Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Crochet is the very first craft I taught 30 years ago! I first taught my neighbour Cath (who is still my best friend....and she still does crochet) and then to my colleagues when we worked in an out-of-town office and had nothing to do at lunch time.

Recently I have not done much crochet but, because it has had such a resurgence in popularity I have decided to teach it again.

I have designed this pattern because it has such a wide range of uses and can be used on a quilt, bag, hat  or as a brooch.

The pattern is suitable for beginners

It us written in UK crochet terms

Abbreviations: beg = beginning, sl st = slip stitch, ch = chain, 
dc = double crochet, htr = half treble, tr = treble, dtr = double treble

ch 34 leaving a 9” tail

Row 1: 
1dc into 2nd ch from hook and into each ch to end
Row 2: 5 htr into 2nd dc, 1 ss into next dc, 
*5 htr into next dc, 1 ss into next dc*, repeat from *to*  twice (4 clusters)
*5 tr into next dc, 1 ss into next dc*, repeat from *to* 4 times (9 clusters)
*5 dtr into next dc, 1 ss into next dc*, repeat from *to* 6 times (16 clusters)

To assemble - fold over the first two small clusters then roll gently and sew in place at the back of the rose

ch8 ,8 tr in fourth ch from hook, 1 htr in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 ss, 1 ch, 1 ss in last ch

Turn work round, 1 dc in next ch, 1 htr in next  ch, 8tr in next ch. Fasten off

Please contact me if you have any questions about this pattern 

I crocheted this little piece to show beginners how the height varies with different stitches 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Silk Ribbon Roses, Tatting and French Knots

Hi - these are a few of my recent projects combining silk ribbon embroidery, tatting and French knots. 

I am really enjoying hand stitching and is not too difficult and is very therapeutic. 

There are lots of videos on Youtube for all of these favourite tatting tutorials are by Yarnplayer and my love of embroidery and silk ribbon work was inspired by a beautiful book called "Roses" by Di van Niekerk

These roses were all created using 7 mm wide silk ribbon and the tatted edging was done in Lizbeth thread size 20

 Silk spider roses with French knot centres and silk leaves

I embroidered the French knots using 3 strands of  DMC thread

See you soon 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hand Painted Roses on Cards

Who doesn't love roses?

I love growing them, drying them, sewing them with silk ribbon and painting them

My orevious post was cards made with this Sizzix On The Edge Die and I could not wait to make cards  with painted roses. The lacy edge combined with pale roses is stunning. I love painting on black  and the cards look amazing with either coloured inserts or a greeting written with white ink

If you would like to learn decorative painting it is easier than you think as you build on your skills stroke by is similar to the way you learn the alphabet or a musical instrument, rather than being born with "artistic talent".  I believe everyone is born with some creativity but often lack of confidence and self doubt gets in the way of it! I didn't start painting until I was 55 and many good painters only take it up when they retire.

I teach arts and crafts on cruise ships and one of my favourite things is seeing passengers who have just made something for the very first time

If you want to start painting there are many helpful links with ideas, tips and projects. 

. There are hundreds of projects for all skill levels on the DecoArt site

I painted these cards with DecoArt Americana Paint on black card. is a quality paint with a smooth consistency and  comes in a wide range of colours


If you are a beginner you can achieve beautiful results with a new series of folk art painting kits called Folk It   The kits are designed to enable you to learn the basic skills of folk art and you can create beautiful hearts, greeting cards and home decor items using these skills. Everything you need to start is in the kits including brushes, paints a, surfaces and patterns

Give it a will love it!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Sizzix On the Edge Doily Cards

How exciting when you get a new die!

I already have a Sizzix doily die but wanted to try the Tim Holtz On the Edge one. I think it is discontinued but you should be able to find one online. I ordered mine from the US on Amazon UK and was happy with the price

I found the best weight of card to use was 220gsm. I tried thicker card but it was too difficult to get a clean crease and also to poke out the little itsy bitsy pieces

The top of this one is vintage lace and the inner is pearlised embossed card

....for the background here I applied soft artists' pastels in pink and green, rubbed gently with kitchen towel and set it with hair spray. The beautiful rose image is from the Graphics Fairy site and was applied with spray adhesive

This would be a good choice for a wedding or Christening invitation

A nice cheerful card with paper daisies and a rhinestone flower - it's good to mix textures and colours

 I had a lot of fun making these and hope you enjoyed seeing them



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Round Pin Cushion Tutorial - make from an upcycled cashmere sweater

It is a beautiful day in Edinburgh - great for children rolling their Easter eggs

Not for me however as I have been busy crafting and preparing lesson plans.

This year I will be teaching again on cruise ships and am always trying to come up with new projects....

What do you do with that favourite cashmere sweater or cardigan? You can only shave off these little  pilled balls for so long until it is eventually unwearable.

I have always liked these pin cushions so thought I would try making some.....they are super easy and quick to make and woukd make lovely gifts

Also this is a nice way to use up your stash of buttons and bling to make each a One of a Kind

To make one you will need;
A piece of cashmere
Embroidery floss or crochet cotton
Polyester filling
A button
Pinking Scissors
Needles (it is helpful to use a long needle for the final step) 

Fold the fabric in two with the right sides together. 
Pin together and draw round the edge of a small saucer or plate with an air erasable pen (mine was in the loft so I used a Sharpie and made sure I cut inside the marking). I used a 10cm saucer.

Cut out with pinking shears to prevent fraying

Sew together with backstitches approximately 3mm from the edge,  leaving a small gap to insert the filling, Then cut a few nicks

Turn inside out, stuff and sew the open part with small stitches

Bring the needle with double floss up from the back to the front at the centre point, pulling gently, then over to the back again. Repeat this until you have the required number of segments* (sorry I did not take a picture)

*you may find it helpful to make a paper template and fold in half two or three times and use this as a guide for the segments. I did it without a template and it is ok for me....I always say if you want something perfect buy manufactured not crafted 

This one goes nicely with the needle case I made recently

and this lily was cut with a o, then tinted with watercolours

and this one is embellished with a tatted flower  and hand made tassel (please see my earlier post for how to make tassels)

Since writing this post I have tried washing the cashmere in a 60 deg wash  - this works a treat and felts the wool: this prevents fraying, so you can cut with ordinary, rather than pinking scissors.
Happy crafting.........

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miniature Wardrobe for Paper Art Dresses - Tutorial are you today? 

I have been busy doing lots of crafting and my latest thing is how can I display my miniature paper dresses. Lightbulb a wardrobe of course!
I think there are templates online but I like to do my own thing and here are the results

It was only after I had completed two wardrobes that I thought I should do a tutorial, so I have done just that. 

I used a sheet of A4 paper to show how to make a template. 

When making the actual wardrobe I would recommend using 220gsm card - anything heavier would not give a sharp enough crease where the doors fold back


Fold the paper twice

Draw the top and bottom shapes

Cut through the 4 layers

 Undo fold 2 (you now have 2 layers with the first fold at the left hand side)

Mark the doors using a piece of card as a template
Cut along the solid lines then fold the dotted lines towards you

Alternatively you can make smaller doors with a drawer at the bottom


Add brads for handles, attach a cord for hanging a dress and decorate beautifully. I used scrapbook paper for the inside back


Happy Papercrafting


Why not follow my blog for  lots more inspirational ideas and tutorials?



Silk Ribbon Roses on a Needle Case

Hi..we are still feling the cold weather here in is a big change after spending time in Florida, but, although snow is lying the buds are showing so bring on Spring!

I am teaching various crafts on three cruises this year and am happy to say all the preparation is done. A lot of work is involved in designing projects, sourcing materials, assembling kits and writing instructions and it is always a nice feeling to have all that behind you

Now I can look forward go visiting beautiful places and teaching in a fun evironment with passengers.

I don't do "idle hands"  so I am using this time to brush up on and improve some skills.

I wanted to practice French knots so came up with this idea for a needle case

I sewed silk ribbon roses (I have written a tutorial for this in an earlier blog) and added lazy daisy flowers and  French knots

I sewed little seed beads around the edge 

The small red heart was only sewn part of the way round so I can keep a needle threader and thread to hand

I recently purchased the Sizzix spool die 
this makes life a bit easier as I measure, cut and wind thread and floss as required to complete kits

I enjoyed doing this little project and making something useful

Happy Crafting


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Felt Poppy Brooch Tutorial

Hi - after having a wonderful 8 week holiday in sunny Florida we are now back home in a cold and wet Scotland.

Being back means it is time to design new projects for this years classes, I am trying to work on one project at a time and tidy up as I go but.......well I am a crafter lol

I did not start out to make a poppy brooch to wear myself but to teach in a class later this year. Now I have seen the finished item I know I will definitely be wearing it to add a pop of red to a winter coat, bag, sweater or hat. 

To make one you will need:
 4 x red felt hearts (I cut them with a Sizzix Original Heart die)
1 x 1" diameter red felt circle
1 x 1" diameter green felt circle
A tiny piece of polyester filling 
A brooch pin
A chenille needle 
A fine sewing needle
Black cotton thread
Red thread

Cut out two hearts 

Cut the tip off each heart

Sew a running stitch dart along approximately 2/3 of each piece

With the right side facing you sew the hearts together, gathering them as you sew

Sew a running stitch near the edge of the felt circle

Fill with a little of the fillng then pull the needle tightly to gather and close the circle

Fasten off with a few stitches

Sew 5 stitches from the centre outwards over the padded centre (sorry I forgot to take a picture)

then sew some stiches of  varying lengths on each petal

Sew French French knots on each petal (there are lots of online tutorials)

and......if you don't want to do  a padded centre and  French knots add a large glass bead (or button) and some seed beads instead

 Sew the brooch pin on to the felt circle

And, finally sew or glue the back on to the poppy

 These are quick and easy to make and look even better when you scrunch them up a bit!

One of these days I will make more using different fabrics and colours - I am thinking silk, voile or linen

Thanks for your visit please follow my blog for more multi media projects

Happy crafting