Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Marching on

You'd think by now there would be a sign of some buds on the bushes but its a very undecided year. 

Snow in Ballyvaughan was a wondrous sight but very unexpected and quite restricting. 
It started gently with a thin scattering,

but by the middle of the week it was deep and dangerous and driving was a not advised. That meant I couldn't meet my two lovely textile friends for our annual catch up in Clarinbridge.
The residents of Ballyvaughan were delighted ..well some of them, mainly the younger ones, and I've never seen so many snowmen. I met one lady who said her sons hadn't seen snow before. I must admit it is strange seeing snow on the seashore.

The Corofin Traditional Festival was cancelled so no concerts, and our usual trips here and there were out of the question. Ballyvaughan is in the Burren and the little roads over the mountains are narrow and steep and the snow made them quite dangerous even later in the week when it started to subside.

I checked the ferry sailings and and it looked as if we would be stuck there, as there were no sailings at all for a couple of days, but by Monday all ferries were back to normal and our journey home was uneventful
Hetty was so glad to see us that she couldn't decide if she was coming or going!

Now I'm looking forward to the Spring and I have an exciting event planned..another course. 
I'm teaching two days of felting then stitching a small panel. 12th and 13th May so the weather should be better by then. I'm spreading the word so I get a full class.
I've booked my favourite Village hall in Brindle, Lancashire for the full two days. It's a lovely location and a beautiful hall.
Last time I taught courses there we had a great time.
Its filling nicely but I could do with a few more so get in touch if you're interested or know anyone who might be.
I've been busy making a few brooches as usual.
This is my favourite.
Lots more stitching than usual.

Talking of second spindle on my machine snapped off when it was in transit so I used some SUGRU to repair it.

It's brilliant stuff, you can do all sorts with it. I previously made a support for a fridge door shelf with some, and once it dries hard it lasts for ages.
You can mould it into shape and attach it,

then shape it properly and when it dries it's really firm, well attached and solid.

I must admit that I received this packet free as I had previously bought more than I needed and allowed it to go hard, so I did promise to tell the world about it! However I only ever do that with things I really love.

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.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Catching up.

Such a long time since I blogged.
I just wanted to make a record of what I've done.
I started this post in August and now it's the end of October and I'm just finishing it off.
Partly due to the fact that I can no longer use my ipad to blog since I updated it and blogger haven't updated their app .

I returned from Crafty Retreats at the start of June and had to knuckle down and get work done for Woolfest at the end of June.
I had a super time as usual.

I had some super neighbours.

Rio the Angora

And some sheep of a breed I can't remember.

I met some lovely people..

a satisfied customer.
including Harvey the delicate poodle, a regular visitor to these events. His feet never touch the ground.

I stayed in a gorgeous B& B where you didn't have to take your shoes off.
I would recommend this place without hesitation.
Number Six Castlegate. Lovely food, lovely owners and beautiful rooms.

And in the evening I ate out..alone! The second night I returned to 'The Front Room, a lovely friendly restaurant with great food. 
Baileys Ice Cream for pud.

This is as far as I got in what else have I been up to?
Well we went Lyme Regis for a weeks holiday to coincide with our 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Love Lyme Regis.

We had a meal in the posh hotel which was wonderful.

Did a bit of mooching about and fell asleep in the sunshine which didn't seem too strong at the time.
these photos taken at Portland Bill show our red faces.

They were taken at a super quarry where sculptors go every summer to chip away at the stone.
Its a place we'd go again.

Later in the Summer I had a close encounter with a sparrowhawk who accidentally flew into the kitchen.

It beat its wings against the window trying to get out, and I had to cover it with a towel and carry it outside. 
Such a privilege to hold such a creature in my hands.

 A few moments later the starling it had been carrying came out of hiding from under the cupboard.

 Lucky escape. Not so lucky were my sea urchins from Symi. The sparrow hawk flapped them to pieces.
 The next day I found this on the path. So another bird made a lunch for the hawk.

I had a mighty clear out in the Summer and found all sorts of photos.
This one is an amazing collection of people in the one photo.
Little girl with bows= Me.
Woman seated at table=My Mum
Woman standing centre =my Mums best friend who sadly died on 11th September.
Man standing=my Grandfather who lived 100 miles away in Walsall
Two women to the right=my Godmother on the far right, and her Sister who were my father's cousins.
I really don't know what brought them all together for probably the only time. 
Perhaps it was becasue I was presenting a bouquet to a lady in furs...possibly mayor? I vaguely remember. I was about 3.It was a garden fete.

My room got really cleared out but obviously it was worse before it was better!

 I got rid of some goldwork stuff.

To an excellent home.
 A handmade book went to Australia...slow post. Might not even be there yet.

Then I started work for Yarndale.

 Amazingly I came up with some new things. Shawl pins,

 and fish! I've long been planning fish. I was going to make brooches but I thougt I'd tray something different.
 So I stood them on stands.

 They were very popular.

Then I harvested some potatoes! I grew them from rooty cupboard finds.
Such fun!

 At the beginning of October we went for one night to Dovedale in Derbyshire on a uni re-union husband's reunion.Here's a pic of the pretty village of Ilam. The building is the village school . Gorgeous. The Hotel we stayed in was lovely and the food was stupendous.

 As soon as I got home I started my Mums 90th Birthday cake. Fruit at the bottom and sponge on teh top. I researched cake decorating on youtube and I must say I got pretty obsessed. I used all the equipment I bought! 

My Mum loved it.

 It looked good if not tasteful!

 She certainly enjoyed her birthday.

So there we are. And now I'm getting ready to go off to do two days teaching in Honiton and two days in Yate.
Wish me luck for the loooooooong drive.
I'm trying to be brave!

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

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