Monday, 28 May 2012

One, two, three....and FOUR

Leaftastic

 

In warm weather little pieces of sewing are the way forward- nothing large and hot covering your lap, swiftly finished before the urge for a nap takes over... leaf brooches in summery colours. Mind you, sewing 30+ brooch bars on the backs is a bit tedious!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Painting in the heat


 Very warm here today- painting in the heat  is quite a challenge , mainly as my brain turns to soup at 25 degrees. 



 The paint dries so fast in the palette that getting it  mixed and onto the canvas before it becomes unworkable leaves not much time for dithering and pondering.


Just as well I like to improvise.
 


  I'm doing another set of four paintings- like these 4 (above) from last Summer.



Two done, two to go....

Friday, 25 May 2012

Chickens!


Remember the Swedish Garden Quilt and the Chicken Cushion?
Joining them is a table runner- two foundation pieced Chickens. I have some ideas for hanging decorations too, then the set will be complete.

Very warm here today- even the North side of the house reached 30, I have some knitting on the go, but despite being away for a few days, which usually means I return rearing to get back to projects, I couldn't summon enthusiasm for it. Too darn hot for knitting, but not too warm for catching up on the escapism of the Chelsea programmes I have missed.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Leaves and Flowers


 







Gloomy today- we have had a couple of warmer days without rain (during the daytime), so I've been busy trying to sort the mayhem in the garden. Cold and grey this morning so  back indoors spending some time enjoying my Amaryllis blossoms and doing a bit of sewing: making leaves for brooches. Bright stripy, blowsy, flowers and colourful leaves. Combined with the Archers omnibus, a recipe for a more cheerful Sunday morning indoors than out.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The thrill of Parcels

I'm still thrilled when a parcel arrives. I've never got over  my childish excitement about parcels, even when I know what is in them.
I've recently received two particularly exciting parcels.
I have, for some time, been gazing yearningly at various fabric designs by an Amercian designer, Tula Pink. I first spotted some of her designs on an American fabric website and really, really wanted some. Stupidly, I didn't give in, thought that one day I would find the fabrics here in the UK. Wrong.
 A range came out last year featuring a design with a Frog Prince and another with snails- oh how I wanted some of these. 

 
 
 

After an exhaustive search at every fabric shop I spotted online and in the real world here in the UK I gave in and ordered some from the USA. I'd noticed retailers in the USA had sold out of some colourways and designs, it was now or never. Oddly, just as I was succumbing I discovered a couple of her designs here in the UK-at Daisy Patchwork on folksy (thanks Maggie!)- from some earlier ranges and started my little collection with these two lovely designs,

 
 

making my my first happy parcel. 
Today my second Happy Parcel arrived all the way from the Fabric Shack in Ohio. I've bought fabrics from them before and they are a joy to purchase from, packing their envelopes so you get as much fabric as is humanly possible in them and often having special offers on postage. They are really friendly and always there is a little freebie with your fabrics - like a nice patchwork pattern. This time it was a version of 'Storm at Sea', by strange co-incidence a pattern I was after, how's that for customer service? So, now I have a lovely little stash of Tula fabrics. None of them ironed yet, as you have probably already noticed, but I was so wanting to show them off....

 

I'm planning what I'm going to make, it will be based on some 18th century buttons 

 

and I think the designs , especially this two colour turtle design, have a real Rococo feel to them, so should work well.

 

 I will hand quilt it and intend to use buttons and beading and embroidery in with the quilting. Loads of projects to work on first, but this fun project is ticking away at the back of my mind, getting slowly glitzier, biding its time.
It may well become easier to get Ms Pink's fabrics over here soon, she has a book of her quilt designs out and Free Spirit seems to be promoting her fabrics alongside it, so, fingers crossed!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Daunting Task

Yesterday morning I set to in my pyjamas, started before I had the time to put it off any longer...yes, the moment had arrived to start tidying and cleaning my desk and painting/craft/sewing stuff. For weeks now I have been walking into the room, looking at my desk and hastily turning away, telling myself that the big chaotic pile of random stuff "needed" to be there as it was stuff I was "working on".  Who was I kidding? When not in the mood it is a miserable task, but when one wakes on a morning in the mood for a cleaning, tidying, sorting day it really is rather enjoyable, especially when it is finished. I'm being sensible about it- no way will I get the bookshelves sorted properly...but the desk can certainly be much more organised. I really should have taken 'before' photos so I could compare the end result. I got the desk tidy, then was distracted by the garden as the weather was unexpectedly lovely,  so part of the garden got tidied too- the first of my new raised beds filled with soil, planted up...

 
 ...new 'flower pot' hedgehog houses and a log pile put into the hedge behind it.

 

 The hedgehogs currently live under the shed, which will be dismantled, so new accommodation needs to be provided for them. Old plant pots raised on bricks with a hedgehog doorway, tile to stop the rain getting in, nicely sheltered from the weather and surrounded by leaf mould, twiggy bits, piles of stones, piles of logs and other insect/hedgehog food-friendly habitats.

 

I'm very excited about the raised beds- after several years of an increasing struggle with the garden I've admitted defeat, finding it near impossible to garden at ground level nowadays, so the thought of having everything within easy reach again is thrilling. 

 

We're building the beds one by one, shifting plants as we go. A bag of bulbs that has been sitting in the shed for over a year finally got planted- I could almost hear the little wizened things sighing with pleasure as I popped them in the soil. The Big Brown Bulb Bag of Guilt is emptied at last.



 But with every up comes a down...I turned my attention to my cut and come again salad leaves. Salad leaves carefully nurtured in the conservatory until large enough to plant out in the cold frame last Thursday, salad leaves that when checked on Saturday morning were looking most promising, salad leaves that were most carefully left with just a little chink of cold frame open so air would circulate and yet they would stay cosy.
 Rita likes to dig. Rita digs for the sheer pleasure of digging. Rita's preferred digging medium being lovely soft potting soil or freshly turned earth. Rita can dig holes a foot deep when she gets the bit between her teeth.
A scene of utter desolation met my eyes. One half of the cold frame was a large hole, the other half a large pile of soft soil containing battered salad leaves. One single, sad lettuce plant was the only reminder of the serried ranks of different types of salad leaves that had been there 48 hours earlier. I replaced the lid, leaving just a chink, and watched as Rita jumped up and s-q-u-e-e-z-e-d herself flat through the tiny gap. Absolutely no point re-planting the lettuce. I'll stick to tidying.


 Note the weather today when I took photos . Goodness, can that possibly be some more RAIN?