Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Highs and lows

The week just past has included a heady mix of emotions here, and I'm hoping for a rather more even keel over the next few days. Can I start with a plea? I kept myself occupied one afternoon this weekend by sewing a large quantity of Wiggly Bags for the Liberty Rose Trust to be given to children undergoing cancer treatment. I made them using Florence's pattern and instructions, and if you can possibly spare an hour to do the same, they would be grateful for any you could send. They really are very straightforward and you will feel very proud of yourself afterwards, I promise.

Wiggly bags in memory of a very brave little boy

From one extreme to another - two gorgeous little babies came into school to meet everyone, and of course, babies need bibs, and two babies need lots, so I've been making those too and loving every minute (well, except those where the tension went wonky). There couldn't be a much better excuse to indulge in soft brushed cottons and some new Tilda florals.

Sunday was, of course, a time for remembering those who gave their lives for our country. It's always a day that stirs up strong emotions, and this year my composure was challenged again as Tall Small's choir joined another group of children to perform in a special concert of Remembrance. The standard of singing was wonderful, and the Senior choir (older teenagers) were nothing short of remarkable. Tiny Small clapped so hard she nearly fell off her seat. This time next year she'll be up there with her sister and I shall lose any shred of self control I ever possessed.

And the highest high? Undoubtedly a letter from the BBC for clever Tall Small, who managed to achieve a prize I yearned for during my entire childhood.

Yes, it's a Blue Peter badge!!!!

This has unsurprisingly, become her most treasured possession!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Danger in Hatfield

I've been making my own jewellery for a very long time, starting with simple earrings in my teens, and on through bracelets and necklaces. I've dabbled in bead weaving and up until the last year or two I've used cheap findings, glass and plastic beads and been always slightly disappointed with the results.

And then I met Emma Silverpebble, and she's not only become a treasured friend, she's also introduced me to a whole new world. I've talked about the art clay, and the silver chain before, but recently she took me to a gem show in Hatfield and introduced me to semi precious stones and now I fear I'm lost forever.

The sparkle from these babies is like nothing else. Even in dim winter light they glow and flash. By firelight they are stunning.

These tiny mulberry pendants are made from 2.5 mm rhodolite faceted rondelles (I originally thought they were rhodonite but now I think I misheard), 30 per drop, stitched with the narrowest bead needles I could find. Paired with freshwater pearls, I've hardly taken these off since I finished them.

I'm thinking I need to find an outlet for these - I am quite addicted to making them, and everyone I've shown them too in real life seems to like them as much as I do. What do you think (she asked, trembling slightly).

Just wait till I show you the labradorite ...

There's another gem show coming up at the end of the month. Heaven help me.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Just to prove I can be colourful

I spent most of my teenage years dressed exclusively in black. There were literally no colourful clothes in my regular wardrobe. All my makeup was black, my nail varnish was black, my hair was black, my lipstick was black. Get the picture? I hope you do because all the photographic evidence has been destroyed.

Teasel hedgehogs eat conkers!

Perhaps this partly explains why I am not generally sad about the onset of autumn and winter - lack of colour, and the need to wrap up and feel warm doesn't really feel that alien to me. Or it could be argued that I'm such a miserable wotsit most of the time that the switch back to GMT makes no noticeable difference.

Our autumn table, complete with lots of brown corduroy and mad mushrooms

These days there is a lot more colour in my daily life, be it in clothes, felt, food or courtesy of two small people. I love (and wear) the reds and browns of autumn in preference to any others. And I do sympathise with those who miss the colours of spring and summer - so Emma's Splash of Colour series seems like an ideal opportunity to seek out colour around my home.

We replaced the sick lens on our camera, and I'm not really comfortable with it yet - I keep misfocusing, but hopefully these give and idea of what's happening round here these days!

Well, of course we have a lilac music stand - don't you?!

PS I can't resist saying a HUGE well done to an old friend who's been featured a lot on the news today - Leo James, whose team has made a breakthrough that could save us all from colds and vomiting viruses one of these days. I haven't seen him for a while, though Mr DC still socialises with him regularly. I was rather stunned to hear him speaking from my radio at 7am - what a clever chap!