Thank you all for reading my rambles. All comments are read and appreciated. There have been some great comments recently so many, many thanks. I'm sorry if I haven't managed to comment on your blog I do read them as often as I can.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas starts

Christmas starts for me today, we are entertaining friends tonight and everything is as ready as it can be, I just have to get dressed now.

Tomorrow DS, DD & partner arrive, it'll be great to have the house full although not sure how the two cats will get on.

This afternoon I made another crystal Christmas bauble to give to my friend tonight.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No stitching

Help help, I've done no stitching since Sunday! I think I'm having withdrawal symptoms. Every thing's packed away as well and my poor hands feel as if they have been so badly treated.

Had a lovely meal last night though at La Cotas in Newcastle, we did make pigs of ourselves and ordered far too much, as usual. It was our 36th Wedding Anniversary and always go out for a meal. By the time we got back all I wanted to do was flop and of course fell asleep.

Off to Yoga this lunch time then into Newcastle to do the few bits of shopping left to do. The end is in sight and then I can relax.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nearly there

The bedrooms are cleared and cleaned, only the hall, bathroom and toilet and my study to go. It also looks as if the kitchen floor will be ready by the weekend. Then it's only the last minute food shopping to do and the presents to wrap.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

10 days to go

Then it will be Christmas Day. I put my trees up today, one real one in the front and a small artificial one in the living room.

Front room

With decorated twisted willow

Living room

We've changed it round this year for the first time, usually have them the other way round. Not sure if I like it but I'll live with it as I'm not going to take them down and move them now.

More twisted willow

Pete's started to lay the new kitchen floor today, so hope it turns out well with no complications

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Keeping fit

Well that's a laugh. I've been suffering with my back for what seems ages, but I'm back swimming again and it's not too bad. I've also restarted Yoga so I'm hoping that will help to strengthen my core muscles. Don't think it's working though as I ache all over now!

Pete wants to do the Coast to Coast walk in 2009 and I've said I'll do a bit with him and act as backup, ie the driver. So he is walking at least an hour every day, not my idea of fun in this weather!

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Well now the fuss over the Exhibition is over now I can really get down to the business of Christmas. What to do next? My cards are sorted, most of the presents are sorted and just have to be wrapped. We get the tree tomorrow. Oh yes the Christmas clear out, ie I have to move all my stash, sewing, craft items and all the other bits and pieces so I can have the family here, sit at the table for a meal and sleep in reasonably comfortable and clean rooms. This is the bit I hate.
Hay Ho of We Go - I'm sure there's a song there somewhere.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

December already

I can't believe it's December 8th already. I've been really busy as we had our Christmas Exhibition today. We had a fabulous day, lots of visitors, despite the terrible weather. It was nice and cosy inside.
There was some fabulous pieces of work, we
have some very talented ladies and my few photos don't really do them justice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 28th

Only 2 more days then it's December. I'm starting to get into Christmas and have written some of my cards, not all, but the list is written and I've done some of the letters that go inside. All my exchanges are ready or have been posted. Most presents are bought but not wrapped, that's a job Pete and I do together the week the Christmas Tree goes up.

I'm off to Sunderland at some time today to research my present, I'd like a new Bernina sewing machine and have looked online but still haven't quite made up my mind which one to go for.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Intermediate machine embroidery

Well I got told off yesterday for not adding to my blog often enough. So here goes, just for you Helen.

I went up to Wooler for the second time in two weeks to do another workshop with Helen Cowans. I had a good day but got a bit frustrated when things didn't go as well as I'd hoped.

I've made up for it today by conquering the wire wrapping and making up two finished items, a small book cover which I'll sell at our Christmas Exhibition and a Christmas Card.

Then just to prove that my Tower of Flowers takes pride of place on my mantelpiece Helen. Thanks for getting me back to things I love doing

Monday, November 05, 2007


September to Oct 2007 embroidery

A test to see if this works. Hope you enjoy the slideshow

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I can't believe it's now November. Where has the year gone?

What have I been up to? I've almost completed a small split stitch sample, yes it's taken a long time because of all the other pieces I've had to start!

I've done a Bayaux stitched small tree, that was finished quite quickly,

I'm half way
through a Goldwork S - for Sheila -

and I've framed up a crewel work piece that is my next start. All these are for my C&G course and are the prescribed samples I have to do for my illustrated history.

In the middle of all this I've been playing with paint, dye, paper etc, written part of my history

and, for fun, I've made a lovely box with one of my embellished pieces - yes it's purple velvet with silk embellishment and I love it.

Oh yes I made a small glass Christmas bauble at the Regional AGM.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Well I haven't been a good Blogger once more. Time has been against me as I'm back at my studying again. A City and Guilds course in Design with an emphasis in Embroidery - of course! it's a Diploma level course so there is a lot of research, hence my regular visits to London, a good excuse to visit DD and DS.

I'm researching the History of English Embroidery and it's really interesting. I've also had to do some pieces in the style of the age. A split stitch Madonna, a Bayeax stitch tree and a goldwork letter S. I haven't taken any photos yet and will try to do so when they are all finished. I seem to have to start a new piece each week and don't have time to finish the one before.

Well this is half term so I might get caught up a bit providing I don't spend too much time online. So by for now. I'll try and post again when I have some time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Kitchen

Finally got the new tops in my kitchen, I've been waiting a long time for this.

New top and sink

New hob

New oven

We now have to paint and put up some wallpaper. The two doors will take the longest to do as the frames need a repair job. Only then can we lay the floor. So a long way to go yet.

Band Sampler

At long last I've come back to my band sampler started in Hull with Carol Tinson. It's called 'I did it my way'.

Half of the design has been done. I'm still not sure about the drop beads, I have some pearl drops, thanks to Jo, so I will try them next.

The last time I did anything was at the start of June. I'll have it as my UFO on Tuesday so I might get some more done.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I've been asked several times 'What is an embellisher?' Click on the link on the title and you will see one direct from 'the horses mouth' Babylock. The pictures above show a few pieces I created. Note the metallics were added afterwards. The Embellisher just creates the background fabric.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

City & Guilds

Sorry if I've been a bit quiet recently but my course started last week. So been deep in research all week. The History of English Embroidery Bede to present day. Thought I'd done quite a bit already, but there's still so much to do. It's fascinating though. I've seen pictures and actual artefacts that are fantastic. how girls as young as 8 and 9 produced such fantastic work I don't know. I've actually seen some restored Blackwork that is in the EG collection, it's wonderful.

As well as that I've got a commission piece to experiment with and I've got a new toy - an embellisher, so been playing with that. More about that later - I hope.


At long last my new kitchen top is going in. Today the difficult bit which is a right hand join was cut and put in place along with the section over the boiler. Tomorrow one more piece to be cut and the holes for the sink and hob to be put in. Whow. I've waited so long for this to happen. Don't mind the fact that we have to 'eat from the microwave' tonight.

Wonder how long I'll have to wait for the floor and decorating to be done? DH doing that, bless him.

We decided against a whole new kitchen as we liked the layout so a revamp was the other option, new tops, sink, cooker and hob. My cooker went in after the electrics were renewed, tops, sink and hob being done by a workman - rest by DH. Won't post photo 'till it's further on - hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Big Thankyou

Thanks for all your comments Helen (both of you).

Stitchingranny don't call x-stitch boring. There are some fantastic pieces out there. I admire the patience and determination that people have in completing some very complicated pieces that take months and years to do.

If anything I'm very impatient and want instant gratification. I also love varied textures so love hardanger and mixed stitch and media techniques. Not that some of these are quick to complete!

Experimentation I also love and am constantly learning new techniques. So you will find that my Webshot album (Gandalfstitcer) is full of picture of many different types of stitching. I aways say I am a butterfly and flit from technique to technique and piece too piece.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hampton Court and the Embroiderers Guild

Well I'm off on my rambles again later today. I'm staying with my daughter in Surrey and visiting the EG collection at Hampton Court on Wednesday. This is all part of my research into the history of English Embroidery. Looking forward to seeing a small part of the collection throughout the ages.

We'll have a meet up with DS in London - tubes permitting. then back home on Wednesday, so just a flying visit this time.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Metal and Velvet structure

Just realised that my metal and embellished structure picture isn't very clear so here's a better one standing on my mantelpiece. DH says the mount colour isn't right, but it was the only one that went anywhere near. I'll think about recolouring it sometime.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Stitching in Wooler

Just got back from an intensive three day course with Val Stoddart called 'Limited Editions' a Textile Peepshow. We had a great time and worked very hard indeed. I was introduced to an embellisher and WANT one.

Here are a few of the photos I took of my work. Some are completed such as the structure with metal, the bookmark and the small square picture.

Others are just backgrounds which need more work done to them (the blue tree) The sketchbook is amazing. There are several peepshows in there made from writing, torn up pictures and drawings.

As you might have gathered I'm fired up even more and must go off to create more items to show at our next EG meeting in a weeks time

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Had a visit to Lindisfarne today. It was a beautiful day.

Saw a lovely exhibition by Louise Mabbs (click on the title to see Louise's web site.

This Celtic cross was done by Pamela Pavett

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday 24th August 2007

Well it looks as if I'm back to my Blog again after a short break.

I'm busy getting ready to start the new term and also I'm off on a three day stitching break in Wooler with the Embroiderers' Guild. Looking forward to learning some new techniques with Val Stoddard.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday 23rd August

Well finally got photos of Calico Gardens completed

and Purple Calico updated

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16th

Strange weather we're having. Today started very wet, our new water butt is full to overflowing. When the rain stopped Pete had to empty and re-site it with a firmer base as it had started to tilt.

This afternoon was beautiful and sunny. We went for a walk and I collected some of the first brambles. I've frozen them to be put with our apples when they are ready.

I completed the papers to go inside Calico Garden and did a bit of research as I wasn't sure how to insert them into the book. I also did some more to my sampler which has been neglected recently.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Well the last month has really flown by I don't know where the time has gone. We went to London where we visited Wisley, I went to Hampton Court and the V&A to do some research.

When we came back we went over to Maryport to a Blues festival, that was great. We saw Van
Morrison, though I don't have a picture of him, just the one on the T-shirt I bought. Did like Mike Harrison though.

I've almost completed Calico Gardens, the original. It's being made into a memory book. The pages have to be inserted and a few flowers stitched to the bottom 'grass' area.

I've also signed up for my C&G course so that's me committed for the next two years. So have been busy starting some of my research projects. Yes more than one.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Back in the Big Smoke

I'm back in London staying with DD this time as DS now has a lodger - no room at the inn!

It's lovely to have the cats here, they keep me company in the morning when I come downstairs. Miss my moggy who is all on his lonesome with a come in feeder. I'm a really cruel mum.

Lots of plans, Hampton Court, the V & A and maybe, just maybe Oxford Street.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Busy Sunday

Yesterday was a great day. Ladies from Jayne's Attic came round and we updated our progress on Calico Gardens.
Ann has finished her cushion.
Jean has made a beautiful full Garden and is nearly complete.

I've started making mine into a Memory Book.

and Carol shared their progress.
Wendy and Debbie came along for the chat.

We all had a lovely afternoon, I hope we can do it again.