Sunday, 26 April 2009

A Whole Weekend of Stitching!

I've just got back from an excellent weekend at Belstead House (near Ipswich) with Norfolk-based patchwork group, The Flying Geese. Not QUITE sure how I managed that really, as I'm not a member of the group, I don't live in Norfolk, and I'm not a patchworker or quilter!
I guess it's just who you know.
This is the view from one of the windows in our workroom -

How's that for inspirational surroundings?

And this is some of us still hard at work after dinner, when it was dark outside. Those of us with staying power continued working until 11pm!

We didn't have a tutor - it was a 'Go it Alone' weekend, with everyone doing their own thing. Some people were working on quilts -

There were hangings - don't you just LOVE these colours ......

Cushions ...

Inchies .....

a jacket .....

and even a frog tidy/pincusion .....

It was lovely to have nothing to think of but stitching, (except, possibly, what time's the next meal coming) and there was always someone to give a bit of stitching advice or a second opinion on colourways. There was quite a lengthy discussion about strip patchwork, (which is NOTHING like strip poker) and I suggested the group could rename themselves The Dersingham Strippers, but it was decided that could encourage the wrong sort of members. We had some real laughs, and the atmosphere was a bit like a grown up girlie sleepover, but with less talk about boys, and more talk about medications and ailments.

And finally, although I'm not a patchworker or quilter in real life, here is my 'work in progress' - a 'bed-quilt-to-be' made from recycled tablecloths, traycloths and bedlinen. I will post another picture when it's finished. Probably best if you don't hold your breath, though.

Thank you for allowing me to join you girls, and thanks once again for your great company.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

More non-edible food!

Had a lovely day yesterday at a workshop at Art and Stitch. I took my friend Jane as an early birthday present for her forthcoming **th birthday (I don't want to upset her, I need all the friends I can get!) We had a bit of an initial hiccup as we got slightly lost in Peterborough, but when we rang for directions one of the very nice ladies at the shop told us to stay where we were and she'd come and find us! She arrived about five minutes later and we followed her. By the time we arrived, (only five minutes late) we were crying with laughter - is this what we've become, having to be rescued and led in to a sewing workshop??? Not very "Thelma and Louise" is it? Anyway, despite a slightly anxious start, we had a brilliant day, with good company and an excellent teacher (who also happens to be my baby Sis) Here's Jane receiving personal tuition...

Although we all started with the same kits and and instructions, all of the finished results were very different, but equally beautiful, and everyone enjoyed the day. AND, as the chocolates were inedible, we each were given little goodie bags with the real things to enjoy through the day.
Here are the finished results ...

And these are mine ....I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that I am still a couple of chocolates short of a box!

So big thanks to Angela and Pam at Art and Stitch, to my sister for showing us how to make the beautiful sweeties, and to Jane and the rest of the girls for being such good company. A lovely way to spend a day!
Oh, and also a big thank you to my Mum, who asked my sister to pass on this pressie of a lovely little tin of cardboard shapes to do 'arty stuff' with.

And to top it all - we managed to find our way home, without incident, AND I got to Stanstead in time to collect my Handsome Friend from his travels.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Easter and beyond

Oh dear, it's been a while since my last blog - don't really know where the time goes, but I have had a busy couple of weeks. Had a lovely Easter weekend - thankfully no chocolate (horrible stuff!) but these beautiful flowers from my handsome friend instead. So much nicer, and I am still enjoying them. And, let's be honest, there isn't much chance that chocolate would still be knocking about a week later, is there?

I spent one day before Easter at a friend's house, making felt. She made sensible things like bags, and I amused myself making felt "beads" of various sizes. And yes, of course they were deliberately in different sizes! Anyway, I came home and made this ...

A tiny bit scratchy, but what's a few red weal marks around the neck when you're making a fashion statement. AND when I went shopping in St Albans, a sales assistant complimented the necklace and asked me where I'd bought it!

Then, whilst in a jewellery-making mood, I made this chain maille bracelet with coloured jump rings from a kit, I bought ages ago from Beadsisters

It looks complicated but the instructions were really easy to follow.On Wednesday I went to the V & A to see the "HATS, An Anthology by Stephen Jones" I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in hats or fashion. Obviously, if you don't like hats, there are probably days out that you'd enjoy more! It was a beautiful day and we sat outside for coffee and watched everyone enjoying the sunshine.

Had another day in London on Friday, meeting up with a mate from Birmingham for lunch and a bit of shopping, then Leyton Orient on Saturday (they lost). Only one more game this season, then every Saturday off for a few months. How WILL I cope???

Sunday, 5 April 2009

More daffodils - they're real, but the apples aren't - they are wooden and made by my Dad - woodturner to the stars!

And obviously these aren't real either - they are the knitted flowers I made at a workshop at Cottenham in February (for all those who say I never finish anything!)

And talking of finishing things, I recently bought a ball of this pink bobbly yarn .........

And I just finished making it into this scarf.....

It was fairly quick to knit - I just had to fiddle around with needle sizes until I could fit two stitches between the bobbles. It feels lovely and soft, but it's probably going to be put away until next winter - it's very warm.
I've been doing some more sitting for a couple of art classes - this is becoming a bit of a habit.

They are both brilliant, but then they ARE the work of the tutors!
Today I have spent most of the day in the garden - my back is sore, my arms are scratched, my fingernails are shot to pieces, and I've got gardener's hands - but the garden is looking lovely.

And finally - I'll end with a heart, newly repotted and lightly trimmed.Let's hope this weather continues over the Easter weekend too!