Saturday, 31 January 2009

I'm having a clear up (out)

I found this grid sampler I started (I think) in 2004. Its unfinished but I think it is a perfect addition to my Black and White fabric book. If I complete 3 more squares it will fit the 6" x 6" format of the book.

Black & White Fabric Book - ATCs

I have been making some ATCs to go into the pocket pages of my Black & White fabric book. They aren't quite finished yet...

This one is crystal and white beads strung onto 'invisible' thread then knitted then couched onto black handmade felt. I need to finish the blanket stitch around the edges and add a label.

This one is calico printed with a leaf and black acrylic paint. The central motif is knitted wire which then has a black metallic thread woven through it. A glam fuzzy thread is couched around it (to tidy the edges!).

I have two more in progress but they are not ready for a close up...

Black & White Fabric Book - Blackwork Hand

I have made some progress on my Black and White fabric book. I have added more swirls to my blackwork hand...

I'm twisting wire (gauge 28) into swirls and couching it down as a background to the hand. I have added some tied thread too.

more to do...

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Knitting - Socks

look what I made...

It will hopefully have its partner within the week.

I made this using my Noro sock wool and I followed Silver's sock tutorial here. I would recommend it for anyone intimidated by knitting socks.

It took me 5 nights to make which is not bad, as the double pins were awkward and my gauge was tight.

I'm VERY pleased I did it!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Knitting - Socks

My friend Karen (the professional artist) has knitted me a pair of socks. Well... she has knitted me one and a half, I'll post photos when they are finished.

They're her second pair. I have yet to complete mine. In fact my socks are currently 6" of a scarf...

I do feel inspired to try again. I have found a tutorial with lots of photos and helpful hints which will hopefully make it easier... I gave up rather quickly back in September...

Knitting - Toddler Girl's Molly shrug

Molly by Debbie Bliss, knitted in Sirdar Country Style (£3.50 for 100g)

Its full of mistakes! It was my first time turning and making stitches (M1) so I had a few holes (I didn't do either correctly!) I also had to pick up stitches along a shaped hem which went a bit wonky in places and I also messed up my K2P2 rib.

It is lovely on, even though I only knitted a 'single' cuff its still long enough doubled up.

The most important thing is... it fits!

I think I will knit another one in a merino or cotton.

Well-designed Garden by John Brookes

I have several gardening books, I usually pick them up in 2nd shops. I especially like garden design ones and ones specifically for small gardens.

I like the design layouts and the planting schemes.

Given I buy them 2nd hand the books are often old (70s and 80s) and the design aesthetic reflects this.

When I saw a book by designer John Brookes in my library I was pleased to see it was relatively new (2007).

It is very good... the photography is especially inspiring and his design processes very interesting. For example looking for patterns in the surrounding environment.

These are just screaming out to be stitched!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Drawing Stitches

More drawings of stitch ideas for my Black & White fabric book inspired by my Take a Stitch Tuesday samples.

Treasure Maps - paper

Rip the edges of some thick paper, crumple, soak in tea, dry then iron.

I used some coloured paper to add extra interest. I would like to burn holes in them too... but that may make them to fragile for playing pirates...

Sketchbook - a discovery

Whilst looking through my notes for my Black & White fabric book I discovered a page I did last year using a page torn from a magazine...

I love the vertical lines created by the figures and the chains.

Black & White Fabric Book - Portrait Page

I looked out some materials and looked through my old notes and some new ones and decided on a course of action.

I'm currently enjoying the back side of my work and I want to include this in my book. I choose a Modigliani inspired portrait which I found as a colouring page on

I actually found it in April 2005 (as part of my research for a C&G project... another story), I can't seem to find it on there now.

I LOVE Modigliani portraits. The lines are beautiful - curves and angles.

The back side of my piece has a scratchy jaggy feel to it.

I'm very pleased with this. I may do ...

Monday, 12 January 2009

Motivate Me - Part 3

In an effort to drag myself out of my creative blah (or at least to make me feel like I'm doing something) I'm going to list some motivational tools...

Looking back at my Take a Stitch Tuesday samples I wondered how I managed to produce so many, consistently, for several months.

One of the reasons, I think, is that I had a pile of fabric cut to size and all my threads were organised into boxes by colour. I simply picked up a piece of fabric and my box of threads and stitched... small and portable.

I also set myself some initial rules...

1. Spend less than 15mins gathering together materials and researching the stitch
2. Use 6"x4" fabric but don't get hung up on the type of fabric!
3. If a stitch is sewn then blog it no matter how 'unfinished'
5. Don't spend any money!

This worked well until I got out of synch and the backlog grew...

To learn from this I planned to prepare some fabric and have a small selection of threads to hand. But what to stitch?

I considered starting a band sampler, revisiting my favourite Take a Stitch stitches (nothing challenging!)

But then, whilst looking out some threads I saw my Black & White fabric book. I posted the original idea for this book on 25th November 2006 (its actually older that Toddler Girl!).

"This project was first started at the end of July (before Baby Girl). I bought the Pam Sussman book, Fabric Art Journals, during the summer and loved it. I have messed around with constructing paper books but not fabric. I decided to try and construct a book using the simple binding technique shown in the book. This has to be a small pick up and put down project and will be handstitched. I have limited myself to black & white fabrics and threads (left over from a City & Guild piece) and bought myself some wadding. It will show lots of different stitches and techniques and I can use it as a sampler (for C&G purposes and for future reference)."

oh.. best laid plans!

I'm going to dust it off and do some small stitching...

Friday, 9 January 2009

Drawing Stitches

To get me back doing something I used my Take a Stitch Tuesday Moo cards and drew some stitches and shapes.

This was inspired by my motivate me post yesterday but also by Sharon B's For the Love of Stitching Band Sampler posts, where she is documenting a rather large and growing band sampler. Her photos of the stitches are lovely... makes me want to do one too!

I am especially taken by the patterns she makes with the stitches, hence my exploration (in ink) of my own handstitching.

Knitting - my scarf, reworked

I have ripped out my Noro Transitions scarf.

It was too long and skinny and it curled, hiding the different textures of the yarn.

So I am now using a woven look pattern. Trouble is I think I need to rip it out again and go up a needle size to give it a bit more drape and make it wider.

Luckily I've only done about 5 inches...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Motivate Me - Part 2

In an effort to drag myself out of my creative blah (or at least to make me feel like I'm doing something) I'm going to list some motivational tools...

revisit Take a Stitch Tuesday

week 1 Herringbone, week 2 Buttonhole , week 3 Detached chain stitch, week 4 Cretan, week 6 Algerian eye stitch, week 7 Feather stitch, week 8 Fly stitch, week 9 Cross stitch, week 11 Up and down buttonhole, week 12 Couching, week 13 Knotted Cretan, week 14 Bonnet, week 15 Oyster, week 17 Running, week 18 woven and whipped wheels, week 19 Basque, week 21 Crossed buttonhole week 22 Satin, week 23 Wheatear, week 25 Long and Short stitch, week 26 Half Chevron week 27 Bullion knots, week 29 Arrowhead week 30 Buttonhole wheels

and the ones I didn't attempt

week 52 - Spanish feather stitch
week 51 - chained bar
week 50 - berry stitch (double lazy daisy stitch or double detached chain stitch)
week 49 - pistel stitch
week 48 - knotted cable stitch
week 47 - thorn stitch
week 46 - chain braid stitch
week 45 - pekinese
week 44 - zig zag spanish knotted stitch
week 43 - drizzle stitch
week 42 - twisted satin stitch
week 40 - linked double chain
week 37 - rice
week 35 - shisha
week 34 - Portuguese stem stitch
week 33 - scroll
week 32 - crested chain stitch
week 31 - cast-on stitch
week 28 - sheaf stitch
week 24 - french knots (half done)
week 20 - butterfly chain

Motivate Me - Part 1

In an effort to drag myself out of my creative blah (or at least to make me feel like I'm doing something) I'm going to list some motivational tools...

maybe one will work...

notebooks to design and print at PocketMod
a cute weekly calendar at The Storque on Etsy
a leisure book idea at Oh Happy Day


2009 has started abit flat.

Lots to do but I'm wasting time, surfing on internet or playing card games on my new phone.

In 2007 I got off to a 'flying' creative start with Sharon B's Take a Stitch Tuesday. As flying as it could be with 4 month old Baby Girl.

In 2008, when I had 'more' scheduled time, I didn't post until 20th January! Mmmmm feeling abit better now. But I did go into 'creative' overdrive with plans for Exhibition 2008.

Maybe I'll get my stitching mojo back in 10 days...

Toddler Girl has been very creative...

I wish I had a graph of my emotions over the past couple of blogging years... Is there such a widget I could add to my blog? Then I could see any seasonality to my creative blahs.

Friday, 2 January 2009

I did it list

I found this post via craftstylish. The author, Mary Ray, writes about her overwhelming "to do" list and now, instead has an "I did it" list. A list that gives a sense of accomplishment and spurs her on.

I like the logic.
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