quite so sad.

                                    Pages 2 & 3       She looks quite interested don't you think?

Will they...won't they?
I've got to go and do my garden now...sorry. I'll get back to you very, very soon.

PS...If you want to read the first episode of 'Sixteen Shade of Blue' go to blog archive on the right hand side, click on 2013 and then Dec.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Flights of Fancy.

A couple of weeks have gone by and I still haven't told you about our Blue Ginger residency! It's that time of year when everything happens. Exhibitions, holidays, moving house (one of us did) and even the red currants in my garden are jumping up and down saying time to dive into the jelly bag!

We decided this year to have a simple theme-butterflies- and make a brooch. Sitting in the garden, past experience has shown, often involves wind and rain so we can't plan anything too complicated. The main thing is that we enjoy being back together for a few days.

So in the forward planning, some of us made large textile butterflies to decorate the summer house where we are based.

 As soon as we got there we transformed the outside with some colourful paper ones too and laid out a table so visitors could get to work alongside us.

Soon we were hard at work inside the it wasn't a cage to keep us contained. The mesh sides did keep some of the wind out surprisingly!

By lunchtime the first butterflies were on their first flutter!

Then they were off!

A scene of peaceful enjoyment....punctuated by the odd strawberry or ice cream.

Judy's beauty mistook the colourful leaf for a soul mate. This should get the local lepidopterists excited.

I'm going to end with Ann's delightful and succinct summary designed to  inform the folk who missed some or all of the residency!

Raindrops ............................ 0
Sunny days............................5
Visitors................................. a steady trickle
Visitor Quality... ...................excellent,friendly, chatty,interested, interesting,admiring.
Coffee/tea drunk...................lots
Cake and ice cream eaten....too many
Butterfly brooches made.......11 ?
Live butterflies.......................1
Company rating.....................superb
Conversation rating,..... .......high quality,supportive,quiet in moments of stitch concentration.
French knots stitched............ lots and lots.
Friends sorely missed ...........2

Note to The Wednesday Group .....Perhaps we could have a role call of all those brooches when we next meet and see them here soon!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Polish those's stitch camp again!

This week sees us heading for Blue Ginger Summerhouse again for a short residency and what's more...the weather seems set to fair! We've had our fair share of rain and cold and sinking in the mud but I have to say last year surprised us, let me remind you!

A few of us having a lunch break in Blue Ginger gardens. Savoury muffin and salad is a Wednesday Group favourite...that is if we can bear to put our sewing down.

What could be nicer to be together and stitch in such a lovely spot on a summer's day?

We made a surprising discovery that white clover has an amazing scent. It wafted round the gazebo as we worked away.

This year we are using butterflies as our reason... they just seem so summery. On Thursday, most of the group can make it and we are challenging ourselves to make a butterfly brooch.

A few of us are making giant butterflies to decorate the summerhouse and entice folk to come and see what we're up to. May be they will want to stay and make one of their own or at least make a paper one to add to our collection as the week goes on! More blogging soon.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Stitching a kiln view

I have become engrossed with working with glass, and have done little stitching other than the housekeeping variety.  However, I am currently trying to make my first deep piece of fused glass, which needs the glass to be trapped by solid bars to make it stay thick rather than running out all over the kiln shelf to be the six mm thick it always wants to be.

I posted a photograph of the kiln set up on our Facebook page, and got so many positive comments on the appearance that I thought I would make a fabric version.

I worked on some artist's canvas with bondaweb stiffening.  The supports were cut from some curtain bumph stiffened with pva glue that I had left over from the C&G course we all did. The 'glass' seascape was stitched with an embroidery foot.  It is a long time since I worked like this, and as I layered different colours I found that the sound of the machine changed- on the final light coloured layer the needle seemed to be struggling a bit but I just assumed it was due to the build up of stitch.  However, when I removed the work from the machine I found I had accidentally stitched a catalogue to the back of the fabric.  I set about to remove it, although this would have meant restitching that layer.  I then realised that it was a catalogue from a glass shop in Venice and was so appropriate I left it in place.

I framed this in a white box frame which mimics the sidewalls of the kiln.  Not a perfect copy of the kiln, but an amusing idea.   I am still waiting for the kiln to go cold enough to be able to safely remove the glass.  This little project has been useful in keeping me from fretting and obsessing about the temperature falling slowly, steadily and safely in my glass studio.


The next day the kiln was cool, the piece had worked and it even stood up!