Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Edging sorted out.

I finished taking off all the hundreds of beads,(well it seemed that there was that many when I was stitching them along the edges) this evening. After trying kebab sticks, covered wire and acrylic rods, I ended up using some silver narrow flattened metal I bought years ago when I was at a model train show with hubby, I knew it would come in handy one day!
Three edges left to do and then I can continue sewing more purple beads on. ( the vessel isn't red, it is just the lighting taking pictures this time of night)

Monday, 30 August 2010


Here is the vessel before I started taking off the beads along the top. The four corner pockets are heavy and keep pulling the vessel inwards and the beads wont sit nicely. If I was allowed to turn the pockets out, the vessel stays in shape. As I can't, once all the beads are off I shall put something firm, as yet to be decided, along the edge before re-beading.
I have put little purple beads on the end of each spiral, used some of the little flowers in the circles.

It looks a lot like Autumn is here

A lovely weekend at Mum's. She is now just beginning to take a few steps without her crutch, and is looking forward to being able to start driving again soon. Alan and I had lots of little jobs to do for her. One, was to deliver some post locally and as I don't go anywhere without my camera.......... A bee on echinops-above.
With all the rain we have had, it will be a good crop of blackberries this year.

And the same for elderberries.

Half way home it started raining hard, and as I was taking this photo, I was getting some very strange looks from the men outside the pub opposite standing in the smoking shelter.

Mum says that this is a sure sign that Autumn is here, these are growing under her apple trees.
I have been stitching the beads on my RRC vessel and having spent a lot of Saturday and a good bit of Sunday stitching Indian silver beads all along the top, I am not happy with how they are sitting- I feel it is going to be a case of a lot of reverse stitching tonight!

Friday, 27 August 2010


I so enjoyed the 02 exhibition at Hyde Hall, that I went back for a second viewing today with Diane, Jackie and Miriam. I just couldn't walk past these berries without taking some photo's. Yesterday when I was in my garden, you could smell and feel Autumn in the air, and these berries just prove it.
We all enjoyed the exhibition and they have sold quite a few pieces of work. We had lunch in the lovely old barn, before going our separate ways.
I spent a couple of hours with my friend Eric, a lovely man who forgets he is 96 and wanted to climb up the ladder to the loft while I was there!!
Back home instead of creating with fabric or paint, I did some cooking. First of all Prawn Pooris- an Indian fried bread with a curried prawn and spinach topping, for our evening meal. Then 'teabag stew' aka beef carbonade- beef cooked in Newcastle Brown with a garlic bread topping and last of all the strawberry and mascarpone flan to take to Mum's tomorrow.
The hands are now sewn on my King so that is another job crossed off my list:0)

Thursday, 26 August 2010


I managed to finish my vessel this evening, wasn't sure if I would.
Next job on my list is to put the hands on King Henry. I have already coloured them with alcohol inks ready for stitching tomorrow. Off to Mums for the Bank Holiday weekend, we would normally go Friday night, but Hubby wants to travel in daylight so will leave earlyish Saturday instead.
I shall work on embellishing my RRC vessel while at Mums. These are the bits I bought at FOQ to use on it, more bling, you can tell I live in Essex!!

I like to have a list to help me keep focused on what I need to achieve. I find though as one thing is crossed off, I need to add at least two more to my never-ending list!


I found a lovely surprise on my doorstep when I got home from Basildon-an Agapanthus, 'Midnight Star' from Nickie for driving her to the FOQ at the weekend. I had been on the look out for a dark blue one, as when we were in Cornwall, all the Agapanthus's (which grow very well there) were a lot darker than the ones I already have. We saw the dark blue variety last week when we went to Hyde Hall to see the 02 exhibition, and I wanted to get one. We spent so long in the exhibition that the RHS nursery was shut when we went home.
Out shopping a lot longer than I wanted or intended- kept threatening to have a rocket medically inserted into Kezzy to make her move faster!

Vessel mark 3 -update

Vessel mark 3 is nearly complete, a bit more cutting and then joining it together- fingers crossed that it goes ok. Photo's later if all works out.
I am aiming at finishing it today but first of all it off to shop for Kezzy's school uniform.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Vessel mark 3

It's surprising what can be achieved when you don't let yourself get distracted.
I worked until quite late last night and up with the sparrows this morning. The machine stitching is now completed, water soluble washed out and I am now ready to start embellishing it with the beads and buttons.

Monday, 23 August 2010

It could have been worse!!!!

I posted this photo of my vessel on Friday night to show you where I was with it. I didn't get any stitching done on it over the weekend-too busy enjoying myself!
After putting my goodies away, rather than play with some ides in my head, I decided I must work on the vessel if I am to finish it by Thursday evening. I cut out the remaining areas with my soldering iron and I was just snipping away a bit of excess fabric, when the scissors slipped.
I had cut through one petal. AAAHHHH!!!!!!!!
So now working on vessel mark 3. At least it wasn't the hanging, no way could that be re-made in the time available. A few late night's ahead I think!

FOQ- shopping.

Well, I came home with just coins in my purse, to be expected really. I went with a shopping list and managed to get most of the items on it, plus, quite a few that were not!!
Not in the photo was some fabric for dyeing and some books, can't go to a show without buying at least one book.
I want to learn how to manipulate photos for using in my work and I hope that one of the books I chose, will be in layman's terms for me, it looks like it, but wont know until I try it out.
I liked the bags that we got from Craftynotions, so much so that Nickie and I begged another one and then we wouldn't use them in case they got torn. They have been made in India from old newspapers by an NGO, and the idea is that when these bags are bought by retailers they help provide education and shelter for the street children.

I was lucky enough to get a £5 voucher for being spotted with my catalogue showing the back page, it had to be spent on Coates products, not a problem, I like Alcazar threads. ( I actually got spotted twice, and I was allowed to give the second one to Nickie)

FOQ, and there's more!!

I forgot to post a picture of this wonderful figure created by Marie Roper, if money was no object this would be in my lounge now!!! I don't know why it only got 2nd!!! I got to meet up with JP, aka Janice. She won a book on my blog some time ago and since then we have been keeping in touch. When we found out that we were going to be at the FOQ at the same time we arranged to meet for coffee. We had so much to talk about!!! I felt like I was meeting with a friend of many years. Great to meet you Janice.

Nickie and I had a fantastic time, even though we were there for 2 days we still didn't get to see everything. Next year we will be going for 3 days at least!
Now off to pack my FOQ shopping.


Here are just a few more photos of work that I enjoyed, it was hard to choose which photos to blog here.

FOQ- Hearts and Roses.

Christina Henri from Tasmania had an idea some to get bonnets made to represent the 25,566 women that were sent out to Australia on the convict boats. She was at the FOQ with some of her bonnets that have been made. She was selling patterns and kits in her endeavour to reach her target by 2012 when she is hoping the bonnets will be blessed in St. Paul's Cathedral, London. This bonnet was on the wall leading to the display, isn't it wonderful!

There are over four and a half thousand bonnets here (one of them is mine, all the English bonnets were put on the floor at the front). The sea of bonnets was very moving and thought provoking. June (above) a member of EAST and our E.G helped with setting up the display and manning the stall. It was through June that our EG Branch made some bonnets. After the show, we met up with June at our hotel for an evening meal and a chance for a good natter.

FOQ cont.

While waking round the show I tried to find the work created by the artists whose blogs I read.
Carolyn's lovely quilt based on her home town of St. Ives. And another more detailed picture. Lovely embellishments used but my photo does not do it justice.
The one above is by Margaret, water is so hard to capture, but she certainly achieved it here.

Above and below by Sandra, sorry for the blurred image, it is hard to hold the camera still when loaded up with bags. I love ferns, we have a bed of ferns in our garden and I get great pleasure watching them unfurl.

Below is Julie's quilt inspired by her holidays in St. Ives.

Below is Helen's quilt, you can just see the delicate stitching of birds on a branch in my photo. I don't know how she managed to get it finished in time with all that has been going on in her life!


I am having to do these posts in bits as Blogger is playing up this morning.
When we arrived at the FOQ, a slow journey due to the rain and roadworks, the first quilt we saw as we walked in was Nickie's.
Nickie got a highly commended for this quilt based on her trip to NZ.

Friday, 20 August 2010

FOQ here we come!!

I have nearly completed melting away the surplus fabric around the flowers but had to give up when I couldn't see my stitching in artificial light. I am taking it away with me to Birmingham in case I get a chance to start stitching on some beads. At the moment it is only pinned on my glass vessel to give you an idea of what it should look like. Mum is going into hospital at the beginning of September and I m going down to look after her for a few days. I shall need some hand stitching to do. So just in case I didn't have the right beads and need to buy some at the FOQ, I have trialled a few tonight. As it has a raw edge at the top, I have decided to do buttonhole stitch with a bead, ala Linda Kemshall. I found I had the right beads, though rather small, I like them, my other silver beads are just too big and bright.

My bags are packed and I will be in bed this side of midnight for a change as it will be an early start tomorrow.


Nickie and I were invited to the preview of the O.T.T. 'Bloomin' Marvellous' exhibition at Hyde Hall, and it certainly was bloomin' marvellous!
I have posted just a taster of some of the work on display. I would be hard pressed to choose just one piece as a favourite as I saw so many that I liked. Well worth a visit if you are in the Chelmsford area. Above is some of Zoe Cox's work.

This is a piece by Karen Ives. They were doing a colour catalogue at a very reasonable price so I bought one so that I can continue to enjoy their work.
Who said Essex was flat?

I just love these walls.
I saw these berries on the way back to the car, rather an unusual shape we thought.
An early start tomorrow as we are of to the FOQ. :0)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Flower panel

It took another one and three quarter hours of cutting out the flowers to complete the task, a total of just under ten hours, no wonder my neck aches!

In spite of all those hours cutting, I have enjoyed making it, although I wouldn't be in hurry to do another one.
Tomorrow afternoon Nickie and I are off to the preview of the 02 Textile exhibition, 'Bloomin' Marvellous' at Hyde Hall, near Chelmsford, a good start to our textile weekend!


After several attempts, I have managed to make slippers for my King. The photo I used for my inspiration shows Henry VIII wearing this style of shoe., but I had to add some bling!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Henry has been crowned this evening and his antennae are also in place. I have managed to spend another hour cutting around the flowers on the panel, the end is now in sight. I have also continued working on my vessel. I would like to get the water soluble washed out before I go away to the FOQ, so that I can start to embellish it Saturday evening at the hotel.

I have got Tony's wife round for lunch tomorrow, so I have made the cake that Gina posted about at the weekend. It was so easy and it really does taste good, and I shall be making it again next week to take to Mum's.

I have also made the Stilton and apple bread that we had at Cambridge on Saturday. I am not sure how it will taste, as Nickie popped round and we were so busy talking I didn't hear the alarm go, to signal that I had to add the Stilton. It's in, but I don't know how well mixed it is as it was at the cook stage by then! It does smell good enough to eat though.