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 .

Monday, 13 November 2017

Gold !

           I,m finding this hard to put down..and now I,m thinking gold !
 I,m waiting to hear from the museum tell me what metal the brooch is made from ... I,m sure it's not gold ..but maybe copper or bronze .

                                            Or should I leave it as it is ?

 The back . Not too untidy after starting and ending on the front of the piece .
The brooch has a very satisfying heavy weight to it ,with all these little embroidered stitches . I,m not aiming for it to look the same on the back as on the front...I,m happy with it .
 I didn't use a hoop /frame . The linen around is nice , flat and unpuckered .
 I may use a hoop for this little bit of gold-work though .

         So now I,m enjoying looking through my box of golden threads  .

Friday, 10 November 2017

Anglo-Saxon Brooch crewel continued ....

 My friend and I  ( and the dogs ) enjoyed a hearty lunch of sausages and bubble,n,squeak , followed by a beautiful Autumnal walk over at Trelissick Gardens yesterday . We both agreed that it did us so much good !
 It was so nice . I just wish that I,d remembered to bring my camera !
 She treated me to this sweet little cast iron mouse !  He is already being very helpful !

I have finished the main embroidery part of this now and am trying to find all the bits and bobs that I will need , to make this up into a useful little needle-case/brooch .
This has mostly been needle-painting and I have tried to stay true to the brooch as it is today , with all the knocks it's taken over the centuries .
   It must have been truly beautiful before the copper oxidised ....although I do love the green too .
   I really need to turn my thoughts to Christmas now ,with Advent fast approaching and finish this in the New Year .


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Whittling Wooden Needles - Cornish Hedgerow Craft

 Aah ....a beautiful sunny morning , my laundry hanging out on the washing line and we have our little dog back home . She is much better , three pots of tablets to be disguised and given with her food ..there will be another check up next week...but she has stopped being sick and stopped trembling ..the tail is wagging again !
  So I,ve been out walking , climbing and scrabbling through our beautiful Cornish hedgerows . Looking for some nice long sharp thorns to have a go at making my own sewing needles .

I managed to collect a good handful of thorns mainly from the Hawthorn or May Tree and a few from the Sloe bushes .
 I found a beautiful nest which must have blown down in the recent storm .

"Was it your nest little Robin ?"

 I spent a very relaxing and therapeutic evening , peeling the bark  and cutting the eye into the top of the needle .

             This is my first attempt . I am waiting for a needle file to arrive in the post , to just smooth it off....but am quite pleased with it as it is already .
Yes , it is only the eye of the needle that needs to be smoothed and perfected a little bit more , but it is already quite useable  .
 I made a few more , the thorn wood is quite hard and I think it will dry out even stronger still . The tip of this needle is very sharp , perfect for my crewel embroidery .  Just for fun , I will try it out and let you know how it goes .

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The lost Skein of Wool

We're having a worrying time at the moment with our poorly little  dog, she has not been very well and is having some treatment over in the animal hospital in Falmouth..we are waiting for the vet to ring and tell us that we can come and collect her later today hopefully .
 So I,m finding it very hard to concentrate on anything today .

 While we were out I lost a skein of crewel wool and with only a tiny morsel of the thread left , I have been sorting through all my hoard of wool to see if I have another one , not even sure which number it is and  Appletons have a wonderful selection of shade sets in various colours..I,m just glad I have these colour cards to compare and match the colours with !

  With the colour cards  I very quickly narrowed it down to the Brown Olive range .

                                      Then it was between these two ....

                                                      Found it !

Friday, 3 November 2017

Anglo-Saxon Needles

  I bought these gorgeous repro Anglo-Saxon/viking needles , handmade at the forge of Dennis Riley of Daegrad Tools . Makers of all sorts of things for Living  History and re-enactment .

                They are beautifully made , sharp , fully functional needles .
  I,m still not sure if my project will become a needlecase or a brooch  .
Maybe it could be both . Maybe I could make a larger needlework bag that it could be tied into .
   What else do I need ?  Scissors ? Well no, but they would  have used tiny sheep sheering sheers . ..or a knife in a leather sheath .
 I have a beautiful pair of Japanese snips , but they wouldn't look right ..I wonder if Dennis makes Anglo-Saxon snips ?
 I would love to go back in time , just for a short time , to meet the craftsmen and see how they did things .
They did a kind of crochet stitch with a large wooden needle , called nalbinding , I have already made some of these , but tomorrow I am going to have a go at making some sewing needles out of Hawthorn thorns from my hedgerow .
  It is very therapeutic whittling things out of wood , it will be raining tomorrow , so that will be a nice thing to do beside the fire .

Monday, 30 October 2017

Anglo - Saxon Brooch Crewel more colour

It's been hard to find time to do my embroidery , we,ve been out and about so much .

I always carry my work with me in this bag and actually there are several projects packed away in here .
  It's a DMC Travel bag with lots of useful zippered pockets for my crewel wool , scissors , needles , it has file binder rings for my notes , pictures and patterns which I keep in plastic punched pockets ...and a pocket on the outside where I slip my glasses , emery boards and hand cream .
   Larger projects get rolled up in a pillowcase and tied up on the outside between the handles ...I find it very useful .

Friday, 27 October 2017

Anglo - Saxon Brooch Zoomorphic Doves

                             What do you think  ?  Could they be doves ?
Zoomorphic - the representation of animal forms in decorative art/ jewellery .

I embroidered the edge of the brooch with a dark olive might be the edge of the brooch or maybe just it's shadow ....but if I make it into a needlecase , then this is where I could sew on a bead for fastening it . I haven,t decided yet what it will become..maybe a brooch ?

                         Now more fun ..adding colour ...I might go over the red and yellow spots , just to make them a tiny bit larger ...but they seem to be flat glass inlays on the actual brooch rather than jewels I want to keep them flat .

                                      Some crewel wool from my hoard.
    American crafters have  "a stash ".....  English crafters have " a  hoard " ! :)

At first sight , I thought the whole of the ribbon cross was blue , but on further inspection it is only half blue and the other half is several shades of green .
 I can see where the little bits of glass have been dropped is amazing and so beautiful !
 I have asked the St Augustine Museum in Canterbury for more information about this brooch and am waiting for some answers ..such as where it was found...who it might be associated with ..what metal is it made of ?
     I forgot to ask how big is it ?
 I,d also like to see some better photos of it as the only two that I,ve found on the internet are not very clear .
  So  I sent a message to the museum and Dito kindly put me in touch with Craig ( who is away at the moment ) I,m waiting to hear back from Craig who is in charge of the collections in the museum  .
It's just too far away for me to visit , although I would like to get there one day .

 Anyway , it's all so interesting and I,m so enjoying myself with all the learning and embroidering this Anglo Saxon brooch .