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One of the best things we did on our recent Amsterdam trip was to get the ferry off the main bit of Amsterdam town and hire cycles for the day.

Amsterdam just over the ferry

Everyone cycles in Amsterdam so this was all very easy.

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We headed off with great plans of all the villages we visit on a round-trip and with a little warning from the cycle hire guy about not being over ambitious because of the wind.

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Ah the wind! I figured cycling on the flat would be a breeze (excuse the pun!)

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We stopped on the way at Broek-in-Waterland which is a beautiful historic little village full of gorgeous houses and fascinating architecture.

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Then we continued on to Marken –  OMG I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was the loveliest place ever…

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the houses, the architecture, the scenery, the ducks everywhere,

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the shutters, the fences, the harbour…all set out like a cute little toy-town.

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And having laughed all the way up till this point we soon realised that the return route was going to be real hard against the wind and did have to curtail our grand plans to cycle-see everything and we began the slog home against the wind.

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But so worth it. We often find on a city break, that a day out in the surrounding country not only gives us a break but contextualizes what we see of life in that place. And this was never more true here where we could see how people live and commute and what the land looks like – I would never in a million years have guessed how lovely the Dutch country villages could be.

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And it has inspired a wealth of creativity since.

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This past week I’ve been doing a little screen printing project at home.

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A little zippy bag for my soon-to-be aupairing girl.

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And the time and the weather gave us a chance to get into the garden this long weekend and sort it out a bit- the upside of which is finding flowers once hidden.

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And the opportunity to photograph socks freshly off the needles.

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The Fairisle flower was finished first. You can find it here but I added the toe pattern which has made them a little pointy – elf socks!

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And this wool I bought when Debbie Bliss came to our local knitting shop recently, bringing a discount day with her.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your long holiday weekend too.

New term = new Summer term textiles class starting tonight @mac_birmingham. Here’s a peek at what last terms clever lot created.

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Yesterday, me, myself and I took a little trip to the NEC to take a gander around the Sewing For Pleasure show. My interest in Textiles has got re-ignited since beginning to teach it at MAC and I was not disappointed by what I saw – here’s some of my favourite inspiration from the day…

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Fran Holmes

Fran Holmes amazing fabric cabbages and Primulas.

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Emma Villiger

This machine embroidery by Emma Villiger – I love the colours and the free machine embroidery that looks like writing.

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Maria Stoller

A photo doesn’t do this piece by Maria Stoller justice – it was very translucent and floated gently around.

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Maria Thomas

My favourite discovery of the day; Maria Thomas. Love her work and aesthetic and was very happy later in the day to take her workshop on appliquéd pockets.

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This is the beginning of mine which I will finish sometime.

JAnet rose 2016

Janet Rose

And lastly this clever piece by Janet Rose which describes with image-transferred words and maps a special place. And of course I bought a few goodies along the way too which I’m looking forward to playing with. Have great weekend yourselves 🙋

 

 

Hello! Today is the first day here that truly feels like Spring. It’s also the first day in a week that I feel well (stupid virus, nothing serious) and maybe it’s a combination of those two things that has prompted me to tidy out my iPhoto library today and come say hello with pictures.

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It’s not that I haven’t been busy creating (apart from last week) but quite the opposite and once there’s too much to say I find it becomes harder to say anything.

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In the last weeks the dresser got Spring cleaned – I found myself picking out yellow and pink china and it snowballed from there.

anemones

I was thrilled to get the opportunity to begin teaching one of the MAC’s adult evening Textile classes (insert whooping and cheering). This has taken me on a journey back in time and a re-birth in skills once learnt and used. I studied all kinds of Textile art for my degree before specialising in Print and it has been really invigorating prepping samples to show the students – here’s some batiking I did inspired by these gorgeous anemones.

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I’m excited to see how teaching this class will develop my own work as these things always have a synergistic effect.

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You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” well this couldn’t be truer in the context of me teaching my daughter to crochet. First she knocked out her own gorgeous Granny Square blanket as her first project, then set about a huge Granny Square blanket as a friend’s birthday gift (here’s where I got jealous!) then for Mothers Day she made me this beautiful cushion cover for a pillow on our bed 😍

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And the making = love message has been strong in our house of late as we celebrated a BIG birthday this weekend. We can’t believe our kids are 18 and 20 – where did the time go?

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Lemon and Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with edible flowers for the girl who gave up chocolate for Lent.

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And following the tradition to have a special item to commemorate a landmark birthday like 18, this little pumpkin asked me to knit her a cardi! Ahh…

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It did nearly kill me as it’s the most complex thing I’ve done yet but that’s how you up your skills level isn’t it!

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Here’s a little snap of my Spring inspired work table to leave you with. Hope the sun’s shining where you are.

Copyright notice 2015

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

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