Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Knothing

Blue and gold embroidery on calico
Oh the crispness in the air, the ripening of berries, the reddening of apples. Autumn is just around the corner and I am looking forward to the cooler days and cosy evenings. By the end of any season I am a little tired of the old one and ready to welcome all the special elements of the next. The transitional days between the seasons make me so particularly happy. The surprise of what you might get, the echoes of the season on the way out and the messengers of the one creeping in. The nostalgia, the gathering up of memories of what has passed and will never be again and then, ahead, excitement at what is around the next bend. The sense of here and now, balanced betwixt and between.

Summer 2014 has been a a real summer and while I welcomed the blue skies, long days and being able to be outside so much I've also struggled health wise, and particularly with the energy to get things done, to get to work, to get home with any thought of doing anything and the heat has not made getting around any easier. Oh but I wouldn't wish away the hours in my new chair, under my trees. A wonderful gift. Always that slight bittersweet tinge of regret for what is going, going, gone and what didn't get to be but mostly, anticipation of the new possibilities.

One of my favourite souvenirs of this season is the french knot. This summer I finally learnt to make an intentional knot in my embroidery thread and feel a real thrill at those little swirls, bobbles balanced, work suspended. I've lost count of the failed learning the mystical knot attempts there have been and can still remember feeling a great sense of relief when reading in her beautiful book that Caroline Zoob had never mastered these tricky little creatures. It let me off the hook but  didn't quite remove a yearning to have bested them. So when Squam cabin mate extraordinaire Austen came back from class one day to show off some exquisitely formed knots I readily took her up on the offer to teach me too. With her clear explanation and demonstration it really was, finally, simple. The knots just stayed where I put them. I don't really understand the magic, I suppose like all of these thread wrangling activities,  it's really about how you tension the work as you carry out the actions. Whatever the charm I am still enchanted by these dainty carbuncles. Threading the needle to create a few more is my favourite current pastime free from any should, must or need. Simply twiddling my fingers and thumbs and watching what appears.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Holiday snaps







Sweet memories of a quiet, mellow, rich week lost in the Welsh Borders. Cuddling creatures, cooking in a fabulous kitchen, eating breakfasts pondside with the most phenomenal view.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Warm and mellow

Dappled sunlight

A moth awoken

Pelargonium

Gathering plums

Perfect garden seat
Feeling very deep in summer here today. Soft and relaxed. In theory I am shining my house to look new pinnish so when we return from holidays it will wow me with its unexpected tidiness. Instead I am drifting and lolling and gleefully gathering evidence of the benefits of indolence.

The bright pelargoniums planted last year have been telling me for months now that trying too hard is often destined to back fire. I managed to get around to replanting one of their companions to overwinter indoors, it of course rotted and died. Those I mercilessly left to that fate survived our very mild winter to flourish as the stars of my haphazard garden this season.

Time in the chair has revealed a secret treasure I would undoubtedly have missed if I had been more endeavoursome. Tucked in the crook of two branches with about half a dozen twigs is a nesting collar dove. It looks impossibly vulnerable from my seat and yet its very slight nature is the perfect camouflage and it is all but invisible from any other angle.

Simple pleasures that come when I let them. A special kind of magic in not doing and just being.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hazy






The last month feels as if it has passed in a haze of heat, though in truth it's only the second half of the month that has really reached high temperatures. So much summer for the first time in years. I watch half the people I see flourish while the other half wilt. I'm a wilter. Things happen almost as in a dream at the moment, one foot in front of another. The love affair with wool is suffering mightily though a new attempt at Aestlight gets a row every so often when a breeze makes the concept of a wool shawl seem something this side of insanity. My main pre-occupation is maximising the amount of time that can be spent reading in my awesome new garden chair in my shady back garden. My own personal Adirondack chair custom fit by my very clever Pa. Other members of the family are also fond of it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer scenes

Monkey sock in Rowan Fine Art yarn in progress

Rowan Fine Art yarn loose on the campsite

St Mary's, Chipping Norton

The Apiary, Chipping Norton

Beautiful cottage garden, Chipping Norton

Guard dog, Chipping Norton

Solstice sky

Unfurling roses in my garden
Gorgeous days. We went on a camping trip in glorious sunshine and made the most of the longest day. Actual summer weather continues!
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