Hedgerow harvest

Hedgerow harvest

Monday, 31 December 2018

New Year and making a perpetual journal.

 Well the last day of the year and I am making a perpetual journal for 2019. I was inspired by Lara Gastinger on Instagram. The idea is to date pages in a sketchbook a week at a time and draw when you can. There is no pressure because if you don't draw you can get to that page next year or the year after. So I have cut some pages ready to begin. i am making my own book so I can choose good quality paper and different papers. I will bind them when I get round to making a cover. I only need a first signature ( that's a few pages stitched together at the back)  I am not an expert book binder but am happy with the home made cobbled together versions I make.
I do like these in between days of Christmas and New Year. We just relax, take walks and do a jig-saw. I have a grand tidy up of my desk ready for the New Year. This is a picture of Avening Brook. That brook once powered mills in our valley to make wool into cloth. The Cotswolds were famous for their sheep and wool mills. I live in a very beautiful part of the world and for that I am deeply grateful.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Hawthorn berries.

 Well the berries are done although this is not a good photo- not much light as we draw to the shortest day and
some sketches of Tuesdays walk, cold and blustery in Steps Lane.
 Merry Christmas to you all. Thank you for reading my blog ( it is great to know you are out there and encourages me to keep stitching) and I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful holiday. Follow me on Instagram at louisemaywatson. It is faster to make posts there although I like to think aloud here. You will find it easier to communicate with me on Instagram too. So I am signing off for a few days but always thinking about embroidery and stitching. Much love, x.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Three little blue bugs in a box.

 Ah ha - a little fun for a Christmas present. I made these three little blue bugs some time ago but they needed a home.
 So yesterday I made them a box to live in. The fabric is a very soft denim from a top I wore for years and was especially good for box making.Felt linings.
 A teeny bug book fits into the box with them.
The box completed. It has blue beads like berries - well they have to eat something! I am hoping the friend this is going to will name the bugs and write in the book in teeny writing. With some help from her children. Great to make something just for fun!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Christmas card 2018.

 This year I had our Christmas card printed (online company called Moo) rather than stick a photo on a card. Result-  much more professional but more expensive . I am really pleased with it though. It is not a very Christmassy picture but I spent a lot of time working on puffin embroideries and with the basket of threads it sums up my year perfectly.This week has been one of Christmas decorations, cards, shopping and preparations. We did manage a lovely day out at Slimbridge WWT  with our friend Rosemary on Tuesday.
All the ducks -a -dabbling - we love the noise the Eider ducks make - a Frankie Howard ooooh! There were huge flocks of lapwing ( golden plover etc) on the fields by the River Severn, Bewick swans and 10 cranes. Hope to get back in January when the largest gatherings are there. Hope you enjoy your Christmas preparations.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Rose hips and a landscape developing.

 The rose hips are finished- the next species in the hedgerow harvest.
 This week has been very wet and one late evening the light was amazing over the ridge of hills opposite so I did a quick sketch.
 Then I put together some fabric strips.
 then added colour, this is straight after I painted it.
 This when it had dried- very disappointing, the colour leached out of the fabric dyes.
 So I painted it again. Better but different colours. Will see if I like it enough to continue into stitch. I seem to have lots of work again on the go. I have so many ideas and never enough stitch time. Also Christmas seems to be heading this way at a pace. How did that happen so quickly? Hope you all enjoy the lead up to Christmas.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Celebrating the life of Maggie Shaw.

 On Sunday afternoon we celebrated the life and times of Maggie Shaw, Stroud artist, tutor, friend and all round wonderful person. This is one of her early embroidery pieces but she is really well known for her abstract paintings. There is more information about her on the Glos Guild of Craftsmen website- look under News. I knew her in the mid seventies because I taught her children then we became friends and she inspired me to take up embroidery and do a City and Guilds course. Everything she did, said,wore and had in her house was inspiring. There were many, many tributes to her spoken from the heart and she was truly loved by all she came in contact with. 
Tiny ted came too! Maggie made these tiny teddies and little children dolls with their own teeny teddies, one Christmas in the late seventies. She sought out the finest knitting needles and then got Peter, her husband to file them and make them even thinner. I have put a pound coin there to show the scale. He had to have a little darn then I could wear him to the celebration. Peter is going to organise a retrospective of Maggie's work in Stroud next year.

Monday, 3 December 2018


 Last week I was working on ivy for my hedgerow harvest. Here is the lovely kissing gate at our village churchyard with (Hedera) ivy growing up it. The juvenile leaves are the traditional arrow shape and the mature leaves - well leaf shaped. The flowers and berries come on the mature plant and are food for wildlife. It is not parasitic but does grow up trees and can cause trouble for some, if it smothers them and blocks out their light. It is a refuge for many birds and very important for bees as a food source later in the year when nectar and pollen is scarce.
 It has taken me a ridiculously long time to stitch this ivy but there was lots of undoing when I went for too fierce colours. There has also been other stuff happening- you know- life - gets in the way of the stitching sometimes! But the new carpet is down- Hurray and the book shelves have been sorted. The room freshly painted. All much harder work as you get older but lovely when its done.