Friday, April 30, 2010

Siberian Gold - April Progress

I have been slowly working away on the tigers again this month. As a reminder here is where I left off in March
And this is where I'm at now.
A fair amount of progress but not as much as I had hoped, there just doesn't seem to be time to fit in everything I want to do at the moment :) Still the second tiger now has a complete eye and nose and his head is starting to fill out. It would be nice to try and get the rest of this section filled in in the coming month but I have a tonne of things to sort out at home in preparation for moving house so we'll see.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Woolstone and Waylands Smithy

As promised this post is about the second half of the walk we did around Uffington last week. The pretty country lane that I showed at the very end of the last post led to the little village of Woolstone. There were some magnificent thatched buildings in the village but when I got back and downloaded my photos I realised I hadn't taken any pictures of them, doh!
Never mind that will give me something to do when I go back next time. I do have plenty of pictures to share of the village church though.
The church was open and we were the only visitors so we got to have a good look around. I picked up a really interesting information leaflet all about the history of the church and was going to share it with you, unfortunately I forgot to take the leaflet out of my trousers before they went in to the washing machine!! Anyway you can read a little about the villages history here and it has a couple of details on the church.
About the only thing I can remember from the leaflet I read is that this font is apparently very unusual because its made out of lead.
There were plenty of wonderful things to see in the church I really liked this carved stone statue, but my favourite thing was the church organ which was magnificently lit in the sunlight streaming through one of the church windows.
I love the rich colours in this close up shot
but I thought that all the shadowing might make a good black and white shot too, so I had a go at converting it and liked how it came out and then couldn't decide which one to share so I thought I'd just go with both.
After wandering round the village and church, we headed out to another lovely feature on the Ridgeway, Waylands Smithy a long barrow burial site. Waylands Smithy is one of my favourite places in the world, it's just so serene and nestled in a grove of magnificent trees it is a magical place to visit.
There was only one other visitor at the time we went and the beautiful weather made the visit all the more magical.
The perfect place to rest weary walking feet after a wonderful few hours romping through the countryside.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The knitting is finished. If you have been reading for a while you have probably figured out that I love rock music, so when I saw this Marilyn Manson doll I just had to make one of my own :)
It was a really easy pattern to make, which is probably a good job as I only have basic knitting skills. Anyway I love how he turned out, so much fun!
In the original pattern he has a ring through his nose but I didn't have anything small enough so swapped it for a safety pin, I might swap it out for a ring eventually though. I wonder how Marilyn would feel about knowing he is available to knit, lol! Knitting and rock and roll are not two things easily associated with each other, but that's another reason that I just loved the idea and had to make my own Marilyn.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


In my last post I mentioned the walk in the sunshine that I took, so I figured I should share with you a few snaps I took along the way.
Visited the beautiful chalk down landscape around Uffington which forms part of the Ridgeway. It really is a fantastic landscape steeped in ancient history. There is a wonderful white horse carved in to the hill side. It's difficult to get a full view of it though. This is the best shot I managed, lol.
To see a proper view of the horse take a look here. Standing on top of the horse on a beautiful blue skies day the view is amazing. In this next shot, you can see the eye and ear of the horse looking down over dragon hill and out over the landscape beyond.
On top of the hill you can also explore the ramparts of Uffington castle an iron age hill fort. My picture of the ramparts doesn't really show them in their full grandeur but I had to get a shot of the bit that was covered in sheep :)
There were hundreds of cute sheep grazing the hill on the day we visited. It was fun to pretend I was a shepherdess tending her flock in the magnificent sunshine for a while :) Also reminded me that I must get on and work on my sheep sampler too.
This little expedition took place the other day on an afternoon off work. We did this walk which as well as exploring white horse hill took in some beautiful countryside, a wonderful village full of thatched roof cottages, and the magical Waylands Smithy long barrow (one of my favourite places). I'll tell you a bit more about that part of the walk another time. For now here is a quick peek at one of the beautiful country lanes that we strolled down.

Knitting Again

After a week or two of feeling a bit wishy washy I can feel the melancholy lifting. Had an afternoon off work and went for a beautiful walk in the sunshine which really lifted my spirits. I'll share some pics from the walk another time.
In the meantime I've picked up the knitting again, hopefully I'll be sharing the finished article soon :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hide and Seek

The lack of energy for stitching seems to be creeping in to other things, like blogging! I have tonnes of pictures to share from recent adventures in London, Birmingham and around the West Country but no time and energy to write the words that go along with the pictures.

For now I'm just going to share this snap of a cute cow playing hide and seek behind an altogether too small tree. Yes Daisy I can still see you! Well it made me smile anyway :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coming Along

I'm still in a bit of a slump when it comes to anything stitchy. Not sure why, partly I think because the evenings are lighter and the sun has been shining so I've been wanting to get out more, partly because I have so much 'real life' stuff to sort out as I mentioned in the cat squares post its sapping me a bit. I think the achievements on the To Do List are going to be few and far between come the end of the month.
I have managed some progress on what I wanted to do on the hexagons pillow though. All the rows are now joined together :) I think I'm going to add a small black border as I don't want to loose any parts of the hexagons. The border was the second part of my goal on this for this month, I'm not sure it's going to be achieved as I might need to go buy some fabric as I don't think I have a piece of black big enough, haven't had time to properly measure what I need though so we'll see.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Live Music

At the end of last month we got to go to a couple of great gigs so I had another chance to practise with my camera.
I'm a little disappointed with my efforts, especially at the Quireboys gig as we were right at the front in a really small venue so practically standing on the stage with the band (infact we were able to steal a couple of the left over bottles of beer that the band left on stage!).
Going to see the Quireboys again in a couple of weeks and have another couple of shows lined up too so there will be more opportunity for me to practise.
I have to confess that even after all these months I still haven't read the manual that came with the camera so I guess I really should as that might help me in getting some better shots in low light conditions.
Of all the shots I think that this one might be my favourite, I just love the fact that it's just a big blur of hair and light and movement :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More than just fabric and stitches

I can't seem to get focused on the things on my stitching 'To do list' this month. I have a lot of things on my mind and the 'real life' decisions that I have to make have been leaving me feeling quite drained. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to live a life of escapism? I would happily live in 'stitch world' forever :) But as much as I like to pretend I'm still a kid, part of being a grown up is facing up to things that are wrong and working hard to put them right rather than just hiding or running away. But I'm happy to say that I think the biggest decision has now been reached and it is likely that I will be moving house soon, so exciting times ahead :) The one thing that has seen a little work is my cat squares cushion. This was the first ever patchwork project I did many years ago now. It was before I took my basic patchwork course at college, I had no idea what I was doing and it shows in the results, lol. I just had this pile of kitties that I'd cross stitched and nothing to do with them so figured I'd make them in to a cushion.
The blue fabric is some sort of heavy weight cotton that I picked up at the local furnishing store all the squares were hand cut and hand stitched, no measuring or marking which is why everything is all over the place. Well some of the kitties whiskers are now hanging off and the fabrics are getting pretty beat up so I've been wanting to try and revamp these poor kitties for a while.
So the cushion has now been unpicked and the process became pretty symbolic for me given where I am in life at the moment. In my mind this old familiar piece became a representation of my history, my old life. The stitches became representative of my memories, so the unpicking was like shifting through hundreds of memories, remembering laughter and tears. Gradually the layers have been stripped away and I'm left with all the good reusable bits. Just like the kitty squares my memories may be a bit faded and tattered round the edges, but they have helped shape who I am today. And just like me these fragments are ready for some new fabric to join them back together and make them whole again.

Now to decide exactly what that fabric will be ......

Friday, April 16, 2010

Local Walking - Commuting to Work

Before I took on the job role that I do now, I used to walk to work 4 or 5 times a week. My offices are about 3 miles away from my house so it used to take about an hour each way. Now I need my car I don't get to walk very often, but last week my car was off the road so I decided to make the most of it and walked to work in the sun. Of course my camera came with me.I didn't have too much time to stop and look for photo opportunities but here are a couple of shots I took along the way.
It made me realise how much I miss the freedom of being able to walk in if I choose. These days I only have one day out of five that I'm totally based in the office (and even on this one day I sometimes have to go out on emergency appointments).
Just also wanted to take the opportunity to respond here to an anonymous visitor who left a comment on my last Local Walking post, who asked whether I have to take the car to get to the local walking spots. The local stuff that I have posted so far has been a mix, some of the walks I can do right from my door step. The 2 that I have to drive to, Castle Combe and Cherhill are about 20 minutes in the car.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vintage Brooch

Ooops, I've deviated from this months to do list (progress on which is very poor so far this month). I was sitting in the sun in the garden on Saturday and just couldn't bare having idle hands so put together this quick vintage style brooch. A few scraps of fabric, felt and lace, finished off with a button and brooch pin. Possibly the fastest textile project I've ever made!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

At work

Some of you might know that over the last couple of months I had some time off work due to ill health, well now I'm back and that means I don't have time for the same amount of walking as I have been doing so there is a little less to blog about.
Just for fun I thought I'd take my camera to work and try and capture a few images. This is a picture of the office building I work in. It looks almost nice sandwiched between a blue sky and the sunlit lawn! Actually the location of the office is quite a nice place to be when the sun is shining. We even have our own pond. Last year the company put in some decking and some new benches so on a sunny lunchtime you can sit out and enjoy the view.
As for inside, well the building is over 10 years old now and starting to show it's age so is currently getting a revamp, we're having lots of bright colours and new office furniture. They haven't gotten round to doing my part of the building yet though. Here is my rather messy desk.
What can I say ... I'm a naturally messy person I couldn't work in a totally neat and tidy area it would just confuse my poor little brain :) As you can see my love affair with orange continues even at work. We order our files in multi coloured packs so every time a new stationary order arrives I go steal the orange ones, lol.
I just had to share a shot of the ladies too. It's one of the rooms that has recently been redone and I love the new sinks they put in. I want one! :) The purple colour is nice too, beats the plain white that was there before.
The job role that I do means that I am not entirely office based, so I'm hoping to plan in some appointments soon that will mean I'm in some of the local villages for my lunch breaks. The idea will be to take my camera along so I can still share some of the local area with you even though I'm back working full time. We'll have to see if it works this space.

Monday, April 12, 2010

At home

I haven't been able to get out and about as much as I would have liked the last couple of weeks. After spending out at the stitch show sods law dictated that soon after I was hit with a hefty repair bill for my car, then all the usual household bills came flooding in, so no money for going anywhere too far from home at the moment. Still we can't do everything we want all of the time.

I thought I'd keep myself amused for an hour or so wandering the house with my camera to see what I could come up with. So here, in no particular order, is a little peep in to my world.