Wednesday 29 April 2009

Beads and tassels.

I was very late starting my stitching tonight as, I had to take my daughter to the doctors and then her tutor came to giver her, her a maths lesson and then of course making an evening meal. In spite of this I have now completed the beaded edges on my scroll. Next it will be the tassells to make.

The beads I ordered the other night arrived today, one pack is going to be o.k., but the other is just too yellow. You can see the results of my bead dyeing that I did last night. The beads coloured in transfer dye worked very well but is far too dark, I will try and get some more of the frosted white beads and have another go to see if I can get a lighter shade. If not, the frosted beads coloured with alcohol have turned out the right sort of colour. I shall start beading the wall hanging in my lunch half hour tomorrow. No stitching tomorrow night as I have an Embroiderer's Guild Committee meeting.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

A wasted evening

I spent all of my spare time last night searching the Internet for my beads. (no stitching!!!!!) Though I have ordered some I am not sure if they are going to be right. So I have attacked the white beads I bought in readiness and I have dyed them. I am now waiting for them to dry to see if they will be any good.

Monday 27 April 2009

On a bead hunt

The wall hanging has dried lighter, thank goodness, darker than ecru I would say but not mushroom the colour I thought it was going to be. ( no pen marks visible either) The problem being that when I was at Mums and went Hobbycraft in M.K., they had a very good selection of beads compared with the Basildon branch. I bought all my white beads in anticipation for the embellishing. I went to Hobbycraft tonight after work and I can't find any ecru beads, cream BUT NOT ecru. I shall now have to do some searching on the Internet.
In the mean time I have gone back to my scroll and started to bead the top and bottom edges.

Sunday 26 April 2009

Wall hanging update.

After leaving it in soak all night, there was still some of the permanent pen marks left trapped under the machine stitching, sooooo, I dunked it in bleach and left it for five hours. Still marks showing, sooooo, I then dunked it in tea. No, still the marks were visible. Sooooo, I then dyed it with ecru procion dye a la Ruth Issett. I was quite worried when I was rinsing it, as it was more a mushroom colour than ecru, but it got lighter with rinsing and getting lighter as it dries. I will have to see what it looks like in the morning.

Saturday 25 April 2009

Ploughed field workshop

Nickie and I spent today at this quaint village hall in Hutton with a group of very friendly ladies.

I had to take this pictures of the trees before I even went in the hall, it was just so beautiful! The ladies all worked very hard as you can see by the slide show and are well on the way to a finished piece of textile art with a little bit more time.
This evening I have finished quilting my Sutton Hoo wall hanging and it is now soaking to dissolve the romeo fabric. A 'slight' problem- not all the pattern lines are dissolving, do I dare bleach it or go straight into dyeing it? I think I shall sleep on it before doing anything drastic.

I might have to go to Norwich tomorrow, my Aunt who is 105 in June, had had a nasty fall yesterday and is now in a respite home to recover, leaving at home her young blind sister of nearly 102 (in September) They have never been apart! My Aunts were in the Telegraph when the younger sister was 100 as they are the first family to have recieved 3 telgrams from the queen for celebrating their 100th birthday. Their older sister lived to 106!

Thursday 23 April 2009

Not my usual style!

One of the girls at work has a birthday next week, and I don't 'do' decoupage normally, but this just seemed the right card to make for her as she is always trying to loose weight. It was very therapeutic to make, lots of bits to cut out and then mount with 3d foam pads.
I wasn't at Nickie's very long this evening, she had almost got everything packed for her workshop, I have a list of additional bits of equipment I have got to take and I will get those ready tomorrow night. Now, I am back to the stitching my wall hanging and watching the History Channel. Last night I found this channel by chance and it is Henry VIII week, celebrating 500 years since he ascended the throne. I love Tudor history!

Wednesday 22 April 2009

And yet MORE french knots!

I have NEARLY finished putting french knots on the horse of the wall hanging hopefully tomorrow in my lunch half hour I can finish the remaining areas. Then on to the men, though I have done a lot of knots in these areas already. Tomorrow night I wont be stitching as I am round at Nickie's helping to get ready for the workshop on Saturday in Hutton.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Sorry, the slideshow is here.

Sorry I couldn't get the slideshow to work in my previous post, but here it is.


What a wonderful two day workshop Nickie and I had at Briantree for a workshop with
Ruth Issett and the group E.A.S.T. Nickie and I had been lucky enough to be invited to join the group for the two day workshop as they had a few spare places. Yesterday started off with Ruth talking about the fabrics she uses and demonstrating how different fabrics absorb dye. It was then our turn to play using the dyes on different fabrics to see how they work. I have always dyed my fabrics in buckets or bags, never by painting. I shall be getting rid of all those buckets now!
Both days we were able to have our lunch outside and catch a few rays.

After lunch more painting on fabric and then mono printing and using a roller for printing with on paper. These all add layers of colour to a painted background. I have done a bit of mono printing before, but not in the way Ruth showed us.

Last night Art Van Go came to our Embroiderers Guild. Viv demonstrated different methods for transferring images to fabric.

Carol our treasurer 'helped' with one of the demo's by ironing for Viv, something went wrong and Carol wont be asked to iron again! By the time Nickie and I had helped Viv to pack up the van, it was nearly eleven o'clock by the time we got home.

This morning, it was down to printing on our painted fabric. Nerve racking! Ruth has given me permission to post some pictures of her wonderful work, I have a long way to go to achieve anything as vibrant as hers!

Sunday 19 April 2009

My first job today was to go back to Barleylands to LifeasArt to collect my friends birthday present that I ordered on Friday. What a fabulous job he has done with the photo's, getting rid of the tears and creases. The canvas's will look good on her wall. I shall be going there again. (no affiliation)
As it was sunny, when I got back, I sat in the Antipodean part of our garden ( this is out reminder of a wonderful holiday down under) and did some more to my wall hanging. Coming along very s l o w l y.
I have also packed my bag ready for tomorrow's workshop with Ruth Issett, I had a job deciding what range of colours I want to work in, still not sure that I have made the right choice, might go and change them.
Off to do some more french knots!

Saturday 18 April 2009

A big mistake!.

I was up at 5.30 this morning to be ready for the off at 6.30. Nickie was driving and I had borrowed Hubby's Sat. Nav. to get us there. A very good journey there, in the three and a half hours that was estimated.
A quick cup of coffee after signing in then off to spend our money that was burning a hole in our pockets. Shock and horror!, only a couple of stalls there and the E.G. bookstall was nearly empty too. This does mean, however, that I shall have money to spend now at Art Van Go, who are coming to our Guild on Monday!
A.G.M. then buffet lunch. We then had a lecture from David Littler. His talk was about the connections between samplers found in the V.&A. and music sampling( he was a DJ at one time). He talked about the language used in both fields that are the same and how pattern could be converted to sound. A very lovely lady (sorry I cant remember her name) then put words to the music that was created this way using the words from a sampler by Elizabeth Parker in 1830 that is in the V.& A. Some of the audience , Nickie included, were then going to his workshop after tea break to produce their own pattern and sound.
I went to an audience with Diane Bates, who was 63 today. A very funny and entertaining lady, talking about her work and inspiration with slides.
This is the view from the 10th floor where Diane gave her talk. Unfortunately Nickie and I had to leave before the end as our parking meter time was up and they both went over their scheduled finishing time.
Which is just as well we did. We were told to 'ignore the Sat. Nav. and go home via the A1. A shorter journey', we were told!!!!!!!!
It took us nearly FIVE HOURS to get home!
I would be well on the way to Cornwall in this time!
There was a detour on the A414 (road closed for roadworks), that took us round all of Epping Forrest, Epping and I am not sure where else as we thought we were lost and as Nickie's lighter wasn't working the Sat. Nav. ran out of power! We weren't lost, it was just a very long detour(nearly an extra 30 min.s of driving) with very few signs showing us we were going the right way!
Was I glad to get home to a cup of tea!
Moral of this story- follow the Sat. Nav., ignore the advice of well meaning drivers and use a car with a lighter that works!

Friday 17 April 2009

I have shopped 'till I dropped.

Not much stitching done so far today, just an hour on the machine before starting my marathon shopping expedition,I have posted the latest stage of my work. Yet MORE french knots tonight!!!!!

The coloured lines will, I hope, disappear when the romeo is dissolved.

A very good friend of mine is sixty soon and I am helping to organise her present from some of her friends, so a quick???? visit to her hubby while she was at work to collect photos to have made into canvas's at Barleylands. While there, I went to Craft Arena to get the felting needles that are needed for one of our Schoolhouse Arts workshops in June. While there I bought a pack of the Jet FX paper to play with, I love to use text in my work, just got to learn where the button to mirror image is, on my computer.
It was then on to Basildon, looking for more birthday pressies as Kezzy has two parties next week, school shoes, and cotton voile and or organdy and of course, food. (My fridge is always empty by Thursday, wish my family wouldn't eat so much) I couldn't find cotton voile or organdy in the shops, but tomorrow, Nickie and I are going to Sheffield University for the Embroiderer's Guild A.G.M., 'Melody of Stitch'. We are leaving at 6.30a.m. ,( it's a three and a half hour journey) so I think I will be having an earlyish night! The good news is, that there are traders there, so I might get my fabric there!

Thursday 16 April 2009

Isn't it finished yet?

This was my son's first comment to me as he got in from work and saw me stitching away on my sewing machine. I have spent a good fours hours on it so far today, not too long before I can wash away the Romeo. Off to do some more work, french knots now, and will post piccy with my next blog.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

In the dog house

I hope that you all have enjoyed the Easter break and managed to do something creative.
I spent a lot of the time while I was at my mother's stitching my wall hanging. It is an image from the Sutton Hoo helmet and I am stitching it slightly larger than A3, white on white.I traced the image onto Romeo water soluble and made up a quilt sandwich. I have spent hours machine and hand stitching it and have very sore fingers from doing all the French Knots!!! (still a lot more to do)
I did have a break on Saturday to go to Milton Keynes. We needed to get some bits for my brother from Hobbycraft.( It is a larger store than Basildon) I managed to find some bits for myself there as well. We then had a lovely time at Borders, a cup of Star Bucks coffee and a long browse at all the craft books and magazines.
A detour via Rainbow Silks on the way home yesterday, for a bit more retail therapy. Nickie and I needed some fabrics for the Ruth Issett workshop we are doing next week, I got some viscose velvet (wonderful fabric, I could sit and stroke it all day) cotton lawn and linen.

Today, in between housework, popping into school to get my classroom ready for next week and visiting my 2 elderly gents, I managed to get some more work done on the wall hanging- though-

I did stop for a coffee break in the garden.

This is the view from the bottom of my garden.
Today is my ninth wedding anniversary, and guess who forgot for the second year running?????
Alan is clearing away the evening meal to TRY and make up for it.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

An early Happy Easter everybody.

After three years at Secondary School, my daughter had her first textile lesson on Thursday. They are going to make a bag and we have to drink thirty cartons of Capri Sun drink to make it. For my wall hanging, I collected together all my threads, hand and machine in white.
I have taken a photo of the work so far from the back, a long way to go still! The different textures and threads should create interest to the pattern.

I shall be taking this piece of work away with me when I go to my mothers tomorrow for the Easter break, and do some of the hand stitching on it. I shall be home on Tuesday, going via Rainbow Silks.
My beads have arrived today, so I shall take my sea scroll as well in case I get time to do the picot edge, LOL!!!!!

Free Easter Candy

While having a blogging tea break, I came upon this freebie on Phoenix Crafts. What a prize if you are lucky enough to win!
Here's a list of the goodies:
9 Copic Ciao Markers RV10, RV02, RV04, R20, R29, R32, BG01, BG09, BG23,10 sheets of various Basic Grey paper 12x12, 3 rolls of ribbon, Basic Grey Key Plate Album, X Cut corner rounder punch 5mm, Daisy D's Hinges in copper and patina, Stampers Anonymous Ornate Collages Stamps, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad in Milled Lavender and matching Distress Powder, Sizzlit Medium Die - owl w/branch, Sizzix Embossing folder - diamonds, Various Prima flowers.
Back to my stitching!

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Wall hanging

I have started the wall hanging- going well so far. No photo's of work yet.

Schoolhouse Arts update.

My morning started off with a dash to Chelmsford library to help with the take down of our Embroiderer's Guild exhibition. A lot of the work had been collected on the Sunday so there was not a lot for me to do. The library were very pleased with the exhibition and the feedback that they had had.
I then had to go to a local plant nursery to look for a 60th birthday present for a very good friend. I didn't buy anything for her but found a lovely sheer in a copper colour, just what I need for the vessel I am hoping to make next.
We had a quick meeting last night to run over the final details for the up and coming workshops we are running at Schoolhouse Arts. Margaret is teaching silk paper jewellery on her workshop at the end of this month. On our dabble day we are going to make a wet felt bead necklace, a dry felt stone and a bowl on the embellisher. I will need to make some more samples before that workshop in June. The renovations to the Schoolhouse should be completed in time for the workshop that Pauline Verrinder is giving for us. We only have a few spaces left for her Boogie with books workshop. All workshops are £20, there may be a small additional charge for materials.
My car went to the garage to be mended so I am now house-bound. I hope to get some sewing done!

Sunday 5 April 2009


I have managed to track down the beads I need for my sea scroll from a company called The Bead Trail. As they are open seven days a week and I had a problem with my debit card not working last night, they rang me this morning , took my card details, and they will be in the post tomorrow. How's that for service.
So, as I couldn't do the bead edging, the sun was shining, I have spent a lot of today working in the garden. I also popped to Craft Arena AGAIN! I need to start my wall hanging a.s.a.p. As I am waiting for beads and will be without the car from tomorrow afternoon for a couple of days (it's going for a face lift), I needed to get some bits for the wall hanging. I have taken my inspiration from a motif on the Sutton Hoo helmet, I will post photo's when/if I have something worthwhile to show.
To keep Hubby happy as the rock cakes had disappeared so quickly, I have also had a baking session, I made a banana loaf and a bread pudding for him.

Saturday 4 April 2009

Free chocolate

This morning our Embroiderer's Guild ran a 'stitch a square' morning at Chelmsford library to promote our Guild. One lady who had stitched nothing but buttons before was brave enough to have a go and she did really well. She says she is going to come to our next meeting. We also have two youngsters who are keen to join our Young Embroiderer's Section. The yellow square was stitched by an eight year old and can't wait until Christmas when she will be old enough to join Y.E. Everyone who came along for the two mornings have said how much they have enjoyed themselves and show interest in joining our Group. A worthwhile exercise.
The girls were were very proud of their work and rightly so, and posed for me with their work.
The exhibition at the library finishes tomorrow, so I shall be back there on Monday to help take it down. I needed to get some beads for my map as I want to put a beaded picot edging along the top. I had some beads left over from a necklace I made sometime ago so I had to go to Franklins to try and match them up. Walking down the town , I was given a free Lindt chocolate by this lovely young man.
The map has now been cut to echo the stitched waves, and as I was unable to find the beads in Chelmsford or Basildon, I shall be searching on the Internet tonight. After trudging round the shops, it was warm enough to sit in the garden and chill with a nice cup of tea.

Friday 3 April 2009

This is how the dolls house arrived at my house on Tuesday night, sooo many bits!
And here it after another session on Wednesday evening, ready for painting. I shall have another evening helping Leslie put on all the fancy bits to the facade of the house.I made a cake tin full of rock cakes yesterday morning for our scrap booking get together, they went down very well, Hubby didn't get much of a look in so I have been asked to make some more.This is like the page we made last night, based on a family tree, this one isn't mine, I have to sort out my photo's before I can construct my page.Th reason for not getting my photo's ready was 'THE MAP'. All the names have now been stitched in, some several times to get them right. All the ends have been sewn in, there was forty four little islands, just think of all those ends!!!!! The water soluble fabric has now been washed out of the Evalon, it's been dried, ironed, sprayed with walnut ink and bonded to the front cover. Tomorrow I shall start beading the top and bottom edges.
It was back to Basildon Court this morning to put in the next court form for the on going saga with 'Granite Man', I will now have to wait until some time in June when it goes to Court to find out when I am going to get my money(fingers crossed). I popped into Craft Arena on the way back from Basildon to get some more Evalon, and found some cotton poplin which I need for the Ruth Issett workshop I am doing in a couple of weeks time. Denise was busy setting up a Textile Art exhibition by Impetus, so I was able to have a little peek at some of the work. I shall look properly next time I am back at the shop. I recognised some of the names as they are members of our Guild. The exhibition opens tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the ERTF meeting. I am unable to go as Chelmsford Embroiderer's Guild are back at the library hosting another 'stitch a square' morning.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Map update.

I have spent some of today stitching in all the small islands and sewing in 'hundreds'( it certainly felt like it) of ends on my map. I also started stitching in some of the Anglo-Saxon place names. The end is in sight, hopefully I shall start constructing it on Friday.
I have spent another evening at playing 'Bob the Builder' with my friend and the dolls house is now ready for painting. We can't believe that we managed it, we only needed help with putting the hinges on the doors from my hubby.
Tomorrow night I have friends and oldest daughter coming round for a scrapbook evening. I shall have to make some cakes first thing tomorrow morning.