We have just returned from a little trip down to Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. As well as being home to Wind-in-the Willows it is also the home to Makower, the fabric company who produce fabrics for crafters and quilters. I needed to meet up with the people there to talk over my new Christmas Collection for 2011 and as my husband was still on his Easter break it was a good excuse to turn the trip into an overnight stop.
It was a delight to drive under a blue sky, past fields of green, hedges flanked with daffodils and trees full of blossom. One of the most thrilling things for us was to spot red kites circling overhead, we never see these magnificent birds in Cheshire, in fact they have been brought back from the edge of extinction fairly recently. Red kites have a huge wingspan of about two metres; this combined with a relatively small body enables them to circle for long periods without beating their wings. I am not sure how long they have lived in the fields over Oxfordshire but they are very easy to spot so I am guessing that they must be thriving. Now I am not clever enough to photograph red kites but you can read about them here.
We had some time to picnic by the river, the first time this year it has been warm enough to walk about without a coat! Gentle breezes stirred the famous willows along the Thames and we sat for a while and watched the ducks and coots building their nests. After lunch we strolled along the riverbank and admired the many pretty cottages built of red brick and flint, something else we don’t see in our neck of the woods. After a quick visit to the market it was time to visit Makower.
It is quite rare for me to actually meet the people I work with face to face, so much work is done via the internet so it is quite nice have opportunities to talk things through and to pool ideas. The meeting went well and before too long we were back on the road again, this time to nearby Oxford where we had booked B and B here, I shall tell you about this in my next post.
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.