Monday, 31 August 2015

Two Stratton compacts...and the start of another collection.

Well, if you thought my mum was an old doll at 90, my brother-in-law's mum can beat that at the grand old age of 94. Her birthday was the day after my mum's 90th.  My mum and his mum now live in the same care home. Last year we had to clear my mum's flat to sell and this year he's been doing the same with his mum's house. It's not much fun.
So when I was over in England recently my sister and brother-in-law gave me two vintage Stratton compacts that had belonged to his mum and I think they are lovely.

My mum's generation would have used a powder compact whereas now we prefer to use foundation.
In those days it was Max Factor Creme Puff.  I saw my mum powdering her face on her 90th birthday, although she doesn't bother much with make-up nowadays.
I remember her rouge as it fascinated me when I was young. It was Bourjois, in a little round cardboard box and I think it had blue and white fancy writing.  You can still buy Bourjois but the packaging is nowhere near as nice.
Her lipstick was always bright red!
I cleaned up my Stratton compacts and I've put them on the pine chest in the spare bedroom.
I call it 'the old fashioned room' because that's how it looks.

 I seem to be making a vase collection. The green glass vase belonged to my mother-in-law.
The vase with the pansies was my Grandmother's.

The glass vase in the background is hand-painted with orange rose buds and was a birthday gift from one of my son's. 
It came from Past Times. I used to love everything in that shop, no longer there, on Belfast's Fountain Lane.

                                   This cheeky papier mache bird was a present from my mum.

Inside are two painted eggs.

                               Here's another glass vase and I love it. It was also my Grandmother's.

There's a box of old family postcards that I've been collecting for years. 

I can't bear to part with any of them.

           Reflected in the compact mirror you can just make out a shelf that houses another collection.

  This shelf came from one of my Auntie's, it's from the 70's I'd say. 
On it I've got a collection of birds, they're mostly Hummel, and there are a few Wade animals. 

              Now I've inherited the Stratton compacts I can feel another collection coming on!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Embroidered spider web bookmark.

I slip stitched the cotton backing in place then finished off the bookmark with a tassel.

What's next?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The craic was 90!

My mum had her 90th birthday on the 19th August. The following day she had her operation for a knee replacement. Trying to get my mum anywhere on time is very stressful but amazingly we did arrive on time and it was some craic with all the form filling that had to be done.
"Do you wear dentures, Cecilia?"  "No, my daughter threw them out."  Not true!

My mum had two cakes, one from her care home and one from the family.

I'm putting in the spider web stitch now.

I keep finding new things in the garden. I saw a toad and the tiniest wee frog. I don't know what this plant is with the mauve flower.

Chilli peppers.


Alpine strawberries.

Green pepper.






I'm going to miss this garden when I go home.
Nearly there with the bookmark. 
turned the calico in all the way round and tacked it down.

 Just have to put the cotton backing on now and make the tassel.
 My bro-in-law has bookmarked my handiwork for his Christmas present!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Green stuff.

From the blue border to the green. 
My squares aren't square and the more chain stitch borders I do the less square they get!
I realized I would normally use an embroidery hoop. I can do better than this methinks.

My bro-in-law is always busy in the garden.
Growing cucumbers.


Runner beans.




Amazing what you find up the garden path.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Rain didn't stop play...

I'm staying with my sister and It's absolutely poured rain today.
Ha! My mum's operation has been delayed by a week. Now it's scheduled for the day after her 90th birthday.
I'm sitting about with nothing to do now so I did a bit of stitching. I always write my blog on a laptop but I'm trying to get the hang of blogging on my IPad mini today. You just get used to one thing then there seems to be something new to learn. I'm lucky to have a whizz kid of a son who fixes things for me. I can't remember what he shows me, that's the trouble.
Anyway, I brought my bookmark kit with me.

I've chain stitched the red border. 
I made a cake!

I made a fruity jelly!

These runner beans are from my brother- in - laws garden.

My sister made Scotch eggs. 

And I made a start on the blue borders.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

I love learning stitches...

I've lost count of how many books I have on embroidery stitches!  A very old Mary Thomas book is the one I treasure the most but I like this one by Marion Nichols, it's the best for explaining the stitches. I found it in a charity shop somewhere, it was a bit wrinkly with water damage and it cost me 50p.
She dedicates her book:    
                                             To every little girl
                                    who has cried over her stitches

There's a large family of chain stitches. Who would have thought?!

 The diagrams are lovely and clear and I like that she shows how the stitch looks on the back of the work. If I'm stitching something like the spider web square,  then I'm very neat both sides but some people.. well they just don't mind if their work is messy on the back!

On another subject, I was watching Countryfile on TV last Sunday (cos I'm a country girl at heart) and there was an item on needle felted birds by an artist, Eve O'Neill. They were gorgeous.
 I've had a go at needle felted leaves, but never a bird! 
This birthday card caught my eye in M&S and it's a little needle felted cat and mouse. I think M&S sell some lovely cards and they're reasonably priced too. 

I finished the chain stitch square,  mine looks a bit wonky.  It's so dark in the house due to the poor summer weather. I can't get any light for a decent photo.

Then it was on to the spokes, I suppose that's the spider.
I'm sure I've done this stitch before. 
I went looking and found this Dorset button, I knew I'd worked a spider web stitch!

Now I've put the spokes in. Ready to weave the web.

The instructions are very clear in this kit, but it took me a couple of tries before I got the rhythm.

The last step was to chain stitch the orange thread round the outside...

...and take a photo of the back!