Saturday, 6 August 2016

June and ....

July came and went, I spent some my time playing with my new camera, taking images of the flowers in the garden.

And Betsy, she's not always a willing model!

A walk in Epping Forest and a lovely lunch.....

More flowers in the garden, sadly this Lupin didn't last very long, it was so tempting to the slugs and snails!

We made another visit to Lanzarote, after many visits to the island we decided we should visit the Cactus Garden, these are just a few of the photo's. I did get a bit carried away, I've limited myself to only posting three images, but those textures!...

More of the island and yes the sea was that colour!

Then a weekend in Shropshire and a visit to Powis Castle and I even added more wool to my stash, oh dear!

And we are in the first week of August already, this year is scooting through.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Hi - Anyone there?

 Not sure there is but here goes anyway......

The next Material Girls exhibition is over the May Day weekend a little disappointing that its only three days, the venue Essex Wildlife Trust Ingrebourne Valley has a huge foot fall so fingers crossed if we have good weather it should be a good exhibition. I don't usually show my work in full before the exhibition but on this occasion I thought I'd treat you!


Can you guess the bird?


Bird House

The Baby quilts I mentioned in the previous post are finished and labeled amazingly the two babies did arrive on the same day. A couple of days late Austin arrived on the morning of 2nd April and Imogen in the evening. I'm looking forward to seeing Imogen and having a cuddle on Saturday!

Easter Monday we were treated by my nephew David and his wife to afternoon tea, it was our Christmas present it took us a while to use the voucher. It was well worth the wait, we really enjoyed a lovely relaxing afternoon.

The second Friday of every month one of the Material Girls is artist in residence at National Trust Rainham Hall April was my first time, I took along the group project we are working on. A few members of the public sat down and joined me in stitching a hexagon, I enjoyed chatting with the visitors and talking about our work exhibited in the rest of the house.

Taking a bit of a break from stitching I'm trying to make a whole in my yarn stash by crocheting a blanket, the basket of yarn doesn't seem to be getting any smaller though.... oh well back to hooking!

Monday, 7 March 2016

No Stress

As it turned out the exhibition in the Hayloft at the National Trust Rainham Hall was well worth waiting for. It had a good response from the public, the day I was stewarding there were over thirty visitors and considering the weather that was good.

My work was inspired by the tiles in the Hall. The work above I painted the fabric, stitched around the design and used EPP it was then mounted and framed. A good thing this was behind glass because it was put into a fire place and by the end of the exhibition the glass was covered in dust and there was even a selection of bird poo on the glass (hope this wasn't a critic's review)!

My second piece was staged on a sewing table along with an old singer sewing machine (not mine) but the rest was all me, the quilt I made years ago for my Mother in Law, a basket full of quilting samples and a bowl of threads added to the setting. I wish my studio was a tidy as this....

Below is a close up of the second piece this was indigo dyed fabric,  Appliqué and embroidered, the third piece is displayed in the main house in a fire place.

I thought you may like to see a small selection of the tiles that inspired me. I actually felling love with these tiles the first time I visited the house. Although I have lived in Rainham for Sixty years (all my life)  and walked past the house most days when I was on my way to the railway station I only went into the house about five years ago. Now I feel as though I'm rarely away from the place.

Four of the MG's are volunteers at the Hall and we'll be taking it in turns to go along once a month to sit and stitch in the Lloyd's Coffee house. We will be stitching and chatting with the public, I'll be there in April. The Hall is very local to me, I'm going to go along and see what goes on at the 'Knit and Stitch' group it meets every Wednesday in their Café, they do make a decent cup of coffee but I will be making every effort to resist the cake!

While all this has been going on I've been working on the next MG project and also trying to get two baby quilts finished. As always I've left it to the last minute, no stress, but the Mum's - to -be both left work on Friday and only have three weeks to go. Both babies are due on the same day.... whoops back to the quilting then!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

At Long Last

There has been quite a wait not only since my last post here, but also for the complete body of work that The Material Girls completed last year for the exhibition at National Trust Rainham Hall to be shown. At long last it has been decided that as the exhibition space in  the BREW HOUSE still isn't ready our exhibition will be in THE HAYLOFT instead. But as they say all good things are worth waiting for (well I say that)....... every day the exhibition is open there will be a Material Girl working in the space so this makes it quite a different experience for me at least.

Apart from exhibitions being sorted and arranged for this year, I turned 60 on New Years Eve, what a few days we had as a family, I've mentioned before December is the Month of Birthdays in this family. The day before my birthday Rachel turned 30, so it was up to town (London) for lunch with the family, then all back to ours for lunch on my Birthday, we had planned to go out for lunch but we sprung a leak so needed to wait in for a plumber.

Seeing in the New Year was done at the 'local' where Dave and I used to go most evenings when we were courting (we spent so many evenings in there with 1/2 a lager each that the bar staff actually bought us a wedding present).

Unfortunately Rachel and I both managed to pick up a nasty bug probably on her birthday lunch, when it came to the Saturday and her birthday party at a pub in Hackney, well I don't know how we actually got through it, I was almost rattling with the pills I'd taken. Boy did I pay for it for almost a week after I was lets just say 'out of it'.

Just when it looked like 2016 was shaping up to be a completely S**t year for many more reasons than I can put on my blog, James and his beautiful girlfriend Annabell have got Engaged. We are so happy and pleased for them I can't tell you.

So fingers and everything crossed 2016 will be kind and everything will work its self out.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

September into Autumn

September was an ideal month to spend a week in the Lake district, the end of summer thankfully weather was perfect.


The views of the lakes and mountains were breath taking!


Amazing Food
The food was more than tasty!


Being woken every morning by the handsome chap above not so great, but that's what happens when you stay on a farm!

Places to visit Stott Park Bobbin Mill.
Then we spent a few days in Malham,Yorkshire and a visit to Yarndale, plenty of lovely wool and lots of projects to keep me occupied over the cold winter months.

October National Trust Rainham Hall opened and the Material Girls exhibition was launched, not quite how we planned in the Brew House. The work is in the main house, mine is in the fireplace in one of the rooms on the first floor.

Delft Tiles

Georgian Coffee

Georgian coffee in the Lloyds Coffee house, I'm sticking to Latté in the cafe!


Conkers to collect one of the lovely things about Autumn!


It's not been all holidays and food I also managed some patchwork.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

I've been trying to......

..... write a post for quite a while, ( looking at the drafts there have been four attempts since the beginning of this year)  for some reason or another It's not happened!!!! Why? To be honest I can't say why not, it's not that I have been sitting idly twiddling my thumbs, I've just not felt inspired. I have been reading others posts but not always commenting. Like me most blogs I read also post on Facebook and I catch up with them there and just pressing the like button is so easy. I have been keeping the Material Girls blog, Website and Facebook upto date so maybe it meant I was spending my time on those rather than here, now I'm back and feel that I want to blog again so here goes......

Since my last post I've completed my City and Guilds Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting with Janice Gunner, it took me Three Years instead of the Two that I hoped it would. That's because I did have a lot of other things going on and I couldn't dedicate as much time as I should have to it, got there in the end though! This is my final project a wall hanging.

There was also another quilt made for my Great Niece Ella, I got the fabric last year in the US on holiday. It's not a great picture but you get the idea! There's also another baby quilt I can't show that one just yet, and also a crochet baby blanket that I forgot to photograph, but I'm going to see Reggie on Tuesday so I'll take a photo and show it next time!

I have been working on a project with The Material Girls for our next exhibition, it's being held at a National Trust property very close to where I live, Rainham Hall. We have all been busy with this project, it's now a waiting game for the Restoration of the house to be completed before we can hang. In the meantime  a sneak preview of a very tiny part of one of my pieces, a lot of hand stitching went into my pieces, that's  my favourite thing to do.

I think your more or less upto date now, I've not mentioned our holiday in North Wales or trips to London, family get togethers, but I'm sure your already getting bored.... So until next time........x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Putting on The Ritz!

Hello there, this is a very busy time for everyone. To be honest December is a bit of a nightmare for this family with all four of us having Birthdays in the same month, even though there aren't the children's parties to arrange anymore it seems harder.  It's difficult to get to see the two children (not really children any longer 33 and 29 this year) on their birthdays as they are out with friends and so we grab any opportunity we can and either see them before or after their day.  This year on Dave's birthday the four of us went for Afternoon Tea at the Ritz, nice it was too, very festive with the lavish decorations and the Carolers! With time to kill before our reservation at the Ritz we took a look in Fortnum and Mason, Rachel and James couldn't believe that I'd never been in there before. A few purchases were made so Christmas morning we'll be drinking posh (or expensive)  tea and coffee with our breakfast!

Fortnum and Mason

Cake and Sandwiches

Today I went along with the Material Girls to NT Rainham Hall for an update meeting with the Team at the Hall, take a look at the MG Blog for updates.