Saturday, 27 February 2010


"Good things come in small packages", 
or should it be "good things come to those who wait"!
I've been struggling with following what really is (I guess) a simple pattern for a flexi frame purse. I do struggle when it comes to following instructions, at this point my hubby laughs!
No I do seem to have a mental block when following a pattern.

So much so, that after attempt one at a flexi frame coin purse I nearly gave up. This is attempt two, above and below made out of some vintage curtains


 I'm pleased with the fabric especially the lining.

but there's something about the overall purse that I'm not happy with and as it's a birthday present for my sister, I decide to have a third attempt! So with the pattern tossed to one side, I decided to simplify the shape and design. 
I've used one of my favorite echino prints and quilted it for extra puffiness!


And I'm happy with the end result! It's felt like a long process to get to something so simple.
But I think its simple shape is the making of it.

I've enjoyed using flexi frames. And as a small purse for coins or a little make up I think it works well.


Who would have thought something so small could give me such a headache!
Now with present given including some goodies to put inside I'm off to have a well earned glass of vino.
Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


I decided the other week to take the plunge again and to buy fabric from the US.
So after getting advice from Kelly at handmade at home and reading a great article on Manda's blog I placed my order. I've only done it once before about 12 months ago and it wasn't until after I'd paid taxes and import duties that I realised there was such a thing! Very naive! So as you can imagine it become quite expensive and it rather put me off.
That was until I saw these!

"Willow" is the latest fabric range from Alexander Henry and I just love it.

I found it really difficult to decide which prints to order as I adore them all and are taken with all the colour ranges. But I kept reminding myself of the £18 limit and eventually settled on the "grove" in chocolate (above) and the "shrooms" in green (below).


I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it came through the door this morning and hadn't been stopped at customs. I can't believe how quick the parcel got here. It's as adorable as I had hoped it would be and the prints have a lovely retro feel to them. I know exactly where I'm going to use them. So now if only I could some how find some extra time in the day to get all theses projects done that I have floating around in my head, I would be a very happy woman indeed. 


Friday, 19 February 2010


Not much has happened on the "sewing" front this week, what with the half term holidays.
But we did manage to get out of our pj's today and venture into town, even the hail and snow failed to stop us! And I'm so pleased we did as our charity shop finds today have got to be some of our best ever.
First they was this rather cute tin

And then just as we were leaving Mr D spotted this,


Not much on the outside, but when opened,

The best find for some time.


And when we asked how much it was as it hadn't been priced and they said a pound, yes one whole English pound, I couldn't open my purse quick enough! Even on the fabric front I came up trumps.

 An excellent shopping trip all round.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Frugal Sewing

Living in Pyjamas or "comfy" trousers as the boys refer to them is a favourite in our house. 
One of the most difficult things in the mornings can be trying to prise them out of them, and I often end up doing the school run with the 2 year old still wearing his! So when last week at the jumble I found 2 pairs of older boys pyjama bottoms, 20 pence each I just knew I had to buy them. Aged at 10 - 11 they were too big all round for either of the boys, so yesterday I set about cutting them up and re-sewing them.

And I'm pleased with the result, but as ever more importantly so are they!

Trousers are judged by the boys to be "comfy" if they make for good jumping trousers!


 And thankfully these passed the test with flying colours!

So as it is the half term holiday and we have no plans for the next couple of days, we have the most perfect excuse to stay dressed in our pj bottoms.

Maybe I should put a "Do not disturb sign on the front door"!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Thrifted Tuesday

The sight of a large queue of people outside a village hall in a sleepy Devon village is probably quite a strange sight if the onlooker is unaware of the event that is about to unfold. There's the sly glances at each other as people eye up the competition, there's the sorting out of change so your all ready, the whispering that takes place as the doors are about to open, and then there's the stampede as the doors are finally flung open. So this was us on Sunday, at the very back of a queue waiting for the jumble to begin.

Now if you've never been to a jumble I urge you to try it just once as it's an experience worth seeing.
First plan your attack. It took a couple of goes for us to get it right. For me I head straight for the linens, this may all sound a tad o.t.t, but by the time we had paid our entrance fee, there was already people with their arms laden with jumble. These regulars are quick! It's also worth taking a few deep breathes in preparation before you enter.

Second forget your airs and graces!! The pushing and shoving takes a little getting used to, in general the older the person the worse their attack! But don't worry no-one takes offense its all in the name of jumble!
Thirdly just grab. We have come to the conclusion over the years that its better to buy and look later, at such low prices 20pence an item on Sunday you can afford this approach. Mr D and I have had quite a giggle in the past looking through each others purchases after the event over a cuppa in the sanity of our own home!

So if you ever find yourself with a spare hour at the weekend, give it ago its quite addictive.
Just remember the deep breathes and you can't go wrong.
At the end of the day it's for charity and you just never know what your going to find.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Is that the sun .........

The sun is shining,
the birds are singing, the garden has come alive it is a truly magnificent day.
Such a contrast to the grey drizzly days we've been having lately.

What a great opportunity to show you my latest sewing project out in the sunshine.
I've been wanting to make a bag/bucket to house all of E's baby toys in since xmas, to get them off the sofa's where they are usually left lying around.

The outside and bottom are quilted which helps keep the shape. I've used a bamboo/cotton blend wadding that I buy from my local fabric shop by the meter, but I think I might try a heavier weight wadding next time to make it even sturdier.

Overall I'm really pleased with it. The only thing is, it's a little big. Why I made it the size I did, I'm not sure! Though as Mr D said it'll soon fill up with toys! So I'm already planning to make more in different sizes. I can imagine a whole line of these in the nursery.
Well I'm off to hang some washing on the line something I haven't done for weeks. I hope it's not too grey with you and that this sunshine stays for the weekend.
It really feels like Spring is in the air!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Anxiety and play dough

It's been a strange few days even the weathers up and down. We woke on both Saturday and Sunday to a sprinkling of snow, which then quickly disappeared, especially on Saturday which turned into a lovely sunny day, enabling us to spend time in the garden doing jobs we've been wanting to do for weeks. The spring like weather got us excitedly planning our veg plot. I must get the seeds out and see what we need to order. J's put a request in for sweetcorn and peas, it's great that he remembers the allotment with such excitement.

It was a good distraction as there's been a lot of stress in the house. As children grow their personalities and characteristics become more apparent. Some surprise you others are more familiar and it's easy to see which parent they have inherited them from. J's been doing well at school, slowly finding his feet and building good relationships with his teachers and the children around him. And then bang, Thursday night it all changed. Seeing a child so upset and worried is horrible and the need to wrap your arms around them and make everything alright is overwhelming.

It had been arranged for J's class to put on an assembly for all the parents and carers this Monday. A great idea for most the class, but for a child like J the thought of being in front of so many people is a nightmare. We are only just starting to see the depth of his anxiety and how it grips him. Trying to calm him down Thursday evening was a struggle. He could not understand how a place where he was beginning to feel safe and secure could suddenly make him so anxious.

We are very lucky that the school treats all the children as individuals, so with their agreement we made the decision not to include him in the assembly, and to not take him to school until it was all over. Even with these promises it's been a difficult few days, ending with a very disturbed night last night for J. A night full of bad dreams, a night when he just couldn't settle. And as I lay in bed next to him I couldn't help but feel quite guilty. If you were to ask me to stand in front of 60 plus adults and sing and talk, I would be a nervous wreck and the thought of it would take over my thoughts for days before hand. I would be just like J, I guess this is one trait I have unwillingly passed on.

And then there's the two year old. Not realising for a moment what his older brother is going through and still so blissfully unaware of the pressures life has in store. For little A, the fact that his mummy has found such a quick and easy play dough recipe is all it takes for contentment. If only everything in life was this easy.