Thursday, 26 September 2013


I was thinking about a title for today's post, and the word 'Abundance' came to mind, which seems apt for the time of year and all the good things that have been happening to me of late. So first off - some foodie abundance! The haul from the garden and greenhouse (apart from those long peppers and the citrus fruits, of course.)

The remains of the huge basket of blackberries I picked in the brilliant sunshine on Sunday, just down the lane.

The haul from our local market on Tuesday - I love to see this lovely old bowl piled up with fresh fruit and veggies.

A courgette, leek and mushroom tortilla which lasted us two days, with a simple salad and some home-made salsa.

An abundance of moth holes in my favourite cardigan has necessitated in another velvet patch. That'll teach me to hang it on the hangers in the porch!

An abundance of time and materials has resulted in yet another pin cushion on the go! So many of you have asked if I sell my stuff - well, I have done, at craft fairs, but seem to have given that up for now. I am in the middle of a swap with the lovely Els over at Fiber Rainbow but that is the closest I've got to selling them. Who knows.

And an abundance of time and feeling jolly found Jim and I driving across county to a tiny little village called Burnham Thorpe - whose chief claim to fame is that it is Admiral Lord Nelson's birth-place. The pub we like to go to is called the Lord Nelson, and is indeed the very one that Nelson himself frequented. Lots of memorabilia abounds and we attended, with some Naval friends of ours, the commemorative dinner here some years ago which was a great event. We particularly like a drop of 'Nelson's Blood' a Navy Rum and clove elixir which the old landlord made over the years and sold the recipe to the new owners - though we think he held a little something back, as it isn't QUITE the same any more, we think. We tend to buy it as gifts for people we like, who we know enjoy it. In actual fact, I hate even the smell of rum, I seldom drink these days and very seldom spirits. But this stuff is wonderful!

After a lovely lunch we tootled across the village to the church, where Nelson's father had been rector. We are not a religious family, but we are a Naval family, and sailors' hymns always make me cry. Nelson was my girlhood hero, and I felt quite choked wandering round the church, reading all the Nelson-related papers and information boards.

On the prayer cross, made from some wood from HMS Victory, Nelson's flag ship, Jim pinned the names of my dad and his great friend, my Uncle Eric, both of them were torpedo'd in the war on the same day, though they were in different ships. Another moment for a bit of a tear-job! The lectern and something else are made from HMS Victory wood, donated by the Admiralty.

"Let's drive back along the coast road and get some sea-food for tea." said Jim, so we did, and here are my final pictures of Abundance. When I was health visiting, I covered this area for some months for my colleague. I used to pop into this house for fish - in those days the 'shop' was a little lean-to round the back of the house! Now see how they have grown! And good luck to them too! Isn't it wonderful - the shop is in the little village of Brancaster Staithe. So, after spending a delightful time chatting to the owner about times gone by, we chose our goodies, and headed home, abundantly pleased with ourselves! I hope Abundance is making itself known in your home too. Have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Great Times

Well now, I'm aware I'm a tad late with this post, and so much has been happening I don't know where to begin and as for choosing which photographs to include..... anyway, I shall just dive in. Here you see Colin, one of the Ouse Washes Mollys musicians, and Bryan's back, one of the dancers who plays a few instruments himself. We danced out last Monday night at the Ship Inn  at Brandon Creek, with the Coton Morris side. We danced outside the pub....

I gave my camera to a Coton Morris man at this point and he did warn me he was pants at taking pictures...... anyway, here's one of us musicians as we always get left out!!

You can just make out my hat and coat of many colours. Well, coat of a few stray bits of fabric!

And we danced inside the pub, then we had a bit of a session which was lovely. I packed my fiddle and my melodeon - I'll need a bigger car soon, or get myself a Roadie!

                                                                      Step Dancer

                                                                   Nicky on clarinet

                                      Bryan on mandolin and Elin on fiddle.

Last Wednesday - second in the month - was Stitch and Bitch which was lovely as some of us haven't seen others of us (!) for a while what with the holidays and such. I finally finished my wool/felt Bird and Flowers cushion cover.

And yes, they are pins which you see at the bottom, simply because this photo was taken before it was completed and I forgot to do one after I finished! But it is, honestly!

 And in the evening it was the Very First Kitchen Table Session round at our house. Nine of us sat round our table with a mixture of instruments and a brilliant time was had. It was a tight squeeze at times, so Jim has sorted out a space for us round the corner at our local pub. Next month, however, as I'm in Wales, the session will be at Rob and Marj's. We've been talking about this for quite a while and finally just got on and DID it. This Wednesday saw me zipping up the A47 - again - to Dereham for Folk Club at the King's Head, which is always a good night.

Today has been a REALLY lovely one. Jim took mum's shopping and did all the Saturday Morning stuff for me so that I could go to Norwich  - that A47 again! - to visit this :

 I went principally to see Amanda - Amanda Colville of Mangle Prints who you will have read about here before. I bought one of her beautiful prints but it's for a gift so I won't show it yet. And of course I bought too many cards! Then I went for coffee at a lovely little place called The Bicycle Shop, all old wood, pews and saggy cushions and great coffee. The sun shone in and Vivaldi was playing, a gentle whiff of incense and peace - it was wonderful.

After which I popped across the road to a very interesting little place which called to me:

Go on, you'd have crossed the road too, wouldn't you? And don't worry about the Closing Down bit....

             Gorgeous things to buy, and fabric, and oil-cloth, and cards, and prints, and..........

a big room at the back where the Proprietor, Kay Spalding, holds all kinds of workshops: printing, felt-making, knitting and crochet, sewing and textiles, silver jewellery-making....... what an amazing place!

Kay specialises in locally sourced vintage ad hand-crafted gifts and jewellery as well as running the workshops. Next month she closes the shop HOWEVER, after a short break she will be re-opening at new premises nearer to home, in Park Lane, in January. Nearer the time I will let you know the full address and you can pop along yourselves!

And hey, Go Me! I have finished another pincushion! Just so you don't think I have gone Off The Boil!

I'm quite chuffed with it actually. What d'you think? Soooo quick and easy peasy and fun to do.

So here are the three of them in all their glory - on a tray with Morning Glory! Ha! Set up or what! (It wasn't actually, it's only just struck me, but there you are, serendipity strikes again. I'm rambling.)

Definitely time for me to pack in! If you have lasted this long, well done for sticking with it! I must try and write more frequent, shorter posts, but then, I said this before and it never happens. Hope you all have a happy, sunny Sunday, looks like the weather is going to be kind again. Bye for now!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Stitching in Splendour

Just to sow you that I DID accomplish some stitchery while we were at the caravan last week! The wool cushion cover is almost finished - well, bar the sewing up - just a little more outlining and I'm done I think.

I made a few more hexagons and cut out more templates. Not a lot to show, I'm afraid!

I did however, finish the pincushion! I LOVED working on this, just the right size and quite quick to make. I can see a few more being stitched over the next couple of months.

Oh, another textile thing that happened over there, was that when we visited Brecon, we popped into a flea market and there was a lovely book/textile stall combined. Two of my favourite pastimes in one place! I bought a 1927 Girl Guiding adventure book for £6 - it was a first edition (not that I collect 1st editions, by the way!) and on the other side there were some lovely hearts and small stuffed rabbits and owls made with vintage Welsh blanket.  I bought a heart and got chatting - as you do - to Sue, the proprietor of Clem's Daughter. Here is her website link:

We had a lovely chat about textiles, and when I mentioned that I wanted to visit Jen Jones' Welsh Quilt collection, she told me all about the museum at Lampeter so we will be making a trip there next time we go, you may be sure!

I think I must get into the habit of sitting making hexagons while the tv is on in the evenings, or that darned quilt is never going to get itself made!

We are still enjoying the last dregs I think, of summer here in West Norfolk, we have had pretty consistent sunshine and just a few showers the last three days, despite dire warnings from the Weather Man. Am I the only person who has to chuckle every time Fiona Bruce says "And over to you, Thomas Chaffaknacker" (BBC news watchers only.) I know, I know, it is base and very childish of me. I have no excuse. But I bet you have a snigger too. And on that happy note I shall leave you until next time!