Saturday, 3 January 2015

What a Year

It's been quite a year.  I finally found my little dream house in the country.  I didn't do too badly envisioning what I ended up with.  To clarify what I was looking for I decided to make a textile collage to remind myself what I needed and desired and hung it out in the old garden.   I was haunting Zoopla morning, noon and night and had almost given up when this house came along.  

I was totally stressed out, two offers on other houses had not been successful.  I was ready for a weekend off, no more house hunting and then this one popped into my inbox.  It's not old, but it ticked all the other boxes so I went, I saw, I loved and the rest is history.

Whatever the weather I never tire of this view .....

Then came the unpacking, choosing colours (always a favourite task) and then enjoying the results of my labours

There was lots to explore for the cats, a new garden to sniff around, new territories to conquer.  And they are so less stressed as I've only seen another 3 cats in the area whereas there were 10 that I knew of over the wall at the old house.

 Christmas has come and gone for another year.  Billy enjoyed the Christmas tree as usual, seeing it as a seasonal activity centre.

What will the New Year bring? What are we looking forward to?
  • More homebaking, coupled with some vegetable growing, there is a whole blank canvas of a garden to make over!
  • The summer house will be erected, a bargain in the sales, a welcome addition of some much needed shade on my sunny plot
  • More colour in the garden, it desperately needs flowers
  • More charity shop trawling and treasures to unearth
  • More visits to more cemeteries and more photos of angels
  • More rest - listening to my body and taking it easy sometimes and not feeling guilty about doing nothing
  • And definitely more creative making (an easy intention to keep as last years creative output was paltry as the very least)
A Happy New Year to all my friends and family!  I hope it brings you all you wish for!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Fabulous Workshop to Kick Start the Creative Juices

I went to a fabulous workshop lead by Mandy Pattullo at Hope and Elvis on Saturday.  I set off on a very misty, murky morning and for those of you who know me, this is a big thing, driving somewhere I haven't been before.  I'm not the world's most confident driver but I was determined to go but so glad I hadn't realised that visibility was so dire.  It was only just over an hour away, I could do it, I would do it because the lure of her work and the wonderfulness of Hope and Elvis was the biggest 'carrot'.  So, so glad I did, it more than lived up to expectations.

The wonderful stag above just had to come home with me.  It was love at first sight, from the delightfully worn piece of quilt it's stitched on, to the wonderful mix of colours and textures in the embroidery.

Mandy was such a good tutor it wasn't long before we were up and running.  Having chosen my template - a cheeky squirrel it was off to rummage for fabric pieces in the heaven of a pile of fabrics!

The whole place was just so inspirational but a bench, covered in fabric to rummage through was just so inspiring, so many fabrics and textures.   Wish I could show you more of the studio but guess who forgot to charge her camera, arghhhhh!

So then it was back to my bench to begin assembling my fabrics so as to try to resemble a squirrel.

Here was my work at the end of the day, still a ways to go but determined to finish it. I had such fun, it had been so long since I'd played and created.  But it won't be as long again.

The house move is out of the way, most of the boxes are unpacked so it won't be long before I'm back making again.  Incidently Mandy Pattullo very kindly brought along some of her sketchbooks and I was so happy to see the works she'd done around a cemetery - cos we all know how much I love cemeteries right?  When I was in a local cemetery recently, doing some rubbings, ideas were flitting across my this space folks.  I also don't think it will be long before I'm on another course at Hope and Elvis, it really is a very special space.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Bye, bye my sweet garden

 I should now be moving house shortly and I'm going to miss my little garden.  

I've enjoyed making it mine, full of roses and other cottage garden plants, slightly shabby around the edges, a little oasis of green for me and the boys. 

But a new garden awaits, with a lawn, which will be a novelty, never had one of those before.  It is all shrubs around the outside, very much as this one was, so some structure but crying out for some flowers.  Also I'll have two gardens, one front and one at the back, a north and a south facing, so that should be fun.

Can't wait to get started!

This little beauty is coming with me

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Fun with Waterlogue

 I've recently discovered Waterlogue, a fabulous little app that turns your photos into pictures like watercolours.  Here's Merlin in close up and

 sitting in the garden beside a pot.

Here's Hutch actually on his cat pillow, a wonderful vintage furnishing fabric.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Hoorah! A Dry Sunday Afternoon

Mustn't forget to take this plaque when I move, I've had it since I only had one cat, the late Frederick Arbuthnot.

Step this way as Billyboy cuts a dash 

 Like your pink gardening gloves Mum, says Merlin

 who then appoints himself Chief Investigator for the afternoon.  What do we have here, prunings?

And in the watering can?

Archie strikes a pose in the sunshine.

Two can play at that game, have you got my curly tail Mum?

Billyboy goes for a bit of al fresco yoga.

Suck in that stomach Hutchie Bear!  Oops, failed again.

 No I wasn't chewing on your bamboo, 

well maybe a little.

Time for some garden tidying.

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed somebody was missing from the garden excursion, Mickey decided to stay totally cosy next to the radiator.  Still too cold for the old boy, 17 later this month.

Hope you're having a lovely Sunday afternoon wherever you are!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Think I like Patchwork

 Started work on an art quilt with the theme of gardens.  This is the first time I've tried curves with english paper piecing and I think it's worked quite well.  It's to be a seed packet if the company was owned by a shabby chic gardener.  I'll let you see it as it progresses...

I managed to have a relaxing Sunday afternoon, doing a bit of work to my crocheted blanket, watching the Interior Design Challenge, got up to change channels and Hutchie was in my seat in a flash, looking like he's been there all afternoon.

Now off for a glass of chilled Soave and to put my feet up and watch the Musketeers.  Just loving the detailing on the uniforms.  The faces aren't bad either, lol.  Enjoy your Sundays!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

As the sun goes down on 2013

As the sun goes down, quite literally, on 2013 I thought I would do a little blog post, 

now all the delicious food has all been eaten

and all the drink has been drunk, (love the vintage vibe of this label).  

 It's time to look forward to 2014 and what delights and opportunities it will bring for us all.

But first a word about this year.  2013 has 'been a funny old year' to paraphrase old Arkwright

I felt unsettled in January, started clearing things out, trips to take stuff to the charity shop when stuff normally comes the other direction, an attempt to get organised, so not like me who happily works in chaos, or creative juxtapositions as I like to call it.  Then I put my house on the market and resolved to move to the country, to a smaller house with a bigger garden.  No joy, no houses to go and look at much less to fall in love with.  So stay put and do some improvements.  Pass the smelling salts, the quotes came back so high that it just wasn't worth it.

Okay time for a list of what I'm looking for in a house and this took the form of a collage which is now blowing in the breeze (okay it's a bit more than a breeze but breeze sounds so much more romantic) in the garden for the universe to see.  So now I wait, and scour the internet and ring drippy estate agents and keep my fingers crossed for the right house, at the right price, to come onto the market for me and my furry friends.  Sorry no photos of the collage, they're on the old camera and I can't find the lead, total chaos as I said.

2013 was unsettling as well because I was 50 in November and that caused a fair amount of reflection etc.  All in all a difficult year to be creative in, boo hoo.  Well no more unsettled, a goal to focus on and some creating to be done in 2014.

So heres to the New Year being a year of creativity -

I've got a project to work on that is still inspiring me to work on already, 

a warm and cosy new home 

family, friends and a multitude of cats!

May 2014 bring you all you dream of!