Friday, 24 April 2015

The Forget-Me-Not Cushion

So this is all about a project that has been 47 years in the making - a joint effort between my mother and myself.  

Sadly my mother passed away just under 2 years ago and I've slowly being going through some of her things, trying to allocate them the most appropriate home, rather than getting rid of anything without due thought.

Tucked away, in the bottom of a cupboard, was this very old copy of Woman's Realm from July 1968 (that hairstyle would look pretty good on the beach today!)

and inside was this knitting pattern

My mother had managed to complete 2 very large rectangles of black knitting

And that is as far as she had got.  I can't think of anything worse than knitting something in plain black stitches, with fine black wool on a large scale - I'm not surprised she gave up!  I'll knit occasionally but its because I like colour and texture and this does not tick any of those boxes!  It seemed a shame to leave it unfinished after all this time though, and so in honour of my mum I decided to felt it into a cushion 

The first stage was washing it "incorrectly" in the washing machine (that is, a very hot wash with lots of agitation) to felt it up.

Because of the heavy black background, I wanted to give it an Art Deco look and used this book for inspiration 

Given to me by my father, it tells the story of the pottery designer Susie Cooper who produced some beautiful Art Deco ceramics in her time - lots of bold use of colour and design.  I particularly like her floral designs which make a statement without being "over fussy".   Another link to this cushion as I share the same birthplace as Susie Cooper and she, along with myself and my father, all went to the same school of art (although obviously not at the same time!).

So, with Susie Cooper, my parents, and forget-me-nots all as inspiration, my Forget-Me-Not Cushion was made.  I even used 2 pale yellow buttons (again, which belonged to my mother) to complete the fastening at the back.

I'm sharing this post with Planet Penny's Happy Friday and popping over there now to see what everyone else has been up to ...


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Visiting The White Water of London

One of the advantages of living on the South Coast of England and due south of London is that we are lucky enough to live close to the sea and the South Downs but at the same time, if we feel the need to visit London its only about an hour and a half away by train or by car.

We had a last minute invitation on Friday evening to join a white water rafting party at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in north London, which was the venue for the canoeing and kayaking events at the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Cocopopia loved every minute of it but I had decided on this occasion not to do the rafting but did use up plenty of energy running around the course trying to take photographs and video clips.  It takes skill to be a good sports photographer (and some good equipment!) and I'm not very experienced at all, but I managed to achieve a few interesting shots - here are some of my favourites.

Ours was the last session of the afternoon and so we were able to see the sun setting over the course and to see what it looked like when all of the water was drained away.

And finally the open air bar area was a really nice place to chill out, have a drink, listen to the music and watch the sun setting over the Lee Valley Country Park.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Singing the Joys of Spring

Well I didn't get around to blogging last week due to one reason and another and sometimes that's just how it goes, but hopefully back on track this week..

Yellow is such an uplifting colour and there's so much of it about at the moment - the daffodils are now gone but the Forsythia is in full bloom although this week I've also noticed the dandelions popping up left, right and centre - not unattractive flowers but they take over the garden if left to their own devices so the weeding must begin...

There's been lots of sunshine around and mid-week we had the hottest day of the year so far.  I sat in the garden with a mug of tea, appreciating it all and listening to a robin and a blackbird having a "sing off" in the trees. The robin was very high up so apologies for him being a bit blurry!

The apple and cherry blossom that's been around recently (so beautiful but blink and you miss it!) inspired me to make this cherry quartz bracelet which is now in my online shop.

Finally, I have picked up a felting project which has been a VERY long time in the making.  There's a bit of a story to go with it and I hope to finish it this week-end so with a bit of luck I'll tell you more in my next post.  In the meantime, here's a quick peep ....

I'm joining in with Planet Penny's Happy Friday once again - interesting to see what everyone else has been up to this week

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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Shiver Me Timbers

At the week-end we took a bike ride along the south coast from Worthing to Bognor Regis, passing through Littlehamptom on the way.  

Shiver Me Timbers being old nautical slang, supposedly used by pirates and apparently a battle was fought here in the year 837 between Wulfherd and some Danish pirates.  Shiver would seem particularly appropriate too as it was a bit of a cold day and I'd forgotten to take my wind-cheater jacket so had to cycle extra fast just to try and keep warm!

We went into the cafe next to the lifeboat station to warm up and then said hello to the swans when we came out.

We continued our journey on to Bognor Regis and looked for a shelter on the sea front where we could eat our packed lunch but unfortunately the one and only shelter we found had lots of gaps in it so didn't offer much shelter at all.

We actually decided to wimp out on the way back as the cycle route hadn't been that pleasant (maybe it was all down to the weather) and so we headed for the railway station.  And what a delightful railway station we found - very quaint and old world English (with a few American Coca Cola adverts thrown in for good measure!).

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Happy Easter

Well its been perfect timing with the daffodils this year as they make their appearance in time for Easter.  Looking particularly fresh in this photo following a typical April shower.

It wasn't until I took a closer look at the photo that I noticed the presence of an imposter ...

This Easter, for the first time ever, I attempted to make some hot cross buns. They were gluten free and, quite honestly, not very nice!  Not sure if I'll attempt them again and will probably try my own version of spicy Easter muffins next time!

Some new jewellery -making supplies arrived this week, including some coloured wire and colourful beads for summer jewellery.   I'm particularly excited about using the druzy quartz frosted beads.  

Druzy is caused when small crystals fill cavities in rocks and when made into gemstone beads, each bead has its own unique pattern and sparkle and they are just beautiful to look at and especially so when worn as a piece of jewellery.

Finally, these are not beads but miniature chocolate eggs. 

And on that note I'd like to wish you a very happy Easter, wherever you may be and however you recognise and celebrate this week-end.

Once again I'll be linking up with other Happy Fridayers over at Planet Penny

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