Saturday, 30 March 2013


Washers and a Metal Rasp
On Wednesday morning last week we had our monthly Running Stitchers meeting.  There were eight of us and we all had a great time playing with Softsculpt.  Everyone shared ideas and materials which made for much fun.  I have now added some colour to both the black and white Softsculpt pieces and could integrate them into a stitched piece of work later.

A section of a print block and grains of rice
I also took along some Formy Blocks I had had for ages and made some print blocks using them.
More Rice Grains

An old button found by one of our group together with a twig from a plant.

A large fir cone was pressed into the heated Formy Block.  I used some acrylic paint that was too runny in the gold image which is why it has a watery effect.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

NEC Purchases

I spent more money than I intended at the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show, no surprises there I suppose.  I bought this very nice Celtic wooden print block from Colouricious so have been playing with it this morning to get some ideas before I produce some bits of work.

I also made a very naughty purchase - some Inktense blocks.  I did a doodle last night with them from a photograph of an hare on our 2013 calendar, adding a bit more detail this morning.  Although it is not quite right, I rather like him.

The Inktense blocks are wonderful to use and I think I prefer them to the Inktense pencils that I already have, although I can see me using them together, the pencils having the benefit of a finer tip to add detail.

Travelling Journal

I have more or less finished my pages for the 'Travelling Journal' project for 'Running Stitchers'.  Just as well as we exchange at our meeting next Wednesday.  The colours in the photograph are not quite right, and I have been playing around with the image in Photoshop to try to adjust it ... without too much success.  The silvery bits are not as bright as they appear in the photograph.

I decided to leave the embroidered piece hanging out at the top and bottom as it spoils it somewhat if I turn them under.  I have just got some little tags to add to the bottom of the page.  I made them using bits of the painted cartridge paper I chopped out to insert the embroidered piece.

Looking forward to receiving my next Journal and have got lots of ideas for my April piece.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Yet More Snow

I managed to get to the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show on Thursday and Friday this week, thank goodness I did not have a ticket for today as this is what the weather is like!!  I really enjoyed seeing all my buddies from the North.

I walked to the co-op to post a card and took this picture of the 'Dingly Dell' on my way home.  It is a view from the road down behind the garage.  (Plenty of water in the stream again)  I have planted daffodils, snowdrops, wood anenomes, dog daisies and also transplanted some primroses over there, but they are all competing with the wild garlic.  As it floods on the right hand side it is difficult knowing what will survive.

No sewing going on at the moment as I have had the most horrendous week at home.  The builders have been in most rooms doing something or other, the mess has been awful and it has been freezing cold.  We nearly have a functioning Utility Room now and the house bathroom is ready to have the sanitaryware installed.  It involved taking up the floorboards and putting down another floor.  The downstairs cloakroom needs the floor tiling and then it can have its loo and washbasin installed.  The hall will be getting its window wall and ceiling plastered on Monday and then it can be finished off.  Some progress I guess.

Dreading the kitchen floor being levelled again.  Do not know where I am going to move everything to so that they can get at it.  Do not think we will ever get to enjoy living in this house and I am sure everyone wonders when the weather will improve and it will get warmer.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Stitchless Progress

I know this is not exciting, but this will be our new cloakroom.  I have never had so much dust everywhere in the house and there is still some plastering to do so I have given up totally on the cleaning up!

I have done a bit of stitching as I have a deadline looming for one of the Travelling Journals I am participating in.  I then need to get on with the Yorkshire one after that.  Thank goodness one of them has a 6 week deadline and is not monthly.

This is the front garden and new drive with decorative builders bags .... hopefully the sun will continue to shine today and there will  be more progress as I am having to park my car up the road for the time being.  The nice piece of orange rope on the left hand side is holding the fence up as it decided to wave about in the wind last week.

Oh joy .... the crocus I planted at the front under the rowan tree have appeared and are starting to flower.  I just need to keep the builders from standing on them now.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Apart from the excitement of a leaking pipe overnight, and a plumber having to come and fix it, I have been builder-free today for varying reasons so I made the most of it and started to prepare some backgrounds for two small pieces I need for my Travelling Journals.

The one above is a piece of space dyed silk to which pieces of sheer fabric and bits of silk carrier rod have been applied using white FuseFX.  I also found some bits of white Angelina and added them in.  Although it does not show up too well I have added some silver foil to represent snow.  The whole thing then had a piece of blue sheer fabric placed over the top.  It is actually not as brightly coloured as it looks in the photo. I now need to get stitching.

This second piece was a scrap of calico with painted Bondaweb added to the surface and a few left over scraps of sheer fabric.  There are also small wisps of silk fibres laid on it to represent snow.  The plan is that tomorrow I will get some stitches on both pieces - sod the ever increasing pile of ironing that awaits.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Mud .... wonderful mud

Today the drive got levelled out and some hardcore put on it.  The edge to the top left of the picture got a concrete base ready for a small retaining wall.  Hopefully the nasty corner on the edge of the block paved area has been given a smooth curve and I won't catch my car wheels on it any more.  The planks leading to the front door are still in position to keep our feet clean.

Had a problem with the fence near the road as it started to sway in the gale force icy wind and I thought it was going to end up in the road so one of the kind builders has tied it up for me until we get round to replacing the posts.

Inside some more work has taken place.  The Utility Room has got another coat of plaster on one of its walls, however, I have got no gas supply to my hob in the kitchen at the moment until the pipes can be put back on the wall and reconnected.  I completely forgot when I was making my porridge for breakfast this morning and had to hastily empty the contents of the pan into a basin and put it in the microwave.

The downstairs cloakroom is taking shape and has been plasterboarded, soundproofed and plastered.  I spent all weekend stripping doors again as we need to recycle one of them for the cloakroom.  DH and I also had to move two piles of rescued bricks from the front garden to the back so that they were out of the way.

We have had quite a few snow flurries today but nothing has laid, it is just bitterly cold.  Still managed to get to my C&G Alumini class though which was a relief.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Progress of sorts

This was Monday evening and it is part of the hall where the downstairs cloakroom once was.  The radiator is out of the pantry and just happens to be resting there for the moment.

This is Monday and Tuesday evening showing the other end of the hall where the new downstairs cloakroom is going to be.  I must say I am a lot happier with it now I have seen the start of the stud wall.  It is difficult to envisage what it is all going to be like when you see it on a plan.  Note the wonderful dustsheet curtain

Came back from the EG meeting in  Worcester to find all the bathroom fittings are now located in the main bedroom.  Hope they will have got moved out of there by the NEC show or we could have a problem.

Put my name down to do a workshop with Ruth Smith in May - Folded Secrets: Chinese Thread Book - yes I know I have done it before with Annie.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Travelling Journal

This is the inspiration for my next entry in the 'Running Stitchers' Travelling Journal.  We exchanged journals for the first time last week so I am eager to get on with the second set of pages.  Not sure what I am going to do yet, but as always lots more ideas than I will ever come to fruition ....

More demolition

The builders turned up today and rather than starting to put the drive right (the digger had not appeared over the weekend) they decided to come indoors and knock down the wall between the downstairs loo and the hall.  We now have a huge entrance hall with no carpet, no curtains and a temporary hanging dustsheet to stop all the muck transgressing into the rest of the house - some hope!!

I therefore got nothing done and had to miss my class at college too.

In amongst this mayhem an electrician came and looked at what used to be the pantry ready to sort out some problems in there, followed by a plumber who is doing the preparation for some of the other work that still needs doing.  We now have another radiator removed and a toilet and washbasin in '70s 'Sun King' colour out in the front garden.  Looks like another trip to the tip is in order.

Good job it was sunny - it made me feel happy.

On Sunday I cut down the ailing Laburnum tree in the front garden which I hang my bird feeders on as it was in the way of the alterations to the drive.  It looks very bare without it.  The bird feeders have been relocated to a Hazel which, whilst further away from the house, will give me a better view of who is visiting them.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Nature in Art Exhibition

Had a visit to Nature in Art near Twigworth today to see a textile exhibition by Gordano Textile Artists.  It finishes on 10 March so thought I had better make the most of DH's need to visit the office which is only a few miles away.

The exhibition was very good and we were blessed with a sunny day.  The metal sculpture in the garden was 'interesting' to say the least and there was also a mosaic artist demonstrating in the studio.

On arrival we had a wonderful surprise as a large tree near the entrance gate was full of Waxwings eating the mistletoe berries.  I think it is only the second time I have actually seen these wonderful birds.

I have also been trying to work on my next piece for the Travelling Journals, but making slow progress.  The builders are back on Monday so I shall not get a lot done for a few weeks.