". . .she sells sea shells . . ." not really - she doesn't sell; - just recycles a beautiful cockle shell she finds on the seashore, especially lucky as there's a hole at the top, to knot some thread through, to make a key fob.
. . . . adding a tiny piece of stitched and beaded linen, gathered into cushion, to the front of the shell. Simple and satisfying. A little gift to treasure.
Deadheading roses. The petals are the colour of the foxgloves I'm embroidering. . . . just now - planting, stitching, walking, taking photos, listening to music, and contemplating is my way of both escaping, and engaging with the world at present.
Above - music shop/ bar , Fiskardo, Greece, and flowers in my garden, Blackpool..
I found myself in a backed up traffic queue at a level crossing, between Blackpool and Poulton le Fylde, waiting for a train to pass through. Opposite a house, with a decorative sign of verse inside the garden gate; part of the verse is obscured by bushes. I just about make out the first two lines - 'The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth' - one day I will park the car and get out to read that sign. But thanks to modern technology the verse is on the internet - the
second verse in a poem by Dorothy Gurney (1858 - 1932), poet and hymn writer.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth, -
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
Seeing people on the train heading for Blackpool from Preston; a few commuters in a couple of carriages. Fleeting thoughts pass through my mind . . . that only a generation ago in the 1950s/60s the train would have been full and there would have been many more carriages when Blackpool, Lancashire, north of the river Ribble was a thriving holiday resort for all the factory workers, from cotton spinning mills, weaving sheds, engineering works, coal mines coming from industrial south Lancashire - once famed as the workshop of the world. But dirty, grimy, steam - filled jobs in dark factories with little sun, and a heavy cost to those workers health, physical and spiritual. Their holiday break at Whitsun and Summer in Blackpool must have come as welcome respite - no industrial revolution in north Lancashire, just windswept sandy beaches, donkey rides and ice creams, glitzy gaudy funfairs on the pleasure beach and pavilioned piers, Blackpool tower with its famous ballroom, modelled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Tram rides along the promenade as far as Fleetwood, fish and chips, and my favourite of the Flyde - windmills and beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. Allen Clarke, journalist and socialist, hundred years ago in 1916 called Blackpool and the Fylde, 'Windmill Land' and said that Lancashire was a county of two halves: Lancashire south of the Ribble was 'the workshop of the world' and north of the Ribble was the Fylde, 'the garden.' I feel as I have an affinity with Allen Clarke as we have both lived south of the river Ribble and then lived in the North albeit a hundred years apart.
But more of 'Windmill Land' another time. Today I am celebrating the joys of my own garden, and here are a few photos. I wish you could here the birdsong too.
Just a couple more images of the bunny, with added leggings, and a little felt bag with birthday card inside for a special friend. The little rabbit ended up being called Corinna.
Corinna was named after a real historical character -actually, Corinne- Corinne Adelaide Lynch-Lopez to be precise. Sadly she only survived . 5 months; hopefully Corinna will last a lot longer. Just in case you're interested the name was lifted from a book Brian was reading and the name sort of stuck.
The real Corinne's mother led an amazingly adventurous fascinating and heroic life. She was Eliza Lynch (Eliza Alicia Lynch Lopez), born in Cork, County Cork, Ireland in 1835. Then emigrated to Paris with her family at the age of ten, to escape the Great Irish Famine. She married a French Officer who was then posted to Algeria. In 1880, left him in Algeria returning to Paris to live with her mother after suffering ill health. In Paris she became a courtesan and met General Francisco Solano Lopez,the son of the Paraguayan dictator. Eliza returned with Lopez to Paraguay and became his partner - they never married but she bore him six children and supported him through the Paraguayan Wars. She rose to become the richest and most notorious woman in Spanish America. Eliza, was extremely enterprising - a small contribution which may be of interest to the sewing crafters, she commissioned two sewing machines to be shipped from England to Paraguay.
Eliza Lynch died in obscurity in Paris. She was vilified in Latin American History and dubbed an ambitious courtesan. However nowadays, this has been completely overturned. Over a hundred years later, her body was exhumed and brought back to Paraguay, where she was proclaimed a National Heroine, in much the same way as Eva Peron in Argentina.
An April Easter weekend of sunshine, showers, chilly wind and a star magnolia in front of the house against a bright blue sky.
A new little Easter bunny make, from a Helen Philipps pattern: pale grey velour body and a pretty primrose yellow dress ( material from an earlier Green Rabbits design giveaway, some little chocolate eggs, and a fresh decorated boiled one. The photo of the snakehead fritillary taken by Becky in the Lugg Meadow in Herefordshire last week. Such a treasured Easter gift. The pottery lighthouse is also an eggcup.
Visiting a an Easter craft fayre in Fleetwood this morning, I just had to take photo of this festive Easter bonnet complete with chicks, eggs and little bunnies, also surrounded by dinky cars, I think it was accompanying a veteran car exhibition outside.
Narcissi, cherry blossom and tame great tit feeding from Beck's hand in Stanley park yesterday
Happy St.David's Day ! or Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus! for my Welsh friends. Here are some lovely miniature daffodils, wearing their yellow petticoats, especially for the occasion- 'every one's darling; the blackbird and the starling' . The blackbird and the starlings have been feeding under the apple tree in the garden. A calmer day this week after storm Doris, and hailstones.
As well as being the national flower of Wales, the daffodil is known as the Lenten Lily, and today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Do you give anything up for Lent or do something that benefits others? I know I will have to give up chocolate then Easter will really be a treat. Also hope to write some letters/ cards - the posting kind, rather than rely on the internet.
I just love the way, seemingly, almost over night, banks and churchyards are covered in snowdrops. These are snapped on a very grey day, in a local churchyard. masses of white interspersed with purple and yellow crocuses. . . .
. . . . . .and, remembering Dick Bruna, who died yesterday aged 89 years, the creator of the original Miffy books for children in 1955. Who inspired these makes I made a few years ago for new babes . . . .
The little babe in the photo is my great niece; she will be 4 years old this week ! Happy Birthday Greta X
Today, I'd like you to meet Ms. Scarlet Sweetheart; my Valentine's make for Sal, my blog partner for this year's Love Swap.
Sal told me she likes red and grey, and purple, polka dot fabrics and likes quirky - cute and unusual; I thought one of my rabbits might fit the bill. The swap also involved hearts, sewing notions and something red, and something delicious to eat.
Let me tell you a bit about Ms Scarlet - also known as 'Red' to her bunny chums.
She is made of the softest velvety velour, and stuffed with polyester stuffing, her eyes and mouth are sewn with embroidery threads. She is wearing her best Valentine's cotton heart print dress, polka dot apron, with little shells buttons and leggings trimmed with broiderie anglaise. As Ms. Scarlet really wanted to impress the Yorkshire Sewist with her sewing credentials, she is carrying her needle case bag, which also holds her Lancashire passport as she is crossing into Yorkshire! She loves cakes, but as she's on a diet has brought a cinnamon candle to sniff. She also took chocolate and some Blackpool rock for Sal's boys. Ms. Scarlet is delighted to be going to Yorkshire as she loves watching James Martin, the Yorkshire Chef, on the T.V. and hopes she might meet him one day.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I had a lot of fun with this bunny and was really chuffed when Sal emailed me to say that she really liked Ms. Scarlet who was 'totally her little sewing buddy'. I also packed sewing notions: cute fabric, sewing needles that I thought might be useful along with a sewing pattern of a shoulder bag with a fox and cat design that was an unexpected charity shop find - just right for Sal.
SAL'S GOODIES FOR ME!
All neatly boxed and packed with pink tissue paper. I was quite naughty this time, and not as disciplined as Sal, and opened my package before Valentine's day, but no earth shattering punishments happened, and I wasn't disappointed. In fact the contents were an absolute delight.
Delicious, irresistible chocolates, pretty heart notions, lovely multi-coloured embroidery thread, lots of sparkly hearts, the cutest 'me to you' valentine card, a large piece of paisley design jersey material and a sewing pattern. (now that's a challenge Sal has set me. It is a long time since I've made any clothes with a pattern.) I love the material colours which I think would look fabulous matched with denim. And there's more - here I am wearing Sal's gorgeous hand made item, which has been sewn ever so neatly and the colours work so well together - this beautiful, patchwork scarf in my favourite blues and lavender.
Thank you so much Sal.
I love it all .XOX . . . . You can find Sal at www.theyorkshiresewist.uk
And, a huge thank you to Tracy from www.madaboutbagsuk.blogspot.co.uk for organising the Love Swop.
I love seeing so many seed heads revealed in winter. . . .some early morning frost on sedums - their common name are Ice Plants. . . The later morning sun reveals spring bulbs and a few herbs. . . . .
Hellebores beneath the apple tree.
A lovely moist tea loaf, recipe courtesy of Lucy's nana. The oven a little too hot, hence the cracking;
I've started crocheting a lap blanket, that keeps me warm and cosy these cold dark evenings, so easy to do whilst watching the television, with this chunky Robin wool from a sale basket outside a local wool shop.
Being winter, and our lovely old apple tree has been pruned, One main branch had to be sacrificed due to age and woodworm, but overall the main shape is still in tact to see another year of blossoms. Before the pruning B.
getting to grips with the clematis that had sprawled over shed fence and hedge, strangling everything in its wake. I like cottagey and natural but even I had to agree this had got out of hand.
Thought I should finish this post by sharing these beautiful sunset photos, over the Irish sea at mythological Cleveleys, Mary's shell, taken by my son on phone last weekend, as we walked along the prom'. You can find out about this huge shell at (www.visitcleveleys.co.uk).
And, yesterday, seagulls flying on the thermals against a clear blue sky day. Just can't resist going to the look at the sea every time, just to make sure that the vast expanse of water and rolling waves are still there.
A view of the early January skies - The Crescent Moon and Venus. And the top of my 'magic apple tree'. I like to think of it as a magic apple tree, after the one in Susan Hill's book of the same name. This is part of my quiet space; a silent, wintery moonlit sky, a bare magic apple tree, dormant, hiberating, a sense that this new year is beginning slowly. All is well and I am also re emerging slowly, feeling the air around me.
Wishing you a magical joyeous and wonderous 2017.
. . . . Bare branches against a blue wintery sky. . . . . Almost the end of another year . . . . .
Many will be glad to see the end of 2016 with, celebrity deaths, wars, a world in chaos. My own small world, not even a footnote on the world's stage play, would seem to rank as an epic - one full of change, particularly in the later half of my sixty-fifth year.
A dear uncle has passed away, another great-niece was born, and my youngest son got married. I gave up teaching my lovely yoga class, moved from the countryside to the coast. . . . B. was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer and has come out the other end with a very good prognosis; a sign for both of us to actively seek a simpler, healthier lifestyle. . .We re-discovered a dear friend after 30 years, and as she said,' Alive, alive, alive, a live O' ...... much to be thankful for! . . . . . . So to the end of my year . . .and singing 'Aulde Lang Syne'
Lit candle (from my sister from a previous Christmas, unearthed after the house move) lit in memory of, and respect for, absent family and friends. . . . .
A fine day yesterday, I walked past an open door of the parish church, catching a glimpse of a Christmas tree, but the snow white decoations in the leaded window caught my eye.
Christmas seemed to come and go in a flash this year. A quiet one for us this year, just B. and me to please ourselves. .. although we did 'Skype' with the boys families in a 3-way link up, a first for us. An afternoon walk on a windswept beach Christmas Day, along the prom' a glittery decorated bench, some painted stones wishing 'Josh' a happy Christmas. . . . Festive milk-bottle tops reminding me of my childhood. A card of Che and Beck's October wedding,on the mantelpiece. . . . Christmas stocking I made for my new-born great-niece Annie's first Christmas.
Sarah, Annie's Mum sent me this image of three stockings I made, the othet two for Annie's sisters first Christmas'. Hopefully next year I can get back to sewing again. . . . Meanwhile . . . .
if anyone is reading this post after my long absence ....
Here's raising a glass to you, and wishing you a healthy, properous, peaceful and very
"HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
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