Thursday, 27 January 2011

In love

I am in love. Totally head over heels.

I may have mentioned earlier that one of my objectives for this year is to become better acquainted with my sewing machine. Well, I have come across so many stunning quilts in blogland that I decided to attempt one of my own. Of course, this meant having to sit for hours checking out gorgeous fabrics online...oh dear, what a chore!

Well, this is what I have decided on......

And I had to order that cute little Chinese pin cushion which I have lusted after for years but never before had an excuse to buy!

I looked at various patterns for inspiration and wanted something that didn't look too complicated, or too large, and I found this....

It is from the sew4home site and is a quilt for a baby. I don't have a baby and the only baby due is Bertie Bump so it may end up another blanket for him/her.

I love this Freebird fabric by Momo and using a charm pack seems a more simple foray into the whole quilting experience. But I need to finish some other stuff first, so I am putting it away for later.


I also want to thank everyone for the lovely comments on Bertie Blanket. It is fantastic getting such compliments from so many talented and creative women.

And a big thank you to the lovely Maaike of Crejjtion for naming me in her gorgeous blog and saying such kind things about me. Thank you Maaike and these are for you...

 Enjoy your weekend xxx

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Bertie blanket

Hello dear crafty ladies!

I am SO excited! I have finally finished the blanket for my great- niece or nephew in South Africa and I love it! Of course the baby doesn't have a name yet, but in the family it has been known as Bertie Bump...hence the name of the blanket. I made this up as I went along so wasn't sure how it would look until it was finished. I have to say that I am very pleased with it.

The yarn is Rico Essentials pure cotton.

Are you ready for a Bertie-fest????

Enjoy your week! xxx

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A bit of history


First of all, thanks for visiting and thank you to all of you who left comments....I love reading them.

Last Saturday my very dear friend S came bearing gifts.....

This beautiful bunch of yellows....very spring-like, and very cheery. S and I  have known each other for almost 18 years now and share quite a bit of history. It was so lovely to see her.

She took me out for the afternoon (sans child!!!). We visited a lovely old house that is not too far from where I live. I am passionate about architecture and the arts, and I do love a bit of history so this was the perfect place.

Imposing position on top of sweeping hill

Stable block

The house is called Temple Newsam and forms one of the most impressive estates in England, with over 1500 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown in the 1700s. It was a rather dingy day so no photos of the grounds I'm afraid, but in summer they are a delight; full of azaleas and rhododendrons.

The house got its strange name (it has never been a temple) through being given to the Knights Templar in the mid 1100s. In 1377 the house (as it was then) was given to the Darcey family by Royal Decree. Between 1500 and 1520 a Tudor manor house was built on the site and parts of this still exist today.

Temple Newsam House has been at the centre of a violent and turbulent time in history, but always associated with the crown. Henry VIII seized it from the Darceys and gave it to his niece, Margaret, Countess of Lennox. Margaret's son, Lord Darnley, would marry Mary, Queen of Scots and that opened up a whole can of political worms! Portraits of Margaret, Darnley and the previous owners, the Darceys, can be seen inside the house.  I believe a lot of them lost their heads!

Some stability was achieved when the Ingram family bought the house. It was remodelled and added to several times and it was the Ingram family (who became the Earls and Viscounts of Irvine) who commissioned Capability Brown to landscape the grounds.

The estate was bought by Leeds City Council in the 1960s and has been carefully restored and preserved so that visitors can enjoy its splendour.

I loved looking at the paintings but what I love most is the interior decor, especially fabrics and wall covering. The lighting is quite subdued (and of course, flash should never be used in these historic places) but I wanted to give you a little taste......

This was a gorgeous little bedroom that may have belonged to a young woman at one time. The draped bed was actually very small, but people were much smaller then!

Another, grander bedroom. The fabric on the chair is embroidered by hand and the wallpaper is hand-printed.

This scary chap is carved into a very ornate marble fireplace....

More sumptuous sleeping quarters.....

And I tried to get a close-up of this fabulous silk patchwork bed-cover. I imagine it might have been made from dress fabric remnants or from dresses themselves when they were outgrown or no longer in favour.

In contrast, this was a servant's bedroom, possibly used by a lady's maid or gentleman's servant as it was next to one of the very grand rooms. Very, very simple and spartan and I imagine it was a bleak and lonely place, a long way from home.....

We could have stayed for much longer, looking at the paintings and we hadn't even got started on the ceramics (another passion of mine) but it was closing time and we had to leave. Another visit is needed to get the most from this house. Next time I hope my photos are better quality!!

Little S had his first ever sleep-over guest last night and this morning I tried to restore some semblance of calm by getting out the Monopoly board. I used to love playing board games as a child, still do, and Monopoly was one of my favourites.....another bit of history right there!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! xxx

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Hello Friends!

I logged on this morning to find that the lovely (and very kind) Angie from Le Monde de Sucrette has awarded me this....

I am absolutely thrilled and am very grateful to Angie for thinking of me. I haven't been blogging long at all and so it is wonderful that I have lovely followers and have new blog-friends who drop by and leave comments. Lovely! 7 things about me.....mmmm

1. I love the sound of yarn in cellophane. There is something totally gorgeous about the crackling sound made by handling a new package of yarn. I could hang around yarn shops all day just to hear that!

2. I became a mum for the first (and only) time at 42! I had the best midwife, who told me she had her last child at 43 and not to consider myself old. Little S has brought so much joy and happiness into my life and, despite 42 years without him, I now cannot imagine what life was like before him. He is the beat of my heart. A big hurrah to 'older' mums everywhere!

3. My mum taught me to knit when I was very young. She makes the most stunning Aran sweaters. I remember my sister and I as young children being forced into matching knitwear and hating it but I am so pleased I learned that skill because it has given me years of yarn happiness. Thanks Mum!

4. I recently traced my family tree and discovered that a direct ancestor on my father's side was a clock maker in the 1700s. My mother's family originate from Fair Isle in the Shetlands. I plan to visit there some day. So if your name is Eunson, or Younson, or Eunsen, or Youngson....we may be related!

5. I love films. I am very happy with a cup of tea, doing some crochet or knitting, and watching a good film. I particularly love old films....Breakfast at Tiffany's is a favourite, with the beautiful Audrey Hepburn......

6. I am blessed by having the most wonderful, amazing, insightful, creative and funny sister! She is my soul mate and we have shared and supported each other through good and bad times. I usually speak to her daily and we can talk for hours! Although we live in different parts of the country now, we are still as close as ever.  That is her on the right......

7. I am mad about all things Scandinavian....glassware, ceramics, fabrics etc. Maybe it is my Fair Isle/Norwegian heritage! One day I hope to visit some of the far northern countries.

Josef Frank chair

Well, I hope you feel you know me a little better!

Now for the hard part.....there are so very many blogs out there that are stylish, beautiful, informative etc that it is almost impossible to choose who to give this award to....but here I go (and I would include you too Angie!)

Stash Avalanche
Everday Life
Uit Het Breitaske
Crochet with Raymond
All Fingers and Thumbs
By Elizabeth Cat
The Flitter Knitter
Handmade at Home
Handmaid Liset

Monday, 3 January 2011

A terrible start to 2011

I am horrified by what is happening in Queensland, Australia at the moment and am so sorry for all of those affected by the floods. It is a very terrible start to 2011 and will be difficult for them for many months.

According to the Guardian,

An area the size of France and Germany combined has been hit by the flooding of three river systems. More than 200,000 people in 20 towns and cities have been affected.

Just terrible.