Tuesday, 27 April 2010

ancient crafting


It is that time of the year again, when sunny (or not so sunny) week-ends mean camping in our mini camper:
We were joined for breakfast by some feathered friends (but we didn't tell them what was on the menu):

And we stumbled across an Anglo-Saxon village: a recreation in West Stow Country Park.

It was like stepping back in time, though I have no doubt that the past was much dirtier and smellier that this! It was possible to step into the reconstructed houses, and one was a weaving room, with plant dyed skeins of yarn hanging on beams and lots of weaving looms:

I decided that I would stick to the present, despite the tempting idea of all that crafting... there would be a lot of back breaking work as an anglo-saxon maiden! And, heck, all the plant dyes in the world do not produce as lovely yarn as this:

On our way back to London, we stopped at a pub, and opposite that pub was an old forge with a sign on the door that said open... and inside that forge there was lots of yarn lovelies for sale hand-dyed by Paula at The Yarn Gallery (do check her stuff out!). Aha, time to get that spindle out again, and reconsider sock knitting.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

No Large Scale Production Awaited .

Interim report

I think I could speed up with practice ... but whether I'd want to take up peg doll making on a regular basis is another matter . The alacrity with which I shot out of the door to wander round town and have a beer on a sunny terrace probably answers that ( mind you , sunny or not , it was cold ) .

But it was fun to rummage around and see what I had that was tiny enough to decorate them with .... though rather alarming to realise that I'm still a Scot at heart . The Tartan Army football supporters' bunnet on Doll One was unintentional .... I had been aiming for a little Gallic beret .

And , on a more cultural level , the Judi Dench book is good , I'm enjoying it , though her sheer niceness is chastening to those of us who are less so . The C.Ds are all good , including an odd handful picked up in the library . Just one thing : If you ever have the opportunity to listen to the Willie Nelson c.d. , "Naked Willie" , be sure to be sitting down before his rendition of "Bring Me Sunshine" . If you happen to be standing in the kitchen , chopping an onion , it might take you by surprise , you might laugh till you hiccup and crafting fingers could be at risk .

Friday, 16 April 2010

Endeavouring To Be Crafty


Having had this sort of week ( it's all relative , I know . My mad rush might be a walk in the park to you ! ) , which culminated in dropping a large bowl of Ratatouille on the carpet , I'm looking forward to a weekend of a bit of this and a bit of that . And a lot of this

C.D.s by old favourites like Cesaria Evora and Tito Paris , two Cap Verde singers of great charm , a really good North African selection including Tarik Lamirat's La Foule , the soundtrack of "The Chorus", and Mercedes Sosa . All easy-listening , all "hum-along-able" .

Plus a biography of Judi Dench whose fan I've been since I saw her in Zeferelli's Romeo and Juliet at the Old Vic in 1960 . And a couple of films which looked good , "En La Ciudad Sin Limites " , a fraught Spanish family drama , and "Sunshine Cleaning" , a strange American comedy about a cleaning company with a difference by the people who made "Little Miss Sunshine" .

Having just finished my umpteenth miniature quilt , I wondered if it mightn't be time to branch out craft-wise , so went to the library on the way home . There used to be a large Hobby section covering every thing from making greetings cards from the little envelopes tea bags come in ( seriously! It used to be BIG here ) to Photography via Dry-stone walling and Origami . Today I found 3 shelves of " Pimp Your Mobile Phone " and PomPom making and was directed downstairs to the Children's Section .
After a day spent with 2-4 year olds , I obviously lack the gravitas to be considered Adult . Anyway , I like the tree house in the corner .

The How To Crochet books still looked too difficult but I did find a copy of Vivienne Bolton's The Doll's House Decorator . The section on doll house dolls made me realise I had all this at home

so I seem to be making peg dolls this weekend . And you?

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Blossom and other signs of spring


Have spent the late afternoon sitting in the garden, enjoying those rays of sun at last, and the plum tree is shedding blossom like a snow cloud. This little chap by the pond is grinning on his 'hey ho, it is off to work we go' sort of way:

The pond has welcomed back the newts and the odd frog or two (they never breed in it, but just bask about in the sunshine - or the rain). The woodpecker has returned, and - although I have not yet seen his lady wife - a young juvenile is with him, rat-tat-tatting on the tree trunks and pecking at the fat blocks we have put out.

The camelia is flowering, though many of our plants did not survive the winter.

We appear to have lost three beauties so far, a rose, a passion flower and a plant whose name I never learnt but flowered prettily and kept the bees amused for hours. But what a fine excuse to find others to take their place.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Back In The Land Of The Living

Sonata :

Pinchito spices from Barcelona arrived in the post today from Smitonius . So chicken pinchitos (brochettes ) tonight then .

And lemons from Marcel's aunt's little farm in Corsica brought back via Husband will form a bed of lemon slices for baked mackerel tomorrow night .

Don't you love edible souvenirs !

Then , having spent all last weekend feeling decidedly peaky , and after a fraught week at work .... the boiler and power keep on dying and , even if we could entertain preschoolers in a freezing room , the lack of a telephone makes it illegal ..... I'm ready to PARTY !!

Well , Sonata-style anyway . I'll be sewing this evening , keen to finish this ....

which reminds me of this ( stained glass in a Haarlem cafe )

now I have a good look at it !!

And on Saturday a Collector's Fair beckons .

Have a good weekend ...