Hello everyone

Hope you are all ok, it is a beautiful sunny morning here in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to a lovely weekend of sewing and crafting.

This is the weekend to finish the wedding jacket and make the shirt and I am hosting another crafternoon tomorrow for friends from knitting group to work on Christmas ornaments.

I have been working very hard on all of my stitched things for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale and managed to finish everything just in time last Friday for her to pack up the car and head off. She and Sharon had a great time which I am so glad about, Sarah has worked so hard for this.

Here they all are at Yarndale with the stall, (picture copyright to Sarah).

Sarah and Sharon at Yarndale

She sold a lot of her brilliant book of Elven inspired designs and also some of my things sold as well which is lovely. I was actually hoping that not all of them would sell out, partly as I want some of the stuff for me and for Christmas presents!

If you would like a copy of the book you can get one from Sarah’s website Alder Sign Designs  or individual patterns are available from her Ravelry shop as well.

You will have already seen work in progress pictures of all of these pincushions and needle books but here they all are on my little display stand.

Sarah said it looked really good on her stall and brought people in to have a look at everything else which is nice.

Yarndale 6

Just peeking out behind that are the larger needle cases I made, I my haste I didn’t take pictures of the fronts of these but they had the same large Liberty hexagons on as the rolled ones.

I made two knitting needle cases for circular needles and accessories and two knitting needle rolls for circular needles, I have seen lots available for straight needles but wanted something for circulars now I have learnt to use them.

Yarndale stuff

Yarndale 4

Yarndale 5

As you can see I have been taking full advantage of my new sewing machine’s lovely embroidery stitches for all of these things.

I love my new machine so much and am really looking forward to using it more over the autumn and winter. I have so many lovely quilting projects planned!

The last two accessories cases were for scissors and tape measures.

Yarndale 2

Yarndale 3

I am also counting these as project number 12 on my 2015 Sewing Bucket List which is a bag.

Right off to do some more work now then later a bit of cutting out of the jacket lining. Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

Am having a lovely weekend sewing, Jake has gone back to Uni so it is very quiet here now.

I am just finishing off the last few bits for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale next week but have popped in to share with you the very exciting news that her book of designs is being published and is available for pre-order.

Sarah's book Front-Cover

Not only does it have some stunning designs in it, Sarah is hugely talented and very creative and there are some beautiful things, it also features my lovely daughter Ellie with elf ears!

She was very, very excited to be asked to model for this, (unaccustomed as she is to having her photo taken of course), and had a brilliant day with the other two models, my friends Suzi and Helen from knitting group, in a local park which has a lot of dells filled with ferns and made a brilliant setting for the designs.

There is a little video showing the location and an outtake from the shoot here – the girls challenging their inner Charlie’s Angels!

Unfortunately the elf ears had to be added post -production as the make – up artist was not available that day but she looks fab in them.

I think this is my favourite picture of Ellie.

Ellie as an elf

Though this one is very lovely too – she is actually wearing one of my flower head dresses in this picture ;-)

Ellie as an elf

So go and take a look at all the wonderful designs in the full book – it is available on Ravelry and on Sarah’s Alder Sign website, it would make a lovely Christmas present for a knitty friend.

I can’t wait until my wrist is better and I can start knitting again. I think I am going to make a shawl like this beautiful one modelled by Suzi, or maybe a jumper for Ellie as she did request one of the ones she had modelled.

Suzi as an elf

Copyright for all pictures belongs to Sarah.

I am going to be having a lovely day again today, more sewing in front of the TV and it is Channel 5’s, ‘End of the World Weekend’, with lots of disaster movies. I do love a good disaster movie :-)

As long it is not really the end of the world as that would be sad, given the amount of work that Sarah has put into her book ;-) and the fact that Ellie and her best friend from Uni are going to Spain tomorrow for a very hard-earned week of R and R in the sun.

Hopefully we still all be here next week, I have a busy week ahead as the trainees are in all week so little crafting time but lots of fun planned around that.

Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

Hope that you have all had a good week. It has been a busy one for me and very little crafting is being done at present, partly due to the start of term but also I am trying to rest my wrist as I still have a problem with tendonitis which is quite painful.

However I have lots of photos from trips out over the last few months, mostly involving lovely textiles so I thought we could look at some of those over the next few posts instead!

Sharon and I recently visited Cannon Hall House and Gardens. We used to go there a lot when the kids were little as they have an excellent farm but had never been in the house.

The reason for our visit was an exhibition of costume from the Downton Abbey TV series.

There were some really lovely pieces, starting with some of the very simple outfits worn by the cook and Lady Sybil in her role as an Army nurse.

Downton costume - Cook

Downton costume - Sybil

But then they got more elaborate. It was lovely to see them in the room settings with the all important afternoon tea laid for Lady Violet, I did love her character, she was so witty with her put downs!

Downton costumes

Downton costume - Lady Violet and Lady Sybil

The daughter’s costumes were beautiful, but they were all so tiny, they must have only been size 6 or 8.

Two of these ones in the drawing-room were made for the series.

Downton costume - young ladies and housemaid

This one was an original 1920’s dress and was worn by Lady Sybil in the series.

Downton costume - Sybil original

Though the below stairs costumes were very plain the housemaids who would be in the family rooms had some pretty detail on their aprons.

Downton costume- housemaid

And for serving dinner they had lovely black dresses and lace aprons.

Downton costume - evening maid

Though nowhere near the glamour of the dresses worn by Lady Sybil, Lady Edith and Lady Mary. I love these, ‘new fashion, looser more unstructured gowns.

Having worn corsets and very restraining dresses in my medieval roles I can really appreciate how the women must have felt to be able to wear this rather than the Edwardian costume of their parents and grandparents.

Downton costume - evening gowns

I always love seeing the laundries at old houses as well, when I was little my grandmother had a tub with a mangle, it did plus in so the water was heated by electric but I used to love using the mangle!

Downton costume - laundry

Sharon and I ended the day with visits to a couple of garden centres and of course some afternoon tea and cake!

I think I could easily live the life of a Downtown Abbey daughter, not that I don’t appreciate all that feminism has done for us but lots of time to read, embroider and take afternoon tea, I think I could cope with that ;-)

Meanwhile I shall content myself with organising Crafternoon Teas for my friends – we have another one coming up in a few weeks so chance to get the cake stand out again.

Hope that you have a nice weekend planned, take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone, hope that you had a nice weekend, mine was very productive, a lovely and not too damp walk with Ted where I picked lots of blackberries for crumbles and lots of sewing on the wedding jacket.

It is very beautiful material to work with, silk brocade, a change from my usual linen.

As regular readers will know I love adding charms to my stitched pieces so I thought that I would show you some of the some of the charms I have bought recently and finishes for Sarah’s stall.

I sent some pictures of my finished, ‘A Stitch in Time’, paper piecing case to Jenny of Elefantz and she really liked the clock charm, there were lots of these at the recent Steampunk event and I bought some more from the market there as well as some dragonflies to add to some of the flower designs she does.

charms - owl and clocks

Also got these beautiful keys, when we go and visit National Trust houses they often have displays of keys and these are so lovely.


I have bought lots of little charms to go on stitched gifts, I now have ones that say, ‘I love …..’, for knitting sewing and quilting.

I got most of the sewing and snowflake ones from this Etsy seller, Bohemian Findings, she has one of the best selections I have seen.

Another supplier I have used is DIY Club – also on Etsy.

charms - scissors

These ones below are for use on the Christmas ornaments, I have two sets so that I can use pairs on the baubles I make.

charms- snowflakes

These are the needle/pin books I have made to match the pincushions for Sarah’s Yarndale stall.

Liberty needlebooks 1

needlebook close up

I found some very cute button headed pins to add to my stock of novelty pins so have added a few and a charm. I got these from Glitz and Pieces on Amazon.

I am never sponsored by any of the suppliers I link to, I just do it because I know I like to know where people get things from, I have seen some very cute bird headed pins on a blog recently and need to find them next!

Liberty needlebooks 7

needlebook charm

The new term starts tomorrow with a new group of teacher trainees, I do like autumn, even though there is a sense of things finishing for me it is all about new possibilities.

Plus the planning of trips and activities for the off-season, I have lots and lots of crafting related stuff planned for this coming year which will be lovely :-)

Take care and have a nice rest of the week, see you all again soon and thanks for visiting.

I think my favourite time in re-enactment is the end of the first day of an event, especially when it is sunny and you have had a good day when everything has gone to plan and both re-enactors and the public have enjoyed themselves.

Then you can look forward to a relaxing evening, maybe have a BBQ, sit round the camp fire and visit the beer tent later on. All lovely with the added prospect of another event day tomorrow.

These photos below were taken at the end of Saturday at the Caldicot show last weekend. Caldicot was my first ever large re-enactment event and that is where I fell in love with doing this.

We are so lucky to be able to do this and be in lovely places full of beauty and history.

The castle is a magical place, especially when the evening sun is shining on it and I was just wandering round taking pictures of people relaxing outside their tents, or in the case of the Battle of the Nations group doing a bit of sword training.

Caldicot 2015

Caldicot 2

Caldicot 3

Caldicot 4

Caldicot 5

Caldicot 6

Caldicot 8

Caldicot 9

Caldicot 10

The view from the top of the tower was brilliant, thanks to all of the groups who camped inside the castle with their living history displays, it really does bring the castle to life.

Caldicot 11

Caldicot 12

I have been helping to organise this event for the last few years and along with Ellie will be organising it again next year, this was our last show for this year and a great way to end the season.

It has been a very variable year in terms of weather, Caldicot being the only show where we have not come home with a wet tent, but still brilliant fun.

Our group, Swords of Mercia, have done more shows for English Heritage than previous years and got good feedback from all of them and hopefully we will get the chance to do those shows again next year.

We have had lots of sitting round campfires, discussing armour and kit, all the new things the boys have bought or want to, and all the things we have made or are going to make.

As usual we have promised to be more organised for next season and make sure that all kit is made well in advance. We shall see if that actually happens!

So I still have a couple of bits of tent to dry, it is raining here at the moment but I am hopefully it will dry up later. Am taking Ted for a walk in a bit and then will be sewing up the wedding jacket :-)

Hope that you have a lovely weekend planned and thanks for visiting.

You may know how much I like pincushions, I love making them, (here is a link to a post with some that I have made), I love using them and love looking for inspiration for them on Pinterest.

Well one of my favourite bloggers – Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom Quilts  has just released her first line of fabric called Good Neighbours and to celebrate she is having a pincushion party!

What a brilliant idea – I have been visiting the first few on the party circuit and they are all very lovely.

Here is the list  from Amanda’s blog if you would like to go and have a look, lots of lovely ideas and they make fab Christmas presents for stitching and knitting friends.

Date Blogger Name Blog URL
9/1/2015 Amanda Jean http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com/
9/2/2015 Anna http://www.noodle-head.com/
9/3/2015 Mary http://maryonlakepulaski.blogspot.com/
9/4/2015 Svetlana http://sotakhandmade.blogspot.com/
9/5/2015 Debbie http://www.eschhousequilts.com/
9/6/2015 Holly http://www.bijoulovelydesigns.com/
9/7/2015 Carla http://carla-graceandfavour.blogspot.com/
9/8/2015 Faith www.FreshLemonsQuilts.com
9/9/2015 Vanessa http://www.vanessachristenson.com/
9/10/2015 Anna http://www.thimbleanna.com/
9/11/2015 Krista http://poppyprintcreates.blogspot.com/
9/12/2015 Erin http://whynotsew.blogspot.com/
9/13/2015 Lee http://www.maychappell.com/
9/14/2015 Alex http://teaginnydesigns.blogspot.com/
9/15/2015 Cheryl http://naptimequilter.blogspot.com/
9/16/2015 Penny http://sewtakeahike.typepad.com/
9/17/2015 Amy http://duringquiettime.com/
9/18/2015 Debbie http://aquilterstable.blogspot.com/
9/19/2015 Anne http://www.springleafstudios.com/
9/20/2015 Melissa Corry http://www.happyquiltingmelissa.com/
9/21/2015 Amber http://www.oneshabbychick.typepad.com/
9/22/2015 Nettie http://aquiltisnice.blogspot.com/
9/23/2015 Adrianne http://www.littlebluebell.com/
9/24/2015 Cindy http://www.liveacolorfullife.net/
9/25/2015 Amy http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/
9/26/2015 Chase http://quarterinchmark.blogspot.com/
9/27/2015 Rene http://www.renecreates.com/
9/28/2015 Erin http://www.houseonhillroad.com/
9/29/2015 Nicole http://modernhandcraft.com/
9/30/2015 Teri http://blog.connectingthreads.com/

Here are a couple on my wish list to make – look at this pretty daisy one with a tutorial here – this is a Russian site but the pictures explain it well.

Daisy pincushion

This one just has to be one of the cutest ones on the planet! The tutorial is here.


Have just finished one of the knitting needle cases for Sarah’s stall, pleased with the design and with the cute stitching I have used from my lovely new machine! Updates of all of that later, I have so much lovely stuff to blog about, been a very good week!

At least I will have lots to share with you when term starts in a couple of weeks and things get very hectic and no crafting gets done :-(

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

Today is the final day of Karen’s Made Up fund raising challenge, there is still time to donate if you haven’t done through the Just Giving page. The initiative has raised over £2500 – way more than the initial £1000 hoped for so that is brilliant, well done Karen!

I am also very excited to tell you that I won a giveaway on her blog for a limited edition Made Up tote bag which arrived this weekend :-)

Made Up tote bag

Thank you Karen, it is lovely and I always need lots of sewing bags to carry things to and from groups.

I have finished the ornament that I said I would make, the design is adapted from Jenny of Elefantz August Stitchery Club design, I just used the central bird motif, added beads and star sequins and the word Noel.

Elfantz Xmas bird ornament 1

Elfantz Xmas bird ornament 2

I put it together with two layers of thin wadding, on the rear just quilted across the ornament and on the front hand quilted. I added some little hanging corners using Jenny’s tutorial and a bamboo skewer to keep it in shape.

The white fabric I stitched on also has little leaves on it. The holly fabric is some of the new stash from the Festival of Quilts. I have lots of different holly fabrics and love them!

Elefantz Xmas ornament for Made Up - detail 3

I do love the little holly buttons, I have been using these for a few years in my ornaments, you can get them from several sources including here on Ebay.

I have got the ornament hanging on my door at the moment and am seriously tempted to leave it there it looks so cute, it’s not too early to decorate for Christmas is it ;-)

I am very pleased to have finished the pledge on time as lots of other finishes going on here, (and starts as I cut out the wedding jacket today eek!), am having a busy time finishing the things for Sarah for Yarndale as well.

Am also having serious technical difficulties as my mouse has stopped working, (I struggle with just the pad on the laptop), and I still can’t find my camera, which would not be so much of an issue if all the pictures on my phone did not keep turning themselves upside down!!

Am looking forward to getting everything done and then I am going to do lots and lots of other embroidery designs from my Jenny folder!

Take care and thanks for visiting.


Hello again

What we didn’t realise when we got to Lincoln for our event was that the city was also hosting Europe’s biggest Steampunk Festival so we had great fun looking at all the wonderful costumes.

We had planned to visit Lincoln Castle anyway before setting up our event and it was full of people in costume, events such as a fashion show and a market.

There were some fantastic costumes and weapons, managed to get a few pictures on Saturday before we got into kit.

Could only get a back shot of this Cleopatra inspired one – what a gorgeous costume.

Steampunk Festival

Steampunk 2

I loved this lady’s wings.

Steampunk 3

Some explorers and butterfly collectors.

Steampunk 4

Over the weekend we also went out in kit to help promote our event and we had lots of people stopping to take pictures of us.

Had to explain to them that we hadn’t got the time period wrong and I wasn’t supposed to be a Steampunk nun!

Really enjoyed it and as Ellie has always wanted to do Steampunk we girls have decided that we will go to event next year dressed up, just for the Friday and Saturday and then do a quick change into medieval mode for our event on the Sunday and the Monday.

Sounds like a great plan, I do love dressing up and am looking forward to making a costume.

Luckily my lovely son Jake has a top hat he doesn’t use any more ,bought for his prom, and the pattern I am using for the wedding jacket is a Steampunk one anyway so I am half way there!

Have a look at this Steampunk Pinterest page for inspiration. It means that I can also indulge myself in some more charms like these gorgeous keys and clocks. I have these beauties on my Etsy wish list at the moment.

key charms from Etsy

key charms 2

Right back to the day job then, see you all later and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone and hope that you are well, I have had a lovely weekend away at our last event of the season in South Wales, another beautiful place to camp and I will share some pictures of that event later in the week.

We are so very lucky as re-enactors to camp in amazing places and this was the view I had from my tent the weekend before last at Lincoln Cathedral.

Lincoln Bishops' Palace show

Lincoln 3

The cathedral looked amazing lit up at night and the sky was beautiful as well, all very atmospheric and makes you realise what a powerful impact these magnificent buildings would have had in medieval times.

Lincoln 5

Lincoln 2

Lincoln 6

Lincoln 7

Here are some more pictures that I took of the interior of the cathedral.

Lincoln 11

Lincoln 12

Lincoln 13

Lincoln 14

Lincoln 15

This is my favourite because of the light coming through the windows – just beautiful!

Lincoln 16

Bishops’ Palace where we held the event, would have been very impressive as well, now sadly ruined, partly as a result of damage during the Civil War.

There were several Great Halls for entertaining, one of which we used for our camp and the other for our tournament arena. This one below was once used to entertain King Henry 8th and Katherine Howard.

Lincoln 10

Lincoln 4

Lincoln 8

It is brilliant to be able to camp in these places and help bring them to life once more!

I am busy this week with preparation for the new term, not long to go now. This weekend is set aside for making the wedding jacket so wish me luck ;-)

Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone, hope that you all had a really nice Bank Holiday.

We had a lovely time at Lincoln, usual mix of sun and rain and I was drying the medieval tent out on the line until a few hours ago when it started thundering here :-(

This was our last event with the Swords of Mercia group so I need to get the canvas tent really dry before it gets put away.

The Lincoln Bishop’s Palace is unsurprisingly right next door to the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral and we spent quite a lot of time in there and the surrounding area, promoting our event.

Wendy, the partner of one of our knights, Luke, did a photoshoot in the cathedral for myself, Ellie and Luke and I thought that I would devote a post to the brilliant pictures that she took.

Ellie at Lincoln

Ellie in Lincoln Cathedral

Luke at Lincoln

Luke in Lincoln Cathedral

Alison at Lincoln

Alison at Lincoln - lighting candles

Alison at Lincoln - Luke and the Chapter House

Alison at Lincoln - praying red kneeler

Alison at Lincoln - praying

Alison at Lincoln Cathedral

Alison at Lincoln door 2

I absolutely love these photos, she has an amazing eye for what makes a good shot and the effects she has put on really emphasise the beauty of the cathedral.

It is funny as I don’t normally like pictures of myself but these are fantastic and will be printing several of me off to display at home, as well as lovely Ellie who always looks so beautiful in photos.

Will tell you more about our weekend in the next post as there was another event in Lincoln at the time that we all enjoyed.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

October 2015
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