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Showing posts from July, 2015

An Unexpected Fiber Arts Wall Hanging

This week, I went with my sister and nieces to a community coffee morning event at the village hall.  It happens every week and is a fund raiser.  As we sat with our tea and scones at a round table covered in a pretty cloth, my eye was drawn to this fiber arts wall hanging.  I admit, I was surprised to find something so interesting casually displayed in this tiny rural village hall.  

I should think the piece is about 3 feet by 5 feet and it must contain just about every form of fiber art you can think of.  It is playful and vibrant and I spent ages being entertained by the creativity of each individual square.  I can imagine the love, care and smiles that went into each one!  I love the knitted title.  

The morning took another unexpected turn when someone set up a table selling homemade bread.  We bought this gorgeous loaf of pesto and stinging nettle bread.  We ate it for dinner with baked camembert and a glass of red wine.  It was delicious, with pesto swirled through the loaf and s…

Curry, Sewing And A Trip Down Memory Lane

I really should be going to sleep as it is late and I have to be up at 4am tomorrow but I wanted to write first.  I am currently in the Midlands with my sister.  My husband and I lived in this area when we were first married, 27 years ago and I have to admit it was a bit of an odd feeling driving through the pretty villages and seeing signs to familiar villages and towns.  I've spent most of this weekend at a water sports lake watching my sister, her partner and one of my nephews wake board.  

I had a great time out on the boat, generally getting in everyone's way and trying not to get too wet!  I love going fast!  I refused the gentle pressure to don a wet suit and have a go.  Excuse me, I'm from California, it is not warm enough here for me to remove clothing and get wet!  It was pretty awesome watching my 15year old nephew doing tricks on his board though.  And he did them with the biggest grin you ever saw permanently fixed on his face.  

When I wasn't on the boat, I…

Tea, Flowers And A Quick Walk At The Beach

One of the things I love about being in England is being able to get a good cup of tea pretty much anywhere you go.  At home in California, when I ask for tea with "truly, just a splash of milk", I generally end up with a disgusting cup of tea scented milk and have to ask for them to remake my drink.  There is one Starbucks I go to, where the Barista knows how I like it, but she only gets it because she has a family member who lives in England!  But here in England, no explanations are necessary.  If I ask for milk in my tea, it either comes in a cute little jug for me to add or is added by the Barista who instinctively knows the right amount - brilliant.  

Also, everywhere you go there are tea shops, cafes and coffee shops that serve good tea and coffee.  They are in galleries, museums, side streets, department stores, cathedrals and castles, on street corners and railway stations.  If you visit a historic site you can almost guarantee there will be a nice little cafe with g…

Silk Painting

I wish I could say this is a project I've been working on but it isn't!  My sister in law makes beautiful lamp work beads and these gorgeous handprinted silk scarves.  I love spending time with her but with me in California and her here in England, it doesn't happen as often as I'd like.  You can find her blog here.  This week I watched her paint these two lovely nature inspired scarves in her conservatory, surrounded by swathes of flowers in the garden and watched by her large black cat.  These butterflies are swallowtails found in Norfolk where she had just been on vacation.  

The butterflies are outlined with a transparent resist called gutta. This prevents the fabric paints from bleeding.  There is still sometimes a little feathering but it is part of the process and look.  Painting the silk is much like watercolor painting.  There is a lot of water used.  The paints dry into softer shades than when wet. 

Ruth sells her scarves and jewelry through local boutiques and…

Cambridge, England

I spent last weekend in the historic town of Cambridge.  My daughter is studying art for a few weeks at one of the colleges and I went to visit her on Sunday, her only day without classes!  She is having an awesome time and learning so much.  I am pretty envious.  When I was trying to find somewhere to stay in Cambridge while we were still home in California, I discovered that you can stay at the actual colleges!  So I got to stay in a tiny dorm room with an even tinier bathroom BUT I was in a college that dated from the 1400's with a view of old softly colored stone buildings and a beautiful little garden.  It was perfect.  

This was part of the view from my window with Charles Darwin perched on that bench!  I wish I could say I was staying actually in that old building but sadly my dorm room was in the new block behind it!  

I spent Sunday wandering around this beautiful city with my daughter, going into churches, museums and little shops.  We ate street food and homemade nutella …

Three Days In Scotland - A Picture Post

I have spent the last few days in Scotland and it has been lovely.  My memories of previous trips have been mainly of grey, wet weather but this trip was mostly dry with only a few grey moments.  We even saw the sun!  I was in the Border country where the countryside is gentle and green.  It was beautiful everywhere I looked.....this, for example, was the view from my bedroom window, the evening I arrived.  

One of the perks of being on vacation is being brought a cup of tea in bed in the mornings!  In Scotland, even in the Borders, it is light till late at night, not properly dark till about 11pm and then light again by about 4am!

We had one rainy morning but it was showery and we went out anyway, to this Abbey where Walter Scott is buried.  The Abbey dates from the 1100's!  It is very quiet and evocative.  I loved exploring it.

This grumpy angel caught my eye!  I had to wonder about the person who carved it.

Later that same day the sun came out and we visited this fortified tower.  …