What makes you happy?

One thing we are not guaranteed in this world is happiness but there are certainly those things that give us a little boost of happiness. I was speaking with a work colleague this week and she agreed with me that Mountstewart gives you that little bit of Peace and serenity when you need it most. It’s because if this I find it top of my list this week.

 I would imagine Mountstewart is in my top five most weeks, not many people can say that a bout a place of work.What normally comes top is my best friend, who is always there for me even though she can be a bit of a madam at times. Yes you guessed..Smudge.
.coming in at third this week is something we have had plenty of in both Eire and N.ireland. Sunshine with the beach a close fourth.


Nature especially my favourite flowers cream roses also make me smile.


So what gives you a little happiness?
“Now that I know Christ, I’m happier when I’m sad than I was before when I was glad” John C.Wheeler

Mount Stewart-hidden treasures brought to the fore with a little creativity thrown in

This place inspires me and relaxes me which is almost a contradiction in terms as I am overflowing with so many ideas I should be exhausted. Despite walking through the gardens for years during my volunteering here I constantly see things I didn’t notice before inside and outside of the house. Some time ago I took some photographs of some stone work as I thought it would be interesting to convert them to embroidery.

I chose this piece from the Italian garden. I would love to know what it says on it. It’s possible it’s Latin and it’s also been said it is actually upside down but if some scholars out there could interpret I would be delighted to hear from you.
 I decided to sketch this from the photograph first to get the feel of it before deciding how I would proceed.
This was fun to do and in fact the easy part. I decided after drawing that blackwork would be best for this piece.
I had some oatmeal Aida which was fine enough for effect (probably a 16 hole per inch) and the colour suited well to stone effect. I had ordered some silk from http://www.thesilkmill.com/ for a larger project and thought this would be ideal to try it. Using the wax I also got from them it was a dream to sew with.
After five drafts of the design I was ready to sew. I chose a traditional border and altered it to fit the scene. Some L’s which could also be interpreted as swans both in keeping with Mountstewart.
I added a coronet again for the family connection and a cross to represent their faith.
I am delighted with the finish and feel it definitely lent itself to blackwork and I have many more ideas if I can find the time.
This is a one of a kind piece as I have since altered the design of the border slightly. My next piece I have started to work on is also inspired by a garden sculpture but will be much larger blackwork.

Tubbercurry women’s group

 I am never without some form of craft materials as it would be terrible if I had a free minute and wasted time. On this trip to Sligo I had embroidery, crochet and patchwork with me and was delighted to meet up with some local ladies. 

If you happen to be in the area on holiday, with work or live locally you would be made very welcome. They were camera shy but happy for me to photograph some of their work. It was a joy to spend a few hours with them because no matter who you are if you craft you have so much in common.

Ballycastle Eire- Downpatrick Head

 So many town names are replicated in north and south of Ireland so I am sure this can be quite confusing to tourists. The lady in the small tourist office in Ballycastle was so helpful and only for her we may not have made the trip out to Downpatrick Head which was well worth the visit and highlight of the day.

 Dog’s actually are not allowed here but since we had Smudges sling for when her leg gets sore or tired it met our needs perfectly as J could carry her safely
 There are many myths about this area.


The ground reminded me of the GIANTS CAUSEWAY up North but instead of stone it was a mossy flowering plant.



 I was interested in this site also but no point in taking a photograph as would need to be an aerial view to read it. There is a good photograph in this site. http://www.dunbriste.com/look-out-post-64.html