Saturday, 21 November 2015


I forgot to mention that I added a few new watercolour sketches to my Etsy store a wee while ago - from a cute little harvest mouse to a Christmas robin. Not to mention more badgers  - just because I love painting them.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Even more buttons

Just a few pictures of buttons that I have made this week. I am up to my ears in art commissions for Christmas so there is not much time for other crafting. However I do have some new sets from Gina-B Silkworks to make up though so photos will be coming soon.

Friday, 6 November 2015

A resurgence of buttons

I've been on a button kick recently thanks to a new kit from Gina-B Silkwork. It's a snowflake button kit. The buttons are so charming and I got very excited when I opened the package with them inside. Couldn't contain myself, in fact. I dashed off and wrapped a few buttons as soon as I could. If you take a look at the link you can see some of my samples in the second photo (yes, I forgot to photograph my samples before sending them off again).

After that there was no stopping me. I love making buttons - thread wrapped buttons in particular - and after treating myself to some new size 8 perle threads I was wrapping up a storm.

This button in particular is one of my favourites. It is a 'rottweiler' button that I made in memory of Stanley. It is black and tan with a star in the middle to represent what a star he was to me.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

In memory of Stanley

I had some sad news last weekend. My sisters dog, Stanley (who I have blogged about on more than a few occasions), had to be put to sleep after a short illness. He was seven. What started as a broken claw escalated and eventually even the vet didn't know what the problem was. It has made me very sad. He was my Gummy Bear, Cuddly Buddly, Flopsy Mopsy and many other names of endearment besides. He was the most wonderful, fun, challenging, goofy and loving dog I have ever known. I will miss his visits more than I can say.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


Anyone who knows me knows about my love of both ancient history and natural history. So it probably will not come as a surprise that I have a little museum all of my own. In the past it would probably have been called a curiosity cabinet and it houses all kinds of treasures - from things I have found to things I have been given and even those I have bought. I thought I'd give you a little peek at it

There are ancient Greek arrowheads and pottery jars, a Roman oil lamp and brooch, Roman and Byzantine coins, a small Egyptian amulet, Chinese pottery, an African marimba, prehistoric woods, fossils, rocks, minerals and shells, to name but a few. It is a great source of inspiration to me. To think that people in the distant past and from foreign lands handled some of these items gives me goosebumps. It fuels my love of these subjects and piques my curiosity every time I look in it. It's my very own little treasure trove.

Thursday, 24 September 2015


My latest commissioned painting. I had to hold off posting it online because it was for a gift. It was happily received, I am glad to say.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

101 uses for a glasses case

 OK, not really, it's just one use. This idea came from Pinterest but when I saw it I immediately knew it was genius. Using a glasses case to make a mini sewing kit. 

Mine is a mini English paper piecing kit and includes two spools of thread, a fabric glue stick, a seam ripper, two needle threaders, a thimble and a finger guard, tiny card hexagons and a needle case – made from paper pieced hexies, of course. 

I cannot tell you how handy it is. It sits on my desk and I always know where it it. It also means I don't have to wrestle with my big sewing box to find a needle and it's portable and safe. Because it is a hard case there are no needles/seam ripper stabbing me randomly because they have poked out of the fabric/bag I have put them in. I picked up the glasses case on eBay for less than £2 - so nice and affordable too.

There is no end to the possibilities for this idea – mini painting kit (shortened paint brushes, pencil, tubes of paint); drawing kit (short pencils, rubber, paper stumps); even a mini make-up kit (mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, cotton bud, tissue) or first aid kit (sticking plasters/band aids, individually packaged anti septic wipes, cotton wool balls, small pair of scissors). Thanks Pinterest. Another great idea.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


I think I may be just a little obsessed with Janet Clare's work. I saw her on Create and Craft a few months ago and loved her style – in particular her products inspired by Britain's wintry coast. When I was little, living in Dorset, my Mum and Dad used to take my sister and me to the beach – in winter. We never went during the summer when it was hot and a dip in the English Channel would have been welcome. Nope. We went in the winter when the white horses were crashing along the coastline, eroding the cliffs and sweeping my sister off her feet. I'm not sure what message my parents were sending us. At any rate, I have been thinking a lot about the sea again. It's been years since I have seen it – even though I live 40 minutes from the coast.

Anyway, my Janet Clare obsession started with buying her Charming Gulls kit. A few hours later I had a lovely little appliqu├ęd picture – which I ultimately made into a cushion. 

More! More! I needed more! So I ordered lots of her More Hearty Good Wishes fabric with whales and lighthouses and seaweed on it. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet but it had to be mine.

Of course, I needed her book too. I'm waiting for it to be delivered.

Then I hit the internet and her blog and found that she has very generously shared some free downloads. Yay!

As you can see - obsessive. But I have to say, her kits are wonderful to work with. I have my eye on her larger gull quilt kit too but I shall have to save a bit for that, I think. Bills to pay, and all that. And I can't say I don't have plenty to be going on with, can I?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

New beads for the new season: Halloween, Christmas and some pretty patterned ones with an autumn theme. As always, they are now on Etsy.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

English paper piecing

Yup, another new craft to try. I've always wanted to try patchwork - and I did back in my teens. But it didn't go well. The 'square' fabric shapes did not stay square when I'd stitched them up and instead of a square piece I ended up with a rectangular shaped piece (made a nice pillow case though).

However, I discovered English paper piecing recently and by chance realised that I could cut out paper pieces using my Sihouette machine. Yay!

Within a few minutes I had some hexagons (and other shapes - I just couldn't stop myself) and attacked my fabric stash. (Remember all that fabric I bought at the start of the year?) As it was my first shot at it I didn't want to use 'the good stuff' so I picked some random paisley fabrics and set to work. Soooooooo easy and quick. Providing all your paper shapes are the same size they will fit together - and thanks to the Silhouette mine were. Usually there is something that goes wrong with these projects but it all went quite smoothly - except for stabbing myself in the fingers multiple times. That's what I get for not wearing my glasses when I sew. Below is my first piece that I made into a pin cushion.

Then came other shapes - diamonds, jewels and hexies followed by a random little patch that I came across online (the picture is on Pinterest but I could not find the original document). It caused a few problems for me because I couldn't remember how to fit it together again. But once I figured it out my little fabric patch really appealed to me.

I have already picked up a few helpful tips though. I was whip stitching the sections together but ladder stitching them is actually a lot neater (see the photos below - the purple is the whip stitched piece, the orange/yellow is the ladder stitched piece). And instead of basting or tacking the fabric to the paper shapes I have started using a Sewline fabric glue pen which makes things much quicker.

 This little beauty arrived the other morning so I'm hoping to pick up a bit more information when I read it.

If you want to try it for yourself there is a plethora of 'how to' articles online. However, Messy Jesse Crafts has a really nice set of instructions on her blog. You can find the last of the instructions here but if you scroll to the bottom of the article there is an index of all the lessons. It's definitely worth a go.