Friday, 16 February 2018


How can it be January?

Haha! I wrote that more than a month ago and then came unstuck trying to blog from my ipad app. So here I am at last on the trusty laptop. The blogger app has stopped working on my ipad and I cant find a way round it. its to do with updates, and it was so handy to upload the photos you've just taken.
Ah well.

Enough of that. Ignore it.
Here’s a post.

Christmas came and went.

 with the addition of a new stove.
They sent the wrong front, we wanted plain but still waiting. I have to say,  it's not the great  throbbing source of warmth we'd hoped it would be but we're stuck with it now.

But when the weather has been cold


Someone appreciates it!

 I got a bit creative with the Christmas cakes..

... but won't be making a full time job of it. 

The one I did for my Mum was nicer. Just stars and silver balls, and the joke is, we always peel that horrible sickly sweet fondant off before we eat it.

The last day of the year was cold but we had a little trip out with my Mum to Lytham where we walked along the 'front' and a complete stranger took this for us.

     Mum had two coats on!

Then friends for New Years eve, a last minute decision so that was a nice way to end 2017.

It was a very busy year sewing wise and I'm not doing any big selling events for this year so that I can look at other ideas and not just keep churning out the same old stuff.

I have a few workshops booked, one in Llanidloes in July, and another one in August in Wooler for the Embroiderers Regional summer School.

I've had a little play with an idea I've had for ages but not got round to.


Not vivid tropical fish but old fashioned Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing type fish. Its a book from about the 1940s of which we have a copy. In the book, Mr Crabtree takes his nephew Peter on fishing expeditions (in a full three piece suit and hat) and teaches him the ways of British freshwater fish, and how to catch them.

Mine are the ones that got away. 
They have a bit of pond with them.

I like their glum expressions.

Ive sold all the freestanding ones and had a request for brooches so there are some in my shop.

The trouble is, they are not as easy to make as the usual brooches and require a lot more individual attention (not that the brooches don't have individual attention, they do) so have to be a bit more pricey. I daresay I could get in the swing of making them but I don't really want to just mass produce them.

The spotty ones seem to go first. They have French Knots on them.
They're not any particular species of fish, just generally fishy.

I've also done a bit of knitting .

 My model isn't putting her all into it is she? She's not 'working it'

I got it as a kit two Christmases ago so decided to knit it eventually. It got me through an extremely stressful few weeks by giving me something to focus on. The pattern instructed me to use navy yarn for the neck and the picture showed the neck in white but I'd done it by then and wasn't unpicking the trickiest bit. I'd already had a lot of help from my Facebook friends.

I want to knit another one for Hetty without the sailor collar, just a tube really to keep her underneath clean on muddy walks. Of course in the 'Great Big Clearout' I gave away all my acrylic yarn so am now on the scrounge, it only takes two balls and I think stripey would be nice....

My most exciting thing of the year was having a cataract removed from my left eye, It's BRILLIANT! 
My right eye now seems poor but it isn't. It was my good eye before !
I would urge anyone who is dithering about it through squeamishness  (As I was) to get on with it.
I didn't feel or see a thing during the operation and it's improved my life enormously.
Trees have become three dimensional wonders instead of fuzzy brown blurrs.

I'm so inspired by bare branches with fruit.

Unfortunately I'm going through a bit of a paralysis of motivation. I go into my sewing room with great ideas but just freeze up when I get in there. (I freeze literally's cold!)

Sometimes its good to recharge your batteries with an afternoon out. We regularly travel to this area and enjoy the peace. It's not too far away and refreshes the soul. Arnside, where we watch the train chug across the estuary and listen to the seabirds.

And here's Saint Hetty ..well.. her shadow from the back of the sofa, with the shadow of a beautiful glass snowflake made, and given to me by the very wonderful Chris Daley of Woodland Ridge retreats in USA.

I keep it in my window all the time. I'm so lucky to have received gifts from fellow bloggers all over the world. In fact when I get out my Christmas decorations it's a trip down the memory lane  of blogging. Little peg doll angels from Sesga, a tree angel from Mary-Anne, a little gift box from Sid Simpson,  a beaded snowflake from Carolyn Saxby and so many more, I'm sorry I haven't mentioned them all. Ahhh the golden days of blogging before facebook and instagram took over. I made so many friends.

Before I go allow me to introduce The Fab Four we met whilst out on a walk. 

They spoke very highly of just about everything. They were very vocal and happy pet piggies.


Jane said...

I don't always comment, but I always enjoy your posts. It's so much more interesting to read something longer than FB posts, and I like the mixture of textile art and 'life'.

I hope your 'creative paralysis' improves. I think most of us get it sometimes, and it can be quite debilitating. I know I've got it when I do things that never get done otherwise, like cleaning things that never get cleaned normally. Good luck.


Jackie said...

Thank you Jane. It’s good to know someone is out there. I don’t know which Jane you are from your profile , but thank you so much.

Julie said...

I love piggies, especially when they snort and snuffle. I used to spend school holidays on a family friend's pig farm. I've loved your bloggy catch up so thank your for persevering. I've seen your fish on Facebook and love them. I hope you have a calmer year this year. Maybe see you at one of the shows. xx

Jackie said...

Thank you Julie. I hope we manage to get together this year. Too.

Unknown said...

I love your blog Jackie! It's like having a lovely chat with you with your lovely sense of humour. Love the fishes, your gorgeous model and the noisy piggies!

Rachel said...

I do like your fishies! It's good to know the cataract operation went so well. I've heard very good things about them!

Chriss said...

I have been following your blog for years and have bought a few things from you, which are my treasures. I love your art and your life posts. Great mix. Well done. I shall follow until you stop.

Jackie said...

Thank you Dee, Rachel and Chris, I’m glad you enjoyed it. X

Joanna said...

Well that was a treat. I haven't been to your blog before but it was a bit of a walk down memory lane, as my Nan used to take me to Lytham quite often. She lived in Blackpool and so Lytham was nicer because it was quieter, although it was Blackpool prom walk on Boxing Day for a nice bracing post-Christmas walk for us usually.

I am at the stage of paralysis for most things and the creative side of things is the worse. I hope we both get the chance to blossom in this year.

Robin Mac said...

What a lovely post, I love the fishes you are making now. There are times when I think I would love to try some felting again, but I really cannot see well enough to do any stitching on it and that is what jazzes the pieces up! Better just to look at your blog and remember!
That cataract surgery is absolutely brilliant, well in 99.9% of cases anyway. Will you need new glasses for close work?
I hope your creative muse comes back soon, perhaps when the spring comes and you are not freezing with the temperature. We could co with a bit of that cold here. We have had the most dreadful heatwave for nearly a week - temps in the high thirties (Celcius)every day and only down to about 28 overnight!
I have talked too much. Cheers X

Heather said...

So nice to hear from you again and get all your news. Love those free standing fishes - my husband had that book many years ago. Pigs might be a bit smelly but are so endearing - oink,oink!
I know, only too well, the feeling of 'what to do'. Everything was unpacked when I moved in here, but just put away quickly without enough thought about what should go where. It takes ages to find what I'm looking for sometimes. The first task will be to re-organise.
Enjoy 2018 and finding fresh creativity.

chocolatefrog said...

FB is no substitute for a blog, so hard to get to know anyone through little sound bites. But the longer we put it off, the longer the job takes, and so on... me too. Your posts are always a delight though Jackie, and I do love your fishes!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Your wee fishies are adorable - I'm sure they will be a huge hit. Glad the cataract surgery was a success - one of my friends had both eyes done just before Christmas and she's thrilled. First time since she was 6 that she doesn't have to wear glasses for distance. She still needs readers, but a small price to pay. Hope you get over your momentary 'what to do' - I'm sure it will pass and you'll soon be going full on again. Take care my friend.

Barbara said...

Good day,today.....hit the button and you have uploaded another blog for us to your fishes, especially the free standing ones....and also your model wearing this year's latest trend in knitwear...very stylish! So far, 2018 has been pretty awful, but fingers crossed that it will start to improve some time very soon...and you have done your bit to make this particular Sunday that bit brighter..thanks Jackie!

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

So good to hear from you! I'm loving your new fishies! And glad to hear you are taking some time for yourself to renew and invent! I, too, have felt very virtuous clearing out, selling and giving away the "un-needed" only to find some of it was NEEDED indeed! I suppose I should be glad that I have room for a great deal of unnecessary things.

Gina said...

Good to hear from you here again and I love the fish. I'm still blogging from my iPad, or at least using the app to upload the photographs and so far I keep resisting the updates knowing that I'll have to go back to just using my increasingly decrepit laptop. Keeping up with technology is a nightmare!

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