Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Censing Angel - Church of St Peter and St Paul - Cattistock - Dorset

This was one of the first things I stitched using silk thread .
 The Censing Angel from the William Morris and Sir Edward  Burne-Jones  stained glass window  c.1882.The Church of St Peter and St  Paul Cattistock in Dorset .  I so love Pre-Raphaelite paintings and was just inspired to have a go at embroidering this .
 My mother had given me a small collection of reels of the most beautiful  Japanese silk fine but slippery and very difficult to work with ...I used it for the Angel's silken robe . I then embroidered the floral pattern over it .

 I used DMC cotton for the background and some tiny seed beads for the stars .
I,m uncomfortable with using beads in my embroidery . Maybe I should  have worked French knots .

               Some glittery gold thread for the thurible or incense burner .

My next piece of silk embroidery is going to take some time to do , I wont be putting it on here for a long while yet ...I prefer to go slowly . This is not a piece that I can easily carry around in my work bag .

 I love to embroider Angels . When I embroidered my medieval Steeple Aston Cope Angel..time travelling back to C.1320 .. I used DMC embroidery cotton for no other reason than I have so much of it , having been much obsessed with cross stitch at the time !
  I prefer surface hand embroidery now and mostly with crewel wool .
 Anyway ... so now I,m dabbling with silk again .....and I also have another crewel project in mind ..well ... I have to have something to work on , that I can take out with me in my bag !  It is very calming for me .
 Well , Winter has returned here in Mullion , although we did enjoy an ice cream down at the  Poldhu beach cafe this afternoon , we were all wrapped up . The sun was shining but there was a cold easterly breeze blowing ....we might have a touch more snow this week  . I,ve been dashing around the garden wrapping up my more tender plants ..and carrying in more logs for the fire ..not good for hands that want to stitch silk !  Keep warm all !

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Preparing to use my silk embroidery threads

The time has come that I want to use my silk embroidery thread ....the thing is , it is so slippery smooth and delicate that I am trying not to handle it too much .
 It will snag very easily if not handled with extreme care .  They do need a bit of discipline !
It is a completely different animal to the cotton embroidery threads !!!
   I have gathered a small collection of these beautiful silk skeins and up until now I have wrapped them in tissue and stored them in these Tupperware boxes .
 Now that I want to use them , it would be a better idea to have them out and  cut into lengths ready to use .  I have heard that these pasta racks are a good way to do this .

                                      Wood-work is not really my thing !

     After an hour or so ...but the dowels do not overhang the ends quite like in the picture on the box !  grrrr !

                                             The picture on the box !

 Anyway !....The dowels feel smooth to me , but the silk did not slide on as I had hoped . So I wrapped the dowels in tissue and twisted the ends .

                                                ......and this works !

                            I cant wait to use my silk embroidery threads .

 I have some other makes and some gorgeous antique ones ..I will show you next time ...but these beauties are from The Silk Mill in France .

                                   I am tying them on loosely like this .

         They look so pretty ...... but it is time to pull those paper labels off !

 I,d like to hear how you organise your silk embroidery threads ? How do you make them work for you ?

Monday, 12 February 2018

St Valentine's Day and stitching little things .


 I,ve been busy stitching little things this week , a thankyou card for Alison ,for my beautiful "Give away " gifts .  A lady's sewing roll or husif for my Sister and a very special Valentine's Day card  for my sweetheart husband ( who is in the other room watching "Friends" right now lol !)....I try to make him one every year ...there are years when I,ve just been run off my feet with babies or teenagers or illness and I,ve missed those years , but I have a little pile of Valentine's Day cards that I,ve made , in the pocket at the back of our Wedding Photograph Album ...they do bring back happy memories especially the ones where I,ve stuck little photographs of us as boy and girlfriend , or as just engaged sweethearts ... even little poems I,ve written and stuck inside !
 We usually go on a picnic  and I set him the challenge to pick me a little posie of any flowers that he can find in our garden or hedgerow .
 These simple things mean so much to me .

By the way , for those of us who do church , it also Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent ....

.. which also means that it is Shrove Tuesday tomorrow ...Pancakes !  Yippee ! :)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018


Recovering slowly from flu ....and the weather is not helping . I,m keeping away from everybody, not wishing to give it to anyone else .
  Not getting much sleep with the annoying chesty cough .

 But I picked up my needle and thread yesterday evening and stitched a couple of little bluebirds . These I drew freehand with a pencil directly onto the linen .
  Both are therefore slightly different , it's very relaxing just to draw your own designs with a pencil .

       ... and very satisfying to see how they turn out as I stitch .

 I wanted to say thank-you to Alison for the pretty pin cushion and vintage and Liberty print needle-case that I won from her recent "Give Away " over on her lovely "Stitches of Time " wordpress blog .

 So pretty and the Liberty print reminds me of when I worked at Liberty's many years ago !

 I love them to pieces ! ..especially that little purple flower button in the middle !
     Thankyou once again Alison..and there will be a "thankyou note " coming your way , just as soon as I get rid of the flu bugs !

We have had a dusting of snow, this is the view from my bedroom window .

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Getting ready for Christmas busy busy busy !

 I know it looks like it's finished , but there's actually quite a lot still to do ..these needlepoint kits get more tricky as you come towards the end . All the larger areas completed but there are lots and lots of odd stitches dotted about , here and there , and all of different colours.
This has to be put aside now as I have so much to do preparing for Christmas . I also have some silk embroidery thread ordered and on it's way from The Silk Mill in France , so that I can get back to doing the Anglo Saxon Brooch ..I also have some other ideas for my crewelwork ...isn't it wonderful when the ideas come flooding in ! So exciting !
 I,m thinking about how I,m going to store and organise these lovely silk threads. I will let you know how it goes .
 The Christmas card in the collage photo below is from a painting done by my dear friend Adrian Mills . He lived in Mullion and was such a gifted artist . I remember this one hanging in his lounge, where we had our Wednesday Prayer Meetings ..he told me that he had painted himself as a younger man as St Joseph ..I love the way the light pours down from above and there are streams of light coming from the baby Jesus right hand . Some of the objects in the foreground were in his lounge too . He sadly died a few years ago , I do miss him  , such a kind and gentle man .

You can click to zoom in...those are some of the pink roses I used at our church for Gaudete Sunday ...sorry I didn't get a photo of it . The basket is full of more flower arranging things , the white flowers we collected from the florist in Helston .  We saw bouquets of flowers in the supermarket  , but I had wanted only the very best for our Christmas flower arrangements . I ordered them weeks ago ..5 large white carnations and two bunches of gypsophila ..and she gave me an extra bunch for free and was so helpful in giving me advise about keeping the flowers and especially the Pittasporum  looking fresh .
 My husband ( who is coming down with a bad cold ) and our little dog sat and kept me company for an hour and a half while I arranged the flowers in our little  church . Once again , I didn't bring my camera...I,ll try and get a picture tomorrow ...but maybe you,ll be there ? !
 Sunday mass will be at the normal time of 11am and then we have been allowed to have Christmas Midnight mass at the earlier time of 6pm on Christmas Eve .
   I know it's confusing , but we are so blessed to have this mass here in St  Michael's  Church Mullion ...I do hope lots of people come !
  I,m praying for someone to come along who can play the organ , so that we can sing a few Christmas carols !

I wish you all a peaceful and love filled Christmas . I wish you a happy and healthy New Year 2018 . ( with lots of time to sit and do your embroidery or crafting lovely things ! )

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Mullion Cove Cornwall Anchor needlepoint kit- red wool

No snow here yet in Mullion , but it is very windy . I,m not feeling very well , nothing serious .. Oh ! ..The rain has just begun lashing down ....
 I,ve done a little more of the Mullion Cove needlepoint kit .
If you remember , there was one skein of red wool missing from the kit .. I thought about pulling a similar colour from my hoard of wood under the bed , but couldn't quite find find the correct shade ...well I contacted Atlascraft, who put together these lovely kits for Anchor and was very quickly replied to and advised that that the missing number was 8238 and that I could order it from them on Amazon uk which I promptly did and within a couple of days it is here !

Thanks Michael at Atlascraft !  
It is such a lovely shade of  rusty orange/ red .

I don't usually do needlepoint kits , I get irritated by the way a straight line in the stamped or painted design gets distorted into steps, for example see the above roof line , the bit that is sloping down along next to my scissor blades...well I have stitched it my way.. in a nice straight line !
 I have stitched the windows in the same way and a few other places in the picture . To be honest , I would love to stitch over the whole thing my way .....waiting in the wings I have an antique needlepoint picture , which I might just experiment with..I ,ll show you next time !

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Day of Storm Caroline

Busy busy busy now with the run up to Christmas..not much time for my embroidery , but how nice it is to sit in front of the fire at the end of the day sorting out a bag of  jumbled vintage crewel wool . A bargain buy from somewhere . I think I get as much pleasure sorting wool as I do stitching with it !

Very satisfying to sort it all out and such a lovely selection of  colours .
 I, m a firm believer that colours are good for you in the same way that music is the moment I am listening to this .....I must share this with you , do have a listen ..... it is Yasmeena Amina Olya singing  The Field Song ... beautiful !       

 Here they are all sorted , they are my paints ! My mind is inspired  !

So there was a storm coming ,they said .. Storm Caroline..but for us it wasn't too bad . A windy night . They said there was more bad weather coming in the afternoon so we decided to take the dog for a walk early .
 I wanted to go down to Mullion Cove and take a look at the Harbour ...I have been working on the above needlepoint and was a little bit confused by what appears to be a water-wheel in the picture .
 I was sure that there was no water-wheel down there , so off we went to have a closer look .

                     So here we are down at the harbour at Mullion Cove .

 The tide was just beginning to come in . It is surprising  how fast it surges in .

 Sorry , no dramatic pics of giant waves crashing over the harbour wall today .
Here's a link to another nice piece of music..

As we left people were coming down in their cars , all hoping to see the wild waves whipped up by Storm Caroline and the usual commotion of cars all trying to turn around in such a small area ! It's best to park up in the car park and walk down really .

Anyway , here's the needlepoint part of the picture in question . Is that a water-wheel ?

 No , it is not !  Here is the little cottage for real and as you can see .....

                        ........ no water-wheel ....just lots of lobster pots !

 So then we went down to Poldhu to look at the waves rolling in to the beach .
Blue sky and sunshine .
One last thing , Time was made to teach this little lad , my grandson how to sew.
He had asked me if we could make a blanket  for Charlie Bear , his teddy .
He drew a picture of an anchor and said that he would like to sew it use his words.
"Right now !" he added .
So I found an old terry nappy and he drew his own design on to it with a felt tip pen and then we enjoyed a cuddly embroidery lesson stitching it with a fat needle and some thick blue tapestry wool . 
Then he wanted to embroider a ship and a house and a whale....

.....but it was time for bed , so I began the ship and wasn't quite sure how the mast and sails went , so we left it right there to finish another day ..but here is one very happy little boy ..proud of himself ..he embroidered the anchor pretty much all by himself !
 I hope the winter weather isn't too bad where you are ....I,d love to see a bit of snow ! Keep warm and take care !

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Silk Mill - Silk threads arrived !

Yippee ! My order of silk embroidery threads from The Silk Mill arrived today !
 They have a special offer on at the moment and I got a free packet of  embroidery silk threads in these gorgeous Christmas colours .
  I am gradually building a collection of them ..I want to do something special with them ..but it's not the right time yet .
 However I might do the Anglo Saxon brooch again , which is why I have chosen this selection called "Lovely Lisboa" I,m thinking of doing it again ,but in these colours .
  Go and have a look at their website at   .
 I might show you some more tomorrow ....
              ...... so now please excuse me , while I go and play with them !

Mullion Cove Cornwall - Anchor needlepoint kit

 While I am waiting to hear from the museum about the Anglo Saxon brooch ...I am taking a look at my friend's needlepoint kit for her .
  It is an Anchor Needlepoint kit of Mullion Cove Cornwall .

 Jen and her daughter Dawn have both had a go and done the above bit of the sky .. .. .. .. and I think ,maybe , hit the tapestry brick wall . So now I,ve said  I,ll do a bit .

So I sorted out the wool colour code which is on a separate piece of canvas, it is missing one skein of red tapestry wool...which I should be able to replace or send off for from Anchor I hope . Most of my wool is crewel wool ,which is very very fine wool ....tapestry wool is much thicker..but I could probably match the colour and double the thread if I cant get the tapestry wool .
Also missing is the picture of the completed needlepoint picture , the one that would have gone on the front of the kit packet .
 The other thing I,m a bit worried about is that has been cut very close to the edge of the picture.....
        ....but should be alright if I,m very careful.  See the top picture .  I,m looking for some masking tape to cover it and strengthen it , to stop it unravelling .
 I have made a little start with it , the colours are lovely . I would love to see the original painting by Robin Davidson .