Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All Change for Christmas!

Well as some of you know I am moving house - yes just in time for Christmas!

We have found a lovely little cottage in Ilfracombe. There is good news and there is bad news!

Good news: the house has been decorated and is ready to move in.
Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.

Good news : We have space for a studio.
Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.

Good news: The main bathroom is downstairs but the bedroom is en-suite. Don't have to struggle with stairs every few hours.
Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.

Good news: The house is slightly set back from the others so we don't have to socialise with the neighbors if we don't want to. LOL
Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.

Good news: We have a lovely little courtyard garden. Just big enough for me to handle and big enough to sit in comfortably.
Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.

Good news: We have lovely views over the Ilfracombe roof tops to the Tors and hills.
Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.

Bad news: There isn't any parking in front of the house.
Good news: Parking is only about 2 minutes walk away(my speed) and that is on the flat. Yey! Even bad news can be good.

So I will be busy for the next little while and my phone and Internet connection will be held up due to Christmas but I will see you soon and with pics of the new abode.

Please have the most Wonderful Christmas and the happiest of starts to the New Year.
Lots of love and hugs, Alis

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Arty Meme Update

The pieces are now finished. They will be going into the post box on Monday morning.
Keep a lookout!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Special Friend

I just wanted to mark the passing of my very special friend Sid.
Many of you have seen pics of him and some of you knew him.
He was indeed very special.

We rescued Sid just 2 years ago. He was at least 10 years old maybe more and was deaf with a bad heart.
Well bad heart was just a medical term.
He had the best heart any one could hope for in a companion. I will never understand why anyone could have given him up but, I am so glad that they did.
He gave us two wonderful years and I hope we made him half as happy as he made us.

For my birthday I received from a friend a wonderful portrait of Sid. Now he will always sit near the computer keeping me company as before. Thank you Cynthia.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pocket Books

These are the completed Pocket Books I made during Janet Clark's class at Joggles.

I had a wonderful time with these and made new friends too.
They are around A4 size and have 3 pages inside, each one is a pocket to keep treasures in.

The flowery one I am keeping for myself and have put my birthday cards in the pockets. The Ocean themed one was for Shelley in Canada. I met her on Etsy and we joined the recent swap there. It was a joy to make this for her.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Arty Meme

OK Laura and Maz have inspired me to have a go at this.

The first five people to respond to this via the comments will receive a piece of artwork from me. It will be original and a surprise.
The catch?
If you respond you have to post this to your blog too and continue sharing the art.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Textile Tuesday

I've been working on catching up on my Textile Tuesday pieces.

The first is Abstract.
It now being, almost, winter and very wet here in North Devon the river has reappeared on Newberry Beach. It runs under the beach in summer but each winter pushes its way through the pebbles and flows across the beach.
On its way it makes little whirlpools as it flows round the bigger rocks - fascinating.

The second is Lucky.
The arch is how I see my life at the moment. We have to step through that archway into the unknown.
We have done it before but hopefully this time it will be a very lucky arch for us.

So teeny tiny!

I signed up for a swap.

Yes, I know this is nothing new but this was to do 1 inch square collages.
Always - well nearly always - up for a challenge and to have a go at something new I said I would join in.
After all I love to decorate dominoes so how hard could it be?

Oh boy, this was hard.
When I decorate dominoes it is usually with ink, paint and stamps but this was collage.
Started out OK. Did the collage backgrounds and was very happy until I cut them to the squares.
Had to go and read the instructions again.
Had I got the size right? The squares were soooooo teeny tiny. I had to have it wrong. But no!
I actually thought of leaving the squares as they were but I thought that was maybe a cheat and a cop out. What images to use?
Well as many of you know I have a passion for vintage nudes and I just happened to have a few rather small pics. So voila, here you have a teeny tiny vintage nude gallery.

Did I enjoy the challenge?
Well this has been the most challenging thing I have done for a while so yes I did enjoy it in a way.
Am I hooked as so many seem to be on these wonderful tiny canvases?
No fear! I take my hat off to the intrepid artists who love this but goodness I would, at the very least, have a new pair of glasses.

Monday, October 23, 2006


This is my page in Claudia's Everyday Book.
The colours are Purple and Black and the them Courage.

Found it quite hard to get going on this one. Love the colours but the theme was hard for a coward!
Then I remembered St George. Whether his dragon was an actual threat or a perceived threat it did take great courage to overcome that beast.

So here he is in all his glory.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Bag

Well here is the latest addition to my bags. This is my favourite so far and that is as it should be don't you think? I always think you should like your current work the best, doesn't always happen though.

This is some more of the fabric that I painted a few weeks ago. It's nearly all gone now so the paints and dyes will be coming out again this week.
I was given the lovely little dragonfly charms and they just set off the top boarders perfectly.

I had great fun making the cord too. This is only the 4th cord I have made this way - zig zagged on my machine over fibres - and I love it. It is great the way the look can be changed using different sewing threads. I really have to get some metallic threads though as I'm sure that they would add a "zing" factor.

So this lovely little bag is now in my Etsy Shop. I would be sorry to see it go, but then things have to leave the nest and fly away sometimes!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Textile Tuesday - Black

Well I have no idea where the first half of October has gone and what do I have to show for it?
Well not a lot and I don't know why.

I don't seem to have been sitting around doing nothing. Maybe I have just started a lot of things and not yet finished.
YES, that will be my excuse.

Even this piece isn't really finished.
I have posted this as part of the Textile Tuesday challenge - Black.

It is part of my patchwork project. I am making an 8 point star table centrepiece and table mats.
They are part of a Christmas themed class I am taking at Lower Campscott Farm

The course is run by Margaret Hill. Margaret Cowell, who owns the farm, has provided a most beautiful work room for us to use.
What more could you want? A fun course, great company and wonderful surroundings.

Next month I will - hopefully- be finishing the star and mats so I will let you see the finished results then.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quotes Books

I have been working in a couple of Quotes AB's.

June's book theme is eyes.
Don't know why but I dislike eyes. Maybe they are the window to the soul and I don't want anyone to go there.
Whatever I didn't know where to start until I read this quote from Mark Twain and Little Red Riding Hood came to mind.
As altered artists we do have to have an out of focus imagination.

The theme for Kim's book is Wild Wicked Women.
Well I love those and seeing as I had been looking at quotes on eyes these two just seemed to go together.

The quote from St Jerome says:
"The face is the mirror of the mind and the eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart."

Well now we are getting to it. I'm not letting you too deep into my secret heart either.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pocket Book Class

It's years - 15 actually - since I did freestyle embroidery on my sewing machine. It was not a happy experience that, mostly, was down to a personality conflict with the person who was trying to show me.
Recently I started to play again but stuck to wavy parallel lines and grids.

Last week I started an online class at Joggles run by Janet Clark.I have been a fan of Janet's for
many years and
have always wanted to be an owner of one of her lovely bears - I will one day.
So when I saw this class I jumped at the chance to both work with her and have a reason to drop that feed dog and be bold.

These are my covers for the pocket book we will be making.
I have really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next part of the class.

Oh by the way, one of the things we did was to paint and then melt nappy liners. Never thought I would be going in the chemist to buy them again in this lifetime!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


For Textile Tuesday.
I missed last weeks challenge so combined it with this weeks. I know it is cheating but, the themes seemed to go together for me.
This represents that the family is the oasis in the bustle of city life.

Painted fabric and bags.

OK did you wonder what happened to the painted fabric? Well maybe you didn't but I will show you anyway.

It became a couple of bags.

I really enjoyed playing with the fabric. I quilted and embroidered it before making the bags up.

I have made embellishments from shrink plastic and used fibres and of course beads to finish them off.

You can see more pics in my Etsy Shop.

Altered Books

Worked on a couple of AB's yesterday. They are for Maz - The Artful Zebra.

I love music and have lyrics stored in my head that are perfect for any occasion.

These lyrics are from a group called Seasons End.
The are friends of the family, getting famous and are oh so good.
I thought they went perfectly with this image.

The second is Vintage People and is filled the the most wonderful ATC's.

I had this image of the gorgeous geisha's and the rest just followed.
Oh the bamboo bookmark is a charity shop find ;0)

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Well I was up very early today - 5.30am!
So I went for a troll around some of my favourite blogs.

I called in at Creaworx and saw that Karin had been playing with fractals.
These have interested me for ages but never thought I would be able to create one of my own.

Karin directs her readers to Fractal Explorer. Off I went and downloaded the programme. Then I found some great instructions by James Richard Skemp and "voila" here is my first fractal.

Yippee! What fun. Will I be playing again - you bet.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Arty Day

Well after having several down days and hardly creating anything at all, today it all just came together. I have had a lovely play day. Messing around with ink, paint and images and generally catching up with projects.

The first was an altered book for a Quotes RR. The book is for Linda.
Whilst not really a quote, I always loved this line from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Quote says "He felt his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it."
There are days when I know just how Arthur Dent felt - how about you?

Next is Elizabeth's Everyday Book.
The Theme is Sun Bleached Colours and Seaside.
I love playing with drift wood and shells and these came from the beach across the road.
I enjoyed the forage too.

Last but not least was this little board. All my loves together here. Paint, ink, stamps, fabric (especially sari fabric) and vintage nudes.

She is part of an ongoing series of nudes - each one different.
I started the series last year and sold quite a few - nice to know that other people like nudes too.

This is Serene Beauty and she is in my Esty Shop.
She will be joined shortly by her sisters.

Friday, September 08, 2006


It seems that some of you are having trouble posting here - thanks to Laura for letting me know - don't worry, I am having trouble posting on other blogs. It is all to do with the new Beta programme.
Hopefully things will be sorted soon. Thanks for wanting to leave comments though, I love this interaction. ;0)

Happy, happy, happy!

I'm bragging here, but I just sold my first piece on my Etsy shop! Thank you Shelley.
I have sold before but there is nothing like the first sale at a new venue.
Off to continue my happy dance now. ;0)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Paints and fabrics

I have some cream curtain lining. It is lovely fabric but a little boring, so what to do with it.

I don't have dyes apart from a few Dye-Na-Flow colours but I do have some acrylic paints and my friend has a mass of them.
I didn't want the fabric to feel painted and stiff so I watered the paint down and added some textile medium. I fastened the fabric to a frame and painted away. When dry I heat set the fabric and it looked and felt dyed not painted. Yippee!

Since then I have stamped on the pieces using chalk inks and paints and over painted some areas.

At the moment the fabrics are hanging on the wall awaiting further inspiration. I'll let you know when I decide what to do with them.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New things.

I have been going through my pieces of silk fusion and hand painted fabrics that I made on Sue Bleiweiss' courses. I have quite a collection now and while I love to just look at them and feel pleased with myself, I thought it would be good to do something practical with them.

So now I have quite a few lovely little textile pieces. I got out my stash of beads too and had a wonderful time sewing them on.

I am going to use some as panels in larger pieces, maybe on bags - one can never have too many handbags, some will be swapped and some I am keeping ;0)
But something new I am trying is my new Etsy Shop.

I have had success on eBay in the past but Etsy is fairly new and deserves a look. Apart from some of the supplies, all the things on the site are handmade. It definitely has the feel of a big craft fair at the moment. Hopefully they will continue that feel.
Go check it out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Arlington again.

We love Arlington Court. I think I may have mentioned it.

Well we decided to join the National Trust - Roger has just got a little bonus so this was our treat - so we can now go to Arlington as often as we wish.
I promise to bore you with pictures each time we go -LOL

Anyhow on Bank Holiday Sunday we trolled over there for a cuppa in the cafe with some freinds then off to sit in the walled garden for a while. We found this shady spot, cool and quiet. The garden wasn't as deserted as it appears but we didn't have to wait too long for this shot without people.
That's what we like about the place. There is always a quiet corner to be found however busy it is there.

This lovely bush was at the side of us. My favourite colours of course, but I just love the way they blend together so beautifully.
Hmm, I feel a creative moment coming on!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Zoos and Cameras

As it wasn't raining this morning we decided to go to Exmoor Zoo.
It is years since we went to a zoo, and this one is really a conservation centre. It is beautifully laid out on the side of a slope. All the pens are designed for the animals comfort and not necessarily for human viewing purposes.
There are educational talks that are really good and excellent fun every 30 minuets so children of any age couldn't possibly be board.
The animals are so relaxed, absolutely no signs of stress and many seemed just as interested in us as we were in them. Of course there were the show offs and the crowds they draw, so all in all every animal in the zoo was happy.

We loved the Meerkats. The look out watched down the main entry path to the zoo and kept the others informed of the new arrivals. Not that they seemed very interested!

The only sad thing of the day was that we had camera trouble. For photographers and scrapbookers this was a nightmare.
Roger's two cameras refused to focus and then my digital decided to erase all the photos I had taken.
This is particularly sad as I had a wonderful encounter with an Alpaca called Fuzz but the resulting photos are no longer with us. Never mind I have my mental picture and I am sure to visit Fuzz again soon.


Well here is my finished bag. I am very pleased with it. Definitely a big headed moment!!

I beaded both sides of the fabric and made a charm to hang on the handle too.

Some of the beads I got from E-Bay and others from a lovely little bead shop in Black Torrington called The Bead Cellar
Great shop, fab beads, service with a smile and a cup of coffee. We are looking forward to our next trip there.

I have enjoyed this project and have another in mind.

Roger is on holiday this week so I can't make a start as we are visiting our beautiful county but I think I will be pushing him out the door on Tuesday. LOL.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Playing with fabric and paint.

This is some new fabric I have been playing with.

Although the design looks like tulips it actually is my representation of the tracks of a sand beetle.
The picture of it was a photograph in Bob Geldof's book on Africa that I borrowed from a friend.

Perhaps I should have painted in browns and golds but I just love these colours.

The machine embroidery is done with various shades of rayon thread and I wish you could see the subtle sheen it gives.

The fabric is for a hip bag - you know the sort with a strap that goes across your body and the bag hangs on your hip.

I have ordered some beads and I am going to bead the centers of the tulip shape and maybe have a bead tassle of sorts to dangle from the base of the bag.

I'm sure it will evolve on its own and the plan will change from day to day if not hour to hour.
Can't wait for the beads to arrive though!

Watch this space!!

Patchwork Backpack.

I joined a patchwork class with my Mum. Wasn't sure if I would like it but as the first thing was a bag - and I love bags - off I went.

This is the result.
I love it and really enjoyed making it too. It was easier than I realised. I always thought patchwork was tiny shapes all sewn together by hand and therefore I wouldn't be able to manage it. But no! This bag was all machine sewing - yey!!

Hmm, have joined up to make a table centre piece in the shape of a star for my Christmas table. I am assured there is very little hand sewing involved. Actually looking forward to that too.
I will show you the results but even though I am starting it in September I am sure it will be December before you will see it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Now that things have calmed down a bit, we decided to go for a walk on the other side of the hill on which we live.
We hadn't been this way for over a year and by the look of it neither had anyone else.

The path was very overgrown and as a result we were not able to finish our walk. Such a shame as the views of the village from the top of the hill are spectacular.

Never mind, what we did see was lovely. We did manage to find the old bench hidden under much foliage and sit for a while in the shade.

We will try again later in the year when hopefully the path may be a little clearer.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Lack of time and deadlines!

Well I have been busier this month than I have been for years. The best thing is that for the most part I have managed to cope with it. Thanks go to my wonderful Chinese Doctor.

Despite dashing all over the country - or so it seemed - I had several things that had to be finsihed on time. One is a bag I am making, but I have a few more days on that one - watch this space, and another being pages for a chunky book.

What to do that looked good in the short space of time left to me. I didn't want the pages to look like I had rushed them - hate that - but needed to reflect my style.
So I got out a couple of old friends that hadn't seen the light of day for a while.
Twinkling H2O's - watercolour paints with mica powder in them - and Spirit Dancers from Angie B. I really enjoyed painting the pages with random swathes of colour and then adding the dancers. In the end, just before I sent them out I added some fibres to the top right hand corner but I forgot to photograph them again.

I felt really relaxed at the end of this project and energised too. You never know the back log of items with out deadlines may be dwindling soon!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Chilling out!

Well July has been and is continuing to be a very busy month.
Lots of classes to be run and lots of training to attend.

In the midst of all this Roger had a couple of weeks off work. Mainly to allow me to go off and do my own thing and for him to dog sit!

We did manage to get a little time together and visit one of our favourite places to chill out.
Arlington Court is a National Trust property close by and is wonderful for walks for me as a lot of it is relatively flat compared to the rest of Devon.
We love to sit a look out over the pond and watch the Martins dipping the water to catch bugs. Heaven!

Oh! This is Sid - the dog who doesn't like to be without his Mummy!

Ahh bless.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Having got as far away from scrapbooking as a scrapbooker can get over the last few weeks, I thought it was about time to visit some old memories and play with them.

The hat became a family joke as nobody but me liked it. I wore it at any opportunity. The rest of the family would hide it and ridicule it.

It was on its way to Spain with me one year but somehow got left at Manchester Airport. I collected it when I got home but, boy I missed that hat in the Spanish sunshine.

The last insult was that the cat pinched it and used it as a bed one winter!

I finally decided to get rid of it last year after 10 years friendship. This year I am sorry I don't have my friend to cool me.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Do you ever have an idea in your head for a piece of art but cannot get it to work right?
Bet you do.
Well I hope you do or that makes me very frustrated, well, even more frustrated than I was to begin with - Okay, I'm rambling!

The thing is I knew howI wanted this piece for Sheilagh's Quotes AB to look but could I get it to look like that?
Oh no!

The image I wanted to use had to be stamped on glossy card - there was the start of the problem. I thought I had some "not so glossy" glossy card. That would have worked first time I just know it. But I couldn't find it!
Actually all I could find was a small piece of white and a small piece of cream.

The white made the image look ghostly. Great but, I'd already painted the background and it looked so wrong.

Restart number 1
The first image on the cream card was quite pale.
"What's on that blob?" said Roger. This from a usually supportive spouse.

Restart number 2
Well third time lucky and here is the finished piece.
Yes, I think I'm happy with it. It just was so much better inside my mind!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Well the dancing went a little better last night.
Having a bad neck didn't help my posture but we did manage not to stamp on each others feet this week.

It is said we are ready to take our first medals!
Well, I will need a medal if I get Roger to agree to do this. It would be great to have a go and we do have to the end of August to get the waltz right. Think our cha cha is ok - we like that one best.

Ok, ok pick me up off the floor - he has just agreed to do it!!!
Where do I collect the medal?
Yes, I know he has time to change his mind but I just won't let him.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Sitting here feeling sorry for myself - bad week, long story - when the post came and in it was an Everyday Book that Skippy had sent on to me.
In it she asked about the beach.

So..... hitched up the dog and went to have a look.
Amazing what a little walk can do.

Neither I or the dog could get down the slope today.
Actually that's not true. We could have got down but not back up!!

So we just sat a looked down, watched the sea and listened to the birds.
Well I listened, the dog is deaf - goodness what a pair we are.

Anyway, thank you Skippy for making me feel much better ;0)

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I love serendipity don't you?
Made this little bag yesterday.
This was the second time I had painted my own silk fusion. Was really happy this time - hey if it was easy there wouldn't be books and courses on this.

Anyhoooo, very pleased with said bag.
Excited too because I played with colours out of my usual palette of purple, blue, green and pink.
I think I use these colours as an expression of myself so it is hard to change. But I am glad I did.

The serendipity happened when I went to check on the colours and theme for the Everyday Book RR I am in.
The colours were Spice!

Well the left over piece from the bag seemed perfect.
I thought of The Spice Route.
The stitched lines are to represent sand dunes and the route itself. The jewels are the touch of exotica!

Hope Laura will like it.