Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Its cold outside

and rather dark this morning. The shortest day will be here soon and so will Christmas. Presents to be wrapped, house to be decked and kitchen to fill with smells of food and spices. Its nice, in amongst all the festivity preparations, to just take five minutes and breathe remember why we do this, to share with family and friends to celebrate and give joy. This morning I thought I would try and share a few festive images to make you smile and put you in the festive spirit. The window in The Gallery Leek seems to be a delighting  all who see it, and I am pleased. My lovely Catherine Dineley photographer went and took some night time shots. They are beautiful photographs and unlike mine have no reflection from the glass! I hope you enjoy them and share with friends a Merry Christmas to you all....

always a wise owl to keep order !

the whole window

wouldnt be Christmas without a deer

and the cheeky mouse peeping round a corner !

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas comes but once a year ...

in The Gallery Leek! I have just finished a Christmas window display. Sewing like a busy bee to create a lampshade Christmas tree all decked out in hand made bunting , baubles and old glass buttons. Characters vied for a place in the scene, they are nothing but exhibitionists ! A reindeer pulls Lizzie across the Winter landscape in HMS Minifred, George the dog hides around the trees waiting for squirrels to appear but this time no squirrels or rabbits just the ever watchful eye of a wise old owl ensuring decorum prevails ! Mice scurry around reveling in the excitment and  little gondoliering rabbit joins the fray trying to help create the story of three sailing ships but alas only two can fit this window! Yee ha the donkey ( who thinks he is a wild west pony) gets in on the act squeezing himself into the smallest of gaps he peers through hoping to get noticed. If you go to visit, give him a wave  such a small donkey but bags of character !

busy arranging everyone !

close of Christmas tree

a mouse  making mischief!

a night time scene

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

My favourite things

I have that Sound of Music song rumbling round in my head !! Hence I thought you might like a close up of my favourite things ie fabric and stitches. I have been described as a dimity girl who just loves natural fabrics. OK I confess to loving cotton, wool,tweed and cashmere. I relish wrapping up in layers of wool skirts, jumpers and tweed coats ( I have a few too many!!) My characters have been evidence of this love of pure old fabrics with nothing man made or silky in it, I also dont really do beads and sequins but love the pureness of natural fabrics. Country Living Magazine has the most wonderful fashion spread for January with tartans and checks and wonderful rustic style headresses by Emma Freemantle or Worn with Love. This just appeals and already I am deciding which tweed skirt to wear today with woolly scarf of tarten hues on top of my herringbone jacket even the names do it for me! So having established my desire for simple rustic  fabrics I also like very simple stitches. My two favourite stitches are a simple straight running stitch,  loved after many years quilting and  a beautiful blanket stitch. Both of these stitches I tend to do with wool, I collect old tapestry wools cast out by people who never managed to finish the Penelope tapestry of a cottage in the woods! I have made various bits of furniture adding to terrible old wooden pieces. The wooden pieces became bases and were added to using card then papier mache, to finish they were painted waxed and drilled so I could add what I consider my signature a heavy wool blanket stitch. Blanket stitch appeared on edges of outfits , samples for Paris, and in costumes on animals. Lovely red straight stitch also appeared  reminding me of the red flannel petticoats once worn for warmth... so here is a taster of stitches enjoy and dont forget the humble blanket and straight stitch where would we be without them !

 top edge of a dresser stitched with wool

 the stage is set..blanket stitch tops the theatre

green blanket stitch

stitched pocket

red wool blanket stitch and straight stitch