spring stitching on grey days

New cover

Earlier this week I decided to spruce up my spring bunny girl pattern and restitch her.  I've changed the pattern ever so slightly and added extra photos and more instructions.  She really is very simple to stitch, almost completely back stitch with just one thread.

Outlined in grey

in fact I rather liked her at this stage just outlined in grey.  I think you could quite happily just stitch her like this or go in the opposite direction and add an appliqued dress.

So, with Easter on the way and beautiful pink tulips in my workspace (and an awful lot of grey outside!) I decided to do a little spring stitching

Spring stitching

I dived right into pinterest and looked for cute tutorials for my stitchy project.  Needless to say this whiled away quite a bit of time.  I looked at book covers and drawstring bags (all added to my cute tutorials board) and decided on this lovely simple drawstring bag tutorial by S.O.T.A.K handmade  (She also has some beautiful patterns in her shop).

The tutorial was beautifully simple to follow, I made a couple of small changes simply because I wanted a smaller bag.  So my  measurements for the main fabric and the lining pieces were 6" x 7" and my measurements for the casing were 6" x 4".

I used a 1 cm seam allowance (just under half an inch) because it's clearly marked on my sewing machine and I like to make things easy for myself.  I didn't make the tag and just used my embroidered piece (centred and cut down to 6" x 7") as the front of the bag.

Spring stitching bag

and I now have a lovely little drawstring bag to pop mini Easter eggs into or perhaps a cute little sewing bag for my summery outdoor stitching?  

Bunny main pic

after all I could always make another little bag with these little bunnies on for the Easter eggs...

I hope you're enjoying some spring weather and spring stitching


winter dream embroidery pattern

Water marked

It's finished.  I really loved the whole process of designing and stitching this one.  I think the soft colours and repetitive stitching were just what I needed this week while I was trying to decide on plans and stock for kits and fabric panels for the upcoming season!

It took quite a lot of drawing, stitching and redrawing to get this one just how I wanted it.  When the children were little I used a lot of Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf methods in their education and I love the peaceful gentle art aesthetic associated with it all.  And I am a big lover of Robert Frost's poetry, one of my favourites being 'stopping by woods on a snowy evening'

Wm horse's head

and of course it was inspired by all the beautiful vintage dala horses out there.  Wouldn't it be lovely to ride off on one into snowy woods on a wintry evening

The pattern is in my shop now and I will be having fabric panels printed with this one later in the month.  I may also offer a kit for it in time for Christmas.

So all in all I'm feeling quite (unseasonably) Christmassy now!  In early October!!  Today I think I will have to go make squash soup and apple cake to get myself back into the autumn rhythm, or I could start my Christmas shopping early, for the first time ever, in my life!

I think soup and apple cake...


Happy Slow New Year

2015 frosted collage

It always takes me the whole of January to adjust to the New Year.  I have never managed to wake up on New Year's day full of resolutions and goals.  I like to spend January reflecting on the past year and then creating goals for this year.

I would like to say thank you to all my lovely followers and customers for a fabulous lilipopo year.  

I receive so many lovely comments on the various platforms that I share my work and, while I do always try to answer them, sometimes a few may not get replies but I always appreciate the time people take to comment.

There were quite a few new patterns this year and a new kit.  I'm still thinking about where to go in the coming year.  More patterns definitely!  I have boats and fairies and washing lines filling my sketchbooks at the moment.   

I'd love to know the kind of patterns that you would like to see from lilipopo. 

I would also love to hear about your stitchy plans for the coming year




Having made it through my oldest son's 21st (YES!  21st!!) last year, this week it was my middle son's turn - 18 years old.  It seems as though 18 years, not to mention 21, have gone by in a flash.  Two sons through home education and into college doing things they love and just one more year with Annis (hope for any home ed parents out there).

when did this little fireman

Fireman teague

grow so big

Birthday crown

I must have been busy stitching!

so we played tennis

Swapsies blog

with older brother home 

Tennis annis and teague

and younger sister too.

And what a shame not a single picture of my attempts at tennis!

Home for home made pasta and tiramisu, no pics, it was eaten too quickly

And no time at all for stitching.

Happy 18th birthday to our nature loving, drawing and painting, cycling and tennis playing boy.

I hope you had a lovely week in the sunshine (at least in Cornwall) last week.

Back to stitching normality for my next post


this week's excuse...

Annis birthday blog

I am very conscious of poor blogging habits in the summer this year!  Partly it's because (unlike last year) this year we have a summer!!  But recently it was a 13th birthday in the house and a houseful of cousins (and my sister).  Unfortunately this was accompanied by quite a lot of poorlyness!  Including Annis's birthday!

But the day everyone felt better we took the open top 300 bus service for  a most wonderful day trip

St ives 001

cousin one, the main instigator of the singing (???) and the one who welcomed everyone to the top deck of 'the fun bus'

St ives 060

the top deck of the fun bus before the rain (not that the rain deterred the children from staying up there!)

St ives 021

the route

St ives 033

arriving at lands end

Lands end

a very dramatic lands end

St ives 051

two more cousins having a happy time

St ives 065

The girl cousins with attitude!

This day trip was fabulous, everyone enjoyed it and I thoroughly recommend the open top bus if you ever visit Cornwall, although you may not get the singing and 'welcomed to the fun bus' if we're not there!

I must credit my son Teague for the great photos too.

He is also responsible for Annis's favourite birthday card.   He asked me what to draw on her card and I suggested unicorns as she loves unicorns.  He looked for five minutes for a horse book to help him draw a unicorn, gave up and drew this instead

Unicorn poo

explained inside the card

Unicorn poo inside


I promise to be back with sewing later in the week, once I am all caught up and the illness is finally banished from our house!

I have plans for an organized blog, in fact I have plans for an organized life but we'll see!!!

Naughty internets and birthdays


Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes.  On my birthday the internets broke!!  At first we thought it was all of the internets but then realized it was our very old sad livebox.  The man on the phone promised to send us a new shiny bright box!!!  But this would not come for nearly a week so we were internet free! 

PicMonkey Collage

despite the lack of computer (or perhaps because of!)  I had a lovely birthay with wonderful presents 


a beautiful hot day spent mostly in and around the sea


even Ash stepped daintily into the water (it was exceptionally hot!)


Annis made this lovely origami and calligraphy picture for my work wall


and the funniest David Shrigley card ever from Jason, apparently I need to put it on my work desk and just point to it whenever I am interrupted (most of the day really!)

In celebration of my birthday and our lovely new bright box I have a coupon for 20% off in my Etsy shop for any purchases of £5 or over.  (The kits are not included).  So if you would like to use the discount just use the code BRIGHTBOXBLOG when you purchase.

The discount code will stay there until Friday (I'm not sure when on Friday as Etsy seems to control that!)

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend with or without internets!!



Mazey day 001

I think that the weekend is just about all I'm managing to blog here at the moment but I will try harder this week!

This weekend was THE weekend of the year here in Penzance... Mazey weekend, the grand finale of the Golowan festival.  Golowan is a week long music and arts type festival with all sorts of things going on in Penzance from banner and boat making to bands and poetry.

My personal favourite part of the whole week is Mazey eve

Mazey eve 011

when there are fireworks 

Mazey eve 047

Penglaze comes out of his dark home

Mazey eve 059

and best of all we get to serpent dance around the town.  A most exhilerating and wild time being pulled wherever Penglaze decides to go.

Mazey day 004

After that comes Mazey day with stalls, music and processions throughout the day

And finally on Sunday a more peaceful quay fair day down by the harbour.  Everyone is much more subdued after a party weekend but the music is still playing.  This year we stopped to listen to some cornish bagpipes and watch the Cornish dancing but sadly our photographer was off on his bike so no photos!

And now, a grey day, perfect for getting on with some stitching and some blogging and some sketching!



mermaids and sixteen


last week's excuse was camping, this week's is a birthday


a sixteen year old in the house, and you all know what I'm going to say!  How did that happen?  I'm sure he was just a tiny toddler the last time I looked.  Where do all the years go?!

At least he (and my older 19 year old!) still likes (or even insists upon) the birthday throne, the crown that he's had since he was five (it's stretched a bit!) and the sweets, candles and wooden birthday circle.

But apart from coming to terms with the passing of time and watching my boy cycling off on his new road bike with dreams of the Tour de France I have been busy trying to organize my youngest girl so she can be a more self sufficient home ed girl.

I am intending to start using another blog that we set up as a family to focus on home ed a little more.  The reason we wanted to blog about family life a little now is that I find very little written about teens and home ed online.  Perhaps we're supposed to have it all sorted by now!  Anyway I will pop a link on here once we get the blog properly going.

And a little bit of stitching (more pattern design really).  Inspired by the sea, and the mermaid of Zennor along with all the other mermaids we read about...


I'm thinking of a mermaid cushion.  I'm going to add more decorative elements around her and probably offer her as a pattern and sampler

Mermaid threads

I went with Annis to choose some sea colours yesterday.  Blues are not colours that I normally use a lot but I am enjoying looking at these lovely aquas and blues, it makes me want to go swimming!

Mermaid hair

and I've got the sparkle back out, sadly it never photographs very well (or I don't photograph it very well!!) but it's a lovely silver mixed with a pale yellow, just glittering a little.  

And now back to listening to my sixteen year old reading aloud from Great Expectations


never too old

The summer is birthday season for us.  Only Jason's birthday is outside the birthday season.  And while we are not great at keeping mementos, scrapbooking, making quilts from all the children's old clothes we have always tried to create our own little rituals around birthdays.  In part this was originally to make birthdays about more than just presents and it seems to have worked because our eldest is more concerned that we will remember the birthday chair than with what he actually wants for his birthday (not overly helpful when I'm desperately trying to think what on earth to get for a nineteen year old boy!)


I was worried that this year Cain would be too old for all our family birthday traditions but a few days before his birthday he told me about how surprised he was when he discovered that his friends didn't grow up with a birthday chair or crown or sweets on their birthday mornings.  I was surprised to discover that he had thought that our birthday traditions were simply what everyone did, like a christmas tree at christmas.  But I also realised that he loves the traditions and would be gutted to wake up to no birthday chair (or throne) and crown.


so this year while we sat and made the decorations and wrapped presents I thought about how important such a simple ritual becomes in a family.  Jason and I used to stay up late after the children had gone to bed making all the preparations but as they have gotten older the children who haven't got a birthday stay up and help.  This week Cain (despite being 19) went to bed early and the rest of us stayed up, Annis made the crown and decorated the chair, Teague put all the sweets onto the tiered cake stand and we all helped with bunting, wrapping and card making.  


some ideas were less successful than others (these were made for Annis's birthday a couple of weeks ago).  It was suggested that these look a little like dead dolls hanging from the ceiling but that's the thing when you take time to make things, it doesn't really matter what they turn out like because they immediately have a story to them and I just know that these unusual hangings will come back out next year and we'll all laugh about the fact that they still look like dead dolls.  ( I would like to point out that the horrible light fitting is one we cannot remove without expensive help from an electrician so it stays and has things hanging from it, possibly drawing attention to it rather than distracting from it!).  In fact I'm quite tempted to leave our dead dolls up all year round, perhaps adding to them bit by bit...

So now the birthday season is over I think it might be time to go on some picnics, something we haven't done at all this year :o(  Do any of you lovely readers have any good suggestions for veggie picnic food.  One of our favourites is the cheesy jack recipe from the old Cranks cookery book (basically a savoury flapjack) and puff pastry swirls stuffed with pesto.  But I would welcome more ideas to ring the changes a little.



All of the stuff that has kept me away from the internets


such busyness over the past two weeks!  A birthday girl in the house all of 12 years old and cousins here too so it felt like a week long party!


with shopping trips (we didn't actually buy this!)


even time for a little bit of fabric shopping


a sale rail of beautiful clothes in all the wrong sizes :o(


a bit of beaching while the sun was out


and plenty of baby cuddles


and I've been a little inspired by my aquathlonist


I'm not sure if she's going to be an embroidery or a drawing at the moment, I like the idea of a swimming bag but we'll see


I have also been stitching a plethora of fairies over the last two weeks for some lovely commissions


and finally sketches for a postie fairy who never has time to brush her hair (hmm reminds me of certain members of my family!).  I like the idea of her as an embroidery pattern.  

I've also been asked to create a beginner's embroidery kit which I've been working on although I'm still having some problems about how to transfer the pattern onto the fabric so the buyer doesn't need to do it.  Once finished the kit should include a piece of fabric printed with the design, threads, a needle and a flexi hoop.  Please let me know if I've forgotten anything!!  My memory doesn't appear to be working too well these days!

Well it's all gone quiet in the house now, birthdays over (for a week or so) cousins gone and J back at work so I had better get my nose back to the grindstone and get on with some work to finish all those projects!