Friday, 26 June 2009

Sunshine and thunderstorms

I was woken at 1:30 this morning by a loud clap of thunder. Summer has finally come to the South of England and after several hot, humid days we were treated to a spectacular storm. Realising that I would find it hard to go back to sleep, I got out of bed and padded to the living room and watched out of the window for a while. There were some amazing forks of lightning, I only wish that I had been able to take some photos. My OH of course slept through the whole thing!

At one time I was a bit scared of thunder storms. Silly I know, but I think it probably stems from an experience in my childhood. Whilst staying with my grandparents on the Kent coast, the house next door was hit by lightening during a particularly violent storm. It shook the whole house and scared me out of my wits. For quite a long time after that storms made me nervous. Now I don't mind them so much and even find them quite exhilarating.

Summer (and the hard work of my OH) has brought its rewards. Last night we sat down to a meal of salad, including the first of our potatoes from the allotment, followed by fruit pie, containing homegrown blackcurrants. I can claim absolutely no credit for them, especially at the moment with my limited mobility. I really do appreciate his hard work as you really cannot beat homegrown fruit and vegetables.

Yesterday was a sad day for me, it was the last day of my City & Guilds Beadweaving course. To mark the occasion we all went to a local pub for lunch. We sat in the garden, enjoying the sunshine, chatting away and it struck me how lucky I am to have met these women. They are all ages and from many walks of life with one thing in common - their creative spirit.

I will see some of them at our annual exhibition - Textile Kaleidoscope - which showcases the work of City & Guilds beadwork and embroidery students, in three weeks time. I am working away on my Art Deco bag , which will be one of the exhibits. So the weekend ahead will be full of beading and writing up my design journal.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Reasons to be cheerful...

This week has been hard. My leg has been hurting and I have found the normal routine of work and everyday life quite difficult. To make me feel better I have recently got into the habit of counting my blessings. I know, it makes me sound a bit like Pollyanna! But it really can help, so here are a few things which bring me joy -

1. Strawberries from the allotment, still warm from the sun.
2. Beading with friends.
3. Feeling the sun on my face and the warm breeze in my hair.
4. Summer evening walks along the beach listening to the waves crashing on the shore.
5. The soothing rhythm of my knitting needles as the yarn slips through my fingers.
6. Three wonderful women who are happy to spend time with me no matter what my mood.
7. Fresh asparagus from the allotment.
8. Sitting quietly reading with my OH.
9. Sharing a meal with good friends.
10.Wearing hand knitted socks.

I could probably go on and on. I feel better just writing this list!

Some more good news this week, my team at work has won a national award - a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award. So now I am part of two award winning teams at work and out of it, that can't be bad. Another reason to be thankful!

Friday, 5 June 2009


I attended one of my City & Guilds beading days yesterday and discovered that not only have the Priory Beaders won the Beadworkers Guild Group Challenge but one of our members, Val Robertson, has won the Intermediate Category for individual beaders. Congratulations Val! Both entries can now be seen on the Beadworkers' Guild website.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Good News

I received an email from the organiser of Priory Beaders telling me that we have won the group entry of the Beadworker's Guild Challenge. Great news I am so thrilled. We are a very new group having only been formed in September 2008 so it is a great achievement. I don't have any pictures of the finished piece at the moment but will post some as soon as I can. This cheered me up immensely as the saga of my injured knee continues. I have had the results of my MRI scan and there is good and bad news. The good news is that I have not torn the cartilage and so don't need an operation. The bad news is that I have extensive bone bruising. This means that I have lots of little cracks on the head of my femur and tibia. It will take a long time to heal, possible up to Christmas and beyond. So far I have been trying to carry on as normally as I can but it is very painful and I will have to continue to walk with a stick for quite a while. At least I haven't done any permanent damage!
On a brighter note I have been working on my next beading project - a beaded bag. It is once again inspired by the shapes and colours of passion flowers. The whole thing will have an Art Deco feel and will be pyramid shaped. I am aiming to make it up from beaded shapes and line it with silk in a contrasting colour. I am going to incorporate lots of Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearls.

Some beaded elements for my Art Deco Bag

And I am continuing my adventures in sock knitting. Spurred on by the success of my Salvation Socks I bought a copy of 'Cool Socks Warm Feet' by Lucy Neatby and I am now knitting some toe up socks with a Turkish Heel. Great fun!

My finished 'Salvation Socks'