Monday, 26 September 2011

Wedding Blues

DH and I went to a wedding down in Kent on Saturday and as we decided to drive there and back in one day, we arrived a couple of hours early.  This gave us time to seek out a cup of coffee at Penshurst Place and have a stroll round the garden there.  These amazing asters were in flower (Michaelmas Daisies to you and I).  We have Picton Gardens close to where we live which has the national collection so perhaps this week we may get to visit them as DH is on holiday for a fortnight.

The wedding reception was at West Heath School, which is where Princess Diana apparently went to school and it is reputed to be owned by Al Fayed.  We did manage to get ourselves a bit lost going to the church in Rusthall and walked in just before the bride arrived!!  Being late for everything seems to be a recurring problem of DH these days.

Always with a keen eye for design inspiration I spotted this piece of groteque design on the gate at Penshurst Place or should it be Neoclasssic?  I knew the study for C&G Embroidery History would come in handy some day.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Plumb Central

This odd diagram is the large piece of paper the plumbers keep congregating around.  It is taped to the hall wall.  You can tell they are not sure where any room is in this odd house.  "Bedroom 4 .... hmmmm what size radiator has that got then?"  They are like little bees around a honeypot.  Hope they intend leaving a copy with us as it would be nice to know where all the pipework is located.

I seem to be chief tea maker and cleaner upper in the grand scheme of things.

Christmas is Coming

Forgot to tell you about the mistletoe - it is all over the garden.  This lump is up a rowan tree in the front garden.  There is also a lot up hawthorn trees in what was once a hedge along the side of the garden bordering the stream.  Suppose I should not have been surprised as the whole area is well known for it.  It is just starting to get berries.  Feel some sketching coming on.  I can hear Annie's words in the background "will you stop drawing and get on with some stitching!!"

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Toilet Humour

You can tell I am bored - can't do a thing because there are three plumbers here installing the central heating boiler and radiators.  At least they are good for a laugh - yesterday one of them accidentally reconnected the downstairs waterpipes the wrong way round.  Hot coming out of cold and vice versa.  We all thought that was hilarious, however, it was not the end of the story.  A bit later one of them discovered that the downstairs loo cistern was also full of hot water, so we had jokes about 'hot flushes' 'sauna' and 'scalding bidet facility'.  All back to normal by the time they left.

Even managed to find time to take the hem up on a pair of trousers that has needed doing for months.  Not sure I can cope all week though.  Everything is upside down and in chaos.  Cat has left home again and lives in the garden during the day.

Nice surprise this morning whilst drinking a cup of coffee in the garden.  I saw a grey wagtail chasing flies in the stream.  Another species to add to the ever growing list of birds I have spotted here

Monday, 12 September 2011

Celtic Inspiration

These whorls were part of the decoration on the shaft of a stone cross in a churchyard in Surrey which I discovered on a walk.  They would make a great source for some textural embroidery when I get some free time.

Watts Memorial Chapel

Completely forgot about the photographs I took last year down in Surrey.  My best friend and I went to a memorial chapel for Watts built by his wife. The chapel is at Compton in Surrey and is well worth a visit.  The photograph above just gives a small example of the decoration of the interior.

Lathe and Plaster

Thought this photo of the ceiling in the under eaves cupboard looked like lines of text.  I am afraid it has now been taken down as there was a big hole in part of it and other bits were damp.  I love the linear quality of it and the holes left by the nails.

Koh-i-Noor Dyes

 I bought a new Koh-i-noor travel sketch set at the NEC from Colourcrafts.  They are made by Anilinky and although they say they are Brilliant Water Colours they are in fact dye based colours.  There are 24 disks in 4 circular trays so a nice addition to the usual tray of 10 colours.  The reference number was 174506.

The secretary at the Worcester branch of  the EG suggested using a brush which has a water reservoir with them.  I also managed to find a nice set of alphabet stamps whilst in the art shop.

I did some sampling with my Koh-i-noor colours to ensure they actually were the brilliant waterbased dyes.  I bleached the colours and some of them were washed over acrylic paint.  I also checked that they original 10 colours were included.

I had difficulty deciding which of the yellows was the correct one as the shades are very close.  There are two whites and one could be pearlised, but not sure.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

EG Worcester Branch Meeting

What an excellent start to the new subscription year.  Three of the members demonstrated various techniques to create backgrounds for stitch and then we were all given a small pack containing pelmet vilene and cardboard which had been pre cut to enable us to create a small box(?).  These have to be completed by the next meeting in October.  Amongst the techniques covered were Transfer Dyes used on synthetic fabrics, Markal Sticks, Koh-i-Noor inks and painted Bondaweb.  Finally we were shown how to assemble the pieces to create a box(?).

I discovered that they also have a library of DVDs that you can borrow for a month for just £1 each.  I came home with one by Hilary Bower, but was very tempted to bring more .... as most of you know I have no time to sit watching these things!!

Hopefully the central heating boiler installation will start next Monday, not sure what we are going to do about the radiators as many walls need to have major repairs before these can be attached.  Yet another challenge for me.

Off to collect my beloved Bernina today as it has been away to be serviced.  It is only now that I learn there is a Bernina agent in Malvern I could have taken it to.

I have also been trying to create a Frances Pickering style book on bits of a painted sheet I bought for £2 in a charity shop but progress is slow.  The pieces below were primed with Gesso, however I have tried to create some more pages and spent ages painting what I thought was Gesso onto them, only to rememember that the 'Gesso' bottle probably has white emulsion paint in it.  Ah well.

Here are my first attempts ....

This was meant to be Herb Robert in  The Dell.

Not sure what this was - I was playing about with Koh-i-Noor and a new patterned roller I got at the NEC from Art Van Go.

A rosehip from a wild rose in the front garden. The background was created using Neocolour II watersoluble wax crayons.

This is a bit of The Dell using various colouring techniques.

I just need to get stitching now and make them all into a nice little book.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Peace at Last

Afraid the skip and scaffolding are still here although, at long last, it looks like we might even get some rain.  Catching up today after having my best friend to stay since Tuesday.  We were out and about most days so not a lot got done at home.  I have to make the most of having company as I seem to spend a lot of time by myself since we moved.

On Saturday evening we went over to the Forest of Dean and this mad person below (Thin Firework Controller aka the 'TFC') had organised some industrial size fireworks to complement the 8 rockets with Rob's ashes in.  As you can see from the photograph he does not really look like someone who should be in charge of potentially dangerous missiles.  Fantastic food was provided by this young ladies parents and we generally all had a great time.

This picture - which has a look of Fido Dido - was the last pair of rockets to be launched.  Surprisingly my photographs turned out much better than I expected, I only used my small digital camera on the Fireworks' setting.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Roof Lines

Dave the roofer demolishing the right hand chimney

Our nice new roof

DH painting the chimney that remains
Roof still not quite finished, but the scaffolding should come down next week and hopefully the skip will go today.  It will be nice to get the cars back in the drive as Nobby is covered in bird poo of the elderberry variety.  I think they must be using him as a target - with quite a bit of success by the look of him.

Had a wonderful day in Hereford yesterday and met my niece for lunch and then went round the Cathedral and saw not only the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library but also the Magna Carta.  We went on the train and it was great.  Also found a shop that sells and services Bernina sewing machines and they have a branch in Malvern.