Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Knitting and Stitching Show

I was determined not to let too much time go by before I post again, but I really don’t know where the time goes to …

My friends Elaine and Jennifer and I really enjoyed our annual ‘jaunt’ to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate. It’s turned into a ‘mini-holiday’ and, although we didn’t spend anything like as much as last year – we all bought embellishers! – we still enjoy looking at the ‘spoils’ over a cup of tea in our room before we sally out to ‘Quantro’ for our evening meal. A glass of Baileys and ‘putting the world to rights’ before bed has become a ritual as well.

It was lovely to see our favourite tutor, Ruth Issett, surrounded by the zingiest of her fabrics. You could almost ‘breathe in’ the colour on her stand and the sheer emotion always – you’ve guessed it – makes me cry! What am I like?!

It was lovely to see Ruth - and Chas - looking so well and just enjoying the admiration instead of beavering away as usual. I’m sure that Kevin and Viv missed her demonstrations but I suppose the ‘finished product’ across the way was just as much an inspiration and selling aid?

The other stand I spent time at was the ‘Art 4 Cloth’. Lots of encouragement from inspired tutors who made their work sound ‘easy’ … it probably is for them after a lifetime dedicated to producing such detailed and elaborate surface decoration – Complex Cloth indeed.

As usual the Graduate Showcase attracted a great deal of attention. It’s great to see these young people who are just starting out in the textile world getting to show off their work to an appreciative audience. My particular favourites this year were Eleanor Feddon, Sara Baccucini Meadows and Linda Marie Young with her intricate, beautiful boxes. I was entranced by Victoria Geary’s ‘wrapped rings’ – lovely fabrics, threads and tiny, tiny stitches. Gorgeous.

On the way home we had such a wonderful sunset coming over Beamsley Hill. It started off as pink and pale blue, through purple and orange to scarlet. Very Ruth.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Catching up

Well, here I am again – wondering how you pick up the pieces and start to blog again after such a long time! The Croatian holiday was such a disappointment that I threw myself into a whirlwind of activity – and the dust has only just settled. I haven’t even looked at my own blog, let alone anyone else’s!

I have made a fervent resolve to stay home this week and try to catch up on some of the things that haven’t been getting done whilst I have been ‘gadding about’ - as we say ‘oop north’. However - and I don't know why? - I can't get any of the photographs into my text so - for now - I'll have to remain 'undecorated'.

I’m going to rattle off a few of the things I’ve seen and done over the last few weeks – bearing in mind that hardly a day has gone by without some little diversion!

I went with my friend Julie to see the Matthew Williamson exhibition at Urbis – pretty much the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ as far as we were concerned. Yes, the colours were vibrant and the pattern striking but in terms of cutting and construction the garments left a lot to be desired. We resolved to go home and sew … and so we shall.

The Platform Gallery Open Exhibition was a treasure. The highlights for me were Joan Newall’s ‘retrospective book ‘At this moment’ – a real punch in the solar plexus! Gilly Cowan’s layered pieces were so colourful and beautifully stitched. Two of my all-time favourites were also exhibiting - Janet Browne’s ‘journeys’ and Jacqueline Smith’s collages are always a delight to behold and both had lovely pieces on show.

I’ve taken part in two concerts – and all the rehearsals leading up to them – ‘The Armed Man’ again and, last Sunday, ‘Faur√©’s Requiem’ and four ‘Motets for Christmas’ by Poulenc. Very challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a relief to be doing Christmas carols once again - but it feels like it ought to be August still! Where did the year go?

I’ve been to the theatre twice to see Chekov’s ‘Three Sisters’ and my own very favourite play ‘Antigone’. This last was a stunning production and reduced me to tears by its intensity and passion. I’m a bit of a Greek tragedy ‘nut’, I have to confess. (My friend, Barbara, a true romantic, who was hoping for a happy ending, reduced me to giggles as she gasped with horror as the bodies piled up!)

The other trip to the Royal Exchange was to hear Sheila Hancock talking about her book ‘Just Me’ – a sequel to ‘The Two of Us’ about her marriage to, and the death of, her husband, John Thaw. I feel a special affinity to Sheila and had the opportunity to tell her so afterwards. I could identify with her experiences of going abroad on your own without the presence of the loving companion with whom you have long shared your travels. You’ve just got to get in there and do it – or sit at home and go into a decline?

I enjoyed the ‘Fashion and Embroidery Show’ at Harrogate, though possibly not as much as in years gone by? I particularly liked Jessica Abraham’s work – it gets better all the time.

Preston Embroiderer’s Guild took part in the Arts Society exhibition in the Minster and my felt pieces were finished in time! Just! I've managed to bring these in through 'Picasa' but it doesn't work for all the others. Why? Anyway, these are 'The pool at the Jardin Majorelle' 1-4.

I've done several courses/workshops - one at Cedar Farm with Sheila Smith and Joanne Eddon, using painted silk to nuno on to felt and one with Sandra Coleridge using the embellisher, both very enjoyable.
Most of all I enjoy the felting group that I belong to. The members are so kind and generous and happy to share their expertise one with another. Our inspiration is Fiona whose wonderful work you can see on 'Fiat84'. She kindly came to give me a personal 'tute' on 'Paint Shop Pro' which is - at last - beginning to make sense. We are all indebted to her for sharing her techniques and tips and inspiring us with her sense of colour and stitch.
As well as Jackie keeping us 'in tucks' with her stories, we have CAKE - how could it help being my favourite way of spending a day?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Croatia by Coach

Well, here I am again - feeling very frustrated. My broadband connection keeps 'disappearing (thanks again 'talktalk'!) when I get - just - to the end of a post! I've been so busy since I got back from holiday that I thought I'd better do a quick travelogue!

So many people had said that Croatia was wonderful - and I’ve been dying to go to Dubrovnik for ages – that I have to say that I was rather disappointed. Long coach journeys aren’t for me unless there’s something really interesting to see and periods of enforced inactivity don’t do it for me either.

But - this was an interesting day at the Krka Valley National Park - lots of waterfalls. Croatian ia one of those languages where they miss out all the vowels!

Of all the places we went to I liked Split the best.

The Diocletian palace was my favourite historical site. Built in 305AD as a pagan stronghold it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Monument and houses sophisticated shops, cafes and restaurants. Complete with cheesy 'Romans' - although these were a bit 'tasty' as well ...

Over 3,000 people live within the walls – and, even if you live in a palace, you have to have somewhere to hang your washing!

On to Dubrovnik, where the main streets and piazzas were very crowded with tourists from the cruise ships.

The small side streets looked very inviting and I longed to explore these but didn’t have the chance.

Then the weather arrived – yes, the kind that had followed us all the way from England! Three months without rain and it all arrived at once!

So - back home, still with webbed feet, and will blog soon about my much more active life in – for the moment – sunny Lancashire!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A day to remember

September 7th is not a good day in our family. Seven years ago my beloved husband, Bill, lost his fight with cancer. Four days later came 9/11. The World Trade Center was a place that he loved, glorying in the views and the wonderful people we always seemed to meet there. It's almost as if my little tragedy is subsumed into the much larger US one and every year there are reminders in the media of this time in my life and I feel connected with many other people who lost their loved ones on that day. I suppose I wouldn't have it any other way - if there has to be a time I feel bad, I may as well share it with thousands of others! I visited 'Ground Zero' two years ago and that hole in the ground sums up the way I sometimes feel about my life. Roll on the infinity pool!

I usually try to be out of the country on this particular date but haven't quite managed it this year - and in a way I'm glad. My eldest grandson, Allan, has just got engaged to Kerry, a wonderful young lady, whom I am delighted to welcome into our family. So today has been a day of celebration - an emotional day in every way. God bless you both!

Tomorrow I'm off to Croatia with my friend Barbara. We spend three days in Omis and then off to Dubrovnik. Oh, the thought of some sunshine and escaping from the downpours of the past few weeks - I feel as if I have webbed feet!

So - I'll be off the blogisphere for a while, soaking up the sun and recharging my batteries. See you when I get back!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Trying again

This is just to prove that I am actually doing something creative. Here is one of the 'pre-felts' that I have made towards the four pieces for the exhibition in October. I decided that sitting and looking at the work I have done wouldn't (as my Mother used to say) 'buy the baby a new bonnet' - but that's another story! Anyone heard that expression?

I think that 'procrastination' ought to be my middle name. Why do I find it so scary to actually embark on a creative project when I can quite cheerfully - well, no, quite miserably in fact, spend long hours in the middle of the night - thinking about it? Is there anyone else out there like this? If so, please tell me!

Anyway - here we go - I have tried twice to post and pass on the award that Jackie passed on to me and have been determined to do it properly this time. But 'Blogger' doesn't like it. Tough.

So here goes - which of your blogs keep me going, make me smile and generally inspire me? Well, Mary from 'White Clover Stitches' seems to spend time 'agonising' over her work, too - and she loves hydrangeas as well! Leave 'Jump Rope Girl' alone, Mary, she's lovely as she is ...

Carol of 'Textile Tales' is so generous with her tutorials and her support for a 'new girl' and 'Ellie MacPhee' is a girl after my own heart with her displacement activities. Linda from 'Blue-eyed Girl' makes me so want to get into soul journalling - but I mustn't until I've dealt with a few more UFOs. But I will - and until then I shall continue to drool over Linda's work.

'Kayla Coo' paints lovely pictures and posted pictures of Nice, which is one of my very favourite places. Sharon B of 'In a Minute Ago' is so generous with her stitches and tutorials. And I've just discovered the most mouth-watering pictures on a new (to me) blog - 'Sea Angels'. I think that's more than enough but let me just sneak in an extra 'new girl on the block' - 'Picallily and Blossom'. We new girls have to stick together and she deserves it for the whacky name alone!

When I wasn't feeling very creative myself it was lovely to lurk around your blogs, girls. Thank you for keeping me going.

Now, all I have to do is to write up the minutes of the Preston EG committee meeting (a job I hate!) and then I can start to think about packing for my hols - more of that in my next post?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More 'round and round the garden'

Just a sample of the things in the garden ... statues ...

... woodland walks ... amazing hot tub ...

... a house covered in thatch ...

... a glass water feature ...

... "Tired, love?"

My friend Barbara said this looked like her when she was doing her back exercises - but I couldn't persuade her to show me ...
Well worth a visit!

Round and round the garden - and Blogger!

Aaargh! This is the fifth time I have tried to do a post with more than one picture and each time the gremlins sabotage what I've done. So I'll blog about the pictures I've got and try again tomorrow. There's only so much a girl can take!

This is a view of the Ribble Valley from a house and garden that I've wanted to visit for a long time. It's the 'Old Zoo Garden' at Brockall Village, near Whalley. The site was once a vast 'mental asylum' with 3,500 patients and the garden is built on the 'petting zoo' of the hospital, hence the name. It's an amazing place, full of sculptures and wonderful planting which matches the scale of the site. It wasn't the best of days but the views were amazing. Wish I could show you more! Thanks to the National Gardens Scheme we were able to sneak a peek today.

This is a picture of my friends David and Kathy whose 'love story' makes me go weak at the knees. One day I'll write the script for the Hollywood movie! They now live in a delightful little house which overlooks the canal and they can look out at boats and ducks and lots of other delightful 'traffic'. So romantic.

Perhaps I'll try to pop some more pictures into a new post - if Blogger will let me?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome, world!

This is what greeted me at my front door this morning when I peeped out to see if there was still a world out there. What a blessed sight!

I feel as if I have just made a 're-entry' into the world from outer space! Today, for the first time in over a week, I feel as if I'm a member of the human race. Not a fully paid-up member, you understand, but here anyway.
I'd like to thank all those lovely people who have kept me going with phone calls and e-mails. I have been so weak and wobbly and haven't done anything to 'post' about, except to try to listen to my body for a change and to do nothing.
What I have been doing is making lists - lots of lists. What I need to do now is to tackle them
s-l-o-w-l-y. Not my ususal 'bull in a china shop' way of going about things but with ... patience ... and serenity ... Watch out for flying pigs!
I have lots of things to do with my blog - comments to reply to and awards to pass on - and I will do that as soon as I can. Please be patient with me.

Friday, August 22, 2008

In Dublin's fair city ... not

Oh, woe is me! I should have been in Dublin, having girlie lunches and massages and manicures and ... oh, lots of fun with two of my dearest friends, Mags and Adrienne.

Instead, I'm at home, still in my dressing gown and feeling just a tad sorry for myself.

I went to Chester on Sunday for a course but by Monday morning I was feeling very under the weather - stricken down by the 'dreaded lurgie'. Unable to face food and just wanting to put my head down on the table, I decided I'd better come home.

Thank goodness for daughters, especially mine, who made me drink some nasty 'dehydration' stuff and kept my spirits up.

Felt a little better by Wednesday and packed for my trip and had something to eat - dry toast. Big mistake.

Unpacked yesterday about the same time my plane was taking off.

They do say every cloud has a silver lining and mine is ... I've lost five pounds. That's 'lbs', not '£s'!

The piece I've pictured above is mine ... but only because I bought it. It's a piece by Jackie of some Celtic crosses and I love it and look at it every day. It's complex, spiritual and exquisitely stitched. Like my daughter, it lifts my spirits.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A cure for insomnia?

I discovered a cure for insomnia on Thursday - a visit to the Festival of Quilts! I haven't been sleeping well for some weeks now but after our visit to the NEC I didn't have a problem ... hit the pillow and zzzzz!!!

I loved looking at the quilts but spent the day muttering to myself "mustn't get into quilting..." over and over again. The fabrics on offer were so wonderful that I did want to 'splash out' but managed to restrict myself to a 'gentle paddle' with some batting, a pack of rubbing plates and some 'Inkaid'. (I hope 'Art Van Go' were paying Maggie Grey commission on this as everyone who visited the 'WOW' stand went straight off to 'AVG'. Hope they had more supplies 'in the van' as they ran out just after I'd bought mine.) I couldn't even get close enough to Ruth Issett to say 'hello' as she was, as usual, four deep in salivating viewers.

I also bought some 'Evolon' (this and the Inkaid are for a course I'm going on next week in Chester, run by the CTDG. It's about the 'Big D' - design - which is often the cause of my sleepless nights.) I'm hoping that a computer will assist me and the 'design process' becoming 'bessie friends' - but I'm not sure? Fingers crossed - I'll keep you posted.

I do hope 'Evolon' doesn't join her sister 'Lutrador' in the cupboard marked 'things I'll get round to using someday'. Quite a big cupboard, that one.

I haven't posted for a long time because I've been very busy but I have done some felting this week. Can't post a photo just yet because they're presents for friends.

There's also been lots of 'humming and hawing' about what to make for the Embroiderer's Guild exhibition in October. Can't let you peep at this either because it might all turn out to be a disaster! I've made the felt background for two of the pieces but next comes the 'stitch challenge'. Should I? Shouldn't I? If so, with what - and where? Machine or hand stitching? Do I need this sort of challenge in my life? Obviously I do.

My picture at the top of the post isn't, technically speaking, 'my' picture at all. It's a group embroidery done for an exhibition by Preston branch members of EG. I love it and am 'looking after it' in between exhibitions. (Please also note that I have managed to rotate the picture!) My four-inch square is third from the left on the second row and Jackie's is the same on the bottom row - those mouthwatering cherries!

My next challenge is to put my photographs, etc. on to an external hard drive. When people say "It's dead simple" it usually turns out not to be the case ... watch this space!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A rant - and a bit of a rave

Well, I came on to the computer determined to 'crack' the problem of how to put the lovely awards on and to link back to the people who gave them to me. This stuff is seriously headache-inducing and has made me turn to chocolate! Will have another go tomorrow ....

Posted a picture of a bag I made for a wedding - it's the same technique as the hydrangea cushion (TBC) I posted before, and it brings back happy memories of a lovely day! (If someone can tell me why the photo is sideways-on and how to 'tweak' it you'll make me very happy!) Meanwhile you'll just have to lean to the left!

I did promise a 'rant' - and here it is. (This is mostly for those of you who live in the UK but the general principles regarding 'fashion' may apply elsewhere?)

My favourite store has always been Marks and Spencer. I have bought some stunning outfits here in the past but now when I go in there is absolutely nothing that I want to buy. I have to say that this applies to other high street store as well but it is M&S that I feel has particularly let me down - and yes, I am taking it personally!

As a lady of mature years who still has a sense of style, and an even greater sense of what suits her body shape and size, I search the store for flattering, wearable clothes.

Yes, along with most other people of my age, I've got 'bingo wings' but search in vain for clothes with sleeves - I wore 'puff sleeves' as a child and still feel very childish when I try them on. Stretchy, tight-fitting T-shirts are another 'no no' - how many people, whatever their age, do you see without at least a tiny 'spare tyre'? I see young people with 'muffin tops' walking around 'letting it all hang out' but that's not what our generation want to do. The 'smock' top is everywhere but that takes me right back to when I last wore them - when I was pregnant. And that's a long time ago!

The ethos of 'Per Una' seems to be 'tear it off and stitch it back on somewhere else - as a frill, of course. And as for their 'Classic Collection' ... surely that's only for people who wear clothes to keep warm?

Please tell me that I'm not just being a 'grumpy old woman' (I quite like being one sometimes)? I still have a waist and I don't feel 'old' and I don't want to be a 'frump' - but I don't want to dress like a teenager either!

I love clothes and I do have (just a little) money to spend but find it very difficult to do so these days. I have several friends who feel the same and we voice our opinion whenever we get the chance - but is anyone listening? It appears not.

So this afternoon I made a skirt. Out came the sewing machine and it took less than an hour. No one else has one like it and it cost me £12. Bring it on!

Oh, yes - the 'rave' bit. Last week I (like trillions of others) tried to 'cap' my fuel tarrif. This involved talking to a 'call centre'. The very thought makes my heart sink into my boots. However, after talking to not one, but two, utterly charming and helpful young people whom I could understand I told them I was staying with their company - 'E-on' - for that very reason. Nice to hand out a few bouquets occasionally!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A passion for Klimt

This has certainly been a week to end all weeks! And one with more than its fair share of traumas - hence my not 'posting' for a while. All I have to say is that I am so grateful to all my 'sisters' out there who have been with me every step of the way - you know who you are!

The three with me above are Brenda, Elaine and Fiona when we were at Tate Liverpool today. I have developed a 'passion' for Klimt after a glorious immersion in gold leaf, spirals, mosaics and sumptuous erotic decoration on the one hand, and the delicate, exquisitely drawn faces on the other - and the sheer scale of the Beethoven frieze ... It's left me wanting to know more. Definitely a 'woman's man'! As mythology is 'my bag' I've had a glorious day. (And I could have walked away with the cutlery and the coffee set given half a chance ... ah, well ...

Thursday was a 'playday' when friends Elaine and Jennifer join me for the day and we either set ourselves a challenge or swap techniques. It's a good way to keep up our skills level and try new things - and, as the name suggests, have FUN!

As usual a lot of chatting and laughing went on but we did do some nuno felting. We are being really brave and challenging ourselves to have something ready for the Embroiderers' Guild exhibition in October. Here is the first - and probably still my favourite? - nuno piece. It's a black chiffon scarf which gets a lot of wear!

The technique I am using at the moment (for the four 'Jardin Majorelle' pieces) involves working with pre-felts. It's a technique I first encountered on a Jeanette Appleton course at Glaramara last year. The reason I am still working on it is because of another of my 'amazing' ladies, called Fiona. I was so impressed by her work on the course that we pressurised (bullied?) her into starting a local felt group. We now meet once a month and Fiona's work has been such an inspiration to us all. She is so encouraging to beginners like me and the group is now fully subscribed. You can see her work on flickr at fi@84. You'll love it! She's one of the group in the picture too.

Talking of passion, I thought I'd post a picture of three of the Passion flowers in my garden - they're glorious at the moment. Another flower that's full of symbolism - I think I might have had enough of that for one day?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hay Fever, Sweet Peas - and Wylde Women!

Just had another very busy day and wasn't going to post but just wanted to thank Paula from 'The Beauty of Life' for the awards!!! It feels a bit like getting an 'Oscar' and I want to make a speech thanking everyone who has helped me get this blog started. You know who you are! Air kisses all round! I love the titles - the 'Wylde Woman' award and the 'Just plain fun to read!' I'm so excited!

I'll find out what I have to do with them - there just is so much to learn.

I've just finished the little notebook in the picture based on a photo of some sweet peas and it's all I've got to show at the moment - must get making and finish some UFOs!

Playing hookey again today - went to the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester to see 'Hay Fever'. A very stylish production and well acted but - you could tell there was a 'but? - I just don't know what it is about Noel Coward, I find it so difficult to empathise with his characters. They need a smack!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More old friends

Monday was another 'catching up with old friends' day. Sarah and I taked solidly for five hours - we haven't seen each other for ages and had lots to catch up on! We met on a Drama course in Stratford-on-Avon on what seems like only yesterday - but when we worked it out it was 25 years ago! So we celebrated! A white wine spritzer! Another coffee! And we shopped! I have to tell you that I bought nothing - well, no clothes or shoes, which are the only things that count, surely?

She's much younger than me, of course, and still working, which accounts for the infrequency of our meetings. I was reflecting, as I limped home (when will I learn to distinguish between shoes that are comfortable and shoes which only look nice?) on how many teachers I know who had started off their careers as teachers of Drama and have ended up with very responsible jobs? The last time I sent Sarah a text suggesting one of our cinema visits she replied that, sorry, she couldn't because she was in Athens at an International Baccalaureate seminar! I love it! So, those 'people' skills obviously come in very handy ...

Lovely to put the world to rights and share a few of our common opinions - who said 'obsessions'? I've said too much for one day but I can feel a rant coming on - maybe tomorrow? if by maggik!

Now here's the same room on Saturday - see, I knew there was a bed under there somewhere! Why did I clear it all away? The impending arrival of HRH Finlay William, better known as Finn, my youngest grandson , who came to stay for the night.

I just love it when he offers advice - "Mamma, (that's Grandma) eat your porridge from around the edge of the dish so it won't be too hot" is one little gem! Wise words from someone who's only two and three-quarters!


Here is a picture of my 'workroom' on Friday. You will note the array - or should that be disarray? - of things brought back from courses that never got put back 'where they should go' when I got home. And I suspect that that little gremlin that sneaks into Jackie's house has been at work in mine. Darn it!


I'm having real problems posting more than one photograph - when I try to put a second one in, I lose everything! Most frustrating - but I expect that's the nature of things when you start something new and 'techie'? I've decided to do these one at a time. So, here goes - this is a picture of the French pique-nique at Liz's house on Friday. Ignore the Pimm's (very English, but very nice on a hot afternoon and the hummous, rather Greek) the biscuits were very French! They were pink - sorry, 'rose'...
I just want to clear up any misconceptions you may have about me. I don't do the French because I have a house in France (although it's top of my wish list when I win the lottery) but because I'm intent on challenging the old - and I do mean old - brain. Some days it's just too much of a struggle (it's the verbs!) but oh! the sense of fulfilment when a long-forgotten word just 'pops' into your head! Anyway, it keeps me on my toes!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Old friends, new babies and 'incorrect passwords'

I'm posting today to say sorry to all those people to whom I haven't yet replied. I have had such problems with 'incorrect passwords' that I've wanted to scream! Tried everything under the sun - managed to send myself an e-mail? - but couldn't post comments on your blogs. Of course, Jackie knew the answer all along - I had to be 'signed in'. So simple....

A week of meeting up with old friends - and making the acquaintance of a 'new' (to me) baby. A delightful day with Sue and Becky (only 'old' in the sense of having known them a long time, you understand - they are both much younger than me - but then isn't everyone?) and the chance to meet a delightful little girl who has inherited her Mother's good looks, cheerful nature and, it seems, her beautiful voice.

These are two more of the 'amazing ladies' in my life. Sue is my spiritual mentor and has been 'there' for me and a constant support through the darkest days of my life. I intend to write about more 'amazing ladies' who have inspired me in all sorts of ways in future blogs.

Two more old friends visited this morning. Sheila and Brian are amazing too. They now live 'daan sawth' but visit 'oop north' from time to time. I do so miss having regular contact with these two - they are so kind-hearted and full of common sense and have a wonderful sense of humour. Again, we've all been through dark days together and we will continue to support each other.

The picture is of a cushion I made for my 'new' bedroom and which is one of the few things that I actually finished - so, as a consequence it got touted around whenever there was an exhibition. I christened it 'TBC' (that bl***y cushion). Somehow a photograph of it ended up in 'Workbox'. I then felt that I had to treat it with much more deference so instead of picking it up by a corner and 'flinging' it when I got into bed I now pick it up and place it on a stool instead. Respect, innit! One day (?) I will make the curtain to my en-suite to go with it ....

Finished off yesterday by going to my French 'conversational' group for the last session of the summer. Only four of the usual six were present along with Micheline who tries to keep us on the straight and narrow - ie. actually speak French. A 'party' atmosphere and we were able to sit outside at Liz's house - until the rain came down - in buckets!!!
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Holy Day

I couldn’t sleep yesterday because I was still in ‘bloggiland’ I think. Was awake from three and got up at five and came down to write a new post – which I (just about) managed to do. Spent ages on the computer and nearly ‘chickened out’ of doing some work on the felt piece – but I have to have some work to put on here? – so cut up the pre-felts.

Then I was off to Church to open it up for ‘Open Day’. It was cool and calm and I was able to pray and meditate. I then did some hand-stitching (√† la Arlee?) Tacked the felt pieces together and then stitched a felt bag. No visitors today but I did get a lovely cup of tea – and a cake – from the ‘Coffee and Chat’ people who were in the Church Hall. Came away feeling refreshed and peaceful.

Back again for a rehearsal of ‘The Armed Man – a Mass for Peace’ by Karl Jenkins, which our Churches’ Together choir are performing in September. We did this last year and have been asked to do it again. It is a very powerful piece, very moving and puts the anti-war message across so powerfully. It moves us to tears occasionally.

It’s nice for me to do a piece I already know because singing is a bit like blogging for me – hard work! I can’t read music and have to learn something ‘by heart’. Thanks to all those sopranos who can sing and with whom I ‘sing along’. The only problem is that I can’t quite reach the very top notes and have to mime those! I would sing the alto part but I don’t think my little brain could cope with learning to read music as well as everything else! Oh, how I wish I had stuck at those piano lessons as a child!

Here's a picture of a lovely delphinium in my tiny courtyard garden. What a blue! Took my cup of tea outside when I got up - at five again! - this morning and there it was to 'make my day'. Sometimes it's just the little things?
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Posted by PicasaI'm totally overwhelmed by all the comments you lovely people out there have left for me. Paula said that it was probably the most comments she'd ever seen on someone's first blog - and we all know why, don't we? That Jackie! What a lovely post you wrote - thank you once again.
I have to tell you people out there who only know this lady in cyberspace that she truly is the kindest and most generous person you could ever wish to meet - and as funny 'in the flesh' as she is on her blog.
Which leaves me with the problem of how can I 'live up' to this introduction. I've been reading all of your blogs for ages (via Dogdaisychains of course) and can't quite believe that you've read mine! And been kind enough to comment ... When I've worked out how to do things - like reply to comments, etc. - I will do, but for now please accept this as a general 'Thank You'.
This is my first 'post' all on my own and there seem to be so many things to think about that I'm not sure it'll even make it out there? I'm going to try to put a photo in, add a title, etc but it's all so scary!My photo is of a pool in the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, where I went with my daughter, Suzanne, in April. (I'll tell you more about my family later.) I'm trying to make a felted piece based on this photograph but I find the 'design process' even scarier than the 'blogging' one. Paula says that blogging has improved her stitching immensely ... just hope I can say the same?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here we go!

Welcome to my blog. I thought I'd start with something that I was reasonably satisfied with. I made this piece of nuno felt on a course recently and - for once - was quite pleased with it. I feel that I could work on this technique. That's unusual for me - usually it just goes in the UFO box!
This reminds me of a beach on the Isle of Man where I went in the spring with my two dear friends Mags and Adrienne. A really 'blowy' day - but one to put in the 'memory box'.

The fact that you're able to read this at all is all down to my dear friend Jackie who has encouraged me to start blogging and sat here whilst I did lots of 'daft things'. A very patient lady - thanks, Jackie.
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