Thursday 31 December 2009

My Grandsons came round yesterday for another session of opening presents as we didn't get to see them over Christmas. Zach enjoys cooking and helped to make a strawberry, raspberry and blueberry pavlova for our dessert- it was delish!!!!!

Josh had to make sure that Grandad was making the model correctly- he is building and making the model plane, a Boston, for my mother to give to an old friend who flew this plane in WWII. Alan will put on all the right insignia for her.
I have continued to work intermittently on my vessel, I really need to get a move on as time is slipping by.

I took Mum to Basildon today and bought the new Stamper magazine and then stopped off at Craft Arena to get.....
this months issue of CPS. The sale starts on Saturday at Craft Arena and I shall be driving to Buckingham to take Mum home, so I hope there will be some bargains left when I go there next week.

I would like to wish anyone who reads my blog :-
A Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Back to rainy Essex

I hope that you have all had a wonderful Christmas. I have had a lovely relaxing time at my Mother's, I even managed a bit of stitching. My son really spoilt me and bought me a lap top:0), just what I needed, as the one I had borrowed from my brother had to be returned him, as his Apple Mac has gone wrong AGAIN!!!
Before Christmas, I mentioned I had been making a small gift for someone.Here are the photo's of the gifts I made for Carolyn as as 'Thank you' for my prize I won in her Give-away. I can now post photo's as she has let me know that my package had arrived.

A sparkly ornament for her tree, as I know how much she loves Christmas and
a bracelet, which of course has to have some red in it!

Wednesday 23 December 2009

C.P.S. Art Doll Challenge.

I had a lovely surprise in the post today, a handmade card from Carolyn. Thank you!

Apart from
a visit from my Grandchildren:0),
making yet more mince pies ala Gina,
delivering my Christmas cards and catching up with Nickie and Lucy,
I made another bracelet for work colleague.

And, at long last, started work on my next vessel. I had cut the pieces the other day but hadn't got round to making all the voids.

Kezzy thought it looked really good fun so she came to have a play with my spare soldering iron.

I have been telling/boring you all with my on-going saga with the 'very dodgy dealer', and today as I can't seem to get any help from Police or the Courts I have put the matter into the hands of a debt collector, a bit scary as I have never had any dealings with them before. They hope to resolve the matter for me within 28 days! We shall see.

A few weeks ago, there was an Art Doll Challenge, Mother Earth, run by CPS. As I was busy with reports and getting ready for Christmas, I wasn't going to do anything about it. BUT, one night I had a light bulb moment and decided to have a go. Last night I heard that my 'doll' hadn't been selected, not that I expected it too, as my doll isn't pretty. My doll is making a statement about global warming and how man is killing the planet.

I have given her the title of:-

'Her Whole World Has Crumbled Around Her Feet.'

And this explains my thinking behind my 'doll':-

'A tear of despair rolls down her face as she examines a piece of her world; her beauty and health long gone.
Holes in the ozone layer, CO2 emissions, carbon footprints and pollution all caused by man's wanton damage to the planet. Her warnings were disregarded!'

She is constructed from gauze and tissue, stuffed and coloured. Footprints have been stamped over the world. I collected all the text from a few daily newspapers. Needle felted hair, face coloured with alcohol inks.The world was printed onto Tyvek, cut up and then attacked with a heat gun. Height 11", width 2", width, base 8" weight less than 4 ounces/or 100 gms

Though my 'doll' conveys a serious message about our planet, I really enjoyed making her and felt quite sad, when I put the last finishing touch to her. As I am going to stay with my Mother in Buckingham for Christmas tomorrow, may I wish everyone who visits my blog:-


Yet more Mulled wine!!

Yesterday was yet another busy day, I was hoping to do a bit of something creative but it just didn't happen. Kezzy had to be assessed at the local physiotherapy unit has she has been having problems with her knees. She is now going to have to give up her G.C.S.E. P.E. course on the Doctors advice, and have some physio. Not quite sure what hour of the day this will be fitted into at the moment.
My lonely friend from down the road popped in for a cup of tea and mince pie and then in was into Billericay to meet another friend at the pub for Christmas drinks and exchanging pressies.
Back home I made another batch of Mulled Wine and cooked trays of nibbles as I was having a get together and more pressie giving. Finally crawled into bed at 12.30 a.m.

Monday 21 December 2009

I enjoyed the party Saturday night, catching up with lots of friends that I hadn't seen for some time.
The Carols by Candlelight was very well attended last night, I don't know how everyone squeezed into the Church after the singing to get their mulled wine, hot chocolate and a mince pie. I love going to this service, a lovely atmosphere and it is the only time I get to sing traditional Carols. I made three batches of mulled wine and still more was needed but the Church didnt have anymore red wine for me to use. It is the most people they have ever had, so next year they will be getting in a lot more wine for me to use. In between visiting friends and having visitors myself, I have decorated a few jars of pickle to give away. I have also being making a present to send to a friend, but it has not gone according to plan, so where I was hoping to get in the post this morning, it will now have to be first post tomorrow. ( I tried using my soldering iron without wearing my glasses,I had put them down somewhere. I only wanted to make 1 little hole. I did, but in the wrong place! So have had to re-make it!) I will post photo's once I know she has received it.

The fabric on my pickle jars is some that I got from Carolyn's give-away, lovely snowy fabric.

Saturday 19 December 2009

Thank you Gina!

I have had a lovely afternoon, I haven't done any stitching but lots of cooking.
I started off with my lemon and mustard seed pickle as I was completely out of it and Cheddar cheese isn't dressed without it!
Then yesterday while I was eating my lunch I saw a programme on Channel 4, someone called Kirsty and she was making things for Christmas. Well, she made Boxing Day pickle, it looked lovely so I bought all the necessary ingredients last night and as you can see from the photo it has apricots, raisins and cranberries as some of the ingredients. It does taste good as well, I shall enjoy eating it with my cold turkey.

The other week I was going to make some mince pies using Gina's recipe that she posted, but I didn't have enough ground almonds, so I made a batch of them today. 2 dozen muffin cake size (there isn't 2 dozen now though!) and a dozen small ones. They are the best mince pies I have ever made/eaten. You must try this recipe of Gina's. I have also got muffins and a ginger cake in the oven for Rhodri and Kezzy as they don't do mince pies! The local village Church is having a Carols by Candlelight tomorrow and I have been asked to make the mulled wine again.
Off to get ready for a Christmas party now!

Friday 18 December 2009


I tried to blog about my shopping bargains last night, but because of the snow we had 2 power cuts, each time as I was trying to post, so I gave up and decided to show you all today.
I had to get a few last Christmas presents from Basildon yesterday, and ended up treating myself as well.
My first find was in the pound shop- the bell wreaths, 40 bells on each wreath! I shall be using these in school next Christmas, a much cheaper way to get bells. Then I went to The Works, and there I found this book on felt making called Scarves and Wraps. Then at my local craft shop I found this Glitteratti packs going cheap, my only problem, which colour to buy!
Kezzy had her last art lesson this term, so I popped into Craft Arena to get Nickie her Q.A magazine, just had to buy a pot of this paint that has just arrived in the shop. I shall be playing with this when I get back from my Mother's after Christmas.

Kezzy's last day at school was cancelled due to the snow, about four inches. I was supposed to be meeting a friend for lunch but that got cancelled too, so I have had a chance to get my various white paints out and paint up some samples.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Textiles in Focus

I have wasted a fair bit of time tonight trying to put a Blogger gadget on my side bar- I have nearly thrown my teddy as Blogger has not been behaving!

Anyway what I am trying to tell you all, is that Textiles in Focus have released details of the Lecturer-Isobel Hall and the workshops. The workshops are for 2 hours and the tutors include Gina Ferrari, Myfanwy Hart and Viv Arthur to name but a few.

Trade stalls to spend your Christmas money

Exhibitions by MESCH, Threadsx4 and ERTF.

It should be a great event!

Snow is falling!

Last day of the Christmas term means Christmas party. A slightly anxious time waiting for Rocky to turn up, as he was stuck in a traffic jam on the M25. Luckily the party was only ten minutes late starting. I have had Rocky doing our party for several years now, he's so good, pitching it at the right level for my children. Booked him for next years party already! Then it was time for the staff to have their own end of term celebration at the local Indian, eighteen of us in the end as quite a few had to drop out at the last minute.
So today, while I have been writing letters and making phone calls as well as the household chores I TRY and fit in at the weekend, white fluffy stuff started to fall out of the sky.

Off now to help an elderly gentleman celebrate his 82nd birthday.

Monday 14 December 2009

Sara Impey-quilter

You know Christmas is just around the corner when Santa's sleigh comes down your road with his helpers collecting money for local charities. Sara Impey bought her quilts that she has made over the last couple of years. What a prolific lady, and such dense stitching on the quilts as well!
I have met Sara twice before when she came to speak and teach a workshop at Springfield Quilters, unfortunately this group has now closed down. Nickie and I have also seen her work at the NEC Festival of Quilts.
The quilt below is a whole cloth quilt

And this quilt has been hanging in the Warner museum at Braintree
Made from furnishing silk, curved pieced patchwork with lines of satin stitch.

After her talk we were allowed to go up to examine closely and handle her quilts- what a lovely lady!

I was lucky enough to get on the Jacky Russell workshop-yippee!!!!!!!

Sunday 13 December 2009

12 sleeps to Santa ( you can tell I teach 3 year olds!)

The tree is up and decorated, I have started wrapping some pressies though a lot more still to do and even a few more to buy.
Kezzy is back home from her drama course and she had a great time again.
I am now going to sit down and watch Morse and do some stitching- not sure what though.
Tomorrow night it is Embroiderers' Guild and we have Sarah Impey coming with her quilts, her talk is called 'Quilts in the Queue'.

Saturday 12 December 2009

Chritsmas decorations.

On Thursday we had our usual monthly get together making more decorations for Christmas and eating lots of chocolate. This started off as a plain ecru candle, colours chosen to suit my mothers colour scheme as that is where we are having Christmas. Then plain wood shapes were painted and embellished, these are to go above a picture. I got a bit carried away and ended up with 'Donna' rather than 'Rudolph'.

Today was Y.E.G. and they were making angels. Our girls were through the door early and raring to go. We are very lucky to have such a thriving group.
Libby showed her 'Blue Peter' one I made earlier angel, before letting the girls loose with fabrics, beads, glitzy fabric and sequins.
This is our newest member, see her finished angel (last photo, pink angel)
The girls let their imagination run riot, unfortunately I couldn't get a group photo of our host of angels due to some parents turning up a bit early.

Some very wonderful angels were made by the girls and didn't our new member do well?

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Gone but never forgotten

It is eight years ago that the police knocked on my door and bought the news that every parent dreads. Ashleigh was killed in a car crash not very far from our house in the early hours of December 9th 2001, just days away from his 24th birthday. I have had some lovely texts from some of his friends that have not forgotten him and two of my friends came round, Nickie and Jennie with plants for me. Thank you!
At work today, it was Secret Santa day. Someone knows me very well, I got a Hobbycraft voucher!
Alan has been back to the hospital about his skin cancer on his head, we are now waiting for an appointment for him to see a plastic surgeon, should be in January.
I had this link sent to me today, I have had a very quick browse instead of doing my schoolwork, and shall go back and read it properly in the Christmas break.
Time to do a bit more work on my next vessel before bed.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

17 sleeps.

School life has been frantic the last two days. Yesterday it was dress rehearsals, and today the children had to the Christmas production twice. It seemed that all we have done is dress and undress my little ones(they are only 3 years old). They were all dressed as animals in the Nativity play and coped very well. I was very proud of them.
Lunch and tea breaks have been a rushed affair so I haven't done any stitching, though I have made another button bracelet, could be for my Mother as she wears these colours a lot.
I have now almost finished writing my Christmas cards, just need to finished the shopping, though it wont be this weekend. On Friday night I have got to take Kezzy to Cambridge for another drama course, Saturday it is Y.E.G. and then Sunday it is back to Cambridge to pick Kezzy up!

Sunday 6 December 2009

My weekend

What a waste of time! I spent Friday night trying to find out more info on my very dodgy dealer for when I see the solicitor, and ended up going round in circles.
As it is coming up to the anniversary of when I lost my son, I went to the Churchyard with some flowers as it will be too dark on Wednesday to do it after work.I had a lovely evening with friends, chatting eating and a few drinks, got home very late!
Kezzy had her friend round for lunch and dinner. She met him in August when she was on her drama course. While they were watching DVD's I tidied up my playroom and started work on my next vessel. Photo's to come later, nothing worthwhile to show at the moment.

Friday 4 December 2009

Sooo frustrated!!!!!

I had to go to Basildon Court to swear an affidavit for the on-going saga of my small claims case. It is 18 months since I started dealings with the very dodgy dealer (wish I had known at the time that he was!) Anyway, it appears the bailiff was unable to serve him the Court Order, and by mistake the letter telling me this was sent to him in October. Three quarters of an hour later, I left the Court Office, no further forward but now I have an appointment with a solicitor in January to see if he can help sort out the mess.

Tomorrow night, I have another Christmas get-together and I said I will take a sweet, so I might try the recipe on Gina's blog for her frangipane mince pies if I have all the ingredients in the cupboard.

Thursday 3 December 2009

This was on my desk yesterday when I got to work- a thank you from a member of staff for giving up my afternoon of frees to look after her class when she was ill last week. My collection of orchids is growing, the flowers last such a long time. that I don't seem to be without a bloom on one of them throughout the year. While Kezzy was having her art class I popped into Craft Arena and picked up a copy of the latest Quilting Arts. I also got some texture magic to experiment with, as I love texture in my work. I knuckled down and finished some U.F.O's this evening- the first being my vessel,
I then embellished these letters, I just never got around to it at the weekend!

Finally I corrected the mistake I had made on this bracelet.

I now need to go and tidy my play room before I can do anything else!

Wednesday 2 December 2009


The quiz night on Saturday raised over £1,000, which is a large amount for a small village function. My team was in the lead until the last round when we were pipped at the post by one point!
I have started my Christmas shopping having spent all of Saturday in Basildon and then Sunday at Freeport, still more presents to find though.
I have now completed my rust vessel, having undone the picot edging as it would not sit on the edge with out a wobble. I have done a beaded buttonhole instead. Just got to stitch in some ends and then I will post a picture. I have also made another bracelet,( this is to be a Christmas present) but as I went to take a picture I noticed I had made a small mistake, so I need to re-do asap. I have sooooo many projects unfinished, that I will spend tomorrow night trying to complete a few of them.

Friday 27 November 2009

Reports finished-Christmas preperations can start now!

My reports are written and been proof read, so hopefully they should be printed Monday-thank goodness!My only play this week has been making a Christmas present for my brothers girlfriend. She has just moved into a new flat in Twickenham, I just need to finish embellishing it. the wooden letters are 1" thick, painted several times and then covered with papers. I hope to put the finishing touches to it tomorrow before I go Christmas shopping.
Tomorrow night I am going to a quiz night in support of the local children's hospice-Little Haven. I have managed to get a collection tin for this charity, and on Monday it will be going in the staff room. Instead of swapping Christmas cards we are putting a donation in the tin.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Lucky escape!

When we went out in our car on Thursday, it was running well. Yesterday when Alan went out in it he noticed a slight knocking, didn't think much of it and set off for Birmingham early this morning. The noise got worse the further he drove, anyway to cut a long story short, a driver overtook him and indicated to his front wheel. He pulled over couldn't see anything wrong, so his friend got him to drive slowly along the hard shoulder. The noise was his front wheel about to fall off! Sometime Thursday or Friday night his car had been tampered with, because two bolts were missing, two bolts had been sheared off and the remaining two were only on by four thread turns. Anyway, they have both arrived back in wet and windy Essex having had a good day at the NEC.
Meanwhile I was busy at my Grandsons second birthday. All the children were very good, doing lots of sticking, painting and playing.
Also in between the party and cooking prawn pooris I have been working on a mixed media experiment , not sure if my idea is going to work, but, if it doesn't end up in the rubbish bin, I'll let you know.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Kantha workshop

Libby, a member of East, was our tutor today, and soon had us stitching Kantha patterns. The hall was so quiet you could here a pin drop- I have never been in a room with fifteen ladies this quiet before!
Libby was very generous in letting us take photos of her work, and came round constantly to keep us on track, when we had problems with lik stitch.Libby (those of you who went to K& S will have seen her wonderful little books on the East stand) also demonstrated how to attach a shisha mirror.
Below are a few samples of her work

I love this little sewing caddy.
When I got home, I had a few bits to organise ready for Zac's birthday party tomorrow. Sam came round with the cake she had made for him as she need some black food colouring for George's eyes.
I have now applied Treasure gold ( stopped off on the way home from work yesterday and got some from Craft Arena) to my textured totem. I used pewter.