Archive | November 2012

Should I?

I had a late night at work tonight and whilst compulsory, it clashed with my stained glass class! As I drove home, I realised I could probably make about 45 minutes of the class. I could drive home and put my feet up, or I could hope the temporary traffic lights were for me, and go to my class in my work clothes (my apron, glass etc was already in the car). What would you do?

Well, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know what I did! Yep, I did stained glass in my work clothes! I haven’t done anything crafty in the last week due to a combination of feeling rubbish and having reports to write, and wanted a bit of me time, hence my decision to go.

Once I arrived at my class I only had 40 minutes of the class. Factor in setting up and packing away time and I probably actually had under 30 minutes!

So was it worth it?


With a lot of help, some of my middle star is leaded. I’m starting to think that despite simplifying the middle of the design, it is still pretty complicated when you start thinking about how many leads meet in the centre! Another factor is the size of the piece. It is 25cm x 25cm, which gives you an idea just how small the centre is!

I’m glad I went. Whilst to you it may not look like a huge amount of progress was made (last weeks post), this was actually quite hard to do. I now have more idea how to do the rest next week. Ideally I’ll finish cutting the leading next week, which leaves me a week to solder and cement. It’s getting a bit too close to Christmas for my liking now!


Very Inspiring Blogging Award

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an message from Laura Smith via my contact me page to tell me that she has nominated me for the Inspiring Blogging Award.

Her message said

“I have nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award because I think you deserve a little something for making your blog always look fab!”

To share this little bit of blogging kindness I have to:

1. Display the award image on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites.
5. Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post.

I have already done the first two.

So, 7 things about me? Let me think…

  1. I feel horrible at the moment. I have a bad cold that hit me for six this week. I kept going some how, but today I have stopped and ended up staying in bed far too late, until 5pm. Oops! I had planned to have a lie in, but that is excessive. I could have gone to a workshop this afternoon, but wasn’t feeling up to it. I was going to try to get my sewing machine out, but now it is too late.
  2. I have two cats – Jess and Pepper. Jess is 10 and Pepper is 5. Jess prefers me and Pepper prefers Mr M, however they both know Mr M is a soft touch! They don’t get on, with their own territory within our house. Unfortunately the cat flap is in Pepper’s territory…
  3. After a few years off the road for health reasons, I am allowed to drive again. My driving licence is only valid for three years, but hopefully my health will be good enough for them to renew it when it expires. I feel as though I have my freedom back, I can now go to the supermarket, hobbycraft, where ever I want to really!
  4. I love trying new crafts. I decided to give stained glass a go after seeing that a local school offered classes on an evening. Admittedly I initially wanted to do the silver jewellery courses, but they are full with a waiting (which I’m on, of course!). I’m really enjoying stained class and am considering continuing after Christmas. If you’re near Reading (which most of you aren’t!), click here to see what courses are on offer.
  5. I enjoy travelling. Our summer break this year in South East Asia was brilliant. My favourite place this time was Luang Prabang. The previous year (on our honeymoon) my favourite place was Hoi An.
  6. All of my family live down in Devon, about three hours drive away from Reading. Mr M’s family live in Cheshire, about three and a half hours drive away, and his sister is even further! We rarely see our families due to the distance and hectic lives. I wish we saw them more often.
  7. I am a cider drinker! No, not the fizzy sweet stuff, like Kopparberg, but proper cider. I enjoy going to cider farms and trying their produce.  We frequent pubs that sell both real ale and real cider, rather than chain pubs that only sell strongbow. We even had some at our wedding reception. Some of my work colleagues were amused to see me in dancing in my wedding dress holding a pint of cider! 

The challenge with blog awards is choosing who to award it to, as there are so many inspiring blogs out there. I eventually chose the required 15! The blogs below are in a random order.

  1. The Renegade Seamstress
  2. Clouds of Colour
  3. The Crafty Network
  4. Diary of a Mad Crafter
  5. Modflowers
  6. Did You Make That?
  7. Dianne Faw
  8. The Sewing Boutique
  9. The Crafter’s Apprentice
  10. Krafty Kat
  11. Heart Stitch
  12. Michelle Made Me
  13. Attic 24
  14. Jelly Jam
  15. The Long Thread















Thank you to all the bloggers above for being so inspiring!

Winter mice

Sadly, this may be the last post where I share with you the delights of a window display by Jacksons of Reading. I have previously shared with you the delights of previous window displays for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.  Local papers announced last month that the shop would be shutting after 137 years. It will be a real shame as it is an icon of Reading and is a real gem. The wool department is huge and the crafting section is the only place in the centre of town where you can get both DMC and Anchor embroidery threads. They also sell a big variety of aida and evenweave off the roll. Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me in some ways as when I go I am often the only person there buying bits 😦

Anyway, enough of the sad. Here is their cute window display of mice ice-skating:

A-tischoo! A-tischoo!

It’s the time of year here in the UK when it’s cold and wet and everyone is sneezing. Unfortunately I have been one of them for the last few days. I feel pretty horrid, but I have kept going, just! One of the things that helped me keep going was my stained glass class. I was very tempted to stay in bed on Wednesday morning, but I could hardly go to my class if I had taken the day off work!

Sneezing definitely slows down whatever you are doing. You can’t sneeze and do something else at the same time! This has impacted a lot of what I have done over the last few days. I kept having to take breaks from my stained glass to have sneezing fits. I hope that I haven’t made anyone there ill!

I did manage to get a bit done.

I finished cutting the glass:


I also grinded some of the pieces down so that they fitted together better. I then started leading:


I have two and a bit lessons left before Christmas. I hope I can get it finished in time!

The Big Stitch

The joys of twitter and facebook mean we can keep up to speed on what is going on, if you follow the right people of course! I follow Mr X Stitch (@MrXStitch) and he tweeted about the Big Stitch at the Ashmolean in Oxford, on December 1st.  I read a bit about it,  after all, Oxford is a relatively short train journey away…

As well as a special exhibition there are:

  • Interesting sounding lectures
  • Young Embroiders’ Workshops
  • Creative Workshops For Adults
  • Tours
  • The World’s Longest Embroidery
  • Crowd Stitching
  • Embroidery Demonstrations
  • and more…

All of this is free!

50% of the tickets for tours and workshops are pre-bookable.  I’m booked onto a workshop from 2 to 4pm on Raised Work Embroidery. I also tried to book onto the mornings workshop on making a Japanese Pocket Book, but all the pre-bookable tickets had gone. I’m planning to try to get there in time to get a ticket on the day. For some adults the tours may be of more interest. There are also lots of workshops for kids, as well as drop in sessions.

I am also hoping to help extend the world’s longest embroidery (currently 600m long!) and join in with the crowd stitching. They even have 1000 mini kits available to help you have a go!

To learn more about The Big Stitch see here.

It looks like fun and is incredible value. I will be travelling for approximately 1hr 30mins each way to get there and back, but it should be worth it. If you’re in the area, why not pop over/in?

Papercut Cards

A few months back, I treated myself to a craft knife. I haven’t used it much, but was quite pleased with the cupcake card I made with it, so decided to try more papercutting.

When making the cupcake card, I cut the image out of paper and stuck it to a card blank. I was feeling more adventurous second time round and cut the image out of the card blank instead and stuck coloured paper behind it.


This card is for a birthday.


And I used this one to RSVP to a wedding invite. I’m really pleased with them both and will definitely make cards this way again. It is quite effective and relatively quick.

I won!

I have had a few giveaways on my blog, but have never won one, until Friday. I read The Sewing Boutique’s blog as it has pretty fabric and great tutorials. The blog is a bit quieter than it used to be, but that is due to the success of the  shop.

If you love fabric you will like The Sewing Boutique shop. There are some lovely fabrics, such as this pretty Michael Miller Print, which is the favourite print of the week.


As well as all the  fabric you can also get ribbon and lots of haberdashery bits. I love how postage charges are easy to understand and are very reasonable.

So, what did I win? This lovely bundle of four coordinating fabric and two coordinating ribbons:


The picture above is the one on the giveaway blog post. The photo below is one I took under artificial light after unpacking it all.


I am a lucky lady!