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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Sewing spaces: the view from Holmenkollen…

Stitched sample of an impression
of the view from Holmenkollen

Way back at the end of May (three months after we accepted an offer on our flat, and, had an offer accepted on a house) Patrick and I went to Oslo to visit my half-sister. It was a full on, and hugely enjoyable few days that culminated in a trip to the Holmenkollen ski jump. It's a strange thing, having Norwegian relatives who like strapping planks of wood to their feet in order race down mountains (one is a competitive speed skier), or hurl themselves into the air for the sheer thrill of it. By contrast, I am a complete wuss who gets dizzy if I wear high heels, and avoid physical danger at all costs. So, although I found the jump impressive from a distance, there was no way I was going to set foot on it. Oh no! fate would surely decide that that would be the precise moment the steel structure should collapse and my destiny was to plummet, along with it, to an agonising and terrifying death.

So I did some doodling from the safety of a reassuringly solid rock. And afterwards, when we went to the nearby restaurant (fabulous meatballs!) I doodled some more. The view of Oslo fjord is staggeringly beautiful from that vantage point. Beyond a banner of conifer trees all I could see was an uninterrupted blend of water, islands, soft curves of the fjord, and the sky. Add to that that everything was in tones of blue, grey and mauve and my eye was tricked into thinking the islands resembled clouds floating above the trees.

Details and doodles

Back in England, convinced we were about to move 'any day now' we packed up our belongings and waited for contracts to exchange. And waited. For a very long time. My sewing machines, and most of my sewing equipment were put into boxes, the same went for Patrick's painting materials. Eventually we moved but most of our stuff is still in boxes as we have taken on a bit of a project (also known as a money pit) which was part of the reason it took us so long to move. Other factors included a slippery estate agent and a seller who was so economical with the truth we nearly pulled out of the move. Absorption with the move is also my pathetic excuse for leaving it so long between posts!

While we are still knee high in power tools, dust sheets and paint tins there is light at the end of the tunnel. My office is almost ready to move into, which means my temporary office will become my new sewing space, and at long last, I'll be able to unpack my sewing machine!

Ribbon roses

However, although I've spent more time with a sander/paintbrush/drill in my hands over the last few months than needle, fabric and thread, I have made time for some sewing. My Holmenkollen doodles have been turned into a stitched sample. I also had fun preparing samples for some workshops on ribbon roses, Dorset buttons and needle weaving I taught at the Knit and Stitch show.

Dorset buttons

Needle weaving

But I'm itching to get stitching in my new sewing space, with it's ceiling to floor windows that look out onto a wood. It's a great view, admittedly not as great as the one from Holmenkollen, but it's my view, and will make a wonderful sewing space.



  1. You must have had a really hard time, both emotionally and practically. Moving house, selling homes and doing up a 'money pit' requires a lot of energy. In the end I am sure it will all be fantastic. Soon you will have your new studio and can play with needle, thread, fabric and quilts.
    The buttons are really neat and the Holmenkollen piece makes me a bit homesick (well, longing for next door Sweden, but only a bit, winter is a tough time with snow, cold and darkness).
    Looking forward to seeing more of your creations.

  2. I don't think anyone has an easy time moving, but thank goodness I don't have to do it again for a very long time—if ever! Winters are harsh in Norway, but it's amazing how late it stays light in the Summer. At 11pm we were still sipping wine while watching the sun set!

    1. I know the beauty of summer evenings late at night. Then in winter you have night all day long!


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