Tuesday 22 September 2009


I am having a break from blogging for personal reasons.
It may be long it may be short.
I'll miss it.

Thursday 17 September 2009


These felt brooches, as well as just the shapes without backs, have been in great demand.
Worldwide !
I love making them..I think I've told you that before, but its true.
My house is in a dreadful state and I'm building up to a mammoth clean but I keep sloping off into my sewing room to play with felt and velvet.

Duck egg and teal, orange and lime, are among my current favourite colours .

As I'm stitching one I'm thinking ahead to the next, so that some of the variations get skipped in the turmoil that is my mental design process.

'This one in orange, ooh what would it look like in green? with a black edge, skip the green,, just black...no.... orange spikes..dots..no I'll do both..' ,
but if I try to draw first it just doesn't work.

Anyway I was wondering where the shapes come from.

I've got a bit of a cold virus at the moment......really...

..maybe this is it?

Or this?

Autumn is coming along with some nice mellow sunshine, and the front door has at last been united with the rest of the woodwork by colour..a beautiful colour called 'Ball Green'.
The silver birch tree in the garden is turning lime and gold..so ..voila!
(Not silver birch but oak-ish)

Very fiddly to make.

Really much nicer than in the photograph and very much a prototype.

But what on earth influenced me to make this?

Was it my husbands recent project?

I really hadn't connected them until I glanced at his report again, which I helped him with last week.

Piles of inspiration!

If you are in the Uk have you been enjoying the Harris Tweed programmes?
I have a cupboard full of beautiful patterns and designs and I am totally committed to it for little purses bags and brooches ..coming soon!

Does anyone have any thoughts on Folksy?
My shop seems to be dying..hardly any views since a flurry of sales earlier..well.. 7!
I used to enjoy being part of a UK venture but I think I prefer Etsy .
Any thoughts?
By the way my toes in the previous post were in my walking boots and thats where they'll stay for photography purposes anyway.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Filling the gaps

As I read around cyberspace I find my blog is lacking certain things.
One of these things is knitting.
So in an attempt to keep up I thought I'd show you my knitting.
Yes..I can knit.
I can crochet.
But I don't anymore. Sweaters are too hot and I can't do socks.

A long time ago I crocheted a suit..yes a suit..which was in a womens magazine being modeled by Twiggy.

(EXCITED UPDATE! I found it )

Thats how long ago it was.
I was at school. Every week I would walk to the woolshop and haberdashers 'uptown' to buy another ball of Twilleys Health Vest Cotton so I could crochet another few dozen rows of beautiful Shell crochet.
The skirt was a triumph but needed lining.
I crocheted the right front of the jacket and two sleeves then I did the back and finally the left front.
Of course the tension at the time of the right front was entirely different from that when I came to the left front so when I came to stitch it up it didn't quite match.
End of story.
I crocheted a beret for almost everyone I knew.
I crocheted a white floppy hat for myself at college and a tank top made from black granny squares.

Then crochet and I said au revoir.

I did quite a bit of knitting in my early twenties, and then much later I discovered Rowan yarns and using a pattern from their 1989(?) book I tackled patterned knitting.

It was a moderate success and I loved it.

A big baggy sweater that I wore on my holiday to St Martins Isles of Scilly
Here I am with my little boys by the Daymark.

Unfortunately the sweater grew with me.
It seems to have shrunk upwards and spread out sideways.
A bit like me.
I wouldn't dream of throwing it away.
Or wearing it.

Another thing that seems to be missing from my blog is toes.
So here you are.

Saturday 12 September 2009

This and that but no sewing.

We have had the most delightful three days, no, four of sunshine.
I have been walking again.
Under the perfect tree..this is it.

I dare not enthuse too much because no doubt someone will chop it about and ruin it. Thats what happens where I live.
I met a darling cocker spaniel puppy called Bella with whom I made free..picked her up for a cuddle and wished she were mine.
She was, as all puppies are, very busy and is therefore a blur.

This nice weather has me all spring cleany . Bit late.
I washed everything but my washing machine is soaped up and in need of some attention.
So I ironed.
I DO SO LOVE my I've-had-them-so-long-they-must-be-vintage-by-now embroidered pillowcases and my eleventy hundred threads to the inch Egyptian cotton sheets but the ironing..oh the ironing.

Still... its worth it.

I can't wait for bedtime. ...

I must just say here that I am SO GRATEFUL to all the people who read and/or comment on this blog.
I prattle on and show off and you even manage to bestow 22 comments on my showing off post.
I had two lovely private e mails that really made me feel humble..two readers who don't comment but sent me delightful messages to say they liked my blog.
Thank you so much everyone.

Thursday 10 September 2009

I made the front page!

Always an honour.
Such a nice treasury.
I only found out by accident and was able to go to this flickr set where you can see all the recent front pages.

As this is a very short post I'll use this space to thank all the people I can't reply to for their comments on my last three posts.
If you are a 'no reply ' blogger, why not consider adding an e mail address to your profile?

All your comments come to my e- mail inbox and I can just click reply and answer you.
The sun is shining today .

Tuesday 8 September 2009

A Good Laugh

No matter how grey the sky...

..how wet the ground...

..how steamed up the windows...

one can always be cheered immensely
by a rude tomato.

No fig leaves available.

In this climate?

Monday 7 September 2009

Strange Monday

Sometimes you just don't get the shape of the day right.
It all went wrong very early.
My husband had been working until midnight on a major report to be e mailed today for a meeting tomorrow.
But the main computer wouldn't 'come on'.
You know these technical problems...the screen was black with white writing with words like bios and cmos and dmi and other stuff with no hint as to whether those are nouns verbs or what.

I wrapped parcels to send to Etsy buyers, clicked a few buttons on the main PC and then texted both sons for help.
One phoned and instructed my husband on the correct procedure after of course asking 'have you switched it off and on again' . Der..
No luck, because the phone is downstairs and the PC upstairs and at our age its hard to remember what you went upstairs for let alone instructions for re booting the PC.

I photographed a few brooches in response to a phone call .
My husband rang the news through that the report wouldn't be ready and went off to cut the grass.
Meanwhile I was rooting down the back of the sofa looking for my favourite pen to address the parcels and I found the long lost cordless phone handset and put it on to charge.

It made all the difference..
So when number one son phoned the instructions I was sitting in front of the PC and could say No when he said' does it say..?'
To cut a long long story short..its fixed.
So you'd think I could get on with some sewing wouldn't you?
I'd tutted and huffed so much about not saving stuff to the external hard drive that then I had to teach himself how to do that.

So anyway...later I made a purse.
It didn't take long because I used a piece I was going to make into a brooch and Harris tweed..
Its just a little one.
Do you think the combination of felt, velvet and Harris tweed works?

What an odd day.
Weather forecast for tomorrow is on ...and I quote,
'the rough weather is going to be over the Northwest'.
'the further South and east we go the warmer it gets'.

Saturday 5 September 2009

Same but different II

For the last three years at this time we have been on Greek Islands stifling in heat, cooling off in warm blue waters, eating our fill of feta, relishing retsina and overdoing the ouzo.

For the last three years those precious weeks have been my summer.

Because the truth is, its been three years since we in the North West had any kind of summer and I think this has been the worst of all.
It may be due to the lack of a dog, but I feel as if I have missed out on the sight of flowers growing whether in my garden or wild.
I took this picture last summer, on one of the better days walking with Willow.

A combination of shade, wind cold and wet have done for what is , at the best of times, a difficult garden. Even the nasturtiums have refused.
Its a source of great sadness to me that I can't have rows of delphiniums , a fence of sweet peas or even a lupin.
The odd rose has struggled up but they too have become leggy and spindly.
The height of the house prevents the sun reaching the narrow garden until about 11am, and the row of 60s houses behind the too-high hedge suck it down before 6pm.
This height and narrowness creates a tunnel for the wind that blows off the ridge over the road right through my garden.
If I didn't love my house so much I'd move to one with a better growing space.
All this is bearable in a good summer.
In a good summer I relish the coolness of the old North facing kitchen. The wind is a welcome cooling breeze and to be able to sit in the shade is a bonus.
But it hasn't been a good summer.
Even the slugs have kept a low profile this year.
Remember this?
Its hard to believe its over for another year.
But I don't mind the Winter, especially if its going to be like last winter.

The same wildflowers on New Years Day this year.
So different.

And this one, which I recommend you click on, is for Emma because I love this.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Same but different?

I hope so.
Even though I've made dozens of these and enjoyed every one, I still manage to discover that there are ways of making it more fun.

The sputnik shape above is a small variation on the floral.
Of course there's always Paisley, one of my favourite motifs but quite difficult to do in this trimmed felt method.


Then there's the possibility to make the variation in colour.
Its quite tricky to come up with different schemes when you've made so many but I thought as autumn approaches (actually it feels like February today)I would colour accordingly.
The background felt here is a really nice mix of wool and silk fibres in browns and olives and navy blue.

SOLD (twice!)
Just right for the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'!

But if anyone is feeling a bit less mellow how about sophisticated silvery grey?
Thats the misty bit.
Sophisticated splats?

Or splodges?

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

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