Friday 26 September 2008

Hearts and Flowers

When I was a part time primary school teacher doing 3 days a week in the local village school I had responsibility for Art, Science, and, as it was called then, CDT. We had a staff of three point six including the head, and I was the point six.
I went to Manchester University one day for a CDT course.
The lecturer was very inspiring but I can only remember his first name-Cyril.
He had two acronyms for us to remember...Mams and Dads. Make and Modify and Design and Develop.
So I've remembered them...
I Designed and developed the tag....and now I've made and modified them.
Have I overdone it?
Red hearts with gold elastic....

pink spirally things with black eyelet and silver elastic.

And the back.

Do you think people will pay money for them?
If you feel you might do, look at Folksy.

In the church which is above the aforementioned school , there is to be a wedding.
The bridesmaids will wear chocolate brown dresses with cream sashes.
Today I took the green knobs which had become white knobs and even one or two actual lillies, and added them to other flowers to decorate the church.

Here's a little arrangement which will go on the table where the register will be signed, which the groom will then put on his late father's grave.

I thoroughly enjoyed the task but it took me 6 hours.

I am not a professional Flower arranger and I dare say there are a lot of 'mistakes' here, but I was aiming for the style of flowers you would expect in a country village church.

Its a small Victorian Building of no great architectural merit, and was re-ordered about 15 years ago, but it has a lovely feel to it.(If you look very closely you can see the other things I did to decorate the church many years ago...the lectern fall and the banner)
It stands on a hill overlooking the village and the moors opposite.
At 800 feet above sea level we are the closest parishioners to heaven in the whole of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Wednesday 24 September 2008


....did I spend my summer like the Grasshopper...flitting between blogs and generally spending most of the day enjoying myself playing?

Now the harsh reality of Christmas and Craft gallery commitments, and credit card repayments before interest comes into it have hit and I am an ant.
Too Late!
I am trying to do everything at once.

However I feel renewed after my hospital experience on Monday which yielded fascinating results.
I wish I could share.
I wish I'd had my camera.
It would definitely have made Explore front page on flickr.
Give your imagination free reign here.

Despite the fact that I began my life in blogland with some posts in which I made 200 pieces of silk paper, I find I still need more. For some reason I only have pink and blue left.

At the same time I am trying out some 'quick' things for etsy.
Fabric Gift tags.
Maybe 5 for three pounds, or six dollars.
I'm putting 'To' and 'From' and 'With Love' on the paper part. This is a prototype.
What do you think?

I am also working on these green knobs with the aid of an anglepoise lamp I am hoping they will become sufficiently open to arrange in church for a wedding on saturday.

There's a glimmer of hope.

Sunday 21 September 2008

The Miniature Dachshund Sculpture Appreciation Society

Its not Embroidery, its not Craft, its not Fibre Art.
Porky and Blodwen get to grips with Barbara Hepworth.
A last minute dash with our friends to the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal for the last day of the Ben Nicholson Exhibition which was excellent.
I doubt if I'll have time to do any sewing this week, another very busy one including hospital (nothing serious) church flowers for a wedding, and a workshop.
Hope this will do for now.
Please do click on the photograph to view their expressions more closely.
Enigmatic would be the word I would choose to describe them.
Or perhaps inscrutable?

Thursday 18 September 2008

Lotus Eating.

We've been and are back again.
Did I fool you with my cleverly scheduled posts?
I know those with Google reader saw half of one at the wrong time so I'm not quite as clever as I thought I was.
I have been mentally composing blog posts about different aspects of holidaying in Greece, but I don't want to be an insufferable bore with my thousands of holiday snaps, so here's a summary for now.
Sunrise at Colonna Harbour in Rhodes

Nearing Symi on the Dodecanese seaways express


Lovely Greek Salads

and Symi Shrimps deep fried in Olive Oil to be eaten tail shell and all.

Picturesque beaches with tavernas, tamarisks trees and travellers on Donkeys,

On a boat trip around the Island...I did something brave..
I swam right into this dark cave.

We sailed into spectacular coves feeling like Odysseus, would we meet the Cyclops or Circe?
I certainly felt as if I had been a Lotus eater

and didn't want to leave.

An ever changing Symi 'still life' outside a house in our street there. Notice how the oil drum has been painted pink to match the house it belonged to.

Finally a lesson on how not to pack.
I took this as I emptied my extremely heavy suitcase.

On the left is all the stuff I took and didn't use.
On the right is all the stuff I used, and in the middle is stuff I took and used a little bit but could have done without.

I have returned to lots and lots of comments and I usually try to answer everyone but I know I won't manage it so I'll say thank you here.
My Google reader has over 400 unread items so I don't think I'll catch up there either.
My holiday has refreshed and recharged me. There may well be the occasional post about it in the future.
Can you bear it?
Its nice to travel and relax, but its good to be home.

Sunday 14 September 2008

Round and Round

You may have had a sneak preview of this last week when I started it and accidentally clicked 'publish'. Its been showing up in Google reader.(Be warned..even deleted posts will come to haunt you so don't write rude things and then think its been deleted without trace)

After the scary 'King Kong' creepy crawlies mentioned in the previous post I thought I'd share this with you.

I wonder what it is? I've never seen such a big beetle in the North before. It was about two inches long,
Willow trod on it by accident but it continued on its beetly path.

Now here's a handstitch canvas work interlude (because I haven't done anything new for ages)

I used the 'holes' to do free stitching with textured threads.

I must say I enjoyed it.
But its a bit of a distant memory now.

I know these awards go round and round.

I have received this one again from Beate

I told her I'd already had it so she took me off the list, but I decided I would accept it as a way of linking to other blogs you can read.
You have to award it to 6 (or is it 7) other blogs and link back to the one you got it it increases readership. Good idea.
I've been reading Carols blog for ages and its always full of lovely stuff she's been working on.
Heloise has a nice colourful blog.
One of my favourite reads in the blogosphere is Ethel and Edna's Tearoom. Its full of love and creativity.
Sesga Loves 1950s is another lovely read with lots of little dolls, Daisie Days is a family, sewing and babies blog ..a peep into a part of life I once had!
Kate at Beautiful Things has a good tale to tell, and I've laughed and cried reading her blog.
Lets go for no 7.
I adore Caroline Inckle's paintings and textiles. They have such a mystical quality, and always make me think of the Northern Lights which is very appropriate, as she lives in the far North of Scotland.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Thursday 11 September 2008


Last week I watched the modern version of King Kong on TV.
There were some awful monsters in it, in the creepy crawly prehistoric forests.
They were scary.
But not as scary as what lurks under this old curtain in the spare room.


The beast.

Its a Singer 'Irish' Industrial Embroidery Machine which I acquired just after Christmas last year. It has a date stamped on it..1928.
Its very exciting and quite a rare beast.
It has a half inch wide zig zag possibility, and no feed dogs.
Imagine what I could do with this.

But I dare not switch it on.
It has a lamp

and a huge great control pedal
and somewhere decorative to put your other foot.

and a colossal ancient motor
which is why I dare not switch it on.

Not until its been serviced.

It took 4 of us to carry it up to the spare room, and a few days to recover.

I e-mailed Kate Wells about it and she said ''Whats the serial number? Its best if its 107w102''
I checked the Manual.

Lucky me..lucky find.
But still I dare not switch it on.

I spoke to Alice Kettle who uses them at Manchester Uni and she recommended a man who serviced their machines.
I phoned the man who was very helpful.

But he lives quite a way from me.

''Can you bring it here?'' he asked.

Saturday 6 September 2008


I'm restarting this post with the awarding of the award.
I have been reading lots of blogs and the whole purpose of these awards is to spread the blog reading around so I'm going to give it to the following blogs which I think are all very creative. Of course there are hundreds to choose from.
If you accept all you have to do is link back to my blog and then award it to 7 more.
green phoenix
fancy picnic
hens teeth
Of course you can completely ignore it if you like.
I am going to be very daring and add another. GingerSquirrel makes lovely little embroidered brooches. Have a look and say hello.

Its raining again.
I keep thinking of one of my favourite traditional English Songs, 'The Banks of the sweet Primeroses' (the version by June Tabor is my preferred one, you can listen to a bit of it on her website) which ends:

'There's many a dark and a cloudy morning
Turns out to be a bright sunshiny day'

But there's many a one that doesn't.

I am so looking forward the blue Aegean sky

and the blue Aegean sea.

But I'm sad that I'll miss a Felt Group Meeting.
A month to wait is such a long time.

In the meantime, I've been 'interviewed'..well to be more precise I was sent a list of questions by Linda Walsh which she has made into a really nice article on her blog She's put lots of pics of my work in it too. (Oh no not those again!)
She runs the Top Blogs by Crafters list extremely well. You move up and down when your stats change and don't have to wait weeks and weeks for things to be updated like another list I'm on that I won't mention.
Yes yes I know its only vanity but its good to know people are reading.
If you have the stat counter set up you can see where people are coming from.
Imagine my amazement when it led me to this possibly Russian blog. I don't know whether to be flattered or floored. Its nice when people like your work enough to want to blog about it, but it feels a bit creepy too.
I suppose a lot of people lurk and don't comment, and one even downloaded the picture of the back of my front door which I have now deleted because I'm thinking 'burglar'. (fyi 'Bill,' The alarm was just out of the picture) I'm hoping that downloading means just clicking on the picture to view it large.
If it was you please set my mind at rest.
Tell me it was a mistake.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Four wettings and a funeral.

If you are here looking for sewing I'm afraid there's none in this post, so if you are new, you could try looking at this post, or this post or even this post. And I like this too.

Now if you don't mind boring, too many words, read on.

The only part of gardening I am good at is destruction, so when the front door was almost completely covered with growth I decided it was at last time for the chop. I cut off the branches that had held the goldfinch nest, and look!!!

There was another egg in the bottom.
There should have been 6 baby birds in that tiny nest. Isn't that incredible?

Look at the size of it. Beautiful.

Yesterday we went to Aberystwyth.
(For UK readers that big bright thing in the sky is the Sun)

It was to attend the funeral of the father of our friend G, who lived in a village nearby. He was the original owner of the little sausage dogs, Porky and Blodwen. We got hopelessly lost, but eventually found the Crematorium, Now I know funerals and crematoria (?) are not perhaps blog material but I have to tell you that I have never been in a more beautiful, spiritual crematorium chapel ever. The whole of the wall behind the altar was made of glass looking out over the Welsh countryside.
A perfect place from which to step off into eternity.

The day was eventful. I got soaked and dried off about 4 times in the rain. Its a very long way from our house to Aberystwyth. We had a very short break on the way in Llanidloes, a cup of tea in The Great Oak. Fantastic. We were in a hurry but I would love to visit again. We had to rush past a Quilt Exhibition without even looking!

We missed the start of the funeral service but it didn't matter too much.
Our friend G had spent the week in her late father's house, mourning him by painting his life and home on the coffin. It was beautiful. So much nicer the usual varnished wood veneer. The sea, his boat, and fish on one side, wild flowers, a fox, an otter and montbresia flowers on the other, and of course, Porky and Blodwen at his feet, like a medieval knight's tomb. I wish I had a picture to show.

When we got to the 'funeral tea' place I offered to take the dogs for a short walk. I had been walking for a minute or two when the heavens opened and it began to thunder. I was holding an umbrella and had no waterproof coat. I decided to turn back , and at that moment a car came up the lane and a man opened the door and said 'get in.' It was absolutely bucketing down, hailing by now so I got in, with the sodden dogs, wondering if this chap had actually been at the funeral. I had no bag, or phone and he continued to drive, although at one point the hail was so intense we couldn't see out.
We got on like a house on fire. He was indeed a guest at the funeral and was going home to get his mandolin to play some music while we had the tea. His home was in 'the back of beyond' with a fabulous garden, with nasturtiums and passion flowers cascading over the wall. His 'other half' is a herbalist, and the garden was full of beautiful useful plants, and the sound of bees.

By the time we got back to the funeral party both my husband and G had been out in separate cars looking for me. They just couldn't understand what had happened, so there was much rejoicing when I walked back in.

We had a scenic drive round Aberystwyth before setting off for home via Gayles Wine Bar in Llangollen, for food. I can't recommend it too highly. Good unfussy but delicious food and a great atmosphere.

That was all probably too much writing so I won't tell you how I had to take the one piece selected for the Platform Gallery Open textiles exhibition and decided to incorporate delivery of with an afternoon out with my Mum, but then delivered the wrong picture so had to go again today.

And I won't mention that I also, that very same morning, drove 20 miles North to Forton Services on the M6 near Lancaster to meet someone I had never met before, who had a spare key to the car of our friend in Aberystwyth, (who actually lives in Lancaster)because her car key had snapped off in the lock outside the Spar shop in the Welsh village. So we could take it to her at the funeral.
Oh. I just did.

Well if you've read this far I may as well burden you with the 'Google reader Syndrome'.

I spend hours 'catching up' on google reader, leaving comments on all my favourite blogs, so that 'unread items' is at '0'. I go to bed and when I look again in the morning its back up to 25, and if I leave it it gets up to 185.....
I can't cope!
Does anyone else suffer from the same syndrome?

I got this

from Genie's Art World. Thank you so much. I'll pass it on later.
I also discovered today that I have gone up to 83 on the Top Blogs by Crafters list.

Such a show off.
Also sorry about only having one prize in my giveaway. I feel bad.

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

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.