Saturday 31 July 2010


This my dear blog friends this is a showing off post.
Yes, I have a great wonderful achievement to report.
After several years of trial and error, failure, disappointment .....I have grown .....

a sweet pea.

Now I know its only one.
But its MY one.

Isn't it beautiful?
I couldn't tell you anything about the smell because its too wet to stand in the garden sniffing.
I was out there long enough to be reminded where most of my problems lie.

Forgive the blurry photo..I was shuddering while trying to take this.

The hosta leaves are lacy but the flowers look great, especially against the vibrant yellow of the alchemilla...before the rain battered them flat of course.

Sweet peas, I suppose, are my absolute favourite flowers of all, but for the last few years, after several  attempts at growing them in large pots which resulted in vast amounts of greenery but no actual flowers, I seem to have, in a very modest way, succeeded. I had these in tubs in the garden at the side of the house, but the wind was inhibiting them, so one day I dumped the lot in the bare soil in the front sunnier garden and voila! 
One flower, many buds. Lets hope.....
I may get a vase full.

In the meantime I satisfy my urge for the pale mauves, pinks and blues with this sort of thing.

I really, really, love these colours.
This one is just as nice but unfortunately pink velvet doesn't photograph so well.

I met two fellow bloggers on Thursday and we had a great long chat and a bit of cake, at Salts Mill, Saltaire, near Bradford.
One was Sue from Mousenotebook, and the other was Helen formerly Cocoa and Blankets and now here.
What a lovely day we had.
Their company made up for a false start in my stupid car, when I had to turn back after 15 miles and swap to my husbands car. His has done 178,000 miles and has a big box of broken glass in it on its way to the tip, but it drives like the wind.
Mind drives as if its GOT wind.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Learning Curves

The long gap between blog posts is due to two events.
The first is a small break away in the Lake district with old friends and one new.
This one in particular won my heart.

The delightful Dylan. I wish he was mine.

However, being The English Lake District......

.......we had rain.
In fact overnight when we were there the level of Windermere rose by four and a half feet. That's a lot of water..millions billions of gallons apparently..according to the Guard on the Haverthwaite Steam Railway who seemed to be an expert on these matters.
Bear in mind there is a hosepipe ban at the moment.

But we had fun and enjoyed some wonderful cheeses which we bought in Cartmel and ate on the 'beach' at Flookburgh, while avoiding the marsh underfoot.

The other event..quite momentous in my life, was the acquisition of a new laptop. Not just any old laptop...a Macbook.
Yes, we have a bare patch on the sitting room carpet and spending all that money on a little gadget is making me feel guilty but I think I'll put the little silver beauty over the hole when we have visitors and they may not notice..what do you think?

Of course I am not familiar with the Mac system so its taken me a full week to dare to transfer my photos (can you believe I had 13,000?)  and to work out how to resize them and edit them and blah de blah de son (who is a mac-o phile, or should that be macanista?) has just given me a quick lesson in iphoto. He came from downstairs where my husband is working on his reports and needs lessons in iphoto too.

My son outlined the differences in our needs..'You see Mum, I tell Dad and he's a complete novice, and listens, and then I come to you and tell you....but you're clicking all over the place like a giddy child '

He shows me something and then I forget and he says'I just showed you that'.So I have to explain the difference in our brains..his is like a sponge and soaks up and retains everything he wants it to, while mine is a pumice stone where a bit of new stuff sinks into the holes on the top, but mostly drips off the sides. I am on the wonderful in so many ways Macbook.There are two three and four finger scrolls on the track pad...ooooohhh!!!  I love it too much and I worry about that.

Last monday was my 59th Birthday.  I had a nice day...I went to the Grand opening of the 'improvements' in the village.
I have to hold my hand up and admit that I was wrong about the Parish Council and the path through the woods which has upset me so much is nothing to do with them.
 Its complicated. Suffice it to say there are two projects on the go in these parts, one I love and one I hate.

You may, if you read my other blog, have seen the new gateposts.
They have been much altered and are beautifully carved with the stages of metamorphosis of a butterfly so again I jumped to the wrong conclusion and prejudged them. They do still have the 'Jurassic Park look in silhouette, but its generally not that bad. Here is the culpritt  artist doing another one along the route around the 'Lodge' .

Finally...I didn't want to do a blog post until I had a bit of actual textile content to show. 
Well another first...a frame purse.
What a fiddle.

I don't know if there will be any more of these. I didn't even get the flower in the middle.
My plans are in tatters.

 Two pieces of my work have been accepted into the West Lancs Open in Ormskirk, which starts next week.
These are the ones:


and these:


Now I've made my first Macpost. 

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Woolly Love

Forgive me for this self indulgent post.
Perhaps if you are not a felt maker or wool lover you won't enjoy it.
I've been making felt for future shapes and brooches.
I have to think of colours and combinations that I wouldn't normally use so I put a few things together and got this.

Thinking outside of my colour comfort zone where I usually end up with duck egg and greys I stuck a few dark colours in. A navy and a maroon and hey presto! 
The 1950s appeared.
So I went on and made another because I didn't want to cut the first one up..but it was different again.

I love the unexpectedness of felt.
The way you put two colours on top of each other and get deliciousness.

even where you weren't expecting it.

 This could be the centre of a brooch.

There's a bit of silk in here, the blue thats brighter than the rest. Its almost iridescent.

It scares me a bit...I can't predict it and I want to control it...frustration ensues.

 I could stare at it for hours ....which is how long it will take it to dry in this weather.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Meaty chunks and soaking up the clutter.

Sometimes you want to be creative but it just doesn't work.
Its been a struggle these last two weeks . 
Sitting at my sewing machine and trying to produce good stuff with the ironing and tidying demons on either shoulder is tricky. I've resisted them as far as I can but its still extremely distracting. 
After all, our house has absorbed this:

and a lot more, albeit temporarily. 

While it was busy absorbing, my in laws arrived unexpectedly.
They are lovely people but have the tidiest cleanest house and garden in the Northwest.
Oh well. Good job we are not all the same.
I made some felt at the felt group last week and it looks like meat.


I wanted a palette change but essence of steak was what I came up with. 
Its not too bad in small doses with a spoonful of sugar to help it down.


But does this work have the same 'retro' feel to it?


Or do these things look like hair ornaments from 'Strictly Come Dancing'?
Or decorative blobs from a tawdry theatrical painter?


I like the above one best but it makes me think 40's night club!


Is it just me?


I even had a difficult job getting some of the 'usual' done, but here's one just listed on ETSY.


Now for some news: I received some more purse frames from Hongkong so am now tooled up for purse production. I hope it goes well. Watch this space.
second bit of news: I am in the video of Art and Garden on youtube but if you want to see me you'll have to root it out for yourself. If you find it you deserve the gratification of seeing me as I am.
Like my Grandma.
But fatter.
“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as others see us!”
Well that 'pow'r' is Youtube.

Tuesday 6 July 2010


The real thing

..from Turkey.

Deeply delightful

and flavoured with lemon, pistachio and rose.

Strangely, this rose from the previous post smells exactly like my childhood memories of Turkish delight.

It was always my favourite chocolate in the box.
But bore no resemblance to the real thing.

Saturday 3 July 2010


How things change.
Two months ago I was 'home alone', missing my husband, missing having a dog, feeling lonely.
Now my husband has finished working away for a while so we have enjoyed each other's company.
Then we offered to have our friends' dog and we are enjoying that but they will be collecting her on Monday.
And now...
One of our sons has arrived home unexpectedly with all his belongings.

So, while I am happy he is here for a short time, it has its own problems but at least its made us address the 'spare room' issue!
So, stay calm, green is the colour of calm and rest

Aaaah. Thats better.
Now, the delightful Viv of Hens Teeth is kindly selling some brooches for me so when I made a batch and sent her some I kept some.
I suppose Harris Tweed is a bit unseasonable but I have listed a couple in my Etsy shop.

More greeeeeeeen.

Its a pity that the camera picks up the light on the surface of the tweed because its so much softer and warmer looking in reality.

Then there's the pink. Yummy.

I did a silly thing and bought some purse frames on ebay. But they were not the right kind for a beginner and I don't know how to stick the fabric in as they don't have a continuous groove all the way round.Any ideas anyone?

I'm off to take Indi for a walk.
She's lovely dog and she and the cats have reached, shall we understanding?

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

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