Monday, 29 March 2010

Shopping and Blog Break and Happy Easter!

I have been thwarted in my attempts to blog tonight by recalcitrant Blogger and a grumpy laptop that decided to go on a go-slow!  As a result I shall keep this post short as I'm away to my bed soon.

This is the piece of Afghanistan embroidery that I bought at the NEC on Thursday.  I think Sebajan is the name of the person who made the embroidery.  There were so many designs I was spoilt for choice but I chose this one because of its colours and shapes.  I shall have to think about how I shall incorporate this into a larger piece, maybe a bookwrap.

I have to admit to some shopping at the Show on Thursday.  I thought I would have a go at indigo dyeing in the summer and I am led to believe that this kit from Art Van Go makes the procedure much simpler.  We shall see!  I got a bargain with the various stamps so I have forgiven myself for having a spend and I couldn't resist the threads.

We got all excited today because we thought Mum was going to have the pacemaker fitted, in fact she rang me at 12 to say she was about to go to theatre for the procedure.  Four hours later I rang to see how she had got on and they had failed to complete the insertion of the pacemaker so she has got to go through it all again, probably tomorrow.  We are hoping that their next attempt will be successful cos my Mum has been through enough.  She is very sore tonight and has stitches so she will have another lot tomorrow when they try again.  On the plus side we will be seeing her tomorrow - at last! - assuming she is not in theatre when we get there!

I leave you with a picture of celandines that should really be blooming all over our lawn by now but the cold winter is holding them back.

If I don't get to blog again for a few days I wish you all a very Happy Easter.  Thank you for all your lovely comments as ever and for the support you have been sending us all the while Mum has been in hospital.  I hope the Easter Bunny is good to you!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Fashion Stitch Embroidery Show

This is going to be a picture heavy post so I apologise in advance.  Thursday saw Wendy and I making the journey across to the NEC at Birmingham for the combined Fashion Embroidery and Stitch and the Sewing For Pleasure Show.  We had intended to get there for 9.30 when the doors opened but were delayed by an accident on the motorway but in the event we had plenty of time for looking and shopping.  Shopping? Did I say that?  'Course I didn't!

It was certainly a busy show with a good variety of exhibitions and a multitude of traders.  The Quilters' Guild had brought quilts from their 'Pearls of Wisdom' exhibition which showcases nationally less well known quilters from the British Isles.  There were some beautiful and inspirational quilts in this group and I photographed almost all but I will just highlight a few here:

This quilt is entitled 'Angel's Tears' and is by Jill Stillman.  You can see more of her work here .

This amazing quilt is entitled 'Karma' and is by Gilli Theokritoff and the quilt includes 4000 squares bonded and quilted with the word 'wisdom' in many languages. 

This wonderful raw-edged (I love raw edges!) appliqued quilt is titled 'Pied Beauty' and is by Elizabeth J Wall.  Based on the poem 'Pied Beauty' by Gerard Manley Hopkins.  Elizabeth says that the pearls of wisdom in the poem created sparkling images.  Her quilt certainly sparkles with exquisite detail and colour.  I hope when you click on the image you will be able to see the gorgeous detail.

These screens and the 2 images that follow are felted banners made by members and friends of the Scottish Felters  The Standards for Scottish Heritage celebrate Scotland's History and Culture in the year of the Homecoming.

This photo above shows the cartoon from which the banner in the foreground was made.  The banners had all been attached to a sheer fabric for displaying.

For me the most stunning part of the exhibition was the showcase of the work of Dr Isabel Elliott who was Mistress of Embroidery at Gloucester Cathedral.

These collages do not begin to describe the impact of the sheer volume of work on display from this indomitable lady.  Dr Elliott was hovering in front of her multiple displays and I had a few words with her.  She is a dainty little lady and confessed that this is only part of her collection of work.  It encompassed many forms of embroidery, works in 3-D and even quilts.  A stunning collection which was attracting much attention.  If you click here you can see further images of the embroidered child's chair that you can see in one of the collages above.

Above is a very small selection of the many quilts on the Afghanistan Inspiration stand.  All of the quilts displayed incorporated a 10cm square of embroidery stitched by women in war-torn Afghanistan.  These women are unable to make and sell their work in Afghanistan so Pascale Goldenberg encouraged them to make these embroideries to sell in Europe.  Thirteen countries have come together to incorporate these embroideries into larger pieces and the exhibition will tour through Europe.  This link will show you where else the works will be on display and at all of those venues you can support the ladies in Afghanistan by buying your own square.

Can you  spot the original square here? The legend reads "The bird is no longer alone.  He is in the land of the kind lion".

I love this distressed piece which is titled 'White Peace' and is by a lady from Latvia.

Isabelle Deru from Belgium made this piece which is "For all the women of Afghanistan who, like us, dream of happiness".  A very moving sentiment.  I bought a square myself which I'll show you another time as I haven't photographed my purchases yet. Did I say purchase-s?  No, of course not! Just the one! Hmmm!

There were, of course, so many more stands that I didn't manage to photograph.  Particularly outstanding were displays by Threads and Angelico  which explored the concept of Coast, Longslade Community College, which included a piece by a blogger Maria DentNolitex, Claire Fell and Louise Mabbs.  I had a lovely chat with Mary Whittaker of Nolitex during the course of which I solved one of my problems with my Festival of Quilts entry (which still isn't made yet).   Nolitex are exhibiting at the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln in July this year from 12th to 25th July.

Well, I think I've gone on enough so I'll end with my own Journal Quilts which I was delighted to actually see for myself as part of the Contemporary Quilt Group display.  

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

New Bag

I'm finding it really difficult to keep myself in check this week with Mum being in hospital.  I so much want to be there with her but her stay looks like being protracted and I can't really do much to help at the moment.  She is being well cared for and I know that if I go at this stage my chronic fatigue will cause me problems and I will not be much use to her when she comes out.  It is very tough to deal with.  So, my way of dealing with the emotional turmoil is to keep creating.

Tomorrow Wendy (of Emmeline's Place blog) is taking me to the Fashion Embroidery and Stitch Show at the NEC so yesterday I decided I needed a new bag to take with me, as you do!  The result is shown above.  I have used the freezer dyed fabric I dyed recently and some of the fabrics I printed at the Ruth Issett workshop.

I am really pleased with the way the bag has gone together and most of blocks have butted up beautifully in line.  My Mum, who is a stickler for having things line up, will be very pleased when she sees it!  The bag has a very lightweight batting and I have lined it with a pre-loved, embroidered table cloth.

Of course, now I have to find a few things to put in it at the Show tomorrow!  (I've spoken to Mum today and she is waiting patiently and is as comfortable as she can be).

Monday, 22 March 2010

Journal Quilts February and March

I'm keeping you busy this week, aren't I? VBG Because of the uncertainty about Mum and because I have been getting behind for other reasons I've spent yesterday and today concentrating on my Journal Quilts for the Contemporary Quilt Group.  I have now caught up with February and March. Phew!

This is the quilt for February, entitled "Low Tide" and measures 7" x 10".  I digitally altered a photograph I had taken in St Ives last year and printed it onto one of those specially prepared computer fabrics you can buy.  I then took various pieces of scrim, organza, sheers, lutradur and something I've forgotten the name of (!) and bondawebbed them to the photo-fabric.  Backing and wadding were added and it was quilted with hand and machine stitching.  

This quilt has taught me several things already.  While I'm happy with the hand of the fabric after it has been printed with the photo I don't particularly like the strength that I've printed the image at.  It feels a bit like cheating to achieve this realistic image.  I am already thinking of other ways I could have used this piece of fabric including cutting it up and using parts of the image with other fabrics.  I think I shall investigate this further.  If I hadn't been so pressed for time I would probably have cut this up and experimented but I was beginning to panic so I just ploughed on. Some may argue that this is simply a piece of embroidery and not a quilt but it is 3 layers held together by stitch!

This is my March Journal Quilt and is titled St Ives Stroll.  I have used my own hand dyed fabrics plus one commercial fabric to make 2 blocks to an identical design, one of which has then been flipped.  Photo images were printed onto Extravorganza and bonded to the blocks and then machine quilted.  My one regret is that the square with the numbers, (symbols stencilled onto a railway bridge), now looks a little top-heavy and draws the eye.  I am currently working on a 9 block quilt based on this idea of rotated blocks, as I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't got any further with it yet.

Thank you all for your lovely comments and good wishes for my mum.  She has been told today that they are going to fit a pacemaker later in the week so we just have to wait for them to decide her blood is right after they gave her warferin! She is going to be even more lonely and bored as the ward has been closed to visitors because of Norovirus. Grrrr! 

Sunday, 21 March 2010


Now I believe it! Spring is nearly here!

We are going to have babies! LOL  This is the first year since we put the pond in  5 years ago, that we have had tadpoles without bringing them in from outside!  I couldn't believe it when I went into the garden this morning.  There was a big kerfuffle in the pond and lots of ripples and splashes and then I spotted it......frogspawn! Yay! We now have a real wildlife pond.

Thank you everyone for your very kind support, my Mum has had a comfortable weekend and is saying she's bored so that must be a good sign!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

What did I say?........

I spoke a little prematurely yesterday when I said things were improving for Mum.  As might be expected when they are trying to get the medication right, Mum has not made the expected improvement today and is still in hospital.  I've spoken to her twice today and she is fine but her heart is still playing up so she will be there a while longer.  She was a bit slow in her speech this morning but I think that was the meds as she was much brighter this evening and chatting a lot more  freely, so I feel a bit better, but I think Monday may well see me catching a train to Essex to see for myself. 

I told Mum of all the good wishes winging her way from all my lovely blogging friends and she said to tell you all 'Thank you and God Bless you all'.  (You would be forgiven for thinking that my Mum is the Queen!).

This is Mum on a cruise last year.  She is a powerhouse at 84 years of age :o)  Her friends are rallying round so they will be queuing out the door to visit soon!  Thank you all for your good wishes.  I'm sure Mum will soon be back to her usual self and back home.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Better News and Cute Fabric (again)

We've had a couple of worrying days chez Mixed Media but I think it is safe to say now that things are improving.  Wednesday teatime I had a phone call to say that my Mum had been rushed to hospital in an ambulance and was in the cardiac care unit.  Apparently she had gone to the doctor's in the morning about something unconnected with her heart and he had remarked that she was puffing a bit.  He did an ECG and promptly called an ambulance.  By the time she got round to letting my brother and I know, she was much more comfortable and on medication to bring the heart rate under control.  Our first instinct was to rush down to Essex to see her but the ward is closed to visitors and Mum insisted that she was fine!  The news today is that she is much better and probably going home tomorrow.  She already has an evening out lined up!  What can you do with her?    We will be seeing her soon but she still insists that she is feeling much better than she has felt over the last few weeks and we are not to make the journey.  

You may remember a few weeks ago I blogged here about some fabric my friend's daughter had designed for Makower?  Well, I've had a chance to see some of the actual fabrics today and they are even more lovely in real life than on the computer.

Makower give the various fabrics different names and I think this is the 'borders'.  The pattern is Farm Corner.
This particular fabric above is 'patchwork'.

This is 'Labels' (Excuse the differing light and shadows, I was photographing these in a conservatory).

These two above are all over patterns and are presumably for backings.  There are also several pastel polka dot designs to co-ordinate and the sheep above come in several colourways.  The dog that features here and there is an echo of the family pet Brecon, a border collie cross who sadly is with us no more but who was a favourite of mine and a great character.  Somewhere on the fabrics there is an image of him in a tractor.  

I am going to use some of this fabric to make a cot quilt for my friend's daughter who is having a baby in June, I just need to sort out a design!  There are now lots of stockists coming up on Google so it shouldn't be too hard to obtain the fabric.  Trouble is I'm spoilt for choice.  

We had a very quiet Wedding anniversary yesterday as much of the day was taken up with phone calls so DH and I are going to have a day out tomorrow to make up for it, once we know Mum is ok.  

Enjoy your weekend!

PS I may just have to make myself a bag with this fabric because it makes me laugh!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Kizzie Whizz and Celebrations

Yesterday I finally met up with Little Miss Beauty who is posing above and wistfully asking if she can join us.  Little Miss Beauty's real name is Kizzie, commonly known as Kizzie Whizz ! She certainly lives up to her name and is rarely still, although she did grab about 20 winks after her master had introduced her to a greyhound and she had tried to keep up with it racing round the field while Kizzie's Mum and I talked textile art!

Doesn't she look sorry for herself penned in at one end of the kitchen?  Wouldn't you just melt, faced with that expression?  How could anyone be so cruel as to pen her in? LOL  Kizzie's proud Mum is Wendy who blogs as Emmeline's Place and we spent a very happy afternoon together yesterday having a Show and Tell at Wendy's house.  If you're into dyeing have a look at the great gadget that Wendy bought from Ikea, I'm looking forward to seeing how the fabric comes out and I think a trip to Ikea is called for.

I took a toy across for Kizzie to play with and just as I was leaving Wendy tempted her with it and she found a new trick. (The toy has some soft cheese inside, a Kizzie favourite).

I hope she doesn't think she's a Meerkat!

Four years ago today was a very special day.  It was a very cold crisp day and I nearly froze in my thin dress on our wedding day :o)  Last night my dear DH took me into my sewing room to show me the arrangement he had made, while I was out. (We had had some bad news so today was looking uncertain but happy to say things are looking better today).

Aren't I a lucky girl?  A lovely bouquet and a humongous box of chocolates!  DH has cooked dinner tonight and we will shortly be indulging in Lemon Meringue Pie (sorry, not home made!).  Perfect!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Quilters Guild Regional Day

Having spent yesterday recovering from my exertions in Nottingham I went along to my first Quilters Guild Regional Day meeting today.  I belong to Region 10 of the Quilters Guild which covers the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, quite a large area.  The monthly meetings move round the counties and this month it came to Nottinghamshire and quite close to where I live so off I went.

I knew a few of the members before the meeting but found that there were also a couple of people there that I've known for a long time but didn't realise they were members.  This apart, the ladies were all very friendly and made me feel very welcome.  It's sometimes quite hard going to a new place and meeting new people so I was really impressed with my welcome.  Then again, quilters in my experience are all very friendly people! 

As you might expect part of the meeting was taken up with 'Show & Tell' and the Union Jack quilts above had been made for the patients at Headley Court.  

The Speaker of the day was Barbara Weeks who had brought  some of her quilts and journal quilts with her along with sketchbooks and samples.  

(Apologies for the quality of the photographs, my camera doesn't cope well indoors at a distance).

This large quilt inspired by Barcelona fairly zinged with colour.  The mosaic detail was fused onto the surface.  Much of Barbara's talk centred on her sources of inspiration and on some of the techniques she uses in her work.  I've seen Barbara Weeks' work at Festival of Quilts but it was good to be able to see things close to and to handle the quilts. 

I have to admit to a little retail therapy.  What can I say?  I had to support the Guild.! And the traders who had given up their Saturday to be there.  I didn't take any photos of my sins but I did get 4 metres of a very nice cotton backing fabric for only £8.  A bargain!

Ooh! By the Way, didn't we have a lovely day in the UK today.  Lovely to see the sunshine at last!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Susan Lenz

Well, where do I start?  As planned today I went to Nottingham to meet up with Susan Lenz who is over here for a few days from her home in Columbia South Carolina.  We met up at Nottingham Station and we had a great day.  Susan is just as I expected her to be, full of vigour and passion for her art and we chatted non-stop all day.  

Susan had not visited Nottingham before and, close as it is, I don't visit very often but with the help of memories of a previous day out with Guzzisue and a map courtesy of Multimap, we set off to explore starting with The Trip to Jerusalem, claimed to be the oldest inn in England. (I've cheated with the photograph, it wasn't sunny this morning, this is from a previous visit).

The Inn nestles below the rock on which Nottingham Castle was built.  
Robin Hood was not to be missed and his Merry Men were in close attendance too.

I was quite taken with Friar Tuck's shiny head where many hundreds of hands must have rubbed the statue.  You can see the very marked difference with the patina of the remainder of the statue and all the figures were in a similar condition.  I only noticed it when I went to touch the statue myself!

Next stop on the tour was an uphill walk to the Nottingham Playhouse for a look at the Sky Mirror designed by Anish Kapoor.

Susan was suitably awed by this amazing mirror and I find it fascinating to move around it and watch the reflections change.  You know how you're supposed to take a photograph when bloggers get together?  Well, this is the only one I thought to take! Oops!

For the rest of the morning I took Susan to two of Nottingham's cemeteries as she has been producing a body of work (no pun intended) based on grave rubbings.  We went to Central Cemetery and Church Cemetery, known as Rock Cemetery.  These are Historic Burial Grounds and are a fascinating look back into the past.  Some of the sculptures that adorn the graves are beautiful and deftly carved.

(You can click on these images as usual to enlarge them but they may be a bit large so if you should be on dial-up you may not want to click.)

This little cherub has the most beautiful face and is surprisingly well preserved considering its age.

Isn't this a serene face?  Many of these carvings date back to the 1800's so they have done well to withstand the ravages of a city's pollution.

This image above is definitely large if you click it.  The memorials are in the Rock Cemetery which I would have liked to have had longer to explore but you can only do so much.  We had already taken advantage of a fallen railing, knocked down by some earlier road traffic incident, to gain access to the cemetery as we were running short on time.  Surprisingly these angel figures above and their associated graves mostly related to the 1920's and obviously all of these statues were erected in memory of monied families or at least people of some standing as the ordinary working man could not have afforded such expense.  

One last cemetery photograph, if you will permit me:

This is the part of Rock Cemetery that we didn't get to, tantalizingly close but inaccessible form where we stood.  You can see that there are sandstone catacombs in the background and there are many elaborate memorials here.  Susan is planning a return trip tomorrow so I'm sure she will find her way down to this area.

We didn't spend all day in the cemeteries, although it would have been completely possible, and eventually we headed back into town to meet up with the other Sue and have some well-earned lunch.  We didn't stop talking all day and it was interesting to hear Susan talk about the path that had brought her to where she is today.  I'm amazed we didn't get asked to leave Costa Coffee as we were so engrossed in our chat that we were still there after more than 2 hours!  Guzzisue could only stay for a short while as she was on her lunchbreak but it was good to see her and we're going to meet up again later in the Spring.

I was privileged to spend some time with Susan today.  She is a prolific artist with an amazing passion and enthusiasm and our conversation gave me food for thought.  If you would like to see what Susan has done up to now with her images and graveyard rubbings click here to read her blog entry about her recent exhibition.  I have always had a fascination for graveyards for the stories behind the engravings and epitaphs and today's visits enriched that fascination.  

My energy eventually gave out on me and I made tracks for home but I left Susan setting off to explore more of Nottingham on her own before returning to Birmingham, or maybe she decided to stay over and continue her explorations?

PS There is a possibility that Susan may bring her work to the Festival of Quilts one of these years so watch this space! 

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Gift and a little progress

Jean who blogs as Genies Art World has recently had a blogging anniversary and offered a giveaway for which I was one of the lucky winners!  The prize was the fun brooch which will brighten up my jacket or bag and Jean very kindly enclosed some extras for me which will come in very handy.  Thank you Jean!  I particularly like the little piece of blue fabric which has some lovely sky effects on it.

Recently at our monthly quilting group Jenny has been showing us the delights of making Turning Twenty blocks.  Making 20 x fat quarter sized blocks seemed like a lot of work to me so I aimed to make a Turning Nine quilt and have been working on it for the last couple of days.  

I can't find anywhere to photograph it so that I can get the whole thing in but this is the bulk of my design, photographed on our bed.  All of the fabrics, apart from the one obviously commercial wavy one, are my own hand-dyes and, apart from the fact that there's a preponderance of turquoise, I think the overall balance is working.  As usual I have jumped in with both feet and not thought through exactly where I am going as I wanted to include some of my own digital images.  As the blocks are now all made up I won't be able to pass the fabric through the printer so if I am to add images they will have to be with iron on transfers or maybe organza overlays.  

This is very much a work in progress and will continue to evolve but I am very excited about it and it may even end up as my Festival of Quilts entry (or have I blown that now by showing it here?).  One thought is to reduce it down to a 6 x block quilt which I think would work better as a wallhanging. That would leave me some blocks left over to maybe make a bag!

Talking of exciting, I am very excited at the prospect of tomorrow as I am meeting up with Susan Lenz who put on the Cyberfyber exhibition last year.  Susan is a prolific artist and I know I am going to feel overawed in her company but I am really looking forward to meeting her.  Hopefully we will explore one of the Victorian  churchyards in Nottingham as Susan collects images and rubbings from gravestones for her work.  If you are not familiar with Susan's work have a look at her blog, it is fascinating and you will see what I mean by prolific!  Mind you, the last I heard from Susan she had been delayed so fingers crossed that she has now arrived in the UK as she is watching her son perform in the Birmingham Royal Ballet tonight.  Also tomorrow we are meeting up with another Sue who works in Nottingham so it will be a regular bloggers day out!  I will try and remember to take a photo of us all!

Ooh! One last anyone going to the Region 10 Quilters Guild meeting at Long Bennington near Newark this weekend?  I shall be going so if you see me say hello! (Its my first meeting).  Barbara Weeks is the speaker so I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing Barbara's talk.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

New Arrival, Quiltfest and Yet more Dyeing!

We have just had a very eventful 10 days not least of all because we are now great-aunt and great-uncle!  Wow! Doesn't that make us sound ancient? :-) My nephew's wife gave birth to a very beautiful baby boy last Saturday exactly on her due date!

Meet Max Evan (Evan is Welsh for John)!  Isn't he gorgeous? (Not that I'm biased or anything!)  We got to see him on Thursday when he was just 5 days old.  Both he and his Mum are well and he is a sweetheart.  It's too soon to tell who he takes after but I do think he has a look of the our family.  His Mum is very dainty too and she can see her sister in him so time will tell.  Whoever he takes after he is a very welcome new family member.

This is my lovely nephew John and his beautiful wife Sarah (I don't think they'll mind me putting their names here).  When you've finished enjoying Max you will see on the chair arm a notebook cover that I quickly made for Sarah while we were away.   Needless to say I had a lovely cuddle with Max and he didn't cry once! (Not until he was laid in his pram and then we heard his powerful lungs :o)  )

Our visit to see Max came at the end of a holiday in Llangollen which we had timed to coincide with Quiltfest, an annual quilting exhibition usually held at the Pavilion in Llangollen.   This year there was a change of venue and the exhibitions were held in Llangollen Museum and Y Caban at Plas Newydd,  a beautiful location on the edge of Llangollen made famous by the Ladies of Llangollen who set up home together and welcomed writers and artists from 1780 to 1829.

I stewarded last Sunday so I had plenty of time to enjoy the quilts.  However, when I got home I realised I had only photographed 2 walls of quilts.  I apologise to the  artists whose work was on the remaining wall.  The quilts were all interpretations of the theme "Breakthrough" and were the work of members of the Contemporary Quilt Group of the Quilters Guild (of Great Britain). 


One of the requirements for the exhibition was for a sample to be made of each quilt to explain something of the processes  and materials involved in its construction.  It was wonderful to be able to handle these samples which must have taken nearly as much work as the main quilts in some cases.  The uppermost piece in the photo above relates to a quilt by Sheena Quayle entitled "A Strong Reaction" and includes various fabrics combined with copper and treated with chemicals so that it will change over time.

If you click on the image above you will be able to read the artist's method and materials used.

This sample reflects "Smethwick Galton Bridge" by Jill Gray which had been inspired by a journey and the marks that occur on walls and buildings, maybe as  a result of graffiti or posters that have been stripped off.  Several of the artists had chosen to take the 'Breakthrough'  theme as a chance to break through into a new technique or material.  

An added bonus to stewarding was watching Bailey Curtis as she demonstrated felt making throughout the day.  

She made the felt making process look very quick and easy and it was lovely to be able to look closely at the work she had brought with her, some of which you can see if you follow the link.. 

We had a steady flow of visitors throughout the day, which was the final day of the exhibition, but part way through the day Bailey and I and a member of the local quilt group were treated to a private view of the main House, Plas Newydd.


The house is also famous for its opulent panelling throughout and this is part of the outside of the building.  The custodian told us that the wood had been garnered from churches and houses and included wooden chests that had been cut into pieces and reconstructed to create the panelling you can see if you visit the house today.  The panels are richly carved with all kinds of motifs including caryatid figures and mythical figures.  Plas Newydd is well worth a visit and I will definitely go and see it again on our next visit to Llangollen. (The house is closed until later this month).

We stayed in this lovely converted Hay Loft which is on the right hand side at the back of the photo.  As you can see we were out in the country but we were only about 15/20 minutes walk into Llangollen.  We had really good weather considering the time of year and apart from the first weekend the sun shone all week.  Mind you, we won't talk about the temperatures! Brrrr!  My DH will be posting plenty of photos over the next few days so you can have a look at his blog in conjunction with mine.  

Returning to a creative note I prepared some fabric for dyeing before we went away by soda-soaking various cottons and popping them in freezer bags and putting them in the freezer! Well, we didn't have any snow!  I was a bit bothered that the fabric would be affected by the soda if I left it in the freezer for another week so at the last minute I decided I should apply the dye and take the bags with me to rinse through.

These are some of the results and I used a piece of the blue to make Sarah's book wrap.  I'm really pleased with the results considering the rough treatment the fabric got and it just goes to show you don't necessarily need snow to get amazing patterns.

Needless to say  I have a lot of catching up to do so I'm off to read a few blogs.  See you soon!