Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Posts about crafting have been few and far between this last week or so. I had last week off work and was so busy getting out and about hardly a stitch was made! I'll be telling you all about last weeks adventures in posts to come . For now though to round out the month there is just time to update you on some knitting progress. This fellow now has legs. I know, I know, my goal for the month was to have this guy finished and this is not much to show but some progress is better than none, right? I have also knitted one arm but it's not joined or stuffed yet so not in the pic.

There is probably less than an evenings work left to get this done, so I'm hopeful that he will be popping up here again soon all finished :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Had a week off work last week (even though I've only just been signed back, lol) and was very happy to be able to get away for a few days. At the beginning of the week went to the south coast and stayed in Studland for the night.
Had a lovely room at this great Inn, the Bankes Arms. Have stayed here just once before, last November, but it's already become a favourite place. A nice cosy traditional pub, with a open fire which roars away on cold evenings. The food is great and there is a good selection of local beer too.
If you enjoy getting out and enjoying the sea air, there are some lovely local beaches and just about 15 minutes walk up the coast path you get to Old Harry Rocks, a set of wonderful chalk cliffs which just fall away in to the sea.
The scene looks serene enough but the air is always filled with the sound of the hundreds of sea birds which inhabit the area. It was pretty overcast on this visit and started to rain not long after we reached the rocks. This is a shot taken out over the mist shrouded sea, if you take a good look you might be able to just make out a ferry in the bottom left corner! I visited at about this time last year too, take a look at my post back here, the weather was altogether different with brilliant blue skies. But I LOVE to walk in the rain so makes no difference to me I know I'll enjoy myself on these trips whatever the weather :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Siberian Gold - March Progress

As the end of the month is fast approaching I figured it was just about time for a Siberian Gold update. Here's where I got to by the end of February
And this is now.
I'm pleased with the progress, the second tiger's head is really starting to take shape. I'm not sure exactly how much will get done next month as I have a whole stack of other things that I want to work on (and the list gets longer every day, lol) but the very next time I pick up the needle this second tiger is going to get an eye. It's starting to freak me out looking at that blank space every time I pick this up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Inspired by .....

In a recent issue of National Geographic there was a great article about carnivorous plants and it featured some absolutely fabulous photographs of a few of these weird and wonderful flora.

So I was inspired to have a go at some flower photography of my own. Ok so I don't have access to lots of exotic plants and neither do I have an expensive camera and set of lenses which were no doubt used to capture the amazing magazine images but these are my first efforts.

While they may not be worthy of gracing the pages of National Geographic it was a fun way to while away some time and something to build on and try and improve with practise.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Playing in the Sun

Last week we had some really beautiful weather for the time of year and I couldn't resist an afternoon in the garden playing in the sun.
The Greenman has a new but ancient friend, a little Gorgon plaque that I couldn't resist bringing home with me from my visit to the Roman Baths a couple of weeks ago.
My garden isn't huge and I certainly don't have green fingers so we made it a low maintenance garden but there is one plantable border. Couldn't decide whether to try growing veg again this year as had some good success with that a couple of years ago but in the end decided to go with some flowers. Seeds were sown on this sunny afternoon, we'll now have to wait to see if they grow :) While I was digging over the border I found this collection of discarded snail houses.
After the digging and sowing was done there was still plenty of time for sitting and enjoying the sun, as looked up back toward the house I had an audience watching my gardening efforts.
There is nothing that says home to me more than the sight of a kitty or two sat at the window.
It wasn't long before all the whiskered ones joined me for some rolling around in the sunshine.
My cats spend most of the time inside, the two white brothers especially are very timid and get spooked easily, but I love seeing them outside enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.
And on this perfect blue skies and sunshine day I spotted my first ladybird of the year. Not a great shot as he was scuttling along the top of the fence and wouldn't stay still enough for me to get him in focus but I had to include it none the less.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Local Walking - Canal Path Nature

As promised here is the second installment from my mist covered walk down the canal path a while back.

Isn't it amazing how mist covering even the most familiar of paths changes things, makes the walking experience totally different, like by stepping through the misty veil you might discover a whole new world, just like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.
You might remember these trees. I think they are handsome whether covered in snow, mist or sunshine.
No matter what the season or weather tree gazing is one of my favourite things to do while out walking. I often have to remind myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other else I'd end up standing still for hours mesmerised but the web of branches, leaves and patterns of light.
The path can get busy at the weekend on a sunny day but if you go at this time of year you will most likely have it to yourself for the most part. This dog walker was the only other person I saw on my walk. I managed to give the poor fellow a near heart attack though. I was kind of perched in a tree trying to photograph a wonderful cluster of mushrooms and he didn't see me until I stepped out and gave him an unintentional fright.
My mushroom photos sadly didn't turn out great, it was difficult to get an angle on them which didn't include a bright sky behind which washed them out a bit. But I'm not too disappointed, part of the fun of photography is trying to learn from things that don't quite work and to try and improve next time, we can't all be great at everything we try :) I do like this shot of some freshly felled tree trunks though. I'm wondering whether it would be nice in black and white too - I really must take the time to learn some basic photoshop skills!
I'm pretty sure I've told you about the fat squirrels that live down this path, stealing food from the bird feeders that have been put up. This fellow made me smile hiding in the branches thinking I couldn't see him. He kept one eye on me all the time making sure I behaved myself.
While the first squirrel had me smiling this squirrel butt had me laughing out loud. I had a little peek in the tree trunk after he'd disappeared and he had a whole stash of nuts and seeds in the hollow, if he's not careful his bum might get too big to fit in the hole!
I spent ages trying to get some good bird shots too but again failed miserably. In particular I wanted to try and get a shot of a gorgeous little nuthatch which was hopping round the feeders but the one time he stayed in place for a while I was so zoomed in on my camera I couldn't find him on the viewfinder and by the time I zoomed out and in again he'd gone :(
I gave up on the bird shots and carried on my walk, the path was just looking so beautiful shrouded in mist. I like how the trees are ghostly in background of this one and the reflection of the gate in the water.
Some bits of the water had frozen over trapping vegetation beneath and creating wonderful surface patterns. I love the perfect circle in the corner of this picture.
I'll finish with a few more random shots from the walk, I could go on forever it really was a beautiful day but I'm sure you've had enough of my rambling for today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I signed up for a postcard swap with a 'Faces' theme a little while back. I try not to sign up for a swap unless several ideas come to me when looking at the theme. I'm sure I must have had lots of ideas when I joined but when it actually came to the making my mind went blank and I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. The other day I was rifling through my fabric boxes looking for something totally unrelated and all of a sudden it just came to me. So I grabbed some fabrics, started cutting and Medusa was born.
I cut face motifs and snakes from a couple of different fabrics and fused them to a background.
I added random stitching to a few of the snakes with some lovely silk thread which has a beautiful sheen to it when caught in the light.
And lastly stamped out the Medusa label on some scrap fabric, and voila all done. Here are all the cards laid out together. The one at the bottom on the lighter background fabric was the first one I made, I decided that I wanted the background to have a bit more drama than that first fabric provided so the rest of the backgrounds I cut from some of the fabric I dyed a few weeks back.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Local Walking - Wilts and Berks canal

It's been a few weeks since I had a post about local walking so I thought it was about time I rectified that. I'm cheating a little today though as this walk is one that I've posted about many times before in different guises.
Close to the housing estate that I live on runs the route of what used to be the Wilts and Berks canal. The canal has long since been abandoned but over recent years a group of volunteers from the Canal Trust have started to restore sections.
These first two pictures are some parts of what remains of Pewsham Locks. (You might be able to tell it was a misty day when I took these pictures). Work is well under way in the clearing and restoration of this part of the canal.
There are also other parts of the canal, like 'Double Bridge' above which have been fully restored. And a few sections, like this which have been cleared and then refilled with water, giving a real sense of what the canal used to be like.
Couldn't resist a snap of these lovely orange bricks which were starting to light up in the sun as its rays burnt their way through the morning mists.
As the volunteers work on clearing the canal way I guess they unearth all sorts of things and there is a bag of rusty loveliness sat on the side of the path (a couple of these pieces are now sat in my back garden as I thought I'd have an attempt at some rust dyeing soon).
This is a walk that I will return to many times in the coming months, not only because it is so convenient being right on the doorstep, but also because of the work that is being done, there is always something new to be seen as the landscape changes with the progression of the restoration work.
As I've mosly concentrated on bricks and mortar in this installment, I'll be returning to this walk in another post in the not too distant future to share some of the wonderful nature and landscapes of the walk.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

At the Machine

Not much going on round here in the creative stakes the last few days. But my sewing machine did get a recent work out making some curtains for my sister's new place.
Nothing fancy just a huge piece of voile that needed some hemming. It's quite theraputic to sit at the machine for a while and let your brain switch off for a while, while stitching a few straight lines.