Coming very soon….

Watch this space!

Several new packs of perle coming very soon. No postage over this weekend – until Sunday 9pm UK time. Only one of each available……

Don’t forget you can still subscribe to the Creative Diary for 2015. Read about my stitching endeavours – and maybe more. Subscribe before the end of December and you can also read about 2014 – the highs and, sometimes, the lows! Subscribe here for only £10.00

Time to be bold!


Some of you know that I have a blog where I post a photograph each day. It is a picture from our garden – and it is always (almost) topical and from ‘today’. Above is the one posted today, and if you want to take a closer look at it you can do so here. Don’t go there, though, if you like perfection. Don’t go there if you only want to see perfect plants and perfect planting schemes. None of these are featured.

The above post shows the imperfections in the plants featured. It also, however, shows the importance of dark and light interspersed with medium tones. Take a walk in your garden today and study the tones – do you use all three in your work? The more work I see the more examples I notice that are simply ‘safe’ by being created solely in the middle range. Be bold! Don’t fall into that trap! Contrast in tone is probably more important than contrast in colour…………

Anyone near Portsmouth?

I’m speaking at Portsmouth Embroiderers’ Guild tomorrow evening, 7.30 Friday 24th October. Visitors are welcome. and you can find the address etc here. If you would like to download their programme this link will take you there.

Hope to see some familiar faces, and maybe a few new friends.

Begin to Journal

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A good show and a disappointment

I had hoped to have some photographs of the show at Farnham Maltings, but as it happened it was just too busy and I didn’t even take one! I did find that someone had snapped this, though, including one of our younger visitors in the background.


II really enjoyed the show – lots of lovely people, lots of interest, and a chance to meet up with friends – both old and new. I didn’t get much chance to look around, but did chat briefly with my friend Iona and also Arleen. There were other people with whom I wanted to catch up, but that will have to wait.

Apart from the fact that the show was only 6 miles away, (we can no longer stay away from home) the best bit was the’interest’. Everyone wanted to know more about everything! It was full of positive vibes, and as far as I know a good time was had by all. The Maltings is an excellent venue, especially as they are used to dealing with ‘arty’ types, and to managing a large number of people, so everything was dealt with efficiently and quickly. There was even a ‘tea trolley’ that visited the halls so that thirsty and dehydrated stand holders could refresh themselves. One of the best things about a show is the interaction with the customers. I’m always interested to hear how something has been used, and we have a lot of repeat custom – with people wanting to show and tell us about their creations.

We were in a smallish gallery with four other shops. One had some lovely clothes, another was selling buttons and jewellery made with interesting combinations of the same. There was some vintage haberdashery too, and a ‘booth’ selling bags and bits staffed by a lovely little girl whose name I never knew.

And that brings me right to my disappointment…….

I had been under the impression that the goods being sold at the show were British made. Please note the word ‘impression’! No-one had actually said that to me – but I also think that several other people thought the same. I only bought one item, from this shop (and this link will show you the pattern I had chosen, too). I didn’t have time for anything else, and that one item was intended as a gift, although, once I saw it I realised that I could make a very good use of it too. I only gave it a cursory look over – in fact I discovered that it could be even more useful when I investigated it this morning – and that was my ‘downfall’, I suppose. I picked it up and paid for it in haste – I was working, after all.

However, when I studied it this morning I actually found that it is quite shodily made. There are unsightly joins in the stitching and in truth it might look pretty from the outside but it doesn’t warrant the price paid for it. I also discovered late on that the stand was manned by paid helpers – the ‘designer‘ didn’t put in much of an appearance at all, and maybe it was fear of full inspection of the goods without supervision, or lack of trust in the employed persons, that caused the stand to be emptied (early) overnight from Friday to Saturday. Oh yes! And the best bit is still to come. There – emblazoned on the tag, ‘Made in China’!

It obviously slipped past quality control…….

Well, more than a lesson learned! I won’t be giving it as a gift, and I probably won’t use it. It will, however, be used as a sample in one of my new talks! It will be worth its weight in gold………

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