Monday 31 October 2011


For someone not that keen on making dolls, I seem to be churning them out lately. This latest was started in the Diva Doll class at Art and Stitch last week and it seemed a shame not to finish her in time for Halloween.

Lucretia... a most glamourous witch!

Complete with spiders in her decolletage... and bats in the belfry!

And of course... suitably witchy boots!

I carved out her companion over breakfast this morning... pumpkin cutting rather than paper cutting.

Although I think I'd better get back to my paper cutting now. Enough frivolity for one day!

Friday 28 October 2011

Pink Friday Party

Welcome to my Pink Friday Party... do come in in!

We have lots of cake of the knitted variety... 87 cakes to be exact plus 3 crochet flowers, 2 knitted egg cosies and a beautiful cupcake pendant. I have to admit as more and more cakes arrived I had to shift the goal posts slightly. There will still be a donation for each cake received but not quite as much as I first thought! I have picked three names from the 37 lovely people who have sent me cakes and they will be getting a little thank you gift. I would have loved to send you all something in return but I'm sure you'll understand why that might be a problem. So Vera, Rebecca and Susan D something will be coming your way soon... and everyone else... thank you!

All parties need balloons... especially pink balloons.

And of course I had to make real cake... what else could we have with our cuppa?

... perhaps some chocolate cupcakes too?

and two types of vanilla cupcake?

In fact there is ginger cake, carrot cake, brownies and several other varieties too (not all made by me I hasten to add!)

So... are you coming over for tea?

I  thought we could play party games.

And possibly have a raffle too.

Now you are probably thinking I've completely lost my marbles doing all this for a virtual party for my blogging friends on the interweb... and you'd be right!

So I invited some friends over to join in the fun and help me eat all this cake!

So all I need to do now is say thank you... a HUGE thank you to everyone who has helped make this party a success. Thank you to everyone who made cakes, real or knitted, thank you to everyone who donated a raffle prize, thank you to everyone who came and drank tea, ate cake and gave a donation, thank you to my little band of helpers who sold raffle tickets and thank you to Jane and Suzie for making tea all afternoon. We raised £132 which means with my donation plus a donation from my lovely husband who has just promised to match mine we have raised well over £200 for Breast Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK.

Thinking of Linda... and everyone else who has to battle with this awful disease.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

A Beginning

I'm starting to think about my MA... both the practice and the research... and I have decided to start from some of the work I was doing for my BA Fine Art module. I'm looking at holes, the missing parts of stories, revelation and concealment , lace and knitting. This has also meant I've returned to paper cutting and I picked up this charming little book by Rob Ryan.

On the back cover there is this illustration of a paper leaf and it got me thinking what if...

I did this with a real leaf.

Which was good fun although not quite as easy as cutting paper!

Given my love of words and text, I couldn't ignore the bits that I cut out...

I then tried cutting a lace pattern from another leaf

Again... it bit of fun.

I've no idea where any of this might lead at this stage but I don't mind because at least I've made a start and we all know that any long journey has to start with a single step.

And I've finished the first page in my sketchbook...

Monday 24 October 2011

There are Bodies!

Another lovely day at Art and Stitch on Saturday and all the ladies managed to make bodies for their dolls.

There was much laughter as the various merits of big boobs vs saggy boobs were discussed... with quite a bit of squeezing and feeling going on in the process. Combined with cries such as "my arm's just fallen off", anyone coming in the shop must have wondered what on earth we were doing.

As well as bodies several of the ladies managed limbs as well and already there are some glorious characters emerging.

I think the one below looks like a rather scary aerobics teacher in her multi coloured leotard.

And I think it's best not to speculate on the profession of this young lady... who is looking very "come hither".

Of course now the fun starts when the dolls can be embellished and decorated, which the ladies will finish at home. A bit sad for me as I don't get to see the dolls complete but I did get a sneak preview of some of the accessories. Pixie boots for the blue doll in the third photo. (Another Annette Emms pattern)

Complete with a matching tiara... very pretty!

And if you fancy making a Diva Doll, I'll be teaching the same class at the  Embroiderer's Guild Eastern Region Spring residential weekend in Hoddesdon in March 2012, and at Bee Crafty in Huntingdon June 2012.

Friday 21 October 2011

A Frivolous Fairy

As well as teaching workshops here, there and everywhere (Tollesbury, Letchworth and Peterborough in the past week) I'm also four weeks into my MA and all day Tuesday was spent at the University of Hertfordshire. We've finally started to move on from the "getting to know you" games and at last I feel I'm ready to get to grips with some research and possibly even make a start on some practical work. I'm quite determined not to lose sight of the fact that I'm doing this for fun... but it can still feel quite intense at times, so it has been a welcome relief to be stitching something frivolous in the odd free moments during the week...

At the beginning of the week there were wings... sparkly fairy wings.

Then there were some very sparkly fairy shoes, because all fairies should have twinkle toes.
(Pattern by Annette Emms from Workshop on the Web)

Then finally this morning the whole lot was assembled...

and the result is a rather loud "Diva Doll" fairy.

as yet without a name (suggestions most welcome!)

The reason behind this frivolous fairy is that I've been teaching a two day "Diva Doll" workshop at Art and Stitch in Peterborough and I'm back there tomorrow where I hope there might be some bodies finished to attach to all these heads!

Watch this space...!

Monday 17 October 2011

My Feet...

Don't seem to have touched the ground over the past few weeks.
(Although I have managed to finish my first ever pair of patterned socks)

I seem to be rushing from one thing to another without any breathing space. As well as starting my MA, I've done loads of teaching, some exhibition stewarding and finally on Friday, filming my DVD, which was one of the most nerve wracking things I've ever done! It should be available by mid to late November and you can get pre- release information if you sign up for the Colouricious newsletter. Although you can be pretty certain I'll be letting you know too!

As a result of all this activity, some things have inevitably slipped. I'm not managing to reply to all your lovely comments, but every single one is read and appreciated... so please don't stop! I'm also starting to lose track of all the fabulous cakes that have been arriving for my Pink Friday party. I'm trying to thank people as they arrive but if you have sent me a cake and haven't heard from me...I'm sorry and THANK YOU!!! They seem to arrive daily, most in the post but some appearing on my doorstep and others being handed over by students in classes. I've been overwhelmed and delighted by the response. Be sure to check back on Friday 28th October.. Party Day!

But finally things are starting to calm down a little and yesterday I had a chance to unwind in one of my favourite ways... cooking.  With family here for lunch I indulged in some new recipes. This wonderful mixture of courgettes, cheese, rice and herbs...

Was turned into this Courgette and Rice Filo Pie, which was the vegetarian alternative to the roast beef... although as always all the meat eaters had to have a portion too!

The recipe came from this new book which is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. Full of tasty but simple recipes, made from ordinary ingredients. Proper home cooking!

We had to have cake too... Nigella Lawson's version of a Jewish Honey Cake... which you have to love if only because it doesn't have any honey (just a whole tin of golden syrup!) Absolutely delicious served with a warm butterscotch sauce. (Best not to even think about the calories.)

Right... it's back to work for me this week!