Thursday 31 May 2012


Blue skies, fields of long grass and buttercups, welcome breezes...its been a beautiful May.
Despite the lure of the outdoors I have managed to make some new brooches.
Tomato red fell into my hands and seemed appropriate with the felt I'd made.
Radial designs must have reflected my inner sun.

Some pictures to remind me of what may have been summer!

 I treated myself to three new auriculas and I wasn't disappointed. This was the last to flower: Butterwick.

 Proof! This was at 6pm. I haven't seen temperatures like this in my garden for a long time.

 Also in my garden..ducks.

 Followed closely by........a slightly timid schnauzer. 

 If only she'd been as reticent when she was by my friends beehives...ouch. And a double ouch when we paid the vets bill!
 More brooches.

 And little trumpeteers of summer to come.

Happy Jubilee!

Thursday 17 May 2012

Accidental inspiration

Sometimes  inspiration needs a little nudge.
Two of the felt group members paid a visit to Colinette yarns the other week and brought the spoils of the journey for us all to look at and to share amongst us. 

 Up until that point I'd been wondering what to make on the day but when I saw the yarn I was away incorporating it into some lichen-ish stone-ish felt with thoughts of my day at Newgrange in my head.

 The wool is amazing and made beautiful Celtic spirals which are now just waiting for some stitches.
I do love this olive and grey scheme.

Can you have inspiration in retrospect?

Last week I was driving through Preston and the sky was deep leaden greys in front of me. There was a tree in bud, perhaps a sycamore? The sun was shining on its olive/mustard leaves against the grey sky and the bark was smooth and  silvery. Exactly the same colours as I had enjoyed when putting this brooch together.

Now for some excitement. I had been asked by Dunelm if I would be a product reviewer from time to time. Now, I don't advertise but am always willing to mention places and products I use so I agreed. 
The parcel arrived and I had no idea what was in it so it was quite exciting, and revealed these two books of paper.
As readers know, I am not a paper crafter but I do know a nice bit of card when I see it, so I'll review it as objectively as I can.
There were two books, one 12 inches square, a really great size for measuring and using, although I might have preferred A4 so I could feed it through the printer. 
I suppose if I want to I could cut it down a bit.
The 12 inch square one is called 'New Leaf' and has 48 sheets and 16 designs of acid free heavyweight cardstock. 
Its really sturdy and cuts like a dream. 
There are flat prints like this

 and some embossed prints like this. This book of card has a lot of 50s themed colours and designs .
There are some glittery prints.

For someone  not keen on glitter I find  it quite subtle and I can see it has its uses.
 Some of the prints are double sided so thats an extra bonus, I especially like the polka dot ones and shall be using those myself.

There was also a smaller book 8x8, called Sweet Owl, with again 48 sheets half glittered and half double sided. At first I thought they were all owl themed like these two pretty little pages

 but then I discovered some very romantic pinks with great potential for tags and gift cards.

For more details got to the Dunelm Website and see all their paper and other craft materials.

Its May and although the weather isn't great the bluebells have struggled through (although my sweet pea seeds I planted about 6 weeks ago haven't) so I thought I'd add a few pictures of bluebells and Hetty and Spring in general.

 These ducks, about to cross the road had been heading down out path until Hetty spotted them.

 Finally, I found this in what I euphemistically refer to as my alpine bed. Its really an old salt glazed sink which is now a solid matt of roots under some gravel with mainly weeds and a bit of sysirhincum and some gentians in it. 
Look carefully. 
Its a baby Larch tree. 
A gift from its dear mama which we sadly had to cut down in the Autumn. In all the years we had the larch, we never had a seedling grow from it before.
I think I'll plant it so we will have larch again and by the time it gets too big for the garden like its ma did, I'll be long gone!

Monday 7 May 2012

The Winner

Using the random number generator I duly entered the number of comments (68)  clicked 'generate' and it gave me number 6.
I checked the comments and its Catherine Bainbridge. So Catherine get in touch with me and you can tell me what you fancy in the brooch line.
Congratulations and sorry to those who were unlucky.

Thursday 3 May 2012

Move along..there's nothing to see...

 Just a few more brooch fronts.
 in different shades.
 and different shapes.
 Last saturday was the Embroiderers' Guild Northwest regional day in Preston. It was an enjoyable day. I added my Horrockses dress to the others on display. Here are a few including mine.

 Here are some real Horrockses dresses brought along by Dr Caroline Alexander from the Harris Museum who gave the morning talk. Its was really good despite the fact that her presentation wouldn't work and she had to rely on a few photos. 
She was a good lively speaker though and it didn't matter.
In the afternoon we had a talk from Sue Rangeley whose work is exquisite and neat and insiring. She's worked in fashion for years and it was her little applique purse that drew me into the BBC series about embroidery about 30  years ago, and then onto City and guilds.

I won first prize in an odd sort of competition where there were only 4 entries. It used to be sponsored by Coats Anchor and the pieces had to contain their threads, but they've given up sponsorship so it was a bit of a let down.

 In further news: I found a 17 spot ladybird in the garden.
  Is that unusual?
As always....
 I've been making felt
 of various hues.
 I've added backs to the aforementioned brooch fronts

 and made a few more fronts.
 Its odd when I make felt. Sometimes its speaks to me...this one says  Vanessa Bell/Charleston Farmhouse. Its dark and glowing. But I have a bit of a block because I don't know what to do with it. I'm doing a workshop next week where we are making felt and stitching on it and I don't know quite what to say about stitching on this piece.
 That may be why I dreamt I was teaching French and had to start by admitting that I couldn't speak French.
This one is supposed to 'speaking ' of the Burren.
 Will I make little pieces or stitch on it as a whole? I don't know. I stitched a little piece from some of the felt in the first picture and I was quite pleased with it.

 so I stitched a few more.

Guess what? It was my fourth bloggiversary last week on Saturday and I didn't blog about it.
Thats odd.
 Its a special day too as its the day we lost Willow a year later.

When I first started blogging I was obsessed with it. I took my camera out with me to take pictures of things to blog about. I really like some of my earlier posts and still enjoy reading them.

I made a group of lovely virtual friends and always read and commented on their blogs via google reader.
Lately I've been lazy and haven't read. Didn't dare go to Google reader for fear of the number of unread posts I had to catch up with, but when I did I found that not many of them had been blogging...just like me. 
I still love all the lovely comments and welcome you all, but at the same time I miss the 'community' I had at the beginning. I can't hope to read and reply to all the comments I get now and for that I am truly sorry .
As its my bloggiversary, I think I should have a giveaway, as a little 'thank you' for lovely comments, but its hard not to appear cynical  as only one person can win and it usually does boost readership and comments. So if you will forgive me, leave a comment here and I will choose a winner on Monday. You can choose a brooch if you win. I don't mind where you live.
Thank you for reading.


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