Thursday, 28 April 2011

Red, White and Blue

Hello! Just popping in with a quick patriotic post, caught up as I am in the Royal Wedding fever around here! I just had to stitch a little red, white and blue heart for the occasion...And I found a set of Waving Flags just popped themselves into my shopping trolley this week...
    I have made my set of Royal Wedding cupcakes (quite a relief to have got these done safely!) 
 This little box of paper cases, crowns and flags came from Accessorize who had some gorgeous souvenirs (I loved their beautiful silk cushion with postcardy print too)... I had to be very careful with the production of the royal cakes as they are going to be taken to a party tomorrow after the wedding....
          Here they all are, safely tucked into a tin and now in the fridge - adorned with crowns and flags!
In the garden I found we actually already had some red, white and blue flowers to make a sweet royal posy.
I'm off to hang some more bunting now! I am looking forward to the wedding very much, and I wish Prince William and Kate a wonderful day and the happiest of happy lives together. If you are watching the royal wedding tomorrow, have a lovely time and a great weekend!! Back soon xxxx

Monday, 25 April 2011

In and Out of the Garden

Hello! I hope you've had a very happy  Easter weekend! We've been enjoying the sunshine and the garden, as I hoped...though on Saturday it turned grey and chilly so we thought our Easter tea party scheduled for Sunday might end up being indoors....but no, it was sunny again next day! We had lots of the family here, all different ages, and lovely to see everyone.....
We put the gazebo up so there was shade for those who needed it, and if they felt chilly they could move into the sun...We had tea and cake, with especially lovely cupcakes made by Sarah, she learnt early how make her cupcakes rise in their cases just the right amount, unlike my more unpredictable ones which can be anything from just to the top of the case to a pointy witch's hat.... I took the picture below before the cakes arrived with Sarah, Gareth and family (Daisy wearing bunny ears, Charlie wearing bunny mask), so the cake stand is ready and waiting...
During the afternoon everyone had to walk down the bluebell path to see the newly painted potting shed..
It's a real little hideaway, and somehow feels very peaceful even though it's not really far from the house....
The flowery bunting was still up to celebrate the spring and Easter weekend (next weekend it will have to be the Union Jack bunting, I think)....
....and today I did a bit of sewing....this is the very beginning of the quilt I'm making for Daisy's first birthday at the end of May...daisy flowers appliqued to the central panel, to be surrounded by patchwork....
I love the idea of making a quilt for a child's first birthday because by then they have 'become themselves' - their little personality has begun to show and you can make something  to suit them...Daisy already loves flowers, and had to be stopped from eating daisies on the lawn yesterday....
I hope you are still enjoying lovely weather, spring flowers and Easter eggs... Thanks for popping in here - have a lovely week! xxxxx

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter Time

Hello! We have a new bunny hopping on here today - an Easter bunny called Daffodil. She's the very last of this year's spring bunnies - sewn from lemony yellow linen, with a special dress for Easter and as it's so warm she doesn't need a little knitted cardigan like most of the other bunnies had....
            And you might also spy a little bit of my current favourite fabric (flower sugar) for Daffodil's ear linings....
I've been getting ready for Easter, buying the eggs and the other Easter treats, tidying the house and the garden for visitors and enjoying the flowers, like the mass of bluebells suddenly blooming alongside primroses, daffodils, lily of the valley and various kinds of blossom - the garden scents are so lovely in the sunshine and all the colours so fresh and vibrant..... I'm looking forward to lots of garden days this weekend.
I love to bring bunches of bluebells into the house and put them in all sorts of different containers - it's always a nice surprise to see which ones suit them best....no need to buy flowers when there are so many in the garden to pick at the moment....
........and here, as it's almost Easter, is my little hen and egg mosaic ..... not our own hens, but holiday hens that I photographed in the Lakes, foraging about near our cottage....
                                             ....just a few more eggs of the chocolate kind? 
One more bunny picture, with one of the Easter egg cosies I made a few years ago for Crafts Beautiful magazine....I love making things from felt, and this set of three little cosies each had a different lining and a different cross stitch patch sewn on.....

Thank you so much for visiting me here and for your lovely comments which I so enjoy reading. I hope to pop back again over the next few days, but in the meantime have a very Happy Easter, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with sweet spring flowers, sunny days, blue skies and lots of chocolate eggs. xxxxx

Monday, 18 April 2011

Garden Days

Such a sunny and beautiful weekend we've had! Lots of time spent in the garden.... a little sewing of a new project while chatting and drinking tea.... a little pottering in and around the potting shed while listening to the birdsong and the bumble bees buzzing in and out of the blossom - so blissful....
and yes, a little painting of the potting shed went on too...it's not finished yet though so only a peek...several coats of undercoat, then one coat of farrow and ball in slipper satin so far.....a little trim to be added soon. Very kind Mr P made me a special edging which I drew onto a piece of wood and he cut it out and attached it......

                             And here is some of the apple blossom looking impossibly beautiful...
I often used to draw and paint blossom for spring greetings cards, and every time I see it I almost pick a sprig to take up to the studio and try and recapture it's delicate beauty with washy watercolours...
This week it's a garden theme workwise in my studio, so very appropriate this time...and my two new quilts are vey flowery ones as well....(I know I shouldn't really work on two at once but you know how it is when you get an idea and just can't wait to try it...) I hope you have a wonderful flowery week, thanks for popping in to see me! Back soon xxxx

Friday, 15 April 2011

Knitting and Tulips

Hello! Thank you everyone for your understanding comments this week about my roof being done, and the stress of having 'the men' around all the time !! I've now survived one whole week and am really looking forward to the weekend...we moved on from the crashing of the tile removal to the hammering and banging of the new roof batons today, but still a long way to go...anyhow, here is a little mosaic of the making of my lovely blue mohair cardi - from the beautiful balls of wool, to taking it away ( almost finished) to the Lakes in my new CK craft bag (an xmas pressy) - and then bringing it home sewn up but not pressed...and then finally finished, pressed and ready to wear....perfect for chilly spring days and nights.
If it doesn't rain tomorrow I'm planning to paint the potting shed at last...and to go out into the garden and enjoy the tulips without bumping into any workmen! The pink tulips above were some of my autumn plantings, and so are those little yellow ones (either they are dwarf ones or there's something wrong with them, does anyone know?) The pink tulips below were some I photographed a couple of weeks ago - all the flowers are almost over now...
The red and yellow tulips are my very own tulips from Amsterdam, brought back from a holiday there by my daughter Sarah.... The red ones are really big flowers that open right up in the sun.....I have some more special tulips I wanted to photograph too, but they were in a container right by the workmen and I didn't want to appear too weird going out there among them with my camera, so will have to show them next week!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend, with sunny days and  flowering blossoms, birdsong and blue skies...lots of happy plans and crafty times...Thanks for visiting me in my little spot...back soon. xxxx

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Keeping Calm and Making Things

After a very looong wait this year, it will soon be Easter at last and here are the little treat bags I've been making with the pretty fabrics I showed you a while ago. I got them at a local village quilt show, on a little stall, as a pack of fat quarters....I love the daisy one best.... I've made something else too but will save it for another post soon...
                       And why do I need to keep calm especially this week? Because of this.....
...our house is completely surrounded by scaffolding  because our old leaky roof is finally being replaced. It's sheltered this house for nearly 140 years but now it's past repairing, too many gales have caused too much damage and while the new tiles wait stacked up outside, the old ones are being noisily removed....
...sometimes I avoid the flying tiles and retreat to the bottom of the garden, to spend a bit of time in the peaceful potting shed...with some new garden treats from my daughter Sarah....and potting up new little geraniums I bought last week in Ambleside.....
.......enjoying all the flowers that have bloomed while we were away, too like this bowl planted with two shades of grape hyacinths and lots of violas....
...the workmen kindly moved all my pots away from the house to prevent them being damaged, and it's quite nice to see them in different parts of the garden for a change....
...this is my inspiring picture, made specially for me by my daughter Rosie...I've put it in the studio and I do believe it's working! Back to some designing now ( yes, for the shhh xmas projects for well prepared magazine editors, but don't worry I won't be revealing them for many months yet!!) ... I will also be sewing some more little Easter bags and working on two new quilts and knitting something new with some BIG wool...... Hope your week is sunny and happy. Back soon xxxx

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Lakeland Postcards

Hello! As you can see - I'm back! Back from a really lovely week in such beautiful countryside, and more daffodils than I have ever seen before...We had sunny walks almost every day (will show you the rain pix too!)..
This was our sweet little cottage, near Ambleside, down a long windy lane with a farm gate at the end that you had to open and close to go in and out....you could go for lovely walks straight from the cottage...
These are four pictures I took at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's house, where we've been many times over the years. I love to see the garden too. The vegetable patch looked pretty, the flower garden still quite bare but in the summer it's filled with blooms....there is a sheep pen too, and this little lamb was my favourite of all the (many) lambs I photographed this week, with its perfect little lamby face and pink ears....
 Beatrix Potter has always interested me, first because I loved her books, especially the illustrations, then because I found her journals and letters interesting to read and re read, and then because I discovered it was thanks to her that so much of the Lake District was protected from developers - she bought up lots of land and farms and bequeathed it all to the National Trust when she died...I can see why she chose to live at Near Sawrey - it's such a pretty, picturesque spot. We had a lovely sunny walk there after visitng Hill Top.
Now I have to be honest...this was the Lake District so it DID rain...for two days...and here are some rainy pictures, first the cloud and mist rolling in off the fells, then the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop with rain swilling down on it, and then a view of the dark cloudy rainy sky...and the final one of puddles...yes, plenty of puddles everywhere...muddy boots plodding down the lanes, wellies splashing through puddles...
Apart from wet walks, you can always stay out of the rain for a while and read, or knit...I finished off the blue cardi while I was away, and here it is having the buttons sewn on..the quilt is the one that came with us on this trip - this one doesn't have a very pretty name, it's just the Floating Four Patch Quilt....
Or you can go to a tea room out of the rain - mmm we always enjoy doing that, in fact we go when it's not raining too. This is our very favourite place for afternoon tea, Jumping Jenny at Brantwood, Coniston. It has wonderful food and a lovely location looking over Lake Coniston - well worth a visit.... we specially like going there in the autumn, when there is mist and wood smoke and it's sooo atmospheric...
Some treats to bring home for the family...we had lots of Kendal Mint Cake this week, it completely took over from the mini eggs for me...the Grasmere Gingerbread is famous and legendary with a secret recipe and I must say I've never tasted any like it any where else... 
                                                        Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
                                                       Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

A little bit of Wordsworth there which I thought of when I saw the daffys at Ullswater Lake, I like those lines more than the more famous ones now....

So, now I'm home again and lots of things to do, including some new Christmas designs (yes really) and lots of lovely blogs to catch up with reading! Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my last post and kind wishes for my little break. I do feel refreshed and will be back with another post very soon. Have a wonderful week, with sunshine, spring blossoms and happy days. xxxxx

Friday, 1 April 2011

Hearts, Flowers and Holidays

A few more hearts for you today...this one is a gardener's heart.... if you would like to use the same blue forget me not flower you can find it here... 

 And this little heart was inspired when I saw the adorable postcard-y fabric....I thought a little heart for a leaving gift would be nice - and the words could be whatever you chose of course, but I liked the idea of it being linked to the postal service in some way rather than the newer forms of communication.......

                                       All the fabrics in this post came from Fancy Moon here..

Here are the flowers promised in my post title....a little collection of some of my favourites, there are so many to choose from at the moment aren't there....This week it was so windy here I brought the big tulip pots inside to stop the leaves being shredded! I'll be showing the tulip pictures in a later post for a real tulip-fest (I hope!).......

And a holiday? Yes, tomorrow we are heading off to the countryside for a week's r and r. We'll be staying in a little cottage among the sheep dotted rolling green hills of the beautiful Lake District - a bit like the picture above by Beatrix Potter -  though we are hoping for better weather than this..... I've been gathering together all the things we take on our country holidays - knitting, patchwork, books, kindle, flapjacks, quilt.....oh and walking boots, wellies and waterproofs too....

We love our Lakeland holidays - the first time we ever went there together was in our teens when Mr P had his first car and we went for the day...quite an adventure then...


So I'll be a bit quiet this week and that is why! You can imagine me taking photos of the sheep and the daffodils and looking out for Peter Rabbit!

Thank you to everyone who has recently become a follower, and to everyone who visits me here in my little bit of blogland, and for all the sweet comments. I hope you all have a wonderful week, with sunshine, spring flowers, blue skies and lots of crafty times. Back in a few days! xxxxxxx