Thank you all for reading my rambles. All comments are read and appreciated. There have been some great comments recently so many, many thanks. I'm sorry if I haven't managed to comment on your blog I do read them as often as I can.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Safely back home and went up to the Attic this evening. Had a nice quiet evening, thanks girls I needed that after the day I've had.

We had our cavity wall insulation put in today and the mess and upheaval was not as bad as the noise which goes right through you.

Monday, May 28, 2007


DD and her other half came over and we spent the day cleaning carpets, painting woodwork and DH made a hatch into the loft, he is completing that this morning while I put another coat of paint onto the radiator and door.

The end is in sight for the main bedroom which is to be let out so we are heading north later this afternoon to FiL's then home on Tuesday. It will be good to sleep in my own bed! I wish I could sleep properly! Think I'm just too tired but I can see progress it's up to the kids now to complete.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Saturday in London

At last the weather has changed, overcast for most of the day and rain started in the afternoon.

Went shopping in Stratford and got a bag to put my new laptop in and a micro mouse.

Had a scare when I got back as my new shiny had gone into hibernation and I couldn't wake her up. A quick call to the help line sorted out the problem. She doesn't like being left on, unattended, for several hours - typical woman, I should manually send her to sleep before going out. So a quick removal of the battery and replugging it in solved it - I also realised afterwards that the power cable wasn't in the multi block socket - that wouldn't have helped!

The British Museum

Had a trip into Central London on Friday. I had a great time. We visited the BM after calling into Gulltronics and buying my new diddy (small) laptop.

I'm doing some research into African textiles and the museum has a great African gallery, took lots of photos.

This 'foil quilt' is made from the torn foil that surrounds wine bottle tops. It's so colourful and is on the wall as you go into the gallery.

There was a short film about Kangas - a form of clothing worn by both men (around the house) and women (at all times). There is a very comprehensive history of the kanga at
http://www.glcom.com/hassan/kanga_history.html Copy and paste this link into your browser to view if you don't have a direct link. Wikipedia has a shorter definition of the word kanga. The picture below is from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanga_(African_garment)

Kangas drying in Zanzibar

Click on the title of this post to check out the British Museum website

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heat Wave

Up to now the weather has been hot but pleasant. This morning at DD's it was beautiful, I sat out in the garden and fell sleep in the sun for 20mins, certainly topped up the tan and that was between 9 and 9.20AM. This afternoon it is oppressive, the clouds have come over and it's sticky. We traveled across London to DS's flat and had the air con on in the car!

DH is up cutting a hole in the ceiling to make a loft hatch and I fell asleep again - these early mornings are catching up on me!

Tomorrow we hope to go into Central London to revisit the British Museum where I want to take some photos and hopefully to buy a new laptop. I'm just waiting for the man to ring back to say they have got the one I want, I'm tired of lugging Pete's heavy one around, which is OK when we have the car but want one that I can carry when off on my jaunts. Just hope the weather isn't as oppressive. Some hope. According to The weather channel it's 24 degrees with 50% humidity, I'm sure it's more! In Newcastle it's 16 degrees with 72% humidity. Click on the title of this post to check your weather forecast.


Drove over to Surrey where DD lives, we spent a happy couple of hours at the garden centre. For once I didn't spend a fortune - she did!

However I did buy two camping chairs for DS's garden, just so I don't have to sit on the ground again!

It's lovely to be surrounded by cats again DD has two, Gem a large ginger tom and Tabatha a small, petite, three legged lady. As I type I have one on either side of me. Must remember to take photos when it's light.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mornings in London

I seem to have got into the habit of writing my blog early in the morning while down here in London, the whole house is quiet and I have my headphones on so I can listen to Radio 2. Today - Wednesday we are going over to visit DD in New Malden, Surrey. She wants the car to have a visit to the garden centre. We will stay overnight so may not be able to update this until tomorrow. That's a silly thought as I can use DD's computer!!!!!!

Tuesday in London

Had a great day in DS's garden. Before we started the whole garden was a wilderness covered in these small shrubs - foreground and a wild meadow.

On Sunday we chopped down a lot of the meadow, now you can see the position of the proposed shed but has left a scorched earth area.

I am clearing the path down the side of the house which actually has paving slabs, when we arrived you had to fight your way through the undergrowth! Sorry no photo of that yet. there's a lovely Wysteria on the fence and I've been able to rescue most of that.

Here are more photos of the garden.

Trees and bushes screen the railway line - shame about the noise.

DH overseeing the progress - he has spent the week in the house building much needed cupboards in the bedrooms.

DS clearing the bushes as there is a fence to go down the left hand side of the garden - roughly the brown line you can see in the picture.

In the afternoon I took to the shade under the fruit trees in the middle of the garden and actually did some stitching although as there are no comfy chairs I soon fell asleep :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Visit to Oxford Street

Well actually I went to meet up with DS in Chancery Lane to see a mosaic shop that was closed, typical! Then I left him and went on my way to visit Liberty. On the way I went past The British Museum and had to go in. Saw the Africa exhibition, some brilliant textiles and an art installation representing a cloak made of the foil strips torn from wine bottles, they were all patched together like a crazy patchwork quilt. Must go back with my camera and take some photos.

OK I spent longer in there than I had intended and it was raining when I got outside. Anyway I went on my way towards Oxford Street. Unfortunately I turned the wrong way down New Oxford St and ended up in High Holborn. Turned round and walked all the way back via an electronics shop. Then not wanting to walk down Oxford St with all the crowds - too many umbrellas! so I ducked down some of the side streets and found The Silk Shop and riffled through the remnants, found some lovely pieces to be used in my embroideries, including some lovely metallic voile and a fancy silk with lovely textures - not sure what I'm going to use that for yet! Oh yes and a piece of trimming.

More rambling and I found an art shop and bought a few experimental liquids to play with. Then round Soho Square and found a lovely cafe for lunch before heading onwards always getting closer to Liberty, my ultimate goal, got lost a couple of times but after consulting the map found Liberty and bought some lovely body cleanser, a new toilet bag and a plant for DS.

By now I was shattered and made my way back to Forest Gate. After getting off the train I went in search of a pot to put DS's plant in and bought a lovely Indian scarf in the second hand shop for 50p - just got it for the lovely tassles on the end! A good haul for one day :)

X-Calibre Designs

Hello, Monday bright and early, I've already read my Googlemail and ordered a new chart from Carol Leather at X-Calibre Designs (click the title of this post to see Carol's work) It's another blackwork piece called 'United in Love' and will be a special piece I am planning for our Ruby Wedding - four years away but I am planning for it do be a special one :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Been in London now for over 24 hrs, we came down on Friday via Art Van Go - had a stash buy, papers and other stuff for my creative stitching.

Spent Saturday starting to clear out DS's garden, underneath the undergrowth we found a flagstone path. DH inserted a cupboard and started to knock a hole in the wall to make another cupboard. DD and her boyfriend came over to help.

Then we went for a bg family meal at a great Pub in the City. It's one that can genuinely be called 'Ye Old English Pub' great atmosphere and pleasant company.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Off to London

Off any minute as soon as I can tear myself away from this computer :)

My Notebooks

Notebooks I made after EG Spring workshop. The top one is the inside of my cloth book on the left. The purple one uses voiles over a patchwork fabric and is embellished with beads

Below is some of the fibre paper I'm going to stitch into. It's a pulp paper book that I have added a fibre paper front to.

Hope you like them

Thursday, May 17, 2007

S&S Weekenders workshop

Had a great time at Carol T's retreat this last weekend

This is my piece so far, doesn't look like much but a lot of planning and preparation had to be done before I started to stitch.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Embroiderers' Guild Weekend

The weekend before last I went on a stitching break with the Embroiderers' guild. We stayed in Ushaw College, Durham and it was a great weekend making fibre papers to stitch into. This is a picture of one of the pieces I made which is going to be made into a blind for my kitchen window.

This little book was made with silk fibres and hand made paper and was given as a present to Ina from Holland who was with us on our Stitch and Stash weekend.