Storm Doris

The wind is strengthening and the rain is lashing on my workroom windows. I think it may be a  bit of a rough day ( that being the understatement of the day ). *

Time to take stock of all the beautiful ‘collectables’ that have accumulated over time and now languish in jars and boxes. Some of the pieces bring back memories of childhood, the sea glass from holidays around Britain, the small bits of broken china from family pieces.  Sorting through old family button boxes always conjures up memories of clothes we wore as children and from my own children now.

In the past I have arranged small items on old paint charts as you will have seen in past posts and I thought I would do that again. Also I picked up a chart from a more expensive paint company and it’s  huge. The colours are gorgeous and the names are way over the top…names such as ‘Mad King George’,’ Cleopatra’s Nose’ and ‘Jazz Cafe’.

With 120 spaces to fill you would think that I could just delve into the jars and fill every space easily but no, finding samples to go with the colour or the title took some doing.So here is the final result mounted on a frame Mr Malc made me and it now hangs in my work room.


A piece of shell my daughter bought back from Australia, a piece of dried lichen, a button from a coat I wore when I was 6.


Glass, pebbles,a cup handle….


A tiny shell my Mother-in-law always kept in her purse for good luck….


Flint from the Norfolk beaches…..


And lots of sea worn glass…..thank you Lucy……


* Hope all of you who are being blown about by Storm Doris batten down the hatches and stay safe…. Sue




Filed under A spot of recycling, Storm Doris


Now is not the time for getting to grips with the garden, no matter how much I long to get out there it’s far too wet. This means I can order yet more seeds…done….Read gardening magazines….just too frustrating. What better then than doing some sewing…

Well last weekend it was the RSPB’s bird watch count and as we all know lots of birds are facing problems what with loss of habitat and the use of chemicals to name a couple. So Monday morning I couldn’t believe my eyes when outside my workroom window were 20 + Goldfinches. We have had Goldfinches now for quite a number of years but I’ve never seen so many at one time. Sparrows use to be the most seen bird in many gardens, even when we lived as children in the built up areas of our city you would always see sparrows. Now they are becoming much rarer. After seeing the Goldfinches I had to get something down in stitch.

You may remember me making a journal that I was going to fill with painted and stitched images, well I have managed to fill a few pages as I have posted in the past. So here is my latest page…..


Using scraps of fabric and dyed silk, I first made shapes and bonded them to a backing fabric. With my old Bernina I free machined over the shapes building up a texture with more and more stitching, adding an eye with a tiny bronze sequin and bead. Once I was happy with this I cut the shape out, padded it slightly under the body and glued this to one of the pages.


The back ground is made up of paint and torn painted paper glued to the page.


I am quite happy with the image. So now I’ve managed to filled another page. I started the journal in 2009 and this is only my 4th image so it will take me a while yet to fill it.

Now looking for more inspiration……….. Sue




Filed under Machine Embroidery, Sewing Room, Textiles

Revamp..Part 1

My long overdue revamp of the garden has started, albeit slowly. One tree, my medlar has gone plus a few overgrown, well passed their ‘sell by date’  shrubs. This has opened up an area to much more light giving my favourite roses more breathing space. Over the last few years the arch holding up the wisteria has looked decidedly skew, so Mr Malc took it down, leaving the climbers looking a bit perilous. In the coming few days, weather permitting we will be erecting a new arch then moving on to another task…the slow leak in the pond….


The garden looks so sad too.


But just to cheer me and maybe you, here is what I am looking forward to this coming summer.


Also looking forward to a new spot in the garden are the chickens I made years ago, Charlie and Nora.

Oh and a Happy New Year to you all. Hope your new gardening year is as eventful as mine looks like it’s going to be….


Filed under wisteria chickens pond

Winter Wreath

Here I am back in my workroom. It’s cold today and damp under foot, much nicer and warmer indoors. It’s also that time of the year when I make my Christmas wreath but having had a new front door this year there’s no way of hanging one without damaging it. So I’ve opted for something different, I’ve made one from recycled magazine pages and I’ve hung it from the stairs. We could hang lights in the porch but that’s for another day.

After making paper templates of different leaves, I’ve cut loads out of the magazine papers. These I’ve been saving because of interesting images or colours. One was of a ‘snowyscape’, the others were autumnal scenes.Folding creasing and scoring the shapes makes them resemble leaves a bit more.


The base ring is made from wound up trimmings from my Virginia creeper. The leaves are glued on using a low melt glue gun.


Finishing off with some coloured wooden beads.


All hung up to set.


Now in situ…..


As for lights in the porch …that can wait


Filed under Christmas Wreath

Cold Nights Warm Hands

It’s that time of year when my thoughts are of trying to keep my tender plants safe and keeping my hands warm. For a couple of years now I’ve collected woollen sweaters that are past their best, some shrunk, some too bobbly and tired. Now is the right time for a new lease of life…. a pair of fingerless mitts.

Choosing a grey fair isle sweater that matched my winter coat I cut two squares out of it using the rib for the cuff and extending up the body of the sweater for the main part of the mitts. I have decided to needle felt* a design on to the fabric using my embellishing machine. This machine is used only for the purpose of needle felting, there are no sewing threads and it has 5 barbed needles. This makes needle felting quicker and I am able to make a more precise design.


The machine I use is a Husqvarna Viking ER10. The coloured yarns are dyed sheep’s wool bought off the internet.


Using the design of the fairisle as a guide I’ve needle felted the coloured yarns as if I were colouring in a book.


Here you can see the 5 needles and the safety guard. The yarn is laid on top of the grey fabric and the needles quickly mesh and needle felt the fabric.


After marking where I need the thumbs to go I have edged these in green.


Cutting the fabric down to size.


More edging along the top and a lot more needle felting all over the fabric . This firms the fabric up. Now for some hand stitching and beading.


Once this was finished I blanket stitched the seams.


And there you have it, 2 hours work and a cosy pair of mitts.

Now I really need to leave my warm workroom and finish putting those tender plants in the greenhouse….may be tomorrow……

* Needle Felting. Is a process where a barbed needle or needles are repeatedly punched into woollen materials to take on a felted appearance. As opposed to : Wet Felting.

** Wet Felting. Is a process of matting together wool fibers using moisture friction and heat.


Filed under Needle felting