Monday, February 22, 2010

Whether the Weather....

I'm sure you all know the verse:

Whether the weather be cold
Whether the weather be hot
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not!

Well, that just sums up the time we had at Textiles in Focus!  Snow, Sun, Rain, Hail!  We had them all.

This photograph was taken just as the snow began to fall again!  We had snow every day, at the most unexpected moment.  One evening it began to fall just as we were getting ready to go out to eat.  The whole area was white - but by the time we left all evidence had gone - and it was a lovely evening.

The show was a great success.  We were so busy that I didn't get a proper look at the exhibitions, which was a great shame.  Here we all are, just ready to open on the first day.  You can see that some of the stewards have crept in early to have a look before the hoards arrived.....

 Both the workshops went well, although there wasn't much time to recover from the last one before we had to load the car and travel home.  We chose a new and somewhat circuitous route as there were problems (again) on the M25 and were rewarded with the most amazing sunset.  Unfortunately (as it had been raining when we left) the camera was hidden in the back, so no shots of that, even through the windscreen! 

I only made one purchase!  

More about this another day.  I have plans.....  All I need now is the time.......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Things can only get better!

This is a really trivial post.  However, it's been a frustrating morning so far.

I had a list of things I wanted to achieve by 10am!

Fabrics partly rinsed then into the machine for the final rinses
Threads rinsed and ready to dry
12 more pots dyed and left standing
Oh, yes, and breakfast was being fitted in there somewhere too!!

So, what's happened so far......

Up early so that I could fulfil my timetable
Made breakfast - oatmeal - somehow managed to add the water twice, so it was more like gruel, except I also, as I got carried away with rinsing, managed to burn it....
Made coffee - left it to get cold
Made more coffee - forgot to add more grounds so when I finally drank it found it was so weak I could have given it to a newborn!
Began to rinse the fabrics in the machine, got halfway through before I realised I hadn't added any powder
Realised I was running out of time so became far too enthusiastic with my thread rinsing - half of the water ended up in my shoe
Interrupted by telephone order - no complaints there, but that was interrupted by demanding knocks on the door by the meter reader!  I was still nursing a wet shoe, AND I had to lead him through puddles to the meter
Back to the order - fortunately a very understanding customer
That finished, another door knock
This time it was a neighbour with a cat emergency.  Now it turned out to not be an emergency, but I'm sure it was a scare...  New kitten, out all night for the first time, came back rather bloody..... I won't go into more details, but lets just say that it was a 'natural occurrence'.
Back home to the phone ringing.  I'd forgotten that I was expecting a 'delivery' of mountboard all cut into lovely sqaures for Textiles in Focus.  WooHoo!  Were they ready?  No, cutter was taking an unexpected advantage of a trip to warmth and sunshine, so very sorry, can't do it!  AAARGH  Now that's something else to add to my list of 'to do's'
I needed another coffee - so I typed this while I drank it (never drink coffee or anything else around made up dyes.....)

So....  I'm now just about to start the next lot of dyeing!  And the time is.......?  12.21

Have a great day - and as for mine, yes, I know it can only get better...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Textiles in Focus

We will be missing in action for a few days at the end of the week as we will be visiting Textiles in Focus.  I have mentioned this several times before, and I know this show will be as good as the others.  If you are near Cambridge (or fancy a long drive if you aren't) the show runs from Friday until Sunday 19 - 21 February.  The venue is Cottenham Community College, CB4 8UA. 

Don't forget to say 'Hi', and maybe I'll see you on  a workshop.

Results of One World One Heart will be published tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Food

Well, this post begins with food, but may well degenerate into something else!

It begins with fried bananas.  Now, I can hear some of you salivating at the very thought.  Me?  Well it took some courage to even type the phrase!  I have to admit that I HATE cooking bananas.  The very thought of having to cook one fills me with nausea, and as for looking at a bowl of bananas and custard - the memory of woolly banana in warm sauce does exactly the same, and please don't offer me any sort of trifle that includes them, and as for whole bananas on someone's barbecue ...  The strange thing is - I LOVE bananas.  But I love them straight from the fruit bowl and just freshly peeled.

So, what is it about bananas that's so bad?  It's the smell.....

As I get older I find that smells are more and more important.  There are other smells that I really don't like, one of them is the kitchen cleaner CIF.  The smell doesn't speak to me of cleanliness but of cheap talcum powder, and I won't even start on that line of thought!    Combination of smells can be a problem too.  Imagine the delicious aroma of your favourite meal cooking only to be completely destroyed by the over indulgent use of spray bleach.  My lovely DH has a passion for bleach and constantly sprays our white sink with the stuff!  The only problem is that he chooses the most inappropriate times to do it (but I shouldn't complain, at least he does it!)

Smells are very evocative too.  If I smell lime-washed walls I am transported back to my childhood and my paternal grandparents cottage in Wales.  The smell of nutmeg will take me to my memories of cooking with my maternal grandmother, and fresh wood chippings to the garden shed where my maternal grandfather would encourage me to experiment with different textures and effects.  Freshly baked bread (and who doesn't like that smell?) will take me straight back to our kitchen at home when I was a child - helping my mother to knead the bread and following the process through, ancitipating the taste of the special small roll that would be the 'taster'- fresh from the oven.  Do you like roses?  Part of our garden was crammed with them, and childhood summers were filled with the heavy perfume.  The smell of solder reminds me of my father as he experimented and built numerous radio and tv gadgets using valves and wires of all descriptions; and there are more......

However, to return to bananas, I have to admit that my DH LOVES cooked bananas!  There are occasions when I know he will ask for one, and I tactfully steer the conversation towards another food combination!  The problem with that, of course, is that he will cook one for himself, especially when I'm not around - when I'm away teaching, for instance - and that is just what happened recently.  Unfortunately, though, it was cooked with such enthusiasm that this one completely bonded itself to the surface of the pan and normal washing would not remove it.  Several strong soakings, first with a variety of strengths of bicarbonate of soda and then with proprietory brands of cleaner have also failed in their promise of success, so too have vigourous rubbings with  various scrubbers, so the pan was declared dead.......

This morning, early and unexpectedly promptly, a new pan was delivered.  I'm off to 'season' it now, but first, I must hide the bananas.......

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Do you Journal?

If anyone is interested I'm planning on posting a few journalling exercises over the next while.  You will be able to find them here.  They won't be complete journal pages, but hopefully they will get the creative juices flowing.

If they inspire you I'd like to know.

The first one is now up and ready to view

Monday, February 08, 2010

The best way to relax .....

It has been a very busy weekend.  Firstly, on Saturday, we had a trip to Busy Bees Patchwork in South Wales for an embellisher workshop.  We left before first light, and had a really good trip down.  Travelling west with the sunrise behind us I watched it in the wing mirror, the sun becoming more prominent and the moon gradually fading away only to reappear on the way home!  This was the only daylight I saw as it was already dark when we left for the return journey along the M4.  This too was uneventful, but I have to admit that I was tired when we arrived home.

The hall, in which I was teaching, was enormous..  This picture shows part of the class!  The others are out of sight on the right of the picture.  There was enough room between to hold a tea dance, however, they all decided that they would rather play on their machines than go out and find some partners!  We moved the tables near to the walls to be close to the electrical sockets.  Trailing leads would have been a health and safety hazzard.
And so it was Sunday.  Yes, I was tired, and for once we had a day at home.  I spent the morning sorting out my plan for the week and then visited my dear mother with son and grandson

She is a mere shadow of her former self, but still smiling and delighted to see everyone.

Of course, she is delighted with her relationship with her youngest great-grandchild, and he is very fond of her too.  This was a completely natural response from him.  

Next, we were on a mission

The ducks, geese and swans were calling, and it was time to feed them. 

And when the food has all gone it's important to make sure there isn't any left, just in case.

But, I have to admit that even after all that I still wasn't fully relaxed, so what could I do now?

Why, indulge in a 'wobble walk' of course.....

Just what I needed!

(PS if you want One World One Heart the giveaway is HERE and there is time to enter until 14th February)

Monday, February 01, 2010

One World, One Heart Too

 You may already have joined in the fun on my previous post.   I have to say that I didn't expect such a lovely response, so I've decided to add to the fun and present another offering.  
Please don't leave any more comments here - put them on the new post, you can find it here