Thursday, 22 December 2011


Exciting news!  
Whoever would have thought that I'd be spending Christmas with James Martin - who I'm guessing must be most girls' idea of near perfection - a handsome young man, comfortably off, with a lovely house in Yorkshire, several flash cars and fast motorbikes, and able to rustle up a sticky toffee pudding, or a rhubarb crumble without too much fuss.  
He's probably no good at DIY, but you can't have everything.

Sadly we are only spending Christmas together on my book shelf .......
courtesy of a drawing of me, by my some-time watercolour art teacher and friend, Christine Spence,  which she has very kindly made into a Christmas card for me.
and my other 'alternative' Christmas card, painted by my friend Jill, who is still one of Chris' students (as you can see, she's a miles better artist than me - which is why I've more or less given up painting and decided to stick to stitching instead)
It's so lovely to have a card that's not only handmade, but made just especially for me, so thank you girls xx

As you know, cooking isn't one of my particular accomplishments either. Consequently I bought the Christmas cake, but I HAVE marzipaned and iced it myself, and I think it looks pretty.  (Blogger doesn't like the word 'marzipaned' - could it be that it's not really a verb???)
Anyway, in case I don't get to speak to you again before the festivities,  I hope you all have a lovely Christmas wherever you are, and whoever you're with.  And if you are spending it with your family - then treasure them xxx  

James - Camera Obscura

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Oh dear I've not been very good at this blogging business recently. No time!
Anyway, just to catch up.
I went for a weekend with my friend Lynn, who had told another friend of hers that I collect old sewing machines.  Wouldn't really describe myself as a collector, but I do have a couple.  Anyway, this friend of a friend said "Oh, she might like this then" .....
It's a miniature Essex sewing machine.
And, just to prove it's miniature

Having done a bit of research on the internet, it turns out that it was made in a factory in Wanstead - which is still there,  although no longer makes sewing machines.  Which is a pity, because despite the very best efforts of my Dad,

who cleaned and oiled it so that it turns smoothly now, unfortunately there is no tension mechanism, so it won't work.  Never mind it looks pretty, and I might contact the factory to see if they have any spares lying around!

I have recently been on a printing course at The Artnest in Hitchin (no website yet)
We did lino cuts and then printed them ....
Lots of robins, snowmen and mistletoe (and maybe the odd heart)
liberally interspersed with nibbles, mulled wine, and cake.
Finally, (and this is really for my Dad 'cos I don't think he entirely believed me.  A few weeks ago I bought another attachment for my bird feeder and some little black Niger seeds (I think they come from Love-in-the-Mist, so it won't matter if they seed themselves.)  None of the usual birds seemed the slightest bit interested, and I decided that I wouldn't bother with those seeds again - then one day last week I was in my kitchen and I saw a  swarm(?) of Goldfinches!  There were six altogether, although by the time I got my camera, some of them had flown away so there were only three left 

These two were there for ages. I love my bird feeder.