Tag: blog award

Who remembers Blogging Awards?

Blogging has changed quite a bit since I started years ago, and blogging awards are among the things which have fallen by the wayside as the blogging world has fragmented into blogging, vlogging, and whatever the generic term is for instagram, pixelfed and the like. However, just in the last couple of weeks, an Outstanding Blogger has been circulating, and Alex from UnderATopazSky nominated me among others. So, on to the questions!


What would my perfect holiday be?
Our family isn’t good at holidays. I recall a week’s holiday on Anglesey in my teens during which we came home in the middle so my Dad could make a phone call, and I never took to the idea of working on a tan. Resorts, beaches – definitely not. However, Mam and I have been on a couple of painting holidays, which have involved painting tuition and lots of lovely food, and we have both been rather taken with them.

But then again, I’ve been rereading “The King In The North” by Max Adams, and thinking that pony trekking the trail from Bamburgh to Yeavering in the company of an archaeologist or a historian of fourth to eighth century Northumbria might be a really fascinating way to spend a day or so…

Where is my favourite place to walk?
To be honest, it’s the company that makes the walk, as far as I’m concerned. Although, now I think about it: Paris. I spent a year there when I was an undergraduate, and it feels almost as much home as home does (if you follow me). My second favourite is Lisbon, which has a very ordinary cafe which sells the best hot chocolate that I’ve ever had, and beside that – pastel de nata. If you’ve not had a pastel de nata, you don’t know what you’re missing!

The Lady's Head
The Lady’s Head

What inspired me to start a blog?
I thought it might provide a sort of accountability and help me to keep at my embroidery. I already knew that I loved embroidery and that it helped me keep on an even keel, but I’d also noticed that I tended to do it after everything else, and consequently it wasn’t getting done. I thought that if I had a blog to feed (as it were), there would be an added reason to embroider. That was certainly true, but the other thing that happened was that I found there were other embroiderers out there. Before I started blogging, the only people I knew who embroidered or were interested in embroidery were all related to me. That’s not true any more!

What did I miss most during lockdown?
Concerts. I’ve enjoyed several online ones, but it just isn’t the same, especially in the case of ensembles I’ve known for years and who know me. I grew up going to concerts, in fact I’ve been going to concerts of the Allegri String Quartet since I was eleven (my Dad was particularly fond of Beethoven and Schubert), and I know that being an audience member isn’t an idle thing, it is something which contributes to the success of a concert almost as much as the musicians. I’ve missed being an active audience member, holding one end of the golden cord of concentration that stretches between musician and listener. And I’ve been worrying about my musician friends, deprived at once of livelihood and soul-comforting passion.

What was the last book I read?
I read and reread constantly, so by the time you read this I’ll be on to something else. One bonus of last year was two of the best books I’ve read in the last several years – “Reynard the Fox” by Anne Louise Avery and “Kindred” by Rebecca Wragg Sykes. I mentioned them both in passing on SlowTV Stitchery episodes while I was reading them.

Cover for the book "Nefertiti Lived Here", by Mary Chubb

Another one – which I have also mentioned – is the Georgette Heyer ReadAlong on Twitter. We’re on “The Tollgate” at the moment, and discussions have included some fairly serious social history, a comparison of pikelets and muffins, and the Heyer/Pratchett crossover moment none of us saw coming..

But I couldn’t fail to remind you of “Neferiti Lived Here”, could I – the book that launched a decade of embroidery projects!

And now on to the nominations:
Queenie’s Needlework

An Elbow’s Length of Thread

Addison Embroidery At The Vicarage

Only if you want to, of course!

And now: Slow TV Stitchery Episode 61 is live, in which I continue to make progress on Tynemouth Priory, while musing on Oswald of Northumbria and his times..

Sunny days are on the way!

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

I was rather flattered to find that Anne wanted to give me an award. As usual, the idea is to link to the giver (which I have), say something about oneself, and then pass the award on to some other bloggers.

Hmm…now, what to say? Ah yes – I’m a true Englishwoman! How can you tell? Well, besides the customary Scottish, Irish and Welsh ancestry, not to mention the Norman French (that was a very long time ago, of course), I’m very proud of being one-eighth Swedish. Only the English – in my experience – are actually proud of being mongrels!

My sidebar blogroll doesn’t reflect the breadth of my reading these days, so here are a few suggestions you won’t find there…

Lunch in Paris –  Elizabeth Bard doesn’t post very often these days, but I always enjoy what she writes, and she’s given some wonderful recipe suggestions!
Silver Pebble and Thrifty Household – I’d like to thank these two ladies specifically for their Making Winter bloghop, which did much to make last winter seem more bearable!
Potter Jotter – I discovered Cathy’s blog relatively recently, and I’ve been fascinated by her ceramics inspired by patchwork – it would never have occurred to me that such a concept would be successful and yet her pieces are utterly delightful.
Finally, lest you begin to fear that I don’t actually read embroidery blogs any more, Dog Daisy Chains and Threads Across The Web – Jackie’s focus is on felt and dyed velvet, and Carol-Anne’s is primarily on Japanese embroidery. They are so different to my own that they provide continual enrichment for my creative life. Thank you, ladies!

Blog Award!

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award

I’ve had a blog award passed on to me – thank you, Karen of Stitching Life.

When given this award:
1. Thank the giver and link back to their blog.
2. Reveal your 5 top picks and leave a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too.

My picks:

  • Susan of Plays With Needles, for providing thoughtful and thought provoking posts, and truly exquisite embroidery.
  • Kathy of The Unbroken Thread, whose careful step-by-step descriptions of technique, and clear joy in creation make her blog a delight to read.
  • Megan of Elmsley Rose, who is currently undergoing traumas of blog reorganisation, but whose embroidery posts always make me stop and think, and whose comments here are uniformly supportive and encouraging and frequently insightful as well.
  • Alex of Under A Topaz Sky, whose embroidery I find wonderful to behold, although it isn’t a bit like mine.
  • Hannah of Embrouderie, whose skills grow with every post as her blog develops.


Thank you, ladies, for hours of delight!

Beautiful Blogger Award – Seven Things About Me

My second post meeting the obligations of the Beautiful Blogger award – here are Seven Things About Me.

I bellydance for fun – Yes, really. I did ballet as a child, ballroom dancing as a student and now I’ve taken up bellydancing. It keeps my spine supple and gives me a weekly chance to dance – what could be better?

I lived in Paris for nearly a year – Now you know why Paris Breakfasts strikes such a chord with me! And in Paris, by the way, I danced Rock’n’Roll, which was astonishingly popular. Nightclubs had “rock’n’roll nights” where nothing else was played at all, and the standard of some of the dancing was really astonishing!

I read as much as I embroider – Possibly more. This might not be a great surprise since so much of the embroidery that I am blogging about has a vaguely literary background. My tastes range from biographies (a good Christmas present a couple of years ago was a very academic book about John of Gaunt!) and similarly factual stuff to fiction of pretty much all sorts (Tolkien to Georgette Heyer, via Margery Allingham and Terry Pratchett), except horror stories. I see no good reason for giving myself nightmares…

I used to play the violin – Not very well, but I got a lot of fun out of playing in orchestras. Frequently, something heard on the radio will result in a pause, head a-tilt and a thoughtful “I’m sure I played that in Youth Orchestra”. Fortunately my husband has chosen to find this amusing. My musical tastes run from medieval up to the present day, although I can’t get to grips with Wagner, and I get very picky after about 1860!

This I Know – when I was a teenager I found this saying of Dame Julian of Norwich in my studies of T.S. Elliot :
“Our dearworthy Lord said not thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, but thou shalt not be overcome”.
It is much less immediately appealing than “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”, but I have clung to it in bad times and found, indeed, that I have not been overcome. Don’t underestimate the uses of perseverance!

I have very long chestnut hair – length subject to radical change without notice!

I draw and paint in watercolours – not very well, but my husband insists that I tell you that I do better than  I think I do (if you follow me..)

Beautiful Blogger Award


Janice at Postcards from Wildwood has passed a Beautiful Blogger award on to me. It never occurred to me that I might get an award at all, still less one so early in my blogging career, still less passed on by a blogger I admire so much. Thank you, Janice, for your encouragement and support when I was still thinking about this project, and your further encouragement and recognition now it is actually underway.

So, here are the rules as Janice passed them on to me:

  1. Thank the person who gave you the award. (Thank you again, Janice!)
  2. Pass this award along to 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered and whom you think are fantastic!  (Maybe not fifteen, and these aren’t all recent discoveries, but they are all bloggers whose blogs I enjoy visiting)
  3. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.
  4. Share seven things about yourself (I’ll do this in a separate post).

Now, like Janice, I don’t expect or demand that you display the award or pass
it on. I’m simply taking this opportunity to say thank you for the hours of enjoyment and inspiration you have given me…

Quirky Quest with Lady Fi
– I went for the pictures – wonderful, sundrenched winter photos of the countryside and frolicking animals. I’ve stayed because of her use of the English language, spare and poetic, and because of the delight she manages to find in everyday events. Thank you LadyFi!

– This is one of the first blogs I subscribed to when I started following any blogs at all. I’ve found a lot of interesting blogs from Sharon’s occasional series listing sewing, art, and embroidery blogs (she’s reached the letter S), and her band sampler posts were largely responsible for the direction I eventually took for the Autumn Leaves Skirt. Thank you Sharon B!

The Embroiderer’s Story
– I can’t remember how I landed at The Embroiderer’s Story, but I was instantly fascinated by the research that was going into the reconstruction of the Margaret Laton jacket which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Not only research into stitching techniques, but research into the threads used and how they might be made. Then the challenges of sorting out display and maintenance of the finished piece – if you’ve ever wondered why there aren’t more reconstructions on display, this is why! Thank you Tricia!

Contemporary Embroidery – Karen’s work while I have been visiting has been primarily in white with small colour highlights, and inclusions of vintage textiles. Her subtle use of textural variations, and her beautiful photographs of gorgeously uncrumpled  pieces, are a constant source of inspiration and delight. Thank you Karen!

White Threads – Yvette created The Left handed Embroiderer’s Companion, for which a good proportion of the sewing population should be singing her praises unceasingly (I’m holding out for the Right Handed Version, which is in preparation). Her posts from Ethiopia have been thought-provoking, too –
there is so much more in the world than any of us can be aware of, and it is
good to be reminded of the fact.  Thank you Yvette!

Paris Breakfasts – Nothing at all to do with embroidery, but I find Carol’s blog about Paris and all things Parisian (especially patisserie and fashion!) enchanting and entertaining in almost equal measure. Merci, Carol!