Monday, December 27, 2010

Welcome to my followers!

I'd like to say a very warm welcome to all my followers.

First of all to Susan - my dear friend and Mini Crochet Maestro, I could not have done this without your help and advice - thank-you.
Deni - it is so great to see the things you are doing, your creativity and energy inspires me.
Christine, I just love your Hollyhock Cottage and the stories you share about it's contents - congratulations on a truly lovely blog.
Caterina, I am enjoying looking at all the wonderful minis on your blog, you certainly have a wonderful collection.
Cheryl, you are certainly in the spirit of the season with all your Christmas trees. Some day soon I would like to try my hand at making some miniature beaded ornaments for trees...when I find the time that is! Sonia, I just took a look at your blog and love your Christmas wreaths and Poinsettia - they are so festive!
Thank-you one and all for visiting my blog - I do hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tiny Tatting

These tiny miniature doilies measure about 1.25 inches in diameter. They were made as part of my Christmas present to a couple of my very dear friends. The thread I used is 100 weight - that's half the thickness of normal sewing thread. The pattern is called "Spring Blossom" and comes from a little booklet I bought from Jon Yusoff - she makes some lovely designs. The booklet is called "Tatted Snowflakes Collection". If you would like to see more of her work, here is the link to her blog.


Jon is away on holiday in the UK at present, but when she returns she will be putting all the information about her patterns back on her blog.

Here is another of her designs called "Sweet Rose" which I made earlier. The first photo shows it as originally designed, made with 50wt sewing thread. I added a few extra picots to the second one, which is made with 100wt sewing thread.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wishing everyone a happy and joyous festive season, and a wonderful New Year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Photos of my menagerie

I had a professional photographer come to the house recently to take some pics of my dogs and bird.  Here are some of the results.  I should mention that over half of these animals are rescues - unwanted, unloved, sometimes abused and in desperate need of love and attention.  Rescuing Italian Greyhounds is something else I do when I'm not doing needlework and miniatures (actually it's more like the other way around!).

The two old boys you see below were a particularly bad case - they had to have extensive surgery done to their mouths due to their teeth having been badly neglected, and that's why their tongues hang out. They are father and son.  One has ongoing health issues, among them heart failure, and he's ancient for this breed. Neither of these dogs was expected to live more than a few months when I first got them. The good news is that this will be their third Christmas with us. The vet says their life is so good now they don't want to go anywhere!  They are such sweet and loving little boys, I'm so glad they came into my life.

This is Rosie, the first rescue dog to find her way to my home. She was siezed from a puppy farm and although young at the time, she had multiple behavioural issues, most of which have since been resolved. She clung to me the day she arrived here and remains a personal favourite of mine. She also loves to act up for the camera - a real pose this one is! 

Here is the rest of the canine rabble. We had a really fun time getting them all to sit still and look up for this photo! My original idea was to sit down with them, but that didn't work because they all thought it was playtime and wouldn't sit still, so instead they sat in the baskets and looked at me while the photographer did his stuff. He said he had never taken so many adult dogs at once.  All their cavorting around messed up the nice cover the photographer had brought for the shoot.

Left to right:  Rosie, Tia, Pharaoh, Teddy, Tilly, Samantha, Kimba, Banjo and Andrea

Last but by no means least, our little rescue Rainbow Lorikeet, Cheekyface Chopchop Honeyblossom Treaclebeak.  Cheeky to his friends and family (and believe me I named him for his personality!).  Cheeky came to us nearly twelve months ago, rescued from death row at a shelter.  He had no tail and badly damaged wing feathers and consequently couldn't fly.  He was a very scared little bird who showed signs of having been hand-tamed to a minor degree, but he was a fear biter and needed to improve his social skills.  I'm pleased to say that his tail has since grown back and his wings look much better than they did - he can fly a little now but not for a great distance.  He loves spending time perched on my hand, shoulder or head (or climbing up my clothing when he lands on the ground) and is showing signs of trying to talk.  He loves to have his head scratched and will preen my hand in return.  Although he is not allowed out of his cage while the dogs are around, he is quite unafraid of them and likes to lick their noses with his tongue through the cage bars.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A link for some gorgeous jewellery

I've been watching episodes of 'The Tudors' lately - I don't watch a lot of TV because I'm usually too busy making things but I make an exception for shows like this.  I just love historical dramas with all the costumes and backgrounds.  There is some really sumptuous jewellery in this program - drop dead gorgeous stuff I would love to own.  Don't ask me where I would wear it though!

Being a beader, I'd like to adapt some of these styles to my own beaded jewellery.  The only trouble with watching the program is that you never get a long enough look at each piece to remember what it looks like.  Well I've found the answer - a website devoted to the jewellery on the show

Some eye candy to share

 Here is my latest beaded jewellery creation, which I'm calling Springtime Rose. 

It's a bit of a romantic piece I guess.  The original concept was built around the focal beads, which are crystal with handpainted pink roses and I was aiming for a Shabby Chic look.  The only trouble is that just about everything I make ends up looking more Victorian than anything else, and this jewellery is no exception!  I guess I might as well just admit it - I'm obsessed with the Victorian era.  I made the necklace adjustable so I can wear it with different necklines.  I'm still working on the matching bracelet at the moment.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Well here I am!

After much cajoling (or I should say more politely - encouragement) from a certain member of the blogging community, I have finally made it into blogland.  I'm still very much finding my feet here - editing my website is easier than doing this at the moment - so I hope everyone will bear with me for a while until I 'learn the ropes'.