Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Little Helpers

I volunteered to look after my grandchildren yesterday while there parents went shopping. They got a bit creative.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Christmas is Coming

Well Christmas is coming a little too fast for me and I am running out of time. I have been quite productive in the last few days. I have made the door wreaths and table decorations, the cakes are marzipaned, did a bit of tidying putting the decoration boxes away. Nearly finished sending the Christmas cards and have managed to find spaces to hang the ones we have received. I have volunteered to look after Alfie and Sophie so that there parents can have a child free shop. Alfie loves sticking and gluing at the moment so we might have a creative day, (must save the toilet rolls) Today I need to make and finish two small quilts so I had better make a start!

Friday, 27 November 2009


I have been busy building a blog for The Two Rivers Wind Ensemble I thought it would be quite quick and easy! I looked on my dashboard and it said create another blog, so I thought great. BUT it kept putting me and my profile on the other blog. I got into all sorts of trouble. I got there in the end but I had to create another email address. Unfortunately I managed to delete half the info on my blog including my picture profile and my links. S just to let you know I will gradually try and put it all back. In the meantime I would be grateful if you would check out the other blog from time to time and let me know what you think and how I can improve it.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

German Visitors (Posaunenchor)

Exeter Cathedral

The Posaunenchor band from Altenmedingen Germany

This week we have a German band visiting us. They have a very full programme with early mornings and late nights. We have two of them staying with us. Yesterday they played in Exeter
Cathedral at lunch time and a joint concert with The Albert Hall Swing Band in the evening at Umberleigh. I apologise for the quality of sound on the video.

This morning they have gone to Clovelly and are going to The Milky Way theme park this afternoon followed by a reception with the Mayor of Barnstaple this evening so another late night. I am going to get a Chinese take away. I don't do cooking at that time of night.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Little Visitor

A couple of weeks ago this little hedgehog was in our back garden
during the day. It seamed happy enough. It wasn't a bit bothered
by us and even posed for the camera. After it had a sleep it woke
up and wandered away. I hope it was alright and that we see it

I gave it some meat

Digging for worms

Time for a nap.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Upcott Valley have just started their latest challenge. Should be interesting! The challenge is to cut holes in our fabric give the cut out bits to the other participants and then fill the hole up using fabrics from their cut out bits. should be interesting.

I have been quite productive this week, building up my ear ring stocks, tidying my work space and cutting the holes in my challenge fabric. I thought it was time I blogged.

I am busy with the bands I am in. One playing at a dance on Saturday and the other busy preparing for a concert a week tomorrow which I am looking forward to.

The German band are coming to stay in October and have a packed week. They are playing in Exeter Cathedral on the Monday and The Eden Project on the Wednesday. They have another two concerts. They will be so tired when they go home. I know I was when I came back from Germany.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Festival of Quilts

Well I am back home from the festival and thought it was about time I did some blogging. Val Sarah Vinnie and I went up to Birmingham early on Wednesday, all a bit excited about being invited to exhibit at the festival. We were guided to the unloading area which was not too far from the stand and unloaded. The building was a hive of activity with sack trucks, crates packaging everywhere. We came very well equipped with two hammers and at least three spirit levels. Vinnie and Sarah started drilling, hammering and drawing lines with the aid of the spirit levels, while Val and I stuck Velcro squares on the backs of the write ups and smaller calendar pieces. Sarah and Vinnie had to keep dashing away to try and move their cars to the car park but never managed as they were boxed in. Luckily we were able to just get out at the end of the day. The space looked tiny when we arrived but as soon as we started hanging our work it seamed to grow. We were all pleased with how it looked.
Thursday arrived and we got there in good time. Everything was neat and tidy (there must have been an awful lot of hoovering during the night) The quilts looked fantastic. The judging had been done. Vinnie had got the bronze award in the Contemporary class. We had a hard job keeping her under control after that. We were so proud of her, she's a little star.
I met so many people that I knew and saw a few as they walked by. For those of you that have not been it is a huge event and believe me it is quite easy to walk round and round one area and completely miss other areas without even knowing it till you get home and read the catalogue. I was there for three days and did not see it all. On Thursday I know there were 10,000 people there. I have not heard the numbers for the other days but they felt busier.
We had a lot of really nice comments and it was also nice to see so many people from other countries. We met people from Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Spain, America, Canada, New Zealand and I noticed quite a few from Ireland too and I know at least one Welsh person was there even if I didn't see her!
I am very tired now. I think it is all catching up with me. I will put some pictures up of our exhibition so that you can have a little insight into what it was like.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Feeling Much Better

Well I thought it was time that I blogged. I am feeling sooooo much better. I am really enjoying this weather. Yesterday we went out for a drive round the North Devon coast. It was not quite as warm and sunny there but it didn't rain. Today was shopping day so it is all catching up with me now.
Last weekend we went out for the day to try and find somewhere to go mackerel fishing. We ended up in Ilfracombe. As we drove to the car park on the quey i noticed several people were dressed up. I new immediately that it must have been Victorian week. As we parked the car I wondered why the harbour wall was edged with people looking out to sea. They were waiting for the Waverley(a paddle steamer) to come in. It was already two hours late. I thought I would join the on lookers. When it got into the harbour I was surprised at how big she was. It was lovely to see all the elegantly clad passengers board the Waverly while the buskers played old time music.

The Waverley

This morning before 7, I heard a bang on the window. I thought that sounds like a bird. About 15 minutes later my husband got up and opened the kitchen blind and saw the woodpecker at the bottom of the tree trying to climb up. When I got up it was still on the tree trunk. I kept an eye on it in case there were any cats around. I managed to take a picture which proved there must have been something not quite right. usually the slightest hint of a camera it is gone. It stayed there for about 45 minutes and then flew away I did see it high up in a willow tree a bit later so it seamed fully recovered.

I have been tidying the garden and re potting the plants, sweeping the steps. Soon I hope to do some sewing.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Well now we are well into June. Hasn't the weather been kind to us. Thankyou firstly for all your kind comments and thoughts. I hope I am on the mend now. The plaster is due to be removed on Monday which will be nice as it is like wearing glove. I did have to go to the physio yesterday as I had twisted my knee and couldn't walk at the weekend but that is much better and she has given me a stick (which I can't really use because of my plaster)
Last night I went to the Contemporary Craft Fair. It was a lovely evening. At the last minute. I contacted Genie and arranged to meet her in the park. We had never met in person, but spend quite a lot of time blogging, flickering and facebooking. We both went into the fair and spent the next couple of hours looking around for inspiration. We find a nice stand selling sketch books and artist materials at a very good price so had to stock up bit. We then both enjoyed a sit down with a very refreshing freshly squeezed orange juice. While chatting we discovered that our husbands might actually already know each other too as they both belong to the same fishing clubs. It is such a small world. We had taken the dog back to Genie's house and while there I was able to view some of the catalogue killing results. We also swapped ATC's.
I was quite nervous about going out in case I damaged anything else. Well although I was tired I am still in one piece.
Hopefully before too long I will be able to make something at the moment I can just about manage to make a sandwich!

Sunday, 10 May 2009


After being ill again for a few weeks, I felt well enough to go out on Friday. I found it very tiring but glad to be out in the fresh air. That evening I thought I would be helpful and put the rubbish out for the dustmen which I did but unfortunately I did it head first out of the front door. I now have a broken wrist and the other is a bit sore. So once again I wont be doing much blogging. I had so many plans.

Friday, 24 April 2009

One Little Gem

Inca Inspiration
Well so much for my new beginnings. Almost as soon as I said it I was struck down. I was ill for a week! I had just started this piece but have only managed to finnish it today. I have made it for the Little Gem tombola.
It was inspired by Inca art originally but has wandered of a bit. The copper mushrooms represent the blades of sacrificial knives. I hope it gives the feeling of the Incas. I must now put away the sewing machine and get out the wax. Craft fair season is rapidly approaching and with sickness etc. I am getting behind.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all. It makes such a change for us to have sunny weather. Usually the mere mention of a bank holiday is enough to make those rain clouds move in.
I have felt like I have been living in limbo for most of this year, with the illness and death of my father. I now hope I am ready to move forward. New beginnings, renewed energy and I hope more productivity.
Here is a picture of some encaustic eggs I made a couple of years ago. With all the house moving of the last two years I have not had them out on display. Thank you all for continuing to visit my blog. I do hope soon I will have something more interesting to post.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Goodbye Dad

18/8/1925 - 27/3/2009

Rest in peace

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Region 4 Banner


Each region of The Quilters' Guild of the British Isle was asked to make a banner to hang in St Anthony's Hall, York. Upcott valley Quilters volunteered and today it was handed over to the regional coordinator. The brief was to make a two sided banner that reflected our region. Region 4 includes Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We went round in circles to start with because we had so much choice. We decided that the one thing they had in common was they all have sea/coast and also the land/countryside was important. To simplify it further we split into two groups This worked well I worked on the coastal side. We started by thinking of the elements. Surfing is very popular in our region especially Cornwall. The ammonite represents the Jurassic coastline which stretches from Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset to near Exmouth in Devon. Bishops Rock Lighthouse which is of the Isles of Scilly was chosen to represent the many lighthouses that protect our rugged coastline. Finally the Mayflower sailing into the distant flying the flags of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.


This side was worked by the other half of the group. The cow is a Devon Red or Ruby and the sheep is a local breed. Eden was an easy choice it is also built in a disused quarry. Quarries can be found all over the region Portland Stone and Bere caves are two examples. Derelict tin mines are a common site in Cornwall. Finally we could not leave out the Cerne Abbas Giant, a very well known feature of Dorset.
I apologise for the quality of the pictures( and the spelling) please feel free to ask me anything about them.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

More Snow

I was working in my workroom last night and thought it was raining until I looked at my skylight and saw it was covered in snow. When I looked outside it was snowing really heavily and there was about two inches of snow on the car. It was still snowing at midnight when I went to bed. I didn't sleep too well because I new I had to go to the hairdressers today, so at three I got up to have a look and I have never seen such big snowflakes about the size of a 50 pence. I think the snow would be between four and six inches deep but the sun is really strong today so it is melting quite quickly. I got to the hairdressers OK although the snow was deeper in places on the way. I apologise to the visitors here from abroad, it is just so unusual for us to get snow and when we do everything comes to a standstill. Here are a few pictures I took from the kitchen this morning.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Upcott Valley Quilters Challenge 2009

Another year gone and another challenge completed. For the last two years Upcott Valley have had a fabric challenge. Each member that went to the Festival of Quilts last year chose a fat quarter of fabric. They looked at them and chose one. A fat quarter was then bought for each member. The size was chosen and this year it was going to be made in landscape format. The fabric has stripes in different colours so we decided we could each choose one of the other colours to work with. I chose purple. One other fabric was also added a pale aqua blue. The embellishments and stitching could be in any of the colours from the challenge fabric. They will be on display at the quilt show being held at Westpoint Exeter Devon this weekend.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Heart Swap

I had a lovely surprise today when the postman came. I received my heart from swap partner Jan.
The picture on the Textile Challenge site really did not do it any justice. It is so much more delicate than I expected it to be. Although I new it was going to be a little bag because of what I had read I was not expecting it to be filled with little goodies. I thought I would post some pictures of it close up so you can see the detail. Thanks Jan it has made my day.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Colour Contrast Challenge ATC

I took part in a colour contrast challenge. We were paired up and each pair had to make an ATC to swap using only two colours which we were given. Our colour was Burnt umber and Teal. I did not have any fabrics in those colours so decided to use fabric paint. I had done dome paper castings of a leaf tile which was exactly the same size as an ATC so I chose that. Once painted I sealed it with matt medium and then free machine quilted onto felt. I hand stitched the backing on and then glued the tiny beads to it.

Friday, 6 February 2009

15 minute ATC Challenge and More Snow

I was challenged by Marie on Textile Challenges group to not read the instructions until I had 15 minutes to spare. The challenge was to go straight to the work area. pick up five items I could find around me and make an ATC (Artist Trading Card ) in 15 minutes. Well I failed mainly because I had been sketching and reading so didn't have much around, only a bag of scraps left from another challenge which I will write about soon. I started of quite well but then the bobbin thread ran out typically. I then started to bind the edge and realised I had not put the backing fabric on. Eventually I did Finnish in 20 minutes which was about what everyone else did. There is going to be a weekly mystery challenge each week in February. I will keep you posted.

Having watched the weather forecast a few times yesterday and last night it all pointed to the fact that we would not get snow in our area, it was going to be on East Devon and Dorset, so I was surprised to hear a faint noise coming from the skylight above my head. When I looked up it was white so I took a look outside to see big snow flakes coming down. I thought oh we are on the edge it will pass. We went to bed and the Devon radio carried on after 1 o clock I think to keep in touch with the cars stuck on the roads waiting for the snow ploughs to clear the road. They were being told it could take 6 hours. When I got up this morning to put the rubbish out it was still snowing. There was nobody out, no car tracks in the road only foot prints from the birds. The dustcart was not going to get hear so I didn't bother putting out the rubbish. The children and adults are out building snowmen now and while I was having my breakfast somebody came past on skis! I think I am going to spend the day in my workroom today.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Snow in Devon

Sun setting tonight (Tues)

View from the kitchen tonight

Front garden Monday night

From the kitchen when it started snowing on Monday

Just had to put up some snowy pictures. It is so rare to have snow that I had to take some pictures. These are taken of the front garden mostly from inside the kitchen.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Heart swap

Heart front

Heart back with tatted motiff

Hanging with charms

Full veiw of the front

As part of the Textile Challenge group I decided to take part in the heart swap. I was partnered with Jan so this is her heart. I had recently bought some fabrics from Jennifer Trollope which she buys from couture houses. The project needed to be quick so I went for using luxurious fabrics rather than fancy sewing techniques. The back of the heart is silk with a piece of tatting stitched on which has a small piece of shear fabric behind and a stone in the centre. The front was a golden fabric which is covered with a net which has hanging sequins attached. This net was about 6 inches wide with a bound edge on each side which I did not want to loose, so I eased the edging into the heart shape and cut or pleated the surplus away. I then added a matching ribbon and hung various charms and beads from it. I have also put some lavender inside it.