Ernest Wright

For a long time now I’ve struggled with my scissors. The pair of Fiskars I’ve had for five years served me well but were easily blunted, and the small size of Fiskars was neither use nor ornament. So this Christmas, when everyone was taking and giving requests for Christmas presents, I made a request for a pair of scissors. A nice pair of scissors; a meaty pair, that would last a lifetime.

I didn’t really expect anyone to listen, as who would want to buy a pair of scissors for a present? Even for a quilt Meister such as myself? Apparently, my brother. Because he bought me these beasts;

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Now let me tell you these scissors are designed to last a lifetime; they’re hand crafted in yorkshire, and they are so heavy. I’ve already had a test on some taffeta I’m using to make curtains:

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The verdict? Absolutely fecking marvellous. All my fingers fit, they will not snap or break, and there’s enough steel to be sharpened for hundreds of years. And they cut like a hot knife through butter. I just have to be careful not to drop them on my glass table as they’ll prolly smash it to smithereens!

They’re from a company called Ernest Wright & Sons so please look them up. They will only benefit
your sewing!

So,Mr Brother and family, massive thank you ;0)

Roo x

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Goodbye 2014

And here it is, the end of my Annus mirabilis. I went on holiday three times, and lost a close family relative virtually each time (a brother, an aunt, and a cousin). The holiday in August culminated in my nephews coming to stay with us. And then my mother in law passed away days before Christmas. I also moved house and job just to ramp things up even more, and my job changed from managing a team of four to developing four services with another on the horizon. No wonder the blog suffered!

However, I love my house and my job, and it is a pleasure to come home each night. I consider my life to be full of opportunities. Growing old is certainly not for wimps, and I have proved my own mettle in managing the challenges our family has faced.

I am really looking forward to 2015. I plan on picking up the blog more, and will be developing some private enterprises. I would love you all taking some interest in them and giving me some support. Because remember, it is only in contact with others that we can repair ourselves and feel truly alive, and we only have one shot at this thing called life.

As Oscar Wilde once wrote, we’re all on our backs, but some of us are looking at the stars.

A xx

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Halloween

It’s almost upon us again, All Hallow’s Eve. The one night in the year when the spirits run free. Kids come knocking at your door for sweets (trick or treat), and we spend the night watching horror movies and finishing off the sweets we never managed to give out/’forget to dish out. Well, to cheer things up and perhaps help those creative juices get circulating, here are some of my favourite pictures from t’interweb – I can’t wait to read about how you’re interpreting this in your part of the world!

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New Sculpt

Hope you’re all ok and making lovely things. I’ve been quiet for a while, but I read everyone’s blogs each night. I love reading about everyone’s projects. I’m having a fairly dramatic upheaval at the moment, which is lovely, but big. As you may know, my brother passed away in February (whilst we were in US), and his children seem to have been struggling. To cut a long story short, they were placed with me over a month ago now, and we’re waiting to see for how long. They are lovely:

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But lively! And I’m used to sitting around doing nothing! So the whole crafting thing has taken a back seat whilst we spend time getting used to each other. But I’m beginning to emerge again, I’ve managed to sculpt a new head and hands:

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I’ve decided I’m getting a kiln, so that I can make some porcelain BJDs. These sculpts will be moulded as soon as we’re safely ensconced in our new home, so I can then start firing and slip casting to my heart’s content. I’ll also be using that time to blog constantly on the updates to the house. These truly are exciting times! And alongside re-training as a Family Therapist! Todmorden here we come!!

Super Sunday Pressie

Well, I’ve been mooching about on the internet today, looking for inspiration, and generally trying to get myself out of the doldrums of everyday life, when I came across the work of Cayce Zavaglia Cayce completes hand sewn portraits, with a tapestry feel to them, out of crewel wool on linen. They are astonishing in terms of what can be achieved via a needle and I am inspired by their intricate web of colour, but also by the sheer amount of time it would take to complete these:

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Ultimately they’re not something I’m going to try my hand at, but still love them.

Can I ask what’re y’all up to today? Catching up with the ironing whilst dreaming of the next project? Me too!

Love A xx

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Scrapbook

I’ve been looking through my scrapbook, and found some embroidery samples which I thought I would share with y’all. I never thought of embroidery as being ‘samplable’ but I was wrong. It is. Here is a crewel work piece (love the colours):

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Here’s a tester of sashiko:

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And here’s a sample from one of those tester packs:

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I also went through a stage of embellishing corsets, and here’s a sample:

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Finally, samples of insects and shells – all really helpful in leading me towards some spurious and final piece of work…

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So, remember that scrapbooks can consist of anything: don’t limit yourself with your own expectations!

A very tired but happy Uncle Roo x

Shibori

Well, it’s been rather a long time since I last posted something on here. This is due to the old summer holiday thing, going away, chillaxing, and generally being caught up in life stuff. I now have also acquired two extra children, so talk about life changes! Anyway, crafting…

I’ve been looking through my scrap book today; partly because I just feel jaded and uninspired. It’s so interesting to read through my creative journey, and remember where I was artistically years ago. Here’s the actual book – a beautiful leather affair, bought in a French market five years ago:

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I’ll show other parts in later posts, but today I wanted to ‘show and tell’ my shibori silk work. Shibori is basically tie-dyeing: folding and wrapping fabric and then dyeing it. It’s a Japanese art form, and any google search will bring up more information than I could hope to bring up here. Loads of artists use it, but it truly is an art form, requiring years of dedication. I don’t have that dedication, big I do like to have a go!

I used white habotai silk, a really soft and light silk, and indigo ink. I did it all in my back garden three years ago, and loved the pieces of silk hanging on the line afterwards. Here are the results – I hope you like:

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If you want a go, I’d say try it. The materials are easy to find and it’ll be fun but dirty! The results are always original, and the colours are amazing. I’d love to see your attempts!

Roo

Vampire

I have completed it. I enjoyed this sculpt no end, and worked on it virtually non stop, which is unusual for me given I normally end up moving on to other items. It’s now smiling at me at the foot of my bed when I go to sleep, bless.

Deets – made of polymer clay on wire armature, painted with acrylic, designed and made by moi. Mohair wig, threads, glass eyes, and scrap fabrics. I can now paint a dot.

Learning – sand before painting. I can finish something. I love sculpting. My house is filling up with weird creatures which I have to hide from the child, cuz they’re weird but Minecraft isn’t.

Requests – I have been asked to make something pretty, but I’m shite at making pretties, and uglies just come natural. I’ll see what I can do though…20140713-104637-38797206.jpg

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