Hello everybody, I hope you are enjoying some of this glorious summer weather we are having in the UK at the moment.
In the south-east it's been hot for a more than a few days in a row, although I think that'll be it on the sunshine front for a few days.
So I have been able to grab a few opportunities in between the chores and commitments over these last few sunny days for some al fresco sewing - simple pleasures are the best!
I have finished off the Chicken scratch blue gingham heart that I showed you the beginnings of in my last post.
I have been wanting to have a go at chicken scratch for a long time now. It is also known as snowflaking or snowflake embroidery, (which sounds so much prettier than chicken scratch!) mountain lace, Amish lace or Amish embroidery, or Depression lace.
It is a type of early American embroidery that was popular with women of the 1930's and 40's who would decorate gingham aprons and sundresses, and it involves simple cross stitches, snowflake stitches, running stitches and woven circle stitches to create an impression of appliqued lace.
I started with some of the classic chicken scratch stitches, woven diamonds and Smyrna cross-stitch ( and will be returning to them at some point! ) but I have also enjoyed the freedom of going my own way and ad-libbing with designs and stitches as the mood and inspiration take me.
Like I rarely follow a recipe (except when it comes to baking!) I rarely follow a pattern - there is this rebellious streak in me, since a child, that always has to disregard given instructions and go my own way.
Sometimes I regret it. Not often, as I have found you learn so much more by trying things yourself and learning by your mistakes rather than blindly following instructions, although sometimes I might concede a few rules or instructions may have been worth following!
So I've just finished two small squares of chicken scratch embroidery that will form the centre panel of some cushions that I will then pop into my Etsy shop.
snowflakes in summer - see the little cluster in the corner?
As I have posted several very long garden posts recently of gardens that we have visited, I have spared you my more modest garden photos for quite a while, but having taken a few over the last few days I hope you'll bear with me whilst I share a few.
The azaleas and rhodedendrons have been lovely this year,and although I haven't shared many photos with you I do have a few for my next post.
At the moment the aquilegias are making the garden soft and pretty with lots of purples, liacs and pinks, and the anthemis and valerian are flowering
the foxgloves are nearly out
more aquilegias against the ferns which grow naturally and rampantly in our garden
a huge, blowsy orange red poppy the size of a dinner plate!
the white flower is a hydrangea petiolaris
the roses are just coming out now too - a climbing red rose here over an archway
a yellow tea rose
and a climbing white rose with pale rose-tinted buds.
Hope the sun is shining for you wherever you are!