Sunday, March 31, 2019

"Ah! Well away! Seasons flower and fade." Alfred Tennyson

A lovely welcome to my little autumnal little place♥ I would like to say thank you for each lovely comment you gifted me last time you visited. Each one of you truly blessed me with your kindness. May I say at this juncture that my little basket of beribboned flowers will soon be flying over land and sea to the lovely Marilyn. I think I will have to fashion more pretties to give away throughout this year as it is such fun.

Down here at the bottom of the world, Autumn has arrived on the wings of force gale winds, whooshing most of the flowers into oblivion with great gusto. I have no doubt the seeds will appear in the strangest of places next Spring. It is always a delight to see where Mother Nature has dropped her bounty each year. She sows her seeds wherever she will. Some flowers in the garden are still standing, but they are past their best. In one accord the flowers are leaving the stage. The remaining flowers, the Dahlias, Buddlieas, Cosmos..........the Hydrangeas....have strut their stuff on the Summer stage for months now and will soon vanish to the land of repose. I always feel a little sad with the passing of Summer. I love everything about Summer....the warm sunshine, the early rising and late going down of Ol' Man Sun, the vibrant colours of the garden, long, lazy days of activities spent outside; long Summer days that go on forever. But...Autumn and Winter do bring months of cosying up in front of the fire and early morning walks drinking in the joyous sunrises that only Winter can deliver. Then, there is Ol' Man Sun whose rays reach deeper into my home basking everyone in his warm perhaps Winter ain't too bad after all.

The trees' canopy is ever so slightly beginning to change from the verdant brightness to leaves that are dotted here and there in yellow, orange and red tones. In a little while the  dry, crackling leaves will tumble to the ground covering the ground with an autumnal hued carpet.

There hasn't been a lot of stitching happening since I last chatted. I have put aside my flower quilt these last couple of  weeks as there are some design decisions I need to think about. I also wanted a break from stitching petal after tiny petal. The Wisteria is next on my to do list and as we all know the Wisteria flower is abundant in petals; many of them itty bitty in size. I suppose I probably should have worked on my 'Buds in the Basket' quilt but a new tarting up project has been gaining some momentum in my imagination.

My attention has been diverted to a chaise lounge I purchased about fifteen years ago. I loved the shape (and still do) and the thought has always been in my mind that I would recover it one day.  Believe it or not it is the comfiest of chairs. No wonder those medical professionals in the know have like-shaped chairs (though I suppose theirs are covered in red leather, in a more modern aesthetic than mine)  in their office for a spot of psychoanalysis......I can imagine they make a patient feel very relaxed and more prone to reveal their deep and hidden thoughts.

As is always the way with me, I was looking at my reclined pretty for the millionth time the other day and I decided to start playing with the covering and see what I come up with. Now is the time to pull out my upholstery tools yet again. For all these years my chaise lounge has been hidden under quilts and crochet blankets which has been fine thus far, but I am tired of it so a little tarting up is required.

The 'parlour' is a restful room where shades of soft blue and white are seen everywhere. This colour combination is and has always been my favourite. It is a room which will be undergoing a little sprucing up throughout this year. The faux wood walls have to, have to go. I mean really, if one is going to put wood on one's walls, please, please cover them with real, ridgy didge, run-your-hand-along-the-grain-and-knots-and-in-the-process-get-a-splinter.....type wood. Oh, and  I will be giving the wooden floor boards a lick or two of white floor paint. I know, I know.....who paints wood floors....well......I do. Yep....I am a, cover-wood-with-a lick-of-paint, kinda girl. =)

There are many pretties that I have fashioned over the years, to be seen in this room. This room evokes cosiness, an aesthetic of a bygone era. It is a room where I spend a lot of time in the winter months, stitching or knitting, reading.....and just dreaming. Especially those chilly, sunless days where the blazing open fire lulls me with its warm embrace. And then there is the view. It is a view that always quietens my soul. I am in no need of a psychotherapist session when I sit in this room.....though of course, those who are privy to the inner workings of my muddly mind may beg to differ.

I want the chaise lounge to have a smattering of fabrics, along the same aesthetics of the chair I tarted up a couple of years ago.

I  have gathered together fabrics in different blue hues and patterns left over from other pretties I have fashioned. As is my style, I will play for a while with no set design in my head and go with the flow.

I am going to incorporate some hexie love somewhere on the chaise lounge. I am  hand stitching hexies in shades of blue and white, with the thought of wrapping the arm in these pretties.

I will play with these fabrics, hoping to work on the chaise lounge in the Easter holidays which are coming up in a few weeks.

May I say, that nobody's back (mainly my husband's) was put out of kilter  during this photo shoot. He is a good man, is my husband. =0

On the flower front I have been filling vases with cut Hydrangeas as very soon Jack Frost will be visiting, touching these pretties with his icy fingers, causing these gifts from Mother Nature to flee. The days here are still warm and sunny BUT the nights and early mornings are becoming chilly. I sense Jack Frost's imminent arrival. The wonderful thing about vases of Hydrangeas is that they fade into the prettiest autumnal shades. All other cut flowers metamorphose into a pongy mass of organic matter after a week, but not the Hydrangeas, they provide pretty colour for months on end.

Aah yes......Happiness with a capital H =  Hydrangeas!

For the next little while I am going to play with fabrics and see if I can transform my chaise lounge into a tarted up pretty.  I am supposing there will be a few problem solving challenges along the way.

As my once summery little place fades into autumnal glory and you up there shine with the expectation of all the bright, happy colour that Spring brings, may I say thank you for your sweet visit today♥ It is a blue sky, sunny kinda day down here at the bottom of the world. I think I might enjoy a little Sunday afternoon hand stitching some sweet little hexies.

Sending each one of you lovelies a little, blue Hydrangea LOVE.

Until the next time.............

Linking this week to Kathy's, Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

My blogging year that was.....and a Giveaway

Good morning all you lovely lovelies; a beautiful welcome to you♥

I am sitting here enjoying my morning cup of tea reflecting upon the fact that earlier this month, six years ago, I rather tentatively clicked the publish key on my very first blog post and today, 2,207 days  later (give or take a day or two) I am still skipping along the flower-lined bloggy path, still clicking the publish key, still writing my drivel of a blog, still imagining stories to write and still capturing happy snaps of pretties that make my day, my life; beautiful. Indeed it was a happy day (well it was for me) when I decided to prattle on (perhaps...not so for you, though) about all things pretty...all things creative! It was a happy day indeed when I discovered all you lovely lovelies...gorgeous ladies who always make my heart sing♥ Oh Happy Day♥

As I stroll along the memory lane  of my previous posts, I I am conscious there is a prevailing thread to each post. Through my blog I have discovered my own voice, my own style. I have a friend in Sydney who when she shows her husband something I have written, particularly those posts filled with waggishness, where words sometimes drip with facetiousness; without being told whom the author is, he immediately says..."oh, Kim wrote that". I love that. I love it when I write a piece it is a reflection of me, in my own unique and distinctive style. I love the fact that my own idiosyncratic voice shines clearly through. Through the writing of my blog I have discovered that I actually love to write. I love the nuance of words, the rhythm and flow of language. This is something that has not always been apparent to me, especially as a small schoolgirl donned in my school tunic and shiny, black patent leather, school shoes....nor indeed, to my teachers.

In a classroom setting when I was asked to write a narrative, or a composition as it was called back in the day......or some other piece of writing, the results were always rather underwhelming. When asked to pen a piece, I can remember more often than not, sitting there for what seemed forever tapping my pencil on my desk with grand imaginings and vivid thoughts swirling around and around in my brain. You see, it was just that darn imagination of mine. It would skip along a merry path but along the way some other fantasy was lurking around the bend and I always had to follow it, grabbing it with both hands. The problem was that when I had corralled all my crackerjack ideas in readiness to ink the explosion of thoughts from my rather fanciful imagination onto the virgin white page, the teacher thundered "pens down" with nary a word scribbled. 'Twas such a shame all my fanciful imaginations were never made public to those  who walked along the hallowed halls of  learned places. Hence I always seemed to not quite make the grade. Yes indeed, I always seem to get a big fat "F" on my paper.

Aah yes.....the "F" word. No, not that "F" word, though I suppose my teachers could have quite possibly thought of  'that' provocative and controversial word from time to time when their imperious eyes viewed yet another empty page of mine. No, the "F" word I am intimating is "FAIL"!! Time after time I would look at the teacher (think Mrs Trunchball of Matilda fame) who was swinging what seemed to be an overlarge stopwatch ticking ever so loudly with a look on her face which said it all. She was always seriously displeased. So.......I went through life not really entertaining a skerrick of a thought that perhaps I could write with my own unique voice. All my 'wonderful' thoughts and ideas always seemed to explode in my brain when it was too late. The lesson was done and dusted. When time was up for the Literacy lesson, it was time for Maths., about the subject of Maths......well, we just won't go there,'s just not pretty!!

Me and school never were the funnest of companions. Back in the day, when children read by the dim light of a flickering candle and wrote with quill and ink,  one could never really have an opinion that might differ from the teacher. Pity help any child who suggested they had perhaps a brilliant idea. An idea that perhaps was better than the teacher. could that be!!!! I remember children (I never was one, as I was a child who did not like to be in trouble) who were administered with the rod of punishment for any minor misdemeanor. No, school never was my thing.

But.....there was one subject that really lit my world. The subject that flicked the lights on, causing  all those dark and dreary thoughts of school to disappear into the brightness was Art and Art History.  Now, that was the subject where those ho hummish kinda school days evaporated as I skipped down many a path discovering all things pertaining to the art world and those great masters of old. Of course I had a brilliant, way out there art teacher, who rather looked like he had just stepped out of an ornately framed, dutch portrait painted by Johannes Vermeer. Mr Wilde (and wild he was) was his name and he was the Pied Piper of art. He flamboyantly led his students along many beautifully patterned, mosaic paths, knocking on century old, gnarled doors of all the famous (and infamous) artists. Upon knocking on those doors, each door slowly creaked open, and one peeked into a whole new world of creative genius. Yes indeed, art lessons were always magical.

Through the writing of my blog I have discovered I LOVE capturing happy snaps and that I LOVE styling photo shoots. Looking back throughout my life styling has always been me. The writing of narratives, reports, recounts, persuasive writing etc etc and Maths etc etc may not have figured highly in my appreciation of school, but when it came to book presentation, title pages and projects and anything to do with thinking creatively outside that four straight lines of even length, square...... well need I say, the creative juices flowed freely from my lunchtime drink flask. Me and my pack of 12 Derwent Studio coloured pencils were the best of friends. Back in the day, my Derwent pencils were my favourite possession. Together 'we' had the most fabulous creative fun! Anything to do with an artistic bent was my happy place.

But enough of my deep and meaningful ruminations, of the chapter titled "The Trials and Tribulations of Kim Sharman's School Days".....what have I  waxed lyrically about this past year??

There were a few finishes.......not a lot, but enough. =)

Believe it or not there were a few knitted woollies. Amazing really as I am the world's slowest knitter!

There were a few needlepoint lovelies. A tarted up wool jacket and a little old, once loved chair.....both with a slathering of gorgeous needlepoints. Oh....I forgot there was a bag oozing needlepoints, too.

There was a li'l fixing uppering of some family room curtains. Actually it was a complete redo if I am to be honest. I have been in love with my vintage pretties for ten years and no doubt, I will be in love with them for another ten.

There was another chair that I tarted up. A little slipper chair which I recovered in pretty fabric, then appliqued Irises to it, just because I could. =) Actually, the Irises on my pretty slipper chair were a practice run for the applique that would begin later,  on my flower garden quilt.

A knitting bag overspilling with scrappy deliciousness was designed and stitched. I thoroughly enjoyed fashioning this pretty as I was able to play with machine very favourite kinda stitching. LOVE.....doodling with my sewing really is the best fun.

There was another scrappy quilt finished; something that doesn't happen very often. If I finish one quilt  a year......then I am a happy gal.

Aah.....yes the boudoir! Yet again, you visited my sun-filled, bright and happy boudoir. It seems to me you are regular visitors to my boudoir where each quilt I fashion seems to finds its way resting on my comfy bed. You know, I am very particular whom I invite to cross the threshold of my boudoir. =) September I began to really play. I began to design and stitch the quilt that has been dancing and twirling around and around in my imagination for a very long time. It is a quilt that resonates deep within me, showcasing different season's blossoms flourishing all over...sashaying together in one quilt. It is a reflection of the garden that my husband has so lovingly created and tended for some time now. It will be a very long time till it is finished but that's okay. I am not one who has to have a pretty finished yesterday. I am that gal whom rather loves the process, the playing. I have nobody's timetable to keep, but my own.

One of the joys of  a couple of days through my week is teaching children the art of stitching. These days I only have a few who visit my little home after school, but those afternoons are always fun. This sweet little castle with its royal inhabitants was finished last year by one of my girls. I don't think I have shared this before. I drafted the patterns and my clever student stitched all the regal characters and the castle, which is a bag, as a gift for her little sister. What child doesn't love escaping to the land of make believe where there is a king and his queen, a beautiful princess and her knight in shining armour; all who hang out with a friendly green dragon and a magical unicorn. This is the stuff of fun and imaginative play. Why, I want to escape with these characters to the land of make believe.....such fun!

As I wind-up, it strikes me what a wonderful place this blogging caper is. Some of you whom, though I have never met in person, I feel as if I have known all my life. I feel as if I could just pop over to your place for a cup of tea served in a fine bone china tea cup and luxuriate in a chat about all things pertaining to this thing that is called life. Indeed I feel that you and I are kindred spirits. I have visited your lovely blogs and am continually inspired by your uniqueness,  your beautiful imaginations and your amazing creativity. This blogging community is one of encouragement and friendship. It is a community filled with beauty, inspiration, affection and love. In these days of late, where I can only shake my head in sadness and wonder what on earth is going on in the world, all you lovelies keep me hopeful. There have been many times when your kind thoughts have wrapped around me in the warmest of hugs.....thank you. Thank you, to you lovelies who have taken precious time out of your day to pay me a visit, all the way down here, and have been so kind as to bless me with your beautiful words. They always bring a smile to my heart.

So here's to more posts,  as I skip along the bloggy path where blossoms dance as I pass by. Here's to more skipping along the bendy path penning my thoughts, stringing a sentence or two together each time. More posts waxing lyrical about the next pretty I have fashioned; a few more posts oohing and aahing over some gorgeous blossom I have picked from the garden, or perhaps a post or two sharing the glorious sunrises that my Heavenly Father gifts me each morning. Oh......and there most probably will be a  funny story to bore you make you giggle. To me, this blogging caper is akin to keeping a visual journal, musings of my daily life.  After all, I  like to think each post that I pen is a chapter in my book;  that book which will never see the shelves of a bookshelf in a book shop. =) 

NOW.....before you go, just for this occasion, I would like to say thank you for your visit each time, by gifting one of you lovelies with a little pretty I have fashioned. After all what is an anniversary of sorts if there is not a little present. I would like to gift  a little basket of floralicious delight. This little pretty is different to those floral cushions I normally fashion, but I hope it gives you a little joy. I wanted to mix it up a little and try something a little different. I would much rather knock on your door with a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers and say thank you, but, alas I cannot. This little pretty will just have to do. If you would like this pretty to perhaps arrive at your home then please say so in your comment.....that is of course if you desire to leave a word or two.  I will announce the recipient in my next blog post in a couple of weeks.

May I again say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for popping into my little place to see what stories I have written. Thank you for visiting me throughout this year to see what pretties I have imagined and all the happy snaps I have captured of the glories of my daily walks.....and the pretty flowers....oh, the flowers. Each one of your visits truly make my life, my day; beautiful. In my own very small way I hope through the writing of my little blog, the stories I imagine and the photos that illustrate those stories,  I bring a smile to your day, sprinkling a little beauty along the way♥

Until the next time........

Sunday, March 10, 2019

As She stitched the flowers bloomed!

Another Sunday morning  has awoken, and still she stitches. The last weeks of late Summer have slipped by. She notices Ol' Man Sun is rising later and saying goodbye earlier......and still she stitches. Seasons pass.  Cold days float into warm days. Warm days melt into hotter days. Hot days cool into mild and balmy days. The garden whispers the changes with the transition of each season. As she looks at the calendar she notices the days of  March are marching on in a steady rhythm. The continual march....the procession of the seconds, the minutes, the days, the weeks, the months.....the seasons. How could that be she questions, wondering where the days of January and February have disappeared to. Already the light is different. Subtle changes have begun. The flowers are beginning to fade, but the seeds remain and when Spring once again dances onto the scene, they will magically sprout yet again. In a little while the trees will be dressed in autumnal glory. The crisp, taffeta-like leaves of deep russets, burnt oranges, tarnished reds will soon adorn the wondrous landscape. She knows it is the cycle of nature.

For six months now the flowers on her quilt have slowly bloomed. With each season she has studied the flowers that have blossomed outside her windows, endeavouring to translate the magic of each flower into fabric blossoms. She is amazed as she looks at the intricacies of the veins in the different leaves, or each tiny petal of a flower; the finer details she has never really noticed before.

So slowly have the appliqued flowers bloomed, that sometimes there appears to be little progress. But she is mistaken. As she gazes upon her fabric garden she notices that there is indeed a flower garden blooming. Not in it's plenitude as she has a thought that perhaps Wisteria would look rather lovely  crookedly winding its way across the top of the quilt in a tangled fashion. Birds too, she thinks will perhaps sing their sweet song amongst the flowers and perhaps delicate butterflies flitting here and there, enjoying the nectar of the flowers. For what is a garden if there are no sweet critters finding a haven within all the floral beauty. From time to time she wonders if her quilt will bloom in all its beauty. She wonders if her fabric garden will ever dance in a completed symphony; but, she looks at how far she has come and shoos those  inimical thoughts to the flowerless abyss. So.....still she stitches.

As she has stitched this last little while, Cosmos have, magenta and carmine. They dance in the soft Autumn breeze.

Japanese Anemones have sprinkled soft, pink beauty to the garden.

Irises have popped up, growing tall. Their striking beauty adding a dash of splendour to the garden. Liliums add their unique beauty to the garden scene; as do the Gladdies and Daffodils; all scattering out of that magical seed packet.

She smiles as the last stitch is stitched on each flower and marvels at what sits on her lap. The early morning sky has dawned onto her quilt; a watercolour pastiche glowing with pinks, blues, mauves, lemons and aquas. She smiles happily at her sweet flowers dancing against the backdrop of the pastel hued sky.

She is content. She is always thinking. She is always designing. She is always playing. But......she knows there are more botanical delights to be 'growed'. As she stitches she realises there are yet more flowers to bloom. More flowers will sprinkle from that magical packet of seeds. She knows that there will be a few more seasons; many more days to enjoy, before the last stitch is stitched....Autumn, Winter, Spring and perhaps another Summer. So.......still she stitches.

Until the next time.......