Thursday, 30 December 2010

✒ my unadulterated list for 2011 ✒

new years resolutions 2011

Click on the image to see it bigger...
A little tongue in cheek, a list of resolutions.
The bit about being nice to everyone?
I can but try {sigh}
I was having a PollyAnna moment

I was trying out some pens and a stamp I made for Rebecca N.
Sometimes I think I might forget how to write... I'm always typing these days,
I remember being at school and covering pages in scrawl and being envious of 
some girl's writing and trying to copy her sloping tiny-ness. 
But I just kept BURSTING messily out of the page!
I don't suppose kids today have handwriting envy?

Now tell me? What are your resolutions for 2011?
Do you have one? Or a multitude?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

✰ Christmas Past & Christmas Present & a peek into the future ✰

We all have our Christmas 'traditions' don't we? Our very own family quirks and routines that make this time of year so loved and dreaded in equal measures. I loved Christmas when my girls were little, so many ways to excite and surprise them with imagined sounds of sleigh bells and decorating fresh trees that were always too big for the house. Velvet stockings with gold trim stuffed with gifts and satsumas and apples! We have the same fairy that we had then and a whole box of decorations that exude memory and occasion. (all a little tired but that's the point)

our fairy
I went through a phase of loving Christmas, then hating it and refusing to play ball at all and back to loving it again. I'm loving it again. It's peculiar and it's ours. My beautiful girls and their various splendid friends, my gorgeous mum and my lovely other dad, various loved family members, friends and friends of friends. Whoever wants to come really. I cook and cook and cook, after I've cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and shopped and shopped and I love it when we all sit and eat and we are there, right then, around the table on a variety of chairs, all of us alive and laughing and bickering or smiling or lost in thought. Because there are those that we miss every day in every way but there is always a candle lit in memory, a flickering constant prayer. Sadness is a side dish of Christmas.

I wish all of you a very special time this season.
Thanks for being there reading this and giving me a massive ego boost now and then.
It's most welcome. It's so good to get to know you all...I have found so many new friends through this blog and although I haven't met all of you in person I do feel such a nice connection so thanks for taking the time to share my world & letting me in to yours.
It's been a welcome distraction.


So, to the breaking news. I am going on another of my trips. In the new year. This time I am off to India (again) to get back on my yoga practice that I fell off of and am missing incredibly. I will really look forward to a strict regime again. I crave getting up early and laying down my mat and flowing through some breath and stretch and making the space in my heart bigger. I have let it dangle and I can't do that, I have so much faith in the power of yoga. 

And then, ta daaaaaa I am going to Nepal. Kathmandu. This is so utterly thrilling for me as I am going to work with a charity and teach printmaking and bookbinding skills to children/young adults and hopefully help them design, package and market goods to sell; which will benefit them all long term. And benefit me by having a whole lot of new people and places to visit. Isn't it amazing? I am so lucky and I know that deeply I am blessed and I thank the amazing fortunate events that have brought me to this point. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. It is a bit scary, a big adventure, but sometimes I just have to take a leap and jump.  I have never been to Nepal, so will have brand new fresh eyes and that's the best for sharing. This does, of course mean that I will be sharing my adventures with you too. When I see it for the first time, so will you through my words & images. Through this blog. Which is nice for me as it helps me keep a little toe here in England. My home and hearth and heart are here. They always will be. The wanderlust is rousing me, I have to go and see, again. So, Mysore, Delhi and I couldn't have imagined that years ago when I first bought the fairy. 

I do get homesick and I do get lonely and I miss my family too much but I also Want To Do Something. So this is my attempt at Something and hopefully it will be Meaningful. With the internet and Skype and Twitter and Facebook there are many ways to keep in touch with my family in between the power cuts and the dodgy phone lines. It's faraway but not really...So, all that is left is to wish you all a really lovely holiday season, however you celebrate it, whatever your faith and traditions are I hope you have a beautiful time. 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

⦁ Benjamin's Book ⦁

Benjamin's book

Rebecca wanted a book for her new born son...Benjamin. A photo album that she could arrange pictures, notes and writings in. I used watercolours and my hand carved rubber stamps to make the cover, I also created something similar for the back cover without his name, I just forgot to photograph it. The name was created with my 'circus' rubber stamp alphabet that I drew freehand and had made into rubber stamps in India. 
The spine is lovely French book cloth in teal. The pages are all hand sewn with linen thread and each page has a 'shim' which is a very very short 'page' to allow for content to be added to the pages without bulging the book out of shape when full. It's easier to show you an image!


Rebecca was very happy and it's a really nice keepsake that is fully functional. I hardly remember to take snaps of my work as it comes and goes too quickly but this was on my desk for a while as I was snowed under. And now we literally are..
Hope you are all enjoying the snow in the UK? It just makes me incredibly hungry.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

❄ the more it snows ❄

As I type this, the snow is falling, those fat drifting flakes that float to earth. I really love the first snowfall, the soft padded silence that insulates my street and with the lack of traffic I could be anywhere, I could be in Narnia. Of course, by tomorrow the novelty will have worn off and the dog and I will have cabin fever and be ready to maim for fresh supplies.

inside out

This morning, I am off upstairs to my temporary letterpress studio to finish printing my Xmas cards...Using a very old Ajax press (which is a variation on an Adana) I am slowly learning his personality and his need for cajoling and fine adjustment. I have written off a fair few days on this Ajax beast but I have learned so much that I can't consider them wasted days but let's just say my achievements amounted to zero. It's always a hard fact that things don't always come easy or fall in your lap with such romantic outdated printing methods but the smell of ink and the tack of the rollers and the increasing pile of success is infinitely more satisfying than the whirr and click of a digital printer. Eventually, I become proficient and I get my rewards.

mixing a green

If you are a regular visitor to my blog and lover of handmade and hand printed then make sure you are following me and then drop me a message with your postal address and I'll send you a letterpress postcard. My way of saying thank you for sticking around when I am busy and don't get here so much.

xmas postcards

Monday, 1 November 2010

⟴ a few words ⟴

Some images from my desk this weekend...and one from my woody walk.
Let us not procrastinate...
This is a link to the best blog in the world ever
apart from yours of course...
I am busy, you are busy. 
I won't keep you.

fly agaric?

Friday, 15 October 2010

⚫ plump glossy rose hips ⚫

hook me in

This is a prayer, a slow easy over under 
The stove clicking and ticking and with each opening
The flames rumble into the room and I link and breathe and dream the colour of the air

I promised myself a long time ago to learn something 
completely new with each passing year. 
To add to the things I will always be learning and illuminating and improving on.

This year it has been meditation and crochet and the art of letting go.
In discovering what is good for me I find a twirl of peace.

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, 1 October 2010

♕ queen of shops ♕

I'm back in the rain and grey and gloomy doom. I thought you might have had the decency to have an Indian summer waiting for me but alas only the grey carpeted corridor of Gatwick greeted me and my 20 kilos of luggage. My luggage was packed with my purchases of wool from the haberdashery shop in Turkey.
Knitting and crochet are very popular pastimes in Turkey. It's very hot in the summer but becomes cooler in the winter especially in the mountains. Even in the warm days that I was there I saw older people with woollen hats on and shawls & knitted socks appearing in the shops.
I am teaching myself to crochet and very nice it is too. I am not very accomplished but I am enjoying making little granny squares and it keeps my idle hands busy. So to the wool shop I went to buy some pure Turkish wool for my blanket which I will deem a family heirloom before I have begun.
The shop was divine. The proprietors spoke very little English so I just swooned around them and they didn't mind me taking a few snaps which I knew you would all love to see.
It was a haberdashery heaven...

Alladin's cave

wool shop

The wool choice was staggering in colour and grade and it was all so much cheaper than here. Pure 100% wool was 4 Turkish Lira for 100 grams which works out to around £1.70. And the hanks of wool worked out much much cheaper than that. And if you didn't mind an acrylic mix then you would pay a few pence a ball. Not Fair is it? That's the problem with living on an island that isn't self sufficient anymore. Grrr. We should have lots of good value home spun wool. I thought we had loads of sheep?

pure Turkish wool

Check out those colours?

button blooms

Every type of button you could possibly need?


And reels of ribbons galore...

ribbons on reels

ribbon bundles

zippedy doo dah

Zips and...
Trim and lace...
apple tea break
And the sweet couple running the shop bought us Apple Tea on a tray. It's just normal behaviour in Turkey. They don't do that in John Lewis do they?
I'll keep you posted on the crochet's my new going out. 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

♒ my Turkish birthday ♒

Dear Blogettes
I am having a lovely time in Turkey, it was my birthday on Monday and I celebrated by sharing a boat trip with some friends around the blue bays of the coast here. The sea was the perfect blue, the boat a little rickety, the lunch was all produced in a kitchen the size of a cupboard and was delicious.


The sun shone all day as it should on birthdays... beginning with the breakfast for Kings, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and bread, eggs and cherry jam...

breakfast for two


Leaping from the boat into turquoise seas and bringing forth birthday sea urchins for my delight.. 

a bay for us


Another treasure to add to my nature table...

beach findings
And the day ended as gloriously as it began, with tequila sunrises at sunset... all birthdays should be as beautiful as this for everyone.
a birthday finale

Monday, 13 September 2010

♍ you know it's autumn when... ♍

framing my sky
It's time to take the summer canopy down and pack away the bunting...
The sky is still wide and blue but I'm off on my annual jaunt to Turkey and I'm not sure 
the weather is going to be as pretty as this when I return...
So I pack away the summer into the drawer under my bed and 
not wish too much time away until I can retrieve it all...
taking down the flags
After all, I love the autumn and a chance to catch up on my crochet, 
my stove and my reading..
I think I achieve more in the winter months, longer evenings..
a sense of time drifting.
I bought this lined basket at the boot fair yesterday to store my wool in..
My wool was kept in a shoe box waiting for the right thing to appear.
Ta daaaaaa. £2. 
woollen picnic
I also bought this pretty book for 50 pence. I cannot resist a lovely looking book
even though I am as musical as a row of green ten bottles sitting and falling off a wall.
musical monthly
And I know it's Autumn when my lawn is dotted with fungi.
I feel very drawn to these otherworldly beings.
I'm going to sketch them just so I can determine their structures.

spores on breath

upside of longing
I'm bound to have some lovely images from Turkey to share with I'll be back soon.
Enjoy these late summer days. They are sweet and bitter.
I'm off to eat figs and gaze at mountains.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

♟ I always wanted to work in a library ♟

september index card

If you want to make index/library catalogue cards like this then pop over HERE.
It's a good way to waste some of your life

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

☀ 31st August ☀ {brighter hope}

31st August {brighter hope}

Thanks for all your lovely thoughts and comments around my August Break images.
And thanks for lurking if you did just that...I do it all the time.
It's been really quite nice to just choose one picture that epitomised my day 
and now when I look back at this August it's quite memorable in it's details 
because of this set of images.
It's been good to stay in touch with a picture.
And now on the threshold of September I'm hoping to bring you more words
If I can think of any?

Thank you for all of yours.

★ August 30th ★

30th August