Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures - in stitch and otherwise! And I hope that you will leave a comment so that I know you have visited.

Monday 30 December 2013

December's Birthday Love Stash

The end of the month - and the end of the year has come around remarkably quickly!!
Time to reveal my birthday make of the month (which has been given) and to reveal some of the items that I made for Christmas presents and which have now hopefully all been seen by their recipients!

First though the birthday presents I made for my mother

This little wrist bag was a request and I copied one that she already had.

I thought that she would also like one of these bucket bags so I made one using the same fabric as the wrist bag. The pattern is by Lisa Lam and is in the 'Bag Making Bible'.


Now a few pictures of Christmas presents. First, three pairs of placemats.

And a book cover.

This will be my last post now until we return to France next week.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peacefull New Year and look forward to reading all your blogs in 2014.

Lin xx

Tuesday 24 December 2013

The trip so far ...

...has been wet and very windy at times, although we have had some lovely sunshine too.

We arrived in a damp Roscoff where we stayed overnight and spent the next day exploring some of the coast.

We visited one small village where I found this lovely seahorse gazing out to sea.

There was no information about it, no inscription on the base but I was intrigued to see that the yin yang symbol had been carved into the centre of the curved tail on one side.

Further along we found this little chapel nestling behind the sand dunes - again sadly there was no information about it, not even a name and it was shut.

Meanwhile the wind was building up

so that by the time we got on the ferry in the evening it was quite choppy! and the sailing was delayed by a few hours. How ever we still made it on time to Plymouth (evidently the ferry has to go faster when it is rough) and on to the cottage in Taunton which is to be our home for three weeks.

It is tradition that when we visit Philip's daughter in Barnstaple that we spend a day at Lynton and Lynmouth on the north Devon coast.
First we visit Lynton and the excellent craft centre there which is great for individual and unusual last minute presents. After a look around the shops and especially the charity shop which has a large stock of paperbacks we go down to Lynmouth for lunch. The Rising Sun  is to be highly recommended for it's delicious food and warm welcome. If the weather and tide permit then a walk along the beach is next or a wander around the small town. We always visit the studio of Maurice Bishop an old friend of Philip's from school to see what he is painting. At the moment it is very unusual rainbow coloured trees and animals which don't yet feature on his web site.

Lynmouth was devasted by floods in 1952 following heavy rain causing the two rivers which meet there to rise.

As you can see it was not the nicest of days weather wise!

Yesterday England was swept by strong winds and rain and sadly some peoples Christmas has been ruined by floods and storm damage.
We walked into Taunton this morning as we did yesterday and found that the park that we walk through was closed due to flooding.

We found a way around and into the town which was buzzing. The sewing shop I visited had no power but they were soldiering on and I came away with a large bag of supplies to take back to France.

Now to the kitchen to make sausage rolls and mince pies - and a large fish pie to feed hungry visitors this evening. I shall be listening to Carols from Kings later on as I work.

Wishing you all and your families a very happy and peaceful Christmas.


Monday 9 December 2013

A good read

No sewing done this afternoon! After another frosty, sparkly morning it was so warm and sunny outside - 20degrees C on our terrasse that I just had to sit in the sun and enjoy it. Sorry I have not taken any pictures!

 So I finished a very good book. Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers. It is a lovely story about a lady who retires to Venice and it loosely parallells the story of Tobias and The Angel. I loved this book and would recommend it.

Now I am watching yet another beautiful sunrise form outside my window which means we shall have another frosty morning tomorrow.

Have a good week


Friday 6 December 2013

Clean Studio part two!

It's just that I forgot to show you my postcard wall yesterday when I did the post on my clean workspace. Here it is

it is just behind my desk by my left shoulder. I love my collection of postcards from round the world. The two latest postcards in my collection are not up there yet - they are still taking pride of place on my dresser!

I heard today that the postcard I sent to my lovely friend Judy has arrived safely. Here it is

How I forgot to keep a picture of it I will never know so I am very grateful to Judy for sending me this one.
I loved making this card - some of my dried albizia flowers were bonded to evolon that had been coloured with painted bondaweb and then was covered with a sheer fabric. I then spent a couple of peaceful evenings hand stitching around the flowers with a variegated thread.

Do you love quirky buttons? I do. Why not pop over to Cathy's blog where she is giving away some gorgeous ceramic buttons.


Have a good weekend.


Thursday 5 December 2013

A Clean Studio!

Well actually, studio is pushing it a bit as my workspace is quite compact! Never the less it is not very often that it gets a complete spring clean which is what it had today - well what else do you do on a damp, cold foggy morning when you are feeling pleased with yourself for have completed all your Christmas projects.
So here it is in all it's glory before I get back on track and start making a mess again.

Yes folks - that's it!

work surface

machine thread storage and sketchbooks in progress

computer station, storage drawers and notice board

and just behind the desk are some of my textile/embroidery books, sketch books, magazines and anything that does not currently have a home elsewhere!

Notice the lovely patchwork bag hanging on the door handle made for me by my friend Jennie.
This door leads into the kitchen.

Fortunately the door to the left of my desk leads into the dining room. Good to have a nice large table for working on larger projects and as the room originally was a bedroom it has fitted wardrobes some of which are handy for storing my fabrics, threads etc etc.

As you will have gathered my 'studio' is actually a corridor! But at least it is my space and I love it.

As I have now finished all my Christmas projects I am back to work on the Mystery Quilt although not much I can do until some fabric arrives that I decided I needed to liven up the border.

If you have nothing planned for New Years Day how about making a Mystery Quilt?
 Heather Spence Designs are organising this and funds raised go to Cancer Care. This should be great fun - there is a facebook group so you can keep in touch with the other ladies (and possible gent!) and see how they are getting on. They are a super bunch.

Well that's it for today.

Happy stitching


Monday 2 December 2013

A postcard and a Book Cover

I have been enjoying a bit of simple machine embroidery.

This card for my dear friend Mad started out as a piece of black felt with pieces of sweet wrapper bondawebed to it. They were machined around and then the piece was covered with a sheer fabric and free machined into place. I then went over it with a heat gun so that some of the sheer fabric was melted away. At this point it looked interesting but it needed something else! So I played around with some of  the stitches my machine produces using a different shiny or silky thread each time to produce a rich, glitzy card.

Having enjoyed playing around with my machine I decided to use a similar technique for a book cover.

This time I started with white felt which I coloured with disperse dye. I then added a few strands of sparkly angelina, covered it with a sheer fabric and ironed it in place. Then came the fun, with lots of stitching using different threads and stitches. Finally I stitched a spiral to emphasise the doily print that I had used originally onto the felt.

The felt was then backed with cotton before I made up the book cover adding a marker ribbon at the same time.

This is the back of the book.

Our weather has changed now and we are getting cold, frosty nights with bright, sunny days - lovely. We have been having the most amazing sunsets every evening. Here are a few pictures from a few evenings ago.

Well, I have finally finished all my sewing for Christmas - next on the agenda is a good clean and tidy of my workspace! More on this soon.

Have a good week and thank you for dropping by.


Sunday 24 November 2013

More on the Threadcatcher!

Several people have asked for a tutorial on how to make the Threadcatcher I posted about a couple of days ago.

So I had a rummage around in Google to see if I could find where my inspiration came from and  here is a link to Kathy Beymer's Needling Things where she also has several other Threadcatcher tutorials.


Saturday 23 November 2013

Beautiful Postcards in my postbox

I have been waiting excitedly for these to arrive so it was lovely to open the box and find them there.

This one came yesterday

and is a lovely example of crazy patchwork. Lots of different stitches and fabrics in there. The card was made for me by Carli who is my swap partner in the Christmas postcard swap organised by Sheila. Carli's blog has got me interested in doing some crazy patchwork so watch this space next year!

Today I received this lovely card

from my blogging friend Judy whose blog Knit Quilt Spin Weave is full of all the beautiful things that she makes. This card is inspired by the view from her favourite ski run which must be stunning. Intersting how the pale opaque snowflakes show up in rainbow colours in this scan. Beautiful stitching a subtle use of fabrics.

My thanks to Carli and Judy for brightening my days with these treasures. Both completely different and both delightful.

Have a good Dr Who weekend everyone


Thursday 21 November 2013

A Threadcatcher present for me!

I seem to have been busy making presents for other people for some time now so I though I would allow myself the time this afternoon to make something for me!

I have had this threadcatcher in mind for a little while. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I got the idea from so if it was on your blog then please do let me know so that I can credit you or your source.

Once I had worked out how to cut the correct size equilateral triangle this was a doddle and probably the prototype for a few more presents!
I had a couple of oddments of Egyptian print fabric left over from some placemats I made earlier in the year. I love the fabrics and wanted something for me in them so this was ideal. The turquoise beads are from a mixed bag that I have had for some time.

I hope you are having a good week - it has turned very cold here.


Saturday 16 November 2013

FNSI for November

This Friday night seems to come around ever more quickly!

As usual, I was sewing in the afternoon as we were out in the evening. It was cold, damp and grey outside so perfect for an afternoon indoors.

First of all I finished this little bag to hold a colouring set.

The bag is inspired by this pattern by Joy Coey. It was a last minute decision to make it so no time to order the pattern which I first saw on Fiona's blog. So I just had to make it up as I went along.

This is a birthday present but too heavy to post so we will be taking it to UK when we go in December.

Once that was finished I was able to get on with some more presents - so only a sneaky look - sorry.

It has turned much cooler here in the last few days and we had a frost this morning followed by - sunshine!! we don't seem to have seen the sun for a long time. The cranes have finally decided that winter is coming as we have been watching them fly south all this week - they are 2/3 weeks later than usual.

Looking forward to catching up with what everyone did last night.

Have a good weekend


Fontevraud and the Vendee

Have been meaning to write a post about our weekend away all week but the days have just slipped away! Anyway, here is a brief(ish!) account of our travels.

On Friday we drove north from here - about three and a half hours - to Fontevraud which is in the Loire valley, roughly between Saumur and Chinon.
I have long wanted to visit the Abbey at Fontevraud and once got as far as the entrance only to find that then they closed for lunch and we needed to be on our way. However, now they are open all day which is much more civilised!
Fontevraud's main claim to fame for the English is that two of our Kings and a Queen were buried there. Sadly their remains are long gone but their effigies still remain and are given centre stage in the beautifully restored Abbey church.

These are the effigies of HenryII and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor is represented holding a book which is significant as it is the first time that a woman was shown  that way - up until then women were just represented with crossed hands.

Their son, Richard the Lion Heart is also there.
The fourth effigie is of Isabelle of Angouleme who was the wife of John Lackland, Henry and Eleanor's youngest son.
Unusually it is carved from wood.

I loved the ironwork on the Chruch doors - especially the little faces!

The Abbey was founded in 1101 and was a religious comunity for both men and women although unusually, according to wishes of the founder, Robert d'Arbrissel, an abbess was always in authority! The last abbess left the abbey in 1792 when it was closed due to the Revolution.
When it re-opened in the early 1800's it was converted into a prison for both men and women and was considered one of the toughest in France. It remained a prison until 1965. During that time parts of the abbey were open to the public but since then extensive restorations have taken place and still are.

Chapelle St Benoit

There is masses to see here including this amazing light installation by Claude Leveque in what was once the monks dormitory.
And this amazing construction which was the kitchens.
 The main chimney which was surrounded by a series of smaller chimneys.

Lots more lovely things but too many to show here. A great visit and I hope I go again.

On Saturday it rained, and rained, and rained..................
However, we had places to see so off we went. We had stayed overnight in Cholet (no sign of Madam Cholet sadly) and headed further west into the Vendee.
Our first stop was la Chabotterie a beautiful house which was the scene of the arrest of General Charette at the end of the counter revolution in the Vendee in 1796.
Unfortunately we had not done our research quite well enough as it was closed for renovations! However, we were able to walk around the park and had a view of the amazing gardens.

Such a shame we could not get inside.

Well, that is all I have time for - the rest of our Vendee trip will have to wait.

Have a good weekend