Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October - not a great month despite juicing!

October is nearly done, it started quite positive but tailed off when I got a horrible cold last week and so I'm just trying to get back to normal this week. It was one of the worst colds I'd had for a few years because for 2 days my temperature was hot and cold within minutes and I couldn't regulate a steady comfort level in this house so being in bed was the best place.

Not like me at all, I couldn't even be bothered to pick up a crochet hook, all the coughing was giving me a constant headache so I was good for nothing. 
What made this so annoying was the week before I'd had a binge of juicing to combat signs of feeling generally run down. We had a full day of no solid food just veggie juices which I planned into a Saturday so that we could stay in and if we felt weak or a bit rough with the lack of sugar etc we could just sweat it out.

I had a wonderful mix of veggie juice 'meals' with the odd bit of fruit in too and I found these milk bottles in Lakeland which were perfect for making a big batch and storing it in for the 24hrs. I survived the day albeit a bit weak and a bit peckish by the evening but hopefully it boosted me with vitamins.

During the cold I made a more citrus and spinach based juice (below).

Early in the month I did this little embroidery for a birthday card.

Still beseiged by huge spiders which I hate so I bought this from Lakeland, not sure if it has made any effect as the house seems to be beyond warding spiders away from cracks and crevices but it's worth a try.

And talking pests, we are having a bad year with mice here and it's just adding to the feelings of miserableness I have. I know on the scale of it life could be worse but it gets me down at this time of year and now the days are short I'm feeling pretty much can't be bothered with most things.

I bought this light bulb to add much needed good light for working and hoped it might cheer me up a bit to get back to crafting.
It's a fabulous eco bulb and gives me equivalent of 150w and not a bad price at £5.99.

Anyway, still with a cough and sniffling I've done a few gentle crafty things, I found some things lying around and fabric printed them, shells and doilly.

Ah, the stress free joy of something simple! Of course all the time I've not been doing anything my mind has been racing away coming up with new ideas of things I want to make and getting myself frustrated at my lack of energy for it. 

Sorry anyone reading for having a moan, hope to have some nice new crafty pics soon.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Logo for local WW2 Memorial

October all ready, I think that's the end of summer and the fine weather which I've been hanging on to, it's gone so quickly.

A couple of months ago I was asked by a local community group to design an RAF style logo for a memorial they are planning at Carnaby near Bridlington.
The particular airfield at Carnaby the memorial represents operated what was called a FIDO system, Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation which was in simple terms a flame lit runway were the heat lifted the fog and provided light for the bombers to land safely. 

Anyway on the logo they wanted Lancaster Bombers and the flame lit runway.
Here are my designs, the one they choose is the last one shown here, not necessarily my favourite but they were very happy with that.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Retro fabric design for this weeks Spoonflower contest & other fabric designs

It's been quite a while since I entered a Spoonflower fabric design contest. This weeks challenge was chairs & tables and in my back catalogue of designs I had a retro chair fabric which I always felt lacked a bit of oomph (see pic below) so I decided to rework it.

I immediately considered a new colour palette and also a few new design elements, colour is the quickest way to ring changes and by the time I had added some new drawings it started to take shape and turn into a more retro kitchen style fabric which I was pleased with.

The contest entry I've gone for is the bright yellow version although with hindsight I think the brown version is probably my favourite.

Also reworked this last week was another of my butterfly waltz fabric designs.

It's been a busy few days with Spoonflower stuff as I took delivery of some crepe de chine scarves I've had printed with an assortment of my designs. I'm in the process of preparing them, some are having hand rolled edges and others I'm backing with a contrasting fabric, also embellishing the blue flowery one with beads and sequins. Results later when I'm all done.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Meeting a fabric designer at work

I was delighted to find out the other day that a fabric designer whose floral work I admire was doing an artist in residency just up the road from me.

Once again the destination was Burton Agnes Hall to seek out Nel Whatmore.

Nel is in the middle of a fortnight stint and I think she is there until the end of Sept. The weather has been mostly grey and misty the past week so waiting for a lovely sunny day to visit Nel was not going to happen so I just went for it last Sunday.

I found Nel in the little artists conservatory working on a fabulously colourful picture.

Ok the top picture is one of those 'auto awesomed' things but I thought it looked like a painting in it's own right.

Nel works mainly in pastel, it has real depth the way she builds it up, and you can see her tray of pastels below.

It was great having the chance to talk to a 'proper' artist / fabric designer and pick her brains about pattern repeats, creating collections etc, she was absolutely lovely and I can't wait to see what fabric designs emerge from her latest artwork.

Nel creates fabric for Westminster fabrics and here are some of her other pictures on display. You can find her on Facebook and follow a diary of what she is doing whilst at Burton Agnes.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland, will they stay or will they go?

Today is the day we've all been hearing so much about, and in 24 hours we will know if they are staying or going.

I've quite immersed myself in the Yes and No debates, it's not that I'm a particularly political animal, far from it, creativity is what makes me tick. My interest comes as hopefully a future resident of Scotland, one day in the not too distant future when I can turn the lifelong dream of moving over the border into reality. 

I have spent a bit of time in Scotland the last couple of weeks and the atmosphere was quite intense, the referendum being the subject on most people's lips. I have to say that I can see good and bad on both sides and so it is probably as well I'm not there yet to vote as I feel quite undecided and sat on the fence.

I have friends up there on both sides who will be making well thought out choices today so along with them I will be waiting with baited breath to see what tomorrow's result holds.
Lets just hope positivity wins through and this hasn't turned Scot against Scot.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Trip to Glasgow and all things Mackintosh

A working trip to Glasgow last Thursday was a good excuse for a couple of days exploring. Now I've been past Glasgow many times heading north but I've never been in the city centre which quite surprises me even as I'm a big fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Here's the first thing I didn't know about Glasgow, it has an underground subway train system. I don't like the tubes in London, infact I don't have much desire to ever go down there again as big cities have started to freak me out so it was quite something for me to 'brave' Glasgow. 
My first look at the subway and how cool is this Mackintosh-esque illustration.

I found the trains ok, it's not complicated as it's just an inner or outer circle around the city so you can't get lost and it wasn't that busy during the day so I quite liked it. It allowed much toing and froing from one part to another in the quest for artisan coffee shops.

However, first Mackintosh pilgrimage of the day was breakfast at the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street.

French toast with maple syrup and earl grey to wash it down.

Possibly not as large as I was expecting and not many waitresses in lacy aprons but it's something ticked off my bucket list.

Onwards to see the Glasgow School of Art following the fire in summer.

And some souvenirs from the school art shop.

There are some interesting steep streets in Glasgow.

The one below is quite untypical, doesn't it look like a Manhattan back alley in the 1970's.

The art tour was interspersed with a list of coffee shops to seek out, think we ticked 3 off the list, all different, all interesting. In no partic order Laboratorio Espresso, Artisan Roast, Avenue G.

Back to art and the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). A fabulous exhibition with cardboard buildings and churches as far as the eye could see.

Interesting art on the corridor walls too, most poignant the top one with the referendum tomorrow.

Hardly went in any shops as there was so much else to see but this one intrigued me with the window display. It was very hard to photograph but on every glass window it was floor to ceiling with vintage sewing machines. Looked a very expensive shop.

Some street art near to a bridge in the city centre and it was weird and like being in the countryside, a bubbling river running through, lots of trees, a park too.

A fabric shop on my to do list, Mandors, oh my it was packed with fabric, haberdashery, wool etc. I had to control myself and was very restrained with this one metre of atlas fabric.

That was Glasgow in a nutshell, I liked it, there was a good vibe and it felt very Scottish if you get my drift.

There was time for a quick visit to a coffee friends cafe in Dundee on the way back, Espress Oh! which was a very lovely place.

And we tried to visit The Kelpies but that was chaos on the parking side, or very little of it. The pictures were from the car, we couldn't get parked and had to queue in an unorganised state (even though there were car park workers who were next to useless) just to get out without even stopping.

If you go, plan to go early as it's next to a childrens theme playground with little parking.