Sunday, 1 March 2015

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant, Happy St David's Day


We are celebrating our saint's day in Wales today - the shops are loaded down with daffodils, welsh cakes, bara brith, and all things Welsh. We will probably have Welsh cakes at teatime as they are a favourite of my Mum's and its quite hard to get her to eat anything these days.


And talking of Welsh cakes I'm reminded of a beautiful day last summer when my sister, Mum and I enjoyed afternoon tea on the library terrace at Ruthin Castle - the most deliciously light golden brown cakes I've ever tasted!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Handstitched Home and Country Living


I'm hoping to brush up on my embroidery skills this year and I'm looking forward to a machine embroidery class I've booked for next month.  I have had a go a few times but the results were not good!  So for my niece's birthday this week I've hand embroidered this little picture.  I used cream felt for the background and cut out the applique pieces from scraps.  The little sentiment is stamped on card, cut out  and stuck on with double sided tape. 


My picture was inspired by the cover of this gorgeous embroidery book I found at The Works recently.  Its a lovely lovely book and I cannot imagine why its been remaindered but I'm very glad for me that it is.



When I bought the book I didn't notice it was a Country Living magazine publication.  I've been a subscriber since the very first issue, which I just cannot believe was 30 years ago in April!?!  How did it get to be that long ago! 


Country Living have produced this gorgeous mug to celebrate their anniversary and I'd LOVE to buy it as its designed by one of my favourite artists/illustrators Angie Lewin - but its rather expensive and I might be too scared to use it in case it I drop or chip it.  However I've worked a lot of extra shifts this last few weeks so might just treat myself and keep it "for best" :)

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Punny Valentine


I notice the US custom of giving Valentine tokens to all and sundry creeping in on this side of the Atlantic too.  The tradition of sending an anonymous card to someone you have amour for but are too shy to tell seems to be slipping away I feel. 


But we crafters never miss an opportunity to 'make' so I got out these quirky children's stamps I bought on a visit to France a while ago and paired them up with suitable sentiments I found in my stamp collection - My Punny Valentine and On the Farm both from Papertrey Ink.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. x

Thursday, 5 February 2015

You were right!


Well you six commenters are all winners!  I did go for a walk but I also made some more roses yesterday morning, started on the garden in the afternoon and had a nice bath with my book as well.  And I'm very glad too as after two glorious sunny days the sky has clouded over today - but it is slightly warmer!


Which is good as these poor little lambs must have had a few hard nights lately - I hope they snuggled up tight to Mum. 


We haven't had much snow here - even the top of nearby Moel Famau only had a sprinkling.  There wasn't even enough to tempt out the usual sledgers we normally see when driving over the tops to the next town on Saturday.


But that sprinkling does show up the cut heather nicely.  These cut strips encourage young growth in the heather to temp the wildlife and make spaces for Red and Black Grouse to lek.


I always stop at this gap in the hedge here.  It looks down the Vale of Clwyd towards the sea - though you can't actually see the sea.  I thought I might take this photo every month this year to watch the change of season.



Although not an official footpath, I've been walking by this stream for over 40 years so I hope the farmer doesn't mind.  It has a lot of memories - not least watching my son and his cousins playing in the stream in summer and walking the family's yellow lab Pen many years ago - she loved to paddle in the water.  And there were always curlews calling on late afternoons in winter but I haven't heard them for a long long time.



But I did stop to watch and listen to a large flock of goldfinches in the top of an oak tree.


It was very cold - the puddles were still frozen late afternoon - but at least that meant the very muddy bit I usually have to try and jump around posed no problem this time.


And finally back into town.  This first bungalow always reminds me of the little house at the beginning of episodes of Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men we watched as little children in the 50s.

Well, as I said you are all going to be winners and expect a little something in the post in the next week or so.  If I haven't got your address (that's you Julie, Ethel and Gill) please do let me have it.  You can email me on annhayes2008@gmail.com.  Look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Tuesday Afternoon


Now here's a quandary; I had a free afternoon today - hooray!  However what to do with it?  There were a number of options on my list:

1) Have a long relaxing bath, read another chapter of the delightful Embroidery Mary and light the fire early.

2) Start some much needed clearing up in the garden.

3) Practice a few more crepe paper roses - I haven't been completely happy with the ones I've made so far.

4) Go for a walk in the fields as the sun is shining and the sky a perfect blue.

Well, which one do you think I chose? 

I don't get much traffic here on the blog so I think I'm fairly safe to have a little competition.  Leave me your guess as to what I did this afternoon  in the comments and I'll give a little prize to all of you who get it right!  It won't be much but will be a little appreciation for all you lovely folk who keep on coming back and leaving me heart warming comments.

Pop back this time tomorrow to see if you were right!


Sunday, 25 January 2015

St Dwynwen's Day


Hope everyone is enjoying this sunny Sunday St Dwynwen's Day.  I had these wooden heart shapes left from my Christmas projects and chose some suitable stamps from my stash. The birds and pink heart are from Nordic Spring at Waltzingmouse Stamps and the sentiments in English from Seasons of Love also from Waltzingmouse.  Although the stamps are designed to look like knitted fabric I think they look like medieval tapestries too so are just right for Dwynwen who was a Welsh medieval princess.  The stylised roses are from Papertrey Ink's Rosie Posie set.  And the Welsh "cariad" I stamped with a small wooden alphabet set.  Although I have used a pyrography pen to burn the images on the wooden hearts you could just as easily stamp them in a dark brown ink or some other strong colour.  The pink heart is diecut cardstock - four layers gluesticked together makes a nice substantial hanging heart tag.




Thursday, 22 January 2015

Sparkle, sparkle, glitter, glitter, shine, shine!


More Sparkle and Shine - last Saturday my sister and I had a lovely time playing with glittery of all types at a workshop run by my crafty friend Sarah, alias The Newspaper Lady.  Sarah has recently opened The Coach House, a really perfect little building next to her home as a craft workshop and already has a string of interesting workshops/courses on the calendar.


I don't really know what's come over me as I've never liked shiny and glittery before but I think 2015 is going to be its year at my craft desk! 


Perhaps I've been influenced by the very sparkly sunset we watched from Talacre Beach at the New Year.  It was a beautiful but very cold day and as the sun got lower in the sky absolutely everything started to shine.


And as we were driving away we saw the pink moon rising turning even ugly industrial Deeside and a distant Liverpool into a shining spectacle.



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