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Have spent a lovely weekend catching up, on sleep, on time with old friends and today I will be catching up with the crafting I need to have finished for my Autumn Exchange.
It has been lovely to see my friend Anita, she showed me some of her amazing machine quilting pictures while she was here and I was very excited to learn that she has met Ricky Tims (from the Quilt Show) and knows Melly (from the Melly and me blog) and has quilted an item for her latest book!
We all met up on Friday and spent lots of time looking at old pictures of the kids when they were babies, we have 21 kids between us so lots and lots of memories of good times
I have also been busy with the latest bunny, in between stitching and here are a couple of cute little dresses that I have made.
I also thought I would show you the latest in my Xmas stitching, these are still to be buttoned and backed but here are some of my fave designs from JBW that I am stitching for relatives this year.
And I have been experimenting with my bread book, had Anita and friends round for dinner so this was an adaptation of the Stilton and Bacon Rolls recipe with seeds, apologies for the quality of the photo, light not good in the kitchen!
I will be off to Spain next Saturday (where my mother tells me the temperature has dropped to only 28 degrees) so am planning lots more catching up on sleeping, crafting and reading – the terrace is calling!
Have a nice time whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
Well another Marsden Jazz Festival has come and gone and I think a good time was had by all.
There were lots of people dancing late into the night at our sell out Saturday night event featuring the very talented Airya Astrobeat Arkestra.I even got off duty for a bit to go and join in and I was also amazed by the guitar playing of Antonio Forcione at our other sell out event on Sunday.
As usual I had a lovely time in the company of my excellent band of fellow volunteers and really enjoyed meeting so many nice people who were very kind about the festival and how much they enjoy it.
I was also interviewed by the local radio and if you want to hear more about the festival my 15 minutes of fame are here
on the Two Valleys Radio web site.
It was a bit wet so we had some re-arranging of outdoor events to do (how optimistic were we?) but the venues in the village were fantastic at accommodating bands at very short notice so big thanks to them all.
I know I have said this before and apologies if you are bored by it but I love living here, there is a real sense of community and I so enjoy being part of this.
I managed to take a few pictures of the parade on the Saturday which involves the local dance school and local children who decorate brollies to carry (good job given the inclemency!).
There were even some very little children dressed as sheep which is the symbol of the jazz festival – so cute!
I am really looking forward to this weekend as an old friend of mine is coming to stay, Anita, who moved to Australia some years ago and has since become a very talented long armed and machine quilter is going to be here.
Have not seen her for about 3 years so lots of catching up to do. I have just been drooling over some of the new things on her quilting blog at Hillside Quilting.
Am still busy knitting bunnies will I ever stop! And am half way through my Autumn stitch for the Seasonal Exchange.
Here’s hoping for better weather than last weekend so that we can go walking and show Anita our beautiful surroundings. However if it rains we may just have to hole up in the craft room – shame Maybe she can teach me a thing or two while she is here!
Take care and thanks for visiting
Well Autumn is definitely here in the Colne Valley.
The last of the tents is drying out on the line ready to be packed away until next season and the air has turned colder.
I am often sad at the end of the season as I so love camping and re-enacting but am really looked forward to my second Autumn here.
Being so much more rural I can really see all of the changing colours of the seasons all around me and the other day I had a lovely walk along the canal to pick blackberries and took these pictures for you.
I also popped into the local charity shop (to donate) but came away with this beautiful tray cloth.
I am thinking of maybe framing some of these pieces as I now have far too many just to make things from them and think these might go very nicely in the kitchen.
The designs remind me very much of some of Kelly Fletcher from Materialistic- a very talented embroidery designer from South Africa who has some beautiful freebies on her Craftsy shop - look for the Bloomin’ Marvellous designs.
She also has some gorgeous designs for sale – really inspirational stuff!
I now have the ultimate luxury of a Sunday to do whatever I want to Jake has gone back to University (not that he was any trouble while he was here!) but I am home alone with only myself to please.
Shall it be Christmas ornaments, knitting more dresses for bunnies, stitching? Maybe all three! I am making a start on my autumn exchange piece today and have chosen some beautiful brown silks for the piece.
Or a walk on the hills? it is beautiful and sunny today so I might just don the walking boots and get out there
I hope that you are having a lovely day whatever you have decided to do.
Thanks for visiting.
I have found a new addiction, I think I am just going to keep on knitting these bunnies as they are such fun to do.
I have long admired Julie’s (Little Cotton Rabbits) work and was very excited when she released the bunny pattern on Ravelry a while ago.
Do go and look at all the ones she has made on her blog, I have got lots of inspiration from looking at the colours she uses and have got some different ideas for my next few.
My first bunny and 2 dresses are finished and I have cast on for the second one.
Julie’s original pattern has stripy legs and body so it looks like the bunny is wearing tights – I left that out of the first version to make it easier but am confident I know what I am doing now so will add underwear to the next ones!
Luckily I have lots of people to give bunnies to as we have lots of young children in the family now as well as friends with little ones so I will have homes for my bunnies to go to!
What I love about this is how quickly you can do it- am not a fan of large projects and the parts of the bunny are so quick even for a slow knitter like me.
As well as the basic pattern I bought the pattern for the extra dresses again from Ravelry, the spotty sleeveless dress pattern comes included with the bunny and the other dress is an adaptation of the cap sleeved lace hem dress. I also added the white border to the spotty dress as the original one was a bit short.
I made the lace hem dress looser by doing another repeat of the lace pattern, made it a lot longer by adding rows to the skirt, added a white band at the waist when I gathered it in by using decreases and used bigger needles to knit the top to make it looser.
I am now feeling a lot more confident about how patterns ‘work’ so know how to do these simple changes.
I have left the back of both dresses open as the bunny is a present for a small child and that makes it easier to undress.
Julie’s patterns are brilliantly written with lots of step by step pics on every detail including the stuffing so even the bits that look tricky, like the shoes, aren’t at all.
I am going to try some of the other designs for my next dress – the spotty one was my first go at colourwork and despite the back looking at bit messy it came out ok.
I am going to have a lovely time for the rest of the summer!
I have also been doing quite a lot of garden fettling – forgot to take a before pic but at the back of the house there was a very overgrown rockery with two foot high dandelions and nettles which now looks like this.
I have planted some clematis and jasmine at the back so hopefully next Spring I will have some lovely climbers up the wall. I don’t miss having my old garden at all but do miss my clematis.
The hanging baskets back and front are looking lovely – due to inclement weather we haven’t made much use of the new table and chairs but I’m hoping it will stop raining soon
I do love my new little house so much – just the right amount of gardening to do, planting nice things and a bit of weeding and watering and no hedges or lawns!
Right am off to do more knitting – thanks for visiting.
We have had a very, very lovely day today – not only going to Hardwick Hall for the day but because my lovely daughter Ellie works there had a brilliant ‘behind the scenes’ experience which was amazing.
Here is the Hall in the lovely sunlight – as a contemporary of Bess’s wrote when it was built – ‘more glass than wall’.
Here are some pictures of what the public gets to see.
The beautiful velvet heraldic embroidery created by Bess of Hardwick herself, the blue silk bed hangings, the Great Hall with its bed canopy.
But we also got to go up on the roof! This is the top of the hall and the view from one of the small banqueting rooms that are in the towers.
The best bit for me was going into the textile store rooms in the attic.Here are all the boxes with little pictures of the contents.
And here is Ellie opening one of the boxes for us.This contained a beautiful velvet hanging of flowers.
Another box had some more of the most wonderful of Bess’s heraldic pieces, here I am close up to this piece – no glass at all, heaven!!
I feel very, very priviliged to have been able to do this – thank you Ellie!
And we were able to see the Gideon tapestries that have been away for conservation that she has been helping rehang – go and visit her blog for more details of this. The pictures below show the before and after effects of the cleaning.
A brilliant day – I loved it!
Take care all of you and thanks for visiting.
I am off to Florence on Sunday with my Mum so there may be some pictures of medieval art and churches when I get back – you never know!
I am having a rare weekend at home indulging in some domestic bliss.
As I type this I am eating my lunch – the very tasty Olive and Chilli Sourdough bread in the picture below that I made this morning with dried olives from my friend Martin and Suzie’s Cowley’s Fine Foods accompanied by some delicious cheese from the local deli Radish.
The recipe is by Jo Wheatley and is from the Sainsbury’s magazine a couple of months ago.
I have been doing a little gardening – thankfully my lovely new house has virtually nothing to do in that respect but I have just been tidying up the pots and later I will continue making a medieval cloak for my friend Luke.
Embroidery wise I am working on a christening present for Alice, my cousin’s daughter at the moment.All will be revealed when it is finished!
Mum and I will be going to Plymouth for the christening next weekend as they have very kindly asked me to be a godmother which is very lovely!
This pincushion is from the Blackbird Designs, ’ A Stitcher’s Journey’, book and it is stitched on evenweave with Silk Mill thread. The charm is one I picked up at one of the knitting and stitching shows but you can get similar ones from Sitch Direct.
I backed it with some of the lovely fabric from my lovely friends Helen and Lucy at Material Goods and added a little pocket for scissors or an unpicker.
Well must be getting on with the sewing , hope you are having domestic fun as well, take care and thanks for visiting!
Hope this finds you all well and happy. I have had a lovely time away in Spain with my Mum and have got some fab pics to post of the Easter celebrations there which I will sort for tomorrow.
It has been a wonderfully sunny day today, I have two loads of washing dried on my line and this is in Yorkshire! It is a miracle.
We still have piles of unmelted snow though where we cleared the paths and the road, particularly on my side of the street as this does not get as much sun. It might be gone by May!
Hope this lovely weather continues as I have my first re-enactment event in 2 weeks time and my first camping weekend in 3 weeks – yippee!!!
It seems appropriate to post a picture of the Winter ornament that I made for the Seasonal Exchange group since the theme of this piece was snowflakes.
The design is a combination of a tree from the Cross Stitch mag from last year that I have made into a tree ornament for me and some snowflakes from the lovely Snow Poem design, once again stitched with Silk Mill thread. This piece is now with Lisa in Australia.
I am now stitching the Spring Exchange piece and also have been working on some new stock for my stall at Standedge, I found a cute pillow case today in my local charity shop so have been transforming that and some old jeans into a little handbag.
Will post again later this weekend, thanks for visiting.
Well I have finally got my stall at Standedge Loft Space and my membership as a designer maker. Am very pleased as I have wanted to sell things for a while and also it is a great way of supporting a local craft centre. My little stall looks very cute and I have got some nice feedback already.
It is a lovely space and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time there, especially over the summer.
There was a craft market this weekend and I bought this lovely fabric from my new friend Helen from my local knitting group. I am making a quilt for a friend’s baby and have used some of this fabric to add to my stash for that.
She and her friend Lucy run a fabric store called Material Goods in the next village – here is their card and link to their online store.
I have also been out for a few walks over the weekend – there is still a bit of snow up on the hills and lots of sheep!
I got my Winter Exchange this week from Kathy - isn’t it lovely – as soon as my partner has got hers I can post the stitching that I have done.
I am planning lots of lovely walks this week as I am on holiday! There will be lots of crafting too and some nice nights out catching up with friends. Ellie has been here for all of last week and Jake is here this week so I am being very social!
Thanks very much for visiting.
Happy 2013 to you all!
I hope that you had a lovely festive season. We did, I arrived back from all my travels today and have just been sorting some pictures to show you.
We had a very nice time at Powis Castle with Ellie – it was a very quiet Christmas Day which was much appreciated, we got up late, opened presents, watched DVDs, went for a walk and played games and ate lots of chocolate!
I took some special Christmas themed pictures in the grounds of holly, mistletoe and deer (not reindeer as these are red deer but they still have impressive antlers) and some of the very interesting lichen on the trees.
It was very good and the castle looked so pretty all decorated with a fairy tale theme for Christmas! If you want to see more pictures of this go and visit Ellie’s blog post about the castle theme.
Our time in Cardiff was lovely if a bit wet! We visited the Doctor Who Experience which proved to me that I am still scared of the Daleks ( and there were no cushions to hide behind!) and Cardiff Castle and the St Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life which was brilliant.
At St Fagan’s I particularly loved the terrace of miners’ cottages that were displayed to show living conditions between the 1850s and the 1980s, really interesting. Also the recreation of the medieval church paintings were great.
The pictures below show Ellie and my sister Jackie with Betsy, the car that my favourite Doctor, John Pertwee, used and some of the amazing decoration in Cardiff Castle.
It was remodelled in the late 1900s by William Burges for the 3rd Marquis of Bute and is a stunning medieval fantasy castle – I would so love to live there!
Ellie bought me the most amazing Xmas present which she got from an antique shop in Welshpool, these coasters date from 1908 and are very lovely, especially significant as there are so many peacocks at Powis Castle.
I can now show you the pincushion I made for my very good friend Kerry for Christmas. This is a Blackbirds Designs pattern called Wild Lillies which I have adapted and I made it for her as she has been such a good friend to me this year with all the help with my new house and keeping me sane! Thank you, it is much appreciated.
I have just got back from a lovely time in Spain with Mum, it was warm and sunny and she took me to visit a fabulous historic house which I will post about later in the week.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Well hello everyone, I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying the last few days before the festive season begins.
I am now on leave for two weeks (hurrah!) and tomorrow we go to Wales to stay with Ellie at Powis Castle where I shall be pretending that I am at a grand house party as in Downtown Abbey and we shall be eating lots of lovely food and going for walks in the grounds.
I had a little housewarming party last night with some of my lovely Marsden friends which was very nice and am off out this evening to another party with some old friends so am feeling very sociable and relaxed.
Am planning lots of lovely stitching over the next 2 weeks, I have one last Xmas ornie to finish then am going to start on my Winter exchange piece. I am going to Spain for a week over New Year so will be sitting on my terrace stitching in the sunshine hopefully!
I was very excited on Friday as I took my ornaments up to The Loft Creative Hub at Standedge. I have a little display for sale there this weekend and have the dates for their craft fairs next year so am going to be working on a new range of things.
As I am joining as a designer/ maker I can have my own table to display goods for sale permanently so I am going to make some stock for that in Jan with all my lovely vintage finds.
It is my 300th post as well so I thought I would show you some of my latest fabric purchases just to celebrate my five years of blogging and fabric love!
These are beautiful fabrics that come from Justine at Simply Solids, Justine is local to me, I did meet her a couple of years ago at knitting group and have followed her blog, Sew Justine Sew , ever since and on a recent post I noticed that she has started a fabric retail business .
The first set I ordered were all these beautiful tea and tea-cup themed fabrics, I actually have 9 fabrics in total, 3 pale print, 3 darker print and 3 with tea cups on them. Not sure what I will make with them yet – tea cosies is the obvious thing but shall try to think up some other ideas as well.
I have also joined her monthly fabric club – the Sew Solids Crew as I have now started getting quite a stash of prints but often lack coordinating fabrics to go with them.
For £11 a month I get a set of 6 ft quarters delivered all in different shades of one colour, December’s delivery is purple – look at all this loveliness!
I will be back to the blog early Jan so I do hope you all have a lovely time over Xmas and New Year – a very happy festive season to you all and thanks as always for visiting.