Does anyone else suffer from Blogger's Block or have I just made up the condition. Do you know that 'I have nothing worth saying' feeling, everything seems so minor to mention. The thought that nobody will be interested in that and then the days go by and before you really realise it you can no longer hold your head up as a blogger, you're verging on being an ex-blogger .... That's when your internet friends step in and offer encouragement and support, understanding your blight, having been there etc. So thank you to all my blogging buds for the gentle push I needed and here's hoping that you'll be encouraged to continue blogging as well.
The lovely cookie above was made by one of the nicest library customers we have. She makes them to sell for World Lupus Day, which is apparently today. It is no more, I've eaten it and it was delicious. I find it so lovely that there are people in the world willing to give up their time and effort to help others and that this lady made a special effort to come in to see me, as I'd loved last year's cookie so much!
The cookie helped stop my craving to go back to Ilkley, North Yorkshire, where I visited earlier this week, stopping off at the world famous Bettys Tea Rooms. A delightful cup of tea and a cake were the order of the day.
I found a lovely victorian shopping arcade but sadly there was only one shop open in there, a sad sign of the economic times.
The display of tulips around this church was amazing, and more amazing as I don't particularly like tulips or the colour yellow!
We went over the moors, no sign of Heathcliff I'm afraid
and stopped off in Tadcaster, the home of John Smiths Brewery to partake of some fish and chips. The batter is always so amazing in Yorkshire and the haddock from Kirkdale Fisheries was no exception, so light and crispy.
I've been putting my extensive wallpaper sample collection to good use, decorating the chimney breast in my bedroom to show off the fireplace
and papering a wall in the kitchen to try to increase the chances of selling my house, yup I hope to be on the move and escape to the country, but more on that, no doubt, in upcoming posts.
Mickey remains indifferent to all the hustle and bustle going on around him.
Merlin was just intent on getting some rays on the sunny windowsill.
Hutchiebaby picked up some rays on the entrance hall floor
and Billyboy insisted on supervising the paper hanging.
Archie was having a laze in the garden and I'm going to take a leaf out of his book this weekend!
Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you're up to!
I'm still making little mini quilts and loving the little explosions of colour, soon have enough to sew together to make a journal cover.
I've been making a sewn together collage for a friend's son, using pamphlets and flyers picked up on their visit to Nantes, France and the Jules Verne museum. It's been a while since I used this technique and it was nice to revisit it. I also found an old copy of a Journey to the Centre of the Earth and used pages from it to add into the mix.
I just love the quilty furrows I got by stitching parallel lines on the larger, back page of my journal. I'd love to use this effect on a larger quilt, maybe make something to throw over the sofa, mmmm............. too many ideas and so little time (as usual, lol).
I went off on a jaunt to Salts Mill in Saltaire, Bradford with some friends yesterday and after a wrong turn or two we arrived in glorious sunshine (such a contrast to two days ago when it was snowing). Salts Mill was built by Titus Salt in the 1853 to spin his alpaca and russian wools. He built the whole village around it for the workers, including a church and a school, in response to the appalling living conditions in nearby Bradford.
I can never go very far without finding a cat
and another. I'm wondering if T. Milnes made lions for gravestones as well, I'll have to do some research, as these lions remind me of one in Highgate Cemetery.
The streets are narrow and cobbled still.
The chimneys are massive.
The church like a spectacular cake!
The mill building is now divided into galleries with art materials, a book shop to die for (I could have spent all day and all my money in there), antiques emporiums and yummy restaurants.
Even the toilets have been left with the industrial tiles and feel.
There is a designer homeware shop with displays of vintage pottery, some by one of my friends.
And they had a display of Totem by Portmerion, one of my all time favourite ranges.
Around the mill are lovely shops including vintage, which is where I spotted this lovely bit of embroidery
and a gallery showing these super quirky art dolls by Ann Davies, an artist living and working in Saltaire.
Just to prove it was snowing earlier this week, some snowdrops out at Newtown Linford, so pretty with their little blanket of snow.
Now the studio is tidy and my table is clear I'm back to creating! In tidying up I came across lots of started-but-not-completed projects. Let's face it we all have them. The ones we lose interest in, the ones that need something but we don't know what, the impulse buys etc. Well, one of my resolutions this year is to finish more than I start! So these little quiltlets, a la Teesha Moore, were started ages ago and then I moved on to something else and these languished in a box.
Well, no more. I've now cut out some more, watched the videos again on Youtube and started stitching again. They are so simple to make and easy to pick up and put down, so ideal TV project. It's great when a project fits in a box don't you think?
I also came across this stitched journal that I suspect was made using Teesha Moore's instructions and only one flap had been started, so combining the quiltlet cover with this journel will mean two projects finished!
In the process of tidying I came across this box of soft sculptured heads that I made in workshop many years ago, probably the 90's, and I still don't know what to do with them. Any suggestions?
Earlier this month my lovely friend Annie from Nana Go Go sent me the most wonderful present, a handcrocheted bag in the most delicious swirling blues and turquoises. It is a true delight; she has put so much surface decoration and texture in it.
It undulates and wriths, swirls and twirls in woolly fabulousness.
Quite simply, it is stunning and Annie is a genius!
It's 4 years since my Freddy passed on but he's not forgotten, I always mark the day with treats for my boys. So Gourmet pate or Sheba tender slices, decisions, decisions..... sure the boys would say both, lol.
Hutch turned 10 this past week. He didn't seem too impressed but soon bucked up when the cat milk came out - he's such a foodie.
As you may have noticed I'm starting to play around with my photos - and having so much fun. Here's one of Merlin, showing off his multiple personalities
I'm hoping to actually get something creative done today as studio almost tidied. What are you up to today?
Now the mince pies have settled and the fireworks have gone off and 'normal' life resuming I wanted to share some of the wonderful cards that I got from the Inspirational Deck Swap I participated in. It arrived between Christmas and New Year like a belated but very welcome present and it's stunning. So many artists have come together to make this a wonderful swap.
Here are just some of the fabulous cards that I've pulled out of the deck to share with you today. The above artists are Kristin Dudish, Annette R Lansing and Joann Loftus. The cards below were made by Sandra Beligi, Mary Jane Chadbourne and Grace Mendex.
They really are a very inspirational way to start the New Year. I've just got to decide whether to make a box, a journal or a ring to keep them all in mmmm........
And I shall be visiting the artists and their blogs/facebooks etc over the next few days, really looking forward to meeting you all. Thank you for all your superb work. Hope you've all had a wonderful festive time and may I wish you a Happy, Creative and Artistic 2013!