Creative stitching

I have done various forms of sewing in the past, especially cross stitch, but a couple of years ago I started patchwork and have found it a satisfying way of being creative. Here are a few of the cushion (pillow) covers and other items I have made, in both embroidery and patchwork.



New Celtic Cross cushion covers-this fabric is not made any more, I have bought a stock of it, but gone is gone!





Close-up of new Celtic Cross cushion covers


Latest project, I covered our bedspread with Celtic fabric


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A short history of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

St Aidan, 1st Bishop of Lindisfarne. All Saints Church. Rothbury

The island is half an hour’s drive from our home in Northumberland. Accessible twice a day either by the causeway or walking the ‘Pilgrim Path’ , pictured above,  across the sands when the tide is out.

The tidal Causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland

The  history of Holy Island is long, an introduction to it, by an island inhabitant, Reverend Canon Kate Tristram, is worth reading. Among others, it talks of the founder of the first Celtic monastery by St Aidan, his statue is shown here, on Holy Island, carrying the torch of the Gospel to England.

Rug copied from Lindisfarne Gospels (c 698 AD) in St Marys Church, Lindisfarne

St Marys Church, Lindisfarne

The 12c Priory ruins and village on Lindisfarne

Sunset over Cuthberts Isle, between Lindisfarne & the Northumberland mainland

Holy Island Causeway

St Aidan's statue on Holy Island where he became its first bishop in 635 AD

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Banana & Fruit Cake – this one is asked for by so many people, I usually bake 3 or 4 and freeze the extra.

Banana & Fruit Cake Use a 2 pound (900 gram) loaf tin. This tin holds almost 1 litre of water…if you need to check the size! You can either grease and line it with paper or simply buy the pleated paper liners. Very cheap, dead easy.

2 ripe bananas, thaw first if frozen (freezing them seems to make the flavour better, but they look strange!)

1 level teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

2 tablespoons boiling milk

4 oz. (100 gm) soft margarine

6 oz. (175 gm) any brown or white sugar

2 eggs

8 oz. (225 gm) plain flour

1 level teaspoon baking powder

4 oz. (100 gm) any dried fruit- sultanas, raisins, pineapple, cranberries, dates, cherries etc. (I often use 2 oz each of halved glace cherries and quartered dates)

Heat oven to 350f, 180c, gas mark 4.

Boil milk in microwave (or on hob) and dissolve Bicarb. in it. But be aware that it will froth up when you add the B of S!  Peel bananas, mash in large bowl. Add to bowl, add all the other ingredients and beat it to death with a mixer for a few minutes till it is well mixed, it is a very sloppy, wet mix. Turn into tin, smooth top, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 1¼ to1½ hours till loaf is well risen and golden brown. Check it is not still too moist by inserting a skewer or sharp knife. Leave in tin for about 15 minutes then turn out to cool. Serve as it is or spread with butter.

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Our journey, to my son’s wedding in the USA

Pieter and Keven take their vows.

Pieter and Keven take their vows.

On 14th July 2010 we flew from our home in Northumberland (North East England) to Portland, Oregon for my younger son Pieter’s wedding to Keven. This is the 2nd time a son of mine has married a Portland girl and settled there 5000 miles away in the amazing city of Portland….and I only have two sons.

(L to R) Kim & Kjell(my son), Keven & Pieter (my son), Rob & I, Rene (my nephew)& his girlfriend, Eefje in front.

When Rob and I married in 2002 he had never left the UK, then we went to visit my family in Holland, where I lived for 20 years with my first (dutch) husband, Kees van Zoen. When Kees died I moved back to England with my 2 sons but we have good contact with the dutch side of the family. My nephew Rene and his girlfriend, Eefje also travelled out to Oregon, to  represent the  ‘van Zoen’ family, they shared our rented house in Portland. We have made so many wonderful new friends and gained a whole new family, it was so good to get to know all Keven’s family and hope they can get over to visit us before we return to Portland in June 2012!

Keven with her sister Hollie and sister-in-law, Kim

Photography by: Kim Oanh Nguyen – van Zoen, Pieter & Keven’s sister-in-law  (Digital) and (Film)

Pastor Bob Hyatt cme up from Portland to make sure they were well and truly married, we did enjoy getting to know the Evergreen Community of which they are part.

(Pastor) Bob Hyatt of Evergreen Community, Pieter and Keven

Pieter, Keven and her Grandma

Keven & Pieter with her Dad, Dennis Farrell & Traci North

Keven & Pieter, with her Mom, Kathy Olivares and her husband Felix

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Ladies Well, Holystone, Northumberland

I want to explore this whole area of Celtic life, specifically the Celtic Christian ethos, which is not about religion, but about relationships, with God, with others (whatever their beliefs) with nature, homelife, creativity, etc. ‘Learning from the good ones of old’. Looking at the Celtic ‘saints’. This is part of our Northumbria Community evening prayer but I also found it in lots of places on the internet.

A Blessing

given by St Columba to his disciples on his death-bed

See that you be at peace among yourselves, my children,
and love one another.
Follow the example of good men of old,
and God will comfort you and help you,
both in this world
and in the world which is to come. Amen.

It is my journey as a ‘pilgrim’, in the widest sense of the word, but as Celtic Christianity sees no separation between secular/sacred/spiritual I shall include all areas, such as prayer, family, places, legends, patchwork,  stories, food, wildlife etc

Posted in Home - where all journeys start and end | Comments Off on Welcome