Monday, January 28, 2008

Drains and Pumping Stations

Mark said he would take me out to take some photos of the Wind Turbines yesterday as the forecast was dry. I wanted some long exposure ones to try to get the effect of the sails going round. Well, yes it was dry but it was also bright and sunny. Absolutely no good for long exposures!!! So I went out on my bike instead!

D is for Drains. Or Dykes. Or Ditches. They seem to be called all three around here equally. This is the Forty Foot Drain, taken from the bridge on Dodington Road.

The second photo is taken along the Forty Foot road.


The Fenlands are below sea level. Until the mid 17th Century, Chatteris was an island. The Romans tried to drain part of it to farm it but it wasn't until 1630 that Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden came along and built the Forty Foot that draining the Fens was successful.

Of course, for all these drains to work, you need Pumping Stations.


Since the Fens were drained the peat areas have shrunk and on avarage the land is 20 feet lower than it was when the Romans farmed it.

Water has to be lifted as much as 7 metres uphill to keep the land dry.

Fenland today is kept dry by numerous Drainage Boards in the North, South and Middle Levels. The pumping staion at Tydd Gote has 6 1200mm pumps, each of which can shift 200 tons of water a minute.

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

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Working Hard!

Honest! I have been!

I have been crocheting and beading like woman posessed! Mind you, most people would say I am like woman possessed anyway. They are far too polite to say what I am possessed with though!

I have almost finished the Lacy lingerie I have been working on.

The Nightie is written (although there is a little more crocheting to be done on that bit) and yesterday evening I finished crocheting the G-string to go with it. I just need to write that bit.

I have also converted the Nightie to the larger size (very brain addling) and found a willing victim to test it. And I have finally found a willing victim for the smaller size so am working on converting that one.

The next job is the French Knickers. And then to get some nice pics!

The pictures you can see are digi layouts of the finished silk paintings. I plan on using them for birthday cards to sell at the opening reception of my exhibition - which seems to be drawing ever closer at an alarmimg speed.

Still, things are going at a steady pace for it.

But it isn't all work! I have joined in with a project on the UKS site to build an A-Z Photographic Journal of where I live. As Chatteris isn't exactly a huge place, I am expanding it to the Fens as well, although I will be keeping as close to Chatteris as possible. For the moment, I am just keeping a notebook full of possibilities for photo shoots!

What this space for the results!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Atelier East presents

Neville Palmer - Digital Graphics
and other recent work.
An Exhibition at the Angles Theatre, Wisbech, Cambs.

February’s exhibition at the Angles Theatre, one of a continuing series curated by Atelier East, will feature digital graphics by Neville Palmer. For many years a sculptor and a painter, this new digital work is part of a relatively recent exploration for the artist and forms the major part of his first solo exhibition in Wisbech since 1981.

We are very excited to be able to show the work of Neville Palmer here in Wisbech. His attention to detail is phenomenal and his use of colour is beautiful. If you have an interest in visual arts of any kind then it would be really worth your while to view this exhibition. Neville Palmer’s work allows you to look at things differently; you can look at one of his pieces for ages and it is amazing how your visual perception of depth alters as you notice the difference in the way that the colour and form interweave. – Karen Harvey, Atelier East.

The exhibition opens on Sunday 3rd February with a reception from 6-8pm and continues until Friday 29 February and further information about the artist can be found online at

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.

The January Sale exhibition is going well. It is on until FEB 1st. There are still lots of bargains to be had from some great artists, lovely individual pieces of art would make great gifts, especially with Valentines Day coming up, and its all for a good cause- our lovely local theatre!

For more information on exhibitions at the Angles Theatre contact

Monday, January 21, 2008


Where did last week go? It just seems to be going so fast. Or is it just because I am getting older? I know Lesley would say "Yes!"

Another Zoom!

I gave Mark a Rally Driving afternoon for Christmas. I booked it for the first available day I could, which happened to be last Saturday. I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing as I didn't get him anything he asked for. But he seemed to enjoy it!

The first pic is of him racing around the track and the second is of him getting out of the car just as he had finished.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Beads, Beads, Beads!

I have been beading and crocheting like mad! I have finished beading my 3 magnolia paintings. Now they need mountaing abd backing. Next I have to start on the 2 lilies. I have some others with the beading finished, also needing mounting and backing. I was thinking of doing some today but, after a shopping trip to Tesco, I have managed to pull a muscle in my back! My family eat too much!

I have got the jpegs and "blurb" off to Karen (but not heard if it is right yet). Next job is to create a flyer/invite for her. Its all go!

Here are the Poppies. I love the colours on these and have tried to use both the stitching and beading a bit more creatively.

I have a huge stash of seed beads. I tend to buy old or cheap jewellery and then take them apart. Its amazing what you can find in charity shops!



These are the dolphins. This one is totally different from the others.

I painted the rainbow stripes on the silk then cut dolphin shapes from dark fabric and put them between the silk and the backing. Then I quilted around the dolphin shapes.

This is a sort of shadow applique.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What have I done?????

I do some daft things occasionally. Ok, more than occasionally!!!!! This time, I am wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Last September I agreed to do a one man exhibition of my silk paintings in April 2008. I thought that, although I had a whole load of stuff on up to Christmas, that I would have plenty of time after Christmas to get it sorted. Last week it suddenly dawned on me that I have 2½ months to get enough stuff together. Big time Panic!!!!!

Plus I have to get jpegs in of my work (which isn't made yet) and some "blurb" about me to go with it.

However, after digging to the bottom of the wardrobe, I found a few things. I also have 2 finished from ages ago.

This one is my Sunflowers. It is the first one I ever did. I joined a class in 2001 at the end of the course and was presented with a huge frame (as all the "more experienced" class members had taken the smaller ones) and told to paint it. I actually enjoyed it once I started, not having painted anything for a long time it felt good to have a brush in my hand again.

When it was finished I had to back it and mount it. Not knowing quite what to do with it, I quilted it, beaded it and made it into a wall hanging.

It measures 125cm from pole to pole and the small picture is a close up of the beading.

Then I had the "bug". Being a single Mum of a 3 year old, I had to organise my own Christmas pressie. So I went to a local craft shop and almost paid for a silk painting kit. I then sent Benjamin in on his own with the £2 balance and he "bought" it for me.

Of course, I never got to use it. Too many other things to do in too little time. It wasn't until I met my dearest and he bought me a frame for my birthday that I was able to do some more.

This one is a pink flower and is mounted on a wooden frame. The painting is wrapped around so that the picture carries on around the sides.






It measures 41cm x 34 cm and, as you can see, I was a bit more adventurous with the beading.

I will be posting more pictures of my work as I do it - hopefully!

The exhibition is going to be at the Angles Theatre in Wisbech. They hold a different one every month and I have now been put on the press mailing list so I can tell you all about them. There is currently a January Sale" one on. The Theatre is open all day Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings for you to look. It is also open in the evenings of there is a show on.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hidden Journalling Notebook

I was shown how to make this little notebook a few years ago and, on finding it at the bottom of my craft drawer, decided to share it. The photos aren't great as I was playing with my new lens and I didn't take a whole lot of time over editing as I wanted to get it done!

Step 1
Cut two strips of paper, one patterned and one plain. They can be any size you would like but must be 8 times as long as they are wide and the plain one should be a little smaller than the patterned one.

Step 2
Fold the plain piece into 8 equal sections. Each one should be a square.
This is the pages for your book.


Repeat for the patterned piece but fold all the creases both ways. Then make the additional folds, again folding both ways.

Step 3
Lay the patterned piece flat on the table with the right side up.


Step 4

Fold at fold 1



Step 5
Fold at fold 2





Step 6
Turn the whole thing over.


Step 7
Fold at fold 3





Step 8
Fold at fold 5.



Step 9
Fold at fold 4 and tuck the flap under.




Step 10
Turn the whole thing around and repeat steps 4 to 9 for the other side.
This is the cover for your book.


Step 11
Turn the cover over and place the plain piece as shown in the picture.









Step 12
Slide the end squares of the pages into the cover and fold in half.

If you would like a pdf version of these instructions, you can download it here.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Pattern Finished

Oooh! I am all excited! I have finally finished my latest pattern!!!!!

As you can see, its very festive. A range of 5 Christmas frames for scrapbooking. Somebody did comment that it is a bit late for Christmas but, if I know Scrappers, its just at the right time. I bet we all have loads of Christmas pics just waiting to be scrapped.

And if you want either the pattern or some of the Christmas frames for free, enter the competition. Just click on the flashing button over there <<<< to find out how to enter.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Competition Time!

Want some of my crocheted frames and motifs for free?

I am hosting a scrapbooking competition for you to get some!

You don't need to buy anything to enter. There are two categories for Paper and Digital entries with prizes for each.

Just click on the flashing button on the left to download a pdf with full details of prizes and how to enter.