Saturday, 12 December 2009

Crafty stuff and socks

We had our annual craft Fayre at My DH's work place on Tuesday, so I was quite busy getting my contribution ready for it all last week.

I belong to the knitting group and our challenge was to make miniature stockings just big enough for a chocolate. I managed 4, which doesn't sound very many, but they take about 2 hrs each by the time you've sewn them up and made the hanger.

For my own table I made a patchwork cushion with the patchwork packs that I've been selling on my Etsy shop.

It worked well as I sold 3 packs when people realised that they could make a whole cushion front with the 25 squares, relatively easily, and it was nice to see them get excited about having a simple, pleasing textile project to get their teeth into.

I also made a couple of small FME pieces, having been inspired by the Talking Threads program that's been on Sky TV recently.

Too much watching Meerkat Manor on TV

And a couple more pieces went off for Chrismas presents too, which was nice.

At last!! I finished my socks!!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Creative weekend

This weekend my 3 DD's and myself treated ourselves to a creative retreat as my DH was off on a boys w/e at an RSPB reserve.

The girls all had lovely ideas for things to make and had been looking forward to the w/e for several weeks.

My DD1 wanted to make an advent calendar like the one I made for them when they were young, and this is the gorgeous result she came up with.

I know her children will just love it tomorrow.

My DD3 decided that it was time her little son had something more than a feather duster to ride around the house on after he'd been watching the horses pass by their window every day.

I think he'll be one happy little chap on Christmas day, don't you? He's also got some lovely bunting and bags for his new bedroom.

My DD2 decided to take a well earned break from fabrics and join her Mum and Grandmother in our passion for knitting.

We were all ready for a lovely feast on Saturday evening and started the meal with this baked camembert.

My DD's work extremely hard juggling work commitments with caring for their families and it was lovely to be able to spoil them a little bit over the w/e and see their wonderful creative talents blossom.
Thanks for making it sooo..... special, can't wait for the next one.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Alice Holt Artists Christmas show 09

It's that time of year again!
I can't beleive we've just staged our annual Christmas art show agian. Doesn't time fly.

As usual my DH Mike, myself and our friend Shirley, whose web site is in the making, had a great show at the Forestry Commission, for the third year running.

I was pleased to have put together 18 pieces most of which were new work, and some were pieces that I'd completed on my C&G.

As ever Mike had plenty of work to show and a lovely selection of his African pictures, which proved very popular.

Shirley's Lino prints looked beautiful and I'm rather hoping I might get her lovely Heron, in the foreground, in my Christmas stocking :-)

I was pleased to sell my first mini quilt, especially as I was told it was a Christmas present for an interior designer.

The punk on the left was also a Christmas present for someone's brother.

The lizard was a new lino print, the inspiration for which came from our African safari, so it was particularly satisfying to sell it, as I have decided to return to my lino printing after being very inspired by Shirley'e lovely work.

It was also nice to sell African inspirations, on the left, as I'm planning to make my quilt for the FOQ 2010 on this theme.

It was lovely to meet up with lots of people and have the chance to display some new work, to an enthusiastic audience.

Monday, 9 November 2009

2 thank yous

First of all I'd like to say a big thank you to all those lovely people who sent messages of comfort to us, on the parting of our lovely old dog. We are still missing him hugely, but are coming to terms with it and trying to remember the fun times we had together.

I had meant to post about our lovely w/e with our DS and DW, in Cardiff on 31st.

We arrived with them after they finished work on the Friday and had a lovely meal of Vegetable Wellington, followed by Pecan pie, cooked by our DIL, after her hard days work, it was a great treat, and very much appreciated

The following morning I started my day in perfect fashion, with a swim and spa (part of their complex facilities) and then of course we had to make our pilgrimage to Craft in the Bay where we all had yummy cakes and coffee.

I spotted this wonderful embroidery by Louise Gardiner , one day when I'm very rich I'd like to have a series of her pieces, they'd make me smile every day.

After that we went off to Roath Park for a lovely walk around the lake, which is huge for a town lake.

And here's the happy couple.

The Autumn colour was brilliant.

And how about this for shear textural magic.

And pattern.......

After we'd had our fill of the gardens we had a look at the new shopping centre in Cardiff, John Lewis is amazing, can't wait for another visit.

Then on the way back I spotted this amazing shoe shop, sadly too old for most of these now.

For our evening entertainment our DS had spotted a 'Light up the night" extravaganza at Dyffryn gardens, but what we hadn't expected was lots of very excited children all dressed up waiting to be spooked on Halloween. It was brilliant, lots of shrieks and blood curdling screams from witches and ghouls, plus the amazing spectacle of the garden lit up at night.

And then on the back to the car we spotted this!

We finished off the evening with a lovely meal at Penarth and were lucky enough to have table with a sea view.

I started Sunday the same way as Saturday and we both felt really chilled out and thoroughly spoilt when we left for Redditch to pick up my CHF exhibition piece.

So a belated thanks to you both for a stunning w/e.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Saying goodbye

On Monday my DH and I had to say goodbye to our lovely old dog Bentley who was nearly 12 years old.

He had had a progressive paralysis of his back legs, which had been working its way up from his toes to his spine for the past couple of years, and he finally collapsed on Monday and couldn't be moved from our van.

The house is very quiet without him, he used to bark loudly at anything that moved at the end of the garden and frequently got a telling off for it, and now I would love to lean out of the window and tick him off.

He was a great friend, listening patiently to all my woes over the last 11 years. He never blamed me for bad moods, just waited till I felt better and was ready to pet him.

He was a big dog with an even bigger heart and we miss him hugely.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Patchwork packs launch

As I mentioned in my last post, I was going to make up some patchwork packs from the left over fabrics of my DD1's baby carrier business.

Well I've posted the first pack on my Etsy shop

These are the patterns I've selected for the first pack, so do pop across to see the details if you're interested.

And now to the draw, courtesy of my DH, looking suitably impartial :-)

Coincidentally it was Laura who won, which is really weird as I won her draw last week. I'll send a different pack so as not to spoil the surprise Laura, unless you really want this one.

Monday, 19 October 2009

This and that

The other weekend we went for a lovely bike ride around Hayling Island. There's a very good cycle track along the beach and along the way I found this wonderful Sea Holly.

I liked it so much that I did a copy in sepia (in the camera), I was quite pleased with the way it came out.

On the way round we saw this wonderful charred log, it was a pity someone had set light to it, but then there wouldn't have been this lovely texture.

We stayed for the day and were treated to this lovely sunset, anyone who knows the area will recognise the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth in the distance.

It was a lovely day, but we certainly knew we were out of cycling practice the next day.

With the sudden onset of cold weather I've decided to make my socks a priority, and have sucessfully turned the heel on the first one, hooray!!!!!

Likewise my jacket seems to be a good idea too, it'll be a long project though, I've jut got to page 3 of 10 pages of instructions.

The interfacing's in and the darts successfully negotiated.

The lapels have been pad stitched and the roll line set to make them roll back. I was very impressed with the pattern instructions, it even told you to pad stitch the conners of the lapelsin a different direction and size so they turned into the body of the jacket. Hmmm!!!!!! clever.

Finally, and unbelievably it was my second blog B/day yesterday, I can't beleive I've been blogging for 2 years. It's been really great, I've learned so much from everyone and had such wonderful support, thank you all so much.

I'm going to start making patchwork packs of the lovely fabrics that my DD1 uses for her Connecta baby carriers and put them up for sale on my Etsy shop, so if anyone would like a pre sale pack just put a comment here and I'll put your name in the hat for my blog b/day. I'll draw it on Friday.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Shopping therapy and goodies in the post

I had a lovely visit to the Knitting and Stitch show on Sunday with DD2. We had a great girlie day out and both spent 'loads of dosh', as you do! I heard lots of conversations at the end of the day regarding hiding credit card receipts etc., but then it is only once a year.

I thought I'd make quite sure I had enough projects to do for the next year, or 3, so bought some lovely skirt fabric, some superfine woven interfacing, wonderful stuff, a fat quarter from the African fabric stand, for my present project, and lastly this gorgeous hat and hand warmer pattern in the softest alpaca wool.

Last year I was really disappointed not to get a Clover iron and everywhere I went they said they were being discontinued, so I was thrilled to bits when I saw this one for sale on one of the stands.

And lastly I couldn't go to the show and not buy a book, could I, so this year I just had to have 2, well, it would have been rude not to :-)

We both arrived home absolutely exhausted, but had a lovely day, how lucky am I to have DD's who all love working with textiles.

I've had some lovely goodies in the post too, firstly this gorgeous PC from Sandy which was her entry for September Calendar Girls challenge. We had a Hundertwasser painting for inspiration this month.

And this was my interpretation, I went for lollipop flowers instead if trees.

Sandy also very kindly included this gorgeous fat quarter with my PC, I love it.

Finally I was delighted to be the winner of Laura's give-away and received this lovely bag and stamp in the post this morning, thank you so much.