Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I don't like chocolate

Yes, it's true. I'm not that keen on chocolate and never have been. However.....

Yesterday we were given the gift of some Belgian chocolates. DH tried one and persuaded me that I ought to have one too. I have to say they are the most delicious chocolate I have ever tasted. Rich and Flavoursome there was no hint of unpleasant aftertaste or sweetness. Here's a link to the makers. The site is in French, but you don't need to be able to read the language to appreciate the site! The gift came in a beautiful burgundy box just like those here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This and That and Moo Too

I have spent the day restocking trays and shelves. A large order of machine embroidery threads arrived and needed sorting. We only ordered them yesterday so delivery was very prompt. The next couple of hours were spent cutting water-soluble fabrics followed by folding and packing. Hope we've got enough! I've also twisted some threads for the wholesale orders and watched some more of them 'stewing' in the pot and then hanging to dry. I also visited my mother and went to the doctors for a check up, so it has been a full day.

Oh, Moo! Yes, my new Moo cards arrived too. This lot are slightly different, there are a few of them here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The promised flower

A few days ago I posted a picture of the flower made with water-soluble paper. Here it is now that it is sprayed.

I used a metallic paint and it is mounted on hand-dyed paper.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Missenden Abbey

If you are looking to book a date for a weekend workshop later in 2008 or 2009 I have just updated the Missenden Abbey information. You can find the entry via the link in the sidebar. No further published details yet, but at least the dates are there.

Missenden Abbey

If you are looking to book a date for a weekend workshop later in 2008 or 2009 I have just updated the Missenden Abbey information. You can find the entry via the link in the sidebar. No further published details yet, but at least the dates are there.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A weekend off

I have a whole weekend off! Now, what does that mean?

When I'm not teaching we usually spend the weekend visiting shows or colleges/courses with Winifred Cottage. As I said, last weekend we were at Textiles in Focus. I have spent the week beginning to restock our supplies, and a 'weekend off' means that that will continue! There are also three wholesale orders for Sassa Lynne that need attention, so the dyepot is red hot and I am working away with colour. Specific orders mean no time for experimentation, named colours are mostly the order of the day, but as I need still more Embellisher Rolls with the vegetarian silk I'm having fun with those too. I will also pop some yarns into some Serendipity pots, these are the experimental ones that will eventually make their way into the named range.

I did take an hour off this morning, though! I went to visit our newest grandson. He is now 6 months old and growing apace. We had lots of smiles and giggles amongst the hugs, so I've now had my 'fix' for a few days. We will see him again next weekend when we babysit for an evening while his Mum and Dad go out for a meal. It will be a busy week with trips to Heather Quilters, where I'm speaking about the Embellisher, Urchfont Manor and also the Quilters' Day at Selsey. If you are passing the stand - don't forget to say 'hello'. As far as Urchfont Manor is concerned - there is a very good exhibition of Art in the Garden that is well worth a visit.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


We arrived back from Textiles in Focus late last night. It was an excellent show with lots to see, very good exhibitions, and an interesting selection of workshops. I taught a couple of hand-stitching workshops using water-soluble paper and you can see the sample here.

The flower was made from scrim and then applied. The next step is to spray the finished piece with metallic paint. It is too cold to do that today, the paint will probably freeze as it leaves the can, so I'll post another picture when it's finished. This is a technique that I love, and creates surfaces that can be put to a number of uses - including book covers and box tops.

It wasn't until I thought about this post that I remembered our abbreviation for Textiles in Focus is TIF. I could so easily be confused with the Take It Further Challenge!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

February TIF Part 2

This is just a bit of preliminary playing along with my original thoughts. There's still a lot to do.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Missenden Abbey Weekend Workshop

This is the view that greeted me from my bedroom window at dawn on Saturday morning. As a tutor I was lucky enough to be accommodated in the main building at Missenden Abbey. The view is over lake, and it was truly magical to see it unfold. As the sun rose the white frost began to shine. The camera couldn't capture it, especially as it is taken through a small pane of one of the windows.

There were students on the course from all over the UK, including Northern Ireland. We had lovely weekend and they produced some fantastic pieces. Stupidly I forgot to ask their permission to put their pictures on my blog, so you will have to make do with this view instead.

Back to the grindstone today. Lots more dyeing to do for Textiles in Focus at the end of the week. The Vegetarian silk in the fabric rolls has really taken off and I have once again sold out. I honestly thought I had enough to last us until after TIF! so it's back to the dyepot....... Now is the time to place any special orders and I'll incorporate them into a dyeing session!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Take It Further:: February

True to her word Sharon posted the February challenge earlier this month. I have been thinking about it, even whilst finishing that of January

My family memories of the past are extremely good. This has been a real blessing recently as I have been able to reminisce with my mother about all sorts of things. My earliest memory is being taken for a ride in my pushchair while staying with my grandparents in Brecon, S Wales. As my brother wasn't yet born (I wouldn't have been in the pushchair if he had)and my mother wasn't even pregnant with him yet (her pregnancy meant she could no longer travel) I must have been younger than two.

I certainly don't want to commemorate that, however. I have been thinking a lot about babies, though, prompted I'm sure by recent visits from our newest grandchild. I have had two pregnancies and both my children were born in the Louise Margaret Maternity Hospital in Aldershot. Although this was a military hospital (it was closed a while ago) it was also open to civilians, and that's how I came to be there! Shortly before my daughter was born an IRA bomb was detonated close by. This meant that there was much security in place, and some roads in Aldershot were closed (and have never been reopened). This is not something I would like to dwell upon or commemorate either. My son, however, was born 4 years later in much more relaxed circumstances, and in the middle of a heatwave. To tie it all together I've decided that that's what I'll consider for my Take it Further Challenge for February. The heatwave!

Is anyone visiting Textiles in Focus next week? We'll be there so come and say 'Hi'.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Take It Further January

Well, it's finished. The colours are much closer in reality, but here is the initial design

And here is the finished piece.

I'm surprised that the stitches aren't more in evidence in the finished piece. I have layered scrim over a layer made on the embellisher, The scrim has been pulled into a textured layer. I'm quite pleased with it and enjoyed doing it - even though it is blue!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Vegetarian Silk

At last I have been able to upload a picture. There are more,but they will have to wait until tomorrow.

These are sheets of vegetarian silk. I have discovered it quite by chance, and it is beautiful. It works like a dream with the Embellisher, and makes a lovely surface for stitching too. We are selling them rolled together with other similar surfaces including scrim. Vegetarian silk? It's other definition is pre-felt made from cellulose fibres from a sustainable renewable source. Let's call it one of our contributions to the environment!

Busy, busy, busy

January has been out busiest ever. Although we are now into February we are still sorting ourselves out after our visits here there and everywhere! I also have to prepare for teaching at Grayshott on Wednesday and for a weekend at Missenden Abbey starting on Friday. Both are on the Embellisher, so I know they will be fun and that everyone will go home with lots of pieces.

It's during times like this that I miss having times to create as much as I would like. I still haven't quite finished my take it further challenge, but that is well on its way, and it should be finished by the weekend. The new challenge for February is already up, and I know what I will be doing for that, however, I won't share that here until the other is completed. Part of the delay has been caused by having to use every available surface for sorting. Wednesday of next weeks sees us heading off towards Cambridge for the annual Textiles in Focus in Cottenham. This is a lovely show, and it will be good to meet up again with friends and customers that we see regularly. I've been dyeing more of the Embellisher Rolls, we sold out of our stock over last weekend, and have been packing orders for these and other goods at the same time.

The above should have been scattered with photos and scans, but uploading isn't going to happen now, it would appear. I'll post this now and update the pictures later when things seem to be working better.