Monday, March 31, 2008


As promised yesterday, here are the pics of the third silk in the set, Autumn.

As with the others it is 23 cm square.
And as you can probably see by now, I have tried to keep the quilting as much the same as possible on them all.

I used a rust coloured backing fabric to get the warm glow of autumn.
I used a variety of gold, brown, root beer and irridescant amber for the leaves.
I left quite a lot of the twigs bare to try to get the effect of the leaves falling off.

Then I put some dotted about as if falling off the tree.
And loads on the grass.
There are about 300 beads on this one.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

April Calendar

Between the frenzied activity in getting ready for the exhibition and the dreadful weather, I haven't had much chance to go out and take something new for Aprils Calendar.

So, as so many of you like this one, I decided to use it!

I finished Autumn this morning. Pics tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Its not all beading!

I hate the finishing off.

All the little bits that need doing to make things look presentable. The boring bits.

When I started doing this, Mark thought I had got bored with the beading. But, the truth is, I really don't want all the finishing off left until last.

Mark made me all the frames.

Here they are stacked against the unit waiting to be used.

They all need sanding before I can use them.

I "sew" the silks on.

This gives me the flexibility to move them into the right place and the ability to pull the thread tighter to stretch the silk to its maximum.

When the silk is in the right position and tightened, the corners need trimming and stitching into place.

To make the backs, I draw around the frame then iron all the folds in place, just inside the lines.

Then I sew on my very own "Designer" label. It's amazing what you can do with t-shirt transfers!

The backs are pinned in place. When they are all done, I will take them back down the shed for Mark to use his compressed air staple gun to attach them on firmly.

Friday, March 28, 2008


I have finished Winter.

Its all mounted and backed and here are the pics to prove it!
Again, it is 23cm square with relatively simple stitching and beading.

I used white fabric behind the silk to give the colours a washed out feel.
And irridescant clear beads for snow.

With just a few snowflakes to finish it off.
There are over 600 beads on this one and over 400 on Spring.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

J is for Jubilee Gardens.

I decided to take some time out from beading and edit some of those pics I took weeks ago.

Jubilee Gardens are at the end (or the beginning depending on which way you come in) of Chatteris High Street.





I haven't been able to find out much about them. All I know is that the original gardens were built in 1977 to celebrate the Queens Silver Jubilee and housed the original Town Sign.



The Gardens were re-vamped in 2004 when the lovely clock was put up and the Town Sign repainted.

If anybody knows anything else, I would love to hear it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


While the weather may not know it, it is Spring!

And here is the first of my Four Seasons - Spring.
It is only small, 23 cm square, which means the beading has to be kept relatively simple.
The fabric behind the silk is a sort of minty/limey green. Nice and bright to convey the freshness of spring.

I embroidered the twigs on the tree, attaching the leaves as I went.
I used the thread double to make it stand out and two different coloured green beads.

I then used one of the colours from the tree and yellow beads to make primroses.
I finished Winter last night but that needs mounting before I take any pictures.
I can do that this afdternoon while waiting for the Tesco delivery!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Self Portrait.

I hate doing these!

But one of the papers wanted a photo of me with my work, so......

I decided to kill two birds with one stone and model the new top I have been working on for a new pattern - when I finished all this beading!

Think it will do?

In answer to the comments..........

Yes, this is one of the hangings that will be in the exhibition and I hope to sell them all!

It was the Peterborough Evening Telegraph that asked for the photo. However, Karen sends press releases which include photos of my work to all the local papers.

Look out for them!


I used this photo as inspiration for one of my silk paintings.

I took this during the OU course and was amazed at the detail when I blew it up to pixel size in PSE.

You can see all the individual dew drops.

The painting was done a little differently to usual. I didn't use any gutta.

I wanted the stitching and beading to be the main focus.

I used water to lighten the sepals and salt to ad texture to the background.

There was a LOT of sewing! I added the brown seeds first.

Then I added the fluffy seed heads in white.

I regreted doing so many seeds when it came to adding the seed heads.

And, of course, lots of seed heads meant lots of beads. I used irridescant clear beads to represent the dew.

The finished picture is 38 cm square.

I was thinking about counting the beads.

For a very brief moment!!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Snow today, gone tomorrow!

Well, almost!

We didn't get a White Christmas but we did get a White Easter. I went out while it was till snowing and took the first two photos.

I should have put a coat on because I came in wet and very cold!







When it stopped snowing I went out for a walk to take some more.






The weather had warmed up and the snow was melting really quickly.





The sun came out in the afternoon and it was all gone by tea time

At least the children had time to build some snowmen!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Would you believe it? Snow for Easter Sunday!

I did go out to take some pics but am not entirely happy with them so will go back out later. However, I might just cheat and do one from the bedroom window.

I finally found some time yesterday morning to do a little blog hopping on the Blog-a-thon thread on UKS. There are some great blogs out there! I love the ideas and feel some scraplifts coming on - when I have time to scrap!!!!

I have also made a new page to advertise my up coming Exhibition. Its only 2 weeks away now and I am alternating between excitment and that "What on earth have I got myself into?" feeling.

If you want to see it, click on the pink thing over there <<<<<.

I have quilted all four of the seasons. The idea is for the quilting to be the same and use the beads to convey the season - along with the backing fabric to convey the mood of the season. Of course, they are not exactly the same as "hand made" means "similar" and not "identical"!

These are Autumn and Winter. I finished beading Spring last night but want to wait until it is mounted on the frame before I take a photo.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Results are up!

Well, I passed the OU course. Not particularly well but at least it was a pass. I was hoping to do better.

My new beads arrived ........ and I have been bidding on more.

The new ones give me a complete set of rainbow colours in round 11/0 seed beads.

The ones I am bidding on are a smaller version of the silver lined glass ones I have used on this Rainbow. This is going to be my signature on all my silk paintings. I rather like the effect of the glass rainbow but the amethyst beads are a bit dark so the new set have lavender instead.

I am now working on a set of the four seasons. I painted one long piece of silk all the same coulours the cut it into four pieces. It is surprising how different colour fabrics behind the silk can change the whole mood of the picture. I am trying to make the quilting on each one as much the same as possible and am using the backing fabric and the beads to convey the mood of the seasons.

I should be on the machine quilting them now but, as I have an interview in 15 mins, I have major butterflies and don't trust myself on the sewing machine. It is only for a "Dinner Lady" at Benjamins school but it will means some much needed cash if I get it. And there is the bonus of the school being in the same street as my home and all school holidays off!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A is for Abbey

I have finally got around to editing the photos for my A-Z photo journal. I took these about 3 weeks ago.

The following text comes from the sign which is shown here

Chatteris Abbey was founded by Bishop Aednoth of Dorchester (previously Abbot of Ramsey) between 1007 and 1016. His sister, Aelfwen became the first Abbess. The Abbots of Ely and Ramsey gifted two Chatteris manors to the Abbey in 1086. At first the Abbey was relatively poor because it lacked a royal founder. It is the poorest of the eight nunneries mentioned in the Domesday Book. Even so, abbey lands became sufficiently widespread during the 12th and 13th centuries to need three manorial courts, Chatteris, Foxton and Barley. The courts employed estate managers, stewards, bailiffs and rent collectors. Income also came from churches, tithes and legacies. Gifts, for example 'a weight of cheese', w6ne part ,of the conditions of entry for a novice. Transportation of goods such as grain from the Abbey's mills was often by boat. By 1535 the Abbey was valued at £97.3s.4d.

Henry I gave the Bishop of Ely rights over the Abbey in the early 12th century. Succeeding bishops exercised their spiritual authority over the nunnery by overseeing the election of professing nuns and abbesses.

The island settlement of Caeteric (Ceto - a wood and Ric - a river) already existed when the Abbey was founded near the centre. The additional economic activity encouraged the development of the village. The Abbey building would have contained bedchambers for the residents and guests, a dormitory, cellarer's room, three butteries, a bake house, a brew house, kitchen, hall, frater, fish house, granary, barns, chapter house and infirmary. There would also have been carts, farm implements and livestock. The Abbey Church had a choir, two aisles, a vestry and a steeple. It was probably called St Mary's and the townspeople used the south aisle. Sometime between 1306 and 1310 a fire destroyed the Church and manorial goods stored there. It was rebuilt and consecrated in 1352. There were eleven nuns, including the Abbess, when the Abbey was dissolved in 1538.

Some buildings were converted into Park House, which the Gascoyne family acquired and extended in the 17th century. In the mid 18th century the fish house and granary were still intact. However, by 1819 only a few walls remained and Park House was demolished in 1847. Walls marked on the Ordnance Survey map are not original, but were built of ragstone and quoins from the ruins.

Original stones are incorporated into buildings in London Road and the sidewall of 24 Victoria Street.


Information from Chatteris museum says that Park House fell into disrepair early in the 19th century and was finally demolished in 1847. The house was last lived in by the Seymour family, the stone was used to build Seymour Place in London Road.

The "Chatteris Town Walk" leaflet also tells you that some of the stones are built into this gateway.

Now that I can post again.........

I have been working hard on my silk paintings. I actually have 5 wall hangings all done and ready for Mark to make the poles. And I have 6 finished ready for Mark to make the frames.

Here are my Lilies. I actually have 3 different versions of this one. This is the wall hanging and there are two smaller ones which will be on frames.

I was planning on different shades of orange beads on the petals to give the speckled, shaded effect of lilies. But I didn't have the right colours and it looked awful. I ended up unpicking the the other colours and leaving it like this. Mark said too many beads would hide the painting on the petals anyway.

These are the magnolia. I have no idea why I did them so pink!!!! However, the pink goes well with the creams of the flowers.


I used bronze, gold and amber beads to shade the petals with various green ones on the leaves and pink ones on the background.

Again, I have three different versions of this one, a wall hanging and two smaller ones for frames.


The other thing I have done is to sew some rainbows in beads on the dolphins.

Then Mark said I should put them on all of my painting as signature. Of course, this meant buying more beads. I can't use the ones for the dolphins, they were plastic and bigger than the glass ones I have used for the others. Although they suit the dolphins perfectly, they would look cheap on the others against the glass beads.

So I went shopping on eBay again. I found someone even cheaper than last time! Her postage is cheaper and her beads start off at 35p for 20g. The disadvantage is that you have to bid on them rather than buy-it-now but, at that price, its worth the wait. I put in a max bid on the ones I wanted for £1, the same price as the others, and waited. I ended up getting all four packs for £4.20 inc postage.

I am now waiting, very impatiently, for them to come!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I want an Orrery!!!!!

For those who don't know, "Orrery" is the proper name for those models of the solar system. It doesn't have to be a whole nine planet one, just where a planet goes around the sun or moons go around the planet. The name ORRERY comes from the Fourth Earl of Orrery, he was a patron of George Graham, who built the first mechanical model of the solar system in England, in 1700.


They have fascinated me since childhood and the one that is advertised on TV at the moment has sparked it off all over again.

Of course, over £300 is an awful lot to pay for one. Especially as I don't have any cash at the moment, let alone £300 to spare.

However, Mark, the lovely man that he is, has said he can make me one. The snag is, he needs plans. Unfortunately, proper model engineering plans can not found for love nor money at the moment. I have found lots of picture though, of some really stunning ones!

Finally we found somebody selling scans of them on eBay, but how acurate or detailed these are remains to be seen. Mark won them for the princely price of £2. I also found this!

And yes, I do realise the doing it this way, especially including the cost of the tools, will probably be more expensive. But he is paying and it will give him something to keep him out of trouble.