Saturday, September 17, 2011


How can a whole week have whizzed by since my last post? A few months ago I took out a subscription to Homespun and I have been very pleased with the magazine, I thought I was getting withdrawal symptoms having not received one for a while. Well this week two arrived, bliss. I settled down to read the first one in the sunny courtyard with a nice coffee, americano descafinado (black decaf), I really love how the magazine gives background and history and little curios and of course the patterns. Some of the stitcheries in the Christmas in July spurred me on to make some christmas presents, so that was a bonus too.

I was very restrained and saved the next issue for the following day and thoroughly enjoyed that too. Interestingly the article about tulle mentioned John Heathcote and his invention of the bobbinette machine. The Heathcote factory is in Tiverton, Devon (UK) which was the nearest town for us whilst living at the farm. He moved his business to Tiverton after the unrest in the North with the Luddites, where many machines were destroyed, it was said that despite being offered money from the government to stay and replace his factory, he decided to move down south and start again. The leat from the river supplied the necessary water for the factory and it stands on a huge plot. It is still employing a fair number of people in the area and John Heathcote was the benefactor for numerous schools, clubs, organisations and lots of housing. Many of his bursaries continue today. He commissioned his house, now a National Trust property, situated on top of the hill overlooking the town so he could see his factory and set in wonderful grounds.

Some more goodies this week - I took advantage of the free shipping offered from Doughtys (UK) and ordered some lovely batiks

A little stitchery finished - this was the original pattern that Cheryl of Willowberry Designs kindly gave us, before we altered it to have two love birds. Lovely little pattern, just needs to be made up now.

I made one of these beaded fobs for the Wedding Planner folder and liked it so much I made myself one. As DH and I have the same model of phone it is very useful to identify mine.

Have a good weekend


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wedding planner

I have been busy working on a very special project - A Wedding Planner for my beautiful DD and her boyfriend. I wanted to help them to enjoy the lead up to the special event by collecting various ideas, lists and plans that they could add to and build up. I chose a file, covered it in their favorite colours and added decorations.

Just in the nick of time Cheryl of Willowberry Designs very kindly gave us a lovely pattern of
Felicity Finefeathers. Well actually the original pattern was only one bird but I needed two love birds so DH altered the pattern for me and it was just right for the inside cover of the planner.

Awhile ago I spotted some 'Love is' fabric and thought, as you do, a metre would come in handy, the vibes were about and I already had ideas of what I would do with it. I took the individual sayings and fussy cut them then cut frames to finish them off. Each heading page has a different saying and embelishments to suit the theme. At the back I included a pouch for postits, pens etc so it was all to hand.

I must admit I was thrilled when the gift was handed over as they were both over the moon and said they weren't quite sure where to start and how useful the planner would be.

I'm sure over the coming months the file will be full to the brim, a really lovely keepsake for them too.

Enjoy your weekend


Monday, September 5, 2011

Playing games

As we went coastal on Friday, Sunday we decided to go up into the mountains, rugged, majestic, craggy and somehow different every time we go up there, changing moods of the weather effecting the colours, shadows and feel of them. Of course we had to stop for refreshments and had lunch over looking the view. It was a bit blowy at times but warm and our lunch very nice. The menu del dia started with a large salad with two tapas dishes, bread and allioli, by which time we were feeling quite full and wondering how we would fit in the next course, a lovely paella. Every one does their paella differently so you never know quite what you will be getting, suffice to say it was very tasty. DH even had room for a blackcurrent cheesecake, but I chose the melon.

We began playing a little game of searching for faces and shapes in the craggy surfaces of the mountain, we found a frog, bear, lion, seal, Merlin, a snakes face, and in the little outcrop you can see in the picture was the face of an ape from the Planet of the Apes films. You will probably have to zoom in a bit but it is certainly there. I did mention this fact to one of the owners (who is our neighbour in the village) I'm sure she thought I was barmy lol

After all the lunch, tea was a very simple piece of toast, no room for anything else!
Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend, here we go with another week.....

Saturday, September 3, 2011


We had a little trip out yesterday down to our nearest coastal town, Calpe looking for supplies. This town is a magnet for all the holiday makers and in the height of the summer it is impossible to park, the roads are congested and basically you don't go unless you really have to. Well they must have all gone home because we could park, drive around and although still busy it was much more comfortable.

They have been revamping the town, building roundabouts and generally causing mayhem, but walking along we passed this bush in flower, not sure whether it is a hibiscus or how you spell it lol but it was very beautiful and as most other plants have frazzled in the heat it was lovely to see.

Weekend again, the weather has cooled slightly so maybe even some stitching will be done!?
Enjoy your weekend whatever you are doing

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Not alot going on really, but I did crochet this wavey cushion from oddment balls of wool, although it did take a time as the wool made my hands even hotter, probably a better idea to leave the knitting and wool crafts till the weather is cooler.

I also continued hand stitching my diamonds but they are not really photo friendly yet, but they are growing - slowly!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

tatoos and frogs

We had some of DD's and our friends over on Sunday for an enjoyable afternoon in the pool and a lovely meal, Donna offered to do a glitter tatoo which was fun, nothing permanent, they only last up to a week

Finally got to do some stitching, made these squishy bean frogs for DD and boyfriend

Then using the stumpwork techniques, attached organza to wires and used glitter glue to decorate them

Then turned it into this, quite pleased with the result

I also made some shoe stuffers filled with lavender for MIL and made her a little card to go with it, I only remembered to take a photo after I had wrapped it all up, silly me.......

Have an enjoyable day

Friday, August 19, 2011


It's too hot to feel like doing much - but I have cut out some more diamonds and sat for a while stitching them.
When I dived into the treasure box a couple of weeks ago it spurred me this week to trace family history, so joining an ancestry site it has been interesting and at times frustrating tracing rellies. I have gone back to 1500 on one line and on others have come to an abrupt halt. It just show how important it is for those little family stories to be told and remembered because they are the wealth of information to help with the tree.
One such fact was recorded by my mum that she had held a secret as she had been asked to do for 40 years, although she felt that as most of the people involved were no longer here she could share it.

During one of my searches I was guided to anothers tree with similar information, quite what made me want to send that person a message I don't know, but I did. Lo and behold the very 'secret' had been shared only last week which resulted in two sisters who didn't know of each other being reunited after 47 years. What an emotional reunion, so many stories to share and so much to catch up on, I am hoping to catch up with both of them soon. One is in the UK and the other is in Australia but I'm sure one way or another they will be organising a meeting.

Moral of the story if there is one! trust your intuitions, listen to your inner self and just go for it.

Enjoy your day

Sunday, August 14, 2011


What a week that seems incredible that the fiesta was a week ago, this photo is of the saturday night when families all bring their picnics again and special treats are dished out. This year it was cocas which are plate sized dough bases with different toppings, onions or tomato and anchovy, olives, typical spanish fare along with sandia (watermelon) and a sweet rich almond cake served with a sweet wine. As you can see the plaza was packed, then again everything was whisked away and about midnight everyone was dancing to the band.

Sunday morning the church bell rings summoning everyone to the service. Funny how it is usually the ladies that go into the church whilst the men linger in the plaza in the shade talking. Half way through the service the doors open and Santa Barbara is paraded around the plaza with everyone following behind then back into the church. After the service its time for the races, the men run for the prize of a live cockrel but the children this year received surf boards and bags of sweets for the runners up. To make it fair it is divided into age groups and at the very end two tiny tots about2 all dressed in sunday best and obviously twins held hands and ran their own race, really sweet.

They serve more of the sweet cake and a milk made from almonds or an iced lemon drink which was really nice especially as it was about 35c. We had more visitors to see the miniatures then everyone left for their siesta. Again it seems a tradition that some of the men return late afternoon to play cards, the winner receiving a prize at the evenings event. Sunday is earlier and the band finished playing by 1am so we were at last able to get some sleep.

We needed to recover from the late nights of the weekend and didn't start the decorating till tuesday. DH had managed to get some paint that was for people who are sensitive to the odours of normal paint, it really didn't smell or give off horrible vapours but oh it was hard work it was like trying to paint with treacle and took much longer than anticipated.
We have rehomed the miniatures but the craft room is still in the throws of returning to 'normal' as is the rest of the downstairs in the heat it is little by little but it will happen.......

So no stitching or minis, hopefully next week. Last night DD and A invited us to join them at a 60s and 70s night that their friends were organising, we didn't leave until 9.30 and we arrived to the party in full swing returning home really late. It was a fun evening, good to revisit all the old favourites and have a dance, but boy are we shattered this morning, the knees and hips are not what they used to be!?
Hope you are enjoying your weekend

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Party time

Bleary eyed and ears still ringing into bed at 3 am - our little plaza came alive last night, the band set up, tables and chairs out ready for the meal, slowly friends and familar faces began to arrive. This is our fifth fiesta, the first after only moving in two weeks previous and being thrown in the deep end, but now we can see the families as they are growing and meet with our rather far flung neighbours for a game of catchup.

Friday evening everyone takes their picnic which turns it into an almost communial meal then the tables are whisked away ready for the dancing. We have set up the victorian street in our front room, along with our other houses and projects so we could invite neighbours and friends in to see. We invited Maria from the restaurant we use quite frequently and then suddenly a whole stream of ladies arrived, the good old tom toms must have been going, then they melted back to the party, ah so that's what the mad english ones do! lol but they were very complimentry.

A busy day today then it all kicks off again tonight - puts me in mind of Gloria Gayner (I will survive!)

catch you soon

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Following on from yesterday, Fiona asked if I journaled, well sort of! what I mean is I start of with all good intentions then somehow seem to either forget or not have the time, then I go back to it. Silly really because its impossible to remember everything and like Mum's interesting looking back, but is it for pouring out of the heart or a record of life today? Maybe a bit of both. Does any one else keep a journal?

Its all go here in the ermita/plaza - this weekend sees the fiesta come round again. Can it really be a year ago already?! There are men strimming all the roadways, others have been white washing the school house (now disused) church and basically anything else they could find that was white. Today saw the arrival of the refreshment hut, then the chairs etc will arrive, then festaras will decorate the plaza with buntings set the tables, clean the church ready for Friday evening. Have to store up some sleep, we certainly won't be getting much over the weekend as they party until the wee hours.

I decided to make a picnic to put on the common of the victorian street. The little case, basket and green bowls are all from card and DH had already made all the food, just need to put ribbons on the hats

Enjoy your day

Monday, August 1, 2011

History and gardens

I last posted about my lovely wooden box - I hadn't really been through all the little treasures since I have had it, after losing Mum it was a bit too raw, but it felt right to do so now. Amazing little pieces of information in one of the diaries 1947 when Mum would have been 15, she obviously enjoyed going to the pictures, going at least once a week and writes of films such as Blue Skies Bing Crosby and Fred Astarie, The Green years, Cary Grant, Great Expectations John Mills and Valerie Hobson, Hungry Hill Margaret Lockwood and Dennis Price, First of the few, David Niven and Leslie Howard and Margie, Jeanne Crain........ there are many more and I have had a bit of fun googling them to find out more -

In April 1947 she says they heard from Australia House with the papers to enable them to emigrate - although when the time came my uncle wouldn't transfer to the Australian navy and grandparents wouldn't go without him, how life could have been different!? In one entry she was very excited because she had been given a pay rise and was now earning 1 pounds 15 shillings a week........

Years ago I asked my grandma to write down some of her 'stories' she used to tell I never found out if she had done so until going through Mum's things and found them - these are really facinating as grandma recalls the Titanic sinking and bombing in the First world war, collecting a jug of milk from the milk cart on its rounds, the trams in London and much more. An insight to a bygone age from a personal perspective that you don't get in history books. I'm sure many many people have these memories to look back on and wonder what future generations will think of 'our time'.

It's lovely to hear quilters making their own labels to date their work and keeping records of heirloom projects - my family sampler dates from 1831 when the stitcher was 8 years old, but unfortunately there are no other details, such a shame.

I don't know that this will be considered an heirloom lol but I have now finished the second half of the miniature garden for the original house

Here the garden is still on the frame taken in natural light


The delphiniums are made of tissue circles using the office hole punch, very effective, a mix of fibre flowers and dried ones give interest and texture.

The original house on the left and the still under construction, Edwardian shop and cafe

The spanish street is coming on too - DH flits from one to the other depending on heat of the day, materials and umph, and we thought we had UFO's lol
Enjoy your day

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I like boxes, all shapes and sizes. They are so useful from trinkets to papers, memories and more. I even have boxes that are writing slopes which my Mum gave to me so are even more precious. Wood, shell, china or fabric, I don't mind. This lovely hand carved box was given to my grandparents by my great uncle when he returned home from serving in India many years ago.

Mind you it's an absolute horror to clean lol, have to resort to toothbrushes to reach the intricate patterns

Inside the lid is an inscription to Beck and Sam from Tom with the Middlesex Regiment emblem, its one of those family heirlooms, Mum passed it to me and it will eventually go to DS. It is home to an old family bible with momentoes slide between the pages, mainly by by Mum and include flowers, tickets little notes etc, also diaries from the 1940's - certainly a little bit of family history. My Mum traced her side of the family back to the mid 1700's where our ancestors were sail makers in London, facinating.

A while ago I made loads of fabric boxes - including tissue boxes which are great for coordinating with the decor of relevant rooms, the large central box holds serviettes and has a stumpwork needlelace motif, same as the smaller middle one, the handle was made from beads threaded onto wire then twisted, making it slightly different. Most house little bits and bobs, especially those little things you don't know where to put.

Enjoy your day

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I mentioned a few weeks ago about the strange goings on in the cactus garden and how one of them had sent forth this huge stem, well this is what has happened since.......

It has continued to grow, must be about 20 feet tall now and clusters of yellow flowers have

Being so tall it is difficult to see them, but the birds and the bees certainly like whatever is going on up there

Here is the start of the new project, a spanish style scene

designs are evolving as its taking shape with quite a few minds being changed along the way.

Enjoy your day

Friday, July 22, 2011

Flower bed

This is the main feature for the garden, quite pleased with the result. Amazing what an old spray cannister top, a bit of clay, some threads, dried flowers, oh and a little patience can be turned into.....

Cut out the flower beds, just need to shape, paint them then cover with 'dirt', will use tea again as last time the result was quite effective.
What a contrast today in the weather, its so dark and our mountains have disappeared under low cloud, oh well a good day for crafting
Enjoy your day

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I know I haven't posted for a bit, but we have still been busy. Saturday we set all the gear up for DH's gig, they had been decorating the venue using uv backdrops, unfortunately I only had my phone with me so the pics are not great.

Although it was hot, there was a cooling breeze which made it very pleasant and brought out quite a few people to the event. The fire show was cancelled at the last minute, such a shame as I was looking forward to the display of poy, which meant DH had to fill in, resulting in him performing for about 3 1/2 hours, to say he was tired afterwards is a bit of an understatement. By the time we packed up and headed off we didn't get home till almost 2 am.

I did find some time and inclination in the kitchen, this is a spicy pork pie

Tried a new receipe - chocolate brownie, this was made using rice flour and as we try to keep our wheat intake to a minimum it was a good alternative. Have to say none of these hung around very long.........

The good old quiche - ham, goat cheese and spinach

I have started on the other front garden for the original house - I use 22 count canvas which gives a good basis to many stitches and a firm base for additions. Here I made a 'slip', as you would in Stumpwork, by blending the colours and using french knots it resembles cascading flowers.

Next came the hedge work - using a plushwork anchor stitch it creates a loopy mess - until......

all the loops are trimmed and the hedge shaped, snipping tiny amounts off until it resembes a soft plush hedge - this stitch seems quite wasteful on the tapestry wool and alot of it is trimmed, but I keep all the offcuts and blend them into the 'grass'. The grass is in fact a wool jumper that had shrunk and matted, the picture hasn't caught the colour very well as it is more of a green

These plants are created by making picot's using needle weaving and blending threads.

It's easy to make them any shape or size and are great for filling in flower beds


Sunday, July 10, 2011


Too hot to do much yesterday, did go grocery shopping but nothing more exciting than that, some days are like that aren't they?

I finished my embroidered garden ages ago but I left it on the frame put up high to protect it from the furry friends as they love to pull the flowers out. Thought it was about time to set in up in front of the original house made in 2009.

Mounted on its own board so that it can easily be removed to open the house front I think it looks really good, but then I'm biased lol, just have to make a garden for the other side with the bay window.

So many 'to do's' hard to know what to start with (g)


Friday, July 8, 2011


It has been really hot the last few days and most of our furry friends just find a place to flop, Benji is no exception as he relaxes taking full stretch advantage of the seat covering having fallen on the floor, comfy or what?

The plastic tub holding some of my pins split so I transferred them into this little Stumpwork box I had made earlier, don't know why I hadn't thought of it before as this is much nicer and more practical.

Thoughts were afoot for a new room box theme, so I decided it could be a gentleman's outfitters. I made a few items, the waistcoat is made from leather which meant I could cheat and glue the seams :-)
The shirts need to be in little boxes really so will have to make those too.

Well it's a start, I will slowly build it up adding coats and accessories.