Thursday, 25 February 2010

pillow talk

Don't ask me why, but I've had a sudden urge to make cushions.   It's perhaps from guilt at smuggling away all the bits of fabric that fill every trunk, hamper and chest of drawers.    Of course, I blame my dad for the hoarding gene, he can't throw away anything!  Well, you never know when you might need a 1970's street map of Nicosia, and those bits of bakelite tubing might come in handy as napkin rings one day.   And he's never forgiven me for chucking out a 20 year old (opened) bottle of Creme de Menthe when he moved house.    I have a forlorn hope that I don't turn into the old lady he knew who had a tin labelled  "bits of string too short to use". 
Half an embroidered crinoline lady tray-cloth.
recently thrifted Nina Campbell

thrifted toile de jouy and hand-made tassels

yet more thrifted fabric and a strip of another embroidered tray cloth - they are hills and trees, aren't they?

I need to make some apologies and offer some thanks here.   I'm constantly having trouble accessing other people's blogs from my laptop.   Sometimes I can't get further than 'signing in' to my own blog before the system seizes up and then it's a right waste-of-time rigmarole getting back in.   That, sadly, means that I very often can't leave comments on your blogs and I owe much thanks to two kind ladies who gave me a Sunshine Blog Award.   I wish I knew why I'm having this trouble - I expect some techie wizz would know straight away.   Unfortunately, I didn't inherit any of those genes!  

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Fellows Only

OK - move along, nothing to see here!   I'm just trying to get rid of the Valentine's things, so that it doesn't look like I've abandoned my blog ...

We had a trip to Cambridge yesterday to see our neice, who is an undergraduate at Peterhouse and she was kind enough to show us round the inner sanctums, or sancti, or whatever the plural is of sanctum.     Took a few snaps, of course .....

Peterhouse is the smallest and oldest of the Cambridge colleges (founded in 1284).

Pre-Raphaelite stained-glass windows near the Fellows' dining hall
                                                                                                                      The Deer Park

Lunch for the Fellows
A quiet corner in the Library


                                                                                             Pinnacles at King's
Gatehouse - Great Court, King's College
Punting on the Cam
                                                                                                        The Mathematical Bridge
Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Ae Fond Kiss - for Valentine's Day

Ae fond kiss and then we sever;
Ae fareweel,  and then for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.

Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met - or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, though first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, though best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Robert Burns  (1759-1796)

Listen to Eddi Reader singing this or (my preference) the Corries

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Gather ye rosebuds

WI meeting tonight - the competition is to make a fabric flower, so after wrestling unsuccessfully with scraps of slippery chiffon, I gave up and made a little muslin and felt rosebud instead.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Mark Hearld's Map of North Norfolk

I was lucky enough to be sent a print of Mark Hearld's big fold-out map of North Norfolk (wouldn't I love to live there) that he did for St. Jude's Gallery in Itteringham.  Mark has picked out some of the local flora and fauna, and highlighted the area's special places.

It's not only beautiful to look at, witty and informative, but the ink smells wonderful too!   I love the influences of that man Bawden again.   Mark Hearld's prints are available from St. Jude's here.  
The gallery is run by Simon and Angie Lewin, whose own screenprints and engravings are just so covetable.   

Alliums & Fennel

St. Jude's also have a great blog, All Things Considered.

I have to mention, in this context, the passing at the age of 93, of Lucienne Day, who with her husband Robin, was a pioneer of mid-20th century design.     This is her Calyx textile pattern designed for a display at the Festival of Britain in 1951.   The influence echoing through much of today's textile design is evident.   A Good Thing.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Come on in and waste some time!

Because I haven't really made anything much for a while, I've decided to show you some thrifted stuff which I acquired a couple of days ago.  
Can't resist old buttons, of course.   There are some really pretty glass and pearly ones here, for which I sacrificed my (already grim) fingernails to scrabble out of the bottom of an old toffee tin.

A few lengths of fabric.   Top one is wool, I think, judging by the dainty moth-holes nibbled here and there.   Middle one is chiffon-y, and looks like it might be good for nuno felting something summery and delicate.   Bottom one is a Nina Campbell bit, which I lurved the indigo colour of and it had a kind of sashiko embroidered look about it too.   Don't, please, ask me what I'm going to do with it.   The answer will be rather along the lines of:  'take it out and look at it from time to time, daydream about what it could be made into, stroke it fondly for a while and then put it away again till the next time'.   Don't tell me that you haven't got stuff like that     ......    I won't believe you.
Tablecloth:  thought it looked to have a Japanese influence - what do you think?   I'm afraid it will probably be cut up and be used to decorate other things as I am a girl who definitely does not need more tablecloths!

Books:  I always look in the children's book section at the thrift shop and am always astonished that people discard some beautifully-illustrated ones.   Perhaps the stories are a bit old-hat for today's enfants, but it does seem a shame all the same.  

This one really caught my eye.   It had a real Edward Bawden look about it and, lo-and-behold, I discovered that David Gentleman studied under him at the Royal College of Art.

Astrid Lindgren is best known for her Pippi Longstocking stories, but this is an illustration by Svend Otto S.(orenson),  from a very sad tale called My Nightingale is Singing, about a destitute girl living in a workhouse.  I love the crispbreads drying in the rafters above the fireplace.

Nearly lastly, the adventures of Harriet an escapee hamster who falls into the garden pond.   The story and illustrations are by Deborah Inkpen.  This appealed because my godson (now in his 30's) had a hamster called Harriet, who disappeared under the upstairs floorboards somehow and was never seen again.  

And finally, (to the sound of a trumpet fanfare), I have actually made a few things, just small scraps of nuno felting which I've attached to the covers of some sketch books.   There are some others in teal and lime green, but I can't get good photos in this horrible grey light we've got in the East of England.

Oh crikey I ought to be doing much more useful things than blogging .... so hope you've not been reading this when you should have been doing the ironing/washing the kitchen floor/knitting socks/bathing the baby, or other worthy and honourable tasks!