Friday, 25 October 2013

Christmas decorations, popping into an art gallery and a fabulous lunch.

We went to Liverpool yesterday (Thursday) it's my birthday on Saturday and my other half wanted to take me out for lunch. The reason we went yesterday, rather than today or tomorrow, was because it was supposed to be the best day of the week as it was due to bucket it down today (instead the sun is cracking the flags!) and on Saturday. That's British weather for you!

Anyway, here's what we did. We had coffee and toast at John Lewis' and also spent a happy time looking around the Christmas decoration department. The shop also had its decorations up, which are quite lovely, but it's not even bonfire night yet! It's too early!!

They always have fabulous decorations for sale at John Lewis' and this year is no different. I do make my own, but I do have a weakness for shop bought ones too.

There's folksy ones.

 Vintage-style ones. These are my favourites, using glass, pink and silver.

Knit covered reindeer heads.

 This Christmas tree with the icicles is beautiful.

These two are in, what I call, a dirty blue colour. They wouldn't fit into my decorating schemes, but in the right place they'd be chic.


Primary colours, again, not really me, but they'd look great in a modern flat or a child's room. I do like the paper concertina shapes though.

Felt angels.

After the Christmas decoration gazing, we popped over to the Walker Art Gallery. A few years ago they had an exhibition of clothes from the wardrobe of a Mrs Tinne, the wife of a quite well to do doctor. Since then, the remaining pieces of the collection were donated to the gallery by one of Mrs Tinne's daughters and items not previously seen have been put on display. I took lots of photos of the garments, shoes and hats so I'm going to write a separate blog post on these next week. For now, here's pictures of the good lady, probably taken during here honeymoon, a little about the collection and a peek at one of her evening coats (apologies for the reflections in the last photo).

When we left the gallery, the sun was shining directly behind the Steble Fountain, which is at the top of William Brown Street, making it all twinkly so I just had to take a picture.

Lunch was to be had at one of our favourite restaurants in Liverpool, the Italian Club. This time we both decided to have their steak sandwich. It was a great choice. The steak was cooked superbly (medium for me, rare for Ray), and came on a panini, with cooked onions, lettuce, tomato and mustard. This piece of gastronomic delight (I think I'm getting a bit carried away here, but it really was that good!) was accompanied by french fries and salad. You should go to the Italian Club (or their sister restaurant Italian Club Fish, which is equally as good), all of their dishes are authentic Italian and are served with the Italian love of food and sharing.

We ended the trip on this heavenly note (sorry!) and caught the bus home.

I have done some making over the past couple of weeks, but most of it is for commissions so I can't share pictures until they've seen the finished articles. It's mainly included embroidering and embellishing (fun bits), with just a little work on the sewing machine.

I have spent a bit of time adding things (not much fun bits) to my own website and onto my new outlet Crafty Magpie too.

Hope you have a great weekend.


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Where did the week go?

It doesn't seem a week since I was last telling you what I had been up to,  but Sam (my tablet, short for Samsung)  says it's Sunday, so Sunday it is.

So what have I been doing? In short, knitting, card making, a brooch, a visit to the charity shops in New Brighton and Hoylake and lots of boring computer work.

The knitting is a scarf for the winter scarf swap I'm taking part in. My swap partner asked if her scarf could be green as it's one of her favourite colours and, luckily, I had some lovely green wool in my stash.  I'd bought it ages ago on Skye in Scotland.  It's hand-dyed aran weight wool, by the colours in it reminds me of Scottish hillsides.  A mixture of greens and browns, with a spot of blue. Unfortunately you can't really the colours properly in the picture below. I'll post better ones when the scarf is finished.

                                    Photo: Start of scarf for my #winterscarfswap partner 

The card making - I made few more Christmas cards, including those below.

 Photo Photo Photo 

The brooch is made from a scrap of Vanessa Arbuthnot fabric decorated with a bit of embroidery, silver thread and beads.

                                              Photo: Just finished this brooch. It'll be mounted onto a decorated card then added to my website for sale.  It'll be £6.50 plus p&p. If you buy it before it goes onto my website it'll be £5 plus p&p (90p). 

I found some lovely things in the charity shops this week. In New Brighton, there was pink velvet, a gorgeous art deco dish (you can't see it in the picture below, but it has a lovely mottled appearance), a vintage knitting pattern, some paper (you can never have too much paper) and an biography about Virginia Cherrill, who was picked by Charlie Chaplin to appear in one of his films. She went on to marry Cary Grant, a Lord and a Polish air ace. I'm looking forward to reading this!

                                               Photo: Yesterday's charity shop treasures (piece of velvet, knitting pattern,  pad of paper,  book and Royal Winton dish).

On Thursday, after dropping off the blue embroidered fish to Jo at the Seagrass Gallery in Hoylake, I had a mosey around the charity shops there, where I found a couple of things and then I had a look around the ones in Liscard, where I found a bit more. A total of eight charity shops! I found a 1950s knitting pattern, a linen top, a glass dish, a pile of broken jewellery, a white linen and lace traycloth, two needlework magazines from the 1990s and a pad of handmade paper.

                                               Photo: Today's charity shop treasures (a; linen top, large pad of coloured paper,  two bags of jewels, glass bowl, traycloth, knitting pattern and two needlecraft magazines). 

Not a bad haul eh?

In between knitting, card making, sewing and charity shops I spent a fair bit of time on the computer adding new things onto my website. The computer work isn't hard, but it is so time consuming. But it does have to be done if I want what I make to be seen!

Quite a busy week for me.

This week is going to be fairly busy too as I've had a couple of items commissioned and I've more Christmas cards to add onto my website. I've also started to sell some of my wares through a new craft selling website called Crafty Magpie, which does mean more computer work, but, hopefully, that'll bring Elsie May and Bertha to more people.

Pop over to Handmade Monday to see what else has been going on in blogland.

I also share my blog with other blog parties, the links to these are in the right-hand column.

Have a great week.


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tennis, finished fish (well almost) and pincushions.

My chronic fatigue was making itself felt this week so I haven't spent too much time in my work room this week.

 Instead I've been sat on the sofa watching ladies' tennis and doing the odd bit of embroidery. I have managed to finish the three blue fish I've been making for the lovely Jo at the Seagrass Gallery in Hoylake.  I say finished, they still need their hangers, but the embroidery etc is done, and that's the hard bit. 


 One highlight of the week, was the arrival of my new pincushion from the lovely Mrs Marmalade. This is my fourth pincushion from her. You can use them as pincushions, but they're more a work of art really. My Mum has had a new one too (this is her third).

This double decker pincushion is my Mum's. I found the pot on top in our local charity shop, my Mum really liked it so she asked Mrs Marmalade to use it on her new pincushion.


This is mine, a pixie sitting on a top hat.



I was feeling much better yesterday so I did manage a couple of hours in the workroom. I didn't miss out on the tennis though. It was the semi-finals, so there was only two matches which had finished by 12ish.

I made a couple of new pages in my scrapbook cum journal. I like doing these, I can create whatever takes my fancy and they're just for me. A lot of what I make goes to other people, whereas I can leaf though these and create more at my own pleasure.

I've also made my first christmas card of the year. This one has a vintage christmas card image. 

All of my cards are unique and there are rarely two the same. I'm taking orders for christmas cards now. I'll be adding some to my website soon, but you can also request bespoke cards directly from me (email, this goes for other types of cards too.

Hopefully, the coming week will be a bit more productive for me, though there is more tennis on from Tuesday!


P.S. You can now enter the October craft challenge over on the Great Crafty website. The theme is spooky this month and you can enter up to two items. Go on, have a go, you know you want to!

P.S.S. Don't forget to see what other crafty bloggers have been up to lately at Handmade Monday. I must apologise for my lack of blog hopping last week, I hope to do better this week.

P.S.S.S. I also participate in other blog hops too, you can follow these via the links on the right-handside.

More the Merrier Monday