Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Well, I received a lovely email from Rima, so it arrived safe and sound before they took to the road.
So, here it is. My first attempt at Redwork. Not traditional I know. Red thread on a piece of softest wool blanket. I took my inspiration from Tove Jansson's Moomintroll. Somehow these little creatures just scuttled into my head and would not hear of leaving. Persistent I think was the word I used.

(Apologies for the dodgey quality of the photos. Cliona? Jeannie? We need to talk!)

I can safely say, I am a convert. At any given moment of non-activity I am rummaging in my enormous and bottomless bag for my little tin and away I go, needle creeping in and out, slowly making a new little world,

Last night Jay stopped and looked at me curled up on the red couch, stitching away on the next piece under the light of the lamp, a big blanket over my legs.
He said: I love the way you are sewing what is covering you!
Yes, there, at the end of the blanket, a big gaping square has been cut out!

And then I remembered. The five of us fighting over who got to sit on the couch with Mum, snuggled under whatever quilt she was working on. And the groan's and mutterings when we had to move it as she stitched her way around it...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Seven Random Facts

I've been tagged. Thank you Karen. I have seen this particular one doing the rounds, and it's a bit of fun so here goes.

The Rules:

Link to your Tagger
Share 7 facts about yourself ( random or unusual)
Tag 7 other people at the end of the post and leave them a comment to let them know they have been tagged.

The Facts:

1) I have always loved music, and I get quite intense with something new that I love and have it on loop for weeks. As a result, I often find it hard to go back and listen to something from my past. It can be a physical pain in my heart. A little espresso shot of a moment that is gone forever.

2) Staying with music. Since having children, and my mind is filled with the practicalities of life-with-four-children, I find it difficult to switch on my creative brain when I want to. But I find that listening to piano music gets things flowing. Poetry in motion...

3) The 'Dancing Queen' scene in Mamma Mia always makes me cry... (That's more of a confession than a random fact!)

4) Since the first time I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang I have always wanted to live in a windmill. This followed closely by the desire to live on a canal barge.

5) I once played in a Samba band...

6) I think Jane Austen is probably my hero, for too many reasons to write here. But suffice to say I read (and watch) Pride and Prejudice at least once a year. (The BBC version. Though I do admit to loving the more recent version for it's visual beauty. And the music...)

7) People aside, beauty is the most important thing.

And now, the difficult bit. Who to tag?
(I have a feeling some of you may have done this one already so ignore it if you have!)

Oh...and any of you out there who fancy doing it. You can say I tagged you! Let me know and I'll sneak your name in here.

And now, some pictures to end the week with...

A Week Of Pictures.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Something Lovely.

I'd like to share with you my latest favourite obsession. Something I'm amazed I haven't discovered before now. Ok, I've seen it but it didn't enter my conscious brain, if you know what I mean. And now, I have dragged myself away from my couch and the complete addiction that is Redwork. I'm sure a good number of you are familiar with it, but I will be forever grateful to my friend Joan who casually mentioned it to me the last week whilst looking at something I am working on. It was like someone handing me a very large light and saying 'Here! Look where you're going!'
Magic. That's all I can say. When I googled it later I nearly fell off my chair with excitement. You know that feeling? This is what I was looking for and didn't know it!
The best description of it is that it is a form of embroidery that uses only red thread. For a potted history of it, look here.
There is some incredible stuff to be found on the internet, and on Flickr, and I particularly love the vintage pieces. Just look at these.

Isn't this last one adorable?

I do find a lot of the contemporary work is very traditional, and I'd love to see people who are being a bit more adventurous with it. I have so far completed one little piece which I will show in a day or two when the person I've made it for receives it, and then I will have to warn my family to all stop checking in to Milkmoon until Christmas day...!

Edit: I pulled theses images from the internet, or Flickr maybe, and I can't remember where exactly. I'll keep looking to see where so I can properly credit them.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Glimmer Lantern Glimmer.

There is something about this time of year, the dying year, the fading, that compels us to hold onto, to celebrate, light.
Last week in school the children celebrated the Hindu festival of light, Diwali. ( Another year they celebrated the Swedish festival of St. Lucia in December). The whole school spent the week doing lots of lovely little projects on the subject and then on Friday there was a gathering in the hall where they got to try Indian food and they all received red bindi paste on their forehead. My Only Girl, and some of her friends brought in saris and were shown how to wear them.

And then, on Tuesday we celebrated the festival of St. Martin or Martinmas with some friends.

St. Martin is the patron saint of beggars, drunkards and outcasts! The tale told is that he gave half his cloak to a beggar and then had a dream where he saw Christ wearing his cloak. And so he devoted himself to all mankind no matter what their station in life.
The 11th of November has become a festival of light particularly in France, though I first came across it through the Steiner/Waldorf tradition.

These flash photos do no justice to our lantern-lit walk in the woods! The children each had a candle-lit lantern and we crept through the dark, dark woods, making our way tentatively, stealthily, through the overhang, over tree-roots, avoiding a tumble into the merrily splashing river that ran alongside us!

A delicious shared dinner with friends followed. Warmth and light. Warmth and light.

Warmth and light. 

A blessing of warmth and light for the coming months on you all!

Monday, 10 November 2008

What I was Grateful For Today.

This morning, driving to meet some friends,
against the brightest blue, the yellow gold, brightest gold, 
the yellow leaves of Autumn. 
My eye was caught. 
My breath. Oh!
And then out of nothing, scrambling the blue, a crowd, a melee,
a mad dash of rooks, tearing little holes in the sky. 

And then they were gone.

Oh, of all days to forget my camera! 

Exquisite Corpse.

Ah, what a week. No real reason I didn't get around to posting other than a sort of vacuum of a week in the sense that we did very little except draw in to ourselves, making the house warm, nesting ourselves for winter. Any precious time I got at the sewing machine was spent making things like boring curtains, whilst a half made pile of other more desirable doings lay on the table, drawing my eye again and again. This week, I promise myself.

One thing that did brighten our week though was the arrival in the post of a parcel from Buenos Aires (along with the latest Pedlars catalogue, oh yes!) which included an early birthday present for me!

The thing that was immediately fought over was this stunning book. An Exquisite Corpse (favourite game no.1 in this house) book of animals. The illustrations are just beautiful.

The pages are in three parts and by turning them individually you can create amazing creatures.

Or you can view them as a whole. They truly are beautiful. 

Thanks so much Marta and Sam!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A Note From My Only Girl.

This was languishing in my drafts since Thursday while I figured out how to cross out a word...

To Caira
To Ciara
Thank you for tiding my room
I'll try to keep it tidy.
I like when you writ me notes.
Please write soom some more?
Love Me xxxooo age 10

Monday, 3 November 2008

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Samhain Greetings!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you all had a wonderful night!

We've had a busy few days and the weekend is not over yet! I'm off to the Knitting and Stitching Show tomorrow-a highlight of my year.

I can't wait!

And I look forward to catching up with everyone as soon as my feet find the earth again.

Happy Sunday to you all tomorrow!