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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sampler progress

Today I completed row 5 of my 11 row Ruby Anniversary sampler. 
I'm pleased because I only started this as we set off on our holiday on the 4th December. So I'm doing quite well because I had to finish Dragonscape Hanging while I was away. It is for DS for his birthday and I wanted to give it to him on Boxing Day as I won't see him on his birthday later this month.

 I can also show you Purple Rain felted Hanging number 3 which I gave to DD and her partner for Christmas. Purple Rain 2 is mine - I posted a photo of that before and number 4 is very similar and went to DSis and her husband for Christmas.
I feel as if I've completed quite a lot over the last few months and am very happy with the results.

Happy New Year to you all, enjoy the last of the holiday and raise a glass with me at 12 midnight on the 31st.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas puddings

Thanks to Chittle Chattle for her post which reminded me I hadn't written down the dessert I concocted for Christmas Day.
A few mornings before I had seen Gordon Ramsey make a dessert and we decided that we didn't want a heavy Christmas pudding. I found the ingredients on the web but no instructions and on Christmas Day I couldn't see the programme - I can watch it again now The One Show 21st December - it will probably disappear soon so I must get it down now before I forget.
I don't like cream so decided to substitute marscapone instead of whipping cream and fromage fraise instead of single cream. So here is what I made on Christmas Day. (My substitutions are in brackets)

Sheila's adaptation of a Gordon Ramsey Dessert
Christmas ice cream and fruit sundae

  • Ice Cream (any flavour G R recommends ginger or honeycomb) I used vanilla

  • 200ml double cream
 (marscapone cheese)
  • 100g honeycomb
 (2 frozen crunchies)
  • Caramel sauce
  • single cream 
(fromage fraise)
  • 100g mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries etc)

  • 10g sugar
(less - it doesn't really need any!)
  • 2 peeled clementines
 (I forgot to put these in)
  • Chocolate shavings
 - melt chocolate on baking parchment and curl up when not quite hard - do this in a cool atmosphere as the chocolate melts very easily)
  • Crushed roasted hazelnuts

  1. crush nuts
  2. spread caramel sauce into iced glass
  3. put in berries, honeycomb (or crunchies, frozen to make it easy to crumble), clementines
  4. mix caramel sauce, mascapone and fromage fraise
  5. spoon into glass
  6. make an ice cream ball and place on top
  7. more caramel sauce poured on top
  8. spread crushed nuts on top
  9. put chocolate shavings on top
  10. serve

    Sorry I don't have a picture as we ate them all it was agreed that they were much better than Christmas pudding.

Monday, December 19, 2011

40 Years and Counting

Well our big day is now over. Yesterday was our Ruby Anniversary. It was a beautiful day in the sun. We took a trip out to what could have been a tropical island - Pigeon Island - not an island now as they have build a causeway to get there. It is a nature reserve and permanent museum to colonial rule in St Lucia. The first British garrison left their mark in the form of ruins where they lived and the look-out point where they placed their guns is well worth a look-see. 

I spent most of the time at the beach because we had explored the rest of the island on our first visit there The waves were quite strong but not as bad as at our resort beach which has been dangerous the last three days. I tried the snorkel but there was't much to see, the sea was too murky. DH managed to see one fish when he swam quite close to the rocks. I also realised today that I had left the snorkel and mask behind - boo - waste of money!

Lunch was at the island's only restaurant It was lovely sitting and watching the boats in the bay. We could have been there on our own, it was very small and shaded by the trees. Beautiful. Do a Google search on Pigeon Island and see the reviews. 

We went to a restaurant called Buzz in the evening which is just over the road from the hotel and this is my before dinner drink, fantastic glass!

 and here we are trying not to look too drunk!

The day ended with a final drink talking to some people we had met in the sister hotel next door.

Today is our last full day and I have to pack tonight. Shame the trip is nearly over but then we go back to the UK and straight into Christmas. Great. Hope I packed enough warm clothes!

DH has gone out to take some last sunset shots and I've had a shower and must go now and start packing. See you all on Wednesday.

Friday, December 16, 2011


OK I know everyone in the UK is experiencing bad weather at the moment. Yes I know I'm out of the country and it's beautiful here in St Lucia. However I was reading this blog today and it got me thinking. What is it that we dread? Bad weather - why? Missing appointments? Being late for a meeting? Letting someone down? Missing a dead-line?

Sitting here writing my blog at 6.45 in the morning I thank my blessings and start to think of all the good things, my loving DH of 40 years - yes it's our Ruby Anniversary on Sunday - that's the reason we are away on holiday at this time. My two adorable fluff balls who are being looked after by my DD. My two children - well not children any more I know. My art, my crafts and my sewing which fill my days quite amiably.

My work while I've been away
2 Cards

My Blackwork Anniversary sampler, I'm on to row 3, a red heart, now why is the picture flipped? I took it with the internal camera on this machine and having posted it now just realised it's flipped. I'll have to look at that and try to put it the right way round.

The final piece of work I can't show you as it's a present so will post a picture of that after Christmas.

Please everyone look on the positive side and write down everything that is good and what you have achieved this year. thanks to Marlis for helping me look at all the good things in my life. Yes I did make a list of all my accomplishments this year and they did surprise me. 2011 has been a good year for me. Thank you to my family for making that possible. Also a big thank you to all you bloggers out there who give inspiration and chat. Thank you, have a great festive period, however you might celebrate it and I hope 2012 is a good one for you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Look what I found yesterday. Sorry it's poor quality. I am playing with new technology getting my Mac and iPod to work together.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

St Lucia

A 9 hour flight and a one and a half hour small bus journey later we got to Rodney Bay on the North West corner of St Lucia,  Dropped our bags after being delivered to the wrong hotel! Ours was just next door and all part of the same complex. Then explored the grounds in the dark, had a sandwich well to tell the truth it was a big meal, fries and all! Then dropped into bed. Our watches said 7.30 but that was local time so it was really 11.30 UK time and we had been up since 4am. A long wait and the airport and a very long flight. It will have been worth it.

This morning I was up at 6, my normal time so must be adjusting well after a short walk along the beach it started raining and I mean raining hard but it was warm. It was quite a shock to put our feet in the water and it was warm - lovely. The rain got heavier and we took shelter for quite a while. DH took some photos of the boats in the bay. When the rain let up a bit we set off back for breakfast. I will hope to show you some photos at some point during the holiday.

All for now.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Ruby Anniversary Jaunt

We are finally off on our jaunt. Yesterday the car was packed with bags for both hot and cold climes - different bags, two cats and their acutriments, Christmas presents all wrapped. To say the car was full is an understatement. We set of from Tyneside in the rain and it was quite wet all the way down to London to stay today with DD. Cats travelled well and seem to be quite happy in their new temporary home. I will be acting as taxi for DD today with a variety of jobs then one more sleep and St Lucia here we come. It will be a very early start as the flight is at 9.30am and we have to get from Surrey to Gatwick. I'll wave as we leave. Thanks so much for reading

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

African Goddess

Thought it was about time I showed you my African Goddess hanging. Thanks to Helen for her help with this, I am now working on a new piece but can't show you it yet! I have also made two felted hangings but again can't show them until after the festive period.
I went down to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate over the weekend and had a lovely time, meeting up with friends and spending money on paints, dyes and a small magnifier lamp which can come on holiday with me. Yes it's only ONE WEEK now until we fly off to St Lucia, to say I'm excited is maybe underrated. I AM VERY EXCITED! We will be away for a fortnight to celebrate our Ruby wedding anniversary, 40 years whow where have they gone? it seems like yesterday

Monday, November 21, 2011

New work

I think it's safe to post photos of this LARGE brooch. I made it last night and am wearing it today. The photo was taken with the webcam and it was very easy to crop. I just hope it shows up well when uploaded on your computer.
You can see another new piece of work on my Facebook page here the image is on my main computer and today I'm working with the small laptop. Too lazy to go upstairs and download it again! The colours look much brighter when you click on the image.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where has this month gone to?

I have been so busy looking at other blogs and reading messages on forums I have forgotten about my own blog. Very naughty. So here is a LONG update.
Remember those little pieces for my coast piece? It is all completed now. 

It went into our Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition last week along with my Memories hanging
 And this small needle-felted square which was left over from the needle-books I made.
and my Australian hanging. All these fabrics and threads were sent from my EG e-friend in Australia. I think you have seen sections of this before but now you can see the whole piece.
These two pieces are works in progress still. The stitched papers, there are two of them now, and will become a single 3-D object - eventually. 
The Christmas Tree will be a cushion front.

This rabbit/hare will be the panel on a bag
Finally two photos taken in Gran Canaria. The first a lady doing the most intricate Canarian embroidery, yes that is me looking on in awe and the last piece is a journal page I gave to the trader who gave me some lovely wooden stencils. They quickly put it into one of their driftwood frames and doesn't it look lovely. I wonder if anyone bought it?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's Challenge

My Family, Mum, Gran & Great Gran
Playing with photoshop

Does it matter if the image is mirrored?
Or manipulated?(Masked)
I have used this image quite a lot in my work

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Work 2

More updates
My beaded star - yes for the Christmas tree
 Have a guess what I used these for. I found them on a walk on the beach in Gran Canaria!
 A new piece of work for an exhibition entitled Coast. Any thoughts what my inspiration was for this piece?

 Another Coast piece of work started
 A beaded Christmas Tree - yes more Christmas work.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Postcard Swaparoo

Anyone like to join in the next postcard swaparoo? Go here and join in the fun. I love exchanging work that I've done and have made lots of new friends as a result.

New Work

I thought I might share with you two swaps I made recently. I made a piece of embellished felt using silk and wool fibres and a chiffon scarf on black acrylic felt. One small piece made a postcard that went off yesterday (see the picture at the top of this post.) and another became a needlebook that was sent to a friend in Needlework Haven.

I hope they both enjoy my efforts.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Embroiderers' Guild Swap

This year I decided to take part in the Embroiderers' Guild on-line forum fabric swap. I sent a small bag of fabrics and embellishments to Elizabeth in Queensland, Australia. In return I received these lovely fabrics from Dian in Mt Eliza, Australia.
This is what I made with them. My Kookaburra Hanging
 Detail 1
 Detail 2
 This is the thank you card and brooch I received from Elizabeth. Thank you so much. The brooch goes so well with my shirt, don't you think?

I forgot to take a photo of the card I sent to Dian, she has posted a picture on the Guild Forum Gallery. I tried to download my photos but for some reason they wouldn't go so I will post a link to my blog instead. I finished it just in time for the September 1st deadline JUST! However I was out last night so didn't get the photos up.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Postcard Swaps

Anyone interested in taking part in a postcard swap? Have a look at this link. It would be lovely to see other people taking part.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Painting and printing for stitch

The last three days have been so enjoyable. Rachel Lombard, our tutor, had us painting and printing kitchen papers. Yes you read correctly, kitchen papers. From one sheet, once painted you can get two sheets - so two for the price of one. bonded to Vylene these sheets can be combined so quite large paper 'fabrics' can be created. These are then overprinted in several layers to create quite sumptuous fabrics which can be further embellished and decorated with stitch both by hand and machine.
Here are some of her beautiful pieces of work.
 The presentation and show and tell

I decided to use trees and bark as my inspiration for my work. I did quite a lot of research while doing my C&G course a few years ago and often go back to these pieces. It must be my fascination with texture that draws me to this subject. This determined my colour palette, shades of orange, brown, yellow and red. Amongst the artefacts I have are a set of small cup mat made from a sliced nut case. I used this in my printing and nut shaped marks appear over the design.
 My attempt at recreating a paper creation

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thank you and apologies

Thank you to everyone who replied to my last post. It seems that a post a day is out. I certainly don't have the time to do it anyway. There are much more important things to do, like my sewing and my journaling. Yesterday I went to a brilliant event on Lindesfarne - Holy Island is a beautiful place and full of inspiration even on a rainy day. Yesterday started sunny, there was a rain shower which lasted about 10 minutes and then the sun came out again. I was there because a friend of mine is part of the Viking re-enactment society. The Priory was full of Vikings and Saxons camping in the grounds and talking to people about their lives. There were battles between them especially the historic battle for Northumbria. Well done a brilliant day.

I also have to apologise for my lack of reading of your blogs. Time on the computer has been restricted as I am now getting ready to go up to Wooler where I am doing a course with the Embroiderers' Guild. I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone again, it is usually a great 3 days, hard work but fun.

Bye for now and thanks again for reading. I promise to get back to posting a few photos soon. The one advantage of not doing it now is I can show you a whole chunk when I finally do download my camera.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One a Day Blog posts

Now what do you think? Should I do more short posts or do one longer posts every now and then? I would value your thoughts. 

Recently I have been absent as time is running away from me.
What have you been doing? I hear you ask. 1. Taking part in a metal work/stitch workshop, 2. Visiting Edinburgh for the start of the Fringe festival. Saw the Preston Pans Tapestry while there, it is in St Mary's Cathedral. 3.Then home and a quick turn around to go to Leicester to visit FiL and SiL and while there a trip over to Birmingham to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC. Met up with some good friends and did an Altered Book course. Photos of that to follow - I haven't taken them yet!

Stitching wise - 1. I have almost completed my Seams Recycled piece for the E.G. exhibition in Bishop Auckland this October. 2. I've been adding my metal samples to my altered book, most of which include some stitching! 3. A few stitches have been added to my Memories hanging and that is almost completed. 4. Finally my Australian fabric piece is almost completed, just one more element to complete and then finishing off, this is the part I hate as I feel I don't finish things off well. I won't be able to show you that as the reveal isn't until September.

That's all for now as the sun and the garden is calling - tend me, tend me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

APTT Garden Party

Yesterday I hosted a garden party for the APTT (Association of Part Time Tutors) We had a fantastic day. The sun shone and the food was an amazing spread. Everyone contributed. Many thanks for that. There was good company and conversation. The last person left at 9pm and I was in bed by ten.