Saturday, 31 August 2013

Envelopes with a Former Life

At the Boreham, near Chelmsford Boot Fair recently, I was lucky to meet a nice gentleman who was selling his Aunt and Uncles possessions. Amonst the items were stacks of envelopes. Auntie and Uncle had died close together, having never been parted since meeting. The high cost of two funerals necessitated the sale. So sad.

He told me the story.

Just after the 2nd World War in 1947, his Uncle got his call up to do National Service. He was posted to the Navy and served on HMS Ajax. They were engaged but not yet married and pledged to write every day and they did. There were the envelopes in date order for two whole years. It was very moving to think these letters had been kept all this time. Thankfully the gentleman had kept the letters and was just selling the envelopes.

I now own some of them and am using them in my art. This story will accompany each item I make so that their memory and story will be preserved.

This is a piece to celebrate me! Cherry and Linda have envelopes as well with their birthdays on the date stamp. They will be making some art with their envelopes.

We could not find my exact date so this is "My Nearly Birthday Letter".

Here I am modelling one of my many hats.
My birthday is 4th June - note to readers I accept presents and cards, thank you.

An interesting over stamp advertising Britain to French Tourists.

Homage to Viv of Hen's Teeth whose wonderful work inspired this piece.

Nine Patch for Fab Cycling

Working on more stamped and free motion embroidered pieces for the course Fab Cycling at The Hub, Chelmsford in September.

Showing you don't have to embroider everything. Sometimes less is more.

Mixing in machine embroidery with vintage hand pulled thread embroidery.

Free motion embroidery around white on white vintage hand embroidery.

The finished cushion. Inspired by the wonderful woven silk from Stephen Wallters . My friend Julia kindly gave me a bag of offcuts. How lovely a friend is that!

The secret to making a multi-facted design like this work is to tie the design together. Here it is the use of threads to do the "New Embroidery". The colour choice for these threads blends in very well.

I hope this inspires YOU!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Celebrating Cherry's Birthday

Cherry is one of my arty friends. It was her birthday yesterday. We met on an art course about 3 years ago, two other good friends have come from that course too. Linda who came along to celebrate Cherry's birthday yesterday and Julie who has now moved to Devon.

We had a fab day talking art, doing art and taking arty pictures at my house. And Cherry managed to avoid every picture I took........ I'll get you next time girl!

Some of the pictures I took on our walk around a nearby farm.

 Linda and Molly by the pond
 A knotty heart
 This is just as the apple fell from the tree, amazing!
 Dappled shade on roof boards.
 Wonderfully weathered wood windows.

Rusting corrugated roofing, with soon to decay apples.

I'm feeling inspired by these images and the happy time we had together. So uplifting to meet arty friends and have fun together.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fab Fabric Upcycling

Well it was a rotten wet day yesterday. The Free Festival in Colchester that I chickened out of going to because of the weather seems to have been a success. So I spent the day sewing.

An upcycled bag made from denim jeans, vintage table cloth, woven silk remnants and inside a 1950's woven table cloth.

Stamp onto the vintage table linen, iron after 5 minutes to heat set. Stazon will fade when washed at 30c. But you are not going to wash a bag very often!
Cardboard templates for squares. Make yours to suit the fabric or size of item you want to make.
Cut out the denim or other base fabric


Arrange stamped fabric on the denim. Then whizz away on your sewing machine. Have fun trying out all those stitches you never use or do some free motion embroidery.
Looks fab! Here I have added a band of striped woven silk and embroidered on that too.
A 1960's inspired patch. Here I have satin stitched around the edge and cut the excess fabric away.
Do you love the wee ducks?
Same stamps different embroidery.
All the squares joined using the woven silk fabric. I've added some orange top stitching as reminder of the jeans.
Inside the jeans pockets were just right for keys or a mobile. Straps are made from the denim jeans and the woven silk. I made the straps long enough to fit comfortably over your shoulder, but short enough so the bag does not drag on the floor.
Some doilies got added as the colour was a good match.
The finished bag. I used medium weight iron on interfacing on the lining. This has made the bag really strong.
Ideal for tins and bottles on your supermarket shop or heavy books if you are at college.
 Lots of info on line on how to make the bag and so on. Hope you get some good ideas from this mini tutorial.

Molly and I have been having some adventures. We got separated on a walk over an unfamiliar field. We both arrived home exhausted. She had gone to the neighbours to tell them I was lost! Then yesterday Molly started digging up the carpet near the front door. A bird had died and was wedged under the door edge outside. She is not impressed with my sniffing ability.

Now its sunny so off I go to mow the lawn which looks like a meadow.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Chelmsford Community Pop-Up Shop Move August 2013

Molly and I took a day out to visit the new Chelmsford Community Pop-up Shop. Where we found Cherry and a hard working gang of volunteers still trying to sort everything out.

This Community Pop-up shop has been running for over a year now.  It's fab because it helps a charity Getting Around and promotes local artists. High Chelmer Shopping Centre have provided an empty shop, however, this does mean that the Pop-up shop has to move when the shop we are using is let.
It was obvious that this has been a mammoth task, fitting a triple size shop stock into a mini size new shop. Plus they have now also got a Vintage shop as well. Pictures of this next time I visit. So I have to say a huge thank you to all those that completed or helped with the move.

Look at all the wonderful craft items on offer.

Very Beady Beads to wear.

Beautiful scents to pamper you

Flower power posies

Pretty cushions and toys for big softies

Mannequin central and Cherry lovlies

Deck the hall with loads of bunting

Vamped shoes

Time goes around and around
The shop window, right on Market Road - opposite the library
There are a lot of lovely paintings on sale as well. I hope you can pop in to the Pop-up and say hello.

Molly was a really good girl so she went for a good romp on Galleywood Common. Whilst there we checked out the Heritage Centre and found a photo of my old home - once the Admiral Rous pub mentioned in the linked article. It was taken around 1930.

When we owned this property in the 1960's we also had a tea rooms, serving sandwiches and cakes all made by Mum or me. With sweets and ice creams. We also had a huge orchard, a real Victorian greenhouse, 500 chickens and thousands of daffodils. Now it is a posh des res possibly worth £1/2 million. Since the A12 access was put in property prices have shot up in Galleywood.