My Activities

I am a textile artist living in Somerset, South West England. I love everything to do with fabric, threads, yarn and mixed media. I'm a member of the newly formed TextileSet, a group of enthusiastic stitchers from Dorset & Somerset, the online group Near & Far, West Country Embroiderers and Quirky Quilters.
I love the county of Somerset and enjoy walking my dog, Indie. I travel with her around England and France at every opportunity and we both have fun in our 'cottage garden'

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Supporting Weldmar Hospice

I am pleased to announce that once again I'll be supporting Craft for Care, a fund raising event organised by Weldmar Hospice.  I'm going to be teaching a workshop on crazy patchwork, details here

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

A Day in Shakespeare's Town

A visit to Shakespeare’s county – Warwickshire and in particular, Stratford upon Avon. This town is fairly small considering it’s great claim to fame of being the birthplace of Shakespeare. It has the Kennet and Avon Canal running through it’s centre and this is a wonderful reminder of the slower, possibly romantic times of transporting goods around the country. The canal boats are now private dwellings. The photos here also show many other places related to the Shakespeare ‘legend’ – the childhood home of his wife, Anne Hathaway; the farm where his mother grew up – Mary Arden and the home of one of his daughters, who married a renowned doctor of the times. There is a very interesting bus tour of the town and an exceptionally interesting and informative multi-lingual commentary. It informs the listener of the many words introduced to the english language by Shakespeare – not only did he write the amazing prose so well known around the world today, but he also ‘invented’ words to use in his work. One thing which stuck in my mind was the saying ‘left on the shelf’ when referring (rather unkindly) to ladies still unmarried in later life. It appears that in the small dwellings of the time, the parents would have the upper level as a bedroom, all the other male residents slept in the lower living quarters and any unmarried daughters would sleep on a ‘shelf’ type area level with the stairs/step ladder to the upper level of the home. It was thought that this way their honour was protected as they were kept safe from any unwanted attentions before marriage because they were surrounded by the family.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

A Review of the Year in Instalments - Travel - Warwickshire

In September this year, whilst staying in Warwickshire for two nights, I visited Kenilworth Castle. Followers here have probably already realised that I enjoy travelling and especially to historical sites.
Kenilworth Castle was gifted to Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester by Queen Elizabeth I. He was one of her 'favourites' and speculation regarding their relationship has lasted long after their deaths. It appears that Elizabeth was actually returning lands to the Dudley family which had been 'lost' through the years, and in fact, she also gifted Warwick Castle, a far superior structure, to Robert's older brother.
The Earl continued to refurbish and extend the property throughout his life and invited the Queen to visit on many occasions. This in itself was a common practice, what sets the visits to Kenilworth apart are the length of time Elizabeth spent there each time and the extent of the developments by Dudley specifically for the Queen. He commissioned state apartments for Elizabeth and planned for them to be on the highest floor so that 'Her Majesty' could enjoy unspoilt views of the parkland and countryside beyond. However, the most outstanding work was carried out in the gardens - he planned and created the most beautiful 'elizabethan knot garden', which included an aviary - and with the help of contemporary descriptions, English Heritage, who own and protect the site, have been able to establish a close replica. This stunning castle and it's surrounding buildings and countryside are best explained by the photos I have taken - it was a rainy day but that has added to the drama of this place!