Saturday, 29 February 2020

What shall I do with this.

It was raining this morning so I was pleased to have booked myself on another workshop at the 20 21 Arts Centre. Mind you, during the morning the rain cleared up and the sun came out, which made the room super hot. 
The subject this time was re using, re inventing, and re purposing vintage textiles, using screen printing and stitching. There was a large variety of textiles to choose from, I picked a tablecloth already embroidered with flowers, and cut off a quarter of it to work on. 
The morning was taken up with deciding on a pattern to print onto it, making a template and choosing colours. 
Everyone's work was different, so many different ideas.

 I find it very difficult to come up with a design when under pressure. The workshop starts at 10.30am and finishes at 3.30pm, with half an hour for lunch, so not much time to gather ideas and put them into practice. You know me, sometimes I take a month or two before my pictures are finished. Anyway, this is a yellow tree with ivy growing around the trunk. I had to paint over it with a small brush because the screen printing had left patches not covered. Then I diluted some red and blue paint and dropped blobs of it onto the fabric. Not sure why, I just wanted to fill in the white areas.

I've got several pieces now waiting to be finished, don't know when I'll get round to them. This needs lots more stitching,

The workshop was tutored by Jane McKeating. Here is some information about her. She is part of the 62 Group of artists. And more information on the Manchester School of Art web site.

The wind is howling outside, and the rain is coming down. There will be no walking tonight, looks like another storm has arrived. Don't forget it's check in day tomorrow for the walkers.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Friday, 28 February 2020

What's happening.

I didn't think I was going to get a walk today, it's been raining non stop for hours. Finally at 7.45pm it stopped and I have just done my three miles. It was surprisingly warm as well. Other people had the same idea, several dog walkers about, plus two runners and a couple of other walkers I see occasionally.

Only one more day to the end of the month and I am not going to make the target of 168. I will be a few miles short. I have missed seven days this month, due to stormy weather. Oh well, will have to catch up in March.

Don't forget it's check in day for the International Walking Group members on Sunday. A short month, let us know how you are doing with your particular challenge.

The cats took one look out of the cat flap and said, no thanks, and went back to bed. I have been sewing most of the day. Not far off finishing a large mandala.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Thursday, 27 February 2020

You might fall asleep while you watch this

Oh my, I have just discovered kinetic art, and I am blown away by it's beautiful lines and shapes, and it's ability to calm the mind. I have to put it on here to share. Anthony Howe has it down to a fine art, his instillations are masterpieces. Amazingly they are powered by the wind. Check out this video.

This is a shorter compilation of his work.

This is his web site.   He has a Facebook page with several videos on it.

And as usual, one video leads to another. This is Mark Wright's Sculpture Garden in Santa Fe.

I need to watch more of this, it's mesmerising. Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Mini Mandalas

Something small and easy to fill in the time before I start another big one. These two hoops fit one inside the other, a bit like a bicycle wheel and a tyre. I bought two of them from a charity shop months ago for 50p each. There is no screw to tighten them like a traditional hoop, they fit tightly together trapping the fabric. The little hook is just for hanging. 
I dyed the white cotton fabric with bleeding tissue paper. It's been hanging around for a while, time to do something with it. Here is a blog post from January 2018 about bleeding tissue paper.

All finished, the back is ready to be closed up. I put a circle of wadding in it to give the stitching a firm base.

The pink hoop is a bangle, I have used bits of jewellery and embellished them with sequins, beads and French knots. A bit like mini mandalas, keep adding another border to make them bigger.

There's a little bit of gold in there. 

I like a tidy back. I did a running stitch around the edge and pulled it tight, a bit like making a Suffolk Puff. Then covered it with a circle of felt. It measures 12 cm across.

I think that looks pretty neat. Now to think of an idea for the other frame. 
Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday, 24 February 2020

Ooooops, almost forgot.......

I made a couple of short videos of Terry and his family playing at the Tamworth Tap on Tuesday night. They've been on my yooootoooob channel for a few days. Here they are.

Terry has put more videos out since then. They have been to North Wales and visited some churches, so if you like looking round churches visit his yoooootoooob channel. If you want to see more of the Miles family, Anthony Miles, Elsie Miles, and Kevin R Miles, they all have their own channels.

The wind is still howling here, it's very noisy, I've been out for a walk tonight, well wrapped up I might say. Only five days to the end of the month, if I take any more days off I will be struggling to reach the target.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Old box - new box

This box used to belong to my uncle, I rescued it from the skip when my auntie downsized. It's a sturdy box. quite old I would imagine. I'm not keen on the colours and it is a bit tatty, so why not decorate it and give it a new life. 
Gather together all my small bits of cotton fabric, and randomly stick them on with PVA glue. No particular pattern. This is the top.

This is the bottom.

The sides are covered as well. 
I did think about covering the inside in the same way, but opted for plain white. Measure and cut the pieces to the exact size. Two smaller pieces for each side, one large piece to cover the lid and bottom.

This handy little box is going to be quite useful.

Don't throw away your useful boxes, PVA glue is cheap from the £1 shop, and it's easy to do.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Friday, 21 February 2020

The River Trent is now a lake

I was in Burton upon Trent on Wednesday, visiting my sister. We took a walk from her house to town. She is on one side of the Trent, high up well out of the way of the floods, town is over the Ferry Bridge, a pedestrian bridge. It's normally flooded around here after heavy rain, but this time it is particularly bad after the recent storms. 
The bridge in the distance is the road bridge. Stapenhill Gardens have been flooded quite badly over the last few weeks. 
The area around the big white swan was flooded right up to it last week. My Auntie said it looked like it was sitting on a nest.

We set off across the Ferry Bridge. It's not obvious where the edge of the river is supposed to be. 

The steps that lead nowhere.

Water as far as you can see.

There are lots of footpaths around here, not today though.

We came into the town centre at the college and walked through the market to the library. This bridge is behind the library. You can walk over it, but today it ain't going anywhere.

The play area behind the library is definitely not open.

There is a lot of repair work going on between the library and the leisure centre, which is also close to the river. The bags of chippings are submerged in the water.

We went in the library cafe for a snack, afterwards my sister took her grandson to the cinema and I walked back across the bridge to my car, and came home. Luckily the road going north was ok, not very busy, but there were long queues going south because the A38 was flooded and closed between Branston and Barton. The further north I went, the less water I saw. Not much at all in my neck of the woods. 
I've got a couple of my own short Terry videos on yooootooob. Giving you a rest today, I'll put them on tomorrow. No doubt that will annoy the trolls, ha ha. Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Terry Miles Live, a real treat

It's nice to go away, and nice to come back home. Yes, some of you have noticed that I was at Terry Miles and family live stream on yooootooob on Tuesday night at the Tamworth Tap. There was some serious piano bashing going on and we all got a real treat. Terry on piano and vocals, Anthony on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and piano, Elsie on vocals and piano, as well as doing most of the filming, and Terry's dad on vocals and guitar. What a talented family they are. A large crowd of fans and supporters gathered for an entertaining evening. A few photo's.

I have been following Terry for some time now. When a new video pops up I get myself a coffee and watch it. I am always amazed at his energy and enthusiasm for bashing out a good tune.

Terry's brother Anthony is also talented and has his own yooootooob channel under the name of Acoustic Milestone. He can provide live acoustic music for all occasions.

Time to relax at the end of the show. Although I went on my own, I came away with some new found friends. The whole family are smashing. I had a brilliant time.

I did a couple of short videos with my camera, I will upload them to yoootooob tomorrow. In the meantime, here is the video which they shot of the whole event, filmed mainly by Elsie, but with Terry taking over when she was giving us a song at the piano. It's almost two hours long.

I stayed at the Travelodge in Tamworth which is five minutes walk to the pub, so that was convenient. I managed to drink a pint and a half of cherry cider which was delicious, but decided to stop at that, didn't want to get a fuzzy head. I combined this trip with visiting my Auntie Pat, and sister, at Burton upon Trent. It all worked out really well. Very enjoyable.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday, 17 February 2020

And another one.

Assemblage number two. This time touched up with silver metallic. 

Silver or gold, which is best.
On the back I have stuck a map of London. Wire to hang them.

I might do another of these if I come across the right size box. Still got plenty of bits and bobs left. Moving on, what's next. 
I have just got round to trying out my little Samsung Netbook, now with Windows 10 installed. It looks much the same as the format on the big computer. Luckily Keith has managed to transfer all the Windows 7 data across, so I'm ready to go. Cheaper than buying a new computer. Get someone who knows what they are doing. 
Toodle pip.  ilona

Albert and Harold

You can't beat a bit of Steptoe and Son on a Monday morning. A good old belly laugh sets me up for the day. Note the string vest, the hole in the sock, and the ton of unhealthy great British breakfast. Ha ha. Brilliant.

Now I'm off to Crafty Club. Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Another string. . . . . . . .

And the storms continue. Wind and sideways rain outside. Looking at the weather reports some parts of the country are going through hell. Not much disruption here at the moment, but I feel sorry for those over the other side of the country, the Midlands and Wales. Yorkshire is suffering pretty badly again, especially around Hebden Bridge area. The flood defences have let them down, so sad. 
Yesterday I was taking part in a workshop at 20 21 Arts centre. I learnt the basics of Shibori, where you stitch into the fabric, then dye it. These three samples are what the tutor did to give us ideas for the pattern we might like to make. 
We were all given a piece of white cotton fabric, and I decided to stitch simple leaf shapes into it. You need lots of short pieces of cotton, start off on one side of the design, running stitches all going the same way, and leaving loose ends so they can be gathered up and pulled tight. 
This is mine, all pulled tight, don't cut the loose ends off.

Then it goes into a bucket of water for ten minutes for a good soaking, then transferred to a bucket of dye, and lifted out after two minutes. Some of the ladies did an exercise of folding another piece of fabric into squares and dying that. I skipped that bit.

We took our pieces home and left them to dry. This morning I removed all the threads, washed it in a bowl of water, and dried and ironed it. This is the result. I quite like the look of it. 

I enjoyed doing this, a nice way to spend a rainy Saturday, and I have learnt something new. Looking down the list of workshops on offer, I spotted another one that I might like. Re purposing vintage textile items, could be good, so I booked myself a place. 
It's looking like it might have stopped raining, I need to get outside the back door and cut my hair. 
Toodle pip.  ilona