custom pencil case

I want to take a selection of drawing stuff with me next week in case I get the urge to doodle create a masterpiece whilst on the train but I hate having to rummage for a particular pen or pencil in a single slot case so after I returned from a trip to the cinema to see Jurasic World followed by lunch at my favourite Chinese restaurant, I spent the rest of the afternoon yesterday making myself a multi-slot pencil case that hopefully will work for me. One part now holds only pencils, another pens and a set of artist brush pens, and the middle pocket is for the flat and or small stuff like a set square, ruler, a rubber and a sharpener so they will always be easy to find.

pencil case


Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter is my current evening stitching piece but I can’t say that I’m enjoying much of it. Not long after I began it I altered the original outline drawing and unpicked several hours worth of black stem stitch in favour of a slightly less severe grey. I don’t like the style of the hand holding the teacup so until I rejig that, it will remain unstitched. To prevent me from discarding the whole thing, I moved on to colouring the trousers and once more unpicked several trials of different filler stitches before settling on the ubiquitous satin stitch. I may end up as mad as the hatter at this rate. He will however serve as a means to while away some of the seven hour long journey on the train next week when I go beyond-up-north to visit Big Sis.

The multi-coloured fabric you can see behind the hoop is a small fabric chest which I am about a third of the way through making. It needs a little oomph of a contrast colour on the yet-to-be-appliquéd panels or on the background fabric itself but the jury’s still out on what that should be.

mad hatter

tasseled box

This box is based on one from Janet Edmonds book on Embroidered Boxes. I’d had this book reserved at my local library since March but a recent enquiry as to its whereabouts revealed that it has been ‘borrowed’ permanently by someone. Grrrr. Fortunately I was able to source a copy from Oxfam in Dunstable via Amazon which arrived beautifully wrapped and in less time than I’ve been waiting for the library copy. I didn’t add as much bling as the boxes in Janet’s book appear to have simply because I didn’t have supplies of suitable bling to hand and I was impatient to make a box. The construction method was slightly different to what I’ve used before and the box was not as firm as I thought it might be but the lack of additional layers of braids and bling might be to blame for that. The feet aren’t visible in this picture but they’re button knots tied in lengths of rat tail cord. The box is approximately 5.5″ tall at the peak of the lid.  The sun has hardly shone this week so this is the best photograph so far.

tasseled box

aiming for abstract

My current book at bedtime is a beginner’s guide to abstract art. For as long as I can remember, abstract art has left me shrugging my shoulders and frowning in perplexity. I just don’t get it. I rarely see what the artist’s intention was and several chapters into this book I am still in the same state of mind. Perhaps I shouldn’t be reading it just before I’m ready to sleep.

If an abstract piece is made from fabric, is it then classified as a collage instead? Fabric and fibre abstract/collage pieces sometimes perplex me too, especially scrappy quilts and fabric scrapbooks. I frequently read articles which assume that everyone did collage on a regular basis in school. Perhaps I was even more perplexed about collaging back then because no matter how hard I try I can only ever recall two or three instances of collaging in all my years at school.  Was the experience so bad each time that I have since stuffed the related memories inside a mental cupboard from which only the occasional draught of a partial memory escapes from under the ill-fitting door? Who knows?

I’ll continue reading the book and perhaps a lightbulb moment will happen but I won’t hold my breath. In the meantime, here’s the little piece I made from the jug and ginger jar scraps. I had no particular intention in mind when I began it but I liked how it turned out so I’ve since framed it.


ginger jar

Well, roughly based on a ginger jar shape anyway. This was all stitched before I had made the jug in yesterday’s post but each time I pushed one piece into shape it would collapse somewhere else. The solution was to inflate a balloon inside it but I was all out of those so that had to wait for a supermarket trip yesterday. The balloon puffed it up quite nicely and I then painted it with a branded fabric stiffener rather than my normal go-to PVA, but there are still a few little dents in places so I think a second balloon and another coat of stiffener are in order.

Constructed from a scrap length of the usual heavy duty interfacing which I had painted with acrylics many months ago and using a bog-standard glue stick meant for paper, I attached a now unidentifiable thin fabric to the back, ironed it to help set the glue and then free-motion stitched five of the panels and the base. On the sixth panel I strung a length of small beads randomly tied in overhand knots before hand stitching them to the panel. It stands about 5″ tall and approximately 4.5″ wide and has no earthly use whatsoever. I think it needs a lid but I didn’t factor that in at the beginning and I used the largest remaining scrap for something else which I’ll show you another day.

6 sided pot 26 sided pot pieces

lucky with the light

I’ve spent most of this week indoors for various reasons and while watching lots of catchup tv and Netflix series, I’ve been playing again with the remains of this fabric and turned it into a jug of sorts, embellished with silk strips and a little hand stitching. One of my better images I think, snapped when the light was just right.

scrappy jug

linear face

A little linear fun today.




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