Saturday, 31 May 2008

simple things please the mind

Yesterday I received a gift catalogue and I am allowed to choose gifts up to a certain value, after looking through at the selection of cookers tents camera etc I realised that the envelope was made of Tyvek. This is more interesting, its something I can play with!! Catalogue is discarded downstairs, envelope is in the workroom ready to be painted.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Work in progress

I seem to have busy doing anything but stitch (except TIF) over the last couple of weeks so here are two pieces that I am slowly working on.

more lace


This is a sample of felt made in a washing machine. Originally this was a C&G sample but I have decided to add some hand embroidery and turn it into a postcard/atcs. Hope to post finished work in the next few days.
By the way, the fleece was purchased from a farm in Yorkshire in the early 90s for the price of a pint of beer! It was really coarse wool but made an interesting stiff felt. It caused some strange looks from the other bikers when we returned to the rally site with it and had to scrounge a bigger bag so we could strap it to the bike.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Nearly forgot

I've been so busy that I nearly forgot to post these pictures of my favourite present from Pamela who blogs on Stitched Up. I am the one who often turns up at stitched up meetings without scissors etc so this will be well used over the next few months.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Dalai Lama

On Sunday we went to a talk by the Dalai Lama entitled caring for our world, presented by Jonathan Dimbleby. School children gave an opening presentation in dance and word about the history of our planet and its possible destruction unless we choose an alternative future.There was a talk, q&a discussion and poems from children of all ages

Over the 5 days of the visit, a sand mandala is being created by the Tashi Lhumpo monks which will be destroyed at noon on Wednesday.

You can also buy just about anything from the Tibetan market in the big top but due the generator problems, you will probably not be able to see what you have brought until you get outside.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Take it further challenge (May)

The question was 'what do you call yourself?'.well, I have a collection of labels, many of which come under the fibre artist umbrella but they are just part of what makes me who I am. I have decided to leave others to make up their minds about what I do.

Artist? maybe.....

Nottingham City Pulse

Music is filling the streets of Nottingham as the City Pulse is in full swing. Yesterday saw performers at 5 locations round the city, a large stage in front of the council house in the Old Market Square and the Samba band playing as they wandered round the city. The music contines until Monday and I am sure that we will be heading back down today or tomorrow.

Railway Bill

Kick n Rush

Nottingham Samba
Now, if you look carefully at the samba picture, you will see a very unusual mix of cultures. The Dalai Lama is in town and some of the monks wandered down to the city centre to see what was happening. It was wonderful to watch two young teenage girls spontaneous hug two of the older monks and I hope they enjoy their stay. We have so much bad press about this city that I feel it is important to remember the mood of events like these where people join in and enjoy themselves.
In the meantime, we are going to hear the Dalai Lama speak this afternoon.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Two Moons Rally 2008 Drake MCC

On Saturday night, three birthdays including Robbies 40th and my own 48th were celebrated in style.

Cathedral of the Moors,

The church at Altarnun (seen here on a sunny day) is mainly 15 century with a few pieces of the 12 Century still to be found. The font is 12 century and still shows traces of paint on it. My favourite parts of the church are the carved pew ends especially the one with the sheep. These were all carved by Robart Daye between 1510 and 1530.

My favourite carving, aren't they great?
The Norman font details

more carvings
The view from the church

On Saturday as it was still raining when I left the church ( Ian had already gone back to the campsite) and we had already visited the village coffee morning and won two bottles on the tombola, I thought it was time to visit the coffee morning at the church hall. They had a lovely open fire burning and I was encouraged to buy some raffle tickets....and won a bottle of wine and a pair of secateurs!!
I had been talking bikes with the church warden and he offered my a lift back to the site. As the club has been meeting annually in the same village for twenty years, the locals are quite used to having us turn up each May. I regret to say that I didn't catch his name but he turned out to have a lovely military Norton which he rode down to the site later that day once the rain had stopped.

I hope he doesn't mind having his photo here.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Why does it always rain in Cornwall?

For the last 11 years we have attended the annual Drake MCC 'Summer Rally' eventually becoming part of this small and friendly club. The first year we went, the sun came out and shone all weekend not to be seen again until last year. Well maybe I exaggerate a little but we have had more than our fair share of riding back in heavy rain from just off the campsite to within a few miles from Nottingham ( 270 miles)

This year I had my fingers crossed but the rain started about 60 mile from home on Thursday and was more on than off until Sunday morning! Maybe it's time to trade in the bike for a boat:)

We made it down to the site in time to help put up the marque, well Ian helped whilst I played at putting up our tent. We managed to bag two Round Britain Rally landmarks on the way down. At one of the them, the old gentleman living opposite the landmark came out and offered to take Ians photo. I think he is going to have a lively summer as there are several hundred bikes competing this year and I suspect he will be offering to photograph each one.

On Friday we rode round in the rain chasing a few more landmarks which included going on a ferry, our bike loves ferries, always behaves herself. This is crossing the estuary at Fowey.

This is a sneaky shot us both of us, yes at long last you can see what we look like. This is what the best dressed bikers are wearing this summer in the UK- thermals, leathers and waterproofs- no wonder I look like the Michelin man!! The small person with us is Rufus, a fellow RBR contestant who we met up with en route.

Monday, 19 May 2008

I'm back

We got back from Cornwall late yesterday afternoon, its been a very wet and muddy weekend, suspect it was dry everywhere else. Anyway, photos etc to come once I am a little more awake.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Take it further challenge (May)

Still looking at labels for TIF, is this craft, art or textile art? Knitted and stitched wire. If this is part of what I make, what am I?, I suspect that I will continue to puzzle over this without reaching a conclusion for the rest of the month.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Lace and TIF

It is so nice to have a few days off work to myself, chance to unwind and catch up on the small jobs that never seem to get done at the weekend or in the evening. So far today, I've washed the pots, surfed the net, loaded the washing machine, surfed the net, put the washing out, surfed the net, made a start on the jungle (again!!)surfed the net, finished the lace bookmark and yes I'm on the net writing this post. Seems to be a recurrent theme running through the day!!
I'm not usually this bad, honest!! Anyway, here is the lace bookmark almost done.

I've also been thinking about TIF challenge for May and rereading my last post made me realise that I have listed labels for what I do , so I think I will work with that. Labels!! watch this space.

Now I'm off to find the tent and the rest of the camping kit, polish motorcycle boots etc,etc,etc

Birmingham Back to Backs

Birmingham Back to Backs are a group of houses that had been preserved by the National Trust near the centre of Birmingham. These Back to Backs are literally that, the back wall of the house facing the street is also the back wall of the house facing the courtyard unlike back to back terraces in some parts of the country where the yards back on to each other.

This week they have been celebrating VE Day so we were issued with ration books so we could get our sweet ration from the shop ( see previous post) and a cup of tea and a biscuit. We even got to visit the coal cellar which was used as an air raid shelter, I don't think I would have wanted to be down there for long.

This is how the National Trust describe the buildings:

  • Birmingham's last surviving court of back to back housing
  • Story is told through the experiences of the people who lived and worked here
  • Covers four different periods, from 1840 to 1977
  • Design of each interior reflects the varied cultures, religions and professions of the families who made their homes here
Ration book and ID card
The wash house
1940s style

complete with home guard
As with all National Trust properties, photography is not allowed inside the buildings so here are panoramic shots of some of the rooms and this site contains memories of living in such buildings.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Shopping in Birmingham

Birmingham still has a large traditional outdoor market, something that I wish we had in Nottingham.

There is also the Rag Hall selling fabric, haberdashery and other items and an indoor market selling fish/meat and assorted household necessities. with a abundance of International food stalls.
China Town has Chinese supermarkets and restaurants

This traditional Sweet shop is to be found next to the Birmingham Back to Backs (see next post)

Glimpses of Birmingham

It was so nice yesterday morning that I hopped on a bus and then a train and ended up in Birmingham. The main reason for the trip was to visit the Art of Stitch Exhibition organised by the Embroiderers Guild. More about this later.
As usual I took my camera so the next few posts will be photo heavy and I apologise to anyone viewing on dial up rather than broadband.

Above is the fountain often nicknamed 'the floozy in the jacuzzi'

the above photos are of the Spirit of Enterprise fountain.

These two carvings were seen on buildings as I wandered around shopping.

Unfortunately my favourite Forward statue is no longer there as it was burnt down a few years ago so I will search my old photos foe a good shot of it.

Shopping on E-bay

Maybe I'm a late starter but these two bobbins were my very first purchase on E-bay and arrived in the post on Thursday. You can just see that the lace society name and the date 1984 is also on the bottom bead.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


you must all forgive me for becoming slightly addicted to lace making as it has forced sewing onto the back boiler at the moment. There is a reason for it which will be revealed next month. Anyway, here is the latest offering, floral torchon lace but made with a finer thread than recommended so we will See what happens when I take it off the pillow. Hopefully it won't disintegrate but I want to mount it anyway so it should work.

On the bike front, we have found somewhere to hopefully get the starter motor fixed and the club chairman rang at the weekend to make sure we would be there as part of the marquee erecting team on the Thursday so fingers crossed on the weather! ( why do people always ring when you are in the shower?)

Monday, 5 May 2008

The Jungle

(not the cherry blossom, just some nice pink flowers)

Suddenly the cherry blossom has been and gone and our garden is slowly turning into a jungle. Today is a holiday so once the rain has stopped and assuming that the sun comes out, we will be trying to make some sense of the garden. I must admit that I am not a gardening fan, don't particularly enjoy it but it is a necessary evil as when we were house hunting, houses with garages were out of our price range but we were able to buy one with a garden big enough to build a garage (no access wide enough for the car but plenty of room for a bike even with the panniers on)

Meanwhile the good news is that we no longer have motorcycle exhausts cluttering up the main living room. They look so much better on the bike. The bad news on the bike front is that the starter motor for the Guzzi has died so we are hunting for a new one. This may result in us turning up for our own club Rally in a car!!

Yes, these are the most prolific flowers in our garden at the moment!!