January photos over the years

I have delved into my photographic vaults and picked some photos taken in January over the years.

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I had some of my stitch markers featured in a magazine.
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I went to Dublin and was shown this amazing sculpture.
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Tea and cake at my local yarn shop, the plate is awesome.
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I made these earrings and they didn’t sell, so I have given them to a charity.
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I went walking along the canal with a group of lovely people.
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I made myself an epic breakfast for my birthday.
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The blossom had bloomed early and took this shot with a 105mm macro lens.
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I gave stop motion a try in 2018 and really enjoyed it.
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I still make cards every now and again.
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I still make stitch markers.
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I printed this shot of an orchid onto a card & they sold out.

I am hoping to go through the vaults again next month so watch this space.

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Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios

Some time ago whilst scrolling through social media I came across the Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios.

I thought it was going to be difficult sewing with jersey and stretch fabrics so avoided it. Then last year after speaking with other sewers that had made it, I bit the bullet and purchased the pattern. I got it as part of a kit from Guthrie and Ghani at the knitting and Stitching show in London. They tend to only do the kits at shows so I thought why not?

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The fabric in the kit was too nice to cut straight into, so I used some jersey fabric I purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

This was a baptism of fire in my sewing journey and being dyslexic. I didn’t read the pattern properly and only cut out one piece for the hemband. I couldn’t workout why the whole sweatshirt wouldn’t fit until I re-read the pattern. So I unpicked this toile quite a few times. Unpicking was horrible as I had been using a zigzag stitch, which is recommended when sewing with stretch fabric.

I finally made the sweatshirt look like a wearable garment, but I still wasn’t ready to cut the fabric from the kit.

Instead, I used more fabric purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

I used my overlocker on my second Linden attempt. This gave the opportunity to tidy the inside of the garment. I struggled with the neckband on both attempts, so started researching what others had done. The majority had made the neckband longer, either sizing up by one or adding 1.5cm.

Another visit to Guthrie and Ghani brought some purchases of their cosy colours bolt ends. I thought there would be enough to make a two tone version but not quite. I got creative and asked some dear friends for help. This was all I needed to start sewing my ‘sunshine’ sweatshirt.

I am so pleased with this sweatshirt and have received lots of positive feedback online and in person.

Full of confidence I was ready to cut the fabric from the kit. Then disaster strikes! I broke my thumb shielding my face from a ball whilst officiating a basketball game. Gutted was an understatement, as I couldn’t sew for just over six weeks.

I have been lucky and my thumb healed really well. So I thought I’d just go for it and cut into the kit fabric.

I didn’t feel this fabric needed the insides overlocking or a zigzag stitch, so I didn’t bother. All of a sudden I now have 4 Linden sweatshirts.

I find this pattern doesn’t use up much fabric so I cut the body from the scraps of another project to start Linden sweatshirt number five.

This latest sweatshirt has been made from scraps in my fabric stash. I am really happy with how it has turned out.

If any novice or nervous sewers are thinking about making this pattern, just do it. It’s a great pattern to introduce you stretch and jersey fabric.

MonologueSlam UK – Helping People Happen

A few weeks ago my friend mentioned her son was doing a monologue and if I wanted to come along. I have been watching Nathan perform for many years and thought why not?

I had heard of monologues and slams, but not a monologueslam. So out of my comfort zone I went and ended up at the Birmingham Rep theatre.

From the outset, the talent was amazing. The first round was the youth round and these young people could deliver. They delivered emotion, humour and performances that you would expect from older performers.

The one minute round says what it is on the tin. A number of the performers also wrote their own monologues, which I was in awe of.

Then there was the improv round with Jumprov. Improvised comedy, they were funny.

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Jumprov

Just before the interval they pulled a name from a jug. This person got the chance to perform after the interval.

Now the round I came for, the three minute round. Nathan was first to perform and I was really impressed, but I don’t think I can pass an Italian restaurant without a chuckle now.

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Nathan Queeley-Dennis

All of the performers of the performers were execeptional and the overall winner was fantastic. I even cried real tears from laughing so much. This included a great set from Smash Enterainz.

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Tijan Bobb – overall winner

When I got home, I was absolutely buzzing from the energy, talent and positivity I had witnessed on stage. I am looking forward to another event and planning to go to the finals in London.

Triforce Events keep providing these opportunities.

More cards…..

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Guess what? I have printed more cards for sale, this time I wanted to share the story behind each photo.

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This first card/photo was taken in 2016 outside the Royal Free hospital. The hospital has done so much for my family over the years. The combination of lavender and craspedia is just so vibrant.

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This second photo was taken in 2016 in Hastings on a trip to the seaside. These lovely red flowers kept attracting my eye as we walked to the seafront. Thank you Lesley and Jo for letting me know these flowers are called rudbekia. Both photos were shot with a Canon 1300D DSLR.

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This photo is the oldest shot I have had printed. It was taken at the London 2012 Olympics when I went to watch synchronised swimming. The Olympic park was beautifully landscaped without being too regimented. I was using a Fuji S4400 bridge camera.

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The acorn was shot in 2017 whilst in France using a Canon 1300D DSLR. I am rubbish at remembering quotes or proverbs. But ‘From little acorns mighty oaks grow.’

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Once a upon a time I used to go for a walk at lunchtime with a friend, we would talk about many things and we will continue do so. It will just be at other points of the day and week.

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You might of noticed in these last two photos there are water droplets. They were taken at least 9 months apart and both on a lunchtime walk. I used my Samsung S7 edge mobile phone to take both photos.

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In the centre of Birmingham there is fountain affectionately called the “Floozie in the jacuzzi”. It’s real title is the River created by Dhruva Mistry. Due to expensive leaks the fountain was turned off in 2013. A few years later the council planted the fountain. One early Sunday morning I went for a walk and captured the bee and butterfly in the fountain, using my Canon 1300D DSLR.

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I love orchids and have had up to six at any one time. I have printed this photo before but it sold out straight away. I was unwell and leave the house so I took my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II and this is what happened.

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A high number of photographers I know all flock to shoot the blossom in Oozells Square each year. I went again this year and caught up with with lovely people and taking this shot with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II.

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Leucojum aestivum, summer snowflake were captured with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II at Winterbourne Gardens. I think I will have more visits to the gardens over the coming months.

All of these cards are A6 in size, with a matt finish. They are supplied with a white envelope.

Thank you for your support.

The Story of Two Yards of Fabric

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After being introduced to the African fabric stall at the indoor market in Birmingham. I went back to get some fabric to use as headscarves.

They charged £3 for 1 yard pieces and had lots to choose from. So I chose two different pieces.

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When I got home I fell in love with the patterns on the fabric wished that I had bigger amounts.

Anyway I looked at the direction of the pattern on the fabric squeezed out a Sorbetto top.

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I love this top.

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Then I kept seeing videos on YouTube talking satin sheets or pillowcases to protect your afro hair. Then I looked at videos on how to make a satin bonnet.

This is what happened.

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I didn’t follow one particular pattern. The satin was purchased from a stall in the rag market. Two nights in and it hasn’t fallen off my head and my hair isn’t so dry.

So there was my story of two yards of fabric.