Blue Coppice Blatherings

Blather and balderdash about stitching, design and domestic life.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's sunny and it's lunchtime!

I'm not sure I should bother apologising for the length of time between posts anymore...let's face it, the muse comes upon me in fits & spurts - and completely depends on how many brain cells I'm carrying at any one time.

So to update you all, yet again my job has changed somewhat. Following staff movement in the summer, my manager asked if I'd like to head up the Birmingham/West Midlands division & return to a consultancy role - something I swore I'd never do again... However, she's very persuasive and to be fair the company has a very different culture to that of the last consultancy I worked in, so here I am, wondering if I've made the right move but thoroughly enjoying myself!

Unfortunately, this does leave less time for stitching and designing as it requires far more brain power than my previous role, I think partly because I'm still getting used to it all. I've been making fairly silly mistakes while stitching in the evenings so have decided to leave all work on the wedding sampler for the weekends - there's not much left to do but I'd hate to make a mess of it at this late stage. In the evenings, I've been alternating between the TSG Challenge Huswif, all the Shepherds Bush ornaments from Just Cross Stitch Ornament issues over the past few years (nearly finished and waiting this year's!) and The Sweetheart Tree's B for Bunny (should be finished this evening - only 14 tiny beads to go!).

The Halloween Fairy by Mirabilia is finished but not framed yet - unfortunately the fabric provided isn't large enough to stretch around the board for the frame I want to use so it needs to have extra strips sewn to the edges. I must admit I did try to take the lazy route & just lay it in the frame but as I'd suspected gravity took its toll! I have the same problem with the Christmas Elf Fairy so they're both temporarily in their frame to keep them safe before I get to do a proper job.

On other stitchy news, I met up with a group from the Sampler Guild on 21st October where we gossiped, stitched and ate till we burst! We met at "Patchworks" in Chorley, Lancashire - an Aladdin's Cave of a shop stuffed to the brim with everything you could possibly need for quilting, patchwork and card-making/scrapbooking...not to mention stitching supplies :-) The shop has only been open since July and has undergone an amazing transformation from a rundown victorian terrace into a ground floor shop and 1st floor kitchenette, sitting room and a gloriously bright and airy front room - ideal for get-togethers and workshops! We were all made to feel incredibly welcome by the owner, and the sandwiches and cakes supplied by the baker next door were much appreciated. It was Sylvia's birthday and so we not only had the cakes from the baker, but also a fabulous victoria sponge and chcolate sponge - both loaded with fresh cream...yum...yum...

We all enjoyed ourselves so I'm hoping it will be come a regular event - Chorley's very easy to get to from here and it's lovely to meet up with everyone. Seeing everyone's work always inspires me too - there are so many ways of working, tricks and techniques to be picked up, not to mention the drooling over new charts and completed pieces :-)

What else? It was my birthday the other week & we celebrated by getting extremely wet & muddy walking round the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - it's huge & we only skimmed the surface! I can highly recommend it as a day out (or three!), seeing Henry Moore sculptures in the middle of a field surrounded by sheep is slightly surreal but well worth the trip. There was a series of light installations by James Tyrell in one of the galleries (there are several dotted round the ground) which was quite incredible - A & I were the only ones inside which emphasised how peaceful and calming the pieces were...we could have stayed there for hours just staring at the colours and shadows..

A & I love going out and about at weekends, either strolling round the deer park at our local stately home (Dunham Massey) or exploring a little further afield, especially at this time of year when the temperature cools. A little dampness doesn't put us off either, in fact the best days out have been when we have these places to ourselves because everyone else has been driven inside by the torrential rain! For future trips, we're thinking about a local otter and owl sanctuary, revisiting YSP, going to see the Gormley sculptures in the sea near Morecambe, the Liverpool Tate...etc...etc....there just aren't enough weekends in the year!

Apart from all the fresh air benefits, these trips are really good times to discuss wedding plans without distractions! So far we have "notified of our intent to marry", booked the registrar, the reception, the photographer and the wedding night hotel and told our friends & family to keep the date free. I still haven't decided what I'm wearing, we have no idea about the colour scheme (although that will probably depend on my outfit!), flowers, food, rings, music, words for the ceremony...etc...etc...etc... At least we know what we'll be getting the best man & bridesmaid and we've got a pretty good idea about what we don't want to happen!

We're in the early stages of designing the invitations at the moment - and since we are have space for only 38 guests, we can plan for something a little different! Luckily, although we're both designers, we have very similar tastes and seem to be able to recognise each other's strengths - although it's early days yet ;-) Since we're both passionate about what we do there are bound to be a few "discussions", although A is used to awkward clients so I think he'll be able to handle long as he realises I'm right.... ;-)

Time to go - hopefully I'll get round to taking some pics of my recent finishes for the next entry, but I'm not promising it'll be this side of Christmas!!