Monday, 30 July 2007

Catching Up

Not much to show at the moment. I'm getting very behind again with TAST but believe it or not I am actually doing my long and short stitch. It's going very well but very slowly as I have a bad arm at the moment and can only do short stints at a time. I would get on quicker if I jumped ahead and had a go at the arrow stitch etc. but knowing me I'd never go back and finish off the long and short so I think I'd better stick with it for now.
The good news is that I have finished (and passed!) the City and Guilds Creative Sketchbooks course. I'm pleased it's done and that I've achieved it but also sad because it was very enjoyable and gave me something definite to focus on and aim for. Now I need to consider what next. My long term ambition is a C&G embroidery course but I think I would have to do it by distance learning and am not sure I could keep up such a committment. It's expensive for a whole course and I found it difficult to find the time and fit in the work for the sketchbook course so not sure I'm ready for the amount necessary for a much longer course. But if I don't have something definite to work at I think I will just go back to dabbling and not really completing anything or pushing myself to new things. A lot to consider.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

TAST - Sheaf stitch

This one was fun! This is my sheaf stitch sample for TAST and I really enjoyed it. I like the thorny bit down the right hand side and who'd have guessed I could stitch snowflakes with it - I'm really chuffed with those!

Sunday, 15 July 2007

TAST - Bullion Stitch

This is a pretty pathetic attempt at Bullion Stitch for TAST but at least I have had a go which is more than can be said for long and short stitch so far. I don't like the stitch and haven't pushed myself enough to remotely feel comfortable doing it and I know I will avoid it in the future but never mind. I have this little sample to prove I can do it if I try.

One of the blogs I've been reading lately is Helen Cowans' Textile Goddess. She has sorted out a use it or lose it pile and challenged herself to either use the stuff by a given date or get rid of it. I have been attempting to sort through all my craft stuff lately in a bid to find somewhere to keep it all and I have a shoe box full of bits of paper, card, stamped images etc. left over from different projects. I've kept them because I know I can use them on cards, ATCs and postcards but I've decided I need to do like Helen and make a concerted effort to actually use them up (though I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to throw them away if I don't). So this afternoon I have made a bookmark using an offcut from a monoprint and flowers punched from a piece of acetate coloured with green alcohol inks. One offcut gone, still some acetate left!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Coptic Stitched Notebook

Last night was the penultimate class of my City & Guilds Creative Sketchbook class and we completed the stitching on a small notebook we'd made. The cover is a piece of paper washed with ink and then brushed over with bleach and the picture shows the stitching in of the signatures which was a bit tricky at first but ok once we got the hang of it and once you could see the pattern emerging. Today I added a little felted piece to the cover with a few beads stitched in. I love the colours.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

TAST - Half chevron stitch

Ok, ok, so I've cheated and skipped long and short stitch! I did have a go at it but had to rip it out it was so awful. I will go back to it and try again but in the meantime I was getting backlogged with the subsequent weeks' stitches whilst I prevaricated about long and short. So here is my half chevron which I really enjoyed.

On the third row I decided to whip the straight stitches with blue and I really like the effect that gave.

The next week for TAST is bullion stitch which I know I'm going to be as bad at as long and short but I feel I must tackle that before getting to sheaf stitch which I already know I like and can do! Still it's good to be pushed into something I'd rather not do otherwise I wouldn't have learnt nearly as much as I have done through this year long challenge.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Stamp Show

Went to the Newbury Stamp Show on Saturday, a yearly event for my sister-in-law, daughter and I. Not as big as previous years perhaps but still managed to find quite a lot to buy, particularly stamps. So I've been playing around a bit with the things I bought there and stuff I've bought over the past few months but have hardly touched because of the sketchbook commitment. So here are a couple of ATCs and a page in a sketchbook. The first one has the earring stencil as a background.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

A new use for earrings

Oh dear, you can tell I'm at a bit of a loose end since finishing my sketchbook! I went shopping with my daughter and it seems that these sorts of earrings are very trendy at the moment as we saw several similar pairs. However, my daughter was mortified that I bought these specially to craft with - but don't they make wonderful stencils?

Even my daughter's had to admit the result is pretty good, they make great backgrounds.