SSsshhh! I’m concentrating…………………..

Yes, things have gone a little quiet ‘stitchwise’  lately but the reason is a very good one – I would like to devote most of my time to drawing, or should I say, learning to draw)

This book is just fascinating and seems to be just what I needed!(Thanks, Sharon 🙂 I only got it on Friday, and I’m on page 101.  Now off to  make a couple of viewfinders!

If anyone is out there who has been longing to learn to draw, please take a sneaky peak at this on amazon.  It’s so worth it!



Bowled Over!

To-day’s challenge was to up the difficulty and try to draw 2 subjects, tricky wasn’t the word.  I had trouble working out the ‘reference points’, as I call my little marks for top bottom and sides, to gauge the size of things.  I did a lot of checking this time, as the bowls had to be off centre to enable me to get the rather long shadow in.

I feel that my shading is getting worse, not better.  The reflections were coming in from all angles, as I was in the conservatory(glass all around = multiple highlights and multiple shades of shading, if you know what I mean)  I was really having to concentrate To-day, and I don’t know if a lot more work on the graduation of shading will improve things?  Or am I starting with too deep a tone of shading and not leaving the space for gradually lightening towards the highlights? GRrr!  I hope the answers are in this coming book, or I will have to go hunting for answers, again!

2 bowls

As you see the shading wasn’t great in the ball practice I did, but seems smoother than on the bowls.  Bit of a puzzlement, is it me or is it just more practice???

P1140278Ball practice 2


Another day another drawing – Hi! Lily

Got up this morning and the perfume from the Lillies was gorgeous, so that decided To-day’s subject for practice.

Here is the flower.Hi! Lily

Just for fun I thought, how about trying to capture a Lily in 20 seconds?    Not easy at all!, but interesting to try 🙂    Bottom petal – WaAaay Off 🙂  Also I am only using up cheap paper whilst I learn and the pencils do not like it, I think!

Think I’ll go and buy a decent pad.

Barbara M


An Apple a day……………….

I have ordered ‘Drawing on the left side of the brain’ and the accompanying workbook, so can’t wait to see if this will help me with a more productive approach.

So, whilst I am waiting,  I’ve raided the fridge and liberated the last, lonely apple.  I decided to use this as a practice on shading(which needs lots of work!!)

Apple 1

I also drew it from another angle and yes, the bottom is deformed-looking because I can’t find the proper eraser(another item awaiting delivery ).

Apple 2


But at least it is taking my mind of this blasted virus and keeping me out of trouble until those books arrive!

Hope you have a productive and successful week ahead of you!

Best wishes

Barbara M

Raggedy Blooms

Well, some progress has been made on another experiment using transfer paper to print a small watercolour piece  onto fabric after scanning it.  The finish is garbage;  very plasticky and shiny but I managed to knock it back to passable with very gentle circular movements with a carborundum stone(before you ask – Here in the UK we use this to sharpen knives and scissors, it s quite fine).

Anyway, Now onto the stitching stage and adding beading. too(what a surprise :}  I like the way the sheen of the treated fabric accentuates the quilting.  Also combining machine free-style embroidery with hand stitch, too.  Adds more dimension to the horrible, flat surface.

When  finish this, I plant to get my hands on some Bubble jet set 2000 I hear it doesn’t interfere with the handle of the fabric but some printers have had trouble with the inks bleeding – Any info on the product and what Printer you use would be really helpful!

Thanks folks.

See below for the w.i.p.

Ready for stitchingWatercolour transferred and some machine embroidery done.



close up Bloom 1

I like the way this is turning  and the sheen is an advantage after all!




Raggedy Blooms

O.K  So this is where I’m  up to and will post when I make more progress!

Hope you all have a productive Week-end 🙂

Barbara M



My new best friend – the Work Journal!

Although I’ve always been a Bookworm this is one I’ve always kept away from, why?, you ask.  Because they used to scare me stupid!  All those very organised, grown-up pages and fantastic well illustrated thought processes(forgive the hollow knocking noises, it’s just my knees :))

Anyway, I am so, so glad I chose to take the fantastic Sharon B‘s last class recently and, whilst it really took a while for me to get used to not throwing all those scruffy notes, tatty envelope flaps etc. into the nearest free space.   I finally found a new home for all those seeds of my ideas(see, I’ve called it my ‘Ideas Book’ less threatening altogether, don’t you think?)  So I took photos and sampled to get a feel for the ideas I wanted to pursue and came out with – A quarry abstract! See below.

I had passed through this place whilst out walking and the incisions in the stone were fascinating, like a foreign language.  An ideal opportunity for some mark-making of my own!

rough sampling begins

I then built up the strata with strips of hand-dyed linen and backed them with  felt.  Some sections were individually embroidered and then added to the strips.

Finally after finding an arrangement I liked I stuck down onto a card, tissue and gesso backing.


This was taken before the proper frame arrived and it is just shown in a rough mount to make it look finished(well! Almost).

So, I am now finding the routine of early morning quiet time with my book something to look forward to instead of dread!  Thanks, Sharon.

P.S. will post later this week about something else I’ve finally found the courage to pursue, watch this space, or if you can’t wait look here in Flickr :)………………

Barbara M

At last I’m organized!(well as much as I can be)

Definitely have been off the radar screen for a while, I must admit – but I do have an explanation

It all started when  the frustration of waiting forever just to visit the home page on my antique laptop; which kept crashing at key moments(such as uploading photos and downloading info. which I’d been searching a long time for!) became too much to cope with.  I had no printer to talk of and I was longing to own and learn about dslr cameras – quite a wish list, huh?   Plus a couple of courses I wanted to try.

So, it was on a very foul and rainy day an assortment of boxes were delivered.  I felt a lot like Pandora, as I opened them. 

The first one to get to grips with was my PC which had a Windows 8 O.S.  Bit of a nightmare to start with,  it was just like visiting your favourite supermarket and finding every product had been re-homed!  I felt really dumb!  After a few of days things started to make more sense and I felt it was time to introduce it to a new friend – The printer.  This was a new fandangled wireless, card reader playing, scanning, all-singing, all-dancing Canon Pixma.

Well!  Installation went ahead and I had a brief feeling of elation as I managed to get it on-line and printing but the following  70 windows updates that followed including the dreaded 8.1 ‘upgrade’ caused them to fall out with one another  bigtime and there was no communication between them at all.

Eventually after some hair-pulling and several coffees, the job was done!(a matter of not enough drivers )  Next the camera and all the software plus the transfer of my internet security product over to the new laptop, not forgetting the backlog  of TAST stitches( 4 in all)  Tick to all the aforementioned  🙂  Phew!! 

I have recently started a new 10 week community course through Harlech college, called Creative textiles and think it will be fun to learn some new techniques.  First 2 weeks have been covering Faux Chenille  and reverse applique.  Will post my samples later.

In the midst of all this bedlam, my poor hubby twisted and injured his back and has been really suffering(We had to call the doctor  out on a night visit and then he had a  bad  re-action to strong pain killers.)

The good news is he’s on the mend, but it will take time.  Further good news –  I’ve lost weight through all the dashing around!

So, my friends, that is where I’ve disappeared to lately, lost in the ‘everyday world’.  I am so grateful that everything is now working as it should and hope to do get back to visiting all my stitching friends and posting some stuff.

Take care and enjoy yourselves!

Barbara M