Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A really mixed bag

Another sunny and warm day today. Dare we hope that Spring is finally here? I decided to take the opportunity to drive over to Eccleshall in Staffordshire to visit Gallery@12 to buy some of Angela Smith's jewellery that I had seen on her blog.  It is a beautiful gallery with so many lovely things all made by Staffordshire artists, well worth a visit and, if you are a quilter and go on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, Pollyanna Patchwork's shop is directly opposite. I decided to avoid that added temptation! I was not, however, able to resist the temptation to buy a gorgeous matching bracelet and earrings.  It was really good to meet Angela also who happened to be working in the shop today. I just love the way that blogland can lead us to new people.

Saturday was another Chris and Barbara class but this time at Stone Station and with Barbara trying to keep us in order on her own. It is a lovely venue, recently refurbished and very light and airy - just don't try talking as the trains go by, or even as they stop. Yes, it is still a working station. The class was Reversible Runners, creating both sides of the block at the same time so they only have to be sewn together with binding afterwards and it  is finished. I decided that mine looked better as a square and Barbara also decided that I should make it into a larger piece as a star. "You just need to do another twelve blocks" she said! I have to admit that I do like it and so will get on and do the twelve blocks although it may mean dyeing some more fabrics. Photos of everyone's work is on their blog so do head over and take a look. It was a very small and pleasant group and we all worked so hard that lunch was very short and I even forgot about the biscuits, although there was cake near the end.

The right side

The reverse side

I am currently taking part in a Birthday Club through the Popular Patchwork Forum. There are 24 of us and it involves sending a card and a piece of fabric, designated by the host mum Jan. I got a lovely selection of purple fabrics and some gorgeous cards.

Although it is hard to single out any one card, this one from Kerstin from Germany is awesome.

And another card received today from Jo as part of a Quilting Together one-to-one swap.

I love this, it reminds me of the way that the sun tracks through the sky.

While I was suffering from my cold recently I had a craving for some crisps, not something I normally eat but I think it is the salt thing when you have a cold. Round about the same time I happened across a post by Lynda Monk about crisp packets and decided to give it a try. I can't remember exactly what I did  use although I know I got out the Gesso, acrylic paint, writing ink and Lumiere paint. What an amazing result, and yet another way to recycle!

I even managed to find time to make another wrapfolio and a couple of ATCs. Two of these wrapfolios have now gone to good homes.

To those of you who have been wishing me well with my Classical Greek studies, I apologise but I decided yesterday that I am not going to continue. I have been getting excellent grades in the assignments and I understand the language as we are progressing but ... and it is a big but, I simply cannot retain the vocabulary. We are not allowed to use a dictionary in the exam and the vocabulary list that we are going to have to know is huge. It has been causing me quite a lot of stress lately and I always said that if I stopped enjoying my studies then there was no point in going on with them. I don't need the qualification and was just doing it out of interest so having made the decision to withdraw, I still have all the course books and can just plod along at my own pace with no pressure. I did agonise a lot over the decision, feeling of failure etc, but now that it is made I feel a huge sense of relief and can at least devote more time to creativity. 

So until the next time, find enjoyment in whatever you are doing.



  1. Fascinating post Maggi - love the jewellery and both sides of your block are beautiful. The fabrics and cards you received are gorgeous - the owl/bird of prey is absolutely stunning. The crisp packet trials are super as are the wrapfolios. I think you are right to discontinue your Greek studies. You still have the knowledge you've already acquired and can go on learning more as time permits. Stress is horrid and can undermine your health. It's not failure to make a wise decision.

  2. It was lovely meeting you today, I do hope you get as much enjoyment, if not more, wearing the jewellery as I did making it!, thank you for including it in your stunning post.
    I agree with you that the eagle/bird of prey card from Kirstin does stand out and the selection of purples are gorgeous. What a wonderful affect on the crisp packets too.
    Angela x

  3. Love the jewellrey and the wrapfolio. I've been reading Stitching the Textured Surface by Lynda Monk and Carol McFee (I'm in an ATC swap with her and the ATC I received was awesome), and I'm going to try some of their surfaces.

  4. The reversible blocks are fascinating and the effect from the crisp packets are amazing. Enjoy the extra time you have, it has to be the right decision if you feel relieved

  5. Such a positive post Maggi, I love your reversible block, and as for the crisp packets!! Well, they are stunning, just goes to show what alchemy can do!
    The decision about your course is definitely the right one, a sense of relief proves it, and so I hope the lovely bracelet and earings are a treat to yourself for being so brave.


  6. Good for you Maggi, on all you have decided and done. The work is of course all amazing as ever, and the decision on your course, I admire you for your honesty girl. Plod away at your own speed, that's the right decision. Well done.

  7. I wish spring would arrive here - we still have 3in of snow in the garden from last week. I love the crisp packet effect - what a wonderful surface and colour

  8. The right side block seems a piece of a church's pavement in Florence.

    I really like Angela's jewelry!!!

    ciao, ciao

  9. Maggi,
    What fantastic pictures! I love Kerstin's card too...will now have a look at the crisp packets my lot generate in a different light!
    Sympathy over the greek - I have all the textbooks upstairs too as I was about to start the course a few years ago but then discovered I was pregnant...one day, I'll try again! In the meantime, though, I've discovered quilting so who knows???

  10. Hi Maggie, Love the jewellrey and the wrapfolio. What are Crisp packets? You make such stunning things. And I knew you would love the card.

  11. Hi Maggie

    Does getting those fabrics and cards mean it's your birthday this month? If so, many happy returns. I can understand that giving up your studies was a difficult decision. I don't know how you fitted it in between all your other interests.

  12. I shall have to collect some crisp packets from my grandkids - the effects you have achieved are stunning. I thought about it after reading about it on Lynda's blog, but events here dictated my lack of creating lately. Good on you for being strong enough to give up your Greek classes. You will enjoy learning at your own pace much better. Hope Spring is really on the way for you - I wish winnter would hurry up and come here. Cheers, Robin

  13. So many lovely things Maggi.....and the crisp packet art is very exciting! (Must put that one on my list!)
    You have done amazingly well to get as far as you have with the Greek studies; I am well impressed....no way have you failed.
    Linda x

  14. What a great post Maggi and beautiful jewellery. Your blocks are vibrant and the crisp packets look very luxurious. Not to worry that you had to give up your Greek, you're right not to stress it if you don't need to. I had to give up a Open College course because I just couldn't keep up and it was depressing me so no shame in deciding on another path and think of all the time you'll have to play!

  15. I love the metallic look stuff you did, just wonderful. And yes the eagle card was beautiful.

  16. A lovely post and I couldn't help smile about eating the crisps. I have a dreadful cold and, out of the ordinary for me, ate a packet of crisps with some white bread at the weekend - both of which I don't normally eat and was thinking at the time that it wasn't a good idea to be eating junk when I didn't feel well anyway! Wishing you lots of fun with your studies, creative or otherwise, now the pressure has been relieved and thankyou for your lovely comments on my blog!


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