Feline Assistance

I’ve mentioned my cats on here before but haven’t posted any pictures.  I’m not sure why.  They get into everything else.  Closets, the way, trouble.  Both are males, Pedro is 7 and Fuzzles 8.  They are the best of friends – except when they are fighting.

They like to assist me in my various endeavours, such as making the bed, preparing tuna sandwiches, and particularly with my embroidery and sewing.

Pedro, in particular, is eager to help.

Pedro Chatelaine Help

Pedro Assistance Sewing

Pedro Help Chatelaine Sewing

Fuzzles isn’t as interested in the domestic pursuits and spends a good portion of his time sleeping.  In fact, he climbs into my bed moments after it’s made.

Pedro And Fuzzles Cats

I like how their bodies make a kind of heart shape in this one.  (Please excuse the messy bed.  I am actually allergic to cats, so I always put a sheet over the bed so that I don’t have all their hair on my comforter and sheets.  The big lump in the back is the stuffed pig with which I sleep.) I really don’t have many pictures of Fuzzles because, unlike Pedro, he gets more involved when I don’t have a free hand to take a picture.  One of his favourite tricks is to come up behind me while I am sitting in my chair and reach up and poke me in the back.  This means that it’s time to stop what I am doing and pet him.

Their approval is necessary for everything I make and everything that comes in or out of this house is inspected by them, as is everyone!

Pedro helping at a photo shoot

Posted in Animals, Cats, Life, Sewing | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Steampunk Style Boxes

I made a couple of steampunk style boxes.  You remember steampunk.  It is an aesthetic which I really like, and although I love the coppery colours, they don’t quite fit into my own style.  I have been considering giving my bathroom a steampunk theme, though, and if I ever do, I’ll make sure you see pictures.

Smaller Box Top

Smaller BoxLarger Box TopLarger Box Side

I made these little boxes with with embroidered gears as well as little copper gear shapes that I found at the hardware store.  I’m sure they have a use other than embroidery!  Some sequins, both large and small are on there as well.

Both Boxes Together

These are going in the Etsy shop.

Posted in Boxes, Embroidery, Etsy, Steampunk | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

In Love With Threads on Pinterest

Check out In Love With Threads on Pinterest.  I’ve got a few boards on there and am adding more as they come to me.

My Inspiration Board is full of wonderful work by other inspiring embroiderers.

Such as Annemieke Mein, who make such incredible insects and animal pictures.  Her work is detailed and amazing!  I couldn’t find a website for her, unfortunately, but the link leads to her book on Amazon.

God’s Colour Choices has pictures of natural colour combinations.  They may end up in an embroidery one day.

Just check out the colour and pattern on this dragonfly, photographed by Martin Amm.


Speaking of pattern,  I have a whole board devoted to it: Texture and Pattern.  I love texture, the depth and pattern that it creates.  Look at this rust.  There’s just so much going on.  The green mixed in with the copper and brown of the rust adds another layer to it.

Extreme Rust Texture

I even have a board dedicated to Embroiderers.  I’m still collecting pictures, so let me know if you know of any online.

Embroiderer in the window

There’s some other boards too.  English Country Houses, Inspirational Clothing, Geek Inspiration and Stuff, Needlework Tools, and one with Animals that make me smile!

Posted in Animals, Embroidery, Pinterest | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Quiet Blog

I was going to apologize for not being here for so long, for letting life get in the way of my blogging, but I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one out there letting things slide.  So many of the blogs I follow have had sparse posting recently.  I assume it’s the same reason for all of us.  First, too much calculus!  And physics!  And then, because they all turned 50 and did some travelling, not to mention summer.

Well, I’m back.  Back from my two big trips.  One to England, Scotland, Wales

Tower of London3

and France,

The View from Our Hotel

and the other to the Maritime provinces of Canada.

Peggy's Cove from the Swissair 111 Memorial

I had a great time on both.  I took lots of pictures, many more of which will end up here eventually.  Unfortunately, my camera had an issue at one point and lots of my pictures were taken with my phone and aren’t very good……which I don’t think is the phone’s fault.  I’m just not a good photographer.  I’m hoping to change that this fall with a digital photography class.

Meanwhile, I haven’t been working on much, although I did make my daughter a ‘hedgehog in a teacup’ to go inside her c0ffee mug, based on this one.  She has one of those mugs that you can put photos in, so hopefully this will fit.

Hedgehog in cup

I think it’s pretty cute, don’t you?  Did you notice that I signed it?  Never forget to sign what you make.  You worked hard on it, didn’t you?

It was pretty simple too.  If I ever figure out how to make pdf patterns I’ll make it available.  If there’s anyone who knows how and wants to talk me through it, I’d be very grateful!


Also seen on:

Posted in Felt, Hedgehog, Life, London, Ocean, Paris, Sea Shore, Sewing, Tea, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Me? Inspiring?

Wow!  Tanya over at opusanglicanum nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  I am honoured to be considered inspiring.

There are rules to receiving this award.  I have to:

1. Display the award and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. State 7 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers for the award.
4. Notify the winners.

The award is displayed above and there’s a link back to opusanglicanum, so now for 7 facts:

1.  I’ve been embroidering for almost 45 years.  Yes, I started when I was about 6 or 7.

2. I love the sound of the needle going through drum-tight silk.

3. I have natural steel grey hair.  My mother found my first one when I was 10, but now it is almost all grey.

4. I am a birder and have a life list of birds that I’ve seen, although the list doesn’t cover all of my 50 years.  I started it about 25 years ago.

5. I consider myself a geek and (much to the annoyance of my children) can quote from Star Wars, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings.

6.  I am a student at the local university, taking, at the moment, calculus and physics.  (More geek stuff.)

7. I’ve been designing my own embroideries for over 10 years.

Now, blogs that inspire me.  This is much easier.  I don’t think I can put opusanglicanum down again but it belongs on the list.

Fog and Swell – Kristy lives in the same area of the world that I do and I love looking at her pictures of the area, as well as her creatures.

Plays with Needles – Susan’s stories of how she creates her wonderful pieces are very inspiring to me.

Tracy A Franklin – specialist embroiderer – Tracy’s work is beautiful.

Karen Ruane’s blog is all about her wonderful needlework.

Dog Daisy Chains – Jackie writes about the velvet leaves and things she makes as well as new about her dog, Hettie.

Threads Across the Web – This is Carol-Anne’s blog and she does some lovely work.  Check out the Tree Creeper she is currently working on.

Mary Corbet’s Needle n’ Thread – Mary is a fantastic embroiderer and does truly amazing things with Needle n’ Thread.

My Sweet Prairie – Monika Kinner-Whalen works in both machine and hand embroidery to create works of art.

Wild Olive – some very cute things that Mollie makes.

Thanks so much, Tanya, for the award.  Now to notify those I’ve listed.

Posted in Awards, Blogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers!  I hope that 2013 will be a year filled with wonder and blessing for you all.

This blog has been severely neglected of late, poor thing.  I’ve been busy working on things, though.  Much of which I couldn’t show you before Christmas anyway.

I finally finished my son-in-law’s Christmas stocking.  I had started last year (2011) but didn’t get it done in time for Christmas.  My excuse was that I spent the majority of the year working on a veil, dress, and assorted other items for his wedding to my daughter.  He seemed to buy it.

Alex Stocking WM

I made the other stockings for my children years ago and he wanted one.  It shows he’s one of the family now.  Poor thing.

Stockings WM

These stockings aren’t my design.  They are part of a series that was published in the 1980’s but I can’t find the designer’s name anywhere.  If you know, leave me a comment, please.  They are each hours of work.  It had been a long time since I’d done someone else’s pattern but it was fun to make.

I made these ornaments for a friend of mine.  These are my design.

Star Wars Ornaments WM

I plan on making several more, including some Star Trek and Dr. Who ones.  And I want a set for my own tree next year.  I was also working on some things that I can’t show you yet!  Lots of ideas, not so much time.

Did you get all your Christmas presents finished in time?

Posted in Embroidery, Gifts, Star Wars, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Historical Corsets

I love corsets.  I love the look they give and have always wanted one.  Throughout history they have been used to create the then fashionable shape and this shape has changed through time.
I made these little corsets to show 5 different eras and fashions.  They are about 5 x 3 inches or 13 x 8 cm.

Elizabethan Corset

In Queen Elizabeth I’s time, the popular shape was for high breasts, narrow waist and hips hidden beneath farthingales.  Women also wore stomachers which started out as pieces of wood which were inserted down the front of the corset as a stiffener to give the fashionable flat front.  Tabs at the waist helped to hold the weight of the farthingale.  The tabs on this piece are wired to hold their shape.

18th Century Corset

By the 18th Century the stomacher had become a decorative part of the clothing and was displayed, held in place by the gown’s lacings.  The silhouette still had high breasts and small waists, but the circular farthingale had been replaced by panniers, which had great width side-to-side, but were flatter front-to-back.

Regency Corset

The Regency period of Jane Austen‘s time brought in a whole new style, with women’s clothing suddenly losing most of its mass and becoming narrower and sleeker.  High waists, just under the bust, and a slim figure became the ideal.  Columnar was the idea, taking after discoveries in Greece of ancient architecture.

By the 1840’s, however, width was creeping back in style.  In this time period, women wore large sleeves which hung off their sloping shoulders and a bell-shaped skirt was the fashion.  This embroidered corset is mounted on a box, unlike the others which are all mounted for framing.

Victorian Corset

During the Gay Nineties and the entire late Victorian period a tiny waist was the ultimate goal for women’s fashion.  Bustles were types of undergarments worn under the skirt which extended the back of the skirt.  They changed in size and shape throughout the last quarter of the 19th century and by enlarging the hip area made the waist look smaller.    By the 1890’s they were smaller than earlier.  A corset of this period closed in the front with a busk and was laced up from behind.

Edwardian Corset

Another change in shape happened in the Edwardian period after the death of Queen Victoria.  The Gibson Girl silhouette had been becoming popular for a number of years now with her pushed forward breasts and her pushed backwards rear.  Corsets changed as well, to mold women into the new shape.  This corset has ribbon and lace trim as well as garters which were needed to hold up stockings.

All these little corsets have been put up on Etsy, so that someone else who’s always wanted one, now can.

Posted in Colour, Corsets, Embroidery, Etsy, Historical Fashion | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Sunday Stash

I know, I know.  It’s been such a long time since I posted a Sunday Stash.  I have forged ahead and taken some pictures that, hopefully, are lighted decently and look good.  Please let me know what you think.

Red and Gold Threads

This week is all about falling leaves.  These colours are all around me at the moment as the large maples and poplars lose their leaves.  The threads are wool, cotton, and rayon in various weights.

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Steampunk Coffin

I love steampunk style.  I don’t wear browns or golds but love the style anyway.  What, you don’t know what steampunk is?  Well, I can actually help you there.  Check out this blog, Epbot, which has all kinds of great geekery, but Jen also posts about some fabulous  steampunk things as well.  There’s pictures of home furnishings, statuary and jewellery here.  And some weaponry, lighting fixtures and playing cards here.

You see, steampunk is a fantastical idea in which Victorian fashions and design and steam power incorporate some modern advancements, like this computer from the Boston Globe

Steampunk has its roots in science fiction literature, where it describes a corner of the genre obsessed with Victoriana and the idea that the computer age evolved alongside the industrial. In the past two years, though, steampunk has emerged in the real world, as a growing number of enthusiasts build steampunk objects and then share photos of them on the Internet. Left, The ElectriClerk, made from a 1988 Macintosh SE computer, a c.1923 Underwood typewriter, and a fresnel lens by Andrew H. Leman.

or this one.

steampunk computer

Anyway, now you have an idea of what steampunk is, you’ll be able to see that my most recent coffin is reminiscent of it.

Steampunk Coffin

It’s got gears, is made of old gold silk, with embroidered gears and flowers.

Steampunk Coffin Side 2

Steampunk Coffin Close up Top

Steampunk Coffin Inside

Lined in brown velvet.

What do you think?  Steampunk enough? I debated adding some copper or gold tubing, but couldn’t think of what use they’d be on a coffin!  This is available at my Etsy shop.

Posted in Coffins, Colour, Embroidery, Etsy, Steampunk | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments