For a variety of reasons - many of them rather sad - I have never been in the habit of getting birthday cards. This year some of the lovely people on ravelry stepped in and I am overwhelmed! My husband provided the window card, but the others are from lovely ravelry people.

And there were gifts too, a skein of beautiful hand dyed laceweight, a photo album, a cute little fabric cat and some chocolate.

It is the best birthday I ever had and I'm all emotional!


Blackwork Sampler

Another one from many years ago - a sampler of blackwork stitches laid out like a chessboard. They are very pretty, but somehow I never really took to blackwork, partly because I found it hard on my eyes.



I made these many years ago when I was experimenting with needlelace. The above is a set of necklace, brooch and earrings. The necklace was based on the idea of the daisy chains that I made as a child.

 This was a sampler of needlelace stitches that I made at the same time.


Good Friends

Despite having opposite characters - Tigger timid and Ginger extremely outgoing - they are very good friends.

And here is a picture from my albums of some tatting. I have no recollection of any of these pieces so must have made them and immediately given them away to someone. At least I know my tatting is spread right round the world!


Happy Easter!

I made this about twenty-five years ago for an exhibition with an Easter theme.


Spring Flowers

The flowers above are those on the bay leaf tree that I have in my garden.

And here are the flowers on a holly.

I put them up because these are plants that are thought of for other things - berries for the holly and leaves for the bay. But I think the flowers on both are worth noticing!



I wanted to show you the brioche stitch blanket I have just started because I am always amazed at the way it changes the look of the yarns used in it.

This one is two rows of blue and the alternate two rows of another colour. I am using two strands of DK held together, which gives me more combinations as of course the strands can be the same or different.

Here is the reverse, which my husband likes even better than the right side.

And here are the yarns that are going in to it. Isn't it magic the way the result looks!


White Lilac

When we moved to our present home it was late July. Almost the only things in the garden were an old lilac tree and a climbing rose. Every lilac tree in the neighbourhood seemed to be the ordinary purple kind, so we had to wait nearly a year to find out that we had a beautiful white lilac!


Door Plaques

Twenty years ago, when we moved to our present home, my daughter and I made these little door plaques from Fimo. They were based on illustrations in a Fimo book or catalogue of that time.

And they are still on our doors!


Mug Rug Swap Received!

 I joined a mug rug swap on Ravelry recently and showed you what I sent off. Unfortunately I understand that the US customs are being extremely slow handling overseas packets so mine has still not reached the recipient.

But I have had  a mug rug from a (different) person in the swap, and here it is! Isn't it lovely!

The really nice thing about swaps like this is getting something made in a way or in colours one would not have picked oneself. I would never have thought of the dark grey background, but it makes the bright colours pop very effectively! I must remember this trick myself.


My Husband's Art

My husband works long hours so he doesn't have much time to spare, but down the years he has done some lovely sketches.

The one above is a sketch of his the he turned into a decoupage.

And a garden - not actually a real garden but made up from parts of real gardens.

People who have visited Kyoto will recognise this as Kiyomizudera, an extraordinary temple built on a platform on enormous stilts.

And another garden sketch, one I particularly like as he did it for me at a time when I was bed-ridden for months, to give me somewhere to walk in my mind.



Some of the things that are on my walls right now.

The angel was counted cross stitch and beads and took ages to do. I meant to do a whole series, but my eyesight gave out before I got any more done.

This was a kit with a colour printed picture to add embroidery embellishment to. The suggestions involved very little embroidery, but I did my own thing and added a lot of embroidery.

This was silk embroidery. Unfortunately the framers framed it upside down and didn't stretch it enough, but it is still pretty.


Odds and ends

 No particular theme today. The above is a clematis! Not the kind most people are probably used to seeing, with flowers like dinner plates. This one has small leaves and at this time of the year it is covered in these pretty drooping flowers. And after the flowers it has masses of fluffy seed heads. A chap at a garden centre suggested it to me years ago, and he was right. I enjoy it every year. Just don't ask me what it is called!

Ginger wondering why I always have to wake him up taking photos. I put this one in because, this morning, he was asleep on the computer chair. I picked him up and moved him to the bed - and he purred sleepily all the way. How many of us manage to be as gracious when woken up like that!

And this is my husband's regular breakfast - the ultimate cheese sandwich!


Blankets from squares

More from my album. When I find I have a lot of small amounts of yarn left I make blankets from squares. These are some that I made a few years ago for an orphanage in Africa.

It is always fun putting them together to make an interesting design.


Japanese Folded Patchwork

Another from my albums as this was a present for my daughter. It is made by the Japanese folded patchwork method, which I found easier on my hands ay a time when my arthritis was particularly troublesome.

The back looks attractive too.


Knitted Gargoyle

This unusual looking chap is knitted to patterns by Georgina Manvell of http://www.theoldtoyknittingshop.co.uk/. They have at the moment three gargoyle patterns. My version is mostly Goswald of Graveney St George, but with the horns and wings of Percy Pendragon and the tail of Simon the Baleful.

His eyes and toenails are painted on.

And here he is with his new friends!.


More teddy bears

More teddy bears from my albums today. These were all made from patterns from books or other commercial sources, though I can no longer remember the exact details.

I have always enjoyed multicoloured bears - fun to make, and useful for using up left-over materials!



We have had some lovely weather these last few days and, as you can see, Tigger and Ginger have been taking full advantage of it.

And isn't this flowering quince beautiful!


Squares Blanket

You may remember that last month I showed you what I think is the easiest method of teaching a beginner to knit a blanket square. Here is the completed blanket.

As you can see, it produces a very attractive striped blanket.

This one is going to someone in Japan who is faced with the distressing task of setting up home again from scratch. I hope it brings them comfort and hope.



We are very fond of streptocarpus plants. These house plants seem to be far less well known that they deserve. They are very easy to care for, provided that they are not over-watered. The trick is to wait until the leaves have flopped from lack of water. It is astonishing how quickly a little water will restore them from this. They do not need very hot rooms or direct sunlight, so thrive in our west facing windows. And they have long flowering periods, and come in lots of different colours.