Happy New Year to you all and may you be happy and healthy through 2020…
With luck and lots of hard work from my team of helpers, my new web site should be here by the end of March – and I think it might surprise you…..
Will keep you informed over the next few weeks – I am off to India for three weeks shortly so I should have plenty to tell you when I am back in the office. Perhaps it will be buying trip?
Date posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Here I am again after a very eventful year here at Pinks Barn in Gloucestershire and at CSG HQ in Warrington. Both Andrea and I cannot believe how fast this year has gone and just how much we have managed to pack in. Since taking over the CSG three years ago (I know I don’t believe it either) Andrea has really got the hang of working when awake! I teased her about this when she was about to take over and I am not sure she knew what she had taken on…….
We are very sad that The Sewing Quarter is being closed by Immediate Media – It came as an awful shock the week before I was due to broadcast – this meant that my last live transmission was in November and it was a rather doleful affair. You can imagine that this had been a marvellous opportunity for me and an excellent business venture for Andrea and the CSG, but for the team at SQ it meant redundancy and just before Christmas……….We are talking to to people and looking for ways to get yours truly back on your screen
Watch this space for developments in the New Year…
The Stitch Book 4th Edition
The New Stitch Book is now available – much changed and dare I say, improved with new sections and 120 stitches and/or techniques – published by Pinks Press (me) you can find out more clicking on the link below
Date posted: Thursday, December 12, 2019
A new picture of this lovely book – The Little Book of Hardanger
Hopefully the first of many such little books from the newly formed Pinks Press – If you are a CSG member go to www.thecrossstitchguild.com to get your discount and free postage. If you would like me to send to a signed and dedicated copy of this sweet little book, just click on the Buy Now button and I can pop one in the post for you. For a personal dedication remember to add the details!
Bill (my husband) and I have visited Norway on a number of occasions because we both love the scenery and the wonderful quietness of the place but for me there is an additional reason. I just love Hardanger embroidery and want to share this feeling with you! On all but one of our visits we have arrived by boat in Bergen, just a short walk from the original fish market, now a World Heritage site and full of delicious shops and boutiques.
Bergen Fish Market
A wonderful shop selling completed Hardanger embroidery
I took this picture is a sense of blind panic as the owner had gone on holiday for a week and the shop was closed! Grrr! Mind you – buying completed Hardanger embroidery is a considered purchase as you can spend hundreds of pounds very easily – that is why I like to work my own versions.
Traditional Bunad (costume) with Hardanger panels
These are examples of the traditional Norwegian costume which is still very much in evidence in modern times – families will pass down pieces of the costume and the decorative jewellery worn on high days and holidays through the generations – anything from a crown to a set of cuff links, an apron or a blouse and so on.
Baby Crib photographed at the Ullensvang Hotel
A blouse cuff photographed at Husfliden in Bergen
My new book, launched on The Sewing Quarter on 6th October
For some time I have wanted to do a little book of Hardanger and with Jenny Dixon’s encouragement, I have finally completed the first of these which is shown above called First Steps and Stitches and I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to do more! The little book (only 15cm square) is ring bound so that it lies flat and keeps that way when you are working from the pages. I have broken the technique needed for Hardanger embroidery down in to tiny sections so that you can clearly follow what is going on.
A sample page from The Little book of Hardanger
Your First Stitches made in to a Scissor Keep
This was a lovely book to design, stitch and write not least because we have published the book ourselves – Amazing the ideas you have a 2am in the morning – that is when Pinks Press came in to being and we will see where it takes us! You cannot imagine the fun I had looking for and buying the bits and pieces (props) for the photography – such fun!
Date posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
After our visit to Sydney, we flew to New Zealand via Auckland and then travelled down North Island, cross over the Cook Straits by ferry and the explored the South Island for a further seventeen days and then flew home via Dubai. It is difficult to explain our feelings as we toured around this beautiful country – I must be honest – I think it is the only time in our lives that we considered emigration! It is so beautiful and thankfully the New Zealand government is making sure it stays that way.
The photograph above it sort of symbolic because the woodland and the ferns are majestic, marvellous and seriously difficult to photograph to any great effect. The scenery is frankly jaw dropping and then you go around a corner and there is more. I would have to write a blog a day for a year to show you all my photographs!
This is what I mean about walking around a corner and the you see something like this. Wow!
We managed this holiday with motels and carpet picnics but are currently planning a return trip to South Island possibly with a camper van in 2020 ( Heavens! My 70th year) There was no doubt that although we were away from the UK for a month we only skimmed the surface in New Zealand.
One of the most memorable moments whilst holding a bag of fish and chips! Sunset over the ocean at Hokitika. This is a town that had thrived with tourism and was terribly damaged by the last earthquake – not in itself but the main road to get to it fell in to the sea. We have friends there who almost lost their livelihood when the visitors stopped overnight.One of our days was spent driving through the mountains to check out the Fox glacier which was this time out of our reach – we did not have the correct clothing and footwear to walk up to the base of the glacier but certainly intend to do it next time. The wardens are very strict about your safety as much of the track is the river bed which can flood instantly if a glacial dam breaks………Our best view of Mount Cook taken from the end of the lake – a magnificent sight! As you can see from the pictures we were very lucky with the weather and I mean lucky – As we drove towards Christchurch for our flights home the city was on red alert as a storm was battering the coast and heading our way. Fortunately although our last night was very, very wet, our flights left on time and we were home safely albeit 30 hours later!
As I write I am working on some designs both inspired by the greenery and also by Maori Art – more of this to follow
Happy stitching till next time…………..
Date posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Probably the most famous view in the world
We have just returned from what must be the trip of a lifetime – a month in the Antipodes. Bill and I flew to Sydney and immediately up to Cairns to join our ship for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. I have to admit that I chickened out when it came to diving on the reefs as we were in choppy open water but we both spent hours on the glass bottomed boat with our marine biologist Dani. I actually saw Nemo in his anemone, parrot fish, octopus, reef sharks and so much more – The corals were so varied and absolutely fascinating……..
The Coral Explorer
Our lovely ship – There were only twenty of us with ten crew so you can imagine – it was just perfect – We had one quite rough night and some heavy rain but the trip was all I had hoped it would be. The crew worked so hard to make sure we saw as much as possible. Would certainly go again……
The Sydney Opera House
The five days just flew by and then we were back in Sydney for four nights. We went to the Opera House for a tour of the buildings followed by The Merry Widow in the Joan Sutherland Theatre and the next day, a glorious Mozart concert in the main auditorium. I had never imagined that I would have six oysters and a glass of champagne on the terrace at the Opera House but Bill surprised me yet again.
A koala that was almost awake
Before leaving for New Zealand, we had a trip up in to the Blue Mountains and visited a sanctuary and I saw my first koalas – they did not let me down. They do seem to sleep for hours and hours but are really so cute!
It had to be done – Yours truly at Bondi Beach
On our way now to New Zealand and there are lost more pictures to come
Happy Stitching till next time
Date posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018