Tuesday, 30 June 2020

A closer look at Hidden Treasure.

Good morning, grey skies again in North Lincolnshire, but not raining.....yet. I made this video yesterday about how I made Hidden Treasure. Some of you may have read the post and seen the pictures I put out the other day, so skip this if you don't want to see my mush or hear me droning on about it. The choice is yours, dear reader. 

I always take a still picture before I film to check if the camera is set up right. I look a bit washed out against the yellow wall. Roots are coming through, I need to do something with the hair soon. 
I still have some Orkney rope left so another bowl is under construction. This time wrapped with red hairy wool, and stitched together with white wool.
When it gets to this stage I need to decide how big it's going to be and when I should start curving the sides upwards. For the first two I used the colander as a mould. Shall I carry on a bit longer with the flat bottom or start curving now. I might use a bowl with a bigger base, time to decide. 
Last shout out to the International Walking Group members, it's check in day tomorrow. Six months have gone already, are you on target, or are you struggling to keep up. I have passed the 500 mile mark, not by as much as I would have liked though, it's been either too hot to walk in the daytime, or, in the last few days, too wet. Let us know how you are getting on tomorrow. 
Cheers for now. Toodle pip.  ilona

Monday, 29 June 2020

Crafty me

Hello and good morning on this dull and windy Monday morning. I will plan my day around the weather today. The front lawn needs mowing, thought about leaving it to develop into a wild flower meadow, but maybe not. I might fit a walk in if it doesn't rain. Otherwise I will carry on playing with rope and wool. And I need to make some videos. 
Trying different materials and different ideas is proving to be quite enjoyable. I've had this roll of fine mesh for absolutely donkey's years, there ought to be something I can do with it. Some orange cord left, so let's get crafting.  
It was going to be a bowl, but ended up as a coaster. I thought I would give it a frilly edge. The orange colour looks kind of lost, too much of the luminous green, when I do this again I will look for something a bit finer to blend in with the base colour, and not blot it out all together. I've done this in a blanket stitch by the way. 
The bowl I made with the green cord and white wool. I have given it a pink edge. When making these you can always add a bit more on with crochet. 

Here is a photo of the pan of veggie stew I have on the go at the moment. I put some Quorn chunks in it, and the salsa sauce came from a sachet of ready made sauce, which was a year out of date. I don't care, it tastes lovely. A portion left for lunch today, and if I add some ready cooked rice I can spin it out for a dinner later on. 
I did an Aldi shop yesterday afternoon, I thought 3pm on a Sunday would be a good time to do it, an hour before they close. It wasn't very busy, and I didn't need much so it was hassle free. I still think after 7pm at night is better, so I will stick to that. Must make sure I don't run out of anything and have to go during the daytime in a panic. 
Another shock this morning when I logged on here. The post, Getting ready for Camping, has had over 9,100 page views, which takes it to the top of the list for the most page views of all times, beating the previous winner by 500 views. I am gobsmacked. 
Anyway, I'm going to get off, just remembered I need to go to the Post Office in the church this morning. Toodle pip..ilona

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Helicopter surveilance is hotting up.

I am stunned, there has been six and a half thousand page views on yesterdays post, Getting ready for camping. It wasn't that interesting, was it! I think the search engines are picking it up because everyone is gooooglying the word 'camping' at the moment. People are wanting to break free and go off and do their own thing. It has risen to the second most viewed post of all time on the blog, within the last 24 hours. WOW. 
Anyway, it was a great day for walking yesterday. I took my wet gear just in case I got caught in a downpour, but luckily it stayed dry. It was warm and breezy, just right. I love to see the different cloud formations drift across the blue sky. 

Oh wow, flippin heck, what is it. Didn't expect to see that, and the noise, deafening. 
Remember the pea planting, look at them now. The little babies are growing up fast.
Playing with some filters.
A different shade of green.
Looks gloomy but it wasn't. 
Here pussy pussy pussy. Must have escaped from the zoo. 
The weather today looks much the same as yesterday. We are coming up to the end of the month and half way through the year. A shout out for the International Walking Group, time to catch up if you are lagging behind, time to relax if you are ahead of yourself. Check in day is on Wednesday the 1st of July. Best foot forward. 
Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Getting ready for camping

I slept in my previous car a few times, I used a thick piece of foam which covered the whole of the back. It was ok, comfortable enough, but this arrangement is going to be better. The sunlounger fits in perfectly, and with it's original mattress plus the foam folded in half it's going to be super comfortable. The Ford Focus Estate ticks all the boxes for me. 

Lying stretched out on my back, which is my preferred sleeping position. Privacy glass means I can see out and nobody can see in. 
I am 5ft 5ins, plenty of room for me. 
I have plastic boxes for storage of bits and bobs. Small camping stove, food, pots and pans etc. Change of clothes, and wash gear. Plastic bowl and water. At the bottom end there will be space for the tent, small table and a chair, and a pee bucket. I have a portapotti if I need it. 
I have made a curtain to go across the front. There isn't enough headroom to sit on the bed, but if I need to sit in because it's raining, I can move the pillows across to the side to make it comfortable and sit on the carpeted floor. 

I won't be rushing off anywhere soon because everyone else will be on the move when the restrictions are lifted. I will give it a month or so for things to calm down, then I will choose my camp sites carefully. There is no need for me to interact with anyone, except booking in when I arrive. If the toilet blocks are not open that's ok, I will be self sufficient. I have the option of putting the tent up alongside the car and using that for washing and toilet facilities. If the toilet blocks are open it will be a quick poop in the morning and out again, taking with me a seat cover, rubber gloves and soap. 
So, that is the plan. I don't feel like I want to use hotels, or hostels, don't want to go to busy places, and will look for small sites with well spaced out pitches, where I can walk from. When it's time to go away I will fill the car up with petrol, and shop at Aldi for food to take with me. I am well used to peeing behind a hedge if I need to during the journey, otherwise no need to stop till I get to the site.   
Now I have that sorted I don't feel so trapped. I would hate to think I cannot go anywhere ever again, my freedom has always meant a lot to me. This set up makes me feel better, it is there when I need it. 
Have a nice weekend. We have rain today, a welcome break from the searing heat. Toodle pip.  ilona 

Friday, 26 June 2020

Adding to the family

And another one. This time using the cord I have left over from the spiral picture, originally got it from the Scrapstore. 
Found a video showing a different way of stitching, this time, blanket stitch. I made it a bit smaller.
There is always going to be a lump at the end. This can be minimised by cutting the cord or rope at an angle, and binding it tightly to give it a gradual slope. 

I think this may benefit with some contrasting thread crocheted around the top edge. Might try that. 
I'm a bit sunburnt from sitting outside yesterday, it was only for a short time. My skin is looking very dried up and prune like, not liking this getting old thing. Looks like no sun today, still muggy warm though. I think a thunderstorm is imminent. Might get a walk in before it starts. 
I'll get off, plenty to do. Toodle pip.. ilona

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Highway to Hell - The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Hello. A lovely visit from my sis and her hubby today. we sat in the garden but it was as hot as hell. 
Has anyone seen the UOGB before, just discovered them the other day, love their energy. Try this for a taster, there are plenty more to choose from. Happy music to make you tap your feet.

Tell me what you think, is it your kind of music. I like a bit of lively head banging stuff. 
Catch ya tomorrow. Toodle pip.  ilona

Changing landscape.

It's visitor day today, so I'll pop these on here from a walk I did last week. My usual walk, the landscape changes every time I go. 
I photographed this field a few weeks ago when the ground was covered in purply pinky coloured flowers. 
The closeup shows a field of beautiful feather like greenery. with a few dots of red poppies. 
How it was......
And how it is now.....
Heading back the sky started to look a bit dramatic as the sun was being swallowed up by the dark clouds drifting across. 
I must dash, to get ready. We'll catch up later. Toodle pip.  ilona

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Bowled over

We are having some great weather, in fact, the afternoons are a bit too hot for me, so I take it easy and stop what I am doing every so often to take ten minutes and have a drink. Yesterday was a busy cleaning day. I hate housework. I sometimes think I would be better living in a caravan, but I tried that and it becomes a bit claustrophobic for me. I lived in a small two berth touring caravan when I was in between houses. It was ok in the summer months because I could spend time outdoors, and I was working, but getting into autumn and winter it became very cold. In December I gave up and bought a house, this house I am in now. I suppose I can't have it all ways, small cramped space and no housework, or lots of space which needs to be cleaned. 
My outside toilet and covered back place outside the back door, is nice and clean and tidy now, ready for my visitors tomorrow. Actually seeing the improvements I have made has made me feel better too. All I have to do now is to blitz the rest of the house. Yeah, and pigs might fly. Nah, I'll plod along keeping on top of the de cluttering and tidying, bit by bit. Too exhausting to do one whole day cleaning. 
More interesting things to do, like creating arts and crafts and walking. I made another bowl. The rope I used I picked up from the beach at Orkney eighteen months ago. It was all knotted and kinky, hence the bowl is more knobbly than the first one. This time I covered it in strips of fabric, given to me from a failed quilt project, then assembled it with different coloured wool.   
Looks ok I think. I haven't quite mastered the perfect joins in the wool, so there's room for improvement. More practice I think. I saw a video where they used a blanket stitch to keep the coils in place, I'm trying that now. 

Thank you so much for the encouraging comments on Hidden Treasure. I see it has had almost 200 likes on a Face Book group. I keep looking at it just to make sure it is finished, if I need to do anything else to it, and nope, nothing more to do, it's fine. 
Anyway, that's me done for today. We'll catch up soon. Toodle pip.. ilona 

Monday, 22 June 2020

The unveiling of Hidden Treasure.

Well here it is folks, finished at last, I think so, ha ha. I've been back and forth titivating it up, a bit more red, no too much get rid of it. Filling in the empty spaces, it needs to look full. As usual, the photo's don't do it justice, it is a lot darker than it looks here. Measurements are 28.5 inches by 20.5 inches, so it's pretty big. I have put two separate wires across the back two inches apart and joined in the middle, to make it safe to hang. inspiration for this came from Ina Solsbery Check out her yoootooob channel, she makes some amazing artworks. This is her latest project. 
The components are mainly plastic and metal, with a bit of wood. I like the tree bark dotted with tiny red gems. 
I was aiming for a stark contrast between black, red, and gold. but somewhere along the journey I changed direction as it often happens. 
I decided to make the black, not so black, and wafted different colours over it to give it a dusty and mucky finish. I now see this as an old piece of junk which has gathered dust for the last 50 years in an attic somewhere. 
The last pieces I stuck on were the coins I had collected from some foreign travel many years ago. This gave me it's title. The discovery of something old combined with actual money makes it Hidden Treasure. 

Pieces of kids plastic construction set.
Christmas tree lights stuck on a plastic lid.

I like the zips, taken apart and re modeled. 

I normally say I am chuffed with how my art turns out, but this is something different. Am I allowed to say this is stunning. If I saw it in a gallery it would immediately jump out at me, I would be drawn towards having a closer look. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but that doesn't matter, I made it for me, made it because I wanted to, and now I am well chuffed. 
I am sometimes a bit critical of other people's art, but that's usually because a few daubs of paint on a canvas says nothing to me. Very little effort has been put into that, and to put a high price on it seems ludicrous, but that's art I suppose. I will always be drawn to art where the artist has put a great deal of thought and effort into it. 
Making this has been a long journey, and now I am happy to come to the end of it. My head needs a rest, I need a break from large things and will make something smaller. Also there is work to do in the garden, cleaning the house, and tarting up the outside toilet because I may have a visitor on Thursday. Weather permitting, for a social distancing party in the garden.  
That's all for now. There are more blog posts in the pipeline, I'll catch you later. Toodle pip. ilona

Sunday, 21 June 2020

A nice surprise

Hello. An email arrived last night from Sam, which was a nice surprise. She came to my exhibition in Burton upon Trent, and bought two pictures. Here they are in her house. Her beautiful cat is posing for the camera. I particularly liked this one, it was fun to make, scraps of cotton fabric lovingly stitched into a Folk Art scene. 
And the second one, a small painting I did, acrylic on a piece of fabric. Both frames are hand painted.

Lovely to see them in someone else's house, and meeting Sam personally. Knowing she chose them because she liked them, was the icing on the cake. I'm chuffed to bits. Thank you Sam for the pics. 
I'm busy this morning, wanting to get this latest art, Hidden Treasure, finished. Thanks for popping in, Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Not ready for throwing yet.

It had to be done, my sun-visor has been broken for a while now. Normally I would remove the fabric and re cover. I've done this refurb four or five times now, saving on the cost of buying a new one. This time there was an internal problem, but the outer covering was still ok and would last a while longer. 
I unpicked the stitches across the front of the peak and removed the insides. Maybe I could stick this together, but maybe it wouldn't hold for very long. It needs a new one. 
I made a template from a cereal box, and used this to cut a new shape out of the lid of a plastic box of chocolates. 

Slot in the new one in between the layers of fabric, and stitch up the opening in matching thread with tiny stitches. There you go. This feels comfortable, a shame to throw it away. It lives just inside the front door, and it's the last thing I reach for before I go out. I don't like the sun in my eyes, it makes me squint. I don't have prescription sunglasses, don't want to pay extra for reactolight lenses, and hate those that clip over your normal specs, so this suits me fine. 

I've got a few blog posts in the pipeline now. The big black arty thing has a name, Hidden Treasure. It went off in another direction and it's growing on me, soon to be revealed. I had a good idea to turn my car into a camper, and some nice photo's from the walk yesterday. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, like the walking challenge miles. I think this increase in busyness is because I am bypassing the news. It's giving me more time to be creative. Try it, refuse to be drawn in, and find something else to do. 
I think we have some sunny days on the horizon. Tatty byes, ilona