Saturday, May 27, 2006

Playing with lutradur.  Posted by Picasa

Colour waves! Posted by Picasa

Glorious rhodedendrons. Posted by Picasa

Getting a quart into a pint pot!  Posted by Picasa

This was dessert! The long tall thing was a crispy biscuit. Very tasty!  Posted by Picasa

All go!

It has been a busy week as not only was it Martin's 60th birthday on Tuesday but also it was the last week of term for me. So a lot going on. We went out for a scrumptious meal on the Tuesday evening with our friends Sue and Matt and a good time was had by all. The food was out of this world amazing and it was served on beautifully shaped plates. I forgot to take photos of the starters but this was what I had. I started with sushi followed by sea bass (picture) with asparagus on a bed of baby new potatoes and peppers with a delicious sauce and then a superb butterscotch mousse with bananas,cream and chocolate. Very yummy and totally decadent. I then went out the next day and bought a 'salsacise' DVD to get in the mood for exercising and losing the extra weight!

Then I had to dye fabric for my students as it was the last class until September. The summer stretches ahead of me but it is amazing how quickly time will pass. I have all sorts of plans but I know very few of them will actually come to fruition. But some of them will have to be done. In September as well as running my usual patchwork and quilting class for thirty weeks I am also offering sixteen mini workshops - one a fortnight. These will cover all sorts of subjects from Christmas decorations to using oil pastels and paintstiks on fabric. A very eclectic set. I'm really looking forward to doing them and will get myself organised with samples and handouts over the summer plus classroom notes so that I am ready to go. The centre have purchased some digital projectors so I'm also hoping to have access to one for my classes and hopefully a camcorder so that I can use that for demonstration work. However the main thing now is to organise some tuition time so that I know how to actually use these pieces of equipment! Digital equipment is now so useful for teaching purposes and I want to make as good a use of it as I can.
If the weather had been warm and sunny I am sure my garden would be now growing apace. However it has been inordinately wet and very cold as well as having strong winds. So nothing is doing very much at all. I'm just hoping we get some sun soon. May has been a miserable month compared to its usual weather patterns. I hope June is better.
I'd like to wish all the English/Welsh readers a very good Bank Holiday weekend. I don't have anything against the Scots or Irish but I don't think they get this holiday! I could be wrong as it used to be the Whitson bank holiday before the powers that be messed around with it. I'm sure someone will tell me!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Glorious rhodedendrons. Posted by Picasa

A lovely show of clematis which the wind is doing its best to decimate!  Posted by Picasa

I had fun doing a class on folded fabric flowers.  Posted by Picasa

'Precipitation'. I have been doing lots of dyeing and with lots of rain outside and gales the themes have been watery!  Posted by Picasa

I have been doing mixed packs of different fabrics such as silk noile, linen, silk habutai and white on white cottons all dyed the same colour. They have been going really well.  Posted by Picasa

My two lovely grandchildren!  Posted by Picasa

I breathe! I live!

Dear Diary, I have neglected you. Where have you been I hear you say. Reminds me of the nursery rhyme which ends...I've been up to London to look at the Queen. Well actually I've been to London but it was to have fun with the grandchildren and my daughter. They were all sick but fortunately I remained well and continued to be well after returning home. This has to be a first. But to return to my neglect of you which was totally my fault but somehow I couldn't raise the energy to write. It seemed I had lost the will to communicate and only wanted to do things like dyeing and reading and walking with a bit of gardening thrown in for good measure. I have been unable to put my thoughts down on paper or rather screen and haven't felt at all sociable which hasn't been very nice of me. But I have done a lot of dyeing and I have done a lot of gardening. And while doing these two things I've been thinking and come to the conclusion that I am by nature one of life's bumblers. I enjoy what I do and have fun doing it but I don't want to be pressurised into doing any more than I have to. I will work when I want to, read books when I want to, garden when I want to and do only those things which are a necessary part of my daily life. In truth I am lazy and not at all focused. But you know I don't care and so much happier for having admitted to this rather than trying to be something I'm not. So I don't feel bad if I don't create something daily; I don't feel bad if I am not being totally artistic and I don't feel bad if I don't tell you my thoughts every day dear diary. As you know dear diary I am a Gemini and this could be today's tale but isn't necessarily going to be the story of the month. So we will wait and see what transpires.
At the moment I am designing THE bag to end all bags. As some people have shoe fetishes I have a bag fetish. It is impossible to find the one bag that has all the features that I want. So I have decided to design it. It has to be able to be slung over the shoulder; to be big enough to carry everything but the kitchen sink including a book; to have lots of pockets, especially one on the outside for my bat phone. And some outside pockets across the width for just slipping things into like receipts and tickets. Plus inside pockets for things like driving license and MOT certificate etc; and a handy pocket for a compass, cigarette lighter (I don't smoke but I do burn fabric in shops to test content!),tape measure, plasters, nail file, fold up scissors, small spoon and knife. As this sounds like a suitcase job I might even include a pocket on the side for a bottle of water! I'm getting quite excited about this project. It could mean that I need never buy another bag again!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In the purple!

I spent yesterday, which was a glorious sunny day, in the garden mostly working but also just sitting and drinking juice concoctions from my juicer. I have to say that I am quite taken with juicing. And as well as making some weird and wonderful but quite strange drinks I've also made some lovely fruity ones. And adding ginger gives things a real zip. What is even better is that this new way of eating that I've been following for the last couple of weeks has lost me two inches round the waist! Even though I've had the odd cake or two!
The rest of the day was spent dyeing as I had nothing in hand. I had a request for a large amount of lilac but one of the batches came out too dark so I overdyed it. The results were quite surprising. I overdyed with various pinks, greens, blues and yellows and expected to get variations on purple -either more red or more blue, plus different browns but the end products were quite different as you can see in the pictures below. Some lovely heathery pieces plus some really good sandy ones. And lots of lovely greens! I must do this more often. I like the surprise effect. I'll dye up a big piece of orange next as I know I'll get lots of good browns by over-dyeing with blue.
Tonight I managed to pour boiling water over my foot. Totally my own stupid fault...mea culpa! But it is very painful and I'm hoping it won't effect my going to London at the weekend. Well I shall go come hell and high water but I don't want to be limping everywhere! The top of the foot is not a good place to burn as the skin is so thin and every time the foot flexes it hurts! Ouch! OK so enough of that.... I really just want sympathy! Grin!

The purple original that was too dark for the project.  Posted by Picasa

All this from overdyeing the purple above with green, yellow, blue or pink. Some wonderful ochrey yellows and amazing greens considering they are over purple.  Posted by Picasa

Looking down at my herb corner. There are tumbler tomatoes in the hanging basket. Posted by Picasa