Kardinal garden 4

Love-in-a-mist (left), English daisies (right), and Ajuga, or Bugleweed, or Blue Bugle, (front middle) now completed.

On the outline sketch illustrating which flowers are where in the completed embroidery, ajuga is listed, but ajuga is not included in the flower glossary of stitch directions. An internet search gave the alternative name of bugleweed, which is how it’s listed in the glossary. Grrrrr. My knowledge of flower names is minimal at best and without the internet search I would likely have assumed that the ajuga stitch instructions had been omitted entirely!

I have several minor complaints about this otherwise excellent book, one of which is that it would have been so simple to include the relevant stitch directions page next to each flower on the sketch layout page. Instead, a search through the alphabetical glossary is necessary each time a new flower is begun, and without an index at the front or back of the book, much time is spent flipping backwards and forwards between pages.

My own solution was to print a copy of the sketch page and on it I noted the relevant stitch directions page number next to each flower. I then also added a sticky tab (with the flower’s name on it) to the edge of the relevant directions page. When I’ve completed a flower, I move the sticky tab to the top of the page. (I don’t remove them completely in case I want to add a bit more later and need to check the thread colour). Sanity restored.


no more pink shopping lists!

This is what happened to one of my favourite shirts because I forgot to remove a pink sticky from the pocket before the shirt was washed. Aaaaaargh!


not quite an oscar but…

After publishing my last post I switched to catching up with what other bloggers I follow had posted during my internet-free three day break. The first one I checked out was Elaine and discovered that she had been nominated for the Wonderful Team Membership award. Round of applause please. The rules of this award dictate that the nominee has to list 14 bloggers and to my surprise, I was on Elaine’s list. Me! Fancy that! Once I’d gotten over the initial shock and read her post several times just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, I realised that I was also now classed as an award nominee and had seven days in which to compile and post my own list. Yikes! I’m two days down at least already!

A list of 14 is easy enough to choose but my dilemma is that I don’t really understand the premise behind the actual award. Am I being nominated to become a member of a Wonderful Team? Or, will I have to lead a team? What will I have to do as a team member? Will I need to attend meetings and take minutes? Does commenting on a post make me a Wonderful Team Member of that blogger? Is it a team made up of me plus the blogs that I follow? Is it me and those who follow me who are in this team? Aarrgh! I really don’t know what this award is all about and I can’t seem to find out either. Confused.com has nothing on me at this point in time. I googled WTM Award but all I got was a long list of links to blogs that had been nominated in the past. I wasn’t able to find anyone who had actually won the award and nor could I trace the award back to a source. I began to think that this award is just the latest reincarnation of a chain letter and I’ll admit immediately to being someone who has always broken such chains. Until now.

Why have I changed my mind this one time? Well, I don’t really care if I never find out who thought up this award or why, and I don’t care if I never win an award, blog related or otherwise, but some of the blogs I delight in reading I found on other bloggers’ blogrolls and since I don’t publish my blogroll anymore, I think that there’s nothing wrong in using this nomination process to give some free publicity (which does no-one any harm) to 14 blogs that I particularly enjoy, so thanks again for the nomination Elaine, and here’s my list:


Elaine of course! Her post will explain the rules of the award if you’re interested but she also makes some cool jewellery which is worth a look!

The Dissaranged Studio – Lauren Finley, artist.

Scribblah – an Art geek

Foxs Lane  – Aussie organic farmer and crafter

Danny Mansmith – fibre artist

Bekahdu – Art Quilter

The Petit Kitchen – food and wonderful photos to drool over

Gluten Free Girl and The Chef  – yummy food for coeliacs like me

Becky Says Things – wit and more with help from stickman

Anna Scott  – brilliant with a needle and thread

Moonpenny – a special crafting friend

Mostly Bright Ideas – American musings

Mrs Fringe – a peripheral life

Gardner’s World – It’s a mysterious world

I Know These Chimps – Imagination vomit

Yes, yes, there were actually fifteen in my list. Will I now be disqualified? Before I forget, I’m supposed to include the award icon in this post:

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

creative block

I finished the crochet throw in time for Ms P’s birthday which was last week and since then I’ve been lacking inspiration (or motivation – I can’t decide which) for a new project. I’ve been doing a lot of tidying and sorting which is all good but hasn’t led to anything craftwise.

When I was working, I always seemed to have loads of ideas for things I wanted to make and finding the time to do them was the difficulty. Now it’s the other way round. Is this creative block?  If so, how to deal with it? Lots of advice out there on the web no doubt. Perhaps I need to think out of the box. Make a list. Do something completely different. Make another list. Visit a craft shop or two. Don’t do anything remotely craft related for a week. (No, can’t quite see that one working.) Get the Bernina repaired and then if quilting or machine embroidery becomes the project of choice, I’ll be able to start on it right away. (The 6th months old Bernina has been making knocking noises for a while so it’s going back to the shop this week.)

The trick about having a creative block I suppose is not to let it worry me and just ‘go with the flow’ until that leads me somewhere more productive. Until then, or until I find something else to post about, the following photographs are of Ms P’s throw, the sunrise a few days ago, and an animal hair brush which I use to gather thread ends and woolly strands, and dislodge tiny runaway beads from my workroom carpet when I can’t be bothered to drag that smug-faced vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard. I wouldn’t be without this little brush these days – it’s a brilliant piece of kit.



I am resolved

In the past, at the start of each new year, I made a list of New Year Resolutions (NYRs) but over the years, whenever I turned the calendar page over to find that it was nearly time for yet another NYR list to be compiled, I would remember that I had not in fact succeeded with any of those on the existing list. All I could therefore envisage for the coming year was more self-denial and heavier doses of guilt as well as lavish self-promises to do better next year.

After many years of this consistent failure with NYRs, I concluded that the list itself might be the problem. Perhaps there were too many resolutions and I was simply setting myself up to fail as a result, in which case why not begin afresh with just one NYR instead of several? Nearly twenty years ago that’s exactly what I did and I haven’t failed yet because not only is there just one resolution, it’s the same one every year – “Don’t make any New Year Resolutions this year”.

How do you fare in the NYR stakes?