Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year for 2008.
I'm going to be brave and set some goals for 2008 (and actually write them down this time). However, I don't think I'm brave enough to share them at this stage - but hopefully as the year goes along I'll let you know what ones I achieve and may then might let a few of the others out.
I'd also like to say a big thank you to all you bloggers out there - I've really appreciated the virtual friends I've made in blog land and have really enjoyed receiving all the comments you've taken time to post on my blog.
All the very best to you
Lots of love
Sarah Jayne

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Christmas

Not too heavy a post today as I'm sure some of us may still be experiencing the excesses of Christmas.
Well - as you can see from the photo above I managed to cook a rather good turkey. A combination of a good quality 11lb turkey, good tips from Jane and a quick addition from a Gordon Ramsey cooking programme I saw on Christmas Eve. I'm very proud of my first roast turkey. The rest of the dinner was very good too (even though I do say so myself).
I'm also really pleased with the pressies I got. And I can share a little tip with you all. The reason I got a subscription to Selvedge magazine was because I said I wanted it on my blog and DH read it - what a great ploy - I'll be using it again LOL.
I also saw a great exhibition today at Warwickshire Museum - Gold Thread and Fire. It's not a huge exhibition but very interesting. I wish I could afford to buy a few of the items.
Here's the square in the village this afternoon at about 3.30; it's just getting dark and the lights are on. It looks so pretty.



And finally here are a few pictures I took of the Michaelmas House window. The animals I think are French and sooo cute. Lots of different textures. If I find out what the make is I'll let you know. Oh and their sale starts on January 3rd.
I do hope you all had a great Christmas break.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

I'm back...

Sorry about the delay with my postings - but as you know I've been a bit busy - just like you.
I'd like to say a huge thank you for all the kind words of support for me and my mum. I'm pleased to say she's had her op and it went as planned. I visited her yesterday and she was comfortable - which I think is really all you can expect at this stage.
I'd thought I'd share with you a few things I've bought over the last few months. First is the beautiful Selvedge magazine - I'm hoping Santa might be bringing me a subscription.

Next is my Quilting Arts - such a beautiful cover. I'm still waiting for number 29 - I'm sure it's got stuck in the post.

And a copy of The Quilter - which you get as part of your Quilter Guild subscription.

And a treat now - 'Finding your own visual language'. Since my course with Brenda I've been more adventurous with the books I've selected and don't look at the ones with just patterns in now. This looks a great book and hopefully over the holiday I'll be able to have a better look at it. Have any of you got this and used it? I'd love to hear how you got on.


Now - I did get rather excited when Santa and his sledge came down the road - I ran out shouting 'Santa - I've been a good girl'. My husband is still laughing about it now.

I'll have to go now to check on my infamous Jamie Oliver Pork goulash - I'm cooking it for our Quilting Christmas party tomorrow night. I had to miss last week as I got a stinking cold - I've got rid of it now and I'm just left with a hacking cough.
Hope you're all OK and not too stressed with the time of year.
Take care.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Christmas preparation

Hello - I hope you're all OK and not too over wrought with your Christmas preparation. I've noticed blog postings have slowed down - which isn't surprising considering women do tend to have the most to do around Christmas. Honestly I'm not going to moan about it - it's just how it is for most of us. I'm doing OK - so far. I've managed to write out most of my cards and get the presents wrapped that need to be posted this week. I do still need to do a bit more shopping - but nothing too major.

There is a reason why I'm cracking on with things and that's because my mum is coming to stay with us over Christmas as she'll be recovering from a hysterectomy due to a prolapse womb. I had booked two weeks leave to sew - but as my sewing room has been converted into the spare bedroom now - things have changed. I will still be sewing (as otherwise I think I'd go mad) but it will need a bit more planning and I won't be able to leave it out as I would do in the sewing room. But - that's the way things go isn't it and we juts have to try to make the best of it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

More haste, less speed

When will I ever learn. I was so excited that I'd got the top and the back finished from Brenda's class that I completely forgot some very basic quilting rules. Like the one that suggests you should start in the middle and work out - I just started in a random fashion as I needed to ensure the thread was used in a random way across the piece. This meant I ended up with puckered bits. I also think I could have made the sandwich a bit better - a bit tighter. So now I'm unpicking all of the bits I've machined. Bit of a pain but when you know it's not working at the start there's no way it'll look right later on. I did take it to work today and they said 'no-one will notice' - but I'd like to have quite close quilting so the puckered bits would just get worse and worse.
So it's back to the unpicking...
I've also got the job of tidying up my sewing room so my friend can get in the spare bed when she comes to stay on Friday.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

What have I been up to...

Lots. I've been rather busy - but it's been great. And I can't believe it's December already.

Here are some photos from the Christmas Fayre in the village Hall. A number of the Bosworth Quilters were involved with this and it's thanks to one in particular that the event has been reinstated. It looked great. It had a good variety of stalls, jewelry, soaps, plants, cakes and of course some very high quality quilted items (very reasonable priced). Unfortunately I was too excited to take a photo when Santa arrived - I was overwhelmed...

And here are my efforts from my drawing and painting class. I think if I post the photos of how I got here you'll see why I'm pleased with it. The journey there was good. And it's not brown.
I'm not going to be attending the class next year - partly because I can';t guarantee getting there every week and partly because my aim was to get over the fear of the blank page and drawing. As I've managed to conquer my demons I don't want to spread myself too thin with already being committed to Brenda's class next year. What I should do is set some time aside to draw. As we all know it's easier said than done.
Part way done...

Finished.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Oh not enough pressies made

I'm having a bit of a panic as I'm rather behind on my handmade gifts. I'm busy at work this week so I'll have to make a concerted effort this weekend (or perhaps buy a few hand made things at our village Christmas Fayre).

Monday, 26 November 2007

Saturday at Bramble Patch

Hello - hope you're all OK and had a good weekend.
I had a lovely time on Saturday at the Bramble Patch. You can see Kaye and myself managed to take over a second classroom as we wanted to dye and be a bit messy. At the start we looked tidy - but it didn't last.
Here are the results of my screen printing on scrim in gold. It looked fine.



And here is the start of my backing - more gold screen printing on calico but it will have some photo transfer bits on too.




And here are my samples. Not so great. But as DH keeps telling me that's the whole reason you make up samples. I know - but I was still annoyed.
The top set of lettering has been cut out of scrim and then threads pulled to make it look distressed. I've then hand stitched using a variegated cotton perle no 8.
The bottom sample is the same scrim, screen printed in gold but with a piece of calico behind it so the words are more obvious. Oh - I forgot to say I tea dyed the scrim as it was a stark white.
Although I'm pleased with the idea of putting the calico behind the scrim I'm not too sure how it's going to look with lots of words over a larger piece of work. I think I may pin the words on to see what it's like.

My next few photos are of Kaye and her quest with painting bondaweb - she's really mastered it. The bondaweb was painted with silk paints - and this dries relatively quickly. The it's torn and ironed onto the fabric - she then painted in the gaps. As you can see it gives a great result.



This is Kaye pulling off the backing once she's ironed on the pieces.
Well I'm off to quilting tonight to see what they think of my samples.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Saturday in the village hall


Just to prove I did make something on Saturday in the Village Hall (with its great new windows) and even finished it off on Sunday - my advent calendar. The pre-printed panel has sat in a box for a couple of years and I'm really pleased with it finished. Now I've just got to sort something out for the pockets. I was trying to think of some non-chocolate things - perhaps treats like treat yourself to a soak in the bath. Do you any ideas?
And here is Flo on her 1st birthday. Ahhh... She decided she liked sitting under our umbrella that was drying out after a soggy walk. She can still be a bit of a bugger - but when she's cute - she's really cut.
Art class tomorrow night and I've managed to do nothing. But I know I'll have a great time. I've also got Bramble Patch on Saturday and I'll be screen printing - I can't wait.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Holiday

Hi. I've caught up now from my holiday. So now I can tell you all about it.

The cottage with the green door is the one we stayed in - Stuckie Ben, Southwold. It was a lovely cosy cottage, with very steep stairs which can be a bit of a challenge when you have big feet. But we really liked it. It did have everything - all the mod cons needed.








Here's the view from the front door across to Walberswick - and it did flood there. Luckily we escaped the flooding and the only bit we had to avoid was the flooded A12.Here's the view from South Green down the hill to our cottage. As you can see we're right on the edge of the village.

An iconic view of Southwold - Gun Hill with the lighthouse in the background. The lighthouse is open in the summer and the view from the top is fantastic on a clear day. It's a bit hairy getting up there but well worth the effort.

And a another great view of Southwold - the Pier. It's been refurbished and is very smart.

Southwold is famous for its very expensive beach huts - a very English seaside thing to have. But as you can see the waves managed to bash this one to bits. There were a number that were in a similar state and about the same again that had shifted on their blocks.


Crashing waves on the promenade. This was on the Sunday (I think) and the worst of the weather had passed by but it was still rather rough. The sandy it you can see if the promenade - and should be nothing but concrete, you can seen how it's virtually covered in sand now.

Oh what a lovely shop this was - Noa Noa. A Danish clothes shop. Really great textiles and lots of good extra little design features.I would really recommend having a look in there if you get the chance - I think they have branches elsewhere in the UK.

Here's a great gallery. Lots of fun items. The Serena Hall Gallery.

Another f=really great gallery - The Buckenham Gallery - full of different types of art.
I can't praise this shop enough and the Heidi Pie was a real find. It's goats cheese, spinach and I think it was butternut squash. It was divine. I know I have a bit of a thing abouts Goats Cheese but even DH said it was great. Not too much pastry, nice and light and stuffed to the top with filling. Mmmmmmmm


And finally Nutters of Southwold. A really great shop with so much chocolate you could get high on the smell.

Well - I hope you like the photos of my holiday. We had a very relaxing time and only went out in the car for one day. We did get cold and wet a couple of times - but England on the East Coast in November I don't think i can really complain. The aim was to sit in pubs, read the paper, sit in the cottage and read or sew ( well you didn't think I'd leave my quilting at home did you LOL) and chill out. It was great.

Friday, 16 November 2007

I'm back

Hi. I've been away on holiday for a week. I'll have lots to tell you but I just need to get sorted first. Tomorrow I'm at the village hall sewing. I'm hoping to make the Advent calendar that's been hanging around for a couple of years now.
Hope you're all OK.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

More things from last week.

Well I did do some other things last week that I didn't get round to posting about.


One things was that on Tuesday I became a lady who lunched - in fact a three hour lunch. The shop (who's windows you can see above) Michaelmas House have a preview launch of their Christmas range. Part of the launch is either a Champagne breakfast or lunch at the restaurant over the square called Softleys. It was really nice - good company and food - although I must say a drink at lunch time seems to have alot more impact than one at night. I even managed not to spend any money in the shop. If you live anywhere near here please do have a look at the shop as it has such beautiful items for sale and a wide range of prices too.

I also managed to cook another new meal. A Jamie Oliver one from his new book - a Spicy pork and chilli-pepper goulash. It was great (even though I say so myself). If you have a look at the UK Amazon site the recipe is there as one of the samples. The house was filled with the smell of it. Hmmmm

Monday, 5 November 2007

Last week

Well - I did a few things last week that I forgot to share with you all. And even after this posting there are a few more to come.
The photo above are of some oat and raisin cookies I baked - they managed to last for both a visit from the in-laws, a night with the quilting group at my house quilting and a husband with a hearty appetite.
Here are some of the purchases I made at Malvern. These packs were just £5, 8 pieces about 24cm square. I bought these for one of my fellow quilters who's after a variety of black and white fabrics.

And here are my fabrics I bought - the ones above are for my stash.
The bottom ones are for my pink quilt - circles and squares again.

And finally here's my experiment that didn't work. Can you even see the organza next to the printed A4 sheet? The idea was to see if photo transfer would work on organza and would show up - but as you can see it doesn't work. I'm back to screen printing in gold - which I know will work.
Finally - 'hi' to all of you who went to Quorn at the weekend. I know some of you are keeping an eye on Market Bosworth via my blog. Please feel free to stop by and say 'Hi'. And for those of you who went I'll see you in the summer.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

November already

Well it really is November already - I can't believe it. I'll have to crack on if I want to make some of my Christmas pressies.

Today I went to the Malvern Autumn Show as I 'd won tickets. It was a really nice day. The weather was warm and dry, the show wasn't too crowded and it wasn't too busy either. Very civilized. There were a reasonable number of traders - enough to let me spend some money (but not too much).

Well here are some photos of the quilts. Most were really collections from either individuals or groups of artists. And here are some of the photos:


Lots of circles






But not only circles



And here are some American style quilts - an example of one and then the whole row of them in different colours.





And a few more...



Hope you like them. It was a great day out.