Archive for holiday

And Back Again…

Posted in Australia, Drawing and Painting, Embroidery, Family and Friends, out and about with tags , , , on October 16, 2016 by suetortoise

Well, I’ve been home for a whole week and I’m wishing I was still in Australia.

It was a good holiday, although the weather could have been kinder to us. It was great to meet up with KRin again at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Melbourne, and go with her to L’Uccello, The Kimono House and Maria’s Beads and Trims. When Kevon and I returned from a few days in Hobart, I got to meet Megan for the first time, in her brand new flat. I enjoyed seeing the originals of embroideries on her Emsley Rose blog and met Tommy the cat. Thanks for the Anzac biscuits, Megan, they were smashing!

cake-spotting

KRin and I choosing cakes at the Tea Rooms

Also on the needlework theme, I went to the excellent Annemieke Mein exhibition at Brighton Town Hall, and an equally wonderful quilt exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Add in a fair bit of sightseeing, visits to friends, great meals, fresh air and exercise and you can guess that I have come home very happy.

I’ll write a little more about the holiday once I’ve got my photos edited and my thoughts in order. This may take a while as I’m busy getting pictures ready for the annual art show at Novacon next month. I’m currently inspired by 19th century printers’ ornaments. Here’s a sample of what I’m doing:

strictly-veg-mini

Things happening, slowly.

Posted in Australia, books, Embroidery, everyday life, out and about with tags , , , on September 5, 2016 by suetortoise

curfew open

Well the last few weeks have been busy. I’ve held off from updating the blog, hoping that I could tell you that my sister and I have finally sold my parents’ house. (It’s been on the market for a year now.) We have accepted an offer and we’ve spent hours form-filling and answering questions and so forth. However, we’ve not yet exchanged contracts with couple who want to buy it. It is almost certainly a done deal, but until the papers are signed, I don’t like to tempt fate and say it’s sold.

I am just hoping the contract is ready for signing before I go off to Australia – and it’s not very long now! The flight tickets arrived yesterday. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with KRin and Megan at Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Melbourne on the morning of the 21st. I’m sure we’ll find a lot to talk about. They are going to introduce me to a needlework shop called L’uccello, too. I should be just-about over the jet lag by then.

The next day, Kevon and I are off to Hobart for a week. One of the people we’ll be meeting there is his elderly cousin, and my friend, Diana. Kevon suggested that I could embroider something based on the poem “Curfew must not ring tonight” by Rosa Hartwick Thorpe as a gift for Diana. I didn’t know the poem and wasn’t sure what I could do with it, but a little searching on the web found it. Even better, Abe Books lead me to a bookseller with a copy of a tiny book containing just the one poem and illustrations. The book dates from about 1890. The cover is a little time-worn, so I made an embroidered jacket for it.

curfew and hand

The book is only 12cm high. I’ve stitched Bessie, the heroine of the verse, climbing up into the belfry to stop the curfew bell from ringing. The drawing is loosely based on one of the sepia illustrations in the book, and is stitched in stranded cotton on white Egyptian-cotton sheeting. Most of the stitching is irregular stem stitch and straight stitches. I was pretty-much making it up as I went along, working over an ink drawing. After I’d finished the stitching, I backed the piece with pelmet Vilene and a second layer of sheeting, to make a sturdy cover. Not my usual style of work, but an interesting challenge. I hope that Diana will be pleased.

curfew close-up

I was also hoping I’d have the Hardanger bookmark finished to show you – I’ve done all the stitching, there’s just the hemming to do. Mitred corners are things I never feel confident about doing, so I need to be cool and calm and have plenty of time available when I start that stage. Right now I am anything but calm and trying to do fifteen things at once, so the hem-laying must wait.

This will be the last blog post before my holiday. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

Where Do Sheep Go On Holiday?

Posted in discussion topic with tags , , , on June 26, 2010 by suetortoise

Where Do Sheep Go On Holiday?

One of those haunting questions. (Thanks to Felix Abrinski for sending my mind on this track with a comment on Facebook.) Do Sheep all go to the same place? And what do they do when they get there?

Your Suggestions Please!

The Holiday Report, 10th-17th September 2009

Posted in out and about with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by suetortoise

I couldn’t afford to go away for a holiday this year, but I took a week off work and went out and about as a local tourist. Have bus ticket, will travel…

Castle, Church, Pub, Pond
I started on Thursday 10th September with a trip to Whittington on the number 70 bus. A beautiful morning. I wandered around Whittington Castle and sat in the sun with a coffee, enjoying the sunshine and watching the ducks and swans.

Then I went on to Oswestry. I didn’t stay there long: wandered around the town centre, bought some food and picnicked at the bus station while waiting for the bus back home. Another lovely ride.

The next day I was back on the number 70 again, this time just as far as  the Three Pigeons at Nesscliffe. A pleasant early-morning ramble up and around the hill. I saw Kynaston’s Cave — once  the haunt of a notorious local highwayman. It is not open to the public because it is home to a large colony of bats.
Kynaston's Cave steps
The colours of the sandstone on Nesscliffe were wonderful. I was a little disappointed that the morning mist did not lift enough to give me much of a view from the top of the hill, but it was lovely to walk through the peaceful woods.

 

 
A view from Nesscliffe
Saturday was a Heritage Open Day. I caught the 96 bus to Atcham to meet up with Natasha another member of the Shropshire Community group on Flickr, and to visit the National Trust property Attingham Park which was one of the places offering free entry for the day. We were given a short tour of the interior by one of the conservators, who was most interesting and amusing. As well as giving us the history of the house and its furnishings, she looked at things with the eye of one who has to clean them and protect them from deterioration. (The large, new, wine-red carpet in the picture gallery came in for particular criticism. I can imagine how much work it is to keep it immaculate – that colour will show every mark.) After our tour, we took a walk through the shrubbery and woodland around the central paddock, andHead on then went into the kitchen garden and the walled garden. Cameras came out, butterflies and other insects got chased and flowers and vegetables photographed.

A sweet song coming from deep inside a sculpture made of razor-wire turned out to be this little robin. It was not trapped, just using the wire as a place to sit and sing.
Another razor light song
Sunday was a stay-at-home day, catching up on chores. I’ve already recounted Monday’s adventure in my last post.

Moreton Corbet Castle 3Tuesday looked like it would be another grey, cool day, but by the time I had taken a bus to Shawbury and walked past the RAF station to Moreton Corbet Castle, the air was warm and there was a long fine interval, ideal weather for photographing the ruins. I visited the old church next to the castle and also had fun trying to photograph the pigs and piglets belonging to the Castle Farm. By the time I’d walked back to Shawbury, I’d had the best of the day.
Nine little piggies
Wednesday was another stay-at-home day, but Thursday was the major outing of the week, a day trip to Lichfield in Staffordshire, by coach, organised by the Friends of Shrewsbury Borough Museums.
Dr Johnson 300th
We started at Dr Samuel Johnson’s birthplace, on the eve of his 300th anniversary. The birthplace was full of ladies arranging flowers for the celebrations. After a quick look around there (I’m not very interested in Johnson), I went to Lichfield Cathedral. A wonderful place. Dedicated to St Chad, an early bishop of Mercia, it has three fine tall spires and an amazing wealth of high-Victorian sculpture decorating the medieval building. The West Front is packed with figures. Inside it is equally fine, with a cast-iron rood screen, all painted and gilded and decorated with musical angels. The Victorian restoration of the cathedral was done by Giles Gilbert Scott. It’s a sight worth seeing and for all the ornamentation and decoration, it excudes calm and peace and rest.
A Cardinal's Nest
The East Window has been removed for restoration, and stonemasons are busy repairing the structure. This made the inside a little too dark for hand-held photography, but the outside was a treat! I must go back sometime when the tarpaulins are off and the window has been replaced in the repaired tracery.
Erasmus Darwin's Commonplace Book
After an pleasant lunch in a little restaurant adjacent to the cathedral, it was time to visit Erasmus Darwin’s house. The house is nicely restored, and gives a good idea of the character and interests of Charles Darwin’s grandfather. This interested me very much. A fascinating man, and obviously a great influence on Charles. In the close in front of the house there is a beautiful garden, a mixture of herbs and flowers and medicinal plants, full of colour and interest. More food for the camera!  A fine day out and a fine end to my holiday.
Take a deep breath