Saturday, January 29, 2011

Busy Doing Lots of Things

I've been rather busy of late - busy marking student teachers' assignments (a task made less tedious by finishing off the Christmas chocolate biscuits!), busy creating printable teaching resources to go with our story animations on The Treasure Tree and busy creating an embroidered seascape.
To start with I embellished (with the embellishing machine) various merino wool tops, silk bricks, ribbons and yarns onto a washed babywipe.  This is it at that stage:

The waves at the top are the microwaved dyed wensleydale fleece from here.  Then I hand embroidered more yarns and silks on (mainly using lazy daisys, fly stitches and french knots) before adding beads to all represent the fish and seaweed.  (I think I may be addicted to french knots!).  This is it finished:

It "grew" quite alot during the embellishing and is about 50cm x 20cm.  Below are some close-ups of some of the detail (if you click on any of the images they'll enlarge - the occasional cat hairs are added extras not visible except through the camera lens!)

It's been many years since I've done any embroidery so I did quite alot of unpicking along the way, but I enjoyed doing it and am quite pleased with how it's turned out especially as I had no real plan when I started - I think planning is something I need to work on!

Now I'd like spring to come so I can get busy in the garden.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Developing Skills for Working From Home

Most weeks I work from home for some of the time, but this week it's been every day.  I really enjoy being able to do this but this week it's been challenging at times as Florence and Dylan have been using the time to perfect some of their "she's working from home" skills.

Dylan has been practising his "occupy the chair she's just vacated" skill -

Florence has been practising her "make it as awkward as possible for her to type" skill -

 As well as her "make the stairs really difficult for her to negotiate" skill - 

Dylan's also been perfecting his "find strange places to sit where she won't find me" skill - 

They're also both perfecting the skill of removing the other one from the current best sleeping place, often the back of the sofa but this week it's been the bag the embellisher machine should live in.  This generally results in much hissing and growling (and spitting from Florence who isn't very ladylike!), but at times they've both managed to keep possession.

 I'm working from home for much of next week too - I wonder what skills they'll develop then?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Inspired by Ice

Back in October Fran and I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace and, amongst other things, I bought some Lutradur.  For those of you who don't know, Lutradur is a non woven material that is slightly see through and can be dyed, stitched and distressed with a heat gun.  Up until Christmas it had stayed in its bag as I wasn't really sure what to do with it, but having some free time over the holidays I decided to have a play with it.  My first attempts weren't very successful as I didn't appreciate how much the painted colour would change when I blasted it with a heat gun.  But I soldiered on and eventually created this piece, which I think must have been inspired by all the ice we've had recently.
Ice - 18cm x 13cm

It's quite hard to photograph accurately but I think you can see the gist of it (especially if you click on it to make it bigger).  It's actually 2 layers of lutradur (the smaller blue central panel and the larger white one), fused to a background of pelmet vilene with painted bondaweb.  Then there's some distressed polyester organza, some silver mesh and stitching, as well as the silver braid and beads. 

I'm sure I'll look at it in a few months time and want to hide it, but just for now I'm quite pleased with it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Splash of Colour - January

I guess this post could also be subtitled 'Some of My Favourite Things'.  It's been rather grey here for days now, and although the cloud is lifting it's still grey, so here are some of my favourite things to add a splash of colour to the greyness.

There's chocolate biscuits (yes there's colour in chocolate!), bobbins wound and waiting, dyed curly wensleydale fleece, alluring beads, a bag of ribbons and lace, a shelf of picture books, the beckoning colours of silk bricks, my Grandma's buttons (rather muted by today's standards) and cherry liqueur chocolates that need to be finished before the diet can begin.

A Splash of Colour is hosted by Silverpebble and there are many more pictures on the Flickr group too.

PS - There is one of my favourite things missing from this mosaic as I'd drunk it before I remembered to photograph it!