Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bargain Buttons on Ebay

The sell off of stock from LoveButtonsHQ.com continues apace, with lots of buttons listed with a start price of just 99p on Ebay. Please click on the link below the photo to be taken to the Ebay listing.

  
 
60+ Assorted Belt Buckles/Sliders

140 Silver Tone Metal Uniform Buttons, made by Gaunt of London

300+ Antique and Vintage Glass Buttons

To see all of the auctions, please visit my Ebay Shop. The auctions mentioned above finish on 26 October 2014. Over the coming months there will be more buttons listed at knock down prices, so please keep checking back!

In the meantime, the 50% off, closing down sale continues at Love Buttons HQ. Just use the voucher code SAVE50 when you checkout to receive your discount.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Folksy Front Page: Autumn In The Air

What a nice surprise this morning to find my 'Autumn In The Air' Pinterest Board featured on the Folksy front page!




















(There are 20 pins on the original board - link above - from where you can double click on a picture to reach the listing for sale).

Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Fire Horse Textiles


Hello from me, Julia of Fire Horse Textiles on the Around The World Blog Hop!

Thank you to
Teresa of Crafty Bags for her invitation to join The Hop. Take a look at Teresa's blog to see her wonderful creations, from bags and purses to quilts and knitwear, many of her unique and wonderful creations feature recycled fabrics and yarns. Teresa's fascinating Hop post is here.
So, on to the Hop post questions:-

1. What am I working on?

I am currently working on some 'lavender pebbles' for my Folksy and Etsy shops. They are a set of three differently sized, organically-shaped scented sachets, made from funky, repurposed fabric, accented with colourful buttons! I am also spending a lot of time thinking about the packaging and presentation of the items, to make them suitable as 'ready to go' gifts.
A long-term project that I am working on is a 'tumbling blocks' quilt for me and my husband, Rob. I started it many years ago, but took it up again recently to finish the hand quilting. So far every stitch of it has been hand sewn, but I will probably add the binding by machine.

Another thing I have been experimenting with is embroidered faces for dolls/figures. This is an area I would love to move into. I find that there is something very endearing about handmade dolls. There is so much of the maker's personality in each one. Here is the first prototype - as you can see, I need to work on the transition between body and head!:-



2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I try to incorporate recycled content into a lot of my work (but of course many others do that, too). I'm often inspired by nature, but what I make sometimes ends up looking quite abstract. I tend to work with bright colours and strong contrasts, such as this rag rug wall hanging, "Fire and Water":-
 
Although I enjoy using traditional techniques like patchwork, embroidery, rag rug making etc, I try to put a modern twist on my designs, either through colour use; in the fabrics used; or in the combination of materials used.

These patchwork wall hangings were inspired by the Gees Bend Quilters in the USA, but I made my own templates for the first design, then experimented with a different construction method for the second.



3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I have always made things, since I was a child. It is just a part of my personality. Whether it was making little woven mats, arranging vases of wild flowers, making collages from found objects, or making giant 'installations' in our home (one that comes to mind was my idea to make a giant spider's web over the whole of our lounge and dining room using the contents of my Mum's knitting wool stash. Needless to say, it did not go down too well with my Mum, but I was quite pleased with the effect!).
4. How does my writing/creating process work?

An idea usually pops into my head and I think about it for weeks or months, wondering which medium I will make it in (as a quilt, rag rug, painting or collage, for example). Eventually, I start to experiment and draw out a few ideas, make and throw away quite a lot of things that don't work, and sometimes come up with something that I'm happy with. I treat every new project as a piece of art (although to a lot of people, what I do is probably equated more with craft). I like to sit on the border, where art meets craft!
Sometimes the idea comes from the material itself, like the beautiful floaty and colourful dress that I used to make the lavender pebbles shown above.
For my last quilt, I wanted to use up a lot of the small pieces of fabric that I had accumulated over the years, so I set myself the task of only using these pieces from my 'scrap' jars. Sometimes setting boundaries is helpful when coming up with an idea.
I have done commission work in the past, but I try to avoid that, as I prefer to work on my next new idea rather than re-visiting what I have already done. I like to make just one, or a very small number of each item to keep the freshness and excitement in a project.
Thank you for dropping by, and don't forget to look out for the next stop on the Around The World Blog Hop, which will be with ...
Their beautiful lino prints depict a joyful mixture of cats, dogs and farm animals, wildlife, architecture and landscapes. Keep up to date with their work in progress and inspirations on the Studio Tails Blog, where you will also find the next Hop article next week.

Have a creative week everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Holiday in Yorkshire

Rob, Brock and I are just back from a week's holiday in York, staying in the village of Askham Bryan, five miles from the city. We stayed in Blacksmith's Cottage, which slept five and had a nice, big garden for Brock. The next door neighbour was very friendly and advised us on places to visit.

[Click on any photo to see a larger version.]

Blacksmith's Cottage. Photo from owner's website.


There was a fantastic pub in the village, called The Nag's Head. We ate dinner there twice. The food was brilliant, and the landlady suggested some vegetarian and gluten free dishes they could cook for us. Brock was allowed into the bar area, which he enjoyed.

Here are some of the interesting places we visited:-


Brock loved this beach at Scarborough - lots of dogs!


 Pirate ship ride

 Brock at Brimham Rocks

  
Weird rock formations at Brimham Rocks - some look like grotesque faces or creatures

 The Shambles in York

(More suited to meat eaters, but they did have jacket potato with cheese! 
We ended up here on a day with torrential rain.)

We also walked part of the city walls

 Grassington - a very picturesque village

 A walk at Grassington

video
 The weir and river at Grassington

Our favourite places to eat were The Nag's Head at Askham Bryan (mentioned above), El Piano in York (a vegan, gluten free restaurant with a very interesting menu) and we also had a tasty curry with my brother, Philip, at Sonali Indian Restaurant in Tadcaster. 

Harrogate had a branch of Wagamama, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch with great service (the staff were very helpful in suggesting gluten free, vegetarian options), and we also had a great coffee at Harrogate in Hoxton North. There was a vegetarian restaurant that we had hoped to go to, called Goji, but it hadn't opened for the day when we got there - next time!

Many of the towns and villages had a good range of independent shops. We particularly enjoyed York, Harrogate, Ripon and Grassington for shopping.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Things To Do In And Around Edinburgh

I recently spent a couple of weeks in Edinburgh and managed to find plenty to do:-
[Please click on any photo to see a larger version.]

Afternoon tea and cake at Henderson's at St John's. I have to say that this was not a very good experience, although I have enjoyed lunch there in the past. The teapot barely held enough for one tea cup and the gluten free cake was about 2 inches square when it came out of its packaging (bought in, not made on the premises). Not very good value for money. However, it is an interesting place to sit and they do a good range of vegetarian food.

 The Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, housed in two buildings on opposite sides of Belford Road.



There are two interesting exhibitions on at the moment:- American Impressionism: A New Vision; and Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland. The views above show some of the sculptures in the garden of Modern One.

I enjoyed early morning coffee and cake in the restaurant at Modern One before it was busy. A very nice place to sit and excellent gluten free cake choices!




The Royal Botanic Garden has two great cafes, glasshouses with exotic planting, and 70 acres of landscaped grounds to wander around in. This time I particularly enjoyed the mixed vegetable and flower borders, the wildflower meadow and the alpines area.


The National Portrait Gallery is set in a beautiful building that I believe was the Museum of Antiquities at one time. The library houses a rather gruesome collection of death masks. There is a John Ruskin exhibition on at the moment, and also one of John Byrne's work.




The National Museum of Scotland is well worth a visit. There is so much to see, including the 'Ming' exhibition, which is on until the 19th of October.

A short walk away is Mother India's Cafe, where you can order a variety of small dishes. Since I was on my own, I limited myself to two dishes with rice, poppadom and coriander chutney. I ate dal made with split peas, and okra with tomatoes. Everything was very tasty, with fast and efficient service.

When I had had enough of walking, I went on an open-top bus tour with Edinburgh Tour. It costs £14 for a 55 minute trip around both new and old towns. The view above shows the Scott Monument with Jenners Department Store in the background, seen at the start of the tour from Waverly Bridge.

 There are lots of East Coast beaches near to Edinburgh. The view above is of a beach near Aberlady.

 Brock on the beach at North Berwick.

 A view of boats from the beach at North Berwick. This was our favourite beach and town.

 A panorama of Portobello beach.

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