Saturday, 26 July 2008

Country LIfe

There is something about living in the country that cannot compare. Our village is probably much like any other village, it has it's own rhythmn and traditions. I love the familiarity of country life as each month unfolds into the next. January brings our first Wine & Wisdom and is the start of the yearly round of fundraising. Mothering Sunday is very special and all the children of the village give posies of flowers to us Mum's. I still remember when Isabel was first born and one of the congregation plucked her gently from my arms, took her up to the vicar who handed her a small bunch of primroses. It made her laugh and I had finally joined the sisterhood.

The annual fete has now been and gone and raised over £4000 this year. Tradition is important, with maypole dancing and a brass band. The tea urn bubbles away and the hot water is poured into old fashioned brown teapots.

Around us the crops in the fields are ripening and the valley is now a blanket of gold on all sides. The sun beats down and the insects buzz and dance in crazy circles. The hair sticks to the back of your neck and your feet kick up the dust.

The lack of rain makes everything look lightly jaded now.

The cows and sheep huddle together under whatever shade they can find.

There is as much or as little to do as the fancy takes you. We have a keep fit group, art classes, bell ringing, bee keeping. Our W.I has around 30 members and we have a done everything from indian head massage to belly dancing!

Autumn sees the harvest festival, another steadfast tradition, something to look forwards to for when else can you sing "we plough the fields and scatter". We have an auction night to raise money for a school in Africa which we sponsor. Such a fun way of getting people to donate and where else would you pay £5 for a marrow or £6 for a jar of Mrs P's homemade strawberry jam. (That was man person and his arch rival in these matters).

This is Isabel's tree on the village green, planted for her first birthday in 2000. We have watched it burst into life each spring and drop it's leaves in the autumn ready for it's winter sleep... continuity, a feeling of being part of something. When she is an old lady, she will hopefully be able to tell her grandchildren that "this is my tree".

I love being a part of this village and look forward to each event as it's turn approaches, tradition, continuity, memories stored away for future reference.

Dev X

Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Crazy Crafters

A couple of weeks ago we had the first meeting of our new craft club. I was a bit nervous as I had not had much response to my advert on the village newsletter. I needn't have worried though as 10 ladies turned up on the night. It was a lovely evening, and I was amazed at how many different crafts we did between us. There was card making, knitting, crochet, patchwork, tapestry, cross stitch and hardanger to name some.

We have decided to hold the meeting on a monthly basis and see how it goes. We also have enough members to hire the village hall instead of holding the sessions in someone's front room which was very nice, don't get me wrong and many thanks to Val, but in the hall there is more room and we can put some tables up.

I would love to hear from anyone who has a similar group or maybe attends one. What sort of things do you all do? I would like to keep people coming through the doors, and want to make the meetings interesting for all especially for those that might like to learn a new craft. Our skills base is huge and most of us can do more than one craft and we are keen to pass those skills to others if they want to learn something new.

I have a large selection of books, magazines and project instructions that I will be putting out to also encourage the ladies to try something new, and I thought I could make up some small projects that we could do together, for example a Christmas decoration or a fabric heart etc. For the next meeting I am going to teach them how to make an embossed greeting card.

As I say, if anyone has any ideas, please get in touch.

p.s. I have read several posts that mention the Cath Kidson bags and how difficult they are to obtain. My local Tesco seems to have a steady trickle, and whilst I cannot promise anything, if you would like me to purchase one for you, I will do so gladly. I have found that the floral ones are much harder to come by but they do seem to have the blue polka dot. I am not sure how much the postage will be, but I use recycled bags from work and would only charge what the post office charges me.
Leave me your email address in the comments, or if you want to keep your details private contact me on Hope this helps someone out. Bye Dev X

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Bag Lady

This isn't a brilliant picture, but I really wanted to get a post on tonight. I have made my first bag and I am really pleased with it. The fabric was given to me by a fellow quilter and was left over from a quilt that she had made her grand daughter. My little darling is now the proud owner and is so pleased that she intends to use it for school tomorrow, so it must be good!

With help from the lovely, and I must say extremely patient Ann, I have finally had the confidence to make it. I found the whole process a bit daunting, and that must sound silly to all of you competent needlewomen out there in blog land. She helped, but also allowed me to do things in my own way. The pattern is very simple but I learnt how to do pleats and insert a gusset and that tricky thing of adding the lining on the outside and then pulling the finished bag through a small gap and voila!

Ann is new to the computer and I am yet to explain to her the joys of blogging so it may be that she never reads this post, but I would just like to thank her and say how much I appreciated all her help. She encouraged me all the way and I am now looking for suitable fabric for my second project!

Bye for now. Dev X

Monday, 7 July 2008

Rain, rain, go away!

As I write this post it is 9.30 pm and the rain is coming down steadily. My title might suggest that I don't appreciate a drop of the wet stuff, but in actual fact I love listening to the raindrops on the foliage outside the window and because it is very mild despite the rain, the fragrance from the Rosa Mundi rose is intoxicating.

I mentioned previously that our village open garden even last weekend was a two part event. As well as the beautiful gardens there was also an exhibition in the church of St Anthony's. There were examples of quilts..

and quilting...

Then there was stunning tapestry work...

My favourite theme for embroidery, being crinoline ladies and samplers..

And finally, the flowers, which was what the whole day was about really!

Good night and sleep tight.

Dev X

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Whose that Girl?

Our village took part in the open garden scheme this weekend just gone and I thought that I would share some of the sights with you all. The weekend had two elements to it, one being the gardens themselves and the other was an exhibition of needlecraft, flower arranging and quilts in our church of St Anthonys. I will post those pictures in a few days.
In a previous blog I showed you the gate through which man person goes to work each day and Steph ( was curious as to what was behind it...well here for your delectation is a peek!

There are 2 properties, one is the main house and the one below is a seperate cottage.

The stunning Rosa Rugosa that smells totally divine.

At the furthest end of the garden is the lake, which is quite stunning in the sunshine and full of fish, and the most gorgeous of water lillies.

It even has it's own island in the middle. The perfect spot for a picnic!

A very productive vegetable plot, bursting with lovely goodies.

Two days meant two different outfits apparently!

A veritable feast of home made goodies, the scones being my contribution.

It was two wonderful warm sunny days and a good time was had by all.