Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gardens, and buttercups

Whenever I try and take photos of our front garden from our front door, we get a wonderful view of a neighbour's car. It's not their fault, it is just the way our houses and garages are laid out. From other different angles, the photos have our other neighbour's garden providing a beautiful backdrop, but fooling casual viewers into thinking they must be part of our garden. So, much as I love our front garden, I've never put up pictures.

Today, however, the neighbours opened their garden in the National Garden Scheme. Of course, I went to have a look, and I got a quite reasonable view of our front bed.
square of

The wall is the boundary between our garden and the shared driveway. The roses are in our neighbour's garden: the two little beds you can see clearly make up half our front garden: the other half is very similar, but hidden by the rose bush. The paths with the wide paving slabs go round our house, although you can just see where the path changes to gravel. You can't see our lovely statues: two Easter Island style heads (bought ten years ago, when they were unusual) and a rock with a Celtic Cross carved into it.

We didn't just visit one garden but walked through the village and utilised a sneaky footpath. This led us through a field completely full of buttercups.square of
It put me in mind of Wordsworth's host of daffodils.

Monday, May 25, 2009


During the weekend, the whole family painted the summerhouse. It had been plain wood, both outside and inside: now the outside is "wild thyme" and the inside "country cream", like the colours of the arbour in the link here. Suddenly it has become a place for the children to hide away in, to flop on the chair in there, to read, to chat, even to take the laptop.

There are on-line transformations as well.

I might over-think things, but I feel that my avatars and blogger profile pictures must be personal and unique. This can be tricky: I can't use a picture made by anyone else and I can't use a picture of an object made by someone else. Hence no balls of wool, or knick-knacks of any type. No matter how lovely a photo I could take of my favourite material, it's a no goer as far as avatars are concerned.

My blogger picture features a bag I made some time ago, but by the time I needed avatars for Ravelry, the bag was worn out and no longer in regular use. So I used the photo I had taken of the fabric pieces which Kate sent me a while ago and cropped the background out. I've been using it every since.

edges of fabric

However, I've been wondering whether it is time for a change of picture. Not any old picture but a specific one. This specific photo has many meanings for me. It is of a place that is specifically connected with the future I want to create, it is the actual place where an exciting future will be forged.

However, it is also a symbolic picture. It reminds me that when you look ahead at an apparent dead-end, it might just be that you can't see the way out. It reminds me that sometimes the path is all you can see. It reminds me that the other possibilities and the destination are unknown and unexpected. It also reminds me that just because the path looks constricted, there can be choices at the end.

But to change it all at once, I feel, would make me unrecognisable. So yesterday evening, I experimented and played and finally came up with a series of images which enable me to slowly change my old avatar for my new one. The new look is only slightly different, just like dying your hair is only a slight change in appearance:


PS I did want to have this picture as my blog header, but the one I took is fuzzy and out-of-focus on the large scale. It looks fine in the small scale, such as a 100 pixel square (or the screen on a camera), but not on the large scale. Well, I took two, the fuzzy one, and the badly composed one.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've done quite a bit of wooly destashing recently.

First to go was a pack of 10 balls of Sirdar denim tweed. I bought them years ago. However, nothing happened with them, and they became the Stash I Must Use Soon, slightly guilt inducing but with no obvious project. I put them on my Ravelry trade page, but never got as far as advertising them.

And then out of the blue, someone contacted me to buy them. So now they are gone.

The second lot went at a tabletop sale held in the village hall. The children had grown out of several bags-worth of children's clothes. As they get older, clothing gets harder to pass on to friends, so I usually take small quantities to charity shops. However, this collection included the Brownie jacket which had been worn for the first time on the evening when Brown Owl suggested Kiddo could go up to Guides. Kiddo was the youngest of the eight Brownies due to go up "soon", so I'd been expecting her to get a little bit more wear out of it.

Anyway, the sale started with a table full of children's clothes in good condition, and a few balls of wool and other odds and ends underneath. Unfortunately very few clothes went: the Brownie uniform did. Also a new Dalek sweatshirt (present, never worn) was bought by a boy who put it on immediately - seeing someone who loved it so much really made my day.

At the end of the sale, one of the other stallholders asked about the wool: she got an absolute bargain, especially as I had forgotten there were two balls of Louisa Harding Kimono Angora at the bottom.

The last destash was a novelty yarn scarf kit: a present with sentimental value, but I couldn't see myself using it.

So that was over 21 full balls out of the house, plus some partial balls.

But this is the part which is best: earlier this week, a website was having a one-day only sale, with 18% off everything. They sell Hanne Falkenberg kits, and I would love to make one at some point. Probably Mermaid. Or Ballerina. So with all my destashing, I had a good excuse to buy one.

But I didn't.

I can get one another time, and my stash is so nicely contained at the moment.

Twenty-one full balls gone, no new ones.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two out of Three Aint Bad

(If you have come from the school reunion, hello and welcome to my blog.)

At last I have :-

  1. a working internet connection
  2. my photocard reader for uploading pictures
Unfortunately I do not have
  1. time to post
right now.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Three Hours

I don't wash fabric in advance. I'll wash it before I use it, but usually only a day or so in advance.

Today was an exception.

pansy fabric

At 2.30 I was debating whether to get any of this fabric, and if so how much of it to get. It is gorgeous (if you like purple and yellow pansies), a riot of glorious colour. But I didn't know what I would do with it, I just really wanted to own it.

By 5.30pm, I had bought it, driven home, started to make soup, washed it, hung it in the garden to dry and ironed it. A total of three hours from bolt to ironing board.

What I hadn't done then, (and still haven't) is decided what I will do with it - I have 1.25 m of the small pansy fabric and 1m of the large pansy fabric.

It came from Threads and Patches, one of the shops in the Shop Hop. This shop seemed to have a fairly whimsical style, and a range of interesting kits. They also had a reasonable amount of fabric, as well as embroidery stuff. The shop itself is moving soon, although not very far.

Patchwork Corner, the other shop I visited, has mainly quilt stuff, lots of kits, and a new machine for cutting out fabric. This machine was being demonstrated (as well as lots of other things).

What was really interesting to see were the quilts made by Ferret's quilt class. They were mostly made by beginners, but they look much more complex then you would expect (quite different from the sampler quilt that was taught at my beginners quilt class). Seeing the same quilt in different colours is always interesting, and these were no exception.

Oh, and did I just buy the pansy fabric? Don't be silly :-).