Thursday 30 December 2010

Hello everyone!
Yay, snow has nearly all gone and I don't want to see anymore this winter!! We kept up a constant battle with clearing the drive/walkway (I say we, of course mean hubs) but sometimes it was a losing battle and we forgot what colour the car was!

Anyway was rooting through my photobucket pictures and come across this little embroidery which are still hanging off the bed posts  (they have been there that long that we dont 'see' them anymore) and they are getting a bit shabb.
I can't remember the book that the design was in, it was from the library. It was done in long stitch on a piece of shiny green material. The back has a load of french knots, which a lot of people don't like doing but I don't mind.

 These were just stuffed with a bit of wadding, but wouldn't it be nice to have lavender in it and hang in the wardrobe or put in a drawer?

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Fat Cat

You may remember the fat ginger cat that I had started to cross stitch a little while ago. The design is by Margaret Sherry, I think she does such cute little animals (although a lot of fractional stitches which I tend to leave out!) Here he is with his pot of tea and nice cup cake to keep him going. The design has 4 smaller cats as well which I will be stitching to go with him, all with a baking theme.

I would like to frame it with Ginger in the middle and the other 4 surrounding him. What I found very helpful is a marker pen which disappears when immersed in water. So marking in blocks of 10 helps to pick up mistakes really quickly (of which I make a lot of!)

Tuesday 28 December 2010

twit- twoo

The 1980's seem to me to have just gone, but of course its 30 years ago. Where have the years gone? This owl is one of the few long stitch embroideries that I did in that period. It is made from wool on a canvas type of cotton background. It was a picture for many. many years but when we downsized we couldn't find a place that suited him in our cottage. So what to do with it? Put it in the loft to gather decided to make it into a cushion! The back of which was a discarded scarf which fitted the colour scheme perfectly (see, never throw anything away!!) So, a new lease of life for Oswald the Owl, and a comfy cushion for, win!!

Just noticed that he looks a little cross, well he would do with me sitting on top of him :0D

Monday 27 December 2010

This cross stitch took a couple of years to do and afterwards was left for a number of months while I scouted for a frame big enough to put it in. I was quoted £45 for frame and mount which was fair enough I suppose as it's a enormous picture (couldnt afford it any way!) Finally found one in a charity shop for £5 and then had a mount cut for £6 so a bit of a saving there. It is now hanging up on the wall.

I did read the number wrong on the pink foxgloves so it's a different shade to the pattern and when I ran out was a bit of a panic as I didn't know what number I'd used (thrown away the label) fortunately managed to get a near enough shade that it actually doesn't show any different.....pheww. So that's my lesson learnt, make sure you read the labels correctly!! Also another thing I did wrong was to cut the material too short and so I had to leave out some of the bottom bit (which was only shading) so yet another lesson measure twice and cut once (which is what I tell myself but obviously I took no notice!).  Also I left out the butterflies as I didnt like them in the design, but that's just me.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Charlie again.

And here is another portrait of Charlie this time with pastels. It is the spitting image of him.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Portrait of Charlie

Thought you might like to see what my daughter has been painting. She has only been painting in the the last year or so and seems to have found a knack for portrait painted animals. This is her neighbours large sheepdog-cross Charlie painted in oils. It is so life like its unbelievable. She has done a few commissions for people so if you are interested please email her on If she lets me I will put another of her portraits on my blog later.

Friday 17 December 2010

Cross stitch sampler

I made this large cross stitch a couple of years ago for my granddaughter, it's not a tradtional sampler for a baby but they don't stay little for long and thought this would last for many years without looking babyish on her wall as she grows up and the decor changes.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Teabag Paper boats

I enjoyed making the little boat picture so much that this afternoon was spent making some more. Made with the teabag tissue it makes the paint really zingy. I might either make them up as cards or put them in little frames.

 The colours in the bottom picture are more accurate to real life.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

What a Bargain!

Found this packet of delectable goodies in The Factory Outlet that has just opened up in the old Woolies store.
I just couldn't pass it by for a fiver....not treated myself for a while ;0)
What a load of stuff inside, loads of different stamps, wooden and acrylic, stripes of coloured card, stripes of a sort of felt for borders I guess, 2 pkts of cardboard alphabet letters and my favourite a card full of brads. They are made of material and look so delicious in real life. I had a brain storm while I was looking at them and thought if I knitted a cardi (which is on the books!) I could cut the brad bit off the back and glue them onto a plain button that has a ridge to it, (after sewing the button on the garment first) and so would have some funky buttons, what do ya think?

Tuesday 14 December 2010


Recently made this for my great nephew, he is so sweet. These baby cakes are so nice to give to mums/dads, it makes a pressie look extra special when in fact it was not so expensive! In the middle of the zebra blanket there are rolled nappies, a soft baby hat, box of choccies and teddy on top. Then wrapped with cellophane and topped with a blue ribbon. I also made a blue 3 tier one for my grandson.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Sockie overload!

Had an order for 25 mini monkeys so had to get them finished within 2 days which was rather a rush!
Anyway just made it in time and here is the finished result.

And with their Uncle Barry and Aunty Brenda. A happy family photo!

Saturday 11 December 2010

a how I did it - tutorial

Thought you might like to see how I built up a picture that just finished.
First up about 8 layers of teabag tissue.

Next slap on some paint in varying stripes, I used watercolours but any paint would do. Then oversew with different sorts of stitches on the machine (mine is just a cheapo Tesco one so nothing tricky!)

Don't you think it looks a bit like material the sort that has a soft quilty feel to it.

Next up is thinking about what to put on it. I wanted to make a bigger ship type picture, so put in some boats and trees.

 These were lightly sprayed with 505 spray glue to anchor them whilst doing a close zig zag stich around the body of the boats. The trees are also zig zag.

Next attaching some houses with random pieces of fabric, all cotton.

Adding the sailes also with zig zag. The masts are running stitch up and down a few times.

Fiddly bits of windows and doors. I did try and black ink the panes in but it didnt work very well.

The finishing touches of painting in numbers on the sails and adding details to the doors and windows.

Close up of some of the details.

Hmm photo a bit squint there but not in real life. The colours are a bit darker and more vibrant also. Now in it's frame BUT what did I do.... broke the glass as I was putting it in. I was so mad with myself! So its a bit floppy without the glass to keep it all together. But at least there is no reflection glare!! I picked the frame up in a charity shop last year and it was perfect for this project. I will have to now take it to the framers to get a bit of glass to fit. So people be careful and dont rush and dont put it on a soft surface (I balanced it on the sofa so nobody to shout at except myself!)
It will be going into the bathroom....eventually.

Its funny how my tastes have changed so much over the years. At one time I wouldnt have liked this sort of work, I liked Victoriana and heavy stuff. I suppose with the event of the internet there is so much more variety of styles and colours and materials than way back then. I am turning to more bright colours and I also like some niave American type pictures (this is what I was trying to achieve here, although the sky reminds me of an Jamacian sky!)

Anyway I hope you like it and it gives somebody some inspiration to try different materials and just go for it.

Friday 10 December 2010

be back in a mo!

Just a flying underneath an order for a load of mini sock monkeys....will be back soon.

Monday 6 December 2010

Teabag Tissue Paper

For those that have asked what is teabag paper, it's the same tissue paper that teabags are made of. So quite strong and you can paint on it, embroider it, applique it, stick things to it etc. It has minute dimples so adding to the texture. The little picture shown has the paper folded 4 times to make it stronger.  I also thought it had a look of material when embellished, so you can do your own design and people won't know that its paper! You can also use bondaweb to make a stronger stiffer paper, but I didn't find that necessary.

Just had another thought ,it can also be used for making the inner's of lavender bags or other smellies. Make up the paper and then pop it into a pretty outer bag to hang in the wardrobe or drawers. Also how about making up your own mix of tea, then sew up some the paper into teabag size and viola you have your own special blend of tea, Earl Grey and strawberry anyone!

Away now to have a go at a bigger picture.
 As there is yet more snow coming down I can see that we will be stuck inside for quite sometime....good thing I have a plentiful supply of craft items......never mind the food!!!

Sunday 5 December 2010

Finished picture. Next time I'm going to see if I can paint a harbour and patchwork boats and little houses. Hmm I can see it in my head anyway!

Snow drifts

This is an painting done by my daughter from a photo that hubs took of the frost on the car windscreen. It is amazing how the crystals form and the colours that come through, she has captured it very well.

Well, well, well, just when we thought we were thawing out and hubs thought it was supposed to rain today, woke up to another fall of snow that completly covered all previous attemps to clear paths etc. So back to square one again and back to clearing the paths. I've had enough now well and truly! I think the poor birds have had enough as well, we are running out of food for them so hope what we have left will stretch till we can get to the shops again.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Trompe l'oel

One of my favourite things used to be trompe l'oel. I have seen some amazing ones on google (also murals)
As we have downsized we dont have a lot of room for ornaments etc so painted this to go over the doorway in the hall (no dusting...method in my madness!) The cat that I painted was on a small hardboard screen that I made to go around a plant pot, but as nowhere to put it now so cut the cat out and put him in amongst the 'pots'.

Fireplace Cat Trompe l'oeil


Friday 3 December 2010

 As we have such a lot of snow these last few day here is a painting to put us in the mood for walks in the snow! (although have to say I'm fed up with it now)
This is a wintery scene that was painted the last winter....I wanted to see how snow was painted so got a book from a library and had a go with the author's instructions (added a couple of people and dog)

and did a family one as well. Not too keen on the tree but was interesting to see how the snow took shape with the shadows.
Hope you're all keeping warm in your part of the country.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Blue Brooch

Made another brooch they are quite moorish to make! This one has got blue felt and blue beads in the middle and looks nice on a plain jumper/blouse etc. (the colours are more vibrant than the photo and the orange is nice and zingy) My hubs made me the logo which hasn't photographed very well but is lovely in real life. 

          We wont be venturing out anywhere in this snow apart from feeding the birds and getting the wood in for the fire. So plenty of guilt free sewing/crafting to get on with. :0)