The fabric of FebruaryRead Now
My dearly departed maternal grandmother Rene, has occupied my mind a lot today. She was born in 1913 and lived until she was 91 , so I was very priviledged to have known her as adult to adult. For 65 years of her life, February 28th was her birthday.
(Now; this is how much the digital age has changed things.....)
When she was 65 and due to retire from her job she applied for her birth certificate to hand into the Inland Revenue so as she could apply for her 'old age her pension', as they called it in those days.
When her Birth Certificate arrived she not only found out that her birthday was infact February 24th; but she was also only 64. Which meant she had to go back to work for another year until she could retire! Oh how the world has changed since 1978. The photo is of her as a baby sat on her mother's knee.(My Great Grandmother) Surrounded by her brothers, sisters and father Thomas who was a Tinsmith. The eldest son (Walter; I think?, middle back) is actually an adult by the time my grandmother was born. Her initials were I.E.D which I think is very apt, as I'll always remember her as a little firecracker.
I wish that the people who design black bin bags on a roll; would put two little yellow tags at the top of the opening to make it easier to pull them apart. I've wasted too much time today trying to open the top of them. (It's bin day tommorrow).
Seriously; it really is rubbish, Aint nobody got the time for dat!...(Maybe I should design some with a special easy opening feature?, then I could really say 'Bin' there, done that!
Bin-bag designers?...I'd 'sack' 'em all!
Well, some of you amateur detectives out there may have worked out; in my world B.O.A.B stands for 'Been on a Bender'.
I am blessed to have some really good friends and occasionally I get an invite for dinner a couple of nights in a row; which in itself, may lead to some shenanigans.
Anyway I'm back on track today (Literally!).
I've entered the Spoonflower Art Deco Challenge with my Tyre Print design fabric.
When I had designed the final layout for the fabric, I thought wow that's actually quite 'Art Deco'.
I then happened to notice the next 'Spoonflower Challenge' was Art Deco themed so decided to enter. I will be using this fabric as a side panel in some of the Traveller Tartan hats I am making.
It seems that the fabric in the Spoonflower competiton is for use as bedding; and I like that idea too. It's a great alternative to all the chintzy prints available at the moment. I'm hoping that it will also be a hit with all those m.a.m.i.l.s out there. (Middle aged men in lycra, who love cycling!).
(I hate to 'pump up' my own designs but what do you reckon, will I end up feeling 'deflated'?)
I've been wrapped up in fabric again today.
I've been tweaking a new fabric design that I'll probably be using along side my tartan in some of my hats. It's quite Art Deco, as well as the intended print. So I may enter it into an Art Deco themed 'Spoonflower' competition next week. (Spoonflower are a printer of surface patterns).
Here's a sneak preview, can you guess what the theme is?
Another beautiful; bright, crisp, cold day again today. Although; it was warm outside when I spent a couple of hours clearing the undergrowth, which was a really good way of blowing the cobwebs away.
Billy Graham got a call up from his boss today (tbh I had no idea he was still alive). 99 is a good age to leave this mortal coil. Annoyingly; as I've been working today in the garden I managed to get an earworm stuck in my head.
It's the last words of a song; which are 'Oh Lord Billy Graham'.
I've been trying to think which song ends with these lyrics; and my first though was 'The only boy who could ever reach me' ...(was the son of a preacher man). When I've googled the words nothing comes up; so I'm stuck with these lyrics floating around in my head, possibly like Billy Graham is floating around in the afterlife? Does anyone know the answer?
Yesterday was a C.B.A. day. Do any of you ever have them? (Can't be *rsed day).
Sometimes I just want to whittle spoons; sat in a rocking chair on the porch watching the wildlife.
The internet can totally take over your life.
I talk to a lot of creative people who hate the fact that they spend more time online dealing with advertising, sales, blogging, tweeting, instagramming etc etc than they do creating things.
I'm someone who spent years without electricity, running water and many of the luxuries most people in the western world take for granted. So occasionally I just want to think and look.
(But,.....................I may also have had a hangover from 'being' the wildlife the night before?).
Anyway; 'cap in hand' I got back in the sewing seat today started some hats and made a silver ring set with an opal. Lesson for today?
'Don't watch the wildlife'; 'Be the wildlife'.....though maybe not!
I read an interesting article today about Burberry. It was saying how Christopher Bailey was leaving Burberry and how he had helped turn around the brand; but, 'check' out that hat on the model. It's quite similar in design to my tartan; and funnily enough the two-tone pure cotton twill lining fabric I use, is reputed to be an order made for Burberry which they didn't end up using. (To be honest it feels such good quality I think it probably is?). Oh well their loss is my hat department's gain.
So my linings are no ordinary linings; they are Fab-ric too, like the tartan!
Well did the earth move for you today? (see link above). Me personally?, Well I didn't feel a thing!. (That could be due to no sense, no feeling though).
With the reported minor earthquake felt across a lot of England and Wales today, I must say I was totally unaware of it. Maybe my vintage sewing machine muffled the effect of the quake, who knows? I do wonder though, if it was caused by a slight shift in the axis of the earth as everybody ran outside in the U.K. when they saw that the sun was actually shining!...
Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog! Here's a Pekinese dog lantern for 2018, carried by Fu Bats (which are very lucky in China). Let's hope it's a lucky year for dogs too and people stop eating them.....please be nice to each other and animals. X
Feeling fed-up of February already? Don't despair, tomorrow is Chinese New Year!
It's the Chinese year of the dog; and let's hope that big pooch will come and lap up all the melancholy from winter and make a clean sweep with it's wagging tail. (Wait a minute, do I sound a little 'barking'?)
I've been busy sewing today and I've made an alternative 'golfers' style flat cap with plain black wool side panels, whaddya reckon? (Oh dear, I've just noticed I've snapped them doggy style.....)
There's a Scottish term which sums up the weather we've been having recently perfectly, "Dreek".
This type of weather always seems to be harder to bear when your home is poorly lit but, you can't go outside due to the elements. I've been trying to take some photos of my Traveller Tartan to upload onto the web, but failing miserably due to the low natural light levels.
Hey ho; I cheered myself up by looking at some old sunny pics, including this one of me from the cover of Festival Eye magazine 1998.
On a serious note I thought it was brilliant that Miranda Hart was on Twitter all day to speak with anybody who felt lonely on Valentine's Day. (Let's hope she doesn't respond with dropping her trousers to reveal she's wearing massive knickers, just like her character does in Miranda).
I think it's a good idea if on Valentine's day; people refocused on the love they receive from their friends and family, rather than romantic love. I feel blessed to have such good friends. Sending love out to.... (I was going to say all of my readers, but I'm on the free weebly website and can't see if I have any haha)......anyone who's reading this X
Woah! was it windy and rainy last night. It can be quite hard to get a decent nights sleep when the walls are flexing, believe you me. I'm amazed my clown teapots didn't become lemmings and walk off the mantlepiece. I can't wait until the warmer weather is here though, and I can re-decorate my old Circus Wagon. (I've already designed a leopard's head wall stencil using the word Lolly in a 'Vision On' type of way, which I am very pleased with). Yes, this spring will definately be bringing more colour than usual. I can azure you!
Early this morning I was walking around site snapping pics of various frost patterns and had to do a double take when I saw this reflection of myself in a solar panel. I couldn't quite work out which bit was which?.
If that small bit at the top of the shadow is my head, then I'm now wondering if I have any shrew genes? (see previous posts)
On the positive side; I won't need much Traveller Tartan to make myself a hat! but, I could end up in Whitby Museum some day :-0
Here's a pic of the finished cap from two different angles. I think it's worked quite well.
I've now started making a slightly different one, and I'll keep on tweaking the pattern until I've used up all the fabric I've woven on the loom. (I wonder if I manage to sell a few, will that make me a potential 'Cap'italist?...I suspect not, just a mad hatter). I've got such a 'brim' full of wordplay, it's 'pun'damonium here!
Feb 10th Well, if you read yesterday's post and were intrigued as to what the fishy thing was, well here's the answer.....
It's a different style of flat cap. Made with my own hand woven traveller tartan, using pure merino blend wool and hand made by me. Seriously, it would be hard to find a more 'haute couture' hat. I've added a cartwheel button on the back or front depending on which way it is worn.
In pic 2 I think it looks a bit 'Super Mario'?; but, I'm going to be stitching the top and the peak together so that it is more of a golfing cap style. (Not that I've ever; or am ever likely to play golf! which is ironic as I have been 'putting' in the hours making this hat), how many you ask?.......Fore! (plus some more)..
Hot off the ironing board!...Friday night and I'm home alone again, and on a mission. Not wishing to quote that 'persona non grata - Rolf'...Can you tell what it is yet?
I'll give you a clue- It is not a God Cod. (The fishy thing Christians have on the back of their cars; which shows other Christians that they are swinmming in the same pond, which then makes Goths want to have their chips and eat them).
Question no. 2 -..Is it a good idea to use a steam iron in a badly lit room after a couple of voddies?.. Answers on a postcard to Musgrave Hospital, Taunton. (Hopefully not)....
I'm finding it hard to concentrate on just one thing today. Does anyone else have a folder of Inventions and a folder of Unexplained Theories in their filing system I wonder? (please leave a comment and let me know if you do?)
To add to all the jobs I've got on the go at the moment; I now also want to enter an 'invention competition' with an item I've thought about which could be very useful. So my brain feels like a pinball; bouncing from idea to idea with the various novel devices/artwork etc etc lighting up different areas.
Whilst running between sheds today I found a dead shrew, poor thing looked so sweet. I couldn't help but think that their lives are probably as busy and as hectic as mine, just in a very different way. I read an amazing fact about shrews though. Common shrews have evolved an amazing adaptation to survive through the winter. Their skulls shrink by nearly 20% and their brains get smaller by as much as 30%. Their other organs also lose mass and their spines get shorter. Their total body mass drops by about 18% as a result. When spring arrives, they grow until they reach roughly their original size. Scientists believe that dropping temperatures trigger their bodies to breakdown bones and tissues and absorb them. As temperatures start to rise with the onset of spring, their bodies start to rebuild the lost bones and tissues. This significantly reduces their food requirements and increases their chances of survival in the winter. Imagine if that happened to humans? It would be like a scene from Beetlejuice or Whitby Museum when I was young!
I nipped out to walk the dog and cats today and had to marvel at what a glorious day it was. Bright sun but crispy under foot. Nature's colours seem so much more vibrant on these spring days. It really helps to blow away the winter cobwebs. Cabin Fever lifted!, thanks to the Pussy Willow which was a joy to stand amongst. I'm sure I could hear it purring?.
Ok so I know I should 'button' my lip and stop whining on about the dreaded button holes; but, have you seen the 'attachment foot of doom' that comes with my sewing machine for doing the deed?
It's so scary; and, this is from someone who as a child was fascinated by the 'hand' of glory in Whitby Museum. (The hand of glory was the only known surviving relic which was used in witchcraft for burglary. Whereby the cured hand of a hanged man was reputed to give burglars who use it as a macabre candle holder, the ability to enter houses undetected.) (Well that and the shrunken heads which have now been repatriated in New Zealand,...... yes, I was a strange child?). Yeah, well back to the button hole foot.. I've decided I'm giving it the boot!
It seems too complex so it's back to basics and I might even do it by hand.. (But, I wont be using the 'Hand of Glory')..
And it's back to sewing. As you may know I've been leaving the button holes on the waistcoat until last, and wishing that there would be a kind of 'elves and shoemaker' scenario where by they'd be miraculously sewn in the night. Not surprisingly that hasn't happened. I'm now planning out several hats to make too, from the woven fabric left over from cutting out the waistcoat. I'm like a spinning top bouncing all over, cutting out hat patterns and sewing scarves whilst avoiding the elephant in the room 'button holes'. I've also designed a velvet cushion for a competition on SurfacePatternPrint for Valentines Day. I had to upload a pic onto Instagram which took me a while to work out as my phone wouldn't let me download the app. I wanted the design to look like one of those 1950's velvety U.V. mexican style cushions but with a chainsaw on it, (forget about the flowers). What do you reckon?
I went to Rockaway Park today, it's a scrap yard by Bristol with an Arty twist. It's a very positive happy atmosphere and there are lots of metal sculptures to see, paintings, a blacksmith, acoustic sessions, cafe, tattoo studio, the list goes on. The weather was chilly but there was a lovely big fire pit to warm your cockles by. I also caught up with lots of friends too which topped the day off.
And I can't believe I've finally worked out how to post so that the most recent blog is at the top of the page!. I've searched online for a couple of months trying to find out how to get the page to automatically add new posts at the top, but the main gripe seems to be that there is no facility to allow this to happen on this type of site. Then I had a moment of enlightenment...just physically post it at the top Duuurrrr! Thank-you to those people who have been reading my blog and had the patience to scroll to the bottom of the page to read the most recent post though! It's amazing how something so simple can seem so complicated sometimes!
Here I am wearing the hat that fits!..It's one of the outfits for a dance routine I did at Barbara Benson's School of Dance in Whitby, I think I was probably aged 13 ish?..Yes that's me Loll Golding U.K.A.P.T.D. (United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Tap Dancers)...(just don't ask me how to post a blog at the top of a page hehe)
I've managed to locate some brass cart wheel buttons and they arrived in the post today. Inside the envelope was a paper bag which contained the buttons, which was a nice 'old fashioned' way to receive them. I really like them and think they'll look 'wheely' good with my tartan, the only downside is that I'll have to make button holes for them HELP!
When we were children if Dr Who had a scary bit in it, we used put our coats over our heads and peep through the button holes to watch it. That way it didn't seem so scary. I can't believe I'm now scared of sewing 'actual' button holes haha.....
So February is upon us; the season of frozen roses in the night and confused wasps who wake up when the woodburner is roaring, then perish in the cold. Animals and plants alike must be confused by our confusing seasons? In the meantime I'm dealing with confusing button holes and confusing computer programs, first world problems eh? But I must say this weather is perfect for a bit of Travelling the Road merino wool woven tartan, I wish I'd made myself some under garments in it now. Oh and I've 'cotton'ed on to a slightly cheaper fabric printer/supplier so I've ordered 2 metres to see what their quality is like. I've decided to call the square scarves I've made 'neckerchiefs' as I like the description on wikipedia - 'a scarf traditionally worn by workers in the field'. I may have to rustle up one of those 1930's style 'workers in the field ' type posters to advertise them.
Hmmm, I might be short but I'm never short of ideas!
The day to day life of a Somerset Artist