Monday, 28 December 2009

My First Real Journey With Applique and Madeleine Millington !!

"In The Summertime!!"

A very Happy Christmas to a very Special Girl !!

Near us is the little Moorland Town of Bovey Tracey .Over the years of my life it has had quite a significance. I once worked as a waitress in a restaurant there. My brother Norman celebrated his 21st birthday in the Dolphin Hotel and a few years later my Dads barns and Woodland were auctioned in the bar.
The Devon Guilds Of Craftsmen have an Exhibition Centre in the main street just by a watermill.

I love to go there. But be assured there are no bargains so just stroll awhile and enjoy. Doing just this I spied the works of Madeliene Millington
And inspired, I booked up for a course in Applique. It was wonderful and challenging!!
Arriving it was wonderful to see a wide range of ages.The course ran from ten 'til four. And then I came home and sewed until two o'clock in the morning  and when I awoke the next morning sewed all day--- I was seriously loving it !!!
And for my very special God Daughter the result of my first project that had many stages and much sweat and tears!!!
Anyway after help from friends and some serious tweaking I hope I have made a present which will last for a lifetime--- With a very special book tucked inside!!

So the first challenge was to find a Vintage Pure Wool Blanket. I remember them well on freezing winter nights before Central Heating. Tucking them under your arm and watching the patterns you could make with your breath on the freezing air just beyond your face. Sadly I had taken all Mums into the Charity Shop before I had heard of Madeleine Millington. Now friends are getting up early and scouring Boot Fairs for them !!
With so many different projects to choose from it was hard but Crazy Patchwork appealed!!

 My little God Daughter has a holiday home just outside Padstow and every day her Summer life is filled with beaches, Rock Pools, paddling,and all things Cornish accompanied by her big sister and wonderful family.
So I wanted to capture that in her cushion.

Initials to personalise it and a kiss for luck !

Little knitted Beach Huts with lovely Noro Wool.

Sun and seagulls to remind her of Treyarnon and Harlyn!

I can not tell you how many little stitches went into this but then the challenge was to change the piece of work into something she could enjoy!

And here is the cushion from the back. I so hope she enjoys reading and cuddling!

A change from my usual knitting and "hooking" activities!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Socks and surprises!! DefinItely not your usual Christmas pair -- Have a lIttle peek!!!

"Hey,Hey we're the Monkeys!!"

To be able to spend time in Spain "crafting" and creating is one of my greatest pleasures. Then I get all excited with the results and want to share them but often they are for very special presents for very special people so they have to spend quite a few months under wraps before I can place pictures here on my blog. Otherwise the surprise would be spoilt!! So here we have what I lovingly created with a pair of socks!!

We know a kind man in Spain who drives a posh car and has some Liberty ties. He was giving them away to Charity and I just thought of the monkeys!

It's hard to choose a favourite

The gang!

And then to join the gang there is Mathilda for someone very Special!

Yes, really I promise, they are all made with 1 pair of socks and lots of love !

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A one armed angel and a penguin has broken his legs!!

"Bits and Pieces!"

Having the loft insulated this year meant that Andy did not have to clamber up to the loft to rescue the Christmas decorations from their dark home. 
Their new place of residence made contemplating putting up the decorations so much easier.
We have had 34 Christmas' together and every year I delight when I open the boxes. I always forget some of the little treasures hiding inside. 
I am sure everybody is the same. so many of the decorations have stories and a history linking them to a loved one or a very special occasion. It is like meeting old friends. Some are looking so much worse for wear-- we have an angel with one arm and a penguin with two broken legs-- Well he only had one, but Andy thought he would look better evened up so he broke the other one as well!!
So our decorations are not a bit like the ones that grace glossy magazines they are not colour coordinated, follow a theme or sophisticated but they are put up with lots of love and hope, for another  Special Christmas.

I love Snowmen and have collected lots over the years. They sit in pride of place on the windowsill !

Some are very tasteful and some make me laugh!

I love flowers at any time of year but the mix of red and green really epitomises Christmas. 
Out in the cold two flower sellers were almost giving away these gorgeous flowers as they wanted to go home by the fire. 
The flowers themselves looked so cold but given a good drink and mixed with foliage they look so lovely

It would not be Chalky's World if a bit of "crafting " wasn't included at Christmas and I suppose in many ways this makes me very nostalgic. We have little knitted figures that were made lovingly by children in our classes. Lovely home made gifts from friends .And of course little gems which came home from school made by our lovely lot when they were little and they come out every year.

When we were first married we managed to buy a little tree but I remember having no money for decorations so I sat and made the little Santa's from scraps of felt. When I told my Mum about this she showed me the decorations she had made out of silver paper when she was first married and gave them to me. What wonderful memories of loved ones at Christmas time!

So Merry Christmas to one and all and my very best wishes to you and your loved ones in 2010!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Donkeys and Burdens !

" Little Donkey!"
When we visited the fascinating country of Morocco it was impossible not to be taken back in time. 
We booked everything ourselves because we wanted to avoid a Package Tour at a resort. 
We stayed in Fes in a Riad just outside the Medina gates.
I love animals and in the Medina there is no traffic or motorised vehicles. The Donkey or Mule is certainly the beast of burden.
Today I found myself singing "Little Donkey"  with Christmas being so near and I remembered the little donkeys in the Medina.

So Donkeys are still travelling and still carrying their"heavy loads!!"

The Holly and The Ivy!

" Hey Baby It's Cold Outside!"

Since our return we have been lucky enough to have had bright,crisp days with blue skies ! Of course we have also had minus temperatures all day!!!
So this afternoon wrapped up like an Inuit I ventured out around the garden looking for greenery for the house for Christmas.
 Of course the opportunity for some pictures was too good to miss.
 Because we have very few Deciduous trees in our part of Spain they always have quite an impact on our return to the UK.In April new leaves were just appearing and In October glorious Autumn colours. Now the dark silhouettes against the late afternoon sky led me to the Churchyard nearby - but my goodness "It was cold outside!"

Standing in the Churchyard just thinking how lucky I am to live in lovely villages I looked at the Church which holds many memories and it was so quiet and peaceful. Only a few days away from Christmas Eve when a Christingle Service and Midnight Mass will see it twinkle and shine for all to see. A few quiet minutes far away from the Madding Crowds!

I was not quite alone --

And I did not forget the Holly or the Ivy!

And look what else I saw in the garden.

Vincta flowering even  on such a cold day.

Rosemary in the herb bed-- Pity we are not having Roast Lamb for Christmas!
And last, right by the back door promises of new beginnings as the year draws to a close!

So it was back indoors and a piece of Christmas Cake and a welcome Cup of Tea.