Saturday 31 May 2008


What makes you post?

Is it when you know you have failed miserably at something?

Or when you are inspired by something beautiful.. And its only grass.

Or is it when you want to share something you really love?

This is part of a beautiful embroidery my brother brought all the way from India for me.Or is it when you sit at your sewing machine with all your favourite materials and all your favourite colours and produce something you really like?

I made this cuff from the edge of the last piece of this brick red -coloured silk.

I liked it so much that I just had to squeeze two more tiny purses out of the rest of it.

More cuffs in different silks, and a good feeling of being productive, made me want to post.

What makes you want to post?

Just for those people who asked after my last post..the man with the van came the next day and took my Laptop away in a pink crate, with a lot of other pink crates, and disappeared over the horizon.

I am waiting for news.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

A Miserable Day

What a miserable day.
I spent most of it with the front door wide open waiting for the man from Hewlett Packard to come and collect my laptop, which is broken.
I arranged it yesterday with a man from Capetown who sent a message to a man in Warrington who had to send a message to a man in Birmingham to send a special box so the man from Warrington could collect my laptop. Which is broken. Which they are going to fix.
No-one came.
At 3pm I rang the man in Capetown who put me through to the man in Warrington who said they hadn't got the message.
Their computers were broken.
I shut the door.

This is supposed to be a sewing blog so here's some sewing. On a miserable day last year I was experiencing a different kind of communication problem. The creative side of my brain was not communicating with any other part of my brain, so I decided to sit down at my machine and play. This is what happened, and I quite liked it.I played about with it for a while, chopping and changing and adding, and it became this. I put a picture of it on flickr and had lots of lovely comments and you can read about what happened next in the sidebar of this blog. Thank you flickr friends.

And thank you all my friends from blogland. I am learning that there are almost as many blogs in the blogiverse as there are stars in the sky. There are also a lot of stars in the blogiverse and I have only just started to discover them. And some of you have discovered me and taken the time to leave your generous comments. Which makes any day, miserable or otherwise, glorious.

Sunday 25 May 2008

Cutting Remarks

When you are an embroiderer you need a good selection of scissors.
Some are for display only.

They wouldn't cut melted butter, but they are very pretty.
But when you need to do some heavy duty cutting you need the serious stuff. You just can't have too many pairs. There was talk in my family of the legendary Heavy Shears that almost cut the cloth by themselves. They had belonged to my Grandfather who was a tailor. He died in about 1943 . Perhaps they were melted down for battleships, because no-one knows what happened to them.

So I'm hanging on to mine.

When you want to cut Denim you just can't mess about. The sharper the better.

I've been re-cycling jeans into cuffs and purses.

The purse is a bit of a structural disaster, but I'm pleased with the cuffs.. or are they bracelets?

Gunnels has given me an award. Thank you gunnels. When I work out how to upload the image you'll see its the Sweet Home Blogger award.

Issue 4 of Fibre and Stitch is out now with my article in. (See the button in my sidebar.) I've had a lot of lovely comments from everyone, thank you, and teabag paper sales over on My Etsy are soaring!

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Into the blue

Although the Village I live in isn't the prettiest or the most picturesque, it is in a lovely setting on the West Pennine Moors, a relatively 'undiscovered' area.
There are woodlands for wanderings

and wonderings. Ponds for ponderings (is this a bouquet for a wood nymph?Click on the picture for a closer look, its exquisite and totally natural)
and moorlands for musings and meanderings, and, at this time of the year, listening to the cuckoo.

And of course all this leads to inspiration, and a colour shuffle.

I do my best designs when I am walking with WillowIMG_1211
Willow doesn't see very much these days, but she's good company and keeps her opinions to herself, and plods on stoically even though her legs buckle a bit now and then.
Of course I've forgotten everything by the time I get home, and so has Willow.

So I don't embarrass her with questions.

Talking of questions. Thank you to Lindsay at ethelandednastearoom for tagging me. Her blog is definitely worth a visit.

I've tagged

Laurie at 23 Beechhill
Celia at Cheshire Cheese
Tin can canoe
Ann at Textile Art Showcase

There. I've done it. Nice to have been tagged but nice to have successfully tagged.

Saturday 17 May 2008

More information than you need to know.

There will be more words in this post than I am used to because I’ve been tagged by ethel and edna

This means that I have to answer some questions about myself and then find 6 more people to tag.
Are there any volunteers out there?

Before I start, here’s a picture of a surprise in my garden.
I’d forgotten I’d planted the cowslips last year so I was happy to see them amongst the forget me nots.

I have a problem garden. Its shady, sometimes very windy, with a clay soil and its over-run, or should that be overslithered, with slugs and snails. My expectations were high once but as I saw my lupins languish, sweet peas stubbornly refuse to flower, and delphiniums disappear without a trace my optimism faded.

I have heard of people who watch cookery programmes on tv and then suffer from 'Kitchen performance anxiety'. I watch Monty Don and Rachael de Thame and I suffer from 'Garden performance anxiety'

All I can do is enjoy this time of the year when those plants which are happy, flourish in the adverse conditions.

Can you spot the damage?
Flushed with success at the sale of two of my green and orange brooches on ETSY I've made a lot more.


And now for the questions :

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
1) What was I doing 10 years ago? 1998....? My sons were 13 and 15 and the older one was not interested in school so I spent a lot of time ‘encouraging’ him to finish his coursework for his GCSE’s.
I was working a lot as a supply teacher, and excited at the prospect of starting to exhibit and sell my embroidery. I was also approaching 47! I remember the week before my birthday I said to a friend ‘I’m 47 next week. Yippee’ in as deadpan a voice as I could muster to illustrate the prospect. Strange how that prospect would seem much more exciting now I am approaching 57!
2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)
Answer these questions and post them on my blog.
Check for comments.
Check for comments
Check for comments. (Can you tell I’m quite keen on comments?)
Go for a walk.
3) Snacks I enjoy: Toast with marmalade, ice-cold chocolate.(But I’m not fussy I’ll force it down if its at room temp.)
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I’d have to start by getting rid of a lot of it by giving it to all my friends and relatives and respond to appeals I’ve heard now and then which have caught my attention, and hope I could really make a difference. There are so many.
Employ someone to remove all the slugs and snails from my garden then I could grow my favourite flowers.
Get the roof fixed and the house painted.
Buy a big chunk of the local countryside so it won’t get built on.
Buy a laser eye machine with staff for my local hospital. My Mum had her eyes ‘lasered’ which enabled her to drive again but she had to wait longer than she should have for an appointment at another hospital. It changed her life so much for the better.
Buy a cottage in the Lake District with a view to moving there to live. (I couldn’t just upsticks and leave my would take me a while to ‘separate’) But I am aware that Lakeland residents can’t afford to buy houses for themselves, because of outsiders raising the value, so I’d use my money to find a solution because I’d feel guilty otherwise.
5) Places I have lived:
Not many: Penwortham, Near Preston; Strawberry Hill, Twickenham and Teddington, (when I was at St Mary’s College); Twickenham again for 3 years teaching; Penwortham again; Manchester for 6 weeks (in my husbands flat when we were first married before we bought our own house); Higher Wheelton; and finally for the last 23 years, Brinscall.
6) 6 peeps I wanna know more about: There are a lot more than 6.
I am not brave enough to TAG anyone in case they have already done it, and in this early stage of my blogging career I have to play safe, so if 6 people would like to volunteer........?

And week Issue 4 of Finished folding mirror.

Have you noticed the colour? Its a coincidence. Honest.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Clutter: An occasional series. II

While I'm on the green and orange theme, may I and orange clutter.

I have clutter in every colour scheme, every shape, and every size. I have Crown Devon clutter,

Clarice Cliffe (just a bit), Royal Doulton, and Shelley clutter.

Some from jumble sales, rescued at the end from the man with the van, some bought from shops for good money, and some inherited. Much of it has cracks in and chips out from over zealous annual washing, and from falling about when replaced on over filled shelves.

And if we de-cluttered.....we have spare clutter. Minimalism has been the watchword in home decor recently, but I think it may have passed me by. Am I bothered?

And none of this includes my sewing things. Thats another story.

This is a celebratory post. Over 2000 visits! (But I think 200 of them were me checking to see if I'd had anymore visits)

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Carrots and Peas

I have been so enthralled by these colours lately that I get excited when I see ads for frozen veg on the tv. Or people with red hair sitting in green armchairs.

In the few moments I have managed to prise myself away from the screen I have been making small embroideries for brooches

and book covers

In my usual way and with the usual materials.
Nothing new there then.
But I have discovered the 'foliage' setting on my camera.

UPDATE: Exciting news. I just sold the two of the brooches on Etsy to a lovely lady in USA!

Monday 12 May 2008

Comments and some circles.

This isn't really a well thought out carefully worded and illustrated post. Its just a thank you message and a gratuitous picture of a card I made.
I haven't really got the hang of replying to comments.
Do I reply here on my blog or is it more polite to visit the commenters blog?
What if they don't have a blog?
Sometimes comments come with just a name attached and my failing 56-almost-57 years old brain can't always connect the name to a person.
So this is an apology to those whose comments I appear to have ignored, but haven't. Thank you to all those who have put a link on their blog. If I haven't done the same, its bad management, not bad manners, and very big thank you for all the lovely comments I've had.
They make my day.
I thrive on them.
If you blog, you'll understand.

Sunday 11 May 2008

In the beginning

Well...a very long time ago, the beginning of the 3rd Millenium, or was it the end of the second?
In the year 2000, the Embroiderers' Guild had a theme 'Fashioned by Stitch'.
This was my entry for the North West regional day on the same theme. Its called 'The First Fashion Statement' .
Adam and Eve wore fig leaves when they had sinned by eating the apple, Eve having been tempted by the Devil in the form of a serpent.
A photocopy of the text was 'aged' with tea and stitched under chiffon. I made fig-leaves from painted and waxed paper, wired to give them shape. I don't know if fig trees have tendrils but I couldn't resist making some.
And there's the evidence. The apple with a bite out, and the serpent.
The judges liked it and I won 'The Rose Bowl', first prize.
Forgive me for dwelling on past glories.
I'm working for a craft fair and I've shown enough piles of silk paper for a while.

Friday 9 May 2008

200 pieces

I've managed to resist the lure of the blog for two whole days, but I have not been idle.

When the ironing has been there so long it needs dusting, its time to give in and do it, so I did.

Then I turned a collar on my husband's favourite shirt so he can still wear it, and then I made piles and piles of silk paper, with a little hindrance from my friend.

Just out of interest I counted the pieces.

There were exactly 200, and this, stitched on one of the 200, is going to be my 200th picture on Flickr.

I've been working on pieces with a Fifties theme lately inspired by Woolly Fabulous.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Empty vessels....

This is the first day of my second week of blogging. I am addicted to it.
I didn't start a blog before now because I thought I wouldn't want to be bothered posting new things every week..but I think I've over blogged.
Its just such fun and I'm limited only by my lack of technical ability. Perhaps after this one, I'll post less often and sew more often.

Ancient Greek pots have interested me for some time now.
I am fascinated by their shape

and their decoration.

This is my favourite..copied from a photo in a library book years ago. I've used its shape, patterns and motifs in my Embroidery, over
and over
and over
'Marine Style'

  • 3 photos showing a large (3'x2') piece with Machine Embroidered patterns taken from the vase and applied to silk papers, with velvet, voile and cords.
  • Above them a part of a very large

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.