Re shaping the man shirt

pictorial blog post


Bother with my Brother

My sewing machine has developed a fault – and the ‘spare’ one in the attic is equally afflicted. I’m half way through a sewing project  and with a free evening which I’d hoped to spend crafting,  so it’s annoying that I can’t continue. I’m going to have to get the machine (my usually reliable Brother) serviced. I’m sure it was done not that long ago (though equally I know that time really flies) but it’s a faff, and it won’t be done in a day either.

Itching for the craft fix I did at least complete another project – one I’ve blogged about before (the brooch holder – you’ll find  step by step instructions). Well, I say one, but I made two. I’d picked up the gold photo frames for 50 pence a while ago so it was good to get them finished thanks to my glue gun and some hand sewing. But I’m going to have to find the time to get the Brother mended. I can’t be without it for long!



I’ve been framed!

I’ve switched off the radio as it is full of coverage of the US election results, too depressing to hear more. Instead I have turned my attention to finishing a project that has been long overdue. Some months ago I bought a set of six, double sided photo frames from a charity shop that were hinged together to form a multi-display (originally from Next). Each frame was just 2in by 3in.


I liked the chunky wooden frames and realised that it would be very easy to de-construct the frames into their individual elements. Having removed the hinges, and the pivoting posts, I filled in these holes with Polyfilla, and in turn painted the circles with dots of acrylic paint. And then the frames sat on my work table for months!

This week I selected the images from my photo art collection and got them printed out – putting two images onto a 4in by 6in print. Having cut them into individual images it took a little while to sort them into pairs for each frame. It was at this point I realised that the actually aperture was of course smaller than the 3×2, so a little judicial cutting was required.

With the images in place I am pleased that my favourite photo artworks (each image itself is a combination of several photographs which I have taken and then adapted) can be shown off in this way. I think of them as little gems of creativity!


I am keeping an eye out for more small frames. I have just found a triple frame (again with 2in by 3in apertures) and will used it to frame a sequence of images. This project has created a mini art gallery on my shelves!


Pearly Keen

It’s show week!PFBanner

I designed the poster for Heber Opera’s production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers months ago. There have been two sell-out performances so far, and as usual, it’s all been great fun. One of the most rewarding aspect of working backstage is the camaraderie between everyone involved in the company. From principals, chorus, backstage and musicians (although they tend to scarper as soon as the final bows are done) it’s like a glorious reunion with each production. We have some new members in the chorus this time and it’s been interesting seeing them face an audience (and so close) for the first time. They’re all doing great!

These days my role has moved to encompass photographer, although I started out doing the props (sourcing the oyster shells being my main contribution this time). Sharp-eyed punters might recognise the Rusalka wood sprites have donated a costume to provide foliage at the shrine, as well as seaweed in our shoreline!



In this show the Director and cast have been brilliant at providing their own pieces. One of the chorus collected sari fabric  when on holiday in India – as a result the costumes are brilliant. It makes a great change for the cast to be so colourful. Many of our previous shows have been dressed somewhat dour ! I am an amateur photographer but it’s good to be able to provide a record of the opera for those performing in it. I only wish I had graphic design training as I love tweaking the images to create artwork (as with the  image below).

I can’t wait to see what the next opera might be. You can find out more at

PF1Final PF poster



Photographing Felix


Yesterday I grabbed my camera for a quick photoshoot. My subject was Dratz, although Dratz was actually being Felix, a person he plays when larping. For those not in the know, that is Live Action Role Play (larp), best described to the non initiated as akin to an historic re-enactment, but in the fantasy genre. Having seen photos from the regular encounters that participants have I am full of admiration for the skill and craftsmanship behind all those who take part. The costumes and makeup are incredible. I’m sure that many film studios would be envious of the skills involved in creating them. Regardless of the day job, come the battle, these guys are awesome!
Over recent years I have made Dratz a number of costumes on Felix’s behalf. There have been restrictions on style and colour, and many challenges, and I’ve been thrown in at the deep end, but I have managed to contribute to the wardrobe appropriately. I’m pleased with the robe and hood that is seen in these shots – the cowled hood was particularly good with its fabulous gold and black paisley lining.
Yesterday, I had to shoe-horn in the photoshoot between other commitments, but sometimes you just have to say ‘yes’ when the window, however small, materialises. The weather was glorious in the late afternoon as Dratz, or rather Felix, and I headed headed off to the nearest picturesque backdrop – the local church (pity though that the trees had undergone a fairly brutal chop!).
I snapped away as Felix was in playful mode (as suited his character), though with some serious, moody moments too. It was when we were eyeing up the large tomb – upon which I wanted Dratz to perch, that the local vicar strolled by, on his way to lock up the church, asked us what we were doing. We explained, and he didn’t seem too concerned as long as we ‘respected the churchyard…’ no worries, Rev!
Having taken nearly 200 photos it was quite a job to sift through them, some more successful than others..but many made me smile. But I’ve chosen a few to post here.
That Felix is quite a character!

Who me?

At last I’ve had some free time to finish turning the Dr Who duvet into a couple of dresses. If you’ve followed my blog you will be familiar with my favourite pattern and I ran up these very quickly.

The main design of the duvet with its all over pattern was more of a challenge to lay the pattern pieces out. I kept the top of the Tardis on the front bodice piece, aside from that it was a matter of keeping the design the right way up on all panels. The reverse with its all over pattern in the brilliant blue was easier to deal with – though for some reason I cut the pieces or sewed them – producing more of a snug fit. well, perfect fit really as long as I don’t put on any weight! With no spare material I wasn’t able to add pockets to either dress, or a tie belt but that’s small fry considering.

With the dresses done I have another project on my ‘to do list’ that isn’t sewing related. I picked up this black chair yesterday. I’ve seen similar models done with a decoupage design in a local flea market and I’d like to try something similar (and for a fraction of the price). As for what designs to apply, I’m not too sure yet – and will be searching for inspiration in all of my usual haunts. I like the idea of comic book or superhero artwork.   Then its a matter of cutting and sticking – and lots of layers of varnish!