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!