About Me

My photo
follow up from previous blog, http://conniekonnykards.blogspot.com/ I am retired here in UK, well into my seventies, and I have crafted as long as I can remember. OH John and I have been happily married for 54 years. We have a lovely family and a cat with attitude ...... Lots of work from my hobbies is on Flickr.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Happy Wedding Day

Yesterday was so happy, and very special - our son's wedding.
Now there are nine of us.
Despite the mist, ice, and mud (hence red wellies!)lots of family and friends made it to the lovely old church at Blewbury and to the reception at a hotel on the banks of the Thames.
Both parts of the cake, traditional on top and cup cakes below, were made by friends.
This is a Christmas to remember!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas Time

It's been a strange year - many weeks with arthritic pains in my hip, arm, and legs, problems with arteries, and always poor mobility - yet, many happy times too!
How lucky I am to have a wonderful family, friends at home and abroad, and so many special friends I'm in contact with via Flickr, in UK and around the world.
Lucky too that I so enjoy working with textiles and threads, painting and paper crafting at times, using my point and shoot camera around the house and garden, and spending many hours on internet, often doing jigsaws or word puzzles, exploring new interests and places on Google Earth, but mostly browsing sites of the many talented artists I am in touch with.
As long as my PC is up and running, and my arm lets me use the mouse and keyboard and stitch, I am never bored.
I was better for a time, after having a new hip in June, but now things have dipped -
more pains in the other leg, more difficulty standing and walking and I'm restarting the hospital and treatment rounds in January with appointments with Vascular and Orthopaedic consultants.
We always love family and friends getting together at Christmas, but this year it will be quite low key - until the real celebrations start at our son's wedding on
28th December.
The house has been, and still is, very untidy and messy, as we have had a downstairs shower room added - scheduled to be completed before now but still needing finishing touches due to delays caused by the unusally cold and snowy weather.
We are not even having a tree, for the first time in 53 years - I'll put up cards, pictures, holly, etc to give a festive air, (and hide the dust! LOL)
The picture above is a reminder of a lovely tree of a few years ago.
We will have a tasty Christmas day dinner at our daughter's, no doubt some lovely presents, and then that special day, 28th December!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my good friends.
Thank you for all the lovely messages and comments I receive here and on my Flickr site. www.flickr.com/photos/23261611@N04/5281195041/

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Christmas cake time again ...

Each Year OH John makes a rich cake, from Delia's recipe, injects brandy liberally and then ices it using ideas from the book "The Idiot's Guide to Christmas Cakes"
This is the second time round for this design but this time the singers are older than the original cherubic choir boys!
I add a stitched band but haven't found it out yet.
It's on the pic of last year's cake - must search for it! ....

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Memories ....

I really wish I could paint ..... browsing through a folder I found my attempts at Christmas pictures and decided to print two as Christmas cards - not good but nostalgic!
This one and the cottage above were painted from memory - a place in the Worcestershire countryside where my family had summer holidays in the 1940's, when I was about 7-10 years old. I don't think I ever saw it in snow though.
The picture of the couple walking (so out of scale!!!) was further inspired by a bought Christmas card, long ago.
I know my sister and cousins will enjoy thinking back to happy holidays during the war!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Christmas Fabric ....

TAST 2010 38
Picot Chain Stitch
... Gold Christmas streamers with beads on a holly print fabric.
The thread is Kreinik Metallics Very Fine Braid,
which has a will of its own, twisting here and there in the stitching, (and so making automatic variations!).
It's mounted in a Christmas card frame..... oops! missed a bead on the left side!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Gathering bits for Christmas Cards .....

This week I gathered together lots of stitching "done earlier", and stitched more, for Christmas cards.
Luckily my arm is far less painful than it has been and this afternoon it was enjoyable beading these pieces. They are not as skewed as they show in the photos. The larger tree was stitched long ago and kept as a template for copying onto card and top beading - now I think I've used it enough so have added beads and it will be a picture - I usually make a new one each year so have quite a collection.
The other two will be toppers on cards.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

A Fun Pic ... Watching You

TAST 2010 - 34
Buttonholed Double Chain

I missed out this stitch - the first time I have done this in the challenge -
as a)I couldn't get it right, and b)I didn't get inspired and couldn't think how to use it.
Today I decided I must do it so started a couple of straight lines - still with errors - and then it took over and became a fun pic .....
The material is actually canvas mat-sprayed in gold but that doesn't show here.
Threads are Perle 5 and 3 and variations .. well,the mistakes!!!
To add to the 'fun' I have added French Knots and a spider web and frame from picnik.
(I enjoyed it anyway!)

Friday, 29 October 2010

A favourite scrap ....

A small scrap of linen fabric, from a favourite loose chair cover of long ago ... I decided to outline stitch in Caron Wildflowers thread and make a textile block.
So I started with Tast 35,Spiked Knotted Cable Chain but I'm wondering what's next?
I've missed TAST 34 but I don't think that will fit on here - I'll have to try it on another fabric scrap.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Magazine from 1931 ...

...... even I am not as old!
As we are having a shower room built into our walk-in pantry and garage the accumulation of 'things' over more than 50 years has to be sorted and as much as possible disposed of.
What a challenge it is, and how will we manage without the lovely pantry and dumping ground 'garage'?
There are so many things to look through, enjoy, remember connections, etc, but we have to be strong willed and send lots to a charity shop - even throw away lots - work should begin at the end of November so there's a deadline ....
But this is one thing that will have to find a new home - a 1933 magazine from my late aunt's collections.
She loved needlework, as I do, and I'll be keeping many of her things.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

TAST 2010 - 31 & 32

Autumn Theme

31 Raised Close Herringbone Stitch
32 Shell Chain Stitch

A patchwork block stitch sampler.
As my arm continues to be painful I can only stitch in short spells so this has taken several days.

I enjoy setting up a small patchwork block, choosing threads - these are Perle 5 & 8 - and letting a design develop.
The fabrics are a scrim base with cotton and hessian patches.
I'm catching up on TAST now, just a couple to get to this week's stitch.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Fairy or Cup Cakes?

An early memory from my childhood has always been coming home from Junior School to a delicious smell of baking. It was in wartime, food was rationed but mum regularly baked 'Fairy Cakes', Scones, Jam Tarts, Cut and Come Again Cake, and other every day recipes. It seemed to me that she did it every day! I've always loved eating .....
I too baked often as the family were growing up but these days I rarely do so.
I notice now that 'Fairy Cakes' have changed to 'Cup Cakes' - whatever the name I know that these, baked this morning, will not be around too long!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Frustrated Again!!

TAST 2010 - 28 Raised Chain Stitch.
My arm has been so painful recently that I have given up stitching for some time - so I'm four stitches behind with the TAST challenge, and another due tomorrow.
This morning the arm felt much better - still OK this afternoon, so I started a small sample of the first Raised Chain.
WOE!!!! After a short time, and just this small amount stitched, I could do no more.
I'm more than frustrated, but I'll keep trying in short spells .....

To pass the time I looked through old photographs and found the one below, taken by our son in the Sahara a few years ago - beautiful girls and lovely fabrics - there's always something to cheer me!

PS I did manage to complete a mini sampler block of the stitch on Friday - see Flickr.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Our family rented a "cottage" in Dorset for the nine of us to celebrate my 75th birthday, at the weekend.
My birthday was way back in May but I was not well then. Although the weather was mixed Saturday was fine and we enjoyed
a visit to Weymouth and a lovely lunch at a country pub.
The cottage was spacious, with an indoor pool and plenty of other activities available, indoors and outdoors,so every one had a good time.
We didn't manage to get a photo of everyone at the same time but have a nice varied collection of pictures. Our son Neil and I relaxed on Sunday morning, John took our photo and the others were doing their own thing about the place.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Hot Days

As our return flight from Spain was cancelled at the last minute our stay extended to three weeks - luckily we visit family so we didn't have a lot of additional expense .... but it was hotter inland than we had expected so we had an even more relaxed, lethargic time, than usual.
Like Tasmin and the other three cats we often spent time indoors to keep cool.
It was more comfortable at the coast, fairly quiet at the end of the holiday season, the Med was beautiful, there was a light breeze and plenty of good food and wine to be had.
So we enjoyed our holiday as usual.
The sun doesn't do much for arthritis in my arm so I'm way behind with my stitching challenges - but maybe I'll gradually catch up.
It won't be this weekend though as we are going to Dorset for an overdue family celebration for my birthday, (It was in May!!!)
We should have brought a bit of sun back from Spain .....
PS .... sadly no terrapin in the pond .... just frogs, frogs, and more frogs ....

Monday, 6 September 2010

Haiku 33 - Terrapin

A reminder of many visits we have made to John's sister and husband in Spain.
Sadly earlier this year we didn't see the little Terrapin - maybe he's gone!
Tomorrow we are going again, until 23rd September, let's hope he was just hiding and he'll be swimming around in their garden pond again.
I'm also hoping the sun will be good for my arthritis - it has been very trying recently so I have done little stitching, and have spent only limited time on line - both things I find frustrating!!!
Many thanks to all friends who visit my Flickr stream, for kind and generous comments, and good wishes.
I really appreciate and enjoy seeing all your lovely work and photos and I'm always sorry that I can't comment as often as I wish.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Postcard for Pat

Frustrated ....... by arthritis in my arm ......
and no hand embroidery this week.
So I decided to make a simple machine stitched postcard - a kind of stitch sampler.
Next I embellished it with bits from the scrap box, a lace initial, buttons, Broiderie Anglaise edging with hand dyed silk ribbon, and flower braid.
Not my favourite thing but it passed away a few hours!
It looks nicer than it shows here as the fabric is a pretty pale blue, not dull as it appears.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

TAST 2010 - 26

Chained Cross Stitch
In over fifty years of doing cross stitch I never came across, or thought of, using a top chain stitch to add texture or accent.
Adding a chain as a top cross on this silhouette tree has added texture and depth, though it was a bit demanding on my eyes stitching on each square rather than over four as Sharon demonstrated.
I messed the background by using fabric crayons, not good on Aida fabric.
Too late I realized I should have used paint, but at that stage bad would have become worse!
The 'Sunset' pattern is from an old magazine, Cross Stitch Gallery 21, with background effectively done in cross stitch.
I intended doing the background in basic cross stitch, against which the tree would have looked good ......but my arm gave up.
I'm going to take a short break from stitching, if I can, to give the arthritis a chance to settle down ....... I hope!!!!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Not so long ago ....

"From the old album" .....
....... for Carolyn's challenge, (Love Stitching Red)
Sorry I can't get a link - details on my Flickr site - link to that on side .....

Friday, 20 August 2010

TAST 2010 - 25

Vandyke Stitch
A mini stitch sampler, 6x10cm. which I have worked on over two days as the stitches are quite small and the threads mostly fine -
Stef Francis Fine Perle, Caron Wildflowers and crochet cotton No. 8.
The background is fine linen, Jet Ink printed with a photo of a collection of variegated fibres. I enjoy printing on fine linen but my printer doesn't always! It struggles and makes funny noises.
This is an easy stitch - but as usual I went wrong here and there.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sunflowers & Haiku 28

"Sunflower season,
Paint, stitch, and take photographs,
'twill brighten dull days"
Our neighbour has a lovely tall sunflower and the local paper recently had photos of blooms growing to record heights - reminding me that I have a collection of a watercolour pencil painting done long ago, a photo of a field in France with the blooms fading, and several stitched pieces, which together have made a nice mosaic.
I added a Haiku as I'm way behind on my personal weekly "52 Haikus" challenge on Flickr - there should be about 32 by now!
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.
It is sometimes expanded or reduced in other versions but I prefer the original format.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Siennese Stitch Mini Sampler

Tast 2010 - 24
This is last week's stitch - I haven't been stitching, or using PC a lot recently as my arm is in a painful phase.
Hopefully it will be better again soon, I get frustrated!!!
The sampler is small, 6x6cm. on an Aida 14 count band in DMC Perle 5.
The pink and purple is variegated, green weaving is in a plain double thread.
This was quick and easy to do this afternoon, I enjoyed stitching it.
The weaving has added dimension and, I think, interest.

Monday, 9 August 2010

TAST 07 32 33 34 - Doodle

32 Crested Chain Stitch
33 Scroll Stitch
34 Portuguese Stem Stitch

As it was sunny and warm this morning I sat in the garden to complete this stitch sampler, with a few unintentional variations where I went wrong!
Although I was not keen on the stitches at first I enjoyed them as I got going - I often find this is so.
It's a mini piece, 7x10cm, on evenweave in DMC Perle 5 and 8.
The doodle developed as it went along and it's in a picnic frame for presentation.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

"Just popping round the pond....."

TAST 2010 - 23 Waved Chain Stitch and variations.

Many thanks to Sue Webb for the background inspirational photo.
The link is on my Flickr Photostream - see side panel here.
The postcard is made from a Jet Ink print on canvas paper with top stitching.
The canvas is backed with a cotton fabric, flowers stitched with Stef Francis fine Perle and Caron Widflower threads.
Dried grasses are over stitched in Waved Chain, here and there with one strand DMC Floss, to give texture. (This doesn't show here!)

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Busy Lizzies and TAST

The Impatiens have been more vibrant than ever this year so I took several photos recently.
Then I jet printed onto a canvas paper as background for a textile postcard and added my next three 2007 TAST stitches, using Perle threads.
29 Arrowhead Stitch,
30 Buttonhole Wheel Stitch,
31 Cast On Stitch,
and a few French Knots.
The canvas paper is substantial, layered on a cotton base, and does not need edge stitching.

I'll be printing more of the photos on the canvas to make into greetings cards - without additional stitching.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

This afternoon I was with a very dear friend, who had a severe stroke two years ago.
Now that I am more mobile, at last, we can continue our weekly crafting.
Today Pat painted in watercolour on a textured canvas type paper.
I printed and painted on a dreary old scrap of cream voile curtain - inspired by the colours of the Sweet Peas from our garden.
I'm not sure whether Pat intended to paint holly, but as the printed version looks like it we can make Christmas cards from prints later in the year. It is very effective.
I was experimenting and will 'stamp-print and paint' more plain fabric to use as a base for postcards or TAST stitching.
A lovely afternoon - quite successful too!
Thursday morning ...... I had to start the day with a few more pieces, see Flickr.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

No Blogging and little stitching for a couple of weeks!
I've been busy on exercises, 'to strengthen leg muscles' (never mind that they exhaust me!!), house tidying following months of neglect, and watching the Tour de France .....
Well, the exercises make me stiff, the house is still a mess, the Tour is over, soooooo ..... today I caught up on three week's TAST challenge.
20 Buttonhole Wheel cup
22 Slipped Detached Chain
23 Triple Chain ..... (today's stitch - oooh, I'm up to date!)
It's another mini stitch sampler, on linen, with Perle 5, 8, 12.
I like these easy stitches and they were good to use together.
My Flickr site will be restricted for a time as I have been unable to renew my Pro subscription, but I hope to sort it shortly.
Best go and do the last garden walk of the day and a couple of exercises, before it gets too dark - thank goodness we only have a small garden .....

Monday, 12 July 2010

TAST 19 Up & Down Feather Stitch

I enjoy gathering matching threads and fibres together for a project. I have always stitched lots of "fronds" in Feather Stitch so I knew that this TAST challenge would have fronds .....
I started with two materials and motifs from my scrap box. the bottom left was a left over stitched scrap of wool top images printed on fabric paper, and the top right is a jet-ink print of an old watercolour painting, on a linen type fabric paper.
Then lots of U & D Feather stitching, French Knots, and an edge of finger chaining with the chunky wool fibre.
I had to finger-chain as I couldn't find a crochet hook at the moment I needed it .....
It's a fabric postcard - I enjoyed making it at the weekend, between a little gardening, meals. and a nice visit from family.
Oh! There was the World Cup Football final and Tour de France in the Pyranees to take a quick look at too - time flies when you are having fun!

Friday, 9 July 2010

TAST 2010 - 18 Wave Stitch

Today, at nearly "New Hip +5 weeks" I went into the garden on two elbow crutches, dumped one and did a little weeding with a long tool in an overgrown border. Two sessions of about 30 minutes each - the first gardening I have done for well over a year - wonderful!!
In between - rest time - I decided to do Wave Stitch properly. Look back two posts to see my other attempt .....
This is a mini sampler on a scrap of Hessian, using a variegated Texere yarn.
I varied the height of the rows but not the spacing.
Next rest time I'll do this week's stitch .....

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Fabric Postcard ...
This has been hanging around needing completion for a long time. As I attempted Wave Stitch in the top corner (see previous post)
I decided to add more and more until it became OTT and so completed!
It was a piece of patchwork print fabric and I think it is now "encrusted" - with buttons, beads, sequins, braid, machine & hand stitching.
Altogether a hotch potch - but I enjoyed stitching it anyway.

Monday, 5 July 2010

TAST 2010
18 Wave Stitch

Well, my version!
I didn't read the instructions
before I set up lots of
straight stitches - so I have woven the top stitches instead of making feet and threading the yarn.
I should know by now that I MUST read instructions!!!! Maybe I'll do the stitch properly next time.
This is a corner of a CQPC started some time ago.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

I started the TAST 2007 challenge in March this year as I missed it first time round.
Bullion Knots are the challenge for week 27.
This mini sampler, 6x5cm. with Straight Stiches added, is stitched on evenweave fabric in DMC and Stef Francis Perle 5, with Oliver Twist threads bottom right.
The frame is from picnik for display here.
I'm also doing the 2010 Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge and trying to keep up weekly with that.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Daisies ......
....... to start my new blog.
I can't post new items in my old blog at conniekonnykards.blogspot.com
though I have tried all the ways I can think of.
It still exists and I'm sorry not to continue it - I like to look back on my previous work and posts.
Reluctantly I'm starting again - maybe that's as it should be however as I am feeling a "new woman" since my hip op a short time ago!
I haven't finished any new work this week so have collected these daisy photos together for a starter - I love them all ...
I hope friends who looked in on the old blog from time to time will find me here! Connie.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

konnykards - musings of a senior citizen:

konnykards - musings of a senior citizen:

I can't get into my original blog!!!!!
It still seems to be around at http://conniekonnykards.blogspot.com/
I'm trying to get back to it before I start all over again here!

If you happen to come across this please try the original and tell me if you can get into it! Connie.