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 😍

Quiet Weekend NOT!

So master plan was to garden and sew ….

I must at this point say despite having DD2 best friend blue lighted to hospital this morning following a sleep over…… Suspected gall stones poor darling I did actually mow the lawn, water the beds, do a bit of weeding AND created one garment for holiday 😳

Miraculous really and still not entirely sure how I managed it other than maybe the rush of nervous adrenalin. So for your perusal … FORGIVE PLEASE ITS NOT IRONED …… one shot of the rediscovered Indian fabric ready for beach time lounging 😎

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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

Wonderings and Wanderings

Well Dear Reader,

What an odd few weeks it has been. You know the whole life thing getting in the way of creating wonders.

I have found myself wondering what now? Not what now as far as creating goes, as a fellow ‘I’m an artist darling’ we always have something or ten in our heads 🙂 More wondering where the life journey is taking me next. A few things up in the air right now and I am letting myself go with the flow which is not a natural position for me to take but hey ho, why fight it? New beginnings and adventures lay just around the corner I am sure, along this wandering path that is life!

I’m doing some temp work right now which many would consider risky but I have to say suits beautifully during this period of wondering and wandering 😉 Gives me time to consider my options of which there are of course many. Not emotionally tied to an employer is strangely liberating albeit a little nerve testing. One thing is for sure, I know I am alive not moving from one day to the next in auto pilot.

All this has had an impact on the creating bit. Crochet is going great with many jobs on the go. I love crochet as it takes no setting up (I am not in a place big enough for a separate sewing room) but I do miss my first and true love, sewing. I even bought an overlocker at last but still haven’t tested it. Note to self : pull your finger out woman and give it a wizz

Finally made a rag quilt, saw one an age ago and loved it but had no good reason to make one but now my dear friends baby girl is due any day I had the chance, I am so very pleased with it. 100% cotton I hope it will be a loved item that maybe in years to come is used to wrap dolly or teddy in 🙂

Here is a gallery of odd pictures showing what I have been up to, as you can see no particular direction but nevertheless still creating!

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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?

 

 

It’s In The Bag !

Having had a jolly good dose of the lurgies this week I am finally beginning to feel more like me. As I sat watching mind numbing daytime TV with hottie, blanket and pup for comfort, my sewing machine sitting at the other end of my living room was taunting me.

All neatly prepped for my oriental fabric bag which should have taken just a couple of short hours has turned into an epic torture myself week. Every day when I finally pulled myself out of bed I promised myself a bit of sewing ( the fix all medicine), but I just couldn’t seem to make it happen.  So in true creative’s style gave myself a sizable anxiety complex about being lazy and the usual blah blah blah! Why do we test ourselves when we are least able to cope with the test? Oops! Maybe that’s just me ….. am I alone in the ability to cause self-induced stress and anxiety?  AND why do I think about work when I’m home being all poorly? Sad Act I hear you cry 🙂

Sew today I finally sewed YEEEEHA! It was worth having everything cut and sitting there mocking me because it was as simple as plug in the machine and tally ho, off we go.  The MissouriQuiltCo from You Tube  that I have both used and mentioned in the past is the perfect, easy peasy way to make a most presentable and practical bag. Every time I use this method I am never disappointed, you could swing by You Tube and take a look. Some great little tutorials there.

Friend Del at curlsnskirls used to fantastic effect on her ‘Library Tote’ with some fabric I had sent previously. Here we go, a tangent ….. Note to self get next parcel finalised and sent. Have a few bits together but trying to find amongst my obscene sized stash a particular thingie to send.  I must refer to it as a thingie else the surprise will be spoiled 😉

What do you think of this tote being the next subject of an Absolute Beginners class? You may recall last year I did a few but with a simple cushion. Am thinking this tote would make a great starter for a beginner. Think any beginner would be happy to walk out from a 3 hour class clutching such a useful item!?

So dear reader, for your approval my oriental tote and a little doobrie with left over fabric. Said doobrie is perfect size for me to put all the vital miscellaneous dross I carry in my main handbag 🙂

 

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 🙂

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