Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Latest Embroidery

 I started yet another cross stitch design the other day. I know I know I already have several hundred on the go but that way I have just the right project to stitch at just the right time.

As soon as I saw this I wanted to stitch it immediately, which was strange as it is not my usual choice of style. The other strange thing was that it is most definitely autumnal colours, whereas I am usually bang on season with my crafting - maybe its because the seasons have been so strange recently and all feel rather topsy turvy.

It is a smallish design by Barbara Ana Designs, A&E which stands for Adam and Eve, very sweet. I am stitching it on 35 count Lakeside Linens Vintage Maple Sugar a slightly different choice to the one suggested but the colour of this linen spoke to me. Here are the threads and linen ready to get started. I am hoping to maybe stitch the finished piece into a purse like it is on the front cover as it is so sweet, I just need to try and source a stitch in purse frame that suits the design as I prefer stitch in to glue in.

Autumnal Threads!

To break away from the feel of Autumn I thought I would post some photos of the Water Irises that have just flowered in our little water barrel.

Hopefully I will be posting the finished piece soon!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Kedleston Hall

Sunday was a trip to Kedleston Hall, a National Trust Property in Derbyshire. As soon as we drove into the grounds I loved it. The Hall itself is so impressive both from the front and the back. When you get inside and go up the floating staircase the hall is truly breath taking.
The Front

The Back

In this view of the back you can see the domed roof.

This was the beautiful view out of the front windows of the house. I would never get bored of looking at this.

My favourite exhibit in the museum was the dress worn by Lady Curzon in this portrait. It is called the Peacock Dress because when you look closely the design on the fabric is a peacock feather.

Here is the dress in all its glory. 

Here it explains that the amazing green circles sewn on for the 'eye'of the peacock design are real beetle wings. After all this time they still retain the amazing green colouring. Absolutely stunning. It is such a shame that the lighting in the museum was not good enough to take a true photo.

The back of the dress is equally beautiful.

I took so many photographs of the interior of the house that I just could not decide which to put on the blog but then I decided that I would leave the interior for folk to see for real that way you can have that first moment when you walk into the hall without any idea of what is coming. just as I did.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Bit of a Change Around

My craft table has previously been covered with a red, brown and orange patchwork cloth and with a red lamp. But before Christmas my husband bought me a fab little funky blue lamp. Then on Valentines day a massive treat arrived in the shape of the worlds funkiest chest of drawers ever to be imagined! We don't normally do presents on valentines so this was a huge surprise. It has taken pride of place next to my craft table and has been filled with all my wonderful yet to do projects. Obviously I needed to change the patchwork on my craft table to tone in with the new lamp and drawers. 

The drawers weigh a tonne and getting them up the stairs was quite a feet, especially as we have spirally stairs. The main part is in distressed, mat, grey metal. The drawers are thick wood that looks like driftwood and has very distressed patches of blue and turquoise paint.

The model of the Sea Shanty looks perfect on top.

On the windowsill is the little wardian case my boys gave me for my birthday last year.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Snow Days

Cannot believe I have not blogged for almost a year. Mind you I can believe it because real life this last 13 months has been .... well rather real is all I can say. But onto lovelier craftier things! On Wednesday evening it started to snow here really rather heavily and has only just stopped Friday afternoon. So all snowed in and unable to get to work and school closed there was nothing to do but make tea and stitch. So that is precisely what I did and I have to say I cannot quite believe what can be achieved over two snow days.

I bought the Shaker Scissor Stand and Needle Roll kit from Jane Greenhoff when I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show before Christmas. It was just so sweet I could not resist it. Anyway Thursday morning was the day to start.

I love the way that shading on the hillside is done by varying the number of threads you use and how much of a cross you do but all in the same thread colour. It looks far better than on the screen.

The band itself is beautiful. A crisp white linen with a wonderful embroidered edge. After the hills it was time to stitch the trees.

 Then I started the houses. They are lovely little shaker style salt box houses in a deep red. At first I was not sure about all the outlining in grey but it actually worked really well and still showed up even after putting the black windows in.

The roofs are in a lovely deep grey/blue, again the screen does not do it justice.

Once the lighter pink was finished the houses looked so sweet. Also the larger tree in the middle adds height. I did the trunk for the larger tree in a mushroom brown rather than the suggested dark grey and love the way it stands out. The birds are a nice subtle touch and almost add a border to the scene. There are sheep to be added to the far right meadow but I am saving those for the end.

On the far right there is a stand alone design. Here is the outline stitched in backstitch. It has a wonderful shape.

Then the leaves are filled in with some dark green...

... and some light green.

This end tree is now waiting for the red blossom which is stitched in large button hole bars which I am saving for the end along with the sheep.

At the far left there is another stand alone tree. So far I have only managed part of the trunk before the light was fading and it was time to call it a day.

So this is where I got to after two whole snow days. Not bad really for what could easily have been such an unproductive day. Hopefully over the weekend I will get time to carry on and get the project finished. When done it has felt on the back to keep your needles in and then it wraps around a wooden bobbin which you can pop your scissors in the top of. Everything you could possibly need all within one lovely place.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Real Size Furniture

I was oh so lucky a few weeks ago to spot a fabulous chest in a skip of all places. So having asked the owners if it was ok I pulled it out and dragged it home, thankfully it is on wheels. Unfortunately I was so excited to set too with it that I forgot to take a 'before' shot so you will have to imagine thick and very dark varnish. It has at some point been used as a horse for sawing wood on, as there were a number of deep cuts in the top. I rounded these off with some sand paper and then slapped on a coat of blue paint from Annie Sloans range. Clive then waxed over that (after he added several extra coats as he is more of a perfectionist than I am!) and hey presto the most wonderful chest! It is now in our bedroom chock full of yarn and fleece!

 Inside the chest is a built in lidded compartment on the left which is just THE perfect size for knitting needles and my umbrella swift (for winding skeins of yarn!). You can't see it so clearly here as it is in shadow.

 I picked out my favourite scrap book papers and collaged the insides.

 I just love the effect.

Now all those papers that I never want to use because I want to keep them whole and nice I can see peeking out each time I get some yarn!

 It looks perfect with my handwoven piece of twill I did the year before on my four shaft loom, and the fabulous yellow lamp my mother-in-law found in her attic for me.

I have been working on finishing my Xmas House. It would have been totally completed today had I not found that my Snow Writer had totally dried up and was unusable! Oh the irony seeing as there was tonnes of the real stuff falling outside the window. Anyway here are the latest photos without snow.

Firstly the distressed table with the 'glass drawer knobs'.

Here is a full view with chimneys, icicles, topiaries and front steps in place.

A close up of the icicles.

 Lastly a side view.

But no snow!!!!