Posts Tagged ‘Lake District. Grasmere’

Our family holiday in the Lake District was over a month ago and despite the persistent rain, we had a fabulous time and I managed to get some stitching done to go in my holiday journal.

I still love to combine found objects, paper and stitch and that’s what I did with a couple of fragments I picked up from the shores of Grasmere.


The wheatear stitch has a lovely weight to it and works really well for holding down the ring pull.

I insisted on having a day at Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, near Windermere and as the girls and I managed to persuade the men to go on a walk without us, we were able to spend a leisurely day there, just wallowing in the utter beauty of the Arts and Crafts rooms and furnishing without being chivvied on. My little one drew, mostly on her phone but also with a real pencil and paper (!)


Her older sister sat in an inglenook and wrote.


And I found a window seat in the Great Hall and sewed.


I’ve worked embroidery inspired by Blackwell before, namely a whitework sample I stitched back in 2015 for my altered book holiday journal…


…based on a pillow case, which you can just about see on the other page of the book spread.


The entire place is just stuffed with inspiration in every craft discipline, but this time I was very taken with an embroidered runner in the Great Hall which had a repeating pattern of sycamore keys.


So I decided to work my own version for the holiday journal. It felt rather odd, but was a real treat to be able to get up and walk over to the original for reference instead of working from my photos!


Outline in stem stitch.


Then the solid part of the seeds in satin stitch.


My single sample is rather bigger than the originals though and the satin stitches were too long and loose in this scale, so after trying various couching methods, I went for good old Bayeux stitch.


I also decided to stitch a bit of fun, to represent the amazing meal we had on the way at the Brown Horse in Coley. We always stop here for lunch (and have never been disappointed with the food) on the way up to the Lakes. For us it’s where the holiday starts. So…salad leaves…


… with Stilton…



…pepper salami and parma ham!


I will be adding olives later!



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It’s been a hectic few weeks, finishing up things at school so going part time this term can be an easier transition; spending 4 long days of the Easter holiday sorting my classroom out so my personal brand of organisation is accessible to someone else and then a wonderful week’s holiday in the Lake District with some friends and some of the most superb weather I’ve ever had on holiday in the UK!

Grasmere from Loughrigg fell

                    (Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell – not a cloud in the sky!)

But hopefully now I’m only teaching 3 days a week I can actually get a work-life balance.

Anyway, as well as the miniature embroidery we did at the last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting, (which I made up into a card for my youngest’s 9th birthday on Friday) we sadly had another pile of a former member’s sewing items available to take home for donations.  I don’t believe a single woman in that room, me included, truly needed any more threads, fabric, buttons etc. but we couldn’t help ourselves! Other people’s stuff is utterly irresistible and it was the button box, a wonderful conglomerate of buttons and other oddments, that drew me like a magnet.

Button box treasure 1

These brass WWII naval buttons will be perfect to go on one of the army uniforms we have at the theatre group which is currently unusable because it has no buttons – no one will be able to tell on stage.

I also couldn’t resist the marble, miscellaneous key, odd earring and pencil stub!

Button box treasure 2

Mother of pearl buttons are pretty irresistible too, and some of these had the most amazing pearly flash and glow.

Button box treasure 3

I especially like the stormy purples in the dark grey ones.

Button box treasures 3a

And such gorgeous shapes. The floral one at the back is actually a stud and the single hole one on the right has a double hole on the back so when you stitch it on, the thread stays below the top face of the button. Very nifty!

Button box treasure 4

French jet (black glass ) beads from a broken bracelet and an odd earring.

Button box treasure 5

Wooden squares with brass shanks and big coat buttons in unusual bold designs and colours.

Button box treasures 6

Glass, metal and a pencil stub. The two almond shaped buttons have red around one hole and blue around the other but the colour refracts through the facets of the button giving a wonderful moving play of colours around the edges.

Button box treasures 7

All sorts. I’ve no idea what some of these things are.  The turquoise cabochon has a hole part way into the back, so probably part of an old earring. A clay marble, painted to look like glass, gold thread wrapped beads, very thin red plastic buttons on a piece of ribbon, basket-like ‘things’, beads, a workbox or jewellery box type key and a paste gem tipped stud.

Button box treasures 8

I might do something with them, or I might not – sometimes it’s just nice to cherish little things for their own sake.

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