Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thank you very much

Well I haven't got the Blue M and Ms that I asked for from Britsh Gas, nor the Cava, nor the picture of the Chief Exec. (with or without drawn on moustache and speech bubble), but to be fair, I have had a very nice apology and my final bill has been wavered - so thank you BG - I might even buy some celebratory M and Ms.
I've been working more on my picture of the Brinsley Headstocks too, and like to think that I've now created a sense of depth that the original piece was missing.
And I've been working on a collage/screen printed piece inspired by Prague's Dancing Buildings (I love Prague, its such a beautiful city) so hopefully have lots of work to post up soon.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Feeling better now

I'm gradually learning that it's almost always impossible to change the attitudes of other people, and that therefore it's necessary to change you're own approach to dealing with people - so, for instance,  if somebody is being particularly annoying, I try to think, "Poor X, it's not their fault that their really horrible, they must be really lonely with no friends" It doesn't always work, but it's largely better than feeling pointlessly angry.

This week though, I've had to put up with incompetence from all of the major utility companies, and was starting to get really, really annoyed.

Deep breaths, and time for a slightly different approach; one that at least has already made me smile, and stop ranting.....

Therefore, I am currently awaiting a response from British Gas.

I've asked to be compensated with.....

blue M and Ms (200 of)

a bottle of Cava
and a picture of their Chief Exec, complete with a cartoon moustache, and a speech bubble saying "I've let the customer down, I've let my team down, but most of all..... I've let myself down."

Just the process of deciding what to ask for as compensation, started to snap me out of my bad mood.

Ach feeling much better now!

hanging out the bunting.

Been a busy few days - I've been making bunting in advance of the open studios event (I feel like I'm trapped inside a Banksy picture) been trying to finish off pieces for next weeks craft fair, and do my homework as well.
Today I worked with my nordic walking instructor friend, to help her design a patchwork square.  She has a friend who has cancer and is wanting friends contribute patchwork squares so she can sew together a giant patchwork quilt of hope, with colours graduating from dark to light.  The idea is that it will give her something to occupy her on the days she doesn't feel like much company, or doesn't want to watch the television.  After a run, discussing ideas we sketched out some draft ideas, and came up with the idea of feet and (nordic) pole prints walking into the sunshine.
I think it's a lovely idea, especially as everybody involved will tune in to their creative side in doing this.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Brinsley Headstocks

I've tried combining my love of creating trees from textiles, with my love of the local area - so here's my take on the Brinsley Headstocks using collage and textiles, it's not quite complete yet, but it seems pertinent to share it ....
Brinsley Headstocks

....It's pretty ironic that my piece is to get finished as yet another risk to building on our green fields - there's so much heritage and wildlife in the local area, yet it seems that it's up for sale to the person who is the highest bidder - time and time again, green field sites are being used for development over brownfield sites, yet its all ok with the Council, if the developer promises to build new access roads (and destroy even more green fields)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Puts me to shame

Wow - there's me struggling to train for the Eyam half marathon and then I go and hear about a guy who's 101 and still running marathons
Pretty inspirational, and just goes to turn stereotypes of old age on its head

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Order, order

Well I'm not sure how long my cottons will stay orderly, but it was quite a nice task arranging them thus
I had the added bonus, while I was sorting them, of finding my free machine embroidery foot, which I'd put in a very safe place during the move (and of course was so safe, that I subsequently couldn't find it)
In fact today has been a good day so far, not only did I find the foot, I've also been given a paint roller for painting acrylics on to fabrics, and some metal shelving for the workshops, we were also offered some window glass for cold frames  - we're definitely feeling the love on this cold bleak morning.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Textilers in the Making

I've been using my neighbours' children as guinea pigs again this week!  Half term seemed the perfect week to make sock animals with them - although it's good a job I didn't have a firm "sock animal" plan in my head - as the conversation went something like this Me; What do you want to make, an animal or a monster?.
Them; Animal.  M; Ok - What kind of animal?  Them:  A butterfly.    Errr ok, that tested my creativeness to its limits.  In the end we pretty much abandoned the sock element and went for basics with pom poms and pipe cleaners, and the fact that they were happy with what they'd made was pretty evident.
I'm really made up though, because yesterday I got a thank you card, a butterfly incorporating bits of MATERIAL!!!!
Hoorah - textilers in the making!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

feeling the love from freecycle

We both love Freecycle.  For those who haven't come across it yet, check it out.  It's a website that allows you to gift away things that you no longer need, and that others may want, and stops lots of perfectly usable items going to landfill.  All that it asks is that you gift some thing first, and then you become a member of a local group, and are able to ask for things that are being gifted or even post "wants".
Like most things where there's the possibility of something for nothing, there are some greedy and unrealistic people who ask for cars, flat screen tvs, lap tops and the like, but they're in the minority, and thankfully, largely ignored.  The majority of fellow freecyclers are more likely to be queueing up for a few panes of old greenhouse glass or chicken manure.
We recently offered Cols old mountain bike, and not surprisingly we were deluged with requests, now this is the hard bit, how do you weed people down.  Unfortunately there are usually a few people who are rude and just don't get it - comments such "I'll take the bike off your hands, tell me your address, and I'll come over now", get instantly deleted, and unfortunately people claiming to work for charities are usually the worst culprits of doing this, so we generally look for the friendliest sounding email, and this is how we chose to gift the bike.  Definitely a good choice of people, they've already been back in touch twice to tell us how happy it's made them, and we are definitely feeling the love, from gifting something, that was basically taking up room in the shed.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Fisherman

This isn't my story, but I think it pretty much says everything, that I'd like to say

A few years ago, a very rich businessman decides to take a vacation to a small tropical island in the South Pacific. He has worked hard all his life and has decided that now is the time to enjoy the fruits of his labour. He is excited about visiting the island because he’s heard that there is incredible fishing there. He loved fishing as a young boy, but hasn’t gone in years because he has been so busy working to save for his retirement.
So on the first day, he has his breakfast and heads to the beach. It’s around 9:30 am. There he spots a fisherman coming in with a large bucket full of fish!
How long did you fish for? he asks. The fisherman looks at the businessman with a wide grin across his face and explains that the fishes for about three hours every day. The businessman then asks him why he returned so quickly.
Don’t worry, says the fisherman, There’s still plenty of fish out there.
Dumbfounded, the businessman asks the fisherman why he didn’t continue catching more fish. The fisherman patiently explains that what he caught is all he needs. I’ll spend the rest of the day playing with my family, talking with my friends and maybe drinking a little wine. After that I’ll relax on the beach.”
Now the rich businessman figures he needs to teach this peasant fisherman a thing or two. So he explains to him that he should stay out all day and catch more fish. Then he could save up the extra money he makes and buy and even bigger boats to catch even more fish. The he could keep reinvesting his profits in even more boats and hire many other fisherman to work for him. If he works really hard, in 20 or 30 years he’ll be a very rich man indeed.
The businessman feels pleased that he’s helped teach this simple fellow how to become rich. Then the fisherman looks at the businessman with a puzzled look on his face and asks what he’ll do after he becomes very rich.
The businessman responds quickly You can spend time with your family, talk with your friends, and maybe drink a little wine. Or you could just relax on the beach.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Just walking the dog

We're looking after my friends dog for a week.  She's beautiful; and is a King Charles spaniel  crossed with  a chinese poodle, and has very very soft fur. Unfortunately for us (her?) we've been told that she doesn't like getting muddy, which is a bit problematic, as we're surrounded by muddy open fields.  We're not sure if we're going to be handing back a traumetised dog at the end of the week, but so far, she seems to be embracing the puddles - though I think she's going to have to have a bit of wash and brush up before we return her.
Pictures later

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A very special delivery

This one's a bit different to my usual pieces, but has been great fun to make.  Asked to make a cushion for a new born baby, I suggested that rather than sew the details, in the conventional way, that I incorporate them into a picture.  I drafted a few ideas, and the special delivery post box was the favourite, so here it is.  It was lovely to be caught up in the excitement of a new born baby, and I got to see photos of her too - she's gorgeous.
a very special delivery - cushion for a new born baby

It's been nice to work in a different style, and as most of my commissions have been wall art, its also been interesting to design something very personal that is practical too.  I've posted it on to my website and once Col has framed some new pieces for me, I'll post some new pieces of wall art on there too.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Should I be worried and the fur is flying!

Hmmmm my watch battery has died - not a problem in itself, except that it has a lifetime guarantee.  So should I be worried?
Worries about my mortality aside, I've now seen the puppet, all finished, it's fab, and I have started sewing scarves using fake fur - they're very warm and snuggly, only problem is, that where you cut, the fur flies, and consequently I am covered in fur, and look like the proud owner of about 10 huskies....
And talking about dogs, we get to dog sit at the weekend - more later!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

It's a puppet

I've been helping a neighbours child, to create a puppet for her homework.  I'm not sure that I was quite so young, when I learned the skill of getting other people to help me do my homework!, they'd already passed the buck, and got their mum involved before I was asked to help out too, and so after sorting out material scraps that were pink, purple, or had sequins, and de-coating myself from the mud from this mornings run, I got invited around to "play" on a Sunday afternoon.  And what a team we were - the littleees drawing faces, and stuffing body parts, and me and mum sewing layers and layers of material.
I'm not sure our puppet will win any prizes, but the main thing was, that we had a good fun afternoon, and now I think I've got two friends, who I can test potential workshops on.