Monday 26 August 2019

Art exhibition - last day today!

Eileen Higham's watercolour of bottles 
Ann Hutchings' embroidery
David Lawrence watercolour 'To the Mountains'
Eileen Riddiford's ice-dyed silk scarves.

Today is the last day to see the PACS show at the Festival Hall, Petersfield. I visited again yesterday and pictured above are some art I like. But there are hundreds of paintings and craft items to look at. I really think that this year is a particularly good year and if you can, get along before it closes at 5pm.

Sunday 25 August 2019

Fidget dolls

I just finished these dolls with their tactile velvet, bobbles and knitted tassels. Jenny Stacy design

If you are one of those people who has a relative with Dementia I think one of these dolls would be a good gift for them. I was thinking of my mother as I made them. I wish I could give her one now. The bobble braid and dangly knitted strands and especially the velvet pieces (some on the backs of the dolls) would be great to fiddle with. I've also seen that sufferers sometimes love to have a 'baby' to hold. 

We don't talk about dementia much in my country (UK) just as we rarely talk about death. I think it would be better for us if we did discuss these things more openly.But it seems to me that with advancing age dementia is a trap that more and more people are falling into. Just as allergies and 'special needs' seem to be increasing among the young...

 This arguably could be the result of things like more air-borne pollution, the chemicals we put on our fields to make them fertile enough and stuff that gets  into the water supply. I'd love to know exactly what is the root cause of all our problems... From personal experience, I know that the black specks and black dust that I wipe from the outside of my shop windows every day from car exhaust pollution can't be doing us any good at all!

 But life is what it is at this moment in time and we have to make the best of it. At the same time we can join together to try to ensure a healthier planet for our children and our childrens' children.

Wednesday 21 August 2019

PACS Art Exhibition on now

Exquisite moths made by Ann Hutchings
Love the soft hues of this painting by Wendy Larken
Another lovely Wendy Larken piece with handmade paper and gold leaf
Meditative painting by Niloo Wickramasinge
Niloo's pots won an award
Statement furniture made by Martin Romanowicz

Petersfield's artists annual exhibition preview was packed last night. As I've mentioned before, this area  boasts a large population of artistic people and the work at the exhibition is as varied and individual as ever. I couldn't resist taking photographs of some of the pieces. And I'll visit again before it closes on Sunday to take some more photographs.

Long time readers of this blog will recognise the name Ann Hutchings. I've showed her embroidery before. She works with just one thread of silk and her work is amazing. Why isn't she famous?

Niloo Wickramasinge is another very talented lady. She makes things for the shop and is multi-talented, excelling at painting,  pottery and needlecraft. Again, in my humble opinion, she should be famous.

Wendy Larken's paintings are so special. These convey a serenity and would be lovely to have at home. Another very talented lady!

Martin Romanowicz is exhibiting his furniture for the first time at this exhibition at the Festival Hall. His work is so tactile it was all I could do to restrain myself from smoothing it and opening those drawers!! This piece is made from maple and walnut. Terence Conran would love this I think!!

I recommend visiting this exhibition if you don't live too far away. Your favourites might be very different from mine...

Sunday 18 August 2019

Dressed peg dolls

Made by Jenny Stacy - varied clothes, not sure which I like the best!

I love playing with wool and bits of fabrics to dress the little peg dolls painted earlier this week. I'll sell some naked for people to dress themselves...

I made the clothes for the one on the right first. The knitted top (soft Alpaca yarn) took too long to make so I won't be doing many of those. I like the flowery skirt but to be honest it's a bit too long. Then I crocheted a dress for the doll on the left. Again it took a bit long to make it regularly and I prefer to see the feet. The middle one was the quickest to make and I think that's the one I'll be making more of. She's a subtle fairy as the bow to her skirt forms wings!

None of these have hanging loops as I'm imagining them propped on a shelf or even in a dolls' house. I think I'll sew in loops from now on so they can, if you want, be hung on the Christmas tree.
Talking of Christmas, I don't like seeing Christmas cards in charity shops during August. It feels too early. But when is the earliest people will be happy to see Christmas decorations and cards? This year I want to start Christmas early in the shop. Not in August but by the end of September. So look out for a slow infiltration of Christmas items in the shop from the end of September onwards.

Thursday 15 August 2019

Peg dolls

41 peg dolls painted by me, Jenny Stacy! Now to dress them!!
Some old lace and  pretty fabrics.
Now what shall we wear?
I had all these pegs in a drawer so I thought I'd get ahead by painting and varnishing them. My dilemma is how to dress them? Should most of them be fairies (wings always a problem) or should they be women or girls with different clothes on each one?
Then I thought that some people might prefer to dress them themselves. I don't like kits but I could offer some naked dolls for people to enjoy dressing them themselves?
I dressed one for the shop window yesterday. She has a knitted top and flowery skirt with a band of lace sewn around it. The knitting bit takes longer than I would like but she does look pretty. 
I'm inspired by Queen Victoria's little dolls on Pinterest. She dressed them herself and they are very decorative in their silk dresses with lace overlays.

 I thought that with sleeves my dolls could have pipe cleaner arms as well but that makes them unsafe for little ones. Best to keep things simple. The trick is to find simple, quick ways of making that still look effective and expensive.

I'll use the pipe cleaners I've just tea dyed for my tiny fairies. I didn't have enough of those to sell last Christmas and they are very popular.
Meanwhile I've woken up with a stiff arm after knitting for too long last night. I'm trying out a hat pattern. Hats will hopefully be in the shop next month knitted by the wonderful Jenny Drant. I am such an amateur in comparison to her!! 
The reason I am making lots at the moment is because the shop is so quiet. I love it when people come in and browse and admire all the clever handmade things made by clever local people. Come in and say hello if you can. Thank you.

Sunday 11 August 2019

This week

Bags from my painted papers
Having fun with paint
Two scarves I'm knitting
I made more painted flower hair clips as the last lot sold out.
Painting on handmade paper. It looks so different.

I like to start my day with painting on a sheet or two of paper.
Therefore I have lots of painted papers. I made the latest lot into bags for the shop. I know people appreciate recycled paper bags. Some people even save the little bags I make from magazine pages. The carrier bags I make from magazine covers are used again as storage bags or gift bags.

A bigger project I have in mind is to sew my sheets of needlefelting (one is seen under the flower hair clips) into cushions. Ideally they'd have a velvet back and hand embroidery on the front. That could be something to do in the shop next week. Lots of people are away on holiday right now so it's a quiet time for the shop. But as long as I have something to make at my work table I am happy. After all it's only three months until that busy time of the year when I always wish I'd made more during these quieter times!

Sunday 4 August 2019

Bits and bobs

Niloo's ornamental pots and vases in Handmade Happiness
Having fun with a painting a day 
New bunting for the top of the window
Pretty mohair for making scarves
These paper lightshades from Ikea look like an art installation!

It's been a week of bits and bobs. I've cut out more bunting, started on two scarves, sewn bits on to dementia dolls (which are now called fidget dolls after my daughters objected to the name!) and I've managed to do some speedy painting before work.
 I'd like to do a lot more painting but other things get in the way. I need to do housework today (Sunday) and I'm always pleased once I've done it. ... I find it helps if there is something interesting to listen to on the radio while I'm cleaning. Cleaning is pretty much a mindless task isn't it and at least with something else to concentrate on you can work on automatic pilot!! 
I often think we are too well educated these days to do housework. But apart from necessary daily tasks Sunday is the day I can have a really good run at getting the house the way I want it.
I'm pleased with these giant light shades from Ikea. I bought them a while ago and have at last put them up.  They add interest to a high ceiling. My mother used to say never have a central light in a room. Only lamps. She would have hated these light shades...But if your house comes with central lights that's what you've got. You can add lamps and only have the central lights on occasionally can't you?