Tuesday 28 November 2023


Last Saturday we went to Coventry.  It was a beautifully sunny but cold day.  I had a meeting but arrived a bit early so had a wander up to and around the ruined Cathedral.

The Guildhall

22 & 23 Bayley Lane

More of the Cathedral

Loved the blue of the sky through the leaves.

While I was in the meeting, Roger went to the Transport Museum.  Then we met up and went round the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.  It had an excellent gallery on the history of Coventry.

In one of the other galleries was this beautiful piece.

This was the back of the upright panel.

And then we had lunch in the Golden Cross Pub.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 25 November 2023

O Sole Mio

Do you remember the advert that used 'O Sole Mio' to advertise an ice cream?  It is from 1981 so you might not remember!  Click on the year if you don't know what I'm talking about!

Anyway, back to the fabric.  In my last post 'In the compost bin' I showed you what I had done with my Venice child's costume.

I  cut up the pieces again and using Mistyfuse and Lisa Walton's Fantastic Fusion method to make squares.

I cut up the squares again and using mistyfuse, fused them to a piece of dyed and printed cotton that I didn't like.

Then got stuck again.  As I was driving to a friend's for coffee I remembered that when I made the Venice dress my alternative 3D suggestion was to make a cone.  You can see my sketchbook from 2019 on my Containers post.  To see the cone research you need to scroll down the post.

Back to what I did!  I cut a cone shape from the collaged fabric.  Then realised I should have put a more attractive fabric on the back.  It would have been easier to do it before I cut it up!  But never mind.  I bonded the fabric onto the back.

I also machined it with preset stitches

I took the cut off pieces and added them to the cone shape with the sewing machine.  I hand sewed the join.  I remembered that I had this block of wood with a dowel rod in it that Roger had made me for a different project and hadn't used.

I painted the stand.

Back to the beginning.  The original music 'O Solo Mio' was written about Naples.  However since 1981 the song with the advert words has forever been associated with Venice.  When I put this piece into an exhibition I shall call it O Sole Mio or Just One Cornetto.

Which name would you choose?

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 21 November 2023

In the compost bin

In 2019 when I was doing my Master Practitioner course I made this dress based on - guess where - yes that's right - Venice!

I never liked the skirt and at one time I was going to redo it.  However in the end, I cut it up.  As you do!

I chopped the pieces up and tried out different ways of putting them back together

A friend suggested I put the pieces in the compost bin so that the worms would digest some of the fabric and give it a decayed look.  The two pieces were in the compost for 2 months and nothing happened.

I tried cutting into the pieces to give the worms a better opportunity to nibble.

Nothing happened, except the back had mottled staining.  Then my husband wanted to use the compost so the pieces came out.  I rinsed them through.

Last week I took them to a studio day at Littleheath Barn in the hopes that Liske would have some ideas.  She suggested I lightly painted over the bright blue parts and the metallic bits.  I did that and it's knocked it back considerably.  I then cut it the pieces into strips.  In the second photo I've turned some of the pieces over so you can see the mottling.

Now I just have to decide what to do with the pieces, other than throw them in the bin!

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 18 November 2023

Grids. And more grids!

In September I told you about the Maps & More workshops at Littleheath Barn.   The next session was in October after I returned from Australia.  I realised I hadn't written about that.

We did the grid exercise where you put masking tape horizontally and vertically onto fabric and then print in various ways over the grids.  I had found some narrow tape on Amazon which was a hideous green.  However it did the job.

When the green masking tape was taken off it was thrown away.

The finished cloth is rather more orange than the photo shows which doesn't really match my Venice colour palette.  So as homework I had another go.  This time using only my Venice related stamps, stencils and Thermofax screens.  I used some of the narrow green tape because it's really easy to make curves with.

I did two versions

This time I put the masking tape into my sketchbook.

Here's another page from the sketchbook

Our next session is in December so I'm afraid you'll have to wait to see what I do with these.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Australian Connections

If you read my post on Fremantle & Perth you may remember I wrote about an exhibition we saw in the museum in Perth.   It got me thinking about my connection to Australia. Not only the fact that my son and his family live there, but that my father was born there. It has set me off on some interesting research.

I'm not interested in family trees but did get a bit involved in some ancestry sites just to find out about my grandparents.  I was wondering why and how they got to Australia and why they settled in Bulimba, a suburb of Brisbane.  It turned out to be fascinating.

It turns out that my grandfather joined the King's Rifles Corp in 1907 possibly as a groom.  He served in Malta and was invalided out in 1909.  I haven't been able to find out why.  In the meantime my grandmother is described as a chocolate packer - presumably at Cadbury's.  I don't know how they met as I know my grandmother was Catholic and the military papers describe my grandfather as Wesleyan.

I knew that they had been given free passage to Australia but didn't know how.  The £10 Poms were after World War 2.  It turns out that after the First World War, there was an Act of Parliament which gave free passage to ex-Servicemen.

I found the passenger lists with my grandparents and my aunt's names.  They sailed on the SS Sophocles to Brisbane in 1923.  It took over 7 weeks.  The papers I was sent from the Queensland State Archives said that my grandmother's brother already lived in Bulimba and had agreed to nominate my grandfather and help him find a job.  So that's why they went to Bulimba.

My father was born in 1924 and his brother a couple of years later.

I also found out that my great-uncle died in 1926 which might have been an extra reason why the family came back to England in 1931.  I always knoew that my grandmother hadn't liked the heat and was homesick.

They came back on the SS Hobson Bay, landing in Hull.  This photo shows the ship in dock in Adelaide.  I think the little boy hanging over the rail in the middle is my Dad, although it could be his brother!

Currently I am putting together a sketchbook - although it might be better called a scrapbook at this point in time.

I bought some mylar and some SVG stencil files of Australian plants, which my friend Joane kindly cut for me.

I am rather hoping that at some point all this will lead to a textile piece.  However I haven't really found my way into that yet.  I'm going to finish putting all the information I've found together in the book.  Then start on a page about my son.

After that, I shall wait and see.  Hopefully inspiration will strike.  And if it doesn't I'll have a family scrapbook.

Thanks for joining me today