Friday, 21 December 2012

Three collages and a mysterious antique chest

I made these very quickly this last week to take to show the sewing group as I am finding out the kind of things they might like to try in the new year. Yesterday everyone brought the fairies they had made and they are sitting on Pine branches on the end wall of the hall ready for the village childrens party. They look very festive.I think everyone was very pleased with their work,I certainly was impressed with every single fairy.
Tony recently bought this fabulous chest dating from the late 1700s/early 1800. When he bought it the chest was locked and the elderly couple had no idea where the key was, but thought it contained letters. The escutcheon showed signs that someone had tried to force it open, but been unable to. We took it to a locksmith and he was able to open it. We decided to sell it with its contents as it obviously belonged to a Count and certainly came from a very grand house, possibly a chateau.  So do take a look at his ebay site to see what's in it by clicking on the little picture of Brocante buys  near the top on the right hand side.   I was amazed.

Thursday, 20 December 2012


This last year has thrown so many problems our way and I was fine until Tony went into hospital then just as he was recovering we had a fire here.The fire brigade was wonderful and it was soon put out,the house cleaned up and eventually the damage put right. I thought, and still do, about all the endless troubles throughout the world and this last dreadful one in America and became very sad.
For a time I didn't want to do anything much except necessities,then I began to make things in my workroom and now I am on track again.I missed the contacts through blogging and hope to catch up again .Befor I forget I hope all of you have a Happy Christmas and the New Year brings better news for us all.
The sewing group have sewn lots of cloth doll fairies and I have made several and just have to add wings today because we decorate the village hall this afternoon with them.The above are just 2 of mine.
 I also wanted to try and paint faces ,I tried all sizes and first with watercolour then Acrylics.I found watercolours easier but both were difficult.I see I need to keep trying and I may be given a helpful book for Christmas !!

Sorry the blue doll has come up again,no idea why. I have also made several journal pages.If there is time I will write another blog and show some mixed media collages I have made and love.                                                        

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

At last a new blog

Tomorrow I am going to write here as I have at last began to feel motivated again.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Couture with the french ladies and Prayer Flags

Last week we had another sewing meeting and everyone brought in their pages for the fabric journals they are making. Without exception they were lovely and we were all impressed with the progress made. One more journal session and then we will begin the angels/fairies for decorating the village hall.(The is long and narrow so I don't seem to have fitted us all in the photograph)
A few weeks ago I looked at Judy's blog at Judy's fabrications.She is amazingly talented and makes so many stunning things ,always beautiful and colourful.That visit I saw she had made some pretty Prayer Flags and though I knew of them I didn't know much so I read her blog with great interest .
I really wanted one of my own but thats not quite the point,you really need a few and then they are hung up outside until they disintergrate and the theme of each flag is dispersed on the wind all over the place.I think its a lovely thought. Then I picked up an old Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and opened it and there was an article on Prayer Flags.They can be quite simple or as complicated as you like.I made 4 in a day which for me is something because usually I agonise over every thing I do.When I have some more I will hang them in the wood.Should anyone like to make one and send it to me I would be delighted and they will join mine. I 'd send you a photograph of them. I'm also asking the sewing group and friends to make one.
The prayer Flag Project is a blog called    also take a look at Judy's blog and there is a site on Pinterest as well.

These are my 4 made so far, the photographs are all printed onto fabric so I could stich them on.
Making and hanging flags is away of speaking a thought or intention out loud.
I need to say that I learnt most of this from the article byJane lafazio in a 2012   Cloth Paper Scissors.                                                                             


Sunday, 14 October 2012

A few days in Paris

Long before Tony went into hospital we had booked a few nights to stay in Paris,I had thought we wouldn't be able to go.It was decided the break would do him some good if we took it very easily,
went on the train,  took a taxis everywhere, that he rested every afternoon. I did have a few misgivings but all went quite well. The hotel was excellent,provided us with an enormous breakfast
and an extremly comfortable room,was situated in the centre of Paris and we booked it months ago because they had a special offer!.
Our first place to visit was Monmatre Cemetary as it is featured in Tony's new novel and he wanted to check his facts. I was keen to see if there were any beautiful sculptures to be seen and interesting people's gravestones. We were surprised to see lots of cats every where,and then we bumped into a sweet, oldish man putting down food all over the place.He told us he fed at least 100 cats everyday!!
When I think what our cats cost us I was amazed. He didn't look well off but it was obvious that like us he loved cats and he said he spent all his spare money on them We gave him some money .and later wished it had been more.
They mostly ran away when we stopped to try and photo them except this one.It did look old and battered,poor thing.
On the second floor of the Musee D'Orcy, which was once a railway station, it still has the huge railway clock at one end. I went to the left and Tony to the right.I saw so many wonderful impressionist paintings and bought many postcards to remind myself of them.Tony wanted to see all the Art Nouveaux furniture that he loves.On the way back to the hotel we passed a shop called Maison de Poupee which translates as Doll's house and I had to stop and see if it was open.Sadly it wasn't so I just have the photo of the outside.
We saw many more things and will write about them another day along
with some photographs of some wonderful sculptures we saw at another cemetery.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Not so much to worry about now.

Tony is out of hospital and I am trying hard to keep him from doing anything much,something he finds very difficult.The nurse comes this morning  so I have some time to write here.I didn't manage much sewing last week and was very grateful for all the help and support we received.Our mayor was wonderful,when I finally phoned him when no ambulance arrived he  and his wife were  here in minutes and he hurtled Tony to hospital straight away.His wife stayed a while with me which helped me feel calmer and I was able to ask her many questions as she had been a senior nurse before retirement.
I did make a front and inside the front page cover for an all (I hope )fabric journal.It took me ages to work out what I had to do ,I think I'm there now .
 The very pink one is the cover, the paler one is the inside.
 I have been kept very amused by the duck recently,he has become very bold and delights the village children.He also has taken to crossing the road to stand by the front door and unfortunately his three moorhen friends follow him. We don't have much traffic but the milk lorry rushes by several times a day and cars and tractors etc.I shoo him back and he is always most indignant.

The sun is shining and some new doll body fabric has arrived so there is lots to do!.                                                                                                                                                 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

A few problems this week.

Tony was taken into hospital on Mondaynot sure when he will be home.Today is the firrst day I have felt calmer,Maybe I will spend some time in my workroom instead of pacing around the house.Everyone here has been very kind and he is in the best of hands as the hospital service
is wonderful.

I down loaded the free e-book on lettering techniques which was available from Cloth Paper Scissors on line.
It's very good.

Better go and feed the duck.I can hear him calling.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Clothdolls, journal cover and a wall hanging

I have been very busy this week and wonder if I should have taken time to think a little more.I looked at a doll I bought more than 2 years ago from a favourite doll maker called jennifer gould.Her dolls are always interesting to see over on her web site ,Etsy or Pinterest.I wish I had her imagination the one I am showing is a simple doll but she does many different dolls.I have bought a pattern from her and hope the sewing group will each interpret it there way and make a christmas doll for the village hall.I hope to have at least 12.
I decided to start my new journal using a spiral bound book.I made the cover first.I hope to use it to record some of the many things , places and people I have known in my life.
I apologise for these out of focus pictures,neither of my cameras work and I feel compelled to rush when I borrow Tony's. I seem to be always rushing yet there is no real need to. On sunday I suddenly started playing about with some pieces of fabric I had dyed,and found myself cutting them up into squares.I then used bits and pieces that were in reach and stitched them on to the squares. I did about 6 in a very short time and was so pleased with them made alot more the next day.I think I will make them into some sort of wall hanging.
lastly I finished the cloth doll and I rushed and put little thought into her,the result is not what I had in mind. I learnt a lesson this week I must do one thing at once and think about what ever it is more closely.
  I nearly forgot I have begun to make some comfort dolls  which will be sent off to the comfort doll project.They are very simple,6 inches tall  , and can be make in any way one likes.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Doing something different.

I spent hours yesterday trying to find an idea for something I could start to make.I have already begun the dolls but wanted to start something I would look forward to doing when I finished the dolls.But I achieved nothing.I felt very frustrated so this morning I walked around the house and looked at all the many things we have bought recently. The house seemed quite overcrowded so I asked Tony to put some on ebay for me.He wasn't keen as he thought they were too girley so I photographed them with his camera(far far better than mine. He bought a Paris hat box that contained 4 1920/30's hats and a box for large feathers.I like them both and think they make part of a lovely display but where would can I put them.The answer is nowhere,I  need to make space.The same goes for the hats, I already have a large number on display in the bedroom.
The calendar I have had for a long time and thought I would use at least one of the pages on a piece of work but never have.Every page is very pretty but then I have a large boxful of of these things

I made two versions of the doll because I acidentally sold the first one. Luckily I had photographed her so I made this one to be identical.She is definately one of my favourites and I will keep her for always.Tomorrow I shall sort out some little boxes and tins I've had for ever and probably some lace.
I already feel less stuck than yesterday so all this is doing me some good.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Where did this duck come from?

For the last three years about this month a duck arrives in the wood right near the lavoir(the place where the village ladies used to wash their clothes).The first time it happened the duck was tagged and had had its wings clipped so we knew he had to have been left there ,plus there was a small pile of grain on the grass.He stayed for a several months  then disapeared,we missed him. Several months later another one was there,he was young just like the first one but not tagged,he went after several months and we were pretty sure he couldn't fly.Now another one has turned up!! he was very thin and quite a baby but looks a lot better now. We wish we knew how it happens,does someome leave them there and then catch them later on or is just chance,and perhaps they waddle along to us from somewhere, who knows?
I have been obsessed with making cards this week,using downloads I bought from etsy.It has made a change from dolls and the cards with faces on.I have also been painting lots of backgrounds and tried some sun printing as well.It has been a busy time but I have felt I actually am not doing anything that holds my interest properly.I wondered if I would stop for a while, blogging as well.I think I feel I am being very dull just now. I will see what tomorrow brings.
Though I just remembered the nice lady called the other day who had asked if I would make a doll for her grand daughter,she fell in love with one already made and took that one for herself and I am to make another for the grand daughter so I must do that.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A new cloth doll and an amazing Brocante find

 I have nearly finished this doll but it took much longer than I expected.I was given the black hair and
wanted to use black for a change.It was nearly a disaster as it was very shiny and slippery and it just didn't want to go where I wanted it to go. It took me hours ,several attempts and even now I'm not sure about it. I am also waiting for some things to arrive in the post so I can completly finish her.
A friend of a friend is coming this week and would like me to make a doll for her new grandaughter,I explained they are't really suitable. She wants it to be something original and using certain things she will ask me to use and hopes it will be kept for ever to eventually be a memory of her grandmother.
I have made nearly 12 faces and hope one will be chosen and then when I have talked to the lady I can start the rest of the doll,I so hope I can make her very special.
This shell picture is one of the things Tony brought back from the Brocant this morning.Its made by
a sailor as a valentine in 1908 entirely of shells,some tiny and has several photos obviously of him,his wife or girlfriend,and probably his parents.His wifes name is  there at the bottom and she is called Alice H.
It must of taken such care and a very long time.Tony thinks it was possibly made in the Carribean.

Monday, 13 August 2012

A dilemma and a sad time.

While I was making these three little cards I was thinking about a friend who died suddenly last week
She had gone to England to see her family and very suddenly died. She loved living here in france so she has been brought back here  for her funeral.She was a courageous lady as she was handicapped by an arm she couldn't use and a leg that wasn't quite right and that affected her balance. She decided she would like to try the keepfit class I and 2 friends go to. The french ladies there were all very
encouraging and as ready as we were to watch out for her.Just last week she decided she would like to try the dance class as well!
Her funeral is this week and I have heard many of the other people who will be going discussing what black clothes they will wear. Two of my closest friends died a few years ago and I was heartbroken .At both funerals we nearly all wore bright colours knowing that they were both people who would have liked that,For me it meant more of  a celebration of their lives ,and many friends spoke of the fun times we had all enjoyed with them.Most people here will wear black and I feel will think I show a lack of respect if I don't.So what will I do?I think I will compromise and dress up somber colours with something bright. I just noticed all the faces on these cards look a little sad,I wonder if that was an unconscious decision?

Friday, 10 August 2012

These may look like brooches but they are not.

I have spent lots of time in my workroom this week but couldn't settle on anything.I made the whatever they are in between wishing I could come up with an idea for something interesting to begin
working on.I kept starting things then not liking them ,pausing for endless cups of coffee and flicking through books.Nothing helped. So by today I had 5 of the whatever they are. I think I will cover a football size ball with them and then hang it as a decoration!!! I think I will need about 20 to cover the ball.

     It will  soon be time for the sewing group to start again and I have one plan ready.I was amazingly lucky last sunday and found at a flea market about 5 metres of red raw silk material,3 of cream and 1 metre blue shot through with green.I am going to give everyone some of the red and ask them to  make a doll about 15 inches tall to add to the Christmas decorations for the village hall.They will be able to do it at home and have plenty of time. For the meetings they have asked for help to make fabric journals so I should start to make some preparations for them.      
PP S all the whatevers are the same size just the red one looks huge in the photo.                                                      

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Winners of my Giveaway!

The winner of the doll is Robins in the Trundle Bed ,a fabric card goes to Emma at A little bit of Everything and another card goes to Joanna at bird on her head.I will send you my e-mail address
via a comment on your blog and ask for your address so I can post them all off to you.Hope you like them.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


I did write the 7th of August on my first blog but some how wrote 7th July on the second one.
Tony was away and he often  scans the things I write to spot my worst mistakes.
We have been to a Brocante this morning and I bought lots of old lace and masses of raw silk material
so I came home happy.I won't post any photos today I need ed just to point out my mistake with the date.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cloth doll giveaway plus 2 fabric cards

Thank you everyone who has responded to my giveaway,I have included those of you who found blogger wouldn't let you write a comment and sent an e-mail..I am having the same trouble lately when I want to comment on a few blogs.I am so happy with the number of entries I have added two fabric cards for the second and 3rd people whose numbers are drawn. I have decided I will ask the village mayor to draw the three numbers,hopefully Tony will take a photo for me.It will still be july 7th.                                                                     
I had meant to show the second card but can't seem to find it,will when I can.
I have been working on this new quilt this week,the colours are not quite right in the photo.I've used mainly silks and lots of gold threads amongst many  others.I've got a long way to go ,especially as I did this morning ! I somehow sewed two squares on top of each other then when I began to unpick them, cut a hole through both of them.I did say a few bad words under my breath.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Cloth doll giveaway .

I was so pleased when I reached 100 lovely followers.I had no idea it could happen .I love writing
and have been motivated to keep on being creative by the kind comments I have received and from seeing so many brilliant blogs.
I have never been  very confidante about the things I love to make but have been a compulsive maker since childhood.Since writing this blog I understand that for me its the making and kind comments have given me so much more confidence. Now I even run a workshop here in the village and tonight all our effors will be on show in an exibition in the school hall.So I am going to give away the cloth doll you see in the photograph,please leave a comment and I will give them a  number  as they come.Tony has already placed a number in an envelope and I will open it on tuesday the 7th of august and let the winner know. I forgot to say she is about 28inches tall.

The other day I promised myself I would put some shoes on my latest cloth doll,and I have at last.
I have spent two days   playing around with this .I first printed onto cloth a painting I did several weeks ago and then drew some little faces(something I love to do) and made the body in a similar shape to the comfort dolls I have made in the past .I stiched around te flowers added a few beads and thenassembled it. The bit that went wrong was the border,my machine didn't like the thickness so a leson learnt.I have begun another but she must wait for another day.