Tuesday 22 July 2014

Hand Embroidered Birthday Gift

My niece turned eighteen two weeks ago. I can't believe she's just finished her A'levels and will be choosing a university soon. She's grown into a creative, talented young lady who wants to become a photographer...we're all very proud of her.

I wanted to make a personal gift, something that had meaning to her. I love making handmade gifts, I don't always have the time, but I was determined to make time for this particular gift!

My niece drew me a picture way back when she was just six years old. I've always loved it, the expression on the cat's face and his little paw waving at me. I put it in a frame and it has been something I've looked at nearly everyday. It's moved around with us ever since from our flat in Bath, to our first home in Bristol & now onto our house in North Somerset.

I recently had an idea of transferring the image to fabric and making a piece of hand embroidery to give to her as a gift.

I put the project together over the weeks leading up to her birthday and I'm really pleased with the results. I decided to make it into a cushion cover, but it would also work stretched over a canvas to make a piece of wall art.

I'm pleased to say that my niece also loved the gift, although I had to show her the original to jog her memory...well, alot has happened in the twelve years since she drew it for me!

Sunday 13 July 2014

Storytelling on the Somerset Levels

A couple of years ago my Mum visited a garden on the Somerset Levels...she kept telling me what an amazing place it was & saying things like "I can't really describe the place, but you really need to visit it next time it's open". So when we heard that the annual 'open garden' event was happening, we jumped in the car and drove out onto the Somerset Levels to see what all the fuss was about.

Well, she was right. It is an amazing place & it is hard to describe...but I'll have a go. The owners of the main farmhouse have created an intriguing garden which covers about three acres of land. You move around the garden from one part to another, almost like moving from room-to-room in a house and you never quite know what's going to be around the corner...here are just some of the things we saw...

a metal UFO-type sculpture cum look-out post,

We saw compost toilets adorned with silk scarves and flowers,

a disused bus turned into a cosy home,

a beautiful artists studio,

an outside bath warmed only by a log fire underneath,

the best handmade metal swinging garden seat ever,

hammocks dotted about the place,

a cosy yurt in the orchard,

willow sculptures,

fairy doors into the woods,

nets draped in the trees for adults to climb into & bounce about like big kids in,

and a lake created by the owners complete with arched bridge leading out to an island in the middle.

All this was accompanied by the atmospheric sounds of Fiddlers on the Hoof who were strolling around the garden with their accordion and fiddle. Later on when we settled down for some storytelling outside the artist's studio, they bought out a harp to accompany the stories. The whole place was magical.

I think it's wonderful that the creative people who own this home open their doors to raise money for the local hospice. If they didn't, we wouldn't have had the chance to glimpse into the amazing, enchanting garden they have worked so hard to create.

I'm linking up with #countrykids...hope you've all had fun out & about this weekCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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