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Showing posts from February, 2013

Some Thoughts on Fabric

Last week, while in The Eternal Maker, I bought two metres of this fabric - Peaceful Cooing, by Nani Iro. I was drawn to the summery pattern and the colour, which reminded me of cornflowers and deep blue skies.

It is a 100% cotton double gauze fabric, and it the softest fabric I have ever felt. It has a very pleasing drape and weight to it that I think would lend it particularly well to clothes.

The trouble is, I am not a very able or confident seamstress and I have never made clothes before. But I really want to use this fabric and am determined to have a go.
I need your help. Can anyone recommend any patterns or books for easy dressmaking? My ideas for this fabric are either a swishy, knee-length summer skirt, a top to wear with jeans, or pyjama bottoms. Pyjama bottoms are particularly appealing because this soft fabric would make dreamily comfortable bed wear, but also, and more importantly, is doesn't matter if it all goes horribly wrong. Thank you in advance!

After only three day…

Shiny Pretty Things

Today, while the house was too quiet and the were children in school and nursery, I played with my birthday presents. The sky was grey and the list of chores did not tempt me, so I unpacked all my treasures and had fun pottering, arranging and photographing them.

I know that love does not show itself through things, but isn't wonderful when someone who knows you well gives you something utterly perfect, so very you? Something that makes you grin when you unwrap it and hug the giver. John bought me a new cookery book that I'd dropped heavy hints about and then gave me an envelope containing a voucher for a belated birthday present of my choice in Copenhagen. Lovely boy. And do you see that little bird brooch above? I admired that in the Leeds City Art Gallery shop in May of last year while my friend Sam and I were choosing a leaving present for another friend, Debora. Sam remembered that I liked it and later went back to buy one for me but they had sold out. Never one to be defe…

Half Full

The half term holiday began with a Big Event - on Friday Bella lost her first tooth and the tooth fairy visited our house. A pound coin was exchanged for a tiny (oh so tiny) tooth and I found myself sad and marveling at how it seems like only last summer those sharp little bottom teeth broke through those baby gums. How time flies.
On Saturday we traveled down to the South Coast and on Sunday we caught up with old, good friends, the very best kind, and three small people flew (or tried to fly) a kite on hill.

You can see the London skyline in the distance and just make out the new Shard building above the white tree trunk in the middle of the picture.

Monday started well. My parents got up with Bella and Angus, took them downstairs for their breakfast (Coco pops) and brought John and I cups of tea in bed. I sat propped up with pillows and read this and it was a rare and special treat. Fortunately our children are not especially early risers, any time between 6.30 and 7.30 is their normal…

52 Weeks of Happy...19/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

What a bumper week of happy times! I've just looked through all the photos I've taken over the last week and I've struggled to limit it to four. We're are enjoying a week of glorious sunshine, quality time with family and friends, and birthday celebrations. Joining in with the lovely Jen at little birdie, I give you this week's happies:
1. A spectacular roast dinner on Sunday. It was good to two reasons: the food and pub were perfect (we ate roast beef - I'm pretty sure it was beef, but if is was horse, it was very tasty horse) and the company was even better. 
2. A sunny and cold walk on the beach on Monday. The kids associate the beach with ice cream, regardless of the freezing temperatures.  Four children wrapped to within an inch of their life in hats, mittens and scarves ate bright blue bubblegum favour ice cream. The only nice thing I can say about the ice cream…

A Rainbow Baby Blanket

I really did enjoy making this little blanket - choosing the yarn, watching the piles of squares add up, crocheting them together - but not as much as I enjoyed seeing it wrapped around a delicious, smiley twelve week old baby girl. What I like about making gifts is how much I think about the person it is intended for while I'm making it. And it saves money too - after all, my passion for crafting was born when I stopped work and we were suddenly on an extremely tight budget.
I used the Summer Garden Granny Square pattern from Lucy's Attic24 blog. It really is the most joyful blog - colourful, happy and full of an impressive array of inspiring patterns and clear tutorials. I joined my squares "on the go" which I find much quicker than sewing or crocheting them together, and you can find a tutorial here
Here is the blanket before the border...

and after.

I crocheted one row all the way round of treble stitch clusters, as you would in a granny square, but followed Jacqui…

52 Weeks of Happy...18/52

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Joining in with the lovely Jen at little birdie, I am celebrating this week's simple happy moments, which are:

1. A beautiful scarf made for me by my friend Rachel. It was part of a craft swap we agreed to take part in months ago. I think I gave Rachel an embroidered tea towel and some jam. I can't help thinking I got the better end of the bargain there. The scarf is light as a feather and incredibly soft as it is crocheted with the most seductive silk blend yarn. Thank you Rachel!
2. Pancakes with Nutella. So good. I blame the children. 
3. The post office found my missing parcel! Too late for the blanket and the Valentine's cards but welcome all the same. I now have enough green cotton yarn to open a small shop.
4. A card from John. The design reminds me of old fashioned gypsy caravans and I like the way it looks next to the Russian dolls. Also, he gave me this and this. He knows…


It's snowing. Again. I very nearly got stuck in the car this afternoon and was late picking up Bella from school. I don't know about you but I am desperate for some colour and light and warmth. And I thought a colourful post might be just what we all need right now. It is bitterly cold, the temperature hardly seems to get above freezing and the skies are so grey. You know what I really, really want to do? I want to open all the windows really wide and prop open the kitchen door and feel a warm breeze wafting through the house. I want to smell cut grass and flowers and hear the buzz of bees...spring, come soon, please.
Such a nice thing happened a couple of weeks ago and I completely forgot to tell you about. I admired a skirt I saw on an blog, and my blogging friend Mel from Coal Valley View happened to see my comment. She sent me a lovely email out of the blue saying her daughter had outgrown that very same skirt and, as she had no use for it, she would be happy to send it to …

A Card For Your Love

Card, buttons and glue - all you need to make a simple card for your love. I had fun playing around with a few different arrangements but decided in the end that the simple, off-white heart shape was my favourite. I like the way it turned out. I will give it to my love on Thursday.
Thank you for all your very kind comments lately - they really do make my day. I haven't had much time to visit your blogs this week but I will get around to it, I promise. Every spare moment I have right now is spent frantically crocheting for Operation Finish Baby Blanket. It will be finished, but it will be close. As usual. And hello there new followers! It's lovely to have you here and you are very welcome.


Thank you, THANK YOU, for all your wonderful ideas and suggestions as to how to cover my cardboard letters. All brilliant, every one of them. It seems my options are endless...decoupage with paper - patterned, newsprint or pages from a book, decoupatch with fabric or felt, cover with washi tape, glitter, sequins, buttons, yarn... Clearly, I need to buy some Mod Podge, which many of your recommended. I like the idea of using a different covering for each letter but keeping to a unified theme or colour. Thanks also for suggesting Craftgawkerand Pinterest. 
It was a hygge weekend, the very best kind. A mixture of busy and quiet, family time and alone time, out and about and cosying up at home, eating and drinking. 

Some of the highlights:

:: Finishinga birthday present (I'll show you more when the recipient has opened it).

:: Bowling - so much fun, even though I am hopeless at it and need the side bars up if I have any hope of knocking down a pin. 

:: Teaching Bella how to bowl.

:: Eating …

The Yarn Letters That Never Were and Some Coasters (Mollie Makes Magazine)

Hello there! I hope you've all had a good week. I have to say I am very glad it's Friday. I seem to have spent this week depriving myself of fattening food and alcohol and tonight I am very much looking forward to opening that nice bottle of red wine which is sitting in the kitchen. Not all for me...I will let John have one glass. Maybe.

In between my endless to-ing and fro-ing to school and nursery, shopping, chores, the school disco and other exciting events, I have been doing a little crafting. My Mollie Makes challenge continues but, my goodness, issue twenty was a tricky one. Everything was either too difficult or too time consuming. One little project did catch my eye though, some yarn covered letters. These plain, cardboard letters are quite easy to get hold of. I bought mine in Hobbycraft for a couple of pounds each. And I had the perfect yarn scraps to use up - some gorgeously soft Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino left over from this cushion in the most beautiful colours.