Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Barcelona Barcelona!

At the end of November we spent four days in Barcelona, I loved this city and will go back so much to do and see. Amazing architecture, great food………
So here are some images.

We enjoyed wandering the streets and alleyways around the area of La Rambla, sitting in bars and cafes enjoying a glass of wine. Or sitting on the Rooftop Terrace of  Hotel 1898 and looking at the view over the city, it's a shame we could have spent more time up there because the weather changed it rained and rained and……..


View from the Roof Top Terrace Hotel 1898

Visiting galleries and churches…….

None of the photos that I took at the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia do the place any justice, it really needs to be seen to be believed. It's truly amazing!!!!!

Antoni Gaudi
Gate for Casa Vicens
I even found inspiration for my next City and Guilds project in the Pablo Picasso Museum? I know what a surprise, I don't really like his work but it was like a lighten bolt, 'This is just what I've been looking for, quick Dave, wheres the shop I need to buy the post cards'!!!! Watch this space.

Today was the first time back at class since this trip and Janice likes my ideas, so here we go…..

Monday, 11 November 2013

Quiet Times??????

In the last few weeks of October it seemed as though my feet didn't touch the ground, Michelle who works for my husband got married. She is also a friend of our daughter so she was invited too, it was the most amazing wedding. It was held in at the Buckingham Railway Centre, Quainton, they were married on the platform and there was a steam engine running along a track for the guests to ride on after the photographs were taken. I don't think I've ever been to a wedding were everyone laughed from the start to the end, everything was fun even the singing of 'I'm a believer'  after the signing of the register,  had us all jigging about. I'm sure if their wedding was anything to go by they will have a very happy marriage! Oh! I should say that the Railway theme was very apt as Dave and Michelle work for a Rail Engineering Consultancy.

Two weeks later and we were in Michelle and Nicks company again for the company dinner and dance, at a hotel in the Forest of Arden. I managed to wangle a trip to the Cotton Patch while in the area, well you have to take advantage while you can, don't you? I bought the fabric for a baby quilt, I'm going to be a 'Great Aunt', we also managed to fit in a quick visit to Kenilworth Castle.

I completed this crochet blanket a while ago, it was just a matter of sewing in the ends. It did take me over a year to finish. I enjoyed doing it but it did drag on, as I seem to have so many projects on the go.

Last week saw the opening of the third exhibition of Bridging Waters, after this exhibition finished we were expecting the work to be returned. But an exciting thing  happened, the work is going to be shown at another gallery.  The work will be staying in Canada for a few more months, watch this space…….

Last Saturday was the exhibition of the City and Guilds classes, I had two pieces of work to show, the table runner and a bag which I didn't finish until the night before.

This isn't a good photograph I will do a better set for the next post, I have to say I'm pleased with it, at last I've made something I know I'll use myself. The exhibition had lots of visitors, and the work exhibited by the students who have finished their Certificate and those that have finished their Diploma was amazing.

I'm looking forward to a quieter time……...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


The doggy group has a new member a White Miniature Schnauzer his name is Yuki, he's a cute little chap. So now Dizzy Betsy's pal has a new playmate. Yuki is second cousin to Betsy, so there was no problem settling Yuki into the rather large group of dogs that we walk with as Betsy has spent a lot of time with Yuki since he came along. These are the photos of Yuki's first outing, Dizzy looked on very protective of his new little brother, Betsy soon became bored, I don't think she can wait until Yuki is off his lead and they can have a chase around the field. I don't think Dizzy is getting a lot of rest at home now a lively pup has joined his family. I must say it has made me think twice about adding another pup to our family, that has made Dave very happy as he doesn't want another dog.

Yuki meets one of the largest members of the group

Betsy is getting fed up with the standing about!

How relieved am I? Very!  Today I handed in my first completed project for City and Guilds, Janice has also taken my Line and Colour folders to have a look at, fingers crossed I wont need to add anything else to them.

One of the inspiration images for the table runner

Table Runner
I have also had my next project approved, so I'm now making a bag................  really out of my comfort zone now, I don't like making bags or boxes. But this is why I decided to do this course I need to stretch myself. sigh....... oh yes and trying desperately to catch up on lots of samples. sigh.........

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A photo heavy post!

We've been on holiday in Ireland  a small village (not sure if it was a village no shop NO PUB) but still a great holiday! We rented a house in  Arthurstown Co. Waterford,  a 30 minute drive from Wexford when taking the car ferry from Ballyhack to Passage East.

The weather was kind, the people very friendly, the scenery beautiful and the food, well totally wonderful. I'm not a lover of fish but in this part of Ireland it appears a lot on the menu, never one to shy away I jumped in so to speak and ate a lot of delicious fish cooked in various ways.

The first day after an over night ferry from Pembroke to Rosleare we had a wander around Waterford, as I said there wasn't a pub in the town but a short distance away is Dunbrody House, they have  this year opened a pub called 'The Local' to fill the gap when the pub in the town closed. The Local is only open from Thursday to Sunday and serves a very limited menu but boy it was delicious food. We also had a couple of meals at the Champagne and Seafood Bar in the main house that was amazing!

Here are just some of the things we did, a drive to The Hook Head Lighthouse and a stop at a couple of the beaches, we were the only people on the beach, not warm enough for skinny dipping but the idea was there! We sat in the warm sun after a lovely lunch in the Light House restaurant, I could have sat there all week just watching the sea crashing against the rocks, so restful.  Mind you I wouldn't want to be sitting there when the Irish sea gets really rough.
Hook Lighthouse
View from the hook

Beach on Copper Coast Route


I did become a bit obsessed with heart shaped stones on the beaches, Dave called a halt and said if we carried on we wouldn't be able to get on the ferry coming home in fear of it sinking from the weight in our car, spoil sport! I had hoped to find some sea glass but didn't maybe another time another beach......

Copper Coast
As a break from beach combing we made a visit to Tintern Abbey, it's such a shame  the visitors centre  was destroyed by vandals, who robbed it then set fire to it. Yes, it happens in the most beautiful parts of the world, and to give the staff at the Abbey their due they are struggling on whilst the centre is being rebuilt.

 Another day we visited the Famine Ship at New Ross, a very interesting visit with a guided tour of the ship and two woman who played out the parts of a woman who travelled steerage and a woman who travelled upper class. Boy what a life those woman had. After that disturbing and touching visit we  needed (I needed) a touch of the textile world.  Strange there just happened to be a 'Ros Tapestry' the history of the Normans in Ireland in stitch. An interesting exhibition which is still a work in progress.

Potato Famine Ship

Potato Famine Ship

The Local
Another day it was off to Kilkenny and the Design Centre, some lovely things there and a few must haves, six pottery mugs a jug and a sugar bowl, well they are beautiful and you must support the artist especially when you have visited their studio, mustn't you? Shame, Dave didn't feel quite the same when we popped into the Goldsmiths and then the Silversmiths studio's, but you can't have it all. On the same site is the National Craft Gallery there was an exhibition called 'Future Fashion' I only took a couple of photos ( I did ask first) the work was beautiful, but all I can say is this is a fashion I will not be wearing in the future! But I did admire the skill of the workmanship.

Una Burke

Stephanie Bila

On our way back to the house after the Kilkenny  we passed through Inistioge a  small village  used for scenes in the films 'Circle of Friends' based on the Maeve Binchy book  and 'Widows Peak'.

You can't go all the way to Waterford and not visit the  House of Waterford Crystal, we did the tour and saw how the pieces are made from start to finish. We had decided to also go and see a glass engraver who has a studio in Waterford, we watched him work for a while and then chatted to him about his work. Dave had already spotted a piece of  work  he wanted to buy, Sean Egan was employed by Waterford Crystal and  made a beautiful piece of work after the  9/11 tragedy its called Miracle on Stairwell B. He presented the work to the FDNY, there are several variations of this sculptures  one in the Waterford Showroom and another in Sean's studio. Sadly after working for Waterford Crystal for 35 years Sean lost his job and opened his own studio. We did buy a piece of Sean's work which he signed for us, he asked what we would like him to put on it, just his name was enough on such a lovely piece.

No we didn't buy the clock thats in the Waterford Crystal showroom, we bought a square piece with butterflies engraved into it.

Crystal clock


Now we're home and looking forward to our next break away.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Bridging Waters Opens @ Tulista

The Material Girls / Articulation  'Bridging Waters Exhibition' has opened at it's next gallery. For more details and images take a look at  Articulation member Lesley Turner's blog or The Material Girls blog

Saturday, 31 August 2013

From Tepee to Tree House

It's been a long while since we've walked at The Thames Chase Forest Centre, this morning we were up early and went off with Betsy to meet Becky and James for a walk. The morning was bright sunny a lovely and warm, with not a cloud in the sky, although there were a few cars in the car park we saw a couple of dog walkers and a jogger. Betsy had fun running about,  James and Becky explored the children's play areas that have been constructed since our last visit (just as well there were so few people about).

James climbed up inside the tree house and took some photo's of the traffic on the M25, this lovely open space is very close to that busy motorway so if you are ever driving along the M25 heading for the Dartford crossing have a look for the tree house it can be seen from the road, especially if your stuck in a traffic jam approaching the QEII bridge!

There were lots of these on the bushes we couldn't decide if they were sloes, anyone know? We finished our walk with a coffee, sitting in the sun and chatting.  A nice way to start the weekend.........

Friday, 30 August 2013

City and Guilds Samples

I've been keeping myself busy getting samples done for my City and Guilds, I have also added a finished piece to the City and Guilds page.

I knew I'd done a Kantha workshop a while ago and thought I'd do a short cut and finish the work off and use it for my sample (I'm a cheat I know), but no matter how or where I've looked I can't find any sign of the work.  It wasn't till I typed the link for this post I found the this! Oh well as my Nan used to say 'Cheats never prosper' and I've not cheated, haha.....



Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Courgette or Marrow????????

How did I miss this little fella in the vegetable patch? Well to be honest I did see it was getting big but I was picking courgettes that were smaller, I thought I must come back and pick it soon! But two days later there was no missing it as it started to burst out of the fence around the raised vegetable bed.... It took two of us to remove it from the grasp of the plant!

I left it sitting on the table in the garden to show the rest of the family on Sunday when they came for dinner, it caused a bit of a stir (we lead a quiet life, so it doesn't take much).  We discussed was it now a Marrow or  an overgrown / neglected courgette, we couldn't decide that one, what do you think? While I was putting the finishing touches to dinner and yes, we did have regular sized courgettes and very nice they were too, it was weighed 8lb 11oz.  James my very imaginative son said he thought that when it was cut open we might find a family of Borrowers living in it, we didn't! Becky and James could not be persuaded to take a chunk home with them, Rachel came to the rescue and took a reasonable amount.

Tonight we are having a vegetable curry for dinner and yes it includes an amount of courgette, tomorrow I'm cooking stuffed courgette and Friday who knows? Any ideas of what to do with it would be gratefully received (only clean suggestions thank you)! I still have nearly 4lbs of the thing left and of course while I'm using this up the rest of the little blighters are growing away on the plant, boy am I glad that only one plant survived the raid of the slugs and snails earlier in the year!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

From The Tower

On Friday Rachel and I went to a Birthday Party another 2 year old, this time there was plenty of Jelly and the sandwiches were made in the shape of the Hungry Caterpillar, I forgot to take a photograph but it was a very creative spread.
Then on Saturday evening we went to the Tower of London to watch the Ceremony of The Keys and attend a charity event as guests of the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters). Driving into the Tower was not easy, negotiating around the many tourists who were more intent on getting their photographs than worrying about stepping backwards into the path of a slow moving car. Glad I wasn't driving, Dave managed very well and not one dent in the car. The Yeoman's mess was interesting and we were treated to a Drum and Pipe band before a BBQ, we were then invited outside and given some information about the Tower and the Ceremony that was about to take place. No photographs are allowed of the ceremony, it has an amazing history, the locking of the tower with all the pageantry  has happened every night for 700 years, nothing has ever prevented it, not war or weather. It was then back inside and more drink and another set from the Pipes and Drums. I know not everyone likes the Pipes but I do so I was delighted, Dave isn't quite so enthusiastic but never mind....... On the way out of the Tower I took a photo of Traitors Gate from the inside looking out and one of Tower Bridge and one of the Shard they are dark but I wanted to share them with you!

If you would like to know more about trips to and information on the Tower of London try this link

Monday, 12 August 2013


This year was my first visit to the Festival of Quilts! Yes I know I can hardly believe it myself, why have I never been before? There is always something else to do, well that wont happen again. Betsy went off for the weekend and Dave and I set off very early on Saturday morning for Birmingham. I'm glad we decided to stay overnight, Saturday we visited all the exhibitions, it was very busy. I did buy some bits for my next City and Guilds project after having a chat with Janice Gunner my tutor who had a stand.

There were so many lovely quilts, it was hard to decide which ones I liked the most. The quilt below received 'Highly Commended'  lovely colours and the workmanship was amazing, got to love the title.....NEVER AGAIN
Two Person Quilt- Alison Robins and Krista Withers - Never Again

After a nice dinner at the hotel a couple of glasses of wine a good night sleep and a lie in we were back to the NEC for a look around the stalls and some spending. It was much quieter on Sunday morning so as we passed the quilt than won the BEST IN SHOW I managed to get a photo. Even if you are not a fan of traditional quilts I think it would be hard not to admire this quilt! I think the Judges comments say it all 'An exquisite quilt'. Just a shame it wasn't placed in a better position so we could all take better photographs, I heard lots of moaning about that.

Kyoko Yamauchi- Thank You Father

Judges Comments
Anyway after the admiring it was down to shopping, here's my stash. Fabrics, bobbins, a few other bits and pieces and an African Basket. I'm happy and looking forward to returning next year......

Before I took Betsy to her other family I took her for a walk as always, I was bitten on the wrist by this nasty little black fly. It didn't hurt at the time but Friday night it woke me up and was painful but didn't itch and over the weekend I was rubbing antiseptic cream into it. It blistered and my wrist became very swollen, hot and rather nasty and the cream made it worse. This morning I went to the pharmacist but he said I needed an urgent appointment at the doctors it had gone septic, he was right now I'm on antibiotics. Well thats life full of the unexpected......