Thursday, 31 August 2017


As most of you probably know already we live in a seaside resort on the north Brittany coast and this is the best place to spend the summer holiday months with all the festivals and fireworks going on every week somewhere or other.

I was sitting on the beach one day gazing at all the beautiful blues in the sea and realised I had most of the colours in my yarn and embroidery thread collection so I set to and made a few of these long narrow pictures.  The thicker yarns I couched onto the linen background as they were too thick to stitch with and I especially enjoyed sculpting the clouds and waves with a fluffy white wool.
What to make of them?  A perfect shape for a bookmark so I gave a couple away and turned the rest into cards with a slot at the top so the fabric can be easily taken out to use in a 'proper' book!

A friend came round to 'play' one afternoon bringing some of her fabric scraps and we set to with yarns and threads.  This is my effort and I'm still waiting to see Julie's when she comes back from a trip to England.

The lilies in the garden came into flower again in July, delighting me with their wonderful fragrance.  I was interested to see that the white ones particularly attracted wasps rather than bees and added one to this needlepainting I did using some crinkly cotton.  What a lovely afternoon I had sitting by the flowers, stitching and breathing in their perfume.

My granddaughter Sarah got her exam results during the holidays and I stitched another of my sun prints for her as a congratulation card.

What could be nicer than sitting in the shade of the parasol on a warm afternoon, stitching a portrait of my darling sister Rosi.  This is from a photo from 1979.

Mum got the same treatment too, a copy of a sketch of a 1985 photo where I pushed the colours a bit!
This is the start of the embroidered portrait quilt project I want to make over the next 2 years to celebrate the life and family of my mother who was born in 1919.

Saturday, 5 August 2017



Ever since our holiday I've been in love with hand stitching flower pictures and this is the first, copied from my travel sketchbook.  I can still remember sitting by the river Loire, watching the heron feeding and listening to the raucous calls of the crows in the trees.

Anyone who knows me knows I love buddlea ad I have several different varieties around the garden flowering at different times of the summer. This is just a little stitch sketch  of a few details of these fragrant flowers.

Every summer my herb garden delights me with the perennial herbs that grow with no effort on my part and I love to see the colour combinations that appear as they bloom and then go to seed.  This group of oregano buds and parsley seeds appears every year and just had to be recorded in stitch.

Many years ago Justine gave me some Nigella seeds from her own garden and they self seed every year now and in fact the flowers are gradually turning pink from the original blue... I wonder if the pink granite has anything to do with it? I just love those seedheads too, hence the re-seeding every year!

Another favourite is my lavender of which I have several varieties that flower at different times in the summer.  I collect the flowers from the common one on the right to dry for lavender bags but the others are too small to use and anyway I think the bees thank me for leaving them for their food, they certainly buzz very loudly when I come near the plants!

Another Love in a Mist flower, this time stitched on one of the sunprinting pieces I showed you last time.  I sat in the sun to sew it with one of the flowers at hand to make sure I did the feathery leaves correctly although the colour is probably a bit too yellow caused by the sun dazzling my eyes!
The other sunprints came out so well that I decided to stitch some more.

Those parsley seeds again, don't you just love the pale prints in the background?

I have only just found out the name of this shrub and I had to add it for it's peculiarity.  My neighbour came calling several years ago with a wheelbarrow full of plants she was clearing from her garden so I was delighted to take them off her hands.  Now I have at least 3 big shrubs, covered in flowers for most of the year and even the hardest pruning doesn't (thankfully) destroy them!
Right, now as a test to see who in my family actually reads this I'm asking those who have a birthday in the next few months to choose which picture they would like on their birthday card and let me know in the comments or on Facebook!!
Over to you sisters and brothers in law, niece and auntie.  You know who you are!