Previous month:
December 2010
Next month:
February 2011

A giveaway, just because

Teacup pin cushion

There will be three winners for this giveaway three days in a row. The first prize up is this teacup pin cushion. It's roughly the size of a traditional tomato pin cushion, is stuffed with Kapok and has a Liberty cover topped with blue cotton crochet.

Vintage textile monogrammed sachet

The prize on the second day will be one monogrammed sachet made from vintage textiles and hand embroidered details. It will also include a Liberty print initial of your choice. These can be hung in a closet or wardrobe on a clothes hanger or as a decoration around the house. They're roughly 10cm x 13cm and filled with English lavender.

Helpful teddy

Teddy has been helping me sort out my crochet practice pieces.
On the third giveaway day this teddy will be the prize. He is made from thick, soft, felted wool and sports Liberty ears and matching felt scarf. His button eyes means he's not very baby friendly but he's wonderfully cuddly for a bigger kid or a toy loving adult. He was one of two samples I made for the GP December issue and he's looking for a nice home.

There you have it - three prizes, three days in a row. Each prize will include a little something extra; I'd tell you what that is but I'm still undecided.

Simply leave a comment on this post to enter for all three days, but you can only win once. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere and will take place on February 7th, 8th and 9th (that's a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). Please be sure your email address is available so that I can contact you if you win.

Have a wonderful weekend wherever it may take you.


Safety, stitching and wishes

Embroidered cotton tape

First tulips of the year :)

Gracie drawing safely

A new corner for an old cupboard

Grown up tea set

I haven't been around these parts for a while now but it's all been good. I've managed to complete some belated birthday presents and finish rearranging my workspace. I'm still in the process of sorting out the vintage textiles but that tends to lead to inspiration of one sort or another so I count that as doubly productive. It makes me smile to see that online friends have been making the same things at the same time, it's almost like we're in the same room :)

Happy birthday today to Dianne! Sorry I can't be with you but I'm sharing the sunny tulips with you that Tristan gave me.

Gracie was home one day this week, she had a sore throat... no a tummy ache... no a headache. Really, she was tired and I wasn't up to challenging her; honestly, spending a day together is a treat anyway. She recently got a new safety helmet for skating and decided to wear it on her "sick" day while working on her blog. 

Tristan is going through a Nirvana stage so we're finding ourselves racing around the house to Smells Like Teen Spirit as we get out the door each morning (thanks for that Uncle Pete). He also just finished a crazy two weeks of performing music for a play. It's been worth it, the play was fantastic and we're so proud of his performance. Recently I was discussing life soundtracks with Pat. It occurs to me that I can trace Tristan's development with music like a height chart, one day I'll right them all down.

The last photo is a tea set I made for my sister-in-law. I made a whole bunch of these for a craft fair about four years ago and haven't felt like making any since, but after receiving my bookhou cozy in the post it reminded me of how useful they really are. I think of this linen toile as quite grown up and my sister-in-law has a grown up house; no sticky door handles or muddy footprints or wet towels tossed on the bathroom floor.

Tomorrow, a giveaway - finally :)

And what are you listening to in your house?

It's a silver (and gold) day

Frosty bird bath

Silver and gold wrap up the Poppytalk Winter Colours week. I had no problem with silver images, but gold was absent from my photo files. A few of these photos are repeats from the past.

The image above was taken this morning. I always think of frost as silvery, don't you?

Dew on the clothes line
Frosty clothesline

Frost melting on the washing line Tuesday morning.

Bird feet

Remember these? I made them for the children in my class to use with their clay birds. Turns out only one child wanted a standing bird; it's not easy debating the merits of feet with a classroom full of six year olds. I've used a few pairs feet myself (no not on myself), the birdie in the NM header is standing with them.

Smokey quartz

Found in the garden

Silver birch, with bandit mask

This guy is actually a big log on the ground - Nanou would have a fun time with him but she'd need a really big saw :)

I'm behind on returning emails and things, sorry. It's been a busy week and our internet connection has been ultra slow, due to all the recent rain apparently.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Today's a green theme


A cushion of moss in the woods.

Some new images and a few old favourites for the Poppytalk Winter Colours Week. Tempting to show only images of moss; I have so many of them because their colour is an oasis in winter.


Snowy shed, again.


A repeat of the miniature herb garden... let's swing.


Apple tree in the garden, soaking in the sun yesterday morning.


Green finch. He looks like a B-list celeb, evil eyeing the paparazzi don't you think?

That's it, have a great Thursday, and Nicole you made me laugh. Yes the giveaway will be post the Christmas just past, I'm behind yes. But never will I be early for next Christmas :)




A blue day


Revisiting some blue images for the Poppytalk Winter Colours Week. Today we have blues and happily the skies match the theme.


Wish I could visit the beach today too, it's lovely out.


And I'm still holding on to this piece because I haven't yet managed to put together a sale of my vintage textile pieces. 

I hope your skies are as blue as ours are today; I've even hung out a load of laundry - yay! It's been a busy morning so I'll stop at about half past for a tea break, join me won't you?


PS, I still plan on a post Christmas giveaway.

A few winter whites

Mother of pearl drawer

Carrying on with the Poppytalk Winter Colours Week today we have shades of white.

Broken heart on a walking path

This one I just noticed this morning though I've probably stepped over it dozens of times.

Fennel & white

This image is from last winter.

My connection is very slow today so these have taken too long to post but thanks to everyone who wished the sun our way because it worked! We have sun today and I can't drink in enough of it. I think this sweet owl brought the sun our way too, all the way from France. Thank you to its warm and wonderful maker :)


Happy Tuesday, see you tomorrow.


Winter reds


It's the Poppytalk Winter Colours Week. I'm revisiting images from last year with this one but I think it's worth it. I love these perfect crabapples at Dianne's house.


My Bookhou tea towels on the red oven. They're still pristine because I don't let my family actually use them.


I've already had all of these on Flickr, but they're my favourites of the winter reds. Especially this very polite robin waiting his turn at the seed ball.

I've spent my spare time at the weekend going beyond reorganizing and decided to rearrange my craft space lugging furniture here and shoving it there. I'm trying to make it flow better and clear out what I don't use. I know it's the time of year for it but it also helps me clear my head when the greyness outside starts creeping inside. I'm still at that stage where it all looks like a disaster even though it's meant to be reorganized.

Back to work then.

Happy Monday to you and if you see Mr Sun, please ask him to pay Hampshire a little visit. Thanks ever so much.


What's the time?


Time is a funny concept. It disappears when my hands are busy making things, or when I finally get into the heart of an overdue chore like reorganizing my fabric cupboard or when I'm reading a great book. And in the winter it's hard to tell what time of day it is. The skies are grey for days on end, and when you're sitting in a cloud, outside it looks the same at 8am as it does at 4pm. So I clock watch, until it's time to get children from school.

This week has been a lot of getting stuck into chores, but also playing with supplies as I go about reorganizing and cleaning. The bunny above hasn't laid eggs, he's just taking a peek at what I've been up to. In the midst of finding a new home for my roving I began playing with tiny needle felting and it's been fun.


Gracie has been playing too. She has a friend who had  a tiny hat attached to a hair clip. Gracie really liked it so she made one for herself. She's mulling over my offer to help her cover it with felt.

Between the two of us, organizing takes a long, long time, we're both happily and easily distracted.


Colour at the moment is found mainly in the form of the mosses and lichen enjoying some warmer temperatures and the rain, rain, rain. The garden is already awash with mud post snow-melt and I've scarcely taken off my wellies for the last two weeks. 


Also, a little birdie hinted that there aren't many pictures of me online. So here's a doosie taken by my brother. I'm feigning surprise while I open a coat that I asked for and knew I was getting. Though that face doesn't look surprised, not sure what it looks really. And I'm also not sure why I'm wearing my glasses, I use them when I drive.

This week there are some really very lovely giveaways happening. An incredibly old prize is being offered here, beautiful missing pieces can be won here, a dreamy fiber prize here (if you're really quick) and some wonderful loot won here. If you enter them all, your odds are great don't you think?

And, I just finished one of the best books I've read in yonks, Small Island by Andrea Levy. As I linked the book I found out the BBC made the book into a TV movie last year and there are some brilliant actors in it. I'll try and get my hands on the DVD and hope it's as good as the book. Did you see the TV film; how was it?

Do you have any good books on the go?

Happy weekend to you,




Noodles and sun and things


Sunday was hubby's birthday and we had sun nearly all day. We made him some cards, we took him to dinner at the seaside to watch the sunset and baked him a yummy cake like this one (I just realized you can get the recipe on Nigella's site here).


We love Wagamamas, especially this one with a sea view.


Gracie was so into her noodles, she nearly missed the sunset.


As I watched it, I dreamt of jumping on that ferry to visit friends and more friends in France.


The sun also gave me a better view of the holiday cards that are still up... wonder how long I can keep them up.

Some treats came my way this week too. One in the way of a sweet button postcard from Jill, part of her "Today I Saw" series. Treat yourself to a look back at all her previous drawings from the series. The pretty drawing behind it and the easels were gifts from lovely Sonia.


And these perfect pink roses were brought to me by a friend. I put them in an old silver plate jug that I bought for flowers, one of my favourite boot fair buys - only 50p.


I hope you've had some sun lately. We have rain forecast for the rest of the week so you can imagine my joy at seeing it just peek through the clouds. I think I'll make a cup of tea and drink in the rays, sometimes procrastinating isn't really procrastinating, it's just necessary. Tea drinking is much nicer than facing clearing out the food cupboard a mouse has decided to visit... life in the country ;)

Sketching, stitching and inspiration

My mom has fed hummingbirds for as long as I can remember and they love her for it. My parents live on a hill and this led to the name of a wine that they were able to produce this year with grapes offered to them from a vineyard of my aunt and uncle's. Though the wine was meant to keep for another year before drinking, many, many glasses were drunk over our holiday to the sound of my father saying " a year it will be even better." It's already very great but I did bring back a couple of bottles to store for next year.

Ruby Throated hummingbird. This hummingbird ended up being stitched on the go everywhere: on the plane, while visiting friends and cousins, even while the family opened Christmas gifts. I finally handed it to my parents (the recipients) as I climbed into the taxi taking us to the airport to return back to England. My mom photographed it for me because there was not even time for for me to click a single picture. It's actual size, so it's tiny, but I did a lot of stitching and unstitching so it took time. It's hard to see but the ruby throat is made with lots of very small loops made with detached chain stitches. Silk thread would have been nice, but I use what I have on hand these days.

The wine label and the embroidery both started life as the first in a series of sketches of three different types of hummingbirds, remember these? 


I'm loving sketching with stitches these days and have several small projects on the go at once. I'm also enjoying trying more painterly styles. Here are two artists who are inspiring me, one in oils the other in crewel.

This oil painting in progress of Rick Beerhorst's is already gorgeous and I want it. I also adore the crewel work portrait stitching of Cayce Zavaglia; her pieces are extraordinary.

Image from Cross Stitcher magazine

There's a great interview with this incredible stitch artist here at Cross Stitcher magazine online. The latest print issue also happens to feature fabulous Nicole at Follow the White Bunny

Where are your sketches taking you these days?