Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Found objects’ Category

A charity shop near the premises where my amateur theatre group meets has started leaving bits and pieces outside on the pavement at night for people to take. The other week when I arrived for a rehearsal (I’m currently directing Blackadder Goes Forth) I noticed an eclectic mix which included a child’s scooter and a fish tank! When I came out of rehearsal the scooter was gone, but it wasn’t until I was pulling out of my parking spot that I noticed something propped sadly up by the wall and half-hidden by the lonely fish tank. Something that was enough to make me brake and jump out of the car to rescue it.

DSCN1209.JPG

As I only have one frame like this and there is a very old and very long term project hogging it, I was over the moon to acquire a new (to me) frame. It’s missing one of the bolts but that should be easy enough to replace. The cross stitch design on it, which looks to be almost finished, must have taken hours.

DSCN1211.JPG

So sad that it ended up on the pavement, but the frame at least has gone to a good home. If anyone is interested in giving the cross stitch a good home then please drop me a message either in the comments or via email (scroll down to ‘Contact me at:’ on the right hand side of the blog) and I’ll happily post it out worldwide.

Like buses, these things never come along singly. I dropped off a bag of stuff at the charity shop yesterday and as I turned away from the counter, I spotted this sticking out of a miscellaneous box, priced up at £2.

DSCN1213.JPG

To be fair, it was the partly worked canvas work design which attracted me first and reminded me that I quite fancy doing a bit of canvas work.

DSCN1215.JPG

And what’s £2 these days? So now I have a frame I can actually use and a nice little piece of mounted up canvas work to have a play with.

Read Full Post »

We went away for a week to the Lake District not long after the Alice Fox workshop. The work I’d done with papers and found objects really whetted my appetite to get back to some found object work of my own as part of the journal I usually make to hold the memories of our time away.

At the end of the first day I wandered along the edges of Langdale Beck while the children splashed about in the already low water levels (and this was in May, before the long hot June and July we’ve had in the UK.) I was delighted to find this crumpled piece of metal with holes already nicely placed for stitches in close shades of green silk.

DSCN1053

It went very well with a thickish piece of beautifully textured hand made paper with inclusions of leaves and stems.

DSCN1052.JPG

On a visit to Stott Park Bobbin Mill I was fascinated by the offcuts of wood thrown out by the different machines in the process of turning chunks of wood into bobbins. The initial machines created a basic bobbin shape from the blanks, shaving off pieces a few millimetres thick. So I picked up a few bits and made them into my own bobbins!

DSCN1054.JPG

The next process shaved the rough bobbin down to the proper shape, throwing out endless translucent ribbons of wood which piled up around us on the floor. I definitely needed some of that! Different woods behaved differently. The one towards the top split pretty much wherever I tried to fold it, whereas the paler one was more like paper, holding at least some of its bends and folds without splitting. I want to add some more needle weaving to vary the widths of the holding stitches and some ‘chips’ in a needlepoint ribbon to the background.

DSCN1057.JPG

Playing with a printed National Trust logo from a paper bag and some scraps of hand made paper.

DSCN1058.JPG

Later in the week we visited Honister Slate Mine and I picked up a few slate chips from the car park. I painted some more of the hand made paper with watercolour to echo the colour of the slate and just had a bit of a play.

DSCN1060.JPG

I’m really pleased with the way the paper echoes the texture of the rock.

DSCN1061.JPG

Free cross stitch in various silk threads to echo the rhododendrons of Stagshaw Gardens. This one just needs finishing.

DSCN1063.JPG

And at the end of the holiday, a quick beachcomb on the shores of Coniston Water revealed this lovely fragment of verdigrised copper which I mounted on two pieces of paper left over from my Alice Fox work.

DSCN1064.JPG

I really enjoyed finding objects I could stitch into and around and the relatively quick way many of them came together. And of course, the memories they have captured. Slightly different to some of my other holiday journals, but I like to be different!

Read Full Post »

After Saturday’s talk, a whole Sunday workshop with Alice Fox. We had just been asked to bring our normal sewing kits plus threads, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, making it even more exciting. There was a tempting array of papers, threads and ephemera laid out…

20180429_155900_HDR.jpg

…along with some examples of Alice’s own work for inspiration. To start, we were each given a selection of different papers…

20180429_100347_HDR.jpg

…and a prompt sheet asking us to explore how it felt to stitch into them. I used a template from my silversmithing course five years ago to do some feather stitch in various weights of thread..

20180429_113213_HDR.jpg

I really liked the rough texture I got from putting stitching holes into the heavy tracing paper, so once I’d stitched through it, I used a metalworking scribe to mark wavy lines into the paper without piercing it before punching varying sized holes from either the front (smooth) or the back (rough).

20180429_113207_HDR.jpg

I really like the differences of line and texture on this. And it reminds me of the sea.

20180429_113200_HDR.jpg

The next prompt was cutting and patching.

20180429_143352_HDR.jpg

So a piece of old map cut along the grid lines became the fragment on the right.

20180429_151208_HDR.jpg

As you can see, by this time I had succumbed and made a little book for my fragments. It started off as an origami book, folded from a single piece of paper with one cut, but I wanted a bit more stability and to have access to all the sides of the pages, so I pamphlet stitched it in two places and tore the double pages into singles. Winging it, but it works.

Next was couching.  I followed the road and river lines on this scrap of map.

20180429_151157_HDR.jpg

By this time we were all engrossed in our own thing, and although there were two more prompts about deconstructing marked papers and accentuating printed marks, everyone was well away with their cutting, stitching, tearing, patching and experimenting.

At the end of the day we ended up with with a fascinating range of responses.

20180429_155257_HDR.jpg

20180429_155321_HDR.jpg

20180429_155402_HDR.jpg

20180429_155442_HDR.jpg

20180429_155448_HDR.jpg

20180429_155552_HDR.jpg

20180429_155558_HDR.jpg

Alice uses rusting quite a lot in her work and so when I got home to my rusty washers, I couldn’t resist some mark making on tea soaked paper.

DSCN9927.JPG

My little book was over half full by the time the workshop ended.

DSCN9931.JPG

DSCN9932.JPG

DSCN9936.JPG

With my rust and tea stained papers and these that I didn’t get round to exploring…

DSCN9925.JPG

…I have every intention of playing with some more of Alice’s prompts and completing my little book!

Read Full Post »

At the end of March I went up to Seaham beach in County Durham to refresh my collection of sea glass, especially the special multis that Seaham is famous for. The beach is certainly a lot more picked over than the last time I went in 2013 and although I did find a few nice bits, there was an awful lot of hard hunting to get them.

Having spent a full day on the beach and driven home aching all over, I thought I was all beachcombed out for a while, and didn’t mind the (very) short spell I was allowed on Southwold beach at Easter, but then, it was a pretty good haul for ten minutes:

20180410_110516_HDR

A couple of weeks later we went to visit my middle one in Bangor, North Wales and happened to find ourselves mooching in Beaumaris on Anglesey with an hour to spare before our restaurant booking. Mooching on the seafront, specifically. I glanced idly at the beach and realised I had no real urge to go down and hunt. I was just telling my incredulous family this when my little one looked over the railing and announced that she could see a piece of beach pottery. Instantly refreshed, I positively scuttled down onto the beach to the accompaniment of much hilarity from my husband and daughters.

After they had finished teasing, they did at least come down and help me hunt and the hour passed happily and productively.

20180407_213148_HDR.jpg

The sea glass was more craft grade (I am spoilt by Seaham nuggets) but the pottery was fabulous.

20180407_213155_HDR.jpg

And my middle one even found me a rusty ‘thing’ which was very exciting.

20180407_213244_HDR cropped.jpg

Time to turn my treasures into jewellery. First, I worked with two of my favourite pieces of the Beaumaris pottery. Beaumaris Blue:

DSCN9555.JPG

And Pretty Purple:

DSCN9563.JPG

This one has a lovely reverse side too.

DSCN9564

The final and very different pendant began with a piece of random organically shaped metal from somewhere which I had textured with a hammer to make a feature of the fact that the underlying copper was starting to show through. I played with arrangements of my beach treasures; pieces of wave-worn metal, pottery and glass until I found something which worked.

DSCN9581.JPG

‘Treasures!’ can be found here.

DSCN9693.JPG

Hopefully embroidery next time!

Read Full Post »

Etc. first. I’ve finally completed all the seed stitch background for an embroidered print I started with Chris Gray in July 2016 and last blogged about eighteen months ago, where it looked like this:

dscn2765

It currently looks like this:

20180410_101955_HDR.jpg

Not sure whether to seed stitch the inner circle as well…

I don’t think I’ve shown this piece of upcycling before. One of my mixed lots of junk/vintage jewellery contained a gorgeous brass spinning fob, to which I decided to add some embroidery based on knot gardens.

20170529_100714_HDR.jpg

It’s now got as far as this:

20180410_102036_HDR.jpg

French knot hedges and eyelet stitch flowers in variegated silk.

20180410_102054_HDR.jpg

Near enough to get on and finish now!

Brooches next. I loved the closed fly stitch falling leaves design I stitched for my friend Debbie’s necklace catch a few months ago and decided to do it again on two odd vintage stud earrings which were the same shape and size, but different colours. The initial plan was to make a pair of earrings by covering them with embroidered fabric.

20180314_182739_HDR.jpg

I stitched one and covered it and started on the second.

20180405_084349_HDR.jpg

But the second wasn’t close enough in design  – the leaves were further spaced out. Added to that, the gathered fabric and more crucially, the covered pelmet vilene backs, really made them too bulky to be successful as earrings.

20180405_124843_HDR.jpg

So the posts came off, were replaced with brooch backs and Plan B went into action.  I worked a beaded edging in pearlescent green and metallic copper beads to frame the design and am very pleased with the result which can be found here.

DSCN9393.JPG

The second one is still in production! Most of this stitching was done over the Easter weekend at my parents’ in Suffolk which had to include some beachcombing. I was only allowed a short spell under the pier at Southwold, but still managed to find three nice nuggets of sea glass, a piece of carnelian, a big chunk of tile which has weathered to a lovely faux Medieval feel…

20180410_110516_HDR.jpg

…and some small pieces of driftwood, including one which had a gently shaped front and a flat back perfect for turning into a brooch. I auditioned a fair few piece of broken jewellery to put with it, but when I found this single broken vintage clip on earring of a swallow, it was a perfect match. The plate of the clip was still attached and I used it to mount the swallow onto the driftwood so it stands slightly away from the base, which I like.

DSCN9407.JPG

I’ve called it One Swallow (in hope of some more to make a summer!) and put it into my Etsy shop here.

Read Full Post »

On Saturday our Guild meeting was an all day workshop led by Mary, one of our members. It was themed as ‘The Sea’ and Mary provided not only inspiration in the form of some lovely examples of her own work on the subject…

20180324_095712_HDR.jpg

 

20180324_095735_HDR.jpg

20180324_095800_HDR.jpg

…assorted books, magazines etc. but also masses of fabric, shells, stones, beads, paints, printing blocks, silk waste; you name it… basically a complete treasure trove of stuff.

20180324_095808_HDR.jpg

20180324_153115_HDR.jpg

And we all know how much more deliciously tempting other people’s stuff is than our own!

As a topic, the sea is completely in my comfort zone, so much so that my initial problem was where to start. There was so much I wanted to do! But as Mary talked us through her goodies, inspiration was initially triggered by a cloud of bright orange silk throwster’s waste and then confirmed by some foam core board. With a very definite idea in my head, I nipped in, grabbed a few bits and bore my loot off to my table.

20180324_102202_HDR.jpg

The lovely pale marbled fabric was a perfect base for my wrapped and back stitched  foam core board driftwood. I just cut it roughly to the right shape and then back stitched through the boards and several layers of dyed muslin, pulling and pleating the fullness of the fabric to give the impression of wood grain. It was easy to stitch invisibly to the background, where I used Inktense pencils to enhance the pattern of the fabric.

20180324_115110_HDR.jpg

The orange silk said rust to me, so I created a rusty square-headed bolt from a sandwich of silk carrier rods, the throwster’s waste and a street-scavenged washer I just happened to have in my bag, wrapped in an off-cut of the brown muslin I’d used for the  driftwood and stitched down with my favourite semi-metallic thread.

20180324_121626_HDR.jpg

The last element was some lovely aqua sea glass nuggets I also had in my bag. I nestled them in the curves of the marbled fabric pattern…

20180324_133503_HDR.jpg

…and after gluing them in place, stitched them down with a toning machine rayon thread.

20180324_134750_HDR.jpg

I couldn’t believe I’d actually finished a project within the workshop and still had time to start another one. There was a leaping fish stamp that I liked the look of, so I used metallic blue acrylic paint to stamp some images of it onto more of the grey marbled fabric.

20180324_150529_HDR.jpg

Then I stitched beads in the spots and some short bugle beads for his underbelly to make him sparkle. I’m adding my name underneath to turn him into a name badge. We are supposed to have one and wear it at meetings, but to my eternal shame it’s something I’ve never quite got round to – until now.

20180324_150517_HDR.jpg

A good day’s work.

20180324_153525_HDR.jpg

I know that some members prefer to have a bit of a project set out, but this free for all rummage through Mary’s treasures was perfect for me, and thanks to her skilful facilitation, gave me a wonderful day’s stitching.

Read Full Post »

If we have had a workshop of some sort at our Embroiderers’ Guild group, then at the next meeting there is a space available for people to bring their workshop pieces, whether finished or just continued, to show. It was fantastic to see what had happened to the stitch play pieces from my workshop in December.

20180127_140536_HDR.jpg

20180127_140541_HDR.jpg

20180127_140547_HDR.jpg

20180127_140551_HDR.jpg

20180127_140557_HDR.jpg

20180127_140607_HDR.jpg

20180127_140617_HDR.jpg

20180127_140635_HDR.jpg

Many thanks to everyone who brought along their work – glad you enjoyed it!

I’ve also been doing some more upcycling. First, I turned a single 1980s enamelled earring which looked like orange sherbet into a beaded brooch. I removed the post and then beaded it onto some hand dyed vintage cotton fabric with some matching pearlised opaque orange seed beads using peyote stitch.

20180118_164001_HDR.jpg

Then I gathered the spare fabric over the back and ladder stitched it to the covered vilene circle onto which I’d already stitched the brooch back.

DSCN8132.JPG

Then I could add the edging in a mixture of clear orange, opaque pale yellow and very pale lilac beads, to echo the colours in the swirl.

DSCN8129.JPG

It’s not a terribly quick thing to stitch, but a lot of fun to do!

Among the oddments I scored from my Dad’s workshop last year were some bits of veneer that he had hand cut. This little piece is apple wood.

20180114_105655_HDR.jpg

I wondered what would happen if I doodled on it in black pen…

20180114_105701_HDR.jpg

…and then cut it into sections to fit in this vintage bracelet.

20180114_105630_HDR.jpg

Measure twice, cut once…

20180114_105648_HDR.jpg

Hold your breath and hope…

20180114_105733_HDR.jpg

…and be pleasantly surprised at the result.

DSCN8125.JPG

 

I’ve also added nuggets of sea glass and sea washed china to a selection of vintage pendants, brooches and rings.

DSCN7960

 

DSCN7815.JPG

DSCN7984.JPG

DSCN6560.JPG

DSCN7967.JPG

DSCN7971.JPG

DSCN8367.JPG

They are all sitting in my Etsy shop now, waiting for loving homes!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »