11/09/2017 § 3 Comments
is here and I’m taking a short break from blogging – added on to the rather long one I’ve already taken.
I’ll be back soon with lots of autumn colours no doubt, as they always inspire me to stitch up quilts, make chutneys and generally engage in pre-winter activities. I promise some photos along the way.
My Autumn/Winter Workshop timetable is published so do email if you’d like to come along.
09/08/2017 § 2 Comments
I didn’t think we’d need an ark!
I can’t believe it’s almost 2 months’ since I treated myself to a jaunt to North Devon – and my beloved Lynmouth. A few treasures came home with me including the little weather house and clock. They remind me of my childhood and so many happy times spent in this picturesque village by the sea.
My grandfather used to come on holiday with us when we lived in Cardiff and he always bought me little presents like the weather house. The little lady was out in her garden all the time when I was away, and right up till the beginning of the school holidays. The little man has been out ever since!
I haven’t wound the clock since I bought it – and it ticked for 3 days – all the way home in the boot of the car. It was like driving a time-bomb!! Oh, I do love a bit of nostalgia and now that they’re hanging on the wall in my studio, I feel as though I’m about 8 years old – every day.
Wall-to-wall sunshine and a heatwave lasted throughout my mini holiday. So here are some blue skies to remind us all that it is still summer …
View from my room at The Bath Hotel – what a treat to wake up to this every morning
Glen Lyn boats in their blue livery
Lorna Doone Farm, Malmsmead – where I first sat on a horse, when I was about 18 months old
Oare Church where, in RD Blackmore’s famous romantic novel, Lorna Doone was shot on her wedding day.
I encountered a small herd of Exmoor ponies during an evening drive around the moor. Mares and foals enjoying the warmth of the summer sun on their backs on the longest day of the year.
Then a brief visit to the National Trust village of Selworthy as I wound my way home.
The waves of nostalgia that I encountered on that trip rather took me by surprise. As a family, we share a history with Lynmouth. My mother stayed in the village as a child, with her parents. When they were ‘courting’ Mum & Dad used to catch the steamer from Wales and cross the channel for day excursions then when they married, holidayed there regularly with their friends and my uncle. When I was born, we visited every year until I was almost a teenager. I took my husband to Lynmouth, before we were married and then again when our children were young. More recently, we visited in our motorhome.
This was my first ever trip on my own and the memories swept me – almost off my feet. But not in a bad way – Lynmouth will always be dear to me and I felt peaceful and happy as I wandered around the village and caught the familiar cliff railway up to Lynton. I always thought that I’d live there, but increasingly over recent years, I feel rooted in Winchester and my home is here. Coming home was good – though the weather took a turn and hasn’t turned back – yet!
Tomorrow promises sunshine – let’s keep everything crossed, shall we? I have a quilt to finish and I rather fancy sitting out in the sunshine and doing some gentle stitching.
Enjoy the summer – and your holidays
26/07/2017 § 2 Comments
This is proper ‘Forward Planning’!
I’ve been designing kits and creating samples for my Autumn/Winter Workshops and there’s a decidedly festive theme here in the Garden Studio …
There are Christmas Stocking & Placemat kits with wonderful Lewis and Irene fabrics, each kit supported by an online tutorial here.
The Christmas Star table runner and Table Centre are samples for workshops that will be held in my studio. I’ll be publishing the Autumn/Winter Workshop timetable in late August so do keep a watch on my website. I may also be teaching at other venues in Hampshire as well as my own Studio. Exciting times!
If you’re in Hampshire then do try to come along to Trout’n About in Stockbridge on Sunday 6 August. It’s the annual festival that takes place all along Stockbridge’s wide High Street and it’s always an absolute feast for all things foodie as well as arty.
If you’d like to put your name down for an early listing of workshops then please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the school holidays …
11/07/2017 § 5 Comments
It’s time to gather in the winter wheat.
Early last Sunday, the most perfect summer’s morning you might imagine, I set off while the air was still cool with faithful Belle at my heels. We took our usual route down around the corner then up the hill, across the road and onto farmland where the farmer has been taking advantage of the heatwave to gather in the first of his wheat harvest.
It was so still and already, as the sun rose higher by the minute into the clear blue sky, it was hot. Belle and I had a good walk, met some other dogs including a whippet who Belle chased at high speed, but couldn’t catch! Then home again, already puffing slightly in the heat, on the final stretch up the steep hill to home.
I couldn’t stay inside. Such a perfect day wasn’t to be missed so I gathered an armful of quilts and my camera but this time drove back up to the farm. Five large quilts are quite heavy so I had 2 bags, one over my shoulder and the other with handles to carry – I must have looked rather eccentric. But it was so worth it. Those straw bales were crying out for some quilt therapy …
Quilts named Gypsy, Happy Weekend, If Wishes were Horses, Down by the River and Summer in the Park all had an outing on what was definitely a morning to remember!
Hope you had a great weekend. I can’t believe how fast this year is speeding by. Sunday’s full moon was the Buck Moon and I have a little deer or two to show you next time – and I haven’t forgotten I promised you boats too – there’s some catching up to do over here!
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
18/06/2017 § 2 Comments
Broad Street, Alresford
Today, on the hottest day of the year so far in Alresford – a pretty market town just a few miles from Winchester – many residents of the aptly named Broad Street opened their garden gates and WOW was it a surprise just what hides behind those elegant facades.
It was extraordinary and a wonderful way to spend Sunday afternoon. Many gardens are incredibly long with different ‘rooms’ to meander through. Towards the lower end of the street, the gardens back onto the river and 12th century bridge. There are courtyards and terraces, summerhouses and thatched outhouses. So much to see and then of course, there are the plants and flowers – so beautiful and so many different styles of planting.
In one back garden, there was a covered walkway between the house and annexe with a chain downpipe linked up to a water feature. I definitely want one of those next time I build a summerhouse!
I have enjoyed the afternoon though it was mighty HOT. During the week I spent an evening at Mottisfont in the world famous walled rose gardens. More pictures next time. Hampshire is a wonderful county, with so much to see and enjoy. I’m jaunting west next week so expect some more photos with boats!
PS :: Thank you Clare for reminding me about the cake – how could I forget? Yes, there were lots of cake stalls and plant stalls as well as a duck race at a local very large house, though that wasn’t officially part of the Open Gardens. My friend and I had 2 slices of Victoria Sponge, both were outstanding. We fairly waddled around those gardens after that!
09/06/2017 § 1 Comment
June’s full moon is called the Strawberry Moon. I’ve been out, down to the headland overlooking Mounts Bay here in Cornwall tonight, but there’s thick cloud and a bit of drizzle in the air so it seems the full moon is shy tonight.
I’ve named my new crochet blanket Strawberry Moon as the colours are like crushed strawberries and cream (clotted of course), with blues and soft misty greys, warm reds and soft pinks.
Earlier on this evening before the drizzle set in, I took Strawberry Moon for a short walk from the seaside cottage where she’s been hooked up this week, to the harbour for some photos. She attracted quite a bit of attention! I used Sirdar Aura in shades 130, 131 and 132 where the soft colours blend and flow through the yarn like the ebb and flow of the waves under a summer sunset. A 6.5 hook and corner to corner crochet meant the first rows grew fast then as I reached just over 1.8m on the 2 sides, progress was slower but just as relaxing and enjoyable.
I’ve loved making this blanket that will forever remind me of my June holiday in Porthleven, when the Strawberry Moon hid behind the clouds but my memories kept me warm!
08/06/2017 § Leave a comment
beside the sea!
I’ve been in Cornwall this week and it’s been wonderfully relaxing. The weather has been through every scenario – hot sunshine, humid & thundery, driving rain, gales, flat calm – typical English seaside weather and I’ve loved every minute.
Whilst clicking away on my little pocket Canon camera, I’ve also discovered some new settings – as you can probably see! I love the 4th one with those warm heathery hues.
I’ve unusually left the collies back at home with J2 and am without a sewing machine! I haven’t even bought any fabric this time BUT – come on, you knew there’d be a BUT …
I bought some yarn in Truro on my way through last Saturday and I’ve been back 3 times to stock up as I’ve been crocheting a blanket – there’ll be photos of it by the sea tomorrow.
How’s your week been?