Wednesday, 7 December 2011

And now another thing ...

past, present
and future
Last night, some of the participant exhibitors from the Art Exhibition (mentioned in my last post) met to discuss how we felt about its success or otherwise, the outcome, and a move towards the future. It was mostly positive, but in any  local community, there will always be a range of opinions, which do not matter too much if one can progress. A certain amount of treading on toes! The good news was that the suggestion for a village arts group was mooted, with the immediate goal being to participate in Warwickshire Open Studio Week 2012 next July. The creative souls amongst us can focus on what we each individually love doing. 

Well as far as I was concerned, participating in the Exhibition has focussed my mind, both personally and professionally. I posted about my 5ft x 5ft 'Castle Turret in a Church' on my 'Wild Somerset Child' blog so will not replicate what I said. And after living in this beautiful part of the 'forgotten triangle' for over 40 years - now very much discovered - it would mean so much to me to discover the kindred spirits within our rural community. Double click on this or any image in this post to view at enlarged size, and be able to read the details.

past work: word-whispers, image transfers, hand-made textile journal 

I have not yet come to the point: journalling in my various genres has brought me to the day where I suddenly realise that all my experimentation over so many years can move in any direction I want. Oh! My recent months of 'Map Trails' - and years of patchwork, sketches and scribblings, embroidered samplers, theatrical costumes, word-whispers, leaves, flowers and stones - can branch in any direction; and, so long as I record what I do, can be replicated. 'Illustrated Journals' are well under way. North, South, East or West; any compass point can take me wherever I want to go. A personal geography; a trail seventy-plus years in the making.

Beguiling: one of those 'must have' moments; money changed hands
So a leap forward, wanting to move on but not ever losing what is past, present, future or maybe. I walk into Whichford Pottery to buy warm alpaca socks (really) in their Octagon Gallery, and light upon a hand-made journal; beautiful, tactile, the cover using techniques I want to explore and adapt. For what it is, not expensive, but beyond my normal budget. And then I remember the proceeds from my exhibition sales of the week before, and am beguiled, and it is mine; and already a part of my creative life, my 'moving on' whilst encompassing the past. And that is another thing ....

Map Trails in progress (this a part of  'Malvern') are already moving into phase two
and three, with determinations on long trails - Somerset to Wales to Shropshire
to Hereford and back to Somerset; and in 2012 to France and Germany.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Getting ready ....

Needing to create in whatever spare moment becomes available (to retain my sanity), I accepted an invitation earlier this year to participate in a new art and craft exhibition being staged within our Cotswold village. And now it is upon us - not just an exhition but a sale of work also, which I was not anticipating. I am focussing on mixed-media work: map trails, fabric books, illustrated journals and the like: textiles, paper and words. Mortified today when I came to assemble some more of my painted paper-bag pocket-pages, to sell as 'note-keepers', and I could not recall how to make them. Memory is not what it once was! I dismembered a previous one to discover what I did, and having done so, made sure I had notes and sketches to make them again. Recording is as important for me as the actual making, which is perhaps why I have to have deadlines to complete anything, and why I spend so much time planning and not executing.

'pocket pages' - made from recycled paper bags
And this is the first time I've tried blogging from my new iPad (nerve-wracking), so I will close, but hope you will join me in spirit next Saturday (26th), and if you are local to here, or prepared to travel, do please join us - and say 'hello'. A good luncheon can evidently be obtained at The Norman Knight, opposite the Village Green, and Whichford Pottery is well-worth visiting. We're raising money to restore the windows in the Church; there is stained glass dating back to medieval times, and the village itself existed long before the de Mohuns were granted land here by William the Conqueror in 1086.

P.S. I had to finish this on the office Mac - have not yet learned all the intricacies of my iPad. And if you want to find Whichford, key postcode CV36 into a Google map.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mixed Media Journaling

It's a while since I posted any of my journaling. None of the pages in my sketchbooks or journals were quite finished. I would paint or paste and leave the book open to dry, and then work would intrude and I would necessarily move in to something else. The two pages here were begun on a summer get-away when I had the time to indulge myself in word whispers and mixed media - in the caravan.

We spent a morning at Richard's Castle just outside Ludlow. Not the modern village but the fortified Norman castle and adjacent (much later) abandoned church and graveyard. The castle ruins spooked me, which is unusual as I am captivated by the medieval period of history, but the stony and steep path up to the churchyard inspired the herbal word-whispers shown on the two pages. I used napkins as the basis of the pages, adding the words after the acrylic wax I use as an adhesive had dried, and then only a few days ago, added the watercolour sketches and a watercolour wash over the words - which has to a certain extent obscured the writing. Best to double-click the images if you feel like to reading them.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My new creative journal

Quick watercolour and ink sketch created on impulse whilst sitting in the garden yesterday evening.  DOUBLE-CLICK ON ANY OF THE PICS IN THIS POST TO ENLARGE THEM TO A READABLE SIZE.

In an attempt to be more organised, I have begun a new creative journal. Not only will it have the occasional page filled with sketches, in essence it will be a repository for notes on what I am currently working on. These are usually scattered around the house on bits of paper or written down as an idea strikes in whatever notebook is to hand. And then I forget where the notes are which is most frustrating. So as from now, they should all be together. I've explained to myself the purpose of the book - and share the pages below, in the hope it might encourage someone else to do likewise. It will really be a record of my creative journey.

Double-click on the image so you can read it

Instead of scanning the pages, I have photographed them - it would have been better had I laid the book on the floor and attached the camera to my tripod, and then each page would be squared up. These were all hand-held; it doesn't pay to cut corners!

My second introductory page as to what the book is all about

I got carried away on this first session (sitting in the garden on Sunday evening, warm and quiet) and went on to my current long-term project, 'Quilt Journey'. These are a series of 12"x12" textile pages, actually pairs of mini-quilts where the surface comprises paper and fabric, hand- and machine-stitching, photographed collages and word-whispers.

This explains the beginning of my 'Quilt Journey' project but went off 
at a tangent, talking about my 'Map Trails'

To get to the point, I have already posted 'pages in progress' - see the workshop I attended on 'Ancestors' and the pages I started there, which I wrote about on 28th July.

Perhaps by now you are totally confused! For I was writing this 
for myself and not as an instructional piece.

Progress is such that all my 'Ancestor' components have been handstitched and are ready for mounting on the background. Notes on how I will do that are in my 'daybook' - the one I take with me when I am out for the day; that one has tear-out pages so I can paste the section into here.

The second of my pair of ancestor pages - layout, with notes on how I intend to proceed, 
and the mock-up of a mini-book that will form part of the page.
When treated and fused, this layout paper
becomes so flexible, you would liken it to fabric

And alongside - which I have showed already, but larger here, is one of the finished elements, printed on layout paper, scrunched to age it, fused to the fabric, handstitched with silk thread and the edges frayed, ready for mounting on the background - after the addition of a narrow fabric 'frame' in dark brown and white gingham - the colour of my school dresses in 1942-1947.

Meanwhile, I am working on a technique for page backgrounds - tissue paper and paint onto which I will collage images and incorporate them into other 'Quilt Journey' pages. These processes are for me at the moment a godsend, keeping me calm and sane through a stressful period when most of the time I am feeling extremely unwell. Thank heavens for the therapeutic act of creating, even if the results do not turn out as wanted or expected. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Day of Serendipity

I collect images of 'Green Men' - sometimes in stone, or wood, plain or gilded
It began in the Churchyard at Iffley (Oxford) - taking photographs that I could use within stitched fabric and paper pages - carved stone heads reminiscent of the medieval period. Strange how we live so close and yet had never ventured there; it was dear American friends who took us. St Mary's is famed for its romanesque architecture; some original but much is Victorian restoration which somehow misses the point; skillfully executed but for me it lacked soul. I did find a remarkable family tree inside the dark interior - remarkable because it showed the coat of arms of Katherine Swynford (three catherine wheels) who married John of Gaunt in the 1300s - a period of history I love and about which I am currently reading, or I might never have spotted the little plaque on the wall.

This one is supposedly of King Henry II, somehwat crude
Artichokes and lavender in the lock-keeper's garden
We ambled along the Thames to Iffley lock - all very organised with lock keeper in attendance - and the most beautiful garden full of herbs, then past a perfect stone bridge (probably 1750) and on to where ducks and geese were feeding on scraps thrown by passers by. How I loved the colours reflected in the water - enlarged, a portion of my photoghraph could be printed on fabric as a background to a stitched herbal I plan to make some day. Photography was not easy for everywhere were warning signs; not to fall in the river, not to do this or that, necessary but not that easy to doctor in Photoshop, hence some rather wobbly shots where I tried to lean over the water to eliminate them from view!

A peaceful scene, feeding waterbirds - yet it was the colours in the water I took this for
Nearly fell in the water trying to take this shot, to get the angle I wanted
It was a day of parts, chatting as we walked, about the classes that Kristi had just tutored at Oxford Summer School, the Adventures in Italy workshops she and husband Bill run twice a year in Orvieto Italy, the fabric books I am making; an annual catching up on family activities, the day too short. Then came the exchange of little gifts over lunch - some lovely ribbons for me from Kristi which I cannot obtain over here, and for them little notebooks I had made.

White-paper packaged tied up with strips of fabric
each gift has
its own sketch pen
All relaxing, and with images to use in future projects. Part Four of the Day was spent back at home, eating pizza on the terrace whilst I - after many months of indecision - managed at last to order my thoughts into a new creative workbook, the more easily to organise projects and balance work and play, so that sketching and stitching and word-whispers can become a part of everyday.

Opened out, you can see the map that formed the basis of the notebook - the cover was fabric from a skirt bought in a charity shop - click on the image to see it at a larger size

You may like to check the facility I have added in the right hand sidebar (just above the Twitter logo): sometimes I refer to a book, or talk about the supplies I use, and thought it might be useful to provide a link to where you can purchase what I list. I'll do this from time to time - the first is of the layout paper I print on and use as if it were fabric. More titles can be found in my Book-Lover's Blog - do visit if you haven't already done so.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Visual Ancestry

"Searching for a change of vision
seeing with new eyes
adapting my usual way of working;
letting myself loose, and
not being afraid of failure.
That's what today gave me:
surprising the great leap forward - 
- and I did not fall into the water,
did not drown in indecision.
Just those few short hours
with a masterful tutor
is all it has taken;
and I will never be the same again.
Such joy. A day of wonders."

materials and photos ready for the workshop

Last Saturday (24th July) I attended an Embroiderers' Guild day workshop - the title was 'Stitch an Ancestor'. I think none of those attending were quite sure what to expect or what we would be doing, but we all took along copies of ancestral photos, calico and other fabrics. I had already decided (usually my downfall) that I would make a collage page showing the influences that some of my ancestors have had on my life. And as they were all childhood memories from the early 1940s, I decided that my colour palette would beige to reflect the mono prints. I thought to frame the photos in small checked fabric the same as my school dresses. That brown was too dark so I also bought a pale beige and white check which I knew would set off the words I wanted to include.

photos fused to gingham and roughly positioned on the calico background

Words? Now readers of my Book-Lover's Journey will know that my love of words and books was influenced by my immediate ancestors - the touch of bright colour to offset all that beige and the grey photos will be the same terracotta red that is used as the background to my BLJ blog posts. So that was what was in my mind as I drove to the class, and laid my equipment and materials out on the table. And what an eye-opener. We had a most excellent tutor in Alison Mercer, who explained that she was going to encourage us to think about the process of creating a piece of work, rather than technique.

students' work in progress mounted vertically
(mine, bottom left, is barely begun)
Contrary to my normal method of working she suggested that we first gathered together the photos we would use, and prepared them for inclusion in the piece of work we were creating, even cutting around an image so as to make them less 'blocky'. I had never thought of doing that. A small colour palette was the next step as a starting point (I was OK there), and that no matter what we were doing, the use of lines of hand-stitching could pull it all together. This will be interesting for I will finish with many little photo pieces and a number of word panels as well.

trimmed images fused to gingham, ready for cutting into panels
and framing with hand-stitching

Words could be stamped or machine stitched, or hand-lettered using a mixture of fabric, paints, papers. We should try 'anything and everything' and if we could not resolve something that did not look right, should leave it out. Ongoing layouts were photographed so we could record what we were doing. Next we thought of triggers that prompted us to create a piece, and then we wrote down a check-list of what we would do, and what we would try to achieve in the next hour. (I who initially work really slowly achieved my personal goal.)

one of my photos, fused
and hand-stitched, then
crumpled to add 'age'
Collage was uppermost in my mind, pasting and overprinting, cutting back, carving my own stamps ... hand and machine stitch, layering. What was so remarkable to me was how Alison gently cajoled me to forget layout initially (I am so used to laying out magazine pages that I find it really hard to think in any other way). My initial thoughts ceased to 'speak' to me; I removed half the images and began to work on the small pieces, fusing the photos with bondaweb and then hand-stitching around them with two rows of straight stitch using fine silk thread; that in itself had a child-like quality and reminded me of childhood. In a sense, the process we were encouraged to consider is exactly similar to the way I work when creating a new writing project; it was the 'go with the flow' attitude that was new to me, and very welcome.

this was my double-page layout at the end of the day
with notes top right about what I would try next
and the words I intended to stitch and use

We pinned our work at lunchtime onto the wall, the better to see it from a distance (mine, bottom left is barely begun though all the images are fused to a piece of gingham ready to cut out and stitch). Most people had taken a sewing machine but I travelled light and was glad I had done so, for I re-discovered the calming effect hand-stitching has on me, forgot my arthritis and persevered. All the photos are now stitched around ready for assembly into the pages, once I've created the lettering panels, which I spent time devising whilst in the class. (Hand-stitching has since been accomplished each day sitting in the garden over tea.) By the end of the day, my single collage had turned into two 'pages', each 12" x 12" which will form a part of an earlier in-progress 'Quilt Journey' project; I felt calm and collected and so grateful for the help I had been given by a good tutor. It was a day of memories and focussing on the people who have influenced my life. Afterwards, I sat on the wall outside the classroom and wrote the piece that opens this post.

P.S. I can't make the link to Alison's website work - server error; try googling her. I'll add the link when I post further progress on my 'Ancestral Influences' piece.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Start of a new sketchbook

first page - in progress - in my new sketchbook
Yesterday, on a shopping trip into town, a made a self-indulgent purchase - a treat to myself after a hard week editing other people's magazine copy. It wasn't expensive, but felt good in my hand; an 8"x6" (A5) sea-blue sketchbook with pages of 110gsm paper. A new travel journal in which it would be easier to draw and paint. And I've already titled it 'Another Day, Another Journey'. The book itself has such a lovely feel to it, encased in its own soft plastic folder, with pockets front and back to hold word-whispers or other scrappy notes.

sometimes the feel of a book
can spark ideas for new
projects - this one did for me
I opened the cover and wrote the title inside. I deliberated on how to start, wondered whether I should sketch straight away; but it was late, and the muse did not flow, though I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a map! I wrote accompanying words on one of the jotters I have littered around the house for just such a purpose, stashed it in the book's pocket ready for later hand-lettering, then decided that collage would be a good beginning. So I took a printed portion of a map I had just photographed (badly - see below), sketched a shape and tore around what I wanted ... and there I was, ready to begin another journey into creativity.

badly photographed, but it gave me an idea for the image I wanted
The start of this first foray was this map, and the shape I tore out opens this post (that has its own title, too): 'Journey in My Head', which was prompted by something I had just written in my Book-Lover's Blog. Anyway, everything came together; one of my serendipity moments. The map was printed on my favourite collage paper - it is very thin but tough and I use it all the time in textile projects as it can be fused with bond-a-web / wunder-under and stitched as well. It's how I make my own version of fabric paper, quite often creating a design from collage or photography which I then print as many times as I wish. The paper is bought in pads: Daler-Rowney Layout Paper; only 45gsm (31lbs) and obtainable in good art shops or online in both A4 and A3 sizes.

My journey has begun; my art-bag is ready, and as we head north with the caravan to the RHS Tatton Flower Show, the spreads will continue - mapping and sketching rather than collage, or maybe that as well; who can tell? Progress Report to follow!

P.S. I think the cover of these layout pads has changed recently, but the paper is still the same.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Another finished project

Anyone who has been following the story of grandchild  Kate's swimming endeavours to raise funds for a life-saving defibrillator - by swimming the equivalent of the width of the English Channel (22 miles) - will appreciate why I wanted to make her a special folder in which to stick and hold all her goodwill messages of encouragement.

I took a thick piece of furnishing fabric and fused onto it a sheer cover fabric, and similar on the reverse. Both fabrics were cut from chiffon shirts I bought for next to nothing at the charity shop. The cover, to me at least, represented the ripples and reflections on the water as Kate swam - 352 lengths per session. The inside, cut from the shirt I coveted but which would have looked far too silly on a grandma, had the same colours as her pretty swimsuit. I used a portion from the sleeve as it already had lace and ribbon attached, so no extra embellishment was needed. I extended the cover so that it could be folded over to make a pocket - to hold all the letters she had received.

And then, I punched the cover and paper pages to bind into the book. On the first page I fused a printed map showing the cross-channel route Kate would have swum, had she been swimming the Channel for real. There were two graph-paper pages, onto which she could write the times of all four swimming sessions. The other pages were blank ready for adding the post-it note messages written at the pool side by those who came to watch her as she swam.

With her name machine-stitched on the cover (barely discernible, just as modest as the child who swam), I hoped this would be a memento and record of her self-imposed fund-raising challenge to help others. If you want to read more, click here on my other blog to see the final episode, written whilst she completed the last leg of her epic swim.

These folders - I made something similar for the birthday of Kate's sister last week (see the last post) - are really easy to make, with or without the pocket. The combination of fused fabric on each side of a stiffer textile base creates a flexible but suede-like feel, and each folder created can be personalised to the recipient and occasion for which it is made.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Finished Project!

journal cover
For once, I have planned and executed a project in 48 hours. A miracle for me, as I usually spend more time planning and making notes, experimenting and recording the results, than actually DOING. The catalyst this time was our youngest grand-daughter's 7th birthday (today). She evidently wanted felt pens, scissors and glue-sticks, which I bought a week ago. And then I was shamed into MAKING her something; for her grandfather was giving her the most beautiful chest of drawers  he had made for her - hours and hours and hours of work ...

inside cover (paper-fabric as described in last post)
and removable pages
So I decided to make her a journal in which she could write and draw with the pens, and a bag to hold that and the other things. I've only just posted how I made the fabric-paper / paper-fabric lining, but the finished book and bag were completed today, wrapped and given to this bright little girl at her birthday tea this afternoon - before she and her brother and sister went off for evening swimming training.

I am not proud of my creation - not my usual standard: sewing machine played up (now sorted) and thus abysmal satin stitch (ugh - don't look), lost - and found - my Japanese screw punch, so at least the holes in the spine were perfect, but then couldn't find either of my eyelet-setting 'Cropadiles' and so had to seal the fabric with gel-medium. I will compensate at the weekend by making another journal, as a congratulatory gift for K. who is swimming the final leg of her simulated cross-channel fundraising challenge next Tuesday (see reports in my other blog). Her book will be made from flimsy 'floaty' fabric (chiffon), the cover simulating sea waves, the inner cover using that pretty charity-shop blouse I wrote about in an earlier post. The colours remind me of K's swim-suit, the double-layered one that induces drag and thus makes swimming 5.5 miles x 4 that much harder. Then K. can record all the kind and supportive messages of goodwill she has received over the last two weeks. If she can manage such a challenge, surely I can make another book over the weekend?
Bag, journaling book, scissors, felt-pens and glue-sticks -
a gift for a 7-year old birthday girl
I grieve to think how my sewing skills have left me: 15 years ago, I designed and made my daughter's wedding dress; for her two girls, all I can manage are badly-stitched journals!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Paper Fabric - or Fabric Paper

maps, printed text, wine labels and images torn from a travel brochure are combined in this collage, intended as a base for further work. Double-click to view detail.
Being short of time, I have found a new use for collages that I made at least five years ago, intending to cut them up as a part of tiny travel journals. Each collage takes quite some time to assemble the necessary components, and then to prepare the surface on which to mount the pieces. I use a 12"x12" scrapbooking foam board (can't recall it's name). I cover it with two layers of cling-film, and then wash over it a layer of very dilute pva glue. Onto that I immediately lay a piece of acid-free tissue, brushing it into the surface with a decorator's paint brush.

When this is dry, I apply the collage pieces, again using very diluted pva, until the whole 12"x12" square is covered. Once dry, I think I may have given this a wash of tea or coffee or very dilute acrylic ink. You really need to double click on the image to see the complexity of random pieces - they were obviously laid out in such a way as to allow a book title to be stencilled on top of the less busy area; or I was going to cut the paper into smaller pages. Discovering it in my stash, and wanting a fabric lining for a new journal, I photographed the piece, manipulated it in Phootoshop (constraining the proportions so it became A4), and printed it 'best-quality' on very thin but tough layout paper = 31lbs / 45 gsm.

Once dry, I fused it with Bond-a-Web / Wunder Under to very open weave cheesecloth, and then fused it again to back the fabric book-cover I was making today. Before this second fusing, it has the feel and appearance of soft suede. I intend to try a similar piece using this same image but scrumpling the paper into a ball and then ironing it flat before fusing' it takes on quite a different appearance and feel but you have to select the image carefully or you loose all subtlety. 

I don't think my technique is new by any means (in fact it probably emanates from Cas Holmes' book ('The Found Object in Textile Art') but it does mean I can now crate my own fabric papers using photographic images of trees, grasses, bark, stones etc, to incorporate into other artefacts. I'll post pics of my grandchild's gift when I have bound the pages into the cover tomorrow.

Monday, 20 June 2011

My quilting journey continues

a marvellous clay panel made by school children, with intricate decoration

I was back at Malvern again over the weekend, this time reporting on the Three Counties Show - food, farming and countryside; and once more attempting to blog live. I've had no time to prepare for personal play-time and possible sketching and journaling; although I did snatch my mini-watercolour box and a sketch book as I left home at 6.00am on Friday morning, just in case. It didn't come out of the bag.

enlarged and transferred to fabric, then stitched and quilted, these will add an extra dimension to my quilted journal

 I knew I would be busy and in such spare time as I had available after our arrival and before the show started, so I planned to organise all my stitching and journaling references into a single notebook. My thoughts and sketches are scattered around the house, in rooms on three floors, and within those rooms on numerous pieces of paper and notebooks out of number. Well, I've begun at least.

so simple, yet so effective - this is the third of the three panels that adorn the outside of the TCAS education building

But walking around the Showground on the final day of set-up, I had my camera ready to catch intriguing shapes, as I did at the Spring Gardening Show. I just loved these 2ftx2ft clay panels, made by schoolchildren who use the excellent educational facilities the Showground had to offer. What marvellous stitched panels these would make - and I know just how I will use them. But that's a story for another day; my WiFi time was limited and I had other posts to write.

How fortunate are all the local school within the Malvern catchment area  - to able to use the inspiring education facilities on offer at the TCAS showground.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

More journaling finds

my latest finds - to add to my stash of journaling materials

I'm a sucker for charity shops, and have a favourite in our nearest local town. Almost every visit (about twice a month) reveals new treats: artefacts that I can turn into something else; curtains or books or bracelets or clothes. Such low prices - far cheaper than buying new what will in fact be ripped apart - and of course helping whatever charity the shop represents. I've unloaded precious stuff there, too, glassware and crockery that we no longer need (so I feel I am helping both ways, though that isn't the reason for a visit)! Do I really need more journaling materials? Well, assuredly not, but I can't resist something that 'speaks' to me of  "this would be brilliant for ..."  - and so my collected textiles and papers and curious odds and ends fill the house and I never find enough time to use everything. But one day?

My latest finds were 1. an old linen tablecloth - to cut up for lining my folding map journals (a long strip is machine-stitched with something representative of the journal subject; so the Malvern diary shown in the last post will have a thread sketch of the hills on the back). 2. an old dictionary, very faded and in an old typeface; useful for collage or journal backgrounds - I'm creating my own themed papers again, made from collages using maps, photos and text pages. Maybe I should post about the technique I use, as once made, the 12"x12" papers can be photographed and printed any number of times, or portions manipulated and even reversed.

abstract art - maybe even useful for print-making

Find no 3. was a curiosity: a metal pot-stand shaped like a daisy! It's the time of year when the lanes are a mass of ox-eyes, and I love them so, not only for their pristine whiteness, but because so far, they are the only flower I can machine-stitch freehand without drawing them onto the fabric first! This particular shape seemed so perfect; I could draw around it, reduce or enlarge it, collage, stitch, stamp or whatever; and it was only 50p.

this is so pretty - I don't know if I can bear to cut it up
Find no 4. also 'spoke' to me: such a pretty blouse; thin see-through fabric trimmed with lace and floaty bits. Clothes are another source of wonderful fabric that I could never afford new - the cloth or the clothes; and sometimes I am tempted to wear my finds. But it would be mutton dressed up as lamb; so the blouse, or skirt or trousers sit in the closet awaiting the scissors and the time to take it to pieces. Always it is the fabric that catches my eye, regardless of the item of clothing. Charity shop hunts lift my spirits; rarely do I come away without a little something, and I never know what will catch my fancy, or what my finds will inspire.

Next weekend we are back at Malvern (the Three Counties Show). Food and Farming ... what treasures might I find that will inspire more creative endeavours?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

End of my Malvern blogathon

my 'Malvern Trail' in progress early this morning; working in our caravan

My last day at Malvern, and I'm almost through with my self-imposed challenge of a post-a-day on all four of my Blogs. It's not been made any easier by the fact that Blogger crashed for over 24 hours! It's been a fantastic show - I've blogged by candlelight and walked the Showground for four days to the point of exhaustion. It was not until this morning that I was able to get out my little Malvern Trail journal - my trail is documented in my blog posts (click on each one to follow if you wish). I'll post the paper trail once we are home and it is finished. My pic below shows what one can do with unfinished or unwanted journals - turn them into firebricks!

a use for old journals!