Tuesday 29 June 2021

Charity Shop Mini Haul

 We had chiropractor treatment today. As is usual afterwards, we go to Dunelm for coffee and lunch (bacon bap and coffee plus I bought a new pillow). As we were driving in, we noticed two charity shops that were not there last time, so paid them a visit:

I was a tad annoyed when we got home to find a gardening book in the bag (not what was picked up) and whatever book of use to me had been left behind:(

The book bottom left is chock full of gorgeous coloured pencil illustrations. Bottom right has a few beautiful pictures. Top left will mainly be background colour. The two books top right are intended to be turned into altered book journals once I have finished my current one. The top far right (Spiderwick) has a beautiful cover plus lovely pen and ink drawings in it. I may try and keep some if possible.

I think I have found what I want to do and oddly enough, it doesn't involve the things that I have made so far. I enjoyed doing them and will use the technique occasionally but not those actual ones. Still, they may make nice little gifts for someone or other.

I am veering towards collage altered books as journals and feel that is where my interests lie. Its odd really as I have watched hours and hours of such things, most I dislike but one or two really speak to me. No doubt, what I produce won't be liked by others but it is for my own use only so that is fine.

Monday 28 June 2021

Poor dress:)

Granddaughter tried on her trial dress and it needs lots of alterations - which was expected. Eventually it was removed and sat beside her on the settee. She is in a throwing stage at the moment and threw it:

Made us laugh!

A major revamp of the bodice element has been done today and it is in the post for trying on next time we speak - fingers crossed.

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Christening Dress

After a delay of more than a year, DGD hopes to be christened late summer early autumn. I have been asked to make her dress - gulp!!!

I have agreed on the proviso that: 
a) it will be basic but hopefully pretty and b) if I get too stressed or don't feel I can achieve a good result, we will buy one.

Its one thing to make her everyday dresses, another to make one that will be under close scrutiny. Anyway, I found a nice pattern online and both DB and I double checked sizing against a new dress of hers and set too. He cut everything out as my dominant hand is not playing ball as the moment.

The bodice instructions were weird to say the least and although we made it large enough, it ended up way too small once sewn and turned inside out. It had also been totally unpicked and resewn three times. Just the bodice took nearly 3 days and way too much stress.

That one ended up in the bin. I took a day off to lower my stress levels and we set to using a pattern we have used before. This test dress will I think need loads of altering even though we used the template from one of her new dresses to measure things.

It is way too short so she can wear it (if it fits her) as a summer top with shorts. I am only interested in how the bodice looks. I think it may be a tad wide, and the front of the neck will need lowering. The arm holes may need lengethening as well. 

I am currently not competent enough to add sleeves but could manage a ruffle type thing. I think other Gran could knit her a nice bolero to keep her warm.

Anyway, herewith the first practice piece:

The real one, in pale cream broderie anglaise (material chosen by us all), will also have a band of different material (or ribbon), inbetween the bodice and skirt and or little flowers sewn on. It will also be 3" to 4" longer so it will come below her knees. It closes on the back with poppers and I shall source some pretty ones for it.
This version of the dress only took me 1 1/2 days and way, way less stress.

Monday 21 June 2021


 It was 14C here yesterday. All weekend we have had to put the heating on every now and then to take the chill off. 

I was ill Saturday night:( Couldn’t sleep so was up reading when my guts started growling like a huge waterfall. 20 minutes later I risked leaving the loo and getting back into bed. Oddly enough I didn’t have any cramps.

However, all through a rather fretful night, both feet kept cramping, 3 times each. I can deal with that but then my lower legs started. Luckily I could stop those by shooting out of bed and stretching.

I was fine Sunday but very tired. Slept like a log last night but still tired today. Hopefully tomorrow I will be fine.

Friday 18 June 2021


 Goodness me it’s cold, 13C and wet. I washed clothes yesterday and they still haven’t dried indoors. The heating was put on for half an hour to take the chill out the house and hopefully, finish drying them.

Thursday 17 June 2021

Back Border

 I nipped outside last night, ahead of the predicted thunderstorms (didn't happen), to photograph my new back border. There are 9 of these huge self sown foxgloves in white, cream, pale yellow, magenta, pink and white and pink:

These two are about 7' tall!
Gentle rain fell overnight plus for a few hours this morning. Worse is still predicted so I am hoping they and the rest of the garden, doesn't get flattened.

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Altered envelope - 1st try

 From the blue envelope to it being covered:

To this with a small tag in it:
Tag slightly removed, it can be written on.
A journaling card would be in it rather than a tag to give someone more to write on. I didn't cover the back of the envelope as it will be stuck completely onto a page. Not a bad first attempt.

Saturday 12 June 2021

The Zoo

 We all went to the zoo yesterday, trying to see what we missed last time. Still didn’t manage it. DGD enjoyed herself but got tired. It was very busy and at times difficult to keep away from people. We bought an overpriced lunch which was ok but not over special.

We all slept well but DGD has got a cough and a bit of a runny nose. She’s already been tested for Covid otherwise we couldn’t have come.

Tuesday 8 June 2021

A few more items made

 Herewith some tags and a couple of journal cards, before and after tags:

I love the fairy journal cards. They are from the Autumn Fairy book by C. M. Barker. She has loads more so shall try and seek them out at car boot sales. Herewith afterwards:

I could also stitch around them if desired. Might try that on the next few I make.

It is very difficult in the early days of learning a new craft, as you tend to copy others work to get to grips with the technical side of things. Eventually, I hope to find my own style. Even in the above image, there are only 5 out of the 8 I really like so am probably beginning to get where I want but it will take a lot more time. This I know!

Monday 7 June 2021

Front Garden and Winter Troughs

 My winter troughs are still going strong. With having no intention of planting them up with summer bedding, I thought I would keep dead heading and feeding them, and see how they go:

The front garden is coming along nicely. No matter how many poppies I dig out, some of the root survives to give a new display each year:

Once these late spring/early summer flowers disappear, my garden is past its best but still gives some colour.

Sunday 6 June 2021

Making a booklet

 I decided to make myself a booklet to store ephemera, but in the end, decided to use it to house stamp images cut from a catalogue:

I am only about 1/3rd of the way through the stamp catalogue, loads more to choose yet. Whilst they don't have the size or depth of a real stamp, or have been franked to indicate use, there are some really pretty images which will come in good use eventually.

Friday 4 June 2021


The so called slightly cooler day yesterday, eventually turned into a hot and muggy one. So much so, we had to get the fan down from the attic to give us some cooler air.

I have just come in from finishing off getting the plants in from yesterday. It was overcast and relatively cool when I started. Now at 09:00, the sun is coming out and already it is getting warm.

I gave them a good drink, dead headed my spring pansies and wallflowers that are still going strong, then gave them a good liquid feed. Hopefully, they should carrying on flowering for longer yet and give us a bonus from the lounge window. 

We are planning another trip to see darling granddaughter for an extended 'weekend', taken partly during the week! Another trip to a zoo has been booked. Hopefully, we should get to see more as last time we went, quite a bit was closed off.

Right, back to journal creating.

Thursday 3 June 2021

Rain, flowers and makes...

At 5am this morning, it poured it down, a very welcome relief for the garden. It is less hot today thank goodness, but grey with the possibility of showers. That's unfortunate, as last night, Ruby wet herself on her new laundered day bed. Luckily it is a folded up double summer quilt and has been washed already. We could do with a bit more warmth to dry it.

Just been to buy a few trays of summer bedding. Cosmos and nicotiana are already in two of the raised vegetable beds. We are not growing so much this year. Today we bought verbena and nemesia for some front tubs and French marigolds to put around the tomatoes.

Herewith some finished labels:

A new style pockets with areas to put items:
Just some random things in the pockets to show what they could look like. The stocking advert is from a 1940's magazine that I have had for at least 15 years in the attic:
A more male orientated pocket:

Tuesday 1 June 2021


Besides putting in plants, the dreaded weeding and chatting to my sister, I found the time to create some more items.

I found a tutorial online for making paper cards, using 3 layers of old paper and gluing them to each other. It was by Joie de Fi. I like to work mostly on 12" x 12" sized sheets, so measured that out on my green self sealing cutting board. Here is the side that will be embellished:

The side to write on:
Trimmed down to 6" x 4" journalling cards:
Onwards and upwards!