Monday, 26 April 2010

Way out (north) West

You wait all month for something to happen, then 3 events are run on the same day! on the last Sunday of the month, Whalley has it's Farmers market, a table top sale and of course our knit n natter meeting.

It's a pity more of the shops don't also open and fetch more people into the village, there seam to be quite a few visitors wandering around looking for something to do - and the market, still in it's first year is getting smaller and smaller - such a shame!

Mum and I popped over to the table top sale - I love the way it has been advertised locally, "full of interesting items from GOOD homes!" - what constitutes a good home?
My mum, fantastic as ever, treated me to these guys (above) they are money boxes! I have always been a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy - especially Stan Laurel who is an Ulverston boy, so almost local! plus he reminds me of my long departed grandad!

A few weeks ago through FreeCycle I managed to get some embroidery equipment, a 1930's biscuit tin full of silks, a pile of very old transfers, and a linen table cloth with the pattern already on it - I haven't done embroidery for a while, so have been trying to get back into it - like I don't have enough to do!!! I have had to look up some of the stitches a few times, and haven't done any that are too adventurous, but I am really pleased with the results so far.

At the table top sale, mum also bought me these two embroidered pictures, they are absolutely gorgeous, in pristine condition and have been professionally framed - the lady wanted £5 each for them!
This morning I received my swap partner for the APRON SWAP - Cathie at Melbourne Epicure

I have been over to her blog from a preliminary sneaky peek, WOW - take a look, it is gorgeous! can't wait to make contact with her, and get my thinking cap on for this project.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Ne'er cast a clout till May be out...

I'm British for goodness sake, how am I supposed to cope with this amount of sunshine???
Hubby and I escaped the cats for a walk yesterday, not far, just across the nearby river, and round the fields, both of us taking advantage of the arrival of more spring flowers.

The council have been busy putting up new sign posts in the past 12 months - now I remember my dad calling this lane 'Turkey Lane' but I thought he was kidding! As a country I think we have some of the strangest names for our lanes and even our villages, I know of a Jam Pot Lane, and a Jolly Tar Lane, and in Silverdale there is an 8 acre lane at one end, that mysteriously changes to 16 acre lane at the other end!

now this is not a sight you see very often round here - land for sale! By the time we had finished our walk, we had, in our minds, bought the land, were farming Alpaca's, rare breed sheep, cows for milk, and had a good number of silky hens - the stables had been converted into a house with workshop space and a shop. Well...we need to dream big sometimes!

But the thing that made me smile most was the arrival of the May Blossom.

I don't care what the arguments are regarding the proverb 'Ne'er cast a clout till may be out'

For me, it means the May Blossom, not the end of May.

As a child in the 70's attending the local primary school, one of my favourite after school activities was being in the May Pole class. The May pole resided in the school hall all year round, but as May approached, it was tipped over and the ribbons attached, we would choose either the yellow or pink dresses and do intricate moves that would create the 'Barbour's pole' or the 'spider web'

I can still hear the reel-to-reel player on top of the staff room roof playing old accordion tunes out over the school yard as we danced round.

The May Pole dancing was abandoned in the late 1980's after a new headmistress claimed it was a Pagan ritual not fit for a Christian school - how sad, and how misguided. ah well, perhaps it is my destiny to bring it back! ;~)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

the ramblings of a traditionally built lady

It's amazing what a little bit of sunshine does for the spirit! I almost leapt out of bed this morning, then decided that easing my way into the day would be nicer, as I have nothing of consequence to do today.

But I like to have something to do!!!
I thought I would blog about the things that cheer me up - this depression lark can be a real pile of cr*p at times, and even though the day starts off well, the smallest thing can send me off into floods of tears of sadness, happiness, confusion, frustration....and so on.

The sun hits the front of our house in the morning - above is the blind in my sewing room, based on a Kaffe Fassett design from his first book - it is nice all the time, but particularly when the sun shines!

My mum got the (almost) latest instalment of the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency for Christmas, and finished it yesterday - so I was next in line for it - We have been avid fans from the start, and I do love the books so much more than the TV series - it is like slipping into a comfortable pair of slippers! and we consider ourselves to be "traditionally built" - sounds so much better than fat! hehehe

On my windowsill is my Caithness glass paperweight, a present years ago from the factory itself when mum and dad where touring Scotland - I find it so fascinating to stare at, I love the colours - but I always had a fascination with glass marbles - wondering how those swirls were put into them - magic glass fairies I think!

Ahh, the view from my bedroom window - especially on a sunny day - Whalley Viaduct is right in front of us, it leads straight onto the Settle to Carlisle line after Clitheroe - and I still get a kick out of waving to people going past - my niece rang me the other day from one station away - "Auntie Kath, we will be over the arches in a minute - will you come and wave to us???"

And my scruffy little urchin dog Jemmy had an appointment at the groomers yesterday, bath, trim, nails done - she is like a pup again, all that mucky matted fur must have been dragging her down! I love the way she moves round the room with the sunshine.

so - better get myself out for a walk while the sunshine is here!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Drum roll please!!!!!!!

As the sun was shining this morning, I thought what the heck, and put a load of stuff outside my little terrace to sell, thinking it might just cheer people up as they went past, it cost me nothing, and I don't have to sit next to it all day! I haven't sold anything as yet, but I'm not bothered, however two young boys came to have a look, I could hear the conversation from inside as one said to the other "doesn't your mum need some dish cloths? - they are very good ones!"

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon teaching an African Drum class to the Blackburn Peoples choir, it was just so uplifting for me! I don't teach many classes these days (this is not my day job...) most of the workshops I do with the drums are drum circles with children and are fast noisy and frantic, yesterday was just what I love doing, back to where I started over 15 years ago with real west African Patterns...

The group picked it up really quickly, and before you know it, we were making sweet music! what a total buzz. I only got chance to take 2 photo's - here people are choosing the drum they want to play.

When I got home Mr Fig had been busy creating a pie. He said this was the only time he would probably ever make one of these, a Wheat, dairy, gluten free hot water raised game pie, with venison, rabbit and pigeon in it - 3 days in the making - but very tasty!

I was also given this wonderful award, TWICE! wow - well as you can imagine in my current state, this threw me into floods of tears! Thanks to Twiggy and Taz for this!

So now I need to send on the love to 10 bloggers...

one each for;
Daisie Days
K C's Court
Kids and Capers
Frugal Queen
Ruby's Button Tin
Anglesey Allsorts
Ragged Roses

ok, I didn't get to 10...
To be honest, I would also have chosen the people who chose me!
You all give me so much inspiration, and all of you make me smile!

Thanks for that...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

quilts and cats

This morning I finally finished this quilt I started shortly after starting my blog - about 2 years ago-ish now, so it has been through the wash this morning and is hanging out to dry - I prefer the post wash look to the pre-wash (that is code for laziness!!!)

Not my longest quilt, that would be baby figs cot quilt started just after she was born, completed when she was about 8 or 9...years old!

It is quite interesting seeing your work hung up and photographed when it has been only inches from my face during it's construction - I can see bits I want to quilt more, or that could have been slightly different - oh for the space to have my own felt quilt wall - oh well, something else for the old wish list!

Almost everything I do these days is observed by these little baby brothers (who would have believed only 12 months ago I was a cat 'serious disliker'?
Above is Stitch - my little razzer who loves his mummy and fish sticks

And here is the noble and enigmatic Bodkin, who loves his daddy and fish sticks...

It is because of these two little darlings my wool stash has now been re-homed upstairs where no cat may wander!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Impeccable Conception By Maya Angelou

My lovely white roses were looking very sorry for themselves this morning - But inspired by a still life photo in my black and white photography magazine and one of my favorite poems (and the only poem I have ever managed to memorise) I thought I would catch their fading beauty on camera, and share the poem...

Impeccable Conception

By Maya Angelou

I met a Lady Poet
who took for inspiration
colored birds, and whispered words,
a lover’s hesitation.

A falling leaf could stir her.
A wilting, dying rose
would make her write, both day and night,
the most rewarding prose.

She’d find a hidden meaning
in every pair of pants,
then hurry home to be alone
and write about romance.

It may be about a poet - but I think no matter what we do, bringing up children, sewing, knitting, cooking etc etc - we all take inspiration from everything around us - plus it just makes me smile when I read it!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Brew sheds - the essential guide.

Thank you so much for all your kind comments, I am into week 3 of my sick leave, and I am feeling some what cheerier than last week - finally.
After your fantastic comments I am also feeling inspired to try and set things in motion that eventually change my future - not entirely sure what as yet though!

Yesterday me and baby fig had an appointment in Blackburn - Baby fig is trying to get a flat there to continue her education, and she works part time in Evans clothes shop in the town centre - after we popped to our favourite 'brew shed' (as my dad likes to call them)
This is the Exchange Coffee company - and Blackburn has the original shop - I love the decor!

Every inch is original stone work, wooden panels and William Morris wall papers and fabrics - the furniture looks like it was salvaged from every old church in town, a real mish mash, they have tea's and coffee from all over the world, freshly roasted and ground to your requirements
It really hits every spot - a feast for the senses - all of them!

now...back to painting the house!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Lows and highs

For the past 6 years I have been working in a job I don't enjoy but that almost pays the bills. The levels of hatred, anger, bitterness and resentment the customers have to each other and to us dealing with them has taken it's toll on my nerves, made me almost loose my faith in humanity, put me onto anti depressants and finally I am off sick with stress.

I haven't been at home this much since my daughter was little, and now I would give anything to become a full time house wife again, or open my own yarn shop in my home village and get to know the locals whom I have lost touch with over the past 15 years while working full time - but until Mr Fig finds gainful employment or wins the lottery then - well, I don't know what the future holds.

Too much time to think!
We have been getting out and about locally though, exercise is good for my brain, if not for my knees. 2 pictures up - if you can see it, is a house I have dreamt of living in all my life - I think it is the turrets that do it for me! It is behind the majestic Stonyhurst collage, and the Fields in front sweep down to the River Hodder.

Here is my little poochikins, Jemmy, after her first swim of the year - we usually can't keep her out of the river, but age, creaking bones and freezing water meant she wasn't willing to go any deeper than legs and face!

Aha! but on a totally feel good note - inspired by the wonderful Angelesy Allsorts and her amazing car bootery, my Mum and Dad took me out on Easter sunday to our local car boot - none of us had been in years - and look what my super dad found for me!!!!! he even bargained the seller down to £30 - and it works! (well, it spins round and round, all I need to do now is learn how to spin!)

Friday, 2 April 2010

how the other half live...

A wonderful new book plopped through the letterbox yesterday, and I spent most of the evening trying to look interested in what was on TV while cooing over the book Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, wondering if I would be able to get hold of one of the fab yarns they use that I haven't even heard of, and dreaming like they state in the book of just picking one skein up, because it would cost too much to knit jumper from!

well, I should have realised when the name 'Cartier' was mentioned that this particular yarn may be a little out of my price range...

This is an incredibly rare yarn, from an endangered species that lives at 18,000 ft in the Andes mountains, can only be sheared once every 2 years, gives only 1lb of fleece o which only half is usable, it is the softest most luxurious yarn in the world - it is Vicuna.
and here is the little fella...
And here is the far as I can tell it only comes in the one natural colour
and the price???

wait for it....

a snip at only $310.00 per 1oz ball.

is it wrong to still want some?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Jewels from India

Oooohhhhh, I LOVE yarn!
I picked up a couple of skeins of recycled sari silk at last Novembers 'Knitting and stitching show' and have been lifting them out of the bag, stroking, cooing, and dreaming about what they may one day become...(can you tell my baby Left home last year???)

Then a gorgeous new shop opened in nearby Clitheroe called 'Patches and Buttons', and there on one of there sumptuous displays was more sari fabric - ahhhh, bliss.

So purse a few pounds lighter, the skeins all ended up with Mummy fig. My mother personifies patience, and kindly spent several hours de-skeining and balling up my beautiful sari silk.
and all I need to do now is come up with an idea for something to make...

so, while it rains outside, and once the drab domestic chores are all done, I will be sitting in the arm chair, fondling my fibres and dreaming about the colours of India.