Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Spring Flowers

There is nothing like a quick whizz around the garden to brighten your spirits.  I found lots of flowers among the undergrowth.  Unfortunately the slugs have taken a liking to the primrose flowers that are starting to emerge and the common marigolds are still flowering in the borders.

The Lonicera Fragrantissima is full of flowers, but I have not noticed the perfume this year.  Two small pots containing Sarcococca Confusa seedlings are flowering away too and really need to be planted before too long.  I noticed the snowdrops had come out last week and this week there are cyclamen peeping through the leaf litter under the climbing rose.

The bees next door have been flying recently so hopefully they will find plenty of nectar to feed on.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

More Blues

This is something I have been playing about with for weeks.  I think I need to unpick the machine stitching around the edges that were put there to hold the layers together, then I can reassess the piece and do some more handstitching, as well as deciding exactly what I am going to do with it.  May mount it on a piece of Khadi Paper I think after a bit of trimming.

I also need to make a decision about which way up it goes as it seems a little unbalanced at the moment.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Thursday Blues

Thursday is supposed to by MY day for doing creative things, but it never seems to happen.  I spent most of the day this week creating double sided papers for bookbinding class on Friday, however, I did fit in some play time and found this scrap amongst my bits to which I added beads and stitch.  It has now become a nice card.  I made a mistake mounting it onto gold lame as it continually frays no matter what I do to it.

Can't remember what the scrap was.  It looked like some kind of cheap synthetic velvet to which had been added either painted bondaweb or nappyliner.  This had then been stretched to crack the surface.  I then must have laid snippets of metallic sheer fabric under a normal sheer fabric before stitching it down by machine with plain and metallic threads.  I might even have had the heat gun on it?  I know I should add tags with notes on when I am playing, but I never do and then regret it later.  The finished piece is tiny, approximately 7 cm square.

At least it meant I got a break from stripping gloss paint from skirting boards and door surrounds.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Letter A

This is the final letter in my Alphabet and I took the photograph in Presteigne some time ago.  The question is do I start a new alphabet?

Star Struck

I saw this 16 pointed origami star on someone else's blog a while back and thought it looked great, so got round to having a go at the weekend.  It was fairly straightforward once I worked out the sequence of folds.  Afraid it is rather boring in white, as I used typing paper.  They look great using printed paper from a book or something similar.  I suppose maps would also be interesting.

The next challenge is to have a go with some stiffened fabric, perhaps spraying it with starch.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Letter B

This was a nicely pointed piece of Malvern stone wall which has produced an excellent letter 'B' for me.


I lied about not having done any sewing .... I have been messing about stitching some apples on and off.  I had some fabric which had been space dyed and which I was not sure what I was going to do with.  I decided I might make a little hanging with apples on it.  So since Christmas I have done a few stitches now and then when I had a few spare minutes in between the jobs I should have been doing and this is as far as I have got to date ...

I think the fabric was part of a cotton sheet I bought in a charity shop.  The apples were bondawebbed down before stitching.  I just use any old bits of thread I have lying around, which can be challenging to say the least.  You can tell I have not pressed the fabric recently as the outline of the embroidery hoop is quite clear to see.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Wider Horizons

Last Friday saw the removal of the pile of rubble from the front garden.  It was not without it's surprises.  I now know where Sox got his mouse from ... there was a mouse nest in the pile and three mice ran out.  It gave the contractors a surprise.  I am still trying to arrange for someone to put up a new front fence. The gap in the fence does give a better view from the kitchen window, although everyone walking past can now also see straight in the other way!!  Should think it will be like that for months knowing the speed anything gets done here.  I have found time to work on the gloss paint on the stairs (more to do) and finished stripping all of the skirting boards in the dining room ready for painting.

DH has had 'Man Flu' all weekend so has spent all his time feeling sorry for himself and reading the newspaper and magazines whilst watching TV or listening to the Radio. He has got an irritating cough which I guess is going to last for some time.

Winter brings such joy in the garden.  The cold weather has brought a song thrush under the bird feeders picking up bits and I have also seen a male black cap, plus there is still a single Red Poll coming to feed.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Bird Spotting Update

This week has seen a Red Poll and a female blackcap in the garden. The usual hoard of greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, blackbirds, robins, dunnocks, etc, are still with us.  The wet cold weather means the feeders are full of birds throughout the day.  Also saw a lovely buzzard soaring over the road on my way to Worcester on Monday.

Sox managed to catch a mouse yesterday and was rather pleased with himself, until he realised there was no way I was going to let a cat with a dead mouse in his mouth into the house.  He was very disgruntled when he eventually came in without it.

Secret Garden Decoration

I have been trying to make a Christmas Decoration using two Secret Garden squares, but have found it extremely fiddly.  This is the end result, which is not very good ...
Scanned image - correct colour
Photograph - incorrect colour

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year

No picture today.  Just noticed that all the holly berries in the front garden have gone - the Redwings have spent the last couple of weeks feasting on the ripe ones moving on to the cotoneaster in next doors garden now there are none left.  There were some rowan berries too, but they have all gone too.  That could be the blackbirds.

The stream was really high last night and broke its bank on the far side.  A few large logs have come down and, as the sun is out, I will have to don my wellies and remove them before they dam up the flow of water and cause a bigger problem.  Poor birds must really suffer this weather.

Still lots of goldfinches feasting on the Verbena Bodnariensis seeds in the back garden.  It is such a comical sight.