A Few More Pretty Things

Yesterday, for my LPTH I posted a photo of some wicker garden decorations. Several people wondered about their size and purpose, so I thought I should show you some more.

These fish are about a foot long and on stems of perhaps three foot. Aren’t they adorable? They’d look great beside a pond. Yesterdays mystical birds are taller, on stems of six foot, to sway gently in the breeze. in a tall border perhaps. Which do you prefer?

Dorset Buttoned Up

Whenever I go to Bridport Art’s Centre for a craft fair, I meet a lovely lady called Marcia, she makes buttons, Dorset buttons. Here she is concentrating on the tiny stitches.

db1Marcia has been making Dorset buttons for about 8 years, but the craft, known as ‘Buttony’ began in 1669, in a small Shaftesbury workshop, belonging to Abraham Case. The buttons with names like High Tops, and Dorset Knob became the most popular ones in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, spreading to Europe and even to the colonies. I’d be interested to know if anyone in Australia, Canada or the United States have ever come across them, Ruth perhaps?

As demand for buttons increased, so the cottage industry grew, with many farm working families finding that they could earn more money, without the drudge of hard labour on the land.

In 1851, at the Great Exhibition, the Button making machine was introduced. This struck a fatal blow to the workers, some chose to emigrate to the colonies, those that remained suffered dreadful hardship.

The skills of Buttony have not been lost, they are still being skilfully and artfully made by people like Marcia. She makes the Blandford Cartwheel design among others, and has brought their beauty into the 21st century, making them into lovely bracelets, earrings, brooches and cuff-links. She’s also created an ammonite shape alongside the usual round. Here is some of her work.

And what could be nicer than a bold cartwheel brooch adorning a beret?


Marcia says, ‘As a farmer’s daughter myself, the realisation of what these peoples must have suffered, is my inspiration to be part of a growing interest in bringing this beautiful craft to the attention of the modern world.’

Thank you Marcia for your enthusiasm about Buttony and your lovely company!



The Goodhart collection

Montacute House is Somerset has an exhibition of some of the 300 samplers collected by Doctor Douglas Goodhart since the 1950’s. The good doctor gathered together an internationally important collection, dating back to the 16th century.

I visited Montacute for one of my birthmonth days out last weekend, not knowing they were there. Had I  known I might just have taken a tripod, because flash photography was not allowed, hence the quality of these photos is disappointing, but you can get an idea of how beautiful they are.


As some of you know I love mermaids, and I’m not the only one here, so this is my favourite.

And this last one is so precious, see the date?
emb7I think it fits the bill for pure.

A Crafty Day

It began with a walk on the beach at Beer, and a photo

or two.
Followed by an edit using Pixlr Express, to make a collage.
Which appeared on my blog and then sat in a dusty computer folder for months.
Then I felt a need and found some paper
I cropped and printed the collage and stuck it to some card, the size of a shorthand notebook
front cover
I ironed on some plastic coating. It would have been easier if I’d done that before, but hey, sometimes you have to learn the hard way!
With a little help from a friend with way more skill and experience than I have, thank you Lindy, I stitched it all together with Coptic stitch.
coptic stitch
So now I have a new notebook that’s very light, created to my own specifications, that no one else has.

A Very Creative 6 Year Old


Yesterday my Granddaughter came over to spend some time making some art with me – there’s a lot of art and craft materials in my house! I had a few plans and ideas in mind before she came, so to save time I cut out some paper circles and triangles.

She chose some paint colours to work with and started mixing!


We made some pompoms the old fashioned way with two cardboard circles and some wool, to which she then added some more circles that she had drawn on – Olaf included!

Next, we moved onto a bigger project, abstract circles with pretty paper and glittery pens.
In between we baked cookies – not the best ever but we managed to put ourselves outside of some all the same, followed by lunch and the best piece of all.
Again, I was mainly the labourer here, cutting out, pouring glue and washing paint pots. It was well worth it though, she was so very proud of her creations, and so were her mum and dad when she took them home. Thanks for a lovely day Louisa!

Summer Journal Days 6 and 7

I’m a bit behind with my summer journal for Myfanwys group. It isn’t that I haven’t been working on it, just enjoying the process. This weekend my friend and I decided that we would try something we’ve both always wanted to do, making paper. so I didn’t follow the prompts!

Here is a step on the way, pulping recycled paper in a food processor with paint to add colour.



Some of the results. This was for July 6th.


and here


Putting it to use, on July7th.



A Summer of Journaling

Myfanwy has organised a two month antidote to a summer of sport, a committment to creative journaling, on a new blog, ‘Write On’. She isn’t strict, it doesn’t have to be every single day and the prompts she is posting are ideas that you can choose to use or not. It’s about enjoying being creative.
I’ve decided to join in and rather than using an existing journal, I will use loose pages and make them into a hand stitched book at the end of August. That way it will be whatever size it is, rather than making myself feel guilty for only doing a few pages of a new book.
This morning at around 5am, the first prompt was to take some time to be quiet, and write about what you hear.
This is my first page, July 1st 2014.
journal page 1

Many of you will know Myfanway, she also blogs at Chittle Chattle and has created an inspiring Facebook Group, Be Creative.


There’s a new blog in town. It’s called Creating Something Every Day and has been created by Myfanwy, who some of you may know as Chittle Chattle.  For a weekend of fun and creativity Myfanwy posted 33 prompts with the idea of getting as many people as possible to spend 15 minutes , or more of course, seeing what they could produce. There is a Facebook group as well as her blog and for several days people around the world have been posting photos and sharing their makes. And what makes! the work has been both beautiful and inspiring, using a multitude of media, lots of which I’d never heard of.

I just posted once, to the Facebook group, three potential journal covers that I designed especially for the challenge.

These are all created from my photos, the central circles are from the chocolates I posted here . https://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/weekly-photo-challenge-joy/ with some editing in Pixlr and Photoshop. The background type print is a photo that I took of my own short story.

I’m a dabbler and I quite like the results but if you go and peep at the Facebook page, the work there is wonderful. I think Myfanwy is repeating the challenge weekend once a month but you can also ask to join the group and share something you make at any time.

This will explain all!http://createaday2014.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/

Good Use of a Photo?

Back in March I walked along the Tiverton canal here in Devon. As usual I took many photos, a fair few of them were dull, out of focus, poor compositions, maybe that includes this one? Tivvy tree before

Sometimes an image can be redeemed, do you think that applies here?

tivvy tree

And even put to good use, like this.

Tivvy coptic

Tivvy packed

A beautiful coptic stitched notebook with a cover created from an indifferent image. Be careful what you delete!