Friday, 30 August 2013

I can feel the start of a new adiction.....

When I was in Petworth with my sister in July, I picked up a needle felting kit, now I am not usually a fan of kits, but this was something totally new too me, and I thought it might be a gentle introduction.
Well, I had a go earlier this month, and think I am hooked! This little bird was produced in a couple of hours, by a total novice!
With traditional felting you are agrevating the scales on the fiber shaft with heat (hot water) causing them to lock together or felt. With needle felting you are using a small barbed needle to do the same thing, but with out the mess or your finger tips ending up look like dried prunes!  Though those same fingers did get stabbed a fair few times, so not sure which is the lesser of two evils......
I am not very goods at sitting in front of the telly in the evening not doing anything, and some times if my fabric is stretched too tight over the hoop embroidery can be very squeaky (!) Which to Chris is like running your fingers down a blackboard (ugggh!)  So here is the perfect evening craft, yippee ;-)
Right so now we leave the kit behind and start experimenting with my own ideas and designs, lots in the pipe line, will keep you posted xxx
oh and sorry spell check isn't working

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Lots of memories at Giverny

About 30 years ago I visited Giverny with Mum, Dad
 and Aunty Jan (my Mums best friend and now my surrogate Mum)
Giverny was the home of Claude Monet, and its garden inspired many of his paintings as did the surrounding countryside.
And this summer I returned.

The very famous Japanese bridge over the water lilies.
And these grand weeping willows also were preserved in paint.

As was this boat, though not sure if it is the original!  Think that would have rotted years ago....

Trying to recreate this photo of Aunty Jan, though she manages to look a lot more elegant! And theres a lot more greenery now.

The Nymphia (water lilies), rather pleased with that reflection.
I know it looks like we had the place to our self and we did arrive at gates opening, but unfortunately so did 2 River Cruise boats discharging about 150 people, and the garden was heaving, I did feel sorry for the cruise people, they were like sheep being shepherded around, queueing to get on the Japanese bridge, it didn't look enjoyable or relaxing.  The chap at the entrance gate said they get about 2000 people through a day in the summer months.
Its still a very beautiful garden, and definitely worth visiting, but you just have to accept that there will be crowds. They have now roped off a lot of the paths, so you can get photos with out loads of people around you!
The beautiful nasturtium walk
The balcony out side his house, and trying to recreate an old photo, and once again Aunty Jan manages to look more elegant....think I should invest in a flowery sundress, might help!

Monet also had amazing interior ideas, the dinning room is butter yellow and the kitchen is floor to ceiling blue and white tile (wouldn't mind that for us one day) but no photos in the house. 
If you are ever in Northern France, near Rouen, do take time to visit Giverny, but don't turn round and head back the way you came, carry on down the Seine, the country side is beautiful, inland chalk cliffs full of caves, and very French villages. Enjoy and explore ;-)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Hotel de Suhard

This is the first time we have found a hotel through Sawdays, and if this is a taste of their standard, then roll on many more holidays to come!

Welcome to Hotel de Suhard
in Belleme, Normandy

Its a beautiful town house that has been lovingly restored by Josiane and Joel, who has absolutely stunning taste, just look at the beautiful banister!  The stairs were stunning, the patina on the wood showed the story hundreds of years of families living and loving their home
 Then on the top floor, we opened the door to our room, and this is what greeted us......
 What a bathroom!!!!!!

Then through into our bedroom, with this gorgeous view out over the garden and
then on to the forest.

The house dated back to the 16th century and has an unusually large back garden, with lots of little private seating areas where if the sun is out you can enjoy your breakfast.
Or you could always have it a deux in the elegant sitting room, with Joel and Josianes attentive service

Though its just as lovely a room to relax in after a long walk and before heading out to super, cheers!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Chris and I have just come back from a lovely few days in France.
Definitely Franco phials!
We like exploring new areas together and this time we headed to Le Perche region of Normandy in L'Orne.  Its a National Park between Alencon and Paris, just below Calvados and the village of Camembert.  So as you can imagine a lot of eating was going to happen!
We decide to base ourselves in the medieval village of Belleme
Isn't this such a French road? A pretty good entrance to the village.
I think I am right in saying that it was an idea of Napoleon's to plant tree lined roads
 to shelter the marching armies from the sun.  
Our elegant hotel it was beautiful and would definitely recommend it, but will show you more photos later.
It was just so French, lots of winding little streets
Secret corners, arch ways through the medieval battlements
and mysterious heads high up in the walls

the patterns on the walls that can only ever be achieved through time

Ornate window surrounds, curly balconies, and a very handy sun dial (as long as the sun shines!)
And how about this for an amazing window? 
 It was just over a normal door in a normal but pretty street.
The village is on the top of a hill, the castle would have been with the medieval walls, sadly it is no longer there, just a car park, but a car park with a stunning view!  Well placed to see your enemy approaching, or in our case to have a picnic, charcuterie, baguettes and cornichons, yum......

a dramatic sunset for the end of our day over some very French Pollard ed trees

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

We are sailing

As my brother and husband will verify I am not naturally comfortable in yachts,
 I prefer my boats fast and without a tendency to keel sharply. 
 There I have said it I prefer motor boats!
When I was eleven I learnt how to sail in a little mirror dingy with a red sail, I was perfectly happy just pottering about, but my older brother was a very good racer and it was expected that I would follow him.  But I do not have a competitive bone in my body, so that wasn't a good start.

Then one cold, grey spring morning my friend and I capsized our dingy in the wake of Sealink (one of the massive cross channel ferrys) as it entered the harbour, and I lost one of my jelly shoes.
And that was it I was put off for life!!!!!

But I do like stitching Yachts! 

So when my friend Susie asked my to do one for our friend Sam's sons christening, it was a pleasure.

Sam is a Guernsey girl so her son's yacht had to be registered in Guernsey,
hense the flag and GU on the sails.
The Guernsey flag, as I think I might have mentioned before, is a combination of the red cross of St George (England) with the gold cross of William the Conqueror (Normandy).
A perfect explanation of our heritidge.
Very pleased with it and hope Luke likes it to.
Tempted to do a whole floatiler now!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

duck racing

This years Round Table Harbour Carnival is happening on Friday
and this year is our second duck race, you pay £2.00 and they race!   But not just in their every day yellow gear, this is duck fancy dress! 

And this is my entrance, lets call her Lola
 and she likes to hula and needs a skirt to wiggle!

Building it up in layers
 Think we will stop at 3!
 and may be a racy hair style, so now we have a punk hula duck!!!
 Eyes are a finishing touch, I am rather please with Lola

 Do hope her skirt doesn't get too water logged?
Do you think she is a winner?  Well at least in the looks stake!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Garden in over drive!

Well this combination of torrential rain and then days of glorious sunshine, means that everything in the garden seems to have doubled in size over night!
I promise the compost bin is in there behind the cosmos and fig, somewhere, getting to it is definitely challenging
Beautifully delicate poppies and cosmos
This made me laugh,we used our own compost to fill this new bed.  Wasn't sure what to do with it, the shrub there had been badly damaged in the snow, so it had been pruned right back but we know it will be huge again, so didn't want to put any thing permanent, so a few foxgloves filled the gap.  Then before we knew it, it was full!  Of butternut squash and tomatoes from the compost!!!
Will see if they fruit?

Agapanthus are doing their thing.

and my herbs are doing strong in the green house, basil, parsley and coriander, theres more on the flat roof, so I think soon we will be eating lots of salsa Verdi ;-)