Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Happy Christmas 2017 to all

Well December has been quite a month. We usually go on holiday the first week but it wasn’t meaNt to be this year and just as well. Smudge had a toe amputated and then we got sad news she has malignant melanoma. Lots of medication post surgery and dressings. Her wound is healing well and we are now enjoying every day we have with her. She is in great form and it’s so true that ignorance is bliss.

I have been working away on my embroidery course although because if circumstances not as far on as I had hoped.
I hope to get module one complete though before heading away to Sri Lanka in January.
Lots of new folk to coffee and craft this year which is great and learning lots new skills at workshops. Most of my Xmas kits are sold so lots more to plan for Spring.

Lots more crochet this year and thoroughly enjoyed the Spicier life cal and designing my own unicorn blanket

Tap dancing class completed with a little piece added into the children’s Christmas show. Thanks to my colleagues who switched shifts so I could make th3 practices.
Mountstewart still a big part of my relaxation and I love my Monday mornings there throughout the winter and looking forward to the Spring season there again. If I am not there working I am walking because it’s still Smudges favourite place too

Friday, 8 December 2017

Problem with blog

All y photographs from November 2016-2017 appear to have vanished. Apologies as I have no idea why

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Coffee and craft update

It has been a busy few weeks, my craft room is upside down as I balance organisation of classes, my new embroidery course and all the usual life stresses I could do without. Coffee and craft has brought along a few more participants from various walks of life to lighten my time. Many participated in simple kits to make decorations and more complex chicken scratch classes. I also had some crochet newbies who did really well.

Karen started a spicier life using her stash. She is doing very well considering she has never crocheted a blanket before.

Eileen made a start on a ribbon Xmas tree.

I finished my unicorn blanket which I had designed.
Coffee and craft dates are on the right side of blog. These events are free although donations can be popped into the Kiwoko jar. There is a cost for kits required otherwise bring you own craft or simply call for a cuppa and a chat. Classes will also appear randomly and advertised on Facebook and Instagram with fee attached

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Coffee and craft- time to get things finished

I thoroughly enjoyed the Spicier life cal and managed to get it completed within a week of it being completed. J felt it was too nice to keep so I will do another at some point and one for sale in my IrishMinidoe etsy shop.

I also finished a C2C baby boy blanket for my stash also on Etsy.

This year I also decided any workshop items had to be finished as close to their start date as possible and so far so good. Loved this embroidery with Margaret Lee. I tweaked my design a bit.

A little design in progress which is for sale on Etsy but I will have completed pattern soon.

Coffee and craft- N.I Big Sock

Pamela came to visit and we had a morning to focus on hexagons for the N.I Big Sock. Very industrious morning with paper cutting, fabric cutting and sewing.

Still time for a cuppa and a chat of course.
I have lots of supplies do we can continue on any coffee and craft morning. Just check out the dates and let me know you are coming along.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Classes coming up at no.55

Learn to crochet for complete beginners Wednesday  29th November 2000 - 2200 hrs. All materials supplied.cost £15 and just two places left. 

Then 16th December, Saturday morning chicken scratch embroidery snowman. Costt also £15 with all materials supplied.
Booking essential

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Coffee,craft and classes at no.55

I know my plan this year has been to finish projects and I am doing quite well at that so far but I have started some too but only if I really need something!!

I did the spice of life call so when spicier life came out of course I had to start it and only one week left so it will very quickly be a finished project thenI plan to get back to my Sophie's universe I started ages ago with stylecraft Aran. 

I designed a corner to corner on request for a unicorn so plan to make a kit for that.
My other designs this season have been in chicken scratch with one fully booked class last week and two more classes coming up November and December. Kits are also for sale for all three classes but if you haven't sewn before check with me first which would be best but will have on my etsy shop soon. The beginners chicken scratch was a very successful morning with the majority of students new to hand sewing never mind chicken scratch.
I have had a request for other handsewing so working on some new designs for post Christmas.

If only I had a few more days in the week!
Some people too shy to have their faces in the photos.

Get in touch if you are interested in any of the classes on the right


Most of the coffee and craft sessions with no specific class may involve crochet so if you are keen to learn just let us know. Beautiful C2C by Kerry below in flutterbys

Not forgetting our Xmas decorations free patterns from you tube, can't claim them as my own but I did tweak them a bit

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Painting water colour and oil

I started drawing and painting about five years ago and I am delighted how much I progressed in this time thanks to Julie Douglas. Somebody commented to me recently I could never paint at your standard and my response was simply I couldn't paint at my standard either.

Whilst learning to draw I actually learned how to look at the world around me and was amazed at what I saw. What had I been looking at all these years or more to the point why didn't I take the time to look. For most of us the world goes racing by. I learned to draw, paint and slow down.

This little lady on the left belonged to a work colleague and friend and how better a thank you than to paint her pig before it moved on. I had never painted an animal before and already knew I didn't enjoy painting people. However I could consider her still life as she was a photograph sitting on my table!

I learned a lot doing this last year and her new owner just loved her. This then led onto a request which at first I laughed off but then after a while I questioned myself "Could I " and I did. The request was not for an animal but another prized possession...a tractor.
I spoke to Julie who was very encouraging and so I got started with out agreeing to the request but busying away in the back ground just in case it didn't work out.

An outline first just to get me into the idea of the shape but this very quickly vanished as I started with the dark background and foreground colours staying away from the actual tractor for a while as it was quite scary. Once I started on the tractor I lost all detail which had to be put in again as I progressed..
It's a bit play school looking in this one above. I did have fun on the sky  though and the foreground reminded me of my work on a previous golf painting I did for charity. Here it is below ready for collection by its new owner where it will go to meet the pig.

This one below is a water colour I painted a few years ago and it's been hiding in a portfolio ever since. A cousin in USA recently shared a photograph of a peony rose which brought my painting to mind so out it came and was framed and is now displayed on the wall.

Northern Ireland Embroidery Guild with Anne Brook

Despite all my years involved in embroidery I had not been aware there was a guild until I met some of the lovely ladies whilst working on the game of thrones embroidery. I decided to join in September and my first workshop was in October which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Anne spoke to us in the morning about her life and how she has got to where she is now. I could identify with a lot of what she was saying being in a similar age group. Our education system did its best to steer us away from arts and crafts I believe and if that didn't some parents helped. Although my school dismissed any interest I had fortunately my parents didn't so it smouldered away in the background.

Anne showed off many of her items which involve recycled materials and items she made through her distance learning city and Guilds something else we had in common.

On first glance her work all looks like it's fabric but in closer inspection she sews a lot on various forms of paper.

  In the afternoon we had a chance to play. I really enjoyed this workshop as although I enjoy all workshops it's nice to have a certain amount of freedom in design and not just copying exactly what the tutor has done. It's much better to have something you have done yourself and that way you develop better in your creativity.
We made little work books which I decided mine would be a Christmas theme almost a journal of preparation for Xmas 2017 on one side and the other would do 2018. Anne used various paints and dyes, stencils and punches. I had been at a loss to what to bring to the workshop because I could have brought my whole work room. It was also amazing what she managed to bring in the plane in one bag, a bit of a Mary Poppins stunt.