Monday, 8 September 2008

Thanks, Samples and AGM.

Well finally I am sitting down to blog and before I begin I have got to say a big thank-you to Margaret from Maggik Moments. She has awarded me my first award, which is so kind of her as I have not exactly kept the side up, I actually should be given a kick up the **!!@/!**. So Thanks once again Margaret I really appreciate it, I know I should do something with it which I will in the next few days.

Now back to what I promised to report on 3 weeks ago – it’s amazing that you can go away for a week and it is like you have been away for a month when you get home. Well my trip to Missenden Abbey was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was Level 1 C&G Machine Embroidery and although I have done some machine embroidery it is usually straight stitch, also I have always meant to sit down and do samples and put them mounted together, so this was a chance to start.

So this is The Abbey a lovely building and grounds

with the residential block and workshops/studios just across the drive.

Pam Watts is a fantastic tutor and such fun, which made the week even better. I am hooked and had already booked on an Easter School for ’09 but I have put my name down as interested in doing Level 3 starting Autumn 2009, as Pam is so encouraging, so hopefully life won’t get in the way and I will have time to save up. We were 14 in the group and we all got on well together and did a lot of laughing, I am so glad I went and another thing that was great – no cooking, washing up, I didn’t even have to make my bed -- Magic.

So here are a few pictures of my samples.
Hard edge applique with massed stitching.

and another sample mounted on linen.

Soft edge applique.

Drawn thread work.

Pulled thread work.

Machine embroidered lace.

Couched threads.
I now realise I have to take a bit more care taking photos. I still have a couple left but I need to take new shots but the batteries are re-charging, so I'll show them again.

We had to work at quite a steady rate to get everything ready to be assessed on the Friday, so no time for messing about or re-doing. It was all worthwhile as we all achieved our goal.
Now, I had made some dresses and earned a few pennies so rather that waste my money this is how I paid for the course. It being a residential course I thought at least I won’t spend any more money --- WRONG!!! Everyday there was someone with tables full of goodies to tempt us and you guessed it, I was tempted --- I am so weak. Books, handmade paper, machine and embroidery threads with people like Winifred Cottage, Gill Sew, Art van Go and on top of that Rainbow Silks a 5min. walk down the road --- a girl can only resist so much. Needless to say I have a lot of saving to do.

The time has flown by and I seem to have been running around in ever decreasing circles and I have not done any machine embroidery since I came back. I shall not bore you with cottages, alterations, sheep etc. But I will jump to last Saturday and Pembrokeshire Emb. Guild AGM. We had a really interesting talk by Riitta Sinkkonen Davies who weaves wonderful linen pieces with a slide show and a demonstration of turning flax into fibre ready to spin. The only down side was that we were only 10 people for the talk and by the time of the AGM we were only 6. We have been very concerned if our Guild will survive and this will certainly be the make or break year. There was no nominating and seconding for offices only volunteering, so I am now secretary and we have an uphill struggle to try to recruit new members. We only had 22 members last year and 6 of those live away; a couple have said they will not be joining this year and a few have family illnesses to cope with, so keep your fingers crossed for us.

After feeling depressed on Saturday I had a lovely day out yesterday, which is why this blog did not get posted until today but I will tell you about that tomorrow as I have more pictures. Thanks for bearing with me today.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

All Packed --- Well Almost

So here we are - I'm off to Missenden Abbey tomorrow morning for a week. I am having a week doing machine embroidery with Pam Watts and I'm really looking forward to not being distracted and not thinking about meals etc.

Now have I got too much? --- Yes!
Have I forgotten what I need? --- Probably!!!

So please excuse yet another short blog but I have not packed my clothes yet -- I just don't know what to put in with this weather, one thing for certain Factor 30 won't be called for. At least I will have photos for next blog.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Alterations & Projects

Oh Dear this blogging lark is getting the better of me, at sometime hopefully I will fall into a pattern - I'm not sure if it will be a couple of short ones every week or a monologue every week to 10 days. But at the moment I think it will be a bit hit or miss.

Anyway I think I had better explain a few things about where my time seems to go. As I have mentioned in my profile I used to make bridal wear and at one time employed girls doing this --- that was quite a while ago. I gave up doing it when life was throwing up obstacles like poorly 'in-laws' to look after and having moved to our small holding and were developing the holiday cottages. It was all too much pressure, when you are sewing until 3-4am. all the pleasure of weddings disappear. Mind you the sparkle was fading - there are only so many things I was prepared to worry about and when brides were comparing the dress fabric with their invitation cards I thought it's time to get a life.

Now there was only one problem with giving up the weddings and that was lack off money - the one thing that I did miss. So after visiting a sewing exhibition and having a brain storm and buying another computerised sewing machine I didn't need (it's so easy when you have 24 months to pay and just sign a piece of paper) I decided a necessary evil had to fund this. So I went into our local town of Narberth and gave a couple of dress shops my card and started doing alterations. To cut a long story short I still do it for 1 shop called White and only do other things if I want to. Most of it is shortening new clothes and it comes in fits and starts. Mind you I do not do it for a song, in my view if you want a job done well 'you get what you pay for'. So a few pairs of trousers shortened last week earned a few pennies but then I couldn't charge my Mum naturally -- she's off to a wedding in a couple of weeks -- and to prove I do have a sewing machine and can sew here are a few photos.

Shortening the skirt,

giving a better fit to the sleeves

and finished and pressed.

Exciting stuff these alterations. Now I don't know if I've made a rod for my own back but when I came back from holidays last November, Sally who owns White, started asking me questions about the idea of opening a bridal shop and would I be prepared to do alterations and teach her how to do fittings. Now suffering from the effects of sun, rest and the feel good factor of the holiday I said of course I didn't mind. To cut another long story short White Bride is the result and we have the 1st dress fitting this weekend to an actual wedding - I shall keep you posted.

I thought I had better show you that I can do a bit of embroidery as well. This is a piece I did for the C&G a few years ago. It was inspired by Henry V11 ceiling at Westminster Abbey which when I saw it took my breath away.

And a close up, it was felt, hand stitched with quite a textured
thread which was then machined over. It was then stitched onto
wireform and then manipulated. The background is chiffon
scarves with bondaweb, machine stitched little
dots of gold and blasted with the heat gun.

Now I did mention in my brief and slightly pathetic blog yesterday that I was off with the EG today to discuss a project. Well we are very lucky in our little struggling group to have Audrey Walker, Eirian Short and Rozanne Hawksley associated with us and they do support us when they can. Audrey and Eirian have been asked to design a banner to do with St. Davids Day and they have asked us to make and embroider it, so this was the meeting to show us the design and discuss a few things. It is quite exciting and hopefully will get us some publicity and new members, when I have got something to report I will let you know.

I am away for a week on Sunday I will tell you about it in the next blog. So until then Bye-Bye.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Yes I know - I'm sorry I have not got it together this week at all. I am just getting over what was almost a case of Man Flu except it was me who wanted to moan. Luckily I have been saved from the horrors of hubby getting the lurgy.

All things going to plan I will blog later tomorrow. In the morning I am off with a few of our EG members to discuss a project which we have been asked to help with. I shall fill you in when I know more.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


My head hurts, my throat is sore, I can't stop sneezing and coughing, I ache all over and I am filled with dread that hubby will catch this ----
MAN FLU!!!!!!

Mac has gone off fishing for the afternoon so I am going to indulge in a bit of self pity, but before I go, this is an e-mail I had sent to me. Familiar anyone.

I was recently diagnosed with AAADD -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my flower tubs in the front garden.
As I go to turn on the hose I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
I go to get the car keys from the porch and then notice the post on the porch table.

I decide to go through the post before I wash the car.
I put my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the bin under the table, and notice that the bin is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the rubbish first.

But then I think,
I can run down to the post-box when I take out the rubbish,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table, and see that there is only 1 cheque left.
My other cheque book is in the computer desk,
so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.
I'm going to look for my other cheque book,
but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Coke is getting warm so I decide to put it in the fridge to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke,
a vase of flowers on the window ledge catches my eye--
they need water.

I put the Coke on the window ledge and
discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my computer desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I put the glasses back down on the window ledge,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
I must have have left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when I go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote,
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the living room where it belongs,
but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers,
but some spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get a towel and wipe up the spill.
Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
The flower tubs aren't watered;
The car isn't washed;
The bills aren't paid;
There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the window ledge;
The flowers in the vase don't have enough water;
There is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book;
I can't find the remote;
I can't find my glasses;
I have absolutely NO idea what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to work out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day,
and I'm really tired.
I realise this is a serious problem and I'll try to get some help for it,
but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favour.
Forward this message to everyone I know,
because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Pampered, Day of Judgement and All Cleaned Out.

Oh dear! My first week of blogging and it whizzed by. I did not do as much as I meant to and still have not mastered a few things. Life does tend to take over at times. So I will give you a short breakdown of a few things I've been up to since the last post.

In March I finally had a hysterectomy, which I had been gearing up for since early December when they first started moving the date of the operation (don't get me started on feeble excuses and not being informed about things). I was so wound up I booked a couple of sessions in a local Spa - Celtic Haven and promised myself another session after the op. So on Thursday I was 'Detoxed and Rejuvenated' (massage) followed by an Anti ageing facial. BLISS. Since having the op (when they whipped everything out including the ovaries, sorry too much information) I am in danger of becoming obsessed with everything heading south -- believe me it was going at a pace before. I haven't had children to blame it on, just a liking of too much food and a dislike of exercise -- so any pleasurable way to help the situation is welcomed.

When I got home the decorator who has been painting our hallway / stairs / upstairs passages and all doors etc. had finished so it was a good day all round. The only thing is now I have to do 'wifey' things now like cleaning pictures and mirrors before re-hanging them, 'wifey' does not come naturally to me.

Day of Judgement
On Friday after a changeover on one of our cottages, it was a quick change just in time for my cousin who picked me up and off we rushed to judge at a local horticultural show. Janet to judge floral arranging and me the handicrafts. Now the only thing is that most people entering do not realise we judge there most years--- now that's fine with flowers but in the handicrafts people keep entering the same things year after year. So people who may have had a 1st at sometime do not get placed now -- they probably think the judge does not have any taste, but I think it's only fair when someone has entered a newly made item. Sorry I'm starting to ramble. It's a very small show but quite well supported. I meant to take a picture for you but once sandwiches and sponge were mentioned I got distracted and forgot.

Cleaned Out
Normally I clean our holiday cottages with Mac(husband) on the vacuum cleaner and fetching and carrying. But this year, as I did not know how I would be after the op I had to arrange for cleaners to come in. They do their bit and then I check everything and titivate and put things how I like them -- the words 'Control Freak' have been mentioned. However this weekend the girls were off so I came into my own and turned into Mrs. Mop, this only happens with the cottages as money is involved. So between the changeovers on Friday & Saturday I am - forgive the expression - Knackered and all cleaned out - my excuse for having a very 'lived in' house.

And here we are Sunday afternoon and finally trying to catch up in front of the computer. Now I promised a few more pictures which I have mastered now - Thanks once again to everyone for their tips. The only thing is I need to take new pictures of my work with posting in mind so bear with me again please. However .........

I love orchids. You are now going to find out that I have a lot more photos of orchids then of my work. These are photos I took when on one of our holidays to Madeira. I'm not very good at taking photos, I tend to point the camera leave it on auto and hope for the best. I wish there was a pill you could pop that would programme you to work your latest digital /technical item you have acquired.

So here is one ---

and another ......

and another.

They are just so seductive and addictive. Hope you like them.

Jackie, if I ever manage to put up a play list I will put it at the top and I will try and be gentle with my choice if music and I'll try not to let Bat out of Hell creep in. I have yet to work out how you get what you want where you want, at the side.
Gina, yes I had spotted your gorgeous corsets they are fabulous.
I hope you both don't mind but I am using you as guinea pigs, as I think I have sussed how to link but do not know if it will work until I have posted. I have also discovered I have to do my blog writing before I start reading everyones because I just get sidetracked. So until next time - Farewell.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Additions & Replys.

Just a quick blog today as time is flying by again. I have managed to add some favourite blogs and I replied to all my welcomers. You have all been so helpful with hints and tips, I think I have the picture thing sorted. I was so tired on Monday I had forgotten what I had done the first time. I shall attempt a few photos next blog but my brain is all 'techno-ed' out.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Retail Therapy Accomplished.

Well, I have dropped Helen off after our shopping trip to Carmarthen and only got home after 5pm. I didn't mean for it to be a whole day out as I only needed to pick a lampshade up from Laura Ashley and have a spot of lunch but the day just took it's course. I did not do too much damage to the plastic but M&S Food always gets me. So here I am now well into the evening attempting to reply to everyone after feeding animals and hubby and topping myself up with copious amounts of Redbush tea -- if I had a couple of glasses of wine I'd fall asleep.

Once again I have to thank everyone for their welcome and please be patient with me on the replying front. Most of you I have been lurking at for a little while now and I now have a few new blogs to catch up with -- I have to say Kitty your blog rocks, the speakers on my computer are quite powerful, so I think the people staying in our holiday cottages thought I was having a party. I am now going to have to learn to put music on my blog as well as everything else I can't do.

I shall now attempt another picture, it is of another corset I made which is quite simple with some lace made on water soluble fabric.

Now I did not mean for my picture to be at the beginning of the blog but I have just spent ½hr trying to put it here and I am wilting after my day, so I shall leave it where it is. I shall try again tomorrow with another picture.

So Excited.

This is a quick blog to say thank-you to all of you for your welcome, I am gob smacked. I have to go out for the day, as I am taking a friend for some retail therapy but I will be back later to say more. Have a great day everyone --- I can't wait to get back and try to work out how to put up some favourite blogs.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

So This Is It!!!!

I have been a lurker for about 6 months, I really didn't think I had it in me but it just goes to show you can never judge a book by its cover.

It is all Maggie Grey's fault, I put her blog page up as my Home page so every time I log on --- there it is. Of course now I am hooked and slightly obsessed. I never for one moment thought I would join in, as I look at all the wonderful things shown on all these great blogs and think my few pictures will not be near as inspiring. I was not able to enter Maggie's draw or wish her Happy Birthday, as I did not know what to do and then I saw on Dogdaisychains blog that Margaret was attempting her first blog. So, after checking Maggik Moments out I got inspired to try ---- and here we are. I don't know how to link or highlight anything or add anything exotic, but at sometime during this blog I shall attempt a picture.

One of my worries is that I won’t be able to keep the blogging up, as I seem to waste so much time on the computer doing one thing or another. So either I will have a great blog and no embroidery, or the occasional blog and hopefully some work to show.

How do you all manage it? My days seem to fly by and I seem to have nothing much to show for it. If there was a Degree for displacement therapy I would have a first. Maybe this blog is a bit of therapy – I hope I won’t end up boring you with it.

I shall stop ‘wittering’ on now and attempt my picture.

Wow! I did it. This is the very first corset I made, it was for my City & Guilds Part 1 (equiv. level 2 I think) in Creative Embroidery. By the way I call it 'In My Dreams' as that is the only time it will ever fit me.

I shall say 'Bye-Bye' for now and with my new found confidence I shall attempt one or two comments.