One day I may get to do a post about my actual gardening exploits, as it seems this summer has been taken over by some amazing projects.

So here I go again…

Last year we went to a garden open where the owners had a huge pond/small lake and beside it was a gorgeous wire heron. Well that was a ‘Red rag to a bull’. I decided there and then that I would, at some point, make another wire sculpture. After much thought and rummaging on the allotment I managed to find enough pieces of chicken wire and two long metal rods for the legs, I think they may be the things that go into concrete to strengthen it.

As I’d now made four different birds previously, I sort of knew how I would start. The hardest part was making sure I could somehow attach the legs without them pushing right though the body. With a bit of trial and error and secretly swearing to myself I managed it. Then for a couple of months I did lose a bit of momentum and it lay looking a bit like nothing would become of it, until a couple of weeks ago while clearing around the dustbins and garden storage where I’d left it, it suddenly clicked. I knew what I was doing next. Mr Malc  got me the workbench out on the yard and I was able to support it better. More and more layers went on until I was happy with the result. Another couple of weeks have gone by with the finished heron laying in the shed as every time we wanted to install it, it was windy. At long last the heron is now happily poised over the top pond and I am quietly pleased with the result.

So maybe the next post I do will involve plants …..till next time Sue.


Filed under Chicken Wire Heron

Another Find, Another Project

Well after all that rain on Wednesday and having G’daughters too, I definitely needed a different sort of challenge. I’d seen a picture in a magazine recently of a foot stool/ box made from an old wooden fruit box.  I happen to collect old wooden boxes most of which hold clay pots in my summer house. One though had been languishing at the back of said summer house getting damp and cobweby. Out it came with a quick brush down and a dry off in the greenhouse. I had some fabric left from a bag I made a while back, the foam came out of a pillow I was throwing away, so really it cost me 80 pence for the hinges…..not bad eh….

This was so satisfying to do. It now houses my binoculars and wildlife books, keeping the sun off them, plus a seat too…. And the price of the one in the magazine £145….. Sue



Filed under A spot of recycling, From The Sewing Room, Rain


It’s a very wet day. Just right for another project.In the mean time a few pictures to enjoy.


Filed under Rain

Eco Dying Part Two

I have often wondered how the ancients got their wonderful colours, now I think I may have a small insight to some of their techniques. Some of you may have read one of my previous posts on Eco Dying, posted in May this year. I had been fascinated by India Flint’s book on Eco Dying for a while now and find her experiments intriguing.

I have been experimenting with more juicy fading flowers, this time Hemerocallis Bela Lugosi. Again just as with the iris in the other post, I was finding that as I dead headed them I was getting covered in juice that stained my fingers. So I started collecting them and steeping them in rain water.

hem bela lugosi


After a couple of weeks I had enough to try my first batch. This was boiled and then strained ready for the first mordent fabric…again I was amazed at what happened….

dye 1


Faded juicy flowers boiled in rain water.

Far from being what I thought might be reds and oranges, I got a gorgeous shade of purple. I tried plain natural cotton, calico and silk.For the silk I thought I would harp back to the sixties and do a bit of tie dying, so I tied some small stones in at intervals all over a large piece. This also went in the pot… to my surprise this came out a lovely shade of Dove Grey with a hint of purple and the stone resist worked too.

dye 2


Dye vat with fabric turned purple.


Finished dried and ironed.

dye 4

Tie dyed with stones …Silk

Lastly I did a cold bundle. This is done by wetting a piece of mordant fabric slightly, then laying the juicy fading flowers on, either in a pattern or randomly all over it. This was rolled up tightly and twisted for more effect, tied up with strong twine and hung to dry. Here you are hoping the flowers are squashed enough to yield some colour. And boy did it…..



Cold bundled cotton fabric.

With all these pieces of fabric I need to think of interesting ways of using them, still thinking of book covers but maybe some small purses or makeup bags, what do you think… ?  Sue.


Filed under Eco Colour India Flint, Eco plant Dying, Hemerocallis

Leather Jacket

For the past couple of weeks I have been working on what has probably been my biggest ever dressmaking challenge so far.

I had a call from Lucy saying they were on their travels and had found some lovely soft leather on Birmingham market and would it be good enough to make a leather ‘Stage Jacket’ !!! This was for a new persona she has created as Yumah, https://www.facebook.com/YumahSounds/?ref=br_rs    this is in total contrast to the band she has, The Madeline Rust, https://www.facebook.com/themadelinerust/     Of course says mum…..

So here I am two weeks later a little more grey but boy has it been worth it. From making 3 toiles for the style and the size, we came up with a short boxy style reminiscent of a matadors jacket. This was to be embellished with ready made motifs and trim.

And the colour of the leather…Yellow. WOW

whole hide

After making my pattern next came the scary bit of making that first cut…

Sampling seams and stitch length….

sample seams

First of many seams done….

first seam

Once the main pattern pieces were stitched, and before the under arm seams, we then needed to decide where the motifs needed to be placed….

We tried them first on the Toile….

just looking

Motifs all glued and stitched , lining in, ready for facing and collar…

Collar glued…final tweaking….

To say I’m pleased with the result is an understatement…It has been a challenge, brain taxing at times, but I couldn’t wish it to look better.


Thank you Yumah for keeping me ‘young’ and please keep these challenges coming.


Filed under Leather jacket