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Hello there, peoples!

It’s been ages since I’ve written. I’ve been really busy with the Thistle Thread Stumpwork Casket course – I’m loving it. I am planning to post all about it when I’ve finished a particular piece, in about a month.

Meanwhile, I just found a rather good looking blog through Pinterest, and thought I’d mention it : Baroque Century - “Designs, Embroidery and Restoration in Golds, Silver and Silks”. This is a place to visit if you’d like to see some really lovely and rather complicated goldwork. It’s written in Spanish, so you need a Translator.

Limited amount of Maroon Silk Velvet available!

Tanya B of Opus Anglicanum recently bought an awfully big lot of maroon silk velvet. I received a piece, and I can testify that it is truly is lovely!

She still has some available to sell, but I’d grab it sooner rather than later if I were you.She’s selling it in A3 and A4 pieces which makes a piece ideal for finishing a small-medium sized piece. I know from my own attempts to buy silk velvet that it’s difficult to find (on-line at least) and even more difficult to buy just a small piece. And at the prices it costs, you don’t want to buy more than you need – unless you are rich, and would like the opportunity to roll around in it. I rubbed my face in it, myself, then put it safely away from the cats, because I can see it being a total cat hair magnet, although I wanted to keep it out to admire it for a bit.

To repeat her details

“For those who are interested I have a few A4(roughly 12inches by 81/2) and A3 (roughly 16 1/2 by 12 inches) pieces to spare. A4 is £5 and A3 is £9.50. postage is £1 uk, £1.50 europe, and £2 rest of world. contact me for paypal details”

 1 pound = $US1.58

Tanya can be contacted via her blog entry
 If you are at all interested in Opus Anglicanum (the “English Embroidery” done in split stitch using wool) she does beautiful work.

The velvet :

Tanya mentions on her blog that the velvet is a little bright than in her photo – on her blog with the black background. I’ve just compared the material with this screen, and it looks a tad darker than it appears on my screen. Either way, it’s a traditional blood-red maroon. Perfect for gold!

A piece of Tanya’s work ….this is one panel of a much larger piece she’s working on :

Her entries on this piece can be found at

She also did that excellent tutorial on Opus Anglicanum faces – which is also totally applicable to doing faces in the Or Nue style – The “Little Faces” tutorial – by far the best and informative tutorial on this aspect that I’ve ever seen.

Mary Corbet talks a little more about Opus Anglicanum in a post if you’d like a light overview. (I am not going to talk myself into doing an Opus Anglicanum post now, nor about talking about historical embroidery and velvet! Must post on Heart of The Thistle, must post on Heart of The Thistle….been too busy enjoying embroidering it :-)

An Awful Lot of Posts

I’ve done all the design and setting up for the Heart of Thistle project. I’m leaving the finishing of The Butterfly for when I get bored of tent stitching Heart.

I’ve got SO many posts to do! They are all notes in my notebook atm. Loads of info on

: reverse engineering a historical design down to a pattern that I’ve learn from other people and through my own experience,
: research on period Tent Stitch, and
: I also have obtained permission from Rennaisance Dyeing to compare their Elizabethan Range wool thread colours to DMC colours and publish the comparison chart here

 :-) However, I’m mostly asleep and not very coherent at the moment because of a medication course. Rotten timing! I’ll finish the course next Wednesday. I’ll feel properly like ‘me’ on Blogger again :-)

I’m looking forward to having the WordPress blog because I’ll be able to answer your comments! I don’t answer comments much atm, unless I e-mail the person, because I’m never sure whether the author will go back and look for an answer. That’s a big drawback of Blogger. WP has “threaded comments” which you can subscribe to, and is MUCH better for seeing what is going on in the commenting on a post. It encourages answers, and whole conversations.

I must say thankyou to Rachel of VirtuoSew Adventures ( I’m very honoured to be mentioned in the same list as the other embroiderers. If you don’t know them (Rachel has listed them in her latest post), then check out their blogs! They are all different, but wonderful.


Recently I said that if I did both actual embroidery and worked on my new blog, it would be forever before my new blog would be finished.

Funnily enough, 2 days after writing that, I found that I needed a holiday. This blog (the one you are reading now) needs all of it’s posts re-organised, and the new blog needs the superstructure built to show the re-organised posts, plus all the normal ‘bloggy’ stuff.

But I’ve been stuck in my bedroom since last March because of the bowel motility failure. And I’ve been feeling better since Christmas. I want out! At least as far as the loungeroom!

So I’m having a few days almost entirely away from the computer. Then I’ll spend 2 hours per day on the blog.

I’ve finished the embroidery on the Gold and Silk Butterfly!! The finishing remains, and I will be doing that this week. I’m also working on the design for the Heart of Thistle.

I’m really enjoying myself! I owe 4 or 5 posts on the Butterfly to this blog, plus a post or two on the HoT (oh dear, that isn’t the best abbrevation, is it?) design. So expect some actual real embroidery posts coming up in the near future.

I will be a bit delayed for the next week in that workmen are ripping apart my bedroom today to get at a wall, so it’ll take me a day or two to get back on-line, and a few more days to recover.

New Post – Help from WordPress Bloggers on Logging In….?

My new WP blog seems to require a user to register with WordPress (ie create username and password) before they can make comments on my new blog.

Now, I read heaps of WP blogs, and have commented on them – but I was never registered with WordPress until a few weeks ago.

What’s the sekret, WP guys? Shouldn’t a person just visit your WP blog and be able to comment away? No,  “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” is not ticked in Settings/General Settings/Discussion.

I’ve been reading The Codex. I’ve searched Google. There’s no questions asking about this issue. It must be really obvious, and I’m just missing it. There are lots of fancy log in plugins offered, but I don’t remember even needing to “log in” to any blog!


Btw, Kimberly. – this is why you were getting the “Enter Password” problem.

New Post – Thankyou

Thankyou all for such sweet and supportive e-mails and comments made in my last blog entry (The Guts Are Spilling Out of My Blog – I can’t link to it – it’s a bug in my new template).

I was able to embroider again yesterday – my fourth session since March! The embroidered border for the Gold and Silk Butterfly for Silklover. I think it’s looking pretty good :-) I had no idea what to do at first, but then some ideas magically came together. I’ll post photos soon.

The guts are spilling out of my blog!! Old and new posts.

So far, I’ve re-labelled (tagged) about 150 of the 464 posts in my blog. This is to fit in with my new blog design, where posts will be divided into

:- Projects and put in a Table of Contents in the new Header,
:- serious research posts (being re-labelled with the Some_Writings tag – they are tagged with all sorts of names at the moment and impossible to find)
:- the Document Of the Day posts – interesting tidbits about embroidery, which are being retagged with “Cup_Of_Coffee”.
:- and a few other new tags.

But this necessitates re-publishing some of my posts to change their titles as well as their tags. I’ve noticed that all sorts of posts are appearing under my ‘latest entry’ in the blogs of people that list my blog.

You can take this as an opportunity to read some old posts, or ignore them. Until the re-tagging is finished, I’ll temporarily mark any new posts with “New Post” as part of the title.

I’m embroidering again! For the first time in 6 or 7 months, and it’s just lovely. I’m working on a border for SilkLover’s Gold and Silk Butterfly :-) :-) I still need to finish the body, but that’s more complicated and I thought that I’d start off with some simpler work. I’ll post about it in a couple of days, giving people time to read this post first, in case they have been wondering what on earth has been going on with my blog.

I also have two projects planned – Heart of the Thistle, and What the Snake Stole (formally called “The Bishop’s Cope”). I’ll talk about the design of both of these projects in upcoming posts. I worked on their designs in the last few months on my computer whilst sitting in bed.

Since I’m doing the Thistle Thread Casket Course starting in April, I plan to only start Heart of the Thistle, which is in simple tent stitch and rather small. I’ll keep What the Snake Stole for later on.

I’m feeling stronger than I have in months, which is just wonderful. The doctors at the pain clinic have stopped playing around with my pain drugs, because I’ve gone into Bowel Motility Failure. (My intestines can no longer move food through themselves). It isn’t painful, and I feel much better than I’ve felt since March, when the work with the Pain Clinic started. Fixing bowel problems always takes ages, so I’m (rather strangely) hoping that it will take ages to fix, before I have to go back to the Clinic, because changes in drugs always makes me really sick. It’s been a rather radical “diet” with my guts not working  – I’ve lost over 30kg (66lb) and gotten my mid’20s body back, albeit with a tummy and breasts that are not quite the same as they used to be. (I’m about to turn 41).

Getting my hands on a needle and thread again …… it’s just like Christmas! ~grin~

Happy Turkey Day

to everyone. Thankyou for being such wonderful friends, and providing so much fun and interest for me in the last year :-)

New functionality for my blog

I’ve added in a screenshow. It’s got about 150 images in it, and they are supposed to be shown randomly. Random, my foot. This is the standard “Blogger Screenshow Widget”. I think I’ll go looking for another one that *does* show the images randomly, but meanwhile, this will do.

There is a LOT more functionality yet to be added to my blog, including (hopefully, if my blog builder Clyde can programme it – he should be able to) a Table of Contents for all my projects, initially shown with an image for each project. On selecting a particular project, all posts will be listed, with one image per post so you can see what was being done in the post and select that post if you want to.

I’m also completely separating out my Calligraphy and Illumination work from my Embroidery work. There will be radio button at the top of the blog, the user chooses one of the two subjects and then only posts from that subject will be shown. I still get an awful lot of hits on the Calligraphy and Illumination work in my blog – it’s important that the work isn’t lost  – but it confuses and complicates the blog to have Projects, Sites etc for both subjects showing at the same time.

There are also a lot of cosmetic changes to come. For fun, here’s the new header that I’ve built in Photoshop :

It will go under the ornate gold bar at the top of the blog.
Not all of the buttons are there yet. This header will replace a lot of the sidebar widgets in my blog. The Project List (table of contents) should be there (hey, where did it go?). From the colours in the header you might get an idea of how I’m shifting the colours of the blog appearance from orange and sepia to sepia, green and maroon. Kind of a Victorian/Grunge look.

Here’s my Blog Name :

And instead of those orange squares at the beginning of each post :

I’ve heard complaints that double column blog layouts are too crowded. I intend to use the left column for lists, and the right for graphics (badges etc).

I’ve added a link to my Pinterest boards on the right hand side. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard, composed of as many pinboards as you like, usually separated by subject.

My boards are :

* Colour Palettes
* Favourite Embroideries
* Inspiration for Embroidery
* Projects I might do
* Favourite Art
* Jacobean Kits to Consider.

It’s very simple to pin something – hit the Pin button in your toolbar and all available images from that webpage will appear and be able to be Pinned to a particular board. Most importantly, Pinterest retains the link back to the source – so it’s just a matter of clicking on the picture to go back to it’s source.

I love it.

I hope that you enjoy these two collections of piccies. (the screenshow and the Pinterest boards).

There’s plenty more to come in my ‘new blog’ – this is just a very initial first step…..I want the ‘perfect’ blog where information is accessed easily. All those research posts! – the formal long ones will appear under “Some Writings”, the Document of the Day posts will appear under “Have a Cuppa”, as well as appearing as posts in my blog when I post them. The table of contents takes care of the Projects that I’ve made. See – nicely compartmented! :-)

Introducing my new blog

I wanted to change templates because I found that *I* couldn’t find the information I wanted, so other people wouldn’t have much hope. There is so much research information, as well as my practical work (mistakes and all) that is hidden away in there.

This is the Aspire blogger template by Clyde Fernandes.

He and I are working together to make some changes to the template as it stands at the moment

- a whole lot of functionality to help the user find information, including a menu, table of contents and screenshow

- adjustments to make the template less orange based. I’m making a point of introducing hand drawn art from Deviant Art – which is a site where amateur artists from every genre show off their work. The pieces are almost always downloadable for free. I’ll have to have an “Artists’ Acknowledgements” section! :-)

I’m having a LOT of fun designing the new specification. (I used to write specifications for testing software for Defence – this is a whole lot more fun *grin*. I get to play with pretty images and colours)

There’s a fair bit of ‘brainless work’ – 1500 images to pick from for the slideshow, a lot of re-tagging to do, oh and printing out the MasterClass notes.

I’m not embroidering atm. My health is well, pretty sucky. I’m stuck in bed, but able to sit up at the internet (the computer is at the end of my bed) 4-5 hours a day. I watch tv on computer too, so my computer is my ‘entertainment unit’.

I’ve got a fairly hard treatment process to go through in the next 18 months or so. I hope (I’d better!)  improve enough BEFORE then to finish Julie’s Butterfly, and start on my Bishop’s Cope – I have all the materials now.

It’s not at all unusual for me to be in this state, so don’t freak. I’ve been ill for 13 years – it’s very up and down. I’m totally used to it, and cope with it pretty well. If you look at my archives, you can tell when I’ve been sick because of the radical decrease in entries.

Meanwhile, I’m having fun talking in the Facebook Historic Embroidery group, Stitchin Fingers and various friends on-line about all sorts of embroidery topics :-) I can still do research and blog about it, and I also have a whole lot of design work for the Bishop’s Cope that I need to blog about.

Time! Need more Time! Don’t we all!