Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Stitching Art for the classroom

After a morning thinking about the next round of UCAS applications, personal statements and references I needed a break. It was time to complete those curve stitching projects that I’d promised before we broke up for the summer. I pretty much decided which designs I was going to attempt last night when I went through one of my favourite books Curve Stitching by Jon Millington published by Tarquin. It’s a book that I spent a few years trying to get hold of and eventually found a copy at a seminar I went to last year. It was a useless conference but this book and another on Geometrical Quilting made the day more than worthwhile. Anyway, I didn’t follow the patterns exactly but used them as inspiration. I have made four designs based on concentric circles, one using a square and it’s diagonals and a final one based on a hexagon made into a two-dimensional representation of a cube. These give you just a tiny glimpse into what is possible with curve stitching…
This picture illustrates how I made my pricking pattern. Here I started with a circle of radius 6cm divided into eighths. Each radius was then partitioned into twelve equal 12 parts. I then placed this pattern on top of my blue card and pricked through onto my felt mat.
The first four parabolas were stitched using a bright yellow thread but it doesn’t show up very well on the photo. I then chose to do the other four in a slightly more orange thread.
This is the completed eight-point star design. Ever so simple but a really nice effect I think.

Below are four of the other completed designs and a larger photo to show all six framed and ready to go up in Maths classrooms next week. I think the octagon with a beautiful flower inside is my personal favourite…
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I eventually finished these at about 8 o’clock and realised that I’d forgotten to eat! It’s amazing what crafting can do to me!!!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

One Wing Down

At just shy of 42 hours worth of work I have completed a wing! Hurrah!!!


The head and body are next on the agenda but I’m not entirely sure when I’ll get around to that. We’re approaching the time at which I tire of the back and finger ache as well as the constant concentration required. I’m beginning to feel the urge to do some more smaller projects. I offered to do some curve stitching for our Maths classrooms over the holiday. With just three actual holiday days left I’ve done exactly none so I’d better get cracking…

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Red Kite Update

Today I’ve completed my longest kiting session yet. 5 hours and 15 minutes later David returned home from a day birding in Norfolk and suggested that I’d done just 2 hours. I think the final hour count may come as a bit of a surprise to him if I ever manage to finish it!

Anyway, I’ve now been working at it for 33 hours and 40 minutes. This is the current state of play…


It wouldn’t be quite so bad if it was just the kite that needed stitching but there is a HUGE background to go with it. That was one of the reasons that we chose the design but I’m slightly regretting it right now!

Friday, 26 August 2011

Birth Samplers (with corrections)

Rebecca and I took a trip to Cardiff earlier this week to meet Arthur and Megan. They were totally adorable, very good for cuddles and even allowed their Mothers to have the night off to enjoy tapas and cocktails in town. It was a lovely day.
Unfortunately, I’d got Arthur’s birthday wrong (big fat whoops) so I had to bring it home and redo it. Now that I’ve completely redone the sampler, this time adding a googly eye, I can share them…

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Face painting at Drayton Manor Park

On Thursday, 11th August, Sarah, Katryn and I enjoyed a fun packed day at Drayton Manor Park in Tamworth. It was a brilliant day out and I took a few photos of a craftswoman at work while Katryn had her face painted. It’s a skill that I’ve never mastered. Having said that, I haven’t really had the chance to try it properly. The face paints that you can get from toy shops don’t really cut the mustard.
Katryn asked to be a magic cat. It was a beautiful piece of work but an absolute nightmare to get off…
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A visit to the Sculpture Park at Lake Vyrnwy

Mum and I took a little visit to Lake Vyrnwy yesterday (9th August, still struggling to get internet access) and although I didn’t know that it was there I quite enjoyed our stroll around their Sculpture Park. It was started by a local artist, Andy Hancock and contains dozens of wooden carved sculptures. The sculptures are all created by individual sculptors from as far afield as Australia. We were surprised how many sculptures were created by people from Latvia and Estonia. In addition to the Park itself there are other sculptures around the lake. We really liked the the enormous picnic benches in the shape of leaves and trees on the west side of the lake.

Following a little more research I found out that near the Old Village on the beach is a sculpture of dolphins, which when the lake rises in a flood, give the impression that they are jumping out of the water. Several totems can also be seen carved into standing trees, many others have been carved from fallen trunks and re-erected.

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In addition to visiting all of these sculptures I really enjoyed a mooch around the craft shop at Lake Vyrnwy. It gave me some more ideas for things that I could do myself…

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Last wedding of the year

Actually, strictly speaking it’s both the first and last wedding of the year. Guru and Lihua actually tied the knot in Shanghai in May but are having another reception over here in a few weeks. I really wish I could have been there to share in their special day and see Lihua in her three dresses. After all, it would have been my only chance to experience a real Chinese wedding. Unfortunately, the curse of the teacher struck as their chosen date lay in term time so there was no chance of me making the trip.

I’m very excited about the reception up North in a few weeks’ time though. They are having it in the Centre for Baltic Art in Gateshead and we are having a private viewing of the gallery in between the drinks reception and dinner. A wonderful idea…

To commemorate their marriage I’ve made them one of my stitched wedding samplers. This time I opted to use Stitching Cards dandelion design (slightly enlarged). It’s one of my favourites I think.

Lihua and Guru

I also put together a couple of birth samplers to stitch for the wonderful Arthur Anderson and Megan Thomas who were both born earlier this year. I’m really looking forward to meeting them and getting lots of cuddles later in August. Right now (Friday 29th July – had no decent internet access to upload this post since then) I’m on the train up to North Wales to get away from the big smoke and enjoy some overdue family time. I’ve got my cross-stitch with me so I’ll post an update at some stage to keep my husband happy. He keeps moaning that I’ve been neglecting it (which I really have) and says that he wants to see it hanging on the wall. That’s a long way off but his bribe of an offer of a present when I finish may motivate me just a little!

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