Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Oh what fun! Christmas in September! It's over now though. Today was the recording of a Christmas Special for Talking Threads

So, just for good measure, here are the cast and crew.

Do you recognise anyone?

(Oh, and lunch was delicious too. Thanks Ted, who also kindly took this photograph for me.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Christmas is coming.....

I couldn't resist the title. My dearest DH absolutely refuses to even think about Christmas until 1st December. This has its drawbacks, but I've learnt over the years to turn those into positives. Before Christmas actually comes, though, we have a busy time ahead, and in fact the last week has been busy.

On Friday we were at Wey Valley Workshop, I was speaking and also running a short workshop. Friday saw us at the AGM of the SE Region of the Embroiderers' Guild and yesterday was a return trip to Urchfont Manor. As I have mentioned before Urchfont is a regular trip, but yesterday meant a somewhat longer journey as a key bridge was closed due to rebuilding. Although we know Wiltshire well it meant a journey along a road we haven't actually travelled before. Wow! We were amazed at the vista that was suddenly before us, and although it was misty we stopped to take a quick snap. (Yes, snap is the word, we'll take a proper photograph another time)

Sorry, it's difficult to see from this image, but I'll improve on it next time we go that way.and you may get a better idea by clicking on it. There's too much in the foreground, but we didn't have time to walk into the field.

The afternoon was spent with our son and family. Our little grandson is taking his watering tasks very seriously

Even though it means a long walk to refill the can!

And who better with whom to share a titbit than DAD!

Now, time to get back to work, I've still a lot to do for Christmas..... Christmas? Find out more here....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are you a creature of habit?

Maybe you could say that I am a creature of habit. I wake, I rise, I make a drink and start the day. I work. At night I go to bed and I sleep. Outside the times that I am sleeping I perform many and varied tasks, and visit many and varied places. So do I qualify as a creature of habit? I'll let you decide. How does this compare to your way of life? Sometimes other peoples' habits make themselves obvious in spite of trying to ignore them. The absence of these habits often hilights the fact that they were there in the first place, and this was the case a short while ago.

We have nearby neighbours. We don't know them well, but we speak, and it is comforting to know that they are there. However part of their routine is quite specific.

10.00 am Granny arrives
10.15 am Cousin arrives
10.25am Coffee and cigarettes enjoyed in the garden (come rain or shine)
10.55 Cousin departs
11.00 Granny and Mrs Neighbour depart.


2.00 pm Granny and Mrs Neighbour arrive home
2.05 pm Granny departs

2.10 pm Mr Neighbour arrives home.

This routine happens every day from Monday to Friday.

What do they get up to? Where do they go?

Who knnows?

Do I want to know?

Speculations please (in a sealed brown envelope)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


It's fun to have time to play, and I don't find that time very often. However when a workshop looms 'playing' is a necessity!

This is made with Szerkezet. Can you see how it has shrunk? I'm doing more experiments tomorrow. No, that isn't gold paint! It's a secret at the moment.....

Monday, September 21, 2009


You know, the zany thing about this stitching lark is that inspiration can come from the most unexpected sources. Maybe it was a glimpse of something as it flashed by during a journey. A turn of a book page can sometimes result in an interesting idea. Architecture, nature, sources are all around us and can be interpreted in so many ways.

However, this morning, for some totally unknown reason, these colours popped into my head.

I've had fun putting them together, now all I need is to find the time to stitch them. Better do the design first, though! I'll post the result eventually - but don't hold your breath. I have quite a lot to do over the next while.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I don’t believe in air


I don’t believe in air.
no one has ever seen it;
no one has ever felt it
between finger and thumb.
converts talk about
tasting the air
and something in the air
but there’s always another explanation;
the nearby sea, a factory’s pipes',
a pile of fresh manure.
it’s not the so-called air that smells

scientists have complete faith in this air.
they say that it upholds
and sustains our world.
take away the air, they argue,
and we’d go too.
meteorologists attribute
signs and wonders to the air;
people thrown to the ground,
trees uprooted, the landscape rearranged.

it sounds like superstition to me.
if there is air
who made it?
where does it all go?

why doesn’t it show itself
just one time for proof?

friends ask me why windows rattle
and hair goes awry
but I don’t believe in air.

I don’t believe in air
air is just another word
for something that’s not there.


Friday, September 18, 2009

En France

This is going to be a long post, so it may be a good idea to make a cup of tea or coffee before reading on!

We have just returned from a wonderful time in France. It was partly a working holiday, but we also enjoyed a few days of rest. Our place of abode is lovely. Set amongst farmland in deepest Charante it is peaceful, and the weather was warm and sunny throughout our stay, encouraging us to take the rest that we really needed.

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This picture shows part of the outside. You can see the Pigeonnier and the Grand Salon. More of that later.


The surrounding countryside is beautiful. Fields of Maize, Sunflowers and Corn surround tiny hamlets and ancient villages

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The maize was a wonderful golden colour. Lots of texture too, to stimulate ideas for future work.

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Sunflowers in different stages of development create atmospheres of their own too,

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whether still showing a little bit of yellow or almost ready for harvesting.

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There wasn’t much time to settle in, though. First we had to convert the Grand Salon into a shopping area. Not quite ready, but this gives you an idea of what was in store.

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The picture was taken from the mezzanine. If I tell you that the dining table seats at least 10 you will get an idea of what a wonderful space this is, and why it is called the Grand Salon! Through the doors at the end you can see the Veranda with a glimpse of the swimming pool beyond.

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Such a beautiful blue. The sun glinting invitingly.

The selling day was followed by a workshop.

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Everyone had great fun, me included. We created texture using a new technique, first to make a brooch and then a piece that will eventually become the panel for a book cover. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished pieces. It was hard to choose which one to include here, but finally I ‘plumped’ for this one.

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Of course, some of us were able to relax while others were working hard!

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Several dips in the swimming pool were the order of the day too!

Our free days were too precious to spend much time travelling, so we visited the local area. A trip to the River Charente at Fleurac was a delight. It is a beautiful spot, calm, quiet, and peaceful.

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There are several islands in this locality, and they are all connected by a series of wooden bridges. There is also a working paper mill processing hand made paper. Unfortunately it wasn’t open on the day we visited. The banks of the river were full of autumn fruits.


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and blackberries in abundance.

Each morning was greeted with the chattering of sparrows in the poplars and evening was heralded with the arrival of flocks of swallows that dipped and dived over the fields, feasting on the insects that they could find. Every night we were treated to another beautiful sunset. This is the start of just one.

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One of the most interesting towns in the area is Aubeterre sur Dronne. Only a small town, a walk around won’t take very long, but each corner heralds another view. A cavernous church hewn out of rock is just one of the delights. We have visited there before, so this time we wandered the streets looking for lunch and other sights.

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This is a general view over the town, while this next one shows just a little of the beautiful stone carving on the church.

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And I just love the higgeldy piggeldy arrangement of these buildings.

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We always return to this view, though.

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Aren’t the colours lovely.

Let’s face it. Half the fun of a holiday is the food! And when it is locally grown, or picked straight from the tree it tastes even better.

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What better way to start the day than with fresh figs and strawberries?

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And freshly cooked bread with local ham, melon and grapes for lunch! Yum!

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And who could resist figs with local almonds?

blog IMG_3903We indulged in the odd coffee too, but at one cafe I was more interested in the shadow play of the glasses!

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So much to see around the old farmhouses too. Always worth a second look.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thanks Moo

Time for a new website! If you would like to take a look, that is. More pages to come, but not for a while.

I ordered some Moo cards on Monday, and to my amazement they arrived this morning. I've lots planned for this little collection. Watch this space.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A little bit of Maine

Have you ever been to Maine?  I haven't - well, not yet.  However, I now have a little piece, just about ready to hang on my wall.

It was a surprise in the post this morning from my friend from overseas Carol.  Isn't it lovely.  She has a shop on Etsy too, you can see some of her other creations here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thread of the month and a surprise

The new thread collection of the month is now posted here and you can purchase it directly from the sidebar there.  .  There is also a link alongside here.

I also thought I'd tell you about a surprise mail that came this morning.  A while ago I made a comment on a blogpost, and, as you do, promptly forgot all about it.  Amazingly I won myself a prize.  I'll post a picture when it arrives, but in the meantime I thought I'd point you to the artist's work.  It was actually really difficult to decide which one to show you because they are all really beautiful but finally I decided this was the one to go for. 

However, don't take my word for it.  You must take a look at her shop to see the rest of her amazing work.