Hearts stitch journal, 26 February 2018

A bright, cold morning – about -10, with a strong Siberian wind lowering the ‘feels like’ temperature still further. There is no frost but the normally rich brown earth is frozen hard and pale, looking like chocolate that has bloomed. Birds were clustered all over the feeder this morning, getting their fill of sunflower seeds and dunnocks (hedge sparrows) were… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 25 February 2018

We lay in a little this morning, the golden light streaming through the curtains, and got up to a cold, crisp day with a pale blue sky. It really feels like spring despite the chill – lots of birds singing and everywhere in our upper orchard, clumps of primroses are now in bloom. They are growing under a chestnut tree… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 24 February 2018

A lovely peachy-gold sunrise this morning, and cold – we have winds coming in from Siberia and temperatures are starting to drop. Everything is very dry and full of static, as there is no precipitation. I had a somewhat macabre discovery when I went to the woodshed this morning – something had obviously killed a crow just at the entrance…. Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 23 February 2018

A bright and freezing morning with a lovely peach sunrise. The temperatures have stayed below zero for 48 hours now and the ground was hard enough for me to walk around the steep orchard for the first time on these morning walks. Everywhere the rabbits have dug holes to get at the tree roots and there is gigantic undermining going… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 22 February 2018

A freezing cold morning with a delicate peach and gold sunrise. Today’s heart is very simple, partly because I have to dash to the vet in a moment and partly because the fabric in this section is very fragile and threadbare – whether from wear (it’s an old sheet) or from poor hand-weaving, I’m not sure. Therefore I chose stitches… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal 21 February 2018

A dark morning with a bitter, icy wind, which fortunately has now turned to the bright, sunny day that was forecast. This morning’s heart commemorates the bittercress that is growing wild here and there in the courtyard, but particularly in a pot that once held a lavatera that didn’t make it through the frost. Gardeners consider this humble plant a… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 20 February 2018

Very dark and rainy this morning, but for the first time, celandines blooming in our lane. I chose a rather 1930s style for today’s embroidery, making it resemble one of those vintage cigarette cards. Even this was difficult, as I have a blue finger from dropping a log on it. Today’s threads are grey cotton perlé by Cartier-Bresson for the… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 19 February 2018

A monochrome and misty morning today – the type of weather the French call ‘grisaille’. Everything was wet through, raindrops dripping from every surface and the treetops were wreathed in mist. Today’s threads are coton à broder, which I shibori-dyed in greys yesterday; grey perlé no 5 from Cartier-Bresson; grey and white separated DMC tapestry cottons; white linen threads pulled… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, the story so far

I’ve now been stitching my journal for seven weeks (if you don’t count the few abortive days of my running-stitch journal at the end of last year) and have completed eight rows. This is how it looks so far. As you can see, from being quite a simple running-stitch format at the beginning, I started branching out a bit, greedy… Read more »

Hearts stitch journal, 18 February 2018

A rainy grey morning today. Not that I mind, after yesterday’s gorgeously sunny walk. Today, there was a light drizzle as I walked the dog, throwing the new ball that he found yesterday. Some 15 years ago, I planted a variegated Portugal laurel across the courtyard so that I would have something colourful to look at in winter. It’s always… Read more »