July 2012


I decided to join the weekly photo challenge. I found this week’s title of ‘inside’ to be just that – a challenge. So many things are more beautiful on the inside than they are on the outside. For example many buildings, especially old buildings. Then there are things in nature, like flowers, which often have really beautiful insides, or shells, like an oyster shell, which is really quite ugly on the outside but has a beautiful pearly coating inside. So what to photograph? Then this morning I went for an early walk round our little seaside town. I always carry a camera with me. ‘Inside’ the window of our local Thai restaurant I saw a little model of a Thai figure and thought it was beautiful. So here is my ‘inside’ photograph taken through a shop window.

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My embroidery machine is away being serviced, which as we live in a remote area could take up to three weeks. This means I can’t test stitch any designs so I am having a holiday from digitising. It would be bad news but I decided to use the time profitably. I have just bought a lovely new sewing machine, the Janome Horizon 7700. It is aimed at the patchwork and quilting market and, as I am really hopeless at patchwork, I decided to use it to learn how to do it properly. The machine has lots of excellent features to help, including a built in walking foot, and a quarter inch guide sewing foot. So having cut out squares using my rotary cutter I have been making patchwork ipad cases. This is my first one The middle two sections are my pieced squares and I then quilted it using a built in stitch from my lovely machine. I was pleased with the result.

I then made a blue version of the above and also this little patchwork purse.

Little patchwork purse

I need to work on lining the squares up perfectly, but it’s quite pretty.

I also love making bags so I’ve also made a few, some with panels I’d embroidered earlier. I really like these embroidered hobo bags. I love this Mandarin duck design, not mine but from Embroidery Library, and this one with a colourful parrot.I made a little shoulder bag with bright fiery fabric. Hmmm, not my best sewing on that one! But I love the fabric.I love purple so made this in lilac and purple hues. The next one has a Dresden flap, which was quite tricky to do with my mediocre patchworking skills. I really like making personalised bags for children too, so this is one I made just before my embroidery machine went off, for a little girl called Sophie.

She loves it! I can be contacted via my website if you would like a quote for a personalised child’s bag.

Today I am making a dinosaur backpack for my grandson. I think I will then further my patchworking skills by making a lap quilt.

The strength old age brings.

I love this picture created by my lovely other half. Let me know if you love it too!

Our great British summer continues to be grey and wet. We’ve just had the wettest June ever in the UK! Living at the seaside as we do it’s a bit depressing, to say the least. However in true British tradition we soldier on regardless.

Last week we took ourselves off to Colchester Zoo for a much needed day out. The weather forecast had said it wouldn’t rain in our area. They lied! I was in the queue to hand feed the elephants when the heavens opened!! It didn’t just rain a bit, it was torrential. As I did not want to miss my turn feeding the elephant I stayed put. That was not a wise decision. I was wearing a very light and non waterproof jacket and got soaked right through. I was so wet rivers were running down my arms. As soon as I’d had my turn I ran for the nearest indoor enclosure. I then had to try to dry off using tissues. Hmmm, luckily it was¬† a heated area so I did eventually start to dry off a bit.

Anyway¬† Colchester Zoo was really good and I managed to get some decent photographs. Here are a few of my favourites. First of all I love the red Pandas. I think they are beautiful and have sweet faces. Any kind of cats are another huge favourite. We got very close to a tiger, who was lying inches away on the other side of a glass screen. He was magnificent! Then they have cheetahs too. I can’t remember the name of this bird but I liked his interesting face. He had enormous wings when he opened them out as well. Finally I love lizards so here is one of my lizard shots. They are so prehistoric, I think they are great. Apart from getting very wet we had a lovely day as the rain didn’t last long and I would recommend Colchester Zoo to anyone.

As well as having a day out I have updated the website for July. Our free machine embroidery designs are an optimistic smiley sun and the hippo from our animal alphabet. There are 6 new designs on the site. They are a robin, a colourful little yacht, skittles, this Beetle car design for automobile fans,a classic ladybird to add to our insect section and finally this design which reminded me of playing with toy kaleidoscopes when I was a child. I was fascinated by them!