Things I Like

So today’s writing assignment is to make a list. Either a list of things I like, things I have learnt or things I wish.  I feel the latter two would lead to too much philosophising and making a list of Things I Like on a chilly misty morning seems a good way to start the day.

1. Colour – I love colour but especially reds, purples, and oranges.  They are an injection of happiness on a grey day and pick up your spirits when you are feeling low. They warm the soul.

2. Turkish Delight – I know its to everyone’s taste but I have a sweet tooth and love anything sweet but if I see Turkish Delight I really can’t resist it.  It’s the ultimate syrupy sweetness.

3. Reading – I am a compulsive reader, my degree is in Literature.  I read every night and I read somewhere recently that this was good for you as it allows my mind to turn off from other things.  I particularly like a good murder mystery or detective story but due to my love of history (see below) I really really love a good historical mystery.  Currently I am reading the Sister Fildema novels set in early Medieval Ireland.

4. History – I love history especially medieval history but I find other periods fascinating too and I find early American history very interesting.

5. My car – well having a car, my new car and I aren’t too fond of each other at the moment, but I love the freedom owning a car gives me.

6. My job – yes I do like my job, honest

7. Embroidery – I have dabbled in all sorts of crafts over the years but finally with embroidery I have found something that relaxes me.  As I said yesterday I have a restless mind and concentrating on the intricacies of embroidery calms me and it is very satisfying.

8. Steam trains – I love the sound and smell of steam trains.

9. Motor racing – especially the older cars such as you get at the Festival of Speed or at the local hill climb.  I love the sound the older cars make as they accelerate.  It is so evocative.

10. and yes plants – I adore plants, find them fascinating and beautiful.

Just to clarify, the above are in no particular order.

World Embroidery Day 2015


It seems to me that every day of the year is a national or international something day but I was interested to discover that today, 30th July, is World Embroidery Day.  The day was established in 2011 by the Sweden Embroidery Guild whose manifesto is “The importance of embroidery must be made known and World Embroidery Day will spread around the world. Make 30th July a day filled with creativity for the sake of Peace, Freedom and Equality.” I discovered this fact via Inspiration magazine which sends out a weekly email with all sort of information and gossip from around the world relating to embroidery – and there you were thinking it was a quiet past-time of ladies from yesteryear. The purpose of World Embroidery Day is obviously to raise awareness of the craft and to encourage people to have a go.  The Sweden Embroidery Guild encourages sewers to take their embroidery out into cafes and other public places which would be very nice if I didn’t have to work plus I don’t think I want to take my work into an environment where there is potential for it to be damaged. Inspirations magazine also share this view but they are encouraging their readers to take to social media to raise awareness of this  almost minority craft.

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I first embroidered as a child and into my teens.  Above is a tray cloth I must have worked around the age of 12. I have always been somewhat of a restless soul particularly when I am meant to be watching television and so I have always had some sort of handicraft to occupy me. If I don’t keep my hands occupied I end up chewing my fingers without realising which causes callous, not a good look.


Back then I always did my embroidery from kits with the picture pre-printed on the material and following instructions.  Above is a picture I must have done around the age of 15 when I was obsessed with Australia.  Anyway, I grew up, life got interesting, children came along and the embroidery stopped.  It was replaced by various things like knitting and sewing particularly making things for my children.  Now, as I near 50 I have re-discovered my love of embroidery and with it a sense of calm.

I started again with a cross stitch sampler and some other kits which were interesting but not challenging at all and I need a challenge.  I have a mind that is thirsty for new things – it occurs to me that I may be slightly hyperactive! Anyway, for Christmas my sons bought me Hazel Blomkamp’s Crewel Twists and I have been slowly working on the Spring Trellis design which I have blogged about from time to time.

However, as I said I have recently discovered Inspirations magazine which is based in Australia and published four times a year (I think) and it really lives up to its name. It seems that there is a very active embroidery world out in the Southern Hemisphere which is intriguing.  You quickly realise that cross stitch and the printed kits are only the beginning, there are so many techniques and styles to learn.  I have even managed to find a couple of fellow embroideries on twitter and facebook and through them I have learnt about the benefits of using a stand for my work and also I have witnessed, via videos, the stunning constructions of some of the hauteur couture creations which feature embroidery.  It makes me wish I was a teenager again and could maybe follow a career in this area.

My passion for embroidery is growing so rapidly that it is beginning to via with my gardening and blogging.

So I do support World Embroidery Day as embroidery lets me channel my creative energies and helps me to relax and recharge after a stressful day  – why do have a go yourself?