Monday, 30 April 2012

Lovely things

We had friends and family visit over the weekend and whilst it was a bit hectic keeping on top of it all it was lovely to have so much social time. The friends that visited Saturday came with a most beautiful bunch of  flowers which I have enjoyed all of today.. especially with the sunshine lifting the spirits. I wonder if the sun might stay around a while?

Seeing the lovely combination of green and white got me thinking and I thought I would share some of my special things from my green wall in my craft room.

A wool daisy made by crocheting around a plastic bangle. Such a smiley flower shape.

This is a card that Niamh gave me last year. Not bad at all for a 4 year old (as she was then).. thanks to some help from her lovely big sis.

And another favourite card, this time from Cait. Sew simple!!!!!!

But this might just have to pip both the girls to the post as the Winner. Mr B made this for me a couple of years ago and I adore it. The second photo shows just how detailed it is and how he cut lots of tiny shapes from paper and then painstakingly pieced it all together. Thank you Mr B.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lovely lovely fabric

I've been sorting some of my stash today and took a moment to capture this lovely sight. 

I ADORE fabrics. 

There is the promise of what it could turn into, the gorgeous colours.......

... and some truly stunning patterns. This one was a recent find and just has the most wonderful palette of colours. It's called Sophie by Chez Moi for Moda fabrics if you'd like to buy some.

I could tell you about my fabric stash for hours, there's plenty of it but I'll pause for now as I need to try and get it all back in my cupboard!


Inspirations at Miss Mabel's

After the delights of Pop up Vintage at the weekend I thought my vintage highlights were over for the week. It seemed not! Much to my joy I was told about a new emporium that has opened very close by called Miss Mabel's.

Well you can't post about something that you haven't seen so I took it upon myself to do a  little research and I popped along. Described as a 'magnificent emporium' I wasn't disappointed. Having taken over a vacant industrial unit it's crammed full of treasures. Julie, who has set up this treasure trove very kindly agreed to let me take some photos and I hope if she see's this that they'll have done her justice. She opened about 6 weeks ago and already has over 40 stalls. Well Done Julie.

Not only is it full of vintage finds but it's also got a lovely tea room which was proving pretty popular when I was there. The tea room is in the heart of the emporium so you can sit and sip your cuppa and continue to scan the shelves for finds.

I found small selection of treasures for myself, the white crate is already in use and I plan to use the kitchen towel rail for holding rolls of ribbons. That way they don't have to be hidden away out of sight. The cute lilac cupboard may end up a slightly different colour but will great for storing smaller bits and pieces, possibly in jam jars if I can find some to fit the nooks.

So that wasn't bad for a Friday morning when I was looking for a little inspiration. Listening to Julie tell me about what she has done really made me want to get on with my own little venture. More to come on that over the coming week.

Pop along and look for yourself... and take your purse!


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Proud moments with Hoot the Owl

Somebody recently asked me what one of my greatest personal achievements is. There are the obvious ones that you can mention about family and watching children grow up. If I think about myself away from my roles as mother and wife though there are two things that tend to stand out in my mind. 

One relates to  when I was in  my early twenties and I did a parachute jump for charity. 

I can still remember the terror I felt as the very very very small plane rose up into the sky and I knew I was about to have to leap out, going against every natural instinct in my body. I do also remember the serenity and absolute calm of floating down above the trees... not so sure that my landing was very serene though!

The other moment was when I had my very own project published in Sew Hip magazine. To have something that I had created published was a truly wonderful feeling. He was a cheeky chappy made out of one of Mr B's old jumpers and some scraps of felt. Unfortunately he had to be sent off for the photo shoot and fame got to him... he never came back! So then I made another out of an old denim dress.

This was Issue 17, June 2010.

If you fancy having a go yourself I have a pdf pattern for you to use. If you leave me a comment and your email address I'll ensure you get a copy.

From a quick look through google here are some that people did make, which makes me even prouder.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Reasons to make cards

One of oldest friends recently moved house and Niamh and I went on a trip today to see them. I've discovered that they're  a little closer that they were before, an hour now door to door, which is wonderful. It makes day trips possible and hopefully thus a bit more of a chance to see them. Getting time to have weekends away gets tighter and tighter.

Never one to miss the chance to make a card I beavered away and made this one yesterday. I wanted something that looked homely and cosy and I think this fitted the bill. 

It represents a bit of a style patch that I seem to be going through at the moment. I recently had reason to make a thank you card for a lovely group of people that had been very kind to me. You'll notice the similarity and I got some lovely comments about it.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Pop up vintage

Pop Up Vintage is on today and you really should pop along to if you're in the area. Lots of lovely stall holders and treasures to find. IT was very very busy when I went but the stalls were wells ticked, so enough for everyone.

Here are my finds......

About 5m of some gorgeous lace, it's about an inch wide and in great condition. My mind is whirring with what i could use it for but I don't want to rush and waste it.

The case was a great find, it's in fabulous condition inside, locks with 3 keys and is a gorgeous colour. I know exactly what I'll be using it for.


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Walking in the woods

We were blessed with one extra day of school holidays yesterday, Inset day for the teachers. The weather was lovely so we spent the afternoon in our local woods. The bluebells were not quite ready but there was a carpet of white from the wood anemones. We pottered and played and then headed for the wood pile stack. We wanted to see the difference in the rings on the logs.

Niamhy has some beady eyes when it suits her and out of hundreds of logs spotted this one and called me over. It did make me smile.


Friday, 13 April 2012

Hassocks Artists Open House update

You may remember that I posted a little while ago that I was joining this event this year. It's set for the weekend of the 16th and 17th June and there should be 8 different venues around the village.

It's been really interesting attending the meetings - as always more involved than you might imagine. Lots of experience from people that have exhibited before but I have been able to add some ideas too which is nice. I'm not one to just go along for the ride, I like to help.

Some of the houses will be offering refreshments with donations to charity so I need to think about what I might offer and who I could support.

There is also going to be a Trail Hunt for the children this year with a small prize at the end.

So all in all I am getting quite excited about this. Behind the scenes I am busy putting together a few new pieces and yesterday I had my own little photo shoot in the garden to finalise some shots for the advertising. Everything I had seemed very dull. When you are one photo/image out of many on a poster I wanted to try be make sure it looked interesting.

What do you think? They won't all be used but it gives the designer some choice. 

I do love my little toadstool so I thought it deserved a solo appearance!


Monday, 9 April 2012

Have you discovered Instagram?

Two posts ago I talked about the glorious sunshine and showed a lovely picture of the magnolia tree in our garden.

Since then I've been reading a few blogs and wondering at some of the lovely imagery they've uploaded. Well I've discovered their secret! Instagram. A cheeky little App that you can get for free and it can change the ways your piccies look in a single click. I love this version of my magnolia... the colours have a lovely subtleness to them and the whole thing feels charmingly old. 

There are all sorts of different looks you can experiment with and I'm off to have a little more fun.


Sewing with a purpose

As I typed the title for this post I realised it makes it sound like sometimes I don't. Well I always do... but maybe sometimes it's just more important.

I've ad a busy couple of weeks, not least because the schools broke up for Easter so I've been at home with the girls. There are a few other things distracting me at the moment and I'll share more about these when I can.

However, last week saw a new addition to the family, a new nephew. So there wasn't a moment to lose, now that he had safely arrived, a gift was required. Lots of ideas crossed my mind but I settled on a patchwork quilt for the cot. I'd been talking to a friend about quilting in the week and with little sewing taking place for a couple of weeks it was sure to satisfy my cravings!

As I am in a tidying mood at the moment ( we even tackled our garage over the weekend and have the tidiest one you will ever have seen) up-cycling seemed the order of the day. A few of Mr B's work shirts had seen better days and the soft worn cotton is just perfect for quilting with. Don't worry - I did ask first!

Two were picked and I used the sleeve and front panels from both, saving the back panels, buttons and cuffs for another project. One was a lovely pale blue and the other a neat two tone check on a white background.

I chose to make 11cm squares using a 0.5cm seam allowance and worked on a sizing of 70cm x 100cm. I tried to size against some of Niamhs old blankets for guidance.

The downside of up-cycling is that the cutting out takes that bit longer as you're not working with nice square or rectangular pieces of fabric. New fabric is heaven as you can cut strips with much greater ease. However it wasn't long before the rows were forming.

Mr B had taken Niamh swimming so I was able to totally immerse myself in the task at hand and a couple of hours later the top was complete. That's the easy bit!

I found some lovely soft pale blue brushed cotton for the underside which has a small red print on it so I decided to incorporate red in my quilting. Having considered sewing buttons onto the joins (not perhaps the best idea for a baby quilt) I settled upon stitching little red crosses at every join and leaving tied threads on the underside.

So one evening and one film later the quilting was completed. Red binding seemed too strong so a dark blue saved the day.

In a rush to complete for our visit to meet the little chap today I had to rush the final stage with a little error from speed here and there. However I constantly remind myself that perfection does have a place but for some projects the charm is in the handmade bit.

So welcome to the world Leo and I hope this gives you many sweet dreams.