Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sample Project 2012 - September

I found this month’s pictures a bit challenging. And I still struggle to remember that I don’t have to try and reproduce the chosen one! I must keep trying to loosen up – all I’m aiming for is a little sample triggered by the “Underwater Eden” photo, it really doesn’t matter if I haven’t got the right colour fabric or thread!


Week 36: Caribbean Reef Shark (eye)

Machine stitch and applique, using Lutradur foiled with Misty Fuse, organza, felt and metallic fabric.






Week 37: Glassy Sweepers

Blurred image of moving fish.

Viscose fibres embellished onto felt. Rubbish, this one, but I’m proud of myself for accepting it and moving on instead of wasting time trying to perfect something that didn’t grab me.  



Week 38: Yellowfin Goatfish

These fish had striking yellow tails and lines along their bodies so I managed to just do those!

Fly stitch on background of embellished felt and scrim.




Week 39: Marine Iguana

An abstracted section of part of the iguana’s spiny back against the rock, weed and ocean.

Embellished background of felt, Wensleydale wool and bamboo fibres; blanket stitch.



Only three more months to go now!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Badger Murdering Licences Available From Today

This blog is normally all about textile art. Today that seems too much of an indulgence. If you don’t care about wildlife, I’m sorry (very very sorry), this post isn’t for you.  


Following the failure of a legal appeal last week, the first licence was issued today, allowing landowners and farmers to shoot badgers (a protected species) without risk of arrest.   

Can you stand by while up to a third of this country’s badger population is wiped out? I can’t. It makes me sick. It is immoral and stupid.

Farmers and the government claim that badgers spread TB to cattle. Surely that’s the wrong way round - bovine TB is a problem of the farming industry, it is their responsibility to remove it from the cattle population and stop them infecting our native wildlife. The badgers were here first!

If you’re not up to speed on this issue, you can read about it here.

The science says no. The simple truth is that a decade-long scientific trial of badger culling concluded that it would not help and might well make the situation worse. And yet the government has given the go ahead, bowing to pressure from farmers.

It’s not about money. The government's own impact assessment concluded that it would cost farmers more to carry out the cull than to do nothing and suffer any losses from bovine TB.

Vaccination is the obvious answer. The last Labour government said an oral badger vaccine would be ready by 2015. The coalition cancelled five of six trials of injectable vaccines.

Killing. And it gets worse still… the authorised cull will be carried out by marksmen “free shooting” the badgers – cheaper than the trapping method used in the trial but less reliable and humane. Lots of fun for men who enjoy killing though…

None if it makes any sense, does it? But what can you expect from a government which now has a climate change denier in charge of Environment  and a homeopathy fan in charge of the NHS. Mad, bad and dangerous.

So what can we do?

1. Petitions

e-petition set up by Brian May and promoted by the Badger Trust, Chris Packham, David Attenborough and many other naturalists and other scientists.

38 Degrees – Rethink the Badger Cull

Enough names on these really can make a difference by getting the issues in front of parliament. 

2. Support the Badger Trust, the organisation fighting the cull in the courts

3. Boycott English Dairy Products (and beef if you’re not veggie).

Sign Viva’s pledge here, money talks! Wales has called off the planned cull in favour of vaccination, so I’d rather buy Welsh products. 

4. Spread the word 

Please pass on the petitions (at least) to as many people as possible.

Let’s hope something can be done to save the badger population from this cruel, morally and scientifically unjustifiable policy. It makes me ashamed of this country.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Sample Project 2012–August

A five sample month. And two thirds of the way through.

More stitchy bits inspired by photographs from the book “Underwater Eden –365 Days” by Jeffery L. Rotman. Each week I choose one of the seven photos relating to that week to work from. Lots of fish with jazzy skin turned up this month!



Week 31: Bicolor Parrotfish

Needle felting, using layers of commercial felt.








Week 32: Steepheaded Parrotfish

Machine embroidery (built-in scallop pattern) on brocade fabric.







Week 33: Honeycomb Cowfish

French knots on needle felted background.





Week 34: Colonial Anemones

Lutradur 30 shapes attached to black cotton fabric by free machining their centres only.







Week 35: Smooth Brittle Star

Bonded organza ribbons, Kunin felt applied with free machine embroidery.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

New Brooches


This week I’ve been working on some new little brooches along the same lines as my bowls and bookmarks. Well not everyone can offer a suitable home for a bowl that’s not intended to hold anything, can they? And lots of people have Kindles so they don’t need a bookmark…


Note my valiant (?) efforts at “styling”… I find this so difficult, trying to come up with suitable props and backgrounds. I need to work on it though, as apart from adding interest, it helps with the problem where pieces show up at many times life size in my shops – NOT flattering for free machining!

The first few of these are in my Folksy and Etsy shops now.