Wednesday 28 December 2016

Christmas Continued

Last year I put half a punnet of unused cranberries out for the birds. 
Indigenous British birds obviously have no idea what a cranberry is. Either that or they're just plain fussy.
The cranberries remained, sad, alone and untouched, on the lawn, until they resembled little red bullets, only eventually disappearing when they met their demise in the form of the first mowing of spring. 
This year the wicked ungrateful birds got proper bird seed and I found a recipe on the BBC Good Food site for a Cranberry Apple Chutney.

Both the birds and the family seem much happier with this arrangement.

I also wanted to thank a few people for their Christmas gifts. I was particularly spoiled this year.

Thank you so much to Clare for the pretty diary and soap, to Karan for the lovely silk threads and to Barb for the adorable penguin cushion, (you can't tell in the daylight but it has little light up LEDs on it). 
Your kindness is much appreciated.
I also got a few splendidly geeky things from my family, who know me too well, including some chemistry themed kitchen stuff

A Game of Thrones coaster

An Alice fob watch

And this little box that Naomi burned for me. The elvish script reads "Christine"

Anyone interested in Naomi's creations can find them in her Folksy Shop "The Word on the Street"

Sunday 25 December 2016

Friday 23 December 2016

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

Hello, and welcome to the Advent Calendar Blog Hop as organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching
As requested I'm showing some Christmas stitching and some favourite decorations.
Stitching first. This is a piece I stitched a few years ago, but which I don't think I've shown on the blog before, a Hardanger and Bargello snowscape sampler.

Favourite decorations is a tough one. There are so many. There are all my geeky ones: my Marvel Superhero decorations, my Star Trek ones, my beautiful glass TARDIS and dalek. There are the fabulous stitched decorations I've received in exchanges from online friends over the years, there's my modest large selection of penguin decorations...
In the end I decided to show you some of my vintage ones.

The tiny glass baubles in this little wooden display box mostly belonged to my Grandmother. My favourite is the little glass acorn

And this poseable Jack Frost belonged to either my Aunt or my Mum (I'm not sure which because they both had one and I don't really know which one I acquired and which one my sister got). I can't remember a Christmas when he wasn't there, and I'm pretty sure he's older than me. I'd guess mid-fifties from the look of him, anyway I absolutely love him and he comes out every year despite the fact that everyone else in the house thinks he's hideous.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - Supplement

Here's the thing about having a birthday on the 18th of the month. It's too late for GG that month, but way too long to wait for GG the following month, so I thought I'd add a little GG postscript to show you the lovely things I got from online/stitchy friends.

The beautiful penguin scarf is from Barb, and the lovely penguiny re-usable folding shopping bag is from Julie. Do you spot a penguin theme? (not included in the photo but I got some super penguin gifts from family and friends too, including socks, a decorative biscuit tin, Christmas ornaments and a fluffy throw).
Karan sent me the gorgeous garden themed chart from Shakespeare's Peddler, and Clare sent me a gift voucher for Sew and So, which I put towards a Nancy Nicholson cat embroidery kit I'd had my eye on for some time. (Amazing service from Sew and So by the way, next day delivery at this time of year)
Thank you all so much ladies, I love them all and your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - December Edition

It's Gifted Gorgeousness time again, the blog hop organised by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching where we get to show off our gift related crafts and stash.
I've got a little more to show this month. First up the Needlecraft Haven Ornament Exchange.
This is the beautiful sparkly ornament and little beaded angel I received from Gill

And here is the one I sent to Tina

Sally had her birthday this week, and I made her this little coin purse from an upcycled souvenir tea towel.

Still on the subject of upcycling, here is a bag I made from scraps cut from old jeans. This is for a Christmas exchange organised through Facebook, so I think I'm safe in showing it on here.

I won't show the other bits I made yet as they were more specific to the recipient.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Knitted Pasty Anyone?

I've been knitting merry festive pasties

As you do

Tuesday 15 November 2016

A Very Tenuous Gifted Gorgeousness for November

Yes I'm cheating again for this months Gifted Gorgeousness as organised by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching. It's not that I haven't made a lot of things for gifts, just that I can't show any of them yet.
But there is this. The "Weekender Bag"



I made it for myself, but the pattern was a cover gift with Simply Sewing Magazine (the same issue that the pinafore pattern came with - bonus!) so I'm totally counting it.
The main fabric was an oddment of curtaining I picked up cheaply, so it was an inexpensive project to make as well.
I promise next month I'll have some real gifty things to show.

Friday 11 November 2016

Pinafore Mark 2

This one is for Naomi, made from the same pattern as the one in the previous post, in a plain teal coloured needlecord. Eagle eyed readers might spot that Naomi looks very much like a tree in this picture.
Actually she's away at Uni. The pinafore has been sent up to her, and has met with her approval, though it is apparently "a bit long".
Oh to be young and not to feel the need to hide your legs

Lots of other makes recently, but I can't show any of them yet as they're for gifts

Saturday 29 October 2016

P-P-P-Pick Up a Penguin (And a Pinafore)

Meet Bernard.

Yes I know it's a silly name for a penguin. DH named him. Duh, everyone know penguins should be called Skipper 

or Kowalski or Rico or Private.

Maybe if I call him Sgt Bernard it'll work better...
I made him from a kit from House of Zandra. Check them out, there are some lovely ones.
I also finished this pinafore dress this week, using a lovely soft printed needlecord with a real 70's vibe. 

The pattern is from Cotton and Chalk and came free with Simply Sewing Magazine. For once I made this up exactly as given in the pattern. The only alteration I had to make was that the shoulder straps came up a bit long.

Monday 17 October 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness For October - Hallowe'en Comes Early

Gifted Gorgeoussness (Jo's Blog Hop where we show our gift related crafts every month) has a Hallowe'en theme around these parts. Naomi asked me to make her a specific outfit for her to wear for Hallowe'en (or Comic Con, or whatever), namely Daenerys' Dothraki costume from Game of Thrones.
Here is a reference picture from the show.

Now, believe it or not, Simplicity make a costume pattern for this (Simplicity 1010), so here is my version.

It doesn't hang too well without someone inside it, but I've posted it up to her, so as soon as she sends me a decent picture of it on I'll post one.
She has purchased a blonde wig, and is threatening to make an edible gelatin horse heart to add a little gore so you have been warned.

Sunday 9 October 2016


There is definitely a spot of autumn in the air so I decided to revamp the wreath on the front door.

The leaves are silk ones because I didn't think real ones would last very long, but the cones, twigs, chestnut seeds and sycamore keys are all real ones I picked up when we went for a walk this afternoon.

Saturday 17 September 2016

Days of Our Lives - edited

Welcome to my post for Jo's Birthday Blog hop. Jo has a special birthday today, and to honour the occasion we are marking the events in our lives that correspond to a year in Jo's.
My year is :-

This is what was happening to Jo that year:-

1974 - Jo was 8.  She had complete the Infant Stage at Primary School and was then in the Juniors.  Jo  was put into a mixed age class with the majority of the children being the year above.  Jo discovered the more grown-up pursuits of Top of the Pops and the merits of the Bay City Rollers versus David Essex.  Jo was a Rollers fan and owned the jacket (made by Mum), the maroon trousers, the scarf, the socks, the pendant and the printed T-shirt with their photo and her name across the top (from Great Yarmouth seafront market).  These were all worn with pride for the School Discos.

I, on the other hand, being older, was not a fan of the world's most tartanest boy band.
In 1974, I was 13, and listening to


Pretty much still am come to think of it. Here, a little audio treat for you.

When I wasn't listening to music I was watching these guys

And reading this

A brilliant, bittersweet, multifaceted, sparkling diamond of a novel which makes a lot of recent popular YA stuff  look dull, predictable and amateurish (why yes Twilight, I am talking about you), and which has stayed with me ever since.

Not really now, not any more

If you've read it, you'll know what that means.

I am not going to inflict what I was wearing on you.

You're welcome

Aaargh! I forgot the stitched picture bit! I was supposed to include something I'd stitched that I thought would appeal to Jo. I found the piece, lifted it out and forgot to photograph it. What a numpty!
Here you go. Bonus points for anyone who can guess which other book from my youth inspired this design

Thursday 15 September 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness September

Not much to show this month for Gifted Gorgeousness - the blog hop organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching, where we show our gift related projects - as Summer is our busiest time of year and so I don't get as much time for stitching and crafting as I would like. There is one thing though.
About a year ago I bought a fat quarter on a whim because I fell in love with the gorgeous magpie print, and in the depths of the stash pile it has languished ever since. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I spotted a tutorial on Flamingo Toes, for an embroidered zip pouch with the legend "need more shiny things".
Could anything be more perfect to showcase my wonderful magpie fabric?
To pick out the colours of the fabric I did the embroidery on black using red Kreinik #4 braid (because - shiny), and I made the print section much deeper to show off more of the magpies.
So there you have it, a little zip pouch for Naomi to keep her jewellery in.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Accidentally Alice

I was doing the food shopping earlier this week in a well known budget supermarket, and outside of the door they had a stand full of potted miniature rose bushes. Red ones, pink ones, white ones, and nestled right in the middle of them - this one!

All together now -

"Doodle de do de do de do, bum bum bum bum bum, 
Painting the roses red, We're painting the roses red"

In other news, here are two Van Gogh TARDIS cushions I made for Naomi to take back to her student house.

Monday 29 August 2016

Summer Sewing

A couple of the summer sewing projects I've been working on.
A playsuit for Naomi, using New Look 6291 in Liberty Tana lawn

This second picture was Naomi's idea to show how easy it is to move in.

A tunic for me. This is Simplicity 8141 using a poly-elastane jersey fabric.

rear view to show back detail (note to self - should have worn a different bra).


I love how this came out and I'm planning to make a plain coloured one as well. Full reviews for both patterns on here
And just for fun - and because I bought these polka dot bag handles from EvilBay thinking they were big enough for a proper tote bag and had to think of something else to do with them when I saw how tiny they were - I embroidered some flowers on the leg of a worn out pair of jeans and made a Useful Bag For Keeping Things In.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Village Show

Yesterday was our Annual Village Show. Here are couple of snaps of some of the flowers and vegetables.

And these are some seriously impressive parsnips

No I didn't grow them. I did get a 2nd place with some rhubarb though.
We did rather better than our measly one 2nd place card on the cookery and handicrafts side though, bringing home three trophies and a few class tickets.
Here are a drawing and a pen and wash I did which came first in their respective classes

I also got the cup for Best in Show - Handicrafts for this cross stitch.

I think the judge was mostly impressed by the fact that it's done on black 32ct fabric.
Naomi and I did some of the more involved entries between us, and got the cup for Best in Show - Cookery with our "Afternoon Tea". Ours is the second one in the picture, with the blueberries and strawberries scattered through it, not the one nearest the camera.

And the trophy (it's a rather impressive cut glass bowl) for a themed display based on a novel for this Pride and Prejudice themed entry.

Naomi also did really well with her baking, missing out on the cup for most points in cookery by just one point.
Lets just say we are going to be eating a lot of cake for the next couple of days.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - August

Yes it's a day late. Whoops.
For those of you new to the concept, Gifted Gorgeousness is a SAL hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, where once a month we show our gift related stitching and crafting.
This month I've got three things to share. The first is a little upcycled trinket tin I made as a Birthday gift for Julie. This started life as a tiny tin of mints. I ate the mints (sorry Julie), and then gave the tin a new lease of life with some vintage fabrics.

And here is the inside:-

The next is the gift I sent in the VSCyberstitchers Christmas in July exchange. My gift was for Nick (no blog as far as I'm aware), and I stitched him this set of a a Celtic bookmark and coaster (design by Textile Heritage) and sent it along with some local Cornish tea. Yes they do grow tea in Cornwall.

And here is the gift I received, by pure chance also from Nick, a fabulous stitched and framed monogram in beautiful teal green tones, and a set of stitching accessories in a fleur de lys design to represent his home in New Orleans.