Misericordia

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 5)

Better Than Expected

I am not, by and large, a painter.

I can bodge my way through a passable watercolour, and the enforced oils on paper that I did at my foundation course has been lovingly framed by my dad, but it’s not a medium I’m very comfortable with.

In fact, the  painting tutor at art college could only summon enough enthusiasm to pass me with, ‘Well, you turned up to every class, and you did try…’

So when I half-heartedly signed up for a school fundraiser, (buy a canvas, paint it and it will be auctioned off), I thought I was going to embroider it or something.

Of course, I promptly forgot about the whole thing over the summer, until I got an email saying they were going to extend the deadline.

(Although the last two photos are unintentionally out of focus due to a problem with an Android update, I really like the way they look. It runs along an idea I had to try to take photos which show how things look to me without contacts in.)

So out came the paintbrushes…

In the end, I’m pretty pleased with it, I’m almost sad to give it away.

Craft Fair this Saturday, 12th November

I’m just going to assume that we’re like those pals who mean to meet up but sometimes don’t manage it for months at a time and then slot right back into the groove without mentioning the fact that one of them is a pretty rubbish correspondent.

Good? Great.

Since my last post I have:

Finished the table cover.

Failed to photograph the table cover before delivering it.

Been to Japan.

Realised that I booked a craft fair last year for this Saturday and that I should really prepare for it.

Voted really, really hard.

Prepared for the craft fair.

Googled ‘How to make political art’

Decided I should just start working on the 40 minute pelvic floor workshop I’m running instead.

Ate a lot of cake.

So I’m mainly checking in to say that if you’re in Edinburgh on Saturday, 12th November you should come to Greyfriars Kirk and see me. There will even be some rather gorgeous-looking cake.

A Silver Bullet?

Bullet Journal Washi tape decoration - Misericordia

The Lovely Young Man is in the habit of sending me articles every now and again, and this article about the Bullet Journal was the most recent one.

Bullet journal year to view - Misericordia

I took one look at the combination of diary, sketchbook and planner (on paper no less) and decided I should give it a bash. It corresponded serendipitously with the purchase of a new notebook, so I could get started straight away.

Bullet journal day page - Misericordia

[A note of caution for those who might be thinking of trying this out and turn to the t’Interweb for inspiration; Instagram and Pinterest are full of Bullet Journal aficionados who seem to spend inordinate amounts of time beautifully tracking their water intake in detailed and exquisitely shaded charts. This is not a requirement. If you want to draw pictures of square sausage, more power to your elbow.]

Fry up planning - Misericordia

I’ve only been going just under a week and I know I’m under-utilising the long term planning element and the index (both of which are cornerstones of the technique).

Bullet Journal July page - Misericordia

But for someone who unnecessarily divides aspects of her life into different books and lists, it’s quite freeing to be able to lavish as much beauty on my ‘renew pet insurance’ lists as I do on blog posts and birthday reminders.

Bullet Journal birthday page - Misericordia

The habit of sitting down to plan your day, week or month is equally pleasing (or would be if I could manage to do it properly) especially if you are allowed to doodle in the margins! I’ve started embracing the limited colour pallette, and I think it helps the whole thing look a bit tidier as I swing from random list to random list.

Bullet Journal colour pallette - Misericordia

Niggling in the back of my head is the memory that Emma (from The Gift Shed) sent me an article about the Bullet Journal and a way of organising your To Do Lists with dots, but it was more than my poor binary brain could cope with and I obviously missed the bit I could handle.

So are you all way ahead of me on the Bullet Journal train, or do you prefer electronic lists and the backs of envelopes?

Aches and Twinges

It’s been a grumbly sort of week.

Stem placement - Misericordia

Knitting chart, crumpled - Misericordia

A week of coughs and sore teeth, thrashing children in my bed, of forgotten phones, cheesecakes oozing out of their tins in the oven, sore shoulders,  last kid collecteds, I’m hungry but not for thats and I’m sorry for shoutings.

Spikey balls - Misericordia

Measuring cups - Misericordia

I think I’ll just creep quietly into this corner and hope that the universe doesn’t notice me until things are looking a little more cheerful.

Myrtle stem and thimble - Misericordia

Myrtle stem - Misericordia

Rows and Rows

Spice rack - Misericordia

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a little white house. On the wall in the kitchen were rows and rows of spice jars, each neatly labelled and alphabetised (except for the vanilla extract, which lived at the tippy top).

She would use these spices to make magic potions, surprising soups, and alarming cakes (see vanilla extract above).

Glass spice shelves - Misericordia

Ever since then, she has searched for just the right combination of shelves, jars, and labels, to no avail.

Sometimes there were shelves with mismatched jars, sometimes there were no shelves and piles of jars and packets. She even found the perfect combination of jars and labels, but the shelves remained elusive.

But good things come to those who wait, and this week her fairy shelf-builder granted her wish.

Glass and cast iron shelves - Misericordia

The moral of the story is, of course, to stay true to your dreams, buy your spice jars in lots of 200* if that’s what it takes, and…um, casually mention your shelving problems to very patient joiners.

*147 of which are living under our spare bed, just in case anyone wants to buy some.

Test and Retest

Sketchbook to do list - Misericordia

Having tested a variety of stem/branch ideas, I suppose it was only logical that, when faced with the fabric I was actually going to use, I decided to do something completely different.

Banner layout - Misericordia

I’m trying to embrace a bit of texture, as well as rediscovering an technique I haven’t used since I was enthusiastically making friendship bracelets at school. (I’d like to see the youth of today try to use loom bands in their future textile art…)

Bias strips - MisericordiaBias strips joined - Misericordia

I haven’t quite got the stems finished, but on the whole, I’ve made quite a lot of progress on it this week.

Bias strips bound - Misericordia

Next week will hopefully involve cutting a lot of leaves…

Leaf test - Misericordia

I Don’t Even Like Swans

I’ve always tried to be the sort of person who allows herself to be moved by the winds of Fate, but even this gust took me rather by surprise.

Swan Embroidery Charity Shop Find - Misericordia

This crewel embroidery caught my eye a couple of weeks ago in the charity shop closest to our house. At first, I must admit, it made me laugh. The pomposity of the swans, the unapologetic shade of goldenrod, the frankly sinister gazes, it was certainly memorable.

Unpicking a Frame - Misericordia

But it started to intrude upon my walks to and from school and work. I started to wonder if anyone had bought it, or if it might go somewhere in the flat. The swans started to seem dignified rather than ridiculous.

Faded Characters - Misericordia

Eventually, I realised that it was useless to resist any longer. Last Friday, I went in and had a good look at it. I took a photo and showed it to a few friends (shamelessly encouraging) and the Lovely Young Man (non-committal and a touch resigned). I was working on the Saturday, so I left money for Dragon to oversee the purchase and went to work with a slight feeling of trepidation.

Repainting a Frame - Misericordia

All was well, however and they were waiting for me when I got home. It seems that the man at the charity shop had been hoping I would come back for it and had questioned my emissaries closely before concluding the sale.

How to Clean an Embroidery - Misericordia

Cleaning Embroidery with a Vacuum - Misericordia

It took a little sandpaper, paint and a chance to use the conservation technique of hoovering through a fine cloth (I’ve always wanted to do that) but it’s just about ready to take pride of place, as soon as I finally decide where to put it!

Cleaning Vintage Embroidery - Misericordia

Disembarking from the Mary Celeste

March has come in with Little Lion’s first Nursery Plague which rapidly swept through the family.

Hovel in chaos - Misericordia

There is nothing like the zombie-film aura which surrounds you as poorly parents of poorly children. Even the cat joined in after indulging in a sumptuous floor-feast because we couldn’t face tidying up around the high chair.

Bunting ingredients - Misericordia

Eclipse Bunting - Misericordia

When we emerged, I discovered that I had 10 days to make Little Lion’s birthday bunting, a jumper which has been haunting me for two years was complete and I’d read War and Peace.

Gentleman's Relish - Misericordia

Readjusting to life on land has been unexpectedly tricky. I’m still looking for my concentration, I’ve lost the ability to tell time and if anyone wants to do my invoices for February, I’d pay you in plum tart!

Plum Tart - Misericordia

(Not shown – Welsh cakes and brownies.)

Holding Up A Mirror

If anyone out there is undecided about having children, allow me to recommend it wholeheartedly (but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect).

Little Hand - Misericordia

Children are absolutely the quickest path to self-knowledge. Why waste time on introspection and self-help books when you could learn just as much by watching the flesh of your flesh stand for 10 minutes naked and wailing about how cold he is rather than getting some sodding clothes on? The latter will neatly demonstrate to you your own proclivity towards speaking about, rather than doing, the things that trouble you.

Bimah cloth process - Misericordia

As a result of my newly-found understanding of my faults, here’s the start of the Ark Project’s bimah cover. I’ve been pondering various methods of edge finishing for far too long, but I’ve decided to bag line it (with large gaps at both sides so I can applique and embroider on the wrong side of the top only) and move on with my life.

Chocolate Chip Muffin - Misericordia

In cake news, it’s chocolate chip muffins this week. The funny thing is that with all of this cake about, I’m finding a lot of recipes too sweet. Any favourite not-too-sweet cake recipes (maybe vintage recipes aren’t as sweet?) would be much appreciated!

Stitch by Crumb

What a week!

Kipling - Misericordia

We’ve all been struggling with various forms of P1 and Nursery Plague since before Christmas, and it’s all come to a head with various children home in various stages of pathetically poorly or irritatingly not quite well enough to return to school but full of energy.

Despite these challenges, I’ve been steaming ahead with various projects. It turns out that concentrating on finishing just one thing makes it much easier to finish a lot of other things (or at least start to finish them).

Children's Badge Banner - Misericordia

First, there was the badge banner, which was the simplest possible project that took us about three months from purchase of the felt to application to the wall. It looks a little bare at the moment, but I have high hopes for the pair of them, and there’s a whole second knitting needle that can be put to use if they prove particularly keen on badge-based achievements.

Hand embroidered silk banner - Misericordia

I’ve been getting on with the banner for the Ark Project tablecloth, it’s very slow going but it was infinitely eased by a friend’s Profane Embroidery Night (I like to think I provided the sacred counterpoint). Somehow my opportunities to work safely with white silk are a little limited at the moment!

Cast iron bracket - Misericordia

A few house-y things are coming together too, so there’s rather a pleasant sense of momentum going into February.

Cinnamon Cake with Brown Sugar Icing - Misericordia

Oh, and on the cake front we’ve made a cinnamon cake with brown sugar icing and a batch each of brownies and flapjacks.

Flapjacks and Brownies - Misericordia

I’ll write you a post about the flapjacks because I’m a bit proud of an alteration I’ve made to the recipe to assuage a little of my inevitable sugar-guilt.

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