It's a glorious day here on the Fylde, so I hope you're enjoying decent weather wherever you are...I think we deserve some warm, sunny days now. Today was my day to spend with Heather, visiting our mum and then doing some grocery shopping in the village. We each had a wrap for lunch and, when Heather left, I decided it was too nice a day not to make a start on the garden, so I've just come in after a couple of hours of rather random tidying. Random because, yet again, the garden has got away from me and it's a formidable task to get it back into some sort of shape. So it's just been a bit of hoeing here, pulling up some weeds there and a bit of pruning in between. Barely any difference if truth be told, but it feels nice to have made a start. Thomas and Tara really enjoyed being outdoors with their mum too! I'm still plucking up the courage to use the new lawnmower though!
I'd like to say that my garden is full of colour like this....
...but that is the annual carpet of crocusses...crocii (?) that St Chad's church in Poulton is famous for. They are glorious and draw visitors and their cameras from far and wide!
I left the beautiful flowers in Poulton behind on Friday when I travelled up to Beverley ahead of my demonstration the following day at Studio Craftique in Hessle. My journey was delayed due to an "incident" on the line - yet another person had chosen to end their life in front of a train. I say "yet another" because it seems to be happening more and more and is a tragic reflection of the pressures of modern life. Very sad.
When I changed trains at Hull I was met by this character in the station......
....a statue of the poet Phillip Larkin. It's a very lively statue with the figure looking as if he is just dashing for his train like the rest of his fellow passengers.
Whilst in Beverley I managed to take a look around both St Mary's church and the vast Minster which is just awe inspiring. It's almost impossible to imagine the time, labour and skills that went into creating these astonishing buildings.
Well, after an evening in Beverley it was time for a good night's sleep before going along to Hessle and Studio Craftique where I soon got set up for a busy day.
I was working with Ink Effects and So Soft paints from DecoArt as well as Doo Lally Pip and Dylusions stamps, Fabrico pens, Tim Holtz fabrics and Sizzix dies - great fun! Here's the completed tote bag that I showed you a sneaky peek of last week....
....I used the So Soft range to paint over the stamped images and Fabrico pens to add extra details and the wording. All the mediums used are fully machine washable...and I've really tried and tested their durability which is second to none.
Another tote bag, but this one featured leaves which I painted through a Crafter's Workshop stencil, framing a hessian panel that I'd appliqued two kooky birds onto (Sizzix Bigz die Birds # 3). I cut the birds from Tim Holtz fabric and felt and sewed them with a small zig zag stitch onto the hessian. I love the birds die. They are such simple, yet effective characters.
I made good use of the cards that I'd prepared a couple of days before and which I showed in my last post. I simply machine stitched a selection of hessian and plain and patterned fabrics onto Kraft card blanks so that I could paint them on the day. This one was fun to do!
Here are three more cards made in the same way......
....everyone seemed to like this simple, yet effective, technique. To paint over the patterned fabric (see flowers on the centre and right hand cards) I used the So Soft Ultra White which is great for working over dark colours (or patterns) as it gives great coverage. It's useful as a base coat for other colours too, so you could paint a pale pink over a dark blue fabric by applying the Ultra White first.
Well that's a brief round up of my weekend! Tomorrow I'll be getting things ready for next Saturday's day at Time 2 Craft in Chesterfield. I have some new Susan's Garden flower dies to get to grips with. They are very relaxing to make though, so I shall enjoy listening to a radio play whilst I cut and shape the petals.
Meanwhile, after the glorious day, it is getting very chilly now, so I am going to put the heat on for a while and then take a nice hot shower to warm up before dinner. Pasta tonight, nice and easy.