Monday 28 December 2009

Help Needed

Thanks for all your good wishes. My mind was mushy too, JP, so decided that the only thing to do was to make something. Unfortunately at the moment I am focused on that which I should not be focused, Doreen. I should concentrate on the home front today, as we need a new rug. I was going to venture out to the sales but it's so cold, Dale ( for UK ) and snow is forecast. So I went online instead and purchased this one. On my plain terrcotta carpet I think it will be OK.


Glad you got the book, Gill. Don't forget to join the free classes.

I am looking forward to some time to stitch, Gina but I was better before we started the festivities. Now it is officially 'twixtmas' - according to our local paper - and I am feeling rather lazy. Went for a huge walk this morning and haven't felt warm since!

We had a lovely Christmas and on Boxing Day (the proper one, not this bank holiday nonsense) we took the whole family to Frankie and Bennys. It was great and we all chose non Chrimo food, as you can see from youngest GC, shown here colliding with a plate of spag bol!

I honestly think it wasn't much more expensive than buying in all the stuff and cooking it - although I did make two posh puddings and we had those at home afterwards.

Now, to business. I need help with an article I am writing on on-line learning for Workbox magazine. I want to include as much free stuff (on blogs etc) as poss, along with reasonably priced internet courses and the more expensive C&G options. Can you give me some ideas, please? I have a few give-aways of useful materials (I am cupboard clearing) for the best ones.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Happy Thingy

Just a quick blog to wish you the whatsits of the season. My brain has turned to mush in the frantic pre-Christmas attempt to remember everything. Now I can't remember anything - hence the title.

Not much time to be creative today but yesterday was great - we got marooned on our hill. It rained and then froze solid and the roads were like ice rinks, so we decided to leave the food shopping and have a lazy day. I started to look through some books to stir up some design ideas.
Wessex Textiles, the group I belong to, is exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching shows this year so I needed to get going. We decided that, rather than choose a single inspiration, we would celebrate the fact that our individual work is so varied and call our exhibition Not Set in Stone. We will all work to our separate themes and mine will be called Inscribed Landscapes. Some of the work I've been doing on the Australian rock art will be in it and, thanks to yesterday's browsing, I'm going to have a Buddha or two. These are also rock paintings, from the Chinese province of Xinjiang, and I've worked on them before. Always good to stretch a design source to the max.

I have an idea that they might be heavily machined faces, sort of wrapped around and slightly above a base - in this case a map of their location. Started on that already using my lovely Mulberry Silks threads. I'm doing some of this technique - see above - in Italy when I teach there in May.

Today I sneaked a little time to do a pastel drawing of a Buddha face in close up. White pastel on black surface and then a litte colour. I used tinted charcoal pencils for the details.


Having seen an amazing exhibition by Julia Polonski which mixed pattern with drawing, I stamped over his face with Distress Ink and a rubber stamp with a wheel, which seemed fitting.


Then a little more pastel to merge it in.


Hope to use the Christmas break to get on with this so might have some stitching to show you.

In the meantime you'll be glad to hear that we did eventually get to the shops and have a massive turkey and all the trimmings.
Have a wonderful Christmas - see you later.

Saturday 19 December 2009

A Pear in a PartridgeTree

I am back from a few days at Urchfont College in Wiltshire. A group of us meet up several times a year to explore new avenues of stitch and it is always such a great time. This time I didn't get much done as I was so tired, but the rest has done the trick and now I am raring to go. The food is always wonderful there but this time they excelled themselves and our Christmas dinner was truly delicious. We had a separate small dining room and played Christmas music on my iphone. It was great fun, especially the Health and Safety note in the crackers - a bit late after they'd been pulled. I left a little early as snow was forecast but no such luck, although it is bitterly cold here - for England!

Remember the pear in the last blog? Here is the finished piece - a pear in a partridge tree.



My daughter gave me a family photo tree but I hadn't got around to adding the photos so this is a seasonal conversion. Looks very Christmassy on the mantlepiece.


It was lovely using my Mulberry Silk threads on the brightly coloured carrier rods. With regard to splitting them, I usually soak them for a few minutes in cold water and then flex them. Finally I try to find a flaky bit along the edge. I don't like them too thin and the ones shown here were just peeled in half - no soaking needed.
I left Smudge with Clive when I was away, something of a risk as he is always more wicked than usual in my absence. He usually goes down to daughter Claire, but this time he was fine and they did some male bonding. So now he no longer sits with me, preferring male company.
He is still bad, though and has developed a nasty habit of tormenting my neighbour's (very well behaved) dog until it pushes through the hedge. He then bolts through the cat flap and comes in shouting, 'Dog! Dog in the garden, go and tell it off!' Spiteful, I'd say.

Monday 14 December 2009

Pears and Partridges - a mini blog

I have so much work to do that I have rebelled and turned to displacement activities. Inspired by my lovely silk thread from Mulberry silks I am into a hand-stitching phase. What will these components turn into?
As you can see they are made from a fabric built up by straight stitching split carrier rods to felt. Then shapes are cut out and embellished with simple hand stitching.

This one is strangely pear shaped.


While these resemble stylised partridges. What can be the significance? Seasonal, perhaps?.

All will be revealed in a day or two.

Monday 7 December 2009

The Party

Thanks to all those who commented or sent messages about the new Workshop on the Web format Great to know that you're all so delighted with it.

I think that I have blogged about our charity party every year since I started blogging. It is really an ex C&G event and it began twenty-seven years ago when Yvonne Morton first started teaching the creative embroidery C&G course in a village hall near Christchurch, Dorset.

Sadly there is no longer a local C&G running but the party continues and my Beyond Stitch group are currently the ones organising it, in particular Maureen Beale. We choose a local charity (this year it was the Youth Cancer Trust who give young people with cancer fabulous holidays and a support group for when they go home), organise a speaker and traders and everyone who buys a ticket brings something fabulous to eat.

On Saturday we had Sue Chapman as a speaker and she was great. She brought along so much work for us to see. We also had the bag challenge competition and a mini exhibition of work from anyone who cared to bring a piece along. Where are the pics, you ask? The answer is that I forgot the ****** camera! I am hoping that someone else took some so you may yet get to see them. I am so cross as the work was excellent. If all else fails, I'll get Beyond Stitch to bring their bags in and show them to you then.

It really was a lovely day and we were all exhausted but we made lots of money for our good cause and had a really good time. The tickets are like gold dust as the hall only holds about sixty people and we think we'll lose the special atmosphere if we move. i reckon we could sell them on ebay!

Anyway here is a lovely pic for you. I treated myself to some Mulberry Silks threads as I am doing lots of hand stitching. The medium weight silk is lovely to use. Thye are all wrapped up in ribbons.

I can understand why Jean Littlejohn used to run counsellimg classes for those who can't bear to open them - they look so pretty in the pack. Here's the website for those who lust after them, as I do, Must go now - I can hear them calling!

Monday 30 November 2009

Out and About

It's been a while and I'd like to plead pressure of work but, actually, I've been out and about doing pre-Christmas things. We spent a night in Windsor on the way back from a business meeting. The Travel Lodge is right in the town centre so we had a lovely meal (arrived mid-evening) and shopped the next day. Then went and walked along the Thames - great weekend.



I'll draw a veil over the lunches with various groups, suffice to say that I'm on a strict diet! Yesterday I went to London to meet up with two friends and we took in the Columbia Road flower market. It was wonderfully colourful, as you can see - love the leaves on these cyclamen. Great design source. I can honestly say that I have never been so wet - it rained, it hailed, it sleeted and we were wet right through to our underclothes. And frozen! When we got back to friend one's house we had to borrow clothes while ours were put in the dryer. Lovely to catch up with everyone's news.



These are photos of the birth of a lake. It is sited next to an existing lake very close to our house. Although so close we only discovered it fairly recently as it is well hidden and seems to be kept a secret. We see exciting birds there - great crested grebes, widgeon, tufted ducks and lots of herons and cormorants. they are making an enormous new lake next to this one.


Here is the stage they are at with the new lake. It will be filled in January if the rain doesn't beat them to it. I'll take pics when it is done.


Tomorrow is exciting as it is the first issue of the new, combined, Workshop on the Web and Quiltwow mags. Here's a pic from Jan Beaney's article - she's got some great ideas.

Having a catch-up day at home today.

HDD - It was a little mall linking the main road with a back road leading to the big West Quay development. Don't know the name but it was really pretty.

Pauline - I shall have to find the loo app. Need that one to go nationwide. My favourite one is 'Sleeps to Christmas' (always reminds me of Doreen). As well as playing a carol and counting down the sleeps, it also plays sleigh bells when you shake the iphone.

Thanks to all for mentions of Harrogate on blogs.

Friday 20 November 2009

Up and Running

Back to normal at last with Broadband. Boy, do you miss it when it's gone.

Heather – Yes, I think Sue Rangeley’s work is wonderful. Her drawings and fashion sketches are so very good and we’ve angled the book to show how she moves from inspiration, through studio work to sampling and finished pieces. Then there is a section to show the techniques in detail. There is an excitement about Isobel’s book too, but I will wait until I’ve met up with her next week to tell you about that.

Had such a giggle about the book on the Amazon, JP. Hope it had enough in the way of pics to be an inspiration.

I’m still enjoying card making for the WoW gift subs. Sometimes the simplest things work really well – this one is just a hand stitched strap made from silk carrier rods with some couching and a metallic leaf.


We are having new furniture in our sitting room and the mess and work this has generated is quite unbelievable. Emptying drawers, taking the cast-off furniture to the kids and getting rid of the spiders and cobwebs that had been lurking behind the bookcases, has taken ages.

I hope to bring you photos of my new look living room in the next post. The sofas aren’t coming until after Christmas – just as well with all the GCs trampling about.

I left Clive to it yesterday and went out with my girls for a spot of Christmas shopping in Southampton. Always fun when we get together and we found lots of good pressies. I forgot my camera and had to use the iphone for these festive wintry shots.
Not bad for a camera phone and very easy to transfer to my laptop.

I am loving my iphone even more than I thought I would. Have had a lot of fun in the app store – more on that later. Best of all is that I can now have Spotify – the music streaming site – playing on my iphone dock (I have these all over the house). You have to pay for the premium service. I already had the free version on my laptop but it’s a hassle carrying it around. Figure I will save money on itunes, though.

Did anyone go to Harrogate K&S? I don’t do that one but would love to hear how it’s going.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Almost Here

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm much better now. New Sue Rangeley book out in January and we'll hopefully have one from Isobel Hall, too. There is a rumour that she might do free classes. Fingers crossed.

Well, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, as the song says. We lost our broadband connection this week – first time in about ten years, so I guess we’ve been lucky. Don’t you just miss it? It’s not properly back yet – all the companies blaming each other, of course. I can only get on line on the laptop with wi-fi. I’ve had to use it in some strange places around the house and I think we’ll draw a veil over the episode in the downstairs loo. That was the only place it worked at one point. I’m at my desk in a quite normal situation at the moment but this will be a short post in case it goes again.

What a great excuse to buy an iphone. I’ve wanted one for ages and it’s so exciting. I can get on-line with it – yesterday I even got my emails but today I can’t. Will investigate tomorrow. It even works on the docking station although they said it wouldn’t.

I’m busy making cards for Workshop on the Web’s gift subscription scheme. If given as a pressie, the recipient gets a hand-made card and the subscription details and the giver get an extra issue of WoW. Anyone interested get in touch with

I love making cards – do you like my mulberry bark angels with tassel skirts? Good to do some fun hand stitching in the evening.

Must go now in case it disappears – quit while you are ahead I reckon. Back soon.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Bouncing Back

I've not had a good week. A gum infection left me crumpled on the sofa for most of the week and not only was it painful but I looked like something from a Sci-Fi film. Half human, half hamster!
The dentist sorted me out with some antbiotics and now it's much better.
Two things have cheered me up - the first was the fact that we decided it was a good excuse to light our new wood-burner. Curling up and watching the flames was great, although a little too hot. At least this time we didn't have to open the patio doors.

The second up-cheerer was the Yahoo group that links everyone doing our free d4daisy online classes. They've been turning out some really good stuff. Here is Doreen's piece from Lynda Monk's workshop.

This one is by Thelma from my lesson. Books were the linking theme and Lynda's 'mystery ingredient' gave lovely results.

Now one from Heather - love that binding. More will be shown and the next lesson is due soon.

I have managed to do some work. The next d4daisy book is by Sue Rangeley. Her work is breathtaking, based on nature. She starts by showing where she finds inspiration and then goes on through the studio proccesses to the finished piece. Here is a little taster on a rose theme.
First the drawing.

Then a detail of one of the pieces.

I think it will be a great book and the pics have cheered me up no end. I hope to be back in full stitching mode next week.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

I'm a bag lady

I've been working on the bag lady challenge for our charity Christmas party. This is a very exclusive affair which started off as a City & Guilds Christmas party, then became a party for all those who studied C&G at our tiny hall in Christchurch, Dorset. This is why it is exclusive as we won't move to a bigger venue and there are always disappointed people who can't get in. The hall is an ordinary village hall but it is right on the estuary of the rivers Stour and Avon and the views are fabulous. It's a wonder we ever got any work done.

We have a speaker (who we manage to persuade to take a pittance in fees), some excellent traders, a competition, raffle etc. but best of all is the lunch. Everyone brings a dish and they all give their all in the making of it. We choose a local charity, this year it is the Youth Cancer Trust who have a hotel near us for teenage sufferers and they give them such a good time. They have too many requests so need to extend and we hope we can help a little.

So, it's the best of all worlds - a great party for a good cause. This year's challenge is to make a bag. (I do hope the term bag lady isn't too non PC for you. My grandchildren told me yesterday that they are not allowed to use the term 'brainstorming' any more as it is not fair to the metally ill.) We were given a pattern - a rectangle of paper which has to be turned ingto a bag. We can add or subtract bits and do anything we like to embellish it. Sue Chapman, our speaker, will have the terrible job of judging it on the day. Here is the pattern.

Here are my ingredients.

Some straps and the background - felt, with Kim T's wonderful dots ironed on.

I love these straps - here is a close up.

What will it be? I shall show you after the party on December 5th but the clue is octopus.

We also have to make gift boxes which we will sell. This is the shape.

Some of the group have made loads but I haven't made one yet. I shall do it at the weekend - honestly girls, I will.

Tuesday 20 October 2009


Heather - you and me both, when it comes to messy demos. Both Carol and Lynda looked immaculate. I just lived in my pinny at Ally Pally.

One for Aussie Jo - this is the Alice Kettle piece I fell in love with. It will be so exciting if you come over here and you must come to the K&S. Pity it's not next year.

Hi Genie and Jac - hope you've found the free classes at I do enjoy the Yahoo group, especially when the pics start coming in.

Softsculpt - in the States try Meinke Toy or

Oh Blomman - what a shame. Do come and see us next year when I'll be one of the exhibitors.

I just been for some R&R at Urchfont Manor College. I belong to a group that meet there - we don't have a dedicated tutor but take it in turns to present ideas to the group. This time we did silk paper, which we all grumbled about - been there, done that etc. But when we got going we had such a good time and everyone had lovely pieces. I discovered new things to do with Carrier Rods - first setting them in a thin layer of silk.

Then I painted it when it was dry - needs ironing but you get the idea.


I then discovered that the silk half-bricks sold by Oliver Twists (wonderful colours) were hollow. Can't really tell here -my pics are not great today - pushed for time.


I pushed a piece of polythene into the middle and wet the rest with wallpaper paste. It turned into a bag - eventually. It took ages to dry, but I can't wait to stitch into it.



The weekend was lovely and I made myself stay in bed longer than my usual 6am and the food, of course, was great.


I feel so much better now and that's just as well as ....Ta Da..... the boy is back. He's spent the summer with my daughter as we were away so much. He seems so glad to be home but I'm afraid that Stevens is under the sofa looking fed-up.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

The Show

Back from Ally Pally. It was so good to see you all and put names to faces. Sorry you couldn't make the show, Heather. Here's a tiny flavour - lots more in my review for December WoW.

Sorry but I only do London, JP. Next year Wessex Textiles, the group I exhibit with, have one of the group exhibition slots so I might make it up north for that. If I manage to get any work done!

Have been working flat out since we got back - mostly admin but also putting the final touches to the free distance learning classes that go with the Stitches, Straps and Layers book. Carol and Lynda have classes with their Stitching the Textured Surface book too and I am setting up a new, joint Yahoo group for all the classes. Should be great fun and I hope to see you all there.

I've found a new way of combining the Model Magic/Model Soft compound with fabric. Such fun. That will be one of my lessons on the course.

The show was super - the exhibitions, especially were wonderful. Sensory overload with so much good stuff.

Cindy Hickok's made me laugh so much. Such witty ideas. I love all these 'people' rushing in the door and the cardboard cut-outs of Cindy and Doyle were an inspired touch. Here's a special one for the Brits - a cup of tea.
One of the stitched pieces made me howl - it was a study of Lautrec's prostitutes - all portrayed with colourful pies and the title was 'Tarts'.


Alice Kettle's collaboration with Alex McErlain and Helen Falcey was a real talking point. I love this jug, scratched into by Alice. She was showing some amazong head studies but they were glazed and not good for photos. Alice has promised to send me photos so I will include them in the review.


We did well with the book selling and Carol and Lynda drew crowds with their demos from their book. It was such fun watching them - here is Carol in action. They really made the show for me.


Must rush away now - more on the show later in the week.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

Come to the Knitting and Stitching Show

Phew! It's manic here. Trying to pack for the K&S but life keeps getting in the way. Exciting news is that, on Friday, Lynda Monk and Carol McFee will be on the stand (TGE6) demonstrating techniques from their book ‘Stitching the Textured Surface’. This will happen at 11.30 and 2.30. More on that later.

Jo - What luck to get a bursary. We heard from Jae that the book was going well in Oz and it has certainly done well here.

Smudge's return can't come too soon Heather, as our next door neighbour's son has come home to live (like lots of other kids in this recession) and brought his three cats with him. They are lovely (just out of the kitten stage, but still playful) but they love our garden and have terrorised Stevens. One of them tried to come in the catflap and, due to Steve repelling all boarders, it has now broken. It was set into the double glazed doors and was very expensive. Stevens now spends her time with just her head sticking out of the remains, waiting until the coast is clear for a quick pee.

Ann, thanks for the copyright info. Will look into that later.

Back to the show. I always demo on the stand and this year I am working on techniques for one of the online classes that are free with the Stitches, Straps and Layers book (details on It's going to be based on extending the ideas in my Digital Humanity piece. Detail below.



This uses such exciting items as black rubbish bags, tomato puree tubes, Model Soft and, of course, water-soluble paper. The secret is in the glazes. Here is 'one I prepared earlier', waiting to be enhanced at the show. Not a good pic - had to use flash as no time to play with lights.

The work is based on the Beowulf story of the monster Grendel and his mum, using imagery from the Lewis chess set. My drawings of Grendel make him look fierce but his angry parent keeps turning out looking mumsy. The last drawing even had eyelashes! I'm working on it.

I hope to make a couple of finished pieces at the show, so do come and see us.

Off to make the bed for the cat sitter. Her last visit this year - hooray. I love to be home-based and there is nothing like going away to make you appreciate it.

Monday 28 September 2009

The Coincidence Debate

Hi Everyone

Many thanks for all the comments and for being so on-side. I have got over the need to rant now, but it did help. I found your answers very thought provoking - as always.

Doreen - I do think your comment was great and your experience, I'm afraid, is fairly typical. I have had people come on my courses and say 'I must write it all down so I can show the girls when I get back'.

Love stitching red (welcome to WoW, by the way) is right when she says it's unfair to those who subscribe. That's just what I feel.

Beverley and Wabbit's stories about their idea appearing elsewhere are very similar to mine - I'm sure that it makes us ahead of the game but it has taught me never to assume that copying is deliberate as it does happen. When I edited Embroidery magazine, I was often approached by people asking me to publish an article on their latest technique to 'prove' that they had thought of it first. I don't think your friend is correct about that Wabbit - sounds like the old copyright myth about copying trademarks (just change three things) that was dispelled in the courts.

So glad you enjoyed the talk Sue. Your branch is lovely and it makes a real difference, when giving a talk, to have such a responsive audience.

Ruth - yes, photos are another headache, aren't they? I do sympathise. It does make people more inclined to hide work at the development stage, I think.

Fibrenell - I think your experience is even worse than mine. How can people be so shameless?

Thanks for the support, AJ. It doesn't matter how many times you download if you are a subscriber and if anyone loses their passwords we are happy to re-send them.

I am so glad you are coming on my course in Italy, Amanda. Do let me know how your Jan and Jean one works out. I love the fact that we have transport there to go out and about for photographs and sketching. Also the small class numbers make using the digital images much more feasible, especially as both Clive and I will be working together on the printing aspects. I'm not teaching much next year so I'll make the most of the Puglia trip. If anyone else can make it, book soon as the places are going quickly, I believe. Details on this site The villa is owned, and the classes run, by the team behind the K&S shows so the commitment will be total.

I shall be playing with lots of ways of using photos and sketches - including my Aussie rock stuff technique, which is coming on well. The group I belong to, Wessex Textiles, is going to be at the Knitting & Stitching Show next year so I shall take walls as my theme. Lots of possibilities there.

Have also been finishing off my free workshops with the Stitches, Straps and Layers book, They begin on 19th October - see for details.


Saw Smudge yesterday and he sends his love. He will be back from his holidays in a couple of weeks as we shall have finished our travelling by then.

Such wonderful weather that I can't bear to pull up my summer planting. Here is the view from my kitchen window - showing flowers amid the mugs, and me taking the photo .....a watchbird, watching you!

Thursday 24 September 2009

Great Days and Grumbles

It's a lovely day and we're taking off for a National Trust outing. Going to Uppark, near Petersfield to celebrate Clive's birthday, followed by dinner this evening with Fiona, Phil and Sophie. The other gang, daughter Claire and the four kids are all laid low with various lurgy so Claire is going to push Clive's pressie through the letter box in case we catch it. I had a panic call from Claire yesterday, 'My car's broken down and I can't get to the school to pick Leo up - he's poorly'. Then there was a pause and she added, 'Take a bucket!'

Thanks for the comments:

Yes, Nancy - the classes are free for anyone who buys the book, wherever they get it. I've got carried away again and my three sessions are already turning to four. I've moved from beads to books and danglies. Exciting. Here's a pic.


Viv - welcome to the blogging world. As you know, I have always loved your work so following your blog will be a rare treat. I tried to leave a comment but it wouldn't let me so I'll try again later.

So glad you liked the Jae's book, Gilby -it's so great. Very flattering to be chosen as the publisher of such a high-calibre artist. I'm getting lots of excited emails about it. I like this publishing lark.

Thanks, Aussie Jo for getting cross on my behalf over Beryl's Metal, Paper, Stitch book. I am surprised that it got through the ISBN checks. I can't imagine that they did it on purpose though, as it's quite likely that people will think they have already got it. It is very difficult naming books and I always run prospective titles through Amazon, although that doesn't count the ones that are just about to launch. We must also take account of co-incidence when two similar books arrive. Books from mainsteam publishers take up to a year from the date they are handed in, so if it's a topical subject, a self-published book can leap in first, even if written later.

Coincidence can also happen in stitch. When I was doing my C&G I invented a new technique involving smocking and gold kid (well, it was innovative then). I based it on fungal studies and worked really hard on it. Blow me if an almost identical piece didn't appear in a new book just before the assessment.

So I always believe the best of folk when things like this happen. However there are some things that really do annoy me:

  • I try to be a generous tutor and never hold back information. I'm also very laid back about people teaching techniques I've written about or shown them. Once they're out there that's common knowledge. But sometimes tutors take an entire workshop, even copy handouts word for word and teach it themselves. I once had an entire summer school copied! Annoying.

  • The other rant I have is the number of people who give their friends the password for Workshop on the Web. We know from the logs that this happens and one day we will follow it up. It only costs a small amount to register but it costs us a lot of money to get really good tutors, solid web hosting and admin. For me it's not just about making money, but I would like to earn a little bit for all that work. We even had someone once who emailed her friend to say 'Thanks for sending this issue's password'. She hit the wrong button and sent it to us! Whoops!

Rant over - but I'd be interested to hear your stories of conincidence and rip offs.

Off for the outing.

Monday 21 September 2009

It's a Jae Day

Last week just got away from me. Meant to blog again but it didn’t happen. Highlights were.
  • An exhibition at Highcliffe Castle Dorset. I was invited by Yvonne Morton, who has work in the show. There are three other artists and I think it’s a great balance with painters and a super origami artist – loved her wall hangings.

  • Finally putting away all my teaching stuff and making the house look tidy.

    • Meeting Purple Mister in a garage in Bournemouth. No, not a secret assignation – see below for more details.

      Thanks for all the comments on the lovely metal pieces. I’ll pass them on to the Scottish girls.

      Sandra – loved the cat story. A cowboy cat, obviously.

      Mags, the IT rep - is that you Margaret R, wearing another hat. Love the blog.

      We’ll certainly be at Ally Pally, Penny. Stand number TGE6 (but that could change - they sometimes switch stands without telling you). I have some great stuff to display from the d4daisy books and will be demo-ing techniques, too. Come and find me and perhaps we can grab a coffee together. I must warn you though that we will have to join the long queue for the decent coffee. I am a coffee snob.

      Hi Gill – it worked.

      Sorry to hear about the op, Diana. You’ll be able to get a head start before you go in, and use the time for some planning.

      Glad you liked the metal and paper technique, Love2cre8. (Good name that). I do plan to include this technique as one of the free on-line lessons for those who have purchased the Stitches, Straps and Layers book.

    There will also be free lessons from Lynda and Carol, based on their Stitching the Textured Surface book. Here is a pic from one of their lessons.


    All lessons start on 19th October (details on the d4daisy site – see below) and will have a Yahoo group for all folk doing the d4daisy classes. Should be fun. Sorry if this sounds like an advert but I do love the fact that a book can be a starting point for us all to get together on-line. It is one of the things that I have always wanted to do, ever since I started writing books. Plus, of course, the fact that it makes a really good value package – so much more than just a book. Here is a piece from my metal and paper workshop.




    Talking of books I have an announcement. Ta-da.....Jae Maries book, Contrasting Elements, is launched today on the d4daisy site. Pics from the book below.


    It is such a super book and one that sent me scuttling into the workshop while I was editing it, to try her techniques. I can honestly say that it has changed many aspects of the way I handle contrast and I think my work is the better for it. There is so much more to contrast than just colour and Jae has lots of stitch and paper ideas for using this element to bring the piece alive. Do go to the site to see the new book and the details of the classes.

    Now I will reveal how I met up with Lynda Monk’s husband in a garage. He helped us to bring down Jae’s books from the printer in Essex, together with a goodly stock of all the other books. Thousands of them. I tried my best to help but, although the spirit was willing the arms soon gave out. Thanks to the Monk clan the books are all safe in the lock-up. I can’t tell you how good it feels to look at them all, tucked up in bed and I really can’t say how grateful we are to Ray and Lynda et al.

    Do look at the d4daisy site and get geared up for the classes.