19/10/2017 § 1 Comment
from the Latin aureus, meaning Golden
Although I’ve been away from my blog for a while, I haven’t been idle. My studio has been humming to the sound of sewing machines (yes, another Janome Horizon has joined my teaching studio) and as well as teaching patchwork classes here at home, I’ve also been busy working on my own projects.
Aurelia is a recent finish. She’s been in my head for absolutely ages and it’s been a treat to create what was for so long an image that I longed to touch.
Oh, how I love this quilt. Almost 30 fabrics capturing the shades and delights of Autumn.
There have been days in October where the sky has been the clearest, deepest blue and I needed to hold on to those colours – leaves, berries, darkness and light and all sunset shades in between. This will be a show quilt – to take out to talks and presentations – definitely a keeper!
Here’s the White Birch that dominates our garden, on a crisp morning a few weeks ago.
and some of the sunflowers and Japanese anemones from down by the veg plot.
How I love Autumn. It’s always been my favourite season of the year. Before she arrived, I ventured for a late summer jaunt to Cornwall and was treated to a week when I could actually bask in warm sunshine. I missed the collies who stayed at home with J2, but enjoyed daily walks for miles and miles along the coastal path – a special place for us.
Back home and feeling the need to light an evening fire to keep my toes warm. I’m working on a Snowball quilt – hope that’s not tempting fate!!!
What are you working on at the moment? Is Autumn a source of inspiration for you?
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it Up Friday.
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
26/09/2016 § 2 Comments
is a very good thing!
We’re back home now, me and the collies. Last week was spent overlooking our favourite harbour in Cornwall – same house, same village, same long walks out along the coast path, same strolls around the harbour – it was the ‘same’ as many other holidays that have been enjoyed there over many years – same and different. I love going back and the weather was amazingly good. I did a bit of knitting whilst sitting out in the sunshine, overlooking the busy harbour, but had a whole week away from patchworking!
That’s not to say I didn’t have a stroll around my favourite fabric shops and of course, didn’t come away empty-handed! I’m itching to get on with new projects now – it’s good to be back home.
Autumn officially arrived last week with the Autumn Equinox and the summer annuals in the garden have all had their day so I spent yesterday doing a bit of sorting out with Flora greedily rummaging around looking for worms. I did miss her, she’s such a character.
Today, I’m back in my studio, new fabrics in hand and away to go …
patchwork here I come!
have a great week …
02/10/2015 § 19 Comments
I’ve come away to spend some time by the sea and the collies and I have been blessed with the most amazing week of weather – high tides, sunshine, fishing boats and beach walks, wide blue skies and magical sunsets …
A quilt has been finished – I sat outside overlooking the harbour whilst hand-stitching the binding and then promptly took the quilt for a walk up onto the coastal path, for a late afternoon photoshoot …
and I’m hoping to link up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday later on today. The quilt is a commission and perfectly captures the colours of the waves, sky, sails, white horses and seagulls.
Walks along the coastal path every day have meant that precious memories have been revisited and laid peacefully to rest …
there’s no better place to be.
~ ~ ~ please leave a comment, it’s one of the best bits about blogging ~ ~ ~
18/07/2014 § 3 Comments
New Quay, Ceredigion
There are 2 beaches in New Quay. This is Dolau Beach, the smaller of the two where we could walk the dogs. In fact, every morning I strolled along before 5.30 am – just me and the girls! One morning we were joined by a lone swimmer who left his towel on the wall and went out for a splash – rather him than me – I dipped my toe in and it was seriously cold!
We jaunted to Wales to spend a few days with Dad. We stayed by the sea in New Quay this time, so that we had our own bit of space and could enjoy walks on the beach with the collies. I’ve visited this village SO many time over the past 40 years but had never appreciated it as much as when we actually stayed there. It was intriguing, quaint, steep and interesting. I absolutely loved it. Walking the girls along the beach every morning, insanely early, was a highlight. We were blessed with some wonderful weather and high tides so our footsteps in the sand were always the first of the day – I love that!
Every evening crowds seemed to descend on the village to walk along the breakwater and watch the antics of the dolphins just yards offshore as they curled above the calm sea, back and forth across the bay. It was magical. One evening we were on the beach with the girls and one surfaced just 20 yards from us off the beach. It was light until way past 10 pm and on a couple of evenings we could see the sun set, casting its rays on the coast of North Wales, miles away across Cardigan Bay.
If you’ve never visited Wales, then Cardigan Bay has some of the greatest beaches in the UK (in my opinion). Welsh is still the first language of many of the locals and you’ll hear it spoken every day. My Welsh language skills are a bit rusty, but I can still follow snippets of conversations overheard in the shops and on the shoreline and I always remember to say Thank You in Welsh “Diolch yn fawr”.
I had a couple of treats – apart from the bronze dolphins that I bought for Himself to remind us of our holiday – there are a couple of brilliant quilting shops locally. Calico Kate in Lampeter has thousands of bolts of fabric – I had lots of treats in there! Crosspatch patchwork barn is more difficult to locate but worth a visit although opening times revolve around farm activities, quilt shows and the animals.
We’re staying home for a bit now. So much jaunting in recent weeks – I’m worn out! It’s hot and humid with terrific lightning storms last night. I’ve a load of quilts to show you too – it’s difficult to keep them all photographed!
Enjoy the weekend.
27/10/2013 § 3 Comments
Today dawned bright and very breezy. As the sun peeped from behind the clock tower, the waves rolled in – nothing too dramatic – wind with tide brings rollers rather than breakers. Here’s how the day unfolded …
As darkness fell, so began the rain, showery at first. Time to light the tealights, bolt the door and feel cosy. It hasn’t been cold today, but the stiff breeze has made me feel the need for gloves and boots, when walking the dogs and this evening – just teatime, really – it was definitely time to batten down the hatches as the constant weather warnings rang out in every news broadcast.
Our holiday home for the week feels like home – we’ve stayed here so often. Just one room deep and 3 rooms long, the walls are well over 2′ thick with high ceilings so feels airy and bright. A net loft, originally, I’m taking some comfort knowing that it’s been here for well over 100 years, maybe a lot longer. It’s beautifully decorated and I love the clean colours, wooden floors and whitewashed walls. Of course, some essential supplies came with me …
As dinner was cooking, I set about some soothing patchwork, to take my mind off the weather warnings! Lots of Liberty prints came on holiday with me, and a real beauty has made it into this quilt. I hope to finish the patchwork top tomorrow. It looked much crisper after it had been pressed!
Then our evening mellowed through soothing Sunday TV – culminating in my favourite, Downton Abbey. As Lady Mary descended down the stairs to find Rose with the band singer, so the storm hit. Just like that! Wham.
It’s blowing like hell with lashing rain, now. High tide was about half an hour ago. We’ve been braving the spray and peering out through the top half of the stable door. As the gusts blow in, it makes my ears pop! The waves are booming onto the rocks below us and the wind is howling – it’s a bit scary. There’s not much else to see …
Hope you all stay safe tonight – take care.
31/10/2012 § Leave a comment
On the last day of half term, at college, I was chatting to a colleague about our imminent trip to Cornwall. “Hope you have a good week” said Gill and I replied that I was hoping for a gale, with crashing dramatic waves with sea-foam flying in off the rocks, leaden skies and grey skudding clouds – I didn’t go into quite such detail, but I could see it all in my head!
Monday’s waves were a good, solid 7/10 (see the surfer?) …
Tuesday was delightful, warm and sunny until just after lunch. And guess what? I was back in my favourite spot, sewing in the sunshine …
Himself pronounced that it was too hot to sit outside and disappeared inside with the paper. I didn’t like to disturb him once he was installed in his chair with the crossword, to ask him to come out and take my photo while I was in full swing, so you’ll just have to imagine me out there, soaking up a bit of good old sunshine, machine whizzing along.
Later on in the afternoon we took a jaunt over to Falmouth and I had a lovely bag of goodies to unpack when I arrived back at the cottage …
I treated myself to a quilting magazine, which is a really rare thing for me to do as I never usually like the quilts inside! But this one is inspiring – Love of Quilting special edition. Ooh – it’s yummy!
I’ve long been wanting to have a go with Annie Sloan chalk paints so indulged, after lengthy mind-making-up wanderings around Sweetpea & Betty, and hit upon Versailles – a subtle soft green. Thinking that it may need a few highlights I also bought a tiny pot of off-white – it does have a name but I’ve packed it away and there were about 6 shades of white to choose from so I can’t remember which I chose!
A jaunt isn’t a quality jaunt without some fabric, so I skipped into Kit‘s Boutique for some sparkly thread, wrapping paper and a fat quarter of deliciously vintagey cotton fabric! Aahhhh – this is what life’s meant to be like!
Today, Wednesday, dawned grey and omnious with storm clouds and squally showers …
On my early morning march around the village, I noted the harbour team working with the crane to put in the caisson (huge wooden sleepers that slide in the narrow inner harbour entrance to protect the moored boats from wild weather and waves). We jaunted to Truro before the storm blew in properly this afternoon …
Still a couple of hours until high tide and the waves are crashing dramatically over the breakwater and the beach is a wild foaming mass of waves, surf and foam …
And yes – today’s waves have scored a good 9/10! And yes, today’s jaunt to Truro was a very good jaunt indeed – but you’ll have to wait to see what fabrics returned home with me! But here you go – some seasidey works-in-progress, photographed in very poor light by the stable door …
I’ve made a comforting cottage pie for supper with apple crumble to follow. It’s a good night for snuggling in front of a roaring fire, listening to the howling wind and lashing rain (I did say I wanted it to blow a gale), then a cosy night nestling under warm blankets and a quilt!
I LOVE holidays, whatever the weather!
30/10/2012 § 3 Comments
in a cosy cottage, by the sea …
This is a much needed, hard-earned half-term break in our favourite seaside cottage in Cornwall.
Our home for the week was once a net loft, perched above the rocks – there’s the little cobbled terrace outside, complete with wall and gate to keep the collies safe (actually to keep everyone outside the gate safe from the collies); then an uninterrupted view across to the breakwater and harbour entrance with the beach and bay beyond.
Our cottage looks tiny but it’s wonderfully warm and cosy helped along with my favourite quilt and blanket. I can’t do without my homely comforts – a crisp white duvet just doesn’t do it for me!
So far we’ve had fantastic waves and lots of rain, but I don’t mind a bit ‘cos I’ve brought my sewing machine (for indoors) and am well equipped with riding mac, waxed hat and sturdy boots (for collie walks along the coast path and beach)!
I’m sending best wishes to my friend in NY – keep in touch as long as the power lines survive.
I’m also hoping that all is well for NY’s visitors including a school trip from west Wales – keep safe all of you.
02/08/2011 § 2 Comments
02/05/2011 § Leave a comment
The weekend has passed all too fast, and now we’re back home with our extra little creature – yes, Flora Puddleduck has come home with us!
She’s growing every day and I’ll show you some photos tomorrow, but haven’t unpacked the camera yet!
For the last few days, I’ve enjoyed long early-morning walks along the beach in Cornwall, with the collies …
Mistletoe loves digging holes!
On this particular morning, there was a shoal just offshore. The gulls were busy – black backs and herring gulls with last year’s youngsters; I counted 20 cormorants and then a pair of gannets joined in too! Their diving is amazing – like scimitars entering the water. Then as they surface, the gulls mob them to try to steal their fish!
And on the stroll homeward, there was a grey nose peeking up from the calm blue sea – a seal, just off the beach – not a brilliant photo, but I just caught him before he dived …
I said I needed a zoom lens just the other day, didn’t I? Lots of sea and the seal ‘having a nose’ at the morning sun!
So I hope you’ve enjoyed my stroll along the beach – here’s the view homeward bound towards the village …
Can’t wait to go back again. It’s a very special place for us, and our collie dogs!
Go on then – here’s one of the photos of Flora Puddleduck, who turned up on our back doorstep, just an hour or so after my walk …
She’s doing really well and has a voracious appetite. We set off early this morning so that I could get to Scats to buy her chick feed and a playpen! She’s growing every day and I think I’ve been officially adopted as her ‘Mum’!
She may just have to keep her own blog – what do you think?