Bees, Buttonholes and Bullions

I finally got a shot of a red-bottomed bee. This is Mrs Do-As-You-Would-Bee-Done-By. These little red bums are very industrious and barely sit still. Heard an expression on the telly yesterday: ‘Triple F’ – know what that stands for? Fierce, Fit and Fabulous. Suits these little furry firebums perfectly.

Hover flies enjoy the Hebes, too. This fine fellow is having a happy time below:

The heatwave continues and will, apparently, continue for another week or so. We were officially given a hosepipe ban a couple of days ago. The lawns are crunchy like cornflakes. Brown and parched like a desert bowl. Luckily the Hebes aren’t complaining about the lack of water and are thriving. Good job seeing how many visitors they get every day.

It’s been too hot to do any baking. I was thinking of getting the Christmas cake done and give it a good, long guzzle of brandy for a few months but the thought of making the kitchen any warmer than it already is puts me right off!

I’ve been practicing a couple of new embroidery stitches: Bullion and the Open Buttonhole stitch. One of my favourite places for inspiration and instruction is Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials. She offers the most fantastic resources for hand embroidery. Brilliant place to visit if you’re looking for new stitches and how to do them.

For some reason I always felt daunted by the Bullion Stitch and would never give it a go even though when seeing it worked into textiles designs always thought how pretty it was. You know what? It’s dead easy. Simpler than the French Knot. If you don’t believe me, just try it. 🙂

The buttonhole stitch is a sort of Blanket Stitch and made pretty cartwheels, carousels and whirligigs:

This is the end result of my practice. Happy Days! Colours are juicy like a summer carnival. I used some of my best wool felt that was bought to make Luna Lapin which was very indulgent… one day I will get round to making Luna Lapin and finishing the Tilda Hare… the mood for stuffies and dolls will overtake me some time. It always does. That’s the way of us all, I expect. And there’s plenty of that wool felt left to make Luna Lapin when that time comes so no penalty for the profligacy.

It might work as an inset panel for a cushion and justify itself but for now it will join the other disjectamenta and unfinished business in the cupboard of dreams otherwise known as the museum of broken relationships (relationships with projects once so passionately pursued but cast aside for others).

Just recently I used a hand embroidered and appliqued linen piece made ages ago in a similar way on a backing of yellow wool tweed:

The ‘Carnival of Stitches’ might work against this dark grey-almost-black flecked tweed:

We shall see – it might also turn it into a lumpen broody-moody article. Last thing I want is a cushion with bad attitude glowering at me from the rocking chair. Time will tell.

Reading the news this morning I stumbled upon an article about an abandoned lab in Tanzania that had a library with a reading section entitled: ‘Realm of Knowledge and Silence’. It kind of stopped me in my tracks and gave me food for thought. It’s so  perfect. Don’t know about you but when I become totally absorbed into something I’m reading or doing I enjoy a silence of the mind that is truly wonderful. That mind chatter just disappears and an almost spiritual sense of peace and oneness with purpose transcends everything. Funny how we can ignore cold, hunger, thirst and even calls of nature   🙂 … I believe it’s called ‘Hyperfocus’.

Anyway, chores to do, errands to run and an afternoon making a few primitive stars. Am I prepping for Christmas? Eek!

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