Saturday, 29 September 2012

troubles not single... Do not read, if you already feel down!

So, I went to work this morning. As usual.
First in, so I get to do the alarm.
Unlock door, beep beep beep, cross floor to turn off alarm, hey, why is there a frame on the floor- little toads in yesterday, must have been messing- funny we didn't spot that. Alarm off, turn round-   two rows of frames have either gone or been displaced. Another is on the floor. Oh %$&*?#! We have been burgled. Or whatever. About 18 frames have gone., and another one is on the floor. The only mercy is there is no broken glass this time. The sods have used a different method for getting their sticky paws on my stock. Grrrr.

Police. Number. 999- no, it is hardly an emergency now, they are gone. So Standard police number. Phone book. No not, 'Business pages' Standard phone book. Where? No not the one for the next area, our one please. Hiding behind some others. Found. So telephone. Lift receiver. dialling tone ? Noooo. Just a beeeeeeeep. Ok, I admit, I am not good about mobiles. I have one. I think Noah had it first though. He used it to talk to the giraffes, on the ark. And it usually has no charge. And is usually in the kitchen at home. Where it is no help at work. But, today, for once, I had my mobile with me. It had charge, and credit! so I phoned DH while looking for the phone book. Found the book, found the number and called police.

So, then, my first three clients of the day failed to appear. 2 hours and 15 minutes wasted. But that enabled me to actually speak to the charming police officer who came. And it enabled me to walk up to the print shop and collect a new receipt book. And to speak to the scene of crime officer who came very promptly today.

On the plus side they caught the thief who took my last stolen frame. (Yes that is right, just the one. ) He goes to court soon, and they reckon he will do community service. Sounds about right. 

And we now have to do a stock check, to see exactly what has been taken. More work. And will it even be worth claiming on the insurance? Probably not.

On the plus side they caught the thief who took my last stolen frame. He goes to court soon, and they reckon he will do community service. Sounds about right.  

Okay, that is one.  Then there is this.

I rather like it, and I will use it. But someone I hoped would also like it is, very politely, and rather reading between the lines, not keen.

So I have a few other ideas, and will consider them.
Perhaps a simple square patched background with a bird silhouette, in a startling colour, like hot pink, on turquoisey blocks.
 But this may be too derivative.

Or perhaps  a set of birds in prints randomly appliqued onto a plain background. Or backgrounds, and pieced together. I am consulting my DD2, and see whether she thinks these work.
I must have a harder think, I really want her to love what I do, Really really love it, not just think- well that is ok.

I want to do something she would not do for herself, but that she will get a lovely shiver from, when she looks at it.

And then I have just heard, my 94 year old spring chicken of an aunt has fallen and broken her hip. She is a very active lady, but she will be in hospital for a while, and I have no window of opportunity to go visit, until the end of November at the earliest.

So I hope all is going rather better for you.
I am trying to control the feeling of mild panic that has swept over me. I only have four tops to make by the end of this week, including sizing one up from a 32" bust to a 42" bust. I have just cut the collars, and will sew them tonight, and plan to do the rest tomorrow.... Any helpers available at no notice?
No, I thought not.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Sundogs, and giveaways

Have you ever heard of a sundog?
Well, about a year ago, I saw one. I didn't have a clue what it was. But I knew it was strange. On my way home from Saturday's extravaganza, I saw more! I was driving. On dual carriageway, so I couldn't stop. And they can be brief! I joined the motorway. I still cannot stop. Now it is behind me, and I can see it in my wing mirror! I have to stop! Services appear, and I drive into them. I am 3 miles from home and I stop at a motorway services!
Leap out of the car, camera in hand, turn round, and where is my sundog?  hiding behind the trees! I had to run across the car park to where I could see it, and the man in the next car was watching me as though I was mad! Photo taken, back in the car- and home!

Okay, the sun dog in my photo is that bright spot of rainbow to the left of the street lamp, and there is another one the other side of the sun, but I couldn't get both in the picture! You know, as a child, you were told you only get a rainbow with the sun behind you, and rain in front? Not true! sundogs show that!

Oh, well, this is the sort of thing that excites me- my DH thinks I am daft. He could have a point.

Ok a couple of other 'stuff' Can any of you go over and welcome a new blogger, please. She is called Bri, and very new to blogging, but she has done some nice stuff, which you can see on her baby blog, 'Eve to Ruby'. She has filled in a space on our Stash Bee, when someone else had to retire, so she is a star, and to be encouraged.

Second, Lucy is hosting a fluffy sheep giveaway. I know, I shouldn't tell you, but she is such a love, as is Cindy, that I just have to share.

Third there is this going on, Pin it to win it, at Fresh Squeezed fabrics.  I do not know if she means international or not, but she doesn't say, ' not', so perhaps it is.

The idea is, that you pin a FQ bundle you like, and then get folk to repin it, from the etsy shop, and if you can get the number of repins to equal the dollar value, you win the bundle. Sounds a bit too good to be true? Well, does to me! Anyway,  I have pinned a small bundle, and if you would care to repin this, - I will return the courtesy- and see what happens.
BELLA fat quarter bundle--6 pieces---1-1/2 yards total--Lotta Jansdotter for Windham FabricsThis is the bundle I chose to pin, Bella 6 pieces, at $15.75. So I could do with 15 folk to repin, in the next three days.

I love that lemon and grey together. 

If you let me know you have done it, and what you have selected to pin, I will go repin for you. 


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Day of dance- warning, pictures, many pictures!

 Not a lot of cake left after 70 Morris men have had their tea. Not a lot of sandwiches either. 5 loaves and 3 fishes just about managed to feed them all!
Well, egg, ham and cheese sandwiches figured in there too. And I have had to bring some cake home, about three slices each of chocolate cake, lemon drizzle, and a scrap of carrot cake. Not much else though!

 Mersey Morris are blue and yellow,

 Those long trails of blue and green are called Motley. Not quite what I think of as motley, but...

 note the blue faces!


Sky blue and maroon are Thelwall Morris- this is the side my husband participates in.

 There were sword dancers too

 I think this one came over from Leeds. I just love his owl.

We had tea in the upstairs room, which the pub let us use, free of charge. Mind you, I think there was some beer taken! So I think she made her rental!

 The embroidery on the belts and braces of the clog dancers was rather special.

And this is a special lady clog dancer. Pretty and talented, and quite a sweetie. No, she is not my daughter, so I do not have to say that, but she is a good lass.

and some audience participation was encouraged

So, that is part of the reason there has been no sewing today! I am now going FLOP.

Maybe sewing tomorrow.

Friday, 21 September 2012

last minute fun

Ok, instead of going straight home last night, I had an unexpected invitation- to BRB Swan Lake! and I went. Sadly someone's Mum was taken into ITU, and so they couldn't use their ticket- I got the offer, and off I went!
The production was lovely, bits and pieces from it keep popping into my head randomly- gorgeous medieval feel to the costumes- the costumes! weyhey- I want to make them! Rothbart was really evil, Odette/Odile was dainty and lovely, Act 3, the swans materialised out of the mist in an ethereal way, with the mist spilling over the edge of the stage, into the orchestra. The patterns they made, so clearly defined. And the music sending shivers over me...
image borrowed from their images, so worth seeing!

No I didn't enjoy it one scrap. Make me suffer like that again please!

So I abandoned DH to himself and he made cakes!
So, in the kitchen we have
2 chocolate cakes,
2 carrot cakes
1 gingerbread
1ginger cake
1 fruit cake
1 Victoria sandwich
1 lemon drizzle cake.
I can only lay claim to having made 4 of these, he has done  the rest.

Also present
Coconut buns
5 loaves of bread, and various sandwich fillings.

After work tomorrow they all get loaded into the car, and taken off to provide tea for 6 Morris sides. All I have to do when I get there, is make sandwiches for 70, and put icing on carrot cakes, sandwich the Victoria, and put it all out for them to help themselves. 

So, until that is over, I cannot get into stalking my mouthy stitchy partner! Yes, I know who you are now!

And I am already doing a little planning- but I have costumes to make, before I get on with, and a practice piece to produce as well!

And, by the by, Fluffy sheep is having a giveaway- so do not go and visit! Do not leave her comments, and do not tell anyone else about it!

All this Oh Deer is in her shop, and 4 FQs are on offer. So look away, and resist!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Crochet fun

I have had a lovely day.
To start with, I made cookies. Chocolate cookies. With chocolate chips in. Is there a better smell at 8.30am than fresh chocolate cookies. I am not quite convinced.
This is all that are left. There will not even be that by tomorrow. Hmm. They shall all go to waist. But whose waist? there is the rub.

Then, I knew I was seeing a good friend. The arrangement had been awaiting fruition for, well a while! it was supposed to happen, and then there was good reason it couldn't, rearranged, and Hey, today it did happen. So, as I knew there would be a certain someone who likes her food, it seemed appropriate to take a few chocolate cookies, and try to get into her good books! After all, I might like to be allowed to go and take up Mummy's time again, one day.  And if we were good, we might be allowed a cookie too...

So, a quick check that all was well, and I went to see the lovely Lucy, who is even nicer face to face than she seems on her blog. I have yet to meet her small son, but I can promise you, small daughter is gorgeous. Sweet and charming and a decided monkey. Perfect for the age and stage. I had forgotten how much I like small children, but she reminded me perfectly. I love how the world is a magic place to a wee one.
And as I knew we were practising crochet, I felt it made sense to go prepared. Basic need, one crochet hook for me, one crochet hook for Lucy, and a ball of yarn each. But, it is so much more fun with a place to keep the bits and bobs?  A few examples are around on the web, and I didn't follow anything exactly, but this is very similar to the one here. I just changed it a bit here and there. I chose cheery colours, because I know Lucy is a cheerful lady, and I didn't want to put anything too pale on the outside, as it could get grubby. Yes, I have had children too!
 This pretty rainbow fabric was one I didn't need to buy, but somehow, it refused to let me go home without it. It told me, quite firmly, that I would need it, even though I didn't then know, for what. So about a year ago, it crept home with me, and then when I was looking through my stash, it just leapt out for this project. And I had the perfect ribbon to do the closure with. The inner fabrics are, purloined from a daughter, and out of my stash, and so the little roll was put together. Crochet hooks just slot into place, and there is a wider pocket to allow for other necessities.
 The flap should help to prevent the hooks disappearing when the roll is rolled up!

And I took advice on what to practise with. Pretty colours of an easy yarn, that will not split too easily, and feels good to handle, and we were all set
 The yarn is by Rowan, but I cannot recall which yarn it is.

I feel quite inclined to get some more for myself, it was lovely and smooth as it pulled through the fingers.

And I did a simple finish on the binding, my daughter will be pleased to hear, the bias binding tool has been used for this. It is surprisingly easy to use. Also surprisingly easy to get just slightly wrong, too, but easy to then put right again.
Rainbow thread from King Tut echoes the fabric.
Lucy only needed a little reminder of the crochet- she has done it before- and was very quick to pick up and run with it. I think it was just having someone there to actually make it happen, that was wanted.

Proof, that with a little daughterly assistance, crochet is even easier!

and a result!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

I have a visitor!

 I wasn't expecting a visitor, really. I had said, if he came, he would be made welcome, but I had forgotten all about him! And then he turns up on my doorstep!
It is FUNC! For the uninitiated, that is, the 'fugly-ugly needle case'. he is a traveller, and brought some goodies with him to assist his welcome. He has had a previous incarnation, but decided a new outfit was desirable, and now parades like this!

He is now a zippy pouch, and travels with his own autograph book. he will reside for a short spell with me- I get a silly grin on my face when I think about him!- and then he will go on his travels again.
So, if at some time in the future, you find FUNC on your doorstep, please, make him welcome, look after his needs, sign his book, and then send him on his way, with your blessing. And, perhaps, a little something to sweeten his welcome at his next stop!

You can check out his previous outfit, and his travels thus far with Quilter in the Gap. He has travelled well, and is currently gathering strength for his next expedition! I wonder where he will choose to go!

 And while he is here, he seems to have made friends.  He and Ginger are getting along really well. You see, there are sweeties in the case! I suspect Ginger has a sweet tooth!

and these goodies came too!

So think of us, three of us playing with sewing, and Ginger munching sweeties, Func advising my next project!

FUNC Was Here

Sneaky peek?

 Make of these, what you will!

Friday, 14 September 2012

It is October, did you know?

Did you know it is now October? I am sure it is. You see, I am part of the hip bees, and we all were so inspired by Judith that, I think, we all got our September blocks done extra quick, so as Jan was all prepared (scary, I know) she sent her scraps early, so we could have extra thinking time. Well, the Post office really did a job there! The parcel- have you ever tried typing with cat help. A cold dampish nose butting at your hands on the keys- makes life super easy, I assure you!- arrived the following day. And that evening someone had made their block!
I am not as quick off the mark, but Thursday morning, driving to work, a little image popped into my head, so when I came home that evening, it had to be done!

So, what did Jan send? Denyse Schmidt, and cream. Wonky stars to twinkle, on a cream ground. Size? various of stars, but 12.5" Block to be sent.  And some Magic stars arrived to aid our inspiration. ( No, they are still intact, I haven't had my rolo's yet, so the stars must wait!)
 So, the image in my head, had a central cream star in the middle square of the main star, and then a smaller star at one corner.
Now, for a 12.5" block each piece of it has to be 4.5". So the centre square has to be divided in 3, and will end up at 4". So the finished central squarewill be 1.3". So each part then must start 1.8", to give a seam allowance. Ok I sort of guestimated, and then trimmed to size!
 Then I made most of the rest as per any normal wonky star, but one corner, I put another mini star into, And then panicked! Is this over the top?

So I 'auditioned' it, with a plain corner,

  and with a stellar corner.

 The stellar one won!

So this will get posted off next week. When I have a signature block made. It is good to have October in September!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Mouthy stitches, part, the second

Actually as a reference to getting in on this swap that title really works! Well, what does the average sane and responsible fully grown woman do, when she gets in from a morning at work? yup, that is right, she dives onto the computer, without even greeting her ever loving DH, and without even putting the kettle on, let alone having lunch, and sees that the signups are open! seventeen seconds ago! and there are already names down! aaaaargh! the thought that I might miss out on this- well the first one was such fun- so I started to get myself signed up, and was filling in the form, and suddenly I realised, help, I am off on holiday sometime- as I was for the first one! Check dates, and sigh with relief. I will be back.

It would not be a disaster if I was away, as I have folk who can post for me, if needed, but so much better to do it myself! so I went ahead and did it!

Form in, and await the necessary email to agree I was in...

Then to qualify, a mosaic had to be done. There is a strict time frame this round, so, being forgetful, it had to be done as soon as I received that email, to say I was in!

My Mosaic?

Ok, I got the same picture twice, but It conveys the mood, so, although it was accidental, it was serendipitous.

This round we all make the identical item.

This identical item.
But of course, made to match our partners secret and hidden desires.

And this time it is limited to 75 participants. Though I think they would have had several hundred if they hadn't had to close the sign up after only a few hours!
So, it looks like I made the cut. And lots of bloggy friends are in too. One or two missed out, which is a shame, but Hadley, Susan and Cindy can only do so much, and decided to try to make the group a little more managable this time.

As we already know what the bag is to be, I thought I should put pictures in my mosaic, of things that make me happy! So just one bag went in, and the rest is just for fun!

And what better way to spend a wet, rainy Monday evening, after work, than saying thank you to our swap mamas, with a cup of tea, a homemade biscuit (cherry and walnut) and a Genny cat on the knee, helping with the spellings!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A quick plea!

We have just launched our website, no, not anything remotely sewing, I am sorry.
Please would you all go and take a look, and come back to me with comments and criticisms! Yes, I want you to like it, but I need genuine feedback, on what you feel could be better done.

We are independent, and a little quirky- what else would you expect- and all the photos on the site are genuine, they belong to us, and we have had permission from all participants to use these shots.

So, whether it is a lampost growing out of someones head, or something really badly worded, or perhaps if you feel it does the job, please come back and tell me!

It is here.

Oh, what job did I want it to do?

Just tell folk that we exist, and are modern enough to be on the internet, and friendly enough for folk to come in and see us if they wish.
I am not trying to drum up loads of new business, as I am pretty fully booked, but neither do I want to frighten folk off!

thank you for your help!


Oh and if you do feel that it is entirely innappropriate that I should ask this of you- do tell me that as well, I am not trying to upset anyone!

Tutorial for flower brooches

A little while back I promised an August tutorial, to make flower brooches, so I am writing it ahead of time, in the hope that when it comes due, I can just send it off.

So, what are we going to make?

A while back I made some flower brooches for a friend to sell on a craft stall. They are extremely easy, and not too costly to make, but look quite fun. so what do you think?

These take about twenty minutes to make - that is both of them, and you can make them in all sorts of colours, and a lot of variations.

Ok, so let us have a recipe.

I used

Felt scraps
Brooch backs ( bought from a local sewing and craft shop, £1.99 for 12)
Bridal rose petal confetti- in this case, shades of blue, in different sizes, and with leaves as well, this is readily available at a  hobby suppliers, though I got mine at  a florist suppliers. There are a lot of different colour variations.

Diamante centres, again from a florists supplier, Again these are inexpensive, about £3.50, gave me half a dozen stems with about five diamante flowers on each.

A glue gun is also useful, as it is very secure,

 and there is another accessory I find indispensible.

I tend to cut the felt after I have done the glueing, as I feel I waste less that way, however, if you like to be very neat, you may like to cut squares of felt out first.

Snip a diamante flower off by the main stem, leaving enough wire on it to secure it through the felt, I then snip a tiny hole in the felt, to thread it through,

and poke the wire through the hole...

choose your petals, five or six can work well, (If you are using gold or silver they can stick together in layers, so check that you only have one petal at a time). A little time, arranging the petals so you have a mental map of where they are going, is not wasted.

Then a little dob of hot glue, right by where the wire goes through, and press your petals into place.
Once this has set, which is very quick, I snip the whole flower off, with it's felt backing.

The next thing is to organise the brooch back. you have a choice here. I usually just hot glue the back onto a piece of felt, and then glue the two pieces together, this gives a firm, secure back to your brooch.

Alternatively, you can sew the back on. When I do this I make a 'tongue' of felt, to cover the back,

 And I use the zipper foot of my machine to sew it firmly into place.

 You can then sew this back onto the flower back, easing the petals out of the way.


I have also used covered buttons as centres, and added little frills of tulle. These make a pretty addition to a home-made card,  or a neat piece of frivolity to a small gift.
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