Flaming June…

Well then, another eventful week, we’re certainly living in interesting times…


Anyway, I’m all behind again and this time it’s entirely my own fault. I’ve been having a look at a different website platform, and naturally the only way to decide if it does what I want is to try to use it. And there you have it, a learning curve that’s more like a vertical cliff.

So I’ve spent an entire day attached to my computer with practically nothing to show for it (no, actually with nothing at all to show for it) and now I’m not convinced if it’s really for me, my head aches and I can’t decide if I should go back to it again tomorrow or give up now.

And Theresa May thought she was having a bad day…

But on a brighter note, it’s been a lovely week in the lane despite some really torrential rain. The poor dog roses have suffered badly, but for some reason the elderflowers appear to have thrived on the rain, I’m sure they’re looking better now than they did before. The sloes are beginning to form their tart little fruits – there will be sloe gin this year. And the bees have been my companions every day this week, I can’t help thinking they’ve been out on a bit of a binge.

I’m off to visit one of those historic houses I’d most love to move in to on Monday – so forgive the lack of history today, I’ll make up for it next week, promise.







Thank you so much to everyone who contacted me after receiving the last edition of ‘Loose Threads’ – I very much appreciate it and I hope you’ll keep giving me your feedback. If you’d like to receive a copy of the next issue just fill in the annoying little pop-up next time you’re here (you’ll only need to do that once).

Happy stitching…





Morning routine…

or ‘the unanticipated benefits of a photography habit’.

Hands up if you’ve never deliberately attempted to start a habit of some kind…

Me? I’ve tried loads, and I mean loads! But the fact is, I’m rubbish at it. I’m really good at reading the books that tell you why you should regularly do something, I understand the benefits they tell me I’ll see as a result of establishing these habits, I want to experience those benefits, I really do, but in the end, I just don’t seem to have what it takes to tick the habit box. A few days into trying anything habit-like and chances are I’ve already lost the plot.

But there is one thing I do which I think does qualify for habit status – not a habit I ever deliberately intended to make a habit, but which has happened anyway, and that is the habit of taking a photo (or several) of the countryside every day when I walk the dog.

2016-02-16 09.34.17

Long-service readers will know this began with photographing a particular oak tree in the lane. But although I decided to record the oak, I didn’t set off with any intention to make it a permanent thing, I didn’t anticipate any particular benefits of doing it, I simply wanted to see how that tree changed over the period of a year.

But you know, it’s now well over 3 years since I started taking those photos and I still do it every day – I think we can agree that counts as a habit.

2016-01-05 08.35.48

Now let’s be honest, this habit hasn’t done a thing for my ability to keep the house clean or tidy, it hasn’t turned me into a highly successful business person, or (sadly) prevented me from eating my own weight in cake at the slightest provocation.

But you know, there are a few benefits I think do stem from this habit.

These days I am much more in tune with the changing seasons. The whole cycle of life, the ever-changing weather moods and the ebb and flow of energy is something I feel better connected to, even anchored in, and much happier as a result.

2016-02-24 09.16.23

And this once fairly ignorant wildlife watcher has now become fascinated by the flora and fauna in one mundane English country lane. I now own and frequently consult books on wildflowers, trees, insects, mushrooms and birds – and now, just occasionally, I can actually call something by its proper name.

2016-02-09 09.08.18

Having never really been able to commit to a daily drawing practice, I do find that looking carefully at the natural world around me has improved my eye for texture, pattern and subtlety in colour, with the added benefit of having a record to go back to if I want to research something for an artwork. It may not be the creative habit of Twyla Tharp, but honestly, I think it works for me.

2016-02-10 09.55.05

But the best thing of all, is that when you’re having a dull miserable winter and your friends comment on how it seems to have been grey for so long, you can immediately jump in and bore them rigid with precise details of exactly how many days it’s been since we had any sunshine and then show them all the photos to prove it… I know, because I am that woman!

2016-03-10 08.50.48

So there you have it, an accidental habit worth having…

I post a picture from my walk most days over on my Instagram account, do come over and say hello if you’re on IG.

I don’t own a camera – all the pictures are taken with my smart phone, which is tucked -dawn to dusk – into the pocket of my jeans. I was thinking just the other day how lucky I am to live in the digital age, and giving thanks to the inventor of the camera app.

Do you have any accidental habits that make your life better? Do tell…


Green – everywhere I look…

I just don’t seem to be able to get away from greens at the moment. I suppose that this year, even more than usual, I’ve been tuned-in to greens, having been working with a green palette for quite a few weeks.

Embroidery – well the way that I do it – is an extremely slow art form, and all those hours of stitching, inevitably lead you into a very close relationship with the different shades you’re using.

2015-05-11 09.30.35

2015-05-01 09.07.03And similarly, the various textures, coarse tweeds, strong wools, fluid silks, all play differently in your hand and in the canvas – all working together in sometimes unexpected ways.

2015-05-11 09.30.57

2015-04-30 08.30.28Trying to plan what goes where I find to be a fairly pointless exercise. Instead it seems to be better to simply let each thread decide, according to what else is happening around it.

2015-05-11 09.29.49

2015-05-12 09.50.02

Impossible at this most verdant time of the year, to ignore the way that the countryside changes colour. So many delicate plants appearing in the lane every day now, but all held together by nature’s tapestry of green.

2015-05-01 09.07.27

All photographs taken in the lane on the daily dog walk, over the last couple days. Follow me on Instagram for other daily pictures…