Archives for category: Tidying up

This is one of the suitcases retrieved from my Dad’s loft a few weeks ago. It was originally his youngest sister’s who died of breast cancer more than 30 years ago. She also had Multiple Sclerosis for many years, but was a great advocate of positive thinking and looking on the bright side. She was very dependant on her siblings and friends for her basic needs towards the end, which must have been very frustrating for her, but remained cheerful and appreciative  of the support they willingly gave her. I often felt very humble in her company, and ashamed of moaning about the little things that ailed or irritated me. She was always more interested in what others were doing, rather than talking about herself.

So I will treasure this, along with the tiny passport photo of her and a gift card written by her in a very shaky hand a few weeks before she died. It would have taken her a huge amount of time and effort to write those few words.

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cleaned up

The case was full of paper and plastic bags filled with fabric, a few dresses and many memories. The things on the top are not familiar to me, and I’m not sure where some of the things came from, but it does reinforce my “learnt” hoarding tendencies! Some of the things I have no idea why my mum kept them when they down-sized from a largish mainly Georgian house (one end was 400 hundred years old) to a small lodge.

top of case

top of case

heaps of things out of case

heaps of things out of case

final emptied and cleaned out

final emptied and cleaned out

Some of the fabric is like looking at old photographs, they evoke as many memories. The two pieces below were used to make my sister and I ponchos in the early to mid seventies. They had a high rolled collar fastened with two hooks and eyes, mine the pink fabric had a black fringe and the other a brown fringe. I can recall the impatience for it to be finished so I could wear it.

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This red was made into capes, both the same this time, with a red, silky lining. There’s an old photo somewhere of us both sitting on the stone lions at the front of Blenheim place wearing them.

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It seems that there was a theme with these four blue, flowery prints. The “Wee Willie Winkie” was a nightie-case I made for my little cousin, there was also a “Wee Wendy Winkie” I made in pink, but no sign of the scraps from that.

When I peeked in the case last week I spotted what I thought were the scraps from this “nightie” I made in  needlework at school in 1972. The teacher was “scary” and very strict. Only 4 out of 200 girls were brave or stupid enough  to take needlework “O” level, me being one of them. I was the worst in the class (somebody had to be), and often told that I would fail, in the end it was the best grade I got (B). She certainly knew her stuff  and taught us well, I still occasionally refer back to my books to find how to do a particular stitch or method of doing something, and feel her breathing down my neck when I take a short cut!

We were supposed to make nightwear and use french seams, having looked inside at them this afternoon, I would be happy to make such good seams now. I thought it was much too good to wear to sleep in and used to wear it with my jeans.

vintage 1970's top

vintage 1970s top

But the cherry on the top of the cake must be this beautiful tablecloth which is just the right green to go in our dining room. I don’t recall seeing it before and don’t think it was one my nanna made (the back is not as good as the front). It has a couple of signs of wear and tear, but nothing a strategically placed plate won’t hide.

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I don’t know what I shall do with most of things but, for the moment I have put them all back in the case once I had cleaned out the bottom.

I was tagged by Alex from underatopazsky, http://underatopazsky.wordpress.com a great source of encouragement and inspiration to me, I get a regular fix of looking at her work for real at Scunthorpe Embroiderers Guild. Its good to spend time with like-minded creative folk in reality and in blog land. Thank you all for hopping over from her site.

I also live in North Lincolnshire, in a village with woodland on the doorstep. Regular walks whatever the weather all the year round are a great source of inspiration for me. My blog name of debbidipity was chosen because of the way I dip into all sorts of art and craft techniques with varying degrees of success. I finished a B.A in Fine Art Practice at Hull School of Art and Design as a mature student last year.

1.What am I working on?

As usual several (many) different projects: quilts; embroidery; painting; canvas work; finishing off lots of small mainly Embroiderer’s Guild projects; decorating; sorting, filtering, re-arranging and tidying my work spaces; writing; preparation for a large mosaic; a few little books; plotting, planning and designing new work; several running sketchbooks.

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quilt inspired by woods

 

 

 

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old suitcase retrieved from Dad’s loft cleaned up

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vintage fabrics etc yet to be explored

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fabric washed ready to use for a quilt inspired by a stained glass lampshade

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designs with paper for above quilt design

 

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

I always have several projects on the go at a time, this keeps the ideas fresh and lets the work develop further, one thing leads to another and techniques from one media lend themselves to others. This transfer of skills across different media is what makes my work my own.

 

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

It’s just an integral part of me as far back as I can remember. I’m a doer, which isn’t to say I don’t think, but the thinking is best when my hands are busy too. When I see somebody else making something I want to have a go, not to copy what they are doing but to put my own slant on the process. It always has to be a challenge, part of the learning curve. I may make more than one of something (quilts for example), but everyone is different. Some of the things I make have a repetitive element to them, but this is good planning and problem solving time for other stages of the project or for another project entirely.

 

4.How does my writing / creating process work?

I don’t write a great deal other than “my pages” every morning, something I have done for many years now, since reading Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way. It sorts out my head, letting go of the dross, the trivia and trivial, processing things that are bugging or worrying me, which in turn helps make space for the creative things in my life. Some days the muse just flows and as I’m writing ways to solve the project in hand just end up on the page.

The creative process mainly works in a couple of ways. Occasionally I wake up with an image in my head of a finished piece. This may sound great but usually when this happens I have little or no idea how to execute them. Often my creative writing comes this way, but usually in the middle of the night with words chasing around my head, going round in circles until I jot them down, and once I have I go back to sleep, if I resist they just keep me awake.

A large felt sunflower piece came to me in this way. It was only the second piece of felting I had done, and by far the largest piece of work, other than a couple of quilts, I had taken on at this time. I had no idea how to make this piece but once I set up the pre-felted background 1 metre by 2 metres and had the fleece to hand it just flowed, and once it was hung in the pre-determined place it looked just as I had envisioned it.

 

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felted sunflowers

 

Far more frequently some “treasure” be it a leaf, a thread or a piece of quilting fabric will inspire me to create. Sometimes this is sketched, planned and designed before the process begins, at others I make a start not knowing whether it will end or how it will look. It evolves as I go along, analysing and assessing each stage as it progresses.

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ladybird fabric just had to go in my garden inspired quilt

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nearly finished garden inspired quilt

My nominated blogger is writer Lois Elsden, http://loiselden.com  She is as intrigued by words and their meanings as my language teacher husband. Lois has published several e-books and continues to write all day every day.

Also take a look at Jean Pierre  http://jpgraveur.com a french friend printer, he can’t take part in the blog hop, but well worth a look.

This is another Embroiderer’s Guild project I came across while I was tidying up, (one of many). It’s a scissor-keeper done in detached button-hole stitch. A new stitch to me, and it improved as I grasped it. This is the nearly finished first attempt. I then saw Alex’s and realised how messy mine was, big, uneven stitches. I pulled it all out and started again.

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I did more smaller chain stitches round the edge of each petal. This in turn means that there are more detached buttonhole stitches too.20140219-153735.jpg

I’m about to start the second petal here. I’m much happier with how it looks.
20140219-153819.jpg I like the effect of the varigated thread.

20140219-153851.jpgI done burgundy french knots for the centre of the flower. I want to put some beads amongst them too. Then it’s almost ready to make up.
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We’ve got two of our French friends from the local twinning coming to stay early next week. So I / we are on the usual tidying up mission before  they arrive.

It’s my long on-going battle to be more tidy / organised and every so often I read and try to put into practise “why am I so disorganised? sort out your stuff” by Dr Marilyn Paul. It’s certainly helped over the years; it’s now relatively rare for me to loose my keys / purse / glasses etc. because I do usually put them in their own place, and my time keeping is much better. But other things I’m still struggling with.

One of the things that came up was why you want to be more organised. Yesterday morning I’d written” … to have our home warm (cool) and comfortable with our interesting things displayed for our ( and others) pleasure and interest”.

I spent the morning sorting out books and embroidery and quilting magazines, and doing paperwork.

So going to Alex underatopazsky yesterday  afternoon  for a  break and a catch up was lovely. We did lots of nattering and exchanging of ideas, although we didn’t do any stitching I came away energised and inspired.

Her beautifully displayed collections made me think of my / our “treasures” that were hidden under a piles of junk and what I’d written in the morning.

Alex had given me a white cuff, which kept me awake in the early hours, ideas chasing around my head. So I was up at 5.30 to make a start (secret at the moment) and  after an hour of stitching and making notes, I went to look amongst this heap for a tiny wire butterfly. No luck, I’ll just have to tidy another area!

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This was an area that still hadn’t been sorted since our water leak back at the end of 2012. It just looked altogether too daunting.

But it did go from this to this. I don’t know why the print tray was facing the wall. It’s improving already.

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And soon, to this (just don’t look at the dining table!)

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Lots of things I’d forgotten about.

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Some I’ve collected since the original print tray (including another print tray) I did for  “Passions and Obsessions” for my A level art exam just over four years ago. It was a mixture of found and made “natural” objects: shells, pebbles, cones, butterflies (made in silk from my own photographs), feathers (all but one had dis-intergrated / been eaten), things that inspire and inform much of my work.

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The butterflies are about life-size and the silk is so fine they flutter in the breeze.P1010867

IMG_2480  IMG_2479 I also found this arch /gateway which was one of the starting points of the wooden discs  https://debbidipity.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/wooden-waistcoat/   and this old wooden nodding penguin had also been hidden away.IMG_2481

If I keep working away at small areas eventually they’ll all join together.