Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Moving into the light and a sudden wow.

Even though Easter was so cold we managed a little posy for the table.


In fact it was so cold that these new lambs were in macs.


Now its warming up and things are galloping along in the garden in their own way.

The little things are the best.

The blackbird spent a few weeks sitting in a nest being waited upon by her beau but then disappeared and left nothing in the nest. We don't know why.

There are sparrows in the bird box with camera but they've made their nest so high it's blocked the view.


Our Felt group had a trip to the Lancashire Archives where we looked at old pattern books.
I had a play about and came up with this pieces and few spiky brooches



We've been choosing paint for our living room. 
I think we have every Little Greene and Farrow and Ball match pot now.

We finally decided on Fescue..a gorgeous colour, and the only one we liked on all four walls. Its amazing how the different light alters the colour around the room.


Anything that doesn't move has been painted and is being painted.
Its all quite exciting but always takes ages in our house.
New carpet and sofa and curtains next. Unfortunately the only curtain fabric that comes anywhere near what we want is £80 per metre!! I was looking more towards £10 so I'll be trawling the factory shops until I find something.

In response to many many requests I have organised a two day felt workshop for next weekend. 
I'm looking forward to it but haven't completely filled it so if you want to come... email me quick! 
It's suitable for beginners and experienced learners. Wool provided.

I've been doing a lot of walking lately for health reasons and although I have lost inches I don't seem to be losing weight.
I joined Chorley Walkie talkies walking group and had 4 long walks with them recently. They start and finish on a Saturday in Astley Park and there was a redcoat encampment there one week.
I love seeing authentic re-enactment costumes. 


The man on the left had made his own uniform.
I don't suppose the table was authentic but all around it was.



I walk on my own a lot too ..oops I mean with Hetty ..and we went to a nearby village last Saturday in gorgeous weather. 
The visiting Cricket team arrived here and I saw one of them get out of his car, look around and say 'Oh Yes'. It was that kind of a day and place,



I've been making a few more fish and found a new way of presenting them.



These have gone to Found Gallery in Dunbar.

I also decided to treat myself to a craft workshop just for fun for me.
I did a mosaic making course with a delightful teacher called Briony Machin and produced a name plaque for our door. I'm really pleased with it.


I went shopping and found a garden hamper..humper (?) which is just the right size for bathing Hetty when she gets muddy.


There is one fatal flaw...once you've filled it with three washing up bowls of water...you can't move it to empty it.


Hah! Says Hetty.

WOW say I...I have just realised that last week, on 29th April to be exact, it was the 10 year anniversary of this blog. I have enjoyed writing it so much and I love looking back over the posts, and the memories. I have made lots of friends through it over the years, both online and in real life.
The same day a year later makes it 9 years since my beloved Willow died. 



How the time has flown.
Here is the very first post.








Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Marching on



You'd think by now there would be a sign of some buds on the bushes but its a very undecided year. 



Snow in Ballyvaughan was a wondrous sight but very unexpected and quite restricting. 
It started gently with a thin scattering,

but by the middle of the week it was deep and dangerous and driving was a not advised. That meant I couldn't meet my two lovely textile friends for our annual catch up in Clarinbridge.
The residents of Ballyvaughan were delighted ..well some of them, mainly the younger ones, and I've never seen so many snowmen. I met one lady who said her sons hadn't seen snow before. I must admit it is strange seeing snow on the seashore.


The Corofin Traditional Festival was cancelled so no concerts, and our usual trips here and there were out of the question. Ballyvaughan is in the Burren and the little roads over the mountains are narrow and steep and the snow made them quite dangerous even later in the week when it started to subside.

I checked the ferry sailings and and it looked as if we would be stuck there, as there were no sailings at all for a couple of days, but by Monday all ferries were back to normal and our journey home was uneventful
Hetty was so glad to see us that she couldn't decide if she was coming or going!



Now I'm looking forward to the Spring and I have an exciting event planned..another course. 
I'm teaching two days of felting then stitching a small panel. 12th and 13th May so the weather should be better by then. I'm spreading the word so I get a full class.
I've booked my favourite Village hall in Brindle, Lancashire for the full two days. It's a lovely location and a beautiful hall.
Last time I taught courses there we had a great time.
Its filling nicely but I could do with a few more so get in touch if you're interested or know anyone who might be.
I've been busy making a few brooches as usual.
This is my favourite.
Lots more stitching than usual.


Talking of stitching.....my second spindle on my machine snapped off when it was in transit so I used some SUGRU to repair it.



It's brilliant stuff, you can do all sorts with it. I previously made a support for a fridge door shelf with some, and once it dries hard it lasts for ages.
You can mould it into shape and attach it,


then shape it properly and when it dries it's really firm, well attached and solid.


I must admit that I received this packet free as I had previously bought more than I needed and allowed it to go hard, so I did promise to tell the world about it! However I only ever do that with things I really love.


Friday, 16 February 2018

2018

How can it be January?

Haha! I wrote that more than a month ago and then came unstuck trying to blog from my ipad app. So here I am at last on the trusty laptop. The blogger app has stopped working on my ipad and I cant find a way round it. its to do with updates, and it was so handy to upload the photos you've just taken.
Ah well.

Enough of that. Ignore it.
Here’s a post.

Christmas came and went.

 with the addition of a new stove.
Gas.
They sent the wrong front, we wanted plain but still waiting. I have to say,  it's not the great  throbbing source of warmth we'd hoped it would be but we're stuck with it now.


But when the weather has been cold

 

Someone appreciates it!


 I got a bit creative with the Christmas cakes..


... but won't be making a full time job of it. 

The one I did for my Mum was nicer. Just stars and silver balls, and the joke is, we always peel that horrible sickly sweet fondant off before we eat it.

The last day of the year was cold but we had a little trip out with my Mum to Lytham where we walked along the 'front' and a complete stranger took this for us.





     Mum had two coats on!


Then friends for New Years eve, a last minute decision so that was a nice way to end 2017.


It was a very busy year sewing wise and I'm not doing any big selling events for this year so that I can look at other ideas and not just keep churning out the same old stuff.

I have a few workshops booked, one in Llanidloes in July, and another one in August in Wooler for the Embroiderers Regional summer School.

I've had a little play with an idea I've had for ages but not got round to.

Fish.


Not vivid tropical fish but old fashioned Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing type fish. Its a book from about the 1940s of which we have a copy. In the book, Mr Crabtree takes his nephew Peter on fishing expeditions (in a full three piece suit and hat) and teaches him the ways of British freshwater fish, and how to catch them.


Mine are the ones that got away. 
They have a bit of pond with them.



I like their glum expressions.



Ive sold all the freestanding ones and had a request for brooches so there are some in my shop.

The trouble is, they are not as easy to make as the usual brooches and require a lot more individual attention (not that the brooches don't have individual attention, they do) so have to be a bit more pricey. I daresay I could get in the swing of making them but I don't really want to just mass produce them.




The spotty ones seem to go first. They have French Knots on them.
They're not any particular species of fish, just generally fishy.

I've also done a bit of knitting .

 My model isn't putting her all into it is she? She's not 'working it'

I got it as a kit two Christmases ago so decided to knit it eventually. It got me through an extremely stressful few weeks by giving me something to focus on. The pattern instructed me to use navy yarn for the neck and the picture showed the neck in white but I'd done it by then and wasn't unpicking the trickiest bit. I'd already had a lot of help from my Facebook friends.


I want to knit another one for Hetty without the sailor collar, just a tube really to keep her underneath clean on muddy walks. Of course in the 'Great Big Clearout' I gave away all my acrylic yarn so am now on the scrounge, it only takes two balls and I think stripey would be nice....

My most exciting thing of the year was having a cataract removed from my left eye, It's BRILLIANT! 
My right eye now seems poor but it isn't. It was my good eye before !
I would urge anyone who is dithering about it through squeamishness  (As I was) to get on with it.
I didn't feel or see a thing during the operation and it's improved my life enormously.
Trees have become three dimensional wonders instead of fuzzy brown blurrs.

I'm so inspired by bare branches with fruit.





Unfortunately I'm going through a bit of a paralysis of motivation. I go into my sewing room with great ideas but just freeze up when I get in there. (I freeze literally too...it's cold!)

Sometimes its good to recharge your batteries with an afternoon out. We regularly travel to this area and enjoy the peace. It's not too far away and refreshes the soul. Arnside, where we watch the train chug across the estuary and listen to the seabirds.


And here's Saint Hetty ..well.. her shadow from the back of the sofa, with the shadow of a beautiful glass snowflake made, and given to me by the very wonderful Chris Daley of Woodland Ridge retreats in USA.




I keep it in my window all the time. I'm so lucky to have received gifts from fellow bloggers all over the world. In fact when I get out my Christmas decorations it's a trip down the memory lane  of blogging. Little peg doll angels from Sesga, a tree angel from Mary-Anne, a little gift box from Sid Simpson,  a beaded snowflake from Carolyn Saxby and so many more, I'm sorry I haven't mentioned them all. Ahhh the golden days of blogging before facebook and instagram took over. I made so many friends.


Before I go allow me to introduce The Fab Four we met whilst out on a walk. 





They spoke very highly of just about everything. They were very vocal and happy pet piggies.







Mo
st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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