Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Make it bold, make it bright

Hey, what happened to summer? I’ve donned a warm jumper today, and a mug of hot tea is constantly in my hand... My poor mother, visiting from America, is borrowing cardigans and I’m turning on the heating for her!

I am battling that dull grey sky and the very chilly temperatures with bold and bright colours:

I finished a bit of Florentine embroidery for the &Stitches blog. (For those new to my place here, I write a post for the embroidery-themed &Stitches site a few times a month.) The history of needlework is so interesting – the methods, materials and origins of different techniques – and Florentine embroidery dates back centuries – you can read more about it here.

I was going to frame this little sample, but Bunny loved the rich colours so much that I made it into a little lavender sachet to sit by her bed. I backed it with regal purple satin so it feels soft and silky in her hand.

oooo, rich!
I’ve also brightened up the day with a mandala for Lucy’s Yarndale project:

I made this using Lucy’s mandala pattern, which luckily just made it under the 8-inch limit, I must have been rather chilled out when I hooked it up!

The palette isn’t random – I chose these colours because I wanted something bright; I wanted to link my American roots with my British home, so I used the patriotic red, white and blue of both countries’ flags; and I included pink because it is my favourite and my best! 

I’m going to send this mandala to Lucy tomorrow, but I will miss it, so I have plans to make another, similar mandala to keep for myself, adding a few more pretty brights...

It’s midweek in the half-term holiday, and despite the dreary, cold weather, we are making the most of my mother’s visit. The girls love having their grandma around and are enjoying being suitably spoiled...

A chocolatey tradition has started between the three of them. My grandma makes the very best fudge in this whole wide world (shall I share the recipe?). Little Flower is a particularly avid fan, and she requests it regularly from her Grammy (who, until LF’s arrival, only made the fudge at Christmas. Now she makes a huge batch to send over each time my mother visits!).

The night before she leaves, my mother tells the girls to have three spoons ready in the morning. Within minutes of arriving, after an overnight flight and drive from the airport, the suitcase is open and a big slab of fudge is on the table, with three greedy ladies digging in...

I’m not allowed to argue that it’s barely 10 a.m. But who can fault the smiles and giggles as they tuck into marshmallow-studded fudge, happy as can be that they’re together again!

How are you doing this week? 

Chrissie x


  1. Your little lavender sachet is lovely ! Florentine embroidery is so pretty (when you do it right... I always seem to make mistakes...)
    And please !! Recipe for that fudge !! I shouldn't be asking for it, since I am trying to cut sweets, but it looks sooo yummy... please please, a recipe post on your blog for that fudge...
    xxx, Ingrid

  2. I love your embroidery. The colors are so beautiful. I am a sucker for anything with satin. The sachet is cute. Your mandala is quite pretty also. Great patriotic colors for both countries. Fudge, yum. I usually make fudge at Christmas time.

  3. Wow, I love your embroidery. The colors are fantastic. The sachet really corresponds a luxury feeling. So nice! The mandala is very pretty too.

  4. How wonderful ..... I LOVE the fudge story .... and I LOVE your Grandma!
    Your little lavender sachet is beautiful.
    love Jooles x x x

  5. The lavender sachet is delightful. You must share the fudge recipe , it looks and sounds delicious. Have a great visit with your Mum, such a shame about the weather. I have my daughter and 2 granddaughters visiting, we had such plans for the beach and park but all it has done is rain, rain and more rain.

  6. Anonymous7:54 pm BST

    Yum yum! I love fudge!!! Loving the lavender sachet. I, like you, chose to make a mandala for Lucy that was special to me ... It worked out just the way I pictured it - which doesn't often happen!! Have a lovely week x

  7. Such beautiful embroidery. You are very talented.
    We've got the heating back on here - what happened to Spring! It almost felt like Summer a couple of weeks ago too.
    Enjoy the rest of your week. x

  8. I love your family fudge tradition!! How lovely is that. Your mandala is great, I love the red, white and blue - with a touch of Chrissie pink!! That is so much fun. xx

  9. You can't tease us like that with pictures of yummy looking fudge and then not share the recipe! Love the colours in your embroidery - my favourites. Your mandala is lovely too and I've been feeling the same about sending mine out into the world even though it's off to do something exciting. x

  10. Happy times :-)
    Beautiful embroidery and I'm very much liking your mandala and its colours. Such a lovely fudge story.
    Tracey xxx

  11. What stunning embroidery, and how lovely to do something that people were doing hundreds of years ago. I know what you mean about the weather, I went on a very damp picnic today, in my thick furry winter coat. Summer will be here soon though, I know it will. CJ xx

  12. Yes, yes, yes... please, to sharing the fudge recipe - it looks too deeelicious not to share! It would certainly brighten up an otherwise dull, grey, rainy day :-)
    Loving your patriotic mandala, and your pretty embroidery too.
    More of the same here this week... painters & messiness abound! Have a happy & blessed time with your mama.
    Hugs xx

  13. Have a lovely half term with your Mum Chrissie. Are you American? am I the last person to realize that!! lovely mandala and embroidery, Heather x

  14. Your florentine embroidery piece is so beautiful Chrissie, and how lovely that Bunny has the lovely sachet by her bedside. I like that you honour both your roots and your homeland in your delightfully bright mandala and it was so lovely to hear the fudge story - did your Mum not have trouble coming through customs with that? It's a wonder it wasn't confiscated so the inspectors could eat it themselves . . . . only joking!!! xoJ

  15. I'm so lucky I can see my mother every day, it must be strange to be so far away - but enjoy her visit. The fudge looks so good. You were quick with the photo, you can almost see the spoons fly. One task this week is to make a Lucy mandala so that my friend and I can share postage. I love the florentine embroidery and the way it looks kind of 3d ish. You are super talented.
    S xx

  16. Chrissie your embroidery is so lovely, gosh you are neat,great colours too! :) x

  17. The bargello is beautiful!
    Yes, please do share the fudge recipe :)

  18. Hope you have a lovely visit with you mum. Is there any fudge left?

  19. Hi Chrissie, I love your embroidery. I have not done any of this sort of needlework since the '60's. I feel the urge again. So many crafts so little time ;0)

  20. That brings a tear to my eye darling chrissie! It is a familiar story with my Mum too being in the states!
    she loves to see and spend time with the 12 year old luckily she is due in July.....loving that embroidery too, I read your lovely post on the other blog too.
    speak soon
    Daze aka a!

  21. Amazing colors for your embroidery ! And lovely mandala...
    No women can resist to chocolate...
    Have a nice day !

  22. I didn't know you were American either! Gosh, your mother must wonder why on earth you've chosen to live here and put up with this grotty weather. My brother and his family have just come back to live in the UK after several years in Sydney and I actually feel a bit guilty about the lack of sunshine!

    Chrissie, your embroidery is stunning. I'm a needlework heathen and know very little about the different types so I'm going to check out your link in a sec.

    Love your patriotic mandala. Pink is definitely and absolutely my best too! ;-)

    Fingers crossed for a sunny weekend.


  23. I've always been fascinated by Florentine embroidery ... some of the larger pieces are incredible. But I could easily be distracted from stitches by that yummy looking fudge :)

  24. Anonymous7:26 pm BST

    What a great family tradition, one which your girls will forever remember :)
    Your Florentine embroidery looks brilliant, nice and bright and cheery in this dismal weather.

  25. I think that is about the nicest tradition ever, I love it.
    Hugs to you,

  26. The fudge looks yummy and what a great picture :)
    The embroidery is gorgeous stitched in those beautiful colours. You turned it into a very pretty little pillow.
    Margaret x

  27. Love your embroidery it's gorgeous and I had no idea you wrote for the &Stitches blog! I have just gone over there and read through your lovely posts!
    Gorgeous mandala and I really like the tradition of your mum always bringing fudge when she comes over...that is a tradition I would enjoy! Yes please to posting the recipe :)
    Marianne x

  28. I've had our heating on here too! Ridiculous, I had the suncream out last week .....
    Loving your embroidery, very Bargello-ish.

  29. Gorgeous embroidery, the way you've used those colours gives a beautiful kaleidoscopic result. Liking the ideas for your mandala colours too.
    You'll have to thank your mum for passing on her yummy recipes with us...the truffles were very much appreciated around here! So yes please to passing on of the fudge recipe. Enjoy your special week together X
    P.s. we've had our heating and woolly pullys on too

  30. Wonderful embroidery, so neat and colourful!
    Love your mandala too, again some lovely colours. I still havent got round to making mine!
    Have a wonderful time with your Mum visiting, her fudge looks amzing! Hope you've had a great half term week Chrissie.
    Gill xx

  31. Chrissie your embroidery is just beautiful! I love your patriotic and pink mandala and the fudge, well, yes please to the recipe - it looks delicious. Have a super weekend.
    Jane x

  32. I love that mandala, the colours are lovely and your embroidery is stunning. As for that fudge.... Hopefully we'll get some sunshine this weekend. XX

  33. My my, it has gone all foody over here while I have been away! I am drooling! Great embroidery and it is good to have a use for it. Jo x

  34. It must be so lovely to have your mum to stay. I love the idea of she and your girls all sharing fudge together, that's lovely. I am being nosy here - are you from the US originally or the UK? I've heard you mention your American family before but was curious! x