Goose Feathers & Fans!

Its been an absolute age I know!

Please bear with me, I promise to get to the point but a minor purge first…. Past 3 months have been some of the most testing in a while (I know many are having very trying times so I’m not saying I’m special in any way).

HH and I were on our fantastico holiday in Aruba and can safely say the best so far, new area in new to us apartments and it was a total dream until the last day.  DD2 contacted us before we saw on Facebook to let us know her dearest friend and first love had been tragically killed in a car crash at just 22 tender years. I have no doubt you can imagine the devistation this caused our family let alone watching our dear friends go through that thing every parent dreads. Suffice to say that alone was enough to throw us into the doldrums. To add insult to injury my osteoarthritis built up a head of steam attacking my thumbs but in particular my right and I am a right handed … DABNABIT!

Any inckling of creative mojo bit the dust with mind unprepared to reenter ‘normal’ life and thumbs causing such agro that even doing up a button has become a challenge. This is where our NHS really comes into its own…. Thank the Lord for the NHS. I’ve been popped on the waiting list to have a thumb joint replacement ….. Who knew such wonderful things can be done, I am so excited and must now employ some patience as it will take a wee while to get it done . Nevertheless something to really look forward to 👍🏼

Despite the pain in my hands I bit the bullet yesterday and started a bit of crochet after reading an article on the importance of keeping your hobby alive. It resonated very loudly with me as I really could feel my emotional well being suffering along with many of the other ‘side effects’ of letting your hobby slip away.

So what I hear you cry has this to do with goose feathers and fans???

Those of you in the UK know that winter has failed to arrive thus far. Biblical rains devastating the North of our beautiful Isle but not one solitary frost here in the middle of Blighty.  No need for coats, gloves and scarves so late in December, it’s crazy mad!

That said HH and I needed a new duvet and having seen a goose and down on a very special offer I went ahead and bought it. Neither of us have had feather since childhood and we had certainly forgotten how damn hot they are😳 PHEW! Which of course if winter had arrived would all be hunky dorey BUT being menopausal mauve as well night time has become tropical to say the least. I dug the summer fan out, set it up and felt very pleased with myself thinking a good night awaited me.

WRONG … it rattled and knocked to the point I seriously thought HH was going to do extreme and irreversible damage to it and anything in the near vicinity . So to avoid potential violence to an inanimate object I’ve just had a jolly good root through my drawers (wooden sliding storage type) on the hunt for the screw on doobrie firkin that I knew would tighten the flappy blades up. During said root and rummage I came across the utterly wonderful pattern the gorgeous, wonderful and splendiferous Dellis sent to me in the summer for my 50th.

This immediately triggered the memory of dragging HH down to Walthamstow very soon after getting it, to buy fabric. A first in life for me is that I have laid my hands on the fabric without the usual hiss fit of emptying every cupboard in sight. ITS A SIGN!

So I am cutting the paper pattern tonight, pinning and cutting fabric tomorrow (bank holiday here) and sewing at the end of the week. I think if I pace myself the thumbs should hold up 😀. The fabric is a very heavy jersey knit as I had it in my mind that I want this to be a super functional winter item. Not a coat, not a cardi, not a fleece but a bit of everything so I’m thinking I shall call it a CODIF 😎.

Along with my pictures I’ve also attached a couple of shots of DD1 Christmas offerings, a dream catcher made with some of my precious button stash and a Tree of Life. Both made with her own fair hands.

Oh and yes the fan is now fixed, smooth as silk so I await a perfect nights sleep.

Sending you all love and hugs over the Christmas season but an especially big squeeze to you Dellis.  It’s as though I could hear your voice as I spotted the pattern and a little spark of mojo popped back in 😍

Stash and Beyond …..

I LOVE it when I come across fabric I so totally forgot I had. This was stashed in a bag in the shed of all places!!! I bought this donkeys years ago at a lovely little Indian fabric shop in Wolverton near Milton Keynes back when my sewing mojo was big time AWOL!

Given it a gentle wash and will whip something very simple up especially for my next Aruba trip which is coming up very fast now HOORAAAAAY😎.

Providing my simple make proves to be simple more pictures will follow.

Oh and I know you will forgive the randomness of these pics … It reflects the random nature of my thoughts 😋

A perfect pompom dahlia and my lovely girls … All things that make me smile LOTS!

Happy weekend y’all xxxx

It’s In The Bag ……

After quite some time now I have finally got around to doing another workshop at My Sewing Basket ….. Donna kept on at me and I gave way and made sure I allowed myself some time to run a workshop in making the wonderful padded tote bag that I originally saw on MissouriQuiltCo You Tube page ….. Fantastic tutorial that I have tweeked for my ease.

It translated really well for 4 wonderful ladies Margaret, Christine, Judy and Barbara.  All have varied levels of sewing skills but that worked to our advantage as it became a lovely support one another type day. It’s rewarding to watch people who start the day as strangers interact with one another and share skills and experiences.

As ever I under estimated how much time I needed!  Really I must always add an extra hour to allow for the lovely friendly banter that happens.

Excellent taste prevailed today with beautiful fabric choices as you can see and despite Margaret having to leave before she had finished, she has enough skill to finish at home and has promised a picture of her finished item.

I chose a fairly thick wadding so it gave us a few challenges but well worth it as the finished products were AWESOME 🙂

This is such a versatile  design, size up or down for various tasks : book bag, shopping tote, make up bag etc.

My previous variety of totes came along for the ride as a demonstration of how versatile the design is and the many fancy finishes you can put on for added personality.

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variety of totes

variety of totes

To think I really didn't like this fabric when my darling friend R chose it yet now it's my most favourite ;)

To think I really didn’t like this fabric when my darling friend R chose it yet now it’s my most favourite 😉

At the end of the workshop my delightful ladies left with very professional looking totes and without exception all seemed very happy with their results so I really can’t ask for anymore can I?

Donna has already started on at me for the next workshop …….. Doesn’t she know I work?  A detail that she is keen to skip over and if I’m honest, I rather like ;). Makes me feel wanted ….. The chance to share my love of crafting is a gift….. One my darling Mum gave to me all those years ago.  Wouldn’t be fair to be selfish and keep it to myself now would it?

What do you think of the finished results my lovelies?

 

 

Father Forgive Me For I Have Sinned ….

… And keep on sinning! Bad Gal 😦

Here dearest reader I lay before you my confession for the day, the week,  ok the year!

In the workplace I am a highly disciplined person. To do lists that are tackled by priority, meet targets and deadlines as NT would I believe attest to. So how come in my home life does chaos rein?

Could it be the Gemini in me? That old two-sided personality … Or maybe the only child syndrome?

The attention span of a gnat quite frankly. Well in truth if things are going well I see it through to the bitter end BUT I can be given to tantrum if things go against me. Not the stamping, hissing type of a teen but the obstinate, petulant sort of a toddler!

Case in point … Hidden in the airing cupboard is a real kimono that I know Del will remember as she offered words of wisdom when I hit my wall.  I miss calculated on the belt, as a result just couldn’t turn it through (fabric isvery very old and quite delicate). Rather than be a grown up and listen to my buddy by Re cutting a wider version I hid it! There it has sat for a year … OMG a year!  It’s so close to finished but oh no Mrs cut off her nose to spite her face, there it still sits.

Fragile package by the cupboard in which NOBODY is allowed to go is a couple of cork boards to decorate as Del did.  So loved the effect I thought YEP I’m going to do a couple of them for DD2 for her photos BUT because I couldn’t find my staple gun, there they sit wrapped …. This one in my defence is just a couple of weeks old.

On the wardrobe door is the DD1 blanket which is a work in progress, as is the one hour kimono whose neckline is driving me berserk.  Theres the tantrum talk again 🙂 All I need to is bind the neck and front edge. Sewing machine is set up, have lovely satin bias from Walthamstow BUT it annoyed me so can’t bring myself to touch it.  What’s that all about LOSER!

How shameful is it that I have stash taking up valuable space in DD2 bedroom? Big bottom drawer MINE, top of wardrobe MINE ….. Drawer is Walthamstow, wardrobe is the carefully collected vintage fabrics. Not sure what caused that particular fit of sulks…. Think my brain finds it too painful to deal with so has erased the memory 😉

Attention span so pathetic I even meandered off from the actual pics you need as evidence and took pics of bling and stuff just because they please me.  Whilst I say I like order and method me thinks I am also a serial liar (to myself) if I spot a bit of blingage or a doobrie that makes me smile I have to fill a space and believe me, space is limited in my little piece of England.  Praise the Lord I married a man who accepts my foibles else I would have been a divorcee time ago!

The crochet heart thing started last night. DD2 has a much-loved cardigan that she just won’t bin so I started some granny square mid DD1 blanket action …. They are cool but then I thought what else could I do so You Tube got it.  There I found my desire, very quick but super effective crochet hearts. 7 in half an hour and more have followed this morning. Started stitching to the dying cardigan and at this point am very happy with the result, just a few more to do. Then it popped into my head, ENT kimono, sitting cut out in my living room. Now I love this lady like a sister so should be highly motivated to get it done so why the failure …… It’s Georgette like the kimono of failed neckline!

I lay before you my confession to being a serial starter and non finisher IF things don’t go my way.

Have fingers and toes crossed that I don’t stand alone in this affliction? I seek your absolution dear reader. Am I forgiven?

Happy Sunday x

Update picture .... The hearts and granny squares start the rescue :)

Update picture …. The hearts and granny squares start the rescue 🙂

 

Grrrrrrr ………. I Hate Sewing !!!!

Well this afternoon I do anyway.

Have you ever had one of those days when you just can’t get it right but rather than stop, plough on and really screw it up?

That’s me today.  Completed DD2’s Bestie’s one hour kimono and am very happy with it.image image

Next was to be my Bestie’s but something told me to do mine first …… Jolly good job too!

Both are to be made from a chiffon/georgette. Diving in head first, all was going well but then CRASH. …. BANG ……. WALLOP!  The neckline.  Yuk, it is heinous .  The picture doesn’t show how truly ugly it is BUT at least this faux pas is on my kimono.

 

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I usually prepare very well but think I had become a little nonchalant  with all the practice I’ve had and didn’t stop to think about the life of chiffon.  It simply doesn’t lend itself to the cheat method and had I bothered to think on it I would have known that ….. Silly billy!

So I will have to unpick the neckline and make a good old-fashioned facing to ensure a beautiful finish and of course one I can live with.

The positive I guess is I have learnt one new way you can’t sew chiffon…… Quickly 🙂

Note to self:

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Bank Holiday Monday will be spent rectifying Sunday’s screw up.

Happy weekend my lovelies x

On Your Marks, Get Set, Goooooo

Seems I have had my machine for a year…. Where did that time go? Still love as much as day one.

Have yet another one hour kimono on the go! AND another 3 cut out.  Fortunately it is a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK so have some extra time which is handy as I really do want to get these done.

Finished one here is for my niece, the 3 that are on their marks …… Bestie, DD2’s Bestie and MEEEEEEE!  Yes indeedy am actually doing one for oneself 😉

Will pop some pictures here when they are done so you can see how one simple pattern can look so very different dependant on fabric type and design.

have a crafty one …… Weekend that is 🙂

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Whoops! Walthamstow Wins Weak Woman Over …. AGAIN!

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Master plan, little visit to wonderful Walthamstow street market to introduce bestie and DD2 to the wonders of the East End of London.

My sales pitch was as follows : we can just take a leisurely wander down (Europes longest street market, not biggest though) the market. Grab a cappucino and soak up the magical multi cultural atmosphere as we go.

I knew in the back of my mind … LIAR …. Right at the front of my mind that I wanted to go to Saeed’s again for a couple of pieces of fabric for the one hour kimono craze I have going right now.

Saeed’s didn’t disappoint, never ever does, such variety at fantastico prices 🙂 In fact turned into a bit of a feeding frenzy. 3 of us ooooo-ing and aaaaaah-ing at his latest offerings. Evidence Of which can be seen in the picture’s.

DD2 has been wanting a pair of army combat trousers for the longest time but being long and skinny never has much luck until today. No longer fully reliant on the Bank of Mum and Dad she was able to treat herself to several things, she is one very happy wanderer.

Another want of DD2 was to have a henna decoration on her arm as in the wedding party decoration the asian bridal parties have. Well as ever Walthamstow didn’t let us down, a wonderful wee shop with 3 Indian ladies working busily on threading and tinting eyebrows were also able to offer the henna she so wanted.

Bestie and I were transfixed at how fast the henna decoration was painted on to her arm, a true art! Oh well as we are here lets get groomed, so by the time we left we all had perfect eyebrows too 😉 Very reasonable prices too. Thread and tint finished with a mini massage just £8.50, I couldn’t show you anywhere else you can get such service and craft womanship for so little monetary outlay.

Tired to the bone with all the walking we struggled back to my car weighed down with our purchases. Who would think fabric could weigh quite so heavy? Ha! Me of course ….. As we know dear reader I did the exact same thing last summer :). Will I ever learn …. I hope not 😉 xx

 

My Giddy Aunt!

Well Saturday was a corker of a spring day here in Bedfordshire, not that HH and I got a chance to potter in the garden.

That will teach me for doing a google search aye!

Its like this. HH and I have been batting off these pesky little moths in the living room of an evening. You know the wee suicidal sort who flutter around the light then swoop down and DINK bang into the side of your head. We had turned it into quite a sport, HH was winning on the score front, I’m a shocking shot especially giving I was once a demon netball player!

By pure chance on Friday I spotted a hole in one of my soft furnishings. This went with me to bed, in my dreams and almost my first thought as I woke! Hence, the google search. To be exact “fabric eating moths”. BINGO, well bingo in a bad way not the yipee I’ve won bingo way 😉 Up popped picture of said critters that HH and I have been practising our swing arms on! DANGIT! How bad was this going to be?

We stood and looked down our lovely garden that we had planned to spend the day in, getting her ready for a fruitful, blooming summer. HH made the sensible suggestion of a reconisence mission in the living room.

Armed with our super, duper Wertheim vacuum HH went in ahead of me (he’s a brave man). Well it’s a jolly good job he did go in first, on moving speakers and stereo I heard the words you don’t want to hear when you have a pure wool carpet.

“Think they’ve been busy darling”. Nooooooooo, ran in to see hundreds of spent larvea shells.

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We threw open the patio doors and proceeded to remove the contents of the living room.

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My job was to inspect and clean every item before said item would be passported back into living room. HH armed with Wertheim went to work. My giddy aunt, there were hundreds of these shells. Some spent, others live AND OMG a hole in  my carpet. Not a big one and not in a visible place but we know it’s there.

Hours and hours were spent on this mission, end result most satisfying. A fully de-mothed living room. Lavender on it’s way for me to make sachets. Apparently they hate the smell and next is the wardrobes. Keep your fingers crossed for us dear reader that the little blighters didn’t bother going any further given my lush pure wool living room carpet!

Give your drawers (wooden storage type) an inspection, be sure you haven’t had the same uninvited winter visitors. I have my fingers crossed for you 🙂

I’ve Had An Idea!

You may recall a blog I wrote sometime ago, Poppies.image

Well for reasons way too complicated to go in to, the cushions never did get out to Aruba.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, that dreadful war that cost our nation so dearly. It did inspire the wonderful poem Fields of Flanders and of course Armistice Day. The 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour.

I am proud to say that in my lifetime, in fact in recent years the armistice silence is so faithfully observed in the UK. Only a few years ago I stood in Kings Cross, a phenomenally busy train station as the 11th hour was announced. The whole station came to a totally moving silence and stand still. It moved me deeply.

Well now …. My idea.

These here poppy cushions. I would like to somehow promote a raffle to win the set, proceeds of the raffle to go to The British Legion.

So far my idea has got as far as asking a local shop to display initially pictures of the cushions (to avoid fading of the actual cushions) also offering the raffle tickets for sale. Could be good business for them as I think the local press would quite like to do an article.

Spread this out over the year to allow for as much money as possible to be raised for this wonderful charity who do so very much for all military families, to culminate in the winner being selected immediately after the armistice silence.

What do you think?

Additional ideas to promote and raise more greatly welcomed.

Weekend Plans

Moon rise over bedfordshire

Moon rise over bedfordshire

pretty beau

weekend project fabric .... LUSH!

weekend project fabric …. LUSH!

beautiful Beau

beautiful Beau

HH took this yesterday, how can you not love rainbows?

HH took this yesterday, how can you not love rainbows?

I have a couple of crafty tasks set for the weekend and I have also been busy with that camera I bought for HH at Christmas….. by gum that was a good buy, I’m really enjoying learning to use a grown up camera.

A hotch potch of photos attached today, follow me if you can! Any other creatives will totally get how so many things can go through your head and in a strange sort of way join up and make sense 🙂

Having really tested myself this week with some exposure therapy …. going out on short planned jaunts has proven quite successful. If you had asked me earlier in the week I would have said it was heinous as the side effect of agoraphobia is waaay too much adrenalin so when I got home after my first controlled jaunt (which didn’t turn out quite so controlled) I felt wretched. I did however stick with it and each day the effects have been slightly less, so all going in the right direction.

Anyway, I digress AGAIN!

The camera. We had a lovely moon rise 2 evenings ago and I wondered if I could get a good shot. What do you think? I was pretty chuffed.

Then today I was chatting away to our lovely old dog Beaudi, she is a 12 year old lurcher who has an identity problem…. she thinks she is part feline and part human. Either way, I think she is the most wonderful hound ever. These darling pets that we take into our lives, they comfort us through tough times, just sit and let you stroke them, hug them, kiss them and cry on them. In good times they are happy for you. On boring days they make you laugh and all in all are just absolute treasures.

Beaudi is rather camera shy, so the fan dangled, super duper fast shooting camera got whipped out. I felt like a bit of a quick drawing gun slinger only with my HH camera. Sum result a couple of lush pictures of my baby.

buoyed up with my growing camera confidence I have taken shed loads of pictures of some of my fabric stash that simply MUST be sold as I am unlikely to use some of these bits and the room is needed for another Walthamstow run 😉 While rummaging, yet again attractively with my rear in the air I came across some lovely fabric that my dear friend sent over from USA a while ago now. They are smallish remnants that are just lovely designs SO I am thinking I will make something this weekend. Have something in mind but won’t commit myself here, gives me room to change my mind. Woman’s prerogative!!

Additionally, the crochet-a-thon I have found myself on in recent weeks has grown to obsessive levels and I expect to take delivery of some yarn tomorrow. Hoping to make a start on a baby blanket with that.

As you can see, rather a lot going on in this noddle of mine 🙂

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so let’s see if I get either of my craft projects off the ground as planned or will I digress just by way of a change?

Have a poptastic weekend lovely blogland readers x

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