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, 30 October 2011

halfterm and halloween happenings....

it's been quite a week, travelling here and there, seeing family and sharing meals and talking and laughing and catching up...
making memories to keep us warm in the long winter nights...

by the sea 
feet in the sand 
in October
spiky grass
rough waves
skein of geese
black green seaweed
sea washed smoothness of shells

apple harvest
warm kitchen
 apple press
slow drip of juice
delicious sweetness
bottles the taste of summer

the rose outside the kitchen window
Mum's favourite
blooms still
put my nose to soft petals
and breathe in
sweet scent

wake to heavenly
red skies in the morning
rain swiftly follows
torrential water downpouring
washing rivers in the lane

pumpkins grown
huge and round on
donkey muck
thanks donkeys!
friends fill the kitchen tonight
carving scary faces in pumpkin flesh
 cakes, friendship and fun

and tomorrow 
time is mine
studio beckons
making again
fabrics and threads
freedom and creation

Sunday, 23 October 2011

hip hooray for holidays...

.....even tho I'm at work later in the week it feels like holidays cos daughter and husband are off from school... and we are leaving the homestead and livestock in the capable hands of Great Friends and Next-Door Neighbours (we've just looked after their chickens while they were away...it's a great arrangement, we do their chickens and they get to do ducks, donkeys, geese, cats and chickens...fair swop?!)...for a whole 2 nights and heading to the northeast to see my Pa and Big Sis...and a birdwatching trip to Druridge Bay is of course on the cards...for TODAY! so better stop blogging and get the teenager out of bed and get packed up...is that footsteps I hear above my head.??

Druridge Bay is on the beautiful Northumberland coast... here's a few pics from last time (summer? you can tell from the big coats and welllies...)


mustn't forget to take my knitting and crocheting for the journey... thinking ahead to C....mas....sorry it had to be said....so I will take some gorgeous inspiration with me.... homemade art and craftyness is the way to go ...handmade knitting and crochet goodness for presents all round?? maybe for NEXT year...as usual I have a strange feeling that hope will outrun performance...but I can give it a go....optomism and hope is everything....

....and when we return we have the exitement of Small (but getting Bigger) Swiss Cousins and Best Swiss Auntie (sadly Uncle C is at work)  and Greatest Grandparents coming up to stay nearby...so more fun!! Hope you have a great Octobery halfterm too...wherever you are and whatever you do....

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday night... and we are feeling sad

I'm sorry to say that Emily hen has passed away, quietly and peacefully. It's a funny thing but even to the end of the life of any person or any animal there is a tiny ray of hope, of light and energy still with you, and you don't want them to suffer but you don't want the finality of them going either. 

She seemed to be getting better at the weekend, we took her outside for fresh air and she was positively perky, then a day later she was almost comatose, not eating or drinking. So a dilemma - go to the vets and traumatise her more? Do as the local famers would and 'despatch' her (quick but not pleasant for all concerned?)... so we waited. I looked on the internet, no help there really. Instinct kicked in and we waited and watched. By holding her in our arms she would take a little water, otherwise she slept and lay in a coocoon of soft towels in the Big Box. She seemed so peaceful...and that is how she went. We were able to share in her final days...and it was a priviledge. So often I think we are afraid of death and dying, but I think we have all learnt from this experience. Strangely it has brought back memories of my Mum and allowed me to cry about her too.

Emily was just a little barn rescue hen who brought joy to our lives, she was so scrawny when she arrived and it was a delight to see her become healthy, plump and happy in her simple outdoor life...she was always around your feet..pecking them... investigating where you were digging... following you around...we will miss her.

Got to tell my daughter when she comes in...she's had a Grand Day Out with Dad and friends a-birdwatching down on Walney Island - a train ride down the beautiful Cumbrian coastline and apparently pretty blowy while they were there...isn't texting fab! I know all about it despite having been at work...in a warm peaceful but busy gallery!

Hope you've had a good Friday ..here's to a lovely half term holiday...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

jams, jellies and poorly hens

heavens to Betsy...where is the year going...already there are people and blogs out there mentioning the 'C' word...not round here mate! Just trying to get back to 'normal' chez nous after the open studio event...the house is somewhere under all this stuff and dust and confusion.... the nights are drawing in certainly as we put the hens and ducks away earlier and earlier... there is a coolness in the air today and the smell of wet leaves and grass after the rain... tho' I did manage breakfast 'al fresco' in PJ's and a fleece...

autumn is here and I  am settling in to the new job, tho yet to have my proper days as we are covering holidays so I am a wee bit tired after doing 4 days instead of 3...have to travel further to get to it and working a Saturday is strange, but it's OK, just need to work out what day it is and all will be well...

got a poorly chicken in the kitchen ...Emily again...'off her legs' and I thought she was going to be no more when I picked her up to bring her in...bless her, she seemed so small and feeble. But 5 days on she is recovering from whatever it was...and eating and drinking...tho' there is a strange smell lingering in the kitchen...time for a mucking out methinks, so we'll maybe let her out for a bit and see what she does...it does add to the general kitchen confusion having a large box with a hen in!

came home from work yesterday to daughter in full making mood ...producing fabulous homemade crab apple jelly...last week she made bullace jelly (kind of small sloe/wild damsony things)...wow, she's amazing and so is the jelly....she's off doing a 'bird race' with friends today so will be having a grand time...autumn migration should provide a good number of interesting birds...she's at one of her other 'homes' ...we are so lucky that all her friends' parents are our friends too so there's always somewhere to go if she has had enough of us! 
...and husband mine has been making amazing gorgeous coloured fermenting concoctions to sit next to the Aga which bubble away...using up apples which otherwise the geese would eat and hedgerow sloes and bullaces and damsons...to make alcoholic beverages for the depths of winter...and today in the lovely autumn sunshine is heroically painting the new window in the studio...and then mucking out and then...

so I am catching up with an overdue blog...sorry, just been so much else to sort out to make life manageable...

and here's a few tweedy autumn thoughts...I just love the feel and warmth and woven texture of tweed and even just a simple ball of wool... off to the studio next to rummage though my textile stash and get in the making mood...need to get some goodies into local gallery and get ready for a craft fair and plan some workshops...exiting times as we three artistes go live with 'Making at The Studio'...starting small and simple but building up into a thriving interesting workshop space-cum studio cum gallery...

I love autumn...full of texture and colour...lots to inspire me...it's just deciding what to do first...tidy up everything and enjoy pottering around making order and loving the feel and look of all my lovely fabrics and yarns and books and bits and bobs....or set to with making something delicious to entice a purchaser...what a choice to have, how lucky I am...

and here's a little piece of history to finish with... my grandpa worked for many years as Manager of the Sunderland Blind Institute and I found this today in my stash of Granny's treasures...

it brings back happy memories of my dear grandparents and may inspire something special ...hope you too are similarly inspired this glorious autumn weekend...