Thursday, 11 February 2016

Along the Lane and Through the Forest

It was another beautiful day but the forecast was for snow later so I didn't want to venture too far from home and set off for a long walk from our gate along the lane with the dog. I hadn't quite realized just how icy it was but the views made up for it. Sometimes it's all too easy to forget how beautiful our surroundings are and walking always brings that home to me again. In the distance you see West Linton.
It was a relief though both for the dog and I to enter the forest as he could be freed from his lead which made photography a whole lot easier. The reflections in the part frozen streams were icily stunning.
 And like yesterday the sun just caught the top of the trees and lighted them up.
Spot the dog!
This shows how frozen it was. By the time we arrived back home it had just begun to cloud over and now it's a matter of wait and see regarding that snow forecast.

I've added another page to this blog too, showing some of my Journal Quilts which I have been making for the past 12 years now. Just click on the tab at the top of the blog. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Back to Dawyck

Finally after days of rain, snow, flooding, storms and gales today presented the first gloriously sunny day for weeks and I grabbed the opportunity to go to Dawyck Botanical Gardens. It opened on the 1st February after their winter closure but due to the storms the garden still had a few closed days last week as it was dangerous. Fortunately all is now well and although it was wet under foot at times, with a sturdy pair of boots I ventured everywhere to take a look at what was above ground already.
 But what I enjoyed most was the light, the way it filtered through the trees and fell on the still frozen ground.
 The way the berries looked extra red against the blue sky.
And of course the way it showed off the masses of snowdrops to their best effect. The flowers are not quite out yet but will be soon. Reason enough to return to the Gardens again soon! Not that I need one! I love visiting.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Finally Finished

This is a very small detail from a quilt finished yesterday that I have provisionally named Troubled Waters, mainly because it has given me a lot of trouble! You will see the finished quilt as soon as it goes off to it's first exhibition but I haven't quite decided when and where this will be.

It missed the deadline for the exhibition it was meant to go to. I could have made it on time if I had done more machine quilting than hand work but the quilt deserved the effort of hand quilting and embellishing. Then I considered another competition but for that one I would have had to cut it down considerably to meet the size requirements and again I felt it already was the size it was meant to be. So I made an executive decision to simply proceed with it and make it in the way I wanted to, and then look out for somewhere to enter it when the opportunity presents itself.

It's great to finally be done with this one, I have to admit. Although I'm not displeased with the end result the making of it was a very up and down affair and looking back  I have been working on this quilt for 5 months and being able to put a label and sleeve on it after all that time was quite a relief.

I have taken time today to add a QUILTS page to this blog. You can see the Tab at the top. It takes you to an overview (in reverse chronological order) of some of my prizewinning quilts over the years.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Without Hesitation

Hearts are THE motif for this week ending in Valentine's Day on Sunday and it seems to be reflected in the themes on the various online groups. The Documented Life Project 2016's February theme is: Love without hesitation - taking the leap while the art challenge is to incorporate thread or floss.

I started with a painted background and used one stencil for all the stencilling I did on it. It is the Swirly Floral one. It's very versatile and there are little whirligigs (as I call them) hidden within the stencil. I found a very suitable quotation by Robyn O'Brien that reads: "Your power comes when you love without hesitation".

That determined the images I selected for this page and collaged on as shown. Love got a mention three times and also fulfilled the requirement for thread as the paper love words were stitched onto a hand painted fabric which was in turn glued onto the spread using matte medium.

I shouldn't say this because you wouldn't know anyway simply seeing the photographs here but this spread is upside down in my 8 x 8" Dylusions journal. There is always at least one in all my journals. You would have thought I might have learned that lesson by now, but no! When working away on the pages I seem to forget about checking that little detail.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Cure a Broken Heart

Colour Me Positive week 6's theme is Kindness while the art challenge is to use a stamp. My spread has taken on quite a Valentine atmosphere as the kindness quotation I came up with originated in the lyrics of Ryan Adams: "Kindness don't ask for much but an open mind. Kindness can cure a broken heart. Do you believe in love?". You can listen to it here.

The lyrics inspired the colours I used too and the use of a heart stencil (from Heidi Swapp) to make the background. I knew that I had a broken heart image in my box of cuttings and this was an ideal opportunity to use it. I don't go and collect imagery for every separate spread, rather I gather them each and every day from whatever publications come my way, simply because they catch my eye. That way I have a whole collection at the ready whenever I need to find an image.

As for the art challenge I used a variety of rubber stamps on the background too, including one about Love. Sadly I can't tell you anything about it as I've had it for years and there is no manufacturer's name on it.

The figure was chosen because she looked like she may have a broken heart which impelled her to enter a convent (yes, I love to make up such stories!) and she also toned in well with the rest of the page. The word KINDNESS came from the Stencilgirl April 2015 Club while the rest of the text was rubber stamped. I did some outlining with black and white markers as well as a yellow one.

Friday, 5 February 2016

A dying Tulip

This is the exact same tulip I blipped a week ago for the FlowerFriday challenge on the Blipfoto site. The tulips are now on their very last leg, hanging their heads till they reach the floor. But even in this state, they have a unique beauty. I don't think they will last another week, or even a day!


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