Saturday, 26 June 2010

feeling fruity!

After sharing pictures of my early fruit harvest, I thought I would show you our first fruit salad of the season. It was just enough for two as the flavours really where so intense!

 And I did wash them - but only after we took the pics!!!

Just a note - I haven't edited the colours at all - they really are that delightful! And delicious!!!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Elephants in London???

I felt that I just had to share this picture with you - I took it whilst working in London on Friday because it was not a sight you see every day!

My brother informed me that there has been an elephant like this on display in St Pancras station for a while so I googled it. The Elephant Parade is going on now - and I simply saw some on the move!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Well it is nearly upon us - Peterborough Artists Open Studios starts this weekend and runs for 3 weekends. I will be exhibiting in house 16 (Art & Stitch) with Angela (textiles) and Pamela (quilts). I will be showing beaded buttons, beaded jewellery, book covers, quilted toys and quilts.

Good luck to all the exhibitors. The only problem with exhibiting this year is that I will not be able to visit the other artists. I had a great time last year and really enjoyed their work.

Some highlights for me last year where:

Kay Hall in House 8 - her work in mosaic and textiles uses the most beautiful jewel-like colours.

Anita Bruce in House 4 - her textile constructions are like nothing you have ever seen! She creates life in wire! She kindly paid a visit to our Embroiderers Guild last year and we were all transfixed by her creations. Well worth a visit to see something truly original. She also has a website so you can get a sense of what she does and the sense of humour she applies to it.

This year there are a couple more who pique my interest from reading the catalogue...

Nadine Gereson who is exhibiting with Kay Hall in house 8 - and makes what looks like amazing jewellery!

Denise Brown in house 12 (website ) makes gorgeous silver jewellery and stoneware ceramics. She is also sharing space with some other talents including Helen Roberts whose ceramics appear to have 'grown'!

Fig Tree Art Studio in house 23 (website) also looks like it could be interesting - there is some in Pina's work at the restaurant around the corner from where I live - Flamas. The website contains a warning  that the exhibition may contain nudes! So form an orderly queue ladies!

So if any of you get the chance to pay these talented people a visit - please drop by and tell me about it!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

a quick update

I am being a busy little bee getting everything together for the Open Studios at the weekend but I thought I would share a couple of bits with you.

This is one of the necklaces that I will be showing once it is finished - a turquoise piece that I am yet to name (I am rubbish at naming them once they have left my head). I just adore turquoise. The colours are so striking and I may wear this at the exhibition because I don't currently have enough display stands! What a hardship!!!

I also wanted to share my lovely new handbag that I blogged about on Friday. It would have arrived on Saturday morning if I had been in when the postman arrived... but a visit to the post office ensures that it now has a new home and I am delighted!!! Moomin-tastic!!!

Monday, 21 June 2010

A quick break in the sun....

Well yesterday was such a beautiful day here in Peterborough that it felt wrong to stay locked in in my studio - even though the Open studios is less than a week away and I have a PILE of stuff to finish off!

So I took my little trowel and headed out into the garden.

We have lived in our new-build for just over a year so this is the first chance I have had to really get something in the ground and soI wanted to share my early 'successes' with fruit! They may be the only ones once the birds find out where we live!

This is our first cherry - and boy did it taste good!
Some alpine strawberries that taste like heaven... even though they are so tiny!
Proper size strawberries!
 And Marvel of Marvels - some blueberries in my greenhouse! I never thought I would get any fruit; I only bought them because I loved the flowers.

There are still raspberries and redcurrants to come so fingers crossed!

Apart from a spot of gardening, we spent Saturday night at a dinner with family & friends to celebrate my Dad's 65th birthday and retirement. With 20 of us taking over the restaurant a jolly evening was had by all (especially my lovely Dad!!)

Friday, 18 June 2010

A little bloggin is a dangerous thing!!!

I am working in London today, and while my client is having lunch I decided to check out the blogs that I follow. Bad move!!!

Dotty Delightful shared a pic and a link to this bag and I fell in love! 30 secs later and the credit card takes yet another hammering!!

This means that a quick roundup of my lunchtime reading cost £34.99 + p&p! But what a gorgeous hardship! I can't wait until it arrives next week - I will be moomin-tastic!!!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

So what do you do on an 8 hr train journey...

Now that is a good question! I am working in Inverness tomorrow so caught the train from Peterborough. It is a long way, and a mammoth journey - but at least it is direct!

So what to do with all of that time? Well I had to do some work (of course) - with emails and telephone calls flying through the ether. But by 5pm that had calmed down a little, so I read some blogs and then got the travelling stitch box out!

I have finally got around to starting some samples for an idea that has been buzzing around my head for a month or two. I don't want to share too much about my next piece quite yet as it is still in it's infancy, except to tell you that it contains text (based on my feelings about my own hearing loss). It just goes to show that we can get some creative work done anywhere - even on the 12.47 to Inverness!!!!

So just to share a couple of pics of Inverness before I head back to Peterborough....

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Dolls Fair - when is a doll too real?

I just thought I would share a slightly disconcerting experience I had at the weekend. I saw a sign in Peterborough saying 'doll fair' and as I have a dolls house and I love art dolls I thought I would take a peak. So I dragged the ever patient Paul along to something that was unlike anything I could have expected. It was full of 'newborn dolls'. Now I don't know if you have seen these but they are incredibly lifelike dolls made to look like sleeping babies. Don't get me wrong - they looked AMAZING! They were so lifelike and I really could appreciate the craft involved in creating each unique doll (which justifies the price tags; from £300 - £800 a doll).

What I found disturbing was the reaction of many of the people in the room. There were grown women wondering around with pushchairs, and when you glanced into them it contained one of these dolls... looking all the world like they were wheeling around a dead baby! Women carrying them in blankets like they were real. It was beyond creepy! Now I like dolls, and I like babies, but creating dolls for adults that are intended to appear so real (one stand advertised that the dolls had beating hearts) makes me worry. Watching some of these women made me wonder if they knew that the 'fake' babies weren't real babies. Where they using these dolls not as collectors items, but as a crutch to disguise some emotional void when they would be better seeking therapy than relying on a doll.

On a lighter (but not much less creepy note) - I took this picture of a stand that sold the constituent parts so you could make your own newborn...

Pickled baby in a jar anyone?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Who's the cutest....?

You may recall that I recently shared with you my first baby quilt that I created for the eagerly awaited Harvey. Well on Sunday I finally got around to delivering it to him. And as you can see, he is delighted :)

Unfortunately I had to give him back to his doting mum - she wouldn't let me take him home with me!!! He is only 3 weeks old and the cutest little fellow you ever did see, and his mum has kindly given me permission to share a pic of him and his new quilt!

He looks like one of those newborn dolls (more of those another day) - but I can assure you that he is the real deal (and unbelievably well behaved)

I am sure that Harvey will love all the little animals on the quilt, once he is old enough to focus on them.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

V & A fabrics

The other day I lamented about the cost of the fabrics that I bought at the V&A quilt exhibition, but I didnt show you any pictures of them. The reason for that is that since the weekend I have left the house and returned again only once before it has got dark! This is not the idea 'photo-taking' environment for showing you my lovely fat quarters!

So here they are!

I am not sure what I shall do with them yet but I am sure something will come up one of these days that will do this vintage style beauties justice!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

V & A Quilting exhibition

On Friday I had to pop into London for work. Fortunately we finished at about 3pm so I took the opportunity to slip on over to the V&A to visit the quilting exhibition.

I really enjoyed it, and not just because work had paid my train fare! The quilts were lovely, and some of the stories behind them were quite touching. I admit to having a moist eye when I read about the quilt made by Changi Girl Guide Group in a detention camp in Singapore in 1945. They created it in secret using bits of their dresses for the guide leader's birthday gift. They each embroidered their name on one of the hexagonal patches, leaving a permanant reminder of who they were.

The thought of these girls aged 8 - 18 creating something so lovely in such horrendous circumstances was quite moving.

Another quilt with a sad tale is the Rajah Quilt. This was stitched by ladies being deported to Tasmania on a ship called the Rajah and this is how they spent their time on board.

Elizabeth Fry (a Quaker from Cumbria) gave thread, needles and fabric to women convicts who were bound for transportation. They used these gifts to create something so beautiful and so meaningful.

All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

I obviously had to visit the shop and came away with 6 fat quarters to use at a later date. One thing that I did find diasappointing was that the fat quarters were priced at £3.50 each, but the bundled up version of 6 fat quarters cost £25. Now 6 x £3.50 = £21 last time I looked. When I queried this with the assistant, she gave a heavy sigh and said that there had been complaints about it - the V&A charge you £4 for the 'packaging' (a bit of ribbon). I thought that was downright cheeky of the V&A and quite frankly a bit of a rip off!. So if you do go - make sure you buy your fat quarters separately to avoid the 'con'!

Friday, 4 June 2010

A new playmate!

I have a new toy - I am pleased to introduce you to my new sewing machine!

Aint she sweet? After some serious saving (and a valentines gift of £300 towards the fund from the gorgeous and generous Paul ) I collected my new Janome Memorycraft 6600 from Art & Stitch on Tuesday night. And so far she is worth every penny! I have not had a great deal of time to play, as work is getting in the way (as usual) but I am planning some 'me' time over the weekend and we will have a chance to really get aquainted! I did get a chance to stitch a couple of pinwheels for my current project (to be shared soon) and it was so smooth! And I love the automatic thread cutter that saves me trimming off all those pesky loose ends!

I think we are going to be good friends!!!