After this I will be taking a teensy weensy blog break so that I can catch up with some things at home, wrapping parcels, emails, paperwork, filing, accounts, cottage renovations and textile workshops ... I hope I won't be away too long!
Here is my mosaic for Mosaic Monday - full of fine things for Autumn into Winter time - a favourite season for so many of us! I hope you enjoy the mosaic. Thank you to all the artists who are featured here for their wonderful work and photographs on flickr!
1. Body Bag - The Effects of Ageing 2. Red Background Errors 3. Cold Winters Morning 4 4. Frozen Berries 5. Frosty Hydrangea 6. Textile Landscape 7. Fruit of the Larix 8. Inspired by Nature 9. Leaf Ice
Is it Christmas already? It's felt like it this week!
After the huge disappointment of not making it to The Creative Stitches Show at Exeter last weekend (I've been looking forward to it all year and saving my pennies!) I've had some wonderful surprises, gifts, treats and some on-line retail therapy which has more than compensated!
Actually, it's been one of those weeks where I've been so completely spoilt rotten that I hardly dare show you all the wonderful things that I've received over the last couple of weeks, but I will because they are too gorgeous not to show you!!!!
Starting with these wonderful Christmas pendants I received from Lynda of Diva Designs
Now I've no idea how she makes them but they are gorgeous, as are all her designs, and I've had one of her pendants on my wish list for a very long time. I love the olde fashioned raspberry coloured primitive style Santas and they look fab as pendants
Cathy Cullis, one of my favourite artists, made this beautiful stitched heart for me
I commissioned the heart in red stitching because I loved the words Cathy stitched which are all favourite thoughts
kisses in a secret garden
the darkest roses are in bloom
echos in twilight
This beautiful monoprint in red ink was a gift to me from Cathy
As soon as I saw "FragileThings" I had to have it from her heart series of work, again for the wonderful stitched words. On the back Cathy has used some fabric that she dyed with St. John's Wort which came out a lovely warm reddy brown terracotta and I was so interested to see it as mine didn't come out anywhere near as vibrant as hers. Cathy said she was glad the heart came to live with me as she was thinking of me when she stitched some of the words, probably because we both love the gifts of the seasons, autumn leaves and seedpods
fragile thingsautumn leavesseed podsfeathersrain cloudsfading photographspoems
I also adore Cathy's poems at Nevering and her latest poem "And the bird" touched my heart
And the bird saidI want a homea home with dry moonlightberries, moss, mothsAll the things a bird who is truecollects together and makes her ownEverything and nothingfor my heart is a home in itself
I was also delighted to read the wonderful birdie poems by another Cathy of Menopausal Musing. Do pop over and read "First Flutters"and "A Little Bird Told Me" ... they are a delight!
The next thing I would really love to share with you is a darling piece stitched by dearest Viv of Hen's Teeth
Viv knows that my Dad is not well (and won't be getting better) and I've been all nostalgic and sentimental recently. I sent Viv this photograph of me as a little girl with my Dad. It was taken in Rosemary's garden. It was a hot summer's day and we all posed for various group pictures
Rosemary was my Mum's penfriend for a long, long time and she lived in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and flowers
Look at this beautiful fragile darling stitched piece that Viv gave me. My photo does not do it justice. There is a beautiful softness about the piece. The photo is transferred to silk and has a lovely delicate look about it. Viv has chosen the loveliest fabrics and stitched tiny little flowers that perfectly remind me of Rosemary's garden all brought together with my favourite dark red thread, carefully chosen buttons and a rusty heart. It is so me! It is so her! I absolutely adore it
Between us we called the piece "Rosemary's Garden"
I will never be able to thank Viv enough for this treasure. It is going on the front cover of a journal of stitched collages from my "Calico Journal" series of pieces which I am quietly working on. The stitched pieces will be sewn to a calico book eventually
I cannot wait to show Viv's piece to my Mum who will love it as much as I do. This is now a family heirloom which will be treasured and loved forever
This is the red thread that Viv used, alongside a print Viv sent me of her lovely quirky birdie drawings and one of her delightful moo cards. Oh wow! I am a lucky, lucky girlie xx
Rosemary's Garden is a hard act to follow but I could not believe my luck when I won one of the bestest giveaways ever! I jumped around for joy for days when this arrived ...
"Nature Inspired" by Tracie Lyn Huskamp of The Red Door Studio. If I had not won this book it would have been top of my wish list. It is full to the brim of beautiful altered art inspired by nature, nature's finds, birds, seed heads, flowers and inspiring mixed media workshop projects for gathering, sketching, painting, journalling and assemblage. It is an invitation to make a Gathering Journal. This could not be more perfect for me. Every day I gather, gather, gather ... leaves, pressed flowers, seed heads, berries, feathers, pebbles, shells, seaweed, driftwood, found things. Now this book is so wonderful ... you must check it out if you love the same things as me ... you will want it!
I wrote about blackbirds to win this book ...
My favourite bird is the English garden blackbird. They are so cheeky and have such comic personalities. I feed three families of them and it's an absolute delight to have them in my garden. They are very naughty and come and sit on my windowsill and peer in at me or fly up against the window when they have eaten all the sultanas I give themI enjoy seeing the baby birds grow and watch their colours change from the tail end to the neck, then mature and bring their own babies the following yearSome of them are more interested in the pecking order than in actually getting their share of food, preferring to spar with the other blackbirds. I wag my finger at them and tell them to stop fighting! They tilt their heads, they are listening!It is a joy, they are so funny and they cheer me every day!
These are some of the beautiful altered art stitched collages that Tracie Lyn has made that are featured in her book
Tracie Lyn generously shows how the collages are constructed including how to alter and enhance the birds from photographs
On top of winning the book Tracie Lyn also sent me this beautiful signed original piece of altered art ...
... and this gorgeous signed limited edition print, all of which came beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, large white net bow and an original birdie tag signed by Tracie Lyn. I am very, very thankful for the wonderful gifts. They will be treasured and enjoyed forever
I would really like to have a go at the bird collages from Tracie Lyn's book some time
This is the front cover of a Ladybird book about birds and inside there are lots of lovely birdie images (for personal use only, of course)
Also there is a lovely bird image on this first day cover of Textiles stamps that I have that I could use
Tracie Lyn's work
I have lots of gathering boxes like this, on the go. Can you see the bullet I found (bottom right)? I found it in a granite stone wall up near the Steeple. I also found what looks like an old doctor's instrument in my garden. It is intact still with the glass in. I would love to know what it is. I must take both objects to the local museum to see what they make of them. I must do that soon and let you know what they say!
So, I had some saved up money for The Stitches Show and it was burning a hole in my pocket so I decided to do some on-line retail therapy instead
I treated myself to some new wool as I always get the urge to knit at this time of year. I got some gorgeous Colinette Point 5 yarn in these colours:
And I bought books because I love to be inspired by the art of others and follow the workshops and projects at home on my own. I renewed my subscription to Cloth Paper Scissors which just expired and I got these:
- Kim Thittichai's Experimental Textiles
- Linda Kemshall's Issue 1 of Threefold
- Sabrina Ward Harrison's Spilling Open
- Sandra Meech's Connecting Art to Stitch
On Friday I had my first "blind date" with a dear blog buddy who is down on holiday in St Ives. We got on like a house on fire, as I knew we would, and I will tell you more about it when I'm back and show you the wonderful inspiring gifts she gave me
If you made it to the bottom thank you for reading my long and winding ramblings. If I owe you an email I'm sorry I've been very remiss in replying to emails lately. Watch your box for a reply soon! I hope to be back blogging again on Saturday 24th October when I think it will be time for another giveaway! So I hope to see you then!
Bye for now