hello and welcome...

Hello and welcome to my blog, where I love to share a little of my life with you...I am so lucky to be a textile artist and maker...inspired by the beautiful countryside around me and by all sorts of things in my life....if you fancy a creative WORKSHOP take a look here or taking a peep at what's in my ETSY shop click here...thank you for paying me a visit today!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

this and that

Been half term this week so a mixed bag of activities going on in all parts! willow planting (husband), birdwatching (daughter), trip to the northeast to see family, fantastic day out at Druridge Bay.....Northumberland's unspoilt beaches are so beautiful, on a sunny February day, hardly anyone around, just us and the waves, sand, sea - who could ask for more?
I really miss the sea, being a northeast lass brought up close to the seasides of Co Durham and Northumberland
 Then family up to see us... and some more willow planting....and a bit of sewing as daughter had a Cath Kidson bag to make (book was a lovely present from grandparents)

The book....

The bag......
....suggested she lined it as well and it looks really good. Just the buttons to add. Hope she's proud of her efforts, she did brilliantly and I enjoyed being asked to help her now and then - a sharing moment or two. My Mum taught me to sew and I am so grateful as it has been a lifeline for me all these years, making is like breathing...

Loving the new colour
'New' shelves for studio, always plenty more things to fill them! Hand made by husband in early married days...they used to be a very dark green, just needed a bit of a facelift, much lighter and brighter now.

In the pink....
Managed a little bit of making in an odd moment, (NB - need to get a sewing machine for daughter!!)....I enjoyed  creating another bag from old felted blanket, a little vintage fabric and a recycled skirt...
I don't really like to cut up old embroidered fabrics but if you can re-use them and turn them into something lovely in their own right, better than lingering unloved in a charity shop...these little bits were from a rather worn section, picked out the best bits and there you are...
Re-loved brooches

Friday, 18 February 2011

The pleasure of making....

Front of cushion on a favourite old chair

Back of cushion, love the big buttons!
 .....lovely things from unwanted discarded items, re-loving them into a new way of being...here's a simple cushion and a bag created from a beautiful hand-embroidered, slightly-worn tablecloth and a vintage gingham skirt....we love 'em! They feel fresh and spring-like, delicious embroidery on crisp ironed linen. (Photographed outside while the sun was shining!)  

Amy Butler fabric on the back - yummy!

Peep inside, lovely lining

Living in rural Cumbria makes it a leetle tricky to see and buy new fabrics. The Internet obviously is a great way to buy, but we quite like to 'handle the goods' so second hand shops can be a good source too, tho' they are getting a bit expensive these days. Does anyone still have jumble sales out there? or have car boots taken over? There's nothing quite like the buzz of exitement outside a jumble sale for wetting the appetite for all the bargains waiting once you battled your way to the front! Long before vintage became the fashion of the moment, all Granny's goodies were there for a few pennies!

And now for a fab new coat ready for warmer days (being optomistic!) no sooner in the house than beautifully styled by a talented daughter!... and guess what, it cost £6 in a local charity shop. Actually isn't 'thrift' shop a nicer name, it has a more positive ring somehow. Tho' the fact that for a little money a new coat is acquired and at the same time it does good, how cool is that?
And who knows, maybe it's rightful owner will get a look in sometime!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

down on the farm....

Country 'Em' here, a bloggin. Sun today after rain and mist and clouds lying low on the hills. Made you want to run around hugging everything! So, not a day for making - to be outdoors after being cooped up over the long winter is fantastic, even though it is very cold. First lambs in the fields nearby, tiny weee black one - tried to get a close up but Mum was very suspicious, it is lovely to see the ewes so protective.

Happy chickens too today, out pecking slugs in the sunshine, they are such characters, could watch 'em for hours, and they lay beautiful brown eggs, all shapes and sizes - no EEC regulations here! Some of their eggs are rather large and would put you off being a chicken in the next life.....You wouldn't realise that the 2 brown hens (Emily and Victoria) were barn rescues from last year, they were so scrawny, knew nothing of life outside, of grass, sun, rain, soil and yet they knew how to be henny.
I can thoroughly recommend getting barn rescue hens, loads of families were there with lots of exited children, with boxes of all sizes and shapes, to take home some very sad looking 'chooks' for some loving. Having hens was my daughter's idea (they are all hers and she looks after them really well, mucking out the hen house and everything) and I can't imagine life without them now.

Introducing Basil the cat: hobbies include taking over all the chairs in the kitchen by sitting on them one after another, jumping on your head or shoulders when you are outside weeding or planting, and sitting on whatever you are trying to plant or weed.....he just wants to help!

Garlic planting - good day for this I discovered after I'd started and then thought to look in the Moon diary - Root day yippee. Of course I waited till it was late afternoon and the sun disappearing so it was really cold in the icy wind. I only ordered them last week from the Garlic Farm ( they do amazing garlic chutney and we have bought some garlic beer to try too this time!) and here I am planting them - how very efficient! They need cold to make the bulbs grow properly so they like the cold, unlike me! I was out in as many unglamorous layers as I could cram on....(no pic how sad!). The hard graft put in by my other half on making raised beds makes planting out a dream (tho' the one behind Basil needs a leetle weeding methinks).

Thank goodness for my lovely shed, acquired last year, put up my talented husband  and painted by moi in delicious linseed oil paint on the one hot dry day last summer... it's MY SHED and I love it!

Autumn 'Still Life' in my shed....
Afraid I've blown 'Country Living Shed Goddess' status.... sadly it no longer looks like this after lobbing all manner of wet and muddy things in things in before the winter.....

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

tulips... springtime is coming soon to a winter near you!

Don't get us wrong, we like winter - a time to snuggle up in front of an Aga with a cat on your knee, or by a big woodburner glowing in the downstairs sitting room (known as 'The Bothy'  for its bottle of whisky, comfy battered old chairs and a husband taking up residence in it for the winter!)  - with the wind howling outside. But we do love to see the hints of green spikes coming up in the garden and hedgerows - snowdrops are now making an appearance so valiant yet so delicate.

It would be nice to have a warm studio after months of frozen fingers too....