Sunday, 24 February 2013

A long week

Last weekend seems ages ago, and last Monday was beautifully mild. I even saw a Comma butterfly in the garden.  But it is freezing here again. The pond is solid ice and the birds are are squabbling over scraps in the garden. Here are a couple of pictures I took at Stockwood Discovery Centre last Monday.

The hens were in the "Dig for Victory" garden taking the opportunity to sun themselves.

I'm not sure what tree this was, but the buds were certainly striking.

Many hours this week have been taken up filling in my husband's "Limited Capability for Work" questionnaire.  As he has dysphasia as a result of a stroke 15 years ago, he has a very limited ability to read and write so I had to fill the form in for him. I had to explain the questions and phrase the answers for him. Not being able to fill the form in, of course does not mean you are unemployable. The assessment seems to be asking if the person is capable of doing some sort of work, and yes we could say that my husband could work, if there was a job that was specifically tailored to his special needs. He lost his benefit once before, and as a job seeker was seen by many people at the Job Centre. They finally concluded that there was not a job he could do and there was a not a course that suited his needs.  However this does not entitle you to benefit.  We went to appeal that time and won.  I do not think it will be the case now.  We can manage without his benefit until he is old enough for his state pension, so he won't have to go through all the rigmarole of attending the Job Centre and endless, pointless interviews and appointments. But there are many who could be in his situation who could not manage financially. No one wants to pay out to those who are fit for work, but the solution to this seems to be punishing.  He paid his way until his stroke, and we hoped that our National Insurance, was just that, insurance against loss of employment etc.  His case is more complex than I wish to share here, but you get the drift.  Just don't mention 'scroungers' to me, or you are likely to get your head bitten off.

Let's get back to more pleasant topics.  I have fulfilled my requirements for the appliqué Module of my City and Guilds so I will share my samples here.

Above - shadow appliqué 

Above - different top stitches.

Needle turned appliqué 

Different fabrics - the beetle is transfer dyed satin.

Bias strip appliqué  with contour stitching.

I'm not sure what to do with my appliqué samples yet.  Leave them as that, or use them in some way. But no pressure, a nice decision to have to make.

I have one more module to go, but I haven't looked at it yet.  I am taking a break this week as I have a two day workshop with Bobby Britnell at Art Van Go, called Drawing and Designing for Textiles. I am really looking forward to it and hopefully I will have something different to share with you next time.

Hope you have a good week.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Still here

It has not been a good couple of weeks, although I'm more or less back to "normal",  Mr T has been stricken with the cough.  It has taken me a monumental heave to get myself out of a 'feeling sorry for myself' rut, but in the end self-pity is boring. Hopefully I shall be posting regularly again, if not frequently.  I'm still working on the appliqué module of my City and Guilds, and although I was looking forward to doing it, I have been totally uninspired, which of course, goes along with feeling unwell. I spent a lovely couple of hours with Maxine on Sunday at her little shop within The Olde Watermill at Barton Le Clay.  It is called the Artful Monkey and the link will take you to her Facebook page.  Maxine's enthusiasm is infectious, so I left her feeling a darn site brighter and ready to do some stitching. 

For my course I had to do a sample using applied bias strips.  I decided to buy some iron-on ready made bias tape.  Not cheap, but easy to use, and decided to have a go at interpreting this Klimt inspired sketch I had drawn on my iPad.  That kept me going when I had no energy for anything else. I posted this picture before.

Here is the ironed-on bias tape...

... and here it is with machine stitched quilting...

I painted on the spirals and hand appliquéd the little squares, not something I was very good at. Something this small, less than in inch, would be better ironed on.
I'm going to doing lots of hand stitched embellishment now.
I'm also determined to revitalize my Etsy shop, Jillymade.  I have added a few items, and hopefully will be adding more soon.  I need a really good photography session first.

A little paper and felt box.

Some needle cases

An organza party purse.

I seem to have gained a couple of extra followers lately, but I should think you'll abandon me if I don't get my act together and post something worth looking at.  Thank you for popping by... I'll be back soon.  Have a good week.

Sunday, 3 February 2013


The month has not started well as I have now got the sort of cough that is quiet most of the time, but when it starts, won't stop, and my ribs hurt and I am feeling sorry for myself! Wanted to get stuff done, but have no energy.
I had finished my calendar for January and started Feb's before the lurgy struck.

Last weekend I stitched these little birds onto an old triangular bandage I had from a first aid course. There is another one in the first aid box. I was inspired after counting absent birds for the RSPB's garden bird watch. I have had the thought of turning them into cards, but my will power has run out for now. Marvin has decided to sit on my lap and is telling me enough is enough, so I have snapped him. I am blogging for the first time on my iPad and I don't seem to be able to embed the photos in the text, but I really don't feel like sitting at the computer, but I am sure you will be able to work out which is what.

I do hope you have a good week,