Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Thank goodness it's my school holiday!
Yesterday started off with a visit to the orthodontist for my youngest daughter. We now have an appointment at the hospital in Chelmsford for x-rays on Thursday to see whether she can have her teeth straightened.
Today, it was back to Basildon hospital with hubby, he now needs more tests and further treatment.
I was able to take my Grandson for his birthday treat today as well. He was four last week, so today was my first chance to take him to the Build-A-Bear Workshop and make a toy of his choice. We had a lovely time. He made a bunny called Hoppy Poppy, as he is into rhyming words at the moment.

It was then a meal at McD's just to round the treat off.

I am now stitching my map, (third attempt) lots of ends to sew in as well. Pleased with how it is going so far. Popped into Homebase to buy some fancy wood to make the scroll ends, though as I am building a house tonight (my friend needs some help constructing a dolls house) It won't be for a day or two or three.
Hopefully a day at home stitching tomorrow.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


After a 'quick!!!' dash to Craft Arena to get some more Hemingworth threads, pewter Treasure Gold and the new Quilting Arts magazine, I was able to spend a bit of time on my sewing machine sampling and working out how I am going to make my map to go in my scroll. I had bought some viliene called Evalon some time ago from Craft Arena but as usual had not got round to using it. After trying Abaca tissue and Lutrador the Evalon is the one I shall use. A light but dense fabric which will hide the stitching from the front cover when it is joined together. I dyed the Evalon in tea ( M & S strong teabags) and then machine stitched it. Now to do the map for real. I will post pics when it is stitched( fingers crossed it goes to plan).

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Image transfer workshop

Our Schoolhouse Arts workshop was run from East Hanningfield W.I. hall this month due to our usual venue not being available. In spite of a shortage of power points, we still managed to stitch and almost complete a postcard.
Nickie started off by showing some of the products and demonstrating some of the techniques that are available for transferring images to fabric. Once everybody had finished their samples of image transfer, it was time to stitch the fabric background for the postcard, using various types of fabrics in a crazy patchwork style. After lunch, more stitching, more demos on how to use acetate and shrink plastic that have been through an ink jet printer to make some embellishments. Before we knew it the day was nearly over, so another demo on using an embellisher to make a 'fabric' with the off cuts from the pieced background, before the show and tell.
Margaret and Debbie kept everybody supplied with tea, coffee and lovely shortbread biscuits-not helped the diet at all!

The computer has been playing up and has nearly driven me mad trying to upload these photo's.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Schools out!!!!!

Today my school has broken up for the Easter holiday, yippee!!!!!!!!! I now need to knuckle down and start producing some work for Sutton Hoo.
I popped round to Nickie's house this evening to make sure we are ready for for the Schoolhouse Arts workshop tomorrow. Nickie is making fabric postcards using different techniques for transferring images to fabric. I hope to post some pics tomorrow night.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Ten yards from home last night, my car was attacked by my soon to be new neighbour. Luckily my daughter and I were not hurt, just shaken. He admitted that he just didn't see me. I hope to get it repaired in the school holiday, as it means I will have a couple of days without being able to go out- Yipheee!!!!!

In preparation for the rust workshop with Myfanwy in July, I have managed to get some unwanted rusty items from school. The caretakers were very helpful, I should get some interesting patterns.
Last night I was round at Nickie's, she has a workshop on Saturday at Schoolhouse Arts and I am her 'gofer'. The workshop is on image transfer. We had lots of fun experimenting

My new piece for Sutton Hoo has now been machine stitched and I have started on the hand stitching.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Library Exhibition

Yesterday at our Embroiderer's Guild exhibition at Chelmsford Library, we held a 'Come and stitch a square' for the general public to come and join us between 10am and 1pm. We had five visitors, one, a young man training to be a chef. Through this, we have got a possible Young Embroiderer joining our group and a visitor to our meetings when she is home from Uni. One lady who joined us came for the first time to our last meeting, so we couldn't have scared her off! Next stitch day is the 4th April.Here are some images of the work in the exhibition, we have had some lovely comments in the visitors book.

I have now started my next piece of work for Sutton Hoo. Craft Vilene, tissue and gesso 'fabric'

Painted with the lovely Lumiere paints and then acrylic wax was applied when the paint was dry.
I have spent a fair bit of time playing with spirals, the Anglo-Saxons were influenced by the Celts and also to represent the sea. It was then deciding what colour thread. Decisions!!!!!
The pattern was drawn on water soluble paper and I shall now start stitching.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

My hubby is in hospital having more tests and I had hoped for a very long evening stitching BUT............. My daughter was having lots of problems with her homework and then needed a bit of TLC as she is anxious abut her Dad. So I am now going off to play, a lot later than I had first hoped.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Embroiderer's Guild meeting

Our monthly meeting was tonight and Pat Trott came to give a talk on Mountmellick work. (sorry I forgot to take photo's) I have never tried this technique, which originates from Ireland. It was a very amusing, interesting and informative talk. Not only did we learn about Mountmellick work we also learnt about all ins and outs of getting a book published. I have also managed to get a place on the Myfanwy Hart class being run by our Guild in July-dyeing to rust. I shall now have to start looking out for rusty bits. Art Van Go is coming to our Guild next month, Viv is demonstrating AND bringing the van!!!!!!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

More retail therapy

I had another dose of retail therapy yesterday after work, by stopping off at Craft Arena. (I forgot to say in my blog last night) I had ordered some more Hemmingworth threads , which had been delivered, so I just HAD to go and get them. Trouble is there were some new Valdani threads in as well!

Today it was off to Cottenham. We were told that Textiles in Focus had been a success in spite of the economic climate. Lots of discussions about our Sutton Hoo exhibition that is taking place in June (84 days to go). We have all got to make a wall hanging at least A3and if we have any 'spare time' a bag as well to fit in a 10" square. Planty to keep me busy!!!!!

We got back our A.T.C.'s , we were all given two themes, mine were culture-music and colour-intense. We had to make our A.T.C.'s put them in a bag with our design source and a selection of materials that had been used and then sent off to the other group and then they would make one for us and vice versa. My A.T.C.'s are on the left with the design source. I had never made an A.T.C. card before and was quite nervous but I really enjoyed it, I also like the anticipation of waiting to see what is going to come back you.

Friday, 13 March 2009


My parents evening went well I am pleased to say. I was so tired when I got in I just chilled in the lounge and watched Billy Connolly- what a waste of a couple of hours. Tonight I am packing my bags as it is Fen Edge Textiles tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

All work and no play.......

I have not had much time to play this week, I have had to make a few alterations to my reports as my new team leader likes things worded differently to my old team leader. I have parents evening tomorrow night, so I have been making lots of notes on my 'cherubs' ready for that. I am trying to come up with some concrete ideas for my next project, but can't seem to settle on anything at the moment. Maybe I will feel more creative once tomorrow night is over, I always get butterflies at the thoughts of parents evening.

I have posted photo's of the 'sampler' I made on Saturday with Gwen Hedly. I have undone a couple of areas and reworked them, I will do some more work on this at a later date.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Hyland's House

As the sun was shining brightly, I decided against getting back to my school reports after breakfast, instead I went to Hyland's House to see the E.H.A. exhibition.(Essex Handicrafts Association) My daughter went armed with sketch book, pencils and camera to get in some drawing practice ready for starting G.C.S.E.'s next year. The grounds there are full of wonderful old trees. Within a very short time of getting there, it turned too cold for her to draw, so she waited in the car with Hubby, while I enjoyed the exhibits. Photos are not allowed to be taken inside the house because of the flash causing damage, which was a pity as there was some lovely work on show. It was lovely to see so many people I know who are involved with textiles, so as well as enjoying the exhibits I also enjoyed a good natter. Denise from Craft Arena was there, and she has had some new Valdani threads in. Guess what? One of the new colours is just the right very dark green have been looking for. for some time. I now have a stitching project to take to work with me!
I have now finished my reports and can start playing!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Gwen Hedley

I was at an Embroiderer's Guild workshop in Chelmsford today with Gwen Hedley, it was nice to meet her again. Nickie and I met her last summer when we were on an E.G. Summer School at Belstead. It was really nice that she recognised me, seeing how many workshops and talks she has done since then.( Maybe Nickie and I were remembered for being so noisy!) In the picture below, Gwen is having a well deserved cuppa, while discussing a technique with Di.We had to join fabric together by other means, rather than with a needle and thread, such as staples, sticks etc. It was great fun, not sure if or when I would use these techniques but it really makes you think. Gwen was very generous with her knowledge, and kept giving us more ideas than we had time for. (Her new book is due out Aug 2010) We all made samples rather than a resolved piece and we shall take then to our next E.G meeting.

I then went to our E.G. exhibition in the library, (a flying visit as it was nearly closing time) below are the squares we made on member's night in colours to represent the seasons. It was put up on Thursday afternoon by members of our Guild and they have done a really good job, I know it took them a good few hours to hang
Photo's of my two pieces in situ below. I shall be going back to look at the exhibition and take some photo's to post while I am helping at a workshop we are holding there in two weeks time.
Now, I really must start my reports, though I really want to carry on stapling!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Today, somebody asked me if they could buy my 'Storm Damaged Trees' picture, WOW!!!!!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Chelmsford Embroiderer's Guild Exhibition

I have now finished my second piece for our exhibition, just got to deliver the two pieces tomorrow night. I was hoping to help with setting up the exhibition on Thursday, but I have to attend my daughters parents evening as it is her Options year.
Now, I have to start thinking about the Sutton Hoo exhibition and writing my school reports!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

A way to my Hubby's heart........

Here is the photo of Kokopelli, a few more changes to the original one, I do get carried away making the danglies.
At least I now have one entry for the Embroiderer's Guild exhibition ready!
I wasn't going to make Welsh cakes,(in fact I haven't made them since my first husband left me nearly twenty years ago), BUT, Alan has been busy making a picture frame for me to put my battered trees in, so I changed my mind-a woman's prerogative. I have had to adapt my late mother in law's recipe slightly, as my youngest daughter is a veggie, they are disappearing fast!
I forgot to tell everyone about the bargain I got in Hobbycraft on Friday, these wax pastels that are water soluble- they were half price and such lovely colours-who could resist, certainly not me.
Happy St David's Day, I was going to make some welsh cakes but instead I have finished Kokpelli. Now to carry on with the trees!