Test post

I have not blogged for far too long. I ran out of space to upload my photos to WordPress, and didn’t want to pay the amount they weer charging for more storage space, which was approximately equal to a year’s worth of Heat’n’Bond.

My photos were uploading to Flickr fine, but I needed to find a way to easily get them into a blog post. I’m trying a new app, and if this works, I will try to go back and update you on what I have made in the past 6 months.

For now, lets see if this image comes across from Flickr ok:


I spent some lovely summer and early autumn evenings picking blackberries, giving me a 4kg harvest.

Last Sunday, a friend and I spent several happy hours in his kitchen, listening to some good music, and making jam.

Berries ready to go.

We had plenty of jars to use up.

Very precise measuring of jar apertures to cut waxed paper circles!

How much sugar!

Bubbling nicely 🙂

I didn’t take any more photos after this, but we made 13 jars of blackberry jam, and 8 jars of blackberry and apple jelly. It’s lovely, great in porridge.

We also made some non-Newtonian semi-Freddo, with some of the water which we poured over the berries, boiled for a bit, and then changed our minds, so poured it off and froze it. It is amazing, quite tart, but wonderful with chocolate ice cream. We’ll never be able to replicate it, sadly.

A Productive Day

I am working to finish a couple of quilts that have sat mounted on canvas for a couples of weeks, and just need bindings adding. This is the first time I have added fused bindings to quilts on canvases, so I did the little one first to get my hand in, before tackling the 1m by 50cm whopper.

I dyed the fabrics for the bindings, here is the light one drying on my line:

And here’s the finished piece, already up on the wall:

For the second one, I had a go at tray dyeing:

When I washed it out, I ended up with mostly orange! I think it’s because I had such an analogous set of dyes, but I am still pleased with the subtle patterns, and it’ll look nice on my quilt.

I have put the fusible on the back of the strips, but had to stop, because the curry which is simmering on the hob needed to be stirred; I’d neglected it for quite a while!

My (Mostly) Coffee Pots Sketchbook

At the Bramble Patch retreat in July, I showed Hilary Beattie my little sketchbook, and she really liked it. She asked if she could borrow it to share with her Facebook and YouTube followers, as it’s a great example of a play/sketchbook for learning your materials and trying out ideas.

Hilary has now posted the video, and I thought you might like to see it, both to see the book in more detail, and also, for me at least, it is fascinating to see my work through someone else’s eyes.

Watch the video here on Hilary’s YouTube channel.
Her channel is well worth subscribing to, and you can also follow her on Facebook here. She is very generous with her thoughts and ideas.

A little sketching – Bath Abbey Grounds

My husband and I spent a lovely weekend in Bath, sightseeing and relaxing. We spent 4 hours in the Roman Baths museum, a wonderful place. I took lots of photos, and I will share some of them with you once I have them loaded onto the PC.

We spent a lovely few minutes sat in the Abbey grounds enjoying  freshly made lemonades, and I sketched this flower bed and tree:

Tip Ins on a Tuesday

I only got a bit of time to play in my sketchbook last night. I tipped in a little A6 card and its envelope; when I was printing and dyeing at the weekend, I made these pages and card to go together:

I also added some colour with Pablo colouring pencils, and dabbers:

This page was made with another tipped in card, featuring a thermofax screen of a feather, done in white screen printing ink and over dyed:

I also added some white colouring pencil over the feather on the right, to bring it up a bit:

This page was a hand print, because I absentmindedly squeezed the roller to see how much paint was left in it. Turns out there was quite a lot. It had a bit of colour added too:


It’s amazing what five minutes can lead to…

This Sunday just gone I went on a dayschool with friends from Birmingham Embroiderers’ Guild, with Cas Holmes.

It was an interesting, and challenging day, which started with some drawing in the garden. We then swapped sketchbooks, and worked on other people’s drawings for a bit.

Our sketchbooks laid out for discussion

We also stained and coloured pages, which I enjoyed as I am confident doing it from my current sketchbooks practice. This time, I used my inktense bars, and was very pleased with the lovely colours I got. I also enjoyed rolling the wet bars over the pages, which led to these lovely broken grids:

I then took an isolated section of the morning’s drawing, and made a collage based on it:

And added back in the drawings from earlier, extending the page and adding both hand and machine stitch.

Overall it was a challenging but enjoyable day, which pushed me out of my comfort zone, but in a positive way. In the future, I want to do more sketching, and incorporate more stitch in sketchbooks. 

What a difference some dye makes!

I added some dyes to more sketchbook pages this morning. I love how dye transforms pages from dull and disparate, into exciting compositions, especially where there is gesso in the background, and different dye colours mix.
From this:

To this:

And this:


I also added some dye to these sketchbook pages:

Plenty of colouring fodder for evenings ahead.