Friday, February 29, 2008

A Bit Early But...

...I am all excited!

This is the flyer for my exhibition which starts in just over 5 weeks. And I have hardly anything done for it with all that has been going in recently.

Guess what I am going to be doing for the next 5 weeks?






Thursday, February 28, 2008

I is for...

...Iron Age Fort.

On Tuesday Mark took me to Stonea to take photos of the Iron Age Fort. To be perfectly honest, there isn't much to see but there are a lot of information signs around which explain what is there.

The area is now owned by the Cambridgeshire County Council which means that the public are allowed to wander anywhere within the confines of the fences. The farmer still uses the lad to graze his sheep and you are allowed to take dogs as long as they are kept on a lead. Metal detectors are not allowed.

The following text taken from the board at the entrance to the site.

"STONEA CAMP is the lowest "hill fort" in Britain. Extensive banks and ditches protected the northern side, preventing access from dry land, while the marshes and streams of the Fens formed the southern defences.

Built by Britons in the Iron Age as a base for inter-tribal conflicts, the fort was also used to defend the area against the Romans. Most of the earthworks you see today were rebuilt in 1991 to the size and shape they were 30 years ago before the site was first ploughed.

Two thousand years ago Stonea Camp was surrounded by wet fenland; reeds, sedges and alder scrub interlaced with streams stretched to the south and west. The land rises very slightly to the north, for the fort was built on an island of gravel about 2 metres above sea-level. Willow, silver birch, hazel, and oak grew on the drier areas, which could be seen from a distance as clumps of trees rising above the flat fens.

Dry fen islands like Stonea, Ely, and March were easily settled and the wet fens which surrounded them made the islands defensible. The creeks and major water-courses which ran through the fens can be traced today as roddons, pale ridges of silt running across the dark fen peat. These cause some of the bumps on fen roads, like those along the track to Stonea Camp.

Cyril Fox wrote the above in 1922, when Stonea was first scheduled as an ancient monument. Unhappily its remote location meant that no objections were raised when the site was levelled and ploughed, and the damage continued until Cambridgeshire County Council returned the land to pasture in 1990.

With help from English Heritage and Fenland District Council, the County's Archaeology Section excavated sections through the ditches to learn more about the development of the Camp. A mechanical digger was then used to remove the recent infill from the ditches and recreate the banks of the original earthworks.

WILDFLOWER SEED MIXES have been sown on the banks and ditches, and we hope that the flowers will eventually spread over the whole meadow. Trees once native to the area have been planted, and barn owl boxes have been placed in mature trees to encourage this rare bird which hunts over open grassland.

The small pond, once filled with farm rubbish, has been cleaned and replanted. Stonea Camp is an ancient monument, and will now become a valuable area for wildlife which has become rare in the arable fen landscape; the Countryside Stewardship Scheme helps us to care for the site.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Its My Birthday..........

Well, it was on Monday.

I wasn't expecting much as after that VERY expensive lens I has for Christmas, Mark had told me I wasn't getting anything.


I had this lovely bunch of flowers from him and he always chooses lovely cards.

And "The Aristocats" dvd from Benjamin (which I know Mark sorted out!)



I also had some lovely handmade cards from a few people.


Then, in the afternoon, I had more flowers!!!! These were delivered by a local florist and were from a friend!

Tuesday brought another surprise!

The postman had tried to deliver a parcel on Monday, which said "Do Not Bend" and wouldn't fit through the door. Of course, our sorting office is only open until 11.30am which meant that I wasn't home in time to pick it up.

Mark had taken the day off to take me out as he couldn't get Monday off. We called to pick up the parcel on the way out.

It was loads of lovely stash from my UKS teamie, Liz! It took me ages getting all the selotape off in the car and Mark just couldn't understand what I was so excited about!

We went to the Iron Age Fort at Stonea for me to take photos for my A-Z Photo Journal. It was blowing a gale there but I got some nice ones. Then we went to the "Golden Lion" in Stones for more photos. This has something to do with one of my ancestors who was born in Chatteris!

Then we went to a small cycle shop in March. I had some money from Marks Mum so I wanted a rack and panniers for my bike, partly for picnics and partly for shopping. Mark ended up buying them for me so he gave me a birthday pressie after all!

He then told me to get some new boots with the money, as I have worn the others out with all the walking from the past two weeks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Atelier East presents

Jennie Clare – Solo Exhibition

March’s exhibition at the Angles Theatre, one of a continuing series curated by Atelier East, will be a showcase of the photography and painting of Elm based artist Jennie Clare.

The aptly entitled Solo Exhibition will be Jennies’s first one-person show and will include recent photographic works alongside mixed media paintings. Jennie graduated last year with a degree in Fine Art from Leicester Demonfort, having previously studied Foundation Art at Wisbech Isle College.

Jennie Clare’s work focuses on intertwining themes including time and nostalgia, aesthetics and beauty in the banal. An obvious interest in light and shadow can be seen most prominently in her photography where light casts eerie shadows and silhouettes glow outlined by brightness and colour.

The exhibition opens on Sunday 2nd March with a reception from 6-8pm and continues until Friday 4th April. The bar will be open for the reception and everyone is welcome to come along for a chat, a drink and a look!

The theatre is also open Monday to Friday all day and Saturday mornings, plus it is open for shows. Best the check with the theatre if you are going out of normal hours.

For more information on exhibitions at the Angles Theatre contact

The current exhibition by Neville Palmer runs until Friday 29th February.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Day Off!

Doing the Happy Dance!

Well, I would if I had the energy! My body is aching all over and I have really had enough of these leaflets!. Still We have done nearly 7,000 of the 10,300 so it will only be another 3 days at most.

The only thing is, we also have 3,000 for Littleport!!!! Joan has asked her partner if he would like to help out and they reckon that we could do the whole lot in one day on Sunday. I have my doubts but am going along with it.

The vest top is coming along nicely. I am trying it on as I go and am really pleased with the way it looks. My problem is that because I have such big boobs, anything I wear either has to stretch over them or hangs ungainly below them. I have shaped this over them so that it goes in underneath before going straight down. Mark likes it as well!

We have another really frosty morning here. I would love to go out taking pics of it but feel so guilty at making Benjamin work most of his half term off that I am just letting him sit and watch TV instead.

I haven't done any scrapping or anything else this week! I miss my life of leisure!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh dem bones!

Or more to the point, dem muscles!!!!

I mentioned I had a job for the week, well I think it is more like for at least two! I have taken on a one off job of delivering leaflets in March, a neighbouring town. What I didn't mention was that there are 10,000 of them. I asked a friend if she would like to do it with me as I needed somebody with a car to get back and fore. She was really enthusiastic and said it sounded good money for a weeks work. However, she REALLY underestimated the time it would take!

And the other thing is those aching muscles! I thought I have been doing a good job of getting fit. Because I don't drive I either walk, or mostly, cycle. However, walking and cycling regularly do not prepare you for walking almost solidly for 4 to 6 hours a day. The second day I could hardly get out of bed!

It has been getting easier. This morning there is just a little ache but, because I decided to use a bag instead of the trolley for part of it, my back hurts this morning. I should have known better and will not be making that mistake again!

Also, I have been coming home far to tired to concentrate on writing crochet patterns! I have been working on a vest t-shirt and, luckily, have got up to the part where it is just plain trebles until it is long enough. I can do that on auto pilot.

I did manage to get some pics of the French Knickers on Saturday before all this started. So here they are.

The first one shows a semi side/front view so that you can see the way it ties up.

The second one is from the back. The front looks almost the same but I have made the back a little wider.

But sorry folks, you are going to have to wait just a little longer for the pattern!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Finally Finished Frogging!

For those who don't know, frogging is a crochet term used when you undo all your hard work. Its called "Frogging" because you "rip-it, rip-it, rip-it".

I have been working on a Lacy Lingerie set for a few weeks. I made the nightie first, then the G-string, then some French knickers. How I have been cussing those knickers!!!!

The bodice part of the nightie wasn't too bad but did involve some frogging. The lacy skirt part was quite simple, just time consuming, as it was repetitive. Converting to different sizes wasn't so simple. It didn't involve crocheting, just hours spent in front of the puter with a calculator. I have sent copies of the different sizes out to other people who are that size to make. That way, they can try it on to check it fits properly as well as check the patterns works up correctly.

The G-String was small and relatively quick. It also only need to be one size as it just does up on the sides.

But those French Knickers! I have lost count of how many time I frogged them. Last night, I finally got them looking right and have spent most of today writing them up. However, they still need all the ends sewing in and pressing before I can take and edit the pics.

There is no chance of getting eveything together to be online for the weekend as I had hoped. And with next week being half term and I have a job for the week, I am not sure of my chances for the following weekend either!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I have been tagged........

... by Pam

It's a tag with a difference


Here are the rules:

1. You have to post the rules before you give your answers.

2. You must list one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name).

3. After you are tagged, you need to update your blog with your middle name and your answers.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and that they need to read your blog for details.)

Its at times like this you curse your parents for giving you such a long name!!!!

J - Job: Yes, stealing Pams idea cos I can't think of one! I don't have a "proper" job but I am looking for one. However, I design and write crochet patterns which I sell from my web site. Unfortunately, it doesn't make me much money!

A - Ancient: Going to be 45 this month!

N - Nana: I am old enough to be Benjamins Nana!!!!!

E - Emigrated: Well England is abroad when you are Welsh!

T - Textiles: I love working with textiles of all different sorts.

T - Tactile: If I see it, I have to know what it feels like.

E - Enthusiastic: I was trying to think of things for the A-Z journal and Mark asked me what a "Zealot" is. I explained that it was an old religious order but "zealous" also applied to people who were enthusiastic about what they were doing. So he said "Well you can take a picture of you for Z then!"

And now I need 7 people to tag!!!!! Lesley, Fi, Terrie, Ruth, Gemma, Angie, Kerrie.

Monday, February 04, 2008

B is for......

Black Gold.

This is what the soil is known as in the Fens as it is extremely rich. The Fens were completely covered in forest after the Ice Age. As the ice melted the sea rose, flooding the low lying land and killing all the vegetation, which rotted into the swamps to form peat.

Over the centuries the North Sea ebbed and flowed across the Fens, creating "roddons" - wandering waterways whose courses you can still see today - and depositing layers of silt accross the land.

This mixture of peat and silt has created some of the best growing land in the world.

Information is taken from the "Cambridgeshire Fens Visitor & Accomodation Guide".

I also took a photo of the Town Sign while I was out. I plan to use this to make the front cover of the journal when it is finished.

Chatteris is recorded in the Doomsday Book as Cetriz or Cietriz. Both versions are thought to be Norman spelling of the Anglo-Saxon name of Ceatric, whose last syllable "ric" is Old English for a stream. The "stream" would have been the old Bedford Ouse which flowed along the western boundary of Chatteris.

The shield-shaped sign links the links the Bishops of Ely through the crowns. The lower section shows a plough as a symbol of the towns most important industry - farming - and the eels where included as at one time they were used for the payment of taxes.

As you can see from the plaques, the original sign was donated to the town by the WI in 1977, to mark the double celebration of the Queens Silver Jubilee and the Golden anniversary of the WI.

The sign was repainted and repaired in 2004 when the gardens were replaced and the clock was put up.

Information is taken from the "Village Signs of North Cambridgeshire" and "Chatteris - Then and Now".

Friday, February 01, 2008

Look what is growing in my garden!

I love winter bulbs! They really brighten up the place. I planted them for last year but they didn't do so well. I think some of them were a bit deep and the snowdrops were really late. I was a bit disappointed. But Mark said that by this year they would be established and come up better.

And they have! I have crocuses, irises and snowdrops in all my pots. I don't think Mark realised I had planted so many! But I did plant them all at different times as I got them, even during the summer. Some came up straight away and died quickly as they are not meant for warmer weather.

Hopefully, I am going to have bulbs all spring.

And what's more, with my new macro lens I can take great pictures of them. Apart from cropping and resizing, these haven't been edited. The detail is fascinating, I can't wait to get out and use it more.

Also, as a 60mm lens (efl=96mm) I can use it as a portrait lens. Need to practise a bit more on that.

The other thing that is growing in my garden is mushrooms! Mark smuggled home a large log last time he went shooting and made me this new one. It measures 22inches across and is big enough to sit on.

So, with all these bulbs and mushrooms, guess what the calender is?

You can download it as usual from the link on the left.