Sunday, 26 July 2009

Rust dyeing

Couldn't blog last night as we went to a friends for a barbie.
A lovely day yesterday with Myfanwy learning how to rust dye. I can't post any pictures of samples as they are cooking in hubby's new shed. (I did get permission!) The samples would be ready for unwrapping this afternoon, but as we are off to my Mother's shortly, I will have to be patient and wait!

We started off tearing a selection fabrics so that we could make 12 samples, using 2 different techniques.

Once our bags were cooking, Myfanwy unwrapped her samples that she had made the previous night and passed round other samples of previously rust dyed fabric. An early lunch and then we got out our rusted bits we had collected for the next lot of samples, to find that they needed to be scrubbed first, if we didn't we could find that our sewing machine would get damaged.

Lots of interesting items were wrapped up and left to marinade with the mornings samples. Jock bought along the shop for those of us who needed some retail therapy!
It will interesting to see everyone's samples at our next E.G meeting. I will post photos of my samples next week.
Off to pack my bags now ready for the drive to Buckingham,I might just find my way to Rainbow Silks while I am at Mums.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Yet another busy day in the Gregory household.

My daughter who normally avoids shopping like the plague, came to Basildon with me as she had some birthday vouchers burning a hole in her pocket. For someone who hates shopping we spent an awfully long time going from shop to shop. My priority today was to sort out her food for her expedition tomorrow. We were recommended to get dehydrated food as it lighter for her to carry, the problem being that very few of these products are for vegetarians or they have pasta in, which she hates. I have ended up making a quorn casserole with vegetables in, I hope that it will not be to heavy as she has a very long kit list to take.
I have also made a lasagna to take to my mothers on Sunday and as I am typing this my lemon and mustard seed pickle is bubbling away on the gas. Cream crackers and cheese just isn't the same without this pickle.
This evening has been spent getting all of Kezzy's kit named and packed and I have packed my bags as I am on the Myfanwy Harts rust dyeing workshop tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Today I managed to start a new project, I started by playing with paint to make a background and then started stitching- I will post some photo's IF anything worth showing happens!
While Kezzy had her art lesson this afternoon at Barleylands, I managed to spend an hour sitting outside the art studio in the sun stitching my bag. BLISS!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The 60's revisited.

Way back in the Easter holidays, I had to take Kezzy to our doctor to see about her getting bereavement counselling, and our appointment, when it came through, was for today, in Ingatestone. Alan had to take the day off as we were asked if both parents could attend. Anyway, it has been agreed that she can have the counselling, so just got to wait for an appointment to come through.
In Ingatestone there is a little nursery that as well as selling lovely plants has a good restaurant, so coffee and scones here, before going to Colchester .
We went to the 60's exhibition at Colchester Castle, a trip down memory lane for Alan and I.
I used to love my false eyelashes and Biba make-up, I thought I was the bees knees!

After a fish and chip lunch, I found Franklins. Though we have a branch of this shop in Chelmsford it is only a small shop. It was my lucky day as they had a sale on.
The fancy wools were 50p each, the linen thread was half price, Maderia silk was 4 for a £1 and the Robinson Anton threads £2.50 a reel. I cant resist a bargain!

Then a quick dash in to Basildon to get the final bits for Kezzy's A.T.C expedition on Saturday.
Last night I started machine stitching the other side of my bag. I am going to my Mother's on Sunday for a week and I will need lots of hand stitching to do while I am there.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Caroline Washington

Our speaker tonight was Caroline Washington, and she came with a wonderful collection of textiles from Pakistan,which we were allowed to touch. We had a brief slide show of photos taken on one of her trips to Pakistan as well.

When you see the primitive conditions that they work in, it amazing that they are able to produce such wonderful work.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Just found this site:- www.justhands-on-tv
it is run by Jennie Rayment and is advertised as:-
"the UK's first on-line TV website devoted to patchwork, quilting and mixed media textile arts. "
It might be worth following

Boot sale finds!

Yesterday instead of having a play day as I had promised myself, I had to take Kezzy out to get kitted up for her Air Cadets expedition next weekend. It was then off to the local church for a wine tasting evening. By the end of the first round we were in the lead BUT by the end of the night we were second from the bottom. I blame it on the red wine!

Today I went to visit my Great Aunt in her new care home, as I got to Norwich a bit too early to see her, I popped into a boot sale and found the bag (all those beads to recycle) and the buttons for the grand sum of £2.50. It was free entry as well- bargain!!

She is in a lovely home, feeling settled and is being well looked after. Though it was a two hour journey there, it took much longer to get home due to two accidents.

Into school tomorrow to sort out some more stock and Embroiderers' Guild in the evening. Our speaker is Caroline Washington on her collection of textiles from Pakistan.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Happy Friday everyone!

It was our monthly scrapbooking get-together last night and the topic was Summer. I am making my scrapbook for Kezzy's 18th birthday, so I have plenty of time yet to complete it. The photos were taken on a holiday to Cornwall in 2002, and she had a great time building 'Stone Henge'!
I finished stitching Twiggy yesterday. I have washed it to dissolve the water soluble fabric and
am in the process of sewing in all those ends. I hope to start making a stencil of the image tonight, just enjoying playing!
When I was in Basildon today doing the weekly food shop (I do wish the family would stop eating!) I had to put my recently learnt First Aid skills into practice. A little girl of nearly three, caught her fingers in the lift door and lost a large chunk of skin and a lot of blood. After being seen by a 1st Responder she went off to hospital to have them checked over. She was very lucky because they didn't seem to be broken or crushed.
Have a good Friday night stitching!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


While reading a few blogs I found this :-
a chance to win a lovely pendant at:-

Here, there and everywhere.

My morning started off with a trip to St. John's hospital, as my daughter needs to have some major orthodontic work, after a quick look at her mouth we were told to come back in October, when we will be told what is going to be done to her.
Dropped her off at school and then up to the local nursery where I get all my plants to get some fresh flowers for my sons headstone. The church is on the top of a hill and flowers and plants never seem to last very long, today I bought a lovely potted Sunflower.
Then off to Wickford, for a get together with a colleague from work who is on maternity leave before going on to Old Leigh. This is one of the few places round here, that has a fabric shop, not that they had what I wanted!
Then on to Southend library. This library is wonderful, I could spend hours here, rows upon rows of art books, but I wanted books on the 60's and 70's and Eureka!, came home with 5.
As you can see my bag is coming along slowly, mainly because it is something that I onlypick up and put down when I have a moment to stitch.
BUT, I have started stitching this image- I found it last week, so tonight I am machining the image, I also want to try making a stencil another day, so that I can print it, a la Warhol.(all those ends to sew in!!!)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

School holiday?????

Two days gone and nothing to show for it. I spent yesterday at school sorting out exercise books and stocktaking. I had to babysit last night so it gave me a chance to look through Lynda Monks and Carol McFees book properly, I cant wait to have some' me' time. Today I had to babysit again ( I love it, I don't get the chance very often to have my grandsons to myself). I have done a tiny bit of stitching on my bag and will post another picture in a day or so.

Sunday, 12 July 2009


A lovely day at Snape Maltings with the 'girls' from F.E.T. The day started off with coffee and a chat. It was then off to view the exhibition by T.A.G.S. I had intended to post more photos of their work, but blogger has been playing up and I have been trying for 40 minutes to upload photos, so only put up my favourites.
I loved the rust vessels by Glen Gerrard, this is one of three that she had made. (I am on Myfanwy Hart's rust dyeing workshop next week.)

This piece of shibori was by Anne-Marie Stewart.

There were other pieces that I liked, if I can, I will try and upload some tomorrow.

It was then a long leisurely lunch, a bit of retail therapy and then home.
Hubby and Kezzy were out at an airshow at Duxford, and Rhodri was out too, so I had the house to myself, a very rare occurrence so I indulged myself with a cup of coffee and took my stitching down the garden !

Saturday, 11 July 2009

I have had a very creative evening, I don't think! Hemming Kezzy's Air Cadets skirt and sewing on badges! YUK!!!!
By the way, just to let you know, Pauline Verrinder is coming back again next year to do another workshop for us.

Boogie with Books

Pauline Verrinder came to Schoolhouse Arts to day to give a workshop 'Boogie with Books'.The ladies were taught how to make three different books, most of them completed two books and the third one was well on the way before it was 'show and tell'.(the time went so quickly!)
There was the usual bowl of sweets to keep everyones energy levels up, as much tea and coffee as they could drink and as you can see by the photo below, home made cake with our afternoon cup of tea!

A big 'thank you' to Pauline for giving us a day out of her busy schedule and for supporting our group.

Tomorrow we (Nickie and myself) are meeting up with the 'girls' from F.E.T. at Snape Maltings to see the Textile Art Group Suffolk: Bridging the Gap., exhibition followed by lunch.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The last week of term at my school is activities week, and we had a local artist come in and, with the senior school children construct this shark from rolled up photo copy paper. It is about 18 feet long and the carcass looks like the inside of an old fashioned plane.
My class had another outing yesterday, only to the local park which is behind our school field. Mums, Dads Grans etc, were invited to come and join their children for the annual Teddy Bears Picnic. We were so lucky with the weather, we had balls and parachutes to keep the children busy and ended the picnic with an ice cream.

This statue in the park was created by a local artist and some school children. Everyone loves searching for all the creatures that are on the statue!
Today we celebrated Lesley's birthday, wearing the obligatory silly hat, (sister in law to Nickie) as her birthday is in the school holiday. It was a sad day for all the staff, as we said goodbye to 'our' children and wished them a safe and happy holiday. I'm back in school on Monday unpacking stock and getting ready for the new children starting in September.

I popped in to Craft Arena on the way to Basildon to get some Hemingworth threads and CPS. Retail therapy does lift the spirits!
Tomorrow it off to Fambridge, we have got Pauline Verrinder doing a 'Boogie with Books' workshop for us. I can't go to bed until the farmhouse cake for our afternoon cuppa has finished cooking.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Today my class of 3/4 year olds went on their first school outing. We went to Tropical Wings just outside South Woodham Ferrars. They were all very excited, especially as some of them had never been on a coach before!As well as wonderful butterflies and sun birds flying freely around the butterfly house, there was also some lovely flowers.Outside we saw wallabies, owls, lemurs to name but a few of the animals we saw there. Several children fell asleep on the coach home!

Having spent wasted an hour chilling in front of the television, (recharging my batteries) I am off to do some more to my time line.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

That word.

My first stitching job today, was to put together the 'Congratulations' card for Diversity. Everyone at St. John's has signed the card from the youngest child (my class of 3-4 year olds) to the cooks and caretakers.

There were so many pages I stitched it together like a book.

Then it was onto thinking about 'Yesterday'. As soon as I thought about what this word means to me, it bought images of the Beatles, long happy sunny days and hippies/flower power. ( I still have my hippy bell! LOL!) I coloured some pages a la Francis Pickering then started a mind map, and

a time line 1965-1975. I have got until September to think about that word.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Thinking time

On Saturday, it was confirmed that our next exhibition will be September 2010 at Maldon, and the theme is 'Yesterday'. I have got to get my thinking cap on!
No stitching to show as I spent yesterday re-arranging my play room,. trying to make space to work in!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


A lovely day at Cottenham, picking up our textile pieces, getting the feedback on the exhibition, ( we have had lots of very positive comments) and then lunch, everyone brought something delish to eat. We all had very full stomachs after.
Some of us gave mini workshops, Ann showed us how to make our own postcards, Nickie demoed how to make her coins like the ones she made for the exhibition. Jenny demoed foiling on fabric and Pauline's workshop was a fabric bracelet,
Christine's workshop was using a bead loom and I did shaggy flowers.

I made an 'Anglo-Saxon' coin and put my name on it using the rune alphabet.I also had a go at using my loom, it was easier than I had thought it would be.

A quick shower and change when I got home, and it was then off to spend my evening celebrating Uncle Ronnies 80th birthday. It was lovely to see him and catch up on all the families news.

Friday, 3 July 2009

A verrrry busy Friday

Our school routine was disrupted today as we had a 'Time Capsule' ceremony to attend. The new school build (phase 1) is nearly completed. The children have enjoyed watching the cranes and diggers and seeing the building grow.
After work I went to the 'Octopus' exhibition, I wasn't sure that I was going to get there in time but I did. It was being held in the church in the middle of Billericay High Street. The theme was through the garden gate, and this is the first piece that you see as you walk in.
Each textile artist made two pieces, each representing a month.

I especially loved this one, and wanted to buy it, but someone beat me to it. I just love decaying seed heads.

Here are a few of the pieces that caught my eye, sorry I cant remember who made what.

I keep trying to grow Himalayan poppies without success, these were stitched on a beautifully dyed fabric.

I loved all the work on the easels, a lovely way to display the work. I would liked to have spent longer looking at all the work and taking photos but I ran out of time. I bought this book to give to my friend for a present and ordered Kezzy a butterfly. The exhibition finishes tomorrow and I cant go back because........................................

Tomorrow Nickie and I are off to Cottenham for F.E.T. We are all taking an item of food, so I have made Coronation chicken this evening. Mini workshops are being given by some of the members, Nickie is making her 'Anglo -Saxon coins'. Christine is going to do bead weaving,( I have had a bead loom for years and NEVER used it, I might find out what to do with it now! ) I am doing 'shaggy flowers' so I need to finish getting all my bits together.