25 February 2012

Postcards and Daffodils

Last Sunday David and I went to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, an outlet centre and where the Spinnaker Tower is situated.  A lovely if cold day out we enjoyed views of the harbour from the coffee shop at the bottom of the tower and these are the sights from my mobile and camera
Enjoying a coffee
Watching an Isle of Wight fastcat

Looking up at the Spinnaker Tower

A figurehead and a dockyard crane of the other side of the dock
 Those blue skies could be somewhere exotic, but who would believe it was in Portsmouth on a Sunday lunchtime!

On the postcard theme I received 2 more fabric painted postcards.

The black with blue metallic paint feathers is from Alice and the yelow/blue/red one is from Janet.

I also made a birthday postcard for Barbara in Harrogate, who requested flowers.  I had intended making some hexagon folded flowers (like I made for my sewing machine cover recently) but someone else beat me to it.  I then made some hydrangea flowers by fusing two pieces of fabric together and cutting small squares to fold into the centre and hold in place with cross stitches and beads.
Daffodils?  Well I've signs of spring and its lovely to see daffodils making an appearance when out and about.  When doing the midweek shop I saw that Tesco had bunches of daffodils for sale for just £1and I could not resist I had to have them.  Friends on my facebook page will have seen the progress from bud to flowers in just day.  So here they are

 Day one, bought home earlier that day and put into water they are raring to go!
 Day two all the buds are opening out
Day three (today) they are really going great guns! These daffodils are really magical!

This week will see me going with my friend Brenda to the Kingcombe Centre, a residential centre run by Dorset Wildlife Trust where we are part of the West Country Embroiderers doing a course with embellishing machines tutored by Sandra Coleridge.  Hopefully have lots of lovely things to show from that.  While I am away my room is being decorated.  This afternoon we (mostly) emptied it out in readiness for redecoration and I took a photo just this evening.

What a lot of space, didn't seem like it before with all my clutter.  You don't want to see the spare room right now.  It's a good job that no-one is staying with us at present - lol!

18 February 2012

Friday Night Sew In - Saturday Catch Up

I have been out today to a 3 Corner Workshop day organised by Jean, so this is the earliest I could post what I did last night.

I used the Friday night to sew my cardigan together.  This was started about a year ago with some yarn that I bought in Whitby in January last year.  I have posted about its progress before, but I finished the knitting during the Christmas holidays and so using this time to get it all done.  Here's the result
A little disappointed after all the work that the yarn curls dreadfully and  the panel on the left I have pinned to make it lie flat and the curl is shown on the panel on the right.  I shall try blocking the cardigan and see if that will make a difference.

Here is the results of today's workshop day.  There are 3 mini workshops to make small items and the tutors that Jean chooses are different each year so there is always something inspirational to come away with.  I made a little quilted book (though still have hearts on the back and inside to do - that shouldn't take long), a couple of different types of Dorset button (the left one is the traditional Cartwheel and the right is a Bird's Eye) and fabric card with folded insert.
 And David has not been idle while I was out.  He's made a start on decorating my room and has given me some extra storage in the inbuilt wardrobe.  I so need this.

 Have a good weekend

16 February 2012

Friday Night Sew in

It's come around quickly and I've added my name to the listing on Heidi's blog.  I'll try to remember (I did last time, but although it was quite late in the evening, I managed some sewing!)  This time I will be sewing some knitting.  I have a cardigan that is in the process of sewing up on the agenda for tomorrow evening.  If you are taking part have an enjoyable evening tomorrow.

Fabric Painting

This year in the BQL Postcard group there have been monthly technique challenges which I have joined in with.  The first one is fabric painting.  I do enjoy playing with paints and on Saturday made a start on my fabric and see which I could use to make postcards.  I had already used blue, turquoise and yellow to make a smudgy bluey-greeny background and when dry I then sponged over purple paint through a checkerboard stencil. It's actually called a mask and used with cardmaking.  Here's the result of this piece of fabric.
The next day I used a large stamp to stamp a fleur de lys over the fabric.  I did approximate where the stamps went so when I came to make up the postcards they weren't centred.  I started with gold paint but it didn't show that well so I went over them with some black which showed up a lot better.  By the time I got to later stamps I ran out of the gold on my makeshift palette (top of washed margarine tub) so they were black with gold specks.  They have a sort of medieval style about them, I liked the look of this and might have another go.
 And below are the completed postcards and a close up of one of them.

Want to see the backs?  Here we are
The top left one is another fabric painted piece from a while ago, the top right is shaving foam printing, the middle ones are shibori dyed from a workshop (again quite a while ago) and the bottom two are hand dyed fabrics (not mine though).  

So my other piece of fabric is this and I took photos as I worked. I used three colours here red, yellow and purple onto a damp piece of white cotton.
 Splodged over the yellow
 then the other two colours
 scrunched up the fabric and rubbed it between my hands to merge the paint.  I didn't make the fabric quite damp enough so the paint did not merge as well as the blue one. 
 After drying (with a hair dryer) I then used a couple of stencils - the floral one above in bronze
and a brick one through some fruit bag netting (the type that comes from Sainsbury's apples in red. 

Here is the fabric completed.  This will get used but not sure with what yet.

Lastly, I've received some from the group in the past few days
These were from Jacquie (at the top) and Janet (bottom) and Alice (right) all using different methods of painting fabric.  A very interesting challenge.

08 February 2012

Losing It - still

Last May I wrote about losing weight when I gained my certificate for the first stone lost. This week marks a year of losing weight.  I have been going to the Rosemary Conley class run by Sandie in Moordown at Epiphany School and before that, the class in Winton, Bournemouth for the past year.  I started off at 12 stone, 12.5 lbs (that's 185lbs, or 81.87 kilos) and getting too big for size 16 clothes and what pushed me to get going with this was that I didn't want to go into size 18.  So after moving back down South I decided I needed a push - it was all very well getting the magazines promising lose half a stone in a week and all that and not following up.  It has had it's ups and downs but after this year I have lost nearly 2.5 stones and weigh 10 stone 7.5 pounds (147.5lbs or 66.9 kilos).

This is what 12st 12.5 looked like, take just before our move back in January last year.  This photo was taken by David at Robin Hood's Bay on our final Yorkshire fling...
Just look at that fat face (and everything else!).

The photo below was about May last year, (photographing my mirrored image) when I was seeing what fitted and what didn't.  The weight was coming off quite well, though this time I actually fitted into size 16 clothes.
By the end of the summer I threw out the beige linen trousers - they just kept falling down!

This is how I am now, as David took a photo of me in my size 14 dress.  As you can see looking a lot thinner but still "work in progress".  I am not sure at this point what my target will be but I figure it would be about 9.5 stones (133 lbs, 60 kilos) so just over a stone to lose.

This spring and summer should see me with a whole new wardrobe as I guess what I wore last year may just be too big now!

As part of the pack with the diet instructions comes a Magic Measure with holes in inch increments.  There are markers some of which stay in place and some are movable, so one can measure progress in measurements.  Sometimes the loss may not be weight but in measurements and here are mine.

Bust was 44" now 40", waist was 41" now 35", hips were 44" now 39".  I was wondering my my trouser legs are baggy and that's because my thighs were 23" and now 20.5".  My upper arms have also reduced in size from 17" to just over 12". 

So although I've not been the fastest loser in the world it has been steady and I enjoy going to class not only the friendliness of the class, you always get chatting to someone even if you don't know them and I especially enjoy the exercise as I feel a lot fitter too.

03 February 2012

It's been a while...

...since I last posted.  I've not been idle though and I have a few photos to share.  First of all at the end of January were 2 postcards to be posted to people in the postcard Birthday swap.  The first one is to Janet on 26th, who, third year running has requested a pink postcard and here is my effort for this year.

A design that I go back to from time to time of fabric weaving with the addition of ribbon, a button and a lace daisy.  The second one for Lesley, whose birthday on 28th, shares the same day as my daughter Sarah, requested windows.  I found the inspiration in this picture square in attic window setting here.
I had made both the cards and the one earlier this month during my Christmas break.

During the month of January Kandy at BQL (British Quilt List) issued a new (non swap) challenge this year called Patchwork with a Purpose and I had already started on a sewing machine cover well before the end of last year.  I have decorated with appliques, buttons and other bits so here is my cover on 31 January
Almost done, just binding to be added.  After it was added on 1st Feb it now looks like this.

An orphan quarter triangle square, a zip, name badge, little scissors from a travel sewing kit, a square from a fabric with quilters sayings are included.

This side has a pocket made with two cat prints, another quilters saying block, japanese style flowers with button middles, woven ribbons and tape with tape measure markings are included in this side.  I was pleased with this bit of art work and there is space to add more if I want to on the gusset section up the sides and across the top of the cover.

In an earlier post I mentioned about going to an embellisher course at the end of February and having seen an article in Stitch magazine to make a case (like the size of a spectacle case) with felted fibres, my friend Brenda and myself decided to have a go and here is my effort

The flowers and leaves will be outlined by machine quilting, so this is just at the embellished stage only.  I'm pleased that I have managed to get this much done for January.

February will bring more swaps as I take part in a Fabric Painting swap in the postcard group (6 postcards), another birthday postcard to make, an embellished postcard. There will be another Dresden Plate block and also knitting needle holder or rotary cutter case to make for patchwork with a purpose (should I have time to make it!).  During this month there'll also be a workshop day with 3 mini workshops in Parkstone organised by Jean as well as the course at the end of the month.  Phew, I'm glad there's an extra day this month, I think I need it!