Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Friday, 25 July 2008


Another favourite of ours is the fuchsia. Each year we go to a nursery called Hill Top and buy them as small cuttings. This year we were very late visiting this nursery so were limited in our choice. Also the leaves seem to have some sort of disease, this has never happened before. The leaves turn a yellowish colour and then drop off but it hasn't stopped them flowering. I've just managed to capture the two in the hanging baskets before the first flush of flowers start going over.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Shopping and Links

A few years ago I took a sewing course, it was a bit disappointing but the one thing that came out of it was that I joined the Fabric Guild. At the time it was £5 for a life membership, I don't know if this price has changed. Anyway, it is a warehouse in Leicester that stocks all manner of sewing goodies. Originally it was all things related to patchwork but recently they've expanded their range to include other stitching and crafts. It's one of those places where you always spend too much. Luckily you have to wait for them to send you an invitation to visit, about every three months. The majority of my fabric stash is from here. An example of the prices is that a fat-quarter from normal shops would cost me about £2.50 but from here it could only cost less than £1. It's great. Unfortunately they don't do mail order and they don't have a website but if you want to know their address leave a comment and I'll let you have it.

A Few Useful Links

A favourite pastime of mine (and a lot of other people's) is surfing the web looking for stitching related sites. It amazes me how generous stitching people are and I've found some fantastically useful pattern sites. These are just a few I've found recently: I love this one, her work is beautiful, so artistic and interesting. An extremely generous blogger, if you like making needlecases etc and stitching on evenweave you'll love this one. Loads of very nice small designs for every occasion. Cross-stitch, needlepoint, blackwork, plastic canvas and hardanger charts here, very useful and generous. It's not very often that we get someone from England offering free patterns. If you know any different I'd love to be contradicted!!! The canvaswork patterns here are beautiful, this is a very talented lady. A lovely blog for tutorials, good instructions and pictures. I was amazed at how generous Teresa Wentzler is on her website. She designs the most gorgeous patterns, I have several of her designs stitched in my house. I didn't stitch them though, my DH is a fantastic stitcher and produces a huge amount of amazing work and not tiny stuff like I do, he stitches the big stuff!

Well, that's it for today, I'll add more as I find them.

Monday, 14 July 2008

A Collection of Cards

I've spent some time making cards again. When I first started card making there wasn't much available that could be used for decoration. However, card making has become very popular over the past few years and now you can buy some amazing things and make professional looking cards extremely easily.
I recently bought some software, 'Greetings Card Factory'. Previously I had a Microsoft Home Publisher but it stopped working when I upgraded my computer to XP. Anyway, the new software and the decorative items available in craft shops means card making is now a doddle.

The background on these three cards is all done one my new software and I just added either a fabric flower or one of the new push-out decoupage images. A decoupage card would take me at least a full day when I had to cut out and varnish, now it just takes minutes.

I like to print the backgrounds out on vellum then run it through my Xyron. If the background is too big for my Xyron I use brads to attach it to the card. The brads come in very useful for attaching the fabric flowers to the card.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Thinking of Christmas

Last year I made a few Christmas decorations and I promised myself I'd make more for this year. This one is my first effort this year, it only measures about 1 inch square, I suppose it is a bit small really.

Knowing how long it takes me to cross-stitch even the smallest decoration I decided to try something else and came up with this snowman. He only took about an hour to make and I am quite pleased with him.

Friday, 4 July 2008

A Little Treasure

I had to go grocery shopping today, I didn't really feel like it but I forced myself! Just across from the supermarket there are at least four charity shops, all within 50 yards of each other, I don't know if this is a sign that the area is failing but there do seem to be a lot of shops closing down. One charity shops has recently opened in a premises that was a clothing shop, this new shop had some quite interesting old furniture, unfortunately I can't fit another thing into my house. I can always find space for something flowery though and I found this flowery candlestick.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Every Cloud

If you look hard enough every cloud has a silver lining doesn't it. Even though I was disappointed that my gardening efforts resulted in my bad back playing up it did mean that I could sit and stitch. I've mentioned before that I'm not a great cross-stitcher but I do enjoy stitching small items in cross-stitch. I do love stitching blackwork and the two unfinished pieces of work above have a lot of back stitching in them and very little cross-stitch. I made the pincushion biscornu previously and used the same colours to stitch the two new pieces, I'll make them into a set of some sort.

I also enjoy stitching onto a coloured background, I've used fabric paint in the past but this time I printed a picture onto some polycotton. I didn't use any special ink or anything, just my normal inkjet printer.