Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010

 We have a household full of kids with chicken pox. So the last few days and nights have been difficult and tiring to say the least. But we have the music going now and are having a boogie with the kids and I don't think it'll be long before we treat ourselves to a glass of Elderflower Champagne, so we are slowly getting into the spirit of things! 

 [Flossing after the turkey!]

We won't be staying up to see midnight in, hopefully we will be snoring away catching up on some lost sleep! 
Whatever your celebrations I hope you all have a good night.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year, 
and a Prosperous 2011

Friday, 24 December 2010

This Is It!!

The mince pie and carrot are by the fire waiting for Father Christmas and his reindeer, the children's stockings are ready and we have just put three very excited kids to bed!
We've been tracking Father Christmas and as I write he is delivering presents to children in Madagascar!
So he is on his way!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas,
Best wishes and enjoy xxx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Finished And Complete!!

The last of the wrapping is finished. 
The trip to the butchers is done, and my last bits of sewing are complete!

Our daughter's present is a wooden pram, and no pram would be complete without a quilt set!

The pram has red wheels so using this as my inspiration I chose a Russian Doll fabric that I have had in my stash for ages and I couldn't resist teaming it with one of the Westfalenstoffe prints.

I've made it reversible and it'll be interesting to see which side she prefers to tuck her dolls up in.

I've used a plain linen for the mattress and also used it with the Russian doll print on one side of the pillow which is my favourite part of the set.
So with this present finished I have put my sewing machine to bed for Christmas!
Well until Boxing Day that is!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

4 More Sleeps To Go!

Every morning my oldest tells me how many more sleeps there are till Christmas. Too him the ever decreasing number of days brings excitement, for me it brings on just an ounce of stress and concern! Will we have everything ready for the big day!

The disruption caused by the snow might mean that certain parcels haven't arrived and that a weekend spent with my parents in law didn't quite go as planned, with them stuck the other side of the moor, with the only road between us closed by the police due to heavy snow, but the snow has meant that Mr D hasn't been able to work, which has it's bonuses as it's meant that I've been able to get on with making Christmas presents.

After seeing the flannel/Voile scarf tutorial over on Seamzine I knew that I wanted to make them for my mum and sister and of course myself!! I was wondering what Anna Maria Horner's voile would be like to work with, so I decided I best make my scarf first, purely for learning purposes you understand! The Diamond Mine in Ink goes perfectly with her flannel Forest Hills in Moonlight which I have become just a little obsessed with, and have already bought more to use for a blanket for #3. The scarves are very quick to do, I found the cutting took the longest. The voile and flannel are lovely to sew through.

The finished scarf can be worn wrapped round 2 or 3 times. Worn with the voile against your skin it gives you the feeling of wearing silk and worn the other way, the flannel makes it the most cosy of scarves. I chose a mix of mauves and yellows for my mum's scarf and Diamond Mine Sky for my sister's.

I apologise over the quality of the photographs!! They do not show the scarves at their best, but time is limited and I decided to try and do them myself rather than rope Mr D into helping. There is something about the bottom photo that I adore however unclear it is!
Right that's another job to tick off my Xmas to do list!!
I am slowly getting through the jobs and have high hopes that on Christmas Eve we will be able to relax with a glass of port, rather than having the last minute rush wrapping gifts, that has over the years become quite normal in our house at Christmas time!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Busy Sewing Stockings!

In any spare time that I've found lately I've been busy making stockings for the kids. Last year they ended up using some walking socks of ours as we couldn't find their stockings. And I've come to the conclusion after rummaging through the attic that somehow they have ended up being thrown out. Of course no Christmas is complete without hanging up your stocking on Christmas Eve so I've been eager to get this project finished.

I found a free pattern on Denyse Schmidt site's called "All the Trimmings Stockings" and if I'd looked properly would have noticed that she includes a pattern for the stocking that you can print out and enlarge. I didn't notice so got Mr D to draw the shape for me, which I think adds to the uniqueness of them. I made the first stocking up following the pattern's instructions for quilting through all three layers, folding down the top edge and sewing around the top, but I don't think the finish is very neat, though that's probably a lot more to do with me rushing than the pattern!

So for the other two I made a separate liner that I sewed in at the end and I much prefer the finish. I also played around with the "trimmings" and added some of the fabric from the body of the stockings to the top. I'm really pleased with how they have turned out and also of how quickly they came together.

  I also love the fact that they are similar but different enough that each child has one that is their own so hopefully no arguing Christmas morning over whose is whose!
And of course the most important thing is the fact that the boys are also very happy with them, especially the size of them. They have never had such big stockings and are now busy imagining how many gifts Father Christmas will be able to fit into them. Saying that I too are wondering how many presents it's going to take to fill them!

Friday, 10 December 2010

A Christmas Sale!

 With Christmas quickly approaching and the last posting date before Christmas in my shop being the 15th of December, I am offering 20% off all Christmas Bibs and Decorations.
So if your looking for a special something for a little person or a unique decoration to decorate your home then please take a look in my Folksy shop.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Vintage Wise Old Men

It's surprising what can be found in a sleepy village in Devon.
Well actually, not that sleepy, it would be better described as positively thronging! Which is a great sight to see and one that I feel I miss out on, as I normally work on a Saturday. So with day off work booked we decided last minute to cancel our family shopping trip to Exeter, I'm so glad we did. We haven't been to Exeter for well over a year and I have very fond memories of sitting outside a cafe by the Cathedral but whatever were we thinking, Christmas shopping with three young kids?? Thankfully we came to our senses before it was too late and headed instead to Ashburton. 

Ashburton is filled with independent shops, antiques and collectables sit amongst quirky giftware shops, and a lovely vintage emporium that was so wonderfully set up that the boys collapsed onto the sofas and asked where the TV was! Which was great as it gave me chance to mooch and stumble across these two vintage hanging ornaments and this lovely teal vintage fabric.

We found an amazing fish deli, that not only provided us with red mullet for our evenings dinner but also a great selection of olives where we found the brightest green olives I've ever seen. They even had a sign up saying "these have not been dyed" as they were so vivid. The boys came to the conclusion that they must be alien olives!

I couldn't resist this card by Rob Ryan which I hope to frame as part of our decorations. 
But it really was these two wise men that were the star find of the day, with their crowns and their jewels, and who are now going to take pride of place in our festive decorations.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Christmas Shopping, Fabric Style!

Christmas offers such a perfect excuse to do some fabric shopping!
And I've been doing my fair share lately. Luckily the weather hasn't managed to stop our postman doing his deliveries! In fact Mr D thinks I single handily keep the Post Office going,
how cheeky of him! 
I've been after some festive fabric to make the children's stockings out of, a print that's not too childish, something that is reasonably stylish, and I think I've definitely found it in these quirky prints from Westfalenstoffe, which I brought from Celticfusionfabrics. 

They are adorable, and I haven't been able to resist ordering more when I saw a few different prints over at Fabricrehab. I've also bought some fabrics over at Saints and Pinners. I think they will become a staple in my stash and not only for Christmas as I can imagine so many uses for them and at £1.75 for 1/4 meter they are very good value for money.

 As for today, I spent a lovely hour this morning shopping for voiles and flannels to use to make Christmas presents, well that was my excuse! It was a very indulgent online shopping trip that unfortunately came to a very abrupt end when I realised that the washing machine pipe which I thought I had defrosted was in fact still frozen and we had a stinking puddle of dirty water on the utiltiy floor.
How ever lovely the sprinkling of snow we've had is, I really wouldn't mind it getting just a little warmer!

Monday, 29 November 2010

In for a Penny, In for a Pound!

I have this very annoying habit of giving myself extra stress when quite frankly life, especially heading towards Christmas, is hectic enough! What makes me do it I don't know, probably the lack of hindsight is partly to blame! So last week I found myself in a shop in my local town asking whether they would stock or even just display some of my Christmas baby bibs.

Now I've been thinking of approaching this shop for awhile but my nerves always get the better of me, so why last week was different I don't know. Of course starting a new "venture" just a few weeks before xmas is ridiculous, maybe the fact that I was half expecting them to say no has something to do with it. So when they said yes and then started talking of all the things I could make for them reality started to hit home. And I came away a little shell shocked! When do I think I will have the spare time to start doing all these very exciting new things?! And of course even just getting a few bibs ready to take in to the shop at the weekend meant spare minutes spent writing out labels and thinking of a way of displaying them.

I've been given quite a free rein at the shop, though they have suggested Cath Kidston's fabrics to possibly appear in some of the items. I have mixed feelings about this, from a business point of view it makes sense, especially when I look around the town, but I am hoping that once the owner sees the astonishing range of fabrics new and vintage that you can get these days that they will be convinced that other fabrics are just as saleable.

In exchange for the "freedom", the shop will only pay me if an item sells, so that way it doesn't seem like such a gamble for them and they have agreed to take a commission of 30% which I feel is very reasonable, but being new to this game I don't really know. So the last few days have been very exciting as well as rather daunting.

I delivered my first few bibs on Saturday and I am really pleased with the way they look. I bought the "Santa's little helpers" fabric earlier on this year and have had great fun teaming it up with other festive fabrics. I am hoping to take in a couple more made out of some different fabric this week. But I think my ideas for stockings and blankets are going to have to shelved for this year! I must soon start on some of my family sewing. I really can't believe its nearly the 1st of December, I must finish our Christmas shopping.

I have listed the patchwork bib above in my folksy shop and I am hoping to have another one listed in the next couple of days. I must look into last posting days as I think they will be upon us before I know it. I have had some feedback from a lady who brought some items from my folksy shop and she said that buying from the site was quite hard work, rather complicated, and thought the fact that she had to register quite annoying. I don't know if anyone else has any thoughts on the matter. I think it is a shame that you can't buy on the site without setting up an account and going through the registering process and do wonder if this puts people off? Anyway it is a thought I will continue to ponder over, but right now I must start preparing for Mr D's birthday which is tomorrow, and just seems to have crept up on me and bitten me on my bum! 

Thursday, 25 November 2010

I'm no Super Mum!

I'm sat surrounded my all three children due to #1 being off school ill. Unfortunately both him and his younger sister have upset stomachs so it doesn't look like we are going anywhere today. The place is a mess with toys everywhere, I feel like I've got 3 extra shadows and quite frankly I have forgotten how exhausting it is having three young children at home all day. However upset #1's stomach maybe (and believe me it's awful!) on the face of it he seems fine. It certainly doesn't seem to have affected his voice and his constant list of demands. But I am no super-mum, or even an octopus and he is beginning to realise that not treated right I can be just as stern as his teacher! 

But this week is no where near as emotionally draining as last week, which quite frankly was a week to forget and just as I thought it couldn't get any worse I realised mid way through Friday morning that the black Tahitian pearl that sits proudly on my engagement ring was missing. Well as I'm sure you can imagine, Madame here who was already an emotional mess rather lost it, and started wailing and turning the house upside down, much to the puzzlement of my 3 year old who found it all strangely exciting as he loves a good treasure hunt! And quickly got his magnifying glass! Miraculously, after calming myself down, I re-traced my footsteps and found it amongst tissues in my coat pocket!! It is now at the jewellers, and I've got my fingers crossed that it will come back as good as new as they have warned me that it needs to be drilled there is a chance it may break. I am being positive (well trying) and believing that it will all be ok!

So after all that "excitement" with the ring I decided that Friday afternoon I must do something nice with #2 that didn't include watching his mummy cry!  He has been asking for awhile for a cape, but it's always at the wrong moment, either just before bed or just as we've about to leave the house to do the school run, so I suggested that we made him the cape that he wanted. After he got over the fact that I didn't have any purple fabric, as apparently all superheroes have purple capes, he settled on blue and then choose to have two circles on the back and did surprise me with his colour choices. He sat on my lap patiently while I used the sewing machine and it was a great quick project that we both got something out of. Though it wasn't until after we'd finished and I put it on him that I realise it looks like he has one big target on his back!  

Of course as soon as #1 saw it he wanted one and they decided that they wanted to go to the party Sunday as superheroes. Unfortunately in my usual forgetful manner, it wasn't until 5 minutes before we left the house that #1 reminded me that I hadn't done him a cape so not wanting to upset him I spent a hectic moment cutting and sewing and explaining that it wasn't possible in the time scale to sew the words "super hero" across the back! It wasn't until we were running to the party that I realised I had made the cape the same size as his younger brothers so it was in fact at least 4 inches to short! Oh well, as I said I'm no super mum and considering #1 took it off after 10 minutes on this occasion I really don't mind!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Time to Decorate!

I'm really very excited about Christmas this year.
The boys excitement is certainly catching and I can't wait for our 1 year old to see all the lights and 'sparkley's' that Christmas offers! 
All this anticipation has got me busy sewing, not the i-pod case promised for Mr D, or the skirt and trousers planned for #3, not even the stockings that need to be ready to be hung, oh no I've been busy making decorations!

Whilst making my 'Hidden Trees'  my mind has been whirling with other ideas using the same concept as 'stacking trees'. And with Christmas nearly upon us it seemed only natural to create a hanging tree decoration.

I've had so much fun going through my fabric stash and pulling out 'festive' fabrics that I now have a work top full of mini trees ready to be finished!

I've enjoyed mixing vintage fabrics with linen,

finding all my red fabrics, and being surprised at how many I have!
These so remind me of toadstools, which again has set my mind racing but I've capped it for now, though my sketch book is getting full!

 I must say I'm in love with this blue set and are going to make some for our house. 
What I haven't enjoyed lately is trying to get a decent photo of them. I've brought white boards, had Mr D helping by holding boards up trying to diffuse the light, been traipsing all over the garden to find an area in full sun but without any shadows, been fretting and then being told to calm down and get a grip!!

The light has been terrible and it does make me realise why it would be worth getting prepared for Christmas in the summer. Which is definitely another lesson in crafting learnt!
All sets of  Hanging Tree Christmas Decorations are now available in my Folksy shop!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Pour Mamie x


My little girl decided that Wednesday was the day to start walking.
I came home from work to a very excited household and cries from the boys "Mummy she can walk"!!
It's such a huge moment in their development and one that is so cute and special. 
And also one that I so deeply wish I could share with her Grandparents, so for Mamie and of course Papy here is your Granddaughter finding her feet!

{Please ignore my voice! Don't you just hate hearing a recording of yourself talking!}

Friday, 12 November 2010

Like A Girl In A Sweet Shop

We are lucky enough to have a quilting shop in our town, which from the fact that its often very difficult to move in there due to the amount of shoppers it's doing very well. I see it more as a "sewing" shop as it's the haberdashery section that excites me. I rarely look at the fabric which is very 'traditional' and mainly moda, for me it is the treasure trove that is passed all that tucked round the corner out the way. Delve into the shelves of ribbons and ric rac, baskets of threads and well quite frankly nearly everything that a sewer could need is there. And if like me, who acts like a child in a sweet shop, it's not often what I need that I buy it's often what I can't bear to not buy that I leave the shop with!

So armed with a list, I set foot in the 'sweet' shop on my lunch break, which gives me a chance to concentrate on what I'm looking for rather than worrying about what little fingers are up to. And who can blame them from wanting to touch all the trinkets of delights in there. 
So yes armed with my simple list of thread and ribbon, I left the shop with the above purchases! 
Quite refrained I thought!

One of the things that I have been struggling to find in there are some beads to go on some decorations that I'm making. The ones above unfortunately don't fit onto the thread I'm using, but just as I was beginning to think I was going to have to look online, Mr D reminded me that a bead shop had opened up in town. Now I'll admit that like many others, when it became common knowledge that this prime empty shop was to open selling beads, I wondered how on earth a bead shop was going to help our struggling high street. Surely a bakers or even a fishmongers would be more useful? So there I found myself somewhat begrudgingly standing in this sparse shop. But my thoughts of "why do we need a bead shop" soon disappeared when I noticed that the walls looked like they were glistening.

I even didn't flinch when being offered a loyalty card and found myself eagerly signing up! The shop reminded me of why I loved playing with beads as a young girl and of why when a student I use to make simple necklaces to sell to other students in exchange for drinks! I found myself thinking of attending a workshop that they hold there, better still arranging a bead party! I truly feel spellbound by the place, the beauty, colour and variety of the beads is amazing. 

I left the shop with more than enough beads and my head whirling with ideas of sewing projects that I can do, that give me an excuse to go back and buy more of the 'sweets' in the shop.
Why does our town need a bead shop? 
Surely every town needs one!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

46 days and counting!

The trouble with Halloween and Bonfire night being over is that you become very aware of what is just round the corner.

There's simply no hiding away from the fact that in 46 days time it will be Christmas day!

So I've decided to embrace the fact that in 46 DAYS time we will have wrapping paper all over the lounge floor! We will be tripping over more toys and that the boys will have already eaten too much chocolate.

In fact I've embraced it so much, that the boys already have a star that lights up hanging in their room. Well that and the fact that #2 made it impossible to leave the shop without it, and then once at home there was no way he was going to let me put it away until December. So for an easy life its up and shining, and I'm passing it off as a night light!

So if like me your starting to think of Christmas, and are looking for some decorations for the festive season, then you might like to know that I have just listed two more sets of "Hidden Tree, Hidden Forest" in my shop.

 A more traditional set of five Gold and Green trees, and then a very "Granny Chic" set of five purple and blue trees, which I must say are my favourite so far and are definitely not just for Christmas!

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Generosity of Bloggers

I was the very lucky winner of Mother of Purl's "Great Autumn Giveaway", and my package of delights arrived last week, and they fit so perfectly into my Autumn loving at the moment that I thought I must share with you my winnings.

So cutely wrapped up, 

That I don't mind admitting I've taken off and saved all the stickers! I love the foxes as for the hedgehog!

The generosity of fellow bloggers will never cease to amaze me. 
Inside my parcel was not only the shopping bag that Charley has embroidered herself using one of Andrea Zuill's patterns but also more seasonal goodies.

The Observer's book of Wild Flowers that I can add to our collection. I can't wait to try the gooseberry jam, and Mr D has informed me that he thinks the mystery bulbs are crocuses and has very kindly already got them planted up so I'm looking forward to seeing if he is right in Spring!
Thanks Charley, you've given me yet another reason to adore this season.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

The colours of Autumn

Halloween has not passed us by this year without leaving its mark. 
Our kitchen table has become home to an ever growing collection of pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes.

I'd love to be able to tell you that we grew them all, but that would be stretching the truth somewhat!
I think seeing these wonderful coloured squashes everyday has started to influence me in my shopping,

I couldn't resist this hand knitted cushion that sits on the sofa looking like one huge over grown pumpkin!

Or these vintage fabrics, reflecting the colours of Autumn,

I'm even enjoying the fallen leaves that cover our lawn. Unlike Mr D who is trying very hard to keep on top of collecting them up. The brightness that they bring lights the garden up, which is very welcome in the dull grey days we've been having of late.
So even though Halloween is over and the nights are drawing in I'm refusing to let go of Autumn and I'm not quite ready to admit that Christmas is just around the corner!