Monday 20 January 2014


Every year I get a thrill when I see the snowdrops and other bulbs pushing up through the soil and dead leaves.    Sorry this photo is rather blurred - I hope it doesn't make your eyes go funny as you look at it.   I was having camera shake in my efforts to take them with the long lens as the ground is so wet and I didn't want to leave the pave area to get closer.  These in the front garden have a long way to go before flowering.

But then I looked up the garden at the back of the house and caught sight of these.   Since taking these pictures I've spotted a little clump of tiny cyclamen too. 

I wonder if I ought to cover the rhubarb to protect it if we get the wintry conditions that seem to be on their way.  
There is so much that needs doing in the garden but the soil is far too wet to work on so I'll be a fair weather gardener and stay indoors,  making my plans in the warm as I look through the window.

Friday 17 January 2014

Nearing Completion.

I have finished both covers of my fabric books and even found perfect fabrics for lining and binding them.  I was very lazy and did both jobs in one by simply cutting the lining slightly larger than the cover, placing the cover on top of the lining with the wrong sides together, folding the lining over to the front and slip stitching it all the way round.   In the photo above the fabric pages are hanging out as they are waiting to be cut to size and bound in place.   Above is the front and below is the back of the book.   The woven gold patches were incorporated into the sari strips so I thought I would include them rather than cut them out.   I had great fun finding all the bits and pieces to provide further decoration but in doing so have made a dreadful mess of my once tidy workroom.   I must learn to put things away as soon as I have finished with them!
I haven't decided quite how many pages it will need and whether to include any paper ones.

This is the front of the green book but I'm afraid the computer wouldn't allow me to post the back.  It is behaving oddly at present and I'm grateful to be doing this at all.

I hope you are all safe from flooding and am so thankful that in spite of all this rain we are not affected here.  It must be making life very difficult for so many people and heartbreaking for those cut off or evacuated from their homes.

Thursday 9 January 2014


I have been whiling away the hours as I rest a very uncomfortable leg, just playing around with some of my sari strips and various threads and embellishments.   I had no planned design and simply bonded random strips from the bundle below onto a bit of old sheeting before starting to stitch.   Nothing was measured - it's all done by eye so everything is a bit casual.

I punched out the fleur de lis shapes from fabric paper left over from another project to fill the spaces above and below the scrap of lace.   The little circular metal object came from a craft shop and sits on a brassy gold strip cut from a tomato paste tube decorated with a built in stitch on my sewing machine, but with no thread in the needle and this in turn sits on a strip of fabric paper.   I might add some machine stitching to hold those frayed edges in place but use it in a very free way.

The little squares are again cut from fabric paper and stitched down with their angles filled with two fly stitches and a chain stitch.   I couched a metallic ribbon down either side of the lace and added simple running stitches.

More running stitches and fly and chain in this section.
It's still very much a work in progress as is the second piece.

Here I worked with the green bundle, again bonding the strips onto sheeting.

I added two strips of gold ribbon and fastened them down with an automatic 'ladder' stitch which is great for working raised chain band onto by hand.    Paper punched leaves are stitched on top and there is much more to come.  I quite like the texture provided by these 'threadbare' sections.

Both will eventually become book covers and I am having a lovely time just adding bits here and there until I think I've done enough.   I'm quite sure that this is not an approved way to work but it's very therapeutic and as neither piece will ever be exhibited, there is no stress attached.

N.B.  Another post in under a week!!

Friday 3 January 2014

A Creative New Year?

On January 1st I browsed the Stef Francis website to see what I fancied in her January Sale, and this is what I received this morning!    How's that for service?
I couldn't resist these two hanks of Sari ribbon - I love the colours which are sadly dulled in my photos.  In reality they are richer.

I then spotted this hank of Sari strips which are wider than the ribbon and again in lovely rich colours.

The first two hanks soon changed into these balls of silk - I have been knitting with the one on the left.

And the Sari strips turned into this ............
and this ...................
and this.
I plan to iron them out flat and bond them onto background fabric.  I will add hand stitching and maybe machine stitching too, and eventually they will become book covers.

I love Stef Francis' 12strand silk threads and find them very versatile - again gorgeous colours.

I also bought 2 packs of these little metal beads which I know I will find very useful.   So, the weather can do what it likes and I shall play.

I hope you are all safe and sound, above any floodlines and free of germs.  

Wednesday 1 January 2014