Sunday, 31 May 2009

A book for a Wedding.....

I really enjoyed making this silk book cover. I listed it on Etsy wondering if I really wanted to part with it or not (Not a good way to try and start a business if you can not bring yourself to sell the items is it?) but today when I saw that Lynn from America had been in Cornwall and her husband to be had proposed to her here made the fact that she had bought this book a happy reason to part with it.
It has been carefully wrapped and packed and will go in the post tomorrow. Lynn needs it for 20th June and the post to America for my creative challenges and other Etsy sales has not let me down so far, so please deliver on time now as well.
Well, hasn't it been a glorious weekend! Hubby and I went to the fashion show Friday evening. It brought back many memories for me studying my fashion degree all those centuries ago. We took advantage of the fact that Sophie was with Grandma and Grandad and went to a lovely little restaurant in Truro called Saffron. we then drove home to an unusually quiet house. Sophie is not a noisy child but we do miss her when she is not there. We had left my car at Grandma's and when we went to pick it up on the way home at about 10.30pm hubby pointed to the window that Sophie sleeps in when she stays there. At the window was a tiny arm frantically waving, so I got out of the car and waved, blew kisses and then drove away. Now how bad did I feel? Bloody awful is the only way I can put it. Sophie wanted to stay over at Grandma's and seeing us collect the car was not part of the plan, but seeing this tiny little figure in the dark waving from the window pulled at the heart strings.
The following morning was equally quiet and I still felt bad, managed to get some work done for the day job then off to Truro to buy a little stash for the Around the World Quilting Bee. Only took 30mins, then it was off to my brother in laws house in Truro for his birthday. Sophie arrived at the same time and said that she had a poorly tummy (please! not two days before school starts) but she perked up once some other children arrived.
We had a lovely BBQ, wine, homemade burgers, cake etc and then left in a taxi at 10.30pm. At this point we told Sophie that we were all going back to grandma's for the night. All on a sleepover she said. Funny how sleepovers are the big thing for her at the moment.
Had a lazy start then a cooked breakfast, a bit more car shuffling and we ended up back at home at about 3pm. I have spent the afternoon marking in the garden while Sophie has been playing and singing. We also decided to eat outside and hubby and I are still sat outside under a gazebo bought last year with radio two on in the kitchen. Very peaceful before the chaos of the week begins.
I an doing a tutorial on how to use a cord maker later in the week.
Take care and I hope you have a good week

Friday, 29 May 2009

New design....

I have finished another version of my bag design.

It will be listed on Folksy today . I like bags that you can wear over the shoulder/ across the body because it leaves your hands free for shopping bags, hold smalls hands, clipping car seat belts and making it harder for it to be stolen!

In the summer I really try not to carry the world around in my bag which is why I have one of these which is totally different to my work handbag.
I have yet another version that I am slowly working on. The shop where I bought this fabric has since closed down which is a pity because I really like the floral fabric.
There is also a different colour combination here too.
Off out to see a Fashion Show at Falmouth tonight. Not been to one for years. Looking forward to it.
Take care

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Sophie's Wood

For Sophie's 5th birthday her Aunt sponsored an area of wood via the Woodland Trust and named it "Sophie's Wood".

With one thing or another we only got the chance to visit it a couple of weekends ago. So of we set (Sophie insisted on taking her pink rucksack with a few essentials, such as her binoculars).

"This way Mummy" soon turned into, "This is steep isn't it Mummy" but we plodded on. Now we were given a basic map by the Woodland trust but we still went the wrong way, this is the correct direction, (Preferred the wrong way, it was flatter!). Anyway we carried on and it was lovely....

Bluebells everywhere!! Sophie and I both like bluebells. We timed it just right to see masses of bluebells creating a blue carpet under the trees.

We walked and walked and walked, Sophie did not complain once and was clearly determined to find the bit of wood which is now sponsored in her name. It was very endearing to see.

We then came to a bend in the line on the map which seemed to match the bend in the path we were standing on so we decided that this was the spot. Sophie got really excited and looked around....... then hubby decided that it did not match!
So please imagine me standing in a lovely wood trying in vain to explain to a 6 year old why Daddy had changed his mind! Meanwhile, said Hubby is pacing up and down counting! Eventually he stopped and announced "This is it!"

At this point I stressed the need for being sure, not changing his mind again etc etc! Sophie stood next to me and said "Is he sure this time?" Sometimes she comes with sentences that seem older than her years.
Would you believe it, this part of the wood was about the only bit that did not have any bluebells as they had already bloomed and gone. Pity.

We needed a landmark so that we could find it again so we picked this big tree standing on its own. I know it is a wood so it is not completely on its own but you know what I mean.

To celebrate and to be able to send Auntie a photo via email we asked Sophie to pose for a picture....

It was quite steep getting up to the tree and Sophie decided that next time she would not wear crocks and a skirt. Getting down was a bit trickier and seeing as it was Dad's idea for her to stand there we all decided it was up to him to help her down. Well, to see hubby struggling up and then he rather drunk looking decent was hilarious, and Sophie was laughing so much which made her wobble too.

On the way back to the car we spotted a post with a dedication as part of someone elses sponsored bit of wood. We looked into this when we got home. Guess how much it costs to have a wood post with a metal plaque on it? £2000! Nice idea, but it will have to stay as just that, an idea.

As we continued back to the car Sophie wanted to find some flowers to put in the flower press that she was given at Christmas. Here is a selection...

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon plus a very unusual birthday present and we can go and walk there whenever we wish.


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Skirting the Issue.....

I bought this fabric just before Christmas from Ikea and the pattern last summer. I want Year10 to have a go at something fairly straight forward and I decided this skirt was it. New Look 6637 with sizes 8-18.

I hate cutting up patterns, they are so flimsy in the first place, bits go missing etc, so I prefer (and out of years of doing so) I trace off the pattern and then keep the original in its packet.

I confess that I do not have any construction pictures because I made this at work. My lesson planning takes a different form to others, to make something it is easier for the students to understand if they can see what it will look like when it is finished. Also I do not have a big enough table at home for cutting out clothes.
Even though this is a basic wrap around skirt there are plenty of learning opportunities and I will ask them to use the over-locker to neaten all of the seams. Plus understanding what darts are and how you can use them to adjust the fit. Hems, making the tie fastening etc. I would make one change though. The instructions recommend a ribbon tie on the inside but I found it 'slipped' undone a little too easily so a thin stay tape may be a better answer. Once it was finished I had it hung up in my classroom and it did attract quite a lot of attention.
"Does it fit?" I hear you ask.....

Front View
Yes it does!! Although it may take some time to iron out that blasted crease! I really do need to get a tailors dummy of some kind. I really miss the ones we had at college.

Back View

The pattern says 2 hours on the front and it would have done if I did not have to thread up the over-locker, trace off the pattern etc. It will take the girls longer than 2 hours but not much.

I enjoyed making this so much that I have already cut out another. This time I am going to make the seam allowance a little narrower so that the over-locker can skim the edge rather than have too much left as it does make turning the hem up more bulky on the seam joins.

Fabric for skirt No. 2 also from IKEA.

There is also a shorts pattern and I have some pink gingham upstairs......I will have a think about it.

Take care.


Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Quilt Around the World Block 2

! This is the second block that I have made, it is for another participants quilt who I do not think visits here. So I have called it block 2 so that I can keep track of them. There will be 23 all-in-all. I am worried that I am not going to have anywhere near enough fabric for this challenge as I do not actually have a very big stash. Due to the size of our house I tend to buy it and use it straight away! However, I do intend to have plenty of fun adding to my collection if that is what it will take!

I have added it to the first block which was sent to me. The lady did not say if she wanted the block unattached to hers so I have stitched it but it could be unpicked if she wanted to add bands to the quilt. I have requested this as my starter block is quite "fussy" and I would like to split up the other possible floral blocks with another fabric so that each individual blocks can be seen clearly and the skill and care fully shown off. I do not think that was the original intention and it was not mine until I had finished my first block and thought Mmmmm this may need some bands in amongst it!

I have just read on the flickr group that my next block may have been posted to me this afternoon, so I may need a fabric shop this week. I shall have fun adding to my fabric and I shall take Sophie with me. She is coming to my sewing club tomorrow night and wants to make her first basic quilt for her doll.

I shall also post about my first handmade garment in, well too damn long to tell you the truth plus a second one in the pipeline, crikey a habit tis forming perhaps. Or maybe just some of that rare commodity called TIME perhaps.

Off to finish a batch of marking.


Gone to a new home,,,,....

This is a group photo of the items that I took to a Cornish tea shop. I produced a spread sheet with all of the prices, items, code for quick reference etc. Stuck matching labels on them and it took me ages. Not to mention putting everything into cellophane bags. The last time I took some of my items to a farm shop I went two months later to change the items only to find that much of the stock was damaged and had clearly not been looked after at all. Much of it had to be thrown away. That was just over two years ago, so I felt that it was time to give it another go.

Normally the group of us that are involved have a selling price and a percentage is taken at the end, so I was a little surprised to learn that my carefully placed sticky labels would be removed so that a marked up price could be added with "proper labels" (?). Seeing as we are in a credit crunch I decided that my prices were fair any way and taking a percentage of that price would have been sufficient. It will be interesting to see what happens. If they are made too expensive I fear they will not sell at all. There are some lovely items there to look at.

I found this little basket and managed to fit 20 cards in it!

I have been asked to make some more items but I think I shall see what happens with what I have taken so far. Should I have got a signature for these items, but I thought of this once I had got home. I took this along as well. I have several of these left over from my City and Guilds course. I intend to put one in my Folksy shop this week. I wonder which will sell first?

Does anyone have more experience in dealing with shops etc? Any points/tips would be much appreciated. How long should I leave it before changing the items or having them back again?

It has been a good half-term so far and tomorrow Sophie and I are off to see a friend for a cup of tea and a bit of a natter.

Take care

Bye for now.


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Refashion Sophie's Flowery Top...

Sophie loves the flowers on this top and we have not been able to find another one like it. It fits in the body but my daughter has very long arms (and legs). So I asked her what should we do with it and she asked me to cut it so she could wear it again. Fairly open requirements I thought. I did find some edging and this time Sophie said that she wanted a little more added to the change that she did for the jeans.

Firstly, I cut the sleeves off by following the edge of the armhole, right up close to the overlocked edge.

Sophie then chose some pink bias binding which I then pinned firstly on the inside of each armhole.

Using the sewing machine, follow the crease in the binding with straight stitch. Keep the stitching in the crease of the binding so that the binding maintains an even width.

You then need to carefully fold the biding over the edge so that it fully covers the raw edge. I strongly advise that you pin this as you go so as to stop it from moving whilst sewing on the machine.

This is a close up of the binding on the edge of the flowery top. Matching thread goes a long way to keep everything looking neat and it hides any wobbly sewing.

With the left over sleeve bits I made a scrunchie.

I read in a newspaper that on BBC 2nd June there will be a series starting called Mary, Queen of Charity shops programme. The same lady did a programme a short while ago on how small fashion shops could increase their business by making some sounds changes to their shops and stock. Thought this might be interesting and might pick up a few ideas.

Been a glorious sunny day today with deep blue skies so we have been at the beach today.

More of the same tomorrow we hope.xx

Saturday, 23 May 2009

A stitch in Time....

Every now and then one of my City and Guilds pieces pop up when I am looking for something else, and here is another. A piece of my past when I lived in a lovely little village.

If I remember rightly, I had to use a set list of stitches with as wide range of threads as I had or could find. I can not remember if there was a theme but I do remember favouring flowers for many of my samples if I could. I do have the original booklet in the attic somewhere.
I clearly remember making this in our living room at our last house whilst hubby was at work and it was a glorious sunny day. "Why not sit outside?" I hear you ask, well it was that sunny I could not see the colours of the threads as my eyes were streaming despite wearing sun glasses! So I sat near the french windows instead. Funny how some details are remembered better than others.

I have to admit that it was not put into a frame until about a month ago that this was actually put into a frame. Shame on me, but I was not sure what to do with it as wall space is limited in this house. However, since the attic conversion I now have another staircase with additional wall space!! Yippee. So at last I have the time to position and hang this piece of work to its full advantage. I was going to take it to my friend's shop but frankly I like it too much so it is going to stay here. I shall show you what I eventually took tomorrow.

It is lovely weather here so I shall bye for now as the BBQ is pretty much ready. Lovely salad and yummy sausages etc.

Take care.


Friday, 22 May 2009

Card Capers and Tea Shops.....

I topped up my cards a short while ago. I then had an email from a friend who is opening a Tea Shop and has asked four of us if we would like to put some items for sale in there. I am off to see her after Sophie has been to yet another party. I shall take a picture of what I take later this evening once I have decided what to take. Then she can choose whatever she thinks is right for her shop.

Some of these cards are also going to go so that there will be about 20 cards in total....

Some bright butterflies.

Funky flowers...

Stylish in silver.

Pink! Pink! Pink!

Feathers and leaves..

I hope that you all have a great weekend and that the weather is kind to you. Many thanks for all of the books suggestions as there is a good book shop near where my Sister-in-law lives so i shall take the list of titles with me. Please do keep adding your favourite reads so that everyone else can also get new titles to look out for.

I am now off to make an Excel stock list to take with me tomorrow.


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Book Worm..

I have just finished this book. It took me less than two weeks. Now what with everything else going on I am usually too shattered to concentrate on reading in the evening but several early nights and a jolly story line got me to the end faster. Normally a book can take weeks and weeks to be read. My neighbour lent me a Barbara Taylor Bradford book, gosh was it boring!! I have read some of her early ones and even though this was directly linked to fashion , the clothes of the time etc I admit that I had to give up.
I have since started another Rebecca Shaw book which has four books in one. I also like Erica James. What do you like to read? Leave a comment, I might get some ideas from you as what to try next.
Take care

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Wet Washing Day Solution....

I really wonder about my husband sometimes..............
I watched him altering my washing line!

You know what........ it worked!!!

Despite the rain all of the washing dried that day and was then put away!

Give it a try, if nothing else it will give the neighbours something to talk about.

It made me smile!!


Monday, 18 May 2009

Giveaway Winners are.....

Try as I might I could not cut and paste the Number Generator screen to this post. Typical. It is useful so if you plan to have a contest this will help you find the winners.

So I deleted those who did not want to enter and checked for duplicates etc, the first winner found by the Number Picker is...

17. Yipee!!! So could....

The Chocolate Cat

please email me your postal address so that I can forward this to you.

Second prize goes to.....

5. Yippeee again!! So could...

Josie please email me your postal address.

My email can be found in the margin somewhere, near to top of the blog, I think.


If the winners could please email me their addresses then I shall pop your prizes in the post asap.

Congratulations to you both!

I shall be running another giveaway later in the Summer. Not for any particular reason, just because I wished I had last Summer and didn't and I just feel like it!

Only a quick post tonight as I have some preparation to do for my course Moderator is coming in on Friday to look at all of my students work.

Back tomorrow

Sunday, 17 May 2009

My Quilt Around the World Block...

Here is my first block for the Quilt Around the World Bees project. If I have my understanding right this block will travel right around the world and arrive back to me with loads of other blocks!
Having just finished a blue and white quilt I had a look in my stash with the view to picking a completely different colour with much more pattern on it. Pinky, creamy, flowery sort of combination(?).
I am really pleased with the way this turned out, I just wish that my measurements would be more accurate as yet AGAIN it has turned out just under 12" x 12" . I measure, I use a rotary cutter thingy, which is awkward to use when you are left handed as your line of vision has a blot in the way, I lay it all out and it still comes out just under the correct size. I had better make sure my next block for the next quilt coming my way measures better. Maybe I shall try a different design, it might work out better.

I then wrapped it up in this pretty tissue paper that I bought from Woolworths, how Sophie and I miss that shop for all sorts of toys and stationary etc.

The sleep-over and party went really well and I think that we shall be seeing more of Rachel now that her first time away from home over night was so much fun! So I had much of the day to myself, so all the ironing is done for the week, all marking is up to date, tidied my bit of the sewing office, and did a little sewing and lots of cutting out for my sewing session on Wednesday evening.

I opened an Artfire shop during the Easter Holidays and I have been making some items to go in there. The shop only has four things in it but I have had quite a few views already.

Well, enjoy the week and I shall post the winner of the Giveaway tomorrow evening.

Take care


Saturday, 16 May 2009

Giveaway deadline 17th May..

Last reminder for my 300th Post Giveaway and the deadline is tomorrow at midnight. (GMT). We have a busy day today. Sophie is at Ballet, then there is housework to be done, Sophie's friend Rachel is coming at 4pm. We are then taking them out to an Italian Family restaurant. Back here for Sophie's (and Rachel's) first sleep-over and then on Sunday Hubby is taking them to another friends party over at Dairyland!!

Sophie has a better social life than me or Hubby!! Being an only child though we do realise that getting lonely can happen that we must make opportunities for her to socialise outside of school.

Eurovision Song Contest tonight, anyone going to watch it? I think we should stop entering and use the money for something else because it has become such a political farce, but I shall probably still watch it and hope that a miracle happens if only for the sake of the brave young singer who is going to put her all into her performance for the UK.

I have sent my first quilt block to Maria (Wonderwoman) and I shall upload it today but I have other things that need photographing too. I can hear my washing pile calling to me so I had better be off.
Enjoy the day.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Pincushion Blue

Now on Folksy.
I decided to keep the Cupcake version. Sorry folks! Will make another soon. Quick post tonight as I want to catch up with some of your work.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Re-fashioned jeans for Sophie....

Sophie is six and a half years old and already has long legs for her age. So she grows out of her jeans before they have hardly been worn. Girls jeans are so nice with lots of embroidery, beads sequin etc I wish that they made them this nice for us 'big girls'. Sophie hates to get rid of them because of all this sparkly loveliness so we alter them.

These jeans are only from ASDA, so nothing posh and I have been doing this ever since Sophie out grew her first pairs of trousers...
....I take my scissors to them! Sounds drastic but there you go. The length on this occasion was determined by where the pattern finished but Sophie likes longer shorts for the summer. She is prone to eczema on the backs of her legs and is a little conscious of this. So I cut off one leg, nice and straight, you could mark this with a line first.

I then checked the length so that I cut the other leg exactly the same. Make sure that you are 90 degrees with the trouser leg itself when cutting rather than levelling it with your eye/view as there should be a slight angle upwards at the side. Otherwise the inside leg will be shorter than the outside leg side and it will not be right when it is worn. Hope that makes sense. See picture above.

Then carefully fold over about 1cm and then fold over again. It is not necessary to fold it any wider and it will only shorten the length. Pop some pins in so as to keep the hem in place when stitching on the sewing machine.

If you can, remove the front section of your sewing machine so that you can put the trouser leg over the free arm section. If the trousers are very small and will not fit over then you might be just as well to hand stitch this bit. I used a slightly bigger straight stitch so that it could cope better with the thickness of the denim.

Try to use as closer a matching thread as you can. Give the hems a good press. Then...hey presto

....jeans with a new lease of life.

Now, you could add Ric Rac braid or some other embellishment at the bottom of the legs but Sophie wanted them left as they are.

When I get a picture of her wearing them I will add it to this post, but she is very pleased with them. In fact, she was so pleased that she fetched a flowery long sleeved t-shirt that is now too short in said sleeves. So I shall be back..

My main point with this post is that if you have any kiddie cloths that they have out grown then have a go at altering them, what have you got to lose? Any mistakes with a T-shirt means that you end up with a new duster. So have a go all it takes is a bit or planning BEFORE you fetch the scissors and then having a go. You do not need to have a sewing machine, in fact sometimes hand stitching is better, especially with stretchy fabrics. Let me know how you get on.

Bye for now.
Opps, nearly forgot, remember to join in the giveaway, deadline is Sunday 17th May.
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