Life and Thyme!

I was attracted to the Stitching Journal  project by the idea of trying new techniques and my own ideas.I was unprepared for just how challenging that would be for me.

We all have to decide how much of what we blog is a “shop window” dressed up to show us off in a good light, and how much is the REAL ME?  We filter our own truth, but if we share something that means a lot to us and we have laboured over , then the real us will be there whether we like it or not. And if we let people see the real us, will we get a negative re action? Scary stuff.

Which is a very convoluted way of saying I really did not know whether I would share the piece I have been working on this month. But at the very least I want to be true to me so… and besides which, it is no big deal after all. Except to me it is, the whole stitching journal is a big deal to me. It has taken me out of my comfort zone.

Here’s what happened.

I had taken down all my moss inspiration pictures last month. Up on the board now are a set of pictures which mean a lot to me. I have already lived with them through August, frightened ,yes frightened on how to interpret this idea in stitch.  So I went back to moss having had two ideas of what I wanted to try, and had only tried one in July. This turned into quite a learning experience

I love moss, the way it looks, grows and the texture and it was the texture which was missing from my July piece. It wasn’t soft enough. So, I decided to make felt and stitch onto the felt. Here comes a frustrating part. I had attended felt workshops a couple of years ago, but needed to brush up my how to knowledge. Down to the library I went, yes I could have looked on the internet but a book is just, well more satisfactory. Only all the books they had had on felt had GONE, replaced with endless crochet toys books. Aaagh!  Big search back home  to locate the notes I had from the workshops. So far so good.

Next to the shop I knew sold wool for felt making- located within a craft workshop in a farm shop. Aaaagh! It had gone, replaced by a “Gift Shop” , the sort that sells Country style nic nacs all the way from China…

To the Internet, where I discovered Adelaide Walker and within a couple of days I had a lovely big bag of green merino wool for felt making. Five different shades of green. Perfect.

I could begin. If you have never made felt it is just lovely, bubble wrap, lots of hot water, soap and arm exercise. I had a really therapeutic Sunday afternoon.

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That’s all the wool layered up ready to make felt. Bit of pink and yellow for litchen etc.. Artistic license

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The first bit was a bit flimsy, so I made another. Now what?  I wanted to manipulate it to give it the springy tussocky appearance of a mossy dell. But how? I searched through my books, my magazines , I came across a lot of articles showing what I wanted to do in calico but not in felt. I was on my own.

So I got a piece of calico and some wadding. I attached the flimsier piece to the calico so that it would fold over the second piece.

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Then I stuffed under some toy stuffing

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and pinned it down.

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And began to stitch it using ordinary sewing thread and running stitch.

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I decided to try some wrapping of thread using tapestry wool , to indicate tree roots.

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And then I added some chain stitches using some wool from my stash

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Lots of colours, very pretty, can’t say where I got it from I have had it so long.

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Gradually ideas have begun to form in my head as to just what could be done by sculpturing felt. I am certain somewhere there must be a book about sculpturing with felt. It really does lend itself to being molded and manipulated.

Now I don’t need to show this to Mr E to be told it leaves a lot to be desired , which is why I had such reservations about posting this first attempt. And should I stop stitching on it… it just is so relaxing to stitch something so soft and so , well certainly not functional, but very tactile.

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So there we have it -a first attempt at moss in felt…

I learned a lot about making felt- it takes much longer than you think to get it to felt and not to be economical with the wool.

I can see lots of possibilities for what I was trying to do, which needs more careful thought, I am not good at careful thought.

I like to have a practical use for things and probably should get over this, sometimes it is about the experience and the skill and not about a finished product. I should accept that I can’t do everything just the way I want it first time.

And this project is about challenging myself to find my own voice and sometimes it is going to be hard going.

So that’s my Stitching Project for August.

Linking with the lovely Lola Nova for the August Stitching Journal

 

 

 

 

 

Beachy Head

After Eastbourne we had time for just one more treat on the South Coast- a walk on Beachy Head.

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Those white cliffs are just stunning and quintessentially England.

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Is this the lighthouse at Beachy Head that the shipping forecast refers to? Or is it this one?

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I loved the way people had written their names or messages in white pebbles. This is my favourite.

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The wild flowers on the cliffs were beautiful and there were butterflies all over them I tries to take a Holly Blue but they were too quick for me.

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There a browny orange butterfly/moth on this one. I wish I knew more about flower and insect identification.

Just time for lunch, at the appropriately named Holly Blue

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Happy Summer Days!  And the sun has been shining here all day!!

Summer?

I am really tempted to say what summer as it has turned really chilly these last few days. I’m amazed we had such a great day out on Sunday. So hard to believe that at the beginning of August I had a lovely few days with my son Mr J and grandson Master H and took these pictures to prove we really did have some glorious sunny hot days…

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Master H and bike down by the river just 25 days ago

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Master H and fishing net at Frinton in Essex, 24 days ago. We didn’t catch fish but it made a top notch receptacle for pretty shells, pebbles and that most wonderful of treasures, washed glass.

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Man training as Mr J calls all play with Master H- in this case civil engineering…

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The tide came up whilst we were there and the moats and bridges worked perfectly.

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This is just plain silly beggars- dig a hole bury child up to top of legs, pat down and leave…

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then tip bucket of water over head.. child laughs uncontrollably and asks for more…

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Eastbourne 23 days ago

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My son must be totally bonkers.. BRRRRR

But not so ? as the hooligan who did this to the pier… sometime the week before we were there

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Just WHY? One historic and beloved pier burned down on purpose.

 

Back Yard Exploration!

The heather is out on the North York Moors in all its glory, and it being Bank Holiday weekend Mr E and I had a day out, exploring our own back yard, never getting further than 15 miles from home.

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The smell is just divine, imagine honey and then more honey and that’s how the moors smell at this time of year.

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This is Farndale, love the remains of the stone building in the background.

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And this would be Rosedale, looking beautiful and completely natural, look carefully for all round this Dale are the remains of

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a railway line which served the needs of the local iron industry. At one time Rosedale also had a glass blowing industry the furnace for which is in the Ryedale Folk museum, and from the talk at our Family History Group this week I hear that come this winter the glass furnace will feature in a programme made by the Countryfile team.

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My little camera tried as hard as it could to show the remains of the iron industry, which if you click on the picture itself you may be able to see.

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Scattered across the moors are waymarkers/crosses like this one. The Ralph Cross, now symbol of the park authority,is possibly 700 years old.

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This is Duck Bridge and is a medieval pack horse bridge, not wide enough for cars but just wide enough for a pack horse with fully laden paniers to pass over.

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Pretty narrow! Enough to perplex any sat nav- fortunately there is a ford just the other side. Here’s another..

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This one is called Beggars Bridge. The story is that a poor young man called Tom Ferris fell in love with The Squires’ daughter, Agnes. Tom went away to sea and wished to say Goodbye before he left, but couldn’t cross the river by the Ford as the river was in full spate. Four years later he returned a wealthy man, married his Agnes and built the Bridge so that no couple should ever be unable to see their loved one.

Just love these old tales.. Onwards

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Have to have a picture of sheep on the moors. The sheep know exactly which their bit of moor is and don’t stray, somehow the knowledge is passed onto the lambs by the ewes. You do have to drive with care as they wander onto the roads and into the villages. I don’t want to make this post too long but I have some super pictures of sheep for another post.

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So I will just leave as I began with the lovely heather on the moors- this taken near Hutton le Hole.

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Hope everyone in the UK enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend, and some managed to do some exploring in their own neighbourhood.

 

Yarn Along!

20.8.14 026How come I didn’t know there was a sequel to Chocolate? Thoroughly enjoying this book, and it is very hard not to cheat myself by reading the end when I am only half way through. I do like a happy ending…. please be a happy ending.

Still knitting the little jacket for Master T, back and two fronts finally finished. Note to self..if you keep sidetracking and doing too many things at once, you won’t finish anything. Does anyone else have this problem? I won’t believe anyone who says no….

Lining with Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along!

Was it a mistake to start to buy the magazine Stitch again when I my interest in Embroidery was reawakened? I love the magazine and I love the way it inspires me. BUT I should I have allowed myself to be seduced by

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him , in issue 88 April- May. I did resist him for as long as I could, but then I found some fabric in my stash and I was undone. Having selected some fabric it was time to design the parts I would be embroidering.

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That’s an ear. Then it was time to start stitching. The one in the magazine used 6 strands of thread to give a rustic look. Now I love rustic but 6 strands is beyond rustic! I went for three strands and a homespun look.

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I love the idea of using buttons in the centre of the flowers, and found 4 from my button stock. Oddly I have no yellow buttons, so that gives me a mission round the second hand shops.

Here’s a flower in detail. Buttonhole stitch and long stitch. Leaves are long and short stitch. Stem stick for the stems, and a few french knots and lazy daisy stitch thrown in for good measure.

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The rabbit in the magazine is made from Cath Kidston fabric and embroidered onto calico. My fabric was a curtain remnant and I embroidered onto curtain lining fabric.

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After the embroidery comes the sewing bit. Pretty difficult as you have the ears and arms inside the body as you stitch up the rabbit. I can’t understand why I didn’t think to stuff the arms and ears after the construction which would have been much easier, but I went with the instructions.

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See a pretty tight fit and on the sewing machine was hard.

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Then you have to get the whole rabbit right side out…

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Here he comes. Stuff the body and add the legs.

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Nearly done just add a ribbon. Yes it’s from a chocolate rabbit, I can’t throw away a ribbon with a bell can I….

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Ain’t he cute?

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If you would like details of the magazine please go here. The project is by Deena Beverley

And what did Mr E think of him?  Well the rabbit sat all weekend on the sideboard without Mr E even noticing him…. and when I pointed him out ” Very nice!!” was the comment, no wonder I blog!!

So should I have resisted him- Glad I didn’t.What do you think?

Linking with Handmade Harbour

 

I have started to notice that church steeples really do vary from area to area. Which is logical since they serve no real purpose and once one church added a steeple the nearby churches aspired to one too. Now the steeples in the Brecon Beacons I noted all tend to look like this one on St Edmund’s Church in Crickhowell, unless of course you know different.

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Now this church is apparently the only church outside of East Anglia dedicated to St Edmund. It was a lovely church but I was a bit surprised at the lack of a guide book, and on coming home lack of much on their website about this interesting church.

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I love the approach through the gate.

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Here is the church seen from across the river in Llangattock. The steeple really does present quite a landmark.

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The inside was  quite big for a little town.

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And there is the rather impressive tomb.

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There’s the church from the castle.

And here for good measure are two other places of worship in Crickhowell , which sadly weren’t open to the public

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in fact this one was padlocked and there were weeds on the footpath so I wondered if it was still in use

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and this one.

Joining with Inspired Sunday for some more great religious buildings

 

 

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