Family Christmas Tree decorations!

Each year, since the millennium I have made Christmas Tree decorations for my family. I thought that as my three sons would soon leave home and have their own trees, it would be good to give them some personal decorations. 
In the early days I had to make 7. This year I have made 12. I now have two daughters in law, one fiancé & 5 grand children. I also make one to send to my German pen friend. I originally told the boys that once they had children I wouldn't make them any more! There was an outcry & I compromised by giving them one between each couple.

Each decoration has their name on it and the year. My youngest son Alan lived in Australia for 5 years & I somehow didn't make him the 2011 decoration. He now lives in the UK & has been nagging me about the one missing decoration! So I made it for him this year! It is the large star in the photo. There are two in the photo, the other one is my personal one.

I have I have been a bit slow and only finished these decorations on 17th December!

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a Happy & Healthy 2022.

Sarah's Beautiful Bedfordshire edging completed.

 Sarah has been working on this Christine Springett designed pricking for some time. She has made a wonderful piece of Bedfordshire. Congratulations Sarah!


5th-8th November 2021

Keep an eye on the West Dean Website to book.

Inspired by Period Living

 Back in the 1990's I attended a textile workshop and I started to work on an embroidery of the houses we have owned.

I then enrolled on a 4 year City and Guilds Creative Textile course and the houses were packed away safely.

During lockdown, various unfinished projects have been worked on. 

Last year  the magazine, Period Living ran a feature on 'House Portrait Challenge', showing shortlisted works of art.

It reminded me of my unfinished houses but at the time I was busy with other projects. This year I finally got them out and started work.

Here are  photos of our first home in Twyford near Reading.

The Twyford House was our first proper home.

The embroidery of the Twyford house was practically completed and just needed to be mounted. I am a bit of a hoarder and luckily still had maps of the time, some  that were given by estate agents and normal maps. This turned out to be a perfect background and I was also able to mark the position of the house on the map.

Here is the mess in my studio as I worked on the Fareham house.

photo of Fareham house

I mounted the Fareham house on a local map once I had completed the front door.

I am very pleased with the results. I now have to start work on our current beautiful Edwardian House!


booking open.

April 15th-18th 2021 

For more information, click this link.

West Dean Bobbin Lace course

 Well Christmas has arrived!

How did that happen.. thank goodness this terrible year has gone. I'm glad to see the back of it and I'm sure a lot of you are too.

I have managed to finish all my annual family Christmas decorations and you will find the photos here. 

I used a pricking from Geraldine Stotts book - The Bobbin Lace Manual. I used the bell pricking but adapted it. I removed the 'clapper' and the top of the bell. 

This photo shows the working side of the bell. 

I started at the top right of the photo working in both directions.

When I reached the centre right of the bell I attached a sequin using a crochet hook to do the sewing. 

I always add the year and the recipients name to my Christmas decorations. I do this by printing the details out on my printer using a very small font. I pritt stick them to each side of the sequin and then cover each side with clear nail varnish. I naturally do this BEFORE I attach it to the decoration!

Once I reached the bottom left hand corner I had to throw out many pairs to turn that corner.

the year 2020
This photo shows the reverse of the bell with the year on the sequin.

Do send me photos of any Christmas lace decorations that you may have made and are happy for to include on this blog.

Do look at the FIMBRIA BLOG.
I add the Christmas cards to the blog that we exchange each year. I haven't had them all yet, but they will be there soon! Fimbria is a textile group that I have belonged to for many years. We all make one textile card and sent it to one member.

I do hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that 2021 brings us all a much safer and normal time. Please keep in touch, I'm always happy to help with any lace or textile queries you may have.

Christmas is coming!

Each year since 2000 I have made individual Christmas tree 
decorations for my close family! Each decoration has the persons
name and the year on it.
Now my three sons are adults the number of decorations to make 
now includes  grandchildren! Consequently the number to be made
 has increased over the years! When grandchildren arrived I told 
my sons they wouldn't get any more individual decorations.. there
 were complaints and we compromised! 
This year I need to make 11. Each year the decoration design is a 
closely guarded secret, however this year my grand daughter has 
requested a bell! I don't think that she has told anybody!!

I do need to start early in the year to get them completed in time.
here are close ups of some of the bobbin lace decorations .