Sunday, 30 October 2011

To Autumn - John Keats

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,   
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;       
Conspiring with him how to load and bless   
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;   
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,           
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;   
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells   
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,   
And still more, later flowers for the bees,   
Until they think warm days will never cease,         
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
 Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
 Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
 Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;      
 Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
 Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
 Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
 And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
 Steady thy laden head across a brook;    
 Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
 Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?  
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—  
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,          
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;  
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn  
Among the river sallows, borne aloft  
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;  
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;         
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft  
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;  
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Double yUm!

My daughter made these this afternoon out of Plasticine (remember that?) after seeing the handmade chocs this morning. Fab aren't they? She has even done a little key. Bless!


Lauden Fine Chocolates

Lauden Fine Chocolates
Lauden Fine Chocolate Box of 20
Lauden chocolates from Leeds in the UK and honestly, they taste as good as they look.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Midnight in Paris

File:Midnight in Paris Poster.jpg 
I really enjoyed the latest Woody Allen film because:  it's set in Paris (the cinematography is gorgeous), the main protagonist experiences going back in time (I spent ages after seeing the film thinking about what I'd like to go back and experience. I would like to go to the Live Aid Concert in 1985 and see Elvis in Vegas in the 1970's and THAT is just for starters!) and it's a romantic comedy with a central message that nostalgic romanticism for the past is a wasted effort, nothing but an excuse to give up on the present and the future (I get this but would still would like to travel back in time). If you could time travel what would you like to experience?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Mr X Stitch

Jamie Chalmers, Spam Series
Cross stitch designs by Mr X Stitch
I went to a great talk last week by a manbroiderer, Jamie Chalmers aka Mr X Stitch (manbroiderer because he thinks that sounds cooler than embroiderer). I hate stereotypes, but put it this way, when you see Jamie you would say he was more of a hammer and chisel weilding man than a needle weilding stitcher (he admits himself that he is an unlikely candidate for creating a cross stitch design, but he really enjoys stitching and finds it "good for his sole"). Jamie shared his fantastic, humerous and creative work, plus he showed us some other inspirational textile artists from around the world.  He has written a great book called PUSH Stitchery which is devoted to indie-crafters and artists pushing the boundaries of traditional crafting mediums. Inside the book you'll find tattoo-inspired stumpwork (3D embroidery), pinup cross-stitch even embroidered metal.  To buy the book on Amazon please follow this link here and to find out more about Mr X Stitch take a look at his blog here. It's great to discover new artists and the talk has really inspired me to try and be more experimental when I stitch. Thanks Mr X!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Silver Studios

In my final post about my trip to Ali Pali I want to tell you about a wonderful stand at the show which exhibited work from the The Silver Studios. They were the most influential textile design studio in the UK from its formation in 1880, until the middle of the twentieth century. I had not heard of them before so it was great to see that The Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (where a lot of the archive is held) has created this touring exhibition. The exhibition is called Petal Power and features the work of women employed by the Silver Studio in London between 1910 and 1940.  The hand-drawn and painted textile designs produced by them, map the trends for printed florals which were the fashion fabrics of inter-war England.  The early twentieth century brought new opportunities for women to become designers of fashion fabrics as well as consumers.  This story is of women making their mark in a previously male-dominated world. It was lovely to see the beautifully hand painted designs, some of which had a little typed messages next to them with a brief or comments on a submitted design. Sorry about the rubbish photographs, I couldn't use a flash and the light was low.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Anna Krystyna Casey

Anna is another super talented person that I met at The Knit and Stitch Show last week. Anna uses familiar textiles processes, such as crochet and embroidery to make objects suitable for a range of environments.The resulting designs are somewhere between design and sculpture and are versatile as well as beautiful. At the show I saw Anna's wonderful crocheted wire entrapped in glass. To find out more about Anna please follow this link here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Linda Sadler

I saw Linda's beautiful work at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. Every year there is a selection of recent graduates exhibiting their work and Linda was one of them. Her wonderful felted work is created using knitted pockets which she stuffs with wool tops and then using a secret technique felts them into these great organic tactile pieces. She has also been working on some wonderful jewellery too. See her blog here for more pics and info

My tune of the year (and it's only October, that's how much I love it)!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Knitting and Stitching Show

Fabric from

ric rac from

 I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace last week and as usual it was packed full of lovely stuff to look at and to buy. This year there was tons of knitting and crochet and a massive trend for pom poms in every size.  Felt played a big part too and there were some gorgeous fabrics to buy and of course loads of ric-rac! Please pop back later in the week as I'll be posting some more pics from the show.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Monday, 3 October 2011


Inspired by crunchy, gorgeous coloured leaves and juicy berries, I made this print.
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