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Playing

There is no textile holiday journal this year. Unlike other years I had no plan and rather than make a chore out of something I love doing, I decided to just take things as they came. If I embroidered, then great. If I didn’t then that was fine as well.

So I played – occasionally. The base for this fragment was the paper case from a chocolate. Even after I’d eaten the chocolate I found I was still turning the flattened case round in my fingers, not ready to screw it up and throw it away. So…why not play?

Chocolate fragment 1

Chocolate fragment 2

Base fabric of a scrap of African cotton print with organza over the top. Silk throwsters waste inside the paper case, running stitch and couching in stranded silk.

Chocolate fragment 3

I had fun.

The lazy daisies cuff book seems to have taken forever, but one good long session on the beach in Cornwall finished off the front.

Blue daisies finished 1

Blue daisies finished 2

Blue daisies finished 3

I even managed to get all the French knot centres done. I was originally going to give them beaded centres, but a canvas chair on a beach is not really the best place to play around with seed beads, so I went for French knots and am very pleased with the result.

Blue daisies finished 4

Then the backing. Unfortunately on one side I’d added a lazy daisy flower right next to the fastening without considering that I’d need to cover the back of the stitching but also leave the fastener clear. That caused some swearing when I realised!

I used a scrap of Japanese silk crepe kimono fabric for the backing which was the closest size I had at the time. By blanket stitching it at the selvedge I managed to eke it out just enough to cover all the stitching.

Blue daisies finished 5

My husband saved the day by suggesting that I cut a hole for the fastener and stitched around it, so the hole has been made and now I’m trying to remember where my black stranded thread is…

I love found objects of all kinds and I also like being able to give them a new lease of life. For a while, I’ve been plotting to upcycle a broken vintage brooch from my collection. The enamel and paste stone on gold tone metal garland surround was in lovely condition but the central cluster of blue plastic flowers with paste stone centres were badly broken. So I nipped off the remaining flower petals, removed the stones and put them aside for use somewhere else, and sanded the rough bits flat.

Sea-green upcycled brooch 1

Then I cut out a pale blue-green heart from some patterned fabric and used tiny seed beads and beaded blanket stitch to attach it to some gorgeous hand-dyed dark sea-green silk.

Sea-green upcycled brooch 2

The central cabochon was carefully detached from the brooch…

Sea-green upcycled brooch 3

…and covered with the appliquéd design before being reattached.

Sea-green upcycled brooch 4

It was such fun to do and such a good feeling to give something broken beyond mending new life. I’ve opened an upcycled section in my Etsy shop and this little brooch is first on the virtual shelves: it can be found here.

We’ve just returned home from our family holiday in Cornwall – south-east Cornwall this time, as it’s an area we’ve explored the least. After our recent excursions in the Lakes and the Peak District, we’ve developed a bit of a taste for walking and decided to do a section of the South-West Coastal Path from Talland Bay to Polperro.

Polperro is a typical Cornish fishing village; houses clinging to the sides of a steep inlet and a small harbour. The beach is small and just the other side of the harbour wall as you can see in the photo.

Polperro harbourBut it was another beachcombing revelation, very much like Whitby. I picked up nearly 200 pieces of sea glass and pottery in about 20 minutes and there was so much, I could be selective and go for interesting colours and shapes.

Pottery first.

Polperro beachcombing 1

I’m a sucker for blue and white anyway and that soft wave-worn blue and white is just delicious.

Polperro beachcombing 2

Then the glass.

Polperro beachcombing 3

Such fascinating colours, textures and shapes.

Polperro beachcombing 4

Polperro beachcombing 5

Polperro beachcombing 6

Polperro beachcombing 7

We visited seven beaches over the week, some only quite briefly, but I found at least two pieces of sea glass on every one. Yes, it’s official – I’m addicted!

The lazy daisy cuff book is coming along steadily. It’s the perfect project for working on when I’m out and about, and even a few more stitches while I wait for the children or at the dentist’s, all help to move it towards completion.

Lazy daisy cuff book a

Lazy daisy cuff book b

I’ve also made a start on appliqueing down the largest fused fabric heart on my commission piece.  Gorgeous thick shaggy chenille-type thread hand dyed in the perfect range of turquoises and burgundy and couched down with slanting lines of my favourite matte aurora borealis delicas.

Bead couched heart 1

Bead couched heart 2

A nice steady job for a warm summer evening.

Was last Saturday, apparently, and to mark it, several members of our Embroiderers’ Guild decided to have an afternoon of stitching in the gorgeous walled garden of nearby Scawby Hall.

Scawby Hall 1

I chose a bench near a pond and set out some bits and pieces for any visitors to look at…

Scawby Hall 2

…before settling down to stitch. Well, more chat than stitching actually.  I brought the companion piece to my grasses embroidery that I did in May as a response to the portfolio we borrowed from HQ. At the beginning of the afternoon it looked like this:

Meadow 1

And after an hour in the garden, being rained off into one of the poly tunnels by a complete downpour and then ending up in the nearby church for tea and home made cake and another couple of hours embroidering and chatting, it looks like this:

Meadow 2

But it was a fabulous afternoon!!

The next heart to be edged was one of the smaller fused fabric ones.

Couched heart 1

I used a gorgeous softly twisted variegated pure silk thread and couched it down with a dark turquoise rayon machine thread.

Couched heart 2

Then my favourite feather stitch in a variegated sea green perle on a paler fused fabric heart.

Feather stitched heart 1

I stitched this in two sections, each starting from the top centre of the heart to make it more symmetrical.

Feather stitched heart 2

A bit more beading next, I think.

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