Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Goodbye summer

Summer 2011

It happened at Easter. I remember taking the photos and doing the post. My garden was full of flowers and the trees were heavy with blossom. We had high hopes of a blazing, hot summer to make up for the ravages of winter.

What happened? Well, June, July and August happened.

I know I shouldn't complain. We've had no drought, no sandstorms, no hurricanes but...facts - important ones, not just moaning.

We live in a part of the world that has high rainfall.
The area I live in has an above average rate of adolescent suicides.
I believe these two facts could be linked.

Lack of sunshine lowers vitamin D levels and serotonin levels. Seasonal affective disorder, well it's not good.
This can show itself as anything from poor concentration to severe depression.

So for those of you who have been baking under the summer sun forgive us Brits if we appear miserable, introverted and just plain cranky. We just need some sun to warm up our bones and then we'll be happy again - almost.

Now, take away those tacky adverts, turn up the volume and play it again.

Don't you feel better?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Today I have been mostly

eating Neapolitan ice cream. That's what it says on the tub. It's not how I remember it. There was no green! I was so confused I had to phone my Italian friend and compare notes.

'What is Neapolitan ice cream?' I asked her.

'Strawberry, pistachio and chocolate,' she answered without a pause.

Pistachio! Not vanilla. Pistachio.

Well, it seems we are both wrong. You see like her I grew up eating ice cream made by the Italian families who ran the local cafes.  What we'd been enjoying was spumoni.

Here's what I found out -
Spumoni is a special Italian dessert made of layers of ice cream, whipped cream, candied fruit, and nuts. In spumoni, each layer contains different flavours and ingredients. Traditional  spumoni is made of three layers of flavour: chocolate, pistachio, and cherry.

Spumoni ice cream was originally created in Naples, Italy. Neapolitan ice cream then evolved from spumoni. Neapolitan ice cream is, quite simply, layers of chocolate, berry, and vanilla ice cream.

No argument about pink wafers. They're definitely pink!!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Treasury Sunday

I haven't done one of these in a while. It's just the thing to brighten up a miserable Bank Holiday afternoon. Enjoy the Etsian Artists.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Pantone Colours


While we still have leaves on the trees I thought it was fitting to look at cedar. Pantone describes it as,

'evoking the freshness of a cool mist in a dark forest. Cedar is a versatile, mid-tone neutral green.'

At one time I had a few things in my wardrobe that were a sludgy, olive green but I haven't bought this colour in a while. Mainly because for a few seasons we've seldom seen it. For me at the time it was a safe bet. It was smart enough to look professional and it wasn't black.

I wasn't going to focus on cedar this week. That was before Cat House Prints won last week's Etsian Artists treasury challenge. This week's challenge had to include an item from Cat House's shop and the challenge word was Scream. While the treasury might not be strictly cedar there are some lovely earthy greens in the collection. In all honesty I've found this colour to be the most difficult one to match so far but here are some great items I'd like to share.

Cedar is in evidence at Folksy too.


I know Audrey's Cat's little mouse isn't strictly cedar but I couldn't resist another visit from him!

Friday, 26 August 2011


I've been painting. I've nearly finished painting. I've chosen this,

cornflower white.

It's bland, unassuming, inoffensive, and above all, easy to work with. How I wish there was more of it around!

I'm not the most organised person. Neither am I a stylist, photographer, interior designer or any of those things that would help me develop my space. But when I want to be I can be ruthless. I've thrown and recycled and thrifted like a good one. Nothing gets into my room now unless it's earned its place. It's getting there.

Little corners of my workroom.

My organic scraps and embroidery scraps.

My non-organic scraps and a lovely reel of vintage thread.

You can see which threads I use the most.

Knitting needles on the go.

Because I always lose my best needles

My favourite chocolates might have gone but these lovely boxes are so useful and because I didn't say  no pink at all. A special corner for Elizabeth!

These beautiful orchids because on a thundery, wet afternoon in August they make me happy!

Have a lovely weekend. To my friends on the east coast - stay safe. Keep away from that nasty Irene!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Pantone Colours


Pantone 18-2120

Honeysuckle is Pantone's colour of the Year 2011. It has been described by Leatice Eiseman the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute as,

a dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.

Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum. The intensity of this festive reddish pink allures and engages.

I have an Italian friend who owns a winter coat in this colour. She says that winter is so dreary that wearing it makes those dark months easier to get through. It gives her a glow that's hard enough to find in the summer here yet alone in the winter. 

Honeysuckle is a colour that I've become more fond of in recent years. I really enjoyed working with the Amy Butler organic cotton when I made my scarf. It cheered up a few rainy days.

Here's more honeysuckle at Etsy, featuring UK shops and the knit1treble2 team.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Pantone Colours

Deep Teal
Pantone 19-4914

I'm going to indulge myself with this one. I love teal. As it's one of Pantone's colours for autumn/winter 2011 I hope there's going to be a lot of it around.

Pantone describes it as a strong, blue-toned green, suggests ocean depths and the color of the sky as daylight descends into darkness.

I put out a request for teal items and it seems as if there's quite a debate about teal. I think of it as a blue, black with a touch of deep green. I've picked out a few of my favourites.

From Folksy we have,


and from Etsy. You can also find this on Etsy Treasury Hunters

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


I really should be painting. Cornflower white.

As I said, I should be painting. I've done two walls and I'm having a break. I'm blaming Apryl at Blue Daisy Glass for my procrastination today.

I've just read her post on bottle upcycling when it sparked off the thing that I should have done ages ago.

The thing? Well, April awarded me this,

I'm thrilled to receive the Versatile Blogger Award but I was in the middle of my July challenge. I hadn't forgotten but part of the award means that you've got to list seven interesting facts about yourself. Interesting? There lies the problem. Seven, 7, saith, siete! Well there are two!
  1. Dw i'n gallu siarad Cymraeg. (I can speak Welsh) I could read Welsh before I could read English. Forgot it all and had to learn all over again.
  2. I know some Spanish.
  3. I've taught English to Japanese ladies.
  4. I was offered a job in a language school in Prague by the person on the next table while having dinner one night.
  5. I've worked in education and conservation.
  6. I hate spiders and snakes. The rest of creation is fine by me but those either have too many legs or not enough. Stick some spider legs on snakes. Problem solved!
  7. I've had four black cats in succession. Each one has met an untimely end. They are not lucky. Be careful out there, Dizzy!
That was hard. Not particularly interesting but some things can't be shared for reasons of incrimination!

The other task to have full ownership of the award is to nominate seven worthy recipients. That's another hard bit. There are so many of you that reserve this and I don't want to offend anyone by leaving them out. Here are the seven I've chosen.
In no particular order, my choice for the Versatile Blogger Award goes to - 
Blonde Design


Creating Trouble

The Curious Miss Clay

That Fuzzy Feeling

Mad Scientists Designs

Amelia's Market

They're all a good read and they're all very talented in different ways. Pop over and take a look. Tell them Cat sent you!

Oh! I've got to get back to my painting now. Perhaps I should have a coffee and read the newpaper first.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Pantone Colours


One of the new autumn/winter colours is bamboo, Pantone 14-0740.

Pantone has described it as,
a surprising fall hue, brings a warm, exotic flavor to the season. Like a filtered sunset on the waning days of fall.
Bamboo is a standout yellow with a subtle green undertone.

I've chosen bamboo as my theme this week. It's been inspired by the Etsy knit1treble2 team. I've chosen to use The Cranberries track 'Yellow Skies' as a title because I didn't want to give any exposure to Coldplay. And here! I just did!


Friday, 5 August 2011

New Toy

It's a lovely day. I've been in the garden playing with my new toy. I won't bore you with words. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Last Knit

I found this today. It captures knitting addiction perfectly. How many of us have been so obsessed?

Sit back and enjoy. I'm in the middle of a crochet cushion cover so I can't join you. I have to finish tonight!!!!

Wasn't that good?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


There are some gorgeous shops and items on Etsy. I just want to share a few of them with you.

This treasury is composed of Etsian Artists and new shops. The floaty chiffon dresses are so delicious. And Johnny? What can I say?


I'm not giving a countdown for this because it might take me for ever to get sorted. If today's shenanigans carry on it might never be done.

Is it National Mouse Extermination Day or Find a Frog Day? My little tinkers think it is. The cats make such a noise when they bring a dead thing home. You can't ignore it. You have to rush out to rescue whatever creature they've dropped at the door. Mice are usually dead. Birds can survive although shocked  Frogs? Well, they have more intelligence. They act dead. As soon as it's safe, first one eye opens, followed by the other. They flip over off their backs and away they go.

Destruction wasn't totally their domain today. Take a look at this,

My lovely twisted, weeping willow is no more. It was a gorgeous tree, delicate and airy, but for the last three summers it's really struggled to green up. This year all the growing tips have rotted away. I've taken cuttings from the healthy looking shoots so with a bit of luck I'll have something to replace it.

On the plus side the filters on my car will now be clear of leaves. I'll sleep when there's a storm because I won't be worrying if the tree will blown down. On the minus side I've just realised the neighbours across the way can now see right into the house!

Thanks to those of you who've given suggestions about my workroom. I'll forgo Steve's idea. His favourite colours of red and black don't lend themselves to my sort of creativity but thanks for the suggestion. Elizabeth gave me a pink and sparkly idea that I like and had considered. Kris got the feel of it with her suggestion of the Stones Beggars Banquet album cover. Good call. I'll have a look at the record stalls.

No. I haven't done something awful to the print. I found next season's colours on the Pantone site and I placed it on the step. Grey blue is not so bad but I tend to got for blues. I really would like a tone of bamboo. Still dithering.

Keep the suggestions coming, please!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Back again!

Did you think I'd gone away after my July challenge?

August means that I have to sort out the aftermath. I'm planning a change to my workroom. It gets the evening sun so it's a great place to work at the end of the day. I need to sort out storage. That's easily done with IKEA. What I couldn't decide on was the sort of environment I wanted to work in.

Should I go pink and sparkly? No. I think this month has proved I don't do cute.

Totally minimalist? No. Anyone that know me knows I wouldn't be able to keep that up.

Vintage? No. As much as I like it there comes a time when it looks old. It's a difficult look to pull off. You can have too much shabby chic.

I decided to go with an edgy, urban, graffiti look with a humorous twist. It's inspired by a print of a New York doorway by Laura Hodges

There's a warmth to this tag. It's got the colours that I love.  Where do I go from here? It's not going to sit well with my pale blue, grey walls. Paint suggestions anyone?