Thursday 31 December 2009

This Years Mosaic

Its good to think that this time last year I didn't know the felt brooches existed.
Then I found them in my head.
I wonder what will fall out of that space in 2010?
It makes me wonder.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

UPDATE:On the last day of this strange year the difficulty we had that started in September has been resolved in a better way than we could have imagined.
Thanks be to God.

Tuesday 29 December 2009


In the quiet days between Christmas and New Year I am taking some time to read and reflect.
What am I reading?
Blogs of course.
I have a big pile of books to get through too, but I read blogs on my laptop on my knee in the evenings, and occasionally peep over the top at whatever's on TV.

There are blogs I have been reading and commenting on since I first knew what blogs were.
There are blogs I have visited because I have received lovely comments from their writers.
Some blogs I read and never bother to comment on because they never reply.
There are funny blogs, beautiful blogs, down to earth blogs, informative blogs, blogs from distant parts of the world where their everyday life is so different from ours.
There are bloggers who I now consider good friends even if we haven't met yet.

I have recently taken the time to discover Lilylovekin Tales. I popped in briefly on occasions to reply to comments but decided I would have a really good read and found a compelling blog with beautiful photographs and a simple and honest style.
A real treasure.

I have had a tremendous amount of pleasure from blogging as well as support and encouragement. It has been a strange and difficult year with some exceptional highs but many lows, and without the blog I would have found it very difficult at times. I continue to get lots of lovely visitors despite my obsessive attention seeking and my moaning.
Thank you.

Today I had the best fun that can be had from blogging...a meeting of the 'house on fire' variety with a fellow blogger. I traveled for an hour to Hebden Bridge, to meet Helen and her daughter who had traveled an hour from the other direction.
We sat down in a cafe at 11am and left at 3pm having consumed coffee, lunch, cake, tea and talked non stop.
And I forgot to take a photograph.
Never mind.
I have a bright and lovely picture in my head.

Saturday 26 December 2009

Boxing Day

Did you all have a good day?
We did, with visits from our sons and my Mother.
But boxing day is my favourite day of the year and I never arrange to go anywhere or do anything in particular.
Even the elusive Mummycat is relaxed and sitting still for a picture.

I am relaxing, watching TV and enjoying the calm and tidy atmosphere.
The little tiny tree looks very pretty in the front window.

Its the first Christmas for the newly decorated room and I thought I'd compare it with its former state this time last year. In the third picture in This Post
(It shows my Moose card from Carol Santora last year.
Carol has been a 'pen friend' for over 12 years. Her mother-in-law was in England and I met her one day in a Gallery where I was selling my sketch books. She took one for Carol with my address and we started writing to each other. Now we both have blogs so sadly we don't really write as such.)
No Moose card this year but look what we had instead. All the way from Kennebunk, Maine.

When Willow died in April Carol did this portrait of her in soft pastels.
I admired it on her blog and it brought tears to my eyes.
So can you imagine how I felt when it arrived here on Christmas Eve?
It was a most generous gift from Carol, beautifully framed and ready to hang.
Its from a photograph but it is so much more than the photograph, it has more life and depth.
It captures the personality of Willow.

We hung it immediately in the perfect spot.
Its a welcome addition to the room, a lovely reminder of a much missed pet, and a mark of the generosity of a friend far away.
I hope Carol and I will meet one day.

Other Christmas gifts were far more fleeting.
Oops..almost gone..mmmmm.....marzipan. I've always loved it.

My husband bought me this Guinea pig calendar.....

He knows me so well.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Happy Happy Merry Merry Jolly Jolly Holly Berry

Oh Hasn't it been wonderful ?
The snow?
I love it.
The only sad bit was not being able to go to meet SilverPebble yesterday.

This is an unaltered picture of the sky at 7.30 this morning.

(The garage is not ours, its across the road, and obliterates my view.
The gatepost is ours. Our house has balls...)

So pretty to see white everywhere, but so worrying when you know you have a turkey to buy!
I managed to dig out my car and leave this hilltop village and do my shopping today.

Such a great excuse to light the woodburner and feel all Christmassy.
My husband is home and the house is tidy.
Only the presents to wrap now and a normal sized tree to decorate and the promise of family together.
Few of us, but fond.

I hope you all have a beautiful and restful few days, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Monday 21 December 2009


Well thank you everyone for your sensitive comments on my moaning. This is the opposite of that post as most of the issues have been resolved.
Of course you all realise that I realise that my 'problems' are very trivial . I know many people have a lot worse to contend with but it was just the trivial things that got me down that day. next door neighbours heard we had a broken TV and came up with this for as long as we need it.

The gap in the woodburner has been fixed by means of a temporary filling of fire cement.

We have wood..inside,

and outside.

and in the logstore.

Once we had a stool from IKEA that broke and this was in the log basket just about to go in the fire when I put two and two together...

and its perfect for our emergency tree.Just needs covering.

I say emergency because it is teeny....and was lying on the floor at our local Christmas tree yard amongst overpriced and ugly trees so I bought it in case we couldn't get anything else, for three pounds!

By the middle of the week there will be a proper one in this space, but at the moment its in Mid Wales.

We never get a tree until the last possible moment but it backfired on us a bit this year .
We went on a tree hunt on Saturday in driving snow and the only one I liked was £45!!
I asked if that was a festive joke and they said no.
So we left it.
My husband is at a Welsh Castle and has just phoned to tell me he got one for £10. Not as big as we would have wanted but OK.
I had two lovely handmade cards in the post this week.
One from Viv at Hens Teeth and one from Carolyn at Love Stitching Red
Thank you both . I love them.
I am ashamed to say I haven't made any cards this year and the ones I bought were horrible, and I haven't sent any to blog friends .

Please accept my apologies and know that you are all very important to me . You have supported me through thick and thin this year and its means a lot.

I am more disorganised this year than ever before.
The low point of my week was being asked 'What happened to you on Wednesday?'
I had completely forgotten that I was First reader at the Carol Service.
I didn't even go in the end because my son came.
Fortunately someone stepped in who was well able to do it.
I feel terrible. The only excuse I can offer is that I got the reading the previous Sunday at Church and then we went straight to London for our friends funeral so it just went right out of my head.
I would have really loved it too.
I hope they ask me again and don't have me down as 'unreliable'.

Oh I didn't mention the washing machine...well I don't care about that.

I almost forgot..look what else came in the post.

Do you think thats the egg cup? A picture?
Well I never.

UPDATE:I was trying to jam too many lights on the worlds smallest tree when the postman came and VOILA!

Guess what I'm having for lunch?

Thursday 17 December 2009

Moan moan moan moan moan

I worked with a woman once and you never dared to ask 'How are you?' as a great catalogue of disaster doom and misery would ensue.

I fear I have become that woman.
Well for the moment at least so in an attempt to spare the casual caller or my friends and relations the misery, I am going to pour forth here.
'Not again!' the cry goes up into the blogisphere.
Yes again.
Many trivial inconveniences have recently conspired to irritate and annoy.

We have a drip under the sink possibly issuing from corrosion of plumbing due my over liberal use of 'Sink unblocker'. The previous annoyance was a blocked drain. So all the stuff out of the cupboard under the sink is..well...out of the cupboard.

The stove pipe at the back of the woodburner has parted company with the stove and we dare not light it for fear of 'fumes'. The removal of a particular screw and the buying of one like it would possibly sort it but said screw won't un screw after 24 years in position.

The washing machine, at which we have thrown much money for repairs, is making such a terrific row when it spins, audible three streets away,I daren't stand in the same room. And for all its row I have rejected half the stuff I was ironing as it isn't getting things clean. So we broached the subject of possibly could we afford..should we buy a new one...when...
...ta daaaaa!!!!
The telly broke last night.
There was noise.
There was a pinkness.
There were white lines.
And now it won't come on.I am reliably informed that its not worth repairing.

Now, I don't know about you but I think I would rather watch a telly than a washing machine at Christmas...yes I know I know ..most Christmas TV is rubbish but what about the 'other side'?
We spent boxing day one year with 'Jean de Florette ' and the day after with 'Manon des Sources'
I wept buckets.
Interlude:I made this for a custom order.

So..none of these things is important or life threatening (except maybe the washer if you stand near it) but frustrating.
When you thought you had a bit of spare cash and suddenly its spoken for, its annoying.

But, this morning a big fat envelope was sitting on my doormat and when I opened it, inside was a lovely gift from Mary Anne from Magpie's Mumblings, because she won my giveaway ages ago.
It was just what I needed. Thank you Mary Anne. It made me smile (but it also made me feel guilty that I hadn't done anything in the way of gifts for my bloggy friends.)

I am way behind for Christmas due to going away to the funeral but mainly hospital visiting.
Now speaking of hospital visiting this happened.
I am taking my elderly neighbour to visit her husband in hospital twice a week (we have a rota for the other days) and last week I took her to the 'drop in' hearing aid clinic to make life a bit easier for everyone. She has been having trouble with her hearing aid and can't really put it in by herself.
So they showed her how to do it but still she can't, so when I can, I do it for her. I nipped round on wednesday to do it but she had accidentally twisted it and I couldn't do it.
Today she had it in her pocket.
Her husband is on the second floor but we accidentally got out of the lift on the first floor which is the childrens ward.
As we waited for the next lift I saw a youngish woman waiting. She said her baby was in hospital and I asked her if she was worried. She nodded and said 'I'm deaf' (so I would look at her as I spoke) and I noticed she was wearing two hearing aids so I asked her if she could show my neighbour how to put the hearing aid in.
She sorted it out in no time and we were very thankful.
Isn't that strange? It was an accident that we got out on that floor but there she was chance and able to help and pleased to do so. Thank you kind young woman and I hope and pray your baby is doing well.

Well..if you've read all that and haven't nodded off well done.
I won't do anymore posts until I have something jolly to say.

Now for the Pollyanna version:
I'm so GLAD there was a drip under the sink becasue I found my favourite duster and washed it.

I'm GLAD we can't light the stove because we haven't any wood in bite sized pieces that will fit in it.

I'm GLAD the washer makes a noise because it breaks the silence left by the TV

I'm GLAD The TV has broken because I could do all my ironing upstairs and know I wasn't missing anything.

Is that better?
I'm so GLAD.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

In Memoriam

The day when 'is ' became 'was'.
We converged on a small church in North London to mourn our friend.
His family of course and 6 of his old friends and their wives, from different places ..Cornwall, Bristol, Nottingham, Essex, Lancashire, Paris.
United by University, Northumbrian Rapper, and memories of a lovely man who drew many short straws in order that others had the long ones.

Thursday 10 December 2009

Another post

Its been a busy week and my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.
I tried to take some photographs on Monday but as this was the level of light in my sitting room I gave up. (and drank lots of tea)
It goes with the general air of gloom in the media at the moment..every time you put the radio or Tv one...Global warming, recession.....isn't it all depressing?

I honestly can't quite say where the week has gone.
Its been a mixed week. (I just deleted the list of things I've done..too boring)

Meet my new friend given to me by Sue at the felt group.
My eyes grew to twice their size when I saw the gadget that is the....


Its got to be good with a name like that..a bit like 'Carters Little Liver Pills' or 'Potters Vegetable Cough Remover'..all inestimable successes.

Its all set up and, on the whole, seems useful.
I'll let you know.

EDIT for Christine: It does what it says on the tin.
You stand your threads on it...poke the ends through the holes on the top and use them when needed.

But I wonder why Sue didn't want it?

Anyway...the sun shone a bit on Thursday so I hauled myself away from the sewing machine and into the woods, missing canine company dreadfully.
I envied people their four legged friends but look. Dogs in my village come in twos three fours and even sixes.
Four here trying to cross the cattle grid..

Three more trotting along..and I'd just seen two going the other way.

But I think these 4 Newfoundlands get the prize for sheer dogginess. My flash fired so their eyes look 'The Wild Things'
What you can't see is that they also had two large spaniels.

I think they thought I was a bit mad photographing them.
I asked if they lived in a big house and they said no, a cottage.
The sun shone weakly but it was lovely if rather muddy walk.

The floor of the woods is covered in lovely shapes...

Perhaps the inspiration for my shapes?

I have become a bit of a one trick pony lately but I never tire of doodling with my machine(..and Martha Pullen)

I made these for two galleries . I'm always amazed at how even though its me sewing using the same stuff I always use, each 'group' or each session has its own character.

I sometimes just sew with the flow and other times its a labour.

I now have actual 'Stockists'.
The most recent three are The Shop in Lewes, Sussex; Fibre +Clay, and Arthouse2, Havant.

Some time ago I blogged about the difference in the price of my goods when sold direct and sold in galleries. I have discussed it at length with other makers and with gallery owners and have come to the conclusion that my things ought to be more or less the same price everywhere.

So for that reason I am going to have to raise the prices of the felt brooches.
I'll do it gradually but as they go out of my etsy shop I won't replace them until they are all gone, then make a fresh start at something a bit nearer the retail price for as long as I have other people selling my work.

I'm sorry to have to do this but its only fair. Galleries have overheads and are doing a good job of displaying and selling my work.
But don't postage is free for UK buyers.

And finally..I had a boiled egg today in my own egg cup.
No sign yet of the Dorset Cereals Goody bag.

Friday 4 December 2009


I am blessed with many good friends, so when my lovely friend Margaret had a big birthday recently I returned the compliment with this
Waxed brown paper on the outside and a handmade cord.

Inside a kind of folding panel covered in shibori dyed teabag paper.
It opens out to green and then again to pink.

Pink doesn't photograph well..

but I'm sure you can read the words..

which will be familiar to some as.. Irish Blessing.

I photographed it today at our monthly meeting of the Felt group.
We are blessed to have a lovely hall in which to hold our meetings and today we were blessed with good food as well as lovely fellow felters.

Look at the little Felt Christmas trees!

Our lives are enriched by the people we love.

(In memory of Chris who my husband and I lost from our lives last night )

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

Dear Anonymous.....

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