2014: Makes and Moments

Ah, it’s that time here in the Blogosphere, when the hols are over, the New Year has arrived, and we look back fondly (or not so!) over our favourite stuff from the past twelve months.  I’m not much of one for making resolutions (apart from resolving to hibernate during January!), but I do enjoy reading the ‘annual reviews’ on people’s blogs so I thought I’d do one of my own, with just my favourite Makes and Moments from each month…

All in all I’d say it was a pretty colourful year!  And despite the ups and downs of my health, I still managed to do a lot of making and get out and about a fair bit, and share a lot of laughs with good friends and family.  And I’ve loved posting here, sharing all the highs and lows of my year’s creative adventures with all of you!

Thank you so much for reading – here’s to a Big Fat Funky 2015! 🙂

 

December Days

The last month of the year has come & gone already!  Don’t know about all of you, but the holidays always seem to be upon me before I’ve really gotten into my December groove, sitting by the fire working on my Purple Waves blanket… then, just when I’m really beginning to get the hang of this whole Visiting/Doing Nothing/Eating a Lot business, it’s all over!  But it’s been a lovely month, full of friends and family and lots of crafty goodness…

…kicking off with manic making in time for the Machynlleth Craft Fair on the first weekend.  Just look at all that funky stuff!  Our stall may not have been the most profitable, but it was definitely one of the most colourful…craftstallside.…I also got to play with my printing block again this month, making a hand-printed lining for my best ever yet crochet bag, which – hurray! – I did finally manage to photograph as I went along, so that much-promised tutorial is underway at last…blockprinting…then things got a bit frantic as I tried to finish making gifts in time for the last Xmas posting date!  These are mini versions of the cute owls I made last year, using Bunny Mummy’s brilliant tutorial (which you can find HERE).  I put little muslin bags of incense inside these and they smell gorgeous…Xmasowls

…and so, finally, the food and pressies were loaded into the car and my friend Ursula (of One Woman Walks Wales fame) and I shared the drive across Wales and on into England to visit our respective folks.  We waved goodbye at the motorway services and normal life ended for a couple of weeks as the holidays began…ursulawaving

...I hope you all had a wonderful end to 2014 and are feeling relaxed and ready for a colourful New Year!   🙂

 

Notes from November

NovemberfromthebarnIt’s been a month of farewell to autumn and settling in for winter here in Magical Mid-Wales!  As the month’s worn on it’s turned cold enough to need a fire every night.  We’ve had some lovely frosty mornings and bright clear days – great for walking! – and there’s a feeling of everything slowing down and getting ready for the holiday season…

…my Christmas Cactus, that I’ve had for around 10 years, decided to flower early and is looking spectacular on my bedroom windowsill…xmascactus

…catching up with my friend Ursula on a break from her epic OneWomanWalksWales hike for Target Ovarian Cancer/Penny Brohn (go HERE to find out more & make a donation), and helping to take down the Tir Heddwch yurt for winter (and eat lunch!) in between rain showers…UrsulaAfterTheRain…FINALLY putting the finishing touches on the summer beach bag I started waaaay back in June!  A full ‘WhooHoo’ post on this one shortly…bagfinishing…late afternoon sunshine on the walk down from Llyn Barfog as I stop to rest halfway…halfwayhawthorns…lots more crochet for the craft stall!  I’ve been happily hooking these colourful mandala-like circles and stitching them together into little purses, inspired by Vendula Maderska’s colourful designs on Flickr…pursecircles2…and crossing the little footbridge on my favourite walk, noticing that all the leaves are pretty much gone off the trees and it’s proper winter now…Llyfnantbridge

…here’s to a magical December, with just the right amount of snow (ie the ‘wow-it-looks-like-a-Christmas-card’ kind, not the dangerous-to-drive-home-in kind) and lots of festive happenings to look forward to!

Wishing you all a very lovely week and month ahead! 🙂

Machynlleth Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday, 6th December 10.30am – 2.30pm

Machnylleth bowling club, SY20 8AU

craftfairAttention all mid-Wales dwellers and visitors!  My friend Annie & I will once again be doing a stall at the Xmas Craft fair next Saturday, if you are in the area (or know someone who is!), why not drop by and feast your eyes on all the lovely goodies for sale?  Entry is free and there will be lots of local crafts on offer.allcosies1Our stall promises to be even bigger and brighter this year!  I’ll be selling a selection of my bags, purses and Cosmic Cosies and there will be hats, hot water bottle covers, cushions and organic jams and chutneys from Annie.

If you can’t get to Machynlleth but would like to buy a colourful cosmic cosy for your loved one’s teapot (or your own), I will be selling some here on the website next month so look out for the Cosmic Cosy ‘shop’ page coming soon.

Hope to see some of you next weekend!

 

September Magic

campingteaWOW, what a gorgeous, Indian-summer-of-a-September it’s been!  After a fairly dreary August of wet weather and being a bit poorly, I’ve SO enjoyed being out and about this month…

…harvesting a bumper crop of parasol mushrooms at my friend Annie’s land and cooking up a delicious mushroom risotto…mushrooms…going on one of my favourite walks, where the path becomes an enchanted tunnel of overgrown hedges and long grass at this time of year…glaspwllpath…visiting some wonderful open studios and exhibitions during H.Art week with Jas, and being inspired by willow weaver Jenny Crisp‘s beautiful house and garden…willowgarden...starting AND finishing the border print tunic in the same month!fullwithwool…and managing to fit in one last camping trip, chilling out in the beautiful orchard campsite at Lower Porthamel Farm again, complete with armloads of the most delicious apples and pears you’ve EVER tasted…tent&pearsI hope you managed to enjoy your September as much as I did!  The leaves are beginning to change colour here in Mid-Wales now, and I’ve been to get my first load of firewood today: time to welcome in the autumn proper…

wishing you all a very lovely weekend! 🙂 xx

May Moments…

rhododendronspiderAloha!  Well it’s been quite a month for me, and if you’re thinking that not a lot of either crafting or blogging has gone on, then you’d be right!  Many things have taken me away from the sewing room and the computer this month…

…camping in the Black Mountains during our ‘heatwave’ week…blackmountaincamping

…walking up my beloved Mynydd Llangors, my most ambitious walk since I became ill with ME…mynyddllangorsview

…acres of bluebells!  My very favourite wildflowers, mmm, INHALE DEEPLY…bluebellfest

…a fabulous exhibition of quilts, textiles, crafts and paintings at the Minerva Centre, including this beauty by Angela Morris, whom I was lucky enough to meet on our visit…angelamorrisquilt

…a slap-up lunch for my BIRTHDAY at the Great Oak Café, when it was (just about) sunny enough to sit outside in the courtyard…greatoakcourtyard…sadly, leaving my job of 3½ years; saying farewell to the loveliest bunch of colleagues ever, and being overwhelmed with flowers, cards, gifts, and hugs (sniff!)…

leavinggifts

…and stunning rhododendron flowers on the shrub opposite my flat, casting a magical purple glow across the walkway and into my sewing room window…walkwayrhods

Yes, that was MAY! So here we go with June, still working away at that bag lining tutorial and all sorts of other projects tumbling around, as always…

Here’s to a sunny solstice month xxx

 

World Textile Day Wales report

Last Saturday, World Textile day came to the Minerva Arts Centre in sunny Llanidloes, close enough for me and some of my friends to make a day trip of it.african fabricsAfter an initial browse around the stalls of gorgeous fabrics, textiles, yarns, beads and all kinds of loveliness, we settled down to a talk and slide show by John Gillow.  John has put together an amazing collection of textiles from his travels around the Islamic world, and was full of tales about where these came from and the people who made and wore them.  Sadly, the light in the room meant the details on the slides of the fabulous embroidery and weaving were a bit hard to see, but there was still plenty to enjoy.

Best of all, John had brought a selection of things along with him that we could pick up and touch!  I’d never heard of ‘sprang’ before, a precursor to knitting, but I’m quite smitten with the feel and texture of it!   There was also an exhibition of various textiles from around the world on display, again the light in this room was very bright so my pictures didn’t come out so well.  This bedsheet-sized embroidered piece was actually done in very bright, jewel-like colours.embroideryBack in the trade area, I had a hard time resisting adding yet more quilting fabric to my stash when I saw these Japanese kimono fabrics japanesequilt

and these African wax prints.Africanquilt

But it wasn’t just the fabric junkies who were in danger, witness my friend Spike falling for these hand-woven African baskets!spikesbaskets

I spotted some beautiful carved Indian printing blocks at the Textile Traders stand: I’ve been wanting to have a go at block printing for ages, so I came away with this little one to start me off, plus a pair of dinky Indian bells for something on my 2014 sewing projects list.  I think this was my favourite stand at the whole show actually, so we may have to organise a little trip to their shop in Bishop’s Castle soon!bells&blockI wasn’t able to stay for the second talk later on, but it was a lovely day, full of wonderful colours, textures, and truly inspirational work.  I think we all came away happy!3amigos