Sunday, 28 September 2014

A visitor, a comfy cat and stitchy bits

Pal Mary was over from Perth Australia and spent a few days at mine and we had lunch out at the quirky East Yorkshire Tea Rooms in Hessle one of the days.
Don't you love the way the sparkly fairy lights around the old mirrors look and then they go and light an elaborate old candle stick too for added effect?
They highlight Mary's silver surfer hair too lol : )

As you can see new kitten cat is growing and settling in nicely, all be it he still refuses to come to his name - any of them lol
Did I mention he's now called Harvey?
He shows good sense and sees the possibilities that fabrics hold!

Had my grandson for a night stop and after a shower he got comfy on the sofa with his new pal ~ he was doubly delighted when Harvey chose to sleep on the end of HIS bed with him lol

I have a 12' run of white painted mdf which covers, pelmet style,  the old metalwork for the sliding doors that were previously between my front and back living rooms.
I wanted to make some pennant like pieces to fit along its length.
I'm going to use old linens, embroideries, tapestry pieces and some new fabrics and make them in the style of 'prayer flags'.
I've always liked the way Mandy Pattullo pieces some of her smaller work, like her birds which you can see on her blog.

It means I finally have found a use for some of my rust and flora dyed vintage linens, which can be transformed into something, rather
than them sit patiently in boxes :)
I picked up The Hand Stitcher book up in The Works, as you can see for only £5.99, which was a good buy.
Although it must be disappointing for authors if they see their hard work, reduced down to such low prices in discount stores don't you think?

I think the background fabric was probably achieved with Mahonia stems, but since Picasa removed my pictures from old blog posts,
I cant check back on posts to confirm that.
And of course I didn't have the sense back then, to label fabrics
so I'd know what gave me which results in the future! duhh

Sunday, 21 September 2014

World Blog Hop - Who me?

I remember reading a blog I follow, where the blogger had been nominated by another blogger, for the World Blog Hop and at the
time I thought, what a lovely thing to do for others.
Sort of like the - 'paying it forward' - idea, by recommending another's blog that you have found to be fun, interesting, quirky or whatever.

It never once occurred to me that I might be one day nominated to take part too!
So my sincere thanks go to Karen of the Fairies and Fibres blog for asking me to take part. I have picked up so many useful and interesting facts from Karen and I'd love to think that if we met up, we'd have a lot in common and have a lovely chat over a cup ( or glass) of something.

Karen's is such an incredible blog, I'm humbled she thought to nominate me.
Karen has a magic eye for stunning fussy cut, hexi detail and her machine quilting designs - some on 3/4" hexis ! - are utterly wonderful,
so please go across and browse around her blog and do look at her remarkably helpful tutorials.
Then lust unashamedly over hers and her Mums quilts!!


What am I working on at the moment?

Ah well, whatever takes my fancy at any given time if the truth be told.
I maintain that it's my 'Creative Gene' that runs the show and she has the flitty, butterfly effect on my finishing things!
No really, she's to blame when things get put to one side and I get side tracked : )

I'm in the process of repainting and distressing odd dining chairs to compliment - a new table I've treated myself to.

the latest is this below and it's lilac not blue as the picture suggests lol
I've recently completed a commission for someone who sought me out to make some of my 'Dream Trees' for them and I was so thrilled, since it was my first real commission!
I only use recycled materials and the wire hoops are also recycled items, from old lampshades.
She asked for 3 trees, small, medium and large, the medium and small are below ~ although here they look the same size!
I'm crap at photography lol

However, I've been trying to contact this lady since late July and she
hasn't gotten back to me!
So I have 3 different autumnal coloured trees for her and had framed up a piece of her Mums embroidery too, in a vintage tea tray and am not altogether sure what to do with them now!
I've asked around those who know her and yes, she is still alive!
And I have also emailed her the option of not having the trees, letting her know I wouldn't take offence, but still no word from her -
it all seems a bit odd!
hey ho ~

I am also working on 3 hexi quilt tops, having never made and finished anything other than a 4' square wall hanging in patchwork before.
Daft or brave? hmm yes, probably daft -

Initially it was Michele's strikingly colourful hexi quilt that spurred me to stitch hexis .

So I began my version, in wavy lines of colour rather then straight lines like hers, but I had to pack it away when moving last year, misplaced it and only found it again recently!
Hexi scrappy cover No. 1 WIP

Next I stumbled on the Hexi Block a Month blog, so launched in on the BOM to keep my fingers stitching hexis whilst looking for my scrappy cover above.

Hexi BOM cover No. 2 WIP

Then because of Karen's Amazing fussy cut soupcon pattern ideas,
I started making fussy cut alternative hexi flowers in batiks and yes,
Hexi batik cover No. 3 was born ~

So I pick up one or other as the whim takes me, in the hope that sooner or later, at least one will get completed : )

What makes me different to other bloggers?

Not a lot! 

Making things has always been a therapy and stress release for me.
I'm largely self taught but have done quite a few courses over the years to learn techniques and my fabric obsession started when I worked part time in a craft store.
My blog started as an opportunity to document what I made in the hope that my daughter might one day read through it and see,
maybe more clearly, who I was as a person, other than her Mum.
( Though as a working Mum I doubt she'll ever have time and my son only reads texts lol and doesn't always reply to those! )
I never really expected anyone in blog land to be interested enough to follow my blog and I am ridiculously grateful that some people do!

Why do I do what I do?

Workwise, I devise and make tactile resources for visually impaired children, making everything from 3D geographical models to adapted, tactile, large print and Brailled books.

I'm employed by the council but do make things for individuals too.

As a child, even before I could read, I poured over the 'Things to make and do' pages in the Arthur Mees Children's Encyclopaedia.
 ( the trials of being an only child!)
I've also always reused materials, I was eco conscious from the word go. I think that comes from a favourite auntie who grew up in war time, where you threw nothing away, you reused everything.
She rewound string off parcels and stored it in a cupboard, kept brown paper and buttons - OH I LOVED her too bless her...
Then as a teenager in the swinging sixties, trying desperately to be a ( weekend) hippy, I unravelled hand knit jumpers and turned them into -  10' scarves or crochet versions of my Dream Trees above.
I think I was born a Creative and so have to do, what I do.
Although I do tell people that my crafting keeps me off street corners, for which mankind should be very grateful!

How does my creative process work?

At work I'm organised and productive but at home I'm undisciplined which is not necessarily a good thing!
I get an idea, think it through in my head, work out how to go about it, sometimes read up for advise, but then go do it my way anyway.
I rarely ever stick to or use a pattern - or recipe!
This can produce very happy and successful results but sometimes, well yes, the odd failure or two :)

Perfection was something I was told to aim for back in the Grammar School sewing class and all that did was repeatedly prove to me that,
I was apparently no good at knitting a cravat, my smocking was skew whiff and my finger nails were dirty!
Our Miss Smith was a Victorian throw back and we all feared her!
She quite put me off sewing anything for some years.

However, the one good thing about reaching older age,
is that you learn that perfection is an ideal and not necessarily
that practical for every day living.
Sometimes imperfections are part of the every day and real story.
Well they are in my crafting anyway lol

I knit a bit, crochet a little, and I love to hand stitch things.


And now for something completely different!
I would urge you, having read this far - as a relief and reward - 
to now nip across and see these three other blogs that I really
enjoy visiting.

Peggy at 
who has a wonderful monthly habit of celebrating the moon in a positive and creative way and who is wholly responsible for my eating my chickweed rather than composting it!

 Mary Anne at
who makes delightful crazy patchwork and has a cracking pattern for a Husif - not that I knew what one was before and I bet I've spelt it wrong even now lol

and also take a look at Julia's post at

and read about her newly forthcoming online hexi magazine -
because yes, I confess, I'm a hexicholic !


Cute tea cosy idea : )

There's a new Red Cross charity shop in town with a wonderful long sideboard and can you spot what took my eye on it?

centre pic on shelf was this little fellow

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Okay Christmas is coming - but ... and then this link!

Picked up my great pal Mary ( over from Perth Australia ) at Hull train station Friday evening and what's that in the Hotel window?
It's still September damn it !!
Isn't enough that stores are stocking shelves with bloody Christmas cards and the Cats protection League Christmas catalogue has already in the post!

sighs with feeling .......................

Oh and I love this button idea - what do you think of it?

Friday, 19 September 2014

last 2 chairs yeahhhh

I made another simple waistcoat for a child at work,
she's having difficulty fastening buttons ~
and the two last chairs are now repainted and sanded back : )

   Hard to believe but the chair above is lilac and the one below is a 
  willowy green and I have changed the seat fabric on this one after all.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Phillippa Naylor talk at stitchy club

Last Saturday we had Philippa Naylor come to speak to us at stitchy club and speak she did lol
That lass can talk faster than a gatling gun can fire bullits!
But just look at this quilting ~ stunning, densely packed stitches ~
it's worth 'enlarging' the pics to see the detail.

Club members put some of their work on the stage too

I loved Heathers small primitive quilt below with it's calming fabrics

Below are some of the fabric postcards members made for a display,
the subject was 'holidays' and of course, it was the tactile ones I liked the best.

                         But this seagull n chips, by Kathleen Rial
                              was by far the best of them all LOL 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Two finishes and a paint job

Quite a productive couple of days here : )

Made a new ironing board cover, and bonus - it has ( new) cat approval!

Fashioned a cushion pad for the third chair ~

sanded back and got 2 coats of paint on chair number 4 ~

It needs sanding back a bit and then waxing, but am still in two minds about which fabric to use for the seat.

Oh and this is a real step forward, both cats in close proximity!
It didn't last for long mind you lol

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

waheyy! I have sprouts lol and a 3rd chair all but sorted

Okay, so I'm easily pleased, I know.
But I've never grown sprouts before!
Indeed all the major leaves had been chewed away at by weeny, wiggly caterpillars so I'm amazed that these teeny, tiny sproutlings have survived - so far!
I have 3 other sprout plants and they are still thinking about their sprouty stage, so this may be my entire crop ~
but even so, I'll be thrilled to eat them as and when.
And then next year, there will be more!
( Have you tried grating sprouts in stir frys, soups or salads?
If not, give it a go!)
Chair number 3 is done!
This was the black lacquered chair and sanding it was like taking off solid black treacle, so most of it is still on!
I did manage to take the top layer off and intended to paint it twice over before sanding it back, but one coat gave me the oh-so distressed look I was after!
So bonus!
A light sanding back and waxing and I'm happy with it.
However I think I may make a slim cushion pad for it, in vintage fabric.