Jane's Jottings

A Spring Dog Walk

Our favourite river walk

Monty and I have been enjoying the slightly warmer weather and apart from the mud (there is a lot of that!) we have, at last, seen signs of spring arriving here in the Cotswolds. Monty is a Cockerpoo and will be two this month and is absolutely crazy about water and in any form. Apart from keeping him away from the swans, I do not mind him splashing about although you need to maker a quick retreat when he comes out of the river!

Look – I have a stick!

We are very privileged to live in such a lovely part of the country although our village had two hundred new houses added in the last year! They are very attractive and well planned to fit in with the local stone but can we cope? Fortunately, The Ernest Cook Trust owns most of the remaining land and manages it very carefully preserving the look and feel of the country. I do not think a day passes when I am grateful…….

The first gorse bushes starting to flower

More lovely snowdrops

Now I must get back to work again- I am in the middle of designing part of our Calendar Pockets Series which will be included in the CSG member’s magazine – We are creating a pocket for each month and then combining them in a mammoth sampler. You will not guess where I got the idea for this little snowdrop motif! You can see  examples of the next three in the series below:

The second in the series

The Calendar Pockets are part of an exclusive series featured in our CSG magazine with March, April and May and will be posted to members in early May. Not a CSG member – Go to Become a Member

Made on linen band…….

These little pockets are very simple to make up as there is so little finishing to do…..Stitchers often do not like sewing! You can buy linen band from the CSG web site – the limit is simply your imagination!

Read more

Date posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017

1 Comment Share this on: Facebook or Twitter

Off to the TV tomorrow – very early!


Stolen Moments

Stolen Moments is one of the projects to be featured on my programme tomorrow (11am Create & Craft TV) and is among my all time favourites.  Check out the CSG web site amongst the Mini-Band Samplers. The name, Stolen Moments was suggested by Bill, my husband who knew that I had to steal moments to stitch!

Bill and I are driving up to Peterborough in the early hours of tomorrow morning as I have to be in the Studio two hours before we go live. I am told that we are going to be broadcast to the USA at the same time which means quite literally millions may be watching! As always I will pretend that I am just talking to a small stitching group and cross my fingers. My plan is to show the little Hardanger detail visible halfway down the sampler – this is a technique that is surprisingly simple once the principles are grasped. If you have the time, scroll down to the post created on December 18th as I do go through this quite thoroughly.

After we finish at the Studio we are driving up to the new CSG HQ in Stockton Heath and will then spend the day packing the orders,  filling the mail bags and sticking on labels – such a glamorous life we lead! If you manage to catch the show I hope you enjoy it as much as I love doing it….

Read more

Date posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

4 Comments Share this on: Facebook or Twitter

What a wonderful week!


Just look what arrived this week!


greenhouse open

I am just waiting for a broken roof light to be repaired this week and then it is all systems go. Bill and I went out to a local supplier to buy my potting table and he really surprised me with the gorgeous wall clock as a greenhouse opening gift! I have heating and lighting and, of course, lots of seeds ready to be planted. The whole garden needs a big sort out and it will not be long now.

Behind the greenhouse, I have two very raised beds for my vegetable and herbs and I plan to have tomatoes and basil in the little greenhouse in the courtyard garden. In addition to all this excitement, my Christmas present from Bill was a day course with Sarah Raven at Perch Hill where I will be learning about planting a cutting patch – I cannot wait…..

We are off to walk Monty in a moment – Yesterday he had his first experience of the beach- sadly no waves to chase as they were simply miles away- We were down at Brean Sands, just south of Bristol and it looked as if you would walk to Wales!

first beach

As always the stick is bigger than he is!

  dog walk 2 

The views across our local lake on the way home- Just lovely…….

Read more

Date posted: Sunday, January 29, 2017

No Comments Share this on: Facebook or Twitter

The Ivory Tower is Ready!

Now that the Cross Stitch Guild has moved up to Warrington, I have been working hard here at Pinks Barn creating a new space for just me! I have completely filled a skip with all sorts of stuff now that my old building is being converted back in to a garage.  As many of you know, I am remaining on the CSG team as a designer so I needed to create a special space in the house that would be inspirational and even more important – warm and cosy!


This is how it looks this evening

The pictures of samplers on the sloping ceiling are inspiring but also stop me hitting my head on the slope which has happened quite a lot this week. My room faces west and overlooks my neighbours lovely garden so I am simply in heaven. This space is actually a little  area off one of the guest bedrooms so I will have to keep things  a bit more tidy!

IMG_0009 copy

My new cotton cupboard

IMG_0006 copy (2)

A project for the CSG Magazine in March

This afternoon, I was working on some tiny one over one thread stitching on this pretty sampler which will be published in March in our CSG members’ magazine. You will notice that I am working on a frame – this is a very rare occurrence as I prefer to work loose in my hand. I am, in fact, adding some cross stitches worked over one fabric thread and I find it easier to see when supported by the frame. The frame is one of Sue Hawkin’s padded frames and is ideal for me as I can just pin the embroidery in place and can whip it off again when sorted. I use it working on the desk weighted by a co-ordinated sandbag (also supplied by Sue).

This design called And with my needle is worked on 28-count Cashel linen in Madeira stranded cotton (floss). More about this will follow…




Read more

Date posted: Thursday, January 12, 2017

1 Comment Share this on: Facebook or Twitter

Moving Day at the Cross Stitch Guild

I think this was one of the most difficult days of my life – after all I was sending my stash away and I wanted to keep it all. When you see the size of my space upstairs at Pinks Barn you will get an idea of the difficulty. I needed my stuff and I was sending it off to Andrea who has promised to look after it all but………….

As I write this, I am beginning to feel much better- My new workplace is coming together although it has involved thinking very laterally – Unless you are creative and understand, it is difficult to explain that a computer and a shade card is just not enough to inspire!

IMG_0132 (2)

One corner of the Studio during the move

I do not think I have ever felt as panic stricken as when the lovely guys were loading the van and this was still not packed – There were eighteen tea chest size boxes ready to load and yet? Everything had to be counted and packed carefully ready for the journey to Warrington. Of course, one kept finding little treasures that needed to be examined and discussed before packing/taking to the new office or putting in the skip……..


Our lorry and there are still fifteen boxes to go!

This one of the rooms in the new CSG HQ!

My job once all was unloaded was to assemble the faithful Ikea Ivar shelving which had travelled from Fairford – I think the top shelf only fell on my head four times in all. Once the first set is in position, it is marvellous and will stand all sorts of mistreatment. Mind you, as soon as one bay was ready Andrea promptly filled it with boxes of kits……….

Bill and his madeira threads

Bill at work- no-one was allowed near his Madeira threads

Bill has always looked after the storing and the ordering of our Madeira threads and he spent a blissful day sorting and arranging hundreds of coloured thread cones ready for the restart on the 4th Jan. At this point I think we all felt that it would be the 4th Feb! We did manage it after all. The first batches of post left the building in the afternoon of the 4th Jan and I know that Andrea has been busy ever since. You are a wonderful bunch – just keep it coming – we can cope!

Nearly there!

The new office in progress- more soon!

This is my new space and as you can see, the slope on the ceiling is significant and after banging my head three times in a day, I learnt how not to. By the end of this week, I will be sorted and able to move forward as I have deadlines already and Jenny and Andrea will not let me sit around looking wistful!

Read more

Date posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

No Comments Share this on: Facebook or Twitter

Page 1 of 4912345102030Last »