Friday, 27 June 2014


Recently we have had a visitor, they have taken up a temporary residence in the thicket at the top of our garden. We haven't met them and in fact I think they may have gone on to pastures new now. We called her, though she may well be a he, Beverly.
Beverly Nightingale.

She was melodious and beautiful to listen to.
Especially late at night while laying in bed with the windows open.

Though there were a couple of times when at 2.30 in the morning the relentless singing made me think that Beverly may not live to sing another night.
However now she seems to have gone we are really missing our nightly serenades. 
I keep hoping we may here her one last time, but so far no.
We are keeping every thing crossed that she comes back to visit again next year.

So in celebration of Beverly and her all too short visit I have committed her to the pages of the Stitched Journal Project hosted monthly by the lovely Lola Nova.
Go over to her place to see what she and every one else in the project has been up to in June.
In a totally pants way I managed not to make last months deadline, but am hoping to try and play catch up and show you May's effort soon.
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 26 June 2014


Last night I went to a fantastic workshop organised by the lovely Janey Moffatt Laloe of Craftimation Factory. A couple of weekends ago there was a beach combing session on a Saturday morning which I couldn't make, due to my Mum having a significant birthday. So one evening recently while the Hippy and the boys were  throwing stones at the waves and playing hide and seek amongst the fishing boats I went on my own beach combing session. I found lots of bits of old tangled nylon fishing net and a few bits of rusty old twisted wire.
Which then became this.

It was great seeing what every one else made with their bits of flotsam and jetsam.

The workshop was part of a series of evenings and Saturday mornings that have occurred over the last couple of months as part of "Follow the Herring". A travelling arts festival following the run of the herring down the East coast this summer. It comes to Hastings at the end of the month with a knitted boat and performances based on the tales of the women who followed the fishermen along the coast to help land and pack the catches.
Hastings contribution to this festival is a knitted fish and chip shop. 
My self and a band of trusty yarn lovers are making a yarn rock pool to be on display at the same time. Is this the resurrection of the Ninja Knitters? I don't know, we shall see.
This Saturday is the last of the events in the build up to the festival in which yours truly is leading a band of knitwear fanatics in a session of what I have decided to call extreme quilting.
We will be deconstructing various knitted garments and reconstructing them to look like a giant wave crashing over the benches at the Stade Open space on the seafront.
So if you fancy a jaunt to the sea side with some mad stitching thrown in do come and join us! All the details can be found here.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 22 June 2014


Every so often the Hippy will come home from work with a bit of treasure usually from under the floor boards of a building he is renovating/ tearing apart/ rebuilding. 
Sometimes they are funny, like the rude note a builder left back in 1972, too rude to post here but very funny. Or the  clay pipes we found under the floorboards at our old house. Or the woodbines packet he can home with last week. Or the set of old school lockers he gave me for Mother's Day. Or even the tea urn he found in a skip.
But Friday's find was rather poignant.
30 years ago today.

"In the end nobody will win. Everybody will loose - and loose disastrously."
I was surprised at how strong my feelings about MacGreggor still are.
But sadly it was true.
Did you wear a coal not dole sticker?
I did, to school which was an interest growing up in the Tory heartlands of Guildford in the 1980's.
Not sure it made me many friends, but it sure made my mind up!
Or are you as many people I know these days just too young to know what the hell I'm wittering on about?
All a bit too somber for a Sunday evening?
Here is a picture of the old fag packet to cheer you up.
It's on display in the kitchen, which is more than I can say for the old copy of the Daily Mirror!

Have a lovely week kids.
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


Recently I did a rush job.
A really rush job, 15 kids costumes for a period film in a week.
I had teams of elves beavering away, well a team of 8 elves all part time and little old moi.
It was a really satisfying job, I loved doing it, the elves loved doing it, the film people loved what we had done. But boy oh boy was it exhausting!
I can't really run on too much about the film or show you the costumes, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the small details.
I sourced most of the buttons and trims from Wayward here in St Leonards On Sea, the beautiful vintage haberdashery store.

Each boy was different. They all had a pair of breeches and a jerkin or jacket, but with 15 variations upon the theme of 17th C urchin.
But now I am down to a mere 3 elves and only a more or less impossible deadline. So life is looking up!
What are you all up to?
Interesting things I hope!
Much Love Nora xxx

Friday, 13 June 2014


I recently signed up for the first &stitches swap. The theme was "Place".
I ruminated, I pondered, I scratched my head. Time ticked away. Deadlines approached.
I formulated plans, I disregarded them.
Finally I went back to one of my favourite things, maps. Why hadn't I thought of it first?
After a quick trip to google maps I had a well formulated plan.

A machine embroidered map of the area where my swap partner Amy lives.
X marks the spot.
I created the patchwork background from tiny scraps of fabric that would have been destined for the bin if I hadn't rescued them.
I love the patterns the roads form, they almost look like some ancient hieroglyphs.
In turn Amy sent me a wonderful hand embroidered representation of Illinois where she is from with an emphasis on her home town.

At the top is "Symbol" a much loved public art sculpture created by Alexander Liberman in 1978.
In the middle is Abraham Lioncoln, Amy's favourite president, who got his legal start in Illinois. She told me Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln.
Finally at the bottom a bunch of violets, the state flower.
I love the understated simplicity of this piece, from the clean lines to the subtle decoration on the hoop. 
I am planning a little corner of my workroom where I can hang all the lovely swaps I have received recently. This thought is making me very happy indeed!
Much Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


I recently had a birthday. 
Not an important birthday but a day to celebrate with family and friends none the less.
And they were all generous and inventive.
A crochet chip buttie

Bacon and eggs brooch

Plants I got lots of plants.

In fact I got lots of beautiful things, too many to put them all here.

But mainly I got this.

A little man pinned and screwed back together after bouncing out the door of the trampoline.
And the ugly? Well that was the sleepless night on the children's ward, something that is best left back at the hospital and never dwelt upon again.
So I am coming to near the end of the reasons I was away for so long. You have had the students and the accident. Next I will be bringing to you the heavy workload!
Also just to say thank you so much for all your wonderful comments on my last post.
Much love Nora xxx

Saturday, 7 June 2014


After weeks and weeks of very hard work, stress, strain and a few tears my lovely students final exhibition is up and running. 
I thought I would share a selection of their work with you.
This of course is one of the many reasons I haven't been here much recently. 
More on the other reasons to follow soon.
Rachel's Victorian inspired trapeze artist.

Rebecca's 18c courtesan 

Daisy's Great Gatsby suit. Very proud of this girl as she's going on to do a tailoring course in London.

Hannah's Titannia costume.

Titannia's headdress.

Emma's Edwardian underwear.

Nana's 18c inspired hermaphrodite.

Naomi's dress for Cathy from Wuthering Heights, she has specialised in dying and printing. She wanted to try and bring the Yorkshire moors alive in her costume, with stunning results.

Lizzie's wings.

Hannah's two face costume.
My apologies to any student I have left out, the quality of some of my pictures was just too poor. I took them all on the iPad and none are that great. Bit grumpy about that if truth be told. Their work was all fantastic and I wish I could have shown it all to you. Sniff.
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 5 June 2014


Well hello there. I have been away for a little longer than I ever intended. But hey oh that's life.
It's been a bit of a hectic life round here over the last few weeks, some bits great, some bits amazing and some bits best not mentioned.
But I have lots to show and tell, of course when you have fallen off the horse it is always really hard to ease yourself back in to the saddle.
So I am doing it gently.
Here are some pics of what the Ginger one and I got up to last night.

Learning how to make fishing nets with the Hastings fishermen.

How cool is that?
Itching to do some at home now, though A) not sure what I would use it for and B) not sure where I would find the extra hours in the day...
Hope you are all well and looking forward to getting round to visiting all you guys soon. Hope you have all been having fun.
Love Nora xxxx