Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Dell

No wild garlic now I am afraid.  This is The Dell looking in the other direction from where DH was standing.  The wriggly root is near the main road and there is actually Council owned public space on the left hand side.  We keeping having trouble with children and dog walkers who think our garden is somewhere they are allowed to use for their own pleasure!  The plan is to put a barrier of some kind across the stream to deter them, but which will allow the water to go underneath when it floods.  The 'PRIVATE' sign which is quite visible to trespassers is a waste of time.

What a Boar

My Half Term treat this week was to be invited to join some friends in the Forest of Dean for the day.  We went to the Taurus Craft Centre near Lydney to paint christmas baubles.  They appear to have a trail of these very amusing painted hardboard cutout wild boars.  They were great and all very different.

The only evidence I saw of the real ones was the rutted verges in the Forest where the wild boar had been digging.  It was a wonderful sunny day and the leaves are just starting to take on their autumn colours.  Must say I do have some nice friends.

Lopping in The Dell

Got DH to do some work on Sunday!  I had started to lop some of the old and leggy hawthorn trees behind the garage and could not saw through the thick trunks.  Here he is after almost ending up with the tree trunk on top of the garage roof (which is asbestos), having by then managed to persuade the trunk it would fall into The Dell.  As you can see we have very little water in the stream at the moment.  The brick wall to the left is the back of a retaining wall behind the garage.

Friday, 21 October 2011


This week I spent the whole lesson stitching my signatures together.  I had used up some old 80 gsm printer paper which was really a bit on the thin side so had to be careful not to tear it.

It is Half Term next week so I have got a second one to stitch at home.  Hope I can remember what to do.

Can't wait until we go back to get the cover put onto the book.

Signs of Winter

Hope the masses of holly berries in the garden are not signs of a hard winter to come.  We have also had masses of acorns which the squirrels have been eating and burying.  The biggest surprise has been the mistletoe.  The berries have quickly changed from green to glowing white.

On the squirrel front - I am afraid I accidentally caught a squirrel in the trap which I had left out to get them accustomed to it.  I had not put any food in the trap so it must have just gone in being playful.  The general plan is that someone is coming to shoot them so that I do not have the problem of having to kill them myself.  Each day there seems to be more and more of them.  We have at least 4 resident in the garden and there are plenty more around.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Barnacles and Sea Shells

When we went to Rhossilli Bay I came back with the usual pocket full of shells and amongst them were these ones with barnacles attached.  It reminded me of the wonderful workshop several of us participated in at Texere Yarns in Bradford with Kay Greenlees.  A fantastic tutor who gets you thinking out of the box.  My intention is to sit down and do some pen and ink drawings of these tiny creatures when I can find somewhere clean and quiet to sit that is!!

Christmas is Coming

Wondered if the City & Guilds class remembered these dolls we exchanged one Christmas.  I still have mine hanging up in my work room.  I am sure Annie will have come up with a fascinating subject for the current C&G students.  It is well worth the effort of making something as on the final session before Christmas you go home with a lovely reminder of your friends on the course.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Bookbinding Class

There are three beginners in the class and at the end of Week 2 we have all managed to complete a pamphlet book each.  Mine is the green one.  The red one was the best as it was completed without getting glue marks on it anywhere, unlike the other two of us!!  We both put it down to the fact that we had to rush at the end and forgot to turn the waste paper that we were using over to a clean side.
On week 3 two of us began constructing a book from scratch so we cut out our pages and made signatures.  This photograph shows my signatures trapped between two boards in the 'Book Lying Press' with a 'Backing Saw' which is used to saw across the spine to add holes evenly ready to stitch through.

The third person is deconstructing an existing book to repair it.  Both methods involve our learning to stitch the signatures together.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Childhood Memories

Bet you have already guessed who this is?  I was looking through some packing boxes for something else and came across some of the old photos I had copied some years ago for my brother and I.

A bit older here with my brother.  Cats featured in my life even then.  These were two of the three we had at the time.  Not sure why I am holding the black and white one as mine was the black one - who just loved my attempts at dressing him up in doll's clothes and pushing him about in a pram.

The black and white one was a Manx cross and had a little bob tail.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Nutty Problem

We are bedevilled with these horrid fat, fluffy little creatures at the moment.  This is one of three that were in the garden this morning.  Mr C next door has loaned me his trap but neither DH nor I can bring ourselves to kill them by the approved method - shoot them or hit them on the head with a hammer!!  Once trapped it is illegal to release them as they are classed as vermin.  They have done a lot of damage to the house over the years as well as the trees in the Dell.  Their antics are actually quite entertaining and Sox finds them intriguing but has no idea what to do with them - like catch them and kill them PLEASE!!

One of the advantages of living here is that we have lots of wild birds visiting the garden, but the squirrels steal the food I put out for them as well as eating the eggs and baby birds in the spring.

A solution may have been found - one of the builders who worked on the wall ties has an air rifle and has offered to come and shoot them without our having to trap them.  Hooray  .....  can't believe it will ever happen but watch this space.

Transfer Dyes

Having purchased some transfer dyes in powder form at the NEC in August I have been waiting for an opportunity to try them out (time is also an issue at the moment!!).  Worcester branch of the Embroiderers' Guild meeting in September saw everyone going home with three pieces of pelmet vilene with the instruction to make a box out of the pieces.  Full of enthusiasm I mixed up three shades of the transfer dyes and put them in old film containers.  Painted my pieces of photocopy paper and collected some leaves from the garden.  The above photograph is the result of a morning messing around.  As usual no more has been done to these pieces so it was with embarrassment that I went to the October meeting of the EG and saw lots of finished boxes.

However, I did also mess about with a piece of pelmet vilene I had intended using as a book cover which had been roller painted with dark blue acrylic paint using a patterned roller.  It reminds me of the franking on envelopes.  I have even got as far as stitching a little bit of texture onto it.  Just need some free time to get on with all of the above before the November meeting.

Monday, 3 October 2011

House Ties

Red painted area is the crack with the wall tie inserted horizontally
These delightful pictures are of our cracked walls.  For two days last week we had two builders here.  They chipped off the plaster, drilled out the mortar, inserted stainless steel wall ties and then filled them in with a special resin.  We have more yet to do.  After that the plasterer will have to replaster all the walls.  Up to now we have had the Dining Room, Hall, Landing and Bedroom 2 done but there are plenty more areas to be investigated before we start on the outside walls.

Dan the plumber has popped in this morning to remove two of the new radiators so that we can get behind them to fill the cracks so no doubt the builders will be back next week to make more mess.  There was an awful lot of dust and debris!!

Black lines are the resin

Picton Gardens

Picton Gardens holds the National Collection of Michaelmas Daisies and is just over the Hill in Colwall.  We managed to pop in there last week and it was very pleasant.