Saturday, 30 July 2011

Time Off

I have been on holiday for a few weeks and so I am afraid that this blog has been sadly neglected. It has been really good to have some time off and we managed to pack in quite a lot. The first day of my leave was taken up with collecting OH's new car and then taking her for a bit of a run up to Shaftesbury. It it really strange having our own transport after many years of having to rely on public transport, but it certainly gives us more flexibility and independence.

We also managed to fit in another trip up to London. It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing. Several weeks ago I had tried without success to get hold of tickets for the Cult of Beauty exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. As time was running out (it finished on 17th July) I decided to make another attempt, and was successful. Whilst having coffee with a friend she reminded me that that was the same weekend as Knit Nation at Imperial College. As the V&A and Imperial College are right next to each other I decided to try to take in both on the same day. As it turns out it was a very exhausting day, it was very hot and humid and extremely wet. It rained solidly until mid afternoon.

The exhibition was interesting and full of beautiful things. Exhibits included 'Veronica Veronese' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (see the image below), silverware by Christopher Dresser, Arts and Crafts dresses, William de Morgan tiles, William Morris hand painted furniture and a whole host of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

The exhibition was well worth the trip and the discomfort. I am not sure that the same could be said for Knit Nation. I went to it last year with 'A Girl in Winter' and we had a good time. This time I felt that there were not as many vendors and was also disappointed that Wollemeise were not attending. I did however pick up a skein of Wollemeise sock yarn from the Loop stall. It is really hard to get hold of so I took the opportunity to buy some. I understand that lots of people tweeted to say how wonderful Knit Nation was this year, so I may be alone in my opinion. However I am certainly glad that I did not make a special trip just for that alone.

Another highlight was a trip to Sandle Cottage, near Fordingbridge, which was open as part of the National Gardens Scheme. It was a lovely tranquil spot with lots of interesting plants. We then drove home through the New Forest.

I have not been idle on the beading front during my time off. I was working on a necklace as my entry in the Stitch and Craft Swarovski Charm Challenge. the idea was that you were sent a Swarovski bead every month and had to create a charm with it. You then had to put all twelve elements together to make a necklace. I am afraid to say that I sadly was not able to complete my necklace in time. I was hoping that I could spend the whole of Friday putting the necklace together. However the tingling and pain in my right hand just got too much and I had to admit defeat. I will continue with the necklace and hopefully post pictures of it in future posts.

I am a bit upset and annoyed with myself that I could not finish in time. However, I enjoyed making the charms and I have come up with some new ideas for jewellery to make in the future. Here are three of the charms -

A ring bead with a sprig of leaves and flowers attached to it.

A large crystal triangle rivoli. I created a bezel around it using delica beads and size 15 seed beads. I then embellished it with circular netting.

A 27 mm crystal button bezelled with delica beads and size 15 seed beads, topped with flat circular herringbone and then embellished with netting.

Saturday, 2 July 2011


Just a short update. Quite a lot has happened since my last post. I have been struggling a bit with my arthritis, but happily that seems to be improving at the moment. I have also been experimenting with my sewing and beading. I am not ready to share at the moment, perhaps in future posts.

This was a short week for me as I had annual leave from work on Thursday and Friday. Thursday was spent in London. While I was there I visited VV Rouleaux near Sloane Square. I must admit that I was completely overwhelmed by the range of ribbons, braids and other lovely things. I bought some pieces of ribbon plus a vintage butterfly clip, a carved bone pendant and some turk's head knots made from strips of leather. In fact while we were in the shop one of the staff was giving a customer a masterclass in tying the knots. I found it fascinating. They have a really good web site but there is no substitute for actually visiting the shop. If you are ever in the Sloane Square/Kings Road area of London I would highly recommend it.

Friday began with another visit to Poole Hospital Physiotherapy Unit. The latest course of treatment has meant attending once a week for the last 6 weeks. The good news is that I have been discharged for the time being. I have nothing but praise for the staff there but I was very glad to leave on Friday morning. Unfortunately I doubt that is the last time that I will see them.

Finally this afternoon saw a shopping trip with a difference. Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that shopping is normally one of my least favourite activities. However this trip was very exciting. This is what we bought.

A shiny, Lightening Blue, almost new (the word used by the Mini dealership is 'Cherished'), Mini Cooper. We are due to collect it next Saturday. We have managed for a long time without a car. However, the time finally has come to change that. It will give us more independence, make it easier for my OH to go to the allotment and for us to visit my family in Devon.