Saturday, 25 February 2017

Normal service will be resumed soon!

I'm sorry I've not been around, I managed to catch a virus that has left me a more exhausted than usual. Consequently,  not much has been going on in the home of Elsie May and Bertha. 

I did do these two calendar pages today, one each for March and April. Nothing too taxing. 

I'm giving myself the week off with my #52weeksofstitchingthecircle project, so there won't be a post on that till next weekend.  

I'll be back on Wednesday, that should give me enough time to have something to share with you.


Sunday, 19 February 2017

#our52weekproject - week 7


This week's circle has been stitched using Japanese sashiko embroidery. Sashiko means 'little stabs' and it was traditionally used to reinforce points of wear or to repair worn places or tears with patches, mainly white stitches onto indigo blue dyed garments. Today, it is mainly used as a decoration and in many different colours. 

Although the stitch used is a simple running stitch, the patterns can be quite intricate geometric patterns. I've used a mixture of straight lines and fish-scale-like half-circles. To mark out the design, I used an aqua marker that disappears when you spray water on it.

This photo was taken before the pen marks were removed.

I used Gutermann top stitch thread for this circle.

It didn't take that long to stitch this week's circle but the simple running stitch is very therapeutic to sew. You do need to concentrate on getting your stitches even, but that's part of the joy of stitching something like this. I can see a larger piece of sashiko work being done!

Even the back of the work looks quite good!

If you've not done any sashiko before, have a try. You'll need a ruler and a marker of some description (the aqua marker works best for me) and then let your imagination run wild (or there's lots of patterns on Pinterest to choose from). 

I'll be back on Tuesday.


Friday, 17 February 2017

The mustard yellow needlecase

Yes, the drought is over, I have finished work!

Admittedly, as you saw in my last post, there wasn't much work to do to finish this needlecase, but it's broken my duck of being able to finish something!

This case is made from a Vanessa Artbuthnot fabric and lined with a large yellow and cream check. I've decorated it with pieces of lace from a damaged vintage tablemat, vintage buttons (the yellow flat ones are artificial silk lingerie buttons) and a spot of running stitch. I've used a mustard felt to create the 'pages'. 

I'll be popping this, along with its matching mini pincushion (it just needs stuffingand sewing up!) into my Etsy shop soon.

I hope you have a good weekend and I'll be back on Sunday.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Needlecase etc wips*

The finished article of anything is still alluding me so I still only have wips, including these needlecases, to share with you. 

These two are the closest to being finished. The yellow one just needs to be lined and have its felt 'pages' added. The dark grey one is nearly in the same position, I just need to finish adding the needles label on.

These ones are in the pre-embellishment stage, with its additions chosen and ready to attach.

These two are bigger than the others and will become sewing cases rather than just for needles.

I really do need to get busy!

I hope your week is going well and I'll be back on Friday.


wips* - works in progress

Monday, 13 February 2017

Keeping track etc

Apologies for being late today, we went out for a meal in Liverpool yesterday (at Il Forno - a fabulous Italian restaurant) so I'm feeling quite tired today so it's taken me a while to get started this morning.

Anway, this post is about how I keep track of things, what I need to do etc and diarykeeping. At the moment I'm using notebook journals that I've bought from Wilko. I have tried using an ordinary diary (I used to use a Filofax when I was in work), but they just don't work for me anymore as they're quite rigid format.

I like to use these as they have a page for writing the diary, on the right and the left has a diamond gridded page that's easy to write bullet point lists on. The diary bit isn't dated, you choose the month and date, enabling me to use a pair of pages for more than one day if I want. 

Unfortunately, Wilko don't sell this one anymore, so I'm looking for a suitable replacement. Fortunately, I'm only starting the last one I have today and they last for about 3 months, so I've plenty of time to look out for a replacement. 

On the gridded side I have seven different bulletpointed lists - to do, everyday to do, work done, tv watched, Youtube watched, health and what I'm reading. Having chronic fatigue, I get brain fog, which means I could have problems with remembering to do things and what I have done. Plus as a lot of my days are very similar, keeping track of what I've watched on tv or Youtube differentiates one day from another.

I do decorate the pages in the journal with stickers and bits of ephemera, such as bus tickets etc. so it does get quite thick! In the photo above, the empty journal is on the left and the one I've just finished is on the right.

How do you keep track of your life?

I'll be back on Wednesday.


Saturday, 11 February 2017

#our52weekproject - week 6

#52weeksofstitchingthe circle

The stitch I've been sampling for this week's circle is web stitch.

This one is woven (you bring the thread under every other spoke), using silk ribbon, to create a rose-like flower.

This one just has four spokes,with the thread wrapped around each spoke every round you create a raised web, so the end result is a square.

This one is woven like the first example, but, as I've used pearl cotton, it's flatter.

This one is also woven, but for this one you go back over two spokes and then under one to give a spiral effect.

This is a normal ribbed web, but I've added a bead on one row where the thread wraps the spoke. 

Again, this is a raised web stitch, but the spokes don't join in the middle, leaving a space that can be embellished or left as it is.

I think I'll probably be doing more sampling with web stitch as there's further possibilities to explore. That's the joy of sampling, you can take ordinary stitches and play around with them without having to worry about how it turns out. Plus it always sparks more ideas!

I'll be back on Monday.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, 9 February 2017


My chronic fatigue has been making its presence felt over the past few days so I haven't been doing that much in the way of anything, so I have nothing finished to share with you. So here's what I'm currently working on.

This first one is a blue patchwork pillow. I've tacked together all of the pieces and I'm now in the process of stitching and embellishing the seams.


For this one I've printed a vintage Vogue image onto vintage cotton and I'm adding stitch to various bits before it becomes part of a pillow.

These are for little lavender sachets and just need their front and backs sewing together before they can be filled with lavender.

I'll be back on Saturday with this week's installment of #our52weekproject.


*Wips - works in progress