Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Little Stitching

I've not felt like stitching the picture on the big slate frame, so have been working on a series of small things either in a small frame or held un-stretched in my hand. At the moment I am working on Wildflower Hearts, a freebie from Caron Threads. The original was worked in Caron Wildflower, an overdyed thread that comes in a series of beautiful colour combinations; I can't stretch the budget that far, but have adapted what I have in stash. A dark terracotta and a dark forest green matte stranded cotton, both overdyed with a red and a yellow fabric marker to give a subtle variation in tone, rather than the pronounced variation of the original.

The Rhodes stitch hearts are worked with two threads, as is the reverse faggot stitch of the surrounding square. I have used a single strand for the back stitch, and to save fastening off and fastening on for the rice stitch squares, I have made each stitch twice with a single strand. When I have finished the square, I think I shall surround it with the remains of the fabric I used as backing for these postcards. The colours are quite a good match, despite what the camera says, and I think it would make a cushion for somebody.

What else have I done lately? Not a lot, as we seem to have been on a merry-go-round of nurse-doctor-hospital-nurse-doctor-hospital, but hopefully now we are out of the loop again until halfway through January, and I can get back into my usual routine of total idleness interspersed with gentle bouts of finger twiddling.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Little Bit Over the Top...

...but what the commissioner wanted... fancy Christmas cards to make up for the fact that they are getting M&S hampers rather than individual presents....She told me exactly what she wanted to say, and where, so the labels have computer generated messages in a dark colour picked from the backing papers. It doesn't show so well in the photo, but the ribbons are brown, coffee and cream on this one, and there is a discrete amount of glitter dabbed onto the backgrounds.

The second card has the same papers in a different colour-way, and a different type of ribbon. The papers are from Artylicious. These are both Easel cards, in case you are thinking that they look a little strange; the camera angle doesn't make it obvious. As usual, I can't do a job without making a mistake; I got the gold labels mixed up and the yellowy gold ended up on the red card instead of the gold card. As you can see, it doesn't match the peel-off colour like the other one would have done...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Friendship Heart

I stitched for Pam for her birthday. As usual, in my rush to send it off in time, I forgot to take a photo, but this is the one she posted to the Group, so I have snagged it...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Get Well Soon...

...card made for a friend to send to her daughter. It is an easel card, and this is the first time I have made one. The background paper is Artylicious, run through the Textile Cuttlebug folder, the sentiment is cut and embossed with Nestabilities, then sponged with a little Colour Box Chalk. Flowers and ferns punched from scraps of paper with a little added bling. The butterfly was part of the remit, and is a layer of embossed plain over a layer of patterned paper, glammed up with gold peel-off.

I considered adding more flowers and bling to the base layer, but thought better of it; after all, it does have to be posted....

Try not to notice the apparent curve on the card as it is just an illusion caused by the close-up setting on the camera.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Felt Like...

...Christmas postcards made for a swap on AWM. The colours in the photograph are not true to life; what appears to be a magenta background is in fact a dark burgundy red, and the bottom left background is shades of green without any blue. The dark green holly leaves are FME'ed with sparkly green Sulky, the berries and background with red sparkly Sulky.

These were made mainly from re purposed fabrics. The background cotton was left over from converting a duvet cover into two dog bed covers for a neighbour, the felt was left over from a fancy dress costume made for the child of another neighbour, and the reverse fabric was from a sample book. Even the Sulky was inherited from my friend Dot. The only thing bought on purpose for postcard making was the interfacing in the sandwich, so the most expensive bit of these is going to be the postage; 78¢ each if I am lucky and they weigh in at under 20gms, €1.38 if they are over!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Rare Sight... it is not often that I feel the urge to bake, but last week a friend gave me a lemon that he had picked up from beneath his lemon tree after a stormy night; and what a lemon it was, as it yielded the 4 fl.oz. of juice needed for a lemon meringue pie, not to mention acres of peel for grating into the gloopy bottom layer. I can't show you a picture of the inside because it has all gone. Mention in passing that you have made a lemon meringue pie, and the gannets start to arrive...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Christmas is coming...

...and the Christmas card making season has come round again. I'm just not one of those organised people who start their Christmas cards in January. Here is a group made with Pink Petticoat papers from the 'Tis the Season set, Magnolia and Polly Craft images, 2Peas Block font greetings and assorted punched and cut-out embellies.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A few Postcards....

....have been made and sent this past week. They were for three separate ArtWeMail swaps, but they all went to Indiana. It seems that the Indianapolis girls have been recruiting new members in their neighbourhood...I would give you a sneek peek, but Blogger is being Bolshie and won't let me upload. I'll edit when it has calmed down.....
Edit; Mea Culpa...I hadn't noticed that I have to tick a box now before I can hit upload...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's nearly a month...

...since I blogged anything! I am blaming the heat of course, not idleness....

This is the card I received from Sue on the Cardscraps Group.

We had to create a card using a different fold from the basic fold it in half.

She sent me a version of the Star Book, with a tag in the pocket of each of the four sections. She has added a feather to the ribbon fastening.

This was not a straight swap, so my purple card with a Teabag medallion went to Winnie in Norway.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Thanks to Eve, who sent me the hank of Anchor floss I needed, I have now finished another inherited cross stitch picture. The photo is a bit lopsided because I had it pinned to the curtain, but you get the idea. Eve didn't want anything in return as she said it was returning favours from the past, but I can't resist finding homes for my orphans, so I sent her this heart, stitched as a try-out for some space dyed threads.

There is too much tone difference in the pink, but I can soon add more colour to the pale sections of the hank so that the fuchsia doesn't stand out so much.

The next inherited UFO is already on the frame; it's a birth announcement picture of two mice and a pair of tulips, with half a mouse completed. This had been left in a hoop and was quite grubby, but it has washed well enough to be finished. The one mark that didn't wash out can be covered by an extra bee. This is a picture of the finished article that I found on line.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday Sketchers and Dare U2 Digistamp

Dare U2 Digi Stamps Friday Challenge this week is black, white and pink. I have combined it with Friday Sketchers Challenge to use this layout:

The B&W background paper is by Pink Petticoat, the cross strip is embossed with the Cuttlebug Divine Swirls folder, and the image is from Polly Craft's Cherry Kisses digi set, coloured with watercolour pencils. The little glass hearts were in a box of embellies given to me by my friend Dilys as a thank you for knitting some second sizers for her due-last-Tuesday-but-not-yet-arrived, great grandson.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It's too hot to do much of anything...

...but I have been doing a little light stitching. When my friend Dot died last September, I inherited a number of started stitcheries pushed into a bag with a tangle of threads. Then a couple of weeks ago another friend passed onto me a couple more she had been given by a very elderly neighbour who was in the process of clearing the decks before I die...again, in the bag, was an assortment of un-numbered threads; some wound around cards and others in a tangle.

I have been able to finish this one of hedgerow flowers, as luckily the packaging and charts were in the bag with the cloth. It took the best part of an afternoon to untangle the threads, sort them into colours, and with the help of an ancient Anchor colour chart (lots of the newer numbers are not on it) loop them through the appropriate hole in the cardboard strip that was provided. Why this had not been done originally I have no idea. I have been stitching away for weeks now, on and off. It was very grubby, and had rust marks down one edge where the needles had been left in. I soaked it overnight in warm water and washing up liquid, but it is still not what one would call pristine. I may have to apply a little gentle agitation in a second wash before I do anything else with it. The rust stains haven't washed out of course, but they won't show if I decide to have it framed with a mat. If it doesn't come out clean after the next wash, I shan't bother with the expense.

The next one is already on the slate frame; Harbour View it is called. The instructions call for a lot of half cross stitch with a single strand on sea and sky. The stitcher has ignored this and stitched full cross stitch with two strands over the sky with the result that there isn't enough thread left to stitch the sea. There are only two shops in town that sell embroidery threads, and they both only stock DMC, not Anchor, so I have had to substitute from my stash. Having done quite a bit of stitching last night, I can now see that the thread I chose is a shade too light and hardly shows at all against the white Aida, so it is snip not stitch tonight...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Two for the price of one...

This fulfils the conditions for Charmed Cards' Crafty Goings On blogcandy as it has a digital download image that has been coloured. Why not pop over there and check it out?

Secondly, this week's Dare U 2 Digi Stamp Challenge is to use embossing on your card, either dry embossing or heated embossing. The background paper and the large circle are from a Funky Hand CD. I used the Cuttlebug to emboss a piece of dusty pink pearl card, the image is from Polly Craft's Cherry Kisses digital set and the sentiment is a Cuddly Buddly stamp. The image and sentiment have been coloured with watercolour pencils. I had problems matching the colours in the background paper, and the close-up shows that I need to learn to be a bit less wishy washy with my colour, but I'm getting there...slowly! The flower and braid are from my re-cycled stash...the braid was once on a dress, and the flower was originally in a bathroom vase.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm the lucky bunny...

..who's name came out of the hat on the Funky Fairy Challenge #21....

...and I have won a lovely paper download from the Funky Fairy shop! Thanks a bunch FFs!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Funky Fairy Challenge #21

The challenge this week is to make a Christmas card using at least one item from Funky Fairy. I have used the snow paper from their Blue Christmas free download, a Winter Tilda and a computer generated greeting. I'm not sure what happened to the perspective in the photo; the card looks a bit wonky, but it isn't in real life...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another card

Made with a free flower image downloaded from Mel Stampz and background paper from Artylicious.

Cuttlebug Challenge #36

This, my first entry into a Cuttlebug Challenge, is for a man's card. All the men I know prefer simplicity in their cards, and they don't come much simpler than this!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


This was taken at 9am this morning, when this Northish facing lobby gets a glimpse of sunlight. I think it's too high, but Bossman said he didn't think the bottom should be covered up by the plant stand in the corner.

The orchids seem just as happy here as they were in the Southish facing snug, although they have all finished flowering apart from this one...

Ready for hemming

This is the piece pinned up ready for me to hand stitch the tan binding to the back. I think the easiest way to hang it will be a pocket on the back and a curtain rod of the type used for hanging net curtains. Hopefully the next post will be a photo of it in situ.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Turquoise border.

Layered up.

Safety pinned.
I have the unaccustomed luxury of using batting rather than blanket this time, as I inherited some bits from my friend Dot. I have had to herringbone them together, but they are making the whole thing so much lighter.
I don't have a walking foot on any of my machines, so my machine quilting is very tame. I shall quilt in the ditch. Having done the basic pinning in the centre of each patch with a safety pin, I then use the pintensive method of pinning each ditch at 2" intervals with straight pins just before I stitch it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sacrifices have to be made...

...when the Patchwork Goddess demands turquoise;

And from the back of the same wardrobe came a soft green cotton wrap around skirt that will do nicely for the backing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The result of my excavations... the turquoise mine was a very large zilch. No turquoise sleeping bag liner, no turquoise of any description large enough to go around the modest circumference of my Broken 9's, but poking out of the box below was a largish piece of tan cotton sheeting that might just fit the bill. I have pinned it up to consider the effect. Bossman's comment when asked for his opinion was that he felt that there was a war on. When asked to elucidate, he said that it was like sleeping in a bedroom with blackout curtains, and when was I going to finish it? I gave him the usual answer that a true artist couldn't be rushed, and that anyway my sewing machines have decided that they will only work in the mornings now that it is practically June...

A Fruit Crate of Bus Monkeys...

Paula asked what a fruit crate of bus monkeys looked like, and being in an obliging mood today, I took this photograph as I excavated my way to the box marked Green and Turquoise.

You can tell by their expressions that they were very glad to see the full light of day after being at the bottom of the pile for so long. Paula's second question asked what a Bus Monkey was, and that requires a little longer than the time taken to press a shutter, but I did say I was in an obliging mood....

Once upon a time, long, long ago back in the early days of Blogging, before pictures were allowed, I kept a private online journal as a mental exercise and to improve my computing skills. It was mainly a record of how we spent our days, and reading it inspired the sub-title that the Other Blog still has; the boring life of two wrinklies. When Blogger announced that we could add pictures to our posts, it just so happened that I had bought a very cheap digi camera from Lidl, and I indulged in the rather old-fashioned concept of "table top photography". Some of my family are very camera shy, and so the monkeys became stand ins and stuntmonkeys, and I had fun playing around in PS. In 2007, I deleted most of the old posts, but left a couple, including this one, as that conversation just about summed up my life at the time. The little brown Mon Chi Chi monkey had belonged to my elder daughter; I don't know where it came from, but I remember her having it in 1990 when she was in hospital, so it was probably a get well present from a friend. Whenever I saw another vinyl faced monkey languishing in a 50¢ box at a flea market or charity shop I would rescue it. So why Bus Monkeys? Bossman, (a pseudonym of course) is not a native English speaker, and some of his sayings come out slightly wonky. "You're as much fun as a barrel full of monkeys" became "as much fun as a busload of monkeys", and as I was 59 at the time, there was also a comment about my soon qualifying for a bus pass, and my reposte was that I hoped the bus would be full of monkeys so I got a bit of fun...and with the arrival of Broadband, the Blog went public with a new name; The Monkey Bus Pass, and I introduced Monkima and Bossman to the world. Not to mention Bracket, Clooney, Pointy Kitty, Ninfant Griller et al....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Broken 9 patch

If you have been visiting for a while, you might remember this post and the disappearing 9 patch blocks I had made with some scraps sent by Kate. I never did get as far as stitching them together. Since then, December 2007 would you believe, they have been sitting on my sewing table in a zip-lock bag, being pushed from one spot to another and back again. This morning the spirit moved me to make a wall hanging to fill the blank wall in the new lobby, and those 9 patch blocks seemed a good place to start, but they looked rather dull for the north facing space, so I decided to make a couple more blocks with some brighter colours. I could see some of the turquoise cotton I used to make Pointy Kitty in a scrap box under the table, along with the green and turquoise I used for Paula's Spudgies, and decided to use those to liven things up a bit. I added some charm squares sent by Pam and some bits sent by Paula, and here you can see the result, pinned up on my bedroom curtains. I am very lucky to have such kind cyber friends who send me goodies! I will have a rummage tomorrow for something to frame the outside. Somewhere there is a turquoise cotton sleeping bag liner left over from our boating days. I know I used some of it in a quilt, but I think there might be enough left for what I want. It will be in the cardboard box marked green and turquoise that I can see in the wardrobe from where I am sitting, but getting to the box involves moving more boxes, a fruit crate full of Bus Monkeys, a laundry basket full of assorted tat waiting to be sorted, not to mention....well we won't go into that...

I'm not going to show you any close-ups, either, because there is a very good reason I have called it a Broken 9 patch; The first set of squares were stitched on the Elna and today's were stitched on the Lervia. This noodle didn't take into account the fact that the foot on the Lervia is fractionally wider than the foot on the Elna, and as that is the way I measure my seams, there was a slight discrepancy where some of the corners met. Not enough to bother a Blind Man on a Flying Horse of course, but enough to make me hang my head.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Long time no post...

...can't settle to anything at the moment, but I played about with some watercolour backgrounds last night, and this afternoon stamped up a couple of cards.

I made a mess of the third one, so I cut around the leaf and slipped in a little piece of lilac card to cover up my messy bit, then stamped some more over the top. My scanner has chopped a slice off the edge of the cards; they are centred on their backgrounds in real life.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

ATC Challenge

The subject on Art Pieces is Retro. This is a completely digital ATC and will be printed on photographic paper and mounted onto black card. All the images used are courtesy of Dover.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Colour Fast

In the past I have tested my home dyed threads by wetting them and ironing them onto white cloth. They appeared to be colour fast. Now I am pretty sure they are, because unloading the dishwasher just now, I found a hank swinging from the top rack, its colours just as bright and fresh as when I first dyed them. Don't ask me how it got in there; all I know is that it was thread I was using until quite late last night because Bossman was watching Man U, and I can only think that it was on my person somewhere, and fell into the dishwasher as I went to put my nightcap mug in before going to bed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tea for Two

My friend KR and I had a little fabric ATC swap with a tea theme. She sent me an elegant stamped greetings card enclosing two pretty QTCs of fused teapots set on an oriental fabric background, with added beads and gold stamping. I sent her a cross stitch teapot and cups. As quite often happens, I was in such a hurry to send it on its way that I forgot to scan it before posting, but to give you an idea, here is the pattern I used, from 50 tiny Tea Motifs by Jorja Hernandez.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...