Sunday 22 December 2013


I was really happy to receive a photo of this glorious piece of stitching this week.

Muriel is a very talented lady who has already taken Creative Quiltmaking with us and is currently working her way through Creative Sketchbooks as well as being a member of DMTV - some people are gluttons for punishment aren't they? She was as inspired as I was by the Banjara exhibit at Festival of Quilts last summer and after seeing my Banjara style project on DMTV felt compelled to create this beautiful little quilt. Wonderful work Muriel!

On a more frivolous note, I've had a really satisfying day today! First of all Waitrose delivered the Christmas provisions 10 minutes after the allotted time - this meant they gave me a complimentary box of Thornton's chocolates as compensation. I don't normally buy chocolate so that was a result - I hope they'll be late every time I order. Now I know some of you hang on my every culinary word as I am considered something of a goddess in the kitchen. I think I may have surpassed myself tonight! I have invented a delicious aperitif. Please don't judge me - it is after all a holiday and a time for relaxation. If you are feeling adventurous you may like to give it a try and if it sounds familiar and you've been drinking it for years please don't tell me - you'll only spoil my sense of achievement!

I've called it Solstice in honour of the day.
One part gin. I favour Bombay Sapphire but you may have other ideas.
One part Dubonnet. Now I realise that you have to be a woman of a certain age to even know what this is. I understand that, mixed with gin, it was the preferred tipple of the Queen Mother and indeed of our own dear Queen. Who can argue with that?
Clementine juice to taste - I used three.

Place a generous quantity of ice in a jug. Pour over the gin, the Dubonnet and the clementine juice. Stir and allow to stand for a minute or two before pouring the chilled mix into a glass. You may like to decorate the edge of your glass with a spiral of completely pointless but rather pretty clementine peel. I think this is best sipped whilst prone on a sofa watching the final of Strictly Come Dancing on a winter solstice evening but I suspect it will prove to be quite acceptable at any time! Who knows, with all that fruit it might even count as one of your five a day. Not that I'm suggesting you have five of them of course, nor that you polish off a box of chocolates at the same time.

Today hasn't been all about self indulgence - I did spend some time painting the barn owl. He's looking OK I think but I want to give him a lot more detail before I show him to you. (Come to think of it painting is another of my indulgences - who am I trying to kid?) I've also prepared a panel in readiness for the final piece in the current bird series. I know lots of people don't share my enthusiasm for birds so I'm going to tackle something completely different next. Can't quite make up my mind what it will be yet but I'm working on it!

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you all enjoy a peaceful and happy Christmas. From tomorrow the days start to grow longer - hurray, we can begin to look forward to spring! Bye for now - Linda


  1. We better order in more clementines!

  2. well that picture looks like an oil painting waiting to happen! Do things always happen that way at your house? :)

    Janet in Tennessee, USA

  3. Well believe it or not Janet that had never occurred to me. What a missed opportunity! Still life might have to be my next inspiration. Thank you for the idea!

  4. You make me wish I liked Gin Linda (over indulgence in my teens!)

  5. Happy Christmas Linda, to you and your family. Thankyou for all the inspirational work you do for us all year, I am slowly working through my Creative Sketchbook course, and enjoying the challenge thoroughly, it's taken me completely out of my comfort zone never having tackled drawing or painting before, but exactly what I need to motivate me. So thanks again to you and Laura. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2014.

  6. Wow, that is an awesome inprovement to Doubonnet, not that it needed improvement, but such a great one, love this story, all the best for the season!

  7. Muriel's Banjara quilt is beautiful!!! Doesn't that thrill you to know how much you inspire us to complete our own projects based on your project(s)! Happy holidays!!! Can't wait to see what you inspire us with in 2014!

  8. I was going to wish you a very Merry Christmas, but I think you're managing to get there on your own!! It's years since I've tried Dubonnet - I think I got squiffy on it occasionally when younger! I'm waiting to see what treasures you come up with using Laura's surfeit of Lambrini :) All the very best for 2014, and have a riotous Christmas with the family - especially little Amelie, Love Annabel xx

  9. Thanks to you all for taking the time to leave a comment and for your generous words. I occasionally check the stats on this blog and am always amazed to discover how many people visit - not as good as actually hearing from you though! Linda xxx

  10. The cocktail went down very well here in darkest Suffolk! Happy Christmas!

  11. I love your birds and will be looking forward to the owl!