Monday 1 August 2011

So much to do and so little time!

August is always the busiest month of the year for us and this year is no different. On Friday we shall travel down to Aberdare to see for ourselves how our exhibition, 'With Hand and Heart' looks. The photos we've been sent look quite striking and we are really looking forward to our visit. We've had some very generous reports from people who've already been. We'll be giving a couple of short informal talks throughout the day and we hope lots of people will turn up. This is the first retrospective show of work we've ever had and it will be interesting to see how the older pieces sit alongside the more recent works.

Back at home Laura has finished quilting this new piece using the concentric ruler and our longarm machine. I've trimmed the edges and also added a binding since this picture was taken. It's a little project we made for DMTV recently and now it will help dress our stand at Festival of Quilts in a little over a week's time. Just saying that brings waves of rising panic. I must remain calm, breathe deeply and believe that we will be ready in time.

We tried to tape a video for DMTV today but everything was against us! The farmer had decided it was a perfect day to bale the hay in the field that surrounds us on three sides. All appears peaceful in this photograph but the reality was very noisy and incredibly dusty. Hay fever levels were sky high! Despite the deafening tractor activity, the local buzzards had a field day swooping on displaced rodents. You'd have imagined they would be really stealthy about their intentions but no, they called in their high pitched voices incessantly all day. What we wouldn't give for a sound proof studio!

It's rather warm and humid right now. After such a wonderful spring summer has been pretty disappointing until now but the trees are groaning under the weight of fruit. I think it's going to be a bumper crop if we can get a little more rain to swell the fruits.

The pears look appetising but in truth they are always a bit hard. I usually poach them in syrup and they turn out just like the tinned pears I remember having for Sunday tea as a child. I wouldn't dream of buying tinned fruit these days but that's just the snob in me!

We keep part of the garden as a wild area to encourage wildlife and especially butterflies. And no, that's not a feeble excuse for not dealing with the weeds!!

We call the wild area our woodland walk and we encourage wild flowers to self seed there each year. I particularly like the combination of Teasels and Poppy seedheads - that looks like a watercolour painting just waiting to happen don't you think?

Back in the garden proper vibrant vermillion Crocosmia live happily next to the intense violet of this Buddlia. It's a dangerous combination but I love it almost as much as the butterflies do.

Although we are feeling the pressure of deadlines looming, on Thursday I'm hoping to escape for a day out! It's the annual Burwarton Show - a huge agricultural event in Shropshire that we try to get to when we can. If the weather cooperates and we make it there I'll post photographs later this week. We're taking our friend Catherine who's here visiting from Vancouver. I've no idea what she'll make of such an English event but it will be interesting to see her reaction!

Happy August to you all!
Talk again soon,


  1. I miss the flowers. We have vultures that ride the heat lift. They nest in the trees across the valley. Good luck with the shows would love to see them.

  2. The pictures of the exhibition look stunning! And YES, you will make everything in time, just as you always do, don't you? Good luck with everything!

  3. Growing up on a farm, I know the challenges of finding a quiet spot. Your garden is glorious, even the wild area. I am drawn to wild areas. Nature does a much better job of combining colors than I ever could imagine doing. Enjoy your week.