"Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there..."
April is my favourite month of the year and I love walking in the countryside to see how green everything is becoming. The birds are really busy at the moment building nests and the summer migrants are starting to return. I saw my first swallow on Friday as I was walking down Ogston New Road, alongside the reservoir. On the opposite side of the road to the reservoir, there is a colony of herons and for the first time I got the chance to see some of the chicks in their nests. This was a real thrill and the colony seems to be thriving. Chiffchaffs were singing from all directions. If you look on Google Earth, you can see this road in its summer glory.
Having come home in a really good mood, I was greeted by the sight of a large parcel waiting for me. If like me you used to buy New Stitches magazine, produced by Mary Hickmott's company, you will know that late last year the publication came to a sudden and premature end due to unforeseen circumstances. Subscribers were given two options: either have the subscription transferred to a different magazine or have a 'lucky dip' of fabric and threads. I chose the lucky dip and so when I saw the parcel, I knew it must be full of stitching goodies!
I wasn't expecting to receive as much as I did and so I was really excited to discover what was in the parcel. There were five pieces of various fabrics, six skeins of DMC stranded cotton, a kit of a classic Mary Hickmott floral design, a booklet about Lagartera embroidery, a John James pebble containing an assortment of needles and a reel of gold thread (which I forgot to include in the picture).
This was such a treat and I have already sent a thank you message to Mary and her team. You may be interested to know that Mary now has her own blog which you can find here. I am so glad that she will still be sharing her knowledge and beautiful designs with us. I have learned so much from her over the years, particularly from her Masterclass articles, and I can honestly say she has been a huge inspiration to me.
As if all of that excitement wasn't enough, a male reed bunting landed on one of our feeders and had quite a good feed. Reed buntings look very handsome in their spring plumage and it was such a delight to see one through the kitchen window.
I can assure you that in spite all of this, I am still working! Two of my current designs are having a spring makeover. The new version of Dale Abbey Alphabet Tile will be available very soon and the second pattern will be available in time for summer. This is on top of several new patterns which I have already scheduled for this year so keep checking my shops for updates.
Reed bunting photo (c)Roy Eley 2015