Thanks for calling by. I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to leave a comment and call again to catch up on my news.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Thank you Mieke!

Mieke gave me an award!
I believe I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself so ...
1. Cats are my favourite animal
2. I love stitching
3. I've lived in the same town all my life
4. I'm vegetarian
5. I love good quality dark chocolate
6. My favourite place is the Scottish highlands
7. I enjoy gardening

Am I allowed to cheat a little on the other rule and say that it's impossible to choose just 15 blogs. I would give the award to every one of you as your work never ceases to amaze and inspire me and am constantly surprised and delighted to find that you care to follow my efforts.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

And the winner is ...

Debs of Heverbellminiatures! 

Congratulations Debs. 

If you let me have your address I'll send the doll and chair on to you.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


A very quick post today to say hello and a very warm welcome to all my new followers - another 27 have arrived this month and I'm very pleased to meet each and every one of you. I hope you enjoy your visits.

Now, this is the crinoline lady finished and mounted onto a piece of green silk dupion in readiness for me to stitch her ribbon work garden. I'm taking her with me to the display up in the village this evening - along with the lace butterfly, the lace and goldwork autumn leaves picture, the blackwork patchwork design and the darning sampler. I think I showed you all those pieces before. I was just a little surprised to find that these are all pieces I've completed since October last year - not a bad stitching output for four months. I'm currently working more blackwork - a picture of two Japanese kimonos and some miniature cushions. I'll show you those when they're finished.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

New displays in the cake shop

And here's a quick reminder about the giveaway, which closes on the 28th. I realised that the photograph I showed before didn't actually show the cushion. The prize is the chair, the cushion and the little doll. The second photograph shows that she's fully dressed with matching pink bloomers under her skirt. If you haven't already let me know you want to take part, leave a comment under either this entry, or the original one and become a follower of my blog.

I know I should be making curtains for the manor house but I'm suffering from a definite case of procrastination with that house at the moment. I've ordered some more accessories for it which the postman tried to deliver today while I was out meeting a friend for lunch. When I collect them from the post office on Friday I'm hoping that they will bring back my enthusiasm for the project and that I'll make some more progress over the weekend. That's the plan, anyhow.

While I was searching for 24th scale manor house bits, I also treated myself to some new display cabinets for the cake shop part of the Attic tea rooms. The tea rooms face the chair where I sit to eat breakfast every day and I've been thinking about renovating it a little for a while now. Decisions on what to do with it finally made, the parcel of display units arrived in the post yesterday, so of course today I had to play and put in all my cakes and bread. While I was at it I sorted out the shelving unit for behind the counter too.

This is the unit which stands behind the sales assistant to display the collection of teapots. There are packets of Twinings tea for sale too. The left hand drawer (which I forgot to open for the photograph) contains menu cards for the tea rooms. On the bottom shelf are tins of biscuits for use in the tea rooms and cake boxes ready for when a customer makes a purchase in the cake shop.

This tall unit contains swiss rolls, jam tarts, iced fancies and battenburg slices as well as an iced birthday cake and a selection of bread loaves and rolls.

This is the glass topped counter complete with cake display and a three tier wedding cake on top. The assistant is wrapping a loaf in a paper bag ready for a customer.

This is the cake shop at the moment with the shop assistant/waitress and all the displays in position. I know the wood doesn't match but I'm quite happy about that. I may tone down the new cabinets anyhow as they are quite red, but for the moment I'm living with it as it is.

And this is how it looks through the window - far more enticing to passers by I think than it was before.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Charity shop finds

I called in at one of the many charity shops when I was in town the other day where I know that they have a rummage bin of old home textiles - lace and embroidered pieces along with crochet doileys and the like. I thought you might like to see what I bought. None of these pieces cost more than a couple of pounds.

This little piece of patchwork is actually the perfect size to make a 1/12th scale table topper so I'll tidy up the outer edge and use it in the retreat.

I never learned to do tatting, but that's what this beautiful old doiley is - beautiful sitting on the sideboard with a small planter on top ... or I may use it as a centrepiece in some piece of embroidery - maybe applique it onto the front of a bag. What do you think?

There was a whole set of these chrocheted mats - two large oval ones like this and two small round ones. Again, those flowers may end up decorating a bag.

I fell in love with this pretty little embroidered mat with lace inserts - the price? 50p!!

And this sweet embroidered napkin was the same price.

This long table runner is pretty worn but there are lots of usable motifs here ...

 These circular motifs will make lovely lace tablecloths for my 12th scale tea rooms

 and there is well over a yard of this beautifully worked edging to remove and attach to my full size household linens.

Oh, and by the way, the front is attached to the manor house.

I was planning to show you the (almost) completed kitchen but the photos have turned out to be too blurry so I'll try again another day.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

I'm in print!

It's a while since I sent this article off to the Guild of Needle Laces but imagine my amazement and delight when my copy of their latest magazine dropped through the letterbox yesterday and there was my butterfly ... right on the front cover.

Yes, I'm still working on my lace most days. Here's a sneak preview of the latest piece I'm working on.

I just love these old fashioned crinoline ladies and she's going to be standing in a ribbon-work garden eventually. She'll have her first public viewing this coming Thursday though at a display our Embroiderers Guild is putting on. She will be ready by then (almost finished now) though the garden won't be done in time.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I've done it!

I finally listed some of my quilts on Etsy. This is a link to my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CherryCroftCrafts and here are the quilts. The first three are all hand pieced and the final one, although the top is made from a single piece of fabric, is hand quilted.

I won a prize!

Yes!! My halloween scene won a prize. Four are given and the overall winner gets to hold a silver cup for the year. I didn't win the cup but I don't mind that. I'm just delighted that I won anything.

It's been really cold here in Yorkshire this week and I took some photographs of the frost on my garden plants. The top one is a cabbage. Don't they all look beautiful? It was especially nice to be able to see the frost through the windows of my lovely warm house! 

It's turned much warmer today and the frost has melted into rain.
I've been making blinds for the manor house this week. I decided that the servants' quarters on the ground floor would have blinds rather than curtains, as will the second floor hallway. The other hallways have doors. This is how I did it.

I measured the width of the window, including the frame, and cut two pieces of fabric to that measurement. I made each blind a slightly different length to add interest. I added a nice curved shape to the bottom (no pattern, I just did it by eye). Then I ran a thin line of glue around each edge of the back of one piece and glued the two pieces of fabric together. Another thin line of glue along the bottom edge and stuck on some picot braid trim. Then I glued them to the window frame.  

I made some box pelmets out of balsa wood to exactly fit over the top of the window frame. They will be covered by fabric eventually so you won't see the edges of the wood.

Today I took a break (another) from the manor house. I was so determined to keep on with this project until it's finished but I keep getting these urges to make a start on something new. So anyhow, today I made a 1/12 scale table lamp. This will probably go into the retreat when it's built, but in the meantime I'll sit it in the flat above the tearooms for safe keeping.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New year's stitching

I may not have been doing minis but I have been busy stitching over the holiday. I think I mentioned the other day that I'd crocheted a scarf ...

 The last thing in the world that I needed was another scarf but I just fell in love with this yarn and couldn't resist. I got the pattern free from Ravelry and, although I'm really only a beginner when it comes to crochet, it was really easy to do.

My local branch of the Embroiderers Guild has just embarked on a two year project on 17th Century embroidery, the end goal being to produce enough work to stage an exhibition which we hope to set up in a number of different venues in the future. We started out just before Christmas gathering images of 17th century designs and putting them together in workbooks. I thought I'd show you just a few of the pages from mine.

The tree of life is a recurring theme and many of them contain a whole range of little creatures so I worked this cute snail and butterfly in blackwork as a tiny sample to add to this page. He's a much friendlier snail than the ones in my garden which eat my vegetables!

Many old paintings contain wonderfully detailed images of the clothing of the time, many of which were embellished with blackwork, embroidery and lace. This page includes another sample of blackwork - this time showing acorns and oak leaves.

I'm not too sure what form my final embroidered pieces for the exhibition will take but I'm fairly sure that at least one will be worked in my favourite needle lace. Here's a sample piece I worked of a very stylised leaf.

Minis at last!

It seems to be taking me a while to get back to my normal routine after all the holiday's visitors but I finally got around to doing some miniatures this week even though there's not really very much that's new. I added some bits and pieces to the Manor House kitchen but I'm going to wait until I get the curtains up at the window before I show you that - later this week hopefully.

It's competition night at my local Minis group and this is my entry. I know it's a little late (or very early) for Halloween but we were given this tiny board and had to make a scene showing an annual event - and this is what I chose to do.

 Sorry about the veg box showing on the side of this one! I just realised that I didn't crop this particular photo but it's the only one that shows the chest with the witch's hat in it.

I don't expect to win, and I really don't mind as I enjoyed doing this little scene so much!

The other thing I've done is to change this little display box around to show off my small collection of shoes. The hats are ones I've shown you before and I made those. The shoes and boots were bought at the Pudsey Miniatures Show last autumn and I intend to add more when I get the opportunity.

 Can you see the giant cat outside the window, looking down at the miniature one on the windowsill?
 Here he is in person ... my beautiful Willow.