We decided our website needs an update and so my other half has been working hard on using new software to run the site. It won’t look too different, but hopefully will be a lot more user friendly and more informative. The new site will be ready to publish very soon. Meanwhile I have added some new designs and will be adding more once the site is updated. We will also be having a sale to launch the new changes.

Our new designs this month are varied. This bright red dragon comes in two sizes so is suitable for a variety of projects.

RedDragonLargeIt looks great with the gold parts done in metallic thread. I am going to put one on my jacket.

This floral design is pretty and would look lovely on a T-shirt. FloraThere is one for cat lovers in this little brown cat with lovely green eyes. BrownCatFinally I have added a large flamingo as they are a current trend. I think it would look gorgeous stitched on to a cushion.

Flamingo

I have not been out with my camera very much recently as we have had so much happening so I am posting a few old favourites for my photos  this time.

First of all on our pier we have the oldest carousel in the country, and I love the colours in the horses, so here is my photo of one of them. The painted detail is so beautiful.

Carousel horse

The next photo was taken on the backwaters. I just love the contrast in colour between the dark skies and the jumble of rowing boats on the quay.

boats

 Finally I just like the reflections in this one. I have no idea what the old wreck is or if the man actually lives on it!

old wreckHappy summer days to all my readers.

I can’t believe it is April already. It is still so cold in the UK that it seems like summer will never arrive. Here we are a week in to April and we are still going out wrapped in scarves, hats and gloves. Last weekend we went on an Easter egg hunt with the grandchildren in the gardens of  beautiful  Chippenham Park, near Newmarket. It was dry but really cold. The grounds of this stately home are lovely and it was great fun trying to find hidden wooden rabbits, which are then swopped for a  chocolate egg. I even managed to find a golden rabbit, which gave my granddaughter a star prize of a large Lindt Golden Bunny. She was thrilled. Chippenham Park  I love these bronze boxing hare sculptures by the side of the lake.

Boxing hare sculptures

The Embroidery Crazy website has been updated with new machine embroidery designs for April and the  downloadable free designs for April are available. There is this spring flower trug design, perfect for home decor items. FlowerTrug

There is a new butterfly design which would look pretty on both clothing and home makes.

BlueLilacButterfly

There is also a castle in the fantasy section and some fish. The free designs are this pretty campanula flower design.

CampanulaFlowers

I love the blue bell shaped flowers. There is also a cute little duckling.

As it is still so cold of course I was busy sewing yesterday. I made this backpack for my pirate loving grandson, who will be four on Friday.

Jo's backpackAlthough I make lots of bags, it was quite challenging as I have never sewn piping round a bag before and I also had to make the piping first. I am quite pleased with the end result though, as I like the red against the blue of the pirate fabric.

At least while it is freezing outside I have lots of time to sew!!

Spring time is all about my favourite colour, green. I love watching the new green leaves start to appear on trees and bushes. Maybe it’s to do with my roots, (I was born in the ‘green’ island of Ireland), I just love green. Now spring is on the way I feel more energised. The new machine embroidery designs on my website this month are mostly linked to the spring and nature thoughts I have as I watch winter brown trees turning green. ‘Spring is in the air’ is this pretty bird design. SpringIsInTheAir   There is a bouquet of flowers that would brighten up any home items or look pretty on clothing.BouquetGirls will love this silver winged fairy sitting on a mushroom. I shall be using it on something pretty for my granddaughter.

MushroomFairyI haven’t forgotten the boys either as there is also a new plane added to the transport designs.

Our free designs to download for March are a little daffodil and a colourful kite.

I have been trying out a new sewing skill and made a Victorian style rag doll this week. She is made from felt and I am quite pleased with how she has turned out. Emily2She has a lace trimmed petticoat and bloomers under her flowery dress. I will also make her some boots, and a wool coat and matching bonnet.

I’ve enjoyed making something different from my normal sewing. I thought the hardest part was getting the stuffing right, not floppy or lumpy!

Finally having started my post with the onset of spring, here are some spring photos taken in my garden this morning, which cheer me up. First some lovely bright yellow crocus, one of our first spring flowers here in England.

crocus

Next my favourite spring flower, the beautiful primrose.

primroses

Finally some of those new green leaves I mentioned that make me feel renewed by their colour.

new green leaves

I love sewing and not just machine embroidery. I am always making something. Last week I made some seaside bunting to go in my kitchen. I did freehand machine embroidery on every other flag – seaside stuff. I chose red, blue and white for the colours as I wanted it to look nautical. I am quite pleased with the result. Image

I think I’ll put another hook half way so it doesn’t hang over the window though.

I got a new phone on Wednesday. I haven’t updated my phone for years so it was quite a good thing. I have finally gone android! I made a fabric phone cover to protect it in my bag. I used some nice bright fabric I had a small amount of. Camera coverI made my youngest daughter a new bag for Christmas. She loves tattoos so it’s an Alexander Henry fabric. I was quite pleased with the result and I think she likes it too. tattoo bag

This will be a very busy few weeks as our first large craft fair is being held in 3 weeks time! There seems so much to do still. It is a 2 day fair so we need to have plenty to sell, just in case! My poor embroidery machine has been busy every day and I feel like I work in a sewing workshop. I’ve made lots of these little Christmas stockings which will hang on a tree.

Meanwhile I haven’t much time to spend blogging or creating new designs for my website. I have updated the website for November though and there are 5 new designs. I like this peace dove, it would make a lovely card.This  Chrysanthemum design is a pretty autumnal flower, which would look good on clothing.

This Christmas candle is pretty with the flame stitched in metallic gold.

Our free machine embroidery downloads are a robin and a purple snowflake.

I can’t post without adding some photos so here are a few recent ones I’ve taken. On a recent walk into town this couple of seagulls on the sea wall were brave enough to let me take this photo.

Our winter visitors, the little Turnstones are much in evidence around the beaches and on the sea walls as we walk. I snapped these ones walking to the pier to go bowling.

As the weather worsens the boats on the Backwaters are disappearing. But I did use the zoom on my new camera to spot this little pirate ship out of my bedroom window!

I wouldn’t have seen the Jolly Roger without a zoom lens. As you can see we get lots of little yachts too on the Walton Backwaters on sunny weekends. I hope they made it safely past the Pirates!

I am now extremely busy getting ready for our big two day craft fair at the end of November. So many things I still want to make and the time seems to be running away with me! Okay I’ve still got 6 weeks, but it will fly past. My lovely other half, Alec at Photo Crazy, is also doing the fair so he is creating wonderful photo art to sell. I have spent a week making I-pad and Kindle covers so next week I am back to making more embroidered bags as they take the longest time.

I have also updated the website for October, with some new designs and new free downloads. We have a bat and a pumpkin free for Halloween projects. There is this cute skiing snowman. As crafters are already making Christmas things I have also added a Santa Elf.

Santa Elf

I have of course been using my new camera with the super zoom a lot in the past few weeks. I had to laugh when I looked out my kitchen window and saw this photo opportunity though!

My cat and ‘dinner’.

Our cat Cyrus must have thought it was his birthday when he spotted an enormous pheasant planning to land in the garden.

The pheasant on our back gate.

He was quite a beautiful bird, as you can see from this closer photo of him on our back gate.

Mentioning birds, I took this photo of a young seagull sitting on the sea wall this week. I love the markings on it. It seems a shame they disappear later.

Young seagull

I always love the view from our bedroom, we are so lucky to see sights like this orange sunset.

Sunset on Walton-On-The-Naze backwaters.

I can zoom in on the boats in the Marina with my new camera too.

Marina boats.

But my favourite photo taken this week was the other morning when I was up at sunrise and looked out my kitchen window. There are some tall trees nearby and sitting in one  silhouetted was this fully grown heron! I grabbed my camera quickly and managed to get some shots of it.

Resting heron at sunrise.

It was quite far away so I wouldn’t have got it without the decent zoom lens.

Our summer is nearly over here in East Anglia but we are having a late burst of sunshine, which is great news after the rather dismal summer we have had. I am pleased as I have a lovely new camera to try out. Unfortunately I was the victim of theft a few weeks ago when my family were down to stay with the grandchildren. I had my bag stolen on the beach, along with my everyday camera. I have a large Canon DSLR but it is too heavy to carry all the time, so as any photography addict does, I keep a smaller camera in my bag so that I don’t miss those unforeseen moments.

I chose the Canon SX40HS as my new portable camera because, living where we do, a superzoom camera is ideal. I take lots of nature shots, plus boats and beach shots, where a long lens helps get close to what I want to photograph. It is not a pocket camera, but it’s light enough and will fit in the large bags I tend to favour. I have been trying it out this week and I am very happy with the image quality, which I knew choosing Canon, would be good. The lens is great and I still get nice clear images even using the full 35x zoom. I think I have made a good choice.

I took this shot of a heron on the backwaters the other afternoon.

Heron on Walton-On-The-Naze backwaters.

It was quite far off so I used the zoom right out. I thought it worked well.

The backwaters is a boating haven.

Boats on Walton backwaters

There is a lovely old ruin of a boatshed on the Mere.

Boatshed ruin.

I quite like that it has been left as it adds character to the area.

I went on the pier to photograph the sunset last night and the sky was really quite unusual. There was what seemed to be a small piece of rrainbow in the sky, although it had been a very sunny sunny day with no rain at all. The clouds were also all kinds of shapes so it looked really pretty. This is one of my photos. The little piece of rainbow is on the left.

Unusual sunset

The seagulls were resting on the side of the pier and I liked this photo as the seagull is lit by the sunset so that he stands out from the background.

Seagull at sunset.

This morning I was up at sunrise. This is my favourite photograph from then.

Sunrise lighting breakwater

I have been busy updating my website too. http://www.embroiderycrazy.co.uk/shop/ This month we have an autumn leaf and a fox machine embroidery design free to download. I have also added several home designs, including this one which would be good for stitching on the back of a patchwork quilt. I added a blackberry and a falling leaves design for autumn and this pretty heart which would make a perfect addition to a Christmas make for a loved one. I will be very busy sewing for the next few months as, along with many craft addicts at this time of year, my husband and I have booked tables at a large Christmas craft fair. He will be selling his fabulous Photo Art and I am selling bags and other fabric gifts, many of them machine embroidered of course!