Thursday, 30 December 2010

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.
Things didn't quite go according to plan for us because Mum had a bad fall 4 days before Christmas Day and fractured her femur (close to the hip replacement she had done last Christmas.....eeek!)  And no -  the snow and ice weren't to blame - she was just trying to get to the toilet at 6.00 in the morning and stumbled outside her bedroom door.
So as you might expect, I've been rather busy and apologise if I haven't managed to visit your blog over Christmas. I know you'll understand and I promise I'll be with you in the New Year.

Peachy is sad that the snow has gone....he absolutely loved playing in it and we had difficulty getting him back in the house. He looked so funny chasing snowflakes and jumping in the air....

....but Christmas tired him out, poor thing :-)

Hope you're not too tired after all the festivities and you still have some energy left to celebrate the start of the New Year. 
I shall do my best...... ;-)

Friday, 17 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Had you given up on me? I've had a computer-free fortnight whilst I caught up with some jobs and made some Christmas gifts. Of course during that time the snow and frost provided great photo opportunities in my garden....
...and apparently its not done with us yet :-( 

I used some of my photos for digital art. The one at the very top shows the view from my window. That, and the ones below, have textures from Kim Klassen and DJ Pettitt.

Here are some of the gifts I've been making - felted brooches, purses, washcloths (knitted and crocheted).......

...the pink and green cloths are tied up with rhubarb and custard scented soap!
I'm quite proud of my flowers as I've only just taught myself to crochet.

I met my friend Clare for lunch yesterday and she gave me this wonderful gift...... a little cat decoration which she had hand-stitched herself. The snowflake stitches and the fish bones are so tiny!! Truly something to treasure...I love it!

I'm off to the shops now to find some dancing shoes for a party I'm going to this evening with my sister. Its all go.... :-)

I hope you all have a truly joyful Christmas.......

Love from Linda xx

Friday, 19 November 2010

Something Fishy.....

I knitted Peachy a fish yesterday and filled it with polyester wadding and catnip. He's crazy for the stuff. He was so keen to play with it he was trying to grab it out of my hand whilst I was stitching the eyes and mouth on. I found the free pattern on Ravelry (brilliant website).
It kept him quiet for ages......

......until it was time for a wash. It takes a lot of effort to keep that fur sparkling white :-)

I've been adding transfer foil to the pieces I made with Maggi last week; she kindly gave me some to take home (now I need to find a supplier :-) I've never used this before and was amazed to find you can apply it with Bondaweb, Misty Fuse, FuseFX or glue. All give different effects.... I love it!

 Yet more on the theme of Autumn - this is a piece I did for Kim Klassen's Test Kitchen. Kim gave us the original photo and a tutorial on how to alter it. I did a number of versions and for this particular one I also used a mask/texture free from Jerry  (Shadowhouse Creations).

  "Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains,
                                                   a torch flung to the trees".
                                                          Faith Baldwin

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Autumnal Art...... and A Day With Maggi

In my quest to 'embrace Autumn' I've been taking lots of photos......the digital pieces above are of a leaf from my garden. Textures and mask are from DJ Pettitt.

The photograph below is of a hydrangea growing against our garden wall. I think it's more interesting this time of year than in summer.

For my first digital version I used various textures from Kim Klassen plus a Katie Pertiet mask from Designer Digitals....

...and here's another version; textures this time from Shadowhouse Creations.

Last Friday I had a wonderful day with Maggi (To Dream to Stitch) at her house. She showed me a paper lamination technique using torn papers, matte medium, stencils and organza (which Maggi had beautifully dyed). Here's my piece before I soaked it to remove the papers....
 I cut it into three and kept one section with the papers still attached as I rather liked the effect.  For the other two pieces I did the technique properly and soaked the papers off the back, leaving behind the parts where matte medium had been applied through a stencil.

I've already begun stitching on one of these....more photos another day :-)

After a delicious lunch (eaten whilst whilst watching the amazing collection of wild birds in the garden) I got the chance to use Maggi's embellishing machine. Oooh it's like watching magic happen......I couldn't believe how all the fabrics and fibres bonded together. I used wool fibres, chiffon, scrim, rayon threads and a thin strip of green velvet (dyed by Maggi).
Here's my attempt....unfinished of course. I will continue with my trusty hand felting needle and add some more wool fibres and sari silks. Then possibly some machine and hand stitching.
A work in progress!

I've also been doing a bit of hand-stitching over the past couple of weeks......its not brilliant, but I enjoyed doing it....
And finally, an update on Peachy. He now lives with us!!!! I think he feels at home here.....he loves my art room :-)
We've been to the vets a few times over the past couple of weeks.....ear drops for mites, two sets of vaccinations, a microchip and castration. DH cringed when the vet called out 'Peachy Vincent' when it was our turn to go in. He laughed at our expressions and said don't worry, we've heard worse .........  :-)

Friday, 5 November 2010


I'm struggling a bit with the prospect of Autumn and Winter this year. I've never been a fan, but for some reason I'm dreading the next few months even more than usual. I'm trying to be positive though, hence the digital piece above is for me.

The next three are my tributes to Autumn.......I do love the colours of the leaves and berries; I'm just not so keen on the dark evenings, rain and howling wind.

Images are my own, textures are from Kim Klassen and Shadowhouse Creations
Masks and brushes are from Designer Digitals. 
Here are my originals.......apart from the rose which is a free photo from WikiCommons.

Last week we went for a walk around Elvaston Castle Country Park, just a 10 minute drive away from us. I thought I'd take some photos of the Autumn colours, but what I found was some rather gorgeous purple.

The berries are from a bush called Callicarpa americana .....more commonly known as 'Beauty Berries'. I've never seen them before and couldn't quite believe the amazing vivid colour.

Finally.......I've been having a play with Kim Klassen's PSE mosaic tutorial ('The Test Kitchen' - see side bar). I love the colours, but I still think I could do better....... (well its fun trying :-)

Friday, 15 October 2010

A Little Teacup Challenge

Lynn and I have been 'talking teacups' this week. It all started when I saw the lovely Bridal Invitation card in her Zazzle shop (you can find the link on her blog). So we decided to have another of our own little challenges this week.....if you would like to join in just link back to us in the comments box and we'll come to see you!
Above you can see my first version.....and to the left is the original photo. This is one of my favourite cups; it isn't very old - on the back it says 1996 "Florence" by Royal Doulton.
I picked the rose from my garden was the very last one left on the bush. So I called my digital piece "The Last Rose of Summer".

My second version has a clematis flower; we have a 'late' purple clematis climbing over an arch in the garden..... I can't believe it's still producing flowers.
I love 'text textures' ;-) this one is free from Boccacino (Flickr).

All the other textures and layers I've used are from Kim Klassen, Shadowhouse Creations and Playing With Brushes.

Whilst watching Frances Pickering at Ally Pally last Saturday I spotted her embroidery threads all neatly organised on rings and thought I can do that!!!

 Mine were in a real mess....

so I bought some of these.....

 ...and now they look like this! (Mmmm...not sure why there are so many pink ones - mum must have given me those ;-)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Fun at Ally Pally!

Maggi and I had such a great day at the Knitting and Stitching Show on Saturday, despite getting lost a few times on the London North Circular Road! Poor Maggi, she kept her patience very well and eventually we began to see signs for Alexandra Palace (they were in short supply!) We were there almost seven hours, but still only saw about 3/4 of the exhibits....... my head was spinning round in all directions; so hard to know where to start! Anyway, above you can see my purchases (spot the theme going on there?)
Below are all my favourite bits.....
I bought Frances Pickering's book 'Page After Page' which she signed for me and we watched her painting and drawing on fabric for a while. The book is an absolute delight ......
I did a class with Gwen Hedley called 'Take 100 Lines'; it involved cutting and piecing rectangles of fabric and attaching them with a variety of materials and stitches. It was lovely to meet a fellow blogger there from  (her piece is on her blog). I did a bit more this morning  - this is probably the only time you'll see this colour-scheme on my blog :-)

And here we are at the end of the day...tired but happy! (Rosie - please note the gorgeous bag I took with me. Your stitching must be very strong - there was a lot in there!)

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Pear Challenge

Lovely Lynn (Her Creative Spirit) and I decided to have our own little challenge this week. We are both taking part in Kim Klassen's 'Test Kitchen' and we've been discussing subjects for digital altering. I sent Lynn some photos of my pears (we have loads ripening in our conservatory at the moment) and she sent me one of hers.

This is one of my photos which I altered using a colourful texture (one of my acrylic paint and ink backgrounds), some text and a few of Kim's textures.
This is my version of Lynn's photo....I tried to make it look like a journal page using a texture from Jerry at Shadowhouse Creations. The leaves and flourishes are a brush from Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals. I also used other textures from Kim Klassen and Jerry.

Go and see Lynn's beautiful creations; she makes lovely soft digital pieces. Make sure you scroll down and see her fabulous pumpkin post. We both have our own individual styles, which is what makes it interesting.

Thanks Lynn......we must do this again! :-)

I'm very excited about tomorrow....Maggi (To Dream to Stitch) and I are going to Alexandra Palace in London for the Knitting and Stitching Show - billed as 'the best textile exhibition in Europe'! I've never been to one of these events before so its a real treat. Maggi says I need comfy shoes, a largish bag and my debit card ;-)  I'm doing a workshop with Gwen Hedley called 'Take 100 Lines' (creative hand-stitching)......can't wait! If you're going there tomorrow, please look out for us!
I'll tell you more on Monday....