Monday, 17 November 2014

A fallen tree becomes a work of art

 In Ellington Park, Ramsgate this year some tree stumps have become owls, squirrels, a toadstool home for fairy folk and an amazing sculpture of a WW1 soldier.  So when I saw work being started on this felled tree I spent a lot of time trying to decide what it was going to be.  The work is being done by Andrew Stevens and I am in awe of his talent.  I keep looking at his website to see his other creations.  
 This is bigger than the other carvings in the park so took longer before there were many clues to what it would end up being.

 Every time I walked through the park a little more detail had been done.

There is even detail at the ends of the tree, and a butterfly rests on the top.  A snake sliding along the leaves. And a ladybird, a dragonfly, and some flowers nestle amoungst the leaves.

It soon becomes clear that it is a bench, a beautiful, stand up to anything bench, covered with flowers and insects.

 Burning the wood brings out details that might be missed 
Now I wander all the corners of the park whenever possible so as not to miss any more wonderful carvings.  I am so pleased that as yet nobody has felt the need to damage these works of art. 

The Friends of Ellington Park are doing such a wonderful job and are making even a quick walk through the park on the way to work exciting. I am looking forward to seeing other projects develop. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Christmas on its way

Having made an early start to this years Christmas (as I hadn't put away my card making stuff after last Christmas day I went straight on to making them for this Christmas) I felt that I should try for a panic free time this year. 
 So now the mincemeat is made so it is beautifully mature and tasty when I need to make my pies, I have to wait to do this until the end of October because I like to use my apples and they ripen late.  The Christmas cakes are made, might have to do another one but I think its only three this year.  
I have all the ingredients ready for making truffles closer to the day.  
And I have made the Chili Jam - not my cup of tea but there are a couple of people I give it to as presents.
Then I need to make the sausage rolls and bacon puffs and freeze them uncooked so they will be ready when needed.  
I have a fair bit of sewing to do this year so I need to get started on that next.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

A little gem on the Edge of Romney Marsh

On impulse today we went to an Aeronautical jumble - the reason we had never been to one before.  It was held at BRENZETT MUSEUM and we found the jumble to be very disappointing, we arrived at one thirty and the stalls (I seriously doubt that there ever 150 of them) that were still there were packing up.  We were charged full price to get in to the jumble but the tickets also allowed entry to the museum and we decided to visit the museum so as not to make it a wasted journey. 
This was worth the drive, only open at weekends between April and October, it was really interesting and somewhere I would be happy to visit again.

  My favourite bits not in any order:-
 the pilot who flipped doodlebugs off course; finding out where the doodlebugs hit in Kent, surprisingly not that many in Thanet; how many doodlebugs
 never made it to the Kent coast;
the home front exhibit;
the personal items, cards, etc; the dambuster bomb; maps of the grass airfields; tales of heroes and bravery. 
 Pretty much all of it.  
It felt as though every turn there was more and more.   

experiences of a WAAF

 Every inch of the museum is full of interest.
wing bent by flipping a doodlebug off course 

the home front


Monday, 22 September 2014


The first item I decided to make from my recent fabric buying frenzy was a pair of trousers from the striped fabric.  This was because I found amongst my sewing stash a zip the right colour and size and a spool of thread in the perfect colour.  As soon as I saw this fabric I knew it had to be trousers.
cutting out the pattern

I used Vogue ADRI pattern 2279 enlarging it slightly to ensure it fitted.  I have used this pattern before making up the jacket and the top but this is the first time I have made the trousers.

sewing a flat seam
As I cut out the pattern pieces I noticed how much the fabric was, already, fraying and realised the best plan was to sew by hand so as to have more control.

 I decided to sew FLAT SEAMS because they give extra strength to a garment, think the seams on jeans. The instructions said a side zip so I marked where that should be before starting. 
  Putting the right sides of the fabric together I sewed the centre front and then the centre back pieces together. Next I joined the inner leg, and then each of the outside leg seams.  After all my seams were completed I top stitched them all.  This felt right to sew these trousers.
 Inserting the zip was next, carefully making sure that all the raw edges were neatly sewn.  
The pattern had darts marked for the waist of the trousers, but as I have already had to 'take in' the dress I finished last month and I hate mending I decided to make an elasticated waist instead.

Unfortunately I did not obey the measure twice cut once rule and my elastic and my elastic was slightly too wide for the waistband and had to be cut to size.  I wouldn't recommend doing this but it was Sunday and I was keen to get the trousers finished .

I sewed a few stitches to hold one end of the elastic in place then being very careful not to sew through the rest of it I finished sewing the waistband down.

The cat decided to 'help' me at this stage by sitting on the sewing on my lap. He has 'helped me' with most of my recent sewing projects.

The legs were quick and easy to measure and hem and the elastic adjusted to fit.  A skirt fastener sewn on the the trousers are finished.

need ironing but that's all

 It has been a very long time since I made anything completely by hand.  When I first started making my own clothes I couldn't afford a sewing machine so to have the clothes I wanted I had to make them by hand.  I had forgotten how  practical hand sewing is, without the worry of a machine you can sew anywhere, anyplace, anytime. 
 Now to see if I have got enough left of three metre length of fabric to make a skirt as well.  my pair of trousers has cost me just £4.00

Thursday, 18 September 2014

ELLINGTON PARK - wood sculptures

  A few month ago when walking through Ellington Park in Ramsgate I saw this beautiful woodcarving.  I am very glad that it hasn't been vandalised and I admire it every time I walk through the park. For a while I didn't know who the sculptor was but a friend found the story in the local paper and from that I found Andrew Stevens website.

 Last Friday some more carvings had just been finished - two owls and a squirrel.  Another tree stump near the main entrance to the park was used for these.  I walked all around them to see every detail.

By Monday morning the wood had been burnt (in a similar way to the soldier) which brings a greater depth to the sculptures.

  To the right of the park as you come in the main entrance a toadstool has been carved.  I was thrilled when I looked closely to find a flight of steps and a fairy door at the top of them.  
The work that THE FRIENDS OF ELLINGTON PARK are doing is fantastic.  They are working so hard to make this park a pleasant place to be. 

The big question now is .....
what is this going to be.