Sunday, 16 December 2012

Much has happened since I was last here, but some things don't change. . . Walking with Rowan and a friend last week when the countryside was wrapped in frost and the air so cold it made me catch my breath,
We were on a ridgeway path ,about 3.30 in the afternoon and suddenly the sky turned pink as the sun broke through the clouds as it set.
The dull, grey landscape changed before our eyes.
Magic indeed!
A very happy Christmas to all.xx

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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Peacocks and Tigers and other adventures.

Hello. . What's going on here?

Ah yes, I thought as much. . .

It's a sheep, er, a tiger?

Very interesting! This definitely needs investigating.

Bad hair day?
As you can see we had a lovely day at the National Trusts Newark Park. My legs have almost recovered from all the walking, the scenery was stunning.

My legs have really been working hard lately and here's why.
May I introduce Victoria? My beautiful bicycle,a gift from my husband for a recent rather special birthday.
I love her! She now has a wicker basket on the front, just right for a loaf of bread or my camera and "stuff".
I've been travelling around ( not on Victoria) , doing battle with the dreaded M6 motorway. That wasn't much fun, but the group I visited was. The Chelford and North Cheshire branch of the Embroiderers guild made me very welcome.
There was a really good turn out for my talk last Wednesday and I was lucky enough to spend the night at the wonderful Pickmere Country Guest House.
Oooh! That was so nice, thank you Felicia.

The following day, we made shoes for Fairies and boots for Pixies.
Amazing, don't you agree?
This weekend I'm teaching a two day workshop at Westhope Craft College in Shropshire.

We're going to make my Embellished Books, soft fabrics made into satisfyingly fat books, full of treasure.
I'll show you what we make, next week. X
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Location:Newark Park

Friday, 28 September 2012

Plas Tan y Bwlch Textile Weekend

 I'm such a lucky girl! Although the weather has not been brilliant this summer, I've been having such a wonderful time.
I was invited to teach at Plas Tan y Bwlch, the Snowdonia National Park study centre, for their recent Textile Weekend.
What a place! Breathtakingly beautiful scenery, delicious food and lovely students. . .what more could I ask for?!
The view from the terrace, early in the morning. The scenery appeared in ribbons, as the  sun melted away the mist.

We were making my 'Hidden Treasure' books over a fun filled, action packed weekend!

This one was going to be about Hadrians Wall, some really lovely images were appearing.

We made pages to match the covers, miniature books to hide in the covers and tried all sorts of ways to transfer our images.
 The results were stunning.
Earlier in the week I had visited some interesting churches, the wooden Angel above lives in Rug Chapel, an amazing church in the care of cadw.

This little sweetie and . . .

this scary chap are to be found . . . .

in the very pretty Llangar church. It sits on the side of the hill, next to an old drovers road and looks down to the river.

    Pennant Melangell
 This is the Romanesque shrine to St. Melangell, patron of Hares, which are found in abundance , carved in wood and stone all around the church.
The little church which houses the shrine is in a steep sided , wooded valley, far from the noise and distractions of the 21st century.
Our visit coincided with the annual outing of the Porthmadog sunday school , no worries . . Mike and I were invited to join them at the vicarage for a lovely Welsh tea.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Weekend in Paris

I had the most amazing time in Paris! It was wonderful to have Fanny as my guide and she wizzed me around her favourite places. Above are the pretty gardens near the Louvres.

I've always wanted to visit Notre Dame de Paris, it was certainly not a disappointment, I loved it.
We wandered around, visited La Drougerie, an amazing emporium for all things  to do with knitting, sewing etc.etc.etc.
The staff are charming and so knowledgable, you can choose your yarn and they will wind how ever much you need into a ball. I chose 100 gms of a deep red Alpaca yarn, to make a scarf.
We visited the fabric area in the Marche St.Pierre, Montmartre. 
 All I can say is Wow! I've never seen such a huge selection of fabrics and the shop called Sacre Coupons had mountains of treasure! I got some green linen, several pieces of fine
wool and well . . .lots of stuff. Then we realised that I had to lugg it all back to England via Eurostar so I had to stop!
Time for coffee and a crepe with vanilla ice cream while we looked up at Sacre Coeur?

That evening we ate at 'Un Zebre a Montmartre', a small bar/ restaurant. Probably some of the best food I've ever eaten . . . !
Montmartre at night was magical, we lingered in the Place du Tertre, saw street theatre and musicians and listened to voices from all around the world.

            Sacre  Coeur at night.

                                                     The Conciergerie

                                                   A magical wedding shop in Montmartre.
I think that's probably enough for now. . Watch this space!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

What fun we had!

 Phew, what fun we've had!
The exhibition went really well, nearly 2000 visitors and lots of sales.
 With our daughters wedding approaching rapidly. . . .I took Rach and her Gran out to the Feathers Hotel in Ledbury for afternoon tea with Champagne. Needless to say Gran got a bit tipsy and we laughed and munched our way through masses of delicious lovliness!

My dear friend Fanny came to stay for a week. Here she is admiring the flowers outside the Fleece Inn at Bretforton.
There followed several late nights spent talking and drinking tea, and days spent walking and talking and drinking tea!
The big day arrived  and the sun shone on our beautiful daughter and her new husband.
We had such a golden day. Rach and I keep re-living it, storing all the lovely memories away.
And now. . .for a finale to this special month, I'm off to meet Fanny in Paris for a long weekend.
I'll tell you all about it  when I get back. . . .

Monday, 16 July 2012

Folded Books in Frome

Some of the super results of our Folded Books workshop in Frome.
Look at the fabulous coffee dyed calico in the top right hand corner. . . well done Ben!
More pictures in the previous post.

Friday, 6 July 2012

In search of the saints. . .

 Mike and I have just had a lovely holiday in Northumberland, it was such beautiful countryside, wild, woolly and ofttimes wet.
I went in search of the saints from the golden age of Northumbria, gathering stories for my talks.
We found hidden churches, like this one at Old Bewick, there was a stream just behind where I stood to take the picture and an ancient clapper bridge which lead to an old pathway.
This old path got me thinking, about the people who, over the centuries have made their way down through the fields, over the little clapper bridge to the church . . . . .

 In the churchyard at Alnwick we found this charming cherub.
I've spent many years collecting angels and this one is right up my street. . .her thighs need working on, just like mine!

I'm sure she'll find her way into some stitched creation. . . .
 We spent a lovely , sunny day on Holy Island, where St. Cuthbert lived in the 7th century and where the priceless illuminated manuscript,the  Lindisfarne Gospels were made in his honour.

In the picture you can see Lindisfarne castle in the background and in front, an ingenious use of an old discarded fishing boat.

 In the parish church these life size wooden monks are carrying the coffin of St. Cuthbert as they did during their flight from Lindisfarne when the Viking raiders came .

We walked across the fields at Duddo to find  a strange stone circle, 4000 years old.
The stones looked like giant misshapen teeth.
 I wish you could feel the atmosphere there, the sun strong on our faces and silence, except for the skylarks.

I also went to see an exhibition of stitched textiles in Alnwick. There were about 80 exhibits, all made by the Northumbrian artist Helen Cowans. It was wonderful, have a look at her work here.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Learning to fly. . . .

 Just a few bits and pieces from my week. . . .
The little figure above which began in Janet Bolton's workshop has finally learnt to fly.
 I love this red lily and I'm amazed that it hasn't been felled by the sideways wind and rain. Such a beautiful thing, must be stronger than it looks.
I took Mum out to lunch at the wonderful 'Kettle Sings' tea rooms on the Hereford side of the Malvern hills.
The view from their terrace is stunning. We had lots of laughs and lovely food ,sitting in the sun. . .heaven.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


 I don't often have chance to take part in a workshop  but on Saturday I was lucky enough to be able to spend the day with the Cotswold Embroiderers guild and the wonderful Janet Bolton.
Have a look at her work here . . .
 Here she is modelling a piece of pure wool wadding made by her friends at the Cowslip Workshop in Cornwall.

We had such a brilliant day, working with hand stitch and scraps of fabric. Janet kept us entertained with stories of her travels.
Here is Jan's picture inspired by a recent trip to the beach.

This is mine, I think it's going to be a fairy, learning to fly. . . .
Janet is a marvellous tutor and she inspired us all.

I know it's only June, but thinking of forward planning. . .here is a sample of the collaged paper and fabric that we will be using to make these. . . .

. . . .in  my Christmas workshops at Westhope College in Shropshire on the 24th and 25th November.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Jubilee fun.

 What fun we all had over the weekend, celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee!
The rain did its best to spoil things, but hey, we're used to that.
My daughters' village had a Jubilee Pageant and Phoebe was chosen to be the Jubilee Princess!
Can you imagine how excited she was. . . just look at her carriage.
 All the houses and cottages were covered with flags and flowers, lovely.

 This isn't soft focus, just rain on the lens. . . .

Next day, a world of difference. . .a sunny spot in Mum's garden . . .
and a handsome fella posing for the camera. Love the hairdo.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Playing Hooky

It was one of those days when things happen,
Nice things. . .like having company for breakfast. Then later when Mia had gone home, well it was such a beautiful day.
It was either tackle the long 'ToDo' list or play hooky and go out with my dog.
No prizes for guessing which choice I made.

We walked for miles along the river to this favourite spot.It seems to have become very overgrown with weeds, but they're so pretty and the view is a bit special. . .

Nothing to disturb me, just the birds and the sunshine. . .
and Rowan jumping in and out of the river, bless her. The afternoon just vanished and soon it was time to head home. I'll get up early tomorrow to tackle that list. . . .well maybe.