Sunday, 2 September 2018

End of Summer


The last few flowers from the garden.

Blackberry muffins from the hedgerow.

A lovely three days teaching in Northumberland.

A visit to an old haunt, I stayed here 20 years ago.

There was a great welcome.
A visit from a an old FB friend who likes my brooches.

The ‘dreaming spires ‘ of Wooler.

And a new lacy piece.

Goodbye August. Loved being with you. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Silken Strands.

When I studied City and Guilds Embroidery I was introduced to Natesh Titania Threads, the variegated ones.
There was only one place to get them and that was Silken Strands, Bangor North Wales. 
I would phone when I needed new ones and the lovely Catherine Spalding answered the phone and calmly took my order, and payment.  Usually the yummy threads, needles, and any other stuff I'd ordered would arrive the next day, beautifully packed.

I was very saddened to have discovered recently that Catherine Died in April this year. 
So this is by way of a small tribute to her and her gentle business-like manner and superb service over the years. I've recommended the threads to everyone  and I hope some of you also had the Silken Strands experience and know what I mean.







Thursday, 2 August 2018

Hot Hot Hot but now not

This post was started a few weeks ago but I've had trouble with the photos uploading. However a solution has been found, by me, in the form of dropbox.
Do you find it confusing to switch photos between devices? I have extra icloud storage but so many photos its not enough. So Dropbox it is.
Shortly after I wrote the last post the weather took a turn for the better, the lambs shed their plastic macs, the bluebells appeared and a very warm Spring began which I thoroughly enjoyed.

It's been so lovely to have walks in the woods again without having to bath Hetty before she can come inside!


The sheep and lambs have been a delight to listen to from across the road. I apologised for not being vegetarian every time I stopped to watch them They seemed very happy in the fields and some of them are still there. 

A lot of the early Summer was spent with the house in upheave mode while we re decorated our 'everyday' room. 
After all the paint decisions there was the carpet to consider, and while we waited for them to come and lay it (5 hours after they said they would) the rest of the house was upside down.


The next day I was out but Brian vacuumed it and noticed lots of little gaps appearing in the pile.
(her is Hetty modelling the faulty carpet)

So back to square one, with all the furniture displaced for another few days while we waited.

But I think it was worth it.
We had a few reservations about putting back 'all the clutter' but since all the orange pine was painted in lovely colours it looks a lot less busy and I love my pots.


The old table is now the only bit of natural wood but we like that.
I found this gorgeous fabric for the curtains, which I had the devil of a job making , because it was so expensive I skimped, and it has a big pattern, but they look lovely.


Then the final incongruous indulgence.. an IKEA 'Poang ' chair. I've always wanted one,  they are not expensive but I thought it would look out of place. You don't say 'out of place' you say 'eclectic'

We also got a new sofa from IKEA. 
Cheaper than a Laura Ashley one I found in an old catalogue from 1985, and very comfy. 

I love the wall colour. 


All in all it's worked out well, and I love the whole room, and even though it was done on a budget it pleases me as much as if it had cost a fortune.Big thanks to my lovely husband who worked so hard to get it done.
A change is as good as a rest.
It made me want to do a bit more sorting, so I emptied teh glory hole under the stairs. 
I needed protection though!
I've read some interesting books,


and I taught a class of my own locally in mid-may and we had a super time with lovely people.

I've done a bit of sewing of brooches, but not much after last years full on production line.


We had a few days away. The first night was in Twickenham, where the 'Green' wasn't.
Stayed with my long long time friend Annie at her lovely house.

Then went on to Sussex. We stayed in Rye for a few nights and visited Dungeness,

saw Derek Jarman's cottage and garden,

popped to Hastings,

pootled around Rye,

visited the gorgeous amazing Great Dixter Gardens,



and stayed in a lovely little terraced house with a teeny coutyard.

It was perfect for the two of us, beautifully decorated and equipped, very central, (slightly hairy unpacking as it was on a double yellow line at a junction) a perfect place to explore Rye on foot.


I found 'Miss Mapp's' house.


On the way home we stopped to look at Canterbury Cathedral where Brian had his first student placement way back in the 70s. 
His accommodation was the white building to the right of the main entrance.


He'd worked on the restoration of the Black Prince's tomb .
It's a fabulous building well worth a visit. The rest of Canterbury is mainly shops but there ere one or two other interesting sights and sounds.

Then it was my birthday and we visited an equally interesting pace, Manchester! Not quite as 'picturesque' but vibrant and full of the unexpected.


Number two son who lives there, found a great restaurant for us,  Allotment, where we had a series of delicious small plates. yum.



Compare and contrast. 
Rye..


........Manchester.


Back home again..Hetty found a prickly friend in the garden. Night after night she got very excited about him, but sadly , one morning, I saw a little not-quite-round  shape on the road....sniff.


                                    The last wee at night isn't as exciting for Hetty any more.
I spent a very hot but very delightful weekend in Llanidloes and stayed in Rhayader, where I picnicked in a park by this lovely river.

I was teaching a workshop in the Minerva Centre and will add some photos when I can.

So far I've enjoyed a Summer of lovely long hot walks.


I've rooted out some old friends in the form of skirts and dresses from years ago, which now fit me again, and I've reacquainted myself with another old friend. 



Phew.








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

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