Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tatting with C Lon Micro Cord

 I recently made a pair of earrings with Lizbeth 20 thread but
I was not happy with my first attempt and felt disappointed as it takes ages to thread the beads and tatt it up. No matter what I did the beads would not lie flat aaaargh! I have used Lizbeth thread dozens of times and it is my favourite thread, but, for me it is too soft to work with so many beads.

So.......for my second attempt I used C Lon Micro cord which I purchased from Marion at Jewels in Fiber and the difference was amazing! Marion has a wealth of knowledge and even sent samples to me.  

You can see the difference below with the micro cord on the left


The beads now lay perfectly (well almost!) and I was happy enough to try a matching necklace

I would highly recommend using this thread for tatting, although it does take a bit of getting used to. My results are not perfect but will, I am sure improve with practice.  


These (for me)  are the pros and cons and cons of using nylon thread:

Easy to thread seed beads
Beads slide along thread easily whilst tatting
Easy to tighten rings
Nice shiny finish

Picots on chains can be difficult to find if adding a second chain over the first one
More difficult than normal to stretch a picot if it is too small

The pattern for the earrings is by Emelie beads (

......and the Toho #15 seed beads are from

ps steam press with the iron at medium temperature (test first). I sandwiched the earrings between two pieces of kitchen towel. This gave a great result as they did not need starching but were very crisp 



Friday, January 29, 2016

Tatting, silk ribbon roses and French knots on felt hearts

I love combining techniques to create OOAK items.

 I make these felt hearts in two different sizes and they look beautiful as door or drawer knobs, hanging on coat hangers or as pin cushions

I use Sizzix dies to cut the hearts and use polyester filling. My preferred embroidery floss is DMC and I like size 20 thread from Lizbeth for shuttle tatting  

Once I have completed the embroidery and/or tatting I sew two hearts together using either a running stitch or blanket stitch. I find it is best leave approximately a one inch space to insert the stuffing (it's a good idea to measure enough floss to sew around the heart without a join)

Please see the index on the left for tutorials for making silk ribbons and fork bows?

This is an example of a heart I teach as part of enrichment programmes on cruise ships -  
it takes about 60-90 minutesto complete one. It is a simple design and good for beginners. Most of us learned to do lazy daisy (chain) stitch at school and it's like riding a bike! 
Here I have combined silk ribbon roses and leaves with a tatted edging pattern by Mary Konior and French knot wisteria 

 ....more tatting with seed beads

Hollyhocks and cottage garden flowers with a tatted butterfly

......scattered French knots around  roses and added a seed bead to each stitch around the edge

 These are fun to make and you can make them as simple or busy as your hearts desire!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these and please visit again



Monday, January 11, 2016


Today I am sharing a project I just finished for our living room. I was inspired by a picture I saw recently but, unfortunately I can not remember where or when. If I do come across it I will post a link.


The room was recently decorated in French Grey and, although it does look nice, I thought some dark grey accessories would add some "zing" 

I bought this vintage wall pocket on eBay

and used a mirror we already had

Contorted Hazel (Avellina Cortylus) 
Pink and/or peach silk ribbon (mine was was hand dyed)
Isopropanol aka rubbing alcohol
Reindeer moss 
Distress ink
Craft glue
Florists' wire (optional)

Flat paint brush 
Cocktail sticks
   Palette paper (or any non- stick surface) 
Blossom punch or die cutter


I. Apply two coats of Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint to the wall pocket and mirror (you may   have to carefully remove the glass from the mirror) and leave to dry


2. Apply two coats of DecoArt Spray Sealer   

3. Make the blossom as follows: 
        a. cut flowers using a punch or die cutting machine. I sandwiched 2 layers of silk ribbon 
            between copy paper (to prevent it getting jammed). 

        b. fold a stamen in half and insert through the holes in the middle of the flowers. I used both 
            ribbon  and paper flowers - some were made with silk, some with paper and some with
            both. The fact that I varied way they were assembled made the blossom look more realistic
            and delicate.

        c. apply glue  over the top and under the base of the flower
        d. lay aside to dry, on a non- stick surface
        e. gently mould into shape with your fingers. Try to make them all different for a  more realistic 
            effect. To make buds simply roll a silk flower between your fingers omitting the stamen
        f.  Apply distress ink to the end each stamen

        f.  Once dry cut the excess stamen under the flower

4. Cut the oasis to size and place in the wall pocket

5. Glue the blossom randomly on to the twigs
6. Press the twigs in to the Oasis

7. Lay reindeer moss over the Oasis and fix in place with wire if necessary


8. Hang both items on the wall and enjoy the WOW factor

 Please let me know if you think I missed anything out












Saturday, August 15, 2015

a visit to a French Flower Shop - a fleur d'emotion

Today we were walking through the town of Nancy in France when I saw a beautiful flower shop called Le Liseron -

I must admit that, when we are travelling, I can not pass flower shops - there is just something about their ambience that I enjoy.

 Le Liseron certainly has ambience by the bucketful, right down to the bridal salon where brides-to-be can take  time choosing their floral arrangements


 The stars of the show were, of course, les fleurs and no words are needed to describe them. They were exquisite






Nancy is more wonderful than I could have imagined and our visit to Le Liseron was a real highlight - tres Jolie!  I was even invited to see the "back shop" where flowers are dried and also the ancient cellar

I could not refuse an invitation to see "the back shop" 
and the ancient cellar


Thank you Sylvain 



Monday, August 10, 2015

Tatting and Silk Ribbon Embroidery on Felt Hearts

and... What am I going to do with all these hearts I am collecting?

I just love making them and trying new designs.

I cut the hearts with my Sizzix Bigshot and it easily cuts through two layers of felt

....this one has hollyhocks and a small tatted butterfly. I added some depth to the centre of the hollyhocks with DecoArt So Soft fabric paint
 .....this s a fairly simple one I designed for a beginners' class
one of my favourites.......with tatting and silk rosebuds
I love trying new things and added gold beads to this one as I sewed the back & fronts together

We are on holiday at the moment so these will be filled when we return home in a couple of weeks 

Happy Crafting and thanks for your visit



Canal - Narrowboat Painting

 Hello  again

I have not posted much recently as we are travelling in France in our motorhome. As anyone who reads this blog knows I am am an absolute craft addict, but I must admit, it has been nice to have a little break from designing and especially from tidying up.

I have, however, been working on some new designs to teach on two cruises later this year.

One of my classes will be canal boat (narrow boat) painting for beginners.

Traditionally oil based paint was used for this technique, but I will be using DecoArt Traditions. These are really good quality acrylic paints which will more than stand up to any uses my students will have for their finished items - not much chance they will be painting canal boats!

There are many books available......I really like this one by Anne Young