Sunday, December 20, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 19- English countryside. ...... inspiring.

Am thinking of using some landscape photos I took last year to develop some new pieces of work.  Love the sky in this one.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Day 18.. great excitement it has arrived!

The book has finally arrived.. we had 3 postal deliveries today ( unheard of normally!) .. I know there were 3, as I had been watching out for this delivery. I knew from Facebook that some of my mates had already had theirs delivered by the postie, so I was somewhat impatient and green with envy.
My package also had a lovely surprise of some gold paint included, for me to play with.
Forgive me though I had to give it the treatment, with the new free software. Just cannot stop messing about with it. ..... but now must leave you .....I have a book to read.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Day 17---more playing with images

Can't stop playing with the layers option in, the free software programm that Maggie Grey showed us on her blog. .
Last month I was teaching a group..... how to make a start on developing sketchbooks...... and we sketched and took photos around the town of Cricklade, where we were meeting. It was great fun.
This is  a photo of the Church seen through a gateway.... and I have enjoyed playing with layers today to create this image. I should be wrapping Christmas presents and stuff like that, but am enjoying playing on the computer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Day 16 - free software and more playing....

Maggie Grey gave me the heads up about this free software program .... see her tutorial on her blog here, I used a photo of a hedge to try out her tutorial on layers.... so easy to do on ( just google it) 
Not content.. I then used Artistic sketch from the menu.. and also inverted the photo again...... fascinating and very easy program to use.... thanks Maggie G.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Day 15 - playing with and reviewing my sketchbooks

Just a couple of sketchbook pages.... I am enjoying this sort of free work in my sketchbooks.. but the time has come to review it. I had a chat with fellow artist Bev .... and feel I am on the way to creating a meaningful review. Now is the time to play with fabrics and thread and mark making.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day 13 - sky tonight

Really should have written dusk rather than tonight ... loved the colours... magical.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Day 11--- Christmas post

Its the time of year that this post box gets lots of use by the nearby residents. The postman delivering every morning to the houses also has lots of work to do. Exciting isn't it?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Day 10- the Parkinsons Disease Carers Christmas lunch

This is an unofficial group that came together on Wednesday afternoons whilst the PD sufferers went to an exercise class organised by the local Parkinsons UK branch. Their website link is here.
As carers we found we had a lot in common, and so for the last 3 years we have ben meeting for a Christmas get together at the Blunsdon House  Hotel,  we are always well looked after.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Day 9-- nostalgic summer visit

Took this photo back in the summer, whilst walking through  Burford.  Down by the River Windrush, is this wonderful bench with flower pots. Waiting for a bus here is a delightful experience. Think Burford are definitely setting the standard for thoughtful seating whilst waiting for a bus.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Day 8- Christmas lunch

Isn't it a wonderful feeling when a group work together well? 
My stitching group today all contributed to the Christmas lunch at the meeting.. soup, bread, cheese or desert. What a spread and plenty for everyone. The photo shows the end of the lunch, not a lot left!
We had fun too.. a secret Santa raffle and Christmas crackers too.
Lots of social chat as well. Perfect.
Of course ..... there was the washing up as well..... !

Monday, December 07, 2015

Day 7- the walk

Winter is certainly here... although the weather is quite mild and there has been a lull in the gales and storms. The weather forecasters are threatening bad weather again for later this week.
Took the opportunity to take a quick stroll again today and this piece of pavement furniture always makes me smile..... mind the low flying bicycles! 

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Day 6- Taking a walk... and selling a Singer

As I had to post a birthday card today, and as it is only a short walk to the post box, I also took the opportunity to take a 5 minute stroll around the neighbourhood to see what is going on.
I came across this park bench, that someone has decided to repaint, think they have made a good job of it..... I really like it. The original colour was that royal blue.
I also came across 2 delightful puppies, 12 weeks old........ they were cocker- poos.... suspect they are specially bred these days, in olden times they would have been called cross bred mongrels'. These days I suspect they are designer puppies.. fashions change! Never the less, they were gorgeous dogs.

I am trying to have a bit of a sort out, and I have kept this hand cranked machine for myself. Until now... have decided it is time to find it a new home. It stitches beautifully, but it does not have a wooden cover. I have always kept it covered with one of my hand dyed Shibori cloths.  It is such a pretty machine. I think it dates from 1919.. nearly 100 years old. I hope I can find it a loving new home.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Day 5- stitching and flowers too.

I have been continuing some more slow stitching, it is very relaxing, but this piece of work needs some good light to work to.
The daylight was quite good for most of today, but I do find these colours quite difficult by electric light. 
Same quilt in the background as yesterdays post, but some more wonderful flowers.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Day 4 -Some more special flowers

These are beautiful roses, I received them yesterday. The quilt hanging on the wall behind is one of my hand painted watercolour quilts. I thought the colours went together so well.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Day 2 -Handwerk.. working with the hands


I always seem happiest if I have some thread, yarn or fabric in my fingers. This yarn was particularly pleasant .. quite soft and great to knit with. The colours were a bit odd when combined, but they were free of charge. So cannot complain.
This photo was taken at Hampton Court, on the  Green at the Handmade Fair , it was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday and this cable knitting was one of the workshops on offer. Great fun.
This venue bought back many happy memories of the time we lived at Hampton Hill, just up the road. The lovely craft/yarn shop I used to frequent in that locality has long gone. A sign of the times I'm afraid.
Probably the same everywhere now. I can remember going in to the shop every week to buy and ounce or two of the wool I had put by to create a jumper. Did that regularly until the jumper was finished Very different times.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Day 1 -Stitching slowly.......

Something I seem to have been doing for a long time now, slow stitching, seems to have been taken up as a new movement and gaining momentum in the craft magazines. Some advocates are developing stitch retreats, articles and books to help develop awareness.
I think anyone who has enjoyed hand stitching .. or even other hand crafts like knitting or crochet, probably are aware of the soothing and relaxing medative state of mind that can happen when absorbed by the technique of hand work.
Here, in my small piece of embroidery,  I have combined eyelets made on my Bernina sewing machine with the eyelet attachment, and then surrounded the machined eyelets with  hand stitch .. in this particular case, chain stitching in a variegated thread. Pure bliss to stitch.
The stitching will probably end soon, as I have lost the variegated thread....... might be a slow process to find out where I stowed it away safely. Always the way isn't it?
There is also some interesting articles in the latest edition of Through our Hands online magazine......... have a look here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thought this was a good idea, as I have neglected my blog and have felt for some time that I wanted to work on it again.

I find it difficult to access my blog via my tablet..... and so have had to change my way of communicating.

You can find out more about this challenge here.

I used to really enjoy keeping up with my blogging buddies, and so lets hope many of you take up the challenge.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Journal Quilts and dying

I have been taking part in the Contemporary quilters Journal quilt challenge..... I decided to use my Bernina780 for all 12 quilts and challenge myself to finding out all the controls and settings on the machine for what I am trying to achieve. It is great fun. I have decided to use white cotton fabric and white cotton thread ( it will allow me to dye the journal quilts at the end).
Here I am trying to use my new found knowledge about the embroidery module..... am loving the challenge. However it does not show up very well in the photo!
 I have just heard today that some of mine will be on show at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August, and then they will be on tour with ICHF shows. Better get some sleeves attached to the back of my journal quilts and get them in the post soon.

The weather has turned summery here these last few days despite some strong winds, so I have been dyeing some fabrics. I inherited the fabrics last year and they have been waiting to be coloured ... am really pleased with the results, just what I wanted. I used the warm primary colours this time and have amazed myself with the pleasing results.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Stitching and flowers in the garden

Some hand stitching has been going on, I am preparing for an exhibition in Lyme Regis in September.... so had better get cracking. Hand stitching does take time, but is a little more portable, and means I can snatch moments here and there amongst my caring duties.

A little later this year as it is usually in full flower by 18th May.... but always a delight, joined this year by some lovely violas I managed to get at Lechlade garden Centre.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bernina course in London

The opportunity to spend two days in London to attend the Bernina Machine course filled me with excitement. Rail tickets were booked, and the respite care too and the family were mobilised. Quite an organisation network to allow me to attend the course.

I loved it.. and learnt a lot of the nuances and tricks of the new sewing machine. I just love my Bernina 780.... amazing machine.

I am so grateful  to everyone who made it possible for me to attend. I was a bit worried about getting tickets for the tube and details like that..... but it all went very well, and I have to say the London underground staff were superb in helping me when I needed it.

The room at Bogod was light and airy, and with only 4 of us on the course we were assured of lots of individual attention.

This piece of work has featured heavily on Bernina promotional material In the past, so it was lovely to see it close at hand.
I am so pleased that I decided to travel home each night, and I think Herr Schnauzer and Mr Siamese were relieved too. On the train journey home I was able to reflect on my learning during the day and make some helpful notes to myself.
Brilliant ! 

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Now for some stitching

I was lucky enough to be able to go and see Amanda Hislops lovely exhibition at Coleshill Community Shop , it is a lovely gallery space tucked away in this National Trust Village.
I had a lovely lunch of baked beans on toast and a pot of tea, surrounded by her lovely work.
Meanwhile I have been experiencing a steep learning curve on my new Bernina, I have been creating my own designs and digitising with the dedicated software and working with quilting. I have just purchased the supreme slider for Free machine quilting and I am using it in this photo, have to say it works well, but it is expensive to buy.

This is another of my digitised designs, and then free machine quilted with stippling. Its been fun to do all this. I have signed up to go on the Bernina course in London shortly, so I hope to learn a lot of the tricks of the trade.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


This is the River Thames at Lechlade, a beautiful stretch of the river, and boats can be seen moored here .

This photo is taken from the bridge, and I know all my children and their friends have jumped into the Thames from this bridge, a dangerous activity, but almost a right of passage for teenagers who live around here. Makes me cringe to think about it.
Our reason for going to Lechlade was on a visit with the Open Door group from Cricklade to the Lechlade garden centre. I have to say we had a most enjoyable time, and it is totally wheelchair accessible. We had a lovely lunch in the restaurant and then made some purchases for the garden. I wanted to hide the water butts and these shrubs are just right for the job

Then this Obelisk caught my eye.... and I just had to have it! Also a Jasmine to grow inside.

The problem was we travelled in a full minibus.. no space for plants.... but no worries the garden centre was happy to deliver. So we had a really lovely outing thanks to Open Door.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Studio move........

My lovely studio in the process of being emptied to make way for the hospital bed which will now take over this space.

This will be my new studio space.... it has taken so much organising and moving , I have not stitched in here yet, but granddaughter took full advantage today to do some of her stitching. She now had her own stitching kit and box. No stopping her.

Dorset Day 2015

It was a cold and frosty morning as we started the two and a half hour journey to the Hamworthy Club near Poole in Dorset for the Dorset Day activities. Our group - Great Western Embroiderers were charged with organising the day for West country Embroiderers. The day was organised by myself and Margaret,  and we also had numerous helpers from the group. They did a fantastic job too. 

Anita Bruce was our speaker and we were looking forward to seeing her work and discovering how she completed her work. Do have a look at her work here....amazing!

The lull in proceedings before the doors opened to the public..... traders are in place and tables all set. Last minute discussions by members of Great Western Embroiderers..

One  of the first to arrive is the President of West Country Embroiderers -Maggie Grey and her husband Clive and also the speaker Anita.

The Hall soon starts to fill up and the traders are doing some brisk business too. In the centre is a small exhibition of the Great western Embroiderers work, and members were happy to explain the work they had completed.

A chance for the dodger meet photo.

The charity to benefit from the main raffle this year is Parkinsons Uk Swindon Branch, and members and traders were very generous in their support. ( more later)

I was delighted to be presented with this little posy of yellow roses.. absolutely gorgeous. Thank you.

The journey home in warm sunshine was uneventful and here Salisbury Cathedral was basking in the afternoon sun. We were very happy but weary when we finally arrived home. A great day.

At the end of March the Swindon group of Parkinson's Uk had their monthly meeting and we (Mags and I) presented the charity cheque from the Dorset Day raffle  to Dave Logan the chairman of the group.
The PD group had also  asked me to give my talk - my creative journey...... to them. In appreciation I was given this beautiful bouquet of flowers.