Life goes on, 

although things have been a bit flat since last Tuesday when we took the exhibition down. That wasn’t unexpected, but insomnia hasn’t helped, and the burst of creativity I had while the degree show was actually on seems to have fizzled out. 

I’ve managed some bits and bobs- this is canvas work inspired by one of the ‘Make Something Every Day’ prompts. I was interested in the idea of making something with minimum contrast, so here I’m testing the canvas work dictum that you shouldn’t mix different ways of working tent stitch because it will show. Here, the background is in basket weave tent, and the circle in half-cross stitch. Does it make a difference? Perhaps a bit early to tell. I can say that the combination of ageing eyes, red thread and red Congress cloth does not make for easy stitching.


I’ve been lazy about doing the prompts, but did manage these two.


I like the feather better than the rubbings: it was drawn with the feather. 

 This is a black and white book which follows on from the orange book I made a while ago, and used up a lot of black and white papers I’d accumulated.  The page top right dates right back to the beginning of my C&G days: the pattern was made with mark making tools from Hobbycraft’s children’s section which I scanned as positive and negative, and cut up. I still like it, which is why I’ve kept it so long.

So, apart from knitting a boring stocking stitch square to try a knitted version of the canvas work, that’s about it.

Sorry if the images are huge, I’m writing this using WordPress’s iPad app, and it doesn’t seem to allow me to change the size.

Making something (almost) every day.

A few weeks ago I bought this book. (I had to have something to do once I’d finished the degree.) It’s been out a while, so long that there’s a new edition, but I didn’t realise that till after I’d bought this one…

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I’m a sucker for this sort of book, but usually fall by the wayside pretty quickly – either the prompts are too soul searching, or too abstract, or they need lots of time, using complex techniques I can’t be bothered with.

This book is much more open ended: you choose your own techniques, and they can takes a much or as little time as you wish. The prompts (so far, I’m only up to day 23) are manageable – and even fun. Once or twice I’ve thought ‘that’s too much hassle’ – but then I’ve done it anyway – like making something that floats. First I thought ‘how am I going to make something airtight?’ – then I thought ‘what floats naturally?’ – which led to wood, wooden beads, and finally wooden buttons, of which I have rather a lot, having had a lot of tab top curtains at one time.

I haven’t done something every day – I’ve had other things to do, as I may have mentioned – but sometimes I’ve done two a day, so I’m more or less up to date.

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Here’s a selection of my early efforts – just a selection, because some of them are too c%*p to be shown in public, especially when their author has a BA in Fine Art (possibly*).

You may notice a certain circularity to some of these. I didn’t start with a theme, although the book encourages you to, but it sort of developed.

I’ve tried to avoid doing the obvious – the thing I always do – if that makes sense. For example, I’ve tried not just to take photos of things. I’ve taken photos to keep a record of what I’ve done, as you can see, but I’ve tried not to let myself take the easy way out, which photography can be for me.. A couple of these are apped photos – the shells, and my breakfast,but those are all. The picture of the petrol cap is pretty much as it was taken. (I’m not saying I didn’t make lots of versions of the images I did app, mind you.)

What I’ve found exciting about the book is the way some of the prompts have led to further exploration. The red dots gave me ideas for red on red needlework – knitting or canvaswork – and the polystyrene print prompted lots of playing around – including, I admit, with apps.

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And the floating thing led to this. I’d used about 2/3 of these buttons, but when Wensleydale saw it he suggested I could wear it, if it was bigger. So here’s the bigger version, using all the buttons, and strung on elastic. Crappy buttons becomes funky necklace. It means I’ll have to find some other buttons for dyeing\felting resists though…

*provisional result, awaiting confirmation.

Hello, and welcome to old friends and new readers..

Hello, and welcome to old friends and new readers..

In December 2007, in a fit of madness, I started a blog. I called it ‘Cheshire Cheese’, for no very good reason, except that I was born in Cheshire and I like cheese. (I also like cats, so I could just as well have called it Cheshire Cat, I suppose.)

At that time I was taking a City and Guilds embroidery course, and I had a new granddaughter, and that is what my first few posts were about. The rest of them have been pretty much the same. The granddaughter now has a little brother, and City and Guilds became a Foundation Degree in Stitched Textiles, and then a degree in Fine Art, but I’m still rabbiting on about family and textiles. Expect more of the same over here.

So why am I here? Increasing familiarity with WordPress, which hosts what passes for my website, and increasing frustration with Blogger, led to the decision to move. I have left my ramblings from the last nine years up over on the old blog, but I will not be posting any more over there.