Sunday, 21 March 2010

Dying and stuff


Started my weekend off with a bit of dying…..  want a long piece of fabric that is graduated in soft greys for my new idea, so found and ideal flower vase to do this in, the dye concentrates are progressively weaker as you get to the top of the vase.


Then off to baby sit Millie Mai – had a lovely time, she was a good as gold.


I tried to get Pauline’s projector to talk to my laptop but failed miserably, so consoled myself in drawing my barbed wire grid for my wall hanging!

Rinsed my fabric from the vase out, and was not that impressed………….IMG_6174 it is all a bit pink!

So re-dyed it with flat black.

Wrote the last but one essay for my course work.

Sunday – wonderful sunny day, rinsed fabric out and still not impressed so dyed some more.

Good job I haven't got a hubbie, he would be having a wobbler by now!  Decided to try black and magenta together.


I then hadIMG_6180 a brain wave – what about spraying bleach over the disastrous piece – now how impressed am I – the other piece is still cooking in the airing cupboard, that can always be used for something else, as I really like what the bleach has done to this piece.        

Then I really needed to finish my course work, so one more essay and my learning journal to do before Larkrise to Candleford.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Half day at work today as it is my Thursday afternoon that I have fun with the ladies doing P&Q. They are a lovely bunch with lots of different skills and eager to learn new ones

Half of them are doing the Japanese Bag and the other half are doing their own thing. This was a little challenging to start off with, especially as I am having to re-visit some of the techniques that I use to do without thinking, but haven't done for so long I had forgotten that I knew them. My tests today were needle turn appliqué and how to assemble 25 worked squares in quilt as you go method!

As I had an early afternoon, I decided to pop in and see Les, and the puppies of course.
Fell in love with one particularly little fat one with brown paws, she is lovely and snuggled up on my chest and happily fell asleep. Now I was determined not to like any of them, because I know what happens when I do. ………..
Made a big mistake and Sharne of my dilemma and has come up with a name for her, Paddie, as it was St Patricks Day yesterday, and Paddie actually suits the little fat dumpling, she is the one nearest the Mums head. You can actually only see Paddie’s tail – must be strong, I don't need another dog……… but then…….. she was rather lovely.

Started work on my wall hanging for FET’s exhibition at the Maeldune Centre in September – hope idea will work – its great in my head!!


having problems up loading

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Another busy week

Monday was Embroiders Guild and Mary Sleigh gave us a very informative talk about her items which people in Africa and India wear to confirm their identify, very interesting, but forgot to take photosIMG_6138 of her work!

But, Angela Bulman did finish her piece  that she did on my Ploughed Fields workshop,  impressed, like the birds in the sky, a very nice touch.

Then Tuesday night I had my ‘micro teach’  at college.  It was daft I was really nervous, guess it was because I was doing play acting and teaching to a group of students that probably didn't want to be getting messy!!  But they all but one enjoyed it and she didn't like getting paint on her hands………..  Think it must have been ok as the examiner said that she forgot to take photos as she got a bit carried away with the lesson, so we had to pose for a photo shot after the lesson!!!

Being inspected again at work…… got the ball rolling for Corporate Christmas Party, decided that we will go back to the Thurrock Hotel where we had it two years ago.

And today, we finally heard that they have decided that Stephen died of natural causes, I am greatly relieved as this means Les and Chris can stop beating themselves up with the ‘what if’ scenarios. 

Called in to see Mum and Dad, and Mum is struggling, needs help, but not sure what I can do…… feel a bit useless.  Have a free weekend so will be able to do something then for them both then.

Tonight prepared lesson for tomorrow, putting the patches in the Japanese Bag.

 IMG_6143 IMG_6146

And bed………………….

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Lovely People

Sometimes life gives you a jolt.  This weekend was filled with those occasions.

Saturday Sharne and I went to Cottenham for our embroidery group,Fen Edge Textile 

Pauline our tutor, had made lovely mushroom soup for us all at lunch time, and a couple of girls had bought cakes because they had just had their birthday.  The girls there are so supportive and it is always a joy to meet up.

Pauline has given us some exciting ideas to work on, looking forward to Thursday evening when I might get some time to play with them.  But this is what we will be doing next session, newspaper, gesso and scrim – lovely…….

IMG_6127 IMG_6128 

I have been getting myself in a little bit of a tiss about the talk that I am giving at the Quilters Guild Regional Day, not worried about the talk, but there are going to be quite a few people there, and my work at the moment is on the small side, so am concerned about people being able to see what I am talking about.  Pauline came to my rescue and has lent me her projector. I can now photograph my work and show it through the computer on a PowerPoint presentation so the images (hopefully) can been clearly seen by all.  I was quite taken back by this generous and kind offer.  It will make the talk a lot more interesting for every one.

Have had lots of phone calls from Kirsty this weekend, little Holly is poorly.  Would have liked to have been able to go up and help out.  But Kirtsy has kept me up to date with Holly’s progress and it now sounds like she is on the mend – fingers crossed.

Sunday, Mum, Mel, Rob and Mille came for Sunday lunch, Dad didn't feel up to joining us :-(

Had some lovely Mother’s day gifts, a basket of hyacinths from Mum and the new CD which is the follow up to the PhanIMG_6137tom of the Opera from Rob.

Had some wonderful smiles and gurgles form Millie.

And, this evening I have prepared my ‘microtech’ for Tuesday – the end is in sight……….

Tomorrow night is Embroiders Guild and Mary Sleigh – gosh I am looking forward to that.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Guess who ate the chocolate money?


Ralph!  So much for my Thornton chocolate pennies that I was going to savour with a nice cup of coffee!

He has been a bit of colour since he over indulged……

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Feedback sandwich!

Ohpps!  Got a bit a carried away with my ideas and Sharne had to reign me in……..

Only allowed to decorate fabric at this stage, no stitching or layering up allowed!!!!!!!!!!!!  Need to read the instructions more carefully.

 IMG_6114 IMG_6115

After fabric had dried I decided that there was still not enough contrast so sponged white acrylic on it and then ironed on half my stars in a random fashion.

Then had to decide how to print the words on, wish I was in Sharne’s room so that I could use her ‘Big Foot’ to cut myself a stencil to sponge over, but wasn't, so spent the next hour looking for the rubber alphabet that I had bought years ago (that i couldn't live without – but never got round to using!)  But eventually found it lurking at the back of one of the drawers and set too with printing (very slowly) appropriate words.  Obviously, European Union, because that is what it is about, but also, respect, diversity, equality, difference and celebrate.

Then it was off the Stock Brook Manor for my posh training….

IMG_6116 Luckily Stacey is practicing making cakes so bought a sample in for us to test.  These set the day off to a very nice start and with the promise of coffee and chocolate ones tomorrow what more could we all want.

IMG_6117 IMG_6118

Then it was college, learning how to give good feedback even if you need to suggest how learners can improve, bit strange as our training was teaching us how to deal with difficult situations.  Good News, Bad News, Good News.

IMG_6119 IMG_6121

Fortunately Stacey remembered the coffee and chocolate cakes, I had to try both of course!  Also, the training was superb, and we were given lots of goodies too, each of which relate to an aspect of the training, it was all very professional and clever, but more importantly useful.  Had to write a difficult email tonight and I think it helped me convince someone to do something that they were against considering, fingers crossed I have helped them a little.


Then tonight I concluded a good day with a lovely long walk over the fields with Ralph and ironed the rest of my stars on my piece of fabric.

And tomorrow we have a Benefits Take Up Campaign in the Eastgate Shopping Centre.

Monday, 8 March 2010

More training tomorrow

If it is one thing that Swan likes best at the moment it is training, we are off for another two day course, this time on Customer Care, the training providers, impressive  or what……………. so hopefully after this you will have a new and ever pleasing Nick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Down side is that we will have to suffer another two days at Stock Brook Manor, lunch by the log fire, gosh what a hardship!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Blowing away the cobwebs

Yesterday Millie Mai came for lunch, really enjoying having a grandchild so close, cant believe how quickly she grow though. Her smiles come ready enough for Rob and Mel but think I will have to wait a little while longer before I am allowed one….


Sunday is my doing day, sun was shining and wind blowing so decided to risk the washing on the line.


Mounted my quilted barriers picture, now just need to make a frame for it.


Then did some college work .

And then as a reward thought I would start playing with the Round Robin challenge. Not such a reward after all – Europe – mind is completely blank, could only come up with the European Union and that did not rock my boat………….

But, the union is about creating equality amongst nations, offering opportunities for poorer nations to build sounder footings and celebrating diversity, sounds a bit more appealing like that anyway.

So found some blue fabric that had shapes on it that represented building blocks. It is a bit boring so have sprayed it with white, turquoise and Prussian blue paint. It on the line drying at the moment


Then I plan to cut 12 random shaped stars out, not uniformed shaped one like on their flag but all different shapes so that they represent the diversity of the nations. These will be embellished into the fabric.


I then will probably lay a sheer over the top and free machine some rivers in, or mare accurately the Channel as it is the Channel that has kept us separate from Europe for such along time. If time permits, might get some words printed on it – well that is the idea any way!!!


Oh yes, forgot to say that Ralph decided to help too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ……….and cobwebs, well they were found after clearing up the mess that Ralph and I had made!!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A beautiful morning

Woke up to a cold crisp morning, didn’t know what to do first, take Ralph for a walk or rinse out my picture! Settled for a compromise, put picture into soak whilst I enjoyed the fields with Ralph.

IMG_6059 IMG_6068IMG_6060 IMG_6061 IMG_6062 IMG_6063 IMG_6064 IMG_6066 IMG_6070 IMG_6069

Right choice, a good start to the day. Then rinsed out picture.


Then applied a bit more bleach…………….


Think I can work with this now, not quite what I had planned but hey ho! Bit of emulsion and then repaint the bits that have fallen off, and you never know might even need a bit more bleach!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Round Robin

Just got this email from Sharne, cant imagine what her random number generator looked like – perhaps we need a picture of it on the blog! :-)

Hi All

Well it's the 1st March............drum roll...........

The Round Robin starts today.

This month:-

1. you have to make a piece of fabric, a fat 1/4 in size. You can stamp, dye, print etc. You all have a theme to work to, and you can use architecture, culture, clothes etc as your design source.

2. Your fabric must to be passed onto the next person BY the 31st March, with your design source/image to show that person where your ideas are coming from.

Using the random number generator this is what you have got-

1) Nickie-Europe

2) Margaret-Asia

3) Di-Australasia

4) Deb-Africa

5) Sharne-America's

I will email you all on March 22nd with info on who to pass your fabric onto.

Please post photo's on your blog of what you are doing with the challenge.

Any questions- don't ask me-( only joking)-this is supposed to be for FUN!!!!!!!!



Patience is a virtue


Well, you know I said I couldn't wait last night, well this morning I wish I had.

Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of it when I had carefully unwrapped it from its polythene bag. But suffice it to say, this is the DSCF1349result after copious amounts of bleach has been pasted over it!

So, that didn't work….. so I’ll share my next cunning plan…….. shove the whole lot in black dye!

Well I have absolutely nothing to lose, and maybe something to retrieve, I’ll let you know :-o

So, to continue the saga of patience not being one of my strongest points, ages ago I decided that I needed to so something about my car, she was getting a little worn out, so ordered a bright new red one, think that was about October……… and finally, today I collected it

Bye bye little fiesta IMG_6052


I was surprisingly sad to see my little silver go but the new one has a wicked radio and the brakes also sound like they might work!

So, that was my morning, then it was off to work

Christened new car by dropping egg sandwich in it!!