Title page

I have a new little sketchbook from that highly tempting shop Tiger, which I use for a bit of doodling of an evening when watching TV. I heard some research recently where they found people remember things better if they doodle, so now we can justify doodling in meetings, talking on the phone or in class.

I decided to keep mostly to black and white, concentrating on pattern.

Layers from the shredder

I’m forever blowing bubbles

Triangles everywhere


Crazy carpet

Pebbles on the beach

Lightning strike


Under the microscope

Patterns in the sand

Doodling within circles

This is the page I’m playing with at the moment. I’ve given the pages captions according to the end result, but each page simply evolved as I messed around, which is the joy of doodling.

Has anyone else discovered the fun of messing around like this?

Pictures for Ramster

Dog rose in silk on blanket with lace

These embroideries are all made using my natural dyed fabrics and threads, so it seemed appropriate to use images from the natural world. My inspiration comes from sketches I’ve done.

Traveller’s Joy


Cow Parsley

The background is silk chiffon and scrim embellished onto blanket. The grass is stitched with wools and silk then needle felted slightly. 

Cow parsley detail

For those of you who follow my blog  you may remember I was working on some pieces based on the seashore. I’ll hopefully come back to them along with other work. I’ve still got a whole bag full of dyed fabrics to use! 

New bag

New work bag

I’ve been planning a new bag for ages and finally got round to making it last week when trying to keep my mind off losing the darling dog. It’s made with some absolutely gorgeous Irish tweed bought a couple of years ago at the Knitting and Stitching Show,  which I’ve been saving. You know how it is with some fabrics you just keep it and take it out and admire it occasionally! 


Here is the inside showing the pockets, which are the right size for my phone and (sad to say ) my glasses. There is a zip pocket on the other side. The lining is an old Laura Ashley fabric I bought about 15 years ago for a quilt.
The handles and magnetic snap were recycled from an old bag.

Sunshine and crocuses 

And just to finish spring is almost here!

More Felt Books

I’ve been making some more felt books to sell at Ramster, which is coming up this month, so I thought I’d share them.

Felt book 1

Felt book 2

Felt book 3

Felt book 4

Stitched spines

Glorious colours and textures

They are made of scraps of felt and fabric dry felted together using my embellisher attachment on my Bernina.  I couldn’t resist adding some beads as well. Hope you like them.

Retail Therapy

I found this absolutely gorgeous haberdasher’s cabinet last week in a local charity shop.

Haberdasher’s Cabinet

I wasn’t sure if we had space, but we managed to squeeze it in next to the sideboard in the dining room /workroom.

I had a happy afternoon collecting most of my fabric together and colour co-ordinating it.


The glass fronts lift up and slide in to reveal the contents.

Side view

From the side you can see it is put together in sections. I put this picture in to show the lovely glass 1950s lamp. It’s Danish by Kastrup, and is rather more turquoise in real life.

Hopefully seeing all my fabric will help me find what I want more easily.


Beach inspiration

I’ve just started working on some pieces for Ramster, so thought I’d share a few pictures. Follow this link if you are interested.


This one is of the fabrics I’m starting with, some bits I’ve collected and a stitch sample. 

Stitch sample

The background is blanket and the samples are, working from the left, a pebble with shisha stitch, straight stitches over a pebble, silk chiffon needle felted, chenille spider’s web (not easy to do), chenille needle felted with some fleece to hold it down ( that chenille has a nice texture,  but is not easy to use!), silk needle felted (love that),  wool and silk spider’s webs, fleece felted from the front and from the back, prefelt with chenille over it, French knots, eyelet, cup stitch, scrim with fleece on back, whipped running stitch and ordinary running stitch. 

Sketchbook page

Stitch sample in sketchbook

These two pages from an old sketchbook have been part of my designing. They are from the beach at Tynemouth in Northumberland,  a favourite place.

Now I better stop prevarication and acully get on.

Happy Christmas

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My lovely younger daughter made this work of art, which tastes yummy as well as looking amazing. She cooked a fantastic Christmas dinner as well. 

A detail.

It’s even got windows. 

Hope you all are having a great Christmas. 

Great Getaway Bag

For my lovely sister’s birthday I decided to make her a bag. I’d bought some fabulous Ghanaian fabric at the Knitting and Stitching Show and got a bit keen and decided to make Lisa Lam’s Great Getaway Bag from her book ‘The Bag Making Bible’.Find it here on her site along with lots of lovely bits to buy and great advice. I’ve been wanting to make this bag for ages and it went pretty well, but it’s a lot of work. The enthusiastic reception has made it worth it.

The Great Getaway Bag

With the Diggely Doggely

There’s our lovely dog wondering if she’ll ever get a walk. Poor thing, she had to wait until I’d been to the post office.

Side view

The zip came from the Quilt Show. You add your own zip pull, so I mixed up the colours.

Handy front pocket

Internal zip pocket

More pockets, because they’re always useful.

The base showing the feet

Lovely lichen

Evernia prunastri – Oak Moss

This was my first effort at dyeing with Oak Moss. This is a prolific lichen around here. I was hoping for purple, but decided I needed to leave it for longer.  I added more lichen until the mixture was really thick and left it until a purple colour was coming out, about 3 months. 

Lilac from Oak Moss

I wasn’t sure I’d got the best colour at first, so I left the fibre in jars on the window sill for 5 days. It went rather brown, but came out a lovely lilac, particularly on the silk.  I’ve still got some dye so I’ll have another go with a stronger mixture.

Xanthoria polycarpa

I am so excited about this gorgeous pink. I can’t be sure I’ve correctly identified the lichen. It grows on willow trees locally. This is a reactive dye, which means it changes colour in the light, so I dried the fibre in my airing cupboard in order to keep this fabulous colour. 

Xanthoria polycarpa

Exhaust dyebath

I added some bicarbonate of soda to the exhaust dyebath and some more fibre. The result was strangely slimy, especially on the blanket, which started falling apart when I washed it. My book told me that if I dried it in the shade I’d get purple, but I ended up drying it in the sun and getting blue on the silk or green on the wool. That’s a scrap of blanket at the bottom. The edges are stiff. I wonder if the ammonia caused the disintegration of the wool.

I’ve still got another lichen brewing, so more to come.