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.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Jam and a bedroom

Spring has finally arrived here in my Yorkshire garden. I love, love, love these little snake's head fritillaries which bloom alongside my wildlife pond. There are already tadpoles swimming in the pond and the fluff I take from my tumble dryer filter and put out for the birds has almost all gone so proof that the nest building is coming along well too. 

The whole garden is awash with muted purples and yellows with primulas, primroses, daffodils and grape hyacinths. So full of promise.

I bought a large punnet of plums from the supermarket and turned it into jam for my storecupboard too. I intend to do lots more of this this year.

Now ... onto the grand spring clean in the Tea Rooms ...
I've never been happy that there is no staircase up from the first floor to the attic rooms in this building so I've constructed a back wall in the bedroom and added a small door. In real life this would only actually be about 3'6" tall but at least it hints of a way up to bed. The gaps need filling down the side and along the top but I'm quite pleased with how this is coming together now.

I did the same paint job on the furniture here as I did in the living room and turned the bed around to back onto that new wall. There are new cushions to tone with the wallpaper. Tiny slippers on the bedside rug, fluffy towels and a water jug on the stool and a lacy corset draped on the chair.

A trunk filled with linens stands at the end of the bed and a hot water bottle with a cosy knitted cover for cooler nights. The patchwork quilt is my favourite (there are more quilts in my Etsy shop).

A flower-trimmed hat sits atop the wardrobe and matching parasol leans against the pretty floral patterned luggage.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Miniatures today

Two posts in two days! Can you believe it? Today I'm updating you all on progress with my miniature projects. I haven't done all this work in the past week, I assure you - I do sleep occasionally, and this week the sunshine has lured me out into the garden to plant seeds and tidy up the borders.

 However ... there is progress on the tea rooms spring makeover and on the Swan Inn (as my little 48th scale pub is now called). I'll show you the tea rooms first.
 I made a new cover for the cushion on the desk chair, which now fits in with the overall colour scheme.

The rocking chair has two new cushions too.

 I made an armchair from foam board and card with two pieces of dowelling for the arms from a tutorial on Kris' blog http://1inchminisbykris.blogspot.co.uk/, and then covered the shade on the standard lamp to match.
So this room is now finished I think.

If you enlarge this photo you'll see that there has been a mini earthquake which knocked photographs over, a book off the bookshelves and one of the fire irons onto the hearth rug. These have now been put back in their proper places and all occupants of the flat are quite safe.

The Swan Inn is almost finished too ...

... apart from curtains at the bedroom windows and books for the bookshelf in the living room - oh, and some pictures for the walls.

And this is my 48th scale village street. There are more cottages to add. The little house which stands between the cottage stores and the Swan Inn is actually a money box, but it's the right size to fit in here.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Exhibitions and embroidery

Sorry I've been away for a while. I went to London for a few days at Easter and life seems to have been running at a fast  pace ever since.  I'm just about beginning to get back into my routine so here I am with a bit of a catch up for you all.

While I've been away I've been to quite a few exhibitions which I found inspiring and hope that you might do too. First of all there was the Kaffe Fassett exhibition in London...

If you're not aware of his work just search in Google and you'll see that he's quite rightly renowned for his use of colour. Aren't these hats fun?! 

 The gallery was decorated in clashing colours too to display his work to perfection.

Yes ... he knits, quilts, embroiders tapestries and makes mosaics - all in the most stunning patterns and colours.

We also went to an exhibition of the work of Chuck Close - an American artist, whose work also inspired me - though no photographs this time.

A trip to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield where there is always an interesting selection of modern sculptural pieces - including the matrix for the piece which hangs on the John Lewis building in London.

Even the gallery building is interesting - interlocking blocks.

And finally ... a trip last week to the Bankfield Museum in Halifax where one of our Embroiderers Guild members has an exhibition of her work. I won't show you photographs of the pieces as I've not asked her permission but there was embroidery of many different types on show, including many pieces which had been stitched onto various kinds of paper - lots of ideas and inspiration and if you live close by I'd certainly recommend a visit. The display is on until early May.

So ... what else have I been up to? 
Two friends and I are running a workshop on Casalguidi embroidery later this year so, as I've only ever done one piece of pure Casalguidi before I thought I'd better practise a little. This piece is destined for the top of a box, which we're making in a workshop next month. The raised stem bar and the wrapped threads are typical of this kind of work, as is the pulled thread background. It is traditionally worked in white on white fabric but I don't like white on white much so I added coloured needlewoven leaves to this piece.

This little bag uses some of the Casalguidi elements too but this time in a much more modern design. The openwork background and wrapped threads are still there, together with buttonhole bars and tassels.

And I've also been mounting my lace butterflies in readiness for making my hexagonal box.

Oh, and I can now show you the pieces I was working on before Easter as they've now gone to my daughter as birthday presents.

 A little embroidery kit inside a tin - there's a needlelace scissor keep attached to a tiny pair of scissors (hidden from view) and the tiniest needlebook which held a gold-plated needle.

 This is the hardanger and cross stitch design I embroidered on the lid.

And a sketchbook covered with a square of embroidered crazy patchwork.