Tag Archives: embroidery

In a Vase on Monday: Altered Art

In a Vase on Monday, altered art, pink dandelions, figs

In my vase today is a posy of Pink Dandelions, thank you so much for the seeds Cathy, they are such gems! And twigs of snowberry bush, well that’s what I called it as a child, don’t know its proper name.

These were picked to accompany a card and three figs from my fig tree, for a dear friend, for her birthday. I also gave her a book, ‘Waterlog’ by Roger Deakin, which I forgot to take a photo of. She loves swimming, in fact she was a swimming teacher and taught all my children to swim.

She is an artist and I absolutely love her sketches and paintings, but she often struggles to like them herself. She tore up one of her paint sketches and gave me a piece folded over into a card for my birthday in November, I tore it on the fold line and did some stitching to make a card for her.

Then I took some of the paper I coloured with Koh-i-Noor, watercolours,

looking for colours that would make a good background

choosing background

I chose this one

Koi - nor inks

staining papaer with inks

I was a bit apprehensive to see what J’s reaction would be to what I did to her painting

altered art

It took her a little while to realise it was one of her painitngs. I think she liked it.

Do you have any blooms to pop in a Vase this Monday?

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Textile Tuesday: July

couchingWe are edging towards the end of The Stitchbook Collective year, in August we will receive our last kit. Was there ever a better timed project! There are 150 of us in the Collective and it has been a wonderful creative community to be part of over the last few months.

Our June box was all about Laid Work and Couching, including how to couch lettering.

Of course I had to include a bit of rust dyed fabric – Rust Dyeing has been my favourite process of the whole course – I love the magic, alchemy and serendipity of it.

The Laid Work was a real challenge for me

stem stitch outline

I like to be messy and abstract and fairly free with my stitching

pineapple design

but Bayeux stitch is not any of those things – keeping within the lines is what is required, (and as I am writing this, I am already creating a design in my head of a messy, borderless piece, but still using some of the Bayeux stitch technique…. ooo .. but no … I have to finish writing this post first – ‘inspiration’, a blessing or the opposite?! sometimes both)

embroidery, Bayeux stitch

I searched online for an Art Deco pineapple design (you might already know how much I like pineapples, here is just one post about them, but there are loads more and if you want to see them, just type Pineapple into the Search Box top right) and created the above from a wallpaper pattern.

After all that control, my inner rebel needed to get messy again so time to experiment with some eco-dyeing

eco-dyeing

An old calico curtain pickled with mould spots has found it’s time to shine. Soaked in soya milk, and then wrapped round a rusty nail, encasing leaves soaked in rusty water.

steam dyeing

In they all go to be steamed

I like the look of the bundles as much as I like the dyed fabric. There is something intriguing about the mystery they hold. (Argghhh! another idea …. project of bundles as the art work themselves, on a theme, so wrapping pertinent pieces of memorabilia in a bundle and then working on the outside to hint at what it holds ……. noooo … get back to writing this post!)

To speed up the process of drying, I sat them on a wheat-filled heat pad that is heated in the microwave

drying bundles

But even that wasn’t quick enough for me, so I later put them under the grill on a very low heat.

I also tried printing the leaves onto paper

eco-dyeing

I was a bit disappointed with the results at first, but there are definitely marks to work with …. I wonder where inspiration will take me.

Although there is a tinge of sadness that The Stitchbook Collective is coming to a close, there is also celebration as our books are going to be exhibited at the Kniiting and Stitching Show in Harrogate in November.

Even better news! Anyone who would like to be part of the next Stitchbook Collective can be. Helen is running another one next year – I can highly recommend it! Suitable for beginners and experienced stitchers alike. You can subscribe for a whole year or buy the individual kits.

Must go, I have messy Bayeux stitch to figure out and a few bundles to make.

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If you would like to share any textile related posts in July, just pop a link in the comments below, current or archive, anything textile related,  are all welcome.

 

Textile Tuesday: Chindi

slow stitching on chindi rags

This is one of my samples to go on April’s page of the Stitchbook I am making, as I follow Helen Birmingham’s wonderful guidelines.

This month’s kit is a particular delight.The Stitchbook Collective, April

And includes a small piece of Chindi rugchindi rug, rags

Pulling out the fabric pieces and ironing them is like finding treasure

rags

all those disparate patterns, all harmonising together

tacking

The serendipity of finding the patterns within the rug intrigued me so much I bought another by mail order

chindi rug

and found these patterns inside

chindi rug scraps

Very different but no less exciting. I am going to have fun stitching on these.

I am loving this 12 month course, each month offers new techniques and ideas. Each kit is still available in Helen’s shop.

Do you have any textile adventures to share with us this month?

Please leave a link in the comments to your Textile posts – current posts or archive are all welcome.

Textile Tuesday: Rusty Delights

Hello Everyone and welcome to February’s gathering of Textiles on this, our second Textile Tuesday Photo Challenge of 2020.

Have you got any textiles you are working on, or have you found any when out and about? Archive posts are welcome.

Just leave a link in the comments to join in.

textile art, Joomchi, rust-dyed paper

In another life I would be a Lichenologist

I still can’t leave Rust Dyeing alone. The serendipitousness (? !) of it has taken me hostage and will not let me go!

It is so tempting to just keep dyeing, the results are so exciting but at last I have three finished pieces to share with you.

textile art, rust-dyeing, mixed media

Desert Rendezvous

The rust-dyed Mulberry Paper in the first piece reminded me of tree bark.

The second one, using rust-dyed curtain lining, reminded me of the desert scenes my son sent me when he was running in the Sahara.

The third became a lament for the devastation created by the recent fires in Australia. The turquoise represents hope and water and new life returning.

textile art, slow stitching, embroidery

After the Fire

I am thinking of painting the background canvas for this one an Uluru Red.

Eventually they will all be for sale, I am working towards getting enough together for an exhibition. When I say ‘working towards’ – the main work to be done is getting my mind round the whole idea of exhibiting and all that goes with it, but I would like to see my work all presented together somewhere, sometime. It will happen when the time is right.

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I am really looking forward to seeing the Textiles you would like to share with us on

TEXTILE TUESDAY

 

Joomchi

Our deliciously delectable December box of goodies from The Stitchbook Collective is all about experimenting with mulberry paper – a technique known as Joomchi.

Helen has sent us some sheets of paper in a variety of colours and has devised a cunningly clever way of felting them together in various ways to produce a fabulous textured surface that can then be stitched.

These are the pieces I have created – before adding any stitchingjoomchi

the one top left is much more see-through held against the light

paper felting

I haven’t been able to completely wrench myself away from rust dyeing

rust dyeing, keys

and found some more goodies in the hardware shop to play with.

nails, washers

This piece of felted paper seemed to go really well with the rust and red wine dyed cotton curtain lining

joomchi and rust dyed fabric

I discovered that the wet paper can be moulded over textured objects to add surface interest.

This one was moulded over the top of the radiator moulding joomchiand looks at home on this piece rust dyed calico

rust dyed fabric and joomchi, textile art

I added some simulated rust staining to the green paper by painting with Koh-i-noor inks.

Just a few stitches to hold it all together and I have this month’s page of the Stitchbook done.

There is more to explore with this technique so I have just ordered some more mulberry paper from Calder Art Supplies in Huddersfield.

I might try rust dyeing the paper when it comes ……..

The Stitchbook Collective: Texture 2

The Stitchbook Collective

As you might remember, I have joined The Stitchbook Collective: a year long adventure in stitch with monthly Workshops created by Helen Birmingham.

In September’s Texture Pack we were sent a small pack of factory waste threads to play with. Helen provides some very helpful video tutorials and explained the process of glueing these threads together to make them into a piece of fabric that can be used in a fabric and stitch collage..

I separated the threads out into colour groups and used mainly purples for this piece

embroidery

Although it works as an example of the technique, I’m not thrilled with the design and prefer the more abstract look of the backreverse embroidery

especially when I flip the photo

the back

I can see this in paint on canvas ……..  each excercise sparks new ideas.

With the next groups of threads I kept the threads in a rectangular shape, hoping to be able to create a better design.

gluing threads together

I cut the lower piece into 4 and laid it on some waste sari silk which I got from the company YarnYarn.

textile

textures

At Helen’s suggestion (in her video tutorial) I added some netting provided in the pack

embroidery

and then stitched into it with Rice Stitch, Running Stitch and Cross Stitch.

I am happier with this one.

Here are the two pieces as they will appear on the page of the Stitchbook.page of samples, embroidery, Stitchbook Collective

I am really enjoying the workshops and the stitching, but I don’t feel I am in the creative flow of it yet. I am waiting for that magic ah-ha moment, when the creative penny drops and, well  ……. hmmm ……..  I’ll know it when I feel it.

The best bit is to be part of a like-minded supportive group, sharing what we are making and talking all things textiles – I’m really loving the sense of community that is building up.

The packs and tutorials are so well put together. It is very soothing to sit sewing whilst listening to Helen describing the process and her joy of stitching. There are a limited number of packs still for sale in Helen’s online shop, one pound from the sale of each pack goes to the mental health charity MIND.

To date £749 has been raised.

Stitchbook Collective: Texture

The Stitchbook Collective is off and running! Our first pack arrived a day early – wow! I was jumping up and down with excitement. Little packages of delight.

The Stitchbook Collective, texture pack

A present I have given myself, each month for a whole year – it feels so good.

Then the joy of opening them all up and seeing what is inside …. all there waiting to be played with….

Helen Birmingham's Tecture pack

The Texture and Starter Packs are available to buy individually, with unlimited access to the video tutorials.

As a child, I used to go and stay with my step-grandmother, I called her Dabbity, and she would have little embroidery projects ready for me to make – it reminds me of that – Helen and Dabbity have merged together in my mind, it is warmly comforting to have those memories revived.

Once again (like in the Starter Pack) there are 9 tiny samples to create – this is the first one I did

calico squares, texture sample

It inspired me to think about making a larger one, with just the large cross-stitches to hold the fabric pieces to the back ground – so I’m off to get some more calico.

The next was a loopy one – I love these loops

calico loops, embroidery sample, Stitchbook Collective

and then a spider’s web inspired piece, weaving the textured thread through the spokes

surface embroidery, woven web

I am having fun with these.

One of the best things about this ongoing project is the Facebook Group that nearly all of the 150 in the Stitchbook Collective are members off. We share pictures of our work and aspects of the processes we go through. It amazes me to see the rich variety created from much the same materials and what gems are created on tiny areas of calico.

Do you have any embroidery on the go at the moment?

Leave a link in the comments, I’d love to see what you are up to.

Stitchbook Collective

Last year I joined with  Cathy in entering a Heart in the Sawdust Heart collective exhibition. Helen Birmingham, of Untangled Threads, who organised that amazingly moving event, is now hosting another collective venture and I am delighted to be taking part.

The Stitchbook Collective of 150 people are each making a 12 page textile book that will culminate in an exhibition in November next year.

There is a Starter Pack.

Everything arrives beautifully packaged and presentedstitchbook collective

Presents arriving in the post!

Helen has made some very easy-to-follow videos which are suitable for complete beginners and experienced embroiderers alike. Anyone can buy the kits and make a textile book following her excellent tutorials – I can highly recommend them.

The whole experience is a complete and utter treat!

The Starter Pack includes instructions for some stitching samplers and a collage pack.IMG_4651

The first task is to divide a piece of calico into 9 and work the suggested stitches with different thicknesses of stranded cotton. Helen’s videos give very clear instructions, but she is also happy for us to make our samples unique to us – the main emphasis is on relaxation and enjoyment.

Whilst stitching I kept thinking of my travel doodles and how they might look in stitch

travel sketchbook doodles

It has got me wondering how I might combine the two together

Included in the Starter Pack are materials to make a collage to be sewn on one of the pages.collage kit

fabric collage

Helen even provides a drawstring bag in which to keep the work.

starter pack materials

Although the 150 places in the Collective have been filled, the packs are available to all, with access to the teaching videos. I can highly recommend them.

 

 

I’m really looking forward to the September Pack pinging its way through my letterbox.

Dorset Arts and Crafts

On Monday I went to  the DACA Exhibition, there were masses of wonderful exhibits to enjoy but here are a few that particularly caught my eye.

A set of exquisite little gardens on painted fabric rendered in French Knots

french knots

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Quilting is obviously very popular in Dorset as there were masses of quilts, but this one I thought was particularly beautiful

patchwork quilt

quilt

It makes my brain ache to think how all those pieces were put together.

I loved this piece

machine embroidery

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I liked the ideas behind this collage and took the photo for future reference

collage

another charming piece of quilting

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and this embroidery on painted silk – stunning in the detailIMG_5112

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Knitting and crochet seemed a little thin on the ground, I’m wondering whether to enter some next year …….

 

Happy Vase

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Erigeron or Fleabane, neither are names pretty enough to describe this little gem of a daisy that grows on my patio, interwoven with what I think is a type of campanula. Both seed themselves liberally and I love them together.DSC_0220

The vase is a pot I bought in Florence, Italy in 1987 when I went there with my Dad. We had a wonderful time together, I have such happy memories of that long weekend .

It was Father’s Day here in the UK yesterday and he has been much in my thoughts. He died in 1998 and would have been 96 this year. He worked hard and played hard, loved a party, had a huge sense of fun and was never happier than when playing with his Grandchildren.

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Teamed here with another of the textile pieces I’m working onDSC_0226

Title: “You are my happy”

happi

I have to have several on the go at the same time. I seem to need to be able to have a rest from each colour combination in order to see each piece of work afresh.

Joining Cathy and ‘In a Vase on Monday’.

and

Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Sunshine

Textile Wall Hanging with hand embroidery

You are my sunshine

Matching the temperatures outside today.

Nothing between me and the Sea #2

Nothing bmtsea

Joining in with Scrap Happy June, hosted by Kate at Tall Tales From Chiconia

Still a work in progress: more beads have been added and some shells were first glued with PVA and then sewn on.

I’ve placed the seahorse there for the photo – I think that is where it will go, but it is not sewn on yet. I am so enjoying having the time to immerse myself in stitching. I drift off into another dimension and an hour or more goes by without me noticing – bliss.

This will be my second “Nothing between me and the Sea” piece.

You can read about the first one here.dsc_0079-1

The pattern for the crocheted seahorse can be found here.

Happy Scrapping!

Playful Butterfly

 

DSC_0191When I took Little Miss M and Little Bro to the park, after school yesterday, there was a Red Admiral butterfly that seemed to want to play with them. It kept fluttering back to them, around their heads, landing near to them: on posts, the grass and the climbing net – this went on for at least 10 minutes – it even landed on Little Bro’s arm at one point.

A school friend joined in and all three were first chasing, then leaping and dancing around with delight, then creeping up slowly and at one point the butterfly was on a post and all three were putting a finger on the post edging closer to the butterfly to see if it would hop on, totally focussed on that moment when time seemed to stand still.
 
Magical, utterly magical.
But – did I have my camera with me – no!
A beautiful memory to hold in my mind’s eye.
As I was writing this I remembered that over 25 years ago, when I was doing a City and Guilds Embroidery course, there was a competition
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to create a greetings card with butterflies as the theme.
(apologies for the quality of the photos, something has gone wrong with my ‘Photos’ programme and I am unable to do any editing – so far long phone calls to Apple, whilst they have tried to sort it out – with more to come)

We had to show our folder of workings as well (click on any photo to see it bigger)

and after much experimentation, this was the card I submitted into the competition, it has lost a few star sequins

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these were some of my experiments made on thick watercolour paperDSC_0189
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Well – I won!

It is the only competition I have ever won, so I’ve kept that folder dear to me and never used the cards – I’m wondering if I should send them now and let go ………..

……………   No, I can’t just yet.

Have you ever won a competition? Or danced with a butterfly in the park?

One-a-Week Photo Challenge: Cross

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the stars in my world

creativity blooming

with needle and thread

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Three generations of cross stitch.

The blue and yellow Binca pieces on the top were made by my children (now 35 and 41) at school. The white Binca is being decorated by Little Miss M (4) and Master R (7), he has made the first arm of the cross stitches, but got frustrated when he came to the corner, his mathematical Virgoan brain could not get it to be precise enough, so we had to take a break. I hope we can return to it next weekend. Shall I undo the corner bit? …… Hmmmm these moral connumdrums we Grannies face.

You can see my cross stitches on the fabric collage underneath, the start of another textile experiment.

Linking with Ronovan’s weekly Haiku Challenge.

This week’s prompts: STAR and BLOOM

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Cathy and I have put together a list of subjects for the whole year – jump in as and when you feel like it with current or archive photos, and leave a link in the comments to be included in the monthly Round Up.

Love-in-the-Mist of time

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Joining Cathy with the wonderful In a Vase on Monday meme.

Love-in-the-mist, Gardeners Garters and (learn to love your weeds) ground elder flowers.

They are cosying-up in an old glass bottle that I found in the hedge of the farm cottage I lived in many years ago. Some of the materials in this piece of collage/embroidery are from that house and that time – the 1970s. Happy memories.

This is how the piece looks now with some Swarovski crystals added and some more stitching.DSC_0152

I’ve combined a little crochet to add to the texture

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I’m just a tincey bit excited about adding crochet to embroidery and fabric collage – no that’s not true – I’m leaping about and squealing with excitement – can’t wait to see where this takes me.

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Thankfully, life is returning to somewhere near normal, a health scare in the family caused us all some anxiety for a while and daily rhythms went a bit haywire, but happily we are through to the other side and good health and well-being has returned. Sorry to be mysterious but as it was not my own health issue, I don’t feel I can say more.

I have just spent a wonderful few days recharging my own batteries with creativity – that’s what works for me. Sleep doesn’t do it, but sewing, painting, crochet and being in my own creative space, exploring all manner of delicious possibilities does it every time. I’ve even started dreaming in stitches and colour combinations again!

I feel like I’ve hit a Vein of Gold, long may it last.

Textile Art

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A work in progress…….DSC_0131-3

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Needing a rest from crochet for a while, I have returned to some of the textile pieces I started back in Dec/Jan when I was staying in the treehouse near Solva.

I might add beads, shells and maybe a crocheted seahorse …… I’m in the exciting phase of experimentation and exploring a multitude of possibilities………

 

 

16 for 2016: June

These are the targets I have set myself for 2016, inspired by Cathy.

16 WALKS (of more than an hour)

7 done, 9 to go.

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One in June: I pondered whether to include my 4 hours spent wandering round the Cerne Abbas Open Gardens and although this was not a straight walk, I ached the next day so I decided to add it. Cheating? Hmm – only me to judge that one – that’s what I love about this challenge!

A few other walks in June but none over an hour – I thought this challenge was going to be easy to fulfil – must get a wiggle on in July!

15 HANDMADE GREETINGS CARDS

11 done, 4 to go

I made 2 more in June – both using Duck Tape and a Dymo for retro lettering. I think this is super funky, although I’m not sure my 68 year old friend did! The other card is for Miss E, I wonder what she will think.

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14 NEW ITEMS IN MY ETSY SHOP

7 done, 7 to go

I added 4 wigs in June. It was a relief to finish these 4 wigs which had been sitting in the W.I.P.s box for far too long.

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13 SWIMS

9 done, 4 to go.

One done in June. Gardening takes over a bit at this time of year.

12 GARDEN POSTS

6 done, 6 to go.

I’m keeping up with the EOMV posts and enjoying recording how one border develops through the seasons.

11 HAND MADE TOTE BAGS

Zero

10 TYPES OF HANDMADE BEADS

6 done, 4 to go

6 in June! Hurray! At last I’m off the starting blocks with this challenge.

I have made six types of bead – 5 using Fimo, one using scrap paper and thread.

9 PIECES OF TEXTILE ART (started)

3 started, 6 to go

I have made a start on this appliqued bird. It might go in one of the books or be a stand alone work depending on how it turns out.

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8 MORNINGS of SORTING and STORING

3 done, 5 to go.

Two in June

The garage has been cleared and sorted, and my stash of beads are now in order.         Before Miss E was born my daughter was making fascinators and I was making beaded embellishments and jewellery to go with them. It was fun creating bespoke items for wedding outfits. I ended up with absolutely masses of beads that have been used intermittently since and got in a right old muddle.

A happy morning was spent sorting so they are now in some sort of order – ooo that feels good!

7 PAINTINGS (or other pieces of art)

Zero (but they maybe something to show you for July – the paint brushes are out!)

6 BUS RIDES (using my bus pass)

2 done, 4 to go

5 NEW TYPES OF EXERCISE TRIED

4 done, 1 to go

So far I have tried Pilates, Belly Dancing, a Dance Class, a Zumba-like class.

4 NEW PATTERNS for my ETSY SHOP

Zero

3 MASSAGES

One

2 WAYS TO HELP REFUGEES

Zero

For now I am going to have to stick to crocheting ‘Squares for Blankets‘, but I am still on the look out for a suitable trip to make.

1 NOVEL READ

Zero

Still 2 false starts, they have to be engaging and happy – difficult to find.

0 BEADS BOUGHT

Zero

Thank you Cathy for this inspiration, it is a great motivator.

Textile Book 2

As mentioned in my 16 for 2016, my goal is to make 9 pieces of textile art. One for each of my grandchildren and one for me.

I went on a wonderful course with Frances Pickering on making textile books and made a start on a book for Miss E.

The next one will be for Big Sister (5). I started by experimenting with dyeing some threads

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I wrapped Anchor Stranded Thread around some paper and ran it under the tap to wet it. Then I had fun dabbing on different coloured dyes.

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It seemed to work pretty well so I wound a lot more on the next piece of paper.DSC_0989

Next was white DMC embroidery cotton

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and then they all went on the fire guard to dry.

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Don’t you just love how the colours all merge and blend

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A few hours playing with fabric and colour makes for one happy me!

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And look at the great marks made on the paper

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all good collage material.

Big Sister is about to be a bridesmaid so this piece of fabric is perfect for her book. The thread made a good outline of running stitches.

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I wondered about putting the picture on the front cover…..

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but that broderie anglaise is so beautiful, something more subtle needs to go with it I think, so the fairy bride will go on the first page of the book.

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A few hours of glorious play ……. now the sun is shining so I must get out into the garden.