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Moss Week


Everywhere is an abundance of moss at the moment and it looks so ancient and peaceful so I decided to check out what moss was all about and did some research. As always the research turned up lots of interesting facts. I did consider whether to do an indoor display of moss but I think it looks best outside. One of the interesting things I came across is that there are actually some inner city moss 'trees' being created to help absorb pollution! Moss requires shade and water to thrive and so not usually found in the city BUT somebody has worked out how to make a structure or even sculpture with some shade and water reservoir and these have the ability to soak up more pollution than hundreds of trees. 

The photo above looks fabulous it is on one of my walks with Wallace and its part of a bridge next to a stream where Wallace often jumps in for a drink (I know he has to jump in to drink!!) It is castellated so it looks great all covered in moss. When I was a Brownie Guide I was told that if I needed to find my way home in the woods I could tell North by the moss growing on the north side of trees - however during research this was not entirely correct as scientists say is grows on the shadier side of trees and although that is sometimes the north side - if the tree is hidden on a hill it might not be!! Also fascinating but in the southern hemisphere it grows on the south side!
As far as mossy projects go I was a bit stumped (lol) I checked out moss stitch in knitting which is sometimes called seed stitch. I have utilised this stitch before in a very large poncho project and it looks great in Chucky yearn. I have lots of moss in my front garden and it forms a lovely soft springy carpet as I guess the grass doesn't like growing there very much so the moss takes over. As to projects with moss theme I drew a blank so I decided to stick to my (many) on the go projects some of which were completed!!
I joined up with an English Paper Piecing challenge for February on Instagram by 'stitching notes' and 'nordic crafter'. I started small with these weeny hexagons. You cut little papers (I used my hexagon Creative Memories punch) and then fold material around - I glued mine with special glue, but you can tack them and then you hand stitch them together. For the above pattern which is a pincushion by 'The Birdhouse' I made two rows of 5 and one row of 4 - I was a bit disappointed that quite a lot was cut off to make the pyramid shape but I really enjoyed making this. Not least because it was a great project for mouse week (as it had mice embroidery and appliqué on it also - see the other sides in the photos below. P.S I haven't really decided to have a mouse week yet! BUT if I get stuck then I can get this out again!!
It doesn't quite stand properly - this is because I have stuffed it 100% with toy stuffing instead of just the top third - I didn't have any crushed walnut shells which are the recommended stuffing in the bottom - apparently these keep your pins and needles lovely and sharp. I will keep an eye out to source some or wait for hazelnut season and make my own!
The pin cushion is very useful to me, it has a place for needles, scissors as well as a pocket for cottons and threads and as long as I keep it away from Wallace, who thinks its a chew toy, it will come in very handy - especially for my little scissors which I am forever putting own and losing in the chair cushions.
Another project with the English Paper Piecing (EPP) started at the same time but a much bigger undertaking is a larger hexagon pair of curtains. I also want to combine this with embroidery and so far I have made two 'patches' See below photo. The material is so great as it has a sewing and quilting theme to it and will suit my craft room so well. The designs are by Lynette Anderson and she is from USA but I have found her patterns, kits and materials in a shop in Cornwall called Coast and Country Crafts and Quilts (This is also where I bought the Birdhouse mouse pincushion pattern from an Aussie designer who I also follow on Instagram. The stitching designs are hers.) 
I am really enjoying my sewing and today while I uploaded the photos for my blog I managed to complete a couple more rows of a patchwork pair of curtains I am making for the downstairs bathroom. (below) This is because it takes ages to upload photos due to country internet, not because I can sew really fast!! The material is mona luna and I bought it about 10 years ago - so I am pleased to be using up some of my current stash! It suits where we live now as it has hillsides and sheep. IT is really bright and will light up the bathroom which has really dull brown tiles. I just hope I have enough to make the curtains as the window is not very wide but it is longer than I thought. Some of the fabric was used on Van's busy book as background. 
This pair of curtains is sewing machine stitched on the right side and I used an old Stampin' Up Bigz Die called 'Clear large scalloped square' to cut the material out which, once the material was ironed , was very quick as it cut about 8 layers in one go. The scallops will show as a sort of rough edge. So far 4 strips have been completed - but not sewn together vertically. The time on this is in tying off all of the cotton ends.
Another work in progress that stopped in its tracks is my stripy jumper in this lovely Rowan tweed wool. The wool was originally a kit to make a Kaffe Faccett scarf using the intarsia technique but although I love the colours I didn't like knitting it - so I took it apart and I'm using half of the colours to make this stripy jumper - but I am making it up as I go along and its difficult to judge the quantity of wool and I ran out of the blue, then I ordered the wrong colour blue and now at last I have got it out , matched it up and ordered the right blue - so only the two sleeves to finish and it will be done.
I really am into sitting and doing some slow sewing at the moment and I joined an embroidery monthly club and I am working my way through this lovely bicycle embroidery by 'The Stitchery' I believe it will be available later as a one off kit too. I have changed mine as I wanted the signpost to say 'West Anstey' to echo where I live and I also might try and make the post box look as if it is on a brick wall like the one that is in West Anstey. I also changed the bike a little bit and added a chain and changed the spokes a bit. It is still a work in progress as it needs the baskets to be filled with roses and hyacinths - and the video with the instructions is not out until next week so I will wait for that. In the meantime I am curious to see what the February kit will look like (I'm so impatient and dying for it to arrive in the post). 

A couple of finished sock knits - my lovely indie dyed yarn 'Snow berry' made into lacey socks (although I think this type of wool does look better as a plain sock - Si says the soles look good as he sees these when I have my feet up on the stool in front of the fire.
Also completed (there are two socks here honestly!) A pair of socks for Simon with lots of left over wool - I've got some ideas of what I'm going to do with all the leftover bits from socks - there's usually about 30g - not enough to make another pair BUT... (Watch this space for some stash busting ideas soon) . I have tried to buy another ball as Si fancied a hat but it looks as if it may have been discontinued - It is Opal Adventure wool and self striping = so you just watch it do its magic. 
February is running away with me not having caught up with my weekly wildlife project - but I have had a lot of time out on FaceTime with the girls and Van (he's such a cutie)
I was very impressed with myself lately as I found this gorgeous pattern on Instagram that I want to make a card for Abbi (the earmuffs will be her earphones) and the lady (svetlaja_maj) only speaks Russian - but I sent her a message on Instagram to see if her patterns were available to buy and a couple days later she replied (in Russian) so I put into google translate and basically it said which would I like, so I sent messages on the two patterns I liked (This one and a squirrel with a nut - for squirrel week!! ) and then she sent me the price and who to paypal and I again had to translate and then work out how much  425 rubles was on the internet money converter and then pay (actually PayPal tell you the money in £ also) Then I was sent a link and printed off the patterns - cost about £4.00. Thats the power of the internet!!
Some tidying up also has been carried out and I have sorted all my makeup into this suitcase in my hall under a roof light and Si has put a mirror up for me so this is a great place to do my cleansing etc and also a plug for the hairdryer. The suitcase was given to me by my friend Denise a few years ago and is a nice depth for bottles and make up brushes. I do put make up on at the weekend when Simon is home but most of the time I am my usual mess!
I made a Valentines card for Simon which is almost the same as this card I made for my daughters wedding anniversary.
The tree die is from Stampin Up silhouettes bundle.
I bought these great patches - they get me singing upbeat every time! from for £4.00 I'm going to patch them onto a shopping bag. She had another one for New Year that said Happy New Tier!!

This was Simons ridiculous chocolate brownie I bought him online from a London company called M+H Cake Company - When I was in canada I used to order Simon a cake in a tub every week as a treat!  I also have found our local market place Brownie supplier online and his brownies are to die for - called Extreme Chocolate and so I have to order 4 from him every week or so! This week its choc a block and raspberry chocolate brownies and Simon went for some really crazy flavours. 
I have found I am more and more ordering online- so now I have loo rolls, kitchen towel, dishwasher tablets and vitamin tablets all coming through the post - not to mention knitting, quilting, sock wool, embroidery and dress making clubs! The quilting club box is coming with a bar of chocolate - I am really looking forward to them all arriving soon but for some reason or other they seem to be taking ages - I am guessing the snow across the country has slowed everything down. 
There was a lady on Instagram whose embroidery designs I particularly liked but she is from America and it would cost so much to post over - I contacted her and through our email conversations back and forth on the cost of import tax and handling fees, she has decided to offer her kits as pattern downloads each month - I am so excited - she is going to announce this on the 1st March - her company is called The Raspberry Rabbits and she has the loveliest voice and Dolly Parton style accent! I want to make her hearts embroidery each month and use each heart as a banner tin my bedroom - as it is a digital download I can choose the thread to match my colour scheme and I have already sent away for some threads that I hope will be the exact colours I need. - More next time on all the monthly clubs as I may actually have received some of the boxes by then!
A quick feedback on the card I sent to my MP on climate change - I received a fairly quick reply in a rather grand envelope with House of Commons notepaper! It was a pretty good reply too!
In the meantime I will leave you with Wallace modelling a lovely mossy bank at the edge of the woods where he likes to run wild. It actually turned out to be a lovely photo of him.  I am off to make a cup of tea to go with my choc a block brownie this afternoon and some more EPP slow stitching. 
If you are stuck this weekend The Facebook Group Spoonful of Scraps are hosting a mini cyber crop on Sunday with a Scooby Doo theme. Should be fun!!
Love JoPx