So my black embroidery thread arrived in the post yesterday and my very first thought was how very, very black it looked. My instinct was to quietly pop it back in it's bag and pretend that I hadn't ordered it. No black here. But then I thought about the flowers that I'd meticulously embroidered, and how cutesome a little buzzy bee would look hovering above the petals and told myself to stop being such a wuss and deal with the black. And I'm glad that I did because I love the bee, I really do.
This morning I was all set to start making a tutorial for you (the pattern for my latest mandala hoop, which I'm naming the Positivity Mandala), but I'm afraid to say that I got completely sidetracked with essential spring time pootling activities. I set about finishing up my Hello Spring hoop as yesterday I'd sponged off the blue marker ink and dried out the fabric so it was ready for the final finishing stage. After a good press on the reverse side I trimmed the fabric into a circle leaving an extra inch all around the finished hoop size.
I took a length of embroidery thread and stitched a running stitch right around the edge, then pulled it tight to gather in the fabric.
This isn't an especially neat finish, but I like the honesty of it. I think the original embroidery instructions suggested gluing a circle of felt to the back of the ring to cover up the back completely, but I happen to really love seeing the reverse side of stitching work. It's a reminder that this is something hand made, that there were snags and knots along the way but the finished piece is all the better for it.
Today is the first day of May and here in North Yorkshire it is finally starting to feel like we can let go of our long Winter and welcome in Spring. Thank goodness, because I've been ready for many weeks!
I haven't really faffed with my mantel all that much for the Spring season just yet, so it's still a work in progress. But I'm so happy to have my hoop on display. I think I might tie some ribbon around the hanging loop to finish it off.
It's been chilly cold still today but the sun was shining this morning and I had my flip flops on, yippeeeee!!! Mind you, as I've been sat here at my desk writing I realised that my toes are flippin' freezing so I've kicked off my flip flops pulled on a pair of my hand knit woolly socks. Oh the blissfulness of that is not to be underestimated, it feels sooooooo good!
This morning when it was bright and sunny and feeling a weeny bit Springlike out there, I popped outside to pick a few of these gorgeous little pansies to bring indoors.
I only picked 5 small stems to pop in one of my favourite old glass ink bottles (I love that I found this bottle dusty and forgotten, hiding in a box under a table in the collectors centre. I paid 50p for it). Having a small posy of flowers in the house is one of my deepest joys - there is something so endearing about the simplicity and the small scale of it all. I would much rather have this than a big fancy bouquet in a posh vase, any day of the week.
Whilst we're here chatting, I'd like to gently introduce you to the amazing work of Emma Verner. She creates the sweetest little decorations out of old pencils and rulers which tweaked my heart strings the second I first came across them. They are just delightful - do go and peek in her shop on Etsy to see more of her designs. I have such a major soft spot for little houses and I've absolutely no idea why?!
The four legged residents in the Attic have been enjoying the sunshine today - the kitty took full advantage of a sunny spot in the Big Chair....
....and out little piggy Lola appeared to be rather ecstatic when I deposited her into our very overgrown, unruly patch of grass. A lush al fresco banquet, for sure.
This afternoon was all about the blues for me, as I sat in the cafe with my yarny ladies and hooked up some more solid granny squares for an ongoing project. I'm a long way from being finished, but I'll show you a bit more of what I'm doing very soon. I keep forgetting that it's OK to show projects that are still in progress, more than OK in fact. I've always enjoyed documenting and sharing my creative journey and feel like you might like to see this particular project in it's early stages, even though it's all a bit abstract at the moment. I tell the ladies at the cafe what I'm making, and see them trying hard to understand my vision, but only I can know what I can see so clearly inside my Creative Mind. And I can see this project soooo clearly, it's as if I have a photograph of it already. I'll show you soon, I promise.
Actually, I was thinking earlier that I really, really want to be here in the Attic more, I want to make time to chat and share more of the little things that make up my days. At the weekend I was reading through some old blog entries from way back in the depths of my archives. Back then, my blog entries were often quite short and fairly insignificant in the big scheme of things - just little snippets of ordinariness, things that caught my attention, made me happy, sparked off ideas, filled up my mothering hours. But they provide an absolutely priceless view back in time, and I've found that the blogs of mine that I enjoy re-reading the most are the ones that are about nothing in particular. Just ordinary day to day life bobbing along.
And on that note, I need to go see to the laundry and chivvy Little B away from cartoon insanity and upwards towards his bed. Ordinary life calls....xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx