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Hello everyone, I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend.
We are and it started with lovely daughter Ellie’s 21st birthday on Friday. I can’t believe that she is not only celebrating her birthday but also that she is nearly at the end of her time at Uni! It only seems a few weeks ago that we were dropping her off at her halls.
As I type she is sitting writing her dissertation, she is doing very well and is about 3/4 way through this. She is also applying for jobs in the heritage industry so I am keeping my fingers crossed for her as she has worked so hard.
She is still volunteering at Greyfriars, the National Trust Tudor house in Worcester where she worked as a Conservation Assistant last year but has also been doing voluntary work archiving material from the old Worcester hospital.
We were going to go to Leeds on a day out and visit Temple Newsam house but got sidetracked by some new charity shops in town so had a day of retail therapy instead which not only gained us both lots of new clothes (including some lovely tops for Ellie’s work wardrobe) but also donated some funds to charity! A win win situation. I love shopping in charity shops, we have some fab ones in our town with some really expensive labels at a fraction of the cost.
Ellie does not really want to be 21 and out in the big wide world – she would rather be a Disney Princess so I bought her lots of Disney gifts for her birthday – here is her pile of pinkness and her and Jake posing , they look very 60s hippy chicks here.
We also had a Disney fairies birthday cake with a sparkler in.
One of her presents, from my sister -in- law Amanda, was this beautiful blackwork picture.
She also celebrated with her friends in Worcester – in fancy dress of course – the theme was Army Girls.
So have a very happy 22nd year – we are all very proud of you!
My Mum also arrived on Friday as we are off to the Italian Lakes on Wednesday – lucky us.
So take care and I will see you all in a week or so!
I hope that you are all well and happy and that you have had a very good Christmas. We had an excellent time at Disneyland as we expected to and thoroughly enjoyed our first Disney Christmas.Thanks to my very lovely children I have now have a new camera which they let me open before the trip so was able to take some very good pics.
Here is a little slide show of some of our favourite bits.
|This free scrapbook generated with Smilebox|
We arrived back safely on Boxing Day evening despite high winds that made for a bit of a bumpy landing and since then have been relaxing (I am on leave for the next two weeks which is wonderful!)
I have finished my latest stitched item, this is a gift for my aunt who lives in Spain. She loves antique style frames, I can’t remember where I got this one from but I have had it for a while and the blackwork design is from an old copy of New Stitches magazine issue 106.
I am off to Spain at the weekend where it is nice and sunny and am really looking forward to it. Hope that you all have a very happy New Year wherever you are and see you in 2012!
Hello everyone , hope you are all well and happy. I am currently feeling tired but happy after a very busy first week of term, I must be getting old as I was very glad to see Friday . I have had a lovely time with my new group of students, they are very lively and I’m sure we will have a great year ahead.
I had a nice relaxing weekend planned and I have been enjoying myself – once again surrounded by textiles. My local branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild were having their biennial exhibition on Saturday so after meeting at Lydia’s lovely yarn shop Spun for a couple of hours of the WI monthly craft session where I cast on for a new pair of wristwarmers I wended my way to that.( I love that word ‘wended’ don’t you – always sounds like something out of a fairytale!)
I have not been able to attend a meeting this year due to work pressures but it was very lovely to see everyone, eat nice cake and marvel at all the wonderful talent that is in the group. The slideshow below shows just a small selection of the fabulous work there was on display.
|Free picture slideshow generated with Smilebox|
I also bought a couple of books on historical textiles (bargain at £1 each) and added this little piece of needleace to my collection of textile creations.
Today we had the first full planning meeting for our new re-enactment group Swords of Mercia held at the Hardwick Inn, this is a lovely old pub – see pics below, in the grounds of the fantastic Hardwick Hall – once home to my heroine Bess.
Apart from a very nice lunch and a catch up we also organised lots of things about how the group will be run , I am to be secretary, booking us into events and also help with costume making and advice. We have until next year probably before we do our first show but I already have some fettling to do to make new hangings for the display tent we will use for talks.
I have finished the stitching on my Autumn exchange pice (no pics allowed as it is not be posted till 1st Nov) so as well as the wristwarmers I have started on another Xmas stitch – this is a Nordic inspired tree design from the Cross Stitcher mag I treated myself to yesterday.No pics yet as not much stitched.
So a busy week but a very nice one, have had great fun once again and am very much looking forward to the year ahead – both personally and professionally.
Hope that you all have a nice week ahead and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.
Hope everyone has had a nice week. I have been getting on well with my Xmas ornie targets for this year – I am aiming to make one new ornie for me a month as well as the usual present ornies and stock for at least one Xmas craft fair. So I will be starting that stock as soon as term finishes at the end of May and I have a bit more time.
So far for me I have finished three JBW stockings (plus a blue one to hang on the conservatory door) and this week completed the JBW Xmas pudding ornie and another one which is taken from a bigger design using blackwork of ivy leaves from one of my old New Stitches magazines. I have made the ivy leaf ornie before for my Project Nepal fundraising but want to re-make a lot of past ornies just for me and this was my demo piece at last week’s WI craft bee. They are both backed with some nice holly fabric from my stash and the pudding one has a great stocking ribbon that I got at the Harrogate show last year.
I am now working on a JBW tree ornie for me. I have put together all of the blocks for my stained glass window Xmas fabric throw with the sashing and this afternoon will do the border which is pieced from all the Xmas fabric used and the backing. Hopefully that will be finished this afternoon as I have been very good and got up early to do the housework and spring clean the cellar!
I am very pleased with the way that it has turned out – I did have a bit of a challenge with the outer sashing as I discovered that the bottom row of blocks were quite a bit smaller than the top row (my inaccurate cutting!) so I had to stretch that row to make it fit but it turned out ok. With the left over block I am going to make a cushion in the same style and have cut out single pieces for a matching cushion. I have also got lots of odd rectangles from cutting the border so thought I would make a small runner for the coffee table so that my room can be very co-ordinated this Xmas.
We had a bit of a show and tell of all the different blocks on Monday at Quilt Group. This is a pic of Davina’s blocks that I took at the workshop which just shows how different the choice of fabric and sashing colour can make the quilt look.
If you go and visit Davina’s blog you can see the pic she took of the original stained glass pattern with solids and black sashing.
I have had a very nice week, very busy at work but I have had a few trips out to visit my students which is always lovely. On Monday I went ‘over the border’ to Nelson in Lancashire. It was a lovely train journey through very beautiful countryside, this is a very historic area full of beautiful hills and moors and lots of industrial heritage – mainly dating from the Victorian era when all the mills were built. Here are a few pics to share with you – the first two are taken at Hebden Bridge station, then there is a view of the hills from the train and the flower was near the college I was visiting.
I hope you have all a nice week ahead. I am very much looking forward to next week as I am going down to visit Ellie in Worcester and we are going to the Malvern Quilt Show ! There may well be some additions to the stash (it would be a shame if there weren’t!) and then I am helping Ellie bring all her stuff back up as she is coming here for the summer this year which is lovely as we can do lots of crafting together.
Thanks for visiting.
Hope you have been having a very nice week. I have – filled with lots of lovely crafting and fun with other people while doing it. I only started crafting socially (as in joining groups) about 4 years ago when I joined the Embroiderers’ Guild but now the kids have grown up and I have a lot more free time for me it forms a large part of my social life and I love it! It is so nice seeing what other people are working on and getting advice when you get stuck and having a good laugh (and usually some cake!) while you are at it. This week was a very nice one as I went to two knitting groups, did one session at WI and spent all day yesterday at a Quilt Workshop run by Christine from my quilt group.
First of all though my Spring Exchange for the Seasonal Exchange blog has arrived in the USA so I can show you pics of that.When I was given my partner Lisa’s name I went to look on her blog to see what sort of things she liked making and I saw that she had made this as an exchange piece for her to send off and she mentioned that she liked it so much that she would want to make one for herself in the future so I thought this would be perfect and luckily she is pleased with it.
Knitting progress with the pink baby cardi is slow but steady – not helped by the fact that I keep forgetting to do eyelet rows while I am decreasing so I have had to take back quite a few rows!
I have also almost finished my latest Xmas ornie and made a start on another this week as a demo piece for my WI meeting. I have recently joined my local branch of the Women’s Institute which meets monthly with a variety of activities on the programme. This month it was a Craft Bee and I was asked if I would like to demo something so I chose blackwork which turned out to be good choice as no-one had heard of if. There were quite a few cross stitchers who came to my table but some people who had never tried crafts before so we had a fun evening. The pics below show my demo table and a couple of the pieces that beginners did. I used patterns from the Blackwork Archives for the beginners as there are some very good simple designs there that you can download.
The quilt workshop I went to was based on a design called Stained Glass Windows. I forgot to get a picture of the original quilt that Christine had made as a demo but it was made from bold plain colours with black sashing to give the effect of stained glass. We had been asked to bring any fabric from our stash and as I have rather a lot of Xmas fabric (ahem!) rather than buying anything new I decided I would use the workshop to make an Xmas version of the sofa throw WIP.
The quilt design seemed quite complex to start off with (especially for me as I am a little spatially challenged!) as you layer seven 10 inch squares of fabric and cut them all at once into seven different sized rectangles, then you lay them out so that each block has one of each of the seven colours.
You can make any size of quilt by cutting extra sets of seven fabrics. I will probably only use 6 of my 7 blocks for the throw - I may cut out pieces for another block to make 8 blocks once I see how big the 6 are (am hoping to get some more quilting done this afternoon in between hedge cutting and other domestic duties!) Here are the three I got finished yesterday, I decided to use green sashing rather than black as I thought it looked more festive.
I am very pleased with them as it is the first time I have done a sashed block and it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I had lots of help from the others and it was very nice to see all the different colour combinations that people chose and how they turned out.
In cake news this week I have been experimenting with my recipe and have made a different flavour – vanilla with a hint of ginger (Jake approves!) – here are the strawberry and chocolate star topped versions I made for quilt workshop.
Lastly I will leave you with some pics of my neighbours’ very cute cat, Henry, who was climbing in the clematis this week and very kindly posed for me. We don’t have any pets any more – all having died of old age – but Henry comes round a lot and is very friendly.
I just love that last pic – so cute!
Well I hope that you have a lovely week ahead - I am going to be super busy as I am out every night, all social and crafting which is lovely. Thanks as always for visiting and for all the lovely comments! I especially welcome all those new people who have visited through the photo scavenger hunt
This weekend we went to visit Ellie in Worcester as it is her birthday this week. For her birthday treat she wants to visit London and do some more museum visting (goodie!) which we will do later in the year.On Saturday we took a little trip to Stratford-on-Avon so we could visit some of the Shakespeare houses.
For Ellie this was not only a day out but of course a field trip, she is doing a module on musuems at the moment and is very interested from a professional point of view about how things are displayed and how the information is presented. She is currently employed as a conservation assistant at a Tudor house owned by the National Trust in Worcester so was also very interested in how they were looking after the houses and was not impressed by the cobwebs and dust at one of them!
It was a bit dull and cold so apologies for not having nice sunny pics to show you. They also did not allow interior pics in Shakespeare’s house so have only got exterior pics to show you here.
There were also very few textiles, there were some bedhangings and clothes in the house – Shakespeares’s father was a glove maker so there was a room laid out as his workshop but most of the textiles were very utilitarian apart from some lovely painted linen wall hangings which were very impressive. I did find a lovely blackwork coif in one of the other displays – apologies as it is a bit dark!
We also went out for a meal with Ellie, my sister, nephew Sam, Jake and her friends. She really liked her birthday pressies which I hoped she would, I bought her Cath Kidston’s Stitch and Sew books, another craft /quilting book Simple Sewn Gifts by Helen Phillips and some pretty material and cup cake decorations and cases.
It is brilliant having a daughter who enjoys the same stuff as I do and I am looking forward to borrowing the books as well when she comes home in the summer! I can’t believe that she will be 20 this week (she can’t either!) she is so grown up now and very lovely!
I have finished the red chunky wool hat so will get some pics of me modelling it – it has been so nice and warm here that hopefully it is going to straight into the drawer. I managed to get lots done to the garden last week and it is lovely and sunny again today, it is so nice to have an extra hour of daylight in the evenings now so I will have chance to do a bit more pottering later on. I am planning a trip to the garden centre this Sun (as it is Mother’s Day) to buy myself some pretty primulas and lillies for the empty pots.
I am working on a cross stitch exchange for Spring so won’t be able to show you that for a while but have also made a good start on my next Xmas ornie – am doing the JBW Xmas pudding – bit late with this one as it was supposed to be the March finish but better late than never!
Hope that you have all had a lovely week and thank you for visiting.
On one of my recent travels round the internet I was following a link from Constance’s lovely ‘Born in the Wrong Age’ blog (do go and visit she is an re-enactor in Australia who does fab needlework) and found this wonderful site full of members’ needlework projects from the West Kingdom of the Society of Creative Anachronism. The society operates worldwide though they seem to be most active in the US and their members produce the most wonderful examples of historical needlework.
To whet your appetite I hope they don’t mine but I have borrowed a few pics to show you the standard of work which is amazing. There are loads more on the site as well as lots of really good info and articles (click on the Articles link on the right hand menu on their site ) so do go and have a look.
All very,very talented ladies I’m sure you will agree.
I am having a quiet week at home doing lots of marking and listening to the rain! We are off this weekend to the wonderful Berkeley Castle where we have this as our view.
If you are near South Glos do come and visit – this link gives you details of the event. That is my lovely friend Keith in the pic on the top right of the web site, he only looks like that on the battlefield (or if someone pinches his mead round the campfire!)
Even if you are not coming pray for fine weather for us please – last year this was our wettest pitch and even though we don’t mind a bit of damp as we are hardy campers it puts off the paying public and that is a real shame for us and all the people who give up all their time and effort to organise these events. As I have mentioned before most of the events rely on unpaid volunteers for the organising and the hard work of providing facilities and without paying visitors they will not happen (someone has to pay for the portaloos!) . So here’s hoping for very good weather this year!
After that event we are off for a week camping in the Forest of Dean with my sister Jacky (did I mention that I love camping!) and then it is straight on to Ashby de La Zouche castle in Leicestershire for another weekend of camping (I love, love, love camping!!!) where our group are doing another show.
So the blog will be very quiet for a bit while I paddle in mud (no hopefully bask in the sun!) in a field somewhere and enjoy some lovely campfires and BBQs ( I also love BBQs!).
Thanks very much for visiting – see you all soon!
As promised I can now reveal some of the things that I made for this Xmas as gifts for friends and family. I did do a lot of knitting which I will put in a later post but also some of my favourite traditional stitching.
I made this pincushion for a very good friend from re-enactment, Denise, who kindly posed for my Women’s Costume Page last year. She obviously makes a lot of kit herself and her partner Carl had asked me if I would make her a pincushion as a surprise for Xmas (he said they were thinking of buying a new leather sofa so he was trying to train her out of sticking pins in the old one – that is why I have a lovely old fabric one that is fine with that sort of behaviour!)
The pattern comes from Issue 165 of New Stitches magazine and is called Cherry Rose – I only stitched the flower element – the whole thing is designed to be a picture and includes stem and leaves as well.
It is stitched on my favourite 28 count sparkly evenweave (it is only to be used at home not at events as blackwork (or redwork!) is not authentic for our period) with dark red Silk Mill thread.
For the finish I chose to back it with some red velvet I had in my stash and to edge it with some dark red braid. I also added some of my favourite little brass charms - I love using these on sewing gifts like the scissor keeps I made last year. This time I chose a spool of thread charm and a needle charm – both from the charms pack I bought from Stitch Direct earlier in the year.
I was pleased with the finish – it was the first time I have used velvet as a backing and it wasn’t as slippery to work with as I had feared -and Denise likes it too which is good!
I realise this is the third post this week – a record for me I think. It is all to do with the snow as not much else has been going on this week. Did leave the house today for the first time since Saturday to go to Knitting Group. As well as Knit and Natter that meets weekly at the wool shop – shop info at the end of this link (Woolly Minded and Beady Eyed) I also go to a monthly one at the same shop – Yarn – which meets the second Thurs of every month 5 – 7 pm.
Had a very nice evening working on my teddy bear bag project and have also bought some more Noro Silk Garden wool to make myself a beret to match the Noro scarf that I wear. I cast on for this when I came home tonight and am using a simple pattern in my favourite Moss stitch. If this freezing weather is to continue a girl needs some head protection!
Thank you for visiting.
Have not been very busy the last couple of days textile wise as am still feeling rough from flu so have just been finishing off some items – one of which is an Xmas ornie for my ASOE partner which I cannot show until I have posted it later this month.
The other finish is a little needlecase for a friend from Knit and Natter. I used the same set of patterns from New Stitches magazine that I used for the card for Stefon’s Mum a couple of weeks ago – just did a different flower this time again in blackwork on some of my sparkly aida fabric. This fabric has a gold fleck woven into it and is part of a stash from one of the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Shows a couple of years ago.
I finished off the needlecase by lining it with gold silk and putting a thin layer of wadding in between with ribbon to fasten.
Sorry that I did not post the giveaway winner last night but I did the draw from all the comments and the winner is Barbara. Barbara is a very talented textile artist (no blog unfortunately so that you can see her work) and does the most amazing crazy patchwork tea cosies. So I will be sending a little gift package to Barbara of stitchy things very soon. Thank you very much to everyone else who commented as well and said such nice things about my blog!
Am hoping to get a load of stitched Xmas ornies finished this week – have the backing, stuffing and ribbons to do on the things that I have been doing bit by bit all year. Then I can start on a couple of new Xmas gifts.
I thought I would use a bit of alliteration for the title of this post as I am very relieved to tell you that the ASOE Exchange piece I sent to Wendy Jo in Iowa has arrived! I posted it nearly 3 weeks ago and was getting a bit worried that it had gone walkabout as hers arrived in just over a week.
Wendy Jo said she liked the colour red and as it was an Autumn/Fall exchange theme I chose a design of blackberries done in blackwork stitches using a Silk Mill dark red thread.
The design comes from on old edition of New Stitches magazine edition 53 and it is stitched on my favourite sparkly evenweave – am running out of stocks of this so that will be a definite for the shopping list at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Nov!
This is the first time that I have finished an ornament as a pinkeep – I found some very helpful instructions on how to do this on Heidi’s Stitching Together blog.
On the reverse of the piece I stitched Wendy Jo’s initial using a design from one of my Lesley Wilkins’ blackwork books and added a little thimble needlework charm as well. I have just ordered some more of these charms from Stitch Direct but they will also go on the shopping list!
In knitting progress I have now completed one of a pair of something I have never tried before! It was a bit of a struggle involving much unravelling but I am very proud of myself. Cannot reveal any more as it is a present (or will be when I finish the other one!) The first post after Xmas is going to be massive one showing you all of my recent creations!
I am going to be doing a big baking session this afternoon as I am making little pink iced buns to take to work tomorrow for our Think Pink Breast Cancer awareness fund raising efforts this week. This is a very important issue for all women and I, like many of you I’m sure, have had friends affected by this. So not only (hopefully) lovely cakes but am important cause as well!