We first saw Milly might be on the road to recovery when she began to wash herself and then drank an amazing amount of water. Her progress was slow but yesterday she noticed the decorations in the hallway and gave one, just one, a pat. We were so pleased ,since for days she had either curled up tightly or sat and stared straight ahead. To day she is looking out of the windows and eating a little more. Her breathing is still very noisy but now we feel certain she will soon be just fine. She does look extremly serious and as if she was just checking things out.
Looking through my journal I wonder if I would ever dare to actually write in it? Sometimes I am quite happy with my handwriting but othertimes I know it can be very uneven and untidy.Maybe I should write it on paper and then glue it in the book? Or maybe when I have got over my amazment that I have finished it I won't feel so precious about it?
After a happy and busy day yesterday it is lovely to have time today to do just what we like. Tony is occupied setting up his Sat Nav and then intends to relax and perhaps watch a film. I have spent some time on the photos of my finished journal. In spite of doing the brilliant Skinny Mini e-course I am still having trouble producing good photos,I need to practise a lot more I know. But here are the back and front covers. When I came to put the pages together I realised they had several things on many of the pages that were quite deep and then made the book slightly wonky. It is my first attempt and I have learnt alot. I am looking forward to starting another one. Will post some more pictures tomorrow.
We have made 6 visits to the vets this last week,thought Milly wouldn't survive but yesterday after an x-ray and more awful injections she suddenly drank some water. The first time she had for 6 days. T0day she ate a teaspoon of tuna and actually purred when stroked.It is such a huge relief ,we were wondering if we should ask for her to be put to sleep as her breathing was dreadful and she seemed to be in great pain. We have all our fingers crossed she will continue to improve.
The relief lifted our spirits enough so that we began to decorate the house last night, ready for Christmas. This is the dolls third Christmas and now we have changed the windows I was unable to hang them up as I did previously so I sat three of them on a ledge. They looked very prim and proper. High in the opposite corner I put a forth doll(an angel).When I went into the room early this morning you can see what I found!!! They look like they had quite a wild night,can't imagne what they got up to but I think they had some fun.
The little black cat has improved today, the vet a young polish girl was wonderful spending a very long time checking Millie out. She had several injections and pills to swallow,none of which presented any problems for the first two days, but will now she is feeling so much better!!! Yesterday she slept on the pile of lace next to my chair in my workroom while I spent time on the two journal pages. I love the quote, its seems very apt of late. I have just mislade the name of the dancer who made it, will have to tell her name my next blog. I have also made a little progress doing zentangles, I tried, as Judy suggested, to do large ones but found it very daunting so compromised and used a postcard size. I have finished some, though there are several mistakes, but to my surprise I have enjoyed doing them. I will post a picture when I have one I am satisfied with. So my thanks to Judy at Judy's fabrications
The last few days have thrown up problem after problem, today we were hoping to sort out a few things but it wasn't to be. We realised one of our small black cats was behaving very oddly,as one of our neighbour's cats died recently and another became ill we were very concerned All else had to be put on hold and we took her to the vets. The vet was wonderful ,she knows our cats quite well as they are all ex farm cats and came from very unhealthy backgrounds. They seem to have been in and out of the vets so often. This time the symptoms were extremly worrying, she has been given all sorts and we have to phone the vet tomorrow if there is no improvment. When the postman came he brought me the lovely rag rug in the picture. It was made by Beryl Daws. a friend from England . Beryl is the person who first inspired me to sew. I saw an exibition of her work and loved it so much I found her phonenumber , contacted her and she showed me the basic steps to enable me to start trying .If you type her name into the internet her web page comes up. She makes wonderful things, well worth looking at.
It has continuously snowed here for 2 days, the world seems a different place.The light is different, in the day very bright except in the bedrooms where the snow covers the velox windows making the rooms very dark.The silence is wonderful, just the occaisonal sound of the birds and crunch of footsteps as neighbours walk to the village bakery. The cats don't know what to do with themselves, they have spent hours sitting on the window sills watching the snow fall. I have been busy trying to workout how to put the many pages I have made for a journal together. I realise they are very thick ,if thats the right word ,because of all the bits and pieces I have used to decorate each page. I choose the theme Memories as I find nowerdays I often look back and try to remember events in my life and see I will like to have a journal that will trigger even small things I may have otherwise forgotten.The three I have posted have facing pages where I write about the thoughts that have led me to make each page.I have always been fascinated by insects and often use them in my work. In the summer there are many beautiful dragonflies about over the stream and lavoir. My other loves are faces and flowers.I have boxes of photographs of friends and flowers which have been the source of many of the things I have made.The girl with the red hair reminds me of my granddaughter, she has hair exactly that colour and is lovely. Later this evening I will carry on filling in my zentangle. I still find them hard to do and spend ages thinking about each space.I am not very spontaneous when I work but I am hoping I will improve.
Didn't have much time today but finished this fabric postcard late this afternoon. I tried, what should be my new found skills with photo shop, to brighten the picture but can see I still need to redo some of the classes. I have made several of these cards but still enjoy doing them, and am surprised how each face has its own expression.
This poor doll has been sitting about for months wearing very little. I made her the yellow skirt, didn't like the colour and put her on a shelf until I could decide what to do. This was nearly three months ago but a few days ago she caught my eye and I took her down. My worktable was very cluttered at the time but luckily right in front of me were some blue bits and piece and some lace. It put them next to the skirt and liked what I saw and here is the result. I have just one more unfinished doll , I shall have a long look at her soon.
Meantime I have been busy making more fabric cards and little felt shoes in red, for Christmas.So I better get on.
I received this fabric card from Whytefeather who has a blog called Squirrelly Ducks. It was a swap for one of mine. I really like the face and the way Stacie has added beads and lace to her hair. I was so pleased to receive it as its the first fabric card I have had with a face on to add to my collection.
I have taken ages before telling myself she is fine, though I have just realised she has no shoes on. I remember I did start to make some but they probably got hidden somehow and then forgotten so she has to be shoeless for now. She is for the Vintage group in CDA and for the Cinderella Challenge. I don't usually enter challenges so this is my first time. I have been very busy lately making lots more fabric cards in every spare moment as lots of people have asked for them, but think I need a change. Judy at Judy's fabrications kindly sent me some photo copies of craft projects that I have been looking at and I have started a new quilt. I also enrolled for Kim Klassen's photoshop skinny-mini e course. I want to have much better photos than I take now. Its just for a week and I can do it in the evening when the light is too poor to sew.
I made myself spend just half an hour to finish this little doll,she will be a gift for my grand daughter when I next visit England.I sat down in my workroom this morning and surveyed the mess and decided part of the answer was to actually finish all those nearly finished things before I begin one more new thing. There are at least 10 items I need to sort out.I also am going to have a good clear out to make more space. I have kept stuff for years and years on a maybe basis but realise maybe will probably never come, right now space and a little organisation would be more useful.
For months and months I've thought about it and made odd, could be, pages but haven't know quite how to put pages together. Also it seemed to me I didn't have a theme which has to be important if the whole thing is to come together. I've looked at many beautiful ones shown on people's blogs and thought I could never make something so complicated. So I made my fabric cards and sometimes fabric collages and recently collages with insects on. Then this morning I laid them out on my table and realised I had several the same size and if I could join them together I would have the beginnings of a book. I will have to alter the narrower page to fit and choose some of the pages I have made earlier this year to add, then make some more and a cover. Mmm!
I was going to write lots about our visit to Giverney but somehow time has raced by and its almost time to start cooking the evening meal. This picture is the famous waterlily pond that inspired so many of Monets paintings. Its the wrong time of year for the waterlily flowers but it was still a beautiful, tranquil place to sit. I love green and the amazing variety was wonderful to see. The house was also lovely and I wished I could change my kitchen walls to the yellow Monet had in his.
I finished the red card this morning and then decided I must try something different( All this to divert myself from the doll I'm having a problem with) so I made the card with the butterfly. Seeing it now I realise it could have been more complex but its a start to change from the little faces. I have been sent some beautiful lace by Debbie Aristone from CDA along with an amazing hat and hat stand made from recyled materials. It made me want to try harder to use recycled materials. I will post a photo tomorrow if it doesn't rain.. I have to take my photos in the garden as its quite dark in this house. Back to the lace ,I think I can use some of it on another butterfly card.
Have tried for days to finish my tall doll but frequently found I couldn't decide what to do next,or didn't like the things I had already done.I kept changing to making more fabric post cards. I wasn't fully thinking about what I was doing at all and used little faces I had made weeks ago , I didn't see until it was too late that a couple of times I used faces that weren't quite right.
The face on the mostly red card girl shows her as looking a bit bewildered, poor thing.
We were to have spent a few days in Paris but terrorist threats and train strikes made us change our minds, instead we went to see Monet's house and garden, and stayed in Vernon an old, part medieval, town. I took many photos but for the moment this is the only one I can find!!!!!!!!! In a way its very apt because we did spent time gazing at windows such as this. We did eat far too much , Tony loved all the savoury things and I loved the cakes. I will find the other photos later today, right now I have a hugh list of must do things including finishing 3 dolls more cards etc etc.( I'm trying not to think about washing and housework )
Yesterday our hearts sank when we had another kitten arrive in the garden. It was certainly related to the first one but probably a male. We quickly decided we would feed them but they would have to be outside cats. We can pick up the first one and know its important because we will take them to be neutered when old enough. Today there is no sign of him, perhaps it was just a quick visit? I spent a few hours this morning cutting , sewing and gluing. The picture of the card is not at all accurate, photoshop got out of control but the tags are more or less the right colours. They were such fun to make and, a wonder for me ,made fairly quickly.
My son and grandson have been here for the last week and so I haven't had much time to sew or write here. It was lovely to see them as they live in Australia and I don't see them very often. We were also joined by a small kitten. He or she arrived in our wood shed and cried and cried for days. We wonder if some one didn't want him and left him here seeing we had several cats . The french know that english people generally love animals. and probably would take him in. I so don't want any more cats, but we couldn't see him starve nor be cold , food and a blanket was given while we tried to decide what to do. Now we can pick him up and he runs to us when he sees us and throws himself on his back so we can stroke his tummy, purring loudly. Our other cats are furious and cast some very black looks whenever they see him. Introducing him into the house will be fun!!!!!! Oh dear! you can tell what is going to happen unless we can find a home for him.
As for sewing I have found myself making more fabric cards, now they are sort of Christmassy, and I have almost finished dressing the two dolls. I received a lovely swap postcard this week and will post a photo later and tell you Lorraines blog address. She makes wonderful things.
Yesterday made up my mind to get serious about making clothes for the two doll bodies I have made. I tried and tried but didn't come up with a thing that I liked so after a couple of hours made some more postcards . It was easy as I already had several little flat faces drawn. I altered one of the first two I made and feel she looks a lot better. I found the one with the little crown looked a bit sad or is she just thinking? I am going to do some thinking before I start on the clothes again, look at magazines or books perhaps.
I haven't been able to concentrate much these last few weeks so the dolls are still waiting for some clothes, poor things. I'll have to get a move on before it gets colder!! Instead yesterday I made the two postcards and loved doing it. I am waiting for some little metal crowns to come from Japan, if they are the right size will add one to the head with the purple hair.I am still practicing drawing some faces most days and a zentangle in the evenings .I notice my lines are slowly becoming less wobbly.
The week has flown by, I wanted to make a doll but though I made two complete bodies I haven't had the time to start to make their clothes etc . I knew I would have a few free hours today so decided to make a friendship doll. I made 2 . I found I was in a pink mode today and one of the dolls turned out just fine. The rounder one wasn't quite the shape I expected because ,too late , I realised the velvet I was using stretched when I put in the stuffing. However I'm a far from perfect shape so why not the doll? I shall save the other two until I have plenty of time. I like making these friendship dolls because they don't take much time and its always a good feeling when one is finished.
Tony is still pretty well confined to the house and found time was passing very slowly, he decided to put some of the amazing treasures he has here on his auction site. I managed to get hold of a couple of things from his stash for me to keep before they were to be listed.He has quite a pile of old documents, I felt he wouldn't notice if I pulled out a couple, and he has several pretty boxes, he often buys them for me and until last week there wasn't an inch of space for anything more in my workroom. Last week I went through every thing and surprised myself by throwing out 3 bags full of stuff I've had for years and years, hence the room for more things. I shall try to keep some of the space, it is so much nicer to work in there.
Started Judy's face drawing project last week. I am loving every moment. I can see that my drawings have already improved. We are asked to do some zentangles this week, it is very relaxing, making me concentrate so much all the other worries can't be fitted in for a while.
I have been trying to make some needle cases, but don't much like the results so have decided I will spend some time back making a doll. I think making the dolls is the thing I enjoy most and with the added interest of the face drawing project I wonder what this next doll will be like.
I am also going to include the embroidery of the butterfly into another journal page (I hope) this week. I want to make an almost cream page.
When ever I have had the time I have dashed into my workroom and made the two, as yet unfinished collages without much thinking going on. I began by sewing the insects then made the flowers, tried several colour backgrounds. They are still not completly attatched and I see a leaf and a bead has almost dropped off!! Now what to do next I don't know. Perhaps the backgrounds need more work, Its too late but maybe the flowers could have been more complicated. I shall be pleased with any suggestions. To my amazment I just heard that nearly all my dolls have sold in first the exibition, I was sure none would. Interestingly I am told that the remaining two are the most complicated and have my favourite colour dresses, purple The house will seem empty without them all over the place. If Tony is much better next week I shall be able to go and collect the two that remain and some of the little bags,I also sold all the little fairy shoes and have been asked to make some more red ones. It has been a welcome surprise , at this particular time.
Unexpectedly we found out yesterday that a family member had health problems. These mean life will be disrupted for a while. I probably won't write here for the next week. I have lots to do and hope I will find some time to finish quite a few projects I am in the middle of. The photo shows one I began yesterday,I have already decided to use a cream background not the green. I am going to makes lots and lots more flowers in different colours and also find some lace ones I can use. I have made several more butterflies and a dragonfly in other colours. I golden gelled the backs before I cut them out. It made them a little stiffer than I expected but I shall try and soften one to see if they become damaged. I began a needle case the other day but am in a complete muddle with it, I would like to get it sorted and possibly make some more so I can swap one or two. Today I received a lovely e-mail from Wendy Frank a member of CDA. We swapped an Artists trading card, I have swapped several now and love doing it. Every one is so different and well thought out.
When I looked at yesterdays blog post was surprised to see how awful my journal page looked. It looks as if I just plonked the the things on it. I didn't, I first painted the background paper then stampted it with a large daisy from the garden. When it was dry I gave it a coat of golden gel before layering the piece of vintage lace to one side. I did spend some time choosing the things to add to it. I have writton the note to go in the pocket but will add some more something to the background as I see it does look a little sparse. If it looks betterI will post another photo.
The little brown Hen _________________ The little brown hen was ill for sometime , just a few days ago we noticed that our other hen had become glued to her side. At night time the little hen didn't get up on the perch anymore and the black hen didn't either. She snuggled right up next to her on the floor. Then the day before she died we heard the most extraordinary sounds coming from the garden, it was the big hen and the sound was unbelievable. It went on and on and all the time she was crouched by the brown hen. When the time came to put them in their hut we wondered if the little hen would be alive the next day. She wasn't and at first we didn't realise because it was as if the big hen was shielding her body in some way. When we took her away we tried to coax Poppy out into the garden but she stayed silent and huddled in there for 2 days. She has come out today and has eaten, we are so relieved . It seemed to us she grieved for her friend, could that be possible for a hen?
Today turned into a pink day. I made a page for one of my journals,it has a pocket where I intend to put a note about the things I was thinking of when I selected the bits and pieces I used. Usually I just choose what fits a space and am not aware of my thoughts, but today I tried to take note. It proved very interesting for me , each little item meant something. I wrote it down while I could remember and tomorrowI will write it out and pop the result in the pocket. I do love pockets.
I also took another look at the wonderful fabric figure of Christ I have had for ages. I have wondered what I could do with it, thought maybe I would just mount it on very beautiful cream silk? But I am not sure, I have lots of heavyily embroidered stars in different sizes i would like to use with it. I shall have to ponder some more.
A few days ago Tony brought home this wonderful book. I have been thinking about what I could do with the front cover illustration and any of the three portraits from the hundreds inside.I have photographed them to use because the book is dated 1884 and in excellent condition and it would be a crime to take it apart. Probably I shall use some of the pictures in one of the journals I am making, but how at the moment I don't know.