Sunday, 30 December 2012

The Craft Of Writing

We Are All Writers Now!

Hibiscus flowers Gallery
Via google

I get thoroughly p***ed off with the type of 'blog' favoured by the 'up and coming/down and out' 'writer'. Perhaps you have all seen them? They come without any links to other blogs, or any method of communication and are merely a spewing of thought on anything from smartphones to falling flat on ones face. The blogger, (or person who purports to be/calls themselves a 'writer' or 'poet'), has no interest in other bloggers ideas and inspirations yet feel that we, the public, will be delighted to read the infantile drivel they spout about the state of the universe and all that. I find them nauseating and generally without any hint of merit whatsoever. With twitter, facebook, instagrams, youtube, facetime, pinterest, blogs, tumblr, flickr, and self publishing, etc., to add to their own sense of self importance, these people generally make such fools of themselves - will they ever learn anything or are they just interested in their own voices? They are giving so little to society and missing so much in life  by being so introspective and full of their own self importance. Do they not realize that we are all writers now?

Writer's Digest magazine, 1952 | Writer Cartoons
Via Writers Digest

However, I do so love the interactive blogging community. It has taught me new sewing crafts and skills, some easy ways with cooking, knitting and crochet, how to share and respond with warmth, and a myriad of other subjects I would never in a million years have ever thought of. It has also taught me that sharing skills and learning and love with others is a wonderful way to live a selfless life. My days have been enhanced by book and music choices suggested by others and bloggers have also taught me new ways of looking at the world and understanding the plight of others and the joys and depressions of living in a complex world: I think it has helped me be a better and kinder and more compassionate human being. It has also brought me many virtual friends who have helped me through difficult days.

Share the love

This last year I learned how to felt, make jewellery, how to improve my knitting, weaving, some inspirational colour co-ordination in crochet, (thank you Lucy), how a bear is made, (thank you Katy), all about the beauty of day lilies, (thanks to Beth), and a lot about the plight of children in South Africa, (thanks to Lindsey). 

Columbine Flower Picture Gallery
Via google

The lovely Diane has introduced me to Alfie Boe (wow!), and Mary to samplers, and the wonderful Benta to the difficulties of monogramming (he he!), and all about quirky boots. Hadley has inspired me with her prolific output of just about everything - and I have so enjoyed seeing her little ones grow. Judith has wowed me with her fabric choices, and Annabellelouise has taught me how to make pickles and nice stockings and cakes, (thank you), and Angie has made me so jealous of her sewing skills and her classes.

White Flower Pictures
Via google

Leila has taught me that I shall never be a seamstress, and Em to be colourful in all that I do. Plums quilts have left me inspired, and Sweetypie how to be unafraid of embroidery. Peter has shown me that I never, ever want to visit the Falklands despite his wonderful photography, and other bloggers, too numerous to mention, that Blogland is a great place to be. The photos and tutorials have kept me glued to the screen and the writings of many bloggers has been truly awesome.

Wildflowers Pictures Gallery
Via google

What all these lovely bloggers have in common is the fact that they all write and generously share their knowledge and experiences - there is no 'me, me, me' involved,  just good old fashioned kind communication, help, tutorials and inspiration. Each of them, in their own way, are 'writers' although none would ever be self important enough to ever dream of calling themselves so. So at the end of another year here is a  big ...
 'thank you'

... to all you wonderful inspirational bloggers out there who so generously share their skills and words, knowledge, photos, music, book choices, tutorials and two way communications.

For all my 'writer' friends!
Thank you. xx

We Are All Writers Now!

Happy New Year To You All

Monday, 24 December 2012

Sparkle At Christmas

This is to wish you all a Merry and Sparkling Christmas

Holiday gold y’all!


Friday, 21 December 2012

Gifts From Blogland

Aren't Bloggers Wonderful?

Yesterday Mr Postman was kind to me ...  These four goodies came from blogland to cheer my day.

Table runner, stash bag and lipseal case with my name!

Firstly, the lovely Christmas runner came all the way from USA from my lovely friend, Karmen, who sells her lovely stuff on Etsy. She has sent me a beautiful lap quilt for my birthday already this year - how could I possibly deserve such goodies? It is full of cheerful Christmas fabrics and beautifully quilted all over with pretty designs. Thank you so much!

All the way from USA for my Christmas table

Secondly, from the lovely Hadley at Flying Blind was a great stash bag - these bags came in so handy on my recent travels as it helps to separate various things for the journey. This one is particularly special as it came from my good friend Hadley who has been a great support to me over the past two years. Thank you so much - it's lovely!

Great fabric drawstring bag with super fabric and lovely lining.

From Benta at SLIKstitches came a really useful little case for my lipseal/lipstick. It even has my name beautifully embroidered on it. She is a whizz and has been making so many things for people for Christmas that I have no idea how she finds the time to live/work/eat/sleep as well. Thank you so much dear Benta. Much appreciated.

Beautifully lined and embroidered - how clever

I also got a lovely big parcel from Annabellelouise at Whoever has the most fabric - obviously a cushion - could not be anything else - but I resisted the temptation to tear the paper off and will save it for Christmas Day. Thank you so much in anticipation!

A cushion?

Hopefully you have all received my presents to you in time for Christmas? And once again, thank you all so much.  xx

I Love Blogland

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Troubled Waters


Today I made   ...

I have been having a tough time recently, (family illness), and the one thing sure to cheer me up is a cup of tea and a piece of cake. I'm not sure how such a simple thing has the ability always to calm my worries - it just does.  I found a recipe (via good old google) for a lovely almond cake, it looked nicely decorated with apricots and I thought - yummy!

 Almond  And Apricot Cake


4 oz butter
4 oz sugar
4 oz ground almonds
4 oz self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
Handful flaked almonds
Few drops almond essence
Few apricots (fresh, bottled, or tinned)


Cream butter, sugar and eggs
Add ground almonds, flour and baking powder and almond essence
Pour into tin and sprinkle with flaked almonds and quartered apricots
(The apricots I used were soaked in Amaretto)
Cook in medium oven for around thirty/forty minutes
Cover the top when it appears a golden hue (mine was about twenty minutes into cooking time)
Test with skewer and cool in pan before removing and cutting

NOTE:  I never give accurate heating/cooking times as I cook in an Aga, which has no heat gauge - it is just 'hot' or 'very hot' or 'cool' and you just move the food around between the ovens to get the right temperature. It is rather hard to judge and get used to - but hey - I manage it so anyone could.

I used a 10" x 6" cooking tin and lined it with parchment paper.

Ta Da!

Anyone for cake?

Anyone for tea?



Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Sculpture For Christmas

The Christ Child

The Christ Child
By Mike Chapman

I so love this sculpture!

This beautiful sculpture lies in the heart of London.
It is called 'The Christ Child' and was commissioned
 to celebrate the Millennium by commemorating the
birth of Christ. It is by the talented sculptor
 Mike Chapman and is positioned beneath the portico
 of St Martin In The Fields just off Trafalgar Square.

I love the way that the child is portrayed, attached
 to its umbilical cord on a huge and rough
Portland Stone. For me it seems to suggest a beautiful
child at the moment of birth arriving into an
imperfect and harsh world.
What does it say to you?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Duck Pond Market

Sunday Riverside Walk

Map of area

There is a wonderful riverside walk along the towpath in Richmond upon Thames. Sunday is particularly special here as besides the charming architecture, the buzzing bars and cafes and the stunning scenery there is always a Richmond Artisan Duck Pond Market. It is situated in Heron Court, an amazing architectural courtyard among the treasures designed by Quinlan Terry and overlooking the riverside. This beautiful area was redeveloped in a sympathetic manner during the 1980s and now looks as though it has been there for ever. The mock Georgian facades on the shops, offices, and restaurants are simply beautiful. It is one of my most favourite places and a lovely way to spend a Sunday with the market, river, pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops and water meadows beyond ... and of course there are the ducks!

Commemoration plaque

Riverside walk

The Duck Pond Markets have a wonderful ethos of 'interesting, locally sourced, handmade, organic' and are weekly full of beautifully produced arts and crafts, tempting food and drinks, and high quality fair trade and ethically sourced goods.

I appear to have dwelt upon the things to be eaten, don't I?  The chocolates, in particular, were amazing as they could be designed to order. There were masses of varieties to choose from anyway and of course we bought several as gifts. I should love to show you some of the other goodies that we bought but they are destined for friends and relatives so I shall resist the temptation.

Cute soaps
Via google

It was very a very crowded scene and it was very difficult to take pics at one time so some of the photos below have come via google. The teas really caught my eye and could be bought along with some pretty vintage cups and saucers all beautifully wrapped in cellophane ready for a good friend. The stall was crowded so I may just have to return next week!

Via google

Pretty as a picture
Via google

Colourful venue

Love these

Natty knits

Plushy pals

Sweet treats

One of the very best crafts I found was an amazing lady who bought extremely expensive designer fabrics and made them into cushions with a thick linen envelope back.  Her site can be seen here.
Her company, (Lucy goes to Lapland),  produced some stunning cushions at a really reasonable cost.

Home page
Via lucygoestolapland

If you are in the area on a Sunday do go and take a look at this wonderful little craft market and take a walk along the river and feed the ducks. Meet you afterwards in the riverside pub for lunch?