Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Whoo Hoo!

It seems like ages ago now when were were snowed in.  We have a fairly steep drive and because of the weird freezing rain after the powdery stuff leaving a thick layer of ice over everything we couldn't get out. We are used to being prepared, even though it rarely happens.  Living in a little village does make  you more aware. Anyway, it was all over in a jiffy, pretty while it lasted.

I did take advantage and try some snow dying! Not something I'd done before and, as we were all talking about it in the WoW FB group, several of us decided to have a go. 

I'd seen on youTube several versions of applying the dyes and opted for the straight powder way.  the strength of the colours looked promising to start with but, even though I had pre soaked with soda ash, I was a little disappointed with the results. 

I have a large box of quite strongly dyed colours already so perhaps it isn't such a bad idea I have some softer tones to add to them. 

The WW1 Sawdust heart arrived. I asked the organisers if it was OK to make another identical heart of my own to put in our village church and they said yes, a lovely idea. I had a Dorset Artist woodturner friend of mine, Darren Wheeler collect some of his sawdust and make one I did! 

Despite packing it in as hard as I could it was still slightly smaller than the original but you'd have to look hard to notice and they are not going to be next to one another. They both have the names of our fallen on the back on silk too.

I know the village had a bigger population back then but to lose 15 men, and several of them from the same families, must have been quite a blow to the area.  The official one has been sent off and the other is waiting for me to take it to the church later in the year. 

Speaking of the church, I will be holding my Dorset Art Weeks there this time with fellow Dorset Artist Karren Burkett.  Though I loved being at home with John and the dogs last time it was still a bit strange having all those people turn up at my house!  Also the new church warden is hoping to try to have the church used more as a community space, not just by a dozen or so every other Sunday.  It does have a lovely, light area to use too so when he asked me if I'd like to do something there the Art Weeks seemed the logical thing.  Hopefully it will make others see it as a valuable part of the community too.  

Something I have made for the Art Weeks, along with the pincushions, are some zipped pouches. 

These little bits are the equivalent of a painter's cards.  The little things people can buy and they help cover the basic costs of holding the event.  Once those costs are covered I can put money towards the dog rescue charities.  

I also had a frame made for the finished Earth's Treasures.

Really pleased with how it looks framed up.  I'll be happy to keep that on my wall.  

Yet another Dorset Artist Colleen du Pon who I have shown with and who's skills I have used before, has made me another hanger for the Ammonites piece.  She did one for me for the last Art Weeks.  It's just perfect. 

I've been rather sad to read of several reports of Etsy turning into not such a nice place to sell.  As well as the place being overwhelmed with the NOT handmade stuff, it's now selling awful cards mocking Harvey Price and other tasteless items and not banning them from being sold.  I have an Etsy and was going to go back there but I am now definitely staying with Folksy! After the Art Weeks anything unsold will be listed.

Finally, I'm feeling fab!  I had a phone call from my surgeon last week and he said the biopsy from the tumour removal came back as good.  The iron infusion has kicked in and spring is in the air!  What more could I ask for? I have an appointment to see him tomorrow so he can sign me off and life can move again.

Have a wonderful week ahead!! 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Getting My Head Down

As well as copious nana Naps, all to aid recovery of course, I have actually been in the studio beading! I have to be a little careful of my sitting position though and leaning forward over the desk can be painful after a while but I'm learning! 

This is a nice piece of Ocean Jasper and a little fossil bead into a scarf pin or brooch.

This one, a Fern Agate, I had to bezel bead rather than bead embroider.

Its see through you see and that would be lost with a backing.  The depth is amazing.  Lovely bit of stone.

And this is a drusy in a hand cut Cheetah Agate.  I backed the drusy with gold kid leather.

I'm still collecting Iron Age ideas and making notes.  It's always amazing to think I walk in the steps of villagers of over 2500 years.  I know in the garden we have found Roman glass and nails, wish I could remember where I put them!  Our friend's farm along the valley also featured in a Time team a few years ago.  Simons Time Team Episode is here should you be interested.   I also have found copious oyster shells and we are 20 miles north of Poole Harbour.  I just want to find something Iron Age and I'd be over the moon.  Eyes are always peeled on dog walks! 

I'm now off to sit and bead for a bit more. Have a great week! 

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Nice Bit of News

Well the current view is a bit drab. 
The tumour came out yesterday. I wont miss it. Biopsy results in a week or two.  Great for weight loss I hope!  All I’ve eaten since Thursday is some mashed potato and that little pot of ice cream. As everything was done fabulously by keyhole, 5 of the blighters to be exact, there was hope I might go home today but things went a bit squiffy so I’m staying in another night. Better safe than sorry with a chunk of the old tum missing.  Anyway I did have the delightful news this afternoon that my Snowdrops piece was voted 3rd in Vistors Chioce at the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival!  I’m over the moon! There are an awful lot of amazing entires to this so super pleased. 
I have my knitting and notebook and thank goodness for the internet. Now I just have to work on getting my temperature down and things working in the right direction and I’ll be home anoying John before long.    

Sunday, 4 February 2018

It's Being Used!

The huge piece is being added to and my little pile of empty thread winders and covers is growing. It may not seem much but it is to me! 

The piece itself has had lots of stuff added to embed the plastic canvas pieces in.  

At the moment it's far too busy and needs some calming measures! I will work on it.  

The village we live in has Iron Age roots.  This has been extensively explored and dug by the local architects and university over the years and there are a few papers on it all. This field in front of the house (to the right in my header banner)

and this one to the rear

Both had Iron Age villages in them.  This is the rear field and if you know what you're looking for you can see the outline of the enclosure and pens. 

I have been gathering information on what I open my curtains and look out on over the past couple of years and decided it's about time I put something together!  According to the finds the villages were of high status foundry works. Lots and lots of metalwork for farm implements but also a large quantity of wagon and chariot fittings as well as weapons.  All, to me, fascinating stuff!  So, that is what I'm trying to put together in the piece up above.  

The plastic canvas pieces are supposed to represent a sword sheath and shield boss.  The rest of the mayhem is the concealing earth.  The only downside of the piece is it's size at 24 inches square!  It's certainly going to be a show stopper!  I now remember why doing  small work is a good idea.  The other ideas in my head, and even in my notebook, will be on a much smaller scale. 

I have still been falling asleep at silly times and feeling like a limp dishrag most of the time.  Yesterday I spent the day in the hospital where I finally had the Iron transfusion. 

I was hoping to feel better instantly but no, the effects can take 10 - 14 days to start being noticed.  At least it's in me and working now! 

I did put together a pile of pin cushions for the up coming Open Studios.  

I have found that most people would like to buy something from you even if they can't afford the larger pieces and these, and a few books I'm hoping to make, fit the bill!! 

This week I also had a delivery from Ikea. I found these hanging pots for my Ikea trolleys. 

Not really what they're meant for but the small ones were only 50p so how could I say no, and they're not that small either. 

I've been almost having a bit of a clear out when I've felt a bit more energetic and I hope these will help my sort the stuff better! 

My two nurses have been wonderful looking after me this week but they're all demanding lunch now. 

Have a great week!! 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Using it Up

I have started a new piece this week. Its quite large for me and should end up at 24 inches square. One thing Elsa found and brought round to me one day was a rather large bag full of all the cross stitch threads I had used over the years. Believe me when I tell you I have loads of end of project threads! I’ve gone from the days of saving literally every single inch I could as I didn't have the spare cash to buy more to now just throwing them all at a project to finally use them up. Its really quite liberating!

These pieces I have sewn onto so plastic canvas for a bit of body and structure.

I’m now merging them into the background using up more stuff I've hoarded. Lovely work to do whilst in brain still not working right mode. 

I’ve been putting the photos on my Instagram page, Amo107, and using the #useupthecraftstuff. Feel free to use it too! 

I am waiting for another call from the hospital as I urgently need an iron transfusion apparently.  Iron is far too low, explains brain not working, and they need it higher before they operate. I’m downing enough iron tablets a day to go rusty already.  

All a waiting game, not able to plan and January has all but gone.  

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Making Progress

Ive been home from hospital since Tuesday afternoon. Apart from being with John and smothered in dogs the best part, of course is being in my own bed! Oh, and the silence.  Why is it night staff are so unaware that its our night and we want to rest and get well? Since I've been home Knowle Dawn, shown HERE, has gone off to be a part of the Welcome ‘18 exhibition at Shaftesbury as I will be showing there again in September.  The town of Shaftesbury also has a Snowdrop Festival, which you can read about HERE if you're interested, and I have made this piece to be entered. 
The whole thing is made in silk and the words are, ‘Nor will I then thy modest grace forget, chaste snowdrop, venturous harbinger of spring and pensive monitor of fleeting years’ By Wordsworth. Still to be framed which we will be doing later.  Also a frame needed for this piece I've just backed. Just a little exercise in colour, shape, form, balance really but I'm pleased with it. 
Ilex Punctorum
Other than that you can probably understand things have been a little slow around here. My energy levels are rock bottom, I have a long way to go to get over the anaemia, but I'm not in any rush. I have my own consultant this afternoon and a endoscopic ultrasound specialist next week and then hopefully we will have a plan to get this thing out.  In the mean time I feel like Jadzea Dax with her symbiont.  I did have one highlight on my stay in hospital, my wonderful friend Nat spotted that pets were allowed on the ward and so she brought Miss Dimple in to see me. 
She was an absolute star, not a paw out of place even with two of the ladies having their nebulisers on full blast. She only has her paws on my lap as I encouraged her to for the photo as I couldn't bend down.  She would make a perfect PAT dog. Love GSPs so much!  I may now have a gentle potter around the studio.  At least sort of tidying is constructive!  PS I’ve used Blogpad Pro again and really quite pleased with it!   

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Not Quite as Planned

So the New Year decided to go a bit squiffy with another tummy bleed. On Tuesday 2nd John found me unconscious on the bathroom floor and I don't remember a thing about it. Anyway ambulance took me in and I've had the scope down and they found a GIST bleeding.  Ive had a couple of these. 
If you are an O pos donor and have had a message to say your donation has been used, it could be me!  To any of you donors, thank you.  I used to do it but of course can’t since becoming anaemic and having transfusions in the past. 
It was at the furthest reach of his scope but they managed to cauterise it but the tumour will still have to come out. CT scan first to see if there are any more.  
In the meantime my view is a bit on the bland side. Those blue ceiling lights are actually changing colour all the time through the whole spectrum. It’s for a soothing atmosphere. 
I have my knitting and thank goodness for good internet! YouTube is having a good airing! The decs are probably still up and its 12th night so I'm not sure when they will be down. Perhaps they can stay up until next year I just don’t have the energy.
I’m trying out this BlogPad Pro as Blogsy and Blogger don’t seem to work for me anymore, apologies if text too small and photos too large etc but its just nice to communicate. 
Pass the Sudoku.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Bye 2017!

This past year must have been one of the fastest on record!  Yes I know it still had 365 days but I swear there's been a time warp somewhere! I can remember things like the charity walks for MacMillian and GSP Rescue Trust and the long time spent in hospital but there's a lot of blur in between.  That's where blogs are handy, if you keep them up, just to remind you.

We had a lovely Christmas.  We started the day with the dogs opening their Secret Santapaws presents.  

It's another charity based event and such great fun. 

You are paired with someone with the same number of dogs as yours so it's very fair too.

As well as treats they had toys and personalised towels, all very much enjoyed so thank you Secret Santapaws.

I have a new studio apprentice.

I could be vying for space in the not too distant future! Perhaps I should have signed Olivia up for the sketchbook challenges too as she is such a good artist.

Yesterday was our Twixtmas Pointy Blast.  

Most of the gang
This year we travelled down to West Wittering and the weather was so kind to us considering the horrid storms we've been having! 

The light level was still quite low so a lot of the photos are a bit on the dark side. 

It was fabulous to see 18 dogs all having so much fun together and not a cross word between them as always. 

Even little Tully is one of the mob. 
Willow, Tully and Talis

It's an amazing beach for dogs as there is nowhere for them to go and it's huge when the tide is out.  there were several other dog groups and plenty of room to zoom.

In preparation for tomorrow's new year I have joined the 30 day Sketchbook Challenge with Susan of Magenta Sky and the January Challenge with 64 Million Artists.  Both promise to be quick think things so lets see how long I last with those! 

I've braced myself for a new round of healthy eating, not diet.  I am, one day, actually going to win on that score too.  Tum does suffer a fair bit since the gallbladder op so even more reason to try and get it right! 

My email box has been having a major clear out too ready for the new year.  I've unsubscribed from more places than I care to think about but that should me less time sifting through the rubbish! 

John is spending today playing with his motorbike in the garage so I'm putting something Moroccan in the slow cooker and going to play in the studio.  

I've chosen Complete as a word for the New Year.  I have plenty on that score to try and get on with!! 

Have a happy, healthy and creative New Year!

Monday, 18 December 2017


I've been on a bit of a roll lately and I'm loving it! 

I've organised more of my collected junk into another Junk Journal to go with the one I made in September HERE.

Plenty of writing pages and places to tuck things in.

I made a piece inspired by a beautiful sunrise one morning on our dog walk.  19.5 x 8 inches.

Knowle Dawn
Rock of Ages finally had a backing put on.  I'm just waiting for the hanger to be forged by Colleen du Pon and it will be complete. 
Rock of Ages
And I'm now working on a piece taken from the edge of a holly leaf.  

I hope this momentum keeps up!!