Monday, May 07, 2012

Happy families

These  ‘shrines’ shown in the last post are almost a metre tall by 15cms wide.
The dog in the left hand side one stands about 10cms high.
NEC4and started life looking like this:
21But now looks like this – much better.
I blogged about him way back here when I made a tin foil box which he fitted inside of.  He was made by Sarah Jane Brown. – in the wire knit collection. She also has a website for her driftwood collection here. If you have the sound turned on you can hear all the little birds tweeting away. Bought as a gift by daughter no.2 when we moved to this house about seven years since. He just didn’t fit in when he was stainless steel. I much prefer him like this. I covered him with metallic effects rust paint and then sprayed with the rusting solution. Being impatient I couldn’t wait for the rust solution to dry properly so turned the heat gun, the paint stripper, on to him and he actually caught on fire at one point. No.2 not happy. She has a cat made the same way and larger than the dog – have got my eye on that now. No chance.

DH not happy either. I was putting together another shrine and drilling small holes in the ‘shelves’. In the kitchen, using the chopping board to lean on. Should have been outside in the workshop really but it was so wet and cold at the time. Only using a small Dremel drill, not a heavy duty one. Drilled right through in to the chopping board. Does it matter I ask him, thinking he would moan. Not really he says, as long as you don’t go right through into the worktop. Oh dear! I had 32 holes to drill in total. Luckily I had only drilled the first 8. Black worktop,  8 nice little holes all in a row.

When I first met my very good friend Pat in person after getting to know her through blogging, she presented me with this lovely little gift. I’ve always loved little boxes and secret pockets and the like and this is a combination of the two.
This is how it looks to start with:
PAT 1And this is how all the little pockets fold out.
PAT 7These little pockets have been developed from a South West Chinese tradition. They were made by the Miao and Dong for storing embroidery threads and are know as ‘zhen xian bao’ which translates as ‘Needle Thread Pockets’.  And I know all this because at the Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch show at the NEC I was lucky enough to be opposite the Slow Loris Textiles stand where Ruth Smith was demonstrating how to fold these which she calls ‘Folded Secrets’. Also on the stand were some of the original pockets made from fabric and they are truly amazing. Ruth has put all the instructions for creating these pockets and other folded projects in her four books – which of course I just had to buy.
BOOK 4I can’t seem to find a website for Ruth, maybe I am just looking in the wrong place, but if you are interested in any of her books you can email her at

I also bought the second brilliant book by Maggie Smith – website here.
Maggie came over to say hello and have a chat and I realised later that her lovely daughter who was helping her at the show came on one of my Vilene workshops. Evidently she is a complete beginner with mixed-media - I just hope I didn’t put her off!

I remembered my camera again at the workshop for the Sindano group last week. All I have to do now is try to take some far more interesting photos. Another lovely group of ladies and everyone worked really hard as usual.

Had a great day at the Fen Edge Textiles meeting on Saturday. We were playing about dyeing in plastic bags. Sharne has photographs on her blog. Nickie looking straight at the camera and me trying to hide – nothing unusual there then. Sharne bought one finished part of her final piece for the next exhibition along and it is beautiful. Even the sketchbook that accompanies the work is fantastic.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 8th) I am ‘In Residence’ at ArtVanGo and next Saturday it is my turn to steward the Fen Edge Textiles exhibition at Wisbech. (Details of venue on F.E.T. website).

Now here’s something you may not know.
On the last blog I mentioned ladies of ill repute – ‘Winchester Geese’ – and I have been finding out more. To "be bitten by a Winchester goose" meant "to contract a venereal disease" and "goose bumps" was slang for the symptoms of venereal diseases. So in the future whenever you hear someone say they are covered in ‘goose bumps’ I can guarantee you will think of the 'Winchester Geese'.

I’m on to Pilgrims and Shrines now.  Even more amazing stories and facts.


Julie said...

I'm glad you didn't set yourself on fire Linda. I bought a Dremel at the NEC in March and can see how easy it would be to drill right through. I still havn't got it out of the box yet! One of those things you just have to have and then leave it languishing on a shelf.

I think the dog looks better in it's new guise too so I hope your daughter isn't too upset ;-)

Miriam Weaver said...

I've made books using Ruth Smith's Folded books,I have the first two of her books. I could never find a website for her either! The story about the work top made me laugh, and I'm never going to say I have goose bumps again!!!!

Susan D said...

It's a wonder you didn't join the dog behind bars :)

Pat said...

Suprise! So lovely to see you today.
Can't wait for the Pilgroms and Shrines and to see your versions of Ruth's books.

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Love the shrines and the dog, fab little 'book' of secret pockets :-)
Anne x

dianehobbit said...

I am sure that your famy won't stay cross with you for long, setting fire to your working and drilling holes in the work top both made me laugh. So glad that you are enjoying being a member of Fen Edge. We need to photo Sharne more, as she is always the one with the camera she manages to avoid the moments! Enjoy Horndon, but hope you remember to take a holiday . X