"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Sunday, 8 January 2012


December was a very busy month
we had stressful conveyancing and legal things going on
lots of paperwork and contracts to push around
lots of typing and "swearing" of documents
it took up a lot of my time

whenever I did have spare time I made snowflakes for friends
and one or two for our own tree

I decorated our tree quite late this year ...
around the 10th December which is pretty late for me ...
but it looked lovely when it was finished

on 13 December my friend Rosie came over for the day
we just managed to walk down into St. Ives
before it poured with rain (big blobs)
it was bitter cold too

we took shelter in a cafe on the seafront
where we steamed up the windows
with fish and chips and a mug of tea

then we did Christmas shopping

and admired the festive displays
in the shop windows in Fore Street

we had more tea
and a hot mince pie with Cornish clotted cream
in Madeleine's Tea Room

(necessary ... of course)

thank you for a lovely day Rosie ♥

in December ...

I made a seaside heart
the first one for a while ... and a little different
using some beautiful chiffon fabric my friend Cathie gave me

the chiffon had swirls of aqua sparkles which
made me think of waves and as it's been so windy
I was thinking how the winter wind
whips up the sea creating larger than usual "rollers"

the winter sea air carrying a saltiness

I layered it up with scrim, melted chiffons
and a little bit of my own hand dyed silk
free motion embroidery
lots of aqua and blue seed beads
and french knots

the beaded dangly is a "scrumble" of peyote
in various tones of aqua, sky blue and turquoise
with turquoise accent bead

so happy this heart sold to a lovely lady in the Channel Islands

in December I created lots of different beads
and I'm pleased to say I need to make more
(hopefully next week)

such lovely seaside colours

mid December I got mild shingles
and the week before Christmas got very stressful
feeling like our conveyancing was going to fall apart
it finally completed on 21st December
and we didn't get home until 23rd December

but once home I felt a whole load better
and had a very lovely, peaceful Christmas

we had some beautiful cards this year
so many featured snow and snowflakes
and were covered in glitter like cards from Christmas past

I love all the different silver snowflakes on this one
that make up the tree

this gorgeous one is Sally MacCabe's card for 2012
from her original painting

let it snow

Christmas Eve

I only managed to make a few hand made cards
and hand delivered them on Christmas Eve

an inch of snow - for Sally
some of my cards featured snow and snowflakes too

and I had coffee with Sally
mmm ... she does make a great cup of coffee!

then I popped in to see Lesley at Art Space with a card
and met her lovely mum

it was such a grey day ... cold fingers and toes ...
but the snowflakes on the gallery window gave me an idea ...

Linkwe haven't had any snow in St. Ives yet this winter
and it's quite a rare thing in this part of Cornwall
so I created some snow magic of my own
on my Christmas Eve photos of the harbour

a snowy baby seagull
and ... snow on a winter beach

I got these inspiring and beautiful cards (below) in Art Space

they are the work of Sara Pound

I fell in love with Sara's starlings and bought this card

St. Ives starlings are such friendly birds
it's possible to sit on the beach by the cafes
and hand feed them crumbs of cake ... they are so tame

it was lovely to see you Lesley ♥

Christmas arrived and I had some wonderful books

from my lovely friend Jo ♥
I was thrilled to receive Angie Lewin's "Plants and Places"

I adore Angie Lewin's nature prints of seedhead shapes
so very inspiring

and was delighted to find a whole section of her work
dedicated to the coast and seaside finds

books are probably my most favourite presents
and from my darling hubby I received

Kim Thittichai's "Layered Textiles"

straight away this project jumped out at me
using painted bondaweb on canvas
it would lend itself to a seacape

Dawn Thorne's book "Transparency in Textiles"

loving this project that reminds me of the scrumble
of flotsam and jetsam I often find tangled up on the beach
sea glass mixed with seaweed and wire ... yummy!

Sarah Tuttle's "Exhibition 36"
this beautiful mixed media book of techniques
demonstrations and explorations

and a book I shall save for picnics on the rug at Godrevy
a beautiful summer read

The Day of the Storm - Rosamunde Pilcher

Rosamunde Pilcher was born in Lelant, which is only a few miles outside of St. Ives, so when she writes about Cornwall I can lose myself in her stories imagining that she is writing of St. Ives and this very pretty part of Cornwall. All of Cornwall is beautiful, of course, but this area of outstanding natural beauty has a very special pull
on my heart strings ... and yours too ... I know!

snowflakes in St. Ives
on 28th December Jo and I had our Christmas crow day
a very special day swapping pressies and cards
thank you so much for a lovely day Jo ♥

then we went for a winter walk in St. Ives taking photoswhich will be a base for textile art work for our exhibition
in The Library, St. Ives in March 2012

"inspired to stitch"

a very Happy Christmas to you - a card for Jo
and my year ended on a lovely note
with a beautiful swap with Mimilove

who stuffed a budgie through my letterbox
isn't he gorgeous!!

he is painted on fabric with lovely embroidery stitches
and adorned with sequin flowers and a bell
in a stitched and stuffed budgie cage

he is so like a budgie called "Beauty" (that we had as kids)
who sat on top of the mirror looking down at himself
and telling himself he was a "pretty boy"

"Beauty, pretty boy"

what a beauty
I adore your gift - thank you ♥

well that's December and 2011 all caught up with

thank you for visiting and reading my ramblings
January is already looking good ...
hope you come back and visit again soon ♥


ArtPropelled said...

A lovely wander through St Ives, thank you Carolyn. I'm sure we walked down that empty street though it was far from empty when we were there. So sorry about the shingles. Not a pleasant thing to deal with! I picked up Angie Lewin's book several times in our book shop and eventually left without it since I had so many Christmas presents to buy.

Sandies' Patch said...

Oh I did enjoy this post...apart from your bit about being stressed over the conveyancing stuff of course.
Love the heart, the books, the cards, the embroidered Lichen (we've got loads of the stuff in wonderful colours around here) and the pretty boy budgie LOL!

I liked the bit about the mince pie and clotted cream...the fish and chips and hot mugs of tea...sigh.... was it only 2 weeks ago all this stress?!

Sandie xx

Anonymous said...

I love your reds, but somehow your blues just do me in. That blue heart is so amazing....xox Corrine

Carolyn Howarth said...

Adore your pretty blue heart Carolyn. You are so talented! I keep trying to create gorgeous beads like yours but they never look anywhere near as good :( Mmmmm fish and chips, mice pies and clotted cream - probably not very good for the waistline but manna from heaven for the soul!!!!
Best wishes

Carolyn Howarth said...

Sorry, obviously that should read miNce pies!!

Flotsam said...

I had Angie Lewin's bok for Christmas last year. It has been a great source of inspiration. It is good to hear you have had a happy Christmas after the legal / house moving rubbish. I look forward to seeing more of your posts for 2012.

Diane Kelsey said...

I love reading your blog, seeing what you have made and seeing photos of St Ives. I am going to make it my mission to visit St Ives this year as it is a special year for me.

Julie Shackson said...

Lovely post! I do look forward to a good session on your blog; following links and enjoying all the images. Thanks honey! xxjxx

ewa-christine said...

As usual, incredible!
Your beautiful star adorns the room, it glistens and sparkles ....
Thanks again ........... I was so happy!
How do you have time ??????????
Many dear greetings ewa-christine in Sweden

Ro Bruhn said...

So good to come over here for a visit, it really gets the creative juices flowing. I really love our expansive beaches here in Aussie land, but my heart skips a beat when I think of the wonderful days I spent in St Ives a few years ago, one of my favourite parts of England.

Catharina Maria said...

Great and beautiful post !
Love your blue heart and the beads .
Loev from ♥RINI♥

Diane said...

I feel as if I wandered around St Ives with you - thanks for taking me along Carolyn. xxxx

Julie said...

A lovely catch up Carolyn and what a gorgeous budgerigar, your friend is very talented. I'm glad 2011 ended on a better note for you. Here's to a happy 2012!

Pom Pom said...

I love Rosamunde Pilcher and I'm glad to hear her descriptions of Cornwall are so real.
You're so thoughtful and considerate, Carolyn. I like reading about your visits with friends.

Lynn Cohen said...

so much beauty here; I love your beads the best!

Anonymous said...

Dear Carolyn,
Happy New Year! I read your blog for some time now and every time you make me smile. You make and show wonderfull, beautyfull things: very, very inspiring!
For many, many years I visited GB and when I see your picture's I feel a little homesick ;).
Thank you so much for sharing and help me keep my warm feelings for your country alive :-).
With love, Judith form Holland


Thank you Judith ... such a lovely message. Hope you can visit England and Cornwall again one day

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Such a lovely post, Carolyn - and it was so nice to get to see you before Christmas. The photos through the window at Art Space look wonderful, thanks to the effects you have created!

So many pretty things - the new heart, the snowflakes, Mimi's budgie and Angie Lewin's seedheads, to name but a few! Have a good week. Lesley x

Cusp said...

Such a lovely inspiring and beautiful blog. I love the way you combine your art, your environment and relationships.

For my part, I really struggle to get anything donw creatively because of ill health and family committments but wanted you to know how comforting and spirit-lifting your work and blog is for me x

custom research papers said...

Good work. Thanks for post!

Sara Pound said...

To be honest, I vary rarely get the time/inclination to read blogs.........having said that - am glad I did! & Thank you for buying 2 of my cards from Artspace! Am always flattered when anything sells!....the starlings came in for shelter/food? the other day - asked them,nicely, to leave?! Lovely descriptions & interesting items/books - all inspiring!! Beautiful.........

Jensters said...

Carolyn this budgie is so wonderful and what a wonderful gift....i have a budgie just like this one 'Joey'.....happy new year to you.

Jackie said...

I enjoyed that, if a little belatedly..and especially the mimilove bit. I adore her work, she's such a gifted painter and I wish I had an ounce of her painting ability.
I love the heart with the swirly bits , so unique and so truly you. Happy New year..I can't believe its 1st February.

Wilma Simmons (Empress Wu Designs) said...

Hi Carolyn
What a wonderful visual journey - I will be travelling to England for the first time in May, from Australia, and now I am thinking it would be good to put Cornwall on the list of places to visit - beautiful.

Caterina Giglio said...

absolutely beautiful .... your blue heart has me sighing it looks like the sea... you had a very busy December and I for one am so grateful to you and your gifts and talents... xoxo

term paper writing said...

So beautiful, you do amazing in textile work, especially the tree decorated with crystal jewellery looking so amazing, how you get all these ideas to do like this, i salute to your talent, its a nice work.