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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Country Living Inspiration

Browsing through this month's CL magazine I loved this article about seasonal inspiration.

I loved the colours - not an orange or a brown in sight so not what you might expect for an autumn source of inspiration at all.

I particularly liked this linocut and thought how lovely it would be as a textile - embroidery or applique or both plus machine embroidery perhaps....? You can see how my mind works!

I noticed how many of the pictures were of umbelliferous plants - I love their shape and form

and how easily they might transform into textile creations.

I was reminded of these wonderful tapestries which I saw a few years ago in France - forgive me if I have shown you these before.

I was, for want of a better word, gobsmacked when I entered the exhibition and saw these amazing creations. The colours were stunning and the sharpness of the designs.....

I was with the patchwork group that I belonged to at that time and many of the ladies didn't like them at all but for me they were wonderful.

See how the designer Dom Robert has also used umbelliferous plants in his designs. Click on the link to see more of his amazing works and for more information about the man himeslf see here although it is in French!

Don't you just love the expressions on the faces of these sheep?!

I leave you with a couple of photos of the last sweepeas. These were picked yesterday when we were able once again to make use of our little table in the garden but only for the main course of our lunch since the clouds came over and the temperature dropped - dessert was taken in the conservatory! Today it's raining.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Shopping, cooking and books

Saturday was a beautiful autumn day with sunshine and blue skies but also a very cold wind! We had a choice of markets today as there was a Farmers' Market at Montacute House - always a good one and also one in town. We went to Montacute - this is the entrance to the old stable yard where the market is held beats the supermarket eh?!

I didn't take photos of all the stalls it was too crowded but amongst the usual veggies, jams and chutneys, bread etc there was one lady selling teas and one of these teas was called Monkey picked tea! I kid you not. When I asked if it was true she said that the monks in this particular part of the tea growing world used to use monkeys to pick the delicate leaves since their little hands were less likely to damage the leaves. Seems they just can't get the monkeys nowadays though and this tea is picked in the normal way apart from one branch picked by a monkey for good luck!

Another lady was selling chocolate which she said contained enough antioxidants in one small portion to provide 100% of your RDA and equivalent to 8 lbs of tomatoes! It would apparently strenghten the immune system, maintain heart function, improve the memory, nourish the skin and keep you feeling young and fit - why ever didn't I buy some I wonder! See for yourself here! I love being able to chat with the stall owners and just see what you can find out. It's amazing what you learn at a Farmers Market or as the French would say I go to bed less stupid tonight!!

Not sure what these ladies were doing but it looked as if they were preparing some vegetable soup - didn't stay long enough to find out. We did however buy a cauliflower, some broccoli and a bunch of carrots plus some local grown (must be greenhouse or polytynnel surely) strawberries and a loaf of crusty bread.

Easy supper tonight then - cauliflower cheese - I always think it looks a bit insipid just using cauliflower - all white with pale sauce - so I always make mine with some broccoli and carrots for added colour - forgive the photo it looks horrible but really it was delicious!

Served with a slice or two of the fresh crusty bread.

And fresh strawberres for pud Yum!
My weekend reading is from these two books I got from the library.

The landscape one has lots of lovely ideas for textiles including these lovely landscape postcards I'd love to have a go at.

And this interpretation of a photo of a cliff and beach - lovely isn't it?

I wanted the Free and Easy stitch Style one for its tips on free machine embroidery - something I want to master but so far without much success. These daisies are an exercise in controling the stitching...

... and this lady is supposed to be a self portrait again to master the stitching. Not sure if anything I might produce would be entirely recogniseable though! Might make me look better than I do of course!!

Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you for all your kind comments on my previous posts.

Friday, 24 September 2010

What a difference a day makes!

Wednesday - we were able to have lunch in the garden in the sunshine! What a contrast today we have had to turn the heating on as it has been so cold!

My little pot of winter pansies and cyclamen don't seem to mind though. Aren't the pansies pretty? I don't think I have seen any quite so delicate and bi-coloured like these before.

It may have been dull and chilly today but there was a warm fuzzy feeling to be felt when the postman arrived with this little package from Jenny at Winnibriggshouse.

When I opened it I found this lovely bag - so beautifully made and reversible too.

And this cute tape measure as well.

It was beautifully folded and tied with this lovely ribbon - but of course I was too eager to see what it was to take a photo before I opened it out and then I couldn't get it folded back again to take a picture!

I love the little butterfly in the corner of the pocket and the name tag above too makes it look so professional.

Here it is reversed - you can see by the tablecolth beneath that I like this sort of design can't you?! I think the red side out will be great for dull days like today and the blue roses for springtime maybe.

LUCKY, LUCKY ME! Thank you so much Jenny - isn't blogging wonderful and what a lot of really talented and generous people there out there too.

Have a good weekend and those of you in the UK keep warm!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Lucky me - I received this magazine yesterday from Maria at Country Style Living. I had a lovely time browsing through it over a cup of coffe after dinner last night and will be having a further read later on today - THANK YOU SO MUCH!

LUCKY ME - to live somewhere where the walk back from town can be along a path as lovely as this....

... this used to be a railway line before Dr Beeching got at it back in the 1960s.

This pond was so quiet and peaceful and I saw dragonflies and heard the plop of fish as I stood quietly watching and enjoying the scene.

What a pretty pink this balsam is - I know it is an invasive weed but it does have a pretty flower.....

I had been into town to have a cup of coffee with my French friend and an hour or so of French conversation - I don't want to lose what I have learned and it must keep my little grey cells busy mustn't it?!

You have seen this bridge before - this is the part of the path I usually use when going to and from yoga - can you smell the smuts and hear the sound of long ago trainstrains as they pass beneath this bridge?!

Just at the end here the track comes out onto the busy main road but all is not lost as there is a wide verge and I continued my walk behind a screen of trees with the traffic out of sight if not out of hearing.

As you can see it was another bright day and aren't these crab apples pretty against the blue sky background?


LUCKY WINNERS - yes winners in the plural - since I seem to have been the recipient of so many lovely gifts from my blogging friends during the time I have been a blogger I have decided to offer my giveaway to one winner and then to add some consolation prizes too:


Winner is Cathy at Menopausal Musing - a knitted heart will be on its way soon Cathy

Consolation prizes to:

Lucy at Beads, crochet and puppydogs - A needlecase or hanging - let me know which you prefer Lucy

Meggie at Life's free treats - ditto as for Lucy

Pipany at Pipany and the Poltisko Memoirs - a knitted heart

Please e-mail me your addresses and I will get your gifts off asap.

I wished you could all have won - perhaps I could send a little something to all of you as long as there was no time constraint - it would keep me crafting and stop the back of the cupboard filling up wouldn't it? So for those of you who didn't win this time I might be in touch asking for your address at some time in the future!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Any more for the Skylark?!


Today is your last chance for my giveaway - I will be drawing the winner tomorrow night and posting results on Wednesday. If you haven't entered all you have to do is leave a comment on my post here before Tuesday night.


It's odd the things that trigger memories isn't it - this drain cover did it for me this morning - see it's made in the Forest of Dean in the town I lived in back in the 50's. Every time I see one of these covers I am back in the Forest aged about 10!

Another sky photo! The sky this morning was brilliant blue with fluffy white clouds as I walked along the old railway path through the cutting on my way home from yoga.

Finally - a huge thank you and a big welcome to all the new people who seem to have found my blog and who have left such lovely comments - I had more comments than ever before on my last post and each one was much appreciated and enjoyed.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A Walk in the countryside

Thought you might like to come with me on the walk I did today. I met a friend at the Craft Centre in the village of Broadwindsor and we walked to Leweston Hill. Leaving the village we passed this cottage with such fabulous hydrangeas...

I love the blue ones - aren't they stunning?

Our walk took us up through the fields to the woods - as you can see it was a day of sunshine and clouds but we were lucky and the rain kept off and most of our walk was in sunshine.

Looking back to Broadwindsor village - pity about those foxglove spires which are not particularly beautiful in the foreground.

As we entered the woods I turned back and this was the view.

More sunshine..

I love beech woods don't you? I can imagine this would be stunning at bluebell time.

Nearly at the summit and this was the view through the trees - pity the sun chose that moment to go in as that is the sea you can just see on the horizon!

A bit higher and you can see the sea better in the distance.

Looking down through the woods

Here we are at the top in the sunshine! At last it's level and will be all downhill from here onwards! The cafe at the Craft Centre awaits us for a toasted sandwich or some soup - boy were we ready for lunch. What better way to spend time than lunching with a friend after a good walk? Lovely.

You know how I love skyscapes by now so these last ones are of the fantastic cloud shapes we saw on our walk - isn't Nature wonderful?

PS Don't forget the giveaway on my previous post here if you haven't already entered.