Thursday, 30 June 2011

A little luxury never goes amiss....

I can finally heave a sigh of relief, and indulge in a relaxing bath! We have been without the family bathroom for nearly four weeks now as Dad has been doing a complete refit for me. At least we have a en-suite so there is no issue of stinky people hanging around the house. Despite having a perfectly serviceable bathroom already, I decided that the dull room supplied with our new build home was not adequate for a modern girl's bathing needs. So after much saving and sale purchasing since Christmas, we were finally ready to go.
This is it before chaos reigned (but after I had removed the million bottles of "lady potions" that often fill our bathrooms - yes girls, you know who you are!)....

This is what we have been living with for the last 4 weeks....

Having a Dad as handy as mine is a huge bonus, though it means you can't yell at him when he leaves you over night with no hot water, lets the cat out by mistake or covers your whole house in dust! But these things are sent to try us and the benefits far outweighed the costs.

Now I have a bathing boudoir fit for the most regal of bathers! The rolltop bath was picked up during the new year sales and is fab-u-lous! I am delighted with the slate - I didn't want too much of it as it is very dark and I don't want my bathroom to feel like a crypt! You cant see the shower area on the right (because it is not quite finished) and that is slate tiled too! With the addition of underfloor heating I am one lucky girl. Paul has now been banished back to the en-suite, which has always been 'his bathroom' and I am off to enjoy the delights of my new bit of luxury with fluffy white towels and a mountain of bubbles!

Thanks Dad x

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Summer's here!

As the sun has come out, so do the lovely shoes!

Here is my newest and favourite pair - Summer scrumptiousness!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Inspired by the Crafty Mugwump....

After reading about her 'raggy' on the website of the Crafty Mugwump at the weekend, I was inspired to share mine! I actually started this a few weeks ago after seeing her raggy in the flesh and thinking "what a clever idea"! I have been so busy over the last few weeks that there has been little real time to spend in the studio, just a stolen 20 mins here and there. So the raggy is brilliant. I get a stitching and colour fix before I head out to be super woman for a bit longer!

Here are some pictures of mine....

I have used a piece of fabric I dyed on a Ruth Issett course I took at Art & Stitch last year.  The colours are honestly deeper in real life. They look a little washed out here!
A bit of machine stitching...

Here is some of the hand stitching I have added so far, in lime and orange!

I even like the back! Perhaps the next time I do this I will just go made on a piece of black cotton!

 This is the original piece before I did much with it. A brightly coloured sheet with some finger drag marks in it! Was never sure what to do with it until I saw the raggy and then... off we go! 
Everyone really should have a raggy!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

What a delight!

Yesterday was my day at Bourne Grammar School working with 17 15 year old girls who are studying GCSE textiles. Well they had a great time and so did I. It is funny how inspiring someone else can result in them inspiring you! I can away with more ideas for more classes, and plans to teach some more days at the school next term. It was great to see an institution so keen to develop the creative skills of their students, though, alas, they are not immune to cuts, and textiles seems to be an easy target "as it's only a bit of sewing!"

The two teachers I worked with, Miss Hind and Mrs Fordham, were brilliant, and seemed to enjoy the day as much as the girls. They really work hard on inspiring the creativity in the girls and we came up with a few ideas just during our tea break!

The plan for this day was that the girls would each create a panel related to the Olympics which would be sewn together at a later date. They wanted me to show the girls some other techniques, so we chose a piece which involves layering cottons and silks, securing them with stitching through organza, and then melting the top layer with a heat gun in a well ventilated room! After that they machine appliqu├ęd Olympic symbols and added a little beading to add some 'bling'!

So after a day of fun with the best behaved teenage girls I have ever met, we came up with the following....

With the same brief they certainly came up with a lot of different results, with the torch, doves, laurel leaves and 2012! There are 18 pieces in all (some went home to be finished) and Miss Hind is going to sew them all together and mount them on canvas. I will publish that picture when it is done. I think you will, agree that they did a cracking job. Well done girls!

Monday, 13 June 2011

A trip!

Here I have decided to share a couple of pictures I took on a recent trip to Easton Walled Gardens outside Grantham.

The Alliums were fabulous!


Well worth a visit! 

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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Preparing for a challenge!

After a false start earlier in the year I have finally got around to being booked to teach at Bourne Grammar school. Tuesday is the big day!

I was approached a while back by their textile department to bring a different viewpoint to their GCSE group. The brief changed a bit on the way, but we have finally got around to deciding on a piece of work based on the Olympics for the school's end of year fashion show. They have sewing machines but no embroidery feet, so the design is limited to something that can be done with a normal straight sewing foot, so I will be using the Olympic torch as an image.

So I have a group of 15 year old girls (17 in all) who I hope will enjoy doing something different.

At the moment, most of the samples are finished, and the materials packs are almost done... 18 packs of mixed silks, organza, papers, beads and a needle!
Still a few bits to finish off, and I am a little nervous at teaching such a big group of teenagers but I am sure it will all be fine in the end! I can't be any more prepared!!!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Getting the creative juices flowing!

I have had a very busy few weeks, with not much going on in the studio, but sometimes all you need to get those creative juices flowing is to spend a little time in the company of another creative creature! Today I was lucky enough to spend time with such a lady - my friend Pam McDonald, otherwise known as the Crafty Mugwump. She has just joined us in blog land after following me and those blogs I follow for the last 2 years. She has only done a couple of posts so far but there will be many more to come, but I felt I had to plug share with you.

So this 'pop in for coffee' turned into a 5 hour session as I 'oohed' and 'aahhed' my way around her lovely home and brilliant work. She uses her own hand dyed fabric, paper, buttons, bits of sting, wood, shells, pebbles, quite frankly: anything she can lay her hands on to create works that stun me to silence (and that doesn't happen often!). I cant wait for you guys to get to see some more of her stuff as she spreads her blogging wings and shares more of her experimental work with you.

Note to all - THIS IS NOT MY WORK! This is a little taster of Pam's work, using felt and all manner of embellishments to create a work of extraordinary depth.

I took pictures of more of her work, but it is not my place to share it - I will leave it to her so keep an eye on this lady (no pressure Pam!). Enjoy!