Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Autumn Heart

I think I mentioned that my friend Ann and I have a stitchy night every Thursday evening? She brings yummy biscuits and I provide as many cups of tea as we can get through - not as many as you might suppose as we talk a lot and drinking and talking are hard to synchronise.

Oh.... and we stitch!

It is a guaranteed oasis in the chaos of our busy lives.

Ann is much more adventurous than me and tries lots of new things, new finishes, or different stitches, I tend to stick to what I know.
I do have a bigger variety of stash though - ( c'est un surprise n'est-ce pas?) So I am sometimes able to help out with the odd thread and this lovely heart is a thank you gift from her.

Can I say that the French phrase above is just a shameful affectation. I have tried to learn French since I was knee high to a grasshopper and have spent many happy hours lounging around in France, sometimes staying there for five weeks in the Summer holidays, but in spite of that, and ignoring the fact that I sometimes even wore a little jaunty neckerchief (surely that isn't the word?) giving all the outward appearances of being stylishly French, and totally at home (a la maison?) as soon as I opened my mouth, my northern roots showed.

I so envy people who can speak a second language - or play an instrument - two accomplishments that in my life I have failed to .....well.....accomplish really.

Well, I did learn ....... naw... I can't really count that.

OK - when I was 6 I had my turn playing that clapper thing, that you bang on your hand, but hey - nobody recognised my potential so I just passed it to boy sitting next to me.

Raymond I think it was. He's probably in a boy band now.

Anyway, no good crying over that, the heart above is freebie from the gazette94 site and is stitched beautifully over one on a 32 count linen using an unnamed but appropriately autumnal thread from HDF. I also took a photo of the back which is finished in a matching watermarked cotton with a little 'hand-made' tag, but it was really too bad to post. Sorry Ann.

Love to all
Irene xxx
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Sunday, 17 October 2010

So I resume - with Sarah Tobias

It has been five weeks - can you believe that - five weeks since I last posted here.

I will tell you in a sec what has been occupying my time, but first to Sarah.

I was a participant in the Round 5 Blackbird Designs Exchange organised by Patti, and therefore browsed through all of my BBD charts and booklets looking for a suitable design to exchange. It was then I realised that in my eagerness to acquire stash, to possess it, to have it, own it, file it, organise it, gloat over it ( come on - you've done it!) I had actually hardly stitched any of it. So I completed my exchange project - afore posted - and decided to do a couple of things from the Sarah Tobias booklet.

I chose firstly the little alphabet pin cushion above, stitched over one on a mid-cream 32 count linen with Kaalund thread - the colour of which is lost in the mists of time. Now it seems that in the intervening interlude, any photographical skills I may have once possessed have deserted me completely, so the pictures show hardly any detail at all.

This, I think, leaves me open to a little exaggeration!

The piece is backed with a perfectly matching batik fabric ( you can't really tell so you'll just have to believe me) and exquisitely finished with opaque irridescent blue / green beads! It is packed with crushed oyster shells. I know - it sounds exotic, but I can't find those darned walnut shells that everyone seems to use and this gives a nicely weighty emery-ish feel.

So that is finish number one. I have a lovely gift and another finish to show another day.

Well, you ask, those of you who loyally check to see if I have made any effort to write here at all, what has the girl been up to?

A dream holiday on a paradise island.


I've just been cleaning. Relentlessly. Unendingly. Exhaustingly. Purposelessly ........ cleaning.

Yes - purposelessly. To no purpose. Uselessly.

I still have the builder here. We are running into, I think, 6 or 7 weeks now. To be honest, he so much part of the family I've stopped counting. He came to renovate all the sash windows in the house, and just stayed. Like a lost puppy. We have adopted him. He hardly ever goes home.

He is now finally outside, repainting the house and it looks great. It is just taking so long. And because it was every window in every room that needed some work, every room was a mess, with dust sheets everywhere, and wood shavings and paint scrapings. He promised faithfully it would be completed before my guests from America arrived for their holiday.

Oh didn't I tell you? Oh yes, in the midst of all this I had guests for about ten days. Happily they are old friends and picked their way around the rubble, but it's not want you want, is it, when friends are staying?

So in a vain attempt to make the house look habitable I cleaned. But in the end I just asked people to wipe their feet as they left, not as they arrived.

There is just a glimmer of normality showing, a tantalising glimpse that I may eventually resume the retirement I signed up for.

We shall see.

Thank you for your patience

Ooooo - almost forgot to mention. Are you desperate for the 2010 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments Special? My friend Margaret is giving one away in a draw on her newish newsy blog. She would love to have you visit.

Irene xxx

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