10 February 2016

Illustration & Embroidery

Draw, paint, stitch.
Whilst I think about the sleeping hare I’m working on this idea.
(Still waiting for glasses so I can start more gold work hares). 

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9 February 2016

More iPhone Photography

Those of you who know Alnwick will recognise this as the street that had a needlework shop,
sadly (another) demised emporium of threads. 

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8 February 2016


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Seen on my #samewalkeveryweek

7 February 2016

Moonset / Sunrise

I’m still doing a #samewalkeveryweek and taking two photos each time, one on the way up the hill (good excuse to pause for a second)…..

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….and one at the top of the hill before turning around and starting back home.

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At the end equinox / solstice I’ll make a collage and hope to see the changing seasons.

6 February 2016

Just colours

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5 February 2016

Creating a Hare

I had an urge to get the water-soluble fabric and threads out to make my own sleeping hare.

One hour later I had a sleeping hare panel.
I should do much more of this work as I love painting with threads.

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Now I’m going to have a think about what to do next, let this evolve organically into a small picture of the hare sleeping in his form (the name for a hares sleeping place - they don’t dig burrows like rabbits but sleep above ground).

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29 January 2016

Iphone photography

Recently I’ve got into the habit of taking photos on the iPhone and have lazily stopped taking the “big” camera out to play.
Its both good and bad, quality is obviously not as good.
But the apps available on the iPhone do a lot of the work of post-processing for you. 

I use Snapseed as my photo editing app.  
Its very good and simply to use.

Take this original, unedited photo of an alleyway in Alnwick on a gloomy January day. 

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In Snapseed I first head to "Tune Image” and increase brightness, ambience and saturation (just a touch).

Play with HDR.

Add a grunge filter.

Then in Instagram I think I used “Amaro” filter, then added a vignette, increased structure and added a circular tilt shift.

Its sounds a lot but takes a minute or two, thats all.
And this is the result.
Compare Before : After 

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Same here, dull gloomy day in  Berwick.

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But with an increase in contrast and structure, change to a tinted B&W filter and you have a great photo.

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I love this one below, again of Alnwick on a VERY wet day.

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Two or three times a week I’m trying to walk over 2 miles and up  a hill.
You can’t see the valley here, looks like the hills go straight across but there is a steep drop down to the road and river - and home.
This morning the moon was still out, hovering about the Cheviot Hills. 

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And I always take a photo at the top of the hill and the point at which I often turn around.

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28 January 2016

Just in time....

…For January

I can only apologise for not blogging for almost a whole month :(  
How did that happen?

I’ve been so very busy both in body and mind with really important, stressful and time consuming family stuff, thats the only excuse. 

The hares are cut out and sealed with fray check.
Not yet sewn on the dress, just sort of hanging about in different positions to see how they look. 

I’m desperate to get on with a few more, but waiting on a new pair of glasses.  
That’s been a real test of patience and time too.
Boots Opticians initially gave me glasses with the wrong prescription in one eye(!), then corrected this….. and the mid-focus was completely out.  I couldn’t see the computer monitor without squinting.
And then the glasses themselves, all £500 worth started to fall apart!
Refund time. 

So back to an independent opticians, Zeiss lens ordered for the Lindberg frames I have already.
Should be here within three weeks.

Anyway here are the hares….. and tomorrow I’ll show you some photographs and discuss how you can make something really special using two simple apps on your phone.

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26 December 2015

Boxing Day

Are you all recovered from yesterday?
I’m finding it hard to wake up today, may need a third coffee….

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Yesterday I lit my special candle along with other friends - a group of us who gather in spirit and in a yahoo group.
It wasn’t long until the fire was lit too. 

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More hare/bunny presents.

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After lunch we played the Santa game (from the crackers), last year we were racing reindeer.  
Wonder what next year will be? 

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Today is wet, muddy and cold.
This was the ford about 11am.  Usually you can walk over but today it would be above my head.
And its still raining so we’re keeping a close watch. 
Hibernating and munching left overs, keeping warm and chilling out are the order of the day. 

25 December 2015

Happy Christmas

Santa made a good choice this year!

Hope everyone has a good day, our lunch is in the oven and one bottle of fizz has evaporated already. 

24 December 2015

Three hares dancing....

 …. and celebrating Yule!  Happy Solstice everyone.
(OK, I’m a few days late posting this but I did write it at Yule!) 

The sun is coming back to us here in the north!

The first set of three hares is finished and I can’t wait to start more after the holidays…. and when I get my glasses sorted.
I have new ones as I knew I was struggling to see this close sewing.

Unfortunately the new pair have not lived up to expectations (nor price).
One lens is perfect, the other not in focus and the earliest opticians appointment to check the prescription is 5th January.

And I want to sew more hares :( 

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And a new throw finished…. worked on over 5 years.

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At home I’ve been enjoying making my own wreaths from home grown willow and holly.

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18 December 2015

Great British Pottery Thrown Down its not....

But I did enjoy using some air dry clay and paperclay for the first time….
…since making Dinosaurs with my darling son about 10y years ago.

Paperclay is much better! 
Much more expensive too. 

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17 December 2015

More hares......

Have become addicted to goldwork hares……  

The third hare is now underway - this time in gold.

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Notice he’s a different shape to the others?

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And the dreamy Instagram version

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The “forest” is collecting more baubles.
The advent calendar is disappearing….. 

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12 December 2015

The Copper Hare

 Work continues on the hares.

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The second hare is all copper coloured.

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I love the flowers…. but wonder if he’s missing some gold?
(As a friend said this week - missing the "Cowans Bling"!) 

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I’m now really happy with the first hare - those extra spirals make all the difference.
And the second hare is complete. 

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And the Instagram version.
Have you realised I won’t be able to stop at three? 

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We don’t have the “big” tree yet, there were plans to fetch it today, but everyone is either out, preparing to be a taxi driver (no surprises who that will be) or getting ready for a hot date.

I have my own little forest this year.
This fabulous new addition - five birch trees and each day I add a new mini bauble.

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