Embroidery inspiration and a cotton mix…

It took a while to escape the feeling of madness and shock of the news events from Nice… Not really there because those thoughts for those poor people go around in a loop of unfathomable thought and fear for our safety wherever we live or travel in the world.

It helped to get out and about today. First a visit to the local Red Cross where I browsed for more bits and pieces that I hope to use in crafy ways. Hoping to buy cheap cushion and pillow covers with the aim of sewing my crochet as an applique. I had in mind a more folky style with black as a base colour. My studies of traditional embroidery from Skåne in southern Sweden often includes blocks of colour with a dark base. I am trying out ideas to make a gift for my dear Swede who is a proud Skåning and who will soon leave to pursue a new job trial down south for the nect 6 months, about 5 hours by train from our home in Stockholm. I want to give him something that reflects the region he is so proud of and a reminder of his girl all those kilometers away…

Sipping a quiet cup of tea in the colourful and quiet surroundings of Mum’s local – and quite new – cafe I experimented with crochet in cotton (50/50 cotton/acrylic mix.) The bright sofa and light decor is very inviting, as is the new public library next door. Thumbs up from me (and Swede if he were here as he is a librarian!)

I am still sleep-deprived, drugged up as I am on the unreletingly wake-up steroids after my unfortunate insect encounters and the endless daylight hours up here in the north of Sweden visiting my folks. Pleasant indeed it does plays havoc with the body clock for the more sensitive.

I finally took a (bug-bite-free!!) walk in the village with my “cat-puppies” following behind in tow to visit my Mum’s friend and crafty neighbour, Barbro. She has a wonderful house filled with her embroidery on cushions, wall hangings and inhereted embroidery on her curtains. She follows prepared kits amd enjoys using colours from her home town, Blekinge, in the south of Sweden. She even has a whole “Blekinge room”, a home from home now that she lives so far up north. The colours are generally milder than the Skåne and Jämtland examples also on display. It was a nice exchange of like-minded crafters and it was interesting to draw parallels between our approaches, colour choices and techniques across art forms. Inspiring. But then outside the window we heard the impatient meows of Mina-the-cat who had followed Mum and I all the way to Barbro’s house but she would rather “we could just all hurry up and go home again…” which sounded like “meoooooooow!” 😉

It is worth remembering Sweden is quite impressive in terms of its size and the distances in between are much further than my humble experiences travelling up and down the UK. So for Barbro her Blekinge room is her creative space but her connection to home. Likewise, I hope Swede and I can stay connected across the pull of work to life balance. The good news is he came back safely from a work trip in Italy and is soon flying up to meet me up here before we take a train tour through Dalarna together. I have never been to this region but it is home to tradition and handicrafts so sounds promising…

I hope the pictures of her embroidery and my new experiments in cotton colour in overlay crochet here in the sticks brighten up an otherwise dark day in France today and its impact on the wider world…

Peace and love. Stay safe wherever you may be or wherever you intend to go…

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