Sunday, March 21, 2021

Gift for a Friend

I went to visit a friend the other day and wanted to make her a quick gift. This little pillow is the result based on a design by Ellen Chester of With My Needle from page 7 November 2007 The Gift of Stitching Magazine with some changes and using own choice of threads.

The backing fabric

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It is March 2021

It is March 2021. Where has the time gone. We are in our second year of living with Covid. Life has changed but our need and desire to do what we love and to make what we love is ever present, maybe even more so.

I have found myself unexpectedly unemployed at the present time and I am taking a few weeks’ break before I start looking for employment, which at 57 and living in a small rural town will not be easy to find. I finished work at the end of January so one month has already vanished. 

My 18 year old daughter has also left school having completed Year 13 and has also finished as a dance student which has also freed up time, so I suddenly find myself in a position where I have some spare time to be creative.

I have sorted out my craft room and have taken stock of what I have – so many UFOs (unfinished objects) and a huge wish list of things I would like to do.

My dolls house miniatures are still packed in boxes out in the shed (we moved to our current address in May last year) and I have yet to decide how much they will play a part in my creative future, although I anticipate wanting to do dolls house miniatures in the form of quilting, embroidery etc so my Myrtle Manor blog will hopefully still get some love at times. I also love hunting out vintage dolls house items.

So what am I ‘making’ in 2021. Last year I made the mistake of trying a little cross stitch project and discovered Flosstube (part of YouTube dedicated to cross stitch). I have fallen hard. I now have quite a collection of WIPs (works in progress). I did try a little bit of cross stitch in my late teens but it wasn’t my thing at the time. I can’t believe how far it has come in the last few decades and just what is available now as far as designs, fabric and floss and the great on-line cross stitch community.

Some cross stitch projects I have completed:

Bahhh Humbug
Designer: Calico Confectionery

Winter Cardinal Etching
Designer: Heart in Hand Needleart

The Rabbit is based on a free chart from 
The Little Stitcher with slight changes to his shape

I am also keen to get back into bookmaking, specifically to create a journal to put small cross stitch items into like a scrapbook. The cardinal etching above will go into that.

I also do a bit of quilting/sewing. My interest is mostly in art quilting and I look forward to experimenting with some different techniques including paint, dyeing, stitch, beading etc. I also enjoy English paper piecing and want to have a go at making some bags.

A small (almost finished) art quilt ‘Tribute to Clarice Cliff’:

I am currently teaching myself to crochet using an on-line tutorial to have a go at some different stitches. Ultimately I hope to do finer crochet work for edgings and embellishments for my art quilts etc.

I saw someone using a large cotton reel recently as a scissor holder on a flosstube video so I had to copy. Isn’t this the cutest thing:

I am also quite keen to look at using recycling items to make things, especially denim jeans and old doilies etc. I am currently working on a snippet roll which I will fill with stitching, embroidery and different embellishments over time. The base is made from denim jeans and small bits of hand dyed lace findings.


I will introduce other works in progress as we go along. So watch this space, let’s see where this bit of free time and my creative experimentations will take me.

 As far as my personal life my word for this year is:


I have a bit of time up my sleeve to think about my health and weight and make these things a priority which will hopefully also give me more creative energy.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Scarf UFO is now a FO

Yay. I have finished one of my UFOs (unfinished objects).

This is a scarf I started when I decided I wanted to learn to knit recently. The only other knitting I had ever done was a cabled baby jumper I knitted for my daughter Jamie when I was expecting her and she nearly 16 so I can safely class myself as a beginner. As I was nearing the end of knitting the scarf I decided I had enough wool that I could also make a hat so wanted to knit the hat before I used the rest of the wool to finish the scarf.

I am so pleased it is finished as I promised myself I would not start another knitting project until I had finished it.

My daughter Jamie has once again kindly modeled the items. I am not that happy with the hat but it will do to keep the ears warm when winter comes. It is super hot here at the moment so it won't get any wear for quite some time yet.

I was keen to do the denim heart I mentioned in an earlier post but I seem to have thrown away the scraps of denim that I had been collecting. I might have to visit the op shop. However I did start playing around with making one from a bit of old wool blanket that I dyed and I might put the zip daisy that I made on it. The cute little bird label was on the old holey blanket that I cut up to dye.

Now to think about the next knitting project I can cast on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Word for 2018

Instead of New Year’s resolutions choosing a word to live by for the year seems to be the new thing. I think this is a great idea as speaking for myself I tend to forget about my New Year’s resolutions soon after making them and only remember them again when making a new one for the next year.

After much thought this year my word is “CREATE”. 

I was also considering ‘believe’ and ‘balance’. However, I feel if I sit my bum down and focus on creating things I will be happier which will spill into all areas of my life and bring more balance and I will start believing in my creative ability and start experimenting more. (I think it will also help with my weight loss journey as hopefully I will be too busy to raid the fridge and cupboards!)

I have just finished with one experiment - a daisy made from felt and a zip. Don't know what to do with it at this stage but it has potential.

So this year I just want to CREATE, CREATE, CREATE. I am always happiest when I make some time for myself to be creative.

I have given some thought about what I want to do creatively this year and have decided that seeing as there are 12 months in the year I will set myself 12 creative 'things' I would like to achieve this year (reluctant to call them goals).

I am not setting these in stone and there are no consequences if I do not achieve them as I have made a promise to myself that I will do what I feel passionate about at any one time and not do things because I feel it is what I should be doing or what is expected of me.

12 Months – 12 Goals (in no particular order) 
  1. Create a craft journal system to keep a record of my craft projects.
  2. Keep a brief daily record of what creative things I have done, seen, heard about etc.
  3. Finish/or make a quilt to completion (including free motion or hand quilting).
  4. Keep working on my knitting skills and do something in some form of colourwork.
  5. Learn to draw and experiment with designing craft projects.
  6. Make Christmas gifts throughout the year.
  7. Make myself some clothes – sewing and knitting.
  8. Set up miniature scenes and photograph them for Myrtle Manor Miniatures blog.
  9. Work on photography skills and set up an area to take indoor close up photographs.
  10. Make post entries in my 12Create and Myrtle Manor Miniatures blogs.
  11. Make the most of having a year’s subscription to Craftsy Unlimited.
  12. Learn to crochet.

I picked up a ‘Sew Somerset’ magazine at our local Library yesterday – Summer 2016 Issue. It was amongst some books they were taking off their shelves and I love Somerset publications. On page 96 is a little project by Julia Schneider of denim hearts with words. It is a cute little project and I am going to do one with the word ‘Create’ to sit on my craft desk to keep a visual reminder of my word for the year. I have a few pieces of old denim and old doilies and lace and old jewellery parts amongst my craft supplies and think it will be a fun project.

Here is to a creative 2018.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Craftsy Unlimited & Anne Is Grumpy

Happy New Year friends.

I have bought myself a Christmas/New Year gift I am pretty excited about. A year's subscription to Craftsy Unlimited. I love doing craftsy classes and I know I will get a lot of value from this subscription.

I have already used it to make my first piece of lacy knitting by making one of the items in the Knit Lab class by Stefanie Japel. Here is my little neck scarf I finished yesterday.

(Thanks to my daughter Jamie for modeling the scarf for me in sweltering hot weather)

I've been doing a bit of a stocktake in my craft room today. 

Orphan Anne has been looking decidedly grumpy lately. It turns out she isn't happy with the number of UFOs (unfinished objects) and unmade craft kits in my craft room. I have therefore elected her to be keeper of my UFO pincushion. Each little piece of paper represents an unfinished object or unmade kit spanning over a variety of crafts. The goal is to try and get some of these things done to see if a smile will appear on Orphan Anne's face. I suspect she might always wear a frown though as I know there will be more projects added to it over time and I won't even mention how many items are on my "want to do" list.

(I made Orphan Anne many years ago from a Little Dirt Lane pattern by Jess Pouncil)

Actually I feel inspired to work on a UFO. I'd better go and get to it while the inspiration is there. Hopefully I will have a partially or completely finished UFO in my next post.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Starting Over ... Again

Welcome to 12Create, my blog where I will be exploring creativity in general, exploring my creativity, drawling over other people's creativity and hopefully being very creative.

I used to blog a lot and loved it but eventually the blogging took over and the creativity (other than my blog) effectively ceased to the point where it just became too much.

This time I hope to get a good balance and my blog will be more pictures and less words.

I have dabbled in many crafts in the past... porcelain and fabric doll making, bear making, bookbinding and book arts, photography, dolls house miniatures, quilting and embroidery to mention a few and there are many crafts I want to explore. In particular on my to-do list at the moment is to develop my knitting skills and learn to crochet and further explore quilting and textile art. So who knows where 2018 will take me creatively... possibly in a direction I can't even imagine at the moment.

I have decided to listen to my 'inner creative' and will spent 2018 just being creative doing whatever it is that inspires me at any one time - no limits, no 'have to do' lists. I give myself the freedom to ignore unfinished objects if that is not what is inspiring me creatively and start something totally different.

One thing I do wish to complete is this quilt. I meet with a lovely group of ladies on a Monday night where we sit and stitch and chat. This year our challenge was a strip pieced quilt and this is my quilt so far. The jelly roll was an unexpected gift from my husband for our 17th wedding anniversary.

As part of my Christmas present this year my husband Pete and daughter Jamie selected 20 fabrics which they thought I would like (William Morris type fabrics) and had them cut into 2 1/2 inch strips. Such a special gift. I am looking forward to creating something with them - possibly a bag or a table centre.

Well it is time to be creative now. I will be back in the New Year hopefully with some show and tell.

If you want to have a look at my dolls house miniatures blog Myrtle Manor Miniatures (not currently active) you can follow this link:


No, the heading is not a spelling mistake.

This is Cameleon the Camel. 

He was a UFO (unfinished object) I decided to complete last year. He had been waiting for about 11 years for me to finish him. Trouble is he largely looked finished. Nobody really noticed that his ears, tail and neck and nose bands were just pinned on or that his felt sack didn't have a fastener. 

Sadly it really didn't take me that long to finish him once I made the decision to do so. I'm so sorry Cameleon for making you wait so long.

When I told my husband I had finally finished the camel he said it was a wonder it hadn't collapsed with shock.

I made the camel at a workshop with a lady called Felicity Willis all those years ago. I used a scrap of upholstory fabric to make him. After the workshop I then promptly made his cover and felted his side sack and added a little pot and urn I found at an op shop. The beading under his chin is from a keyring I found... and there he sat for approximately 11 years unfinished.

Love him.