Sunday 28 February 2016

Happiness at the bottom of the garden....

Hello my lovelies...

Only one day left of February 2016
Am I happy or sad???

Well I have to say that February always brings hers challenges...cold, greyness, gloom, frost
and more cold...

For this ol Fen bird living with Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and 
Raynaud's my poor little stitchy fingers really do suffer dreadfully....


February also brings hope... hope that warmer days are on their way soon...

My flowers are ready to start doodling all over my garden again and bring
the outside alive with the promise that lighter days are definitely on the agenda!
Soon the country patchwork will bloom also....

Every where there is new life beginning to set down roots...even if it is in the wrong place...
This is my little basket of what was a gorgeous array of pansies but the foxgloves have decided they are moving in!

I'm a firm believer in letting Mother Nature decide most of my garden design.
She knows what works best with the soil, looks best in the right place with the right neighbours.
if you put your trust in her she will happily guide you....

I'm always amused at how much we all spend in Garden Centres trying to paint our own pictures
Man has always decided he knows best and often spends a whole lifetime arguing with her, trying to stamp his own designs on a landscape and yet Mother Nature will  always win the argument; however long it takes!

So to celebrate the dawning of Springtime I have spent this afternoon 
baking special treats for my visitors...
Hope they like this year's recipe!

I was lucky enough to spend some time capturing some fab little gems with my camera before the weather turned chilly.
I love the reflections hiding in my glass baubles hanging on my cherry tree...

So after a fab afternoon I've refreshed my Fen roots with a little weeding therapy
and oh boy has it made such a difference being able to work outside finally.
Am I the only one who finds happiness at the bottom of my garden with a bucket
of  weedy stems?

Just need to chat with the fairies before I go and warm my toes by the fire...

Toodle-ooh for now!

Friday 19 February 2016

Gotta love a little bit of vintage.....

Morning my lovelies!

Thank you for all your lovely messages, emails and well wishes 
following on from my last post...
You are so sweet.

I really am OK... please don't worry!
The lack of light simply means I sometimes feel like a withering dandelion
that needs Spring to pop on the light!


So, what's been going on this week?
I have been surrounded by creativity in so many different ways...

Monday saw my 'Textile Book' workshop with a fab group of ladies

I know many of you worry when ever you attend a workshop.....
I do think it's always a gamble whenever you sign up for one...
if going on your own you don't know who you are going to be sitting next to?

You don't know if you'll like the tutor

Are you going to be able to create something that looks the same as others?

Why do we put ourselves through so much worry?????
I have offered many Creative Workshops for Your Well-Being as well as the usual sewing, patchwork, collage, crochet and mixed media etc

I like to think that I run a low key relaxed affair that no matter the subject matter and 
however stressed you may feel
when starting your day, by the time you leave you will have spent a fab time restoring your well-being and hopefully will have seen some tips and inspiration that you can take away with you....

Monday's workshop was all about collecting memories and creating a fabric book
using a variety of techniques such a hand stamping, creative collage work, mixed media 
and some hand embroidery

I loved the way that ideas evolved through simple chatting with others, experimenting with a mix of fabrics, trims and paper... and seeing the ladies simply chilling into their crafting

The ladies loved my Linen & Lace Bundles that I took along.
glad to see them being used in such a creative way.
It's lovely to see vintage linens sold in thrift shops or charity stores etc but if they then just sit in boxes in the loft through lack of ideas then they will simply wither away like my dandelion analogy at the beginning of the post.

Be brave and use them to bring you a simple smile...

If you would like to look at my little bundles or purchase any you can view them on my website

They are a perfect starting point for any textile work needing a vintage vibe and a fab way of adding a little vintage loveliness into your stash without having to buy tons of tablecloths to store.
they make great pressies for your craft friends too!

The workshop was only Part One and so the lovely ladies have a few weeks in between to 
have a play with all their new techniques and return
with their fabric pages ready to assemble into their book.

I can't wait to see the results!

Tuesday & Wednesday saw me dyeing.... as you do!
I'm sure the neighbours must wonder what this middle-aged woman is doing hanging oddments of scraps here and there on her washing line in the middle of winter!
hey ho... someone has to make them smile hey?

I'm experimenting with eco-dyeing techniques which I am LOVING with a great big L!

 Thursday saw lacy cobwebs... aren't they just exquisite?
the detail that Mother Nature provides is amazing and most people miss every single
ounce of it through rushing to get through their day...
such a shame because she holds some beautiful gems in her purse.

All in all a very good week don't you think!
Oh I nearly forgot to say...
in between all of that loveliness I managed to 
work out how to upload a video on my website...yippee!!!
the next step is to add it here on my blog also...

Off to grab myself a cuppa or two now and tidy my sewing room folks
 so I may be gone for some time!!!!

Toodle-ooh for now my lovelies....

Thursday 11 February 2016

February Maudling...

Hello my lovelies!
Just a quick post today...

Do you know that usually February sees ms in a gloomy state of maudling at times which sounds very gloomy doesn't it for one so positive?
It's just the greyness, damp and cold that dulls my smile nothing else..
I guess I must have a touch of SAD syndrome as by February I am craving a little brightness

My favourite projects are often hampered by the dullness of the short days

I know how important it is for each and every season and I wouldn't want it any other way because I would never see those gorgeous winter sights if it never happened would I?

The long endless days of grey finally begin to take their toll on this Fen bird by the middle of February.
I've struggled with this month for years on and off....
(even Shrove Tuesday and Valentine's Day never seems to convince me that February is a good month!)
you know that feeling of sluggish, damp dark days that never seem to get going no matter what you do?

So yesterday when a friend suggested a day out in the Fens for some photography I jumped at the chance to get out into some fresh air.
 We spent the whole day tootling around the country droves of the Cambridgeshire Fens
in the brilliant sunshine.

Isn't amazing what a little golden brightness can do for our smiles?
As you can probably guess by now I really do hate the gloom of grey...
I'm a sunny girl who likes a little colour in her life (even if that is only a vintage hue!)

Spring is packed and ready waiting in the wings
to help cheer our souls folks....
As we drove yesterday we saw such lushness beginning to breathe life back into the fields again
with all the crops beginning to grow...


Roll on sunny days ahead and cuddly smiles greet us again....

x x x

Monday 8 February 2016

A Moody Landscape....

Morning my lovelies...

I have had great fun playing with a new camera over the weekend capturing
some fab Fenland sights to be used in my new exhibition pieces.

Driving through the Fen roads of the shadowy Cambridgeshire lands watching the ever-changing skies
always makes my soul sing despite the weather.

The Fens can be isolating and quite daunting if you are not familiar with them.
If you are expecting a big welcome all gooey-eyed and filled with scrummy deliciousness then you 
will be disappointed.
They don't greet you with their arms open wide for a snuggly hug; instead what they do do, is allow you to see them as they are...warts and all and if you enjoy them all well and good and if you don't, well they take the view (very much like many Fenland folk) and that is simply to say then keep on driving through...
"you either take us as you find us or skidavel out of here!"

You can travel for miles and not meet a soul at times.

For me that's what I really love.

Whittlesey Mere Washes

Pollarded Willow at Whittlesey Wash

Silence can be so beautiful in our fast pace of everyday living.
Many people are often put off visiting the Fens saying that there is nothing to look at...
I have to disagree!

If you want chocolate box cottages with beautiful roses around the door, pretty windy lanes filled full of charm or even neatly cut village greens I have to say sadly you probably will be let down


if you are after atmospheric landscapes, moody skies, miles of peace
and beautiful rugged beauty then you will definitely be overwhelmed by wonderful
delights that await.....

Moody Skies over Fen fields

The Fens have evolved over many centuries from a very harsh landscape that only the toughest survived to what we see today; the long uneven roads surrounded by the billowing Fen reeds that shelter their neighbours, the drains. 

Families, over time have learned to live with each season, the black clods of  mud constantly traipsed into their cottages and the wild Fen winds alongside the extreme poverty that constantly surrounded them and yet their homes were always filled with such cosiness and warmth for family
in the best way they could offer.

Fenland workers 

My exhibition pieces will focus on the connection of woman and cloth throughout time and how they survived with very little, living out in the middle of this vast landscape that chilled them to the bone in more ways than one.
Often Fen women were the strong threads running through a family line that held everything and everyone together.
Personally I don't think much has changed on that side of things.

Did their embroideries help their well being?

Did they see cloth as just a chore of constant repairs?

Would sewing have meant something very different to them instead of how we see it today?

What did they think when they looked out of their windows whilst stitching?

I'm often told the Fens hold nothing but dreary gloomy colours that dull the spirit but
when I look, all I can see is the vibrant colour of life.

My ancestors originate from the Fens.
They are in my blood and I'm very proud to call myself a Fen woman.

I would love to hear from anyone who lives(ed) in the Fens or who has a connection to them and would like to contribute to the stories and memories
I shall be collecting towards my exhibition

If you want to leave a message at the end of this post or get in touch I would love to hear from you!

I will be posting a questionnaire on here soon that you may want to fill in also...

In the meantime I will leave you with a few snippets of Fen life that I will be using in my textile pieces...

Toodle-ooh for now!

x x x