Saturday, 30 June 2012

My Garden

It has been a beautiful day today, if a bit over breezy, but my sort of temperature. Warm enough to sit outside for lunch, but not too hot for a bit of pottering.  I took my camera out to capture some of the colour combinations which have happened spontaneously in my garden.  I did have a planting plan once upon a time, but now a-days things usually just appear. The sun was very bright and there were deep shadows. With a bit of judicious editing and by selecting my view point I have tried to make my patch look interesting.  All of the plants are very ordinary and easy to grow, but none the less interesting and often very pretty.  I will tell you the names if I know them, but please forgive errors or spelling mistakes. (I'm never sure what the rules are for the use of capital letters when naming plants, so mine are a bit random)
 Clicking on the pictures will give you a larger view.

Under the cotoneaster in deep shade is a campanula with very lax stems, but which likes to grow upright and lean against the fence. It has star shaped flowers. It doesn't want to come out of this spot, I have tried unsuccessfully to transplant bits round the garden.  I scattered the seeds of the bright pink lychnis all round the garden. I love the way the brilliant cerise flowers seem to glow in the shade.  
This little pink perennial geranium has done well with all the rain as this is a very dry spot.

Here I have more lychnis, sisyrinchium and purple toadflax, which is a weed/wild flower, but the bees love it. Behind it is a large fennel with beautiful feathery foliage.

Some scarlet and white Verbena and Alyssum 

Here is a pink centaurea and aquilegia seed heads catching the sun on the edge of a border - in the shadow you can make out the glowing pink of Herb Robert which is another rather prolific weed/wildflower.

In this spot a self-seeded Welsh poppy has popped up with the snap-dragons and valerian

Here is another campanula with some Creeping Jenny, the colours really sing

And finally here is a little puzzle for you - can you spot the three little frogs in pond weed below?

Thanks for joining me in my garden, I'll share a little sewing with you now.
This is a bit of 'mad' quilting I did following an idea from Quilting Arts magazine for free form piecing and extreme embellishing - great fun but rather a bright mixture.

I enjoyed stitching it but was flummoxed as to what I could do with it - it certainly didn't merit hanging on a wall - or so I thought until I watched this weeks Design Matters TV.  Laura Kemshall was showing how to use all your samples and odd pieces of quilting to make hanging bags.  They are folded from a square, envelope style with the edges touching.

I have edged it with braid made from twisted sari ribbon and it works really well.
Now what am I going to do with it?
Hope you are enjoying some sunshine too - have a good week.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Back to full flow

I have been back to creative flow this week - that is when I haven't been putting things away -  dishes and cutlery, pots and pans, the ironing, gardening tools, sewing stuff, groceries, bills, jars of spices and herbs, empty jam jars, pencils, pens and paint brushes, books, and so on and so on and so on. How come I get all this STUFF out in the first place? There are only two of us in this house and I wonder how we manage to fill every surface.  I never did cultivate good domestic habits despite my mother's best efforts, but I do try to put things away when I have finished with them, however they still seem to pile up on me.  Still, after a good tidying session I can feel vindicated in getting a lot more stuff out.
Firstly it was all the sewing threads and beads.  I have added to my splattered pieces from my last post with French knots, seed stitch and beads. These are for my C&G course.

I am pleased with this carnation piece and feel it could make a panel on a cushion cover, if I had the right colour fabric to go with it.

I thought you might like to see my work using the photograph I took of the planter also in my last post.

First I did a bit of colour analysis.

I printed up some black and white versions and worked on some pencil studies - the right hand piece is a slice of elm that used to be a rustic coffee table, but is now slowly rotting in the garden.

I took advantage of the one sunny afternoon we've had to do some pen drawings of foliage. By copying the drawings I have been experimenting with some compositions.

I drew the planter by first tracing the photograph and then using the tracing to print out a line drawing for adding colour to.

I'm thinking of how I can translate this into a textile piece.  Trying to do the whole thing is a bit too ambitious for my skill level so I'm thinking of selecting an area to concentrate on - watch this space.
Just going to put away the pencils, pens, paints, scissors, glue, camera and sketchbook before I get out the sewing machine for some fabric piecing practice.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend,

Monday, 18 June 2012

Monday, Monday

At last we are having some sunshine between the showers.  On Saturday I took the opportunity to visit Hitchin, a pleasant market town only about 8 miles away, I enjoyed myself mooching round the market and charity shops - so much more interesting than our local ones.

Apart from some supplies this was the only thing I bought.  As it says Washable and Dry Cleanable, I'm not sure if this will remove the marks of if they are permanent - a bit of an experiment needed.
I was attracted by this crowd hanging around the church gate.
But a peek through the gates soon explained their interest. I was really glad I'd popped my point and shoot into my shopper.

Only a swift glimpse of the bride and broom with their littlest bridesmaids I'm afraid, and all too fast to snap. 
Overheard "Mum! Dad! I've just SEEN the queen"
What a lovely day, it was bright and very breezy, really cheering after all the dullness.

Meanwhile I've been working on my C&G tasks.  This time spattering fabric paint.  What a mess I got myself into, which I was why I was pleased to buy a box of disposable gloves on Hitchin market.
I masked the fabric with freezer paper and used a toothbrush to splatter the paint.

Now I'm adding some stitches.

I was looking round the garden for some inspiration when I spotted the lichens on this cement planter.

I think I can feel some more paint splattering coming on.

Have a good week

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Craving for sunshine

This little orchid has been blooming in my kitchen since Christmas. At certain times of the day it fills the air with a beautiful scent - I can only describe it as vanilla and roses - and sometimes it doesn't seem to smell at all.

I love the combination of yellow, orange and shocking pink and decided to use this as a starting point for a colour project.

I really feel the need to work with these bright colours during this dismal weather!

The next job is to play about with proportion. Design Matters TV has been very useful on this subject.  It is a different matter when using collage or fabric than painting which is my usual media as you have to  plan before you start working, rather than when painting you can work more spontaneously and instinctively. I'm not finding this as easy as I thought  I would so it is a good learning opportunity for me. I am usually most happiest working from life when painting, or when sewing, just playing with the materials at hand, when I have tried to create what is in my head I usually fall short of my expectations so I hoping working on these activities will help me be more conscious of colour and more in control. 

Meanwhile I have been working through my tasks for my C&G Creative Quilt Making with some work on texture.

These look rather dull after my other pages, I must get back to my sunshine.

Fingers crossed for a brighter week ahead,

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Nice day for a wedding

I may have mentioned I had been asked to photograph my friend's wedding on Saturday.  They wanted me to capture the atmosphere of the day, rather than making a formal record. I was quite nervous about doing it  although I knew other people would be taking pictures too. However I am pleased with the results.  The sun even shone when we came out of the church.
Here is a small selection, I'll let the pictures tell the story

Congratulations John and Trish, and here's to your future happiness.
love, Jill