Well, I need to retire my trusty Viking Husqvarna. What to do? I think I mentioned that I was getting birds nests under my work with fme so I took it to a local sewing shop Kiki's Craft Corner over in Lochcarron where I'd heard that Keira & Bart as well as having a beautiful shop full of fabric, thread, felt supplies & everything else you could possibly need, they serviced machines. This thanks to Jenny of Skye Quilters. To cut a long story short there is a lot of play in the tension due to wear & tear in the bobbin case; this means i can't find the narrow window to avoid loops under my work, i did try, i really did! He'll look into searching for a replacement but the machine is late '70s at least.... so I got such helpful advice from Keira re a new machine - I need the obvious things, a darning foot, feed dogs down but a needle down feature would be good, the spool laying sideways & upright & a seperate bobbin case so that tension can be changed. Apparently I may be a little surprised by he new machines, how things have moved on & there is even a thing called a knee lever so you don't need to let go of your work! Keira is an accomplished quilter but I was delighted when she offered advice starting with 'for your kind of work' - so helpful - she knows I don't need a delicate quilting foot for example ;) so, Bernina, Husqvarna, Brother, Elna or Janome? What are your tips? (please ;)
I achieved some work this week despite the traumas. Above will be a textile collage with the drawing below. See the french knots in the bottom right 1/4? That was a 5" piece that just came from nowhere attached to the browny orange embroidery thread on my desk- I don't think I've ever seen it before - I mean I don't remember buying it, but it's the most perfect moss!
I'll stitch some more of course, by hand, as I'm just left with straight stitch on my machine. How will I do without free or zigzag stitch?
Gwen Hedley's method is to make observational drawings, to look at the quality of line - there are lines raised or low relief, rough or smooth, thick or thin. You can see the photo below - I've tried to indicate the large areas of lichen with the angled lines, & smaller areas with a little scribble, the deep areas with dark lines & the shapes the cracks are making with vertical lines. I felt that altho the organza was quite a contrast to the subtly gessoed teabags that it did fit in using a small amount.
Gwen then makes a stunning collage/drawing on the altered grounds the teabags, book pages or maps in colored pencils & pastels. I jumped to stitching but I will do this exercise more. I mean, her work is just lovely.
On my walk I found a 'mark making' rock in the perfect colors - it looks as tho it's suspended over the seaweed where I put it to get it out of direct sunlight ;)
I also saw my first sailing boat of the year, this gives me as much as an uplift as the blackbird's song is giving so many but for me, it was also hearing the first skylark, my morning coffee pal but I've no idea where it disappears to mid summer. I'll enjoy it while I can.
I was finally able to take a pretty unfocussed couple of pic of 'my heron', so exciting - he's normally across the bay before I even see him, let alone be ready with a camera.
More tea bag pieces - I don't know how practical a 'paper' cuff would be - I have acrylic waxed these pieces.
These might well be brooches
A couple of pendants
& a book to be
I must admit to feeling quite stressed about the machine thing, Kiki's did their best when helping me retire my elderly machine. I guess there's never a good time to think about buying a new one but just as the season starts & an imminent show? The feeling sorry for myself isn't helped by my poor elbow/s. I may have mentioned I sometimes feel as if I have Sciatica in my arm/s, quite debilitating sometimes. Well, I finally got my physio this week, having lost my place for the nerve thing due to not ringing for an appointment within 2 weeks, my fault but the letter came just before Christmas! So I 'self referred' waited 6 weeks, fair enough & it's not nerves to be stretched but tiny tears in the tendons to be treated, called tendinopothy apparently. I won't finish on a negative note, but a positive one as that's the new me since starting Yoga 4 yrs ago. Our winter Yoga teacher is away for a month in India so we've had a break from class but the summer Yoga teacher has returned from Spain & will start next week! To keep me going till then I will enjoy the new book I found in the 2nd hand book shelf for £1 called 'Yogacise' by Vimla Lalvani who wears the most beautiful lycra - turquoise leggings & purple top. I recognize most of the poses which is encouraging but I won't do any just now as I've just finished off the end of a tub of chocolate ice cream, delicious!
Summer Stories - Travel 'Bird Tree' series (work in progress) A quick update from what has been an exceptionally warm and sunny summer here in the UK. I've been busy prep...
2 hours ago