Friday, September 26, 2008

What the Hell is a Reversible Chasuble?

This..... is a reversible Chasuble. You never know when you may need one.

As you can see I have been busy doing lots of lovely sewing.
Here is the reversible Chasuble I made for the lovely Jane Nursey who is to be Deaconed very soon at East Dereham Church in Norfolk.
The crosses on the backs of the stoles are hand embroidered to a design that Jane supplied. The silk is from the David Walters silk mills in Sudbury.

And here for your pleasure is a box of covered buttons that arrived to my delight recently from Buttonmania in Melbourne Australia. I could just eat them. They are for some cushions for my friend Gudrun. Mmmmmmm


It was a beautiful morning this morning and on my bike ride for operation B-O-S. I saw this tree silhouetted by sunlight & mist.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Raise the banner high

Ages and ages ago our very wonderful friend Harold Lock asked me if I'd be interested in having a look at a banner they had at their Masonic Lodge. It was the centenary of it's consecration in 1909 and they needed a new one. Did I know anyone who could do the job?
Here's a picture of it. Faded and cracked but still a fine example of the Victorian banner maker's craft.

Would I be interested in trying to replicate it?
I was.
At the time I thought it should be no problem at all.
I thought I'd embroider the gold lettering to save me having to learn how to use gold leaf on fabric ......
A million miles down the track I discovered that it was a much harder brief than I had expected.
First I had to find the material, which took forever and lead me through a range of very expensive silk manufacturers. I finally ended up finding exactly the right fabric at a sale in North Norfolk.
I had to trace the original onto transparent plastic, then trace again over that before putting it onto the fabric.
Without moving it an inch...
Next I had to find the gold embroidery thread. NO GO. Embroidery threads come in yellow or beige or taupe. Nothing like the gold I needed. I decided I would try to find some gold paint instead. I had success here again in Norfolk at the Norwich Art supplies shop where I found the perfect gold powder that became a fabric paint when you mixed it with a particular medium. So far so good.....
Every morning I'd wake up thrilled to be working on such an auspicious piece. I honestly loved every minute working on it.
Such great symbolism, with the all seeing eye, the sun and the moon, the Mason's square and compass.
So after much joy & a small amount of anxiety I finally finished it. Here is Ricardo the Magnificent holding it up for your perusal.
It was great to see something so old and faded come back to life again .

Monday, September 15, 2008

Autumn bike ride & berries

It was the 25th year of the Norfolk Churches trust annual bike ride on Saturday.
Richard & I had done it once before & I'd felt knackered after about the 2nd church. This year however, after the "Buns-o-steel" campaign, I managed to do the whole lot....30 plus miles and ten churches in all with only a slightly sore bum. It was a gorgeous day and it felt great to be outside ALL day. We went with some buddies, Sheila & Rod & Rebecca and it made all the difference spurring each other on.
Riding along Peddars Way dodging huge puddles, through sunlight & shadow, smelling the forest was just grand. We've raised about £100 so far , so half of it will go to our dear Church at East Harling.
The only down side to the day was that after remembering to take the camera and happily snapping away, I got to the 4th Church & realisied I hadn't put the memory card in. Dohhh.

We saw some amazing Churches in various states. Some amazingly well looked after and some with tiles off the roof and nothing inside. Still beautiful though. An incredible legacy for years to come in a county that has more churches per person per acre than anywhere else in the world.

Along the way we spied the most amazing harvest of balckberries so we went back on Sunday (with the camera this time to pick some)...

Friday, September 12, 2008

101 cushions (well almost)

As I told you in Thursday's post, I've been busy.
Now I can show you what I've been up to....All these will be going up on the website in a few days time (Just as soon as I can figure out how to upload them).
I've had the most wonderful time putting them all together. There's nothing I like better than mucking about with fabrics in the workroom with the radio on.

This one has textured polka dot velvet with duck egg blue silk. I love the way it feels when you run your hands over it. The outer frame of fabric is tie silk from Sudbury in Suffolk.

These have copper coloured linen velvet and a densely embroidered flower in the centre.

The velvet stripes on this purple one are so thick it makes you want to just dive in.
This one has the most beautiful silk satin in eau-de-nil in the centre (I love the name of this colour) with silver bullion embroidery. (My friend Heather gave the piece to me and I think it's Victorian.)

See how gorgeous this linen velvet is? It's like a field of gold.

Strawberries and raspberries... (recognise this embroidered fabric Thomsey?)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Citrus flavour

I've been busy, busy, busy and realised I hadn't blogged for ages. So I'll show you a bit of what I've been up to.
The lovely Gudrun, a friend who is the librarian at Norwich Cathedral commissioned me to make some cushions for her neices and nephews so here is the first one. She chose all the fabrics & did a sterling job. You'll have to wait to see the next ones as I've sent off to Australia for the buttons from 'Buttonmania'. Just what we need.... atiny little last bit of summeriness before autumn really comes in.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Seaside and Seventy

Let me fill you in on a little bit of family background....Ricardo has two brothers, Reg who lives in Australia and Ray who lives here in the UK.
Ray decided to stay here when the rest of the family migrated to Australia in 1960 because he had just married the lovely Mary. They live in a seaside town called Felixstowe. When we go to visit them it's usually for lunch and we have a huge meal culminating in two of Mary's infamous desserts, trifle AND pink fluff in a bowl. I've never seen the sea there though as Mary can't walk all that far and it's ALWAYS raining. This time however it was the most glorious day. How's this for a typical English beach scene? Pale? Who me? Sand? What's that?English seaside architecture. Don't you just love it?

Not a single cloud. This was the only really hot day we had all summer. The reason we were in Sunny Felixstowe was because Ray and Mary both turn 70 this year and they had a party. Here's a photo of us with them and their daughter (our neice) Carolyn and her little sweethearts, Isabelle and Sarah
The happy couple. Next year will be their golden wedding anniversary.

Mary with her brother Reg. The whole gang except for Richard who was taking the photo.