Sunday, 30 September 2012

Oh what big feet you have got ....

After all the rain and flooding I went for a walk over in the Dell this morning and found this footprint.  Wonder if it might be a fox?  We do get people walking their dogs in their occasionally, but do not think they will have been able to get in recently as you cannot cross the stream when it is flooded.

Unfortunately, it seems all the brown trout have deserted us and I could not see any sign of them.  I will miss them as they have given me lots of pleasure watching them whilst I drink mugs of coffee.

No bookbinding pics this week as we did not finish what we were doing - Work In Progress I am afraid.

The new people on the course were being shown how to paste paper onto fabric so that it can be used as a book cover so there was a delay in getting going at the start of the class.

DH decided I was a bit down this past week (just a bit??) so decided we should go out for the day on Saturday.  Had coffee in the Deli and then off to a couple of local garden centres to decide what we might put in the garden.  This fantastic Red Admiral was sat on one of the labels for what seemed an age so I whipped out my little camera and preserved the image for future use.

Had the opportunity to pop into Newent and get a copy of Cloth Paper Scissors too which will give me some bedtime reading along with the new Quilting Arts which arrived in the post.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Tunnel Concertina Book No 2

Newspaper scraps pasted onto page
I have repaired the error I made when putting my second concertina book together and am now decorating the pages and seem to have developed a theme around the Painswick Rococco Gardens in Gloucestershire which I visited some years ago when the snowdrops were out.

Holly Blue Butterfly

Scanning your efforts certainly shows up where improvements can be made.  I need to do some more work on my tree trunk.  The idea was that a view could be seen through the cutout to something pasted on the inside of the tunnel, however when the book is folded it does not quite work due to the offset of the page so I shall have to give some more thought to this idea.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Running Stitchers

Oh ....  I am so naughty.  The September meeting of Running Stitchers (alias the Venture 2 Group) had the task of stitching two versions of Jenni Raiment's Fancy Fandango.  I knew I had done it years ago, so after much searching through packing boxes in what might be my studio one day I eventually found the sample.

I decided I had better be sociable and join in the stitching so I made one tiny Fancy Fandango from 2 x 6" squares of fabric.  I then added a blue bead and scrounged a bit of blue Madeira machine embroidery thread from Valleri who was sat next to me, before adding the completed square to the top of my previous (and much larger) Fancy Fandango!!

I bet the other members of the group will all have made several more panels by now, including adding the 3" square of card, which was the next step towards making beautiful little boxes.  They all used lovely patterned fabrics too.

Today I am trying to correct a mistake I made yesterday on my second Tunnel Concertina Book and am making a real hash of it.  DH has gone up North to a funeral so I can either carry on messing about or get on with more door stripping.  What a choice ....

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Creative Bookbinding Class

Its back to my creative bookbinding class at Malvern College this week.  Unfortunately it may not continue for much longer as there are only 8 people enrolled on a Friday afternoon.  We all made tunnel concertina books this week.  I managed to mess up as usual.  I had planned that the motif should be in the middle and somehow managed to get it offset, followed by not quite getting the end papers glued to the board neatly enough.

I much prefer doing things at home afterwards when I can take my time and concentrate more.  Not that I have any spare time at the moment.  I am stripping doors and window ledges, first with the heat gun and then followed by paint stripper and wire wool.  I look a nice sight in my protective mask (having invested in a proper one now as we most likely have lead paint)!!

More rain ....

Not sure whether this can be viewed very well?  It was early on Sunday morning, wet and very grey.  The bird is not a seagull, but an heron perched on our neighbours roof.  It hung around for quite a while and was very bedraggled and no doubt very hungry as, yet again, we have had hours of torrential rain.  I had noticed a lack of fish several days earlier so perhaps they have been eaten.  The following morning we had two herons circling the garden and dell.  They may be young ones I suspect?

Yesterday the stream rose and broke its banks on the opposite side to the house and stayed like that for most of the morning.  At least we do not seem to have as much debris as the last time it happened.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

National Needle Museum, Redditch

As it is nearing the end of DH's two weeks of holiday we had a day out to the National Needle Museum at Redditch on Thursday and it was a wonderful sunny day.  The day got better day when we managed to locate some more paint from the Redditch Homebase to finish Bedroom 3. (We had been told by our local branch at Hilton Road, Worcester that it was unavailable and we were about to get some specially mixed at great cost.  Plus .... the tin we found was reduced as there were limited stocks of it (2 tins to be precise!!)).

Our first port of call at the Museum was the ORIENTATION exhibition by SIX and this piece was by Laura Kemshall.  A lovely exhibition including a display of work by Marie Roper who sadly died recently.
The tour of the Scouring Mill was interesting as it followed the progress of how a needle was made and why Redditch was regarded as providing the best needles in the country.  A wide variety of needles were on display  -  many fascinating, but some gruesome - surgical needles for various uses!!  The whole process would never have got past H&S today, with many of them being not only hazardous, but also life threatening.

The ruins of Bordersley Abbey are also located on the site and there were a number of tile fragments cemented into the floor of part of the abbey.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Be Inspired

Last day for H-Art today and we visited a stained glass artist called Tamsin Abbott at Bishops Frome.  On the way back we just had to call at Blue Ginger and have a cup of tea and a cake.  I am renowned for coming home with pockets full of rubbish and today it was this leaf ... I have scanned it and extracted a section. Think it could form the basis for a lovely piece of textured embroidery.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Picket Gates

Not sure whether this qualifies as a picket fence?  It was just so lovely, all bent and higgledy piggledy.  Then I found another one that had been installed in its proper place ....
and finally there was another fence - which could be a picket fence ....

Need to do some sketching and mark making now and will probably make an A4 journal quilt using my outcomes.  At least that is the plan.  Sadly I have managed to slice the end of my finger chopping onions for dinner so it may hold me up a bit!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Babies and more babies

Congratulations to my good friend Annie -  who became a grandma for the second time earlier this week.  Also I do not know if anyone has noticed but Laura Kemshall's baby arrived (a month early).  So it is babies all round this week.

Pigging Out

On Sunday afternoon as part of H-Art we visited Stoke House, Stoke Lacy (potter, artist and blacksmith).  DH's sister once lived in this house and it was lovely to see the alterations the new owners had made to the house and garden.

On the way home we called in at the Blue Ginger Gallery at Cradley.  DH did not need much persuading as there are always great cakes on offer plus the Kune Kune pigs and Dexter cattle were out in the field.

Valerie McLean was exhibiting her paintings in the house and had her new book based on Kilpeck Church with her.  Jo Verity was demonstrating decoupage and outside in the summer house Gary Jones was making amusing ceramic pets.

H-Art Outing

We managed to get out for half a day today and went to Presteigne.  Visited a fabulous gallery called The Workhouse Gallery & Cafe.  Will be going there again.  Also found Christopher Rowlatt at The Presteigne Bindery, somewhere I have been wanting to visit for ages.  He talked about his bookbinding and demonstrated his marbeling techniques.  Fabulous.  He also had a very nice garden behind his bindery.
These cymbals were one of the quirky items in amongst the floorbeds and sheds.

We then went on to the Sidney Nolan Trust.  Here there were prints and book art on display. The setting for this studio is exceptional and there were ducks and chickens running around in the yard,

In one of the outbuildings we met Elizabeth Morison, the sculptor-in-residence throughout H-Art, and she had some very interesting work she has been doing with fabric (mainly stitched into tubes) filled with wet slip then left to slowly dry out.  She had been studying at the Hereford College of Art.
One of the art books


This week has been much like last week - a bit of a waste of time.  We have now (accidentally) got a new water supply through a blue pipe rather than the lead pipe.  On Tuesday the builder accidentally cut through the lead one with the digger so the new pipe got connected up quicker than anticipated.

With the arrival of baby Alice on Saturday we are now down to 1 builder instead of 2 this week, and some of the time even he has not even been here at all.  Hopefuly the digger will be gone this week and some of the bits and pieces in the house might get finished.  Weather is not good for putting on the remainder of the render outside either.

DH is on holiday for a fortnight which means I am getting very little done so I have found an old photograph to put on my blog which is one of the postcards that I occasionally make and send to my friends.  I use any old rubbish and whatever inspiration leaps off the cloth at the time.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


What excitement ... I have now seen a real live crayfish in the stream in the garden.  Some local kids had taken rocks and wood out of the garden and built a dam across the stream so I was busy removing it all when out he popped from under a stone.  What an amazing little creature with a unique swimming style.  Did not have my camera with me or would have taken a photograph for you.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


I really tried hard not to get involved in making bookmarks.  I told them I had no spare time so what happened?  This month's meeting was one without a speaker and we were all press-ganged into making bookmarks.  This is the start of my first one - I have another two to make after this.  I must be mad as I never get time to complete anything.


View towards next door
Well now we have got the trenches filled in with Type 1 stone - like the colour?  It is typical Herefordshire coloured stone.  We still have an enormous pile of rubble out the front although the grab lorry came this afternoon and took another load away.

You can see Mr C's quaint little caravan next door.  It is a real classic.  His house is also in a much better state of repair than ours (well it is brand new).
The view towards the front door

Monday, 3 September 2012

Worcester Beacon

On Friday we had Jan and Phil to stay overnight and as the weather was nice we had lunch in the Deli (wonderful wholesome homemade soup) and then we walked up the Worcester Beacon to enjoy the fantastic views.  Jan and I go back to the 1980's when we both worked at The Kent Messenger.  What exciting days those were.

On Saturday morning I introduced them to the pleasure of buying cider from the farm gate.  Of course they needed to purchase some to sustain them throughout the rest of their holiday!

Bream Silver Band

We have had a fortnight of visitors plus catching up with old friends.  On Sunday we went down to Priory Park to hear the concert by the Bream Silver Band - of which two of our friends are members - Steve and Henry.  The weather was hot and we enjoyed an icecream sat on the grass in the sunshine.  A fantastic afternoon.  The ducks on the lake behind were quite vociferous and tried their best to out do the music!