Monday, 28 December 2009


They say the best laid plans never go right. well ours certainly didn't. Starting with Fraser our grandson who was ill for well over a week before Christmas. Three different Doctors saw him and said he just had a virus. Finally it took a nurse on the end of a phone line, hearing him moaning, to tell our daughter to take him to hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Fortunitly the anti biotics kicked in and he was well enough to enjoy his presents on Christmas morning.
We had gone to Essex to pick my mum up at the weekend. We started back for Swindon on the Monday but an hour into the journey on the M 25 we were in a blizzard and decided to turn back. Good job we did. We made it back to Swindon on the Tuesday morning.
After having made plans to have all the family together on Boxing Day we had to cancel as 7pm Christmas Day I was hit by a violent sickness bug. Poor Geoff was up with me until 2am. I thought that I had given everyone food poisoning but no one else got it so it must have been the winter tummy bug! Looking forward to our holiday in the new year. i think that we need it!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

GWE Collect on beetles

This is the collection of Beetles made by the Great Western Embroiderers at the workshop we did on Tuesday. I think that they are great and should make a good display in our Lydiard House Exhibition. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the Beetles have taken on thier own little personalities each one being slightly different. Everyone loved the fantasy film. I had great fun teaching the ladies to make them. We even had a new member join for the first time.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Art Quilting Studio Mag and christmas Shopping!

Just spent the day in Winchester Christmas market and managed to buy a few more presents.
Got home to find a copy of Art Quilting Studio Magazine with my article Beetles and pitcher Plants in. Not the Mag I had expected but even better. Going to see Blood Brothers this evening.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Basildon Guild and Canvey

Just got back from a good weekend with Mum on Canvey Island. She was better than I expected and managed to talk non stop for three hours on Sunday without loosing her voice! She also came with me when I gave my Embroidered bowls talk at Basildon Branch of the Embroiderers Guild and was made thoroughly welcome. They were a lovely bunch and also had visitors from other branches just come to hear my talk. Really looking forward to teaching them the bowls next year. Off ten pin bowling this afternoon with Sarah and Andy. At least I shall not bowl but will occupy Fraser while they bowl then going to Pizza Hut.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Winchester Guild Bowls Workshop

These three photos are of the Winchester Guild at their Bowls workshop. I think that they all look really happy and they were a delight to teach. I am always amazed at the diversity of the designs

Hampton Court Workshop Photos

These four photo were taken at my bowls workshop at The Embroiderers Guild Hampton Court. They show the group working and some of the pieces.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Had a busy week last week. gave a talk to the Beehive Quilters in Horley then taught the bowls and bugs workshop at the Embroiderers Guild HQ in Hampton Court Palace. Took us two and a half hours on the first morning to drive 22 miles!!!! The group I taught were lovely and the surroundings are beautiful. Off to Winchester Guild on Wednesday for another talk and workshop.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Here at last is the cover for my beetle kits.
I am off to teach at the Embroiderers Guild
tomorrow and will be teaching bowls and beetles.
Went to see grandson this morning. We are having him to saty
on his own for the first time this weekend.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Some of my holiday snaps. On the right is Cathedral Rock Sedona.The photos were taken at different times. The really bright one was at Sunset.

These two are of the beautiful Autumn Colours in Oak Creek Canyon Sedona. The colours got more vibrant as the two weeks went on.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

just for fun!

Anyone guess how this photo was taken?Also what it is of!
Just something that I discovered while on holiday and just had to buy it and have some fun with it.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

holiday in America!

We got back from Arizona on Saturday after having a great time catching up with old friends and making new ones. I have got some yummy products from Art Glitter to try out. I made this piece using some of their fusible fantasy fibres in the background fabric which is layers of organza on felt, The diacroic glass cabuchon was made by Paula Radka a glass artist I met in LA. It was the shape of the glass that gave me the idea for making it into the bracelet. I celebrated my birthday watching the sunset at the Airport lookout in Sedona and drinking champagne!!!! Then back to our villa for an meal and birthday cake.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

facebook !!!

I have just disovered face book and have now joined that community. It is great finding new family members and old friends.
This picture is one of my latest bags made using my embellisher. I have added a beetle to it. Only another three days to go before heading off to Sedona.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Coughs and colds!!!!!

UGH, I was supposed to be going to Exeter for the AGM of the West Country Embroiderers today but I have a nasty cough and cold so decided to stay indoors! Counting down now until next friday (9th) when we fly out to Arizona. Can't wait and so looking forward to visiting all the lovely folks at Art Glitter Institute in Cottonwood. Have been looking after Fraser for two afternoons this week. We went to the park to feed the ducks yesterday. It is lovely to be able to spend time with him so the embroidery just has to wait. I got an exciting parcel from America for glass artist Paula Radka this week. She has sent me some diachroic glass to make some more brooches with and I can hardly wait to get started.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Dorking Embroiderers Guild workshop

This photo is of the bowls made by the Ladies of the Dorking Branch of the Embroiderers Guild at their workshop on Monday. The purple one in the middle has had the water soluble washed away. The rest are near completion. I am always delighted when I see the variety of designs produced at a workshop. Everyone has the same starting point but every bowls is different. I hope that they will send me some photos of their completed bowls.
Had a lovely day yesterday as it was grandson Frasers first birthday.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Patchwork People Newport Pagnell

I Gave my Embroiderer to Textile artist talk at Newport Pagnell on Saturday. They were a lovely talented crowd and I had a great time with them. I always love going to different groups to give my talks as I love to see what other people do and nearly always come away inspired.
I have now seen the proof of my article for Decembers Workbox magazine and can not wait to get the actual magazine. I am really thrilled with they way the photos have turned out.
Spent the morning looking after Fraser today as Sarah had to go and buy some new shoes and trousers befor she starts back to work. He just wanted to walk up and down. Rather back breaking when I am having to hold his hands and woe betides me if I didn't want to go in the same direction as he did. He certainly keeps me on my toes!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

talks and getting lost.

Gave my bowls talk to the Oxford Embroiderers Guild last night. They were a lovely group and very welcoming. I am looking forward to teaching them in February.
We have been to Oxford so many times especially to Ifley road area that Geoff refused to use the Sat Nav. Naturally we took the wrong turning in spite of me saying that we should have turned and found ourselves heading away from where we needed to be. Next time I ignore him and take it anyway!
I think I shall have to start writing down a few key words when I am giving talks as I have a job remembering the names of products and suppliers and have to resort to my remembering strategy. Must be my age catching up with me and my brain going into overload.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

new link

Hi everyone, I have added a new link to my blog. Workbox Magazine in which I will be featured in the December/January issue. If anyone would like a chance to win a signed copy of my book Beautiful Bowls and Colourful Creatures then they need to buy that issue. I am sure once you have seen the magazine you will wish to subscribe to Workbox. Of course you can always buy my book from my web site. Busy week this week with a meeting of the Marlborough and District Embroiderers Guild on Monday and the the Great Western Embroiderers on Tuesday. really looking forward to both meetings.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Mermaid and Canvey Island

As we have just spent a week at Canvey Island at my mothers home I thought that Miranda here was an appropriate brooch.. We took our daughter and Grandson(11months old). Within 5 minutes of arriving he had a mouth full of plant leaves which he was reluctant to give up!!! Once we had moved all the plants out of reach he started on her coasters, the wooden door stop, her fridge magnets and her bell collection. He also liked to be held up to the ceiling so he could ring the wind chimes! Yes we had taken some of his toys with us as well as some new ones. He loved the drum I had bought him for a local charity shop.
Since coming home I have been busy dyeing more silk caps ready for a workshop at Dorking Monday week and finishing off an article for Workbox Magazine Decembers issue.

Monday, 24 August 2009

workshop at the EG

Spent a wonderful day yesterday at the Festival of Quilts, meeting up with some new people and renewing old friendships. I shall be teaching a bowls and bugs workshop at the Embroiderers Guild Hampton Court on the 4th-5th November. Anyone interested should contact the Guild at
their website and go to the workshops page.
I shall be spending the rest of the week at Canvey Island in Essex staying with my mother.
we are also taking number 1 daughtr and grandson. Hopefully we might get some nice weather!

Monday, 17 August 2009

more brooches and Quilts festival

Still making my lady brooches. I am hooked at the minute. I'm really looking forward to the festival of Quilts at Birmingham on Sunday. it will be nice just to be abl to browse and not have to worry about manning a stand for a change. I am teaching at Hampton Court in November for the Embroiderers Guild, a two day bowls workshop so anyone interested check it out at their web site.

We are promised a heatwave later this week. Might get one if we are lucky.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Marlborough EG Visit to Salisbury

Our Marlborough Embroiderers Guild Outing this year was to Salisbury where I had arranged for us to have a tour of the Embroideries. We were able to go into parts where the general public couldn't and we had a wonderful time seeing the kneelers and the beautiful frontals. It was especially exciting for me to get a closeup look at the beautiful Energy frontal by Jane Lemon. It is a favourite piece of embroidery of mine. We started off having coffee and biscuits in the Cathedral coffee shop and there was plenty of time after the tour to explore the rest of Salisbury including the museum with it's collection of costumes.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

I have just spent two weeks teaching at Marlborough College Summer School and the photo shows the work produced by my adult class. It never ceases to amaze me how different all the work produced is even with starting from the same point. There was quite a variety this year with one lady making jewellery instead of the green man. I have come back a few pounds heavier from all the lovely food so the diet has started already ready for next year.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Brooches and summer school

I am rather hooked on making these little brooches at the minute. This one is Queen Elizabeth 1st. I can do the machine embroidery during the day then sit and stitch all the beads on in the evening. The head is also hand stitching. It would make a good workshop so if anyone is interested let me know. Off to mums for the weekend then a 'bowls' talk at Dorking Embroiderers Guild on Monday morning. Have to get everything ready next week for the Marlborough College Summer Schools felt making courses. Two weeks of good food ,singing, dancing and entertainment. Can not wait!!!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Marions Bowl!

What a thrill for me on arriving at Marlborough Guild on Monday to see this bowl produced by one of my Students at my workshop. This was Marions own design and although she hadn't finished it on the day she had done enough to take it home and finish it off. The Butterflies are gorgeous. I am always so proud when I see a finished piece that someone has made from either the instructions in my book or a workshop. Keep the pictures coming Girls!!!!!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


I spent yesterday teaching silk bowls to a lovely group of ladies at Broughton Gifford. It always amazes me that people are game to do a workshop that they know very little about and that is well out of their usual comfort zone. They all worked with gusto and once we had overcome several temperamental sewing machines, had reached the stage by the end of the day, where they could finish their bowls off at home. It seems to me that some of the more advanced all sing all dancing sewing machines like to be in control rather than let the user do free stitching. We did manage to get all but one to co-operate so one student finished up using my Bernina machine.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

brooches and more

What an exciting week this has been. I have been asked to contribute to a book that is coming out next year and so had to spend the week photographing some of my work. Between that, making bags and looking after Fraser I have hardly had time to do anything else. The ohoto shows a selection of brooches I have made to accommodate some of my beetles. I had a photo sent this week from one of my American Students showing the beetle she had made from the kit I sent her. It proves that the kits work.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

summer concert

Last night was The Swindon Choral Society summer concert. We are celebrating 80 years of the Society and I have belonged to it for 24 of them! I fulfilled a secret ambition at this one. To sing the wonderful solo part in The Easter Hymn for Cavaleria Rusticana. I did it as part of a trio but it was a thrill to sing it.
I shall now spend the week making shopping bags to sell to raise money for the Society and dyeing silk caps ready for my next workshop.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

bags and beads

This is my lastest piece of work. I bought the lovely glass when we were in the US and couldn't decided what to do with it. After fiddling around I decided to incorporate it into a piece of Textiles and this little brooch is the result. I can not wait to make a few more now.
Spent yesterday making calico shopping bags for the Swindon Choral Society. I print them with a lino print of music and embroiderer the name and dates of the Society. I made 50 ten years ago on our 70th anniversary. I don't know how many I shall make for our 80th as I find it a bit mind numbing but it does raise us some funds.

Monday, 15 June 2009


Well I didn't get any painting done on my week away. However I took lots of inspirational photos especially at the two National Trust Site we visited, Bodnant and Powys Castle. The place we were staying had it's own resident family of peacocks who used to visit us each day. The baby one used to follow a pair of ducks around. I am now looking forward to our next holiday in October when we are going to Sedona, Arizona with friends a truely inspiring place.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

books & holiday

Off on holiday on Saturday for a week in North Wales. I hope to get some painting done for textile inspiration.We had a great talk at Guild on Monday about indonesian textiles. Very interesting. I have just had more orders for my book. Check it out on my web site.

Monday, 1 June 2009

left overs

At Last I have found a way to use up any little bits of silk cap left over from my bowls and this is the result. It has given me an excuse to get to grips with my creative Embellisher machine as they embellish beautifully onto the background of black felt. I thne machine embroider them in place. The lining is fabric I had left over from my last Gilbert and Sullivan production when I had to make a very large Witches hat big enough to cover a 6' man!!

Saturday, 30 May 2009


This is my latest collection of beetles inspired by the wonderful book Living Jewels. They have just gone to America to be photographed. I love making them as they each develope their own personality! They pop up all over the house and have been know to frighten unwanted visitors! I intended to try and sort out my work room this week. I is badly in need of a cleanup (I have been saying that for the past three months but always find something else to do).Perhaps if I didn't have my machines and computer in it I would get the cleaning done.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

bowls workshop

I spent Saturday at Letchworth EG teaching my Silk Bowls workshop. I was amazed and very pleased with what the members all produced. They were brilliant and nearly all the bowls were ready for washing off by the end of the day. One lovely lady even produced two bowls. I cannot wait to see some pictures of the them finished now and look forward to posting some on this site.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


How exciting to get an e mail this morning from Art Glitter in Cottonwood Arizona with news of their new blog. This is where I get my lovely fantasy film and fibres from for my bowls and bugs! The fibres are also used in this piece which was made into a Quiver. They are layered underneath two layers of polyester organza.
I am putting my embellisher to good use at last and using up some left over scraps of silk cap to make a bag. Won't have much time though today as our small choir is singing at a funeral so have to fit in a practice also.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

machines, bugs etc!

The machine I looked at yesterday was a Bernina Quilters edition which works beautifully for free machine embroidery as I had a good go at it. My bugs and vessels are on their way to the States to be photographed for the Art Doll Quarterly magazine. It was like saying goodbye to my babies. Still they were well packed.

Here is a closeup photo of of two of them on their flower. I took the inspiration for making pitcher plants from last years Chelsea Flower show. They were shown again last night and I still find them beautiful and fascinating.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

it works!!!!

Spent ages last night trying to work out how to get back onto my blog to edit it! Did it first time this morning. If I can do it anyone can. Anyway off to look at someones new sewing machine this morning to see if I can help her use it. Might be the blind leading the blind as it is a new Bernina with lots of stitches on. I use a Bernina 1000 for all my free stitchery and a Janome Memory Craft 4000 for everything esle, Still at least it is not fixed up to a computer. Watch this space to see how I get on!.

Monday, 18 May 2009

first time blogger!!!!!

After resisting to blog for ages I have finally decided to give in and join what appears to be the majority. I shall be teaching next weekend and have spent the last few days dyeing silk caps inpreparation so now have blue/green fingers. I have also been writing a 800 word article about my fabric beetles for a magazine and now have to post some off to the US for photographing. I just hope that they don't escape!