Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year full of Peace and Prosperity! Looking back on 2007 I seem to have achieved a lot although it didn't seem like it at the time! The most important thing for us was buying our house and this has made such a big difference in our lives. Martin has been able to get his new Espace on the road and this has made his job that much better. I have been able to start my own classes which have gone very well. And most importantly we have all been healthy. I don't know about the wealthy and wise bit! Hopefully that will come in 2008!
Today I started as I mean to go on. I finished a quilt that had been half finished for several months. Shame on me! I also did a load of dyeing and over-dyeing. In fact the fabric is in washing now. And I got out a drawing pad and did lots of doodling and scribbles which when translated into ideas will provide me with the first set of quiltlets. I am going to work small and achieve a lot! Now I'm going to go in the attic and continue with clearing out the clutter. The dustman comes tomorrow so this is a good time to find stuff to throw. I already have a huge bag for a charity shop.


Friday, December 28, 2007

A Superb Christmas!

Thank you for all your Christmas greetings. I had a great Christmas and was thoroughly spoilt by my family. Martin gave me a USB record player so I can convert my old vinyl LP's to CD's. I am having a super time going through my hundred's of LP's and 45's listening to them through the computer. Isn't technology wonderful. These stretch back to the late 50's and I'm finding it really nostalgic. Such fun!
My mum gave me EQ6 so that will keep my occupied. It is a great improvement on EQ5 and that was a pretty fantastic program. And what is even better is that I can use it while listening to my records. I'm going to be very good and work through the lessons so that I really know how to use every bit of it not just the things that I know already.

My niece and nephews gave me books. I am going to really enjoy reading them. The landscape one has some great ideas in it. For some of her work she was inspired by the paintings of Ton Schulton and I really like his work.

These three books are going to be most inspirational, especially while I stretch my brain and try to produce some art inspired work. The Art Quilt workbook has a series of exercises that I am going to follow week by week just to get the brain in gear. My aim is to produce small pieces of work each week/month. Notice I'm not being too hard on myself! Smile!

This is my son and his fiance huddling under a hand woven rug that my daughter gave them for Christmas. As a weaver I can really appreciate the different weaves in it. A really lovely piece of work in soft heathery colours. I was hoping he'd leave it behind!!! But I guess in cold Scotland he has more need of it than I do in mild and occasionally sunny Cornwall.

The food was wonderful though I say it myself. I've put on a couple of pounds to prove it! We all had a good time. My friend Sue and her husband came over on the Sunday evening for dinner. We played Trivial Pursuit after the meal and I was on the losing side. Andrew and Matt were too busy giving clues away to the other side for us to win. Just as well I'm not competitive! It was a hoot from start to finish and a good time was had by all.
I am now stocked up with wonderful things to make me smell and look delightful in the coming year. And so many scarves I can venture into the coldest weather with impunity! So colourful too that I wouldn't be lost even in the deepest snowdrift! I'm off to the sales tomorrow to see what bargains I can find. My Christmas money is burning a hole in my pocket.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and are ready for the New Year. Still a few days to go. Time to reflect on the last year and the changes for the better that could be made in 2008. I'm on holiday still until next Thursday. It's wonderful. =

Friday, December 21, 2007

Four more sleeps to go!

I don't think I will get an opportunity to blog again until after Christmas. Possibly on Boxing Day! My son is at this moment driving down from Edinburgh and at the last count expected to be with us around 1 am tomorrow morning! Not the best time of the year to be making a 600 mile journey in one fell swoop!
I am totally organised which is amazing me! I have bread made and a pot of soup is simmering on the stove. All the shopping has been done. I actually managed to get to the supermarket before the hordes descended! The presents are wrapped; the bed is made up and the room tidy and dusted! I have cleaned and polished and all is ready. In fact I have time to read a good book should I so wish.
Talking of good books - my present to myself arrived this morning. It is Gaudynski's Machine Quilting Guidebook by Diane Gaudynski. A quick perusal has told me that this will be a most useful book to own and I will be pleased I gave it to myself.
I am on holiday now until January 3rd and I have got so much planned that I wonder if I'll get it all in! Already I have made a few resolvements (I won't say resolutions) that I am going to put into practice in the New Year or sooner! I don't know if that is a word but it sounds good to me. I'm going to start making my brain work and do more hands on designing. I'm going to start planning now for next Christmas so that I can do wonderful things without pressure. I'm going to give myself projects to do so that I can practice new techniques. And I'm going to prune my life. This last one is the biggy! I'm going to work out what I enjoy doing, what I do most of and what I avoid doing if I can help it. Then I'm going to give away, sell, jettison and otherwise get rid of all the clutter that I don't need and which I'm never going to use because it isn't part of my 'enjoyment' list. I have been quite good at this so far this year but not good enough. And the attic is going to feature strongly here. I am loving the attic. It must be the next best thing to sliced bread. A floor and lights...what more could I ask. It enables me to keep and get hold of stuff quickly so that I can create more space where it matters. ie In my workroom. Oh I'm getting quite excited about it all already especially as I plan to do more of my first love which is applique.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, holiday or whatever you are going to do over the next few days. Our works Christmas lunch today was yummy. I shall leave you with a picture of my absolutely fabulous dessert. It was superb! In fact pictures of all the desserts. They were, in order, our table, Christmas pudding, cherry and lemon creme brulee with shortcake and sticky toffee pudding. The creme brulee was best! I do love dessert! I'm going to make a trifle now!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Wonderful Day!

I had a wonderful day yesterday. It was just like being retired! I wish! I got so much done that I felt really pleased with myself. I started by making bread and a pot of red pepper soup. Have to keep the inner man going! Then I made a hot water bottle cover which was easy peasy. No big deal there! After that I made the small bag for my mum with a longer handle so that she can put it round her neck to carry small things up and down stairs and thus leave her hands free for clinging to the bannister as she has difficulty getting up and down stairs. I was really pleased with this one. I embellished an abstract design on the front with dyed fleece (from the sheep)! So no picture just in case she should glance at the blog. You never know! She has been known to. Then I did a load of washing and got it all dried and put away. In between times I sorted out all the Christmas presents into recipient piles and started to wrap them. So far I haven't done very many! And last of all I went into the attic and attacked another pile of boxes. I find this so exciting as I never know what I'm going to find. This time I found a set of curtains which I'd forgotten I had. Today I put them up in place of some really manky ones which I put out with the rubbish. They are a great improvement! And I was still in the attic when Martin came home and I had to get dinner. But a wonderful day all told as I achieved so much. Well it seemed like a lot to me!
It was hard going back to work today but there were compensations. There have been so many tins and boxes of chocolate given to us that I think we will probably suffer death by chocolate. It is especially bad for me as they are put in reception for folk to help themselves to as they pass by but I have to look at them constantly. My will power has never been that good so it is very hard! I have to keep telling myself that the more than a stone I've lost took an effort and I don't want to have to struggle to lose it all over again!
I have just bought myself a superb book on colour by Stephen Quiller called Colour Choices: Making Colour Sense Out of Colour Theory. (It's an American book so of course colour isn't spelt like that!) And it's a book for artists but that doesn't matter as often books for artists have more meat in them. And this one has lots of good ideas and interesting uses of colour. Will be brilliant to try to translate it into dyed fabric. All I need now is a bit of time to indulge myself and read it from cover to cover!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Wintery waves

We went shopping this afternoon to try and find some Christmas cards for Martin to give to his customers. I found several things I suddenly needed but he didn't find any cards! Or anything else that he was looking for. Mind you we only search one store, Trago's, as it is the main one that is open on a Sunday and handy for parking. On the way home taking the scenic route along the coast I was bemoaning the fact that I had left my camera behind when Martin remembered he had his in the glove compartment. So all was not lost!

I was fascinated by the rays of the sun coming through the cloud and immediately got some great ideas for some designs. The waves were pretty too though not awesomely huge like they have been during the recent gales. The large building in the picture on the end of the middle row is the Falmouth Hotel where we will be having our works Christmas lunch. Always a good occasion. And last but not least Martin's new car! It was bitterly cold and I was glad I had the boots AND gloves!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Very, very cold!

It is exceptionally cold. I have the heating turned up and still my hands are frozen! An extra couple of jumpers wouldn't go amiss. So short and sweet.
I have continued to drag stuff up to the attic and am being constantly amazed at what I am finding squirrelled away in boxes which I haven't looked in for months. I am being very organised and putting everything away by category. So that means that when I want something that is sewing/textile related I'll be able to find it quickly. Whether this is so will only become apparent later when I need something!
After all that effort and expenditure of energy I felt the need to take a break so I finished a book I started a few weeks ago. The Chameleon's Shadow by Minette Walters. I didn't think I was going to like it when I read the blurb on the inside of the book cover but it was very good and towards the end quite riveting. I couldn't put it down! I have read all her other books and enjoyed them immensely.
I made a small gift bag in machine embroidered felt. Very simple with attached yo-yo's. Well they will be attached when I can find some spare time. And I thought this would be a good bag shape for my piece of embellished wool. So I added to the embellishing and turned it into a small bag with hand-dyed cotton lining. I like it! They are both quite small being about 8" high.

They were much admired at the workshop on Friday. We had a good time and got lots done. Plus we enjoyed mince-pies, scones and pie with our coffee. And my wonderful students gave me a gift voucher for Creative Grids which means I can indulge myself in the new year! For now I have to think CLEANING, TIDYING and COOKING in that order. Actually as I clean I will tidy so the two things will go together. I have put up the Christmas tree so I do feel I'm on the way to Christmas! And I have Monday off to get lots done!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Almost there!

After tomorrow I will have a whole week to clear up in before my son arrives from Scotland for Christmas. This may sound like a long time but believe me I will need every minute! I will firstly have to clear up the mess I've made making Christmas goodies. Then I will have to wrap up all the presents that are residing on the bed he will sleep in. And when they are wrapped I will have to find somewhere to store them until Christmas day. I am feeling virtuous because I have posted off everything that has to be posted off. Fingers crossed that those gifts going to the US do actually arrive this year! And when the pressies are sorted then I have to sort the attic (the attic with the wonderful new floor that is going to make my life sooooo much easier!) so that I can put away the clutter I'm keeping from the living room. And Martin wants me to move the stuff I stored in the garage so that he can put one of his cars in there. And my Mum would also like me to remove some of the stuff that I have stored in her garage. Not because she has a car that needs to go in there but she would actually like to be able to walk from the house door to the garage door! And we haven't yet got to any actual cleaning. You know, dusting and stuff! I'm not really good at that! And then the bed will have to be made, the Christmas tree put up and decorated with those wonderful decorations I've been making; and if I am still standing I have to do some cooking! And go to work every afternoon. I'm feeling tired all ready! It's just as well that the wonderful book on colour and the book on free machine quilting which is coming from America, won't be here this side of Christmas. Because were they to arrive the temptation to read them would be great. But when they do finally appear I will no doubt be flat on my back from all the Christmas exertions and barely able to open them! Or on the other hand they could gee me up and give me a new lease of life!
'Exuberant colour' I'm sorry about that long and involved paragraph with long and involved sentences but that is unfortunately the way I talk, and think! I HAVE been trying to be less verbose! Have you noticed?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another change in the weather!

It is hard to keep up with this week's weather. Today Falmouth work up to a frosty start with cars iced up and roads slippery. The sun came out and it was a cold and sunny day. So cold that when I was de-icing my car windscreen my hands became so frozen that I couldn't feel them. I was so demoralised by the cold that I bought a pair of fur lined boots when in town just to cheer me up! They are lovely! I expect I shall now live in them until April!
Again it has been a productive if mindless day. I completed the bottle carrier this morning and spent most of the afternoon getting hand out sheets ready for Friday. Then this evening I have been mindlessly making yo-yo's to sew on the bottle bag. But I am now finished. Hurray! Tomorrow I will be able to wrap up presents that need to be posted! And I quite liked the effect of the bottle carrier that I might make a small bag along the same lines but with a bit more pizzaz!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Another day entirely!

The weather today was gorgeous! Bright sun, no wind and remarkably warm. Compared to yesterday we could be in another country. Long may it continue - well at least until I've been into town tomorrow morning!
I am feeling virtuous as I've finished the place mat I was doing. In fact it was very quick from start to finish. I appliquéd a poinsettia flower on the left hand side of a rectangle of beige self print Christmas fabric. I layered the fabric to start with by putting the top fabric and Bondawebbing it to the wadding, placing stabiliser behind this and then doing the stitching. I love the effect of ironed wadding. So smooth and flat and yet so solid. Then I bagged the whole thing out with another piece of the beige fabric. Topstitched the edges and voila one table mat. The next thing to do is a bottle carrier in green felt decorated with yo yo's. The good thing about all these samples I'm doing is that will come in useful over Christmas. If I get time I want to make some small humbug bags and stuff them with pot pourri. Lovely for hanging from hangers in the wardrobe.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Two posts in one day! Wonders will never cease! I have finished the table runner and tomorrow I will be able to finish another of the many half done pieces waiting patiently by my sewing machine. I quilted this in gold and multi gold thread though it doesn't show up in the picture. I put two threads through the needle to make it bolder! One was gold metallic and the other was gold shot with a greeny blue - very pretty!

I really didn't have enough room to photograph this properly. I made three ragged log cabin blocks and cut them back to 10" and then put a border round the three joined up of 3". And now to bed to listen to the wind. Just the night for a really creepy book at bedtime!

On being busy!

These are some of the dyed pieces I did yesterday. I did a range of whirlpool designs using already dyed fabric for some and white fabric for others. Whirlpool designs are the most popular design that I do. I don't know why! It is always exciting pressing the washed pieces out as they look completely different when ironed. I love the one in the top left and the one in the middle. The camera hasn't done them justice as they are really vibrant.
I have finished the top for the ragged log cabin table runner and I'm very pleased with it. If I can get it finished tonight I'll post a picture tomorrow. It was very quick to do and I have more ideas to use this technique, which is a good way of using up odd strips of fabric.
The weather is still stormy with gale force winds. I meant to go down to the beach and take pictures of the waves but forgot and then didn't want to go out as the rain was tipping down. If it is still windy tomorrow, and it no doubt will be, then I'll go then. Last night was so bad that at one stage I thought we might be going to lose our roof so it was with great trepidation that I drew the curtains this morning but there was no obvious wind damage anywhere. Just a sodden lawn and bare trees.
I have signed up for Sharon's Take it Further challenge that everyone is talking about. Hopefully it will encourage me to take the time to be more 'artistic' next year. I need something to motivate me and I know once I get into something like this the whole thing spurs me on. Well that's what I'm counting on. I use the word 'artistic' loosely. I know what I mean but it's hard to explain! Just that I need to think more about the design concepts and stretch myself. Life's too short to knock myself up over it; suffice to say that a tad more thought and organisation wouldn't come amiss! After all as Gabrielle said on her blog - I have lived over half my life already - or words to that effect! But that doesn't mean I can't make the best of what is yet to come!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Too busy to blog!

I have been so busy these last two weeks that I have felt quite stressed. Firstly I have been having to keep up with making samples and hand-out sheets for my class on Friday mornings and then I've also been working like mad to make things for the workshop this coming Friday. I've got a good collection now of stockings, tree decorations, table runners, place mats, bags and sachets to name but a few. My workroom smells like Lush or the Body Shop the perfume in the sachets is so strong in such quantities. One sachet good; several sachets overload! Then I've also been trying to get on top of my Christmas present list and I'm happy to say that after a mammoth haul this morning in Truro (in the wind and pouring rain!) I now have everything organised and bought. I just need to wrap them all and pack those gifts that are being sent. All I have to worry about now is the food! I am also making 'The Projects' which is this year's made set of pressies. But I can't tell you about this as it has to be a surprise until after Christmas. So far I am one down and five to go but I have a day's holiday on Monday week so I hope to get finally finished then. None have to be posted so I'm not under pressure. Well not that much pressure. I am also in a Crazy Patchwork round robin and I have a block to finish doing my bit of embellishing on by Sunday night so I can post off on Monday and I have to set up a scanner for my Mum so I am going to have a busy day tomorrow. But it's fun! I do like to be busy!
And as you can see by the picture I am keeping on top of the dyeing. The hand-dyes have been selling like hot cakes so I've been dyeing batches every weekend. One of the pictures is a close up but the others are all of the same batch just at different angles. I haven't done so many pieces this time, just thirty or so. Usually I do twice or even three times that amount. But space was at a premium. I want to use some of the stripey pieces with Christmas fabric to make a table runner like the one on Gerrie's blog on December 6th. I think this design has great possibilities and I want to play with it. I love making uneven log cabins as they are such fun and its a good way to use up scraps. I might even fuse it to save time! But now I have to go and rinse out the dyeing and throw it all in the washing machine. Ho hum, another Saturday which has flown by! But I have done a lot!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I love, love, love, my hand embellisher!

First sample using cotton on cotton and glittery yarn.

Stockings waiting to be made up; embellished with felt and glittery yarn.

The edging round the embellished star is faux chain stitch done on the sewing machine. It makes a great finishing touch to appliqued things.

I bought a small hand embellisher at the Mylor Quilt exhibition because I'd always wanted one! And then I bought the base unit for it when I was shopping with a friend at a local quilt shop. Isn't it amazing - she suggested we go and I was the one who spent a fortune! Big grin! But I love everything I bought which is the main thing. And then of course having the tools to embellish I started to play and oh boy isn't it so easy and so addictive and just so wonderful. The first thing I did was embellish onto the felt stockings I was making and not having read the instructions thoroughly I actually embellished cotton fabric onto the felt and it worked. However when I read the instructions in depth it recommended wool on wool so I had another go with the piece of felted knitting above. This was a piece my Mum knitted for me with boucle wool on her knitting machine and then boil washed it to felt it. The texture is great. For the sample (above) I used hand dyed fleece which I teased out and just embellished it on. When I find my carders I'll try a more formal approach though I was pleased with the transparency and randomness of the teased out fleece. The random result was reminiscent of a flower bed although the second red flower in from the right is the spitting image of a cockerel's head and now I've seen that in it I can't get it out of my mind! But it is only a play piece. I shall do more...lots more and try different and various fabrics and threads. The felt the tools are sitting on is a piece I made and incorporated some pink strands of wool. I have added a little more with the embellisher but I can see this as a rainbow piece and will work on it later. Both pieces would make lovely little purses with silk linings! And the tools are so small I could carry them around and do this anywhere! Wonderful! I am truly hooked!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Outing

The exhibition that the Mylor Quilting Group put on was very good, especially considering what a small group it is. From the top the first two pictures are of quilts made by a couple of my ex-students. I was impressed with both of them and a lot of work had gone into their making. The third picture is of my friend Yvonne with whom I went to the exhibition. The first picture in the middle row was done by the group to represent the village. I have put a couple of close ups. Mylor is a small village at the head of one of the creeks off the River Fal. Being a tidal creek it gets cut off at low tide and beware the novice mariner as the mud isn't far beneath the surface of the water. But very attractive and has a lovely very old church of which I've posted photos in the past. This was a most interesting piece of work and the more I looked the more I saw. The first close up is of Pandora's Inn which is an old hostelry going way back with old beams and thick uneven walls. A great place for a drink on a summer's evening. Being so near to Christmas there were lots of Christmassy items around which made it all very jolly. Yvonne and I had the obligatory coffee and cake. It is a given that going to a quilt exhibition means coffee and cake, especially as the cake is always home made. Delicious!
And the last two pictures, one of which has lost it's top, are of the bottle bags I've been making. Nothing fantastic just very useful and taking no more than 20 minutes to make from start to finish. The first one is made using strips of Christmassy fabric and the other one is just one fabric. Both have gussetted bottoms made by sewing across the seams and tie with a ribbon in a casing at the neck. Simple but useful.
Of course I had to spend money at the sales table at the exhibition and bought myself a hand embellisher. I have been wanting one of these for some time just so that I could have a little play and see whether it was something I'd use more than once. I don't have the base unit but reckon it could be done over a deep nail brush or similar. Perhaps a hair brush would be better. I find it strange when things are sold without the complete kit but perhaps they didn't realise there was a second part to it. I have been leaning to the traditional lately and this really isn't me so it will be good to get back to a more free form, arty approach to productivity. I'm going to see if I can apply holly leaves to felt using this method. Worth a try!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Keeping Busy!

This is this year's table runner. It has a musical theme and if I'd had enough of the blue centre fabric I would have used this instead of the sky blue triangles on the edge. I over stamped the sky blue with gold but it wasn't a success. But by using a gold thread and quilting over it the end result isn't too bad. This was very easy to do. I've put a close up underneath to show the basic pattern. It was fun to do but this year I am not going to make masses of them. That was last year's project. This year I am hoping to use some photo printed fabric and make wall hanging pockets. I have the design drawn out so it's just a question of finding the time to get started. The weekend stretches ahead of me so perhaps by Monday I'll have done something, even if it's only getting the photos printed onto the fabric.
It is very cold here and we will probably get a frost tonight which makes me wonder if we are going to have a cold and frosty Christmas. In many ways I hope not as my son Andrew will be driving down from Scotland and icy roads won't be fun at all. As a child living in Kent we often had snowy Christmases and it was great fun but then children don't have the responsibilities that adults have. Since becoming an adult (like last week!) I've never felt the same about snow as it causes such problems. It is easy to forget how much one enjoyed as a child that now doesn't have the same glamour as it once did. Skinny dipping at midnight is another young pursuit that springs to mind!
Tomorrow I am going to a quilt show with a friend which will be fun. As well as the joy of seeing quilts etc I am looking forward to browsing around the sales tables looking for stocking fillers. It never fails to amaze me that beautifully made items are sold off at rock bottom prices. Prices that don't in many cases cover the cost of the materials. Last year I bought a gigantic stocking with lovely applique all over it for £1! The fabric must have cost more than that! It was ideal for Martin as I could stuff it full of oddly shaped packages. I like to give him a few out of the ordinary gifts that he wouldn't think of buying for himself. Small and inexpensive but conducive of some ribald laughter. It gets harder each year to find these one off pressies! If I remember I will take my camera. The last few exhibitions I've been to I've forgotten it! Too much on my mind!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lacking a little something!

I have noticed that I have been losing subscribers to my blog. Obviously it is no longer as vibrant and interesting as it has been in the past. I'm sorry! Unfortunately there is so much going on of a mundane nature that I don't always or not very often, have anything of great note to write about. I was reading Sharon B's blog: In a Minute Ago and I was fascinated by the reason's people give for not leaving comments on blogs they have read. Which made me think about what it is that makes some blogs so much more readable than others. I have to admit that I have about a hundred blogs in my subscribe list and yet I only read about a half a dozen regularly and they are the ones that are interesting or funny or show good pictures and talk about new techniques. And yet that isn't really it but I can't put my finger on it. There has to be something that gives a blog a certain amount of pull but what is it. Any suggestions? I'd love to know your comments on this. It might give me ideas for saving my own blog from mediocrity!
I spent the morning in the attic clearing one half of it preparatory to boarding in the floor. Basically I moved everything over to the other half and then when one side is done I will move everything back so that the last side can be boarded. I wasn't as lazy as I sound. I did go through lots of boxes and junked masses of stuff. I have so much for the dustman that he will probably turn tail and ignore me! Also I got rid of all those boxes that we all keep which came with our printers, computers, sewing machines, etc. Why do we keep them? They are never used! In future I'm only going to keep them for the period of the guarantee. If the item doesn't go wrong in that time and need sending back then I will jettison the box. After all if they go wrong after the guarantee is ended ten to one it is cheaper to buy a new one. The only exception I will make to this is the box my sewing machine came in. That I will need when I send it back to be serviced. By getting rid of these boxes, and some such as those the monitors came in are gigantic, I have opened up loads of space all ready to take more of the overflow from my previous clear outs. The things I'm not quite ready to move on. Of the boxes I went through today 90% of the stuff was tossed! What does that say about the need to keep stuff! But then if I'd tossed it all at the time I cleared out rooms I'd have lost the 10% I'm still keeping.
I have bought some sheets of foam that when placed on top of the fabric in my embroidery hoop when doing machine embroidered letters will give me a 3-dimensional effect. I can't wait to try it as it will be just what I need for some of my Christmas things. Perhaps I could put giant 3-D letters on the stockings I'm making. If I have time I'll try it tomorrow. Something to look forward to.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Flower fabric

Christmas is rapidly approaching and I have been busy making samples for my Christmas workshop. The garden is still so full of flowers that I made some flower fabric (see top picture). This is so easy to do. Place some silk or a fine fabric on a flat surface. Then take some Bondaweb and place sticky side down onto the silk and iron in place. When cool remove the paper backing. The fabric surface will now feel sticky. Arrange the flowers onto the sticky surface. Cover with a piece of net or tulle. Place another piece of Bondaweb over the net and press. Again when cool remove the paper backing and voila one piece of flower fabric which can be used for all sorts of things. I'm going to use it to make small gift bags. This piece was made last week and I used nasturtiums and they still look fresh. I have a piece that I made several years ago and the flowers still to this day retain their colour. There are some pictures on my website.
Also I am getting quite a collection of Christmas goodies. They have been fun to do although they have taken a while as I'm not yet completely recovered. The standing Christmas tree table decoration I have to admit I made a couple of years ago, and I had started the crazy patchwork stocking earlier so it just needed finishing off. I have had fun making the woven stars. I find that weaving the pattern is so therapeutic. The little bag with the hanging bell charm was so easy to do that I will make loads more to hang on the tree with little chocolates in them. This is a good way to use yo-yo's as tree hangings especially by adding beads to them and I love the pelmet vilene cut out shapes with beads and glitter glue. Again so easy to make and quick. I like quick! Now I have to make felt applique stockings and Christmas bottle gift bags. And I'm hoping to get some photo printing done on fabric and make some hanging letter holders. And its so cold here that if I find time I'd like to use some gorgeous shaggy fur fabric to make a long jerkin.'s always the problem. Finding enough time to fit everything in. I must become more organised!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Almost back to normal!

What is normal? That is the question! Well for me it means not being so tired that half way through doing something I feel as if I'm lifting a ton weight. I never realised that glandular fever could be so debilitating. But I am well on the road to a complete recovery I am happy to say. Thank you to everyone for their good wishes!
I have been reading Gabrielle's blog and was especially struck by her post on what being an artist means to her. I think it was yesterday's post. It made me think about what my creativity means to me. I won't call myself an artist as I am a jack of all trades and if any label were to be applied it would be designer. I like thinking of ways and means of doing things; working out new colour arrangements (I love colour-it is almost my raison d'etre); thinking of new things to make and new ways to get the end result. But I am not compulsive about it all. I suppose one could say that I lack that dedicated driving force that takes the great 'artist' to the top. There is no great burning ambition in my life. As long as I can have my workroom, my tools, fabric and a decent sewing machine then I am happy. In fact I get a lot of satisfaction from just going into my room and looking at things or sitting in the middle of it all and letting my eyes take it all in. This can often galvanise me into starting a new project! There are a lot of things I have in common with Gabrielle's approach especially the bit about self-direction but I am not I'm sorry to say at all focussed. I can be distracted and let my 'art' slip into second or even third place. Books; the garden; the landscape around me (sea and coastline) can all distract me and even though they all represent creativity for me they often take over from the focal point which is what I'm actually making. I can do a lot of thinking but not always a lot of doing. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak as my Granny used to say. I call it Lazy with a capital L! What pulls it all together for me is the teaching. I love to encourage and motivate others to give of their best and achieve work of a greater height than they have before. In fact I'm happy as a sand-boy if my students do well as this is when I know I am putting out my most prolific creative efforts. And at the end of the day there is great satisfaction in knowing that with possibly the help of a book of instructions I can do anything I turn my mind to. Do read Gabrielle's post as it is very thought provoking. How do you feel about your creativity?
I have been starting on small gift ideas for Christmas. The first one to be finished is a scissor holder. I am always losing my scissors or burying them under piles of fabric so I thought this could make a useful gift for my quilting friends. It is so easy to make and a wonderful way of using up odd blocks that don't have a home in a quilt. I used a 6.5 inch Nine Patch block that was left over from another project. I put wadding behind it, chose a toning backing and bagged it out putting in a hanger at the same time. I then quilted it and folded it to shape. So simple and so effective. The first of many! Blogger isn't letting me add a picture and I have to get dinner so I'll try and add it later.

Here it is!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I have just had a nasty bout of glandular fever. At one stage when my glands under my jaw were swollen up I had a quite close resemblance to a hamster! It wasn't a pretty sight. The result of all this is that I now feel quite tired all the time. It took me an age to walk up Falmouth High Street this morning and I did wonder whether I'd make it back to the car. What I need is rest, rest and more rest so I am doing my best to comply by going to bed early and not doing anything strenuous. This is why there has been no progress on the leaves. Sorry! And I am decidedly lacking in enthusiasm for anything. Also this is why I haven't been blogging as often Shirley but I will try and make more of an effort. And sorry Sue but I just don't feel inclined to be tagged. The effort involved is just more than I want at the moment. If all you wanted were seven unknown things about me then I might manage that but to find other people and follow up...well just thinking about it has made me tired! I'm sorry to be a kill joy!
On Monday I went with a group of my students to visit the studios of Atlantic FM which is one of our local radio stations. The setting was idyllic. Right on the headland at Wheal Kitty, St Agnes. Just a short visit but interesting. They were kind enough to do a short spot for me about my new venture into teaching my own classes as opposed to Adult Education classes. So when we were invited to visit I felt it would be rude not to take up the invitation. It was well worth it even though I got lost on the way there and had to reverse several times! They have the original Gus Honeybuns who will mean nothing to the majority of you but for anyone who is Cornish or lived here in the eighties he was a puppet that had a large following of under fives on Westward Television (now defunct!). I managed to get a photo! Also some photos of old mine houses and the bay at Trevaunance Cove. This is very much a tin mining area.

View from the studio over the bay. There is a chimney stack from an old mine in the foreground. The whole of this area would be a mass of tunnels underground.

View of an old mine house, now a ruin. Notice the chimney stack behind the engine house.

Trevaunance Cove

This is Jamie the son of one of my students holding Gus Honeybuns! He is a news reader at the station and gave us the guided tour! Jamie that is, not the rabbit!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I love leaves and I love autumn leaves especially. Our neighbour has a flowering cherry whose leaves turn lovely shades of pink and red in the autumn and today the wind blew a great swathe of them over our lawn. That was the moment I decided to play. I already had some Virginia Creeper leaves and some variegated, possibly a kind of laurel, leaves so these were just right to fit in with them. They would be ideal for using as templates for some leaf appliqués. I already had a base made from some over-dyed and stamped fabric which I had woven together. The colours were just right. I then started to use pens, fabric crayons, pastels and felt tip pens to shade in some leaf shapes. Unfortunately I ran out of time before I'd really got started but I have left it all out so that I can do more tomorrow. I have done leaf collages before; several times! This time I shall try and have a new approach, if possible. But I never get tired of using leaves in my work. They seem to call to me! I shall go away and ponder the layout ready for a session tomorrow after I have been to a sale of fabric which our local mobile shop is having not far way. These people really need every support! Well that's my excuse!
To be continued......

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dyeing 2night!

Well actually that ought to read Dyeing last night but it was today that I ironed and packaged it. And while writing this I was thinking of fried fish so go figure! Among my various bits and pieces that I found when clearing out stuff so that I can make more room in my various cupboards, I found a selection of white on white fabrics in various combinations of fibres. So I decided to chop them up in fat eights and put selections together to dye in one colour. This was really successful as you can see from the picture above. I was really pleased with how they came out and will take them to class with me tomorrow to offer them to my students. This is a close up of the lilac selection.

My roll of fabric arrived yesterday as well so this weekend I will be able to have a mammoth dyeing session. Time seems to be rushing by and I don't seem to be achieving much in the creativity stakes. Once my classes get well underway I think I will have more time for doing things for me. At the moment I am trying to get my sampler quilt finished and my rooms organised. The thought of having to empty the attic is making me feel quite weak. But I will look back and be so pleased that it has all been done. Now to try and be creative with dinner!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Total Exhaustion!

I am totally exhausted. I have spent the last two days, well an evening and today, moving stuff back into my spare room. As you can see from the pictures above it is now totally ruined. Crammed full of my junk and rapidly becoming overcrowded. The biggest problem is that no way will it take back all the stuff that came out. Why this should be I really don't know but it is always happening to me. I pack my bags to go to class and they are full but they do shut. Coming home I have to put things into carrier bags as no way will the case shut with everything in it. Nothing has been added and I fold and put everything in exactly as before but during those three hours of teaching every single bit of stuff has grown! Is it just me or does this happen to others? I'd really like to know as I could get paranoid about it!
Last night I carried all my computer stuff upstairs and placed them lovingly into my new computer hide-away cupboard. This wasn't easy and entailed a lot of grovelling on the floor and copious amounts of swearing under my breath. I have short arms! This makes life difficult when trying to marry up socket and plug when they are both out of sight and round a bend! But eventually I did it. Neither of my printers would fit into the designated printer place. The biggest now sits on the top and the smaller of the two, which I thought at first was going to fit, has to sit sideways on. It is bigger at the front than the back and no amount of pushing would make it fit properly! I bet a man designed this cupboard! There is a lot less room and I am going to miss my small drawer but I can use one of the small drawers in the dressing table which is right next to it. Not the same though as being an integral part of the cupboard. And joy of joys when I turned on the power everything worked!
Today I started to bring back all the books, boxes, folders, bags and other assorted bits to try and find homes for them. It didn't take long to fill up the shelves that Martin put up for me in the alcove. And because of the size of the books a whole heap of them will now have to live on their sides. This means that I'll have to be desperate before I look at them! These arn't my number one books though; they are actually in my workroom. I also managed to be brave and get rid of some with some bric a brac as well. However when I look in the garage I see that the pile of things looks almost as high as before I started which is very deflating. And I still have some boxes and stuff down at my mum's. Just the thought of it is making me tired! But the room is so much better than it was previously in spite of having the furniture and stuff filling it up. And I am enjoying having my computer up here next to my workroom. And if you notice I have a large space on a wall for hanging completed works of art! In fact there are two or three places just crying out for some work to be displayed. And now I'll be able to get to it and make some pieces!
Also today I went into town and indulged myself by buying fabric for the sample quilt I am making along with my class. The one I have nearly finished is in burgandy, navy, turquoise and greens. So this time I am working in purple, dark green, lilac and mauves. Here is a picture of what I bought and I will dye more fabric to go with these pieces.If I ever recover from my moving activities. This is worse than moving as it has come out to go back into the same space. There isn't even the fun of having a completely new room to play with!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This, that and t'other

Martin needed to test out his new car after doing some major alterations to it so on Sunday we went for longish drive up to Port Isaac. A round trip of about a hundred miles. It was a misty day to start with and eventually it came on to rain so the photos, taken from a moving car, arn't that brilliant! Sorry!
From the top the first picture is a view of the River Camel at low tide with lots of muddy bank on show. The next two are of a church that I found interesting complete with ancient Cornish cross. These Celtic crosses are to be found everywhere and are often used as quilting patterns. In the middle row there are two views showing the very narrow lanes that we were traversing down. Meeting another vehicle meant reversing back until one found a gateway or turning place so that they could pass. I would definitely avoid these places in the summer when the tourists are around. In the middle is a picture of Port Isaac beach which I tried to take through Martin. I did tell him to lean back but he didn't lean back far enough. As he kept saying, he was driving! And in the bottom row firstly is a picture of Port Isaac town centre! Then a view through a gap in the wall as we left Port Isaac and finally a view cornfield in foreground taken at speed as by now we were very hungry and cold! But all in all and interesting outing and it was good to see places I hadn't been to since I was a young girl. I believe that the television series Doc Martin were shot in Port Isaac but I wouldn't have recognised it from the series. Also the film 'Saving Grace'. But then I could have got it wrong.
The room is now almost done. The wardrobe is in, as is the dressing table. For the first time in years the wardrobe actually closes properly! Now all that remains is to slowly wade through all the accumulated junk; which is reposing in the garage, my Mum's garage and her spare room, and replace that which is most desirable and necessary to my existence and give, sell or throw away the rest. This I can see will take forever! And I have to remove my computer from the living room and install it in it's new home. However I can't do this until Martin sets me up a lead to the broadband router. Perhaps we'll go wireless! Moving all this heavy Victorian furniture has given me muscles of iron and also turned me into a hunchback! Every single bit had to be lifted over the banisters as there was no room to turn. With 4 and 5 foot pieces of solid wood, 3 foot high on average this was no joke. I am still bearing the scars! But the room, to me, looks lovely. Martin's comment as the first piece of furniture went in was to the effect that the room was now ruined! He has put me up useful shelves in the alcove though! There will be pictures soon. Our next job is to clear the attic preparatory to laying a floor up there. This means that a load of 'junk' will find a resting place temporarily in the spare room! I must enjoy it while I can!
The quilt is progressing well. I now have the middle sewn and quilted and two sides are sewn and quilted and attached. The other two sides are sewn and need to be quilted and attached. I hope to be able to do this tomorrow. Then at least the quilt will show the students what they can achieve. I am missing my Bernina when it comes to quilting but the Husqvarna is performing manfully. The only problem is that I have got used to the knee lift on the Bernina and I keep going to use it only to find it isn't there. Old habits die hard! I shall be glad when this quilt is finished as I'm dyeing to get on with some new ideas I've had. I'm not into series as I get bored after finishing one piece and want to try out something new. But when it comes to applique I do like to have sets. I've added some flower wreathes to my leaf designs and want to do a couple of samples to see how they fit in. Do I mix them up or keep them separate? I won't know until I've done a few. Time, give me time!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rainbows and Leaves

While I was waving goodbye to Martin yesterday as he went off to work, there was this superb rainbow over the rooftops. To begin with it was quite small but it got thicker and longer and then I noticed that there was another one behind it. The pictures don't do it credit as it was really beautiful with strong colours. And while I was taking pictures of it I started looking at this tree with it's lovely red leaves in front of the grey bricks of the house wall. I thought this was really wonderful for inspiration for a piece of work. I can see it as a nine patch with appliqued leaves in varying shades on it. Looking at the larger picture one can appreciate the lovely textures in the bark of the branches. Lots there to get one's teeth into for a design. Perhaps amalgamate the two pictures - rainbow with leaves. Watch this space but don't hold your breath!

The continuing saga of the room is that we have the bed ready to put together. Tomorrow we will put it all in place and perhaps move the base of the wardrobe in. I have actually hung curtains! So it is beginning to look like a proper room. And I got our tax returns in so I am feeling very virtuous too!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hanging on to the end of the summer!

The nights are drawing in and it is dark in the mornings but I am determined not to go into winter mode at least until the beginning of October. So no socks yet and still wearing summer clothes albeit with a warm cardy! Fortunately the weather, although unsettled is still warm and the sun when out is remarkably hot. Winter is so long that it is almost imperative to hold it at bay for as long as possible.
The spare room is now painted as seen in pictures 1 and 9 above. The walls are sunshine yellow and the carpet is a rich gold. There is now a really light and airy feel to the room which the photo doesn't do justice to. In fact every time I go upstairs I think the light has been left on in that room it is so light! The mess in the middle of the room and around the walls is the flat pack computer hide-away that Martin is building for me. And as is the wont with flat packs it isn't all plain sailing. As usual the screws arn't quite the ticket. But I have no doubt that by the time it's finished it will be wonderful. The biggest problem is that the wall sockets for the electricity are not where I want to put the cupboard which is going to pose a problem as I don't want trailing wires. Not even one! I was going to put the wardrobe and dressing table on one wall so that I could have the cupboard right by the plug but the wall is 6" too short. This is the problem with having huge Victorian furniture. The wardrobe is 5ft plus in width and the dressing table is 4ft plus. There is no length of wall that will take them both unless I block the door or the window! I expect I will move the furniture around a lot before I'm finished.
Picture number 2 is of our bedroom showing the bright turquoise paint on the walls. I love this colour. It was already painted when we moved in and we haven't changed it. The room is cluttered but some of it is overflow which will go eventually when the spare room is finished. I hope!
Picture number 3 is the middle of the sampler quilt I'm making for my class to do. The colours have been chosen to go with the turquoise walls. I've been very pleased with the way this has gone together and with all the quick sew methods I've used. It has panels to be added at the side with different blocks and also borders but there will be a choice as to whether or not to make a small throw using just the centre piece or a larger quilt making the whole thing. I like to give people choices! It's not so daunting then. And after making the middle and finding it was not so hard after all perhaps they'll want to make the lot. And they will be choosing their own colours.
Picture number 4 is a view of my workroom. The room is so tiny...7ft x 7ft...that there isn't much else to see. I am always amazed that I can actually work in it and achieve things. And no more so than now when it has stuff from the spare room as well taking up space. I have every intention of going through every thing on these shelves and winnowing it down to more manageable proportions. Well we all know that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions! But I will need to do this to be able to accommodate stuff from the other room because I won't have the shelves that I had before.
Picture number 5 is of the heap of dyeing I did this weekend. After I'd finished and put all the dyes away I realised I hadn't tried out the idea I got from talking to Fenella. Ah well, next time! It will have to wait as I procrastinated about buying another roll of fabric. When I rang up the guy who gets my fabric had gone on holiday the day before for a fortnight! Ah well, live and learn! Pictures 6 & 7 are of my favourite piece from the dyeing. Number 7 is the close up. I love the colours in this and will find it hard to part with it.
Last but not least picture number 8 is one of the corner blocks for my sampler quilt. Hopefully I will be able to get it all together and quilt it before October 5th.
I now have eleven students for the classes which start at the beginning of October. I have been to look at the room and it is huge with plenty of sockets and big tables. Nice and airy with a kitchen off to the side where we can make drinks. The local paper is going to run a small piece this week and once we are started one of the local radio stations is going to come and do an interview. I'm getting quite excited. Thank you to all who commented and wished me luck and thought what a good idea it was. I know what you mean Sue about the paper work taking up a large amount of time! Its so lovely to know that paper work won't be an issue. Its going to be such fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Biting the Bullet!

It is official! I am going to be running my patchwork and quilting classes privately. The increased prices and removal of concessionary fees for OAP's has reduced the number of students in my Adult Education classes and meant that they weren't going to be viable to run. So I have hired a hall one morning a week and will do my own thing. I have had a lot of support from the students and I think it is going to be fun. There is one big blessing which outstrips all others and that is that there will be no more paperwork. No more filling in forms; no more having to attend meetings on diversity and PC; no more having to be treated like a small child by people who haven't a clue about the subject that one is teaching. Oh it will be such a relief! I have been teaching for about 40 years and by now I should know what I am doing. The students think I do anyway and you soon know if you are successful or not. You don't get students returning! I have been thinking about doing this for some time now and I'm glad I've finally been pushed into doing it.
The decorating is coming on...slowly! Isn't that always the way. One starts in a flurry of enthusiasm which slowly dies away! Well I'm still enthusiastic but Martin is having to divide his time between his car and the spare room! The car is winning at the moment! At least with no spare room I'm spared the influx of various members of my family! :-) I love seeing them really it's just that I am so busy right now! Though I am thinking of giving guided tours of my pink bathroom! The number of people who have mentioned a visit after seeing my pictures is encouraging. The pink obviously isn't that off putting!
I'm off to dye now. My four year old grand-daughter, Fenella, has given me a wonderful idea for dyeing which I am dying to try out! Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings....
If it works I'll have some pictures.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pink, pink, pink!

Well I now have a very pink bathroom! It is lovely! So lovely that I have to sit in there just to admire it! It isn't the pale pink I was thinking of that's for sure but it is a lovely pink and it reminds me of a South African sunset. Not that I've actually seen one but I have seen pictures which is nearly as good! So that is one room down and we are now starting on the spare room which now looks like this......

It is all stripped down and ready to go. The outside of the window has been painted and tomorrow we will do the inside and the rest of the gloss paint on the skirting board and door frame. I have chosen a lovely sunshine yellow for the walls and the new carpet is a gorgeous deep gold colour. As the room faces north I want it to look warm and sunny! The furniture was taken apart and then down to be stored in my Mum's garage. It was worse than moving! And it will all have to come back. The wardrobe and dressing table are Victorian and those Victorians certainly knew how to build solid furniture! I'm sure I have a permanent crick in my neck and my arms will never be the same! Martin kept saying that as we got it up we could get it down but I'm sure they had wider staircases in those days! When we first got the wardrobe we were newly married and living in a small cob cottage in Devon built around 900AD and mentioned in the Doomsday book. The stairs were so narrow and had such a tight turn on them that Martin had to get his chain saw and cut the back of the wardrobe in half so we could get it up to the bedroom! It certainly makes life easier.
Today I went to a quilt show in a church near Truro at Kea and forgot to take my camera. I must have been in a dream! The quilts were lovely and there were lots there. Sue and I decided it was possibly the best quilt exhibition we'd been to this year. Lovely fabrics had been used and the colours of the some of the quilts were stunning. The church is delightful and they use the small church hall at the side to serve teas and wonderful home-made cakes. Where they also have an invited seller with fabric, books, equipment and much more. Much too tempting! I love these exhibitions as I always meet up with old students and it's good to hear all their news.
My re-furbished computer is behaving itself so far and I am being very good about house-keeping and not filling it up with junk. However my one beef is that I can't get my Artista software to load and play nice! It's version 3 which is old but it worked before on XP with the addition of a Hasp driver. But this time I've got SP2 and it won't co-operate even though I've downloaded all the patches and followed instructions to the letter. It just won't recognise the dongle. I'm really peeved as it wasn't a cheap program...about half a grand! And although it's old I don't want to have to expend that sort of money again! Martin is suggesting that I have a computer dedicated just to that program set up simply with no flash updates! It might yet come to that. I have my old computer so it could work. Why can't life be simple!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Round Robin; Round One!

For the first time in years I am part of a Crazy Patchwork Round Robin. The last Round Robin I was in was a disaster! Several of us lost our blocks, there was total confusion and I was left with a nasty feeling about the whole thing. I hope whoever stole my block has a bad conscience! It has meant that I will never, ever get involved with anything in the US again unless I know those involved! However this time it will go well because it is with a European group that I have done several RR's with before and we have always had a ball.

This isn't the most wonderful piece of Crazy Patchwork I have ever done I'm sorry to say but like most things in my life I left it to the last minute and need to post it off tomorrow. So it was done in a rush and instead of sewing the patches on by hand which gives one a lot more control I used the machine which makes it all a bit straight and in lines. However I'm sure the stitching will more than make up for its basic design faults. There are those in the group who are marvellous embroiderers. The theme is Lace and Roses and I have put some roses on the block and also done a seam finish of Sweetheart Roses. This is a silk ribbon technique which my friend Froggy taught me and I love it. I am seeing this as a wall hanging for the newly decorated spare room. Hopefully the room will be finished before the block! :-) I'm really looking forward to this as I know it will be fun.
On the home front the bathroom has no window at the moment, just a hole, while Martin paints it. We have all the paint and tomorrow I will paint the walls. I have taken the top bunk bed to the garage along with lots more tubs and boxes and all the shelves are off the walls. Undoing those screws was a mammoth task. Martin obviously put them on the wall so that I could put really heavy things on the shelves should I so desire. He knows me! I could even climb up them I reckon! So things are moving and I feel that we are getting somewhere.
The computer continues to do well. I've stopped holding my breath and think that everything is fine at last. I'm being much more tidy and organised and for the first time have an organised filing system. Will it last?
Dee if you're reading this I've lost the rotation list. Any chance you could forward me a copy? I'd be truly grateful.

Monday, August 27, 2007

These pictures are for Christine who wanted to know what a shower screen looked like. Unfortunately they don't contain Martin or Marvin! This is probably a good thing as this isn't a pornographic blog! :-) The picture on the left is of the screen folded in so that it is on line with the basin. It will fold right back to the wall if wanted. The picture on the right is of the screen open. We have spent this weekend gutting the bathroom so it doesn't look like this now. We are stuck with the avocado suite but I'm going to paint the walls pale pink, the woodwork white and the carpet forest green. We are also going to fit a new shower! At the moment the bathroom looks as if a bomb has hit it! And to add insult to injury I am at the same time stripping the spare room as I want to paint in there too and lay new carpet which at the moment is rolled up in my Mum's garage. Today I took all the hundred and one shelves off the walls that were left over from the days when this was my workroom. I never want to see another screw! I'm storing a lot of the stuff in our garage and also in my Mum's spare room. What would I do without her! She only lives four doors down the road but I drove my car up from her drive to collect all the stuff and then drove it back again. Is that lazy or what?
I have been very careful to keep my workroom serviceable so that I can continue to sew. What has become very apparent is that I still have far too much stuff and will have to be even more ruthless and get rid of some of it. Well most of it if I am to remain sane. This isn't the stuff in my workroom but the overflow which lives in the spare room. There are five working rooms in this house not counting the kitchen and bathroom and I have enough stuff to fill at least eight! Something very wrong there. Anyway the whole decorating thing is worse than moving and will probably drive me to drink before it's finished. I am on holiday this week and will have to be very organised. There is only one good thing to say and that is that my computer is working like a dream. All that phaffing about was worth it. Did I mention that I had to have a new mother-board after I'd got it up and running eventually? And then when the new mother-board was in I had to re-format AGAIN as some of the programs I'd installed were slowing me down. Bad vibes! But now all is hunky dory and working well. I haven't even tried to install my Bernina stuff. I'll wait to do that until I'm feeling stronger. When...If....