Friday, 26 February 2010

Something to brighten a drab February day.

We decided a little outing would be a good idea. The weather forecast said sunshine and showers, so we wrapped up warmly and set off on our 30 minute car journey to Church Stretton.
We were last there in the summer, when we took friends over Cardingmill valley and enjoyed a good walk over the Long Mynd, on a scorching hot day.
Today was different. It was gloomy and a bitter wind was blowing sleet showers across the valley. Nevertheless, we braved the elements and took a brisk walk around the little town.

I imagine, in its heyday, Church Stretton was quite a thriving, busy place. Even now it probably benefits from its position, nestling amongst some of the most dramatic Shropshire Hills. There is excellent walking country around the town and lots of places of local interest, particularly attractive in warmer weather!
However, today, we wanted to have a look around the shops and a snack lunch before returning home.

The visit to the camera shop proved unsuccessful, although the proprietor was most helpful and very knowledgeable.

The next port of call was the Antiques market. Not that we wanted antiques, just a browse around the bric-a-brac. The local directory describes it as an Alladin's cave and I have to agree. It is a hotchpotch of cabinets, shelves, cupboards and table tops crammed with a vast array of goods. I felt as if I was picking my way through a jumble of the left overs from hundreds of house clearances. Items that were once well-loved, now lay forlornly, gathering dust in every corner.

I was beginning to feel the urge to get my feather duster out and spritz the place up. Why was it all cluttered and muddled together? Wouldn't it have been more appealing if everything was sorted and tidy? I think the answer is that more than one firm have stock in the building, so I suspect that each "bay" belongs to a different person - hence the hotchpotch.
Just as I was thinking it was time to get out into the fresh air, I spotted this little gem.

Now I know some will think its only an old table cloth, but others ( I'm thinking MarmaladeRose here) will be delighted with my purchase.
Its fresh and in perfect condition so it might still be used as a cloth. Or..........
I might "upcycle" it and use all those gorgeous, little embroidered motifs for something completely different. Any suggestions?

To complete our trip we took the winding road up to the Long Mynd Hotel for a bar snack and enjoyed the wonderful view up the valley. It has an imposing position on the side of the hill and looks as if it was once the jewel in the crown of the town, probably in the 1930's, as it has an Art Deco facade. ( That's just a guess - maybe I should look it up on Google and see if that's correct - or maybe not!)

Well what do you think? ( Think this photo was taken in a hot, dry summer!)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

About to tidy up WOYWW!

I was busy all day yesterday - until about 8 pm really - and was just too tired (or lazy) to clear up the mess I had made. So here it is - machines, books, bags of fabric scraps, wool, yarn etc etc.

I made two little photo frames with the embellisher and machine embroidery. I thought they might make Mothers' Day pressies so they will end up in the blog shop eventually.

Of course Wipso will have to give her seal of approval. She usually does - well except for yesterday. I made some "Sisters Crafty Creation" tags - just a bit of experimenting really. Showed them to the boss and - well, lets say we will not be adding them to our parcels!!!!!

I know she is right and I have to let her think she is in charge, so I will be hanging the labels off the jars of beetroot chutney that I made yesterday!!!!!
If anyone wants the recipe.....
I usually add a chopped, peeled courgette as well.

If she is nice to me I might give her a jar - beetroots are extremely good for you I believe.

These are the two frames you can maybe spot in that untidy mess......

The pink one has little dumflings of silk, broidery anglais and yarn, with machine embroidery.

The Monet inspired water lilies picture has silk flowers and wool/yarn leaves and water.

So I think I should clear off all that clutter and get ready for a new day - but first I shall have a look at everyone else's desks!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Shop Gift Draw anouncement.....

Taa ta ta ta ta ta taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! [Fanfare]
Today is THE DAY. We have just carefully folded up all the draw tickets, put them in a box, shook them up well and Twiglet has just pulled out a ticket. It is ticket number 41 as you can see in the photo.
We have then checked, checked and double checked to see who's name is against ticket number 41 and ..............

The lucky winner is............

Wait for it............

Gez from

I have emailed her to let her know she is the lucky winner and as soon as I receive her address, her parcel of goodies will be winging it's way to her. Congratulations Gez.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Latest model and last day for gift draw.

I just thought you might like to see the latest design for my phone / ipod / camera cosy.

I have recycled a lambswool/angorra/nylon jumper and so far have made these two cosies.

One has a velcro fastening flap and carrying strap. The other has a flip over cuff to enclose the camera. Both are wadded and lined in a floral, toning fabric to protect the phone/camera.

I shall pop them in the gift area of the blog shop later.

Tomorrow we shall be finalising our blog shop giveaway. There are a few extra goodies in the draw now, so we will have a super parcel to send to the lucky winner.

Follow the link below if you want to enter but remember....


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Following the trend...

Lots of folk are free machining these days!

I saw the idea for this in a crafting mag and thought I would give it a go. Lots of people are doing clever stuff with free machine embroidery at the moment. Marmaladerose has blogged a great tutorial if you fancy having a go.

I copied the idea from the magazine using scraps of fabric and worked the free machine stitching in dark grey thread. I think the idea was meant for a Mothers' Day card.

Then I thought I should do my own thing.

Still room for improvement but I had fun trying. I think it has sort of childlike look to it - well either that or childish look!!

I need to practise a bit more. I have done lots of free machining over the years but you soon get out of practice.

I made this picture of a teazle a year or so ago after a kindly elderly neighbour gave me a guided tour of her garden. She was pleased to give me some of her teazles and I brought them home to photograph and use for my picture.
I printed the photo on silk and then free machined the detail.

I also found some little pendants on Hens Teeth blog. So clever to be able to make such tiny little pictures with the machine.

So- that's what I have been up to.

Now to the award Wipso kindly gave me yesterday.

To accept it you need to take part in a little information sharing

1. Give a top 10 list of the things that makes you happy.

2. Give a top 5 list of trivia about yourself.

3. Share the award with only 5 persons and ask them to do the same thing. :)

4. Link the blogs you choose and link the blog of the person who awarded you.

Well I think I told you my top ten things that make me happy in an earlier award ceremony!

Not wishing to bore you I will move on to 5 trivia items!
1. I used to live next door to a Scunthorpe United footballer.
2. My favourite soft centre is Turkish Delight.
3. I have moles in my garden - yes even in the Winter they tunnel beneath my flower beds!!
4. I have spoken at a London Conference.
5. I make superb brownies.
Now I know I should pass this award on, but we seem to be "award happy" at the mo, so I will save it for a while and spring it on a few kind souls, whose blog looks on the bright side, over the next few weeks.

Unravelling my WOYWW!

Today my work desk has been cleared and room tidied. I am having a break from sewing and "dumfing". This week I have been knitting. It all started really well. I made two gorgeous litle lilac shrugs for my great niece and her baby sister who should arrive mid April.

Then we had our visist to Much Wenlock ( see previous blog) and I bought a great little pattern and wool.

I decided to practise the pattern with remnants and knit the smallest size for the new babe.

Now, I can knit but I am not a brilliant knitter and fancy stuff takes a little while for me to master! The frilly bit on the bottom of this cardy was unravelled 4 times on Sunday!!!

Eventually it dawned on me that, if I start on a sleeve and master the pattern there - then I would only be unravelling 35 stitches instead of 122. I know! Common sense! Planning and forethought and all that!!! I just assumed I would be able to do it and then got frustrated when I couldn't, so common sense went out of the window.

Well, as you can see, I have managed it. It needs the final touches and I think it will be lovely.
The wool on the right is Crofter. I am planning to use that next.

Having just read Wipso's blog and seen all her neat and tidy shelves I thought I would swing round and show you one of mine. Nowhere near as organised as Wipso but I know where everything is so thats OK.

Now I am going to sort out a couple of extra prizes to add to our ever growing giveaway. Don't forget to join in - this week is the last week.
Oh and I will pop over and see what Julia and the rest have on their WOYWW.
Have a great day!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Much Wenlock and its woolly wonderland.

We were on a search for some wool for knitting and for "dumfing".
Last year we called into a super little shop called Ippikin in Much Wenlock and loved the range of textured wools and yarns they had in their tiny Alladin's cave of a wool shop.
So, with an hour to spare on Saturday afternoon, Wipso and I took ourselves over there so that we could stock up.

Much Wenlock is a quaint, little place. We parked just a stone's throw away from the High Street, with its beautiful Elizabethan buildings. Ippikin is next door to this magnificent property.

We must have spent about 45 minutes deliberating over the goods. Gorgeous, richly coloured wools and fabulous silk yarns called to us from the shelves.

A very helpful shop owner pointed us in the direction of the wools we wanted and the bargain bin too. HE was so well informed, we even asked if he too was a knitter! Actually he wasn't but certainly knew a lot about the stock.
I came away with some Crofter wool in pinks and purples to knit a cardy for my great nieces. Wipso came away with wool for dumfing her flower pictures.
Of course then we had to check out the coffee and cake at the tea shop nearby followed by a quick tour of the art gallery. Sadly, no textile work in there. I wonder if we should offer them some!!!!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Waste not want not - upcycled sweater creations!

I still have a stash of felted sweaters that need upcycling. They sit in a bag for life and occasionally call to me from the corner of my sewing room!

Today was one of those days.

So out came the pale turquoise, embroidered sweater by Jackpot.

I have already made a little lined bag using one of the sleeves.

Today I used a little of the other sleeve to make a phone cosy.

Wipso said her phone is not out of use long enough to need a cosy but some folk like to pop their phone/camera or ipod into a little pouch when carrying it round.

So with a bit of ingenuity, I made a little cosy using the cuff from the sleeve for a turn over top.

Its lined with bright pink cotton fabric and looks rather cute, I think.

Then, of course there was just enough left to make a little heart-shaped "dumfling".

Its now a little brooch, embellished with silk, wool and beads.

Now I was on a roll, so out came a scrap from the tweedy blue/grey sweater that I had used for another bag, now in the blog shop. I dumfed an oblong piece with silk and wool and then beaded it up.

How's that for upcycling?
I will probably pop them in the blog shop later - if Wipso will allow it!!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Happy 101

Well thanks Wipso for my Happy 101 award.

Now I have to think of 10 things that make me happy.

In no particular order.....

1. All my friends - I have some brilliant ones who have supported me through good and bad times.

2. Bestest friend of all - Wipso. Such a caring, wonderful sister - I am so lucky to have her but happy to share her with ALL the folk who love her to bits like I do!

3. A gorgeous ,talented daughter who shares my sense of humour and makes me so proud to be her mum.

4. The view from my windows over the Welsh border hills.

5. Nature in all its aspects but especially our birds and a starry sky on a frosty night.

6. Crafting - I am a Jack of all trades, master of none but thats great cos I am never bored and always have something on the go!

7. Live music - well any music really.

8. Books - especially ones that are so good I don't want to put them down.

9. Painting my nails bright red.

10. Dancing round the kitchen to my favourite pop music - well I have to get my exercise somehow in this cold weather!!
I am supposed to pass this on but might give it some thought. I don't want my hard working blogger friends to get blogged down in blogging blogger awards!


Whats on my desk today? A total mess!

Wipso and I sat with my daughter M crafting whilst the men were at football.

We laughed non stop for nearly two hours and during this time M beaded up the tiny "dumflings" she had made earlier.

When I came home, I scattered them over my table so that the glue would dry, now that some are mounted on cards. Thats what you can see in my photo.

M has always loved joining in our crafting sessions - she has a great eye for colour and texture and really enjoyed using the embellisher to create these delicate little scraps of wool, silk, lace and yarn.

I am under strict instructions as to which colour/type of card to mount them on so will be busy doing just that today. Then I will bag them up, ready for the blog shop.

Thanks Wipso for all the hilarity last night - I would share it with you all but it was just too silly and possibly too rude for this blogspot!!

Have a great day. Think I should pop over to Julia and the rest of the WOYWW bunch now before I get busy.
Julia asked how big these little dumflings are.
Well they vary but I suppose between 2" and 3" long and 1" and 2" wide.
At the moment they are just card toppers but we might make a few of them into little brooches.
Julia thought they would make nice additions to bridal bits and bobs.
If anyone wants these little dumflings then contact us via the blog shop.
Thanks for the comment Julia - food for thought!!!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Super silk ribbons

We crafters are easily pleased!!

I took my parcel from ethnic crafts down to share with Wipso.

We opened the three skeins and spread them out like a fabulous silk rainbow across her ironing board. Just think of the fun we shall have "dumfing" this lot into our cards, pictures and dumflings.

We then spent the rest of fun day Monday adding our latest crafty bits and bobs to our blog shop shelves. Its looking really good and everyone has been so kind with comments and feedback on purchases.

Now I am going to create a little something for Lissylou. She is having a craft sale to make funds for the British Heart Foundation. I am sure I can dumf a heart or two for her.

Friday, 5 February 2010

20 minutes for Valentine's day

Just a quick show and tell because I am going to pop my little project for this week in the blog shop.

I love the idea of dipping into my fabric/yarn stash, choosing colours that I love and creating a little something.
So, my 20 minutes this week have been spent making Valentine's cards.

I used my embellisher to combine yarns, silk and felt and then added beads, bows and a few hand stitches to finish the little hearts off.

My cards were plain white, embossed with a dotty flower pattern. They have a white page inside and a slightly pearly envelope.
I used a stamp pad to highlight the embossing on the envelope in a colour to match the hearts.

I am nipping over now to add them to the cards shelf at Sisters Crafty Creations.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Kreativ blogger award.

Well thanks for this Wipso - I know I am creative but not sure I am a creative blogger!!

I guess we all love recognition of one sort or another and looking back at others who have this award I would say its well deserved.

Wipso received hers from Now Sara really is a creative blogger in every sense. Her work is beautiful and she creates some amazing blogs with art, word and sentiments.

Of course it goes without saying that Wipso also has a brilliant blog and keeps us entertained with her "day in a life of a sewing mistress" activity!

For this award Wipso says I must list 7 interesting things about myself and then pass on this award to 7 other deserved bloggers. So if you've been nominated in this post and want to play, here are the guidelines:

Thank the person who gave you the award
Place the logo on your blog
Link to the person who nominated you
Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting
Nominate 7 bloggers for this award and post links to their blogs
Send a message to let them know they've been nominated

Things about me that you might find interesting.....

I once played the part of the Hungry Caterpillar in front of 100 infants and staff - emerging as a butterfly from behind the scenery in a quilted body warmer complete with flapping wings - resulting in oohs and aahs from the little ones, bless them and probably wet knickers from the staff who could barely contain their mirth!!!!

I have stood on the top of Great Gable in the Lake District and seen the Isle of Man in an azure sea.

I have taken aerial photos of Whitby and the Yorkshire coast.

I have reared tadpoles and released them into the wild life pond as baby froglets.

My grandma lived to be 100 - so, if I follow in her footsteps I am only just over half way there!!!

I have chosen just 4 bloggers.

They are all very talented crafty folk who have created inspirational blogs and if they don't already have this award they certainly deserve it!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Whats on my work desk Wednesday.

Well today I was going to help Wipso with curtains, but its SNOWING again!! It doesn't seem to be settling much so hopefully it will stop and then I will risk the 20 minute journey over the hill and down the valley!

So a quick sorting and listing job is what I have put out on my table today.

My daughter M was a great card maker - whilst a student and before she moved down here to a very time consuming job. Somehow, in the move, I inherited all her card making goodies.

At one time she created little packs of paper,trimmings and other embellishments, all colour co-ordinated and called them her "Fancy Bitz Kitz" and her "Fancy Card & Paper Pack".

They are really neat and I am sure anyone who just wanted to make a card for a special occasion and who doesn't have a great stock of stuff, might like them.

So I will sort them out and put them in our blog shop.
Maybe the brilliant card makers amongst you might tell me what you think of the Fancy Bitz Kitz - good idea or not?

Well, that's just one little job for today. Hope it stops snowing soon because sorting and tidying is not my favourite job and I really wanted to get together with Wipso for some fun and laughter - oh and of course to grovel on the floor beneath her feet whilst cutting curtains!!!

How about you? Go over to Julia's blog and join in the fun - 'What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday'

Monday, 1 February 2010

Time indoors well spent?

As I watched Andy Murray do his best against the amazing Roger Federer, the snow fell in huge flakes from a leaden grey sky. Yet again, the hills are white over, as are the minor roads. A lethal coating of ice lurks beneath!

So, I have taken the opportunity to finish off one or two little crafty projects started last week.
My little decorated notebook covers were very popular at Christmas, so I have made a few more, which will be added to our blog shop shelves as soon as I can get together with Wipso.

This is one of my favourites, made with felted yarns and silk and embellished with beads, including a tiny heart bead.

I have also free machined my little silk paintings and mounted them in cards. I love the effect and will probably make a few more this week.

I know Wipso has been busy too, so pop over to the shop and check out her gorgeous poppy picture! You can enter our Gift Draw whilst you are there too!