it’s hot here


The minute I walked into the house after my trip to England, I knew there was something wrong. The air conditioning wasn’t working right. It was 85 degrees in the house and it smelled punky. The grill king hadn’t noticed so no telling how long the mildew was allowed to grow. Dusting is not done with a feather around here. You have to scrub off the crud that accumulates. Gotta love living in a swamp. Anyway, I fussed with the controls and after waiting a day for it to de-ice, it worked okay for a few days and then conked out again yesterday. Today I am having it serviced; probably needs a Freon charge. Because my daughter and grandson and I are heading out for a road trip to Alabama tomorrow and I don’t want to come home to a stinky house twice this summer. I am not sure how Oscar is going to feel about this second trip. He pretty much was a mess while I was gone the last time.

 travel day


On the road again. Yesterday we were in Lincoln for the Poppies Wave at the castle. 

Also took about a hundred photos in the cathedral. Today we’re off to ArtVanGo and the meet-the-artists reception at From the Earth textiles Exhibition Mardleybury Gallery.

Tomorrow I fly home. Back to coffee in the morning instead of tea while enjoying this view. 

And this adoring company. 

More travel diary pages will be posted and dozens of photos. You have been warned. 

the Grantham group and the HUB


In the morning we went to the stitching group in Grantham.  Didn’t take any photos!! But I did meet some of the ladies who read my blog occasionally and exchanged some cards and contact information [waving Hi! again].  Everyone was busy doing their thing.  I wandered around looking over shoulders and admiring the projects.  Always nice to meet online people in person.  They brought in Thai food for lunch.

Next stop after lunch was to the The National Centre for Craft and Design (aka The HUB) where they often have fiber shows.  On my 2012 trip, I was mesmerized by the ceramics in the stairway exhibition.  Click here to see that post.

Sleaford from the second story outdoor walkway.

St. Deny’s Cathedral in the distance and up close and knitted, below.

Inside the gallery, the show was “Paper: Beyond the Fold” and you can see more if you click on this link.

Singer Sewing Machine by Jennifer Collier, constructed from vintage sewing patterns.

Above and below, Wall Weave by Sharyn Dunn, constructed of mixed papers.

Above and detail below, Mantel and Crant I, by Sue Shields, cut from watercolor paper.

Collapsing Waves by Mayumi Kaniko, woven with paper yarn.

The following photos are of the kumihimo work by Jennie Parry.

For much of her work, the shadows are as interesting as the work itself.

She provided samples for touching and a takadai with a work in progress.

the Barge


Started early this morning, washing out the ice dyeing I started yesterday. Wendy had some soda-soaked fabric all ready to go and we’d picked up ice at Sainsbury’s. Rinsing is easier with her spinner – used by people who hand wash their clothes, I guess. Seems strange to have a separate appliance for just spinning out excess water unless you are dyer. She bought it used off ebay – she’s a smart shopper.

We had arranged a lunch date with Sue, who lives around the corner from Wendy, when we dropped in for a visit the other day. Good to chat with her again. We had fish and chips at the Barge, another favorite stop from my trip in 2012 – click here to see interior photos of the pub. Notice how the medium plate of fish sort of hangs off the plate. I couldn’t finish this completely, but I did try.

Later that day, I ironed my ice dyed fabrics and Wendy rinsed out hers and then we watched The Great British Sewing Bee and had a bag of M&M’s for tea. Feeling like I accomplished something today.

grocery shopping


We said we’d return for lunch here, but we ran out of time.  The Four Seasons Garden Center was really beautiful.

The various shops arranged inside – butcher, baker, and probably a candlestick maker somewhere in there.  A wall of preserves, gifts of all kinds for the kitchen and garden.

The veggies begged to be eaten.  The whole place was clean and orderly.

I decided on the Sleaford asparagus.  Local produce.   Perfect choice – it was delicious with the pot pies.

So many choices of pies and even Scotch eggs.

We should have gone back – if only for the free cash!!!

Good eating on my visit to England.  Many more adventures to come.  Have a snack to keep up your strength.


ice has melted


Some fabrics were soaked in soda ash and then covered in ice cubes with powdered MX dye carefully scattered over the top of the ice. Overnight the ice melted and I went out early to see what had happened so far.


This fabric was folded. The diluted used up dye is on the bottom of the bucket below the screen.

The fabric below was scrunched lengthwise and loosely twisted. Looking for softer effect than the folded piece. The cheesecloth/scrim fabric was just left naturally wadded up. Both pieces have the same colors and I hope to do something artsy with the two of them together. 

The third experiment was a bigger piece folded in a triangle using the same colors as in the square folded one at the top. More cheesecloth/scrim in the same color way.  Wendy is going to make me leave these for another 24 hours for batching.  Harsh.  The woman is harsh. She will be right and justifiable take complete credit for any great results.

imageEdited to add photos of results of the two best ones.  The two pieces of cheesecloth/scrim that were dyed along side these coordinate perfectly.


inside Kentwell Hall


I’ll try to limit this post about Kentwell by writing two.  I have more than enough photos inside and out.   The poster above was the ad for the weekend we went.

The entrance to the grand hall.  This was the only shot I got with my phone.  It was full at this point.  So happy I also had my little point and shot camera with me.

The moat around the buildings – taken from the footbridge over it.

An enticing tree shaped by the hand of an artist.  Below a closeup of the trunk.

According to Wikipedia: “The manor house is now owned by Patrick and Judith Phillips, who use the house as their home. Patrick Phillips bought the house in 1971 when it was in an advanced state of disrepair. Since that time, repairs and restorations have been funded by opening the house to the public.” They host festivals and reenactment weekends regularly.  Not all of the house is open to tourists.  Lots more information on the owners and residents of the house since the Doomsday Book is on Wikipedia.

The hearth in the kitchen.

Pewter display in one of the dining rooms.

At one end of the dining room a raised theater for entertaining the guests.

Very sumptuous furnishings and lovely things sitting about.  I was appalled at the cheek of some of the tourists who reached over the ropes to touch things.  My attention was drawn to this gorgeous instrument by the forward gentleman who dared to play a few notes.

Some of the rooms have been updated to particular periods or themes.  I believe this one was redone in the 40’s and includes a private bath in the closet.

The games room is huge and the billiards table fills it.  It is beautifully restored and the story on the placard on top of it tells the story of having to removing it from its last residence through a french window and over a garden fountain.

Through the windows of one of the bedrooms, this view of the gardens which were not on the tour.  But the grounds surrounding the hall that are used for the festival weekends were quite interesting.  I took loads more photos and will share some in my next post on outside Kentwell Hall.

The peacocks are very tame and particularly fond of fudgicles.