I may have mentioned how scarily out of control my life has been lately as we hurtle towards the finishing line of making the cottage habitable. (The kitchen chimney has been rebuilt this week and the only outstanding professional job is laying new flooring in three weeks’ time.) Moving in day is in sight and as an antidote to all the furniture upcycling, curtain making, cleaning and decision making that I have been doing I thought I would treat myself to a couple of portable projects that I can work on anywhere with just good light and the radio for company, and can be used to decorate the cottage bedrooms when finished.
The first is Alicia Paulson’s Daisy Chain ABC Crewelwork Sampler. I downloaded the pattern from Alicia’s website, Posie Gets Cosy, before Christmas and have been practising my stitching using embroidery silk and a piece of old linen previously embroidered by my grandma. Last week I bought the crewel wool and a fat quarter of Kona cotton in the colour Amber and on the next bright day I will transfer the pattern to the fabric and start on the real thing.
My second project is another Alicia Paulson design, ABC Midsummer Sprigs cross stitch on black linen, and you will see that I already have a box of embroidery silk in every colour to match with Alicia’s colours. I will definitely need a bright day before starting this so it’s just as well we’re moving to longer days. I have visions of sitting in a deck chair in the garden this summer happily stitching away.
I am currently reading ‘War & Peace’. I’m about 300 pages in and I’m loving it. I have read it before but a long time ago. It is very different and much better than the current BBC dramatisation which finishes on Sunday. What is it about Russian writers that draws you in to their world? It is true that you don’t just read ‘Anna Karenina’ or Chekhov’s short stories, you inhabit them.
I have never been to Russia. My first boyfriend studied Russian alongside a politics degree and spent six months in the Soviet Union studying the language and culture. I didn’t visit. This was pre-Glasnost and it just wasn’t possible to jump on a plane to the USSR in the early 1980s. Later in my career I was able to witness the end of the Cold War and was involved in organising a conference and exhibition in Berlin in 1990. This was my five minutes of fame as the conference featuring M. Jacques Delors, then the president of the EU Commission, was on the Six O’Clock News. Heady days!
Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.