Please Step This Way

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Did you know that you can also read my blog on my website?

I will be posting all future blog posts to: http://www.misericordia.co.uk/blog-page/

If you are reading this on a feed reader, you might want to update your settings to the new site.

Please let me know if you have any problems and I’ll see if I can help!

Very soon (once I get it all figured out), you will be able to subscribe to blog posts by email!

The Postman Always Rings Twice

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I’ve been wrestling with technology and now I’m happy to report that no longer do you have to trudge to my door to receive your bi-weekly envelope of Misericordia musings. Instead, you can complete the ludicrously simple form below and each melodious missive will meander to your inbox whether you like it or not.*

Misericordia Newsletter and Blog Signup

The future is here, just click to join us!

You can even choose to receive a nudge in the ribs six times a year at important gift-giving seasons, in time to get your loved ones entirely unique hand embroidered lovelyness.

*That’s just for my parents, the rest of you are more than welcome to unsubscribe if it all gets too much.

Take a Memo

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Before we start, here’s a small point of admin. The final commission date for UK deliveries before Christmas is a week from today – Friday 29th November. The last posting date for UK delivery is Friday 20th December if you are pondering stock pieces.

People often look at my work and comment on the patience that it must take to do embroidery. (I have to say that I find it requires less patience than herding a toddler, so it’s quite restful.)

Now it’s my turn to marvel at the motor skills that allow Keira Rathbone to produce these gorgeous pieces.

Hammersmith Bridge - Keira Rathbone 2009
Hammersmith Bridge – Keira Rathbone 2009

Not sure how she did it? Here’s a hint!

My Weapons of Choice – Keira Rathbone

You can watch a video of Keira at work on the BBC website, it’s absolutely worth a look.

Not only does this make embroidery look like the easy option in terms of co-ordination, I’m super impressed that she works en plein air.

So if you need some typerwriter art in your life, please pop over to Keira’s website and shop.

(I feel the need to add the noise of the carriage return at this point, please oblige me by saying ‘ping!’ right….now.)

Admiring the Paint

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I spend a lot of time in my other job trying to encourage people to listen to their bodies and be guided by the frankly astounding levels of engineering and design which have gone into the system that allows them to move, reason and sit on the sofa watching YouTube videos of cats falling off windowsills.

Sometimes this applies to me as well. We officially moved into our new old flat on Friday, Dragon woke us up on Sunday morning by being sick (by the way, what maternal instinct compels me to put out my hand at that point?) and the rest of the week was punctuated by frantic unpacking to allow the removals company to take their boxes back, frantic reshuffling to allow the broadband people to connect us to the outside world and the emotionally fraught task of trying to decide on categories to organise the CD rack by (do we need Folk Rock and Indie Folk? Yes).

By Wednesday evening it was pretty obvious that I was about to crash and on Thursday I managed to out-sleep the cat.

Hopefully things are getting on to a more even keel, but there’s still a lot of this going on.

sleeping - Misericordia 2013

Sweet Tooth Season

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I’ve run out of apples.

I’m remarkably uncreative when it comes to autumn fruit. I quite like pears and plums and all of the other things I should be eating, but I only seem to buy apples.

Bloody Ploughman Apple – image from Keepers Nursery

I’m very picky, I like them crunchy and sour. Nothing with the word Delicious in the title and the funnier the name the better. Incidentally, I once saw a quite fascinating programme about apples; among the things I learned is that apple pips are like people, every one is different. So all the Bramley apples you buy are grafted from a single Bramley tree in Nottinghamshire which was planted in 1809. The tree is still alive, which is quite neat…

However, in the absence of apples I tend to turn to something a bit sweeter. Something brown sugary, maybe a little maple-y, a little gooey?

Sugar Pie from Sweet Nothings by Misericordia 2013
Buy your calorie-free sugar fix, click the picture!

Mmm, yes a bit like that.

So while I try to resist the real thing, you can buy yourself (or your sweetheart) a 100% guilt-free sugar pie. Or if you’d like to see the dessert menu (or the sweet trolley, which I think should make a comeback)?

Sweet Nothings by Misericordia 2013
Sweets to the sweet – click buy them all!

Dear Sir,

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Even though I’m a child of the email generation (we were seriously early adopters, the perks and perils of academia) I like to think there’s a healthy letter-writer lurking in my soul.

Letterpress Cards from Rack and Ruin on Folksy
Letterpress Cards from Rack and Ruin on Folksy

I must admit that my letter writing these days is mainly restricted to thank you notes (never start with the word ‘thank you’) but I do like to know what should and shouldn’t be done.

“If you write to a Queen, begin your first line within three fingers breadth of the bottom of the paper” – Philip, second Earl of Chesterfield

For entertainment of my (future) grandchildren I have saved a rather large number of letters received mainly between the ages of 13 and 18.

…I’ve just realised quite how excruciating those are going to be! Maybe I should get writing so I can also leave some more creditable evidence of my epistolary efforts!

Luckily, the BBC has helpfully compiled a list of 10 letter writing tips that you can use over email, even if your correspondence card collection is a little low!

10 old letter-writing tips that work for emails - BBC website
10 old letter-writing tips that work for emails – BBC website

If your stationery selection is low,  do click on the image of the gorgeous letterpress cards to do some shopping!

Ode to a Persimmon

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Everyone feeling a little Monday? Me to…

Here, let me help.

persimmon 1

That’s better.

It’s been a bit hectic around here, first my computer (Vesper Holly) decided to have an out of body experience (now sorted out by the ever-calm Lovely Young Man and the fact that my whole life is in the Clouds).

Next the aforementioned LYM casually suggested that we might as well get the kitchen redone now, since we were having to spend lots of money on half-heartedly patching the kitchen floor.

Hang on, I need another cat picture.

persimmon 2

Ok.

We’re off to go speak to the kitchen-y folk, my Pinterest is full of other people’s gorgeous kitchens and I really, really just want to move into the flat before I decide to run away to join a circus for some peace and quiet. Please provide words of comfort and stories of happy kitchen sagas (or top tips) below.

Pressing Away

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Among the changes and upheavals this year, I went vegetarian in June. The strange thing is that I haven’t been able to explain either to myself or anyone else quite why it happened.

I’ve always been a bit of a hippy and when I was a carnivore we were trying to reduce the quantity and increase the quality of meat we were eating. But I found myself avoiding it more and more without being able to say why until I realised that the way to become a vegetarian was to just stop eating meat (I know…but I’m new to this kind of thing).

Even now that I’m not a meat-eater, I can still hold a conversation like one. I cook meat for LYM and Dragon but I just don’t want to eat it. Sometimes I miss the emotional resonance surrounding certain foods*, but in the way I imagine a smoker misses the ritual of smoking more than the consumption of toxic fumes.

And then I read a post from the eloquent and perceptive Adult Beginner in which she discusses (among other things) a quote from Peter Fonseca in The Dancer’s Body Book By Allegra Kent

So many people just consume and consume and don’t put anything out. I think the answer is to be absolutely minimal in what you take in and prolific in what you put out.

That was it.

I have been feeling the weight of consumption and possession ever since Dragon has appeared, and it’s been leading me to get rid of things and finish projects and step back down the food chain a rung.

So go read AB’s post and then come and tell me what you think (no poo jokes please).

*Especially smoked salmon bagels and roast dinners.

Boxes

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Chaos Still Life - Misericordia

I’ve got my very organised schedule of blog posts in front of me and I’m meant to be writing about something around the house today… Ha! The entire idea of house-ness seems to be overshadowing my whole life, and it’s making it really hard to get anything done.

Here’s the current house situation:

Where we live temporarily:

chaos 5

Lovely Young Man is currently in Australia for the second half of a two week work trip, and while I can do a pretty credible job of being a responsible adult for about a week, I’m starting to lose it a little. If everything goes well, then I can go longer, but little things (like the council failing to collect the recycling box) tend to throw me and lead to unexpectedly large reverberations (the kitchen is slowly filling with the recycling that should be in the box that is still full).

 

Where we should be living:

chaos 1

All our furniture and boxes are now in the flat, but not necessarily in the right places. Before he left, LYM and I decided where all the big stuff should go, but things like books (we have a lot of books) and the rather large number of chairs and chests of drawers are lingering in unexpected and unhelpful places.

chaos 2

I’m desperately trying not to just put everything back where it was when we moved out four years ago and really think about where our things should live, so that slows me down too. That and the fact that I’ve decided to line all the shelves with fabric which kept me up at night for several days worrying about what patterns to use and how much to spend. Luckily, I stumbled across my fabric stash as I was mooching about and found three or four lengths of fabric that I bought for something else and never quite liked enough to use. So if anyone ever asks you why you need Stash please direct them here!

Oh, and we only have half a kitchen floor…

Tools: Needle Case

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Sometimes my taste for old fashioned furniture, inexpensive pressed glass and vintage tchotchkes comes in handy. We have quite a bit of inherited furniture (it also helped that we were willing to drive the van) and bits and pieces which now are beloved additions to our daily life.

For someone who has never in her life had so much as a drag on a cigarette (hi Mum!), I have a huge soft spot for smoking paraphernalia. (That may turn up in another blog post, I keep my business cards in a cigarette case.) So when we were clearing out the house of a relative and I saw this lovely vesta case at the bottom of a box destined for a charity shop, I decided to adopt it.

It makes a rather sweet needle case, the top closes with a gorgeous snap and the rattle of the needles is very soothing.

Although now that I’ve had a quick look at the hallmarks, I’m wondering if I should keep this wee man’s hands off it!

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