Tuesday, 25 July 2017

quilt update

Quick update.
Well you might remember back in 2015 I started to tackle my fabric stash.
And for my first attempt at patchwork I thought I would go for a massive quilt!
Well two and a bit years later the patches are all sewn together, its no where near finished, it needs a boarder, wadding, backing and quilting.  But really pleased so far.
Might need to change the curtains though......

Friday, 21 July 2017

the power of flowers

As you walk down through the winding streets of St Peter Port, you really become aware of the beautiful voluptuous hanging baskets that are every where.
Well this summer I have noticed another by-product of all this floral splenda.
They are self seeding!!!!
In the top half of Mansel Street there are violets popping out of the cracks in the pavement

and these surfina are everywhere

I love them, it shows just how tough flowers are.
So please mister road cleaner - weeding guy, leave them be so we can carry on enjoying our very
un-hanging baskets!


Thursday, 13 July 2017

floorboard envy!

At the beginning of July we were up near Oxford for a wedding and had a bit of spare time to do some exploring in-between all the eating, drinking and dancing (go Jonathan!).
Its stunning country side, with the Chilton hill as a back drop, and lots of idyllic villages.
I think our favourite was Long Crendon, beautiful thatched cottages, lots of wattle and daub, and hollyhocks every where!  Most importantly for me it had the feeling of a proper community,
a post office, butchers, florist, tea shop, pubs etc. 
Definitely not a dormitory village.

But the highlight for me was finding the Courthouse,
they think it dates from the fourteenth century,
and it was purchased in 1900 for £400 by the National Trust,
making it one of the first buildings in their care. 
The upstairs, the old court room is open on selective days, and we were lucky.

There is a lovely local history exhibition, but what got me were the floor boards, they were stunning!

The shapes of the boards were all uneven, you could almost, see the shape of the trees they had come from, and the soft silky sheen to them, from thousands of feet over hundreds of years, I wanted to take off my shoes to feel them properly, but politeness prevailed.  These boards had character, life, beauty, every thing that their laminated distant cousins in my kitchen lack, I want those boards!!!!

Monday, 10 July 2017

anticipating a glorious glut!

Sorry for the pause in posting, its been a hectic few weeks, weddings, birthdays, funerals....
But I am here!
The other thing that has kept me from the computer has been the garden, Chris has been very busy on the terrace second from the top.  It was a patio with currant bushes down one side and rhubarb and apples down the other, slowly over the years we have been lifting the odd paving stone to make a veg bed.  Well this year we have gone #@$?!! it and we have lifted the lot! 
I say we, I should in all honesty say he, as my role was more supervisory.....
The whole terrace is now dedicated to veg,
we have four raised beds with bark chipping paths in between.
And vegetables coming out of our ears!  
Golden and candie striped beets, striped and globe courgettes, kalettes,
spinach beets, chard, lettuce, two types of pumkin, rocket, herb,
beans, peas, broad beans and borlottis.
Not to mention the soft fruit...

kalettes

borlottis

peas

broad beans

The toms in the hanging basket at the other end of the garden aren't doing badly either,
this year we have planted Tumblers (at the front of the photo) and Tumbling Toms,
the TTs are definitely better, as they are still flowering, so will have a longer crop.

Well my shopping bill has shrunk
and our consumption of veg dishes has risen,
we are getting very imaginative, green pancakes - using pureed beet leaves in the batter last week, and last night courgette and feta fritters, yum! 
But it doesn't look like we are the only ones enjoying feasting in the garden!!!!!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Horse shoe


I went down to the bathing pools for an early swim yesterday,
the water is warmer than average for this time of year, so it was lovely just
floating, swimming and chatting, so peaceful.

Then as I was heading to work, I thought I would show you the newly refurbished Horse shoe pool.
It was badly damaged in the storms of 2014
and recently through a lot of hard volunteer work has re-opened.

It is the secret pool out of the four Victorian Bathing Pools,
as you approach all you can see are the steps above,
you round the corner and you find this magical man made pool,
a marvel of Victorian engineering and craftsmanship.
It is the only one of the pools that is open to the sea so is very popular with
divers, kayakers, paddle boarders etc.  Its also Chris's favourite at the moment!

There is a lovely little shelter at the top with beautiful granite pillar supports, quite a lot of the machinery from the repairs are still there, I am sure it wont be for long.

The job isn't quite finished,
you can still see how they are underpinning the steps to strengthen them from tide and waves.

I like it when an artist signs his work, well deserved.
Not sure that this was one of the craftsmen?
I would have lovely to see the moment that this seagull accidently walked across wet cement!
The look on its face!!!!


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Guernsey Light Infantry

I was having a cup of coffee in the garden on Sunday morning before going for a walk, the radio was on quietly in the kitchen, when one of the neighbours started up with some load music. 
Except on second thoughts, I don't think any of my neighbours are marching band fans.......(well I am, I love them, I blame my Dad!)....then I remembered that the island was commemorating the departure of the Guernsey Light Infantry to fight in the Great War exactly one hundred years ago. 
So we hurried out to catch up with them as they were heading down Fountain St. 

The parade was following their original route from Fort George, down through Trinity Square to Town Church and through town to the White Rock where there was a service of remembrance.
It seems that the parade was split into two parts, so you could properly hear the bands.
The first part featuring soldiers, veterans and a military band.
The second part (which we had caught up with) was the band of the Boys Brigade, re-enactors in authentic WW1 uniform and local school children,
many whose great, great, great grandfathers had been among the original soldiers. 
It was incredibly moving, especially as they rounded into Church Square,
the watching crowds started clapping.
Eyes were definitely moist, glad I had my sunglasses....

Think it was made even more moving for me as on Saturday I had been asked a question in the Gallery that really made me think about the human cost of WW1.
As this gentleman had walked up to St James he had passed the war memorial at the top of Smith Street. This was originally put up for WW1 and other wars have since been added. 
His question was this
There are an awful lot of names on your memorial, when I have visited ones in the UK ,they often list all who went to fight and then put a star next to those who didn't come home.  Is that the case for yours, or are those names all who died?  Because that seems an awful lot for a small island.   

Well I was pretty sure I knew the answer, but I did double check with
The Fountain of All Knowledge, The Priaulx Library, and they confirmed what I thought.
Those four panels on the back wall are all those who died.
Its very humbling when you stop to have a proper look at it. 
They fought at Passchendaele, Cambrai and Lys.

Three hundred and twenty seven young men were killed.

Their moto was Diex Aix - God Help Us.
This derives from the battle cry used by the Duke of Normandy 1,000 years earlier.
Such brave men.


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A tapestry that really gave me goosebumps


Every summer a group of four of us from Art College get together for a weekend,
a good chance to eat, drink, gossip, laugh and understand more about where we all live. 
This year it was time to go and visit my old room mate in Trondheim, Norway.
A stunning city full of multi coloured wooden building, very walkable and friendly.
And for me, a fantastic museum of Decorative Art and Design,
featuring an exhibition of the work by the Tapestry Artist Hannah Ryggen 

Now I will admit she was not someone I was aware of and I should have been, it was powerful stuff.
But one piece blew me away (I asked if I could take these photos)

'We live upon a star' 1958
This is what the info said and explains the goose bumps.
We live upon a star is a commissioned artwork by Hannah Ryggen for the new government building in Oslo in 1958.  The work is a philosophical depiction of humanity, and was meant to remind politicians everyday of how we should act towards one another and towards the earth itself.  The work was damaged in the terrorist attack on July 22nd 2011 , making it all the more relevant as a statement of  Ryggen's humanistic message and as a symbol for the struggle against violence and destruction.  The scar is still visible in the lower part of the tapestry.

Powerful stuff
I think how they have repaired it also speaks volumes.
It has been mended but the scars are still visible,

what happened in now part of the tapestries story and message. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

sometimes we need a little help to realise how lucky we are.....

Yesterday I met to a lovely lady in the Gallery, who was an embroidery teacher from Australia.
I was chatting about sewing/embroidery courses I had done,
when she said something that made me stop and think.
'you are very lucky to have access to so many wonderful courses and Museums this side of the world'
Now I have been to Oz and it is a beautiful country, but I think I know what she means.
The wealth of history we have on our door step is truly amazing.
I have shared the links to the Gobelin Tapestry Workshop, West Dean and Lesage embroidery school, all of which I have been lucky enough to visit or attend courses in.  The last image is the Aubusson Tapestry Museum, definitely on my wish list!
Gobelin Factory



These beautiful places are just the tip of the ice-burg, the amount of museum, chateaux, castles and other historic building that allow us to view some truly amazing historical textiles is incredible.  
But I do think when in we live in Europe ( I mean the continent not the EU!) we can get a bit blaze about the treasures we are surrounded by and sometimes we need a stranger to remind us.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

loving our flag


I was having a tidy up at the gallery the other day and I realised just how much embroidery silks and bits of aida I have.  The aida are the off cuts from making up the cross stitch kits that we sell, but often when stitchers are down sizing, they very kindly give us the remains from their horde, and this is how most of the silks have come my way. 
I need to start using them!

Now I love our flag with the crosses of St George and William the Conqueror combined, but the colours (red, white and yellow) aren't soft.  And the silk colours that I have are, almost Autumnal. 
So I am stitching cross stitch hearts with the image of our flag
but each one in a different colour combination. 
The first one (above) flew out of the shop with in a day.  I took that as a good sign! 
So the second one (below) is nearly finished.


and I already have the colours sorted for the third.
They do take along time, but its the sort of thing I do while chatting to our visitors.
So no idea at all how regularly they will be appearing, so if you see one grab it!


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Lampwork ideas, oooh exciting!

 Just a quick post today, 
I am so excited, I love lamp work beads, but they are certainly way beyond, my capability at making!!!!! Then I stumbled across a blog
post that gave me a brilliant idea of making my own at of thread, fabric and beads.
am thrilled with how they turned out and my mind is now buzzing with loads of ideas of how else I can use these beauties....... 
....promise to do a post on how to make them some time soon,
ok sorry must go now.  Happy Bank Holiday

Sunday, 23 April 2017

every cloud

Those of you who know me, know to say I am clumsy is an understatement!  
Well a few weeks ago I surpassed even my self, we left the house to go and meet some old friend, 
and I managed to fall over my own feet (wearing flats) right out side the house......knee was a mess, 
but annoyingly so were my jeans.  And I live in my jeans, 
but I also value them as they are hard to find when you need 34 inch leg. 
So I was very very cross with my self. 
It was a brilliant night even with an ooozy bloody knee (sorry). 
And the next day I thought can I save my jeans. 
So I trimmed the hole, and raided my stash of denim.  I have never binned any old jeans,
 I have always though I could do something with them, maybe a large picnic blanket, 
(but I must have about twenty old pairs).
I found a good stripey piece from an old pair of M&S jeans, when I had worn them they made me feel like I was wearing pajamas!  But they were perfect for a star.
I cut the star a little larger so there was enough to turn under, 
it's then pinned over the hole and hand stitched it into place.
and ta-dah.
Really pleased with how it turned out, I think its really given these jeans a new lease of life.
Though when I am looking down it does look like a star fish has attached itself to my knee!
So every cloud does have a silver lining,
oh and knee has know healed so I am back in the sea swimming again, heaven.

Friday, 7 April 2017

watching Liberty

My watch seems to be suffering....

The actual watch bit is fine, but the strap has given up the ghost, now its a cheap watch but when I went to replace the strap it was going to cost £35 and be sent away. The watch only cost £70!
Thinking cap on.

So I made one!


Using some left over Liberty lawn with the strap long enough that I can tie it round my wrist.

I have stitched the strap, but might try doing it with tiny press studs then I can change my strap with my outfit and with the season.

ends need tucking in though...
Really pleased with how this has turned out, think I actually prefer it to the original.