Saturday, 28 February 2009

Elizabethan Biscornu.

I know I know, I should be working on the Village and I will soon, but a friend wanted to try blackwork so we began this biscornu together. Then, having started it, I thought I might as well finish it.

It is design by Nancy Pederson in issue 24 (January 2008) The Gift of Stitching. This excellent Australian publication is only available on-line. It has charts by most of the well-known designers as well as a lot of other interesting information. (

There was a little unexpected problem I encountered whilst working this though. I made a small mistake in one corner and when I pulled it out, the black thread left a dark red stain which I could not remove. I used regular DMC 310 Black and have never had this happen before. I was too far through the piece to abandon so I carried on - but I can see it!!!

It was my birthday yesterday and my friend Trish made me a beautiful stitched gift which I will share with you tomorrow.

I will show you it - but you can't have it!!

Just a little older today,
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Sunday, 22 February 2009

Block 3. VOHRH

This is Block 3 of Village - and it has been a bother!

I know - there is hardly anything to show, but my, it has been a bother!!

I never know whether to start with the lettering and then fill, or fill and leave spaces for the writing. This time I did the former and stitched right down to the date at the end when I realised I had started 3 lines from the top, instead of 2! For ages I kidded myself I could work around it, although inside I knew I couldn't bear it! The filling crosses would either match the border crosses or the lettering, but not both, and I would need to put a one - over - one line in at the top and bottom to compensate.

Then finally, the froggies and common sense came a-calling and out it all came. For the second attempt I started at the bottom with the lettering, but then worked up with the filling colour too. I pretended it was the first time I had stitched it!!

Now on to the house, much more variety. Sometimes, though, it is nice to have a filling activity isn't it? It's soothing, like colouring in at school.

Ahhh, those were the days!

Thanks for calling by,

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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Pottery Fragment update

Bursting with curiosity, I took my little bit of pottery to the award-winning Hartlepool Maritime Museum, to see if anyone there could shed any light on my find. I was re-directed to a local archaeologist who was happy to see me straightaway. Sadly, after consulting with a colleague, and looking through a couple of books, they were able to tell me very little!

They thought my fragment came from the lid of a vessel, was transfer printed and was produced round about 1860. It could have come from a local pottery just along the coast, or may have been commissioned as a commemorative item elsewhere, without a potter's mark it was impossible to tell. They were curious about what it might have been commemorating, but again couldn't tell from so small a piece.

So that's all I know - but 1860 - that's 149 years ago. Wow!


Monday, 16 February 2009

Beach collection.

The beaches on the North-East coast are mostly sandy, but they often have on them a scattering of pebbles, individually placed for easy assessment. So, as I walk, and having magpie tendencies, I pick up the occasional pebble. The rules are that I can't search for them, but most 'happen across' them as I walk, so I am particular about those I choose. They may be smooth, or a perfect sphere, or a pretty colour, or having interesting strata lines, or...oh - they might have a face, or a hole through them, and especially they might be heart-shaped. You'd think this last one would be rare, but I will show you my collection one day.

I sometimes, very very rarely, find a shard of pottery. So imagine my amazement when I found the piece above. The photo is not sharp, but it clearly says '...RTLEPOOL' and there is a picture of a ship, with sails and steam for some reason, just above it. They are not easy to see, but above the word there are three or four rowing boats too. It looks like a piece of commemorative pottery and I may try to find out more about it.

So why is this old bit of pot amazing? Because I found it on the beach at Hartlepool.

It had come home.

You know what I'm doing now of course?

Yeah - I am searching for the rest.

What are my chances do you think?

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Sunday, 15 February 2009

The First Snow, well maybe not quite!

This is actually my March contribution to the 2009 Christmas Ornament Challenge organised by Carol R. It is called 'The First Snow.'
I am trying to keep ahead of the game because I am not sure how inspired I will be in June, July and August to stitch Christmas ornaments. It is a free chart offered by The Drawn Thread company, in co-operation with Weeks Dye Works, in 2003 so I am not sure if it is still available. I have stitched it on 28 count silver linen (a favourite now for these ornaments) with an assortment of threads from my stash. I have used a tiny mother of pearl star for the top - stitchers licence! The lettering is again a freebie from the Swappons site which offers several really nice alphabets - I used the heart one for the Valentine hanger. This one is a Celtic design called 'Galway'.

Having got these incidentals out of the way for a while, I am returning to Block 3 of Village of Hawk Run Hallow. It is feeling a little neglected!

Hope yesterday was a fun day,

PS. Patti - thank you so much for your comments. Are you really going to stitch VOHRH one over one??? Wow, it will be amazing!!
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Valentine's Day hanger

Well, it just shows what arty-clarty does for you! I have decided that this little hanging ornament was pretty enough for you to see it properly so I have posted what I hope is a slightly better representation. Also, look at the little angel's face - can you see the rainbow??

We had a lovely birthday celebration last night with excellent food and service. If only we could do that more often - alas alack!
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Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentine's day special.

Valentine's Day is always special, but this year, for my family, particularly so. My nephew Toby was born on this day 21 years ago. So we will celebrate with a grand family dinner this evening. He is completing his final year at Lancaster University, doing a degree in Linguistics and hoping to become a sports journalist. We are very proud of him and his brother Perry, the mathematician in the family, in his first year university.

This little Valentine hanger is for Toby's girlfriend Louise, just so she has something to open this evening. It is a freebie pattern from the 'Swappons' web site, both the hanging hearts and the pretty heart alphabet on the back, worked with Vikki Clayton threads on a 28 count silver linen.

Excuse the fancy photograph display!! I am playing with the Picasa photo program and discovering what it can do. It can do this - but maybe it should do it a big bigger. Sorry!

Now look what I've done. I went back to make it bigger and messed it up. Oh well, better luck next time.

Have a lovely day - romantic if possible, if not, just self-indulgent!


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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Block 6.The Blacksmiths Shop - finished!

So.. it took much longer than I thought, but this is Block 6 finished -The Blacksmith's Shop. So which way to go next?
Up to Block 3 'City Hall', a lot of stitching in a big building,
or down to Block 9, some text and a pretty fountain,
or back to Black 4 'Opal's Boarding House' a similar amount of stitching as the recent Blacksmith????


Meggie and I were down on the beach again this morning and she was pestered, as she often is, by other dogs. She hates this! She doesn't know she is a dog, she thinks she is a person so other dogs bounding up to her and being a nuisance bother her. She never approaches other people or other dogs, unless I stop to talk, and then only tentatively, so I really don't see why she should have to put up with macho male dogs whose owners feel it is alright for them to behave this way. I told a male friend this, adding 'just because she is a female, she has to tolerate male attention when she is clearly not interested.
His reply?
'Ahh, it was ever thus'!!!

Thanks for stopping by,

PS. Two posts in a two days, what is the world coming to?
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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Christmas ornament - no 2!

This is a free design from Sharon Bennett at Daffycat which I thought was quite cute. The original design had only one happy reindeer but I doubled him up for this ornament. The snow is small iridescent beads - I seem to use them for everything and must buy another supply! I have finished the outer edge with red beads to pick up the reindeers' necklace, with a couple of mother of pearl buttons and then red gingham ribbon as a hanger. The fabric is a 28 ct hardanger.

Tomorrow I will post a hopefully completed block 6 from the Village of Hawk Run Hallow. I thought I had nearly finished this block, but took time out to make the Christmas ornament for the 2009 Christmas Challenge, and then discovered I still had lots to do! I am still really enjoying this stitching and forced myself to put it down for a while so as not 'sicken myself' of it - as my mum would say.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my sister Karen. Her company recently recognised and rewarded all the hard work she does, above and beyond the call of duty. Personally, I think it is her general niceness which clinched it, but then I'm prejudiced!
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