Candle holder

•February 21, 2017 • 8 Comments

This thing has driven me nuts. Then it finally defeated me.

I had four attempts at soldering a base on, but each time the twiddly bits started to melt before the solder did, so in the end it’s got no base. I also lost one of the windows in the gatehouse so I had to knock the other out to match!

gareth doesn’t really like shiny, so I gave it a uniform rub over with fine sandpaper for a satin finish.

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The story of it is that Gareth demanded a kings college cambridge version of the oxford candleholder from the jeweler on oxford high street.

I’d actually like to do more of these, because I have several ideas for original designs ( a dragon, the fellowship of the ring, rockside) and I’m much happier with the .Doctor who that I did. Trouble is they’re an expensive thing to make because the glass inserts are over twenty quid from skandium before you even buy the silver.

we have new kitten pics, he is both fat and derpy. He’s coming home a week on Saturday.

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More shirts

•February 19, 2017 • 6 Comments

Sorry, two shirt posts in a week. I’ve had a stinking cold though, so sitting mindlessly sewing buttons on was about the right level of mental engagement for the week, and at least I can get back into my sewing room now.

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This one might look familiar, because it’s a short sleeved version of one I made for Gareth before Christmas. Martin liked it so much he specifically requested one, so we had to rush into leeds while we could still remember what the fabric looked like. It has penguin buttons instead of snowflakes though.

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This was one of Gareth’s valentine shirts – my theme was things Gareth loves. He chose this fabric himself from the shop in Abingdon, but I only bought a metre because it was £17 ( I nearly passed out), so I chopped it up and played. He loves it, I’m not sure about the brown.

on his birthday we popped into the shop in leeds, and mr ” I have enough shirts, stop making me shirts, I have enough bloody shirts” ( the gratitude is overwhelming, innit?) walked straight in, picked up a bolt of the most expensive cotton in the shop, and demanded to have a shirt made from it at once. Not that he’s a hypocrite or anything…

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Gareth has so far failed miserably to grow enough passion fruit to make jam, but he’s very excited about showing his passion fruit shirt off to the exotic plant forum. He wore this last night to go see the pet shop boys, complaint that none of his shirts are pet shop boys themed. He had loaded my phone with the concert playlist beforehand, because they’re not exactly my favourite band, and it turns out my favourite song is called ” the sodom and Gomorrah show” I’m really not sure he’d have appreciated that particular shirt…

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Palm trees are another big plant love of his. I think this fabric was serendipitous, because I bought the buttons on my birthday trip to norwich last year and wondered what on earth I’d do with them. Which just proves that it’s always worth buying more buttons. He says this one requires a beer garden, so I guess I’ll be driving him to Kirby overblow when the weather warms up.

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He says this one will annoy his dad, so he’s planning to wear it for his trip to Windermere next week.

apart from the shirts, we sort of failed at our valentines day out this year. About a month ago I made a sarcastic comment about Gareth’s idea of romance being a day trip to hull, Gareth managed to miss the sarcasm and started excitedly planning the trip. I started rolling my eyes. But then I woke up dog rough with a cold on Tuesday morning, so he proposed lunch in Harrogate instead. I got in the van, started reversing out of the driveway, and Gareth found a blocked drain. He’s not a man who can ignore a blocked drain, is Gareth, so he spent two hours playing with that and I went to otley.

and they say romance is dead.

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I might give him this one for Easter.

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And it was my dad’s birthday yesterday, he loved the dirty postcard fabric. It was the closest thing I could get to fabric with strippers on ( I found male strippers fabric, but not girls?!?). My stepmum says it will give her something to read.

bizzarely, my dad wanted to come see the pet shop boys past night. I had no idea he liked them

embroidery next week, I promises, but before I go, one more pic. Gareth wore his summer blue shirt for his birthday pub lunch at beckwithshaw, and they served it on a matching plate!

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( his sister has already reprimanded him for not eating his broccoli)

courses

•February 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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There is a course at the AShmolean in Anglo-SAxon embroidery this year. There will be a choice of designs based on Saxon artefacts from the museum and other sources (or you can design your own) and you’ll have a choice of working in either silk and gold or in wool, so it’s suitable for both beginners and the more advanced.

Theres also a place available on the ongoing opus anglicanum course.

www.ashmolean.org/tickets for buying tickets

by phone 01865 278112

In person at the Museum Information desk and shop

www.ashmolean.org/whatson for information about the course

or ring Jude Barret on the museum number and speak to her.

There’s also a one day workshop in Nottingham, but I’m waiting for them to get back to me with details, so watch this space

Birthday shirts

•February 11, 2017 • 12 Comments

A certain little boy is forty eight years old today, and is very excited because I’m taking him to see the lego batman movie later on.

obviously we had birthday cake for breakfast, along with the usual argument about whether or not cherries in kirsch count as one of your five a day. Speaking of which,

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One oddly eighties looking fruity shirt, with strawberry buttons.

that was a bit loud, so there’s also a plainish one with houses and cute little metal tree buttons.

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Ive been referring to this one as summer blue. Gareth is obviously suffering from some form of chemise based Stockholm syndrome because he thinks this one is subtle and understated,

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I had thought the summer blue one would need wooden buttons, but in the end the wooden ones looked awful on it and these just work. I think maybe they work because they sort of look like Pictish rune stones embedded in an ancient landscape.

and finally a minions shirt with banana buttons, because the next film he’s excited about seeing is despicable me 3.

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texture

•February 8, 2017 • 7 Comments

One of things I looked at most closely at the opus anglicanum exhibition was background and filler textures- the ground, animals, wings, fur.

I noticed several instances of a pebbly texture similar to large scale dappling as a treatment for earth or pasture. I will do some in silk soon, but because I had a large area of ground to fill on my latest labours picture I thought I’d play.

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I think I sort of definitely perhaps kinda maybe like it. I’ll definitely try it again, perhaps in brown and cream as I saw on one of the copes at the exhibition.

Gareth thinks it looks like cabbages. It reminds me of Van Gogh. Our brains work very differently!

He keeps following me…

•February 7, 2017 • 2 Comments

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…and he says the rudest things behind my back!

This was one of those little bits that ends up taking longer than you think it will. I did want to use my chocolate brown thread for the creatures body, but I couldn’t find it – obviously I will lay my hands on it any minute now. His dark blue outlines do show up better in reality than they do in the picture.

The Greek key was hard though. I think Greek key is one of those patterns that, like Celtic knotwork, looks deceptively simple because it is both primitive and ancient, but also speaks to some primitive and ancient part of the human brain. We see it so often that it becomes commonplace so we think of it as easy, but actually drawing it freehand without the use of a grid was pretty tricky – I think it looks ok though?

French kissing in the dragon way?

•February 3, 2017 • 6 Comments

curly luttrell dragon

I don’t think it shows well on the photo, because it’s very subtle, but I love the play of the soft smoky blue with the green linings of his wings, it’s very peacocky – perhaps he’s the husband to the dragonwife?

That would be typical, he is off snogging someone else, after all.