Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The first of my trials of chevron stitch for TAST and its a hhhmmmm moment ! Definitely NOT my favourite stitch - I never liked this stitch when it was involved with smocking either!
But I will persevere to another sample ........after all - I am an experienced stitching person, and wont be beaten by a mere stitch - so there! ...........and my little book of stitches is coming on!

Indian Inspiration

My sis sent me this little bag today

- sold under the Fair Trade Agreement - it is so sweet and well worked!

I love beaded purses and this one, with its very detailed front and back is just right to hold my mobile phone!

Just beautiful !


Monday, January 29, 2007

great post and a Welsh angel

I love coming home and finding great post in my mailbox..............I used to get envelopes full of teabags from my sister but they have been sadly lacking of late :-(
But today ..................joy of joy ................I got a great post! An ATC from Mags my Welsh angel who lives somewhere near Chester! She sent me this

enclosed in this card! Isnt it great - a machined ATC - fantastic work!

What a super lady!

Oh - and this super lady , that so often makes me laugh and keeps me amused when we chat, also has a wonderful husband who sings!

Emyr never moans when he comes in from choir and I am sitting there in his living room (virtually of course) :0)

It has been known that Mags and I are busy chatting about embroidery early in the morning and Emyr is eating his breakfast - but he never moans! I have been taken on virtual tours of their flat , shown the view and also sat on their kitchen table (virtually). I have been in Mags studio and in their living room ...........and even introduced to their neighbours and family!

What wonderful people ! Mags - aka Digital Gran and her amazing husband.........my life is richer for knowing you both! ...........and visiting at strange hours (virtually of course ;-)

Thank you,


Sunday, January 28, 2007

TAST - cretan stitch

well I have at last caught up with TAST and the cretan stitch challenge. Love this stitch although I have to admit I had to look for a stitch book to be able to work it in the beginning.

But was away on a course for the last couple of days so all good plans and intentions went out of the window!

However .........it is now completed and ........

my little book of stitches is growing fast !!

Zaz ;-)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

doing the poppies

as Terri made some lovely comments about my work and asked for an explanation about the poppies - I decided to post it here.........

I have been doing these flower and landscape pictures for the best part of 2o years now - I still love the hand stitching and the composing of these little art pieces even if it is considered hackneyed and old hat.

So here is my method .................
I frame up 2 layers of cotton calico - I like a good base to work on and the 2 layers work well. Old cotton sheeting can also be used but I prefer unbleached calico.
Having decided on the size of the finished picture - usually about 4.5" X 4.5" I draw this square onto the fabric and paint it in plain old watercolour paints . I use very watery greens, blues, browns ........ and let them mix and blend on the fabric.
I then start to build up the background by using long stitches in single stranded embroidery thread or ordinary sewing cotton. I cover the whole of the background - blending and mixing colours as I work.
A detail can be seen here - it isnt vital to be too neat or precise -

Once the threads are beginning to cover I start to insert smalls pieces of torn fabrics - chiffons, organzas and sheer fabrics. Lay the colours where they are in your picture.

Once the ground work is done the details can be started as here in the poppies...............

Stitching small pieces of fabric for more intense colours and adding embroidery stitches for the final details .

Here are some of the other pictures I haver stitched using this method.....

I am happy to help and aswer any questions if you have any - it is so hard to describe exactly what i do ! But please email me if you want any more information !

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Valentines charms

some charms for Valentines day ........coming up so soon
........and for Ulf .......the beginnings of the poppies........


too much snow

is just plain boring ........over 2 feet today! and that, my friends, is very boring

3 paths need shovelling - 1 to the shed for the tools - 1 to the wood pile and 1 to walk Charlie.........

it is the stuff of Christmas cards ...........but I want spring :-(

lets hope for spring tomorrow
Zaz ;-)

Monday, January 22, 2007

yet more charms

inspired by this group of artists here I have started some more charms ..... - this is just the beginnings and am not really sure where they are going yet but I am pleased with their look!
It started life as plastic tube - square - and contained a tube light fitting! I was about to discard it when I realised that it measured 1" by 1" - so I cut it up into small squares.
This left rather sharp edges so I covered them with glue from a hot glue gun and then added Treasure gold...............
on to the next part .................

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I have really enjoyed working on these charms for a swap ............................. 1" X 1" is small but a challenge nevertheless! and MsT enjoyed it too ......she always rises to a challenge :0)

Friday, January 19, 2007

studio progression

My studio is progressing rapidly ..........and just now we are insulating the inside so that it will be warm and snug even in the winter months!

And on a lovely sunny day like today it sits so pretty in between the garden workshed and our teeny tiny house.............
The view from the inside isnt bad either .........and it gets the morning and afternoon sun.........I really cant wait for it to be finished !

The view behind is to the mountain with only fields in between..........................

tagged on weird things

Oh - I have been tagged by Tanya to disclose 6 weird things about me .............well I suppose amongst the weirdest are the jobs I have had ........so here goes:

1 - I have worked in a graveyard both digging and filling in graves - it was usually me that went down into the grave to put up the shoring boards

2 - I worked as a gardener for the Bishop of Tewkesbury in the UK.

3 - I have busked in the centre of Cheltenham, UK- playing guitar and singing - I was barefoot. (it was for charity!)

4 - I have sung and played guitar in many pubs around the Cheltenham/Glos, UK area.

5 -In spite of living in Sweden I do not eat fish!

6 - I have two half sisters that I have never met, dont know where they live and dont even know their names, but I know they exist somewhere.

Off to do some more textile work!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

TAST- detached chain

I have started the next sample of stitches for Sharons challenge - Take a Stitch Tuesday - this week it is detached chain stitch! Yes the good old lazy daisy - a wonderful old fashioned stitch that has been around for eons.

I have decided to make a sampler book for all these stitches that I am revisiting and this sample here is stitched on hand made paper , backed with linen.
It was dyed with acrylic dyes and paints , then stitched. It was not the easiest thing in the world to stitch on but I like the look.
I inserted eyelets so I can bind or tie them together when is all done and dusted!
This is just the beginning of this sample - I havent quite finished it yet .
zaz ;-)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


just completing some ATC's of MsT that will be hopefully winging their way to Oz .............for their 2007 ATC challenge.

I now want to have a go at the charms 1" X 1" that are sweeping the blogs at the moment ..........very very small though ......

zaz ;-)

Friday, January 12, 2007


and buttonhole stitch .......................

I really enjoyed doing this sample for Take a stitch Tuesday!

no pressure - just fun - and how I love working with birds..........

it is a textured background fabric - and linen and silk threads overlaid - even some thin machine threads........

Thanks Sharon for presenting tis amazing opportunity of stitching with stitchers from around the world!



Thursday, January 11, 2007

making paper

I have an exhibition coming up in April that involves my book pictures .........shown here...........little books of music - sometimes haiku - sometimes poetry - sometimes secrets ......... always stitched.
So for this exhibition I have to make paper and thought it would good to share my method (very simple) with you !

Papermaking , my way, is simple it needs no specialist equipment and is quick

Firstly you will need some shredded computer paper - this is easily obtainable from local offices who are often glad to see the back of a bag of it ;-)

Computer paper makes good paper because of its long fibres and it also ends up white (ish) so is good for dyeng and painting.

Because it is good paper it need soaking before using - I usually soak mine overnight but a few hours will do. It needs to be soft and squidgy.

You dont need masses if you are just experimenting - a few good handfuls of shreddings in a bucket will make a good quantity to play with.

After it has soaked take small handfull and whizz it up in a food processor with some water. Here is mine - I bought it at a car boot sale, cheap, especially for papermaking.

After its been whizzed for a couple of minutes empty the contents , now paper pulp, into a container of water - a washing up bowl or plastic box are both great for this.
Pulp about half the bucket of shreddings - the wate and paper pulp should be about the consistency of sludgy water.

Cut out strips of fabric for backings - I use loose weave scrim, linen or sacking and I vary them according the size of book to be made ............mostly I work about 9cms X 17 cms. have these cut out ready.
Also have ready at the side of the sludge tank some newspapers (plenty to soak up the water) and lay one J cloth over the newspaper - the hand made paper peels off nicely from J-cloths.
Using one strip of backing material dip it into the sludge tank and lift it out with some paper pulp on the top. It doesnt have to be even - the more uneven the better!!!
It is wet (very wet) and sludgy! Lift it out and place it on top of the J-cloth - proceed until the J-cloth is full with pieces.

Leave them to dry a lttle while - at least until they have stopped dripping! Once they have done that you can lift them carefully off the J-Cloth and dry them over a heater for speed (I am very impatient! )
I dry mine over the radiators in the bathroom ,
sitting room................anywhere :0)

When dry you will have alovely pile of hand made paper sheets to do what you want to with ..............
you can stitch them , dye them,glue them , mould them (when slightly damp) ................anything.
Oh - and one important point - it is not reccommended to pour away the sludge paper pulp down the sink cos it blocks it!
Instead sieve the pulp through an old pair of tights and squeeze out the water - it can be reconstitutes as paper pulpagain by adding water............. or if you want you can leave it to dry completely and make paper stones!

Have fun! Zaz;-)

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