Sunday, 30 September 2012

A relaxing weekend....

With Mr B away again this weekend it's been a girlie weekend. We've missed him but we have indulged ourselves in all things creative.

We had a lovely day out together yesterday visiting one of my favourite craft shops down in Chichester who were having a 'felt day'. I adore felt. It is such a wonderful textile to work with and it's obvious simplicity often misleads people into understanding it's true potential. It's been a great joy to spend more time working with it recently as it's forms the back bone at the moment for sewing tasks with some of my after school sessions. It's just perfect whilst we master excellent hand sewing skills.

There were  a variety of 'make and take' projects and Niamhy had a go with a whizzy new gadget that helps you make felt balls. It is called  Futte Futte which, translated means Shake it Shake it and it really is as easy as that! We've come home with a large red ball, about the size of an egg. Not sure what's it is going to become yet. If you fancy buying one click here to visit The Eternal Makers on line shop.

All three of us then had a go at using a die cutting machine to make circles which was wonderfully therapeutic. I have been looking at such machines on and off for the last few months. So many projects require circles of fabric, and with more and more cutting out required for the classes and parties that I am running, I was beginning to contemplate the investment. They are not cheap machines afterall. With a huge felt scrap basket to delve into it was great fun and made even more so by the distinct lack of what I would consider my usual colours. I love it when I am forced to think outside of my usual processes and we have come home with some wonderful 'dotty' felt bunting. 

We followed up our creative adventures with a trip into town and a visit to a tea room. Then just a few moments to have a little mooch around the shops before they were all shutting their doors and we needed to head home too.

Today has been just as lovely but we haven't been anywhere. After a few jobs this morning it was time for us all to gather round the kitchen table for some crafting and creative work. There was creative homework to be addressed and Niamhy decided that she wanted to make a pencil case. Sewing machine out and a little reminder of how it all works.....

... before a little more stitching with some guidance from me created her ta da moment!

One pencil case complete with teddy ribbon tag and two hello kitty buttons. What more does one little 6 year old girl need?!

(My one footnote to all this is that we did have to move to my machine to do the zip as the small red John Lewis one picture above does not have a zipper foot attachment - I wouldn't want anyone misled)


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hassock Artists Christmas 2012

Hot of the press is the poster advertising this years Christmas Event.

I'll tell you a bit more about nearer the time but Elaine Baker and I will both be exhibiting so put the date in your diary now.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tracey English Giveaway

So the weekend was a little dull and dreary on Sunday. Perfect for hibernating, and yes we did light our first fire of the Autumn. It's always an exciting moment and there's nothing like snuggling down with it.

I sneaked a moment or two to catch up on a couple of blogs and found myself on one of my little blog journeys, following links and discovering new pages. In the process I stumbled upon Tracey English.

If you take a look you will see that she does some really wonderful and colourful work and, even better, currently has a give away going on for some of her cards. I can think of a number of people who would appreciate them and I am sure you could too so pop over and take part. Here are just a couple as a teaser.


Saturday, 15 September 2012

A colourful stash

After pondering the wonders of colour only last night I felt like I had found gold when I stumbled upon this little, or rather large, stash of threads in our local antiquey market. So many colours and shades, just perfect for all the little bitty projects that I do and teach.

Seeing how the colours work with each other gets my mind buzzing with what I could see.

Will have to wait though as I have promised Niamhy a trip to the library followed by a treasure hunt.


Friday, 14 September 2012

The colour of life

I recently treated myself to a set of drawers to house my sewing bits. I was struggling to find everything in my old wicker sewing box and felt the time had come for a shape up. I stumbled upon these and fell in love with them as I could see that everything would finally fit into one place. They look charming sat on the cupboard and fit in perfectly with the shaker sewing box on top. This belonged to my late grandmother, who I loved dearly, and I cherish it immensely. I love the fact that my sewing endeavours now are often made using the same needles (though different threads) that she would have used.

It was only as I pulled out a drawer or two to make for a more interesting photo that I noticed something that rather surprised me...... the colours of the threads in the bottom drawer.

From quite a young age I have generally drawn to most things red. As an 8 year old I had a very red and white striped bedroom but make it red and spotty and I'm in heaven.

So it was all rather surprising for me to find so many threads that were cooler colours; greens blues and pinks. Mind, red and green is my favourite colour combination so maybe it's only half a surprise.

This rather got me thinking and I've spent a little time this evening using google to understand what a colour may say about a personality. I found a very informative site and have taken the following from it.

Before you read on though take a moment to think about what your favourite colour is .... 

White: Symbolic of purity, innocence and naivete, white has strong connotations of youth and purity. If you are an older person, your preference for white could indicate a desire for perfection and impossible ideals, maybe an attempt to recapture lost youth and freshness. It may also symbolize a desire for simplicity or the simple life.
Red: The color of strength, health, and vitality, Red is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive—or someone who would like to be! It goes with an ambitious nature but those who choose it can be abrupt at times, determined to get all they can out of life, quick to judge people and take sides. Red people are usually optimistic and can’t stand monotony; they are rather restless and not at all introspective, so they may be unaware of their own shortcomings. They find it hard to be objective and may blame others for any mishaps. Quiet people with a preference for red may feel the need for the warmth, strength and life-giving qualities of the color, or they blanket their true feelings under a sober exterior. Red is usually chosen by people with open and uncomplicated natures, with a zest for life.
Maroon: Harsh experience has probably matured the Maroon person into someone likable and generous. It is often a favorite color of someone who has been battered by life but has come through. It indicates a well-disciplined Red personality—one who has had difficult experiences and has not come through unmarked but who has grown and matured in the process.

Pink: This color embodies the gentler qualities of Red, symbolizing love and affection without passion. Women who prefer Pink tend to be maternal. Pink desires protection, special treatment and a sheltered life. Pink people require affection and like to feel loved and secure, perhaps wanting to appear delicate and fragile. Pink people tend to be charming and gentle, if a trifle indefinite.
Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness.
Yellow: The color of happiness, wisdom and imagination, Yellow is chosen by the mentally adventurous, searching for novelty and self-fulfillment. Yellow usually goes with a sunny and shrewd personality, with a good business head and a strong sense of humor. It is the color of intellectuality and all things to do with the mind. Yellow folks are usually clear and precise thinkers who have a good opinion of their own mental capacities and who have lofty ideals. They may at times tend to shun responsibility, preferring freedom of thought and action.
Green: The color of harmony and balance, Green symbolizes hope, renewal and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere. Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, fairly sociable but preferring peace at any price. Green people can be too self-effacing, modest and patient, so they may get exploited by others. They are usually refined, civilized and reputable.
 Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, Blue is the color of deliberation and introspection, conservatism and duty. Patient, persevering, conscientious, sensitive and self-controlled, Blues like to be admired for their steady character and wisdom. They are faithful, but are often worriers with somewhat inflexible beliefs and can be too cautious, and suspicious of flamboyant behavior.
Blue-Green: Exacting, discriminating, poised and attractive, the Blue-Green person tends to be sensitive, intellectual and refined, persevering and stable if rather detached. Blue-Greens have excellent taste, and are usually courteous and charming, capable but often refusing help or guidance.
Turquoise: Complex, imaginative and original, Turquoise people drive themselves hard and may be in a state of turmoil under their outwardly cool exterior.
Lavender: This is often chosen by a person who lives “on a higher plane,” who never notices anything sordid and who is always impeccably and beautifully dressed. Lavender people may be on a continual quest for culture and the refined things of life, high and noble causes but without the necessity of getting their hands dirty. A Lavender person is usually creative, charming, witty and civilized.
Purple: Purples are highly individual, fastidious, witty and sensitive, with a strong desire to be unique and different. Temperamental, expansive and artistic, a Purple person may become aloof and sarcastic when misunderstood. If you chose Purple, you tend to be unconventional, tolerant and dignified, likely to achieve positions of authority.
Brown: A Brown person has stamina and patience, tending to be very solid and substantial, conscientious, dependable, steady and conservative. Browns are not impulsive, and may be inarticulate and tactless but they love responsibility and are reliable and kindly. If you chose Brown, watch out for a tendency to be obstinate and inflexible.
Gray: The color of caution and compromise, diligent Grays search for composure and peace and often work hard without reward. Older Grays like life to run on an even keel with few ups and downs. Young Grays may be withdrawing from life and suppressing their personalities. Grays often have good business ability and tend to work too much.
Black: Dignified and impressive without being showy, Black people want to give the appearance of mystery, but their preference may also indicate a suppression of desires and worldly aims, suggesting hidden depths and inner longings.
Adapted from The Healing Power of Color by Betty Wood (Inner Traditions, 1998).

 Do you think it is mumbo jumbo or perhaps a little bit true?

One last image to leave you with that has nothing to do with colour.

A couple of charming wooden rulers. Bought at Sussex Country Brocante for 50p they evoke so many  childhood memories and have so much charm I just couldn't resist them.


Monday, 10 September 2012


Every year the Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft show comes to Brighton and I always go. This year it visited in May, instead of February, and it clashed with our trip to Brugges. Now, Brugges was lovely but it did mean that I missed my bargains and there was no chance to gain inspiration from some of the lovely creations on display. 

With Mr B off cycling the length of the country life could be dull. But then there's my mum. She bought tickets for her and I to visit the Prima Homemade - Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft show at Bluewater in Kent. Yippee.... a lucky second chance and an opportunity to spend some one to one time with my mum.

After a good look round the retail stalls deciding what was worthy of me opening my purse (I knew I needed ribbons and felts) there was a chance to spend a little time looking at some of the creations on display. Oh my, there were some fantastic things to see.

Dartford Grammar School for girls had a display of some of their textile work which involved techniques such as nuno felting, freeform knitting, heat distortion, fabric distressing and manipulation. They really enjoy the subject and spending lots of study time in and outside of the classroom and even have school trip to Paris, Shanghai and Bejing. How jealous!

Can you see just how many everyday objects are included within this section of top?

And what about this for a cape?

But then came the knitted garden. It was so wonderful and I know these pics won't do it justice. There was so much attention to detail.

Even the garden shed was knitted

I loved all the little vegetables....

... and the bottle of pop covered in bubble wrap to make it look fizzy. Can you see the strawberries and cream?!

Of course no garden is complete without a gnome!

But I think my favourite thing may just have been the radio. Just look at that dial!

The whole thing was life size (I'm not sure if that comes across in the photos) and had been lovingly created by hundreds of children and adults visiting the ICHF shows over the previous year. Well done them. It looked fantastic.

And thank you mum - I had a lovely afternoon, and well done to dad too for looking after little Niamhy whilst we browsed.


Saturday, 8 September 2012

So proud

Mr B at Lands End at 6am this morning. The start of his sponsored bike ride to John O'Groats. 1000 miles over 10 days.

We're all so proud.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Only recently back from holiday I thought I would post the colourful pictures I took whilst away. 

We went to Morocco again this year. Mr B and I went first many years ago, our last holiday just the two of us. We went to a few places over and ten days, travelling around, that time but stumbled upon a lovely place called Essaouira and vowed that we would revisit one day. This year we took the girls. 

We had seven days there staying in a lovely house and then we went to a riad in Marrakesh for three days before flying back.

Morocco is a complete assault on the senses with all of the colours, sounds and smells but it remains my favourite holiday. Even second time round. 

Hopefully the photos below will show you just how colourful a country it is.

From the wonderful rug and fabric stalls......

to the bead stalls with their long long threads dangling......

to the dies in the dyers souk.

Would you believe that the shiny golden one below actually makes purple and the brown one next to it makes blue!

Then there were the tassle stalls in the souks of Marrakesh

and of course the spice stalls.

We went to some water falls one day, a trip out from Marrakesh, and there were some elaborate rafts to take you close to feel the spray.... even they were the most colourful rafts you have ever seen. Seats all decorated with artificial flowers and cerise velvet!

The falls were stunning and it was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the souks.

And you only have to look at the buildings and mosaics to see colour and beauty.

Such stunning mosaics.

All in the most ordinary of places. This was a water fountain by the beach in Essaouira.

Seems such a long time ago already. 

Very lucky to have been once, let alone twice and still long to go again.