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Christmas, New Year and Spiritcloth

December 30, 2017

Welcome to that period of calm between Christmas and New Year.  I hope you’ve all had a good rest and a chance to recharge those physical batteries!

I’ve just spent a few days in Cobham, Surrey with my partner’s mum who is German. Traditionally she celebrates Christmas on Christmas eve (i.e 24th) so we had a big roast and gave our presents then. The next day (i.e. Christmas day) we drove back home and I must say, it felt a little odd to have a ‘not so Christmassy’ day on what would be my usual day for celebrating Christmas. After recently re-watching the film’ Groundhog Day’ I was convinced I’d woken up with Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe” all over again lol

I also hadn’t bought a Christmas tree this year, partially because I don’t really agree with the idea of growing trees just for the season and then throwing them out straight after and also because I knew that we would be away anyway. So on returning home, imagine my delight to discover that someone with a gardening business had left two beautiful trees on our road, obviously unsold and now surplus to their requirements. I didn’t hesitate to carry one indoors and decorate it… she’s a real beauty. I thought that fate had found a way to bring a Christmas sparkle to my 25th of December after all : )

Cobham was lovely and as Surrey is the county which has the most trees in the country, we made a real effort to see as many as we could.

We went out for numerous walks around Ockham Common, where we saw this Semaphore Tower. Which was once part of a chain of towers used to pass messages (using Semaphore flags from their flagpoles on the roof) between the Admiralty in Whitehall and the Royal Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth. Built in 1822, it is now the only restored surviving tower in a line of signalling stations that stretched from London to Portsmouth.

We also did some walking around Esher and Wisley Commons too.

Boo loved the mix of paths and ferny undergrowth to rummage about in and generally disguise herself with.

Always on potential squirrel alert… that is, when she’s not posing for photographs !

Plenty of beautiful silver birch trees, making the paths quite magical and almost mystical too.

Interesting range of fungi.

A rare shot of Boo in the car, not her favourite place or mode of transport.

Bows and stone engraved, leafy flourishes. Truly wonderful woods.

Going forward into 2018, means that my blog will be 8 years old, wow where does the time go ?

I thought it would be good to start with a retro look back to a lady from a post I did in 2010. Jude Hill is a wonderful, embroiderer who writes a blog called Spiritcloth, where she explains her thought processes with such detail and delicacy that you feel you are accompanying Jude on her personal textile journey. Her work is a real labour of love.

I had read her blog for some years prior to me starting my own and was inspired by her calm, serene manner and her strength and determination to explore her topics for embroidery (i.e. moons, cats, feathers, leaves etc). Here are a few images of her work, cats are a firm favourite.

Apart from explaining her techniques and reasons that her work heads off in certain directions, (things that some artist’s choose not to share with the online world), Jude also takes wonderful images of the world and changing seasons around her. Reading Spiritcloth, you are very much a part of her life and world and feel privileged to be allowed to linger there too.

Playing with the idea of moons, houses and tie-dye textures and shades.

Her ideas and tapestries grow and flourish.

Some are small scale and others are bed cover size !

Beautiful, dreamy and at times almost hypnotic.

I always find Jude’s work rich, engaging and intriguing.

Happy New Year to Jude and everyone that you find inspirational and who will accompany you on your artistic journey this year.

You can find more of Jude’s images on Flickr and Instagram and I’ll be back in early January.














8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2017 12:11 pm

    Hello Craig

    Thanks very much for sharing your Surrey photos nice winter colors !
    I wondered if you did get my message concerning the possibility of adding my illustrator’s website to your illustrator ‘s list?

    Best wishes for 2018!

    Veronique Cantero Illustrator

    • January 5, 2018 6:18 pm

      Thanks Veronique, I’ve added you to my list of Illustrators now. Sorry for the delay and I hope this finds you well. Craig

      • veronique CANTERO permalink
        January 5, 2018 9:40 pm

        Hi Craig Thank you very much for taking the time to add me to your illustrator’s list it sure means a lot to me, Merci beaucoup! I start this new year on a positive note !

        I hope you are well recovered now. Veronique


      • January 6, 2018 6:32 pm

        Thanks Veronique, still not quite there yet but hopefully on the way . Have a good start too. Craig

  2. December 30, 2017 2:11 pm

    I’m with you on the old Christmas tree argument. I’ve not had one for a few years now but still had the baubles. This year I decided to give them to my sister as she hosts Christmas. So now instead of having several separate trees we have a family tree with something from each of us on it and a new family tradition. I hope you continue to enjoy the festive period and welcome in a peace-filled 2018. Keep the fabulous posts coming! xxx

    • December 30, 2017 5:54 pm

      Thanks Lizzie, that’s a lovely new tradition you’ve started there. I wish you every good fortune next year and hope you get some online inspiration of your own. C x

  3. January 8, 2018 4:49 pm

    You had me at ‘Spirit Cloth’… love her work. Nice shots of the countryside, very serene (and green!) I am amazed at how green it is in your neck of the woods . This was my first year ever of not having a Christmas tree and I didn’t miss it one bit. Got creative with my ornaments and placed them on a wreath. Happy January!

    • January 8, 2018 4:57 pm

      Thanks Joy, Happy January to you also. Not quite my neck of the woods as Surrey is about 3 hours away but it’s fairly green all over the UK to be honest. A Christmas wreath sounds like a great way forward. Well done with your ideas. Hope you had. A good break and yes Spirit Cloth, I thought maybe up your street too. Good news

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