Monday, 30 July 2012

Sorry it's been so long!

It's amazing, we have a week of sunshine and life seems to take a pause. We all had to get out and enjoy it whilst we could.

Our family day at Camber Sands was just perfect, like I am sure beach days for everyone else were. That particular day it wasn't too hot or too cold and it was just such a  tonic to be able to sit and enjoy the sun. I'm normally rubbish at sitting still on a beach but somehow I managed it, in between sandcastle building, kite flying, paddling and eating a lovely picnic.

The rest of the week wasn't quite so relaxing though. With Children's Sewing Workshops running and some soft furnishings orders to complete I'm being quite careful with my time. No lazy holiday lie ins for me. I'm up and at the computer sorting things outs whilst Niamhy sleeps. The day has to split into a little bit of time for me to work, in whatever way that is, and some play time for Niamh. She's great at listening to stories and reading books whilst I get a few bits done and with work behind me we can then enjoy the rest of our day.

Last week I attended a couple of events to promote the business. An NCT Cheeky Monkey Tea Party and  a Pre School Pamper Evening. I love doing events like these as you get to meet and talk to lots of different people. Not only the target audience but the other stall holders as well and there is a really community spirit amongst them, no matter who they are or what they are promoting /selling.

It's not the best picture of my stall but it gives you a feel for what it looks like and how I try to make it look as interesting as possible to draw people over. You can just see, at the front, the peg bags made from outgrown clothes and these were a real talking point at both events.

And whilst I was busy last week making up a few new crayon rolls and the like for the stalls.......

Caoimhe was sneaking in the laundry basket making the most of me being distracted!

As Niamh had been so good all week Thursday was our treat day. A whole day out to explore and enjoy the weather. I didn't want to drive far as the weather was so nice and so we decided to discover our doorstep and spend a day in Lewes. I love going shopping there and it's one of my must visit places for present shopping. But, aside from a visit around the Brewery may years back I've never really spent any time getting to know the town.

We started at a playground and then walked all around the town, visiting every attraction we could en route. We bought birthday presents for Grandma and stopped at a wonderful cafe in a back street with a little garden for a really scrummy lunch. We walked to the top of the castle......

.. and rested on the castle lawns.

It was the prefect kind of day. Our ramblings and reading of information boards with the sun kissing our shoulders made it feel like we were truly on holiday.

A day that will be cherished in the memory bank for years to come.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunshine at last

How busy weekends can be when the sun comes out.

A moment from ours. Kite flying at Camber Sands. Such a lovey day. Hope you've had a lovely one too.


Friday, 13 July 2012

Usborne Books - Were they around when we were young?

When I was young I never really enjoyed art at school. I think it had something to do with the fact that I couldn't draw things exactly as they looked. My brain told me my pictures were not any good. Funny how I now I love things that don't look like they should, things that have their own little quirks and individual appearances.

Maybe it was because I never really paid enough attention to my teachers but I can't really recall being taught how to draw; how to put the picture together and the order of drawing that I needed to think about. (I suspect I may be doing my teachers a huge disservice but honestly, I can't remember). 

As a result I am really enjoying all the Usborne books there are that show you these very things. It may not be very productive, as an adult, learning how to draw a fairy but I do find it very satisfying and rewarding. It's very absorbing and I actually feel that I am learning the basics at last.

On our regular trip to the library to stock up on some new reads I spotted this Usborne book and so we've sat down and had a go.

Niamh tried the ballerinas and I think did rather well. Of course she, who might be a bit like mum, really wasn't happy with them as they didn't look like the picture!

I tried the Princesses. The scans haven't come out quite as well as I would have liked but hopefully you can see enough.

In another life I might have liked to have been a book illustrator or a surface pattern designer but for now I'm happy content that I can draw a smiley cartoon Princess!


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Doily Daze

Work and family have made for a very busy week  but it has all been great fun. 

Ahead of my best mate coming up at the weekend to visit with her family I got a bit of a doily thing going on, making up some cushions for various events. A little play with Instagram and I'm able to show you the results of my efforts in a lovely little mosaic of piccies. The top left piccie is an old one but I love the button doily cushion. 

The tea cosy looks really charming and is my favourite at the moment.

Whilst I was hard at work this was Caoimhe's contribution. My back was turned for one minute and she's hopped in the washing basket!


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

More Vintage - Pop Up Vintage returns to Hassocks!

As if the treat of Village Vintage is not enough Pop up Vintage is back in Hassocks next weekend. It's inside, so come rain or shine there's nothing to stop you browsing.  I had a few finds last time and will have some pennies at the ready this time too.

If you are in and around Hassocks on the 14th pop along!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Update from Miss Mabels

So here is the start of the stall at Miss Mabels.

It's just next door to the tea room.

For now there are just a few of my little things scattered about. I am really pleased for Elaine as it looks so lovely.

Here are some of the bunting items that I mentioned in my last post....

... and fresh out of the dishwasher a plate that she gave to me with an adorable washing line on it.

These are done using transfer papers and pen. I am really looking forward to when the courses start in the Autumn as I really want to have a go myself. I can think of some people that these would make great presents for.


Village Vintage

For all those vintage lovers out there I feel it my duty to let you know that Village Vintage is taking place this weekend in Cuckfield. It's an outdoor event this time, so fingers crossed for the weather, but there will possibly be more stalls than ever to browse over.

The exciting news for me is that I've been working with a lovely lady called Elaine Baker and  she going to put a few of my cushions on her stall at Cuckfield. They'll be the more vintage style ones, so the vintage patchwork and the doily ones but it will be so interesting to hear what feedback she gets and maybe an order or two. 

Elaine exhibited with me at the Open House we did in June as she paints and decorates some lovely porcelain pieces.

She also does some charming Bunting and Washing line pieces.

In addition to our collaboration on the Open Houses and Village Vintage I'm also going to be putting  a few of my smaller items for sale on a stall with her at Miss Mables in Burgess Hill. We're setting up there today and maybe I'll have a few shots later of the final stand.

But that's still not all. Elaine will hopefully be coming to run a workshop or two with Made by Me this Autumn. I'm currently putting together the Autumn Schedule and there will be Evening and Weekend Workshops  as well as weekday ones. 

Things are moving at a pace at the moment but it's dead fun and I',m really enjoying it. Sure does keep me on my toes!


Monday, 2 July 2012

Making Home

I have been feeling very lucky over the last few months to be able to really make something out of what I love doing. Sharing my skills with others when I am teaching is very rewarding but so is sewing for others. Sewing has always been my release. My pleasure. My way of forgetting about the worries in life. Making things for others is just as satisfying as making something for yourself. In some ways more so. When you make something for someone who doesn't have your skills you know that you are really helping them. They wouldn't be able to achieve their goal without you.

This week I got to help a friend start to shape her new home when I took some blinds that I had made her to be hung. She had chosen a wonderful stripy fabric from a company called Deckchair Stripes It was really good quality, lovely to work with and now looks stunning hung in her family room against a white background.

It was so very satisfying seeing them go up and add such warmth to the room. Making it a cosy yet vibrant space.

On to the next job now!


Sunday, 1 July 2012

The good life

A weekend of sunshine and showers but one where we had few jobs planned so yesterday afternoon saw us tending to the fruit and veg.

Now, it has to be said that Niamh's not the biggest fan of getting her hands dirty and her usual approach is to sit and enjoy the fresh air.

Recently though she has been getting more and more interested in helping. So we saw some rather enthusiastic weeding...

before normal service was resumed!

Meanwhile, I harvested some rhubarb which will be made into, one of my all time favourite,  rhubarb and orange cakes.

It was a lovely afternoon in the sunshine, of which we have had so little, and we all came home with a rosy glow on our cheeks. That's how it should be at the end of June!