Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Oh and we had some more

Hope you're all well and have had a good Christmas. 
I thought you might like to see what greeted me when I left for work last Wednesday morning.

Mmmmm - it was snowing. Lots.
Some of you may have seen our village on the BBC 24 hour news or the BBC One O'Clock news. I did shout at the TV a bit as they kept saying it was the first snow we'd seen. But why let facts get in the way of a good story.
I did get to work - despite a bit of slipping - but then we all got sent home due to the continued heavy snow and worsening road conditions.
I'm very happy to say at long last the snow has now melted and we can all get out and about.

I hope you've all had a good Christmas. I had some great pressies - very nice books that I'll share with you soon.
I've also almost managed to get rid of my sticking cold - was a little rough but am feeling better as each day goes by.
Anyway - I'll leave you there now and hope to hear from you all soon.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

It's back

 Well if you have a look at my last posting with the beautiful sunrise - you can see it looks a bit different today.  Yep - the snows back - and boy is it back.
I'm very bored of it now and would much prefer to be able to get out and about as normal. The trouble in the UK is because it's not cold enough we get rain that turns to ice and then we get snow - whereas in the Scandinavian countries it's so cold it just gets snow - with no rain to turn to ice.
The picture below is what my budlia looked like after the freezing fog lingered for a few days.
I've been lucky that all the items I ordered on line have arrived - and I've only got fresh stuff to get in for Christmas dinner now.
I do realise that we've been much more fortunate than many.
How are things with you all? 
Keep warm and hope to hear from you soon.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Brrrrrr.......

 Hello all,
Apologies for my tardiness at posting. No excuses - I'm rubbish.
 I thought I'd start by sharing a scene from my bedroom window this morning. Spotted by DH.
 And here's a cake I've baked this afternoon for Christmas. It's getting packed onto the freezer very quickly otherwise we'll end up eating it now. It's a pear and ginger one from the BC Good Food magazine.
And here are the 'yellow squares' that members from the Leamington Embroiderers' Guild have made. Mine is is second in from the right on the second row from the bottom. very simple - but I like it.
The variety and skill were great to see.
Anyway I left the weather until last. I'm sooooo bored of it now. It's become very slippery underfoot and I'm such a coward as I'm terrified of falling over. I have managed to get to work every day last week and do appreciate there are lots and lots of people much worse off than me - but I'm ready for it being cold and dry now.
Take care everyone and keep warm.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Class

Hello all,
I hope you're well and enjoying the beautiful autumn weather at the mo. Today it's a beautiful fresh sunny day. The leaves are spectacular.
The flowers don't seem to know what to do. Here's a photo of a poppy that's decided to flower.

I attended a Leamington Embroiderers' Guild lecture on Friday. It was really interesting. It was given by Jane Davies and her trip to south west China. She very generously shared all her purchases with the group and explained how traditional dress was reflected in modern dress. She gave a really good lecture.

So on Saturday there was a class run by the same group at the same venue. Unfortunately no one turned up to open the hall. Bit of a problem. But being a resourceful lot another hall was found nearby and we managed to run the class only starting an hour later than planned.
I've included photos and brief descriptions of the techniques below.
 This illustrates 3 techniques. The one on the left is wax crayon shavings that are then attached by using an iron and baking parchment.
The next one top right is again using a texture plate with water soluble crayons this time.
The bottom right is using the shavings obtained from using fine sandpaper and water soluble pencils. You can either use damp fabric or dampen the fabric and shavings.
You can combine these techniques with using stencils.
 So the first one above is using both a texture plate (From Hobbycraft) and soluble watercolour pencils. The different effects are achieved by the fabric being wet or dry before you start rubbing the texture plate
This is my favourite one. The fabric was sprayed with a number of Crafty Notions sprays and then, using the texture plate again (but only small specific parts, use Markel sticks and a metallic one to lift the design.
So in spite of a bit of a of a rocky start the class was very good. They were a very friendly group and I'm certainly looking forward to more classes.
See you all soon.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Hello all

So - here's what I've been up to. I'm not sure what it's going to be either - but hopefully after my class with Bren next month the pile of fabrics for a mystery quilt will indeed look more like a quilt. I'm about halfway through the cutting - there is rather alot.

And below is the tin for the class to. the idea is that we fill a tin and at the class we each take a tin - obviously not your own. I won't way that's in mine until they've been handed over.
I had a lovely evening on Thursday at my first Lutterworth Embroiderer's Guild meeting. A really friendly group of ladies. When I've finished what I've made I'll post a photo.
I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine - but don't forget the clocks go back tomorrow - oh - an extra hour in bed. Hmmmm

Friday, 15 October 2010

Last weeks crafting

Well - just to prove I did make something last week - here's the broach I made for a very special friend's birthday. I hope it arrived on time otherwise she'll see it here for the  first time. 
I really enjoyed making it - based on an article in this months Stitch magazine.
It was so nice to sit and stitch and finish something within a couple of hours. I'm really pleased with the finish - it's got a very tidy back with a nice broach pin.
What have you made recently?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Hello all

 So, I've been doing a bit of cooking. A Blackberry and Yogurt cake. I was really pleased I found a recipe I can use my frozen blackberries in. The fruit looked really pretty in the cake - and tasted good too.
 And then a bit of batch cooking. It's amazing how far a kilo of minced beef can go. So from the top:
Chilli
Cottage pie
Spag bol
All for the freezer.

 I had a very nice trip out to the Garden Barn. It has some great things for the garden - all very reasonably priced. And they have a great coffee shop with fantastic cake. Well worth a trip out.

 And finally this is the view from our church spire. DH and I walked up the narrow, steep, spiral staircase and got a great view. It was a shame it wasn't a little clearer - but we still had a great view.

I have been sewing - but can't show you the results until next week as it's a pressie for someone...
Take care and have a great week.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Guess where I've been?

 To the seaside on holiday - back to Southwold in Suffolk.
 Yay.
 And there was sunshine - well for 2 days anyway. We were very brave and went for a paddle - it was rather warm.
 So here's a photo of the sun reflecting on the sea. It was really good.
 Here's a view from the pier to our flat - just to the left of the lighthouse.
I may have had a glass of rose in my hand at this time LOL
Some cheeky seagulls.
I saw some great art too.
Some interesting mixed media art in the Buckingham Gallery.
And some very funny characters by Samantha Bryan. They make me smile soooo much.
So much fun.
I also managed to get out last night to the Leamington Spa Embroiderers Group meeting. A really friendly bunch of ladies. The thing I'm finding so appealing about embroidery is the variety of work produced.

The speaker was Kathleen Danswan - she gave a great talk on the influence Venice has had on her work. Her work was very interesting - but seeing her sketchbooks and hearing her speak about how the city had influenced her was fantastic. She was very generous and encouraged us all to come and have a look and feel of her work.
And finally - a huge thank you to you all for keeping with me as I blog - I promise I'll try and blog more often. Thanks for all the lovely kind words and messages - it's great to know you're all out there.
Take care and I'll be back very soon.

Monday, 20 September 2010

How exciting

Hello all.
I had a very nice e-mail yesterday telling me I was in October's British Patchwork & Quilting magazine as their featured blog of the month. And yes I'm there on page 68. A very nice surprise as I had no idea my little old blog would make a national publication.
So if any of you are looking at my blog for the first time please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Baking

Hello all.
Hope you're well.
Aplologies for taking so long to blog. Thought I'd show you what I've been up to. Well one thing is baking. I treated myself to the new Nigella book, 'Kitchen' and I tried a new recipe - a Banana and Cherry cake. Hmmm nice. What do you think?

Have you cooked anything new recently?

Sunday, 5 September 2010

FoQ


Thought I'd show you a piece made by Alicia Merrett who I took the class with at FoQ. I really love this one- it's so detailed.

I also fell in love with one of the student's work - Sheena Hughes. Here are some photos of her work
I loved looking at the mini studios. I just love looking at a sketchbook.
For those of you who were lucky enough to go - what did you like best?
See you soon.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Yes - I'm still here...


Apologies for having neglected my blog - I've been really busy - but I'm sure you have been too.
So - I'll start with the Festival of Quilts. I hope lots of you managed to get there - I had a great time and the photo above is from my short class with Alicia Merrett. It was really fun. I'd recommend going to one of these short classes if you go to the Festival for a few days. I also noticed they've started putting on twilight classes - from 5 - 8, I might give that a go next time.
I also went to the Contemporary Quilters Coffee Morning. It was great and a big Thank You to those involved in organising it. The idea was you moved around the room looking at 15 minute demonstrations - what a great morning.
Now - after the Festival I was very fortunate to attend a two day class at The Bramble Patch with Catherine Nicholls, It was great. Below are some photos of my sketchbook pages from the 2 days. 
So we started with a photo. Mine was of a hedgerow with lots of flowers on the verge in front of it. We were to focus on the lines and shapes.
I then condensed these lines and shapes into 6 inch boxes.
I then isolated and highlighted different elements of the same drawing and produced printing blocks.
 then sampled the block into two samples - one with Bond a Web and the second was machine pieced.
I've now made a full size sample and will see after quilting what the final size will be and see if I need to adjust the original size. 
So by the end of the 2 days I was shattered. I've now got lots of ideas to make a number of small hangings so - watch this space and I'll show you how I get on.
Catherine was a great tutor and with a class of 9 we really benefited on an individual basis from her experience and comments. If you get the opportunity to have a class with her I'd highly recommend it.
I hope you;re all well and enjoying this Bank Holiday weekend. 

Sunday, 8 August 2010

More Exhibitions

I dragged DH out for the day yesterday and we went to see a few things.
First stop was The Bramble Patch - we went to see Gail Lawther and Pat Archibald's work - it was really well exhibited - lots of space and light. I had seen Gail's work before when she gave a talk at Rocheberie Quilters and we'd been very fortunate that we'd been able to handle them and hear from Gail about each of the quilts. It's well worth a trip.
After that we went to a lovely tea shop in a barn at Upper Stowe- very nice indeed. There was a good collection of shops (and lots of cats) but what really caught our eye was the Hayrack Gallery. There was a great range of items for sale and a wide price range. If you're in the area well worth a visit.
We then made our way across to Compton Verney. I hadn't been before but as 'Id got a ticket using my Tesco Clubcard points. I hadn't been before and I wasn't too sure what to expect - but I really liked it. It's got a very modern interior - but the exterior is traditional.  The current exhibition is about volcanoes. The exhibition was well curated and included a wide variety of media from a large Andy Warhol canvas and also a film which was a real work of art - I could have sat and watched and listened to it all day. We would have liked to have a walk around the gardens but the weather was rather strange - very warm and sunny one moment to heavy showers the next.
So - now I'm shattered - having nice day's out is hard work.


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Exhibition

Hello all,
Just wanted to let you know about a great exhibition I went to see earlier this week. I saw some work by Stephanie Redfern on the Bramble Patch website as she's taking a class there. So I saw she was exhibiting in Birmingham at RBSA - so I popped along. It's really a lovely place to see work - very light and airey. It was great to be able to get so close and see the work in detail.
There was also an exhibition on the top floor of some great printed work - a really high standard and affordable too.
If you get the chance please do go along to visit.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Selling work

Hello all. Hope you're well.
Well if you want to look at the other page on my blog you'll see I've started to sell quilts via Etsy. I'f love to know what you think of the site and my quilt for sale.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Hello all,
Apologies for not posting last week - I was really busy and I just don't know where the time went. I'll explain about the photos of rusty things later...
I've had a bit of a eureka moment too. I'm sure the rest of world has had it quite some time ago. I wonder if some of you have had this moment too.
Do you seem to spend all your time doing things but don't seem top get the things you want done (did that even make sense!). I spend lots of time ticking things of my 'to do list' but I still seem to have loads of UFOs, lots of sketchbooks with half developed ideas and still have a pile of ironing left to do. I think I might know where I've been going wrong (my eureka moment). And it's all to do with goals - I know allot of you hate the idea of setting goals - but I think this may be the key to where I'm going wrong. I think if I set some big goals like - set up a virtual shop to sell your work, develop your ideas around colour or set out a structured study plan I can then draw down a list of 'to do lists' I'll actually do things off the list and I'll be working towards these bigger goals. I know - you're probably all there... but at least I'm there now. So how do you work towards those 'big' things? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Now the rusty things. In the last class with Bren I should have rusted some fabric - but I just couldn't find anything rusty. I know that's hard to believe but DH does keep a tidy garage. So when I was out with my mum yesterday we found a little place that had lots of lovely rusty things - so I'm off to rust. I promise to show you the results next time.
Take care of yourselves and I hope to hear from you all soon. It's been lovely to hear from you all with comments about my site and how it looks - please keep those comments coming.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

So

thank you for all your comments. It's lovely to hear from you all.
Your comments have been very helpful and the general feeling I got was that the background was distracting - so I've changed it. I think it's rather nice and bright. What do you think?

Monday, 12 July 2010

So

what do you think to the new look?
I'd appreciate any feedback you have...

Friday, 9 July 2010

Open University Digital Photography course

Hello - I thought you might like to see the results of my OU Digital Photography course. There are a selection I'm submitting for my final assessment. SO let me know what you think.

Rusty beach view


Rock pool reflections


Moody canal view


Woodland walk


Light shining through leaves


Cones


Poppy


Scrap Metal


Market Bosworth Water Tower doorway


Ghostly ducks

Oh - and people keep telling me I remind them of Miranda... I'm never sure how to take that!