Tuesday 25 November 2008

A moment to pause

It's cold.

I yearn for frost, but it happens rarely down here. I shall have to wait until I go up country for christmas visiting. There's something so magical about the language of winter. There's a chill in the air along with piercing blue skies and long golden shadows from a sun hanging just above the horizon. The landscape is at its most exposed.

The trees are mostly bare, their silhouettes clearly defined. My walk in the woods yesterday was spent with my head tilted back, neck craning, seeing if I could find the exact spot where I took this photograph just over a year ago. Trying to see how much the trees had changed shape.

Pausing for a moment

Reminding myself of the beauty of trees. Of nature. And how good it feels to stand still for a while. Just looking. Just being.

I need to pause for a moment this week.

So many things needing my attention.

And a messy house, beyond messy in fact. And my Dad due in a few days for a visit. And a family emergency at the weekend which reminds me where my priorities lie.

Back in a few days when I've caught up.

Friday 21 November 2008


My postie arrived with a wonderful unexpected package on wednesday. Inside the plain brown wrapping was this lovely pile of goodies, tied with silvery orangey pink ribbon. Like all good bloggers I whipped out the camera to record the unveiling process....

Revealed...two lovely little notebooks and a little card depicting enamelware in the garden...

and a vibrant lavender-scented heart...

And the sender of this very generous parcel? The lovely Helen! Helen, thanks so much, this was totally unexpected...and I do love a surprise. Especially when it encompasses some of my favourite things - paper and notebooks, the enamelware (which I collect in a small way) in Helen's own photo, and lavender hearts. I really like Helen's notecard, printed by Moo. The finish is matt laminate, and it's much classier than the postcards I had printed a while ago (they were too glossy for my taste). I could be tempted now...

Happy weekend everyone!
And to all of you going to the Handmade and Vintage Fair tomorrow - have a wonderful day!

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Pink sky at night

Beautiful pink skies as I walked on the prom while the sun was going down.

There was a stillness in the air, barely a ripple on the water. Peace.
A perfect end to the day.

Knitting for me

I have various knitting projects on the go at the moment, but they're all secret....some people might peep you know, and that would spoil a surprise or two. But in between a row here and a row there I've been going round and round with this cowl/neck warmer.

It's from this book and rather than using cashmere (don't want to tempt Walter!) I'm using this lovely mix from Loop. The colour is Blue Sky....and it resonates beautifully with the colours that surround me each day as I walk on the beach. It's going to be a fine and rather floppy (or should I say drapey?) neckwarmer, probably better suited to spring. Just an excuse really to knit another more chunky version. And who needs an excuse when there's so much wonderful yarn to choose from?

Monday 17 November 2008

The new machine

My new sewing machine is two years older than me. Born in 1962, and in fabulous vintage working order (not sure that always applies to me!). My Bernina is reassuringly solid, no plastic casing in sight. She pootles along at a gentle cruising speed, unlike the young Toyota who was always in the fast lane. Straightforward instructions, all in english, and clear illustrative photos. What more could I want?

This lovely old machine was given to me by an elderly client, who said she hoped I could find someone to get it working. I assumed, therefore, that it didn't currently work, and as I had no use for it (this was last year) I gave it to my sister G as a back up machine for her Bernina. Her need is greater than mine as she sews soft furnishings for a living. To cut a long story short, it was serviced and all it needed was a little oil here and there, and a clean.

It has now found its way back to me as G acquired a nearly-new Bernina in an auction. What a relief - I know my way round this machine and it does the basic things I need.

I am just finishing off something for the Christmas Swap that French Knots organized. Cutting it close to the bone as always. Meant to be in the post by wednesday.....

Thursday 13 November 2008


My Mum
13 May 1933 - 13 November 2006

This photograph was taken by one of my sisters just a few months before my Mum died so suddenly and unexpectedly two years ago today. It sums up her joy for life, and enthusiasm for having a go at anything and everything. She was the glue that held our family together, and we all, in our own way, fell apart without her. And when more of our loved ones, both human and animal, joined her in those following months, it felt like we were diving in to an abyss.

7 July 2000 - 9 February 2007

Dillon, my retriever, was just six and a half when he died. He was my own little bit of family here in Cornwall. And a real water baby.

I was sent this prayer/blessing by a dear friend in London, and without a doubt it kept me going.

A Pueblo Indian Prayer

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if I've gone away from you.

And life does go on....you learn to accommodate your losses, and find a new 'normal' - whatever that might be. And I like to think that if my Mum were able to read it she would have enjoyed my little blog. Mum, we all miss you more than words can say...

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Lucky me

Late last night, when I should have been toddling off to bed, I headed to the computer instead, and an email from Sharilyn at Lovely Design made my day.

I've just won this in a very generous giveaway! I have coveted one of these address files for longer than I can remember. And as Sharilyn hasn't been making any for a while, it's even more special.

Definitely worth staying up for!

Thanks so much Sharilyn. It will be treasured.

Sunday 9 November 2008

Quick draw

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my one year post. Good to see some people delurking, too. I've not done anything more with the little corsages....I'm pondering....you all left some great suggestions!

So, a draw....I resorted to a random number generator, in the interests of speed, and sheer laziness. And the number is 24, which is Babs from Little Terraced House. Babs, please email me your info etc, and we can discuss goodies, because there are options!!

And just to reassure you all, my naughty Walter is fine after his cashmere-ingesting episode.

It's hard to be cross with him for long - I wouldn't dream of smacking him, and if you raise your voice, he goes to pieces. Ignoring him is what works. And I find that hard, too. He has the upper paw in this house.

Saturday 8 November 2008

In the doghouse

I may give the impression that life here is all calm and tranquility, but I can assure you that it's not always the case. These are the remains of my cashmere wristwarmers, extracted from Walter's jaws on returning from a quick visit to my neighbour.

I was apoplectic with rage, and the air turned blue. Naughty Walter was ignored for several hours while I regained a sense of equilibrium. I realized too that I would have been even more annoyed and upset if he'd destroyed something I'd knitted myself, like my new scarf. And perhaps getting him to model my knitting for blog photos doesn't help either! I have enough cashmere remains to make a lavender sachet.... any other suggestions?

Before Walter came to live with me he was operated on to save his life because he'd eaten a pair of knickers and they'd got tangled up in his intestines. At least now he's elevated his tastes a notch or two.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

One year

One year
366 days
132 posts

Today is my blog's first birthday..... happy birthday, Pebbledash!

I'm quite surprised to find myself here.....surprised I've lasted a year. I started blogging a year ago completely on impulse, having only recently discovered blogland. I found myself being inspired by other people's creativity, and if I'm honest, I was looking for anything that could distract me from the grief that was engulfing my life. And my blog has done just that, and so much more. This year has flown by, and Pebbledash has motivated me to try all sorts of things that otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered with, and certainly wouldn't have seen through to conclusion (certainly never imagined I'd be knitting!). I do have a tendency to start a project or idea firing on all cylinders... and then run out of steam. But writing and taking photos has gently nudged me to keep going. I've reacquainted myself with photography again after years of not picking up a camera, and it's a real joy. The writing I struggle with, it doesn't come so easily.

And the unexpected bonus of blogging is connecting with all of you...making friends both real and virtual, being inspired by all your ideas and inspiration, seeing the world through your eyes. Thank you. And thank you too for the lovely comments you leave - I really appreciate each and every one. I am so glad I started Pebbledash, it has enriched my life in more ways than I could ever imagine.

I'm going to host a wee giveaway here...though I have to confess I haven't actually made anything yet. So if you're up for a potential mystery gift, leave me a comment and I'll draw a name at random on sunday evening (9 november).

Now for something else....I was doodling last night with my knitting needles and some mohair-type yarn which I picked up from the charity shop for 5p. I wanted to knit some flowers to use as potential corsages and this is what evolved.

I'm really not sure about these...not even sure if they're my kind of thing. But I can't see the wood for the trees, so please share your thoughts, whatever they may be. I'd appreciate it.
(edited to add: the corsages are little...the smaller one is 3.5cm across, and the larger one is 4cm and both have a brooch bar on the back)

And here's to my second year of blogging - I'm definitely carrying on!

Monday 3 November 2008

Following the sun

Left or right?
As I was leaving work to come home a short while ago, I found myself turning left (for the long road) as opposed to my usual right (the quick way). The sun was setting and I had to follow it, it was that mesmerizing.

I pulled over and just watched through my open car window. Sometimes these little bits of simple everyday stuff just reel you in. And I'm left feeling awed by the power of nature and the beauty of this land around me.
I'm glad I turned left.


Pumpkin bread, toasted,

with butter and homemade marmalade. Yum.