Saturday, 26 November 2011

Box O' Chocolates

If you've been with me for a while, you may remember that in Christmas 2008 I had a box of felt chocolates made for me by my lovely sister.
She had seen a picture of them in a magazine, and although she asked Father Christmas for a book with instructions on how to make them, she couldn't wait for that to arrive, so she fiddled around with little bits of felt and tiny stitches, and devised her own patterns - and very beautiful the results are too.
I took them along to my (then) City and Guilds group, where they were much admired.  So much so, that at Angela's request, and despite never having taught before, my sis went along to Art and Stitch and took the class.
I'm sure you'll understand then, that Linda was very much in my thoughts as I drove to the last meeting of the Young Embroiderers' for this year, where we were going to show the girls how to stitch a little box of chocolates, to maybe give as a handmade Christmas present.  The girls excelled themselves -
(and THESE photos were stolen directly from Gina - but she said it was ok)
I thought that our Young Embroiderers would enjoy making them, but I was really impressed by how enthusiastic they were - and how they kept coming up with new ideas for their next chocolate, while they were still stitching the last one.  
So I really hope that somehow, somewhere,  Linda is aware that today, indirectly, she kept 12 little girls (and four bigger ones!) thoroughly engrossed and entertained for hours.
Thanks sis xx

Box O' Chocolates - Three Black Eyes

Monday, 7 November 2011

Peter Cushing Lives in Whitstable

I've just had a lovely girl's weekend in Whitstable with a couple of friends - staying in the perfectly appointed and beautifully decorated Curlew Cottage in the centre of town, just a stone's throw from the harbour.  We arrived on Thursday and spent a few hours in Canterbury (didn't have my camera, with me I'm afraid) and then spent Thursday evening talking one of our party into the idea of visiting Margate the following day (I'm guessing she thought we'd try to drag her to Dreamland!) but managed to convince her that with the new Turner Contemporary gallery, Margate was now the happening place to be.  The gallery was brilliant -
and currently has Rodin's 'The Kiss' on loan
We spent a couple of hours wandering around the current exhibition -
Photographs were not allowed in the main gallery area, but we were allowed to take a couple in the foyer.  I think there must be a lot of unhappy youngsters around, judging by the slogans on these T-Shirts
And we loved this 'then and now' display of photographs of the models when they were teenagers, and how they look now - it was fascinating to see how they'd changed.
When we came out of the gallery - I did wonder if the doors of these lock-ups around the harbour were painted by chance, or if they were designed to be a bit of artwork themselves.
We HAD to stop here for coffee and cake
And I insisted the girls pose here, much against their better judgement
At the end of the day, having visited - and shopped at - numerous vintage shops and second-hand bookshops,  we all agreed that despite our preconceptions,  Margate is well worth a visit.
On Saturday, we stayed in Whitstable. I loved it - no sign of any Tesco supermarkets (always a bonus, in my book) and absolutely NO chain stores that you get everywhere - just lots of individual, independent businesses - a fabric shop, a wool shop, lots of second hand shops, and independent clothes shops covering all budgets.  Oh, I lied - there was one chain.  When we had first driven along the High Street, I thought this was a cinema.    
However, on closer inspection, it turned out to be a Wetherspoon pub  converted from an old cinema, and named after one of Whitstable's famous residents.   And what a fabulous conversion - we popped in for coffee, and it was as beautiful inside as it was outside.  
I can't say I'm much of a Wetherspoons afficionado - but this is without doubt the loveliest I've ever visited.  I'd definitely go there again.
We spent the rest of the day pottering, and also visited a fabulous textile exhibition at the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre by 1IN2textiles.  I came away very inspired and itching to stitch.
On Sunday, despite a slight drizzle and a chilly wind, we had a wander around the harbour, where some of the fishermens' huts have been converted into an Art and Craft market.  
Obviously, you can't have a trip to the seaside without a dip in the sea, but sadly the photos of me swimming didn't come out, so you'll have to take my word for it.  Would I lie to you?
 To sum up - Whitstable was fab - masses of lovely shops, a thriving art scene, and loads of live music in the pubs. All that and the seaside as well!  Now, if I can just win the lottery ...........

Peter Cushing Lives in Whitstable - The Jellybottys
and in case you are doubting me - it really IS a song title.