Thursday, 1 December 2011

Crazy quilting.....

Well, its crazy ok, and I realise now that with such heavily patterned fabrics the embroidery cannot be too subtle. Thats ok - I have lots of bright and heavy threads that have needed using, as well as trim, and this quilt will use them up.
And underneath a photo of a very heavily used and untidy study/studio where I do my philosophy work and sew and write etc. Nothing to look at, but a haven when I'm in the mood to be creative.

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Pictures of Abergenolwyn

It wasn't the height of summer!! But the hills around this area of mid Wales are so beautiful and the little village just snuggled in amongst them.

Whilst we were on holiday there were ferocious storms and this is a photo from the promenade at Twyn. It was fantasic to walk along in the wind, see the waves pounding in, and just laugh...
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Fresh Start...??

And here I am again, after yet another hiatus.
I have been trying to learn how to write philosophy essays - thats my excuse anyway! This has been a strange year - but enjoyable for the most part. We had a lovely week in Abergenolwyn in Wales, J had a huge abscess on his arm which meant that we spent every day at the doctors or A&E or the nurse- with a final and disgusting end to it all at the LGI where the damn thing was finally evicted - poor J!

In the new year I have decided to take on a crazy quilt square a month challenge as well as the TAST (take a stitch tuedays) in order to learn enough stitches to get me through it all. My crazy quilt square are CRAZY!!

I have found a new musician whose music I really like - I had never heard of John Scofield before Cris gave me music for my ipod and now I love the stuff he does, a strange kind of jazz/blues/funk etc etc on the albums I have heard. I'm looking forward to getting to know the rest of his stuff.

I seem to have mislaid a couple of friends along the way this year which is sad. I spent quite a lot of time worrying about my 90 year old downstairs neighbour Lily who had a couple of falls which required blood mopping up and hospital visits...sigh. And then lots of days out, visits to Chester Zoo (we are friends for this year) and a travelodge in the lowlands of Scotland.

J has taken longer to get used to being retired than he thought he would and much time has been spent talking around this issue.

And soon I will be 60 - thats another post!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Clouds over Norfolk

These are just a few of the amazing skies we saw on holiday in Norfolk - a lovely county which I had never been to before.

I really loved the huge skies, the poppy fields, and the Broads. The coast was really interesting as well. I hope we get back there soon!

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5th wedding anniversary

These photos were taken on the happy occassion of our 5th wedding anniversary and I hope we are as happy as we were on that day! I hope the joy and fun come across. The photos below were taken in Ilkley where we spent a lovely afternoon.

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Monday, 30 May 2011


A poor photo but something to remind me of walking around the open houses event at Saltaire and talking to lots of artists and makers. Truly inspirational.

And here is my second piece of peg loom weaving in more spring like colours - I will get a better photo at some point. Fun to do and giving me lots of ideas for future projects. If I ever get time.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Temple Newsam

These are a few of the photos I took on a recent visit to Temple Newsam. I have been there fairly often, but never in time to see all the Azaleas out in full bloom and also the Rhododendrons. It was a beautiful sight and I just wanted to record here on this blog.

Nature has absolutely no fear in putting together all manner of different colours. She hasn't heard of the colour wheel! And they all work beautifully and harmoniously as well.

I wish I could somehow embroider these but its beyond my ability, and now that my poor hands are getting so clumsy that dream is further away than ever. But I still love to look and get ideas, and thats just as important to me. As ever - the journey is more important than the destination!
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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Peg Loom

I bought my peg loom and this was my first attempt at peg loom weaving!

This is the wrong side of the work with all threads hanging down - I may attach beads and findings to this and make it the right side!

And this is the right side - much smoother and so so soft. I have done another little piece and am looking forward to making a really large hanging one day.
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Friday, 8 April 2011

Spring and a new start.

It seems that winter is finally really over. The gardens are full of daffodils, tulips,grape hyacinths and camellias, and blossom is on the trees. We even managed to sit out for a coffee today - shivering a little in the wind and then sweating when that wind dropped, but it was the first time we did so and without coats as well. I hope that spring is a new start in all sorts of ways.
Firstly I have a new electronic keyboard that is all singing and dancing and I am enjoying playing on it and hope to do some composition as well.
Secondly I am hoping to start stitching again at some point soon. I have been away from it for too long and I need to feel fabric and thread in my hand - and beads of course.
Thirdly I am still progressing with my philosophy course at Philosophy Pathways. It seems to have taken over from everything lately, but then thats fine - it's a new venture, and if I hadn't started with this passion I might not have enjoyed it so much or have got so much from it. Much of what I study leaves me with contradictory ideas but thats part of the fun for now!
Fourthly I am here online at this blog again so with a bit of luck this is a new start as well - another new start! And perhaps I can get back to my own writing now that its over a year since Mum died and all the nastiness with my family kicked off and I can put that into perspective and use it as well. I hope so.

I met up with an old friend on Wednesday. Bill came up from London and it was an interesting if exhausting day as he talked non-stop about his life and his conversion to religious Judaism. I had no idea he was quite so Orthodox and quite so bigoted until he got here - I might not have invited him had I known! I didn't even realise how extreme some of his opinions were until I read the booklet he left me about his art exhibitions. A Jewish artist as opposed to an artist? Why not just be an artist who happens to be Jewish? He has found his theme in his religion so maybe he is correct, but it is self limiting in the extreme. I have a lot more to say about all of this so I will come back to it.

We have started 2 discussion groups here in Leeds and they seem to be going quite well. They are tiring and the discussions end up in all manner of unexpected places! I think we had hoped to make new friends through them, but that hasn't really happened yet. Still time.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Another snowy day.....

This winter seems to have gone on forever - and it's only January 8th! First of all snow and ice, then Joseph having shingles and flu, and Cris coming and going and coming and going all in the space of three weeks, and now snow again. I am fighting against feeling ill myself - not entirely sure whether I am coming down with something or not, but just generally under the weather.

I think I need to set myself a project that I can actually start and finish quickly. I have several things ongoing but want to get to the end of something. Perhaps painting fabric and embroidering trees would be do-able? I need a break from all the heavy reading I have set myself. Philosophy takes no prisoners..the reading is tough, the ideas totally contradictory so that in one minute I can think one thing and in the next a totally opposite thought, equally convincing. But I am enjoying it, just tired for the moment and needing to refresh myself with something slightly easier - a silly film, an easy book, a trip to the shops (craft shop??) or something similar.

We are off to Nerja in three weeks. The temperature there was 17degrees today. And sunshine...It will be cold at nights and in the mountains but I am looking forward to my holiday. Even a retired person needs a holiday - and we are so fortunate to be able to do this. I am painfully aware of the many people struggling to live let alone go on holidays. I wasn;t able to do so when Glyn was alive and the kids were small.

My son is on the Aurora and has sailed from Lisbon today. Next stop - Tripoli. Alright for some. I would love to see the places he is seeing - even photos would do. But, somehow, he never quite got round to sharing those with us this holiday. It was a strange and tense time and spoilt Christmas. Never mind - better next year I hope.

I spotted this book at Salts Mill yesterday and liked the look of it. I might have a look on Amazon to see if they have a copy. I also saw a book about mixed media dollshouses made in boxes - cigar boxes, shoe boxes etc. They were like altered books mixed up with assemblage. Great fun but not for now.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year photos.

 I took this photo through the car window - I have some more of the wonderful winter sky and bare trees outlined against it. I want to pain some fabric and embroider black trees onto it. Thats my next project - when I have finished the UFOs I am dealing with at present!!

This is my son enjoying(!) having lunch with me. Nothing more to say really.....

I have learnt to crochet - and I have finished my scarf - I need to finish the ends, and I think I will give it some tassels. Its lovely and warm. And its my first attempt!! I am quite proud of myself for learning to do this so late in the day.

Got this from son for my birthday present - a blue and white bonsai lamp - and I love it. Place of honour......
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Here comes 2011!

Well, I am 59 now and next December I will have my big birthday. I want this to be a year of achievement. I do not want to spend the time peering over my shoulder at what might have been, what should or could have been, whats been lost or what I might lose. I have enough problems dealing with health issues and I want to try to be positive. Its not easy. Blood tests, pain, medication, more pain...

Add to that my kids, and their uncompromisingly awkward relationship with me and with Joseph who they cannot accept as my husband, and sometimes my world feels quite hostile. I am not asking them to think of Joseph as their Dad - he is dead and gone and cannot be replaced, but Joseph is my most beloved husband now, and I might have hoped that they would be grateful that he was there for me. I do not understand the substance of their reaction, especially as they have not lived with me for years. I haven't understood them since I was first married in 2006 and things have not improved.

I need to turn my face fully to my husband, and our future, and my two will have to work things out for themselves. Its time! They are after all 31 and 26 now.

And now to my personal hopes and resolutions for 2011.

1. I want to work at my philosophy course and try to learn the vocabulary and really get to grips with the topics.

2. I want to eat less, walk more, lose a little weight to help my back and hips, and try to stabilise my health a little. I would like to keep my kidney function from dropping into kidney failure.

3. I want to keep my reading diary this year. I started well last year and forgot!

4. I would like to try and keep creating beautiful things and I don't want to buy any more stuff. I want to use what I have and enjoy it.

5. I would like to get back to playing the piano and finish writing my books of music for kids that I have started. (I am looking forward to getting a keyboard!!)

6. I want to drive again without being frightened.

7. I want to write - every day, somewhere, something
8. I want to try to be optimistic, cheerful, friends with those who need a friend without being desperate for a close friend if none is forthcoming. I do have people who care about me and that is enough.

I think thats enough!! I hope so anyway.