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.

Sunday 30 April 2017

Garden woes!

We have had a very mild winter here in the Dordogne which has meant that many shrubs and trees have produced their flowers and leaves early. So Thursdays sharp frost has caused quite a bit of damage to the later leafing plants that still have soft tender leaves. For instance all our walnut trees look like this

Hopefully the trees will recover but a crop of walnuts is doubtful. Not a problem for us but this is a big walnut area and for those who rely on the extra cash that they bring in in the autumn it could be a problem.

This vine caught the frost too

And our small green fig tree is also looking sad.

No picture of our big purple fig but that is also looking very sorry for itself.

And our buddleias too have been hit.

Another problem we have at the moment is our box hedge.

Not a pretty sight and all down to these little blighters!

The Box Tree Caterpillar an Asian import which is devastating box all through Europe. Sadly there is no way back for our hedge.

On a brighter note it is orchid time again here and as usual we have a good show of these pretty Lady Orchids.

The individual flowers look like ladies in crinolines.

We also have masses of Man Orchids.

You can see a little man clearly at the bottom of the picture.

Enjoy your Sunday - we are promised rain and storms but there is no sign of it yet!

PS There is still time to enter the giveaway on my previous post - I shall draw the winner on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Blogaversary, EPP Tuesday and other things!

It's my Blogaversary! This is my 300th post - I started my blog nearly 5 years ago. I want to thank everyone who follows my blog and there will be more for you later in this post.

Meanwhile, it is also EPP Tuesday.

Thank you very much Anthea for hosting this link. Sadly I have nothing new to share with you but, claiming Blogaversary privileges, I am sharing a picture of my first ever quilt which I may have blogged about before but if I have I can find no reference to it!! 

This quilt took me two years to make, 1979/1981 and coincides with my joining of the Quilters Guild
as a founder member. To me, at that time, patchwork was all about hexagons. I had a whole lot of learning to do! Not least that it is a good idea to wash fabrics before you use them because the plain brown and red fabrics both ran when wet. I had this dry cleaned several times before I decided blow it and put it in the washing machine. So sadly now, although still in  use, this quilt is looking very muted. Love it still though.

Thank you Anthea for the EPP linky which you can find here - do join in or visit everyone who has linked up.

I am very excited to show you this quilt flimsy which I have been given permission to share with you.

A friend who has been coming to my monthly quilt group has been making this quilt for her grandson for the last couple of years. The fabrics are all Native American Indian based and the blocks are all related in some way to Indians. She has also used this fabric to make a tepee for her grandson. Isn't it gorgeous? I shall be sharing some better quality photographs of this quilt as it progresses.

So now to my Blogaversary giveaway! To thank everyone who follows me I have a package of goodies to give away. Some yummy fat quarters, matching threads and a pretty French sewing sachet plus a few little extras.

Just leave a comment below if you would like to win them - I shall ask Mr RNG to choose a winner next Wednesday (3rd) which also just happens to be my birthday!

In the mean time, have a great week.

Saturday 22 April 2017

FNSI and some beautiful post

Yesterday was our monthly get together with Wendy for some sewing fun - you can see what everyone was doing here.
I spent my evening working on the next section of embroidery on my Scheepjes CAL shawl. Lots more colour to add but the basics are there.

But the postman calling was the best bit of my day yesterday when he brought me this package.

It is a couple of years since I have taken part in a swap - I was badly bitten last time so have been steering clear. But one of the Facebook groups that I belong to arranged a needle book swap and I thought that I would dip my toe in the water again. And I am so glad that I did as just look at what was in my parcel!

Isn't it gorgeous!
Just look at the detail in the embroidery.

The embroidered panel is aprox 3" square. And inside were these gorgeous flower head pins.

Owl is feeling very special with his own coordinated pins.

Oh yes and there are four little pockets inside for stashing needles and stuff.

Unfortunately my swap partner Carol does not have a blog but I am very pleased to have met up with her through Facebook and thank her very much for my beautiful needle book.

This is what I sent to Carol.

I based it on an old one that I have in my collection.

Well that is all for today, I am off to enjoy the sunshine - we have not seen a cloud for days! Have a great weekend - I shall be back next week with a blogaversary.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

CTTY and a Scheepjes update

April is here, well nearly over actually! and it is time to link up with Anthea at Hibiscus Stitches for Christmas Through the Year. I do hope you will join in and share any gifts that you are making as we all need some inspiration and it is good to see what others are doing. Anthea is showing a very pretty bookmark that she has made.

Sadly Anthea, despite my best intentions and scheduling it in to my stitching journal, I have very little to share. But I will share what I have.

This little stitchery is a Gail Pan design from her book Patchwork Loves Embroidery and is destined to decorate a little Dorothy bag - hopefully you will see the finished bag next month!

I am using a pretty Cottage Garden thread for the embroidery.


A quick update on my Scheepjes CAL. I have completed week 4 and have been working on the crochet for the centre panel of the shawl. I am now ready to start decorating again.

We came home from our week away to find our Wisteria flowering and looking it's best ever!

However, there has been no rain and we have none forecast for the time being so the garden is very dry. Fortunately a friend took pity on my pots and popped in a couple times to give them a drink. But we are enjoying the beautiful sunny days which are giving us a chance to tidy up the garden.

This coming Friday is FNSI hosted by Wendy - if you fancy joining us for a virtual sew-in then pop over to Wendy's blog here to sign up and join in the fun. I hope to see you there.

Friday 14 April 2017

A busy week

We have been in the UK for a week now visiting family and friends. The weather has been surprisingly good and kind to us so we have had a few interesting days out.

On Tuesday we visited amongst other places Clevedon where the Marine Lake/Tidal Pool has recently been renovated. Lovely to see it all looking clean and in use again. The pool is washed by the sea on high tides. There were plenty of brave swimmers about when we visited, although they all seem to be congregating in the far corner of this picture.

There is a great view of Clevedon Pier from the lake.

We spent a day in Sidmouth shopping and visiting family and then went on to Lyme Regis where the evening sun gave this great view of the town from the Cobb.

The youngest member of the family insisted on taking us to Wooky Hole. The caves were first opened up to the public in 1927 and this year new tunnels mean that another large cavern has been opened to the public. It features this beautiful and unusual stone formation and is the only place in the world where this particular formation is found underground.

This little dragon found his way in there too!

The Witch of Wooky Hole is a large stalagmite vaguely resembling a witches face. Supposedly the witch was turned to stone by a monk from nearby Glastonbury. We passed the Wooky Hole cave aged cheddar maturing on our way through the caves.

Following the cave tour which takes about 40 minutes the rest of the site is a theme park with various exhibitions, dinosaurs, mirror maze, penny arcade etc. Lots of references to Witches too and a 4D film show which was great fun.

We have also visited Knightshayes, a National Trust property. The house is Gothic Revival, built in 1869, and has been restored to it's original design by the NT.

I loved the house - there are some gorgeous ceilings, lots of wood panelling, an incredible amount of canvas work seat covers and pictures. Lots to see. But the gardens are stunning. We followed the Easter Egg route through the woodland garden which was full of spring colour.

The organic kitchen garden has been restored too. It is walled with turrets in the corners. It is also on a slope.

Thank you for making it through this picture heavy post - I hope you have enjoyed seeing my pictures.

Happy Easter - I hope you have a great weekend.

Monday 3 April 2017

A small finish

This lovely Liberty tissue case has lived in my handbag for more years than I care to remember!

And, as you can see, the corners are now very much the worse for wear! So I decided that it was time for me to make a new one. If you follow me on IG you will have seen work in progress on this piece of embroidery.

I thought you might be interested to see where the design comes from and how I transfered it to my piece of fabric.
I have a few of these 'rubbing blocks' which I bought some years ago from Art Van Go. Some of the designs are not to my taste but this particular block has been well worth the purchase.

 Tricky to photograph as it reflects but you should get the idea. It is about 6" square.

I stuck the block to my work surface with some blu tack and then sellotaped my fabric over it.

I then used one of my Markal oil sticks to make a rubbing.

I chose a pretty pearly pink which would glint through my stitching and anywhere else it happened to catch.

The fabric needs to be left for 24 hours and then is ironed, covered with a piece of baking parchment, with a hot iron. The oil is now set and you can get on with your embroidery. I used mainly chain stitch variations with some fly and feather stitches too.

And here is my finished tissue case.

I worked this piece of embroidery for a small bag some years ago using the same method.

Linking up with Super Mom No Cape and her Stitchery Link Party.

Now what are these doing flowering so early - they should not be in flower until May!

Have a great week everyone.