Monday, 27 February 2012

Springing!

 Well the year is definitely springing along here! I am thankful the cold snap is over. The log store was getting low and, well, it was COLD! 
We had a heartfelt February with a Valentines' breakfast for the boy..
 and lots of folding and colouring secretive loveliness..
 Some beautiful crisp long walks over the half term, and a new Nature Reserve enjoyed at Wheatfen, home of Ted Ellis who was a Norfolk wildlife hero when I was a child.
 Another excitement was an unexpected feature in a magazine I had not come across before! I'm now plotting my subscription!
 As ever it was odd to look at pictures of the old house.
  I really enjoyed the edit of Hazel's write up in this one. I think it's my favourite article so far.
 Stitchy excitement as March comes around with two embroidery workshops to enjoy at The Dragon Hall in Norwich on the 19th and 26th! For details of how to book you will need to contact Dragon Hall direct. Their details are on my website along with Autumn workshop dates if you can't get a place this time around. Dragon Hall put on an amazing season of textiles classes and events so it's well worth asking for the full brochure!
There has been stitchery work, a boy sampler for a new baby, always a pleasure to create something for a new little person. It's a very simple piece of work and I greatly enjoyed that simplicity. 



I particularly enjoy stitching words. There's a rhythm to it that I find mesmerising.
And outside our cottage Bertha's garden is starting to wake up. There is the promise of a carpet of Spring flowers but so far only the Crocus and Snowdrops have dared show their faces in the sunshine.

Oh yes! I almost forgot! Thank-you all so much for the wonderful replies to the 'Pale and Interesting' giveaway. There were so many good answers that I couldn't possibly choose my one most important thing any more! But we did choose one answer and the winner is Gill, because when I look back over the pictures of the old house, the one thing that tugs at my heartstrings, aside of the view out the window, is my old Aga! Send me your address Gill and I'll send over your prize.
t.x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Changing perspectives.

Well, ahem! Yes, there have been a few changes around here. I have simplified, much like in life. Back to the essentials. Deciding what's important. Not to put too fine a point on it... clearing out!
It is fun to take car loads to the charity shops, to send precious bits and pieces to friends who will gain pleasure from a surprise parcel, to make decisions about displaying my absolute favourite things.
Stitching continues in the background, but here too I am making decisions, paring down my work, there's some way to go but I am enjoying the process. This piece was finished before Christmas..
 The beautiful boy also completed a gift for daddy...
 Badger lives with the boy at daddy's house but comes to hog our stove from time to time..
 In keeping with tradition we walked in the year on a crisp January day...
 and now all of a sudden here we are in February and all is turned to white! Which is a wonderfully helpful prompt!
 ..because long ago I promised a book giveaway thanks to the lovely people over at Ryland Peters and Small.
 I was sceptical. Any of you who have read my words in various magazines will know that I have never liked brilliant white in my homes and so I was likely to be a tough critic of this book. Pale, to me, was not the least interesting!
 In fact this book has been a revelation. I enjoyed the peacefulness within it's pages. The way that precious objects rest within the spaces and are able to be enjoyed unhindered by jazzy decor and heavy colours.  The boy and I were especially drawn to the pages showing displays of nature finds, a passion we share.
And the juxtaposition of white and salvaged and natural materials took the edge off of the clinical coldness I had always associated with white walls...
 All of which has helped us to settle more into our little white cottage! Once the builders had finished their dastardly deeds the entire cottage needed a lick of paint. Budget and time meant the simplest solution was gallons and gallons of trade white. Having read this book I took time to look more openly around our little home. In the guest room treasured quilts, a polished oak floor and some of Bertha's old utility furniture...
 Elsewhere colourful china, books and more warmth from polished wood
 Nature finds simply displayed...
 and of course there is always colour to be found in the workroom!
I am enjoying this process of rebuilding a simpler space. Within a canvas of white and wood there are colours and textures and nature treasures and finally our cottage is beginning to feel like our home. Which I think is as much about a change of perspective as it is to do with whatever colour there may be on the walls.
So. As with any lovely things I am sent I always like to pass them on to my readers. So if you would like to receive this copy of Pale and Interesting by Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote, which I have found a delicious read, then the question is... aside of family and friends, what is the special thing that makes your house feel like home? As usual we will read all the answers and choose our favourite. I am really looking forward to this one!
And in case any of you are worried by the weather reports and concerned for our well-being out here in the frozen East... please don't worry! We have panic-shopped for essential provisions!
All's well! Back in a week or two and looking forward to hearing all your wisdom as ever! t.xxx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Whoops! Another Year!

Well, needless to say time has quickly passed and life has moved on at a pace I have been chasing to keep up. I am just popping in to say 'Hello'! Once again thank you all for your kind messages. We are here and the year has been kind. And now we are snuggling into our home for our second Christmas.
There have been many highlights this year, perhaps most special to me was to take one very keen little Birder up to the Farne Islands in the North East of England. A very different landscape to our beloved Norfolk and a place to which we hope to return one day as we found it so captivating.
 There have been commissions and stitching in the midst of life's busy-ness...
 I only work to commission now and love to stitch with a particular person or event in mind...
 I am busy busy now completing one more stitchery for the year as a very special gift for a baby's first Christmas...
 There have also been Embroidery Workshops which have been a joy to teach, a new experience for me. It has been such a great pleasure to share chat and stitches with ladies who had much to teach their 'teacher'. It never ceased to amaze me how 14 people could dive into the same scrap bag and come up with so many and varied designs. I am looking forward very much to more workshops in 2012.
 So all in all a year of stitching and growing and settling. There have been a few changes here at Kitschen Pink and I have been giving a lot of thought to how my little blog should develop going forward. I have paused to think and spend time with my boy.

I shall be back in 2012, not least because I have those beautiful books which I had been sent to offer to you as giveaways. They are still sitting on my workroom desk waiting for their new homes!
I hope you will join me from time to time and share your thoughts as we used to do.
Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful Christmas, wherever you are and whatever you have planned. t.xx

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Hexie Heaven!

Bertha's garden continues to amaze us with so many jewels now the Roses have joined the party. Every day brings a new marvel! Thank-you all so much for all the wonderful flower stories. We enjoyed reading them all so much! In the end we just couldn't choose one so we popped you all into a salad bowl (I know, we're still unpacking and things are very disorganised!) and out came Kitsch and Curious Elsie who chose the Iris. My grandma's name, perfect! So as soon as I have an address the book will be on it's way. But there are more book treats to come! The lovely folk over at Ryland, Peters and Small have sent me two delicious books from their current catalogue to share with you and I'll be doing that very soon!
 
Indoors there has been a new addition to my hex garden! The first is on the right which we used in our old home. Then the lovely orange one somehow arrived here and then I was very fortunate to purchase the tinky, tiny blue hex from the very talented Viv over at Hens Teeth. I would never, ever have the patience required to make one of these quilts. All the more reason to treasure the ones that find their way onto our sofa! Perfect for snuggle time!
 Half term finally got underway this week and of course there have been visits to our favourite wild places. Somewhere in this picture there is a little boy and a nesting Avocet. Each one watched the other closely for over an hour. I sat in the sunshine and watched the two. Bliss.
 The beautiful boy was delighted to see star fish washed in on the tide, sadly they were unlikely to be washed away again, but he was amazed nonetheless to be able to pick one up out of the water and study it closely.
 We have visited the animal sanctuary over which he was quite proprietorial owing to fundraising activity at school. Am I the only one who cannot meet a donkey without being transported back to beach holidays, sand castles and Devonshire ice-creams?
 Sadly I suspect this lovely lady could see in my eyes that I was thinking 'bacon buttie'. Not at all P.C. given my surroundings!
 And in the garden the boy has added works of creativity to his own collection. This one a gift from Bertha's family next door....
 And a tiny little beauty so soft I would just love to shrink down to size and snuggle in for a cosy sleep!
Back soon and thank-you all so much for stopping by when I have been so hopelessly absent! t.xx

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Books and Flowers

We picked you some flowers from Bertha's garden. We have been so delighted that every week a new jewel has appeared. Bertha lived here for most of her long life and her garden is a gift she has left for us to enjoy. We have had Snowdrops, Aconites, Bluebells, Tulips, Forget-me-not, Lilac and the blossom snow from the Cherry trees was breath-taking.
We are gradually bringing in our own belongings and flowers inside too making it feel a little more like home every week.
 The beautiful boy has a quiet corner for homework..
 Books, the substance of a home, are quickly filling what few shelves we have available...
 And here are flowers and a book for you! At last a giveaway! Conran Octopus sent me a copy of this feast of a book all about Orla Kiely - both autobiographical and a visual delight - page after page of her delicious designs, sources and all in all an inspirational peek into the work and life of one of my favourite ladies of design.
 I could look at it for hour upon hour, her use of colour and the deceptive simplicity in her work is, in the truest sense, awe inspiring.
 So, for this giveaway - finally kicking off the year in May!!! Tell me your favourite flower and the reason why. I can't wait to hear! For me it is, of course Lavender as I have said before, the scent of my beloved Grandma on warm summer afternoons.
I shall be back before June to choose a winner so take some time to think about it!
Meanwhile work is becoming rather over-whelming. The first events of the year have been and gone and there is much excitement around two Embroidery Workshops I have been invited to run in the centre of Norwich. If you are interested in receiving details drop me an email (link in my profile) and I shall ask for you to receive the mailing when it is printed.
And there has been a vintage haberdashery bonanza! I shall be selling some of the hundreds of packs of rainbow coloured bias binding somewhere soon, let me know if you would like to know more.
We are getting there. Slowly. In our own way. t.xxx