Friday, 25 October 2013

thieves do prosper

While on holiday in France, camping, we were burgled! As can be seen from the rent in our tent, they were very daring- we were asleep in the tent at the time. It wasn't until 7.00 in the morning, when I rushed to find my camera to take pictures of the hot air balloon that was taking off from the site, that we noticed the gaping hole and no rucksac! My knitting bag was found a few yards away. Clearly a disappointing object, and then the rucksac turned up on the other side of the field, minus my i-phone. 

The police thought it vey exciting and the gardener described the incident as murder of a tent as far as the local police were concerned! No less the 6 gendarmes arrived, in 3 sets of 2 to take photos and talk to us.
Anyway, no phone and I had to pay £100 excess for the privilege of receiving a refurbished i-phone, probably bought off some French burglar a few days earlier!!! How unfair.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I'm free! I've retired and now I can do all those wonderful things I have been promising myself to do. Scary!! What if the only thing preventing me from doing them is me!

I know I need to pace myself and et maintain a challenge. At the moment I am waiting for a direction to arrive. I have sooo many things I want to do that I am in danger of doing none of them. I have been hunting through pintrest searching for inspiration and self belief.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Gosh it was cold today but I met lots of lovely people at crafts in the tower. My boat coasters seemed to draw attention from customers and so I must rush outside and make some more! Maybe even try to incorporate them into larger pieces....we'll see!

I'm getting excited about the next Brighton craft show at the weekend (2nd and 3rd March) but at the same time a bit panicky  because I need to make more work for it and next week is one of the busiest at work each evening! It all happens at once.

I really need to learn how to take more professional photos soon. I now have photoshop and am going to persuade my daughters to give me some tuition in using this to enhance my pictures. I have a new mac book and am still finding my round around that at the moment. so one step at a time!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Wood stands

I have been busy making soo many little stands for my glass today. I covered the floor in dust and then myself in paint! Now I just need to join them and fit the glass inside, ready for the next few craft fairs. Sunday at the square Tower then next weekend ( 2nd and 3rd of March), in Brighton. I love Brighton and would really like to move there but I need to persuade my husband , which is tricky. He loves our home. Don't get me wrong, so do I and we have lived here for over 29 years, but when I retire I want to be in an environment of creative energy and that is just not present where I am now.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Lampshade hurrah

Finally turned my efforts at textile printing into a lovely lampshade!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

dyeing for a microwave

I have so much fun on my dyeing to print course run by They are enthusiastic and generous teachers making everyone feel relaxed and able to explore.

Ready to microwave dye using procian dyes. It was so exciting to see the deep luscious colours and treat of all treats, be able to slosh them onto fabric with gay abandon! You never know excatly what you will find after microwaving but that adds to the excitement.
How to do it!
We put small amounts of procian dye into a beaker and added about 1 cm of water with urea mixture in. Then we dipped the fabric into a mix of water and soda ash for a few seconds to prepare the fabric to receive the dye.
Put into a microwaveable tub( chinese take away container) and zap for 1 minute. Open lid and release steam, then close again. Zap for a further 50 secs. Voila! Take out and rinse in plain water and hang on the line top dry.
Unfortunalty my hands became the victim of overzealous dying ready for my lampshade kit. I have done a sample stencil to try out. The lampshade should look similar to this. I'm so excited to be making my vey own printed lampshade. How cool is that!

The lower picture might be used as a double image in a lighter blue. I'm not quite sure yet. Watch this space.You can see my very own stencil heat pen here. I love buying new tools don't you? are a fab online store and they do instruction sheets too!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


I have made some horizontal beach huts as you can see in this photo. Not sure if they will sell or not but I like them.

new designs

New coaster designs. These were popular and I have almost sold out! I need to make some more before the end of half term.

book fever

I loved the wrought ironwork on the balcony. I had a chance to nip to the shops and I bought 3 old plates and a couple of fabulous books. I have almost read this book! It has hundreds of tips to get you through the working day in a more creative way. I shall certainly try out a few.
Here is my other lovely book. It makes my mouth water just looking at it!
I've been doing a textile printmaking mini course with and it has been fantastic. Today I made myself a simple stamp print and decided to use it to go on the top of my display board on my stall. It is not perfect and probably never will be, but I had fun making it.
I hope it improves my stall and adds to the overall impression I want to give. At the moment each flag is slightly different, not originally by design because I was trying out different ideas, but it seems fine. My husband said no one would notice! He hasn't quite got the hang of it really!!

an interesting view from the throne

I had so much fun at craftaganza this weekend. So many new friends and lots of ideas to work on. It was great to stay in a hotel for the night but quite disconcerting when using the bathroom! It had floor to ceiling windows and although there were voile cutrtains, you could see the beach and everyone on it while sitting on the throne! Weird or what!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

two at once

I took these pictures with the ipad camera. They came out better than I imagined they would. The middle one is slightly distorted but I put it down to the angle I held the ipad at.

This is a typical scene, always more than one thing going on at a time! I nearly spilt lemon icing on the white paper! We all need more than one life to do everything that is exciting and wonderful in the world.

It is all very well promising oneself that you will spend more time being creative but that doesn't take into account life and paid work!! I feel as if I have been wandering around with my head down and can finally look up for a few days before climbing back on the carousel! I was key to send some pictures of my work to a gallery and realised that I hadn't made anything new for ages. Depressing! Anyway here are some old pics that I haven't shown you before. Maybe I can get back to making tomorrow.Opps I am writing on my new toy and don't know how to add pictures from my iPad. I will have to swop to my laptop. There must be a way though surely?

Friday, 30 December 2011

All good things, as they say, etc. means time for the second tree to return home, so to prolong the agony, I drove her up to London, to her flat. She lives quite near Borough market and so we wandered into there to find some food on our way to Spitalfields.What a lovely buzzin place the market is and right on her doorstep!The smells were so enticing.
I always stop and admire this little shop everytime I go there. Each stall and shop is enhanced by the fact that there are so many in one small area.

We gave into temptation and ordered a garlic and prawn wrap, which you see being prepared outside the shop. So many tourists take snaps of the stalls that this trader even had a sign suggesting people ask before taking photos!
Such a fabulous design! This beauty advertises a clothing store in Spitalfields market. I want it!They don't make them like they used to do. Ohh that sounds old. I'd better stop using such phrases!
Cheese purveyor extraordinaire! I love cheese from here. Unbeatable delights and such love goes into the shopping experience.
oh well, another year closing and a fresh one opening. What challenge shall I set myself? Any ideas?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

This year has been strange because suddenly I didn't want loads of cards everywhere! I usually get so many from children at work that I run out of spaces to display them.
Anyway, this time I chose a few and placed them on the sideboard in the dining room and on the kitchen mantlepiece mostly. ( I chucked some away!!) I felt rather guilty afterwards. Mind you I know what to do next year, after reading a blog idea here How exciting! I can keep the cards and dispaly them without taking up loads of space or time to hang and rehang because they have blown down in the wind. Result!

Having been on a couple of Raymond Blanc cookery courses, my daughter has gone RB mad! On discovering a few of his knives in K and L sale, she proceeded to jump up and down with excitement and ordered me to put them all in my basket. We could rationalise them later!! She is good at that! We collect things and then go and sit down and decide which to keep and which to discard. However, she managed to persuade me to buy some for myself, some for her (her birthday also being quite soon) and some she bought for herself. They were half price! I have never seen anyone so excited. I love shopping with her.

Friday, 23 December 2011

 Chill out and chat time!
Do they look cooked?

Into the oven we go and cross fingers!
They look ok but the pastry had to be glued together with milk in places! Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone.
Rolling the crumbly pastry. You would not believe how tricky we found this! I don't normally have trouble but for some reason we both made quite crumbly pastry today. Oh well, we will never make it in the catering business.

Nails freshly shallaced, she began to combine the pastry ingredients. She is so lucky, her nails are naturally neat and well shaped. Mine have to be coaxed into some semblance of order.

aprons on

Do you like my vintage apron? I bought it in Brick Lane and I love it!

Making pies

I have been having great fun with my eldest daughter.She came down to stay for Christmas early, so we could spend some time together. Yippee!

We decided to make mince pies after spending hours shopping for Christmas. Firstly I could not buy mincemeat anywhere. I went to 5 shops before I found some. Yes I know I could have made it, but wellll you know how it is!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Beach huts are the newest designs I have made recently. A friend asked me to make one for her with some additional things in the sea but when I unloaded it from the kiln, I forgot to photograph it before giving it to her. Perhaps she can take a pic for me.It is hard to be organised sometimes, in all the excitement.
The panorama shot looks a bit wobbly up close but with practise, I'm sure it will work brilliantly.
My last fair before Christmas! It was great being able to leave my stall up for a few days. I was able to have a lie in on Saturday and today.

Why is it so cold at fairs? Maybe something to do with open doors I suppose. On Saturday I had loads of extra layers on. Although it kept me warmer I felt bundled up and lumpy! Today I chose to brave the chill and to wear less layers. Funnily enough it was not so cold because I could move around more.

It was quiet today so we burst into spontaneous song along with Doris Day! I met a new lady who does sandblasting and she runs courses, so maybe that could be my next adventure, who knows!

WoW, I tried out the panorama facility on my iphone at the square Tower today. It worked really well. I shall be doing more of them now I know how to work it. This was just before the fair opened and I only managed to do one side of the upstairs, but I was really pleased.

Brighton craftaganza

Other stalls setting up. I have used my iphone images for these pictures because I have left my camera at work!! What an idiot. I can't get in to collect it now until after the New Year. Oh well I wil just have to cope as best I can!

Freezing cold and tired, I arrived at Fabrica to set up my table for the craftaganza Christmas fair. Warm greetings from other stall holders soon melted away that exhausted feeling,reminding me of why I loved this fair last time. Although there didn't seem to be quite as many potential customers as in March, I had my best sales to date. Very exciting. I also met a lovely young girl who was amazing. She had such natural style and poise. Her clothing range was gorgeous too.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Back to the world of the living!

Where has this half term gone?
New head, new broom sweeps clean is absolutely true . I have no time to make or create at all. Let's hope next half term will be calmer, then I can have a life outside work!

I have weird new contact lenses in and am finding it hard to concentrate- one eye for close up and one for distance. My head hurts!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

canal dreaming

 The hotel claimed to be a short distance from Bath, so we set out to walk along the canal route suggested. Although it was much further than we were led to believe, the canal boats along the river certainly made up for it. I overheard one man saying that he lived in his boat all year round and enjoyed travelling along the canal from town to town, stopping as the whim took him. It sounded so romantic!

I began to look with closer interest and discovered that some boats even used solar power to heat their water etc.

Loads of the boats had a cat or dog in tow! I love the individual style of the art work on each boat. They choose lovely names for the craft too! I had visions of me kitting a boat out with sweet little curtains and vintage china. I would be sitting alongside sketching or making something while the sun streamed down and warmed my body. The kettle would be whistling on the stove and my husband would be pottering in the galley making lunch!!
Then I suddenly thought about the practicalities of waste disposal, mainly toilet waste, and came down to earth with a bang as I realised that I hadn't seen a sluice anywhere along the banks. Nor had I noticed a tap for fresh water. Ahhh! my dream bubble popped!