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Secret Gardens

I bloomin' love flowers.

And last week the village nearby had its "Secret Gardens" festival.  And people who also bloomin' love flowers, opened their gardens for complete strangers to tramp through.

It was marvelous.

So my Significant Other and I went.  And I took my camera. 

It felt a little bit invasive and rude to be wandering around someone else's garden, photographing their flowers.  These gardens were intimate.  Part of someone's home.  A testament to hard work and retirement.  It felt a bit like wandering around a complete stranger's house photographing their wallpaper.  Only, well, we were outside in their garden.  But the owners were smiling and welcoming.  They had little badges on saying "I'm the owner".  And I wasn't escorted off the premises after getting up close and personal with their tulips, so I figured it was all ok.

There were people looking through windows into the garden owners' homes.  Sneaking a peak at their kitchens.  Their choice of furniture.  It was very inappropriate.  And, when I say "people", I mean me. 

So, I whipped out my camera, and after asking if it was ok to invade the owners privacy further by taking pictures, I let myself loose on the flora at large.

A huge thank you to the garden owners for their generosity.  I very much appreciated taking a look at their beautiful blooms.


There's someone I'd like you to meet.

This is Dilys.

Lovingly hand-sewn by me.

She is the first rag-doll I have ever made.  And she is the first thing I have made working from a pattern.

I am so proud of her.

She started life as a wee pile of scrap material, and over the course of three weeks she started to take shape.

I made lots of mistakes along the way.  And did a lot of lip chewing as I tried to work out how to follow the pattern.

As soon as I had made her head and body, I had to give her a face and some hair, as she was creeping me out!

It seemed only right that she had sticky-up plaits.  What girl in her right mind wouldn't want sticky-up plaits?

She is working it with a little linen scarf under her wool felt jacket.  With embroidered collar.  Tied kimono style with a vintage ribbon.

Her skirt is made from a piece of linen, and has a little elasticated waist.  Her pinny comes with a cheeky patch.  She completes her sassy country chic look with cream cotton bloomers, edged with vintage lace from my nana's sewing tin.

Pink ballet slippers, with contrasting ties, finish the ensemble from the Mimi and Tilly Spring/Summer 2010 Made With Bits and Bobs collection.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be able to make a rag doll. 
I used the pattern and instructions from Tone Finnanger's Tilda book, "Sew Pretty Homestyle".  Making some changes to the hair and outfit.

Dilys is a house angel.  She sits in my lounge.

Even though she has a big ole biro line down the seam of her face (I drew around the first pattern piece with biro, and when I stuffed her, it popped through.  Lesson learned.)  I think she is lovely.

Dilys was a real challenge for me to make.  I stabbed myself with the needle.  I got confused and frustrated with the instructions and pattern.  I made mistakes, and had to make a second jacket, a second skirt and a second pair of shoes. 

But I got there in the end.

Dilys makes me smile.


P.S. Dilys means "genuine" in Welsh.

Free Glitter

Sprinkle yourself with glitter!

This art work is a gift for you, painted by me. Feel free to use it as computer or smartphone wallpaper or to print off for your own personal use. All I ask is that you don't reproduce it for resale. The Christmas wreath is for you to colour in yourself, or print off for your children, or class (if you are a teacher). Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to leave comments and share your love.

Instructions For Download To Smartphone 

  • Visit this page on your phone
  • Click on the image
  • Hold your finger on it
  • Save it
  • Go to settings, then Wallpaper
  • Choose photo from Camera



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