Sunday, 31 January 2010

Up with the sparrows.

Today we all had to be up early as Kezzy's Air Cadets group were bag packing in Sainsbury's at Bentwood to raise money for Haiti. This is also the last free Sunday until after Textiles in Focus. I had a few bits and pieces I needed from Homebase and Hobbycraft so once we had dropped Kezzy off we went to Romford. It is years since I have been here. We found the Range and Hobbycraft on this very futuristic shopping centre, built on the site of Romford Brewery. Lollypop trees and alien insects????

Anyway, we spent far longer shopping than we intended, I manged to get the canvas's I needed from the Range amongst other bits and pieces on my list, I shall be shopping here again!

As we were leaving the village this morning, I saw these icicles, again. I had wanted to take a picture of the other day when I first saw them, but as I had to get to work on time, didn't stop.
The icicles are formed by cars driving through a very large puddle, and the splashes have made this wonderful creation.
The icicles were still there after our day out, so Alan parked up so I could capture their beauty- just shows how cold it has been today.

Aren't they stunning?

Saturday, 30 January 2010

A bit carried away

I started making this fabric cuff, way back in the summer last year, but hadn't got round to colouring it. As I had little bottles of mixed up dye from when I was doing my snow dyeing experiments, I decided that I would use them up on the cuff. I had stitched down scraps of white natural fabrics or so I thought. I had bits of white when the dye was washed out. A quick cook in the microwave with some transfer dye soon resolved the problem. It is now drying and I will be sewing beads on it at school next week. A teeny weeny problem, in my haste to see the result of the dyeing, I forgot the rubber gloves when I was rinsing out and have hands a lovely shade of blue/purple and red when I meet this friend of Al's for the first time.
Oh well! I had lots of fun:0)
I have also been colouring a small canvas background and started work on a long Textile Totem

Textile Totem

With the ink dry and housework done I have now finished my latest Totem. The black ink has dried to a light purple/blue.
I used Indigo Treasure Gold to add depth of colour, and Silver Treasure Gold for highlight's.
The Totem is 14"" tall, I am now thinking of making a much longer one.
Work does get in the way of creative play doesn't it?

I have made a different medallion to go on this Totem

Friday, 29 January 2010

Tonight's experiment

Instead of painting the latest Textile Totem, I wanted to experiment with a different colouring technique. I have used gesso, salt and ink-ala Maggie Grey. It is interesting to see how the colour changes when using this ingreediants. (black ink used) Another photo tomorrow- hopefully. We are going out for a Chinese meal tomorrow night, so will try and find some time during the day to do the finishing touches to the Totem.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

On a roll

Another Textile Totem is nearly ready for painting. I hope to have a photo to post on Saturday.
I saw signs that Spring is on it's way today, which gladdens my heart. Catkins are on the footpath between the car park and the school buildings, and when I took my daughter for her art lesson tonight,I saw clumps of snowdrops. Unfortunately I couldn't get close enough to take photo's.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Going cheap.

For those of you who like dress making , this link is offering Butterick patterns at a good discount-40% cheaper.
There is still time to enter my giveaway, just scroll down and post a comment. There are so many wonderful blogs to explore, that you might not have come across- click on the Magic Carpet badge in the side bar if you have time to explore

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Happy Australia Day and completed Textile Totem

As mentioned last night, a picture of the finished Textile Totem. I just need to get to Homebase this weekend to get some wood so that I can
mount it.

Here is a close up of the medallion that I have made for the top section.

Painting finished, then had to sift through a brochure so that we can book a holiday. We have not had a holiday for four years, and hubby decided that he needed a break this year. We have booked a farmhouse in Cornwall, near Manaccan and it will be a real family holiday as we are taking my mother as well as my daughter her husband and my 2 grandchildren- 8 of us all together!

Monday, 25 January 2010


I have just clicked on the OWOH badge and there is 500 names of blogger's taking part in this give-away already.
I have got the first coat of paint on my Textile Totem and will be finishing it off tomorrow, I will then post a photo.

One World One Heart starts today!!!


One World One Heart starts today,and I am giving 2 pieces of my work away. The canvas has been painted and stamped. I have used a piece of my snow dyed fabric on each piece, that has stitching on it, with a hand embossed metal panel in the centre. The text reads' The world is a book and those who do not travel read only the first page' by St Augustine .
This one will go to the first name drawn.

And as this one is smaller, will go to the second name drawn. The draw takes place on February 15th. Just leave a comment on my blog to enter the draw. If you click on the OWOH badge, you will find all the other bloggers who are taking part in this event. (Click on the image to get a closer look at my work)

I saved some of the Anzac biscuit mixture I had made for school as it is Australia Day tomorrow, and cooked some for the family tonight. They are disappearing very quickly.

They are very easy to make, here is the recipe I use:-
1 cup plain flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oats and desiccated coconut
125g marg
1/4 cup syrup
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tab boiling water.
Into a large bowl mix flour,sugar, oats and coconut.
Heat marg and syrup in a bowl in microwave until melted.
Dissolve bicarb in boiling water and pour into syrup mixture.
Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients and pour in the liquid and mix well.
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Roll a tablespoon of mixture into balls and place on baking sheet, flattening slightly. Allow room for spreading.
Bake in oven 180c, 350f or gas no 4 for 20 mins.
Place on cooling tray when cooked. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Textile Totem

Stitching has now been completed on my textile totem and I have given it a coat of emulsion. Tomorrow night all being well I will apply the colour - another late night finishing school tomorrow, we have after schools club and a 1.15 hours inset training:0( .
I am running a workshop at Textiles in Focus for Pauline Verrinder and this is what is gong to be created.

A fishy tale.

This fish tank sits in our kitchen so that we can watch the tropical fish while we are eating our meal, very calming after a busy day. Unfortunately the angel fish has had a swim bladder problem for about a week and could not stay upright. Alan felt that he couldn't kill it, so........
Today, hubby performed surgery on it, with me as his assistant. He has super- glued a small piece of cork on a short piece of cotton thread to his top fin (you can just see it by the pump), and fingers crossed it seems to be working. The fish is now swimming upright.
I have been working on another textured totem, a bit more stitching and then to decide what colour to paint it.
It is Australia Day on Tuesday, so I have made a big batch on Anzac biscuit mixture to take to work tomorrow for my children to bake, providing they haven't all gone down with chicken pox, we had our first case of it on Friday.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

It has been a very busy week at work, I have had to do extra duties due to staff absence.
Last night I was just tooooo tired to do anything creative.

But today I finished off my clock that I started on Thursday, it was going to be cream and brown, but when I started to look for a photo to go on the clock face I couldn't find a picture with the right colours in it. I ended up re-doing the embellishments to go with this photo of my daughters wedding, eleven years ago. Kezzy is the little bridesmaid in the front and look at her now.............

all grown up and off to a party tonight . We went off to Basildon yesterday after work to find the right outfit. The first time she has wanted to wear a dress since I don't know when!
I have also completed now, the two pieces I have made for One World One Heart. I only had to add the text. I had fun experimenting before deciding on which technique I was going to use. Photo's on Monday.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Had a lovely time at my daughters, lots of chatting and chocolate. I have started work on a mixed media clock. I hope to complete it at the weekend and then I will post a photo. \the One World One Heart starts on Monday, so I will be posting details of what i have made to give away. It is not too late to join in, just click on the badge in the side bar.
How strange. the photo's are back today. Blogger must have had a hiccup yesterday.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I have lost some photos again on my follower's list. Does anybody know how to get them back please?


My second piece for the One World One Heart is just on finished. I just have to add some text to it. I would have got this completed if I had not been playing on my new lap top. My son has got me set up on wireless so that I can use it in my play room -wonderful!!! no more running up and down stairs between the computer and playroom. (though I suppose the exercise was good for me)
A mother of a little boy in my class gave me a CD she has just made ( written and composed the words and music) to listen to, I have found it very relaxing and will be playing often
Tomorrow night it is the monthly get together with my daughter and friends, we will be playing with paper and paint.

Monday, 18 January 2010

EG members night.

Our members night was very well supported, nearly 70 members of our group turned up. After a fun quiz, Di got them making a mini sock monkey and she supplied a keyring so that they could attach it too if they wanted.
The committee members made cakes and served the refreshments so everyone could get on with their stitching. Nickie's job was to sample all the cakes! (lots of diets went out the window tonight!)
One of our members supplies the raffle prizes every month, and they are always so beautifully arranged with very scrummy fabrics and threads. Members can also bring along books to sell on members night, that they no longer want, and the Branch takes a small commission. I managed to get some lovely books.

Next month our speaker is Lynda Mink AKA Purplemissis-another night not to be missed!!!!

The on-going saga

I have just been in contact with the debt recovery people who are trying to get my money back from the very dodgy dealer. They had hoped to have the case solved within the month, but so far no luck. The very dodgy dealer keeps terminating their phone calls.
Need to go and get sorted for our EG meeting and must remember the cake!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A busy day at home, catching up on chores and a friend popped round me to cut out some shapes on my Cricut machine for her as well for a natter. I have a ginger cake baking in the oven ready for our Embroiderers' Guild meeting tomorrow night. It is members night, the committee bring home made cake and we have a quiz and a mystery package for the members to sew.
I have completed one gift for the give away One World One Heart, though I cant post photo's of it yet. Off to try and complete a second gift.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A time for pondering.

Sketchbook now completed for my vessel. I now have to start thinking about a wall hanging, not sure yet in which direction I am going to go with this yet.
I now need to complete my One World One Heart giveaway prize.

Textiles in Focus

We had to take our 3d piece along to our Fen Edge Textiles meeting that we would like to be exhibited at Textiles in Focus. There are some very lovely pieces, though a few who have had life get in the way, have got a few extra weeks to complete their work. Nickie and I have got some customers for our workshops on the Sunday morning and we are doing some stewarding in the afternoon. There is always such a lovely atmosphere at this event, a day out not to be missed!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Done it!!!!

I was up early this morning so I could do some work on the beaded edge before work. I noticed the way the light came through the voids, making patterns on the inside.
Because we had inset training this afternoon, I was a lot later leaving work than I had hoped. I flew round the supermarket, getting out in record time.
Here it is, my vessel and sketchbook. Inspired by Carn pottery, and the 60's. In the photos it looks like it is ecru and black, it is in fact, black and white.
Now it is time to get packed up ready for tomorrow's meeting of F.E.T

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The ends in sight.

Construction of the vessel is finished and I have started to bead along the top edge. I shall TRY and get up early to do some more work on it tomorrow,as my eyes are too tired to do any more tonight. I will post a picture of the vessel when it is finished, hopefully tomorrow night. As this vessel is larger than any of the others I have made I have not been able to work on it in my tea breaks.
While Kezzy was having her art lesson, I had a chat with Denise of Craft Arena with a view to do a workshop with her in the near future. Denise had this wonderful book full of inspiration, I must get the title and try and get it from the library.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Our Committee meeting finished in record time so we could get home before the roads became too icy. I have written up the minutes and agenda and they have been emailed out to the Committee members. Twenty minutes of stitching before bed to relax!


I am stitching the final seam on my vessel and then I can start beading the top edge.
EG committee meeting tomorrow night, so I wont be doing any stitching tomorrow.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Snow dyeing 3, results.

My staff meeting has been postponed until tomorrow evening, which meant I could wash and iron my fabrics before starting work on the evening meal. This is the only time I don't mind doing the ironing! There are some lovely patterns.

Some of these pieces of pre-felt (picture above) will be incorporated into my One World One Heart piece.(For more info on this, please click on the badge in the side bar)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Snow dyeing 3

I have started to 'cook' another batch of snow dyeing. I am not sure how this batch will turn out, as the snow has got frost in it and it was more like making coloured snowballs than candy floss. I have used Procion raspberry and golden yellow, not my usual colour scheme choice, I don't do yellow! The colours remind me of the sweets I used to have as a child 'Rhubarb and Custard'. I wonder if they still make them!
I have also finished my book cover and joined two sides of my vessel to the base( photos will come later when something worth showing.)My school bags are packed, the play dough is made, Alan has put petrol in my car and two bags of sand in my boot so I don't do a Torville and Dean on the ice driving to work tomorrow. I have got time to go and do a bit more stitching before bed. It is going to be a l o n g day as there is a staff meetimg after work:0(

Snow dyeing 2 results.

As I went to bed last night, I took another picture of my tray of snow dyeing, the snow has nearly all melted and I could see some of the fabric had absorbed the colour.
The results are so much better with this method than in my previous effort. The colours are much stronger and much better patterning.

I especially like the piece of pre-felt, just calling out for some hand stitching, though not at this moment in time. While we still have snow, I shall dye some more fabric- the only problem- what colours to use.

I have now started to embellish my book cover, I hope to finish this today.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Snow dyeing experiment 2.

When I was in Craft Arena getting some Evolon, I saw Denise's snow dyeing in process. So rather than waiting to see her results, I decided to have a go using the QA instructions. The dyes used are Procion bright green and midnight blue. My mother had given me some money for Christmas to buy something I wanted, so I also bought a flower stitcher, something I have wanted for some time, but couldn't justify buying one. Sarah has got a video on U Tube showing how to use this gadget. In my local craft shop I found these tiny buttons. Yesterday I had, had to colour some very small buttons with Staz On. to go on my vessel because I couldn't find any buttons this small in the right colour. Typical!!
But they wont go to waste As I have now painted my book cover I will use some of the new buttons to embellish it.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow dyeing results.

I bought my tray of snow dyeing into the kitchen at 10.00am to help the thawing process.At 12.30 it still had lots of snow covering my fabric.
This was how it looked at 6.00

And the results . . . . . . . . . . well, you can see from the picture below, some were quite delicate in colour but the blue/ purples were stronger. Denise from Craft Arena is going to have a go at snow dyeing using the instructions from QA, issue 41, page 62. I have got the article out to read in bed tonight. Depending on how her colours take, I might try this method on Sunday, as yet MORE snow is forecast.

I have also been decorating my sketchbook cover as it was looking a bit shabby.

I now need to finish painting in the flowers.

This is one panel of the the vessel painted and ready for embellishment.

When I did my sampling I liked the tied button centres best. I was going to Craft Arena today to talk to Denise about doing some workshops there. As it was so icy I had to cancel, it also meant that I couldn't get some Evalon. I have ordered some and I will pick it up tomorrow hopefully. In the meantime, I needed to get on with my vessel. Another rummage in my fabric chest and I found a piece of silk- just long enough. So I am now going to start joining all the pieces together.