Exciting News!

By now you will all have heard the news about Prince George, a great name don't you think? Of course there is only room for one Prince George so we will have to start calling our own dear grandson Prince George the first. No, my exciting news is the winner of my blog giveaway is Frances.

Sorry this post is short but sweet, we have just returned from our travels, hope to see you soon.x


Picnics and a Giveaway!

The picnic illustration is taken from ‘Where’s My Share?” one of my picture books which is in the process of being made into an App by Auryn Inc- more news of that to come soon!

After what seems like an eternal winter we finally have our much longed for summer and we have been out and about.

Firstly, a quick visit to our son in London and a walk along the river and a chance to admire the open space and fresh air. We found an array of interesting sights, buildings old and new and a small garden themed exhibition. It is heartwarming to see how pleasant the Thames is now and how nature can regenerate if we give it a chance. This quote was written on a metal container filled with plants and formed part of a larger garden display.

“There are indeed many good things in life which may be unequally apportioned and no such serious loss arise, but the need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all.” By Octavia Hill who did so much to protect our green spaces and went on to found The National Trust.

Further along the river we visited the Bankside gallery, which was hosting an exhibition celebrating fifty years of wood engravings by Simon Brett. Inside we found Simon sitting quietly working and demonstrating his craft. I even had the chance to chat to him for a while and he gave me some advice on hand burnishing. I have admired his work for many years now so it was very pleasant to actually meet him in person and to watch how he engraves his blocks using a vast array of engraving tools.

Simon has a website here where you can learn more about his life and work.

On our return from London the lure of the summer sun won over indoor pursuits, we took Ted (foot now healed) on a lovely long walk up Bickerton Hill and and remembered the words of Octavia Hill as we admired the beautiful view across the Cheshire Plain. We packed a small picnic and ate our lunch to the hum of the bees and sound of birdsong. It really is a most lovely spot.

I attended another bookbinding workshop, this one was all about headbands and how to sew them. Our instructor was Nicky Oliver from Black Fox Bindery
It was an enjoyable and very companiable day, in the morning we made a single core headband and in the afternoon we made one with a double core. Like so many bookbinding skills it is easy when you know how. Nicky made it look so easy but I struggled to make a neat job, still I am determined to practise some more. Here are some photographs from the day and the work of class members.

Finally, I was contacted again by Novica who asked if we would like to have another giveaway, to which I answered, “Yes please!” Novica supports the work of craftsmen and women from around the world. I have a $50 gift voucher to give away, if you would like to take part in the draw please leave a comment which includes your desire to take participate and I will pick a winner from random in two weeks time- that will be on Tuesday 30th. Please bear in mind that the gift certificate does not cover the cost of postage and there may be taxes to pay depending on where you live.

I have been particularly attracted to the work of a Novica designer called Ritu Agnihotri who specializes in textile design featuring a blend of embroidered work with strong print lines. Her blouses would be great to wear on warm summer evenings-

Or maybe you would prefer something like this?

In fact, there are so many lovely handcrafted beauties; it is hard to make a decision.

Hope you are enjoying your summer, good luck everyone!