in the bleak midwinter

It’s chilly here at the moment – hoar frost everywhere that’s lasting right through the day. Tansy and I went out to post a few straggling Christmas cards that may not make it for Christmas and to enjoy the wintry beauty and the crunch of frozen leaves underfoot. The moon is almost full and the trees make delicate traceries against the late afternoon sky.

frosty grasses

winter moon

I’ve only just started to put up decorations and still have shopping to do – and I need to pack away my art stuff so my daughter can have her bedroom back when she arrives on Sunday. And get organised with some portable creativity so I can make the most of the holiday. I don’t think I’ll be doing any coursework while the house is full – but I’ve been reading Ruth Lee’s book Contemporary Knitting for Textile Artists, and feeling inspired to play. Speaking of Ruth Lee, I forgot at the time to post a link to my review of her exhibition ‘Reading Between the Lines’ that came out in December’s Workshop on the Web.

In lieu of a virtual card for you, this is our homemade nativity scene – created by my daughters from self hardening clay when they were children – I always feel as if Christmas has really begun when these exuberant little figures come out of their box. I wish you all a peaceful, joyful and creative Christmas.


Feeling a little crazy…

… I just signed up for Sharon B’s Take it Further challenge for 2008. What was that about biting off too much? But then, sometimes things just sound too good to miss and I know how wistful I’d feel next year if I wasn’t joining in with this. The challenge is about stretching your design skills by working with a theme but developing and resolving it in your own way.

I had a lovely card in the post yesterday, from Isabell, she made it for the Embroiderers’ Guild Forum Christmas Card swap. Isn’t it beautiful?

my card from Isabell

weekend ramblings

Warning – moan…. I’ve been feeling a little despondent because the project I’m working on is progressing (too) slowly – and wondering why I bit off so much more than I could chew – hunger? greed? inattention? And because I wasted time today unpicking a whole lot of machine stitching – laborious and eye-straining and nothing to show at the end. Except holes. (Although in another context I could really like the lines of tiny holes you would get if you stitched without any thread…)

And I said I wouldn’t show any more of this work in progress – but as I have nothing else to show for the past couple of weeks, I’m going to anyway! I’ve done the appliqué and machine quilting on the third section (of three) now, and I’m ready to start handstitching it. I’ll be doing some of that each day, but I should also give some thought (or action, even) to Christmas, I guess.


I haven’t had much time to read blogs this week and Bloglines says I have 932 unread posts so I feel a ‘Mark All Read’ moment coming on – but before I got so behind I did see this hand carved stamp tutorial of great beauty on Geninne’s Art Blog and wanted to share it.