Saturday, 6 June 2015

Ruby Stripes

A few weeks ago friends of ours celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary. 
One of them is a big fan of Bridget Riley, she invited me with her to hear Bridget in conversation during this exhibition.
The stripes in Bridget Riley's work inspired a crochet piece for the couples anniversary card!

Started with two rows of 20 stitches for each red....

 ...some in back loops for texture...

Congratulations to the fantastic couple - and hope they have many more happy years together!

Saturday, 9 May 2015


The spring months bring many birthdays for family and friends....

a pastel heart with a vintage vibe to match the new colours of a young lady's bedroom

 several yarns and threads crocheted with a chunky hook

with a co-ordinating flutterby!

Another hanging heart...

I love the colours of this wool...I picked it up on holiday last summer....
the cake had no label but I was told it was a DK British sock wool that didn't catch on. 
It is hooked with two strands - one from the centre of the cake, the other the outer end,
and is combined here with a thin variegated cotton thread...

It was given with this card - one of several being sent this year!

This red rosy bloom is a combination of an altered commercial rose pattern and my own daffodil petal pattern...I played a bit of woolly roulette with the last of my red sparkly yarn, hooked along with another thin red!

It has been worn with pride this week by my friend.

The next two presents use exactly the same wools...

A textured purple cashmere and wool blend, (from the same holiday shopping as above!), a pink and purple teeswater hand-dyed, and a purple cotton cashmere blend (generously donated to my stash...)

The lighting prevented true colour capture, I had to make the most of strong sun between very grey days!

The knobbly bits can be moulded into many shapes!

The second item, a present for my talented, creative friend Jacqui,
you may have seen here on her fabulous blog

the body of the pouch with the cashmere/cotton blend is hooked using 'Sedge'
 from Sarah Hazell's200 Crochet Stitches

the freeform flap a spontaneous addition: the original drawstring idea was a bit bulky,
and I fancied a little less formal structure!

For my birthday, Jacqui very kindly sent me this vibrant knitted pumpkin pin cushion..

with crochet green leaves!

It gives me the feeling of nostalgia, and squidging it today I realise it reminds me of childhood lovingly knitted cardigans, jumpers..and hats!

One more photo....I have found a book to alter - I'm going to re-read it before I get started, although my mind is already racing with ideas!

Monday, 4 May 2015


There are lots of inspirational crafty people using their creativity to spread positive messages, in individual ways or through larger organisations. Many make items for charity, transforming the lives of the recipients. Others are craftivists!

This week,  Thursday 7th is an important date for the UK, with the election of MPs, and in some constituencies local councillors.

Here's my message:

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Changing Pages

I have long admired altered books,
 the possibilities the book lends to be revised
 and the ingenious ideas the creators present to their new readers.
I recently was asked to add to one such beautiful book, 
 being transformed by A, 
a daughter of my book loving friend.
It has a definition of 'belief' on the front cover.
 Beginning as a GCSE project, its wonderful changes continue....
Four textured white pages were offered - ripe for re-fashioning.

 Ideas flowed freely before I had even read the beginning of the book, I made sketches and notes, one in CAPITALS - READ A's PAGES!
After being entranced by her personal, detailed and diverse work I realised how many of my original ideas would be right at home alongside, in terms of features and form.
Also, as our styles and talents are different, there would be some novel ideas.
As usual it took a while to cogitate and feel comfortable about starting,
and there was a small amount of gathering and preparation...

but a fabulous February afternoon was spent in a metamorphosing whirl of colourful creativity....once started it was difficult to stop!

 The first page:

A print of two photographs overlapped and merged prior to printing,
the lower from wet felt made in response to the sunsets outside our front window,
the upper - one such sunset...complete with urban street furniture!
The wording is a title of a book by one of my long time favourite authors, Patrick Gale
A's mum and  I are both huge fans and were mesmerised when we met him during a local book event.

Originally this page was intended to be much busier, with more words...
but on reflection less is more in this case!

Page Two:

 Four of my original thoughts were felt, holes, colour and crochet.
This page combines all four!
The larger holes were cut with a craft knife, variegated sock wool crocheted into pre-pricked smaller holes, and there is a re-used off-cut wet-felted corner.

This page, in contrast to Page One, needed something extra - whilst tidying up I came across the tiny pile of cut holes, carefully saved, sparkling in the sun.
Turned upside down / over / backwards,
they transformed the page and brought it to life, reminding me again of Brian Wildsmith's illustrations.

Page Three

A potato printed background with acrylic and sparkly paint, the other side of the holes and crochet, and a photograph of the listed fish.

As the holes would impact on each page my original idea was to have a fish on one...little did I know how significant this particular fish would be.
I visited it a few days before making the pages, and rejected a felt fish in its favour.
Having handed the book back I had an excited response from my friend who had actually played on 'her favourite park fish sculpture' as a child and shares my excited fascination for its form and function!

Page Four

Photo montage from 6.9.14 City of Colours  Festival
Images of works by Jimmy C and Jay Sharples.
Spray painted discarded masking tape from Jay Sharples street art.

It should come as no surprise that these images would be included...
vibrant colour and circles....

The textured background of the painted white page reminded me of the white brick walls colourfully sprayed that weekend...

The holes give glimpses to other gems!

The whole process was an honour and privilege, I was so thrilled to be asked to share A's book diversity-fying and I had such a great time celebrating colour and our beautiful city!
I may have a go at my own sometime...