knitting, words, and coloured pencils

April 28, 2011 § 2 Comments

Every so often, I remember that exists, and go and immerse myself in pictures, poetry, and lovely warm intelligent writing. Today I especially enjoyed the musings on reading and knitting on the bus. What I particularly love about knitting on public transport is that it’s such a quick way of bridging the generation gap; I’ve had some brilliant conversations (and one impromptu bus-seat crochet lesson) with pensioners that I don’t think would have happened had I not been carrying needles and yarn. (Speaking of which, you can search ‘knit in public’ days near you here).

Also, this bit of billboard scribble has been brightening my walk to work for the past month. Thought I’d better get a picture before the rain (or the council) totally erases it:-

Enjoy the long weekend folks x


where my heart used to be…

April 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

For various reasons (not least the singing man with whom I share my life), I’ve been listening to lots and lots and lots of Tom Waits over the last few days. I think I’ve mentioned the song Green Grass on here before – but regardless, it is a thing of dark and twisty beauty and it refuses to get out of my head, so I have made a picture using paints and pencil and these crayons.

If you want to get obsessed yourself, you can listen to it here, and find lyrics here. Also near the top of my play-on-repeat list are Martha (heartbreaking), and Ice Cream Man (to cheer up again). I could pour that gravelly voice down my ear-holes all day long…

one shady ostrich

April 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve been writing a workshop proposal with lovely Gina recently, and it’s been shortlisted (hooray!), so I’ve spent my morning creating supporting images. I’m rather fond of the resulting ostrich; here is a sneak peek…

As a lover of all things wordy, I’m also delighted by this website, where you can go and play about making pictures out of type.

And while I’ve been cutting and pinning and piercing out feather patterns, radio four has been chatting in the corner. Best bits? “At the end of the day, being a butterfly is all about sex” and “We don’t all want to see these young, pretty hoo-hars running about all over the place all the time”.

painted ponies

April 26, 2011 § 4 Comments

A lovely bank holiday wandering about in trees and sun with good friends and a box of paints. Here are some wild New Forest ponies.

a new frock for free

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last week I rediscovered a stash of aging needlework books. In between enjoying the fashion advice (“Check that your hair is neat under your hat; that your coat lies smoothly over your shoulders; the your skirt is not peeping below the hem of your coat; that your stocking seams are straight, and that your bag is well closed and not bulging with unnecessary odds and ends. Finally, have you a clean handkerchief?”) and giggling at 1970s abominations in patchwork satin, I decided it was time for a new dress.

I used a sun-top pattern in a 1959 book called ‘And So To Sew’ as a basis, and improvised the rest around it. Here’s the book:-

And here is what I made, using recycled bedlinen for the lining and a bit of lurid red stuff that I was given last summer, and have been trying to use up for ages:-

Just the hem to sit and stitch now, and it’s ready to enjoy the sunshine.

For those of you that sew for fun, here’s the pattern I used.

It’s skewed a bit by the photograph, but if you draw it up on one-inch squared paper you can draw the wonkiness out. The solid outline is to fit a 32 inch bust, and the dotted outline is for 34″. Broken lines denote darts, and spots along an edge mean the pattern piece should be placed against a fold in the fabric. Cut one part A (bodice front) and two parts B (bodice backs) from fabric, then again from lining fabric. Ignore part C unless you fancy that white flappy bit you can see in the book illustration. Straps are tubes of matching fabric, and the back is closed with a zip. I would strongly advise making a rough version in cheap calico first, as well. The hips are definitely aimed at a classic English pear-shape and I had to take out 2 inches to make them fit.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The pattern does not have a seam allowence. Add your own according to the fabric you’re using (stuff that frays – lots, stuff that doesn’t – less).

today i am in love with…

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

…gorgeous ghostly images by Erin Mitchell (find some here)


April 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I sat in a creaky pew last night drinking herbal tea, and listening to Delta Maid. If you get a chance to see her live, don’t be fooled by the over-produced and sweetened plinky-plonk of her recordings, and do it. She’s a natural performer with a big fierce voice and a brilliantly rhythmic and percussive guitar style, and it is so refreshing to see a woman get on a stage in jeans and a shirt and just fill the room with big bold unforgiving waves of sound, and never once simper or bat eyelashes. Glorious.

Her album Outside Looking In is out on May the 9th, but comparing what’s on her myspace to live experience, a person might be better off getting to a gig.

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