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!
Happy New Year Everyone!
(It's the Chinese year of the Dog, which probably explains why I am feeling woof?)
All the doors of the 'Advert Calendar' have now been closed (check out December 2017 in the archives of the blog page if you missed it), and now it's curtains for me!....
Yes, I always like to be producing something so during my Christmas hols I've been making new curtains for my 1930's Showman's wagon. The old pair were crushed red velvet with a gold trim, and the new ones are crushed red velvet with a gold trim...(Ok, I like red crushed velvet curtains with gold trims!).
However; I don't wish to blow my own trumpet but, I believe I may have produced the fanciest curtains in Circusdom. What do you think?
I've learnt a new skill today and it's riveting. Literally!
I thought I'd better make myself a bag to keep my 'Travelling the Road' tartan scarves and t-towels in as they don't look too 'business-like' in a Sainsbury's carrier bag.
The ingredients I used were-
A piece of 'Travelling the Road' hand woven wool tartan,
An old bicycle tyre I found outside,
A 100% cotton scarf lining,
A bag of shackles ,
A pack of tarpaulin eyelets,
Some square sew-on embellishments for Cat's-eyes.
Red, Amber, Green Glass beads.
As I had decided a new weaving loom was not in my price range at the moment, I bought a 1950's children's Spears Weaving loom to work out the thread count etc of the tartan I've designed. This type of loom allowed me to develop a fine weave tartan, but the process turned out to be far more complex than I could ever have imagined a simple line design could be.
To register a tartan with the Scottish Tartans Authority you need to know first the thread count, (how many threads of each colour and in what order etc); the sett, whether it's a diagonal repeat etc etc. There are companies which will help you design a tartan but they want a nice cut per yard if it's woven.
Anyway, with all the experimenting I did to get the right thread count,colours etc. it's meant that I've now got some nice samples of the fabric in it's development. Hence the piece of tartan I used in this bag.
I decided to use a tyre in the design as it's representative of travelling and it makes it chunky and funky. The shackles and eyelets? well, they're just plain sexy!
I can't stop stroking it, is that wrong?
I think it’s fair to say I’ve turned into a right sew and sew already this month. My 6ft x 4ft £30 shed has been transformed into a cosy sewing hut. I’ve ‘Thatched’ the roof with cider cans and miraculously it seems to be waterproof and I’ve lined the inside with some sheets of polystyrene I found at Glastonbury Festival. I was a bit worried with all those gales last night that it was going to take off like Dorothy’s cabin in the Wizard of Oz and I was so happy to see it still sat there this morning. (It must have been the ‘Thatcher King’ I made and put on the apex of the roof creating some sort of Ciderdelic voodoo to protect it).
I’ve got to admit when the light starts to fade I do need to ‘cotton on’ to some better lighting inside though. It’s ‘Reel’ bad. (A bit like that pun) and finally, as you can see I need to ‘shed’ some light on it……(Help!,I seriously need to go to 'pun' detox)....
Today I’ve been sewing the edges of a pure merino wool ‘Travelling the Road ‘ scarf I’ve woven (not a very good pic, I know). I’d read that you had to leave a little extra wool in the weave so that the final piece of cloth isn’t pulled or bunched, but I think I’ve over done it and the effect is a little loopy.
Kind of apt for me though eh? A little bit loopy!
I love little pussy her coat is so warm,
and if I put my bag down for a minute she sneakily curls up on it.
My cat Eartha thinks my new merino wool bag is the cat's whiskers, and even though I keep removing her from it she's convinced if she sneaks up again and looks casual I won't notice her. Not a cat in Hell's chance Eartha.
Busy, busy busy......
When someone suggested today we go for a walk up Brent Knoll to blow the cobwebs away from the over indulgences of the Festive Season I though “here’s a good chance to test out my ‘Travelling the Road’ merino wool scarf”.
The little online bit I’d read which stated it was just a short walk from the church turned out to be a load of ‘hillocks’. Why oh why didn’t I work it out for myself that to get to the top of a hill you have to walk uphill! However: I made like Sir Edmund Hilary and reached the 449ft summit, but whoa was it blowy!
You can see the directions of my hair in the two pics, the one on the left is at base camp, hair pointing down. The one on the right is at the summit hair pointing up.
The real champ though was the scarf. There was no tickling or scratching as I’d used King Cole anti-tickle merino wool in the weaving of it. When I got back to the car I felt like doing a David ‘Brent Knoll’ dance, (David Brent being the guy from 'The Office' played by Ricky Gervais) but I thought that maybe Brent Knoll village wasn’t ready for me yet?....
Do you ever put things ‘somewhere safe’ and then can’t remember where you have put them? That’s what I did with a small offcut of bicycle tyre, but Hey Presto! it turned up today in an obvious place (I’m sure it wasn’t there before?) This meant I could attach the last shackle on my bag, which is the closure shackle. Like the needle I used this bag has been a learning ‘curve’. The needle started off straight but sewing through rubber with thick thread has left it bent, even though I’ve straightened it out a couple of times. I’m pleased with the finished article and the T-towels and scarves fit perfectly inside. ‘Travelling the Road’ tartan? You could say I’ve got that one in the bag!
Good Golly Miss Molly! I do love the local buy and sell groups on Facebook. I've just bought a 'Brother' from another mother. I was lucky enough to get this 1950's semi-industrial sewing machine today for a bargain price. It's so classy looking, with a proper 'Rock n Roll' or 50's style Cadillac gold font logo. I've given it a good clean and removed a lot of lint from inside it. These machines are far sturdier than most modern ones. I've just got to give it a good oiling now 'cos you know how it is with these golden oldies "Grease is the word"! I feel like I should be wearing a circle skirt and bobby socks when I'm using it but in my shed I think thermals and a bobble hat are more suitable. Ok, so I'm off to play with my 'Sweet little Rock and Roller'. See you later Alligators!
I know to some people vintage sewing machines are of no interest, so I've decided to 'sex' mine 'up' to try and share some of it's extremely attractive qualities with you. I've made a list of 10 points (with pictures) that make my semi-industrial 1950's wonder extra special. Here it is, and I suggest you read it slowly with a Nigella Lawson voice-
Damn it!!!! ...Why does my Nigella Lawson always turn into Mrs Slocombe?
Maybe it's just not possible to 'sex up' sewing after all?
It's been a lovely cold but sunny day today, great for reminding us that spring will be coming soon!
I managed to get the light working on my vintage sewing machine today. I took a bulb from my broken machine and tried it in the socket but nothing happened . So I removed the bulb and got a bit of sandpaper and sanded the brass points in the socket (obviously with the power switched off haha). Still it didn't work, so I levered up the brass points in the socket to try and get a better connection with the bulb and Hey Pesto! it worked!
So it's been cleaned; oiled and, Hallelujah! now I can truly see the light!.
I’m Stihl on the sewing ‘thread’ today. I’ve just uploaded a fabric design on Print me Pretty called ‘And I love you Stihl’ . I’ve entered it into their monthly design challenge.
In the past I’ve carved quite a few chainsaw sculptures and always fancied designing some fabric with a chainsaw theme. (Maybe you could vote for me when the design challenge goes live on January 17th, ‘cos I hate to be a ‘Saw’ loser haha). I have another fabric on the site which I designed for their Bonfire Night Challenge called ‘Bangers!’ featuring old fashioned banger fireworks, (not every car I’ve ever owned). I am ‘Living in a 'Material' World’ at the moment and it’s Fab-ric! …
Today I've been having a spring clean of my 1930's Showman's living wagon. I've decided to sell my beloved Hostess Stove as I need to make the tow weight lighter so that it can be towed with a smaller lorry. I've listed it on eBay and it's got lots of watchers already. I feel quite nervous about letting it go, almost like I'm giving a kitten away. Strange how inanimate objects can make you feel like that, or is it just me? (feel free to leave a comment and let me know)
I got an email today reminding me that the last day to enter the National Portrait Gallery Competition is nearly here. Every year I get this email and every year I think "Next year I'll be more organised, and I'll have the perfect sized oil portrait ready to take a pic of to enter", and it goes on and on each year with me always forgetting to be prepared for it.
I used to enter it years ago when I had to drive my actual paintings to a pick-up point in Bristol from where it could be transfered to London. I bet the NPG is so greatful to the digital era whereby folks just have to send a jpg.
Back in the early 90's I went on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme as a Portrait Artist; this was well before the computer digital era and I might have made a decent living out of it if I had lived in one place, but I was constantly moving around which didn't help with commissions. I had a portfolio of famous faces at the time to show people how I could capture a likeness, and I generally worked in watercolour pencils for convenience. Here's a water colour pencil pic of Frank Bruno who was a top boxer in the early 90's, what do you reckon?
(I've been avoiding the internet for the past couple of days, sometimes I just have to get away from it as it can really hook you in.) I've been busying myelf though. I've designed a doormat for the showman's wagon, made and packaged 10 t-towels, finished building my new loom and managed to warp it (thread it up).
There are youtube videos that show a similar loom being warped up in 15 mins. I imagined I would be able to do this too but in reality it took me into the early hours of last night; but I got there in the end. It can be such a tease when someone makes a job appear so simple because they've done it hundreds of times, but when you try to do the same thing it feels like someone has put some massive comedy mittens on you and a pair of vaseline smeared goggles. I can't blame the woman in the tutorial though.......It's probably just her 'warped' sense of humour.
I've just tied off my first, larger piece of tartan made on a loom. I'd almost got the hang of using the loom once I was near to finishing the cloth. Now I can't wait to make my first item out of it. I've been thinking maybe a waistcoat and hat, (but not a 'tam o shanter' haha).
Your Artist will be with you shortly, in the meantime here's the test card.........
Khan the cat on a cold tin roof keeps guard along with the Jolly Thatcher King as I attach a hanger for a solar lantern onto my sewing hut. This time though, it's not a Thatchers I'm using; it's a Woodpecker!
Ok, so I've found a sewing pattern for both male and female waistcoats that I like and I've woven enough fabric to make them so here goes! It's going to feel a bit scary cutting up the fabric I have woven on the loom, and I'll have to stitch the edges before cutting to prevent unravelling of the fabric . If it all goes to plan these will be very, very exculsive waistcoats. They will be hand-woven in my unique design and hand made by me. Let's hope it all goes to plan and they end up being waistcoats and not wastecoats haha......wish me luck!
I can't help thinking about my parents today. January the 25th was their wedding anniversary. They were married for 29 years and remained good friends after their divorce (it always helps if there is nobody else involved). My dad sadly died 3 years ago, but my parents were such a great support and absolutely believed in my talents as an artist. From a very young age I was encouraged to pursue my skills and they encouraged this by asking me to paint the house signs for our smallholding when I was aged 13. Then at 15 they asked me to paint the whole frontage of the shop they ran at a campsite they managed when my dad retired from Fylingdales Early Warning Missile Station. (The campsite was Ugthorpe Lodge Caravan Park, and I love the fact that the campsite are now offering shepherd's hut style accomodation to stay in). The frontage included half a dozen eggs in an egg box, ice creams, sweets and other things we sold in the campsite shop, (there may have even been a bog roll in there) .I wish I had a photo of it but basically the frontage was like something you'd see on a trendy pub in Stokes Croft in Bristol. If only we had had camera phones back then, ..but on second thoughts, maybe not haha.
Today I'm biting the bullet and cutting out the pattern for the 'Travelling the Road' tartan waistcoat I'm about to make. I'm hoping I can succeed in the task before a dog or cat runs in and trashes the very thin and delicate paper...fingers crossed!
I'm loving the yellow and black two tone gaberdine style lining I've chosen for the waistcoat. The ebay seller who was selling it; said it was a batch that was made for Burberry but they never used it, and to be honest I wouldn't be suprised if it was because it feels like it is such good quality.
I've been picking and un-picking the collar and seams of the waistcoat until I got it right. Now I am picking the buttons for it. I've been saving these enamelled wheel buttons for ages to put on something special and I reckon they look just right on this waistcoat, (you could say I'm wheely chuffed, but then again ...maybe not?)
It's very nerve wracking cutting up the fabric you have woven, but it's just as scary doing the button holes on the waistcoat. I kind of allowed myself to be distracted by making myself a Baker's Boy hat rather than tackling the dreaded things. I literally 'take my hat off' to anyone that can do them with ease. The cap turned out ok though, and I topped it off with a wheel button as well, (there's a close up of the button top right as it wasn't very clear in the photo) ...have a 'peak' below....
At last I managed to get into town today and buy some tailor's chalk for marking out my fabric for cutting it. I have been using standard blackboard chalk and the line is too thick so now the job should be more exact. I love the fact that I can still buy Tailors Chalk from the sewing shop in town. So many small independent shops and makers on the high street are closing down.
When I was a child most adult women would have had Tailors Chalk in their sewing box for marking out. It's very nostalgic for me as my mum was a seamstress and always had a good supply and I still love holding a new triangular piece in my hand as it's so smooth to touch. Thank-you 'Groves' of Thame, Oxforshire for continuing to make it. You can 'Chalk' me up as another happy customer!
Last day of the month and January has flown by. It's been very chilly today but the sun shone this morning as I walked over to my sewing hut, and I couldn't help but notice the daffodils are beginning to push their way through the cold earth ready for the trumpet herald. Excellent!
So I'm bidding farewell to January; it's never been an easy month, and not an easy one to rhyme with.
But........Can you worry about January?.........Nope!
Today marks the launch of my 'Advert Calendar', that's right Advert not Advent. This is an Art Project which I hope will add fun to the festive season and I hope to sell some Art work too. I recently heard a song called "Who took the Merry out of Christmas"?. Well I'D like to put it back in again. Christmas in my opinion has got far too commercial; but everything I sell is made/designed by me not a big manufacturer. I'm more like the toymaker out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Benny Hill). This project raises a couple of serious points too. Like can humour help in Advertising and will people accept that my pieces are actually art?. People may look at my t-towel holder and think that's expensive for a t-towel holder or they may look at the same item and think that's cheap for a piece of Modern Art. All the products advertised in the Advert Calendar are genuine things I have made and are for sale. I hope you like it; I hope you buy something and I hope you have a laugh. Feel free to comment with your suggestions. As it's the 1st December I have opened the first door :-)
Here are some other pieces of Artwork I've done of Mrs. Thatcher
So, it's day 2 of the 'Advert Calendar" are you hooked yet?
So here we are at Day 3 of the 'Advert Calendar' and 'what's behind the door today?' ...It's only a 'Big Ego' Massager!
So far Mrs T's A'ole is proving very popular but I've just had word that Vladamir Putin has received the 'Big Ego Massager' he ordered from me and he is enjoying the benefits whilst holidaying at a famous Russian resort by the lakes. He's reportedly feeling absolutely fabulous! This advertising Campaign couldn't go any better!...(actually I havent sold one yet :-/)
Jeremy collecting his Mrs T-towel holder today
Day 5. and are you Tongue Tied?...Todays piece of Art- A choice of Satin or Cotton Designer Scarf, unique and designed and made by me... feel free to comment!
Day 6 and I'm throwing this in the mix, ... A canvas stretched print of a bunch of (Ar*se*****)...ahem I mean Flowers...
Nigel collecting his canvas today :-).
Day 7 and the back door is open once again!
It was sooo funny today when purely by co-incidence Theresa May and Arlene Foster turned up at exactly the same time to collect their 'Bunch of A-holes ' brooches they'd ordered from me at www.multitalentedartist.com . Seriously this is Turner prize winning stuff , somebody needs to nominate me quickly!
Day 8 and the 'Advert calendar ' is going really well !.....
Yesterday somebody said to me I've been reading your blog and why haven't you put any of your lovely 'nice' jewellery for sale?. It's all rude stuff you've been putting up and you make such lovely jewellery. Then I had a bit of self analysing and realised I've probably got Art Tourettes. (Hmmm I just realised that word is spelt Analy sing and I for one don't fancy anyone singing me a song from that hole). Anyway so today; on day 8, here is a different kind of 'nice' ring.
Day 9 and it's K9!.... (maybe I should have taken the advice of my Art teachers and got a job writing headline 'puns' for The Sun Newspaper)...
Advert Calendar day 10...and it's 'Life and Death' all over again, and again and again!,
Cor blimey you'll never believe what happened today? I was quietly sitting there having me Sunday Dinner when there's a knock at the door "Who is it?" I shout..
"It's me Sigmund Freud,
I've come here in my Time Machine to buy your version of "Life and Death".....well I never?.....
By the way, if you like what I do and want to win a unique sterling silver "Hello Sh*tty' ring made by me, then have a look at my facebook page multitalentedartist https://www.facebook.com/blingandting/ if you like and share it before Christmas eve you will be entered into the draw on Chritmas Eve....Good Luck and share away... Thanx. .
Day 11 and welcome to Hard Core heaven!
Funnily enough in the past I have sold a pair of these each, to two' legal eagle' types. They have enormous fun wearing them to court. There's nothing like feeling naughty when you are being serious!... But guess what?, you'll never believe what happened today!. I was beavering away in my workshop when I kept hearing this rustling noise outside. "What the Dickens IS that noise?" I thought to myself. So I cautiously opened the door and guess what?..It was only Meghan Markle! "Blimey what are you doing here", I said. "Well", she said... (spoiler alert!)..."Unless I can buy a pair of your Special Brew cufflinks for Hairy to wear on our Wedding Day then the wedding is off!".(I've noticed she always calls him Hairy not Harry, which makes me chuckle). "Hold your Horses Madam!" I said, "I'll see what I can do"............She could not contain her excitement as she left carrying a pair of my cufflinks. "It's on again!" she shouted and headed off with THE most enormous grin......Well I never?
'Advert Calendar' Day 12 come and have a 'Special' delve....
I am seriously having the strangest week…. This morning I was listening to Ken Bruce’s ‘Pop Master’ when there’s this tap at the window. “Oi! Oi!” came the voice. I looked up, only to see it was His Royal Highness Prince Harry!
I leapt to my feet to let him in, as it was still frosty outside. “Come on in Your Royal Highness” I stuttered, “how can I help you Sir”?
‘Well blud it’s like dis”, he replied. “I hear you’re packing Brew Earrings, and I’m gonna have me sum innit?”. “Gosh”, I said ”What is it with you Royals and Special Brew?”. “Me and me Bredren just can’t get enough of it; and we fink it’s funny see, with da crown on it and dat”, he replied. “Does Her Majesty the Queen know about your love of it?” I asked. “Ah me Nan loves it too, True Dat!” he replied, “and guess what tabs she smokes as well?”. “I’ve no idea?” I said mystified. “Regal!”
Right at that very moment a wall of the most appalling smell hit me, the essence of which was Special Brew mixed with Roast Swan! . “I’m outta here mate!” spluttered the laughing Royal; and he gingerly sloped off WEARING the earrings! Well, you could have knocked me down with a Prince of Wales feather!
Above is an Antique Painting of Woman with a Special Brew earring.
Below is a pic of the earrings being made by me in my workshop.
Bottom pic- Gorgeous Girls wear them too!
'Advert Calendar' Day 13....(Lucky for some?) hmmm, does Superstition rule Supreme?
This month has been mad enough already, but I’m having to pinch myself to believe what has just happened! .....
I popped outside to change the gas bottle for my soldering torch and who’s sat there just looking at me with a look of relief in his eyes?
.......It’s was only Stephen Hawking!... Yep...
“Goodness me”, I said “You gave me a right start Stephen, what on earth are YOU doing here?’
(Computer robot voice)…”You madam are a F*cking Genius!”…….
Well you could have blown me away right there and then…Stephen Hawking calling ME a genius!
(Computer robot voice again) “Your theory on rainbows being made of ‘Unicorn Farts’ could have saved me so much time over the years explaining to people the science of how rainbows are formed. If only I had bought one of your brooches years ago I could have answered all those people by just pointing at my brooch.
Please! Please! Could you put your very talented hands to work again to create another, different themed brooch for me to buy from you as well as this one for just £24.99?”
I hastily replied ‘Yes of course, I would be very proud to Stephen. What sort of brooch would you like me to make for you?”
Stephen Hawking -“The question is Black Holes and how are they formed? - Golf balls are the answer”…
“Stephen I’m on it faster than a particle in the Hadron collider ”, I replied.
He spun around in his wheelchair but as he disappeared into the grey drizzly afternoon he took one last look over his shoulder at me, and we gave each other a knowing salute…….,Well, I never?
Day 14 and the door has been opened in true Punk style it's a little late and chaotic!
You’re probably not going to believe me when I tell you this (unless of course, someone’s ever put the willies up you?) but have you ever thought there is someone watching you when there’s nobody there? Well after today I can confirm that I DO believe in ghosts.
Earlier today I went outside to get an armful of dry kindling when all of a sudden I felt like I’d stepped into a fridge as an icy chill shot up my spine. I let out a shrill shriek and as I spun around there was an apparition of a man hovering above me in a 1950’s suit.
“Don’t be frightened” spoke the entity “I’m here to buy your Sigue Sigue Spoon Face Sterling Silver pendant ” he said in an echoey voice.
“But…but…who are you?’ I stuttered.
“I’m the ghost of Robert Oppenheimer the inventor of the Atom Bomb and forefather of the Nuclear Missile” he spoke.
“I don’t understand” I said. “Why would you want to buy my hand-made pendant, and how could you possibly pay for it?”.
He replied “I’ve always loved Sigue Sigue Sputnik, especially their hit Love Missile F1-11 which reached No 3 in the charts in 1986. I really wish I had invented a ‘Love Missile’ instead of a Nuclear Missile. If I had I wouldn’t be stuck here in Purgatory for ever, although, to be fair I have found a way of manipulating online data from here and I’ve managed to deposit £79.99 into your Paypal account”…..
With that I took my phone out of my pocket and I could see that indeed, he had deposited the money into my Paypal account…
“I’ll get it for you now” I said as he held his hand out to me.
I placed the pendant in his open palm but it just fell through onto the grass beneath. I picked it up and tried again but to no avail. I tried for a third time but I could see the tormented look etched into his face as it fell onto the ground once more….
”Sh*t!.....Sh*t!.....F*CKING SH*T!...he said and disappeared as fast as he had appeared.
……..So if anybody wants to buy it, it’s still for sale…..
Day 15 already! (remember all items in the 'Advert calendar' are real, and hand made/designed by me and are for sale) Pm me if you'd like to buy anything and click on my multitalentedartist page on Facebook and like and share for your chance to win a 'Hello Sh*tty'
solid 925 silver ring of a Kitty poking it's tongue out. Drawn randomly on Christmas Eve , Good luck! Also; Please feel free to leave a comment here or on Facebook , I'd love to hear from you! ....
I nearly leapt out of my skin this morning when I was taking a bin bag outside and the loudest Trumpet Fanfare you have ever heard was sounded right next to me.
I jumped back 6 inches and it’s a good job I did, because I’d nearly put a full bin bag of rubbish on top of Her Royal Majesty the Queen! (The thing is I had read that when people had met her the first thing that had struck them was how petite she is?).
I fell to one knee and addressed her.
“Your Royal Majesty I am your humble servant. How can I be of help to you?”
“Well”, she replied.
“My husband and I have a huge collection of priceless art works and I am continually adding to that collection. My aides tell me you are tipped to be the next big star in the world of Art”. “So I intend to buy something from you as I’m sure it will be worth thousands in the future”.
“As I shall be spending Christmas at Balmoral I wish to buy something that will also be a Christmas Gift for my husband the Duke of Edinburgh .
We love Balmoral. Christmas in Scotland is a pure joy. We dress up in kilts; dance the Highland fling, have a dram of single malt whiskey whilst listening to the bracing sound of the bagpipes as we are watched over by The Monarch of the Glen. My mother was Scottish you know?
Yes I would like to purchase something with a Scottish theme for my husband,….a necklace possibly?. Yes; a necklace of a Scotsman in a kilt, made in Sterling silver on a ball chain perhaps? Do you have such a thing? Possibly, with a Haggis too?
I thought about the “Where’s my Haggis” necklace I had made in 925 Sterling Silver which I had listed for sale on my multitalentedartist facebook page, then quickly replied,
“Erm…No, Your Majesty”.
Sh*t! she said. ‘In that case I’ll have some of your Special Brew cufflinks, Philip loves getting Royally Mortal!”…. Well, I never?
Advert Calendar Day 16.... How do you like it, Muddy or Green?
It's a Glastonbury Pyramid stage necklace!
(Thought for the day)....
I am very greatful to the 162 people who have liked my Facebook page multitalentedartist. However; in a desperate attempt to gain more 'likers' I have taken this photo of a kitten hostage, and am threatening to give it a badly photo edited ending unless I get more 'likes'....we shall see?...
While I remember,...here's your Christmas Card.
Peace on Earth.......Just don't look outside.
(notice the Dalek outside the window?...oh, and a Special Brew Earring!)
We have arrived at Day 17 , and I am struggling to keep it clean (I can feel my Art Tourettes kicking in again)
Well my life is turning into something of a remake of Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’.
Not long after I had posted my ‘Eye’ necklace for sale today, I was visited by another spectre. Yep, two ghosts in a week. Only this one was a dandy if ever I’ve seen one!
“Who are you?” I enquired of my bewigged visitor.
“It’s me Casanova, I’m here to buy your 'Look of Love’ Eye Necklace” he replied.
"To be honest” I said “I have had problems in the past with payment and collection of goods where ghosts have been involved”. “Having said that, I can see why YOU would wish to buy ‘The look of Love’ necklace as history records you as supposedly being THE most romantic man EVER”.
“It’s not because it’s the ‘look of love’ that I wish to buy it", he said. “It’s because it’s the ‘eye’; yeah, I like to give the ladies the eye and then they fall at my feet”.
“Most of the time in my life I just drew an eye on a piece of paper with a biro and then gave it to them”, he said.
Blummin 'eck, you could say I was completely flabbergasted.
“Well, I'M not falling for that!” I stated in no uncertain terms. “Be gone with you!"
I will NOT; I repeat NOT tolerate anybody who is CORNEA than me!........and he was gone in the blink of an eye........Well, I never?..
Day 18 and it's 'Flying by'
I was just popping out to get tea-bags earlier, and guess what? Blocking my exit was this huge Angry Bird!...
“Oi! I’ve got a ‘bone’ to pick with you!” the owl said.
“Remember when I told you I was fed up with being a cute fluffy owl and how I wished you could turn me into an Eagle instead?” “And then I asked you to give me a huge pecker like an Eagle?, I MEANT beak , Beak not PENIS FFS!”. “Didn’t you realize I was female?” “And to think, they call US bird-brained? You’ve turned me into a ‘Chick’ with a Dick!”...
“Oh dear I’m so sorry I had no idea my feathered friend”, I replied. “But to be honest, at a mere £64.99 you ARE going really cheep and I don’t think anybody else will notice”, I stated.
“No one will notice?” the bird replied. “It’s all over Twitter!”
(if you are enjoying my page please leave me a comment as I'd love to hear from you :-) )
'Advert calendar' Day 19
I was working away on my wooden necklaces this morning (made from the ancient oak tree ‘Gog’ which stands at the bottom of Glastonbury Tor). When I thought I saw a Leprechaun outside. I opened the door and standing there is this little fella with a moustache and a mullet and a massive grin on his face.
“Hello, can I help you?” I asked.
“Yes” he replied.
“I’m Ron Jeremy the legendary Porn Star and I’m here to get ancient wood”…..
Well, you can imagine my reply?…….
Day 20 is here, but it's Anonymous.... (and don't forget the fate of the photo of the kitten is in your hands and that 1 Ton weight is getting closer!) click on the link below to go to my facebook page to save it!
Day 21 of the 'Advert Calendar'
I was listening to local radio in my workshop today when The Crystals Da Doo Ron Ron came across the airwaves. How funny I thought, here I am attaching crystals to a pendant and this song is playing. Life eh? When all of a sudden I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard an abrupt knock at the door. I leapt up to open it and I realized it was only Ron blummin’ Jeremy AGAIN!
“Blimey Ron you sure know how to put the willies up someone don’t you?” I said.
“Well I’m here to buy your Sterling Silver ‘Good F*ck’ necklace” he said.
“I’m sorry Ron” I said, ”I’m afraid you don’t qualify for that necklace. You were paid to be in those films and those women were paid to engage with you, and to be honest I think you are more of a novelty act?”.
He started to mumble…“But”… “No Butts Ron!” I said, “You just don’t qualify for it!”……….
“Ok can I have some Special Brew cufflinks for the bargain price of just £9.99 then?” he asked.
“Ok, I’ll get you some now” I replied; but as I turned my back and bent down to get a pair of them, he whipped out a very large…….. sprig of mistletoe and looked at me like a hamster that wanted another chocolate chip cookie.
“Here’s your cufflinks!” I said.
“Now Do One Ron Ron…just Do One Ron!”
"Advert Calendar Day 22........
Sometimes it’s like Paddington station here, but you don’t see The Queen at Paddington Station very often and I’ve seen her twice this week, Yes!.
I opened a cupboard door in the workshop and there she was rummaging through my items.
“I need some jewellery to wear to Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding” she said. “Ok”, I replied. “What sort of thing do you like? I mean what are your interests?” .
“Well I like Dawgs” she said. “I like short stocky dawgs and diamonds or crystals; yes, shorty stocky dogs with crystals, a necklace perhaps?... yes do you have any jewellery like that for sale?”
“Ah, Your Majesty, do you know the film Snatch?” I asked.
“Yes one does “she replied. “That’s the film with Ron Jeremy in it, isn’t it?”
“Erm………Would you like some Special Brew Earrings?” I asked
'Advert Calendar' Day 23......
“I am Donald Trump”, were the first words I heard today.
No Hello’s or Good Day Ma’ams. Just “I am Donald Trump and I am here to buy your ‘Well Hung’ Sterling Silver Necklace, because mine is this big”, he said holding his hands apart.
"Well I’ve heard that you are a fantasist with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder", I said. “Why should I sell it to you? I’ve already had emails from Ron Jeremy and Casanova asking to buy it”.
“Hey but I tell you what; you can have one of my stretched canvas prints to hang in your office as a good will gesture, they will be very valuable one day so you must hang this right in front of you so you can keep an eye on it, understand?” “Yes Ma’am”, he replied. “Oh it’s a beautiful bunch of flowers with the word ‘Reflections’ on it, that’s very apt as I am a beautiful flower”. “Yep” I replied. “You’re definitely one of those buds!”
Last chance to save the photo of the kitten!!!!! Just like and share my facebook page multitalentedartist to be in with a chance of winning ! Click on the button below..
'Advert Calendar' Day 24! (Say no more!)
Last but not least Day 25...and it's a 'Special' one too!
Well it’s the last day of 2017 and it’s time to put away the ‘Advert Calendar’, and also say a sad farewell to the badly edited photo of the kitten.( A lovely lady called Lisa won the ring, I'm hoping she'll send me a pic of her wearing it).
I would like to thank all the people who have followed the calendar daily I'd also like to thank all the stars who made guest appearances in it including :-
If you’ve enjoyed my blog please leave a message as it’s very lonely here in cyberspace, I might even reply if I can get this damned jacket off! X
I'm in a race against time not only fixing the roof of my beloved Showman's Wagon before winter sets in; (even though I spent a month up there at the beginning of summer and it managed to trick me into thinking it was truly fixed, only to tinkle on me from a great height when we had a downpour recently).
But, (and I know you shouldn't start a sentence with but..but..) Also the greater race against time occurred to me when my younger daughter celebrated her 22 birthday this week. Crikey that 22 years flew by. Here's a pic of her stood below the painting I did of her and her sister on the ceiling of the wagon when they were just little tidgers with tigers, (you may have to see the larger picture of the ceiling to understand that comment). As you can see I got the gist of it down but never finished it , so once the roof has been extra extra water sealed I shall finish that off too...finally!
I was only thinking today how alien it is to have a blog for most people of a certain age. We are taught to play our cards close to our chest, act humbly, don't brag etc etc. When it comes to the internet tho' it seems the opposite is true. I see people constantly promoting themselves and secretly inside I cringe, acknowledging at the same time this is something I must do too. So in the modern manner of self promotion I've bagged myself the name 'multitalentedartist' and am heading out on the Internet highway blowing my arty trumpet to herald the arrival of Multitalentedartist's domain domination,..... if only I could work out how set up a shop and list things?.... Meanwhile; in a world of distractions, I saw that Hugh Hefner has died. He is now officially uniformly stiff. Here's a little pic I made for you x
I've been beavering away with arty stuff, whilst battening down the hatches for winter.
One of the jobs that needed doing was winter proofing one of my sheds/workshops.
The roof inparticular needed urgent attention.
Well; I didn't want a boring felt roof, I knew that much. I wanted something more organic. So I asked around a few people.
They told me, "You need to google local thatchers". So I did.
My kidneys have taken a bit of a pounding but I think it's been worth it don't you?
The day to day life of a Somerset Artist