Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mostly May.

A very long post .
The weather has Ben glorious in recent days and weeks. Really sunny during the day , mostly, and at night these little chaps visit. I wish they had bigger appetites though. 

Mid May brought a wonderful two days teaching again in the stunning Yorkshire Dales ( I know I shouldn't admits to that being a Lancashire lass). The village of Snape was the venue with it's  green open centre surrounded by lovely stone cottages. 

There was a warm welcome ( even though I'd got lost following the satnav rather than asking for directions) and we soon got down to work. The group is a village embroidery group and they have lovely events, great members and beautiful lunches. 

Sarah and her sister, Mary looked after me, and everyone else. Mary had made the lunch, and as usual it was enormous and delicious. Pudding as well. I didn't need an evening meal. I stayed with Sarah where I was made very comfortable and welcome and the next day did it all over again with different set of members. 

Both groups worked hard and seemed to enjoy each of their days. 

I know I did. 

Thank you Sarah and Mary and lovely ladies of Snape and friends.

Sarah and Mary had taken me to see the castle chapel and I popped back on my way home with my camera. 

The ceiling had had paintings by Verrio and they said a restorer had been to look at them, who I discovered was a friend and former colleague of my husband's, and we'd been on holiday with him and his late wife years ago. 
Small world eh?

I really enjoyed the journey home..every village a chocolate box picture. I was wishing I lived there, but then I had a nice welcome home and realise home is where the Het is. (and of course, the heart)

Back to work I was making a group of brooches for a new gallery opening in Grassington, called Good to be Home. 
I back my brooches in Liberty fabric, and this print 
was perfect for these.  

I put these all on Facebook so apologies for repeating. 

Then I got my scissors and let them fly 

My  garden has been doing ok lately, regular readers know the misery I've had in past years with weeds, slugs, rain, shade , poor soil. But I got to grips with it  a couple of years ago and am gradually realising what will grow and what won't. My lovely lilac is beautiful at the moment.
I had to pick a bunch for the table. (Note kitchen makeover in progress behind. From orange wood to painted wood. More on that when it's finished) 

The bluebells have been glorious in the woods .

And my own bright blue clematis in the garden has just finished doing its thing. 

On Tuesday mornings I got to yoga at the local Hall. A big house owned by the school of economic science who organise Art in Action at Waterperry House Oxfordshire. It's the last Art in Action this year so if you haven't been it's worth a visit. 
Anyway, this is my walk to the Hall. It's amazing at this time of year. 

The fields on either side are full of lambs and cows at the moment. 

Elsewhere n the village the paths are lined with wild flowers. I love cow parsley and see that I am in good company, Monty Don was waxing lyrical about it last week. Sadly the local authorities think it's dangerous to traffic so it won't be long before they mow it. 

These little things were in my garden before we came to live here. I don't know what they are but they fill me with joy when they suddenly burst out of their leaves which just look like a pile of dead grass.

The allium have doubled in number, each plant having two spikes, but seem a bit smaller. Perhaps I ought to break them up?

Look at this for a nice surprise.

I bought some bulbs and then forgot about them, put then in very late and forgot again. 
Now they are delighting me.

Aren't they fab?
Sicilian Honey Garlic I believe.

And here is a picture of my husband multi-tasking. 
Mowing the grass while waiting for paint to dry. 

Hetty doesn't like the lawn mower. 

I even have high hopes for the iris this year, holey as they are, I have buds. Woo hoo!

Now for some sewing news. 
In three weeks it's Woolfest! 
I have a stand there and am working hard to fill it.

Then the weekend after, for a week there's going to be an exhibition at a farm in Coniston to which I have been invited as an exhibitor.

It looks very exciting and I'm looking forward to it, working on some Herdwick related pieces.

I can't decide if these are naff or genius! (Somewhere in between might be nice)
It's all about the eyes.

And finally.....a few pieces of my work (along with the work of about 500 felters) has been included in this lovely book.

Bye for now.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Dear resolve to blog more often has dwindled. I keep meaning to do it but my pictures are on all sorts of different devices so it's taken me a while to get everything together.

Some time ago I was given some Shetland Wool by Jennie who I meet every year in Ireland.
I eventually used some of it to make a piece of embroidered felt and was able t take it to Ireland at the end of February to give it to Jennie. The cottage we were staying in had excellent lighting for photography.

It also had a nice table and we made felt together while our other halves were at their music classes.

Later in the week Jennie returned the favour and we all went to her cottage where we made little post it note books, using a variety of techniques, especially her lovely flower making techniques. 

She'd taken all the hard work out for us by preparing the shapes, and brought loads of lovely materials.
Jennie's blog is Live the dream where you can see many more of her beautiful paper projects.

On other days my friend and I walked and met some locals. A very wet Donkey. It did rain sometimes!

But its such a lovely village and the views across Galway Bay to Connemara were very clear some days.

We drove along the Wild Atlantic Way

Just beautiful.

and saw surfers at Lahinch.

And in the evenings there was The Craic. 
This was in the pub in Kinvarra , the Sunday night session. It was funny that we'd seen a TV programme about the woman playing the banjo earlier in the week.

During the week I met up with Esther Kiely and Breda McNelis , two of my lovely textile contacts.Breda and I had arranged to do a swap, she gave me two of her lovely pieces so I was very lucky. (Pictures to follow)

Breda captures the colours and textures of the Burren so well in her work. 

She offered ma a choice and I couldn't decide between these two so she gave me both. 

They are beautifully framed, and the piece I gave to her was lightly and rather wonkilly  mounted on card. 

 Now, Hetty had   a GREAT time while we were away.
But she put on a little weight!

She's now back to her slim self.

In Lancashire we have some amazing Textile Heritage and some of the mills are museums.
Sadly , cuts in funding have threatened them with closure so I decided to visit them before they close.
I had an afternoon at The Helmshore Textile Museum , and it was fascinating.
It ceased production in the 70s (?) but there are machines dating much further back. The staff did a couple of talks about the way cotton fabric was produced, and it was fascinating, and a real eye opener about the harsh conditions of the workers.
Below is the system they had for reducing the size of the cotton lengths prior to spinning.

The machines below we for rubbing up the nap of the woven fabric.

The Museums have been given a bit of a stay of execution but I fear they may eventually close.

I've made a bit of my own fabric too.

I'm quite pleased with this length of embroidery, the colours work well in real life.

Forgive the rubbish 'finger in the way' photo but how astonishing it was to open the curtains to snow a couple of weeks ago.
Very pretty on my walk.

On the way home, the cross in front of The Chapel next door proved just how late the snow was.

The lovely wood below is Formby Point,  where we went for an afternoon with my Mum.

It's owned by the National Trust and is a Red Squirrel reserve. The woods are really quiet and calm despite the huge number of visitors who were there. We saw a few Red squirrels and we walked down to the beach, over the sand dunes, Hetty had a good run off the lead on the beach and enjoyed herself.

I did a bit of household sewing recently ..amazing!
I fell in love with this fabric when I went to the shop across the road from the Textile Museum, and I splashed out on half a metre, which I then managed to eke out to three cushion covers

I added some leftover curtain fabric and did a bit of random applique .
I love the colours.

 Other sewing has been done too..I've discovered a lovely new colour combination.

My new favourite : rose pink and olive green

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

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