Saturday, 27 December 2014

Advent, christmas and beyond.

My goodness its a long time since I started this post and I'm only finishing it today, 27th December. The big day is over, most of the things in these pictures have gone to new homes.

I made a lot of hearts on ribbons which proved popular and I loved making them.

The two below are the most recent and a bit larger than usual. The one on the left has some patchy dyed velvet at its centre which looks a bit like rust dyed fabric although I don't think I'd ever manage to achieve that with my dyeing techniques.
I had a brief go on Instagram..I'm not sure.... it does funny things to colours but when the light is bad it covers a multitude of sins.

At the start of December we had a trip to the village of Dungworth near Sheffield, where we met friends to go to the local carols. Here's where we was cold! The place itself was very warm but outside was another story. We queued from 11 am outside the Royal at Dungworth on Sunday Lunchtime , to get a decent position in the pub. The queue was halfway up the road by the time it opened at 12.
The singing was can get an idea of it  

This is the place we stayed.

There are lots of other videos of the singing to look at .

Above is the main entrance to the very warm B&B. 

Meanwhile back home...some Christmas pictures.
My crib, well, the backdrop anyway.

And a rather lop-sided wreath which I think I may have put on the wrong way round,

In the garden the signs of Spring ahead are starting to show.

while the cotone aster is festooned with berries.

I need an uplifting sight...I'm feeling quite an anxiety and depression.
I am always quite emotionally fragile around Christmas.

We enjoyed the final of strictly but Jools made sure we couldn't quite see the final dance!

Hetty's taken to sitting on the back of the sofa and barking at the passing dogs.

Love in the front room.

More decorations....these baubles fell down more times than I care to tell , usually in the middle of the night, so I added more greenery, which looks better, and removed the balls and so far so good.

Then our next door neighbours came round and saw them and did theirs but they cheated and used a nail.

We have a lovely tree this year at a knock down price,
We had a great Christmas day. 
My lovely Mum was here, and our sons came and declared the day 'awesome' but now I feel we should have much more activity going on. 
I see people all around me with huge numbers of children, grandchildren, and sisters and brothers all out visiting and merrymaking, but I know there are others who don't have as much as we do.

Its peaceful but too quiet.
I miss the days when friends lived up the road, and down the road and we could pop in anytime.
But somehow we are still in the same place and many of them have moved on to pastures new.

Its snowed though and we'll go for a walk with Hetty .
That should cure the coughs!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, either with your nearest and dearest or just yourselves.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


My goodness its a long time since I posted.

Thank you all for the lovely comments and support I get here even though I hardly go round and read other blogs. I spend far too much time on Facebook...

I've been working hard making stuff for galleries and for my etsy shop, and been kept quite busy running up and down to the post office which is a good thing.

But now I've nothing pressing to do and i hate to say it but I'm BORED!!

Bored bored bored. I think it must be the November gloom because I can't be bothered to do anything.

I should of course be sorting through my sewing room and getting rid of junk.

I could be cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, catching up on the ironing, tidying the awful  full-of -junk 'side' bedroom but I'm not.

I had a little play when I'd finished the brooches, mainly because I've run out of brooch backs, making a 'decoration'.

Here it is in a really bad photo.

I've got it as a giveaway over on my facebook page. I'm choosing from the 'likes' on the picture and there are 500 so far! I think I'll have to do a random number generator or I'll be all week making raffle tickets. Then I feel sad for the other 499 or however many that won't have won.

Nothing interesting has happened in my life since the last post unless you count the day I went to for a clinic appointment to the hospital.

It took me half an hour to park the car, which I finally dumped 5 minutes walk away, in a housing estate, then I went to one department after another (have you seen those tv programmes where they tag a cat and track its route with red lines on a map?  It was like that ) until I was finally told to go to one about as far from the main entrance as you can get,  then back to the pharmacy which is by the main entrance.

Before I went back to the car I called in Booths (In case you don't know, thats the heavenliest supermarket in the Northwest..even their Christmas catalogues are fabric bound with gold lettering) and bought myself a pack of stollen slices and a bag of crisps which I ate on the way home.

I had completely forgotten I was going for a cholesterol test the day after I took two statins before bed time and it came back perfect. (Is that cheating?)

That might be too much information.

But if I told you what the clinic was in preparation for, it definitely would be.

Suffice it to say that from 7pm one day in two weeks time, I won't be sitting watching tv for any long stretches of time .

Oh Joy.
Something to look forward to anyway.

So here's some pics of my Christmas brooches.

OH HANG ON A MINUTE.....I've just remembered something.

I'm in a lovely book.

I'm so honoured to be among some wonderful textile artists.

Here's my page.
Its a very inspiring book.

Hetty is unconcerned. All she wants is the back of the sofa and a bit of sunshine through the window.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Venetian memories

A very long time ago it seems, I met a lovely lady who asked me to make a piece of embroidery for or rather a collection of small pieces mounted together. We discussed colours and she said 'think old Venice'   Well I'd never been to Venice so I put it on the back burner for a while. 
Earlier this year we went to Venice and I took a million photos. It was still on the back burner as I was busy up until Yarndale but after that I got going. 

Looking back through my photographs, at the colours of Old Venice, I saw faded lime-washed walls, grey green water, curly iron work, and bare stone and white marble. 

I had some lovely felt coloured with natural dyes some time ago at our felt group. Soft and muted and perfect for the task.

I made a start, using the motif Wyn liked, which I suppose is reminiscent of Gondola 'pointy bits' 

I used muted velvets for the centres with the exception of the terracotta which I thought was a very accurate match for the view from the apartment we stayed in in Venice.

A little pale green echoes the verdigris on the spire (Although I've only just spotted that!)

Ahh lovely Venice, beautiful scenes around every corner.

I mounted them on a card, just slightly raised from the background 

and used an unfinished deep pine frame which can be painted or varnished.

Well I'm extremely pleased with the way it turned out and I think Wyn loves it too.

It makes me think I might do more in a similar vein.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


This is retro in more ways than one..I've had this fabric for years and years. I think it's early 60s and was in my scraps box. I almost used it as brooch backing fabric. 
But then I examined the pattern and voila !
Can you spot it? 
So my old style brooches and old style fabric have combined.
Here they are uncluttered by fabric backgrounds. 
Just three at the moment but altogether there are a dozen made now.
And here's a size guide. 

Small and cute.

Going into my etsy shop soon. 

If you came here from facebook I apologise for the 'emotion manipulation headline'. Don't they annoy you? But I didn't drag you here to advertise at you like they do. Or come to think of it....I suppose blogs are all self promotion so I'm sorry.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Alice, Sebastian, Colm, and Cheska, Elton.......and me.

Last week we had a little visitor. Cheska. Of course, despite the fact that I was the one who welcomed her, introduced her to Hetty, kept the peace, kept the cat away, guess whose knee she preferred?
Hetty is not the most gracious hostess, which is a bit worrying as we are having TWO dogs next week!

Now the Alice bit. I went to an event in Manchester lit festival. It was held in a building in the University where I was delighted to spot these two wonderful wallhangings. I recognised them instantly as the work of Alice Kettle. I took a couple of pictures. 

It wasn't until I was on my way out that I saw the photography prohibited notice and the list of dire consequences if caught taking pics, but I think it meant in the auditorium. I did confess but no action was taken. 

Anyway. About the auditorium. 

Two brilliant Irish authors were in there chatting about their work and reading from their latest books. 
I have read three Sebastian Barry books and they always leave me mesmerised by his beautiful prose, so I was really there to hear and see him and he didn't disappoint. I also enjoyed listening to Colm Toibin reading and talking. 
The banter between them was very entertaining. 

Afterwards there was a signing (after a little buying!) so I am now in possession of signed copies. 

I'm glad I made the effort to get there even though it meant wandering up Oxford Road on my own due to a time miscalculation. I phoned number two son who lives near there and he came and met me halfway and entertained me in his new flat until my dear husband switched his phone on! He'd been to a music class at the Irish centre and my Irish thing finished earlier than his Irish thing.

Thanks everyone for the comments on my last post. 
I've had a go at doing some smaller brooches. 
First I made some 'silk heavy ' felt, to echo the surface of the old-style brooches I wanted to return to. 

Then I got going and copied one of them which appeared In Quilting Arts magazine a few years ago. 

I like how it turned out and had a go and made a few more. 
Here they are. About two inches long. Maybe a bit more, but definitely not as big as my usual brooches which are often over three inches. 
Now I have to see if they sell.
The proof of the pudding etc?
And Elton?
Last weekend I had a mini reunion with some college friends. 
One of these friends has an amazing memory. 
I remembered that way back in 1971 I had persuaded the social sec at college to book Elton John for the Saturday night concert/dance. He did, but Elton at that time wasn't a big enough draw, and didn't have enough material for the entire night, so they had to book another band as well. 
My friend with the memory says she remembers Elton John sitting all alone in the college refectory and she had to restrain me from going over to sit with him! 
Well I never. 

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

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