Sunday, 31 July 2011

Well Dressed Malvhina

Got a surprise when I went into Malvern with DH whilst he was on holiday.  Malvhina had been decorated for a well dressing to celebrate something.  (Not sure what it was now).  She is located opposite the Deli where you can get delicious home made soups and cakes.  Yum Yum!!!

Messing About

I discovered one of the pieces of calico which I had created at Stitching in the Dales and decided that I would add some colour to the piece.  My inspiration was a lathe and plaster wall which had been exposed on an old building in Knaresborough.  The calico had been hand stitched with various thicknesses of natural white thread.  A coat of PVA/Emulsion/plaster was painted all over the piece and left to dry.

I then used an old credit card to drag acrylic paint in various colours over the surface.  The stitches and texture of the applied coating created a resist so that the paint was not evenly spread.  I incorporated several of the acrylic quinacrodone colours in this peice which have an amazing luminosity.

I was not happy with the first effort so decided to coat the whole piece with some black Quink ink, which I then washed off under a running tap.  I am now thinking of waxing the whole piece and might make it into a book cover.  I may add some more stitching too.  It was going to be a small hanging, but who knows .....

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Darling husband (DH) was at home last week on holiday and during his forays into wallpaper stripping he found a serious problem in the funny under eaves cupboard in Bedroom 4 which left me feeling pretty dejected.  Disappointed that some of the tradesmen we have contacted for quotes for the first stage of the work are dragging their feet, particularly as I want to get some of the jobs started before the winter - roof and central heating.  I spent a whole day in the Dell cutting a philadelphus down to the ground in the hope that it will rejuvenate it.  I think it thought it was a tree.  It was ever so tall. I may now have killed it I suppose.

Highlight of this week has been going to get my hair cut!!  Apart from that I have had to unpick the second roman blind I am making 4 times as it was just not right. Can't decide if it was the fabric or I had stitched it wrong.  The majority of the stitching was done by hand so cannot see why it should not have been right.

Being stuck at home by myself is not a desirable situation so to cheer me up and inspire me I have booked myself on a one day bookbinding course at the local college which they are running as part of their Summer School.  May enrol in September if I enjoy the course.  Surprised to see they run quite a few textile courses including C&G Embroidery & Patchwork.

Finally got round to ordering myself a couple of tickets for the NEC so plan to be there on the Friday and Sunday.  It only takes an hour from here and is about 40 miles I think.

Just remembered that next week I am doing another patchwork workshop at Newent with Helen Keenan - think it is called Landscapes so shall have to find some reference material and unearth my sewing stuff.  Last week DH moved all my boxes to enable him to do the wallpaper stripping, but has not put them back so this task could take me some time.

Monday, 18 July 2011

The View from here ....

This is not really the best photograph to illustrate the view  ....  however, Waitrose in Malvern must have the best location in the country where panoramic views from the car park are concerned.  You can see for miles.  I guess this is looking out towards Worcester.  My sense of direction is terrible.

Who can this be?

I really enjoyed my visit to Yorkshire and the company of my little canine friend 'Clover'.  I do not think Charming Husband will ever let me have a dog of my own so shall have to make the most of those belonging to other people.  The exhibition at Studio Six in Pateley Bridge was excellent and made me want to get back to doing some work of my own, however, making blinds and curtains is a more important task at the moment.  There is only a certain amount of time that your neighbours will put up with bare windows.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

British Camp

Managed to persuade Derek he should go for a walk this morning and we went up to British Camp.  The views in all directions are breathtaking.  You can also park, although you have to pay.

I almost cracked my sides laughing before we set off. Delightful husband had stood in some cat poo several weeks ago and had never really got round to cleaning his shoes properly so they had been stood outside the back door.

When he went to put them on there was something in the bottom of one of them .... a dead mouse .... not only was it a dead mouse, but it had been there for some time and was well rotted.  Yuk!!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Celebrating Achievement Exhibition

12 - 29 July 2011 - 10.00 - 5.00 daily
Number 6, Studio 3, The Old Workhouse, Pateley Bridge

This exhibition starts with the Preview evening on Tuesday, 12 July between 6 - 8 pm and runs until 29 July.  It promises to be very good and I am going to try and make an effort to come up to the preview evening and catch up with some friends at the same time.

Of course with me it is the usual story ... I never got any of my pieces finished, but I did have a good excuse - the horrendous challenge of having to move house and relocate miles away.

Mouse Holes

Sox has really surpassed himself this week.

After giving the impression of being a laid back, lazy, bird and squirrel watching cat he caught an enormous mouse this week and carried it into the house dumping it on the hall carpet for all to see.  It appeared to be a wood mouse and solves the problem of what all the nice neat round holes are around the edge of the lawn where it meets the drive.  It was so big that I thought it must be a baby rat.  Its size must have been down to the fact that it had been living on all the bird food thrown out of the feeders on the Laburnum tree by the greenfinches that visit regularly.

Textile Bazaar, Much Marcle

After spending the morning in Ledbury I went on to the Textile Bazaar at Hellens Manor, near Much Marcle.  There was an array of textiles on offer in one of the barns and it very much reminded me of a scaled down version of the Vintage Textile Fair in Manchester.

The manor itself is surrounded by lovely gardens, unfortunately I did not manage to participate in a tour of the house which dates from the time of the Domesday Book and looked to be very interesting.

In the evening John Gillow, author of 'World Textiles' - amongst other publications - was giving a talk and I would have loved to have been able to stay for this.

Ledbury Exhibition

Managed to pop into the 'Moon Rainbow' exhibition at the Weaver Gallery in Ledbury as two members of Worcester EG have work on display.

This exhibition of stitched textiles is in association with the Ledbury Poetry Festival and all the pieces of work are inspired by the prose of the Dymock Poets.

These fantastic dolls were made by Marie Roper who will be giving a talk and workshop on her dolls as part of the 2012 programme for the Worcester EG.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Frances Pickering Talk

Went to the July meeting of the Worcester Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild this week and the speaker was Frances Pickering.  Her work was wonderful and very inspiring.  There was a handmade book to suit every style.  Unfortunately the workshop the following day was full, but I am inspired to have a go at home and perhaps use a theme of the fauna and flora of the garden and dell.

Frances has a website so follow the link to see what a talented textile artist she is.  He books include lots of drawing, painting and handstitching based upon a theme.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


This is a wren's nest I uncovered when taking ivy off one of the old trees in the garden. It did come back and finish making the hole smaller, but unfortunately then abandoned the nest.  At least I have learnt a lesson and will wait in future until all the birds have reared their young before I strip the trees of the ivy.

Malvern Cat or what?

Sox doing his 'Cheshire Cat' pose
Think he was trying to cheer me up after I had got very upset having found a badly injured cat in the garage which had to be put down.  Think it might have been hit by a car.

Sox has now become very good at climbing trees and getting himself back down again, much to my relief.  However, if he does not stop crossing the very busy road at the front on his exploratory excusions I fear he will not be with us much longer.

Malvern Hills Visitor Centre

The garden became an outward bounds area over the weekend when three friends descended on us on their motorbikes on a 'dummy' run for their impending excursion to Germany later in the year.  In addition we had a couple of visitors staying in the house.
At least they provided me with the ideal opportunity to get out and about and  ...  at long last get onto the Malvern Hills for a walk.The steep climb in baking hot sunshine was well worth the effort when you get views like this in every direction.  The kindly boys took turns lagging behind to keep me company.

Here I am looking delightful in my sun hat.  I might add this was all achieved before breakfast.  Whilst the more intrepid of us ventured out my charming husband kindly remained behind to entertain the other visitors we had for the weekend and get them their breakfast.

Finally, we have a picture of some of the sights of Malvern!!  Malvhina is seen here entertaining two of the bikers and providing them with some of her refreshing spring water.