Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Happy Christmas

No blogging for weeks and now a quickie to say Merry Christmas and to wish all my friends a healthy and happy New Year.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

November ....

Wet, windy and dull this morning ......

but later sunny and dry enough to collect a few lovely leaves from the garden.

NO sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side this way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No travelling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

Thomas Hood 1789 - 1845

I don't think Thomas Hood got it entirely right - though we do have a postal strike just now!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

.. more Autumn colours ..

I haven't been blogging often recently as I'm in an unsettled mood, not doing anything very interesting or original ...
I had a lovely collection of red fibres from Carolyn, recently though and really enjoyed sorting out a few bits and pieces to send to her.
Some of the fibres I found were lovely Autumn colours so I made yet another mosaic, adding a couple of pics of an Assisi piece I did some years ago - it's now in Priscilla's dining room in New Mexico,
The red fibres are lovely for Christmas work - hopefully I'll get inspiration to use them soon.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Wessex Stitchery

Mini Sampler

Yesterday I completed this - only 6x9cm but it took several days,
stitching with Caron Wildflowers variegated thread.

The centre flowers are a design called Pembroke, in Gay Eaton's book, 'Wessex Stitchery'.
The outer patterns are my own, done randomly and copied at the opposite edge.
This technique is new to me.
The history of the stitching is interesting - the patterns are challenging - working on finer weave than usual I need a magnifier - I think I'll try another piece!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Yesterday we went to the local common for a while before having a lovely lunch at a country pub.
It would have been nice to walk a little way - the sun was warm and lots of 'seniors'
were out taking in Autumn - but I enjoyed taking a few photos from the car park - nearly as good.
Many thanks to all my friends here and on Flickr for your recent good wishes - yes Carolyn, I do try to "enjoy the moment" every day - there's always something to perk me up!

Sunday, 27 September 2009


This month has come and nearly gone.....

I haven't done much crafting as it has been an unsettled time.
Several hospital visits, a short stay for Femoral Balloon Angioplasty, some days feeling sorry for myself, and still no improvement in mobility!
I'm hoping things will be better in October - next consultation soon - hopefully about having a back injection to improve things.
The Autumn mosaic is from a fabric postcard I made a year ago - I'll shake myself up soon, get positive, and stop moaning.
I have ideas but they don't seem to be coming together - and Christmas crafting is around the corner ......
Do something, silly woman!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Belle Epoque

Today is our wedding anniversary - two years ago a friend gave us a rose bush for our Golden Wedding Anniversary.
It hasn't had many blooms so far but each one is gorgeous.
I need a few notecards so I'll make them from this photo.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Blackberries .....
About 50 years ago we bought a 'Himalayan Giant' blackberry plant and planted it 'out of the way' at the end of the garden.
What we didn't realise was that, OK, we have had lovely big blackberries for cooking each year - but - we have also had blackberry briars growing everywhere in the garden and they take a lot of digging out!
I guess most of our neighbours have plenty too!
Well we have enjoyed pie, crumble, bbs with custard, bbs with meringues, bbs with apples, bbs with pears, and bbs in the freezer for later, over & over & over.
50 years on and I've decided we deserve something more original. So I Googled and found new ideas .......several I'll try, though I'm not too sure about Blackberry & Apple Yorkshire Puddings!
There are lots - one link to 42 recipes is below - sorry I can never get a click link here, but copy and paste works if you are interested.

Oh! I nearly forgot - mashed up, the berries make a lovely fabric and fibre dye!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

"Fresh as a Daisy"

I have taken photos, drawn, and stitched daisies for years and have a daisy "gallery" of cards and pictures.

The fabric picture has old & new lace, (old from a charity shop table cloth in bad condition),
braid, beads, buttons, & stitching and it will be
framed for the "gallery".
It has been looking at me, just started, for about two weeks so I finished it today.

The small watercolour pencil pictures are old.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

PC-"This & That"

Some years ago I started a "This & That" collection in a large plastic box.
Odds and ends, bits and pieces ..... this and that, have been added and it's now full.
I'm not sure whether it's a treasure chest or a box of rubbish!
I recently looked through and took out fabric and lace scraps, small cameo, friendly plastic motif, small drawing, buttons and fine ric-rac braid.
So, another fabric, or multi media postcard - still lots left in the box though!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Days have come and gone since I was last here .....

I have been very unsettled, waiting for results of an MRI scan and impatient to have some relief from back problems and hopefully being able to stand longer and walk more.
When I feel this way I can only stitch from patterns so I have been sitting for days doing small cross stitch and blackwork pieces.
The cross stitch flowers are stitched on Rustic Aida from a pattern in an old magazine,"Quick & Easy Stitch & Craft", for a birthday card.

The blue jugs are from an old magazine,
"New Stitches" - a set of ten.
The frames are from picnik, for display here.
I hope I'm not so bored that I do all ten - the stitching needs concentration and it relaxes me but what would I do with them? lol
I'll try to shake myself up next week and do something a bit more original.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Chunky Tapestry

**!>~** and *:#>* ..... I keep seeing people and having scans and tests and things and I still can't walk or stand for long ..... I know things could be worse, and are for many, but I do get frustrated!
So, yet again I sit - and cheer up by playing at stitching or www browsing!

I've recently seen several remarks on blogs like "life's so short, start everything".
This idea amuses me and it must be at the back of my mind as I'm forever starting something different in crafting - with lots of things put aside unfinished for another day.
On Friday I decided to make a challenge for the weekend when I picked up a small piece of canvas .....
by Sunday this little 11x10cm. picture was finished (amazing - something finished!)
I enjoyed doing it and it has a chunky look and feel.
I started with the ribbon "stripes" on the right, thinking I'd do something abstract.
Well, I'm really a flower person so the flowers came next ..... and then it developed bit by bit, no pattern or drawing, as a mini picture.
I couldn't find any true blue wool for a summer sky - (that must be tucked away in a safe place!) so used some from a card of marl darning wool that goes back to the 1940's.
It isn't as dark as it shows here, the marl effect gives a hint of shading quite nicely.
It's not really framed yet - probably never will be. I used a picnik mat for display effect.
Once again I sat most of the weekend - I do make myself take a short walk down the garden path at intervals - and enjoyed stitching,

Friday, 17 July 2009

Darning .....
Many years ago I quite enjoyed darning holes in the heels of my socks (in the days of the second World War we had clothing coupons and had to "make do and mend").

Maybe that's why I love this page from Jan Beaney's book, The Art of the Needle.
This book is one of my best ever Charity shop buys and I come back to it many times.
It's still available on Amazon - buy it if you love fabric and thread!

Having a browse there this morning I decided to stitch something - I wish I could stitch like Jan Beaney!!!!! A square of coarse hessian, only 9x9cm., has been in the scrap box far too long so
I made this mini textured piece - an enjoyable morning.
Now it's time for lunch .....

Monday, 13 July 2009

Ribbon Flowers
I was recently invited to post a favourite ribbon embroidery on
so I chose this one.
It was one of the early ones I did - and one of only a few I have framed.

.... and cross stich ....
As I still need more greetings cards - see previous post - I made a cross stitch background, copied and saved it to print onto textured card and then I can top stitch, so making several cards fairly quickly.
Next I completed the original stitching to make a more special card.
The pattern is from an old CrossStitcher magazine.

This is a print of the background - cross stitch looks good printed on textured card, better than it appears here.
I'll pin prick the top design before stitching with a single thread.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Greetings Cards

As I needed a few greetings cards, and I have bought too many recently, I appliqued flowers from a remnant, did a quickie acrylic painting and stitched on fabric earlier this week.

Yesterday I had to be at the local hospital for hip injections at 7.30am -

if they help I may continue with hip replacements later.
At last some action after months of consultations, x-rays, and scans.
Next week an MRI scan on Aorta and arteries in legs - get them sorted - hopefully have a back injection later - and by then I'll be a new woman (I hope!).
Although I had a lot of pain in my left hip yesterday today that feels better and I'll be walking more this morning to test it out.
Maybe I'll be getting a few weeds out of the garden, I haven't done my share there this year.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Pressed Flowers

I was up in the early hours as I couldn't sleep - I tried catching up on ironing as I haven't done any for ages and the pile grows!
After one thing - no more!!!
So I browsed through an old box of pressed flowers from 1996/7, when I discovered pressing flowers in the microwave soon after I retired.
Amazingly some have preserved and faded gently as in this picture, made at that time ....
...... so I recycled it into a fabric postcard .....

Then I looked out a tiled picture with pressed flowers and played with Flickr Toys to make a "magazine cover" ..... much more interesting than ironing - (that will keep!)

There are lots more flowers, microwave pressed years ago, so I'll play with them in the next few days,
But I must finish making a few greetings cards first .....

Saturday, 27 June 2009

A postcard a month .....

..... see blog below .....

My week

has been mixed ......

lovely sunny days, lots of tennis to watch (Wimbledom on TV), photos of flowers and mosaics at
but restricted time on PC because of arthritis flare in mouse/typing arm and shoulder, and two hospital visits for on going problems (still unresolved, more investigations to come).
The cockerel postcard was stitched when I was on holiday - the final monthly personal challenge for 6x4lives group on Flickr and the mosaic shows them all.
Top left June 2009, bottom right July 2008.
I had not previously stitched postcards but now I'm addicted as I enjoy stitching small pieces.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Vivvone in early Summer .....

We were last in this area of France in Autumn - it is just as beautiful in early Summer.
We enjoyed the holiday, despite ups and downs ....
ups, the weather most days, lovely countryside, lots of TLC from our family, and good food and wine .....
downs, I can't walk far and John slipped on the stairs early on and had lots of bruises and pains .....
Never mind, we have many happy memories and photos to be looking back on .....

Sunday, 31 May 2009

May has come and nearly gone ... an unsettled month for me.
I have not been well and I'm waiting for results from investigations into my back, hips and Aorta. Wheels turn slowly in our health service!
I've done some stitching, enjoyed taking photos of flowers, and have played with digital editing programmes lots -
the weather is lovely just now, so altogether things are not too bad.

The first mosaic is of flowers from our garden, next from photos sent by my sister in law in France ....
and the signpost is to remind me that we are going to France for two weeks on Tuesday.
When we see that sign we'll know that La Chausee is just down the narrow winding lane, a pretty and quiet rural spot, and where we will be staying!
I know we will have a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday with our family.
Barbara & Peter make us very welcome, the countryside is beautiful and there are lots of lovely small towns, villages, markets, and restaurants to visit.
When we get back three hospital appointments, surely all that will put me right!

1st June ...... new month, new header from small pic done in watercolour pencils and background from
..... I'll be around after 16th June .....

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Freeform Crochet "Scrumble"....

Moving on from chain stitch flowers to free form (as I can't do patterns.) - this started to frill so I thought it made a nice cuff. I love happy accidents!

Postcard for May

I finished my personal challenge monthly postcard this evening, (Flickr 6x4lives group) - this is what it will look like if I decide to frame it - which is unlikely!
The frame is from Photo suite 7.
Just one more PC to make to complete the set of 12 as I made the first one in July last year - that's another year gone by quickly.
I like doing postcard sized pieces - fairly quick to complete, which suits my style.

I'm always wanting to do something else and I don't give attention to doing things well and finishing off neatly - well, I often don't finish a piece!
As most things just go into a box or drawer it doesn't really matter - I enjoy what I do and that's my main aim.
I'm still struggling with crochet - had fun doing the free form piece at the weekend.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Gorgeous Quilt!

Aneela Hoey is offering this gorgeous lap quilt for the 100th post on her blog 'comfort stitching'.
I've never entered a giveaway as far as I remember but just couldn't resist being in with a chance for this!

Later ..... oh dear, I didn't win! Never mind I've got this lovely picture.

Monday, 11 May 2009

"I grow old, ever learning many things."
- Solon.
Today I'm 74 (not from choice! LOL) and yes, most days I try to "learn" something new, though remembering it is the problem!
How lucky we are to have www at hand with more info than we will ever be able to take in.
But I'm indulging in nostalgia too.
These trinkets are of little value except for sentiment ....
my mum's watch and necklace, dad's penknife,
John's grandmother's fob watch,
my grandmother's 'treasures' including a Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee commemorative token, 1837-1897
my aunt's thimbles,
salt cellars from a dear friend .......
I don't know who first had the tiny book calendar. It's 1" x 2", from 1898, an advertising freebie from the Midland Educational company ....
worthless things but priceless!
For group

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Stitching on Hessian

For two days I have had an arthritis flare in my right arm so could only do short sessions on PC and stitching.
As I had made the crochet flowers previously in practice I stitched these quicky small hessian pieces and spent time reading.

Yesterday Sandie, a docrafts web crafting friend, called unexpectedly. What a lovely surprise - we had not met before.

We had lots of ideas to share and really enjoyed the afternoon. I gave her the top piece as a momento - it is slightly bigger than ATC size.
The pink piece is an ATC.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Fabric Landscape "Late Summer"

I started this in February and picked it up recently to add embroidery.
It's my first successful fabric landscape mini quilt, machine & hand stitched, inspired by the books
Points of View by Valerie Hearder and
Creative Hand Embroidery by Sue Newhouse.
I don't often frame work these days but as this is a first I think I'll get it framed.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Daisy Gray Design
..... my new background .....
Thank you Caroline,
for the link to Daisy Gray Design,
and many thanks to Daisy Gray for the lovely selection of backgrounds.
After playing and trying several I decided this "Asian Cherry Blossom" was my favourite and that it sets off my photos well.
I loved the blossom mosaic I had as a header recently but have changed it as this background blends better with pinks than the blue sky on the blossom photos.
Lots of my work and photos are mainly pink so I'll be able to ring the changes on the header - something I'm always doing!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Flowers in Chain Stitch ...

My personal challenge is to learn crochet.
I made a few Granny Squares years ago (background here) but can't remember how I did them.
I'm very clumsy with a crochet hook, the yarn keeps slipping, and I can now only do chain stitch .....
..... so I'm practising by making lots of chain stitch flowers which I'll use later on something .....
The French Knot centres help to hide lots of uneven stitches and mistakes but I am getting a bit handier with the hook.
I've ordered a beginner's book, Crochet unravelled, by Claire Bojczuk,
and one called 100 Flowers to Knit And Crochet, by Lesley Stanfield, so when they arrive maybe I'll get better - maybe not, LOL!
I'm really enjoying using scraps of all kinds and colours of wool and threads, just making small chains and linking them.
There are so many web sites and short videos to help but the abbreviations for the stitches complicate things.
Crochet is so easy to undo and redo though. I'm struggling with basic stitches next as I'm inspired by lovely flowers I see in the Flickr crochet flowers group.

...... and a new header photo as blossoms are so beautiful just now.
Fifty years ago our street was planted with a lovely avenue of blossom trees. This one is just outside our lounge window - once again a delight!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Learning Crochet!

I've seen several pretty crocheted flowers recently and decided to have a go!
I sent for a begnner's guide and a book of 100 flowers, but couldn't wait .... long ago I made four granny squares at a craft class - but can't remember how I did them.
So I found a hook and as all I can do is chain and slip stitch "free form" is for me.
It's fun so I'll be doing more!
I'm a granny who can't crochet a granny square so I've done a rectangle in two different texture wools, using chain and slip stitches randomly.
The flowers, added on top, are in chain stitch.
The background colours are more golden than shown here.

Cigarette Cards

Kensitas flowers were woven from silk and given away with Kensitas cigarettes in 1933 & 1934. Never before or since their issue has a silk been given away contained in an outer protective card.
They were in two collections, about 100 in all I think.
I bought these few, from 1933, at a collectors' fair about twenty years ago. This size was given in packets of 20 cigarettes,
Postcard size given with packets of 50 - I've never seen these.
There are full details at
I've recently seen them used in a crazy quilt so I may use one or two - though it's nice to have them in their original little folders.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Mini Quilt


I'm still quite unsettled healthwise and have recently mostly taken photos around the house and garden, made quickie mosaics from them in Picasa, half heartedly done cross stitch, and generally messed about.
Photos are in Flickr,

Then I came across some lace motifs, found other bits and pieces and enjoyed making this mini quilt which I may frame ....
Hopefully I'll be less lethargic this week.

Saturday, 18 April 2009


Apricot Scones

Inspired by libbyquilter to make scones for breakfast!
As I used a quickie guess, mix , pat flat and cut recipe they have not risen a lot - but taste OK!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Wild Violets

This morning I found wild violets behind our compost bin, picked a few, and left lots to seed for next year. I took photos and made yet another mosaic - one of my favourite relaxations.
Helga saw it on Flickr and asked to use it as a header on her blog.
As it looks nice there I decided to use it for a while - I had to change the template too to show it to best advantage.
Well, I always enjoy playing about!
But why do many templates leave such wide margins at each side - I'd rather have more width in the blog .....

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Another Easter comes and goes!

I have lots of flowers but I love small posies from the garden and can't resist making mosaics.
It's been an unsettled week having heard that more investigations are needed into hips, back - and now Aorta, so once more it's wait for appointments ....
....adding to my frustration the PC was down for five days, always a difficult time!
Well it gave me time to do a therapeutic cross stitch border on the twee Easter picture I made some years ago.
I hope all my friends have had a peaceful and Happy Easter.