Wednesday, 28 October 2009

girl with umbrella

girl with umbrella, originally uploaded by glassmountain.

This is my new embroidery design. I've traced it onto linen using a 6B pencil and tracing paper, tomorrow I'll post photos of the sewing, I've made the umbrella handle thinner too. A is complaining that these girls don't smile but it's raining!

Monday, 26 October 2009


Every so often I find that none of the books I pick up are satisfying and when that happens I tend to go on a crime frenzy. I do tend to favour the Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers type of crime novel where everyone is terribly civilised and no one gets over emotional about a murder,especially not if it's a rich relative that they inherit from. So the Marjorie Allingham novel that I saw recommended by PD James (whose Dalgliesh novels I love when I am in a crime mood) fits the bill perfectly.

But, I do also like the Stieg Larrsson novels, I have finished the first and when I finish my gentle English detective novel I may feel brave enough to venture on to the second. The first was a really good book, surprisingly political. I had been under the impression that Sweden was a very tolerant and civilised country but this novel shows a different side to Swedish policies. It is quite a brutal novel though and, I suppose, more realistic than my quiet English detective stories, so at the moment I'm sticking to a bit of unrealistic reading.

A and I also finished 'The Little White Horse' this week which was fabulously magical and I would recommend it to anyone. The film of the book has had bad reviews and I have to say that the stills we saw didn't look anything like the carefully described Moonacre manor. The book is so beautiful that we have decided not to spoil it by watching a bad adaptation of it.

November weather in October

fog and rain after all the sunshine. It's the time of year when we stop wondering if tomorrow will be warm because winter is on the way. So T got the globe out and photographed it.

Then he photographed the living room, it takes a bit of time to switch to wintery indoorness for all of us

but today he did some pyrography with his friend and painted it at home

A and I went charity shop shopping and she found another stripey top, she is especially good at finding stripey things. This is actually blue but our camera doesn't like low light.
And I bought zips and thread for a new project and J found 'Goblin Market' by Christina Rosetti for me as a bit of inspiration for drawing

I have been drawing this week, inspired by the rain

and by the princess from the princess and the pea arriving at the palace soaking wet in a storm

Hopefully these drawings will become embroideries or possibly even paintings we'll have to see.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

After the extravagance

After the extravagance of our day trip to the Scillies I decided to get some sewing done. So with a bit of swearing at a machine that appeared to keep breaking but in fact only needed a little oil I have managed to put three items on folksy. Of course the weather has changed, so photographing them was not the great success I had hoped for and I have two more items that simply refused to photograph well at all. But you can see what I've made.

A blue green zip purse
A red robin pouch for cards, letters, receipts or anything else you can think of

and a shoulder bag with a very little girl on it and some lovely lining.

Of course the weather has meant that our outings are shorter and so there is more time for sewing.

But there are still creatures worth seeing, even at the edge of town, like this elegant heron that T photographed the other day on our walk to Mousehole.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A day trip

Yesterday we felt soooo lucky as three of us set out for a special day trip. Two couldn't come with us because they are inclined to sea sickness and most of our day was spent on the water...

We took the Scillonian to the isles of Scilly for the day. The boat takes about three hours to get there and we were late setting off but little A saw a minkie whale on the way and all of us just loved being on the sea, looking at all the familiar places on the coast of Cornwall from a most unfamiliar angle and gradually watching the land slip away, until, for a while, we could only see the sea. Then gradually the Scillies appear out of the mists becoming clearer and clearer. We couldn't have wished for more perfect weather or sea.
We landed on St Mary's and then had to rush to catch the wrong boat to Tresco because ours had already left. Once on Tresco we marched to the beautiful Abbey gardens, had a spot of lunch and whizzed round the gardens for half an hour.

In the gardens is a museum to figureheads from wrecked ships, a strange place. Although the colourful figureheads are interesting I rather like the lost arms whose ships cannot be identified, there is something poignant about those limbs holding prayer book and rose.

No sooner had we arrived at Tresco than it seemed we had to set off back again but none of us minded getting back on the water. There is a magic about the isles of Scilly that is best appreciated from the water and as we sailed from Tresco to St Mary's we passed an island of herons and another island of spoonbills. Once back on the Scillonian there were porpoises and gannets diving and feeding and finally an utterly stunning sunset to end our perfect day trip. We still can't believe how lucky we were.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Nature diaries

Every year we try to keep nature diaries and every year we end up with scraps of paper and many many started but never completed books. I'm not sure why we find it so difficult to be consistent and record the animals and birds we see in one book labelled 'nature', but this year it's going to be different. We have already recorded two separate trips out in the same books! This was a rockpooling session
and all these pictures are of birds we saw when we saw the spoonbill

except we didn't see an owl

and we certainly didn't see a red grouse

that's the trouble with leaving them to follow their interests we end up with birds we couldn't have seen in the day and birds we absolutely never see down here. But we do have consistent nature books so lets see if we can keep it up!
On a similar note of inconsistent home educators Caitlin Moran (home educated herself) has written one of the most wonderful articles on home education I have ever read and definitely the most honest. I'm not sure if it will help or hinder the home ed cause but it's so worth reading. Just look up 'hey, teacher leave us kids alone' in the Times online. The truth is on the whole we all turn out ok in the end.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Foreign visitor

Some friendly bird watchers called us over to look through their binoculars at Marazion marshes today and this is what we saw...
A spoonbill, a foreigner blown off course on his migration. Such a beautiful sight, he followed a little egret around for an hour or so and then set off on his way.
We had a walk on this lovely sunny autumn day, lots of reds around

and a moth out a little late

and garlands of berries

after that skimming at the beach

and some general pottering in the stream

Friday, 9 October 2009

A french lesson

We have a weekly french lesson, just us and another family. We do some french together and then normally do some art together... but this week the afternoon was too beautiful...
... so we took our french books and took a walk out onto the cliffs...

... found a grassy place and did our french. We also spotted choughs and black headed gulls. We can always do art on a rainy day.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Autumn and some finished projects

A little bit of autumnal walking this week, red leaves, squirrels and sunshine.
On the rainy days things have gotten a bit more creative with paint and magical birds

or seals on rocks and a new interest in acrylic paints and canvas

This is an incomplete project, I think it's going to be a japanese snack bag

Another bird zip purse, I will persevere until I can sort the zip perfectly

and the pot holder, item no. 1 in my 'zakka things you never knew you needed' list

item no.2 in my list is a tissue holder, of course everyone needs a tissue holder and I suspect everyone will get one this christmas

Saturday, 3 October 2009

This broke my sewing machine needle

or maybe when I was thinking 'perhaps I shouldn't put all those layers through my poor old sewing machine' I should have listened to myself!

Friday, 2 October 2009

We love love loved star of Kazan, we love all Eve Ibbotson's books! We also love all of Philip Pullman's books but especially the Dark Materials trilogy. But I did not love An Equal Stillness, I really tried but I just kept getting bored, putting it down and forgetting about it.
So we're all on new books. T is on The Amber Spyglass (the third of the Dark Materials) he says the second (Subtle Knife) is his favourite so far. A is listening to Elizabeth Goudge's Little white horse and reading Pippi Longstocking a wonderful book but not quite as good as the moomins! I am re reading Woman in White for a bit of Ghostly gothic.

It feels like autumn

A beautiful walk on the cliffs picking blackberries

Gorgeous blue sea and autumn sunshine

Makes us glad that we home educate.

And even still some butterflies around.