Thursday, 30 September 2010

The last day of September

We had a lovely day today - a welcome break in some wretched weather this week, so I took the camera for a walk in our local park. Luton has an excellent Parks department and has several well kept parks and we our very lucky that the best is within easy walking distance from my home - so join me in Wardown Park.
It was still very wet underfoot,

Shooting into the sun.
Sat by the lake
Through the willows

Eyeing me up!

View from the bridge

That's me on the water

Time for reflection

Not the sort of Ratty you really want to see

The daisy-chain wall in front of the museum

It has taken me ALL evening to upload these photos. Some took five minutes others about 30 seconds and it made no difference what size file they were either. I even tried to create a Picasa web album (which I think I did) but I can't access it!! Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Another job or two

I've been photographing my wares today I thought that I wasn't making a very big impact with straight photographs so I thought I would give myself another couple of jobs - photographic director and stylist. I should have taken a couple of 'how I did it' pics which would have made a better tale. But never mind. First I got out my jumpers and coat and hung them on the front of the wardrobe. I set up the camera on tripod as the light was so poor I knew I would have to use a slow shutter speed.  Then I started on my scarf drawer and rediscovered  couple I had forgotten!
This is my new jumper from Monsoon - now I need to sell lots of book covers. (My sister has bought exactly the same one!) I'm having lunch with friends tomorrow and if it's chilly I can wear it, but the flower is for sale - I shall have to make myself one now.

and my coat I treated myself to last winter, which I hope I can still button up!

I love this Laura Ashley white knitted scarf but I've hardly ever used it, but now it has proved useful to set of this purse.

I thought this one might look good with denim.

More blues!

This is a beautiful two toned chiffon scarf that is rather too large to use, but I like to get it out and look at it every now and again. Do you have things like this your wardrobe!
 I'm not sure if I am ready to apply for a job as a photography stylist yet, but it was great fun and my photography course certainly helped. Next time I promise not to mention the shop!!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday, Sunday

I don't want to use my blog just to plug my Etsy shop, but all of you dear friends who encouraged me have only got yourselves to blame if I keep going on about it!!  As it is a new enterprise it is dominating my waking hours at the moment. At least any of you who may be thinking of doing the same thing can share my experiences. I know I have got to put a few hours in setting things up and hopefully when I have got used to the procedures I can do this more quickly. Of course just making stuff to sell is only the start. I have spent hours looking at other posts deciding how I can make my pieces eye-catching as there are hundreds if not thousands of rivals. Here are my new book covers I have stitched this week. My first one sold immediately which was very gratifying, hopefully these will too.
I thought I would photograph them with some accessories to make the pictures more eye catching.
Now I need to start looking at magazines and catalogues for ideas for making the photographs more striking,
Now I am going to enjoy my Sunday evening watching some television with Mr T.
I hope you have a good week and I'll be back soon. 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Where does the time go?

It is Thursday already and September is more than half way through.  I don't really feel I have had time to enjoy the lovely days we have had in one of my favourite months, although yesterday, which was gorgeous I did manage to plant up lots of pots of spring bulbs. However it was a bit too hot in the greenhouse which is also our potting shed, so I had to do a bit of tidying up outside to cool off, you don't often have to say that in September. Otherwise it seems to have been a week of chores and appointments. We made a large batch of pear chutney which this year had the benefit of the addition of plums and Mr T pickled the last lot of shallots. The smell of boiling chutney still seems to be lingering even after a couple of days of having lots of windows open, but perhaps it is my imagination. I had to go to the foot clinic (I have a neuroma - an enlarged nerve - between the bones of my foot) but after a cortisone injection about three months ago I just have to wait another three months to see how it is doing).  Mr T is almost back to himself now - thank you, to all who have enquired and wished him well. However he is totally banned from doing any lifting and as I have the muscle power of limp lettuce some jobs take a long time, but we are adapting.
However sewing and drawing don't take a lot of muscle power so this is what else I have been doing.
I am thinking of making another book this time based on an honesty seed pod. I hadn't realized how many different  names there are for this popular plant, it seems to be a favourite with lots of artists and photographers as well as gardeners. If you click on the picture you can hopefully read them all.

This is my idea for the cover.

I have some blue/green two tone chiffon which is just right stitched over the pod shape. The idea needs a bit of refining but I think I'm on the right track. 

I have also been working some more paperback book covers, they should be ready for my shop in a couple of days. 

Here are my zipped purses which are not really that well finished but I have photographed them on my sewing  board. Well, it started off as an ironing pad which I made by stapling lots of wadding covered with calico onto a small pin-board from B&Q. However it was rather too padded to press anything on, but it is ideal to have on my lap when sitting in an armchair sewing. It acts like giant pin-cushion which means there is always somewhere to stick pins and needles and it is great for stitching on.

Here are the other sides of the purses - I couldn't put them in my shop but I have a couple of friends who might like them.

I've just noticed an imprint of my iron on the pad!
Now I am going to try to catch up on everyone else's posts. Writing this one has taken ages!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Take a leaf from my book

Here some pictures of my leaf book I have made - I think it has turned out quite well.

the front

the back

the inside

another view

Despite being rather fond of it I have put it up for sale on Etsy as I am not sure when I shall have time to fill it up. But if no one wants it, I am sure I shall be able to use it. However if you saw my previous post you may guess that there are some more in production.

Today I have been sewing patchwork for some new paperback book covers. I have bonded the pieces to the felt wadding and machine stitched them down. Now I can spend a few evenings doing some hand stitching which I enjoy. 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Busy busy

I have been busy again, first I will show this book cover I have made for my Etsy shop.
A friend gave me the idea as she always kept her paperbacks in a cover when she went away to stop it getting bent or marked. It was something that had never occurred to me, but there are plenty on Etsy but mainly too small for UK paperbacks.

The cover slips into the pockets and there is a ribbon book-mark stitched into the back.

It will certainly suit a chilling thriller or keep a romantic heroine warm!

I have managed to put the zips in my purses (but forgot to photograph them). They aren't really up to standard for selling, but I hope my next attempts will be. I have also been working on some special books, but I am not ready to reveal those yet, but I am going to tease with some close-up details.

I hope that has whet your appetite.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

More rememberings

Hello my dear friends, I am feeling very warm towards you all - what a lovely bunch of kind, friendly supportive people you are. As this is post 201 I am feeling very privileged to have joined the 'gang'. (Post 200 sneaked up on me as a 'draft') and want to say thank you for being out there.

I have been having quite a creative few days despite having over done it on the plums (I'll say no more) But no one else seems to be eating them!! So shortly I hope to be sharing some completed pieces with you.
Meanwhile I have also finished another section in my Norfolk memories book. I was stirred to catch a Radio 4 programme called 'Looking for the Singing Postman' which brought back all sorts of memories of my Norfolk relatives and their wonderful accent. When of the interviewees coined this phrase as a test of your Norfolkian knowledge which I shall attempt to write phonetically, I really had to smile, the answer came straight back to me.
     "Dar yar far keep a dicky bor?
I shall be interested if any of you know the answer.
My great aunt, grandmother's sister, Auntie Rosie was a Ladies Companion and when in London way back I know not when, was asked this by a London Bobby who recognised her accent and she was able to snap back the answer as quick as lightning which caused great mirth to the policeman in question and Auntie Rosie who liked to tell the tale. (Translation and answer with next post).
When you see the map below you will understand that in the years that followed 1958 we drove along the Norfolk Coast Road many,  many times. Through the wonders of Google Earth I have been virtually travelling this road and have been able to follow some of the tracks up to the dunes where we so often parked including the descriptively named "Cart Gap Road". I have also been able to virtually drive up  the road past 7 Langley which is now completely changed and see the other buildings I recognise. I hope it won't be too long before I can go in reality. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy my next instalment.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Art in the Garden

My good friend Sally is one of nine artists in residence at the Luton Hoo Walled garden and an exhibition had been arranged for this weekend to coincide Heritage Open days and Hertfordshire Open Studio month. I took my camera and managed to catch a few moments.

The volunteer gardeners have made a wonderful job and have re-planted a section of the garden.

The artists have all created pieces connected with the history of the garden.

This piece by Abi Spendlove is about the roots put down by Lord Bute, the garden's founder, in the course of his life.  Each piece was connected with a different location.

More delicate roots in the vinery.

This installation piece by May Down was a recording  and included interviews with Land Army girls who worked on the estate during WW2. I would have loved to have had a rummage in the suitcase which was full of vintage items including the corsets.

This was Sally's installation. She was inspired by seeing large chrysalises while visiting London zoo. She has used monoprints of plants and planting lists from the garden's archive to make a set of cocoon shapes from silk and wax suspended  on cottons along one of the glasshouses. Sally's inspiration is the transient traces left over the generations within the garden. 

These carnations below were created by Suzanne Page, they made from copies of letters written by Lord Bute.

This is an installation by ceramic artist Nici Ruggiero

I thought you'd enjoy these details.

Finally I spotted these rather splendid  cuckoo pint/lords and ladies/Arum maculatum lily stems which were glowing in the shadows.

Thank you for all of your good wishes for my Etsy shop. Now I've got that sorted I feel I can get back to creating - more later.
Have a good week,