Saturday, 19 November 2011

Pop art, nerdy stuff, tea cakes and a giveaway

hello ♥
thank you so much for visiting today

it's been quite a while since I stopped by my blog and much has happened in the last two months that I hardly know where to start writing about it. I haven't blogged meaningfully in all that time so you can imagine there is much to catch up with

the past couple of months have been a real rollercoaster of emotions for me and, indeed, this whole year has been thwarted with frustrations and, at other times, life being almost too busy to enjoy the good things that have happened ... because there have been good times in between the sad things

I still don't feel that I want to say an awful lot about the personal things but in summary my hubby was very ill during our week's holiday in September which involved some scary trips to hospital and a lot of worry. Over the following weeks he improved slowly but surely (and is completely fine now) but just as things were calming down my mum collapsed and was seriously ill in hospital for weeks so I went to Somerset for a few weeks to care for my dad (who is very ill all of the time) as he needed some support and day to day care as well as visiting mum in hospital twice a day and looking after their house

During that time (gosh ... this is so hard!) I lost my beautiful nanny and I simply can't begin to say how much this has upset me. I absolutely loved her to pieces and my heart is broken. She and I bonded when she was present at my birth and throughout my whole life I felt loved by her and very special. I have so many wonderful and happy memories to treasure and both of us loved to reminisce about the times I used to go and stay with her as a little girl and meet her out of work. She taught me the most about life and how to deal with it. She would have been 94 in December and I feel so blessed to have had her in my life for so long

We only had the service a couple of weeks ago (for family reasons) so although it's very hard to cope with at the moment I know it will get easier with time and I will never forget anything that we shared. I want to remember you that way nanny ♥

my gorgeous nanny and me
on my wedding day
such a precious smile

Add to that some other stresses ... some conveyancing, our business accounts and tax returns and an impromptu desire for some order in my life (clearing my attic which has been bugging me for ages followed by a much needed car boot sale to get rid of some of the stuff) as I knew I wasn't ready to blog again but wanted to keep busy

I wasn't sure how I would begin blogging again but my dear friends on facebook helped me so much to take the first step ... which was simply to start writing the words and "it will come" ... so here I am ... back again ... and it's very nice to *see* you

I'd like to catch up a bit with some of the nicer things
it may take more than a couple of posts to catch up
but I must make a start!hubby and I had a lovely holiday in Dartmouth
the weather was very misty and drizzly most of the time
and he wasn't in good health
but we really enjoyed just being together

we managed a bit of walking and some ferry trips across the river to Kingswear, as well as horse racing at Newton Abbot and a visit to Greenway (the beautiful holiday home of Agatha Christie)

the rest of the time he rested and we snuggled up
on the sofa and watched dvds in the lovely apartment
we rented from artist illustrator Paul Barclay

it had a pretty roof terrace
with views of the river Dart and out to seaPaul spent years working at the Dart Marina, Dartmouth as harbour master before becoming a full time artist and during that time he built up a huge collection of reclaimed wood from antique ships and vintage nautical and maritime objects that he used to decorate and furnish the apartment with - it was so stylish and fun to stay there for a week ... it felt like we were in a cabin

it had a cute "galley kitchen"
the widest swashbucklin' bed ever in the cabin bedroomin the style of a ship's bunk (but huge)
with many soft furnishings decorated with Paul's designs
Paul Barclay Designs

some of Paul's vintage finds decorating the apartment
(you know I love anything connected to old fishing boats)
and an old photograph which could easily be St. Ives
we enjoyed our holiday to Dartmouth very much
I think English seasides are so beautiful
and after years of holidaying abroad
we've been enjoying rediscovering places closer to home
while in Dartmouth my love and I celebrated
our wedding anniversary at The Cherub Inn ...
one of the oldest and prettiest medieval inns in Dartmouth
I can recommend the pub grub there ... lovely!
Dartmouth has some lovely shops and galleries
("Clarice" came from The Ainscough Gallery)

and at The Coombe Gallery in Foss Street I was delighted to stumble upon a rare opportunity to see the work of Sir Peter Blake (hero worship) who is an artist I have admired for a very long time and whom I discovered when I was studying mixed media collages and assemblages on my art course as I read somewhere that he was influenced by the work of Kurt Schwitters (more hero worship)
Sir Peter Blake's work instantly resonated with me
I love his distinctive style of British pop art, the way he mixes ecclectic pieces so they really work together in themes and colours and I have a particular affinity with his badge collections

I am about to digress here and show badges

my quite large and "nerdy" collection of badges that
spans my childhood into adolescence
of which I am unable to part with
and strangely proud of
these ones are pretty cool though:
Molly Hatchet, Thin Lizzy, Saxon and Rory Gallagher

I think I started collecting aged 10
when I would mostly pick them up on holidays

until the late seventies/early eighties when I went to see a lot of live
heavy metal bands and got the badges to put on my demin jacket
(like you do)
so they are a great reminder of all the seasides I've been to with my siblings, the holiday clubs (Beesons in Torquay) where I would win a badge for activities such as "how many things can you get in a matchbox"; the freebies I would get as my mum and dad dragged us kids round The Caravan and Camping Exhibition every year and all the different people we saw switch on the Blackpool Lights including Red Rum (the racehorse) and Terry Wogan! LOL :o)

I started off in the early seventies pinning them on a denim sunhat
and then in the mid seventies
I pinned them on my Bay City Rollers hat
once I'd grown out of them (or rather Les)
a tartan cap and red pompom
and then late seventies
head banging and badge collecting

Motorhead, Kiss, Bad Company, Iron Maiden
Boston, Sammy Hagar, Rainbow, Whitesnake
April Wine, MSG, Rush and Postman Pat ???
(those were the day ... remember these?)
so I loved Peter Blake's "badges"
his painting of himself wearing a denim jacket with badges
and his famous LP covers

and his pop art collages

I got to see the famous Mickey Mouse collage for myself!
and "Girlie Door"
Sir Peter Blake - Treasures by Selection
The Coombe Gallery, Foss Street, Dartmouth
10th September 2011

"Wink"
a fantastic chance to see sought after signed silkscreen prints
collages with found objects, pop art and pin up girls
Sir Peter Blake's name was spelt in badges from his collection
that could be purchased ... how could I resist ??????

one of my favourite pieces in the exhibition was a collage
that featured part of a Tunnocks tea cake wrapper
I didn't photograph it ... but now I wish I had

and after that ... I just kept noticing everywhere art featuring Tunnock's tea cakes with their distinctive red and silver foil wrappers

holiday reading ... in the September issue of Country Living there was a collage artist in a fashion feature showing a piece of her collage work using wrappers from Tunnock's tea cakes and in the latest Christmas issue of Country Living ... the idea of mixing the wrappers with other papers to pretty up Christmas presents

in the same September issue of Country Living I found
an advert for this pinny by Gillian Kyle in Scotland
the spiritual home of Tunnock's tea cake goodies
and I discovered this place with lots of
Tunnock's tea cakes inspired artwork

we made this

Mr. Tunnock - my fave
so I was inspired to make some little collages of my own
using Tunnock's wrappers which, of course,
involved helping to eat some of these
it was such a hardship
no wonder I look like Mrs. Tunnock!

in case you are wondering what they are ... they have a very suggestive biscuit base, a huge squidge of very soft, sweet, creamy marshmallow in the middle and then they are covered in milk chocolate ... made by Thomas Tunnock Limited in Glasgow Scotland and loved and enjoyed by a certain blogger in England

this is what I came up with

Finally I'd like to say "hi" to Al

All Tea Towels

Al very kindly gave me the opportunity to review his company's gorgeous cotton and linen tea towels and I promised I would give them a huge mention
so my choice of tea towels (drying up cloths)
featured a Tunnock's tea cake design on one
and some beautiful dark red hearts on the other
excellent first impressions

All Tea Towels have some very beautiful designs to choose from in popular categories such as Christmas, calendars, nostalgia and retro, tea and coffee, food and drink, flowers and nature, humerous, pets, animals, fruit and veg, the garden, seaside and nautical, sport and so many others including a special category for the London 2012 Olympics

delivery was prompt and my tea towels came nicely wrapped. I was extremely pleased with the quality of the printed designs, depth of colour and the fabrics were a dream. Being 100% cotton (hearts) and 100% organic unbleached cotton (tea cake design) they washed and ironed beautifully and I would be very happy to recommend Al's company All Tea Towels. So if you are looking for an online gift or stocking fillers for Christmas I am sure you will see a design you will fall in love with ... I was spoilt for choice!

so would you like to win one?


GIVEAWAY

thank you for catching up with me
I'm offering a giveaway prize of
  • a tea towel featuring the three dark red hearts made from 100% cotton fabric from All Tea Towels
  • a copy of Sir Peter Blake's exhibition booklet "Treasures by Selection"
  • a set of my collaged art cards featuring Tunnock's tea cake wrappers
  • some of my hand made textile art beads to use in your own projects
  • one of my textile art hearts with textured fabrics, machine and hand stitching, beads and text
  • some chocolate treats to enjoy while reading the Peter Blake booklet
TO WIN MY GIVEAWAY

1.
please add yourself as a follower of my blog
or let me know you are already following

2.
please visit All Tea Towels ... then

3.
come back and leave a comment on my blog here
and let me know your favourite tea towel design

I'll pull a name out of "the hat" on Wednesday 30 November
and will show the heart and beads in a few days time

with very best wishes and many thanks for visiting
Carolyn ♥

82 comments:

A bird in the hand said...

My dear Carolyn, it's so good to see you back here. My deepest condolences for the [physical] loss of your Nan. Now it's time for you to enjoy a long stretch of contentment.

I'm already a follower of yours ;)
All Tea Towels is quite a find; impossible to pick just one favourite, but I did like the "Wake up and smell the coffee" one.

Diane said...

Hi Carolyn, What a rough time you have had. I hope things are more on an even keel now and that your hubbys health is improving. I have a lot of things around me that used to belong to my Grandma and Grandad whom i loved so much and still miss every day, Using their rolling pin, or fruit dishes etc makes me feel that they are still with me. LOVE your badge collection. And Greenway was fab - we went in August. I felt that Agatha and I could have been good mates. xxxx

dollgal said...

Carolyn,

I have discovered you, your wonderful art and blog this year. Whenever I read your thoughts and see your work, I feel as though I am left with a giddy smile, because your style makes me happy. :-D

My favorite tea towel design is the citrus & lemon one, since I adore botanical style art work.

And I have been admiring & drooling over those textile art beads of yours for a while now. They are simply beautiful! It would be fun to use them with my dolls and/or to make an artsy necklace for myself or a friend. So I hope you choose me because they will be greatly loved. And thanks for the chance.

gill said...

Hi Carolyn I hope things are improving for you - I love the photo of you with your Nan, you're very like her!!
I would love to enter your lovely giveaway - I like the 'Dip in' tea towel best and of course I'm a follower!

Emily Ruth said...

Hello There! Welcome back (:

I've been following you for quite a while now, and have used your work as inspiration for many of my projects.
It's lovely to see you're blogging again. I spend so much time enjoying your wonderful blogs that mine are lagging behind a lot!

This post has inspired me so much! I'm currently doing an Art and Design foundation course, and specialising in Textiles, so i'm definitely going to use All Tea Towels in my current project, which is all about the 50s housewife and vintage kitchen ware. (:

Because of this, my favourite Tea towel would have to be the 'I only have a kitchen because it came with the house' one! It's absolutely fabulous and is so relevant to my project. I think you may have also sorted my christmas shopping out! Maybe i'll even try and make a tea-towel myself.

Deepest sympathy for your loss, but I hope you are still staying happy through hard times!
*virtual hug!*

From Emily xx

Lynette (NZ) said...

Lovely to 'see' you again. I am so sorry you have been having such a distressing time. I have been a follower for a while, and enjoyed my visit to All Tea Towels. My fav is the Scandinavian Folk Art Tea Towel. Hoping that your eye for beauty continues to inspire and comfort you. xx

Sharne's Bit 'n' Bobs said...

Welcome back!! I shall have to look out for the Bannock cakes, I have been missing out!! I too collected badges, cloth ones when I was a guide for my camp blanket, carried on collecting up until recently because they are now quite hard to find. I am glad that you had a nice break in Dartmouth, it looked a wonderful place to stay. I have looked at the tea towels and to choose a favourite was hard but I think it would have to be Never Too Old.... Tottering By
I am young at heart but have a slightly distressed outer layer!

Su said...

Hi Carolyn
Sorry to read that you've been having a tough time. I hope it gets better for you from now on.

My favourite tea towel design is the one titled "1895 Fruit Catalogue Cooling And Sons Linen Tea Towel" - probably because my grandparents used to be fruit growers as well as the fact that I like the colours!

I always enjoy reading your blog and missed you when you were away - it's good to have you back.

Su

Alexandra said...

So sorry you have been having a bad time...Glad you are back! xx

Amanda said...

Welcome back. What a roller coaster life has been for you. Let us hope you are entering calmer waters. And what a treat of a post!

My favourite tea towel has to be the love hearts. My kitchen has a red love heart theme so they would sit very nicely.

Julie said...

Big hugs Carolyn, for all your troubles this year and for the loss of your Nan. I lost my Nan in 1980 and I still hold her in my heart and miss her all the time.

YOu have certainly written a packed post! I used to collect badges too at Butlins Holiday Camps :-) I've enjoyed this catch up immensely!

That Tea Towel site is amazing. My favourite is Harbour Bay (no surprise there then!).

Did you go to the tree protest in the week? What a scar on the St Ives landscape. Shame on the developers.

Look after yourself and don't take on too much. We love to read your blog but you have to blog at your own pace. See you soon :-) xx

Domestic Diva said...

I like the Harbour Bay tea towel.

lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

rl said...

What a terrible year Caroline, and you still kept going. I've never had a nanny but I can imagine the bond you've had. Have you read "The Help"? It's about the maids in the Southern states and really illustrates the bonds formed with children.
I love your blog and all your art.
Thanks for the link to the Tea towel site. I think I will make my second UK purchase! Love the Lemons and Citrus one, But my fave is the three hearts!

Joanna said...

Phew, what a time you've had! I'm so sad to hear about your Nanny, the photograph of you both on your wedding day is so special.

I ADORE Peter Blake's artwork, and I'm still kicking myself for missing his exhibition in Bath when I was there in the summer.

Now I don't usually get too excited about tea towels, but these are super! My favourite (and there were a few jostling for first place!), is the Alphabet DRY tea towel. Although I did really like the 1948 London Olympic games too, and the retro ones made my heart sing too...........

So good to have you back, Carolyn. I have missed your beautiful posts.

xx

Betty said...

Hi Carolyn, I am already a follower, so sorry you have lost your nana and that there has been so much family illness. You have been pulled in all directions so I hope you will have time to heal. My granny was very special and I have missed her for a good 30 years so I know how big that gaping hole is when someone you love passes on but you will have some wonderful memories and your love for her will always be the same, nothing takes that away. This was a lovely newsy post and told so much about you, that you clearly love fun quirky things and are a great collector. Tea towel, well, if I won that would be lovely as we have just noticed ours are very tatty and in short supply! and the Scandinavian folk design is very pretty. Anyhow, nice that you are blogging again. Bettyx

Ati. said...

Hi Carolyn, It is good to read that you are back again and that your DH is recovered.
There are years in our life when all seems to go wrong. But fortunately the time goes and everything can healed when time goes.
I am a follower of your blog for a long time, you might know that :)
The tea towel 'you wash and I'll dry' is my 'fave';-)

Connie Rose said...

Hi Carolyn,
I'll just say hi and not enter the giveaway -- I am getting rid of more stuff these days and don't need anything else.
But you know I love your blog. I'm so glad you're back, sorry about the hard times, but you seem in great spirits now.
Much love from far northwestern California,
Connie

Iz said...

I'm glad you're back - you've been missed! And such good news that H is recovered.

I'm so sorry to hear about your Granny - it will be less painful with time, but you will always miss her I'm sure. My relationship with my Granny was closer than any other, because my Mum died when I was little - she taught me to cook, sew, and told me funny stories about my Mum - I miss her every day.

I couldn't believe I wasn't a follower already - I definitely am now! And I like the Scandinavian folk design teatowel the best - it was the first one I saw and I knew straight away it was the one! Iz x

Bee happy said...

You have had a busy and stressful time, glad your hubby is feeling better. Looks like a lovely place to stay the interior is so beautiful :) great tea towels, it is hard to pick but I love the Scandinavian folk design .

I am already a follower :)

Bee happy x
Have a delicious day!

Penny said...

Sorry about your stressful time. I am already a follower, love the the towels but was torn between the hearts, and the
scandinavian folk art one.

Hemiwinx said...

I'm now a 'new' follower :o) although I've been 'friends' with you on facebook for a little while - First heard and saw your crafts & designs when I was last in the wonderful St Ives - I'm hoping to move down in the next few years :o)
So sorry to hear about everything that's been happening - really hope that things will now get better for you & your hubby.
Oh those tea towels - so love the three hearts - I have hearts here there & everywhere around my house - fabric (not quite as lovely as yours!), glass, metal, wicker, resin, clay ... can't have enough of them :o) The tea towel I think is rather gorgeous is the Mackintosh Lilac Linen one - couldn't use it to wipe up tho! Think I'd have to have it framed :o)
Anyway, lovely 'chatting' to you this Saturday evening - take good care - x Hemiwinx x

Debrina said...

Ahhhh....my deepest sympathies, Carolyn, for your nan. It is hard to lose loved ones, especially ones as dear as this. But rest assured she has not left your side...far from it. I love your catch post here and I don't even care about the giveaway (although it is a stunner). I'm just gald you were able to share with us your love and hope.

Yvonne said...

I hope things are looking better in your life these days. I know just talking, journaling, or blogging about it helps many get over distressing times. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog. Lots to see and read about. I really enjoyed the tea towels. I love them all but my favorite has to be the Scandanavian folk art, as I have been thinking of putting a similar design on my cabinet fronts. Savor the Day! Yvonne

Anonymous said...

Carolyn how lovely to have you back blogging...life gets in the way sometimes doesnt it, and it sounds like you have had your hands full.
Loved all your stories and reminiscing, the tunnocks wrappers are *gorgeous* and I love the collages you made using them. Wish we had wrappers like that here...I will keep an eye out for them in the specialty shops.
Tea towels are beautiful. My favourite is the scandinavian folk tea towel, love the tunnocks one though! Are they still making that one?
Take care and love you wonderful lengthy post.

Jacky xox

Jackie said...

Lovely to see you back and in full flow so to speak. you've certainly been through the mill but as you say, good times were had too. You look so much likeyour granny. So sorry you've lost such vital hub of your life. Now to to tunnocks teacakes..I quite like them now bt hated them when I was young. We used to call them 'Puttys' and used to smack hem all on the top before the pack was opened!
Main point: remeber to LOOK after YOURSELF as well as all the hard work you ar edoing for others..

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Lovely to see you back again Carolyn, after such adversity - hope that life becomes more tranquil from now on.

So much to see and read about as always, I especially like your Tunnocks collages and really do believe that eating those squidgy yummies must have been hard!!! Lesley x sympathise, because they must have been so hard to eat! Hope

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Oh dear, should have edited my post properly before pressing the button!! x

Lynn Holland said...

Dear Carolyn, yours was the first blog I ever read and you have been such an influence on my own. Your flickr site is magical and it is good to see your magic shining through again now.
Nanny's are such special people in our lives and their magic lives on in us.
Welcome back courageous lady.
Lynn xxx

Morna said...

My, my - This post certainly does take care of a long absence! Wonderful stuff just pouring out of you, along with your always-gorgeous photos. I am very sorry you have been through such stressful and sad times. I think many of us, of a certain age, can relate to how sickness, and death, and care giving, and-and-and seem to tumble down upon us all at the same time ... and it is awful. The loss of your Nan is particularly heartbreaking, indeed. But, it is quite breathtakingly wonderful that you have had her in your life since forever and that she is actually being thought of by people all over the world, because of you. That's truly nice. In fact, reading this post, I am struck by what a beautiful life you have - beautiful childhood memories, married to the one you love, living in a heavenly place - this all comes through so clearly. So - it's all confusing, sorrow and joy. I am just glad you're back here among us in cyberland, and that you are feeling better. As for your incredible giveaway, dear Carolyn, I am already a follower. I had a great time looking at all the tea towels and my favorite is the one of the orange. Thank you for your blog. :-)

Magpie's Mumblings said...

We've certainly missed your colourful and cheery posts, but understand that life has been taking a front row seat, which is as it should be. Very sorry about your treasured Granny, but I'm certain she is watching over you from above.
As for the giveaway, I really liked several of the lovely towels...first I liked the 'Dormouse', and then I discovered the 'Parliament of Owls', but then I found the 'Border Collie'. It's impossible to pick a favourite from those three!

Karen said...

I am a follower! What a lovely giveaway - tea towels are one of my weaknesses! My fave tea towel is the Scandinavian folk design.
xx

Sarah Bell Smith said...

Hi Carolyn, I'm so sorry to hear about the recent troubles in your life. I think all the other people that have already commented have summed up pretty much everything. Importance of family, hard times get better, all those sorts of things. I love your work and am happy that your going to continue with your blogging. Sending smiles your way.

Julie Shackson said...

Oh so sorry to hear about your recently painful time. I really do empathise with you. Losses of loved ones are the most painful things that we ever have to go through, and my thoughts are with you honey.
Your blog is fabulous as ever and I LOVE your Tunnock collages.
I visited Als tea towels and liked the flowers & nature section best; all were lovely, but pink roses and the oak leaves were gorgeous. I may have to go back and buy a couple in the new year!

Sue said...

Welcome back to Blogland!
Thanks for sharing so much in this richly textured post.
My favourite design is the Scandinavian Folk Art tea towel - it's so pretty and sort of Gudrun Sjoden...
Of course I follow your blog already, through Google Reader, but to be sure I'm in with a chance, I've followed you here, as well!

Discovery Cloth said...

Carolyn,
Sorry to hear of your most recent loss. Your Nanny sounds like she was more than extra special.
I am a new follower and love your work. My favorite tea towel, Love Heart.
I am thankful for the opportunity to win.

sharon said...

Hi Carolyn!
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your Nan, but rest assured you will carry her in your heart forever, I can see how special she was to you. I am so sorry for all of the pain you have endured and am sending you prayers and good thoughts.
Thank you for the chance to win some of your lovelies, it is very generous of you! I love the bird tea towels, but your hearts are fab!
I have recently become a follower at the first sight of your wonderful beads...they are so incredible, they transmit an energy that is sublime, and anyone who creates like that has a special soul.
BTW, I used some of your beads in a necklace I have posted on my blog, if you care to take a peek if you have a chance. If you look at my etsy shop you can get some close up shots.
Thank you again.

sharon said...

Oh, I wanted to say that I am drooling after reading about Mr. Tunnock's!
And , your collages are AMAZING!

Are you curious about me? said...

Dear Caroline

What an wonderful gran you have had, did I read correctly almost 94, amazing, how lucky you were to have her for so long.. What stories you must have shared, what moments to treasure.. Hold on to them tightly and remember them all with a happy heart..

I hope that your dearest husband and mum are now on the mend, what a time you have had... Writing things down, sending your thoughts out into the universe in this strange virtual world is a wonderful form of therapy.. We are all here for you, we might not be able to drop round for a cuppa and a chat, but we are here..

On second thoughts you probably wouldn't want us all arriving on your doorstep... With boxes of teacakes..

Now for happier thoughts, yes I am a follower of your blogs and I enjoy them immensely, thank you for your little snippets of Cornish life and the joy of seeing your work deveop..

As for my favorite design 'Growing older is hard enough without having to act it'. A perfect mantra for someone of a certain age, no names of course... Me!

Sending you a virtual hug from Wivenhoe.~ Julie

Jamie said...

Oh, I've missed your posts! So glad to have you back! What a fantastic post! I'd love to be included in your giveaway. I am a follower and I absolutely adore the Scandinavian Folk Art Tea Towel. Jamie V in MT (USA)
http://rem-nants.blogspot.com
amzanioli@yahoo.com

Pam said...

What a lovely but sad post.
I think my choice of tea towel would be the Mixed berry pots of jam tea towel it would look lovely hung on the range cooker.

Hugs Pam
fromthecraftroom

ju-north said...

I'm a follower! My favourite tea towel is 'Puffins'!

Heloise said...

So very sorry to read your news. Do hope that your Husband and Parents are much better. You will have so many happy memories of your Grandmother that will always be with you.

Deborah O'Hare said...

I have come over to follow from your other blog as I would love a chance to win your giveaway. I would be thrilled to own some of your beautiful work, plus my husband was born and raised in Glasgow and has a real soft spot for anything Tunnocks.
My favourite tea towel is the 'Male Chef Likes His Wine Tea Towel'. Any similarities to my husband are purely coincidental!
I know only too well how creativity and blogging go out of the window when times are hard but then when the time is right, they also help us to get back on track as well.

Bella said...

Life likes to throw a bucket load at us from time to time. Your sad news made me think and it makes the good times better when they return.

You say you haven't posted for a while but you have certainly made up for it today. It is great to hear from you again. Let's hop next year (it won't be long) is good for us all.

Carol said...

Hi Carolyn, It is so lovely to have you back in Blogland
I am so sorry to hear about your nan,I had a very special nan too and know how much they are missed,I hope your husband,mum and dad are all on the mend and life is settling down for you.
Loved to hear about your badge collection, I remember my dad giving my son a huge box of badges when he was three and he wanted them on everything he wore, including his jammies, we had to take them all off as soon as he fell asleep, and he wanted them back on the moment he woke up:)
I love Tunnocks Tea Cakes and have a box of the wrappers tucked away somewhere always intended to do something with them.
Loved the teatowels, so hard to pick a favourite
but I did love Growing Older Free Spirit :)

Elizabeth Armstrong said...

Hi Carolym
As a follower I have been watching for your return and am so glad to "see" you again! Thankyou for sharing all that has happened over the past weeks. I am so sorry for your loss - I never really had a relationship with my nann - she died when I was quite young. I can certainly understand your sadness and hope the joyous times fill you up and give you much comfort.

Just loving all your pics espcially the one of you and your nan - what a special day!

My fave tea towel is the Scandanavian Tea Towel.

I remember doing some work with wrappers that were layered between super fine net and silk and the gentle gleaming was just great - machine stitched to secure it all.

Don't forget to do lots of lovely things for youself!

Jill said...

How good to have you back - and no wonder you have been away, what a time you have been having, I do hope everything is settling down for you and those close to you. How wonderful to have so many memories of your Nan to cherish. Your post is a delight as always with so many goodies to look at.
The tea towels are wonderful and to choose one would be difficult, but Farmyard Animals brought back memories of favourite childhood picture books.
Not fond of a Tunnocks teacake myself, but we do always have a packet of Tunnocks caramel wafers which were a favourite of mine from my school tuck shop! Good to see an old firm still going.
I do hope the next months continue to be brighter for you, Jill

Sandra Scott Textile Artist said...

I am glad that you are back. Wishing you and your family peace, love and good health.

Valérie said...

Hello Carolyn,
Thought I had subscribed to updates from your blog a few days ago when I first discovered it, but apparently I hadn't... done now...
I'm so sorry to read about your loss...
The love the 2 of you had for each other lives on...

How do I talk about tea towels now...
They're lovely...
Far too beautiful to dry dishes with...
The hearts have my heart...

Love your Flickr stream...
And your blog.. which I still have to explore further...

Lins Artyblobs said...

Welcome back, sorry to hear of your troubles and loss. I'm pleased to see you had fun with the tea cakes, besides just eating them. I'm already a follower and there are so many tea towels to choose from so it is difficult to choose one, but the Christmas penguins, the dictionary of tea, the doormouse and the puffins are among my favourites. Wishing you all the best.

Cathy at PotterJotter said...

I am a follower of your blog and would love to win one of these gorgeous tea towels - the farm animal one is my choice. Hope you are feeling a bit brighter about things now.

Sandie said...

Sorry you've had such a harrowing time of late.
Glad you're feeling better and getting into the swing of things.
I used to put badges down the side of my velveteen Levi flares, along with a couple of embroidered Butterflies. The flares were a lovely powder blue and I love them, except when they got wet, they used to hurt my legs flapping about when walking LOL!

Have a simply gorgeous, creative and happy week!

Hugs,

Sandie xx

Patty Biermans said...

I'm sorry to hear that you had a sad time! I don't know if that is the correct word but I hope you know what I mean! But I'm glad to see you on the blog again because I have missed your beautiful pictures and stories! I hope that everything is going well from now one with all the people you love.
About the towels...I like the one with the older lady :)) a lot!!!
hugzz...peebe

Erica said...

Hi Carolyn, I follow both your blogs. They pop up in my reader automatically and, yes, I have missed you lately. You have obviously had an emotionally difficult time recently. Do hope the worst is behind you. Kia kaha and karakia from here in New Zealand.
Teatowel favourite...how to choose when there are so many gorgeous designs? I love so many of them but I think the University of Oxford Water Gladiolus ticks all the boxes for me.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

liniecat said...

I nipped over from the other blog which I follow anyway, so have added msyelf onto this one too.I tend to pop in here now and then from there, if that makes sense lol
Nice to see you popping up again but
what an emotional year this has been for you all in all, lets hope life throws you an easier ball to catch from here on in.
Losing nan on top of all that went before too, Im so sorry to hear that.

Thats a lovely picture of your nan and yourself at your wedding. You seem to look alot like her, I wonder if she looked like you at that same age, when she was younger?

Liked the collages no end, gosh my son ate alot of those marshmallow goodies when he was younger lol but it was the dog mostly who was given the buscuit bases!

Miriam Weaver said...

Glad your back! As always your photographs are beautiful. Why life chucks everything at us all at once, I'll never understand. Sorry for your loss and the illnesses that have hit your family this year.
Oh! yes the T Towel for me, it would have to be 'Wake up and smell the Coffee'
Looking forward to reading your next post.

Caroline said...

Good to see you back here Carolyn. You've certainly been through the mill recently - so sorry to read of your loss. My, you certainly do you look like your Nanny!
I really like your little red collages! And being such a fan of red myself, my favourite T Towel is Chrysanthemum Flowers!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you felt able to return to blogging after your very sad time lately and a big hug of condolence is yours for the keeping. I was so struck by how much you look like your Nanny - two gorgeous girlies together. There's so much to read in this post of yours, as usual - thank you for taking time out to make it such fun for us your readers. Take good care of yourself Carolyn. Chrissie xxx

Debbie said...

Hi Carolyn from debbie in Australia-good to see you back blogging....life can be overwhelming at times it seems,but somehow we come out the other side hey? I look at my lovely textile heart everyday in my dining room..love it! I love the Christmas robins teatowel as it reminds me of the Christmas I spent with my sister and family nearly 3 years ago.. they live in Dublin. we don't have robins and mistletoe here!! Take care

Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn,

Nice meeting you here.
I think I just made myself a follower, there must be a first time for anything.
Lovely to read about Peter Blake and pop-art, I'm a big fan, and I think your beads are stunning.
I like the lighthouse T Towel....:))
Have a nice day and take care of yourself..

Julia Guthrie said...

I don't think you needed to worry about how to jump back into blogging Carolyn. :)

I hope your sad times are over for a while. So often things like that happen at once...maybe it's a good thing.
May there be many more happy moments to come now *hugs*

I too LOVE those teacakes...mmm...as a kid I always had to smash the chocolate lightly with my hand & pick it off! lol
What a great exhibition of artwork.
And such pretty teatowels! I have my eye on some now... loved the scandinavian folk art one, & all the 'tea' ones :)

Lovely to see you back in blog land xxxxxxxxxxxx

Linda Kittmer said...

Hi Carolyn,

I just discovered your blog and I'm really enjoying it. There are so many wonderful tea towels but I kept coming back to the beautiful Scandinavian Folk Art one. I love the colours and the shapes in that one.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that I might be the lucky winner!

Linda
http://lindakittmer.blogspot.com

Nerys Kate Williams said...

Hi Carolyn,

Sorry to hear about your sad times, but good to see you blogging again. Your blog posts always leave me inspired.
Could you pop my name in the "hat" for the giveaway please? my favourite design is the Scandinavian folk art one :)
Loving your recent work and also loving those yummy marshmallow biccies!

Nerys x

Robin Olsen said...

I'm so sorry you have been having such a traumatic year. That's a lot for anyone to cope with! I'm very happy to see you back!

martha brown said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Nanny, carolyn...
My hubby is from the UK (Wimbledon) and he has spoken very fondly about Tunnock's biscuits :)
I LOVE linen tea towels -- I am always trying to find them at yard sales because they are so hard to find new! I am so happy that you shared a source that will ship to Canada -- and at pretty reasonable prices too! My favourite one is the red Chrysanthemum one ... or the William Morris Chrysanthemum one or the Honeysuckle one... or maybe the Easy as Pie one :) Hahahaha -- I love so many. I'm going to order some as Christmas gifts right now!!!!

AliceAndFlorence said...

Hello Caroline,
Have missed reading and admiring both your blogs. They are always so inspiring. What an upside-down time you have had. So sorry about your Gran, your blog brought back memories of my own lovely Gran, and the little things she taught me. Look after yourself. Hugs and best wishes for the future.
Wendy (aliceandflorence).
Ps. The Scandinavian folk art towel was my favourite

LaWendula said...

Oh this year has been a challenge to everyone it seems...Sorry about the loss of the dear Nanny.
It must be nice to know one is so well remembered though.

Sorry, I did not get the thing with the tea towles...

Greetings from the Baltic sea! xo

Marilyn said...

So pleased to be able to read your blog again. It's hardly surprising you haven't been around with all that has been going on in your life. I love to catch up on your arty stuff and enjoy following links to artists I might have never known about otherwise. My favourite tea-towel is 'Beside the sea'. I love all things connected to the sea and wondered if the sepia photograph in the apartment might be a Frank Meadow Sutcliffe (http://www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk/)who took photos in the Whitby from 1875-1910.

Emma said...

So sad, to hear about your loss. Good to see you keeping calm & carrying on.

Love the penguine tea towel & I'm a long time follower!

Enjoyed that packaging article in CL too, I want to carve a flower stamp like that, too!

Lynn Taylor said...

I had some visitors from Morven Gallery (Isle of Lewis) the day before yesterday and showed them the lovely card you sent me earlier this year (I still have it on display). Sorry to hear of your challenging times - I hope writing your blog is as uplifting for you as it is for me to read it. My favourite tea towel is rope knots....ah, a little traditional but we used to have the international flag code one hanging up at our beach crib - so nice connected memories.

Hoola Tallulah said...

I felt the same way when I lost my nana, I swear she loved me more than anyone, she left a big hole in my heart when she passed.
I am sorry things are so tough for you right now, sending you lots of love and best wishes, and thanking you kindly for such a wonderful giveaway <3
My favourite tea towel is the scandinavian folk art birds, and bravo for popping back to blog land, so pleased about that! (I am a follower of course!).

Gina said...

So sorry to hear about your nanny Carolyn... what a fabulous photo of you both. I love your little tea cake collages.

Folk Heart said...

So glad to see you back in the swing of the blog again. I've missed your posts and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip, saddened to think of the worry you have endured, and so very sympathetic about your precious nanny.

You might have already guessed from my name that my favorite towel is "Love Hearts"...because I do!

Anonymous said...

Welcome Welcome back. Such a great blog. So sorry about your nanny. She does have a sweet smile! I like the tannock wrapper towel. It will remind me of you. My two friends and I toured Cornwall in 1978. Something we vowed to do before we were 40.I admired Bernard Leach's pottery.
Judy

Kim. Just Kim. Not Kimberly! said...

Scandinavian Folk Art is my favorite!
Thank you for sharing the towel site.
Very sorry to hear of your loss and trials this past year. They say time will heal, but we all know too well that there isn't enough time to heal some of the pains we feel. Keep your memories alive and stay true to your art. Art helps heal. Look forward to a new year, soon!

Diana said...

What a lovely heartfelt post, Carolyn.
I'm following your blog/Facebook page and I love it all, and I love those little marshmallow teacakes as well, really takes me back to my childhood in the sunny Isle of Wight!
My favourite tea towel design is a toss-up between the cats one and the penguins one.. on balance I do have a lot of cats tea towels and things so I will have to go for the penguins!

La Dolce Vita said...

how did I possibly MISS this??? count me in! xo

ewa-christine said...

I only want to say "take care"........

Twiglet said...

So good to see you back blogging and I am sorry to hear of all your sadness and troubles. I am sure the positive vibes sent out by all your blog friends will have helped. Let's hope 2012 is a better year for you. I love this post - so much to take in. The tea towel site is fab and being a country girl I love the geese in the farmyard collection!All the best. x Jo

Suztats said...

I'm so glad your DH is recovered, and doing well. Hope your Mom is better, too. Condolences on the loss of your Nanny. I still miss my Nanny-- she was so much fun, and a wonderful part of my childhood. Blessings and hugs

noelle said...

Oh poo, think I've just missed It!! Never mind. Sorry Carolyn you've had such a hard time, I hope things improve for you x. Those Tea Towels are fab, my Mum always had some from there and always the cat ones, so those are my fave!! xx

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Thank you all ... my giveaway is now closed