Sunday, 17 September 2017

Couch to 50 Kilometers

This morning saw 4 of the group of 8, plus 2 tutors, meeting up at 9.15 am to set off on our 'Big Ride', the culmination of 10 weeks of tuition, guidance and lots of practice.  I personally managed to do 37.76 miles in 3 hours 21 minutes.  Not a record breaking achievement, but amazing for me.  Seriously contemplating buying a new bike to make life easier for riding up hills.  We all want to keep up our cycling now we have got this far and have the confidence to go out on the road so who knows where this will lead?  At least it will keep me a lot fitter than I was.

We were all kept going by the thought of cake and coffee at Croombe, which some managed to change to bacon sandwiches by the time we actually arrived!!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Book Art Exhibition - Hereford

Went out to do some H-Art venues today and also visited the HARC in Fir Tree Lane to see the 'Re-Imaging the Laws of England - Magna Carta through bookarts, textiles and paintings' exhibition.  It was wonderful although you did need to read the information in the accompanying booklet to fully understand the thinking behind each piece.  I believe it is open Monday to Friday until 24 November, but recommend checking if you plan a visit.

Just a few pictures to whet your appetite
Loved these little shoes

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Green Pears?

Over the weekend we visited one or two H-Art venues and came across these lovely pods that had became rather neglected and wild.  I think they had originally had herbs crowing in them with a soil filled moss lining wrapped around with hessian fabric and string.  The moss had obviously enjoyed its damp environment and taken over with the herbs dying.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A Jolly Sewcial

On Friday of last week four of us joined Kathleen Murphy for our second Sewcial of the year in Cheltenham.  We had a jolly good time with much hilarity.  We were making bound dolls.

From humble beginnings we produced several charming characters ...

A large family group

A very beautiful peasant lady

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bear Necessities

DH and I spent the afternoon at Ironbridge on Wednesday and came across these bear heads on top of the railings at the Merrythought car park.  Not a very nice sight.  The weather was very pleasant and the Tile Museum was fabulous.

Lovely wild flower planting to enjoy with a view of the famous bridge ....

Is this a wise old owl I wonder?

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Lone Cycling

I was 'Billy No Mates' this morning and went out on my own for a cycle ride near Croome.  I was supposed to do the same route I did a couple of weeks ago but managed to do something wrong and got a little bit lost.  Still managed to do almost 13 miles so pleased with that.  I then had egg sandwich, scone and coffee at Croome sitting in the glorious sunshine.

Fabulous views on the ride ....

This is not the fabulous view, this is my trusty bike and a bench near Pirton from where the view opposite is this ....

or this ....

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Hard to Bear

Have been to Birmingham today to meet a cousin for lunch and a catchup.  There were bears everywhere - large and small.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Time has Flown

This weekend DH took down the Sparrow Box off the house wall so that I could clean it out.  It had a nest of Great Tits in it earlier in the year.  They certainly made good use of moss from the lawn and fur combed from the visiting cat.  Looks like sheep wool in there too.

Someone obviously could not make up their mind which hole to use for the final nest. I forgot to take the wall screws out of the box before taking the photograph and it was too late once I had cleaned the box out.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Worcester Open Studios

Just noticed it was Worcester Open Studios this weekend so popped out to here ...

It is actually St Peter's Church where St Peter's Printmakers and Friends were.  Excellent exhibition.  I then went down Cowleigh Bank to Belmont Road to see Andrew Judd's letterpress.  What a wonderful place.  A huge shed-cum-workshop with lots of goodies to see.  Andrew very kindly showed us how he set up words and cast the block to print from.

Next I headed off to see my bookbinding pal Janet Hayes-Hall.  She was busy with her lino cuts alongside her daughter in their makeshift studio complete with etching press.  Husband, Richard, was busy making timber frame sections for the buildings which are workin progress and which will eventually form part of Janet's studio.  At least that's the plan.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

It's Finished ...One More to Go

Reverse of Quilt - Long Arm Quilted by Fathers Heart

At long last I have finished this quilt!!  It has been under construction for 10 years now and I was so embarrassed that it had taken so long.  Lots of good excuses which included DH giving up his job and being out of work for a year and then the upheaval of moving miles away from Yorkshire and buying a house that needed a monumental amount of work doing to it, which I seem to have had to organise. Time for catching up on my things now, although the house is far from finished.

Some of these appear on the quilt, but not like this

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

It's All Uphill From Here

Sun shining on Worcester in the distance

Walked from our house (a long way down this hill) up to the top of Cowleigh Bank and then on to North Malvern Road looking for a bike shop to service my bike for me yesterday.  It is very, very steep and my knees now ache. DH suggested I take my bike with me?? I don't think so. Just so happened the main bike shop man was not in.

'Couch to 50 km' class this week has now taught me how to take front and back wheels off my bike and repair a puncture.  Something to look forward to I suppose on top of my chain falling off on a regular basis.  At least I am fitter than I was .... I think?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Cycled Out

Done two more cycle rides this week Saturday and Sunday. One and half hours on both days, first one doing my homework for 'Couch to 50 km' and today a circular route from Croome with Women on Wheels organised by our trusty tutor Rachel.  Had a fabulous time, I stayed dry and my bicycle chain managed to stay on for the whole ride. The down side is that I am heavily handicapped because my bike is a hybrid and very heavy which makes me very slow on any inclines.

Heading to the Hills for my homework on Saturday morning.
It was a killer!!

Friday, 18 August 2017

What a Bargain

Spotted this in the NT secondhand bookshop at Charlecote and it is full of fabulous prose.

Yet Another Grand Day Out

Spot the deer

Although the weather forecast was a bit 'iffy' DH and I decided to have a day out yesterday and went to Charlecote.  What a lovely place.  We had a walk in the grounds and then ventured into the house.  Another place we will certainly visit again.

Glad we do not wash like this any more

Lots of design ideas

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What have I been up to?

For the past six weeks I have been trying to get myself more confident in riding my bike on the roads around Malvern by participating in a group organised by Malvern Hills DC - 'Couch to 50km'.  This week we did 21 km (13.2 miles) in just over an hour. We do the 50 km ride during Week 6 so lots more training needed.  Homework this week includes riding up steep hills - so no shortage of them here ...

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Wish I was there

Angel's Fishing Rods at Bodnant. At least it might not be raining now.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Life is Full of Surprises

I had no idea there was such an interesting museum lurking in Bradford.  My friend suggested that we go to the Bradford Industrial Museum as there was a textile exhibition by FLAX that she wanted to see.  We spent a fascinating morning looking at all sorts of machinery and equipment associated with the local area.  I will certainly visit again.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Another Little Trip

Just had a few days away, firstly to pick up my quilt from Father's Heart in Bradford, where it has now been long arm quilted and, secondly, to catch up with friends.  We managed to call in at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the drive up and found there was a Tony Cragg sculpture exhibition 'A Rare Category of Objects' and also a display of Alice Pattullo's work 'Of House and Home'.  Both excellent and a nice break in our journey.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Sunshine and Rain

Here's the sunshine .... the short sunflower seeds I sew after receiving them at a wedding are just starting to flower along with borage, daisies and Inulas.  Very jolly site.

and here is the rain .... we went to Bodnant Gardens whilst we were away and the heavens opened and we got very wet.  The gardens were fabulous which made up for the weather.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

More Sketching ....

A bit more of my drawing from during the week.  These were Lotus flower seed pods.  I found them quite difficult to draw but will have another try if I get chance but using a more conventional method than left hand drawing. The comments were my own and from 3 fellow delegates on the course.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Love in the Mist

Did lots of drawing with graphite pencils and sticks from chosen items in the seeds and pods group.  Very difficult drawing with your left hand and trying your best not to use traditional mark making techniques.  As the days wore on and my technique improved I started to achieve something resembling the 'Live in a Mist' I was trying to draw.

Stitching onto a long thin piece of calico which had emulsion paint added randomly to the surface was the next challenge and is still 'Work in Progress'.

Unfortunately the last picture does not really show the tuck to its best advantage. Perhaps when I have done further stitching I will be able to get a better image of it.

Stitch Heaven

Just returned from the Textile Study Group Summer School and now full of enthusiasm and ideas.  It is a privilege to be able to spend quality time with like-minded people whilst learning new skills and enhancing existing ones.  I made one big mistake and that was to volunteer this year to co-ordinate the tutor's gift from our group ....

It is a Turkish Map Fold structure.  Each student in our group decorated a square of cartridge paper which was then folded and assembled to create the book. Having no wrapping paper to hand a piece of tissue paper was quickly printed with gold and bronze paint and fitted the bill nicely.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Success or What?

Sent DH on a Beginner's Cookery Day a couple of weeks ago.  He made 4 recipes and brought 2 of them home to eat.  Since then I have been trying to encourage him to do one a week so that he remembers what to do.  This is a man who never cooks anything.  Well today he succeeded in producing this Hidden Vegetable Shepherd's Pie.  He had to double the recipe as I could not get a smaller amount of Lamb Mince.  It turned out great and there is a smaller one to eat during next week and another one (without the potato and grated cauliflower topping) which is going in the freezer for some other time.  Success!!

We are going to attempt the Chicken Curry today, but that looks more complicated so he will probably need a bit of assistance.  I ended up doing most of the shopping and washing up for the Shepherd's Pie - so no change there.