Sunday, 5 December 2010


Back to work hitting the ground running with lots of changes afoot.
Don't take easily to change but sometimes its just so necessary.
September saw us picking up the altered wedding dress and it was just perfect. Much relief all round.
Popped down to Maldon to see Fen Edge Textiles exhibition at the Mauldene centre.Not an easy space to exhibit and they had done really well. As usual I thought my friends pieces were the best.
Saturday 11th was SIL's stag do. Amazingly hubby didn't get too drunk as he spent a fair bit of time on the dance floor. Now this tells me that he had already taken in a fair amount of alchohol as he never normally dances at all. Few sore heads the next day.
That day I went to a Ferrers Quilters workshop with Barbara Chainey on hand quilting.
I found her technique really hard as I think I am too set in my ways but it was good to give it a go and was a lovely relaxing day.
I went straight from this workshop to Southend and met up with some girls from work to see a performance of The Rocky Horror Show. Sadly as it was a matinee the theatre was not full. Fairly empty actually and this did effect the atmosphere somewhat.But what a laugh, would definately go again and yes probably dress up.
We stayed and had a quick drink afterwards and watched the audience arrive for the evening performance. Nearly everyone was dressed up!

Sharon and Anne
 Kimberly Sharon Karen Sue and Anne

This group had been very organised and had just about covered the entire cast

MEGA catch up

Quite a bit has happened since my last posting so I will be catching up in chunks.
First we had Natz baby shower. Natz is my daughter's bestie and Jenny and her friends made great efforts to make it a great occasion.
Baby showers are a new thing to me and although not entirely sure its a very British thing to do it seems a nice idea to get all your friends together to wish the expectant Mum well.Trying to find some pics to put up but can't atm.
Same evening we went to see The Beagles at Plazma in Wickford. Always a good night out such a great band and of course they did all our favourites 

Oh I had forgotten what happened when Jenny and Jake came to pick us up to go to see The Beagles 

How funny was that. I thought it would be good to go like this but Jenny made me go and change. Like Mother like daughter eh?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Last few days

Last few days of the school holidays and I seem to be mega busy and really wondering where the weeks have gone.
Monday was Bluewater and the wedding dress. Yes we had a few tears. I think they were relief!
Tuesday was final meeting at the wedding venue.I was just moral support for this one. These people know what they are doing so any questions Jenny and Jake had there was an instant answer.
Wednesday Dengie craft group for the last time this summer as when I am working I can't make it. Then rushed back home as we had guys in mending the roof and hubby had to leave for work.
I have a quilt spread out in the front room to mark and tack up ready for quilting. After discussion with Margaret this morning I think I know what I am doing with the quilting design.(simple!)
I have another on my sewing table which I thought was ready for layering up but after looking at it again it needs borders.
I have decided to do major finishing off, from now on, before I start anything new. I know this has been said many times before but I think I mean it this time.
Margaret and I had a bit more discussion about entering a quilt show maybe this will be the year ,well next year really
Tomorrow is lunch with girls from work. 2 birthdays. Then on to Barleylands for coffee with some South Green ex colleagues. Must remember to pick up some pink quilting thread while I am there.
Saturday is cooking and prep for Natz baby shower Sunday is the Baby shower and then Plazma bar for The Beagles in the evening.

I need a quiet day!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Festival of Quilts NEC

Margaret and I went to Birmingham yesterday to the Festival of Quilts which is the biggest quilt show in the country. Drive went OK so that was a good start.
Lots of wonderful work to look at and as always lots of wonderful trade stands to spend money on.
I wish it was easy and cheap to go for 2 days as to try and do it all in one is too much. I get to the glazed over stage at about 3.00pm
And there is always that moment at the end of the day when you want to go back and get something but can't quite remember which stall you saw it on and indeed where that stall is! Thank goodness for Margaret's excellent recall and sense of direction or I would still be wandering round aimlessly looking for Ormaline.
Saw Nickie's  two pieces that both looked splendid. One got a highly commended which is high praise I thought as I considered that the standard was very high this year.
Only took one photo. Despite all the brilliant work around, the best thing there was this lady

This is Kirsty one of my etsy friends. I have met Kirsty for the last 2 years at the UK etsy retreat in York which sadly did not happen this year.

So I have a few new bits to play with and an entry form for next year. Every time we go Margaret and I say that we really should enter something. Problem is I never finish anything and seem to have run out of inspiration,talent etc etc etc.

Wedding Prep Take 2

More wedding preparation for daughter's big day. Obviously can't say too much or show too many pics or it will spoil things.
We had the bridesmaids over for dress try on and discussions about hair and make up. I must say they were all very amenable and cooperative.
I did some food and we had cocktails.
Considering I don't really drink  I managed 4 quite easily and didn't feel too awful the next day

Friday, 13 August 2010

Family Tree

Been visiting my cousin Donna for her to help me get started on my family tree. She has done sterling work on Mum's side and with the collaboration of others has got back to some ridiculously early date like 480 or something. Lots of royalty linked up both here and in France.All very interesting stuff.
I am going to start on the Pickard line. A second cousin has apparently got some way so will be contacting him.
We spent some hours today getting started and I left with more questions than answers. I have a feeling that this is par for the course in this hobby.
I have been warned that it could take over my life
Well we will see

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Tuesday 10th August

2 months to the next wedding and today has been spent making hair and beauty appointments and preparing favors for the day.
No photos so it's all a surprise for the guests.
I now need a massage as I have been hunched over the kitchen table wrapping and tying.

Monday, 9 August 2010


Have just got back from a couple of days in Yorkshire with Phil's brother and his wife.
Main purpose of visit was to reconnect with a cousin of Phil's that we haven't seen for nearly thirty or so years.
Had a very pleasent evening catching up with a nice meal and all agreed that we shouldn't leave it that long til the next time.
Managed a quick whip round the Castle Museum. Also a visit to the Railway Museum. (= a happy Phil) and on the way home detoured via Birmingham and visited the Motorbike Museum (= a happy Tony and Phil, and me actually)
Phil and I agreed that we need another trip up to have our ride on the North York Moors steam railway and to visit the Quilt Museum
No photos taken in York  but here is one of the lovely flowers that Phils cousin and wife sent us.



Most recent stage of the RRC was to make the piece of fabric into a vessel.
Found this stage the hardest so far.
Inspiration out of the window.
The fabric I had to work with is the piece that is based on Europe and was originally Nickie's (I think)


Have now passed this on to Margaret for embellishing.
I haven't recieved my piece for the next stage. Think it should be the one based on the Americas

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Oh kay where were we on this?
I was quilting Diane's piece based on Australia/Oceania 
I had promised more pics.

                                                          Fabric with her inspiration pic

                                                        Quilting thread

                                                             Background fabric

                                      Better pic of quilting

After handing this one on I received the piece based on India which was Margaret's originally. I think Nickie had quilted this piece and I was dreading getting this one as I loved it and really did not want to cut it up. I decided not to mess around with it too much. I backed it with a rich purple and cut wedge shapes.I did this from the back so that I was not distracted by the patterns. 

                                  This has now been passed on to Diane who has to form it into a vessel.
I now have the piece based on Europe to form into a vessel.
Think this stage may have a bit of an extension on time as Nickie is having a difficult time at the moment.
My thoughts are with her. 

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Catching up

So much has been happening it is difficult to remember things in the correct chronological order so I shall just list stuff in a stream of consciousness and hope it works out OK.
So to recap.
I went to a hen-night.
My son's fiance's . We did belly dancing with my teacher Wendy and it was great fun.

                         This last pic is Jessica the bride to be.

Two weeks later we had the wedding. Brentwood registry office and then back to a marquee in our back garden. Phil and lodger Nigel had been working tremendously hard to get the house and garden ready for this. Lots of tidying up outside. Lights put up and the kitchen painted to list just a few of the jobs they got done. It was all so worth the effort as the day was absolutely fantastic. Huge credit to Jessica and her organisational skills. 

                                 Look at my boy!

               Happy bride and groom with just the 
corner of Nan Con

Love the way he is looking at her here   
Me attempting to pour a beer under Rob's tuition
Cutting the cake

All in all a fantastic day which we thoroughly enjoyed and hope everyone that attended did too

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Sorry I have been completely absent from my blog. My son got married on Friday and as the reception was in our garden we have had a fair amount to do. Now this has happened maybe normal service will be resumed. Actually not quite true as normally I have been blogging very infrequently and I will try to be a bit more diligent from now on

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

RRC Part 2

I have started working on the fabric that I have received from Diane. Her fabric is based on the continent of Australia/Oceania and her inspiration is this image


It is an image of a piece of rock art.
This is the piece of fabric I received.
I have decided to take the criss cross pattern on the legs as my quilting design and have marked it by hand with a bone marker not being too fussy as to wether the lines were straight and even as I thought that this would reflect the original image better. I purchased a variegated thread to do the quilting with.Details of thread and more pictures to follow.


Friday, 16 April 2010

Essex tattoo expo

We recently attended the very first Essex Tattoo expo organised in association with The Skin Sorcerer from Maldon. What a fantastic day. The sun shone and the crowds came. Car parking was a bit of an issue due to the unexpectedly large amount of people attending. There was some fantastic work being done and also on display . The best place ever for people watching. Hubby has been inspired to have his first tattoo done and it is in homage to our motorcycling hero Valentino Rossi. Photos to follow. Rossi obliged by winning the first round of this years MotoGP championship.
I am now planning tattoo number 3!
                                                               A very happy hubby

                                              A very happy hubby and Nigel with some friends

                                                                 Me with a new friend

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Round Robin

I have done a bit more than think about this now. But not a lot more. Some fabric has been dyed.
It may need overdyeing. It may be touch and go as to whether it will be ready on time.
I will do my best.
My source of inspiration is Africa.
I have to post it by the weekend
Like I said I will do my best

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


I am thinking about it, honest Sharne.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Round Robin Challenge

Have now received the instructions for a Round Robin Challenge that I have agreed to take part in.
The Round Robin starts today.
This month:-
1. you have to make a piece of fabric, a fat 1/4 in size.  You can stamp, dye, print etc.  You all have a theme to work to, and you can use architecture, culture, clothes etc as your design source.
2.  Your fabric must to be passed onto the next  person BY the 31st March, with your design source/image to show that person where your ideas are coming from.
Using the random number generator this is what you have got-
1)  Nickie-Europe
2) Margaret-Asia
3) Di-Australasia
4) Deb-Africa
5) Sharne-America's
I will email you all on March 22nd with info on who to pass your fabric onto.
Please post photo's on your blog of what you are doing with the challenge.
So now I seriously need to get my thinking hat on. It's been a while since I did any design work of any description and I felt that I should challenge myself again.
Also have the Chairmans challenge at Ferrers Quilters to think about. This is to make a miniature quilt any style any technique. A miniature is not something that I have attempted before so again a challenge for me.
Also have a stall at a Tattoo convention at the end of the month and need to produce some stock for that.
On top of all this I have a new role at work and this is another new challenge.
I am still enjoying the belly dancing immensely and have (hopefully) booked tickets for an all day event which will include me doing 3 workshops. Very scary as I am a complete beginner.One of them is on American Tribal Style which is a form of belly dancing that I really like and may want to continue with.Although the event is in Andover the tutor for this ATS is local so it would not be too hard to get to classes.
So, for me, quite enough on my plate at the moment

Monday, 15 February 2010

Whats Occuring

Half term is whats occuring at the moment. Hoorah
In the run up to half term I had a fab night out with SIL and her daughter( and their friend Jenny). We went to Wembly to see the Strictly Come Dancing show. Got up there nice and early so we could have a relaxed meal in the Indian restuarant just outside of the car park then just a gentle stroll over to the Arena. Our seats were fantastic being almost on the dance floor and close enough to feel the heat from the dancers when they had finished their dance and were waiting for the judges comments. Judges were the original four so included Arlene Phillips.Celebs included my personal favourite Mark Ramprakash dancing with Kristina Rihanoff. Their Samba routine (choreographed by Karen Harding) was spectacular, as was her costume. Like a giant fringed red hot poker!. I voted for him and that night he won. I am sure a lot of the banter etc was scripted but it was tremendously enjoyable all the same.
More recently had our work Christmas do. A bit late maybe but circumstances prevented us from having it before Christmas. Fish and chip supper , disco and Karaoke. A good laugh. Great crowd of people.
Even more recently ie. today, a new tattoo. A long time coming as my first was some years ago but worth the wait. Done by the Skin Sorcerer in Maldon aka Mark. Chosen online as I didn't have time to get to Maldon and choose.I chose a Sun and Moon motive as I have always liked these images and also because my hero Valentino Rossi has always used them ( in some different ways) either on his crash hat, leathers or other merchandise. I am really happy with the outcome even if I am a little sore at the moment.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Family Tree

Hot news from the genealogy expert of the family.Thats Cousin Donna by the way.
With some help  from some fellow history seekers she has now traced one line of our family tree back to the year 970.How amazing is that!
The year 970 sees us in France with the Jocelyn line coming over the water to England in the 1100's. They settled in two main areas Devon and Essex. So I can truly call myself an Essex girl. Not that there was any doubt in that.
I would love to be able to spend some time with her working on this and starting up some research of my own on my Dads family and also the Sargeant line but circumstances are against us at the moment. Small children, work etc. Since she has printer issues atm she is hand copying the tree and is a bit bogged down in the 15th and 16th century where everyone seems to have at least 10 children.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Weekend Wish List

Prompted by the wonderful Maisy I have written a weekend wish list. It remains in the lap of the gods whether any,some or all of it gets achieved. Since the last couple of weekends we seemed to have done nothing but eat out we will not be doing any of that hopefully as it is not good for the attempt at healthy eating (to try and lose weight)
So this weekend I hope to
  • Keep up with my 'at least 30 minutes a day exercises.Since Christmas I have been pretty good at this only missing a couple of days.
  • Practise a bit of belly dancing. Had my second lesson this week and now have some music to practise to.I am not sure that I will ever be any good at it but I intend to have good fun trying.
  • Make sure ironing and housework are up to date so when I go back to work on Monday I can forget about it.(Not my favourite thing in the world to do)
  • Help my son and his fiancee move some of their stuff
  • Cut out at least one Clothkit skirt (I bought two) 

On the subject of Clothkits. What a blast from the past. I remember wonderful jackets and dresses when the kids were small. Always such interesting fabrics and excellent quality. Recently purchased and completed a skirt so thought I would order it in another colour. Also added a skirt which was on sale. Very excited when parcel arrived.They are always packaged beautifully too. Very disapointed when there was only one skirt in the parcel. Going on recent experience with other companies my heart sank as I thought I was going to be on to a row with Clothkits. I was so pleasantly surprised when I phoned and immediately spoke to a real person who was so friendly and helpful . My skirt was sitting on the side and they had all been wondering whose it was. It was posted on immediately and I have recieved it safely. Full marks to Clothkits for customer service

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Happy New Year

A bit late I know but finally got round to a blog post. Christmas came and went. Phil worked on Christmas day and then on Boxing day we went to the Plum Pudding meeting at Mallory park.Having had some snow before Christmas we were not sure whether the meeting would go ahead but most of the snow cleared and the weather was not too bad. The sidecar outfit of the Westons was the most interesting thing there and although we enjoyed it there were just not enough classic machinery to hold our interest so next year, unless we get info to the contrary , we will probably give it a miss.  Another down point is the food available at the track which leaves an awful lot to be desired.Enough said.

The person sitting in the background looking a bit sick is Weston jnr. If you had seen this outfit race you would appreciate his concern. The most entertaining thing to watch.

And then it snowed, and snowed and snowed. Hard to remember when we had so much snow and it stayed around for so long. Had a couple of half days off work but school stayed open as much as possible.
Phils birthday was on the 13th and after having his swine flu jab Peter and Jessica joined us for a meal at Hoyzen which is always a real treat. As it is only at the other end of the village we decided to walk.Lots of laying snow and it continued to snow fairly heavily while we were in there. On the way home we stopped at the pub and there we stayed for another couple of hours.

The next day we  were back here to meet up with our daughter and her fiancee Jake. Haven't seen Jen for a long time and had never met Jake before. Another very pleasant few hours and then back home for a bit before heading out for an Indian meal with them. Finished off what Phil described as one of his best birthday's ever.