Sunday, 28 September 2014


For Christmas last year I bought the Hippy a cider press.

We have a fantastic apple tree in our garden that last year was laden with fruit. The apples are a little tart so the boys won't eat them.

Perfect lets turn it all in to cider I thought.
This year we have one wizened apple on it.
Thankfully friends came to our rescue and donated two trees worth to the cause.

We have a lovely friend, The Mad Old Cat Lady, who is having a bad old time of it at the moment.
We are all looking forward to having her home again and in one piece soon.
She doesn't like cider.
But she does love cidre.
So in her honour we all dressed up en Francais.

Some of us seemed to enjoy it a little too much.

And some of us found a raspberry beret.

But it should all bring a smile to our lovely friends face and remind her that we are thinking of her.
And the bonus is that in a month or so we will all be gathering again to drink the fruits of our labour that time with Caroline in our midst.
Love Nora xxx

Saturday, 27 September 2014


Recently I have been pondering and musing upon perceptions of truth and reality. All a bit deep I know its mainly been sparked by reading "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt, a truly epic book I loved so much I have recently finished a second read of it. Which even by my standards is quite extreme, twice in the space of 6 months, and believe you me it's no light read, having the weight and heft of your standard house brick.
I have been wondering about back stories, wondering what is going on behind the image we are presented with. 

Thinking about other spaces with in a picture. Am I looking at the boys, or am I looking at the wave?
Am I looking at what the boys are doing or the excitement their action is causing them? 
Closer study of the image reveals touching little details. They are all in their school uniforms, shorts on a cold stormy day, school caps on their heads, shiny wellington boots, grubby knees, one boy has lost a mitten.
The energy is amazing but what has more, the wave or the boys sprinting away from it?
Who is the adult on the right and who is she sheltering in her arm? 
A younger afraid sibling? Or maybe one who wasn't quite as lucky with the last wave.

In this piece I have created some little portals, or may be portholes, in to a different time.

Looking back through time to catch a tiny glimpse of a perception of reality.
Most moving is that as this photo was taken some time in the 1930s on Hastings seafront these joyous little boys will be in their late 80's or early 90's.
Are they still with us and what did their lives become?
I found the picture on this facebook site.
Joining up with Lola Nova's stitched journal project, please pop over and see what every one else is up to here.
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 25 September 2014


It's exciting times here in Hastings as the restoration of the beloved pier moves to the next phase.

The demolition of the old burnt out ballroom before the new structure can be built.
This can only be done from the sea and involves a crane on a J.U.B
Or jack up barge, which was towed by tug boat from Rye harbour before lowering its legs to the sea floor and starting work.
Last week after the boys finished school we dashed down to the seafront to have a look.
Even the high levels of excitement emanating not only from our little party but the dozens of other observers on the sea front,could not stop the sea mist from rolling in.

Much of the time the crane wasn't even visible.

The light shining through the mist was beautiful.

Much Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 21 September 2014


It was with a gasp I read during the week that today was to be the last car boot sale of the season at our local big car boot. It made me realise I haven't been to a single car boot sale this year!
Something that I'm not sure has ever happened before. 
How time flies.
I was not disappointed.

Tea, Coffee and Sugar caddies, old plate and distressed old pudding bowl.

Deliciously rusted old tins.

Inside of the old Dutch cigarette tin.



Old table cloth and a handful of doilies.

Huge cops of slightly grubby buttonhole thread, if you take the lot (12) you can have them for £4.
Now I do use a lot of this stuff in the day job, but not that much. But how could I resist? I shall find a use for them, the cogs are already whirring.

I was joined and assisted on this adventure by not one, not the usual two, but three little Herberts. Yes, I picked up a stray en route. They all came home with bags of old tut and pockets much the lighter. But by the time the mystery of the disappearing camera was solved (it was found exactly where I had left it) the treasure had all dissipated. Stored away in those places little boys store away their treasure.
We did however find a very old edition of one of the Ginger Ones favourite books.

I loved this illustration and the story attached.
I do hope your weekends have all been as treasure filled as mine has been.
Much Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


I love and adore the work of Kate MccGwire. Ever since a friend and I went to see her exhibition at a gallery in Kings Cross a couple of years ago I have been haunted by her work. Using it constantly as a reference in my teaching and pondering upon it often the rest of the time.
So you can imagine the excitement when it was revealed she would be part of the Costal Currents art festival here at the sunny seaside.
The crypt of St Mary in the Castle is an amazing venue and did not disappoint.

Secrete. Mixed media with magpie feathers.

 Purge. Mixed media with pigeon feathers.

"These instillations appear animated yet still. The feathers which once enabled flight, have been repurposed: once a weightless bird, now a heavy, swollen mass.
There is something undeniably otherworldly and primal about the works bulging forms, which capture the movement of water, referring in part to the natural spring that feeds the front of St Mary in the Castle."
(words from exhibition display)

Hurrah for inspiring art work.
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Due to overwhelming popular demand I bring you the results of the recent experiments with Fairy Dyes.

We have had more than one date and a lot of mixing up and blending of colours has gone on.

In fact since these pictures were taken there have been more shades of yellow created.
The motifs are all for a project that started out being all in white and cream which I was then going to tea dip in to various neutral shades.
However muted tones from the stash started to creep their way in, when they were used up the dying started. Its a project to use up all the odds and sods so I don't want to spend money on it. Hence the adapting and changing what I already have.

It will I think still be predominantly in the whites and creams, but next up I am thinking of trying some dying with blackberries and possibly nettles.
There is still a lot of crochet to be done.
What, oh what are all those motifs for though? I hear you cry.
They are for what my Cousin rather scathingly termed a window cosy. 
It is a rather pleasing name and one that shall stick!
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 7 September 2014


Todays post is a bit of a Hello, Thank You, Sorry.
It's a bit of an ambling story.
Its a bit of an information download.
First I must say a heart felt Thank You.
Thank you for sticking with me over my sketchy posting of late, thank you for all the wonderful comments you have all been leaving and thank you for all the encouragement you constantly give.
And now for a quick information download pop over to the Stitches blog to see a second article I have written on creating surfaces to embroider onto. This time its about distressing fabrics.

Right enough of this waffle Nora, get on with the amble.
Yesterday morning I took a wander on the beach.
The sea was becalmed and a slight sea mist muffled much of the sound.
Climbing on the groins was called for. 

Then a  refreshing paddle in the icy spicy sea.

Along the seafront to check out the beloved pier.

And the local youth having fun

Later after all jobs had been done I took the Ginger Son and his Ginger friend back to the beach where I was presented with a dragon egg.

They were off to get wet and muddy in the rock pools and I sat in the sun with a bit of light crochet.

Happy Days.
Sorry for not leaving comments on very many blogs of late. Having recently bought an ipad it apparently doesn't like me leaving comments. Every time one is written it just disappears. Very frustrating. But rest assured reading is continuing and when I am on this old and dilapidated computer of mine comments are made. I know how much your comments mean to me so it's a little upsetting to not be able to make them. If anyone has any advice....
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 4 September 2014


At the end of last year I stumbled across these little packets of Fairy Dye in a local junk shop.

The label said they were from the 1930's, according to the lady in the shop they still work.
During a quite moment during the summer holidays the time came to put this to the test.
The Fairy Dyes days of hanging about on the shelf looking good and gathering dust were over.
Inside the little cardboard boxes lurked cork stoppered test tubes full of dye.
Could anything be more sublime?

There were comprehensive instructions, that to be honest were soon disregarded.

There is a project afoot, a collaboration between myself and the crochet hook.
Of this more shall be said at a later date.
But the project was floundering, it needed a serious injection of colour.
Hanks of yarn were wound off, tied and twisted then soaked in boiling water before being plunged in to a dye pot of Old Rose.

Sadly the Old Rose was a bit too perky for my liking.

So I added a splash or two of Daffodil to the pot which gave a delicious warn red orange.

I had fun variegating the yarns by dipping one end of the hank in to the pot for longer than the other and dribbling the darker dye from a teaspoon over the Old Rose.

Very happy with the results, especially the candy strip one.

Now the children are finally back to school you never know I may actually be back here more than once in an occasional while!
Love Nora xxx