Friday, 21 June 2019


I went to a two hour embroidery course in February run by an artist called Gareth Brookes. When Linda Sue was here we visited a comic shop in Lee and I bought one of his books called "Can I Use Your Toilet?" It is about this warehouse he used to work in and the people that he met there. It is short and full of great line drawings. He also makes books that he embroiders the art work for. He told us on the course that one of those books takes about five years to make! I looked him up and found the course in that way. Anyway, there were about 12 of us on the course, some shy and some chatty. He taught us some basic stitches, and we had a go at them. I have done some embroidery over the years and knew all of them, apart from one called 'long and short stitch.' You start with a row of long and short stitches then continue to fill an area with stitches in between the long ones, meeting the short. You can stitch into the short or just meet it. It is a great way to fill large areas and quite therapeutic to do. The course was run in a lovely building in South Norwood, and while investigating the area on the day before, I bought this doll in a funny little charity shop. So she was my choice for a picture to do. I changed her place of origin from Azores to where I found her. I used mainly the long and short stitch.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019


My sister has a tortoise called Steve. He is a very well-cared for tortoise, with his own garden within a garden with a hill and a shelter, and a large area of the sitting room to roam in too. I am not sure how to handle tortoises, but I was given one tip by her partner, which is not to hold him face out whilst moving him, but to have him looking at your stomach. This means he will not suddenly be flying through the air in a scary manner! Now she also has a tortoise cushion, in honour of Steve, though not for him! 
 Tortoises have the strangest faces. I looked at a lot of them!
For the bottom of the cushion, I crocheted an oval, then extended one half, before cutting it and binding the edges under the extension. I thought this would be a lot easier than trying to make the two halves separately.
  The top was just hexagons. I added a wiggly border to finish him off. 

Monday, 27 May 2019

Day Out

The gaps between me posting anything on here are getting longer and longer, and each time I wonder if it is time to stop altogether. Somehow the wish to share is not as strong as it was. (Or maybe I am just lazy-sharing a photo and a few words on Instagram is so much easier!)  But anyway, here I still am and here are some photos of Brighton, where I went on Saturday and had a very lovely time. My sister is getting married in the Autumn, and I am a 'Maid of Honour' which sounds like something from Medieval times. Anyway, she was down in Brighton on Saturday with her partner's family, getting the men's clothes sorted out. We and her husband to be's sister met to see if we could find a dress for us to wear. We couldn't. We will meet again in London soon. Anyway, I went down in the morning on the train so I could have a look around the Lanes and see the sea. It was fun just wandering with my camera and a small budget for unnecessary goods. (These turned out to comprise of some beautiful old dolls clothes, and some vintage ribbon) Then it was fun to see my sister and various other half family members. The only thing not fun was the row of red crosses waiting for me at the station with the accompanying words 'delayed' or 'cancelled' on all services. There had been a complete failure of the signalling system just outside Brighton so nothing was leaving or arriving. It was just over an hour later that it was sorted, so not too bad.
 Minty the elephant feels good!

 The baby feels grumpy. 

 The little dog was my subject. He or she had such a sweet face and expression. 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Colour, Pattern and Cassie

Christmas pom poms, all lined up, just for the pleasure of seeing them all together. Some are now strung on the kitchen wall, cheering up the winter. 
 I have been doing some patchwork. I like doing the hexagons, as they fit together so pleasingly. It is slow work, cutting the paper shapes, folding, pressing and tacking the fabric, then hand stitching them together, but it is so satisfying! This is the beginning of a cushion cover for my friend. She loves Peter Rabbit and so he is in the pattern. At first I was going to do all Peter patches, but then decided to make it more subtle. Some of the other pieces of fabric are from an enormous quantity of fat quarters I bought at the charity shop a while ago, at a completely bargain price. I am happy to have started to use them now.
I bought a large builders bag, as I thought it would be useful for yarn sorting. I also thought Cassie might like it and she did! She got in it for a while. She loves anything new. We have had her for nine years now. I can't believe it is that long. She just gets cuter all the time!
Once the patchwork part was done, making up the rest of the cover should have been quick. However, I decided to add a pom pom trim which Linda Sue gave me. It took a while, as I needed to tack it down to stop it getting in the way as I sewed up the seam. Fiddly! I like the end result though.

 As all my sewing stuff is out, I thought it would be a good idea to make something else. A saying of my Nan's popped into my head and seemed appropriate for a cushion cover. All went well tracing the letters and cutting them out, but I used freezer paper instead of interfacing, so once cut out, they were not adhesive. So I had to laboriously tack them into place. Then sewing them on the machine has taken a long time as I did running stitch, then zigzag stitch. Next time I will use interfacing, so I can stick them in place before sewing. I did discover two dials on my machine I didn't even know existed-the stitch width and needle tension dials. A learning cushion!.

Saturday, 26 January 2019


A lovely day out with Linda Sue. She first view is from her Vauxhall flat, of yet more new buildings. I love the pattern of windows on high rises, and these two are at least a warm colour. The whole place is a building site at the moment. 

 So much to look at here. These beautifully worn wooden planks caught my eye. Part of a market stall I think.
 On the same lorry as these smoothly rusty poles. 
Bargain silver and EPNS all jumbled together in a tempting pile. In the middle is the tiniest sporting cup I ever saw.
 A jumbly tumble of fruit boxes. 
 This bear is so funny. He has obviously had a very hard life but has not given up yet. He has been loved enough to have had 90% of his body replaced by knitting!