Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Shadow Puppets

Hands up.  Who remembers doing shadow puppets
when they were a kid?

Let me guess - is it a rabbit?

Those were the days when we were poor but happy
and made our own amusement (not that kind of
amusement Angela dear).  

It;s quite easy once you start.

In that golden age long before
television, internet, space travel and Game of Thrones
I can actually recall the whole family sitting round
in the semi-darkness making weird and wonderful
animals appear on the wall by the light of the fire

You need a steady hand for those stripes.

It was so mind-numbingly boring that bed time
and the invention of the aforementioned diversions 
just couldn't come soon enough.

This one's for the more adventurous

However with the aid of all the latest body paints
now so readily available and just a little imagination
the tedious old shadow puppet has come of age
and made a come back in the guise of hand art.

You might need help with this one.

No need to wait for darkness to fall and the
fire to be lit just grab a fine paintbrush, a few
little pots of magic colours and away we go
limited only by what we can dream up in our
mind's eye.

Congratulations - it's twins.

But why stop there, why not the whole body.
Perhaps I'd better put a match to the fire just
to take the chill off as next week's instalment
"Body Painting for Beginners" requires
getting our kit off.  Such fun.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Could it be?

The fields near the Lock-Up
It looks like ......

Leaves near the Lock-Up
It smells like .....

Spooky dudes near the Lock-Up
It tastes like (if you know what you're doing) .....

Flower heads and berries near the Lock-Up

Thank goodness I didn't tread in it - AUTUMN!

Tarty old tree trunk near the Lock-Up!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Heavens above!

Extract from Leo horoscope, first decan for the month of September 2015: 

"Freedom is something
you seek but be wary of the costs when pursued without
caution.  Align your behaviour with the heavens and rise
above the mundane.  Don't be afraid to express the fun side
of your personality.  Blessings are in store for you."


Newspaper headline for 28th Septembrer 2015:

"Lunar eclipse will turn supermoon a deep dusty red;
religious groups predict the End of Days is nigh;
the next won't be until 2033 (so this could well be my last)."


So what does all this signify; what was my astrologer trying
to tell me; and, better still, what did I do?  Are you sitting
comfortably, then I'll "reveal all".

Glastonbury Tor, one of my favourite places.

At 3.30am GMT I crept out of bed, where I had been watching
catch-up TV on my tablet to keep myself awake, and took off 
all my kit.  Then, stark naked as I came into this world, I opened
my front door and stepped out under the porch in all my glory.
And there I stood looking up at the sky as the huge,
bright moon gradually darkened and turned blood red.
How pagan was that?  And a bit parky too!

The fairies down the road were out partying too!

I think that ticked all the boxes - freedom without caution,
aligned with the heavens and certainly having a laugh.
And the "costs when persued without caution" must surely be
the streaming cold I caught that night which is currently
making me feel like the End of Days really is imminent.

Kissing of the ring was not required on this occasion.

And as for the bit about "blessings are in store for you",
do you think that being taken by the hand and blessed by
the Bishop of Thetford last Sunday counts?
Whether or not it does, that's another story for
another day and not one I'm quite ready to share just yet ,,,,,,

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


I was out and about on foot today doing this and that and on the
long walk home discovered that I had walked much, much further
that I had originally intended.  What's more I was rather foolishly
wearing brand new shoes which hadn't yet been broken to the bit
let alone a saddle, so as I hobbled past the library I decided to nip
in for a quick sit down and a read of the newspapers to give my
barking dogs (Cockney speak for sore feet) a brief rest before I
lurched the rest of the way back to the Lock-Up.

That's better, those heels were a bit high.

Seemed like a plan but what I hadn't bargained for, or even knew
about, was the monthly meeting of the craft club in the main foyer.
"Come and join us" cried someone.  They're a friendly bunch and it
would have been churlish to decline,.  So it was a couple of hours,
umpteen cups of strong rosie and several new friends later that I
finally returned home footsore and knackered.

At the club I met one very well turned out lady (don't ask me what
I had thrown on, the style police are still on red alert) knitting socks
on four needles with some baffling new verigated German wool.
The finished work looked like she'd been following a complicated
Fair Isle pattern even though she hadn't.  Don't ask me how it worked
but it did and it's now high on my list of things to try when I'm next
at a loose end.

That sort of thing but bigger and jumbled up.

Another very experienced quilter was recycling a pair of old double
duvet covers - one Union Jack, the other Stars & Stripes - and the
Anglo-American result was quite amazing with an intricate border of
blocks - one stars, one stripes, all the way round the edge.

Every self-respecting crafter should wear one.

You can often tell a crafter by the way they dress and one young lass
certainly didn't disappoint.  Crochet handbag decorated with a heart
of buttons, pendant with a petit point ballerina insert, woven friendship
bracelets and a nifty hand-felted hat.  The perfect specimen.  She was also
a yarn bomber and was busily lagging an old supermarket basket in
brightly coloured wool as we spoke.

Not the actual bench but along the same lines.

But what really touched me was when she talked about her father in
whose memory the family had placed a bench on the village green
under the Folly Tree.  On his birthday she had "bombed" his bench as
an act of remembrance and not feeling inclined to stop there she had
also hung crochet motifs and streamers from the branches that shaded it
too.  How lovely is that?

Old crafters never die, they just have a few more pleats.

I leave the best till last.  The elderly lady of 83 sitting next to me hand 
stitching some templates looked like everyone's favourite granny but 
the way she had coped with the  problems life had recently heaped on
her was truly inspirational.  She had dutifully nursed her husband suffering
from Parkinson's right to the end with scant help, difficult and often
abusive behaviour from him and little regard for her own well being.

Here she is on a singles holiday to Margate.

After his death she said she felt enormous guilt that she should have done
more and because men of that generation often controlled the finances
she had that side of life to get to grips with as well as overcoming a
huge dent that had appeared in her self confidence too.  And then she said,
and I quote: "I thought sod it dear.  It may sound wicked but I'm
starting to like it on my own so I shall concentrate on all the things
I can still do and not worry about the ones I can't."

Just concentrate, never mind what you still can do.

And that's precisely what she's done.  She's joined lots of clubs and
societies, sold the car because there's people to talk to on the bus and
been on more holidays these past 18 months than in the whole of her
long married life.  All on her own too and that takes courage at any age.
"The world isn't going to come looking for me dear, so I must go looking
for the world."  She's my kind of a woman and no mistake.

I shall certainly be at next month's meeting clutching my craft bag full
of good intentions and raring to go.

Friday, 25 September 2015

I'm hitting the panic button

Christmas is coming, my order book is filling fast.
There's only room for a couple more
Then they will be the last (for this year).


What I'm trying to say is that if you've got your heart set on a
bespoke Long Dog Sampler for Christmas (and who wouldn't)
which has been designed for you and you alone, then I
wouldn't leave it too long before you contact me about it:

These wondrous delights take time in the making and
much as it peeves me to say it,
even I can't do the impossible
so don't say I didn't give you all fair warning.

This black beauty is the latest Long Dog special commission
and it's proud owner is a canny lass who knows
a thing or two when it comes to booking early for Christmas!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Autumn is upon us again!

Listen!  The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.

Humbert Wolfe

Autumn on the Acle marshes.  Flat isn't it?

Thank you Humbert, I couldn't have put it better myself.
Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of autumn when the
plants, trees and creatures of the wild begin to wind down in
preparation for the long winter ahead.

How about Quatre Saisons?  Seems appropriate.

So why not treat yourself to a new project to while away
those long dark evenings?  And there's really nothing more
appropriate and appealing than a large Long Dog Sampler.

Send me an email and we'll soon get you started:

Monday, 21 September 2015

With love from me to me!

Every so often I like to buy myself a little pressie as a
manifestation of my appreciation of me, of course.

My latest gift arrived this morning in record quick time
having only been ordered on line yesterday around elevensies.
I hastily tore off the packing and duly expressed genuine delight
to myself (if not actual surprise) at receiving such a
desirable little object.

It came from the Pilgrim Shop in Little Walsingham, Norfolk.
Have a look at their site, particularly the Pilgrim Badges,
and treat yourself why don't you? 

I love buying for myself and always seem to be able to
come up with exactly what I was wishing for every time.
It's quite uncanny.

Forgive me for breaking into "sampler speak" here because these
words fit the bill precisely.  No Alice dear, it's not the one that
goes: "May I govern my passion with absolute sway and grow wiser
and better as life wears away."  Sod all that stuff, my passion can
rage all it likes and I intend to get naughtier as my wrinkles continue
to develop wrinkles of their own.  I'm up to third generation already
and it's still only September.  The short little phrase I was thinking 
of goes thus:  "The gift  is small but love is all."

Apologies for the crumbs on the carpet.  Tut, tut.

Perfik, something greyhoundie and for those who know a thing
or two about running dogs, ever so slightly jokey too.
Greys hunt by sight and not smell which means so long as the
hare keeps tucked in uder the dog he'll be safe.
I make that one up to the hare, don't you?

Modelled by Cirrus.

Good job I've only recently bought myself a new waterproof
country hat to go with my waxed jacket because it's the
perfect place to pin my token.

The Token

Talking of which, Long Dog's "The Token" is still as beautiful
as ever and a nice quick late summer stitch which could so easily
be yours just by clicking on the link below and saying pretty please.
But make sure you stand where I can see you as I too
hunt by sight!