Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Another splishy splashy day in Norfolk.

It's raining.... cooler than yesterday thank goodness, but a mixed blessing. Had the skies not clouded over late last night, then I would have spent an hour or so in the summerhouse. I gathered together snuggly afghan, snuggly little hottie (just in case), snuggly bear (for company) and a flask for hot chocolate, and was all set to go into the summerhouse and watch the promised beauty of the meteor showers. One of the best places around here was over near Ely at the bird place on Wickham Fen, but too far to go. And anyway, I have my own lovely place to sit and gaze at the stars.. if it's too cold then we just open the ceiling blinds in the conservatory and I lay back on the sofa and stargaze, though for this to be successful the glass roof needs to be clean, and it often isn't, what with jackdaws taking a liking to our chimneys, pigeons fighting said jackdaws, the occasional owl and all the other avian visitors we have. Still, the summerhouse is perfect too, but sadly, the weather wasn't. It was cloudy from early evening on, seemed to clear up over the Wash and away inland for a time as we could see the moon, but even that disappeared by about ten o'clock, and even though I kept looking out of the landing window I could see nothing at all. Such a shame, it happened the last time there was a good showing as well.
It's been the usual week for me of crafts and gardens and books. This gorgeous chilli coloured wool is called SUBLIME, and so it is in nature and name. Gorgeous and soft and fluffy, and it has just been used to make a pair of wonderfully cosy (well I thought so anyway) bedsocks, a present for a very dear old friend, whose birthday is today... so HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY OWN BIT OF SWISS CHEESE! Like many readers of my ramblings, she doesn't have a Google account and so can't leave comments, but I know she catches up with me every now and then. I have more SUBLIME wool to use up, for hottie covers and a scarf, but the only drawback to it is that it is a bit flyaway in nature.


Yesterday was a sewing day.. do any of you have those days when you just want to do one particular craft? I got out the sewing machine to do the long sides of the two cushions I was making, but then put it away and did the rest by hand.

The fabrics are Laura Ashley, circa 1980s, and courtesy of a friend who gave me loads and loads of it, in shades of pinks and greens and off-whites. I made a huge, double bed size and then some, throw, and it has been used in different houses over the last 20 years, until we had a change of bedroom colour. I knew it wasn't going to be used, and so spent last Saturday afternoon cutting it up. I made a toddler-bed sized throw, backed with pink and white gingham, for a friend's grand-daughter, a canopy which will be attached via rings and hooks to the corner of the summerhouse, and then two large poles, for very sunny and not breezy days. I also made two cushion covers for the outside dining furniture, this is one of them, and still have some pieces left over.

I then decided I wanted to do some embroidery and made this lavender-filled heart for a friend who has recently moved into a new place and liked it so much I decided I would have this one and will now make another today to replace it for the friend. I am having a Shaker type peg rail in the hall, with a narrow shelf above, and hanging off the pegs will be this heart, one of my little knitted bags hanging open and possibly something else too, and my collection of little fat jugs will sit on the shelf itself.

Two of my favourite authors are called MARGARET, Drabble and Foster respectively as shown. I only recently discovered that Margaret Drabble was the mother of gardener JOE SWIFT.. his father being CLIVE SWIFT, the actor who played the long-suffering husband of Hyacinth Bucket. I don't know why I was so surprised at these two bits of information, but I was! Anyway, I love their books, and these are the two I have re-read recently. Another favourite MARGARET, would be Margaret Mitchell, who wrote GONE WITH THE WIND. A struggle of a read sometimes, but with such a memorable last line, and a marvellous film of course.


I also love picture books, or to give them their grown up name, coffee table books. The Carol Klein is a recent purchase, I wanted to find a no-nonsense approach to growing organic veggies, and this was highly recommended by all my gardening friends. SHED CHIC is a fabulous book showing the inventiveness of people and exploring our strange love affair with the garden shed. Nothing humble or ordinary about the sheds in this book, and I have been inspired at last, to sort out our summerhouse. I haven't been happy with it for a while, it just seemed too much of a mish-mash and now I know it's because it is dual purpose and that really such a small place as that, only six by eight, needs to have a single, defined purpose. So over the coming autumn I shall gather together pieces of old linen, embroidery, needlepoint, chintzy, anything that looks cosy and homely. We will go to a favourite antiques centre, three floors of it in an old granary in Ely, and look for another Lloyd Loom chair to tart up, matching the one in the summerhouse already. Plus a small bamboo table perhaps. There will be carpet and a rug on the floor instead of a couple of cotton, cheap and cheerful rugs on the painted wooden floor. It's going to be a cosy resting place, where you sit and quietly drink your cuppa, listen to the cricket, read a book when on your own, or chat with whoever shares the space with you, all year round. So that will mean making a couple more snugglies of course! The other books is all about vernacular village buildings... I think now I should have been an architect, though I know, deep down, I'd have never got my head around the maths. But I love architecture, looking at houses, drawing them in my own clumsy way too. And drawing floor plans.. I've done that since I was a child. Still, looking at books of houses and architecture, though not the grand sort, satisfies me.

If I were to write a list of all the things I say I want to do, want to try... well, it would be a very long list indeed. If I were to cross off those things I have achieved, the list would still remain a very long list indeed. Patti Medaris Culea is an American soft doll maker of incredible skill and imagination. Don't take my word for it, if you have never heard of her she can be found at www.pmcdesigns.com and here you will see the most fabulous dolls. On my list, is making one of these dolls.. There are places you can buy patterns, kits even, and I am just waiting for the day when I decide prevarication does not rule OK?


Of course, there has to be flowers... this is the largest of the accidental sunflowers that grew from dropped bird seed. I love it for it's brashness and brightness. Today, it is lifting the space by the holly trees, no sun shining on it, but with three of these beauties, it doesn't really matter.

I wonder why it is that this honeysuckle, by far producing the largest flowers of the many we have in the garden, and being the only pink one - the others being yellow and white - doesn't smell as strongly? Does it put all its efforts into producing big flowers and so has none left for smell. Anyway, it is growing up and around one of the holly trees...the statue is Justin.


And standing all alone and forlorn was this salmon pink gladioli. I am not a fan of the flowers particularly, but we have a small grouping of them by the birch tree..this one was several metres away by the holly, looking a bit silly on its own, so I picked it, along with the smallest of the freebie sunflowers and some foliage, to brighten up the conservatory on this grey, splishy splashy day in Norfolk.
So thank you all for dropping by again. I hope you are having a good week, that the weekend will be a good one for you, whatever your plans.

14 comments:

ChrisH said...

Coo! I didn't know that about Margaret Drabble! Fancy that. What a shame about the star gazing, especially when you were all geared up for it. after a clear day we had a cloudy night here so couldn't see a thing. The wool is a gorgeous colour but I'm afraid I don't do anything 'crafty' except admire those who can. Well done!

Arosebyanyothername said...

No! I didn't either. The things you learn on Purple Coo!

I missed the star show as well - mostly because I was too tired after an evening of bridge.

Thank you for introducing me to the doll website. I am practically drooling here and must have a pattern soon.

I am afraid you sound far too industrious for your own good. I think I waste too much time on the computer. Better get off it and on with something . . .

Celtic Heart said...

I guess I make it three then! Now that you have said, there is a strong resemblence to Clive Swift. Sorry to hear you missed the show too. Aren't teds the best company? The listen willingly, never passing judgement or comment, and when they do speak, the words are wise and kind. Vintage Laura Ashley how fab.

Mark said...

There's a funny book called Men and their Sheds which is full of eccentric blokes and sheds- the very opposite of chic I suspect.

Typical of me to notice nay mention of a shed in a post - I have four! Off now to the bikeshed to write.

Have good weekend too

Calico Kate said...

Oh what a shame your collection of things to help the star gazing looks so cosy and comfy - I think I would have gone out anyway!
Will look out for the Chic Shed book as I yearn for one.
I like Clive Swift & I quite like his son too! Didn't know that he had famous folks though.
LOVE the cushion and the heart is delightful - you have been very industrous.
Lovely positive and uplifting inspiring post PFG.
CKx

Pondside said...

Love the odd bits and pieces one learns from these posts. What's a hottie?

pinkfairygran said...

Pondside.. a hottie is a hot water bottle.

Doris said...

The Swiss Cheese felt honoured to have a mention on your blog.... wow, whatever next. And I do recognise some of them there fabrics... :-) Your blogs are wonderful and thanks for letting me see them.

Jackie said...

We were under no illusions ..it was cloudy even before dark so we knew it was a waste of time looking for meteors.
We will be in Norfolk for three days next week so I hope your weather improves.

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