Monday, 30 March 2015

Dymock Daffodils

Despite the rain on Sunday we managed to get to Dymock to see the wild daffodils.  To avoid the heavy shower that had started after we got out of the car we went and had a look in the church where we found an excellent display all about the Dymock poets. The main door to the church was also amazing, it is an ancient heavy wooden one.  The churchyard has some huge yew trees, the size of which we had never come across before.  We then had to go and have a cup of tea and cake until the rain stopped.  We picked up yet another map, a bargain at £1!  Just like last year, we still had no idea where we had walked until we got home and looked at an Ordnance Survey map.

We walked down from where we parked the car passing masses of daffodils in the field, through a gate and then along the side of a stream.
Where there were masses more daffodils.
We passed a very nice weir and it is at times like this that I wish I had a better camera.  The gusting wind was catching the edges of the water as it came over the top and whipping it upwards. It was a very comical sight.
We wandered on further across a bridge and past an old manor house which led into fields.  It was at this point we decided to turn back.  It is surprising what you have missed when you return along the same path. These kingcups for instance ....
and these wild white violets.  There were also some very dark purple ones, much darker than the wild ones in our garden.
There is always inspiration all around you when you are out and about.  I loved these thorns.  I guess they are something like buckthorn, and this fantastic old apple tree with its knobbly bark.
We even managed not to get wet but did get awfully muddy, covered in the warm red clay soil that is typical of this part of the world.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

New Pages for a New Book

I am planning a new embroidered bookcover to be constructed during the Autumn term of the creative bookbinding class I go to.  To this end this week I have been boiling watercolour paper and plant material in a pan with white vinegar and water.  These are some of the pages that I have produced.  It has not been an easy task as I am still suffering from a dreadful cold/flu and at this time of year there is not a lot of suitable plant material around in the garden.
India Flint it the person who inspired me to have a go at this technique.  I used mainly onion skins to produce the background colour, both white and red.  If you look closely you can see a pansy and honesty in this photograph. There is also an article in the Summer 2013 'Pages' magazine produced by Cloth Paper Scissors.
I found an old piece of hydranga flower head over the other side of the stream, obviously some lazy gardener further up the stream had thrown all his pruning debris in the stream to get rid of it. The flowers were nicely skeletonised and have worked well on some of the pages.
I used purple and yellow crocus, ivy leaves, primroses of various colours and anything else I thought might leave an image. Usually leaves work well but there are none out yet.

This last picture was from the first batch I boiled, for which I did not use onion skins, and, as you can see, the colours are very pale.  The brown came from some dried leaves I had saved during the summer with the intention of making a concertina book - which I never got round too.

Friday, 20 March 2015

More Allotments

As I have had an horrendous cold since I came back from Missenden Abbey I have not been up to doing much so I have fished out a couple of images from the Yorkshire Travelling Journal for 2014 to delight you.

Thursday, 19 March 2015


Nice pots!!

At long last I have managed to upload a photograph to my blog.  I have been having terrible trouble since I came home from Missenden Abbey on Monday.

My friend and I spent Sunday afternoon at Hughenden Manor which had been Disraeli's former home and these jolly scarecrows were in the walled garden.  They look like mummy, daddy (dig the teeth) and baby.
Potty trained?
The grasshopper below was part of a children's trail I think.

We spent all day Monday on a one day calligraphy course at Missenden Abbey and had a thoroughly good time, although I would not say the resulting writing I did was up to much.  I need to practice now.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Allotment Vegetables

Yesterday I spent most of the day stitching.  I have been trying out various vegetables for my next Yorkshire Travelling Journal. I saw the cauliflowers in 'Stitch' magazine and then remembered that I had a book with them in too so went and fished it out.

Next came the bright idea that I might be able to produce some raised cabbages using wadding and a piece of space died velvet I had in my box of bits.  I found it was easier to stitch from the back as the velvet was difficult to sew on.

Finally, and not yet mastered, was the idea of making some lettuce from some organza type ribbon.  IU am still working on that one.

I also managed to make a very small pincushion from tiny hexagons to put into the 'Quilt O Fax' I finished last week.  It has a little bit of Velcro on the back to hold it in place.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My Big Allotment Challenge

Last year I was trying to follow a theme of 'Allotments' for the Yorkshire Travelling Journals.  You must bear in mind that I do not actually have an allotment but do love looking at them. You get the lovely neat, regimented ones and then there are those that are neglected, full of weeds and junk. The jumble of sheds assembled from all sorts of bits and bobs are a feast to the eyes, all higgledy piggledy utilising such ingenuity to create them.  Then there is the flash view when passing by on a train journey, with an allotmenteer here and there busy tending their plot.

The picture above and below was my work for May 2014 and was based on companion planting, with nasturtiums to attract the blackfly away from your broadbeans. It is in my friend "E's" YTJ and I think she liked it. I managed to find an information sheet available following the austerity of the war.

This next one was for June I think.  I did a drawing from a photograph of another friend's shed, machine stitched it and then found a suitable poem on the internet.  Again I think "M" liked the entry in her YTJ. I bet it made her smile.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Envelope Book

This book has envelopes attached to a concertina spine to store things in.  I was full of good intentions and bought some lovely little brown seed packets which I thought would make a lovely present for a gardener.  However, the packets open at the top and have lettering printed on them which would become obliterated when glued onto the central concertina spine - I am still considering how to get around this problem before I get round to making another of these books.

Flag Book


This is a type of flag book we made at the creative bookbinding class some weeks ago which I have never got round to photographing.

It has a wrap around hard cover ....

 .... and the 'flags' are meant to be able to be displayed with the cover folded back.

Yorkshire Travelling Journal

I have finished the wrap around cover for my new Yorkshire Travelling Journal.  I have been using an 'Allotment' theme for the past year and this cover seems to represent all things green and gardening purely by accident.

I still have my two pages to prepare ready to hand it on to the next person in April.

Quilt 'o Fax

I have been busy for the past fortnight trying to complete a Quilt 'o Fax from a pattern I had given for my birthday.  It is now almost finished and just needs a pincushion made from small hexagons which will attach with a piece of Velcro to the inside cover.

Front Cover

First side open

Open right out
The small blue pocket is a needle case.  There are lots of pockets to put things in and one has a zip to stop things falling out.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Yet More Snowdrops

If you cannot guess I adore snowdrops ....

On Saturday DH decided he would take me to Birlingham churchyard near Pershore and we were not disappointed.  The whole experience was heightened by the fact that the village hall was selling tea, cakes and homemade marmalade and jam.

We were jolly lucky with the weather, and according to other visitors, the crocus had only just started to flower. Dotted amongst the snowdrops there were occasionally Scillas and one or two winter aconites, plus lots of cyclamen.

Inside the church was very icy but this stained glass window was tremendous.  All the window ledges in the church had been decorated with an abundance of spring flowers and there were helpful laminated sheets outlining the history of the church and churchyard.

On our way back to the car we came across what looked like a gravestone but in fact must have been a warning to keep off the grass at some time in the past but the words had long been eroded away!
 and finally the view from the small car park opposite the village hall.