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.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Lace days and a huge thankyou

The thank you first. This goes to Natalia of  http://scarletsailsminiatures.blogspot.com for sending me this book as the prize in her giveaway earlier this month.

It's a great book with lots of designs to stitch. I've managed to narrow it down to just four which I have to stitch as soon as possible. One of them I think I shall do at the scale described in the book so I need to buy supplies for that one as it's worked in Appleton's crewel wool - a thread I don't have in sufficient shades. The others I shall reduce in size and use stranded cotton on a finer canvas than the 18tpi recommended in the book. 

Now ... what are 'lace days' you ask? I have a good friend who is as keen on working needlelace as I am myself and we decided that we would get together every Monday to work on our lace together. Our first lace day was this week and we stitched from around 10am until 3.30pm - with breaks for cups of tea and lunch, of course.

So I thought I'd share with you what I'm working on at the moment ... I have a box which I plan to cover with silk fabric and applique these sycamore seed designs onto the lid. There will eventually be four pieces of lace - one for each corner.

This is the bit that I did on Monday - the picot edging to these 'leaves'. I'm really pleased with the way they're turning out and love the design that this variegated thread is making as I work around the edge.

And this is the book from which I got the patterns. Sadly out of print now, as all the needle lace books seem to be, but I got this copy from Amazon marketplace - second hand but in perfectly good condition.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

It's been a while

Sorry I've been gone for a while. My son was here last week and he left me a gift ... a really bad cold. Hence I've been feeling a little sorry for myself and haven't really been up to spending time in the garage doing minis. However, I'm feeling a little better today and so thought I'd let you see just a tiny bit of progress.

Here is that 1:48 scale cottage which I bought from the charity shop a few weeks ago. I changed it quite a bit in the end. You'll see from the marks on the base board that it should have had bay windows but, because I wanted to glaze the windows, I just could not get the card to stay in that shape so in the end I gave up trying and made a new flat front for the cottage with just one large window and the door placed to one side rather than in the centre. 

I cut a hole in the side wall so you can see into what will be the kitchen area (painted blue), and also cut a large chunk out of the back wall for access. The walls are all decorated inside and I've glued blinds and curtains at the windows. I still need to add a fireplace to go on the wall where the chimney is.

 I got a couple of rows of bricks in place on the outside too.

I made a bathroom cabinet for the 24th scale manor house and filled it with pretty bottles of toiletries and a box of tissues.

The only trouble is that because the bathroom is in the roof space of the house the room isn't actually high enough for this to sit above the washbasin so now I'm making a small side table for it to sit on.

I've also been making a few handbags. I offered to do a workshop for my miniatures group and thought I'd make up a few samples so the ladies there can choose which style they want to make.

And finally ... spring is on its way! I thought I'd share a couple of photos of some of the flowers in my garden at the moment. I love snowdrops and every spare nook in my garden is filled with huge clumps of them. I love the hellebores too - especially this clump of deep purple ones by the side of the pond.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Cushions in my Etsy shop

A very quick post to tell you about my latest additions to my Etsy store. I didn't get the boxes put in there yet but I did list some embroidered cushions I've been making.

For some reason Blogger won't let me put a link in the sidebar to my shop on Etsy so here's the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CherryCroftCrafts

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


I realised as soon as I'd pressed 'publish post' yesterday afternoon that most of you wouldn't have a clue who Stef Francis is or where to find her beautiful embroidery threads. You can find them here: http://www.stef-francis.co.uk/. I usually use her 'fine silks' but the ones I bought last week are 'extra fine silk' and 'superfine silk'. You'll find them all under 'hand dyed yarns' on her website. Beware!! they can become addictive.

Now ... onto the manor house ... some of the rooms are about as finished as I can get them for the time being. More ornaments are needed in the study and sitting room. That luxurious sheepskin rug in the study was a tag attached to a new pair of slippers which my son bought at Christmas.

The shelves are also still a little bare in the butler's parlour and in the kitchen.

Some of these things I'll make though I really want to concentrate on getting the bedroom furniture finished next so other bits may not improve much until I either go along to another minis fair or give in and place an order online.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Container love

I have a weakness for pretty packaging and containers and I know that I'm not alone. Here's what started me thinking ...

... the rearranged shelving in the work area of my garage. Remember, I told you about this the other day but had no photo to show you. Now I have the photo. Behind that shelving unit you see right in front of you is another section of the garage where my gardening and diy tools are stored.

You'll see immediately that some of my items are neatly organised into labelled plastic boxes - especially on that shelving unit on the left. OK, the boxes don't all match but these things are easy to find. There are boxes here for card and foam board, beads, flower making, hat making, fabric (sorted into silks and cottons), lace, ribbons, paints, adhesives ... and so it goes on.

Then there are those mismatched cardboard containers, which also hold precious mini-making materials but I just never did get around to buying more plastic boxes for these things. So - you see how the thought process progressed. I got to thinking about how I store my stitching materials in much more attractive containers.

I picked up this beautiful oddment of brocade in a remnants bin years ago. I was so taken by the design of Chinese dragons and stylised leaves and loved the colours. I covered this box and now use this to hold my lacemaking bits and pieces - designs waiting to be stitched, oddments of mat film, etc.

This tin has an oriental feel to the design too though this time in blue and white and here's where I keep the miniature embroidery projects I'm working on - currently two patchwork quilts almost finished and six embroidered cushions. 

This lovely pink tin with the delicate lacelike design in gold was filled with beautiful soaps and was a gift from my daughter - bought more because of the tin than the soap - she knows me so well! This now holds my threads for my lacemaking.

This is my latest purchase of threads which need to go in that tin. What can I say? Stef Francis had a sale so I just had to buy. These are all quite a bit finer than I've used before - extra fine and superfine silks and mercerised cottons - so I'll have to see how I get on with them.

These two oval tins were a Christmas gift from my daughter's boyfriend a couple of years ago - bought from Libertys in London. The butterfly tin now holds my pins and the one with the swans and flowers sits on my desk filled with paperclips.

And speaking of containers ... I made these little 12th scale boxes which will be going in my Etsy shop any day soon.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The curtains are hung

It's been bitterly cold here for the past few days and I've really struggled to do more work on the manor house as my work area is in the garage, which is unheated. I do have a piece of carpet on the floor on which I can stand and I have a small oil heater which I've pressed into service but it's really not warm. I've been moving my shelves around and trying to organise things a bit better so the gardening and real life diy items are separated from my minis and crafting supplies. I'm not quite there yet but I have placed one of the shelving units at right angles to the wall in an attempt to cut off some of the draughts from the door. I'll show you photos when it's finished and you'll understand better what I'm talking about.

Anyhow ... I did manage to get all the curtains made and hung so it's almost ready for the family to start moving in. 'Just' the electrics to sort out now and a few bits and pieces of furniture to finish.

I had to go into town briefly this morning, stopped to look in the window of my favourite charity shop and just look what I found!

This delightful little cottage to build. It is 1:50 scale but I reckon that's close enough to 1/48 and they were selling it for £8.50. How could I resist? Especially when the money is going to a good cause too. The kit contains the card pieces on which the model is based, and all the (real) bricks, roof tiles and landscaping materials for the garden. 

I shall have to modify it slightly to enable me to fit out the inside as it's not really intended as a dolls house but I don't think that should be too difficult to do. We shall see ... watch this space.