Phew! What a busy couple of weeks it's been! Today I am doing a lot of sitting, gentle pootling, catching up on admin (in a relaxed sort of way) and playing with new ideas for future projects. There are no fixed plans, and for today at least, I can go with the flow.
Last weekend I popped up to London for the day with some girl friends. It was one of the only days this year that we could all meet up, and as they have all spread far and wide, London was the easiest place for us to get to. There was a lot of wandering involved, especially as the District and Circle tube lines were closed so we had to walk to tube entrances that were still operating, pausing outside St. Paul's for a photo opportunity before moving on. We visited South Bank street food market where they have every single type of cuisine you could ever ask for! I ate the most amazing mild Mauritian curry with the best tasting pilau rice I've ever had, and the others tried risotto, burritos, hot curries....all sorts of stuff.
When we'd eaten our fill we visited the V&A Museum for a bit of culture. I'd forgotten how pretty the building was. It's not only the artifacts inside that are steeped in history and created by masters- the architecture and interior design is astounding! These photos are just of a staircase!
Once we felt cultured enough it was off to Hyde Park to sit in the shade and eat magnum ice creams and strawberries with a sneaky iced Pimms, and we rounded the day off with a smashing pub dinner before catching the train home again. It was a fabulous day and one that will be remembered as a good time with friends.
The rest of the week just gone has mostly been taken up with work and lots of studio time whilst I prepared for the second of my Bridge Arts shows. As the weather has been so beautiful, it's been rather lovely to have an excuse to wander around in the evenings whilst the light turns golden and makes everything appear prettier than before. These Hydrangeas are in a garden on the way to my studio and look glorious!
It was also a very successful sales week with three original stitchscapes flying out of the door! I love packaging up the 'scapes and using all of my stationary to make it look unified and pretty. Those stickers get me every time- they're so cute!
It is an absolute thrill to have an order and to know that someone out there loves my work enough to buy it from me. I hope it's a buzz that never goes away!
Yesterday was the Uckfield Festival Big Day Out, and the Bridge Arts in Uckfield group were exhibiting and selling their works of art in the building the group is named after- Bridge Cottage. The building is one of the oldest in Uckfield; a medieval Wealden Hall House built around 1436. It has recently been renovated and plays a central role in our town, being used for weddings, exhibitions, events and school history trips, and was a really lovely place to have our art fair.
The Mother was my right hand lady once again, and helped to set up and chat to the punters. We had a little table right under the window which wasn't great for photo taking but was excellent in terms of light so that I could carry on sewing during the quiet moments.
It felt strangely authentic to be stitching in the cottage actually, and made me wonder, throughout it's long history, how many other women (and men) have sat there and stitched. We know that the house was owned by many different people, and at one point, had multiple families living in it, so the chances are quite good that someone would have picked up a needle, for whatever reason.
It was a good day, meeting new and previous customers and chatting to visitors about their experiences with sewing, demonstrating bullion knots and showing children the textures being created. A lady who contacted me through my website asking for my advice on hoop size and embroidery methods even brought in the work she had done inspired by my stitchscapes! How fantastic is that?! It's amazing how embroidery and sewing and creativity can bring people together.
Whilst I really love doing these craft fairs and being in the studio, it is nice to have a day to relax at home, putting the needle and thread down for a few hours so that my poor blistered thumb can recover a bit. Today is a breathing day and we have all the doors and windows open at home to allow the gentle breeze to blow through the house, bringing with it the scent of the flowers in the garden. Our garden is looking pretty spectacular at the moment, with an absolute riot of colours and shapes in the pots and flowerbeds. Even the plants that have gone over are looking good- like the spiky Allium skeletons, and the dusty green/grey poppy pods.
This month it is the turn of the Agapanthus to put on a show, and any minute now they are all going to pop open!
The cat is totally blissed out and is just flopping from one melting point to another. In shade, in sun, in shade, in sun- the routine of a very happy sun-loving puss cat.
I have some new ideas cooking up in my head for new stitchscapes. I think it's time to sew up another batch of stitchscape minis which are proving very popular at the moment, and I would also like to throw down some different backgrounds so that I could potentially work on different 'scapes at a time. Lots to be thinking about....but maybe not to action yet, I have some more breathing and relaxing to do first....