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.