A beautiful book by Yumiko Higuchi

IMG_6180When I first began Lilipopo it was zakka sewing that interested and encouraged me.  I love the way very simple designs can be beautiful with a little care.  So over the Easter weekend I had a little time to do some personal stitching and pulled out my zakka embroidery book by Yumiko Higuchi.  I have had this book  for quite a while now.  I did stitch one design when I first received it, loved it and then put the book in my bookcase and left it.  This week my train pass wallet fell to pieces in my hands so I decided that, rather than get another ugly plastic one from Great Western Rail, I would stitch my own pretty one and I remembered this book

IMG_6181 (1)There is a card wallet pattern in the book but I wanted a different design on it so I used the wallet pattern but spent some time working out where to put elements of the botanical design onto the wallet pattern.  I think most of the designs can be put onto most of the projects.  I love this design!  Flowers and insects are fabulous for stitching.  


this little bee is stitched with stem or outline stitch in the book.  I got ahead of myself and misread the pattern and stitched it using backstitch.  But he still looks great.  I had to use double my normal number of strands but I love the way it stands out from the fabric but it still has the details.

IMG_6184I really wanted to stitch this flower!  I was a little wary of all the chain stitch and at first I did have to do some undoing until I had a chain that seemed a good size but, once I got stitching, it was a dream to stitch.  I love love love the effect of the chain stalk and the running stitch petals.  I'm not too sure why I put the bird where I did other than that I wanted to stitch the bird!  I think he could be elsewhere but I still love the simple design.  The final wallet is perfect for my train pass and library card.


and I am so addicted to these designs that I have started another tile pattern.  This is a little lavender or pin cushion, I haven't decided yet... I just wanted to stitch it.  Lots more chain stitch practice.  I think chain could be my new addiction, which surprises me because it's not a stitch I would normally use very much.

I absolutely recommend this book, it's perfect for making small projects that you can carry around anywhere with you.  The focus is on one or two colours so you don't even need lots of threads to take about with you.  The projects would make beautiful gifts too. 

I would love to hear about your favourite embroidery books, after all you can never have too many!

Now I'll hide this stitching away for the weekend and get on with my work!



weekending not stitching

Lilipopo books

Autumn has definitely arrived here, the weather is greyer and we come home from our dog walk soaked through despite the raincoats.  This is when I like to pull out a crafting book or two from my shelves or even treat myself to a new one.  On Friday, to my great excitement, my copy of Making Winter by Emma Mitchell arrived.  I had to carry on working and wait until Saturday to actually take a proper look at it. 

It's a beautiful book with projects ranging from baking to sketching to crochet.  There is a quite exciting project in it making silver clay pendant using fire! There's nothing like having fire involved in a craft project to spark the interest of the rest of my family!

I decided on a simpler project to begin with - baking.  I can't think of a nicer thing to do on a cold wet day so I chose the lemon, ginger and thyme bars.

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I love love love lemon anything and I love ginger.  These are delicious!  Very very lemony with a (as my son likes to quote) buttery biscuit base.  I had to hide half of them so we would have some left for today.  

Lilipopo crochet granny chic

I said no stitching but I have to qualify that, no embroidery stitching.  I have been stitching samples all week so I wanted something relaxing to do with my hands that wasn't embroidery.  I remembered that I had started the 'granny puff blanket' from my copy of Granny Chic by Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel  and so I pulled out the beginnings of the blanket and my Cornish wool and crochet hook.  Then I had to go and find my notes on crocheting as it has been so long that I couldn't remember how to treble crochet (UK style).  But once I was settled with it the rhythm soon kicked in and my blanket (well it will be more of a wrap really due to a bit of a wool shortage!) is slowly slowly growing.  

I'd forgotten how much I love crochet (and knitting) in the winter.  It's lovely to sit on the sofa with music playing quietly working with my hands while my mind is free to think.   Various members of the family stop by for a while and chat before going back to their homework or whatever Netflix  series they are watching at the moment.  And even though the dinner will still need cooking and the dishes still need doing it feels as though the world slows down for a little while.

Do you have weekend routines so that your weekend doesn't end up disappearing in busywork?


catching up

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February is usually not my favourite month, full of grey days and so long for such a short month.  But, this year seems different.  Every dog walk this month seems to have brought different weather and there has been grey and plenty of wet and wind but all punctuated with beautiful sunny days that make me feel as though spring is already here.  Our regular walk takes us to a nature reserve at Marazion; the ponds there seem full of bird life, herons, snipe, Canada geese, grebe, egrets and even the everyday mallard.  There are more gulls along the way, herring gulls, black backed gulls and black headed gulls.  We even have a friendly black redstart who lives in the rocks at the start of the path.  Sadly my camera is not quite up to photographing birds at a distance.  I'm really enjoying the repetition of our walk, noticing the subtle changes and learning to recognize some of the smaller birds we see along the way.

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On the sunniest day I took the afternoon off and sauntered around the marshes with the boy watching the birds and enjoying the sun while it lasted with no stitching and no computer in sight.  What a perfect way to spend time, I feel so lucky to be able to do it.


Last week, after soaking black beans for a chilli, I remembered that I had read somewhere that I could dye with the soaking water so I grabbed two jars put black bean water in one and tea in the other then popped a piece of linen and a piece of bandage into each jar.  I put them on the windowsill and forgot about them.  these are the colours that came out.  I should add that I haven't mordanted them so while the tea fabric will probably be okay I suspect the black bean might fade in too much light.  

I am going to start a little slow stitching project with them using the beautiful Linblomman linen threads that I bought in Falmouth.  A  perfect project now the weather has decided to go back to bitter wintery cold again!  I'm looking forward to getting back in from a cold Sunday dog walk and sitting with a cup of tea and my stitching.

Bunnies no frost

I am feeling rather pleased with myself for being a little ahead of the game for a change with my Easter spring pattern all ready and in my shop this week!!  

The pattern is a very simple one that I love framed in the hoop but I think would look lovely on a little Easter bag too.  

I have also been spending a little (possibly too much) time on pinterest this week gathering beautiful pictures of stitchy goodness and some stitch tutorials  Are you a pinterest addict too?  I think I could lose myself for quite a long time in pinterest land!

This coming week I'm going to be focusing on some flower stitching and a little bit of unicorn stitching along with quite a bit of drawing for a project that I am quite excited about.  

I hope you are enjoying your February and finding some cosy  (or cool depending on where you are) stitching time



dog walking in winter


we are going through a very wet and misty period at the moment in West Cornwall.  Familiar places become unfamiliar but strangely beautiful and every dog walk feels like an atmospheric adventure.  So I thought I would share a little of our greys, reds and greens today


swarms of herring gulls, black headed gulls, turn stones and sanderlings line the edges of the water looking for food


and the colours!  I love the colours at this time of year.  I love the moorland reds and greens far more than the summery st Ives blues.  


and then one day a dog walk in a different direction, just for a change.  The fishing boats at Newlyn harbour on our way to Mousehole along the coastal path.


This is Ash the whippet (for dog lovers!) who accompanies us on our long daily treks into the wilderness.


And this is Teague the strange middle son who forms the rest of the dog walking team and took all the beautiful photos @teague_popovski

The best thing about our dog walks at this time of year is definitely getting home to a warm space and frothy coffee with a little bit of stitching waiting

I hope you are enjoying your outside spaces whatever the weather




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

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

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

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the route

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arriving at lands end

Lands end

a very dramatic lands end

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two more cousins having a happy time

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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!!!

weekending and weeking!!

Bunny ears whole

This week I have been more than a little absent.  I have been stitching my socks off getting work ready for an August craft fair in St Just.  It is pretty much the only fair I do but it requires stitched goods so I have been very busy stitching!  A percentage of the profits of the fair go towards a cancer charity and I need enough work for three weeks!  

Green daisy legs

this week I concentrated on phone cases (I have also listed a few of these in my Etsy shop).  Next week I will be concentrating on glasses cases but I intend to take a little break for a bit of sketching too.  

Beach huts

I have festival girls, gothic girls, beach huts (Paula)


bathers and crows in my sketchbooks, all waiting for me to work on them and stitch them but there just aren't enough hours in the day at the moment and of course the sun is shining!!!  Hot hot hot, this week is summer.  So I will have to take my work to the beach and bask in the sunshine while sketching beach huts and boats, sandcastles and swimmers.

I hope you can enjoy this hot hot weather 




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

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when there are fireworks 

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Penglaze comes out of his dark home

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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.

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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!




Daisy girl bag kit

I have spent most of the weekend working, catching up with commissions while my partner is at home to occupy/educate the children!  Kits have been put together, but I think I may start a production line with the help of the children next time.

There is one kit in my Etsy shop but I will add more later in the week

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I'm now sitting here looking at a notecard I drew in May for a friend that still has no writing in it along with her son's birthday card (that my son drew) thinking hmmm I really should write in it and maybe even send it!!

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but I also have my (and Annis's) wild olive summer stitching project in front of me (don't tell Miss Paula and Jen how very little we have done!!).  It is now three weeks in and this is how far we have got!  I just don't understand where the time goes.

And now it's almost time to go look at the super moon!!  So I've a bad feeling that blogging rather than doing the above things might mean that they will just be staying on my table for another day!

I hope you had a more productive weekend than I did




messing with a camera and a dog


a bit of a poorly dog, possibly because he stole our curry the other day!


a bit of pretty baking (strictly not for dogs)

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our first sunny evening picnic in a secret spot

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a bit of advice on where the best jumping spot is

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and an evening swim for one of us!

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and a beautiful walk home again

I hope your weekend was lovely and sunny too (or if it wasn't then perhaps it was full of cake and stitching)