Monday, March 30, 2015

Bad start.....

but a great ending to last week.  It started with a cold sore which turned into a full blown streaming cold.... yuk.
Fortunately I recovered in time to be able to take a trip to Sew Not Strawberry Jam for a workshop with Viv of Hen's Teeth.  Now you will have gathered by now that SNSJ is one of my most favourite places. 
Who wouldn't want to work in that glorious workroom, with geese patrolling outside in  the beautiful Kent countryside outside, a range throwing out warmth to match the welcome from Sam and, of course,  the most delicious cakes .Add to this a tutor as friendly and generous as Viv and you have the makings of a really good day. There were moans and groans when it was time to pack up.
 This is what I made
The cat was a gift from Viv to do whatever we wished.  I painted mine and added a stitch outline.  I was, as ever to see how different everyone reacted to the same brief. 

For once I decided to make sure I finished my needle case., this is what serves at the moment.
I know, I know.........but it works.
Here is my lovely squishy new one
Inside I have placed the little date reminder which Viv gave us to embellish any way we wanted as a reminder of the day..
Now, I am looking forward to the Jessie Chorley workshop in a couple of weeks time. 

The town I live in is not known for it's beauty but I had realised just how much is right on the doorstep.  While waiting for my car to have it's MOT I wandered round the local fishing lakes.  Quite beautiful on that morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2 Temple Place.......

It was this kind of morning in London.
Pre-Spring sunshine with a chill breeze. Idea for a stroll through  the Embankment Gardens to 2 Temple Place built by William Waldorf Astor as his estate office in the 1890's and now  home to the Bulldog Trust Charity.  This is their website ,

We went to see their current exhibiton "Cotton to Gold" which I mentioned in a previous post but the building turned out to be as interesting as the exhibition.

The highlight of the exhibition was the books, from a rare Shakespeare Folio to exquisite Book of Hours. Like this one.
 We are so used to the printed image you have to remind yourself that these are all hand painted. 

Another favourite was this icon.

Their were coins, not something that usually grasps my attention but this caught my eye.  A large but thin Charles the First £3 piece.
Probably a very large sum of money then and probably worth a small fortune now. My one criticism was the textiles were badly hung, above head height so you couldn't examine them closely.

 The central hallway has a pattered marble floor which would fill a post on it's own and these fine fellows on the wall.(also marble)
There were beetles in the hall, hundred's of them.
A strange obsession.
 The staircase is decorated with carved characters from "The Three Musketeers", there is amazing carving everywhere. This is the most elaborate door to the "Ladies" I have ever seen. (It was quite grand inside too.)

We skipped the room with the taxidermy but I was amused by this.
The last room was a little too dark to photograph. It had more magnificent carving, more books,some ivory and some beautiful glass and  these windows, one at each end.
Before we left we lunched on delicious Lancashire cheese baps. I will look forward to their next exhibition  (it is only open during exhibitions) in the meanwhile there is a very good virtual tour of the building from Google here 
We finished out day with a wander through Covent Garden  and I don't like to end such a good day on a sad note but we spotted this little fellow.
I like to think someone came and claimed him.  Sad to think there are real children in the world in this position.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett.......

So sad to learn of the death of  Terry Pratchett. ( I would direct you to his official site but it appears to have crashed at the moment, I will add it later.)

His books have given me so much pleasure over the years.  When my son was at university I rang him and said "I have just read this brilliant book, "The Colour of Magic",, my son turned away from the  phone and said "Hey, my Mum has read Terry Pratchett", probably one of the only times in my life I have managed to impress him :-).  Since then we have shared the love, Christmas meant a new TP book to be enjoyed and discussed. Hearing my chuckle I remember my husband saying "What's the matter with your mother?" "Oh, she has a new Terry Pratchett" said my daughter. So many happy hours.

My favourite character is Granny Weatherwax, who I look on a role model and my favourite book is "The Wee Free Men"  which made me laugh and cry.

I was fortunate enough to meet him at a book signing and also at the National Theatre at a performance of "Nation".

Struck down by Alzheimer's, that most cruel disease, I am going to miss him but I have the wonderful legacy of his books for comfort. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Coming out of hibernation.....

....that's what it feel like. Lovely sunshine in the garden today, mainly tidying and a little bit of planting. We even had lunch outside, though we didn't linger too long when a haze came over the sun and a little breeze nipped to remind us that Spring hasn't started yet (in spite of what the weather men would have you bellieve). I loved these at our local Millbrook Garden Centre, they have made a bird watching hide in one part of the garden  and these are on the walls.

I thought they were charming and could be converted to stitch I think.
 This was the name of the artist.

I have added a couple of things to my To Do list.
One is to visit Two Temple Place where there is an exhibition  "Cotton to Gold"  until the 19th April.  This is an exhibtion of works from Lancashire Museums,  being a Lancashire lass
, it is a must.
The second came to my notice  thanks to a friend.  Punctured Perspectives, work of Kirstie Macleod  at the Rook and Raven described as 50 Embroideries, 15 Countries, 1 Dress follow the link for a full desciption, sounds wonderful. this is on until 4th April.

We are hoping to fit one of these in this weekend, feel ages since I've been up to town.  Like I said......coming out of hibernation.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Long gelli..

Finally managed a morning in my workroom and had a tiny play with my gelli plate. Very happy with these two (postcard size).  Digital frame.
                                                                            First pull.
                                                                       Ghost print.

The "tree" is made with a piece of stone I found on the beach. Note to self. Must do more!