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We’ve just returned home from our family holiday in Cornwall – south-east Cornwall this time, as it’s an area we’ve explored the least. After our recent excursions in the Lakes and the Peak District, we’ve developed a bit of a taste for walking and decided to do a section of the South-West Coastal Path from Talland Bay to Polperro.

Polperro is a typical Cornish fishing village; houses clinging to the sides of a steep inlet and a small harbour. The beach is small and just the other side of the harbour wall as you can see in the photo.

Polperro harbourBut it was another beachcombing revelation, very much like Whitby. I picked up nearly 200 pieces of sea glass and pottery in about 20 minutes and there was so much, I could be selective and go for interesting colours and shapes.

Pottery first.

Polperro beachcombing 1

I’m a sucker for blue and white anyway and that soft wave-worn blue and white is just delicious.

Polperro beachcombing 2

Then the glass.

Polperro beachcombing 3

Such fascinating colours, textures and shapes.

Polperro beachcombing 4

Polperro beachcombing 5

Polperro beachcombing 6

Polperro beachcombing 7

We visited seven beaches over the week, some only quite briefly, but I found at least two pieces of sea glass on every one. Yes, it’s official – I’m addicted!

The lazy daisy cuff book is coming along steadily. It’s the perfect project for working on when I’m out and about, and even a few more stitches while I wait for the children or at the dentist’s, all help to move it towards completion.

Lazy daisy cuff book a

Lazy daisy cuff book b

I’ve also made a start on appliqueing down the largest fused fabric heart on my commission piece.  Gorgeous thick shaggy chenille-type thread hand dyed in the perfect range of turquoises and burgundy and couched down with slanting lines of my favourite matte aurora borealis delicas.

Bead couched heart 1

Bead couched heart 2

A nice steady job for a warm summer evening.

Was last Saturday, apparently, and to mark it, several members of our Embroiderers’ Guild decided to have an afternoon of stitching in the gorgeous walled garden of nearby Scawby Hall.

Scawby Hall 1

I chose a bench near a pond and set out some bits and pieces for any visitors to look at…

Scawby Hall 2

…before settling down to stitch. Well, more chat than stitching actually.  I brought the companion piece to my grasses embroidery that I did in May as a response to the portfolio we borrowed from HQ. At the beginning of the afternoon it looked like this:

Meadow 1

And after an hour in the garden, being rained off into one of the poly tunnels by a complete downpour and then ending up in the nearby church for tea and home made cake and another couple of hours embroidering and chatting, it looks like this:

Meadow 2

But it was a fabulous afternoon!!

The next heart to be edged was one of the smaller fused fabric ones.

Couched heart 1

I used a gorgeous softly twisted variegated pure silk thread and couched it down with a dark turquoise rayon machine thread.

Couched heart 2

Then my favourite feather stitch in a variegated sea green perle on a paler fused fabric heart.

Feather stitched heart 1

I stitched this in two sections, each starting from the top centre of the heart to make it more symmetrical.

Feather stitched heart 2

A bit more beading next, I think.

First Heart

I decided that as this was a plain fabric, to make the stitching down stitch a fancy one – beaded buttonhole. And it worked a treat.

Heart with beaded buttonhole stitch 3

 

It’s very easy to work – bring the thread through from the back, thread a bead onto the needle and draw it down the thread until it reaches the fabric, so it sits in the corner of the stitch, and then complete the stitch.

Heart with beaded buttonhole stitch 2

It’s one of those stitches where you get into a nice rhythm with the stitching and the end result looks so even and neat (despite the creasing!).

Heart with beaded buttonhole stitch 1

One done, lots to go!

We had a lovely family day out in Whitby, North Yorkshire, last Sunday. Strolling along the pier, fish and chips for lunch,  walking up the 199 steps to to the church and the abbey, browsing the shops and a tub of cockles to fill up the corners. And of course, there had to be beachcombing.

Oh my goodness. The beach was small and quite unprepossessing, but as we reached the tideline, I was overwhelmed by more sea glass than I’d ever seen on a beach in my life, and that includes Seaham. The chunks were just that, big and chunky and for the first time in my beachcombing career, I became a sea glass snob – rejecting pieces that I would normally have pounced on, for only the biggest, the most unusual and beautiful.

Whitby seaglass 1

Whitby seaglass 2

Whitby seaglass 3

 

The penny shows how big most of these pieces are.

Whitby seaglass 4

Whitby seaglass 5

As well as sea glass, I found several short sections of the stems of 17th/18th century clay pipes (my little one claimed those!) and there were pieces of pottery everywhere. I even found my very first ammonite, heavily weathered, but still an ammonite and a childhood goal achieved!

Whitby beachcombing

I was just blown away – it was like catching fish in a barrel, and I think I’d have still been there if my little one hadn’t suddenly needed the loo in a hurry, necessitating a swift exit from the beach and return to the town.

These are no ordinary pieces of sea glass. The colour, particularly the tendency to aqua, the thickness, the size of some of the rim shards and the markings as well as the amount of other odds and ends (I forgot to mention the broken ‘bone’ knife handle) all suggest these may have come from the dumps of household rubbish that Victorian cottages had at the end of their gardens and that are now fallen into the sea.

That’s so exciting – I can’t wait to go back!!!

Hearts in varying sizes have been cut from both the pieces of fused fabric and also, for contrast, some plain toning dark turquoise satin. The commission asked for two panels, so I’ve cut and pinned two scatterings of hearts onto natural coloured silk noil.

Panel 1:

Fused fabric hearts panel 1a

Fused fabric hearts panel 1b

And Panel 2:

Fused fabric hearts panel 2a

Fused fabric hearts panel 2b

Now for the first layer of embellishment – stitching them decoratively onto the silk.

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