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Sunday, 1 July 2018

June - the round up post

The summer solstice, longest day, that couldn't be right... where did the first 6 months of the year go to?

I was invited to attend a short painting workshop on the day.  We tried out some mixing of acrylic paints and here's my finished version of  "A Floral Summer Solstice"

I wasn't happy with the sky, it needed a bit more blending of the pastel chalks but overall I was pleased to have given something new a try - and it was a free class, so a bonus.
Lots of reading this month.  5 books read during June.....
I'm loving this series.  The Seven Sisters is the first book in the series, which I read last month.  This one is the second.  I'm currently reading the third - The Shadow Sister.   The ladies at my Book Borrowers group are equally thrilled with it and it does make for good discussions each week.  
In the first book Pa Salt has passed away and left his 6 adopted daughters a written letter each with clues as to where they came from.  He has also had an armiliary sphere made in the garden with the coordinates of their birthplaces on.  Each book is based on one of the sisters and the story of her ancestors.  If you enjoy a historical saga then this series is for you.

A little twee, but a nice quick feel good read.  This one is also the third in a series.  It's about a village called Tindledale and things that happen to residents of the quaint English village.  The first one is The Great Christmas Knit Off and the second being The Great Village Show.

I'd heard a review of Dangerous Crossing on the radio.  The author was interviewed and asked how she came up with the idea for this book.  She had found some diary papers at her mothers about a friend/lady who had travelled across the ocean in 1939 from Tilbury Docks London with the £10 Assisted Passage to Australia for young ladies who wished to begin domestic service with English families out there.  It reminded me of an Agatha Christie tale as Lily (the main character) mixes with the first class passengers and those on her own deck during the crossing and lots of passengers secrets are revealed along the way with one of them being arrested as the liner docks on the other side of the world..... what had they done?   I really enjoyed this one.

Set in England 1645 and Alice Hopkins has to return home to live with her brother after her husbands death as she has nowhere else to go.  Her brother is the local witchfinder and this book is inspired by the real-life story of notorious "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins.   A first novel by Beth Underdown. 
This one was passed on to me by the book group ladies, most of them have read it and laughed along with it, a few naughty words in there though.  One lady I know closes the book at the sight of a swear word and doesn't continue the book.  Does it bother you to read bad language in a nice book?  Connie has been married to Jim Diamond for 24 years, he owns a cleaning company and is a jack the lad adulterer and it tells the tale of how she reacts when she finally learns what he's been up to since they wed.
With the recent heatwave continuing still and temps at record levels, trying to do any craftwork has been hard.  I'm still trying to finish off the red cardigan from last month, front bands still to add on to it - the bit I hate!
I have just the one finish to share this week.  My first attempt at lacey socks are complete (free pattern from Christine @ Winwick Mum blog)
DD is organising a charity fund raising event at her place of work next month for relapsing polychondritis, the very rare cartilage eating disease that I have.   She asked me this week if I could knit some socks for the raffle.  
Ann was kind enough to gift me the lovely Madelinetosh wool for these beautiful socks and I have decided to give them as the prize (I hope that is ok with you Ann).  The wool is so soft and they are a bit special and I am hoping they help her to raise lots of money to donate to the charity RPUK and raise awareness to the wider world of this very rare condition. 
I've printed off a label to make my socks look a bit nicer.
The only other finish this month has been the summer SAL that the ladies at Needlecraft Haven  are doing this year.  The second season for me using one of the four free designs from Lynn at Happiness is Cross Stitching. 
A poor month for crafting. 
Will try harder next month......
Love and blessings
Julie x


  1. Wow Julie, your artwork is so good for a first attempt - well done. I love the socks you knitted and I think what you're doing with them is a really great idea. They look very professional all folded with their label - the lacework is very pretty.
    I love to hear about new authors and the first one you listed sounds intriguing. I can cope with some swearing in books as long as it's not every page - having said that I don't think it adds anything to a story.

  2. Your artwork is beautiful. Loved browsing through your 'library' for future reading. I hope the raffle raises lots of money and those socks look fabulous, you've finished them off nicely with the label. Sweet stitching too.

  3. Julie: Your art work is beautiful, I love the design and colors.
    The socks are beautiful.
    Lynn's design is so perfect for this time of year, so sweet.
    I am an avid reader and need to check these book choices out.
    I am Catherine from I love to stitch, I can only post as anonymous.


  4. I think your painting looks beautiful. We are our own worst critics so don't beat yourself up. Love your socks. I bet they earn a lot! Just love your Summer finish.

  5. Gorgeous painting and lovely socks! I have been busy and not reading much lately, but seeing your book reviews makes me want to pick up a book.

  6. Julie, I can't believe that is your first attempt at is so beautiful. You did a wonderful job. The colors are so pretty. Lovely, lacey socks...I wish I could do something like that. Great book list that I need to read. And I love your bee stitch...cute, cute, cute! RJ

  7. I like the look of some of the books and will make a note of them. The socks look really lovely and I am sure will raise a lot of money.Your stitching is so pretty.

  8. Great post Julie love reading about the books, love the socks and stitching .Keep some talc handy to put on your hands when stitching keeps them from getting to hot and makes your stitching smell really nice.
    Enjoy your week hugs.

  9. Lovely artwork Julie and the socks are beautiful. X

  10. Oh the painting is just so summery Julie, I could imagine walking through that meadow of flowers. Your socks are AM-A-ZING ,hope the raffle raises lots. Books well, I have got the first one of the sisters not read it yet. I am reading The Captains Daughter by Leah Fleming at the moment ,have a look and see what you think. I am enjoying it so much I have ordered The glovemakers daughter. I will need another bookcase soon lol. Take care my friend xx

  11. Hope the fundraiser goes well, someone is going to be very pleased with those socks :-)
    Nice collection of books this month. Swearing in books is not something that bothers me, I loved the Craig Lancaster trilogy about Edward Stanton, there is swearing in there but it's sort of funny. It certainly wouldn't put me off reading a book.
    Your painting is beautiful! are you going to frame it and hang it up?

  12. My goodness, Your month of crafting was a success! Your quite a talented artist, I love your painting and those sock are amazing. I hope they raise lots of money for a good cause. The Bee Happy stitch is adorable!!!

  13. Those socks are lovely, and I'm thrilled that you chose my pattern as one to knit for a prize. I hope they help your daughter raise lots of money for her charity! I love Milly Johnson's books - they are a bit naughty but they're so funny, it's always a treat when a new one is published :) xx

  14. Oh now you are an artist!! Well done. Very nice socks. They will go quickly. Thank you for the book recommendations. Try to stay cool. You are in my prayers.

  15. Love your sock and ornament finishes! A lot of crafters seem to like to read, and it does compete with my stitching, too. I'm afraid that I'm addicted to thrillers, although I am currently reading Code Girls, a book about the American women who were code breakers during WWII.

  16. The painting looks good for a first attempt. The lace socks are so pretty, Hope they raise a lot of money for the good cause.

  17. Oh! Your painting is lovely, Julie--truly!! I had no idea you could paint as well as knit, crochet, stitch, etc., etc. You really are multi-talented.

    I enjoyed your book reviews and will definitely look for Dangerous Crossing--I love books set in that time period so much.

    Oh, what pretty socks--I'm sure they will fetch a nice price at the fundraiser and I so hope a lot of money is raised to help further research your rare condition. Hoping this summer provides more crafting/reading time as you stay inside and out of this horrible heat! Take care now...

  18. A lovely painting Julie and amazing amount of books read last month - wish I could find more time for reading. Cute little Bee stitching,

  19. Your painting is very lovely, you would never know you are a beginner.
    Out of all the books you showed, the Witchfinder's Sister is the one that appeals the most. We have customers who are very particular about "smut" in their books too.
    Nice socks and a great way to fundraise for a good cause.

  20. Ooo sign your artwork so that when you're famous you can have it be The First!

    I don't mind a bit of swearing in a book if it suits the character and situation. Then again, I read the Game of Thrones series and that's hardly polite society.

    Your lace socks are so gorgeous; I hope they raise a whole bunch of money and awareness. They are really so lovely.

  21. I have an enormous pile of books to read, but really fancy trying the seven sisters saga, I haven’t read a saga since I read Diana Gabaldons Cross stitch books. Beautiful picture and very cosy, pretty socks xx

  22. You've managed more crafting and reading than I have this month, Julie. I hope DD's fund raising event is very successful.

  23. Your painting is amazing Julie - what a talent you are! I hope you will sign and frame and enjoy it.
    Lovely socks, hope the fundraiser goes well.
    I don't mind a bit of swearing but I'm a bit prudish about naughty scenes, I think it's just as they are usually so poorly written and full of cliches, it makes me feel embarrassed!

  24. Maybe June was a poor month for crafting but a great month for reading. So many books in one month - I rarely ever manage to read so many. And your books seemed to be very interesting and a lot of variety concerning the topics. The seven sisters books are now on my list for my next visit at the library.
    I love your painting, Julie. It looks wonderful.
    Great sock knitting for the fundraising.

  25. I love your lacy socks Julie.I hope your DD's fund raier goes well.I have not knit with madelinetosh yarn but everyone who has says it's lovely.Lynne's designs are so pretty stitched up.

  26. Love your painting, Julie! You should keep at it!

  27. Great job on your painting, it's lovely!
    How sweet of your DD to organize the fundraiser, the socks you made for it look great.
    I love your bee finish, it's adorable!

  28. Love your painting Julie, and the socks are fab.
    Regarding the book question, swearing doesn't bother me at all - I'd rather a character's dialogue was realistic for that character than sanitised to some imagining of my sensibilities


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