Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Wedding anniversary cards.

A couple of the wedding anniversary cards I've made recently.  I use a mixture of vintage cards, craft papers and bits and pieces pulled from magazines etc. 

These A5 sized cards are £4.50 + postage for a unique card. No two cards are the same and each one takes about an hour to create, from choosing the pieces I'll use, to a finished card.  

If you'd like to commission a card, you can contact me via email at 


Monday, 27 July 2015

A Lancashire pin pillow.

I wish today's weather was as sunny as it looks in the old Lancashire advert that I've used for this pin pillow,  it's dull and chilly instead!  Where's the summer gone! 

Anyway,  back to this pin pillow. The picture is edged in pekingese stitch and sewn onto a lovely blue-flowered cotton. Along the right there's a strip of vintage fabric , with prairie points, made from the same fabric, tucked into it. I have backed the pillow in the vintage fabric too. 

After the pillow was stuffed, I have tied an old brass button, with an anchor on it, too the pillow. The decoration on this pillow is fairly minimal,  but I didn't think it needed anymore with that fabulous vintage advert.

This pillow is now at the  Seagrass Gallery in Hoylake if you'd like to buy it. 


Saturday, 25 July 2015

A drawstring bag and my first box corner.

One of the swaps I was recently involved in required the swappers to make a drawstring bag, following a named pattern, for our swap partner. I've made drawstring bags quite a few times, but this one had a lining and box corners. I'd lined a couple before, but more by luck than judgement (except on those made from a circle of fabric, they're simple to do), but I'd never done a box corner before!

I forgot to take a photo of the bottom of the bag, but you can see the squared-off corners in the first of the above photos. The pattern we used had clear photographs and really well written instructions, making the bag straightforward to make, including the box corners. 

You can find the tutorial I used on the 'In Color Order' blog.

My bag wasn't perfect, but it did turn out to look like the ones in the pictures! To add a bit of 'me' to the bag, I added four puffs, evenly around the top.

I do aim to make some more of these as they are useful for storing stuff in. I'm keeping my knitting in one of the ones I had from the swap (I received two from my partner). That's something else added to the ever growing 'to do' list!


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Grey and silver bling pillow

I made this pillow for my sister's birthday in June. These first pictures were taken when the finished embroidered pillow top was on the damp-stretching board.

I started with a patchwork of fabrics and decorated each of the seams in one way or another.  I  used glass beads, buttons, pearls, pieces of jewellery, ric rac, lace, crocheted flowers and gimp as well as a selection of different embroidery threads.

The photos below are of the completed pillow.

The fabric with the leaves forms a pocket, with the opening at the top.
The beaded button in the middle of this photo has been tied on once the pillow was stuffed.

I backed the pillow with the same leaf fabric that I used to make the pocket in the top right-hand corner of the pillow.


Friday, 17 July 2015

Works in progress (wips)

My pile of wips is quite big. These are some of the things I am working on at the moment.

This is a pocket being attached with chain stitch. The pocket has drawn and embroidered petals. 

The top image is of stylised honeysuckle flowers drawn on paper with pin pricked centres. The bottom one is the same,  except it's drawn on broderie anglais? I'll be adding french knots for the centres on here. They'll be mounted in my ledger when finished. 

This is a vintage hanky, with more drawn stylised honeysuckle flowers. I've added a pocket that's edged with buttonhole lace. I'm in the process of adding kantha stitches (lots and lots of running stitches) across the hanky covering everything that's not drawn on. It's going to take some time,  but it's really relaxing.

This is going to be a little pouch. It'll be folded in half, where you can see the crease, with the image of peonies on the front and the boat made out of broderie anglais. 

This is what I've been working on today. More doodling on white spotted fabric. The cutwork circle has a ruched pocket lined with lace inserted into it. I'm in three process of adding bullion loops around the outside of the pocket.

There's more, but these are the one's I'm doing something to at present. 


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Where bloggers create 2015

My Desert Cottage

Welcome to the Elsie May and Bertha workroom. The room as changed a lot since last year. I needed to reorder the space to give myself more room to work and make it easier to keep things together in the right space etc. Rather than have sewing related things sitting on bookshelves, I've now moved the books off three sets of shelves and the books will go on what's left. This stage of the move has yet to be carried out.


Two tables have been pushed together, giving me room to have both sewing machines ready to use. A small bookcase and the white set of shelves are now in the corner where one of the tables were. That corner of the room has everything to do with sewing on the shelves, fabric, beads etc., keeping things close to the tables where I want to use them.

There are larger boxes and baskets under the two table that hold my scrap fabric, vintage linen, vintage crochet mats etc. I've pinned vintage tablecloths to one table to hide the boxes (but they're still accessible). I still need to do this for the ends of the other table (a 'curtain' wouldn't be suitable where my legs go when I'm using a sewing machine).

 The table where I make cards, paint etc is pretty much the same, though I do have more storage boxes for different types of paper, plus my penpal letters and writing paper. My next big job will be to sort through all of my ephemera and try to get it into an easier to use system, rather than just boxes. Hopefully, I'll have that done by next year's Where bloggers create post!

The ceiling has acquired some more tissue paper decorations, a giant snowflake above my sewing table and three coloured spheres above the end of  paper working desk.

On top of the set of drawers that holds some of my knitting stash, I have two cake stands, one wire and the other paper, holding a few of my little bits and pieces, including my collection of vintage greeting cards, bits and bobs of china that will be converted into pincushions one day, my thimble collection, and two of my Mrs Marmalade pincushions.

The desk with the computer on has also been moved, which means I no longer have to sit in a draft when I'm using the computer!

Well I hope you've had a lovely nose around. See where other bloggers create by clicking on the link below and travel around the world visiting some very talented people. 

My Desert Cottage