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Stravaiging graphic

Cake is always a good idea

Yesterday I had a wee cooking session and one of the outcomes was Mozart Cake.

I don't know what the connection to the composer is - did he like coffee, chocolate and marmalade?

It's a recipe from my mother's pile of saved ones and I only ever remember it hand written so I've no notion of its origin. No notion, either, of what sparked the idea to bake it as it is years since I have, but I inevitably felt the need to tweak the recipe.

In case you are in want of a nice easy cake, I've attached a link below to a pdf where I give you the un-fiddled-with version and then what I did with it.

And I have just remembered that the original had an icing sugar/lemon juice icing, just to add to the fun.

Cake file attachment below

Messy, unfocused, curiously stressful.

WARNING - Stream of consciousness ahead.

evening light

I know where January went. It evaporated in fog.

I had plans.

Plans to be calm and restful, to gently stitch some of the multiple new samples I've wanted to make.

Plans to take more 'me' time and read, cook, knit, sew, watch films, walk, dream, play.

Two Northumberland Beauties

In October I wrote about being in Yorkshire. In that same North of England trip I also caught up with two rather talented women who run businesses closer to home.

Northumberland is a county of contrasts - city life, beaches and castles, fishing communities, the largest reservoir and man made forest in England, high hills and empty moorlands. It borders Scotland and as the crow flies is only three miles from my village!

woven blankets


Books. My little world would be much smaller without them and I know I am far from alone in that feeling.

So many authors, so many subjects, never enough time to fully indulge our reading desires.


I've just read 'Surfacing'.

Kathleen Jamie has a wondrous grasp of lilting language. Her words describe times past, the everyday, the detail, the immensity of space and the tiniest scratch of a bird’s beak.


Her collections of essays transport you into the natural world with such a lightness of touch; you are gathered in and effortlessly carried along by her prose.


front cover of 'Surfacing'
Here is the last paragraph of the last tale where she is standing still, lost in a wood.

Green ferns in the groin of an oak. Green moss cloaking a stone. Voice of a crow. Voice of a chiding wren. A smirr of rain too soft to possess a voice. Voice of the shrew, the black slug. Voice of the forest. Did you hear something move out the corner of your eye? The same moth come back? Or another leaf falling?
You are not lost, just melodramatic. The path is at your feet, see?
Now carry on.’

In 2004 the position of Makar (National Poet for Scotland) was authorised by the Scottish Parliament.
Kathleen Jamie became our fourth Makar in August 2021.
Do explore her few precious books.

Glimpses of the Past

Last week I had the good fortune to be in Halifax.

Yorkshire is packed with textile history from wool to cotton to silk and I have only explored a fraction of it so far.

Let me share my visits to The Piece Hall and to Shibden Hall with you...

sheep painting seen at Holdsworth House


A wee Wednesday windowsill featuring a Degenhart glass owl in my favourite shade. A very generous recent gift from a lovely lady.
🖌️ <<< is this a paintbrush?
I’ve just removed these sheets from a heavy book so they’re nicely flat again. Quality leaf placement and brush skills! The results of a fun workshop with Sunshine @atbirkhillhousecic  a couple of weeks ago.
🪡- - - - -
Sunday afternoon stitching
In my other favourite colours
❤️🖤🤍- - - - -
Breakfasted and now hanging out with friends. The full complement - pheasant, duck, squizzel, carrot and frog. 
Life lesson: be more Bruce
I did finish my simple cowl where I let the yarns do all the talking. Delicious dyeing by @casserlyalison and wool/silk hand spinning by OB at @handspinnerskye . Yarns held together to produce this rich blend of highland landscape (in my eyes) shades. 

Bottom right is a more accurate representation than top right pic.
A restful image of my new acquisition from @sutherlandceramics with delicate fading irises. 
If you find yourself at Traquair House be sure to visit the makers in their bothies, just down from the tearoom. Rob’s ceramics are understated and hand built, not thrown.
🧵🪡🌞☕️ 🪡🧵
Delighted to be vending in the 1912 Mill at Sunny Bank Mills tomorrow! A quality line up of makers and so much else to visit and view within the mill complex. A warm and welcoming atmosphere awaits you and, most importantly, good coffee🤗
🪡Deep concentration during a gentle stitching workshop this morning at Abbotsford House with my merry band of travellers. 
Couldn’t ask for a better setting than the Scottish Borders in which to relax and soak up new textile experiences.


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