Thursday 29 July 2010

Thank you for my Rainbow of Threads!

There aren't seven colours in the rainbow... there's 454!

I hope you're all well and happy!

At last, I have got around to photographing all those lovely, lovely DMC threads and the wonderful Rainbow of Stitches book that I won in the recent Feeling Stitchy Rainbow of Stitches Contest! Thank you to all the kind and generous folks at Feeling Stitchy and DMC threads for giving such gorgeous prizes! Check out my Flickr set for a closer look here.  I asked Little Tiger if he was pleased with the prize; he said it was nice and big, but would have preferred a set of Top Trumps cards, especially ones with monsters on. Bless him!
King of the Thready Castle!
The book is fabulous; I've been taking it around to friends and showing it off who've all "ooh-ed" and "aah-ed" at it. The book contains hundreds and hundreds of sweet embroidery patterns and cross stitch charts and plenty of ideas of what to embroider. The patterns and charts are all monotone, so it's an ideal book for beginner embroiderers. The patterns and the beautifully photographed bags, napkins, samplers and all manner of decorated clothing and other homewares are divided into sections for green, pink, blue, red, and white. The colours used are just suggestions though, so you can choose your favourite colour, or more adventurous stitchers could easily turn the patterns into multi-coloured ones. There's a good variety of styles of patterns too, from cute little children and animals through elegant women and lacy borders, to nine different alphabet and sampler patterns, giving lots of scope for personalising your creations. There's so much choice, that I hardly know where to start!

Then we come to the threads. What can I say about a MASSIVE pile of 454 DMC six-stranded cotton embroidery thread, in all the colours available?? It's WONDERFUL!! DMC thread is a joy to work with, it's colour-fast, has a lovely shine and the colours are very clear. I like how they've given me lots of variegated threads as well, because I love those. There's more shades of green and blue than I will ever need, but I'll give it a good try! I've put together perhaps my favourite 19 (there was meant to be 20 but I seem to have miscounted!) colours from the 454 I now have, pictured below.

My personal rainbow :-)
I'm going to be designing a new Little Tiger embroidery very very soon (this afternoon if I can pull my finger out, but unfortunately my greatest strength is procrastination, so don't hold your breath!) and I'll be using some of the rainbow!

Have a great day, whatever you're doing.
Peace & love
Joey xxx

Sunday 25 July 2010

Candyfloss Summer Craft Fair

Cute Little Raku Bottles from Zandra Ceramics
Goodness! What a week! What with a busy time at work, having a whale of a time with friends making sock monsters on Thursday and planning some new embroidery designs, this is the first chance I've had to tell you about the lovely craft fair I went to a week ago, run by old friends Craft Candy.

There were so many gorgeous stalls, but I only took pictures of a few (you can see the pictures on my Flickr pages here) and here's my favourites of my favourites!

Zandra of Zandra Ceramics specialises in raku and wood-fired sculptural pieces and vessels. In one of the wood-fired vases Zandra had pressed a safety-pin and because the temperature in the wood kiln gets so high, the pin had completely melted and left an interesting metal residue.  I liked the tiny raku-glazed bottles (pictured above) so much that I bought three!

Sian of Siansburys' stall looked as bright and fun as always, with her cute and so beautifully-made sock monkeys. Sian has been making her sock monkeys for a few years now, and each one is a unique work of art.

One of Siansburys' Cute and Colourful Sock Monkeys
Kirsten of Quernus Crafts makes wonderfully colourful and patterned millefiore polymer clay critters, the like of which I don't think I've ever seen before! Kirsten makes her own intricately-patterned millefiore canes and then creates cute little creatures like snails, moles, cats... and even a tiger!  They will really brighten up your day!

Little Snaily with a Beautiful Shell from Quernus Crafts
And lastly, we come to possibly the star of the show! Gemma Nemer (who runs The Button Tin craft workshop in Rotherham) won the prize for the best-dressed stall, and just look at these pictures for a bit of eye candy! I think you'll agree that Gemma's stall was super-sweet!  This is it:

Gemma Nemer's beautifully-dressed stall
Look! She even made the signs all vintage-y and cute with retro fabrics and lots of lace, with hand-stamped text.

Gemma specialises in textile accessories made from vintage fabrics and upcycled embroidered linens. She also teaches classes in her studio at Rotherham, the Button Tin and there's all sorts lovely things you can learn to make!
I can't remember whether these were brooches or hairgrips... they're lovely anyway!
Gemma made a necklace just for her Blue Bunny!
Now I'm looking forward to Craft Candy's next fair, the Christmas one on Saturday 27 November 2010. Applications are being accepted right now until the end of August, so go to their site if you'd like to be considered for a stall.

Best wishes
Joey xx

Saturday 17 July 2010

Sublime Stitching Contest


That's the sound of me sighing a big sigh of relief, because (thank goodness) it's Friday! :D So what are you going to be doing this weekend? Me, I'll be going to the Craft Candy fair at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield tomorrow morning, a spot of lunch in town and then seeing Alice at the Crucible Theatre in the afternoon. Then a swim at Ponds Forge in the evening!
But if you don't have anything planned, and if it's rainy again like it was today, why not enter the Sublime Stitching Combo Contest?  It's free to enter, and it's a great challenge: combine three themes of motifs together in an embroidery in a imaginative and exciting way, and you could win some great prizes... including my Little Tiger's Orangey Celebration embroidery pattern! 

The top prize is $100 gift voucher for Fred they have lots of lovely goodies, including these little beauties:

Fred Flare GoodiesFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Fred Flare Goodies by joeysdreamgarden on

So I hope you all think about entering the contest!

Have a great weekend everyone!
Joey xx

Thursday 15 July 2010


Hiya! I'm sorry to be so repetitive and boring, but I've just created my first Instructable and wanted to show it off! If you haven't yet discovered, then you are really missing a treat! It's a site FULL of tutorials, tips and just interesting things from crafty folk, geeks and clever-dicks the world over! Plus they have lots of competitions too.

Cute Sandcastle Flags - More DIY How To Projects

Best wishes
Joey xx

Sunday 11 July 2010

Put the Flags Out! Freebie and Contest

Flag Day!

Hiya! I hope you're all well and happy. "Long time no blog" I hear you say! I'm sorry for my absence, I've been getting over winning the Feeling Stitchy contest!  Yes it's taken me this long... winning something is rather a shock to my system, you see.  Oh and catching up on things that I've been meaning to do for a long time... like making some little printable flags for sandcastles!

The beautiful Carbis Bay... ahh, what I'd give to be there right now...
A couple of years ago, I made a few little flags for sandcastles on the train down to our holiday destination, the lovely Carbis Bay (pictured above) near to St Ives. If you like Cornwall, I thoroughly recommend a visit as the beach is wonderful, the sea so clear and there's some great walking on the easier bits of the coast path (I'm a real pussy when it gets a bit steep and rocky!). Anyway, here's some pictures of those flags in action:

Since then, I've been meaning to make some for you good folks to download and print out... Finally, I've gotten around to it!  I think this would be a good activity for children to keep them occupied when you're packing for your holiday. Then again, you might want to make yourself a little flag and wrap it around a pencil.  Click on the images or links below to download the flags (you have a choice of ready coloured, or blank for you and/or your little 'un to colour in)

Summer Pals' Sandcastle Flags - ready coloured
Summer Pals' Sandcastle Flags - blank for you to colour in

Joey's Dream Garden Sandcastle flags coloured in version_ not for commercial use

Joey's Dream Garden Sandcastle Flags_ outlines version_ not for commercial use

I made them with our little long-term visitors, Little Tiger (who else??), Cotton Carrot and Bunny Giraffe in mind. Of course, the ever modest Little Tiger demanded a flag with his "beautiful" fizzog on it and nothing much else... Cotton Carrot didn't really mind as long as there was a carrot featured somewhere; so I've put lots of carrots coming out a happy sun to reflect her sunny disposish. And Bunny Giraffe, the most musical and rhythmic of the pals, gets a singing bunny in a rainbow of music! Which he's very happy with. :-)

Health and safety note: please ensure young children are accompanied by an adult when using sharp scissors, and please keep craft knives out of their reach. If your youngsters are using bamboo skewers, please cut off the pointed end for them first.

To make the flags, you need:
A print of the flags
Clean lolly sticks (or bamboo skewers, cut in half, or pencils)

Here's how you put them together
1. Download the sheet you want, and print it out. If it's the blank ones, colour them in and decorate if you wish.

2. Cut out along the dotted lines.

3. Get your stick ready. Apply glue to the back of one half of the flag.

4. Place the stick on the centre of the flag.

When I used a lolly stick, I decided to position it halfway up the flag, as it's quite short.

5. Fold the flag over and make sure that both sides line up neatly. You now have a double-sided flag, ready for some sandy constructions!

Unfortunately, I'm not going to the seaside this year... (sob!) But because I still want to see LOTS of sandcastles with these flags in, I'm offering a prize to the most impressive and imaginative sandcastle bearing one of these flags!  If you want to have the chance to win an exclusive Joey's Dream Garden brooch, here's what you need to do:

1. Make at least one of the flags
2. Make a sandcastle (it doesn't have to be on a beach; in a sandpit would do if, like me, you can't get to the seaside)
3. Take a photo of your creation
4. Add your photo to the Flickr group - if you've made lots of flags and sandcastles, please add as many photos of them as you wish! 

The closing date is Monday, 13 September 2010, 00:00 on Howland Island (i.e. GMT -12 hrs; click here to find your timezone's equivalent time: ) and I will contact the winner via Flickr soon after.

UPDATE 14 JULY: Blogger is currently having technical problems, meaning people sometimes cannot leave a comment. If you cannot leave a comment (please try first, I love getting comments!) please e-mail me and tell me what time you tried to comment. My e-mail is  Thanks!

Take care in the sun (and the sea, if you're going to the seaside!)
and Have Fun!
Joey x


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