Wednesday, 25 April 2007

TAST - Running stitch

Ok, so I'm cheating a bit here! This is a pattern darning sampler I did some time ago using a design that was originally on the needlepoint site by Janet Perry. I did it on a fine canvas which is why it hasn't scanned terribly well; because of the holes in the canvas and the pale salmony colour it doesn't show up clearly. However I really liked the results and it's also very interesting on the reverse as the pattern appears almost in negative.

Monday, 23 April 2007

TAST - Palestrina stitch

Here's a rather dinky sampler for Palestrina stitch as part of the TAST challenge. This was another one that was knew to me and I enjoyed doing it. The diamonds in particular were interesting.

Sunday, 22 April 2007


It really has been the most glorious spring here in Dorset and yesterday we went out and about to enjoy the weather and the countryside. Bluebells are everywhere (including my front garden) and here's a picture of a small wood near Beaminster looking beautiful. We also went to the sub-tropical gardens at Abbotsbury where thanks to its location in a sheltered valley on the coast, quite exotic plants grow mixed in with the bluebells! There were lots of magnolias, rhodedendrons and azaleas amongst others.

Days like these are for the locals to appreciate, before the area gets too clogged up with visitors, and this time of year is when we really appreciate how lucky we are to live here.

Monday, 16 April 2007

TAST, Oyster stitch

Here's my sample for this week's TAST, Oyster stitch.
Just a small piece but once I got the hang of it I liked this stitch and loved the texture it gives.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

TAST - Bonnet Stitch

Here's my TAST sampler for Bonnet Stitch. This one was unknown to me but once again I really liked the patterns I could make. Once I'd worked out how to do it I was able to get into a rhythm and it went quickly.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Fan Sketchbook

Here's a few more pictures of my fan sketchbook before I have to hand it in next week. I've already posted a picture of the front cover and the fan mini book so this first picture is the pocket the minibook fits in.

This is a picture done using paint thickened with paste so that you can draw patterns in it with the end of a brush or whatever. At this point the fan became an orange slice and that reminded me of the sugared sweets you can buy so I cut out a niche in my sketchbook and made this box to fit inside it.

Inside the box are orange slices made from felt with snippets stitched on and glitter and fabric paint added.

It also became a gingko leaf and I used a mould to make a clay leaf which I then used as a stamp and a template to make patterns with.

It also became some fan coral and a Shaker broom but the final page was a photograph I took of an iron gate with a fan type centre and I stuck feathers round it to bring the whole book back to the original theme of decorative fans.

TAST - Knotted Cretan Stitch

TAST - Knotted Cretan Stitch. Mmmm well. I wasn't very inspired by Cretan stitch so the knotted variation didn't do much for me either. The top row doesn't even look to me as though it has knots in it though I know it has. However by the time I got to the third row it was improving and the knitted ribbon I used there really showed the knots though you can't see them very clearly here.

Now that we're this far into the challenge I'm starting to get a very useful library of stitched samples which are all filed in plastic wallets with the stitching guides in a ring binder. I was always intending to try out different stitches but never got around to it so this challenge is definitely a way that works for me.

Thursday, 5 April 2007


As I haven't been blogging for long I'm just starting to get comments on my posts which is very exciting! Thanks to everyone who has taken the trouble.

Monday, 2 April 2007


I discovered blogs about 6 months ago and thanks, in a roundabout way, to my Creative Sketchbooks class. I'd been interested in the concept of blogs but hadn't seen any that were of any interest to me personally to make me either want to read them or write one. Then I was using Google to research the paisley motif as a possible topic for my sketchbook and one of the search results was to Sharon's blog as she happened to have recently posted a paisley design. Suddenly I found a blog that was all about the things I was interested in and not only that listed loads more blogs that were all about things I was interested in!
So since then I've spent inordinate amounts of time reading blogs and I still have a long list in my favourites of ones I've just had a quick glance at but haven't had time to explore properly. The ones I read regularly so far I'll now list in my links down the side.
Of course as you can see, I'm so smitten with blogs I've had to write my own, and Sharon's TAST challenge was just the excuse I needed to get going!

Lisa Vollrath's Easter countdown
Lisa Vollrath's website is a very useful source of ideas and inspiration and in addition she generously provides free clipart. The above link is to an Easter countdown - visit each day from 1st April to Easter to download a free image - I've been saving her stuff for some time now and it's built into a really useful resource - a very generous lady.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Creative Sketchbooks

I have finished my first sketchbook for my City and Guilds Creative Sketchbook course!!! I have been going to evening classes since September and we did a trial sketchbook over Christmas which wasn't part of the formal assessment. For the assessment proper we have to do an altered sketchbook (the one I've just completed) and a constructed one. So all this effort and I've got to start all over again on the next one, with only 2 months to complete that one!

Anyway, the one completed is on Fans and here's a pic of the cover:

I've previously posted pictures of the little fan book I made to go in a pocket inside the book and I'll try to put another couple of pictures up in due course. I'm really pleased to have got it finished, mainly because I nearly abandoned it so many times. One of the things I found really hard was that my tutors said each page must link to the next and I just wanted to jump around here, there and everywhere and change colours because I happened to fancy a different colour. All a big no-no! However, I think I finally got the hang of linking and am quite proud of that! I think the book does hang together as a complete concept with a logical progression - all a major step forward for me.