Thursday, 14 November 2013

Putting one stitch in front of another

Hello all. Where oh where have I been for the past month and a half? Well, I've been feeling under the weather, in many ways quite literally; the storm that huffed and puffed and blew our neighbour opposite's fence down didn't help. This time of year hits me hard, but at long last I seem to be emerging from the big black maelstrom that was gathering above my head.

In the winter months I find solace in posting loved ones little treats, in an effort to raise our collective spirits as the nights draw in and the days grow shorter.

I have also been spring cleaning (so appropriate for November, I know), and my bedroom is finally an approximation of what I've been wishing it to be for years (though there's still bunting to be put up; one can never have too much bunting...). More importantly, however, my room is clean and tidy, which I must say is something of a revelation to me. Who knew this would lead to me actually knowing where things are?! The plan now is to apply my (somewhat idiosyncratic) organisational methods (business cards go in a box with embroidered patches, obviously) to the makeshift "studio" in the loft, which is currently crammed to bursting with fabric, thread and other gubbins.

Noelle the narwhal "helping" me get organised
And yet more gubbins are pouring in; I seem to be becoming a receptacle for all the unloved fabric and needlecraft equipment that has been languishing in the attics of loved ones and acquaintances; not that I'm complaining in the slightest! I've had a surfeit of gorgeous '60s and '70s quilting cottons of late, and other bits and bobs which aren't quite to my taste are taking a little trip to Significant Seams to be turned into all manner of exciting textile-y goodness.

A little peg lady who sat atop a swag bag of fabrics donated to me; I think she looks like a little mini-me, don't you?

Besides gathering a snowball of beautiful fabrics, there is so much else to look forward to right now; mine and Pip's two year (really??) anniversary is coming up on December 1st; Christmas holed up in the Highlands with my family and an almost obscene amount of delicious food; returning to Hampton Court in January invigorated and ready to give my training in the ancient art of hand embroidery my all. Until then, I shall be taking time to look after myself and enjoy the season, and above all simply putting one stitch in front of another.

A rainbow on my window one recent morning reminded me to be grateful for the little things in life

"Working towards normality": the story of my life

Tea, comforting films, Pip, and the spirit of the Suffragettes are helping me power through

Colours of the deep blue (and green and purple and pink and orange and grey) sea

The beginnings of a coral garden

Tarnished jewel-toned seawater cottons and metallics

Jacquard Stitch (Please try to ignore the surrounding spaghetti junction; Canvas Work is like sausages; it's delicious, but you don't want to see how it was made)


  1. Hi Kate. This time of year can be mean; November hasn't been as bad as October was for far anyway. That's one cute narwhal: if that's a touch-screen, he's got the perfect horn for it! I noticed your comment on the Indigo Vat and you wanted to know too about the playing cards we see there. I've discovered they are called THE FAMOUS MUSHROOMS PLAYING CARDS. has them: with the shipping though, they're about 9 quid. Kind of pricey. Love your mushrooms post below: they're wonderful. -Reifyn

  2. The dreary, dank, damp darkness can get to you, can't it? I'm glad to hear your November has been a kind winter month to you.

    Thanks for letting me know about the playing cards! My parents have a pack of famous trees hidden (not well enough, evidently, because I might pinch them at any moment...) away in a drawer.

    Mushrooms, I feel, are one of the most cheerful natural forms this time of year; they always cheer me up, anyway. And they taste so wonderful!

    I will have a proper look at your blog soon; it's certainly intriguing me with its mix of alchemy and the natural world. Thanks for stopping by!