Sunday, 24 June 2012

West Country Madness...

Days on end of rain and gales and tonight Mark and I are going to don wellies and waterproofs and head to Westonbirt Arboretum to see Madness in concert (should anyone not have heard of them, their website might jog some memories: Every time we go to an outdoor concert you can guarantee flooding in the UK. At least we are used to these gigs and know to take blankets and waterproofs and forego any idea of a dainty picnic for sausage and chips from one of the stalls to try to warm up. It's not actually raining at the moment, but I am not holding my breath.

I have spent a fair amount of time sewing this week, but it's a gift so I cannot share details here until it has reached the USA and been opened. So, as the present (in both senses of the word) is off the menu this week, I thought I would focus on the past and the future. Some of the things I have made in the past and some of the things on my making wish list. It's probably rather sad, but I do love to make lists - particularly of future craft projects!

I am going to wander through crafting projects of my past by medium, starting with paper. Here I have to confess that a lot of my ideas appear while I'm asleep. When I was 12 or 13 years old I dreamed that I made a Victorian maid out of paper, and when I woke up I made what I dreamed. After most of a household of Victorian maids, I moved on to other paper figures.

Left: I even made a model of the boy I had a crush on at school (and never even once stuck a pin in it!)

Right: ooh la la so Parisien.

When I was 16 my oldest sister got married and I made her wedding cake, including a paper bride and groom on the top:

Over the years there have been a great many paper brides and grooms:

These pieces are very time-consuming, but really good fun to make. As far as possible, I replicate the style of the wedding dress. I usually make the cakes too, so the icing can also tie in with the fabric patterns used - the piping on the one above matched the groom's waistcoat.

This geisha was one of my favourite pieces. It was a gift for a friend abroad and I was so relieved when it reached her ok.


I have n't made any paper models in a little while and really want to make some more. I wonder about making a paper carousel, but maybe that's pushing it...I also have an ambition to make a carousel from gingerbread, and I think that might be more achievable.

Another thing I do not do enough of these days is plain old drawing and painting. It seems like all my artistic efforts are done with food colouring and it would be nice to make something people don't eat. Here are some drawings/sketches I have done in the past:

Murphy - Mark's parents' old cat, in pastels, chalk and charcoal.
An otter for a friend who's a fan of these cute critters, in pastels.

 Viggo Mortensen in pencil (I actually gave him a copy of this at a poetry reading in Odense...poor chap!)
 This is a pastel sketch of Dylan thomas' boat house in Wales.
I'm not sure I have mentioned my Russell Crowe lust (Mark is very understanding) - this chalk sketch is tucked away in my larder, next to the herb rack!

I am keeping an eye on the clock to make sure I don't run out of time to dig out gloves and scarf for the concert - yes it is June, but this is England! - and I think I have time to add a few fabric projects of the past:

 Cat tea cosy

The same cat on an apron

In Eithne Farry's excellent book 'Yeah, I Made It Myself' ( ) she has a list of projects she would like to make and included the idea of a cloud bag with a silver lining. Well I loved the concept and had to give it a go. It's still on my to make list, as I want to have another go, perhaps with raindrop fringing!

Rag dolls are always on my making wish list. I want to make lots of them - including a Star Wars stormtrooper (I have had the fabric in my stash for years now and just need to get around to it).

I also have a love of  aprons - I want to make some of those frilly 1950s domestic goddess type ones, in really kitsch fabric.

Right then, if I am going to make it to the concert, I am going to have to stop now (somewhat abruptly) and add my wish list and the quilt and bag photos next time. I'm not sure it counts as leaving the entry on a cliff-edge, but tune in next week for more!


  1. Working in your old job is an absolute waste of talent!

    (...and if you ever made a drawing for me, I promise I wouldn't eat it!)

    1. Thank you! Perhaps I will draw you...or maybe I could applique you...or I really want to try some printing again...the options are endless.

  2. Your papercraft is fantastic, and not to mention everything else that you make!

  3. Mein lieber Gott, you´re a multitalent!

    1. Thank you Anna-Karin! (although I did n't have my glasses on and at first read your comment as "Mein lieber Gott, you're a mutant!")

  4. It really isn't fair that one person has so many wonderful talents and is so darn good at all of them!! Envious but in a good way, I LOVE seeing your work!!!!