Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fancy a Creative Holiday?

I'm feeling better today, loads better.  I think the sun of the past few days has helped enormously.  Doesn't it always lift your spirits?

Speaking of sun and spirit lifting, in October next year, 2014, Dale Rollerson is teaching a workshop in Italy at the Abruzzo School of Creative Art, link below.

When I mentioned to John that I would love to do one of these, he said why not?  There was me thinking that we'd fly down for the week, I'd sit, scribble, stitch etc and we'd fly back.  Oh no.  John want's his kick too (he's not just my official wine taster you know), so we are taking three or four days each side to drive there and back, and I'm so looking forward to that bit too! I loved the driving around the top corner of Italy last year so going all the way down to Sulmona will be fabulous, especially in October.

There needs to be three more creative people for the trip to be a definite, spouses and partners are welcome too, so anyone else out there fancy a week of Daleing?  All that lovely mixed media and textiles?  Good food, wine, sights to see and warm sunshine????  C'mon!  There's 20 months to be excited about it, I can't wait!!

Dale is found at and there is a link to the trip there too.


Friday, 15 February 2013

A Brief Interlude

Please play corny lift music whilst staring at the ceiling or your shoes.

I have had a bit of a cough for a couple of weeks and this week it exploded into full on something or another.  I've had a totally empty diary and so have spent my time working hard in my studio coughing and sneezing and basically dying in bed or on the sofa.  No energy or will to lift my head and aching tummy muscles.  I'm still anaemic according to Dr's tests and being susceptible to coughs and colds is a side effect.  This is the third bout since the ulcer bleed in October.

I'm becoming so fed up.

Whilst I could still lift my arms a little I did do this little waistcoat from a Noro pattern.  Jumping from the 8mm of the throw to 3.75mm for this was interesting! I loved the bright flecked yarn I found in a local shop.  (I may just put this one to one side, just don't tell Elsa and Mike).

And as I don't have much more to say here is a photo of one of the Great Spotted Woodpecker's through my studio window yesterday looking rather fine and dashing in his plumage.

And this is the male Blackcap who visited this week after showing a photo of the female last week. I think they are pretty little birds and, for those who don't know, they are of the warbler family and known as the northern Nightingale as they sing so beautifully.  They are really only a summer visitor but a few have started to over winter here now, but it's still a rare thing.

If my coughing allows I may lurk in my studio for a while and see what doesn't happen.  Have a great weekend.


Monday, 4 February 2013

More Movement on the Chatelaine

I have managed to turn this little pile of bits...

Via this...

And this...

Into this.

With this inside.

The large crystal had to be used somehow and I thought about it for ages.  When I rummaged around I found the little purse and knew it would kill two birds with one stone as both a free option addition and a vehicle for the crystal.  The purse had a slight dent in the mesh that the crystal sat in perfectly.  The purse was brass to start with but I painted it with black enamel. The silver coloured clip in the top photo is from a Christmas cracker several years ago.  I knew I'd find a use for it one day.  I've secured it onto the back of the mesh purse with wire to act as a belt clip so that was another compulsory part of the brief fulfilled! I then beaded onto Ultrasuede back and front and fixed it through the mesh with stitches and lined it with silk and more beads.  I can't say I'm totally thrilled with it but it does the job.

I wanted to also to bring in another colour other than just the black and gold.  There were some AB in blue hint on some of the black beads on the needle case so that is where the blue comes from.  I may go back and add a few more of the blue to the needle case.

The Big Garden Bird Watch was a couple of weekends ago and we did our usual count.  This year all the old familiars like the Sparrows, Chaffinches and Goldfinches, all of which we have plenty, seemed to be having an away day but we did have a couple of new visitors.

It took us a while to work out what these two were as they are so tiny, our smallest bird in fact, and incredibly fast!

And, though the photos are very blurred as we were sat away back from the window and they were in a shrub about 25 feet away you can see they are Goldcrest.  So, so exciting!

We also had a return visit from this rather elegant female Blackcap.  A pair that we are seeing a little more of though not too regularly.  

I think the regular feeding is key in having so many different birds.  I know we are very fortunate to have space to have lots of feeders and they are placed in the open but not too far from shrubs and trees.  Birds like to see what's around them and have a bolt hole too.  We also took a while to find a supplier of good seed and nuts, birds really do respond well to good food! 

Well it's a beautiful, sunny day and the Daffodils are coming out to join the Snowdrops and the buds are really fat on the Magnolia so it almost feels like Spring. I hope you have good weather where you are.