Sun&Sea Corner to Corner (C2C) summer picnic blanket.



I rarely have One project on the go at any one time. To be honest rarely one project on any craft at any one time. My to do list constantly gets longer. I have created for as long as I remember. Most of my work is self taught but a number of years ago I started studying with the School of stitched textiles

My aim was to consolidate my own learning In one hand and give me a solid base for my work. It was not a new thing for me to study at a distance as I had also studied with the Open University for many years. Anyway I love learning at my own pace and could not have enjoyed the textile stitches more. I studied, Patchwork and hand embroidery and thoroughly enjoyed the design parts of the course.


I changed employment  a year ago and like any change it takes time to adjust, these adjustments were for the better but my design and embroidery has been on hold. However it has been nice to dabble in a bit of design, like I have done on this crochet project.

I had been completing a crochet cal by Eleanor Tully of Coastal crochet

I had previously completed her Stash busting seaside blanket but working on her beach combing blanket was bliss.


We had just gone into lock down and I enjoyed her weekly instalments of the blanket and her videos of her local beach. It encouraged me to walk on my own local beach, which has brought great pleasure and relaxation. It is also what inspired my own Sun and Sea summer picnic blanket. If we ever get to work together again rather than working from home this blanket will be used as part of a work charity fundraiser. Most of the time it took to make the Sun and sea was what would have been commuting time.


Charity and the future.

In the past I have supported many charities with the help of my students from my embroidery and patchwork classes. This has been through the pennies dropped into a jar and on coffee and craft events. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic I have not been able to have classes as unable to meet the government regulations for social distancing and lock down. I have thought a lot about this and the nature of my work has also changed so decided to stop teaching permanently. When restrictions have eased significantly I plan to host charitable events only where all my previous students can mix,  share ideas Have a cuppa and cake and raise funds for charity.

During the lock down I was forced to work from home which I really enjoy and The time I have saved commuting I have used to make items for gifts and for charity. The corner to corner blanket is for a work charity event, still in progress. My own C2C design reflecting my love of the sun and sea. I feel blessed living with the sea at one side of me and the Lough in the other and bringing with it so much inspiration. MountStewart as you know being my other inspiration for my embroidery designs which have been sitting on the back burner. I think not being able to get to MountStewart has caused me to put that on hold for a while.

Still social distancing.

Apart from holidays being cancelled I have not been bothered too much by lock down and love working from home as find it so much more efficient. You learn so much about yourself when you are forced out of your comfort zone and I am sure there are many things I will not return too post Covid-19. We have decided to stop using a dog groomer for one as although hours was brilliant I have discovered I can manage my self and Smudge is happy too, so a little saving there. Whilst we have managed without a hairdresser, this is not something I will give up though and although we are presently managing a professional cut in the near future will be welcomed.

We have been very blessed with beautiful weather and with living close to Strangford Lough on one side and beaches on the other, our regular being Millisle we are spoilt for choice.

I have never been a shopper as find it such a waste of time when I could be making something. To have to queue for something is much worse especially when you get into the shop they might not have what you want. The best way I found during lock down was to avoid shops even more than I normally do. I generally do bake as prefer my own treats to those in stores But have not baked bread since I had a bread maker many years ago so decided to start. I started my own sourdough starter rather than commercial yeast as that would have been a hassle having to buy it and not as healthy anyway. I tried a few recipes for sour dough and brioche until I found what I liked. The pizza dough was also a big hit, so much so a friend came to get a take a way.

I had a socially distanced visit with my mum in her garden which she has spent so much time in as she has not been able to go out anywhere.

I also had a friend make a socially distanced visit to my garden.

So am I excited about getting back to normal, NO, I like my new normal, just a few tweaks so I can visit family. I can see this new way if life has more pros than cons.

On holiday but unable to travel.

We are fortunate to live near the beach so at least we were able to go there most days for some R&R. Flights cancelled to USA due to Covid 19 and everyone there on lock down as well. New wellies as during high tide I discovered a leak in the old ones. A mermaid’s purse leaking purple dye so interested to know it’s occupier. Lots of Empty egg sacs from whelks. The majority of shells being Whelks, limpets and cockles And lots of plastic trash amongst the variations of seaweed.

Time to finish projects even this one started about 20 years ago, decided to omit the sleeves as a bit out of date. Back into sock making as well. I also completed a large blanket in stylecraft special DK parchment from the cal sunshine wishes and fairy kisses. I started the beach combing blanket designed by Elenora and loving it. Some baby items too as a new baby girl on it’s way.


Cooking as always but had to barter for castor sugar with a friend. I have not made bread since my bread maker gave up and decided to begin a starter to make some sour dough bread that J loves.


I fully understand the need for social distancing but the lock down I feel in the long term will cause more problems individually as well as for the economy. Those who have mental health issues will suffer severely and those who do not will like develop some degree of change in their mental health. Working at home is fine for me but so important to make the effort to have free time and do other things as well to protect our mental health. I am fortunate to live close to my local beach which I always use as a form of relaxation. Pictures speak louder than words to show how I manage my time.