Beginnings.

I have started two new projects recently. Having enjoyed my course Swathed in Stitch with Karen, I finally found the time and the ‘get up and go’ to cut and snip; to hook in and out; and to press, fold and pin. The Prairie Points are pointing and I just love the turquoise of this linen. So the piece is now set and the hand sewing can begin….

008A few bullion knots and lots of French knots are first on the list and then a review.

At the same time I have been clicking the needles. At one point I had 12 – yes 12- little balls of wool on the go. A trip to the library had given 4 new books recently added to the shelves, and popped into my bag. Yes I have been trying before I buy. Kaffe Fassett is well known for his colour and pattern and textures. I have drooled over many of his patterns and have at least two of his books. BUT I have never dipped my toe and had a go, always dismissing it as too difficult. Well, this book Knitting with the Colour Guys has inspired me to have a go. I picked out the Shadowbox pattern cast on and click click, began a new adventure….

006 005I’m nearly there. It will need blocking to make it lay flat. It could be a cushion panel as the book suggests, but it could also be a bag panel. Cushion? Bag? Cushion? Bag? Watch this space…. 🙂

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Meanwhile….

… inside my hook has been hooking, my needle has been stitching and the sewing machine has been whizzzzzzing! And oh yes the knitting needles have been flying too!

018I’ve finally finished the blue yarn that was in the basket. A jacket for the cooler moments with collar and toggles. Lovely and soft an warm.

009 006 011The sun burst hexagons have multiplied and in flower garden fashion are developing into a throw.

017 016Nimble fingers and patience was needed for these hanky pockets.

015 014 013Inspired by my first patchwork machine class, I’ve been back to play. The disappearing hour glass this time.

012And I forgot my Art Class! I have not been able to go every week but did catch the demonstration by Susan Sareen.  Her paintings are beautiful and her hints and tips are proving very helpful to all the group. Since then I have been working on my Arab man. Considering that I avoided people in my pictures until I decided last September to stop wimping out!! – I’m quite pleased with how he has gone.

So although I have been away, I have been busy! Happy May time!

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Here today and gone tomorrow!

Yes here today and gone tomorrow – or rather here several moons ago! I have had these photos on my camera for two or three weeks and have just not got a round to posting them. The Flowering Cherry, or is it Almond blossom, was stunning this year. So I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy…

001 002 003004 005All taken in the evening sun. Can you see the moon? 🙂

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The sun is a shining….

….to welcome the day! Oh what a beautiful day it is. I’m sat with the sun streaming through the window behind me and I feel good! It has been a bit of an up and down year so far and while things can still be a bit sticky I am starting to feel more settled. I’m sure this has something to do with these….

4th february 001 4th february 002A little bit of hooky time. In and out, round and about, and pull through. Little star burst circles. 4th february 004Another round to change the shape. Hexagons, picking up on the white of the centre. Then all change…

4th february 005Yes one hexagonal flower completed. One a work in progress!

4th february 006Seven little hexagons to make a flower. I have joined on the top, making a slight little ridge. So later I will be hooking in and out adding more circles to the hexagons and in turn to the flowers!

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Happy Easter

005Jesus Christ is risen! Happy Easter!

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Quick, quick!

Yes quick, quick! Today is the 31st of March and I haven’t written a blog post for March yet – oops! So as I sit here with the football on and Italy having just scored, I will put pen to paper. Well fingers to keys I suppose.

March. This month has gone by so quickly. (There’s that word again!) My days have flown by into weeks and now the weeks into a month. So what have I been up to? I have walked with good friends. I try and walk twice a week, usually a 6 mile and a 4 mile walk. We look at the countryside, the flowers that are out, the hedges that are just bursting into life and the animals that are bounding around. Yes we have been treated to snowdrops, daffodils, primroses, cyclamen, a true carpet of colour. The Hawthorn is just starting to leaf, but the catkins have been there a while now. And the bounding? Well the lambs are out and about of course! Sheer bliss. 🙂

I have managed to have two little sessions in the garden. Two bright sunny hours. Only two I’m afraid. It has been very cold of late. I often find that when I have the time to potter in the garden the weather is against me and when I am away  doing other things the weather says “You can come out and garden today!” Never mind. I have promised to venture out this Easter weekend. Plans are a foot in the garden….

Sewing has featured this month – well actually it has been apart of my life since January. Slowly, slowly this time. Methodical in and out of the needle. I found the blog of Karen Ruane last year. I’m not sure whether I have mentioned Karen before, but she is a very talented and inspiring lady. AND she likes to share her skills! Enrollment followed and I started her January on line classes. Following her tutorials I can now tie off a thread neatly (sounds pretty basic but no one has ever shown me the simple step before); make French Knots, Bullion Stitches, Bullion Bridges, Web Stitch, and Stab Stitch; doodle patterns and pictures; and share my findings with other like minded people! Oh I have met many people from all over the world. The Flickr group has a wealth of tips and projects from all these people and I am so grateful for their encouragement. If you find you have the time do enrol on one of Karen’s courses. Swathed in Stitches is drawing to a close, but I have loads more videos to watch and projects to try. My mind is brimming full with ideas! It isn’t about the speed you do something. It is about the enjoyment and boy have I had a lot of that!!! Thank you Karen. 🙂

So just a quick recap on the things in my basket from  January – that’s two whole months ago – yikes! The blue wool is nearing completion. The Alpaca yarn is now a scarf and the green cotton hasn’t moved on any. February was a painting post and I have continued to go each Friday and paint and draw. Pictures? Well just a few…

001 008 007 006 004Happy March!

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February

I can’t believe that we are nearly at the end of February already! All the things I was going to do and very few of them started let a lone done! Oh well, breathe…… I’ve taken to stopping myself, to breathe and take stock. It does wonders for the mind and being. Nothing mystical just a deep breath and then breathe! I can feel myself unwinding and calming down. It’s good!

I’ve also been playing my worship DVDs a lot. New ones, given to me at Christmas by my lovely husband. I have 2 songs which I just love. Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) and This I Believe (The Creed). Both by Hillsong. I could play them over and over…..

But anyway, back to the post in hand. My husband also gave me a beautiful wooden box for Christmas…

005I think it is of beech wooden, well quite light with a beautiful grain. It came all the way from St. Petersburg. Can you make out the logo on the top? A clue to what’s inside…

004They all looked like sweets carefully wrapped, but they’re not. Nope.. individual cakes of paint. The most delicious cakes of bright intense colours! Wow! I was just gobsmacked! 48 little packets. I have carefully written all their names down in the order they are in the box. I was a little scared of them at first. Proper paints… eek! I am loving them now. As you can see I haven’t opened them all yet, just the ones I have needed. Lovely!

Last September I decided to try to get to grips with people. Bodies, heads, profiles, full on, back, bent, sitting, standing. All the poses that I have shied away from. Well basically I just didn’t ‘do’ people and it has paid off. I found an old book at Christmas which my Dad rescued from a skip or rubbish bin. A beautiful book all about the Middle East and as I love Israel so much I thought I would have a go at the people in the book. So this is what I have been doing at my Friday Art Group…

003This is ‘The Shepherd’ standing and sitting…

002 And then today I finished my Ploughman.

001My people are definitely getting better, not perfect but better. What next?  A Syrian lady dressed in blue which means I get to open some more little cakes.. 🙂

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