Saturday, 31 January 2015

Pieces Of Apple - Core

Evening! This isn't a long post, I just wanted to share a bit of my latest project. I have been working on tacking my fabric shapes to my applecore paper templates and am quite pleased with how it's going. It's a good lunch break or bus journey project as currently it is small and portable. I do get one funny looks when I get it out o the bus and start sewing though.
I will be adding more colours and fabric patterns to my collection, although staying in the blue/green/teal/turquoise range. Splashes of other colours will sometimes appear within the patterns like the pink polka dots or purple motifs but I would like the majority of colours to eventually look like a colour blend chart if you know what I mean.
For now though, it's keep stitching!!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A Soggy Sheffield Park

We did manage to get to Sheffield Park in the end (in my last post I was bemoaning the weather and the fact it might make us cancel our trip to this much beloved National Trust Garden.) even though it was slightly soggy to begin with.

The garden is essentially formed up of large lakes that intertwine with each other through little streams or waterfalls. During the summer with all of the trees full of leaves and the shrubs and flowerbeds full of glowing, scented flowers (like in this post from August 2013) it is absolutely gorgeous and very popular. As it was yesterday, there was hardly anybody there which was somewhat eerie.

The house has been divided up into flats (apparently the top flat with the balcony is for sale. Anyone interested?) so it is just the gardens and parkland that are open to the public.

Imagine having all of this in your back garden!

Even though there weren't many flowers to look at, there were an incredible amount of crinkly lichens and mosses. It was quite amazing to see them covering the branches, almost like a winter fur coat!

The silver birch trees were almost glowing against all of the soggy brown-ness (is that a word? Brownness...?) around it. They have the most fascinating bark type.

There are lots of amazing trees in the park, I think I probably take the same photos of the same trees every time we go. I just can't help myself. This one is huge!!

There weren't even that many water birds around. Two sleepy swans, two small groups of ducks and some coots and that was about it.

It was beautiful to have the garden to ourselves though.

This fallen log was simply spectacular!! Look at the fungus!!! (Fungi?) Quite incredible. All those waves and ripples, layering up on top of themselves. It was like a big yellow frilly party!

The sun started to peep out just as we were finishing our walk and heading back towards the shop and tearooms.

Just in time for me to photograph a lovely patch of snowdrops.

Afternoon tea with fruit scones (strawberry jam and clotted cream) and coffee was our reward for braving the wind and rain. Much appreciated it was too!

It was another first for me- being the only people in the tearoom. I don't think I've ever been to a National Trust tearoom where there were only empty seats. We were in the Oak Hall which was rather splendid. Loved the fireplace.

When we left the tearoom and started walking back to the car, the clouds had practically vanished, leaving the most beautiful late afternoon sunshine and blue sky. We prolonged our stay slightly and had a chat with the cows before we left. I'm so glad we went out!

Wintry Turtle Doves

Why is it that whenever I want to photograph my newest ATC sets, the weather is awful and the light is dingy? I can't seem to get nice photos of my projects at the moment- roll on summer and bright lights!! Today is dingy and wet- we had hoped to visit Sheffield Park and have a wander but this is looking increasingly unlikely which is such a shame!
Kit very bravely ventured into the garden for a minute or two, then decided against a longer stroll and came hurtling back into the kitchen leaving wet paw prints all over the floor. He was obviously exhausted by his excursion and is now safely snuggled back in bed, drying his fur on the duvet.

Still, we are brightening the place up with lots of colourful flowers and plants- well I am at least. Currently on the windowsill I have my Christmas Cactus about to flower again, my gorgeous and fantastically vibrant Cyclamen, a new (hopefully purple) Hyacinth, Dad's very leggy Narcissus and our trusty pink Orchid.

I just love the pretty frills at the edges of the Cyclamen petals. An added touch of frivolity.

On the kitchen table we have my bright red pot of Poinsettias, and a newly purchased double bunch vase of Daffodils. I love Daffodil season- such happy flowers!

I have been very busy stitching lately. My poor applecore quilt has had to be put on hold whilst I make my ATCs before the deadline. It's one of the things I like about the ATC group, having relaxed deadlines. That way you don't put these things off for ever and ever, you have to do it (and you have to enjoy it!) but you are kind of setting these goals for yourself. Plus you then get a reward at the end of it with the gorgeous cards made by talented people.

These two cards are for the second month of my set swap, 12 Days of Christmas. We are making one or two a month, each time taking inspiration from the lyrics of the Christmas rhyme. This way we will have a complete song set in time for Christmas 2015. So for the second month we are onto Turtle Doves!

I wanted my doves to stand out so have outlined them with metallic blue and gold threads.

Whilst I am on an ATC roll, I have also made a start on some Winter themed cards. I need to make another one to bring this set up to three, but am so thrilled with these two that I can't wait to share them with you. I have kind of gone for a Wintry garden theme, with some hardy flowers in fields of snow, with glittery snowflakes softly falling from the sky.

I have used several stitches in these, back stitch, whip stitch, long stitch, star stitch, french knots and bullion knots.

I might have to make a fourth one I like these so much!