Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Arrival of the Great Aunts

Not long now till Great Aunt Madge and Great Aunt Fannie arrive. Fannie will be all in black, no doubt, but Madge (a redhead) prefers finer feathers. This is their first visit to us, so we're making a special effort to make sure they feel welcome and that we have laid on everything they are likely to need. We know what the ladies like to eat and fortunately they're not faddy eaters and have small appetites. Dad says they will be happy pottering around the garden, so probably won't need much entertaining either. Apparently they don't like being out after dark, preferring to get to bed early. I think we'll all get along famously - specially if they lay as many eggs as we've been promised!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Etsy Front Page

Just sneaking in with a little bragging moment ....... hey, I'm allowed, it's my blog!

Mosaic Tuesday

1. Untitled

2.">in white

3.">glazed poppy pod ceramics

4. Untitled

Check out other people's mosaics on ArtMind's blog - it's always lots of fun to see what they have picked!

Monday, 25 May 2009


Well, what else are you going to do on a Bank Holiday Monday but paint your shed hinges and hang them on the line to dry?

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

It's a pretty daft hankering for someone who lives in almost the dead-centre of the country, but I just love to be by the sea. When I was a girl, we lived in counties quite close to the east coast in the UK and a day-trip to the seaside was bliss. Well, when I say 'bliss' we're talking the North Sea here. Like everyone else my age, I had one of those ruched cotton swimsuits which looked like floral bubble-wrap. On reflection, it did take on some of the same properties when wet and acted like a bouyancy aid, trapping air in all the little fabric bubbles. Not that anyone in their right mind would actually be swimming in the North Sea. The other essential swimming accoutrement in those days was a cardigan two sizes too small, boiled to near-extinction in the Baby Burco and squeezed through the mangle just for good measure. This felted garment was perfect for keeping the biting sand-laden east wind from scouring the skin off your skinny goosebumped limbs. Running around in the dunes warmed you up, and getting your legs stung and whipped by the marram grass got the blood circulating. Ah, happy days!
not me, but a brilliant photo of the swimsuit!

This picture doesn't quite convey my delight at a day at the seaside - I think I'd just had my ice-cream confiscated. The legend on the back says '1953 - Aberdeen' - not quite the French Riviera, but seemingly warm enough for sundresses, although my Uncle Dan seems to think brogues and Argyll socks are de rigeur beachwear. See how all the women in deckchairs have brought their knitting?

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tuesday faves

Week two of Mitsy's (ArtMind) fun game. This is a mosaic of some of my favourite photos from Flickr. I've worked out how to get a full size picture now - hooray! Please click on the picture to link to the photographers who took these magnificent photographs.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Daisy, daisy

Just a pair of bright little flowers for the weekend.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Don't judge a book by its cover

A few posts back, I talked about a couple of try-out Little Gem quilts I had a stab at. They were real first-attempts and I had visions of ladies demanding their money back if they won them in the Festival of Quilts tombola, so I've kept them for home consumption. The blue and calico one I turned into a notebook cover - coo, that's posh! I stamped a line or two from one of my favourite poems on the inside flaps, just to leave a big hint that the quilt had a sea/tidal thing goin' on.

Today I'm going to audition some more fabrics and have another go at a quilt to send in for the tombola. I want to try and incorporate one or more of the photos I took of some daisies in the garden yesterday. I hope I'm not trying to run before I can walk - watch this space!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Letter to The Times of London on the vexing subject of dressing oneself in the morning

I'm thinking of writing to The Times on a matter of national - nay, international - import.


Am I alone in discovering that the less able I am to stand on one leg, the more likely I am to get my big toe caught in my knickers when dressing in the morning? Do your readers have any helpful suggestions?"

Yours etc. "

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Bag Lady

I was asked by a lovely lady to make a felt bag for her, something I haven't done for a little while. I found a wonderful shade of merino tops to make it in, had a really enjoyable time rub-a-dub-dubbing and came up with something that I was pleased with and the lovely lady said was just what she wanted. Everyone happy.

It reminded me that my first love is really wet-felting, even though it's sometimes frustrating. Can't remember where I read it, but someone wise once said, "there's no such thing as a bad piece of felt". This came in handy yesterday when I was disappointed with another bag I made. I hadn't properly planned the design, just boshed on with it, carried away with the lovely colours, which then got muddied with the background fibres. However, this morning I've had another look at it and now know what to do to put it right. "If it doesn't look finished, then it isn't" - more wise words!

This morning I was up with the lark - I fell asleep reading Liz Clay's Nuno Felt book and woke up with an idea for a bucket-style bag. The plan wasn't to nuno felt it, but I wanted to make a bag in a similar shape to one that's pictured in her book. My bucket bag is more elongated, however. The design on the front is a loosely-interpreted cow parsley seedhead and the handle area has some darker fibres worked in. It's for sale in my Etsy shop and I hope it'll be joined by the one that's currently under re-construction!

p.s. Isn't our newly-painted shed a lovely colour?!

from my Flickr favourites

Mitsy from ArtMind suggested we share some of our Flickr favourites, which I really wanted to participate in - but I'm not coping with the technology this morning - please click on the picture to make it big! Hope you like the photos anyway.


Thursday, 7 May 2009

Scratch & Sniff

Already regretting the title of this post - sounds like a most unpleasant invitation ....

But I just wanted you to share the aroma wafting through the kitchen from my soda bread!


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Festival of Quilts - Little Gem

My memory of quilting involves those hateful hexagons made from leftover Laura Ashley scraps - they took forever to put together and then were ghastly when they were finished. But things have moved on since then! I went last year to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham and I could only stand and gawp at some of the work on display, simply awestruck.

The FoQ takes place again later this year and there is a 'tombola' of donated A4 size quilts - called Little Gems. Sandra Wyman has written about them on her blog The Dyers Hand and I laughed out loud when she referred to 'auditioning her fabrics'. I do a lot of auditioning of things myself - I find it uses up a lot of time when I should be, say, ironing, or washing the kitchen floor. Sandra's blog amused me so much I thought I'd have a go. The stash was raided for likely candidates for the casting couch and a selection, eventually, made. I know absolutely nothing at all about the practicalities of quilting, but I thought an A4 size might be manageable and shouldn't take too long to do. Oh hardeharhar! Let's just say that my unpicking skills have been honed to a T.

Now, be gentle with me, I'm being a Big Brave Girl and posting the photos of my attempts and I don't want to hear any sniggering please! These two obviously won't be submitted as Little Gems, but they've been a useful training-ground.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bluebell Woods

Went for a walk round the perimeter of our small village at the crack of sparrows this morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and with it being so early, not another human in sight or sound. We live in the broad valley of a meandering river, surrounded by arable land criss-crossed by footpaths, a disused railway line, and relatively quiet country lanes - perfect walking country straight from the door.

Today there were ethereal dandelion clocks in a field of juicy grass, a cock-pheasant tight-rope walking along the top of the Old Vicarage gate, inquisitive cows, fleeing bunnies and the first cuckoo of spring to delight us on our ramble.

And there were either rooks or crows. My dad has been reminding me for 50 years how to tell the difference. It goes like this, "One crow on its own is a rook. Lots of rooks together are crows". Or it could be the other way round ..... His other useful nature tip is how to tell a weasel from a stoat. (One day you might need to know this - pay attention now.) A weasel is 'weasily distinguished' and a stoat is 'stoatally different'. Ah, we country folk, doesn't take much to amuse us.

One of the treats at this time of year is the wood full of bluebells. The horizontal shafts of early morning sun were stabbing through the trees and warming up the flowers, and the gentle breeze wafted their scent a hundred yards to greet us.

Ain't life grand?