Seasonal Ornaments

Tis the season to be stitching!

Hope you are all having a lovely Autumn week. I have had a very nice relaxing few days and have spent lots of time this weekend working on my latest batch of ornaments ready for my craft fairs coming up at the end of December.

I have also been on more wonderful walks as the weather has been very good so am feeling very mellow and happy 😉 Here is a pic of the autumn colours at one of my local reservoirs.

Butterley - autumn colours

It has been wonderful to have a craft room with everything in one place so that I can just get out all my buttons, fabric and ribbons and have spent a lot of time this week just playing around with different combinations of things to develop some new designs.

Here is one of my new ones – the tree motif is from a ribbon I bought some years ago and is printed onto the organza. I cut them out and stitched them onto the gold silk.Each ornie has a different xmas fabric for the backing as well. In real life the tree is much more gold as the pale organza does not show as much.

Gold tree ornie 2012

I have also made another set of the little patchwork hearts that I made last year as those sold very well and are great for using up scraps from other ornament making.

Small xmas hearts 2012

I have lots of other things in production that are more Scandinavian in design, I love the traditional red, green and gold but know a lot of people like the simpler designs so will be working on those this week.

I can also finally show you my Autumn exchanges from this round of the Seasonal Exchange blog.

I got this lovely ornament from Sarah in the USA a week ago, isn’t it beautiful, just my taste with its Elizabethan motif and the most delicate beading all around the edges. The colour goes so well with my new kitchen where my bowl of Autumn exchanges are displayed. Thank you Sarah it is lovely!

Autumn exchange 2012 2

Autumn exchange 2012 1

I sent off my exchange before I went to China but couldn’t find the pics I took of it till now! I stitched this piece from my Blackbird Designs book ‘A Stitcher’s Journey’ for Jayne also in the USA. It is finished as a pincushion and backed with some purple velvet.

Autumn exchange 2012 my piece

I really enjoyed this stitching and have been doing another Blackbird Designs piece as an xmas gift.

I managed to resist going to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Fair this year due to having bought lots of fabric in Worcester and wanting to use the time to make something from my stash but have treated myself to some online retail therapy and ordered some charms and buttons for ornament making which I will share when the arrive!

Hope that you have had a fun and productive week, thanks for visiting.

Simple pleasures

Hello everyone, I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying Autumn.

I very much enjoyed my time away but it is lovely to be home in my village enjoying the everyday stuff of my lovely new life here. The weather here has been really good this week and as I have been working at home a couple of days this week I have had the chance to have some lunchtime walks. It has been lovely crunching through the leaves and looking at the autumn colours.

I also had a lovely walk today on my way to the Standedge Tunnel Centre to book my table for the upcoming Christmas Craft Fair at The Loft Space. I came home and spent a very nice 4 hours in my new craft room designing some new Xmas ornies for the upcoming season, pics to follow.

Below are some pictures from my walks. I love being so near the moors, the river and canal and am planning to do some biking later in the week as well.

Nov walk 1

Nov walk 2

Nov walk 3

Nov walk 4

Nov walk 5

Nov walk 6

Nov walk 7

Nov walk 8

I have been playing with some of my new Xmas fabric that I bought last week in Worcester and here are some pictures of the new stash, the sweetie fabric is for a new ornie range I am planning for Spring and the elephant fabric will be a play quilt.

Quilt fabric 1

Quilt fabric 2

Quilt fabric 3

We have some very good charity shops in the village and I picked up these two embroidered pieces this week. I am very inspired by what people like Hen House  do with vintage embroidery so have added these to my stash.

Vintage embroidery 2

Vintage embroidery 3

Vintage embroidery 4

Am looking forward to a few nice quiet weeks of playing with fabric , hope that you are enjoying your creative time as well.

Thanks for visiting.

I am a very proud Mum!

Hello everyone

I arrived back from China last Tuesday and on Thursday we went to Worcester for Ellie’s graduation so I thought I would share a few photos of that with you.

My Mum came over from Spain for the week and so she was able to be here for the ceremony and Jake came down from Middlesbrough so we had a lovely few days with the family.

We stayed with my sister who lives in Worcester where Ellie was at University so had chance to catch up with her as well and after the graduation Mum and I went to Powis Castle with Ellie for an overnight stay. A very lovely weekend of family fun!

Here she is with her friends throwing their hats and with her very best friend at University, Becky.

Ellie - graduation 2

Ellie - graduation 1

Also I couldn’t resist the chance to get a photo of Ellie with this lovely door – the ceremony was held in Worcester Cathedral which was one of the reasons she chose to study there as not only is it a wonderful venue but also King John (who she studied at A level for her Medieval History) is buried there.

Ellie - graduation 3

I am very, very proud of her, not only for her hard work at University but also for her dedication to her new job.She is doing lots of exciting things to help Powis Castle  get ready for Christmas and is very busy with that and interpreting the kitchens and other areas of the castle to make them appeal to younger visitors. Their Christmas theme is ‘Once Upon a Time’ which is based on fairy tales so if you are in the area please go and visit.

She is also now working on their social media sites so do take a look at their Facebook page  for more inspiring pics.

These are a couple of pics I took in the gardens yesterday, it was a beautiful day and the autumn colours were brilliant.

Powis Nov 1

Powis - Nov 2

While I was in Worcester I took the opportunity to visit a couple of quilt fabric shops and have added a bit to my stash, mainly Christmas fabric but also a few other bits that I couldn’t resist 🙂 Will take some photos when we get some daylight!

Have so many pics from China to sort so will be doing that over the next couple of weeks to put up a new page about this trip.

Hope you have a very nice week ahead and thank you for visiting.

Bright lights, big city!

Hello again, long time no blog. The reason for my absence is of course that I have been lucky enough to be teaching again in China.

I have been here for nearly a month and most of that time I have been in Guangzhou again but I have had a short holiday this time after my work and have been spending a few days in arguably the brightest and probably the biggest city in the world, Hong Kong!

I thought that Guangzhou was amazing in terms of the tallness of the buildings and of their Pearl River light show but of course Hong Kong is the mother of all skyscraper neon wonder and I have been having a lovely time here.

I also had a visit to Disneyland – it is one of my ambitions to visit every Disneyland, so far I have done 3 with Tokyo, California and Shanghai (due for completion in 2016) to go.

As well as the bright lights I spent a day on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island yesterday which is a beautiful mountain country park. I went on a cable car ride to see the world’s biggest outdoor sitting Buddha and visit the monastery, on a speedboat ride round the bay and to see some traditional fishermens’ stilt houses, finishing off with dinner on the terrace of a very nice restaurant overlooking  Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong.It was like being in a Bond film and was definitely one of the most amazing days of my life.

I will post more of those pics later once I have sorted them out (and found my camera cable which has disappeared somewhere in the packing process!) Here are a few from my trip so far. I am so lucky to be able to do this – I have spent the whole month pinching myself thinking am I really here again. I still really, really love China and hopefully will be back again with work in the Spring.

The first two photos are of the city of Guangzhou at night.

Guangzhou skyscrapers 1

Guangzhou skyscrapers 2

And here is the beautiful Canton Tower in Guangzhou which changes colour every few minutes during the evening light show.

Guangzhou tower 1

Guangzhou tower 2

Guangzhou is China’s third biggest city and is packed full of people, I have been staying in a very nice hotel in one of the busiest parts of town, this is what the evening rush hour looks like here.

Guangzhou traffic

And here is my gorgeous hotel room – aren’t I lucky! I know some people complain about business travel and living out of hotels all the time but I am still a novice at this and I am like a kid at Christmas with excitement. I am going back here tonight for two more days before flying home.

Milu hotel

And a couple of photos of Hong Kong, I have much better ones of the city lights as I was raining heavily the day I took these but until I find the camera lead can’t get to them!

Hong Kong at night

Hong Kong skyscrapers 4

There has been a little bit of shopping (only a bit, more window shopping looking at all the designer shops in malls like this one).

Hong Kong mall

And lots of culture as well, here is a picture of one of the beautiful painted panels in the ancestral hall of a museum I went to.

Hong Kong - museum painting

And lastly a little look at Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween finery.

Disney Minnie and Micky 1

Will update again sometime next week when I am back in the UK. Am looking forward to getting home to my beautiful village which will be such a contrast to all this but not looking forward to the weather. It has been around 35 degrees here and I have been wandering round in summer clothes.

Take care and thanks for visiting.