cornwall

catching up

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February is usually not my favourite month, full of grey days and so long for such a short month.  But, this year seems different.  Every dog walk this month seems to have brought different weather and there has been grey and plenty of wet and wind but all punctuated with beautiful sunny days that make me feel as though spring is already here.  Our regular walk takes us to a nature reserve at Marazion; the ponds there seem full of bird life, herons, snipe, Canada geese, grebe, egrets and even the everyday mallard.  There are more gulls along the way, herring gulls, black backed gulls and black headed gulls.  We even have a friendly black redstart who lives in the rocks at the start of the path.  Sadly my camera is not quite up to photographing birds at a distance.  I'm really enjoying the repetition of our walk, noticing the subtle changes and learning to recognize some of the smaller birds we see along the way.

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On the sunniest day I took the afternoon off and sauntered around the marshes with the boy watching the birds and enjoying the sun while it lasted with no stitching and no computer in sight.  What a perfect way to spend time, I feel so lucky to be able to do it.

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Last week, after soaking black beans for a chilli, I remembered that I had read somewhere that I could dye with the soaking water so I grabbed two jars put black bean water in one and tea in the other then popped a piece of linen and a piece of bandage into each jar.  I put them on the windowsill and forgot about them.  these are the colours that came out.  I should add that I haven't mordanted them so while the tea fabric will probably be okay I suspect the black bean might fade in too much light.  

I am going to start a little slow stitching project with them using the beautiful Linblomman linen threads that I bought in Falmouth.  A  perfect project now the weather has decided to go back to bitter wintery cold again!  I'm looking forward to getting back in from a cold Sunday dog walk and sitting with a cup of tea and my stitching.

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I am feeling rather pleased with myself for being a little ahead of the game for a change with my Easter spring pattern all ready and in my shop this week!!  

The pattern is a very simple one that I love framed in the hoop but I think would look lovely on a little Easter bag too.  

I have also been spending a little (possibly too much) time on pinterest this week gathering beautiful pictures of stitchy goodness and some stitch tutorials  Are you a pinterest addict too?  I think I could lose myself for quite a long time in pinterest land!

This coming week I'm going to be focusing on some flower stitching and a little bit of unicorn stitching along with quite a bit of drawing for a project that I am quite excited about.  

I hope you are enjoying your February and finding some cosy  (or cool depending on where you are) stitching time

x

 


dog walking in winter

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we are going through a very wet and misty period at the moment in West Cornwall.  Familiar places become unfamiliar but strangely beautiful and every dog walk feels like an atmospheric adventure.  So I thought I would share a little of our greys, reds and greens today

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swarms of herring gulls, black headed gulls, turn stones and sanderlings line the edges of the water looking for food

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and the colours!  I love the colours at this time of year.  I love the moorland reds and greens far more than the summery st Ives blues.  

Boats

and then one day a dog walk in a different direction, just for a change.  The fishing boats at Newlyn harbour on our way to Mousehole along the coastal path.

Whippet

This is Ash the whippet (for dog lovers!) who accompanies us on our long daily treks into the wilderness.

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And this is Teague the strange middle son who forms the rest of the dog walking team and took all the beautiful photos @teague_popovski

The best thing about our dog walks at this time of year is definitely getting home to a warm space and frothy coffee with a little bit of stitching waiting

I hope you are enjoying your outside spaces whatever the weather

x


a romantic and windswept day off

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we have just finished reading Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier so yesterday we took the day off and headed to Bodmin Moor to retrace the steps of the wicked Vicar of Altarnun and the poor kidnapped Mary Yellan

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we climbed Rough Tor (admittedly the weather was a little less 'atmospheric' than it was in the book!)

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and we looked down from the top over the moor, it was utterly stunning and surprisingly refreshing to be wind swept for the day

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and lots and lots of wonderful mushrooms/toadstools

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absolutely everywhere

perfect fairy habitation 

off to sketch some mushroomy fairy worlds I think 

x


it's been a while!

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Oh my! I really don't know where the time goes sometimes, I blink and it's been two weeks since my last post.

This time of year has a tendency to get a little hectic.  We start trying to create a routine after the long summer months, not the easiest of tasks.  And  we start to spend time with home ed friends again, learning together.  On top of that christmas commissions start creeping in and I have a million ideas that I don't have time to get down on paper!  And finally we are out enjoying the autumn any time it's not raining.  Autumn is a wonderful time in Cornwall, a little less busy and hot so we can walk further and such beautiful colours on the moors.   I will have to take a camera out with us!

I know that all this will calm down, our routine will settle and there will be time for everything but right now it's hard to imagine.

Skipping girl small

I have managed to finish a new pattern and I'm rather fond of these two little girls.  It started with a skipping rope

Hula

and then a hula hoop came along.  I did ask my facebook followers how many of us can still hula, it turns out I'm not the only one who is put to shame by a young daughter!

Hula skip collage

all of this along with gorgeous liberty phoebe fabric made me very happy.

I love playground games and still have hopscotch and blind man's buff spinning round in my head.

These designs are for 4" hoops and make perfect pocket money purses, reminding me of  the days when we saved up for a skipping rope or a hula hoop, or even a pogo stick!

I find it impossible to think about christmas themes at this time of year, I hate to wish away the autumn, it's my favourite season.

I won't leave it so long next time

and I hope you're all enjoying the season, whichever it may be.

x


this week's excuse...

Annis birthday blog

I am very conscious of poor blogging habits in the summer this year!  Partly it's because (unlike last year) this year we have a summer!!  But recently it was a 13th birthday in the house and a houseful of cousins (and my sister).  Unfortunately this was accompanied by quite a lot of poorlyness!  Including Annis's birthday!

But the day everyone felt better we took the open top 300 bus service for  a most wonderful day trip

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cousin one, the main instigator of the singing (???) and the one who welcomed everyone to the top deck of 'the fun bus'

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the top deck of the fun bus before the rain (not that the rain deterred the children from staying up there!)

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the route

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arriving at lands end

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a very dramatic lands end

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two more cousins having a happy time

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The girl cousins with attitude!

This day trip was fabulous, everyone enjoyed it and I thoroughly recommend the open top bus if you ever visit Cornwall, although you may not get the singing and 'welcomed to the fun bus' if we're not there!

I must credit my son Teague for the great photos too.

He is also responsible for Annis's favourite birthday card.   He asked me what to draw on her card and I suggested unicorns as she loves unicorns.  He looked for five minutes for a horse book to help him draw a unicorn, gave up and drew this instead

Unicorn poo

explained inside the card

Unicorn poo inside

?

I promise to be back with sewing later in the week, once I am all caught up and the illness is finally banished from our house!

I have plans for an organized blog, in fact I have plans for an organized life but we'll see!!!


Naughty internets and birthdays

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Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes.  On my birthday the internets broke!!  At first we thought it was all of the internets but then realized it was our very old sad livebox.  The man on the phone promised to send us a new shiny bright box!!!  But this would not come for nearly a week so we were internet free! 

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despite the lack of computer (or perhaps because of!)  I had a lovely birthay with wonderful presents 

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a beautiful hot day spent mostly in and around the sea

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even Ash stepped daintily into the water (it was exceptionally hot!)

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Annis made this lovely origami and calligraphy picture for my work wall

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and the funniest David Shrigley card ever from Jason, apparently I need to put it on my work desk and just point to it whenever I am interrupted (most of the day really!)

In celebration of my birthday and our lovely new bright box I have a coupon for 20% off in my Etsy shop for any purchases of £5 or over.  (The kits are not included).  So if you would like to use the discount just use the code BRIGHTBOXBLOG when you purchase.

The discount code will stay there until Friday (I'm not sure when on Friday as Etsy seems to control that!)

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend with or without internets!!

x


wordless wednesday with words and weekending too!!

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I'm a bit behind with my blogging but you see it's here!!  Finally we have summer sunshine!

We are so afraid that it might disappear again that we are trying to be out in it (well not in the hottest bit as we would probably frazzle, it's so long since we've seen the sun) most of the time.

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a bit of stitching is happening on the beach

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But if I'm honest there's a lot more swimming and barbequeing and dozing going on!

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You will know when it starts raining as I will be back here with embroidery pics!!

Hope you're all having lovely days too

x


weekending

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I think that the weekend is just about all I'm managing to blog here at the moment but I will try harder this week!

This weekend was THE weekend of the year here in Penzance... Mazey weekend, the grand finale of the Golowan festival.  Golowan is a week long music and arts type festival with all sorts of things going on in Penzance from banner and boat making to bands and poetry.

My personal favourite part of the whole week is Mazey eve

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when there are fireworks 

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Penglaze comes out of his dark home

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and best of all we get to serpent dance around the town.  A most exhilerating and wild time being pulled wherever Penglaze decides to go.

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After that comes Mazey day with stalls, music and processions throughout the day

And finally on Sunday a more peaceful quay fair day down by the harbour.  Everyone is much more subdued after a party weekend but the music is still playing.  This year we stopped to listen to some cornish bagpipes and watch the Cornish dancing but sadly our photographer was off on his bike so no photos!

And now, a grey day, perfect for getting on with some stitching and some blogging and some sketching!

x

 


mini adventures

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we had plans for this summer.. plans of wild swimming in France, but the best laid plans and all that..  Work commitments have only left very small gaps over the whole summer so rather than be sad about it we decided to make the most of where we live.

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Luckily for us, summer happened all of a sudden for a week where our commitments were low and our friends were bobbing on the helford in their sailing boat.

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so some of us kayaked in and some of us drove around with the camping stuff and we set up camp on the quay

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there was swimming,  swinging, kayaking, toasting marshmallows, mud bathing, fires, glow stick juggling, card games, a touch of pimms (just the adults!) and it all ended with a little bit of snorkelling and wave jumping

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and now the rain is falling but we don't really mind too much because we know that we can have lots more mini adventures over the summer and France can wait until next year

x


weekending

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messing with a camera and a dog

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a bit of a poorly dog, possibly because he stole our curry the other day!

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a bit of pretty baking (strictly not for dogs)

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our first sunny evening picnic in a secret spot

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a bit of advice on where the best jumping spot is

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and an evening swim for one of us!

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and a beautiful walk home again

I hope your weekend was lovely and sunny too (or if it wasn't then perhaps it was full of cake and stitching)

x