Did we skip Spring?

Whooo! today was 16 degrees (Celsius) and full sun.. SIXTEEN! 


How wonderful is that?  The birds were singing, I grabbed the camera for the first time in weeks, I flung open both the studio doors and worked with

It felt good.

Which considering the disasters of yesterday* was a good move for my sanity.


Can you see that BLUE SKY behind Buddha?
Excuse the shouting – I am HAPPY!!  BLUE SKIES!!!  WHHOOOOOO!!!!!

I’ve been working on the third costume – below are crows flying in the sky.  This part is a quilted corset, I started the skirt too.  Next I’ll be getting into some painting with markals and stencils, more stitching and then beading, so just a few hundred hours of wonderful wonderful work…..


Whilst waiting for inspiration (or from tomorrow for paint to dry) I’ve been finishing other projects.

Now this is the modern embroiderers table;
Daylight lamp
iPhone (checking emails / news / music)
iPad (rerun of House of Cards and lots of iTunes Uni videos to watch)
mini speaker
mouse with red ears
and Ikea soap dishes (prefect for beads)

Along with a collection of silks, lace, threads and beads.

What more does a girl need?


Outside in the garden I could finally see my plans starting to form;


This area has been cleared (note no caravan), the bricks and slabs have all been gathered from around the garden and are ready to create an area of hard standing and a border around the greenhouse.

This area will be fenced off soon – wait until you see the gates, they are fabulous.


The old hedge has been pulled out and the ground prepped.
New fence appearing soon.
Note feature rock (its a family joke).

And below – see how you can alter the picture with the aperture setting?


Maybe I should finally get the safety cladding off the electricity wires?

What’s that you say?  Snow, next week…
ah, maybe wait then.
Snow forecast for Monday….and Tuesday….. and Wednesday too.

Daisy your time might have arrived!

* yesterdays disasters (which will be hilarious next week)

1. Cracked two terracotta pots
2. Put away bottles, beer can jumps off shelf and explodes.
3.  Soaked in beer – strip off to my knickers and bra and put clothes directly into the washing machine.
4. Put slippers in bin – dripping with beer.
5. Woven wall hanging covered in beer – hope it will survive a hand wash
6. Sari from Dubai covered in beer – dry clean??
7. Wash down the floor, door, boxes, hoover, broom…
8. Wondering if Guinea Pigs will enjoy beer infused hay?
9.Open email and discover I have lost a bid for a commission.
10.Friends car has died so coffee is cancelled.
11. Toaster dies (great excuse to buy a snazzy purple one)
12. Switch on hoover – strong beer smell comes out!

House smelt of burnt toast and beer…
…. brings back memories of student days!

Beach walk

Inherited 8 copy-001

Today we were all ready for rugby at Berwick when a phone called informed us it was cancelled due to the cold weather.

As we were all layered up we decided to head to the beach for a walk (it was spectacular) and then to a friends for a cuppa.

Loved it.

Spittal beachSpittal beach 2Spittal beach 3



Time 7 copy

I really enjoyed making this digital collage.  32 layers in total in PS…. my computer just made it to the end.

I am too tired to list everything I learnt, but it was a lot….

Now for something completely different…..
a large basket of ironing awaits….


So here are some snippets from this week, the second of four costumes for Fashion & Embroidery show. 

If I were in a different age (and I have often thought I should be) I would wear logwood dyed clothes all day, every day.  In all its shades of purple, grey and black.

Logwood comes from South America and there is evidence for its use 1000yrs ago.  The Spanish introduced logwood to Europe after their invasion of Mexico, Peru and Paraguay in the 16th century.

Images via iPad (was there ever such a wonderful invention?)

Photo 14-02-2012 15 35 19CLOSEPhoto 14-02-2012 15 35 44CLOSE

Lesson 5

Introspection 5 copy


26 layers were created in PS for this collage.  My poor computer was on its last legs at the end!

For this lesson I learnt;
1. To recolour a background using the “hue” technique
2. To cut and recolour the butterfly wings
3. Create a party hat
4. Create a torn edge
5. Create a scalloped border

and I re-learnt how to put in the border, as I’d forgotten

Its not my usual style, but again I really enjoyed creating it.

Now back to the studio to continue working on the first two costumes for F&E…….

Lesson 4

Goals 4 final

Lesson 4 completed for the PS course

Today I learnt to;
Create an over-painted background
To warp text
To fill type with colour blocks

I had a great day actually – I started with the above and worked on it for an hour, then came back to it later, I read, I stitched, I painted and I even did 5 minutes of yoga.

If the sun were shinning it would be a perfect day.  (Its very VERY cold, very damp, misty and generally yuck today, though, unlike the rest of England, NO snow.  The Land Rover is doing its job very well!)

Fashion & Embroidery Show

Here’s a sneak preview of the work so far towards the Fashion & Embroidery show at the NEC 22-25th March.

 Photo 03-02-2012 17 25 56

The “Coast” dress in progress – based upon studies of Bamburgh beach, before construction, embroidery and embellishment.

And “new” sofa in the background,
I went looking for lace in an antiques shop and came out with a sofa.
As you do.

Photo 03-02-2012 17 22 34

Sleeves in detail before embroidery – layers of silks and lace.

Photo 03-02-2012 13 27 39

The untitled as yet “purple” dress (well, top part of).
Hand dyed silks and lace.

The question of the week is this;
”Can I repeat that wonderful dyeing?”
It reminds me of slices through mineral coloured rocks.

Hint of the black Gothic dress and jacket in the background.

Sunday afternoon….

Family copy

Digital art class lesson 3.
Theme of Family – which, having this photo I wanted to use, I limited to my DH and DS.

I had hoped to complete at least another two lessons today but this took me 5 hours!  Its a steep learning curve but at least now I have more of an idea why something is / isn’t working!

I learnt how to;
Duplicate a layer with Crl+J
Drawing with the polygonal lasso tool
Create a new brush

It reinforced past learning of;
Installing brushes
Rotating brushes
Colouring brushes
Extracting a motif
Recolour a Motif
Clipping layers

And yes, now you mention it the flowers look as if they are waving.  Ophs.


Digital image created with scans of original art in pencils and Pan pastels.
If you listen to the sounds of the Earth you can hear the seasons changing as the land awakes to the growing power of the sun.
Spring IS on its way. Happy Imbolc everyone.