Thursday 9 August 2018

Rest and relaxation - harder than I imagined!

Post op

I went in to have foot reconstruction surgery two weeks ago; I suffered osteonecrosis when I was a teenager and had radical surgery, over twenty years of dancing and walking around left my foot in a very sorry state - and I am so grateful to the surgeon and hospital staff for their wonderful care. It is marvellous to live in a country where you get the health care you need without having to worry about the costs involved. So I find myself having to sit down and recover - which is harder than I imagined!

  yellow gerberas in blue vase
 E picked me up from hospital with the most beautiful bouquet of sunny yellow blooms, Gerberas and Yellow Roses to brighten the bedroom and here they are two weeks later still looking bright and beautiful. I love the contrast of the blue vase - and our home has the most delightful French doors that give such a great soft light for photography.
  My lovely place Recovery is so delightful - I finally had time to do a little painting - and what a beautiful spot to paint! I managed two canvasses: one was a still life of tulips I had photographed, once again the combination of cobalt and yellow the other was a fun butterfly using various shades of glitter. I managed to get most of the glitter on the canvass but was a little bit sparkly for a few days!
  Sweet peas and summer hat
 These delightful sweet peas were a get well soon gift and I am so humbled to receive so much kindness from friends and neighbours. Get well soon cards have overflowed from the mantle shelf to the dresser and visitors have been very frequent and welcome. It has surprised me just how hard it is to be on the receiving end of so much kindness, but it has certainly aided my recovery and made me feel appreciated.
  food journal This lovely bowl of fruit was a welcome thoughtful gift - the apricots were delicious. I am struggling with my diet at the moment - since discovering lactose is triggering my migraines I have been migraine free for a while. However, I forgot to mention it to a dear friend who invited us round for tea and cake - only to discover she had made a full afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones cream and jam! I was too embarrassed to 'make a fuss' I thought it would be ok, but the following day I suffered one of the worst bouts of migraine and sickness I had in years. So much so that it has made me frightened to eat a lot of things.  I now keep a food journal which has helped me track some of the foods - but I am still having digestive problems. I know that I was given strong antibiotics during my surgery so have been using probiotics. chocolate parcel
 Of course I could not live without chocolate - and the current trend for Veganism has made this a little easier as well as the food labelling laws. So my weeks of indulgence included a package from Montezuma's - organic, dairy free chocolate. This is sublime and I find I don't need to eat that much to satisfy the craving now and then. I've since discovered that there is a vegan chocolate factory not far from where I live! So it is on my 'to visit list' once I am mobile again.

  Little embroidery

 I am enjoying enchanting afternoons spent listening to radio plays while stitching - my winter embroidery is coming along - I have also found time to do some much needed hand sewing repairs to my clothes. It is such a calm, meditative practise that is fast becoming my preferred method. The sewing machine is not as accurate nor is it quite so relaxing.


 Mr Barnykins has been really enjoying his time with a wonderful local dog walker - I think she gets far more fuss when she arrives than I do, but then I am here all the time at the moment. I think he is trying to pretend it was someone else who is responsible for the inside snowstorm! Happy Sunday.

Sunday 14 August 2016

Sunday 14th August 2016

Saturday breakfast

 Somehow, Saturday morning breakfasts are the best of the week, not only time to make these little scotch pancakes (they are low GI and wholemeal!) but all the lovely promise of two days to enjoy.

We went on with our local to Glorious Goodwood Ladies Day, it was a beautiful morning - I think I enjoyed seeing the outfits more than the horses. This red dress really caught my eye - these sisters were enjoying pimms before the racing. Unfortunately, after an hour of sunshine the rain set in! At one point we could barely see the horses! I came home with the same money I left with - having only lost one bet! which was quite an achievement.


 My cucumber is really doing well - the fruits are enormous! We are investigating a couple of recipes for preservation - it would be nice to enjoy the freshness for as long as possible. My tomato plants are also giving a few ripe fruits - delicious and sweet. It has encouraged me to buy some winter cabbage and spinach seeds to see us through the winter. The veg box I bought a couple of weeks ago is still going strong - with a few fattening leeks among the seeding herbs.

We took a trip to Little Woodham in Gosport - it is a delightful little living history village - populated by re-enactors of the mid 16th Century. More on this visit soon.


 We are enjoying having the Aga - it is our only cooker - it's gentle heat is always welcome - despite the summer our kitchen remains pleasant. I decided to try a cooked cheesecake recipe - as the warming oven is perfect.

I find that if you cook the biscuit base with the cheesecake it comes out all soggy - so I made the cheesecake first then added the biscuits to the top.
  Cheese cake Aga

 It might look a little messy, but it takes delicious!
  Breakfast poached peaches

 Mr D made some poached peaches for breakfast on Sunday... enough to bring the sunshine for the rest of the week.

Little Sausage dog Pincushion

sewing items sausage dog pincushion
 Oh how I am missing the Great British Sewing Bee... Heather's lovely little sausage dog pincushion was always sitting next to her sewing machine. When I saw the patten in Love Sewing Magazine I decided to make one of my own Sausage dog pincushion 3  
 I had some lovely pink tweed left over from a project I made 6 years ago! As the pattern was for a door stop, I decided to decrease it a little. Everything is so much easier to hand sew - especially when you are working with tiny fiddly pieces like the head gusset and tiny ears. Sausage dog pincushion 8
 I decided to embellish him a little with some lazy daisies and fly stitches along his back. Sausage dog pin cushion 7
He is a very friendly chap!

Tuesday 11 August 2015

1940's wedding dress
 I visited the D Day museum last week and thought I would show you a lovely exhibit; this lovely wedding dress is a good example of clothing that would have been usual for 1940's women. It would have been home made, either by the bride or someone in the family, and most likely from parachute silk.
  Bodice section 1940's wedding dress

 It is a simple design with a central panel - it is so nice to be up close to a dress that is not couture (as many on the internet are), for me it is an example of what ordinary women wore - more home spun, in design and technique and therefore more exciting in some ways. 1940s wedding dress with matching bag

 You can see the machine stitching on the bodice, the gathers are small however, this dress has a long train and long sleeves, which may indicate it pre-dates clothing rationing. I did not wish to touch the fabric as it was on display - so I could not guess if this was parachute silk or rayon - you can just make out the patterning. The little bag is such a lovely addition - someone put a lot of love and attention into making the dress for a bride who married in 1944. With the invasion imminent it was tricky to organise a date for the wedding, but this bride managed to do so before her husband went to France

. 1940s Wedding dress

 The bag and the train have these beautiful little pearl beads - which would have been difficult to get hold of during war time. It does make me wonder if this dress was made before the war and re -modelled - wedding dresses were often lent or borrowed during the war as fabric was rationed and was scarce. Usually a bride would dye the wedding dress after the wedding so she could get more wear out of it. So while this dress looks very simplistic it is quite a rare find as many dresses would have been re-purposed after the event.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Friday 17 October 2014

A peek at the studio

I am in the process of setting up a new studio, which is very exciting, but first I thought I would share my little studio space I have in my small flat.

My first studio was a large summer house at the bottom of the garden, I was studying at the time and my children were teenagers so it was the easiest way to find sanctuary to write my essays! 
It was featured in Prima Magazine and I was very proud of it. 

This beauty holds zippers, sequins and metallic embroidery threads.

When I moved to my little flat I decided that the second bedroom would make a great studio. 
I had a magnificent find in a charity furniture shop, three large Ikea bookshelves for £30! 

They run almost the whole length of the wall, 
but it makes it ideal to keep lots of things close and handy. 

I love books, here is a small part of my crafty ones

I have a large selection of crafting books, the oldest one is from the 1930's 
I love to be inspired by craft books although I struggle to follow a pattern
Usually I adapt it in some way. 

I am a huge fan of beautiful boxes, I like everything neat and tidy 
but labels are essential when the boxes all look the same! 
these contain paper, birthday cards and embellishments 
the wooden case holds pastels.

You can just get a glimpse of the wicker picnic baskets at the top of the shelves, 
I have a whole basket of felt. 
I love jars, and embellish them with glitter and glue before storing 
buttons and bows. 
The vintage quality street tin contains a lot of crayons
and the basket has a lot of cherry blossom 
flowers for a project I have in mind. 

This little wicker basket set is perfect for all the clutter bug stencils 
and the boxes alongside hold computer leads for my embroidery machine, 
and pots of acrylic paints.

The big oval contains a huge muddle of bias binding and ribbon
the suitcases contain zips, Rubber stamps, embroidery wool, 
felting fleece, gadgets and gizmos. 
The pretty shoe boxes contain some vintage sewing items and metallic pens. 

The large box at the bottom is where I keep magazine cuttings of inspiring pictures, 
the two books store all my sewing machine accessories like feet, bobbins and frames. 

Button tins, sewing boxes and cutter bug all jumble together. 
The small tins store buttons, cable needles and feathers! 

I like to keep things in boxes so that they are handy when I am in the middle of something. 
I have most of my fabric and other larger items in storage, 
so I am able to work in a clear space. 

The walls of the studio are white and the wall opposite has a large mood board 
for things that inspire me. Photos from holiday, quotations 
together with postcards and cards that are like small works of art. 

I also have a large corner desk that takes up about a third of the little room, 
with a lovely northern light. 

I would be interested to see your little workspace... 

ttfn xx 

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