Tuesday, 31 May 2011

My new vintage memories fabric is here!

Well with the best intentions of being up early to peg the washing out and head off for food shopping it hasn't happened yet. I had an exciting delivery from the postman, my newly designed fabric I'm calling 'vintage memories' has arrived from Spoonflower and I'm really happy with this one.
Created as a collage from some of my old family greeting cards and antique postcards I've collected, all mixed up for a richly nostalgic fabric of memories.

It fills me with joy to look at it but the intention is to sell half on  Folksy (already listed) to cover costs of printing & shipping and to keep a bit for myself to make some textile goodies.
That way I can fund some more of my designs at Spoonflower.

Buzzard over Driffield

You are going to have to take my word for this as I was unable to get any photographic evidence.
It's a bright, sunny morning and I have just been hanging my washing out, as I gazed up at the birds I saw in the distance soaring very high a familiar outline. I thought, that looks like a buzzard but it can't be and then I remembered that I have seen buzzards before in East Yorkshire near Goodmanham & South Dalton around the Dalton estate.

So I carried on watching it, I daren't rush in to get my binoculars incase it had gone when I returned, to confirm what I thought and yes it came a little nearer over the farm land and circled and I saw the tail shape, the brown and light markings under the wings and then it gradually flew higher and further away towards Driffield. 
Definitely a buzzard, I've seen plenty in Scotland & Wales to confirm we have a buzzard in the area. There's plenty for them to eat here although the downside are the farmers and gamekeepers around here who I know would shoot it at first glance.

What an exciting start to the morning.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Miserable bank holiday

Typical miserable, drizzly, mizzly bank holiday weather this weekend. Just look at the threatening, stormy sky I've had to view out of my office window. Needless to say I haven't been anywhere much or done anything much. Although I have made some peanut butter chocolate slab and yesterday I rustled up an iPad case, I think I might start making these for my Folksy shop.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Travel Posters & a Hornsea Jug

It's been a day of seeing vintage travel posters. You'll find some lovely examples of French travel postcards over on Green Rabbits blog and then I was in a charity shop this morning and they had a National Railway Museum poster book for sale. I looked at it knowing I have about 3 similar books so my thought of buying it to rip out certain pictures to frame seemed a bit wasteful when someone else would probably get pleasure from buying it.

There's something so nice about those old posters. I had a look through some of my modern day designs which are inspired by posters of that era and compiled a collection of my favourites done in recent years.
I was contacted last week about a commission to do that style but after initial contact they've not replied to me. Not to worry, I'm probably too busy to tackle it yet.

I didn't leave the charity shop empty handed, I couldn't resist buying this Hornsea Heirloom jug as it is in beautiful condition and was cheap and I think it will make a nice custard jug.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Packaging 4 - retro

I haven't done a packaging post for a while and this little tub of joy caught my eye yesterday. I found these new ice creams in Waitrose and I just love the vintage scooter on the label. I was weighing up which label and flavour I liked best as I could only afford one tub. I think the berry fruits had the brightest pink and yellow stripe scooter label but I settled for this as the most important thing has to be the contents!

Also on a retro theme, our local Lidl has upgraded and now has an instore bakery, whooo hooo! To collect your fresh bread they have the European style paper bags with those lovely screened printed 70's style illustrations. It takes me right back to caravanning as a child when we used to tour Europe and walking from the campsites into the villages to find a patisserie for your breakfast rolls.

Little birdie

When I was doing tea last night I noticed a baby bird sat on the step outside the kitchen, he wasn't doing much, just sitting with his little head spinning round maybe looking for parents. He didn't walk, or flutter or anything so I'm not sure if he'd fallen out of a nest but I decided to stay well clear in the hope the parents came back.

He had disappeared about an hour later and I don't know where to as I didn't see or hear any activity so hopefully all is ok.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Art in the garden - Jacksons Wold

Yesterday I did my AIG stint up at Jacksons Wold. I packed a sketch pad and camera and rather optimistically my sewing box and lots of fabric and bits of stuff. I thought the weather was going to be fine after the dull start, or at least I believed the previous nights weather report of it brightening up!

The lesson again is not to believe the weather reports because 2 minutes before arriving at the garden the rain came down and bang went my ideas for getting my fabric out. I waited in the car for about 10 mins before the gardens opened and it faired up but was virtually a re-run of my visit to Hunmanby Grange 2 years ago as the garden is high on the Wolds and parts are quite exposed and wind tunnels.

The photos you see are when the sun came out and of course you can't see how windy it is. I tried to display the ERA leaflets and my leaflets but they kept getting blown away. 
That said I still had a lovely afternoon, the gardens were delightful and consisted of walled gardens and woodland gardens, kitchen garden and a wildflower meadow. The house was an absolute chocolate box scene in a lovely soft apricot colour with a mauve slate roof.
I just love alliums and they had them in every shade of purple and white. 
I did some plant sketches and I did attempt to get a bit of fabric out and make a hosta leaf in fabric but looking at my photos I so loved the colours of the house that I feel I may be inspired to produce a digital artwork where at first I was set to do a textile piece. Who knows, maybe I'll do more than one piece of work!

One of the barns was operating as a tearoom so I treated myself to a slice of chocolate toffee shortbread and I also came away with half a dozen eggs laid that morning, how lovely.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Apple pincushion

On my journeys around Blogland and craft sites I've seen some lovely handmade fruit pincushions and I wanted to make myself an apple.
I then searched for patterns and templates but I didn't seem to have much luck finding any free, it was mainly paid for patterns and I thought if I do that I might as well get a decent one with a few things to make. Anyway I was unsuccessful in finding such a pattern in my local haberdashery so as most of the templates online just looked like a leaf shape I drew my own.

The first 'thing' I made with my own template looked more flat and squat and rather like a pumpkin so with a bit of adjustment I made the leaf shape a bit taller and the result is as below.
I'm quite pleased with it for a first attempt and hope to try more when time allows.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

2 good magazines

I like to buy the odd craft magazine, although not half as many as I used to do since Borders closed in York, it had a great choice of American craft & food mags.  The problem I find with  a lot of the magazines is that most of the projects are regurgitated from books I already have or from internet sites. However in the last fortnight I've bought 2 magazines which have been well worth the money, with new and interesting ideas to try.

The first is Mollie Makes and I was first drawn to it with the apple cosies on the front. I'd seen some on a  blog but I haven't stumbled across the pattern yet so I thought I might invest. There are lots of lovely things to make and I've already tried the apple cosy but I used the wrong size hook! so my apple cosy is more like a grapefruit size as you can see.
The other thing I've tried are the linen eggs and I've filled them with lavender as I wanted them to have some use rather than just dust gatherers.

The second good read is Making magazine. The good thing about this magazine is they theme each months issue so you can be selective and this issue was the paper issue. I love folding, tearing and mixing things up so there are interesting things like paper bangles, folk art paper cuts, and mixed media frames.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Art in the Garden - 2011 - Jacksons Wold

I've got a very busy work week but I must make time to get my stuff together as I'm doing art in the garden on Sunday. It seems to have come around quickly but I think I did it later in June last year.
This time I'm attending a garden near Malton, I know very little about it other than what I've seen on their website but it looks lovely and joy of joys they have a small tea room!

Hope the weather is nice. I'm thinking I'll take sketch pad, fabric and sewing kit this year and try and create a textile piece. If the weathers not so good or too windy it might just be camera and sketch pad.


Homemade plum and almond cake

Inspired by that lovely cake I had at Bean and Bud I made a plum and almond cake. I couldn't be bothered searching through all my cookery books so I found this recipe online and it worked a treat.
I substituted the teaspoon of vanilla for a teaspoon of almond essence as I like my plum cake almondy.

Because the oven is not as hot as it should be, (needing a service again) my cake was a little moist in the middle, however it still makes good eating and is nice on it's own or as I found last night... good with custard too!


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Harrogate - Bean & Bud, and fabric!

Had a most enjoyable morning in Harrogate and this time didn't even have to worry about car parking as a bit of research on the internet last night showed up some free parking streets. It was just a 10-15 minute walk back into town and into Bean & Bud for refreshments.

I know this is only my second visit to Bean & Bud but they seem to have something new to tempt you with each time you walk in. I plumped for tea today and had the special China Oolong which had a lovely smoky taste to it. To eat I had the most delicious plum cake with a hint of almond, this is one of my favourite combinations, just lovely. Stocked up with some bags of coffee and teas.

The other thing I like about Bean & Bud, just a few doors along is that amazing fabric shop and I treated myself to a few fat quarters.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Spoonflower contest - Ice Cream

This week I've entered the Spoonflower contest which blasts off tonight with voting. The theme was to design a fat quarter with Ice Cream as your subject. 
As usual I was very last minute and I'd had the idea I wanted to do some sort of landscape with a vintage ice cream van and kids chasing after it (although I can't draw people so that put a stop to that), fluffy clouds, seaside, happy days etc.

Basically there wasn't time so I did one of my quick digital drawings of an ice cream van and then I separated the vans with little ice cream cones in between. You can't quite see the detail but the ice creams are stitched scraps of fabric making this is a mixed media fabric design.
I did a few colour backgrounds, couldn't decide which to enter but in the end opted for the pistachio background.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

New Spoonflower fabric samples

This week some long awaited samples arrived from Spoonflower. Delivery had been estimated at 3 weeks but they've been so busy that I've been waiting over a month for these.

I have a fat quarter of my butterfly design which I'm quite pleased with although next time I order some I will enlarge the overall design a bit because the names were just a little too small to read.
I also have 2 small swatches (8 inch sq) of my breakfast fabrics. The colours on the pink one have come out spot on so pleased with that. The 'orange' one is not supposed to be orange, it was created as a very dark red so don't know if the problem was my file or something at the production end.

Anyway both the butterfly and the pink breakfast fabric are now for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Cuckoo is here!

It's 9.30am and I've just heard cuckoo for the first time this year. This is 15 days later than when I recorded the event last year. It feels like summer is on the way now I can hear the cuckooing in the distance!
Wonder if I'll get to see the mysterious bird this year.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Rabbit chocolate!

I received some belated Easter chocolate from a friend yesterday and the packaging was so groovy I thought I would share it (not the chocolate...!) on the blog.

Not only did the outside make me smile but the inner wrapper is very stylish. I don't like to open it but no doubt in a weak moment later I will be tucking in!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Memorabillia collage for a new fabric

I've been rumaging in my collections of old cards and postcards over the weekend with an idea for fabric. I've used a selection of family greeting cards I've had for donkeys years and some cards I've bought at antique shops and I have created this collage which I'm just refining as a new fabric design.


Still no sound of cuckoo but the swallows have returned over the weekend which I'm sure is earlier than last year.

Tragedy has struck the rabbit family over the weekend, the 2 baby bunnies have ventured from the burrow in the back garden to join the other rabbits on the grassy area at the front and yesterday I saw a crow pecking over a tiny rabbit carcass. As I've only seen one small bunny since I am assuming it was the brother or sister who has bitten the dust.
I suppose that's nature for you.