Sunday, 28 October 2012

Rainbow squares and MUM

Well since coming back from Australia my feet have hardly touched the ground and we are beginning to wonder what our house looks like. Mum celebrated her 92nd birthday on 27th August and two weeks later had a fall and decided that she no longer wanted to live on her own. She is now in a really lovely residential home and seems really happy there. Considering she was always insistant that she wasn't going to go into a home it was a great relief to us that she decided herself that was what she wanted.
The photos are of my contribution to our Branch of the Embroiderers Guild Rainbow Squares. I managed to get our members to produce enough for two strips of 12 but I got rather carried away with mine.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

 Two days on the trot blogging. Got a real buzz when I saw this sign at the end of the road for my workshop. Didn't use the facilities though. I can not help thinking of that famous aussie song 'there's a redback on the loo seat'
Mind you we have only ever seen one that a cousin retrieved from under a stone for our daughter Clare to see back in 1997.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Just four photos from my Australia trip. The one at the top shows some of the ladies of the New South Wales Embroiderers Guild HQ who I had the privilage to meet. Those of you who are artists will appreciate why I chose the next two photos and the last one is of the bowls produced by the group of textile artists who took my class in Moruya. In spite of the cold we had a wonderful time, meeting relatives who had only been names to us before and meeting like minded textile people. One of the highlights of the trip was the kamakazi Kookabura who used to fly into our cousins window then fly back to its tree laughing and waiting to be fed. We never did manage to get a photo of it actually crashing into the window, it was just too quick.
I also picked up a guitar and played it after not playing for fifteen years. In Junee I played a couple of songs with the Tin Shack Rattlers!!!!
We became the vertical bowling champions in the Junee licorice factory beating the Aussies!!!
I visited an Embroiderers Guild branch at Mount Eliza on the Mornington Penninsula. it was lovely to see that they do much the same kind of embroidery as we do in the UK although they possibly don't have quite as easy access to supplies as we do.
We did a lot of travelling and it now seems a lifetime ago.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Beetle, tree trunks and holidays!!!!

I have spent the last two days photographing some of my work so that I can show them to my friends in Australia. After a year of planing we are finally ready to head off next Tuesday for five weeks in Australia. We start in Sydney then go to Batemans Bay, Junee, along the route of the Murray River to Bendigo.
Then spending a week on the Mornigton Peninsula in a place called Rosebud before heading to Melbourne for the last three days. Most exciting is that I have been invited to visit the HQ of the NSW Embroiderers Guild while we are in Sydney to meet some of the members and be shown around. What and honour. I am really looking forward to that.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Here is a photo of the results from theWarrington branch of the Embroiderers Guild Venetian Purse workshop that I taught last Saturday. Most of them had nearly finished but the two who actually finished had never done any free machine embroidery before. I was delighted with them all and hope that I shall be able to post some pictures of the finished pieces before too long if they send me their photos. I started off the few days in Chester giving a talk about my Venetian work to the Chester EG. Geoff and I thought that it would be fun in the afternoon to walk the city walls. Well we got soaked as the heavens opened right at a part where there was no shelter.
Luckily I had dried off by the evening. We then stayed with Brian at Newcastle under Lyme where it was too wet the next day for him to get outside painting as he had wanted his dad to hold the ladder for him.
We spent friday in Liverpool where I was able to relive my misspent youth going around the Beatles experience.It brought back some really happy memories. I was also fortunite to catch a wonderful embroidery exhibition in Liverpool Cathedral.
As Liverpool was mainly shrouded in fine rain I want to go back and see more of it as it looks a wonderful city and well worth exploring.
A lot has been happening in the last few weeks. Clare eventually has moved out having found a really nice house to share with a friend. She is not too far away but at least she has her independance.
 Not long now until we head off to Australia. I have got one class to teach out there which I am really looking forward to and hope to meet some textile people.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Bournmouth workshop

Here are the results of my bowls workshop last Saturday with the ladies of the Bournmouth Embroiderers Guild and friends.I was really thrilled with them. The lower picture shows what had been achieved by the end of the day and the top one is a completed bowl which I think is really beautiful. We only had two machines that didn't like working on the thick silk and water soluble fabric.
I am now packing for a weeks holiday in Spain with husband and three year old grandson who is beside himself with excitement. He keeps telling everyone that he is going to Spain with his nanny and grandad and mummy and daddy are not coming. he is going to have fun and they are not.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Iolanthes veil

At last Iolanthes' veil is ready for the exhibition at Lydiard House. After the show I just wanted to add a few more details to it like more weeds and the dragon flies.
The opera Iolanthe was written by Gilbert and Sullivan. It tells the story of a Fairy, Iolanthe who has been banished by the Fairy Queen for marrying a mortal. She has gone to live at the bottom of a stream to be near her son Strephon (half mortal half fairy!). The fairies ask the Queen to pardon her and she comes out of the water covered in a veil of weeds. I designed this veil for the swindon Gilbert and Sullivans production. I used scrim which I dyed then embellished fleece and silk onto it using my embellishing machine. I then machine embroidered it  adding the weeds as I went. I used fantasy film for the dragon fly wings.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Dainty little Fairies.

Well it doesn't seem like just over  a week ago that we were performing Iolanthe. The show was brilliant and we all had a great time especially the 'dainty little fairies'. I was over the moon to get my first proper solo role as Celia. As a friend said, 'not bad for someone who is aged 6****' Cheeky of her but true. What next? well Swindon Choral Society will be singing Elijah in Marlborough College Chapel on Saturday and I am really looking forward to it as it has to be an all time favourite of mine. Just hope we get a good audience.
Still waiting for Daughter Sarah to produce  our second grandchild, Due any day now.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Can not believe that it is show week already. Seems to have come round awefully quickly. At least I have remembered my lines. Always a worry at my age!!! Of course things could all kick off this week if our second grandchild decides to put in a early appearance. we are on red allert ready to go at any time night or day to look after Fraser.
I have been making a veil for Iolanthe when she comes up from the pond. It had to look like weeds and I think that I have succeeded. I will post a picture once the show is over. It will be going into the GWE exhibition at Lydiard House Swindon at the end of the month.
Once the show is over also we will get on with planning our Australian holiday for August.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Spanish Holiday January 2012

Well back to reality and the cold! Geoff and I had a lovely restful two weeks in Spain on the Costa del Sol. Unusual for us as we normally dash here there and everywhere. I read three books a luxuary for me to be able to do. Having seen the film I read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, The Man from St Petersburg by Ken Follett and The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury. I had never even heard of the last author but I shall now be looking out for other books by him. We ate in all the local fish restaurants and had some lovely walks along the sea front. Although it was sunny and warm there was a cool breeze and it was cold in the evenings but apparently we were lucky as the last few years the weather there has been aweful in January. We liked the place so much we have boked to go again in April and take our Grandson so he can have a plane ride again. Today I have a lady coming to cliam her birthday present from her sister, a day working with me. I am teaching her how to make my embroidered silk bowls. I shall also make a start on the embroidery on Iolathes veil. Rehearsals are going well for that. I still find it hard to believe that I am a 'principle!' and not a chorus member. Our producer keeps telling me to stay in the middle of the stage and not scuttle back to the chorus when I deliver lines!