The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Cake decorating and a peg bag

This week was Vince's birthday, so I made him a cake.
It didn't go quite as planned. I realised too late that I didn't have quite enough icing sugar for the decorations. So I bulked it out with a bit of ordinary sugar. Of course the icing wouldn't go through the small nozzle I had, the bag burst and chocolate icing went everywhere. I scooped it up and scraped it into another bag and tried with the only other nozzle I have .........which is huge.
I'd love to say my five year old helped me with this, but I don't have one, and I just wondered if I'd be eligible for the "worst icing done by a grownup" award?

I stuck candles all round the edges and I'm pleased to report that he loved it!

Moving swiftly on, today I made myself a peg bag. So here are the in progress shots, this is like a 'tutorial' thing in case any of you two who read my blog have a burning desire to make a peg bag and don't know how to do it!

Lay paper pattern onto material. I'm using the hanger and shape from an old peg bag, but a child's clothes hanger would do.

  Oh yes...lay the pattern on the wrong side of the material, whoops

 pin down pattern and sew through two pieces of material around the edges of the paper
 Then un-pick stitching and do it all again with right sides of BOTH bits of material together whoops (don't worry I don't make any more mistakes..)
 Ahem, that's better...cut out hole
 zig zag raw edges...that's in case Ren is reading or she'll tell me off.... and wrap bias binding round the edges of the hole. Again I salvaged this from the old peg bag, I guess you could just zig zag the edges of the hole.
 All done, good grief I even ironed it, not sure what came over me.
 back view, full of pegs, hanging on the washing line, I'm really pleased with it
 Front view. I particularly love it because Vince gave me these two bits of material for my birthday last year, what a great present, and I've got some left to make something else one day.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Indulging myself in crafty stuff

On Friday afternoon I cut out a stencil
and Rachel screen printed it onto some bits of cloth for me

I think I'll make some big bunting with it

next day I had a go at rag rugging

we combined this technique

with this technique, I can't remember what they are called!

and made these beautiful flowers

this is mine with the hessian all turned in, sitting on a rug at home, I love it,
I'm going to make a rug covered in these,
perhaps with a green/brown background.

Saturday was peg loom weaving

here's me doing it with wool.
The girl showing us how to do it had made a mattress like this,
mmm, I like that idea

So, just three more projects in the pipeline....!
That's enough about Buddhafield for now, can you tell I quite enjoyed it?
A friend has just given me some old coats, a green pigskin one and a purple wool/felt one, possibly ex army? I think they might end up as book covers!

Book workshops at Buddhafield

Firstly hello to anyone who came to my workshops at the festival, and thank you all for your enthusiasm, I enjoyed teaching you all enormously. If anyones book is in an image below and you'd like your name added let me know! Also apologies if I got any of the days wrong in my image captions, I think they are all correct.
I forgot to take pictures on Wednesday, when we made single section books.

concertina books from the first workshop on Thursday
concertina books in progress at the second workshop on Thursday

the awning full of people making books on Thursday morning,
with the sun still shining.
 There were 11 of us in there one rainy morning, very cosy!

an unusual workshop visitor...that's festivals for you!

some pretty decorations on a book cover

finished multi section case bindings Saturday morning
case bindings in progress Sunday morning

finished case bindings from Sunday morning......beautiful
Lots of lovely and hopefully much loved books. I think I could have run twice as many workshops and filled them. Sorry to those who couldn't get on one...maybe next year. I also have plans to do marbling and paste papers next year, look out for experiments here later in the year. And you'll have to wait 'till tomorrow to see all the crafty stuff I got up to, I'm still recovering!..

Monday, 18 July 2011

A festival with a difference

This was my third visit to Buddhafield, and it's only just occurred to me how different it is from other festivals. It's very small compared to many, it has a no alcohol and no drugs policy. There's a lot of yoga and meditation, and there's more and more crafty stuff each year, which was lovely for me, and is where I realised I wanted to be when I wasn't teaching people how to make books. I had gone with the intention of doing loads of yoga and meditation, but making beautiful things is my meditation.
Below are too many images from the festival, I'll post all the crafty and book workshop ones tomorrow.
a stone age earth oven, baking real bread

early morning

quite a crowd at Buddhafield

compost toilets

'what's on' board, can you see the bookmaking, centre left?

the 'green crafts' area

my caravan and mended awning in the corner of the green crafts area

a shrine in the healing garden

wood fired showers, £1.50, luxury!

beautiful rainbow flags

Monday, 11 July 2011

Ready (ish) for Buddhafield festival

I shouldn't be blogging...I've still got loads to do!, I haven't even started packing clothes and I've got another workshop to teach tomorrow afternoon and a big shop to do as the larder is seriously empty and as I'm leaving Vince at home I don't want him to waste away, poor man.
I've repaired the awning, mostly by hand
 and partly with my lovely old hand operated sewing machine
 I've scrubbed off and hoovered out the old caravan (hmm, I definitely have a soft spot for old things)
view from my workshop window
 I've got piles of stuff ready to go.., duvet, guitar, sewing box (mainly for possible running repairs to aforementioned awning!), sketching bag, and a large bag of bits of material to decorate the awning (which will also be my workshop space) with bunting/banners/whatever takes my fancy.
Teddy is not going, he looks like he's had a hard day at work doesn't he?
 And MOST importantly boxes and boxes of books and stuff to make books with....oooh I'm so excited, I love teaching.
 Each tray has a 'kit' for one or two workshops, it's a new idea, it might work?!
So, as I'm definitely not taking my laptop to the festival (thankfully there's no mains power and my battery is very old, {more old stuff}) I'll take lots of photos of all the lovely books that people make and show you when I get back.
back to sorting and packing, byee

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Beautiful flowers and gardens

Just a quick show of flowers and general views from 3 of the gardens I work in. When the sun is shining I think I'm the luckiest person on earth to work in these lovely places.
The close ups were taken a while ago.

Do you recognise that pink rose that's on my tiny allotment shed in two of the above pictures? Can you imagine my shed under that lot??! I think it's probably a very old variety as it occurs in a lot of local gardens. It only flowers once, and unfortunately doesn't have a scent, but when it does flower it really goes for it. It's also very disease resistant....and very vigorous!