Friday, 28 August 2015

ATC Swap & Friday Smile

I'm joining in with the 2015 ATC swap (Artist Trading Card) over at veryberryhandmade
The theme is "My Favourite......" and I chose to make my ATC in the style of my favourite artist.... Hundertwasser.
Here's my ATC, loosely after the style of his work.
I started with cuttings of brightly coloured fabric
then used a glue pen to secure them lightly to a background of black Vilene then I layered some fine tulle over all the bits.
I machine tacked a mount of black card (slightly larger than the finished size) to fix everything together and this created a stiff frame for stitching over. 
First the contours .....

then the detailed design....
I really enjoyed the challenge of making it and it amazed me that there was so much to consider in making something so tiny... it's only 2.5 x 3.5 ins.
It has already been posted to Yeovil in Somerset to Laura and I hope she likes it. She said that she loves bright colours so it should be just right for her.
Now I'm dying to see the ATC I receive from someone else in the world. 
Later....the postman arrived with a spotty envelope from Edinburgh and inside was a black & white spotty tissue parcel and inside that was my super ATC from Sherry. 
Thanks so much Sherry for all your beautiful handstitching and super ideas, the tiny cute bunting, straberry and flowers etc., but especially the teeny weeny polka dot bikini all in French knots. Love it!
and on the back......
Make the most of it... Autumn is nudging in!

It has been such good fun and I look forward to seeing all the other entries. 
Pop over to veryberryhandmade for the link to them all.

I have a huge smile on my face so I'll move over to Annie's
I'm tagging in an entry to Annie's Friday Smile at the end of this post.

We had a day out at the Southport Flower Show last weekend and found yet another giant seat to try out. Remember the one I posted from Chester a couple of weeks ago?
The only trouble this time ...I had a quite job clambering up to sit on this deck chair (whilst DH just laughed), it had been raining (hence those sensible boots) and then I had a rather wet bottom when I finally managed to struggle down again!
 I loved this outdoor loo but they could have put a door on it!
 These were my favourite flowers at the show

Friday, 14 August 2015

Friday Smile Visitors

I'm lucky to have the German branch of the family to visit after recently waving off the Brighton Belles. 
We are having a super time and yesterday was a very special day for my little grand daughter who was SIX! So lucky to share her birthday.
We started the day with her cards and little gifts (her main gift, a bike, is waiting at home in Germany) then we enjoyed a traditional family day out at the seaside in Southport. 
Fish & chips, ice cream, fair rides, then buckets & spades play time on the beach. The donkeys must have been on strike as it was the first time I had been to Southport to find them missing! 
Here the two little ones look out of the window whilst waiting for their fish & chip lunch in Jacksons, one of the oldest chippies in Southport.
 Visit Annie's astitchintime blog for even more smiles to start your weekend. 
We made a simple cake covered in cinnamon cream cheese frosting and Smarties which was a great success. 
She will have a party and cake with her little friends when she returns home.
Still in her nighty, blowing out her candles at breakfast time!

 I remembered I had one of these super all singing, all dancing, candles (bought in the £ shop) and it was a great success....
We've used them for years but I'm always amazed that so many people still haven't had the experience.
The flower opens when lit to reveal the petals and candles all alight and a burst of flame shoots from the centre.
 We just couldn't stop it playing Happy Birthday!
   Have a great weekend and keep smiling! It cost's nothing and it's catching!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Friday Smiles, Skirts & Chester Trip

I made two pretty, twirly skirts from a £2 fabric remnant and the first one was well worn last week by the younger of the Brighton Belles during her visit. 
The second will be given to my German Fraulein who arrives for a visit at the weekend. The fabric is so lovely and is almost the same as "Belle & Boo" which is so popular with children at the moment.
Perfect for her forthcoming 6th birthday 
Joining in with Annie's Friday Smile (over at astitchintimeblog)  as I am so happy to have my family visiting over these few weeks. The best gift I could have.

Recently my quilt group had a fun day out to Chester courtesy of our bus passes. 
It is a beautiful black & white timbered  cathedral city.
Take a look at this link  to see Chester in 360 degree panoramas
When we arrived in Chester we crossed the road from the railway station to the Queens Hotel and enjoyed morning coffee (and their delicious homemade shortbreads) in the comfort of their splendid lounge. It has almost become a tradition!
I chose the best seat in the hotel..........need I say that I had HIGH TEA instead of morning coffee.
I definitely went up in the World!
Afterwards to we took the bus link into the centre of the city and visited our favourite haunts including the gorgeous Liberty Bell shop on the rows. 
Well there had to be fabric involved somewhere. 
Later we had an Italian lunch in Fattoria in Bridge Street. They serve delicious, authentic home made Italian food and the service is excellent.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Celtic Braid (yet another) and Friday Smile

I've not completed much sewing lately but I have managed to finish yet another Celtic Braid table runner. This one is a gift for someone in Wales to go on the table in her new kitchen and it is made in her choice of colours. 

Each Friday, Annie, at, invites us to share something that has made us smile this week, and will hopefully make you smile too.
We've had our daughter and the Brighton Curly Girlies to stay for a week and we have had such fun. We went to a special Indian/ Sri Lankan restaurant, our favourite Yukti Art Kitchen, to celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. We'll be going again soon when the rest of our family comes from Germany and it is certainly recommended both for the excellent food and the friendly service. They made a special meal for the girlies which was exactly to their needs and they ate every morsel.
The food is a work of art on the plate but the portions are generous and whilst I enjoy everything I have been served there I could kill for their kulfi dessert.... Rose flavoured. I love it so much I now ask for it to be reserved for me, when I book a table, incase they ever run out!

We visited Knowsley Safari Park and had an excellent day... or "awesome" day as the girlies said!
Here they are watching the sealions below water level. We also enjoyed a show by these wonderfully amusing creatures.
 We drove through the estate and saw, up close, so many beautiful animals living in excellent conditions just as they would in the wild. The lions and tigers were just amazing but then we arrived at the monkey enclosure and thank goodness we chose the "safe" route outside and free from the devastation within the compound. The monkeys pounced on every car and were so adept at wrenching windscreen wipers, mirrors and anything else available which could be parted from the cars. I must admit it was good fun to watch but we could see who had the higher intellect... the drivers must be stupid to venture inside to have their car parts removed!

It's an excellent day out for young and old alike, educational and good value too and at the end of the safari drive there are plenty of rides and activities for children of all ages. The bigger rides are chargeable but there are many free safe play areas. I feel happier that the animals have so much freedom and are so well cared for. Much better than zoos.

Got any sandwiches mate? No chance as we had to keep our windows closed and move on!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Fabric ATC Swap & Sticky Fingers Quilt Show

I'm thrilled to be joining in the 7th Fabric ATC swap, with Ali, over at Very Berry Handmade and the theme is
My Favourite .....
and the rest is up to me......
so I decided to make my mini collaged, embroidered, doo dah-ed tiny piece of textile art all about my favourite artist....... 
 first a couple of doodles to try to get an impression of his work.
 I decided that this one, below, might lend itself to the task but it looks so bland as a simple sketch of black on white, when he works in bold colour and with such a great sense of freedom. I've have to reign myself in.
He worked in design, art, textiles and architecture, all on a big scale, and had extremely innovative ideas about conservation. He was certainly non-comformist and used his art to spread the message for alternative living. 
Maybe you will guess his name???
 I'll keep that to myself for a little longer unless you are canny enough to guess?
 I rushed to gather a few fabrics so I could begin to transform my ideas and add colour to my mini tribute to him. This is my inspiration and my first steps and it is amazing how daunting but exciting it is to contemplate a creation which is only 2.5 inches  x 3.5 ins. I'm looking forward to seeing how I get on with these tiny bits of fabric (which are still far to much) and I don't think it will be a simple task. Looking forward to doing some free machine embroidery, maybe I'll add a few beads too..... ooooh ! It's so little but really exciting!
  Stage 1 over, now watch this space!!!
I have been lucky enough to see his art in a major exhibition and I have also visited several places where he transformed building with his architectural revamps.
Here's the interior of a station
and sinks in the public conveniences...

How will I shrink a bit of this into such a small area?

Sticky Fingers Quilt Show in Coppull
Several of the members of my quilt group enjoyed a great day out with a visit to this super exhibition which was so well organised.
First we stopped off at the refreshment venue where we enjoyed an exceptional range of home made cakes and tea, all for the price of £1. 
Great start to the day.
On then to Sticky Fingers Shop for a little retail therapy before going into the nearby Methodist Hall to see the fabulous range of quilts and sundry items on display. I'll show just a few and put the rest of my photos on the group's quilt cornerstone blog in a day or two.

The hall was full and then we discovered that in the church the pews were also draped with even more to see plus an exhibition of City & Guilds work.
This hexagonal panel was exquisitely made

Lots of inspiration for Ch....m.s
Loved this bargello tree skirt.
a whole wall of festive makes....
and I was lucky enough to win this well made, pretty, cushion in the raffle.