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Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Faeries book

Do any of you remember the poem by William Allingham entitled The Faeries? My favourite uncle used to sing the chorus to me when I was very young and the poem has been in my mind recently so I made a book to fit with the words.

Up the airy mountain, down the rushy glen,
We dare n't go a-hunting for fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk, trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap, and white owl's feather.
Down along the rocky shore some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs, all night awake. 
High on the hill-top the old King sits;
He is now so old and grey he's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys from Slieveleague to Rosses; 
Or going up with music, on cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen of the gay Northern Lights.
They stole little Bridget for seven years long;
When she came down again her friends were all gone. 
They took her lightly back between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep, but she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag leaves, watching till she wake.
By the craggy hill-side, through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees for pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring as dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies set in his bed at night.
Up the airy mountain down the rushy glen,
We dare n't go a-hunting for fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk, trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap, and white owl's feather. 
The words aren't all very comforting are they? and I can't quite decide whether I entirely like the faerie folk ... but I have certainly enjoyed making the book. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A little stitchery

Just a few little pieces to show you this week. Last week I went to York for the day - a very beautiful, and very old city - even though it rained all afternoon.

I spent a long while in the Quilt Museum looking at two fascinating exhibitions (no photographs allowed), one of the different reasons why people have made quilts through the ages, and the other of woven tapestries, which was, if possible, even more fascinating.

I also visited Viking Loom - a wonderful embroidery/quilting/beading/craft shop, where, of course, I was tempted and, weak-willed-woman that I am, bought this lovely little embroidery kit designed by Josephine Storey.

Entitled "It's Windy Through the Garden Gate" and stitched on hand painted silk fabric. Sweet isn't it? I think I shall make a box for it to sit on top of.

For Christmas last year my daughter bought me a bundle of Liberty tana lawn scraps and I've been gradually piecing them together to make a table topper for my glass dining table (or it may be a lap quilt depending on how cold the winter becomes).

The pieces are just stitched together at the moment - they still need to be quilted. I love the randomness of this little quilt.

This year I returned to the Highlands of Scotland for my third holiday on Rannoch Moor. This is the hotel where I stay - just at the point where the road ends by the railway station.

 I love moorland and Rannoch is my idea of heaven on earth - nothing for literally miles around.

The path through the forest, which eventually leads to the mountains...

... and the loch - a perfect spot for sitting on a pile of rocks and thinking, or for just sitting and enjoying being alive in such a beautiful place.

The moors inspired me to make a little needlelace purse

I stitched it in many different shades of purple for the heather and the mists on the moor,

and lined it with gold coloured silk for the sunshine...

and on the back a patch of wild flowers and some needleweaving for the trees through which I watched the sun rise from my bedroom window.