Well, we got back from holiday last weekend and, to be honest, not much crafting has taken place apart from a wee bit of crochet!  We had a marvellous week away and I'm still in relaxed holiday mode :-D

I was given so much stuff by the generous Croppers that my desk looks like this:

Stuff everywhere - above and below! I have some serious sorting out to do...the weather forecast isn't great so I shan't feel guilty for staying in and playing nicely. I do love a good sort out!

The crochet blanket is growing very slowly - I'm doing a bit more now the weather's cooler. I've reached the end of the colour sequence with the turquoise at the top so will now start again with the yellow. I've come to the conclusion that I'm a very methodical person - I find doing abstract extremely tricky!

When I was on my hols, I went to Ruthin and found this little wool shop:

Teeny tiny it was! It dawned on me that Elizabeth had featured it in her blog last week as she was staying in the area too. I must have been chasing her around North Wales! I didn't buy any new yarn though as there's a bag full in the JanCave to use up first. Ooooh, she's harsh!

This little shop was in Ruthin, a gorgeous Welsh market town with some incredibly old buildings, it was a real pleasure to saunter around for a couple of hours. On the outskirts of town was a very high end art/craft gallery and studio complex. Some very nice stuff, I can tell you but what caught my eye was an exhibition by textile artist Audrey Walker. I'd never heard of her and yet she's featured in many exhibitions including at the V&A.

It was all painted fabric backgrounds with simple running stitch patterns - the sort of thing that you think would be really easy but actually very difficult to do in reality.

This G&T for example, it looks very elementary but the nuances in stitch colour was sooooo clever...

I loved the shadows.

I think it caught my attention as I've been trying to do Sashiko recently. My friend Lynne said it was very like Kantha embroidery from East India.

Audrey also worked in colour:

Love this!

And this:

She was a real surprise and an inspiration to boot. I really must crack on with my feeble attempts!

As previously mentioned, the Croppers were soooooo generous but I must mention Debbie Rock in particular who, though she couldn't make it to Llandudno, sent me a huge amount of art and cards to help raise money for the RNLI (£120 so far and counting). I loved one of her pictures so much, I had to buy it!

Now in pride of place on my kitchen wall!! Thanks Debbie, your wonderful craftwork will help raise lots more lovely cash for a brilliant cause xx

Have a great week - I hope that I'll have a bit more to show you next time!


Helen said...

You have plenty to show this time!! love that G&T... how clever is the shading in that stitching. what a cute shop too - so restrained of you not to buy anything! Helen #?

Sue said...

Hi Jan, That little shop looks delightful.

I really like the tree art.

Your blanket is lovely. I like to crochet when it's cooler, as it's nice to have the warmth of the wool on you.

Sue #11

Annie said...

Audrey Walker is a very inspiring artist isn’t she? Such gorgeous pictures achieved from simple stitching. Thanks for sharing them Jan.
Annie x #12

Twiglet said...

Such beautiful artwork - we are visiting a friend in Ruthin in October so will make sure we check out the gallery. Max has her Tilly work in a shop called State of Distress in Ruthin too. Your blanket is going to be beautiful Jan -a lovely rainbow! xx Jo

glitterandglue said...

Morning Jan. Goodness - it's years since I actually STOPPED when going through Ruthin - must do so shortly after all you have shown! I pass that yarn shop on a regular basis - but have never been in.
My - but what a lovely load you brought back from the crop - enjoy using everything. I received the little worked wooden bird from Debbie - which is gorgeous and now site next to where I work.
Take care - great results for the RNLI so far! God bless.
Margaret #6

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Morning Jan, what a quaint little shop, I love discovering shops just like this we have lots and lots hidden gems in the UK. Well done on keeping temptation at bay. Audrey's work is fabulous and yes Sashiko is the same as Kantha, the last picture is very complex but really speaks to me. Would love to create something just like this.
Thanks for sharing WOYWW your crochet looks wonderful.
Tracey #7

Neet said...

Wonderful to have raised so much for the RNLI who do a wonderful job. Just read a caravan has blown off a cliff in Ireland and there might be a woman inside. Just thinking about the rescue operation in those dangerous high winds.
Sorry to digress. Lovely find in Ruthin, not been there for ages and ages, glad you had a lovely holiday, it looked wonderful where you were staying. And you had all that gear plus clothing etc! Perhaps it was meat to be that Bet didn't make it.
Keep crocheting and doing that lovely stitching.
Hugs as always, Neet 2 xxxx
ps love the textile artists work - must look her up

Shoshi said...

What a beautiful crochet blanket, Jan, and I love those running stitch pictures. So imaginative and effective. Thank you for your visit and I'm glad the kitties provided you with a bit of amusement!

Happy WOYWW,
Shoshi #10

Caro said...

I love your crochet blanket and those running stitch pictures are stunning. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week. Caro x (#16)

AliWade said...

Happy WOYWW. Lots of stash to sort out. The opposite to me, as my craft room is starting to look emptier now. I actually have empty drawers and boxes now! We used to go to Ruthin every year for a mountain biking event, but never really looked around the town properly. Must stop there one day en-route to family in the NW. That stitching is just incredible. Will go and find her website/social media. Ali x ps Let me know when you are free for a visit/meet up in the next couple of months and I will see when we are going to Spain. Life is getting quieter otherwise

Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith said...

That tiny higgledy-piggledy shop is so quaint! You can see it was somebody's dream to run a little shop like that. The stitching looks very usual - and you're right - it's probably a lot harder than it seems. The landscape is not unlike van Gogh's brush strokes. Love the photo of you in your holiday gear! Have a happy week! zsuzsa #18

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a terrific find in that tiny shop. It's amazing what these tiny mom-and-pop shops have to offer that you can't or won't find in the big box craft and yarn stores.

I was blown away by those stitches. The nuance is incredible, and I was SO impressed by that artist and her work. Thanks for dropping by earlier and happy WOYWW from # 1 thanks to Helen.

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Hi Jan. If I had all that stuff to sort I think I would need a rest first. I love that stitched art work, it's so clever and love the one you bought from Debbie. Thanks for the visit to mine, enjoy your crafty week and happy woyww, Angela x17x

StampinCarol said...

I, too, think the little shop looks pretty cool. Love the stitched art!! And your blanket is so colorful! Have fun sorting and stashing all your goodies!!
Carol N #24

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

Liking the shop...I love unique little places, food or otherwise ! You have shared so many great photos today. Glad you had fun and you will enjoy unpacking. New things you even forgot were stashed away. Enjoy a fun week.

Sarah Brennan said...

Wow what fabulous stitch art. Amazing what can be done with simple running stitch. Good luck sorting out all your new stash and with the fund raising. Happy WOYWW. Sarah #4

Annie Claxton said...

OOoooh those pieces by Audrey Walker are really beautiful aren't they? They made me think of Sashiko too, something else on my long list of things to try - it's always wonderful to visit an exhibition and be inspired. I love your rainbow blanket :o) Annie C #21

Stacy Sheldon said...

Hi Jan, WOW those stitched pieces look so utterly amazing WOW :) love the new kitchen art too! ~Stacy #29

Heather Marshall said...

Hi Jan, those pictures are very detailed, beautifully stitched. A very talented artist. I love shops like the one pictured, just rummaging around in them. Wonder if I'll find any in Canada! I'll let you know! Thanks for stopping by earlier - I agree, coffee and chocolate are the answer sometimes. Have a lovely week Heather x #9

Milliesmarvels said...

Your crochet is beautiful! I wish I could crochet but it's one of the few things I cannot get my head around. That little shope looks like a real find too!

Julia Dunnit said...

OOh look, I'll be able to see Debbie's picture every time I look up from MY chair at your table! Love the stitchy art, my gosh how clever, I thought the neutrals were fab but that tree scene is just awesome. You could lose yourself in stitching!

Marit said...

OOooooh, that textile artwork is amazing!!! I love the subtle coloured stitches and yes, we know it isn't as easy as it looks don't we?! Very inspirational, those photos... thanks!!! Thanks also for your visit to my blog earlier, have a great week. Love from Holland, Marit #23

Lindart said...

I love those embroideries as well - so beautiful! I can't imagine the time and talent needed to make those! I am happy to admire and not try for once. . . All those goodies from the crop will keep you busy for awhile I think! Have a great week, and thanks for your visit! Lindart #25

Dorlene Durham said...

Happy WOYWW on a Thursday. LOL. Love your posts and glad you had time to sort through your goodies. Dorlene #28

pat brennan said...

Just desk hopping to get to know who is who. You are all so passionate and creative.

Christine said...

I wouldn't know where to start when it came to sorting material, best of luck to you.
Debbie is soooo clever, and generous.
have a good week
Christine #35


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