Saturday, 27 February 2016

connect with nature

Most of us have an affinity with something out there; most of us have a connection to lots of different things, using the one we need at a given point.  If  there could only be one, I'd have to choose nature - the sea, sky, earth. Sometimes, especially when my head feels as though it's about to explode, sea air can put it right. Even if it's only respite, that's ok, as often that's all that's needed to get back on track to make it OK. Lately there's been more need of that sea air and I'm so thankful for living where we do.  Not only are the beaches stunning, they're often isolated, but usually with a decent coffee shop somewhere close by.
Cullercoats Bay
Cullercoats Bay by Ray Campbell

Above is a painting of the bay I walked along yesterday - I did take a photo, but only on my phone and that's already on instagram!

As ever, there is not much in the way of original thought, and as I was thinking about all of this over the past few days, I came across this from Flow magazine 

Of course, this made me want to see lots more, so having trawled through their lovely illustrations and quotes, here are a few of my favourites:



It's so strange; this post is nothing at all like the one I had in my head when I came to write.  And I love that it changed; it reminds me that writing the words is an act of itself, and not simply a rehash of previous thoughts! My head is still unsettled, and that's ok too. I'm liking the work in progress.

P x

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Help is out there....

....if you look for it. And it often comes from unexpected sources.  Reading - and writing - has always been a constant, and I know there are others out there who feel the same.  Although I often hear people saying they no longer read blogs - they haven't the time, inclination, whatever - I find it difficult to make such distinctions. Something good to read is just that, no matter the format. 
Returning to this blog is helping on so many levels - photography, observation and just plain thinking about stuff! - but the one I'm enjoying the most to begin with is reading other blogs. It's a little like discovering old friends hidden away in a park; they (mostly) haven't gone anywhere, I just haven't been walking around the park for such a long time!

One of my all time favourite blogs has always been Annie's; full to the brim with good writing and amazing images.  What I find so strange is the length of time I've been not reading this blog; the amount of help that is just there, ready to go whenever needed.  But life is not a straight forward plot.  Hey ho, at least now it feels as though life is being regained.  My life. My reading.

Another help has been this magazine and along with just being a pleasure in itself, has a daily thought calendar. Just reading each one is a joy!

For now it's back to meetings about aged parents, but with the promise (to myself) that this is the end of it all for at least a week or two; luckily there are sisters who can take their turn.

P x

Monday, 15 February 2016

Out visiting

Having sorted, tidied, thrown out and prettified, it seemed time to start actually making something again. Now obviously there is a certain amount of fabric already in the sewing room, but nothing for a specific purpose - bought with a particular item in mind.  It would have been so very easy to look online at all the gorgeous fabrics and patterns, but sometimes you just need the tactile experience too! 
Luckily there are a couple of local fabric shops but I decided on this one.  Beverley has a good eye for colour and detail and also stocks some amazing patterns.

 In the image above are the fabrics and pattern I chose, along with some sewing magazines lent by Beverley for inspiration. Always a good sign.

Dotted around the shop are lovely little touches like this rabbit - which I'm pretty sure is one of Alicia Paulson's designs

The fabrics above are both cotton, but so soft and drapey; the feather pattern seemed perfect for a 
I've seen this pattern made up quite a few times on different blogs, and all worked out pretty well so fingers crossed.......

And if that wasn't enough to be getting on with, there's the prospect of gorgeous scissors that may be on sale the next time I visit:

I hadn't intended to make this post solely about the shop! Perhaps it's just a sign of renewed enthusiasm, and being carried away with it all. What I have found in these past few weeks, is how much easier it all is to keep things tidy and in their right place, when you're using all of it on a regular basis, which is not to say things are not getting messy! But a quick tidy up after or before any doing/making is working out just fine.

P x

Sunday, 7 February 2016


Having seen a couple of links to the new series of the Sewing Bee - with the announcement that May will no longer be a judge - it was pretty inevitable that I'd start thinking about my own sewing. Or non sewing as it turns out.  There has been quilting, but no real dressmaking or toymaking or anything much really..

Time to address this squarely in the eye. Is this lack of sewing due to external circumstances? bereavement is no easy trauma to recover from, but I always thought sewing could help me through anything. Maybe it's just sitting there waiting for me; when I'm ready it will be too.
Though maybe it's not that at all, maybe it's a seasonal thing?  Perhaps the light levels affect more than mood, and that sewing is more closely associated with bright (or brighter) days? 
Or maybe I just got bored/haven't found the right thing to sew yet.
And to be truthful, it's probably a great mish-mash of all of the above!

Whatever, it's starting to be a thing again; something I want to do.  Need to find the right project now, and that's fun anyway!

The sun has been out on this cold February morning, but Spring is definitely coming. This must surely be Pre Spring! It even felt totally natural to walk around the garden and cut a few little flowers.  Perfect for a windowsill:

P xx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The small joys......

.....are so often bigger than you give credit for.  A special mug, good coffee, a handmade star. 

Once some fabric is added into the day well, pretty much perfect.  

Which is definitely not to say it actually is all perfect, it's just that these small things are very much helping to make the day go well. The fabrics are slowly coming together to make a quilt and the colours are pretty much my favourites right now - especially that blue stripe with the red diamond in a square.  I couldn't call myself a quilter; I realise there is a true art associated with that word.  Mine are working projects; quilts to be used - often by small children with sticky fingers, or dogs who like to roll them around back gardens just so they get the requisite vintage look - immediately! So it doesn't disturb me too much if the seams are a little wonky or the squares don't match up perfectly.

The sun is shining, washing is on the line, and I have sewing to do.  Let's go.

P xx

Monday, 1 February 2016

Let's start.......

So, let's just do this. A start to the day and a new start for the blog.
I'll be honest, it's been a miss, but it's no use raking
over the reasons. But so very happy to be back!
P x