Sunday 18 November 2018

Not just for Christmas

The inspirational Minki Kim published her second book Diary in Stitches recently.  Its full of design ideas and patterns for the type of small gift I like to make for Christmas fairs at this time of year. I made these Christmassy bookmarks using some of the festive patterns in the book.  A friend gave me some strips of very thick cardboard just right for the inside stiffening and I just cut strips of linen and cotton print to fit and stitched them together.  Its best to do the embroidery before cutting the linen to size.  Use an erasable pen.

These second lot are slightly smaller and don't have the edge stitching.  I do think the edging makes them look for finished so if I make more I'll make them slightly bigger so there's room for the stitching.  Books are the best type of Christmas gift as far as I'm concerned.  I loved to get an annual when I was a child and still enjoy dipping into a long wanted title on Christmas morning..... though usually I've bought it for myself!!!

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Autumn decoration

October is the start of the crafting season - in my life anyway as Christmas isn't far away.  And a change of season is the cue to bring out my autumn decorations.  It seems this autumn's must have is the white mini pumpkin.  They are in all the most beautiful Instagram photos.  I think they may be called Mini Boos but they haven't reached us up here in North Wales.  So I thought to make my own.  Its an easy crochet pattern I found at Plant June and you can make two or three in an evening - well, perhaps crochet one evening and put together the next.  June crocheted her stalks and so did I previously, but for my little white Boos I used a small stick from the garden or a cinnamon stick and a die cut felt leaf hot glued in place.

Next I stitched acorns using this pattern from Tatiana Maximenko.  You might have seen I used her pattern for the mushrooms I photographed for my last post.  Tatiana's patterns are beautiful, simple and photographed in detail to help you in your sewing.  Her stitching is perfect and I must admit it needs time and patience to achieve anywhere near the same results. I need to try a few more as, of course, practise makes perfect - well as perfect as I can get.

My last project was somewhat easier to execute.  I was looking through my pile of Landscape magazine back issues for a cake recipe I remembered - I thought last year.  But I was distracted by the cover of a winter issue featuring decorations using Honesty seedpods.  I'd collected the dried pods earlier in the summer and they were stored in my shed waiting to have their seeds saved for next year.  I sacrificed a few to make these lovely window decorations.  I stuck the seeds to the "silver pennies" with a dot of liquid craft glue and then used the same to glue them into a flower shape.  When the sun shines through the window they light up!

Have you ever noticed the seedpods are three layers thick.  There is a stronger outer layer and inside is the silvery tissue paper thin layer with seeds on each side.  Such a clever design!  Its quite easy to peel the layers apart with your fingers and of course easy for the winds of autumn to separate those layers too and fling the seeds far and wide.  Isn't nature amazing.

Monday 1 October 2018

Is there anyone out there!

Its the first of October and first thing this moring I walked out into my small garden to take a photo to post on my Instagram account.  The sun had just risen above the hills and lit up this lovely Japanese Anemone, absolutely at its best at the moment.  I decided now was the time to restart my blog.

Its been over a year since I last posted.  I've kept up my Instagram and occasionally my two Facebook pages during this time - they are easy - it only takes a photo and a few words and its done in just a couple of minutes.  Blogging however needs more thought, more words and perhaps more photos.  I need to be in the mood and I haven't been in the mood for all these months.  There are reasons of course, mainly family reasons.  But its a new month and a new start...... well not a new start, just a carrying on of what I considered my online diary since 2009.  I couldn't quite bring myself to let it go altogether, so here we are again.

I'm still crafting whenever I can - sewing is my thing at the moment.

Still watching the wildlife in my small garden and tramping the fields with my camera.


And still enjoying the wild spaces and attractions around me in North Wales.  So nothing much has changed but everything has changed. 

 I'll write it down here from now on and maybe, just maybe someone will read it.


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