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January 2011
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March 2011

How's your weekend?

Saturday-morning
Saturday morning bed

Yesterday I lived through a Twilight Zone morning. The children came into our room early, nothing unusual there, then insisted we stay in our room for at least four or five hours. I immediately thought of all the laundry needing doing, empty fridge that needed filling and dog that needed walking. But when I was allowed to sneak away to grab my sketch book and crochet all the "needs" were forgotten and I became very happy with being locked away. Cups of tea were delivered to us along with T's homemade oatmeal cookies for breakfast, things really couldn't get any better.

About three hours later hubby and I were released to a clean house. A house cleaned by our two children, vacuumed and all. They were so proud of themselves, but not more proud than me. What brought on this treat? I try not to question, just enjoy - questioning might break the spell. Honestly, often just asking a child to put away a pair of shoes around here is tantamount to asking for a kidney.

All very weird and wonderful.

Rainy-pond
Rain on a pond

School resumes on Monday so back to busy days. Today though we woke to a sunny morning so I hung out a huge load of laundry and went for a long walk. Half-way through, the clouds moved in and soaked me and of course the laundry I'd hung out.

The picture above and following are a few images from my walk. 

Across-a-stony-field
Across a stony field

The fields are so stony I'm amazed anything flourishes here; mainly grains are grown in these parts. Some of the pieces of flint are as big as my boots.

Stony-field
 Stony field

Nobbly-tree
Funny, nobbly tree

Can you spot my little friend in the last photo?

Hope your weekend has been weird and wonderful too!

Jx

P.S. Gracie has a nice picture of our morning sunshine on her blog.

One more P.S. Did you watch late night re-runs of classic Twilight Zones when you were younger too? I had no choice, two older brothers controlled the remote. I think I'd appreciate them much more now.


Buttons and snowdrops and things

Button-bracelet
Vintage button bracelet

Not much time to hang around at the moment, Gracie's giving the dog a bath and Tristan's making cookies so I have just enough time to sneak in here before I go and clean up after both my little helpers. We've had a busy old week off school visiting friends in Kent, catching up with projects and going for walks.

A few of the items in the project department are a button bracelet, a pencil case, needlebook, crochet face cloths and a finished embroidered top.

Pecil-case-experiment
Pencil case for Gracie

Gracie has a bad pencil case habit and would like a new one each week. She begged me to make one over the half-term holiday and so I have. The construction isn't great but it met her design specifications (three compartments inside and a small outer pocket) so she's happy. I also lined it with shower curtain plastic to make it leaky pen proof, all a little tricky. There won't be more of this model crossing my sewing table, ever.

Stitched-top
Embroidered top finished

And there have been more than a few special treats this week. Like a pound of buttons from Lisa all packaged up beautifully. Click on the button images for a closer look.

Button-bliss
Happy packaging

Fast-favourites
A few favourites

So many wonderful finds inside. Glass, mother of pearl, bone, old metal designs and so many more. If you're quick you just may be able to grab a bag for yourself in her Extras shop.

Snowdrops
Snowdrops in a woodpile

Bright, shiny snowdrops are everywhere right now, celebrating spring on the way. And the wood in this pile leads me to another treat, a surprise birthday blog for Nanou; it celebrates her and the woodland creatures she makes. If you visit, Nanou's many Forest Friends are guaranteed to make you smile.

Happy weekend to you!

Jx

 

 

 


A special day

The-celebration
Forest Little Miss by Nanou

A gathering is taking place to celebrate the birthday of Nanou. Princess Elowen from the Great Forest has even made special birthday bunting for the party.

Happy birthday Nanou and have a wonderful day!


Indigo skies

Silk-&-indigo
Indigo dyed silk

A couple more pieces from the indigo shibori workshop. This is one of my favourites and the one Gracie immediately grabbed, also the quickest to make. I was running out of time on the day so I tied an assortment of buttons all over the fabric with rubber bands and threw it in the dye vat. I think it will lead to some tie-dyeing this summer with T & G.

Velvet-&-indigo
Velvet and indigo

I'd never thought of dyeing velvet, it was brought by the instructor and it takes really well to the dye. I created this one by drawing half circles with an embroidery hoop then stitching two curved channels down the length and gathering the stitches tightly. It's so much fun to unwrap/unstitch and see the results.

Liberty-&-things
Re-stacking

I'm still slowly organizing. I re-stacked one shelf in the fabric cupboard as I was trying to find just the right piece for some small projects. And here's the reason I'm a rubbish quilter; I find the cutting process so mundane and really hard to stay excited about - I just want to sew! That bundle of squares in the upper right is as far as Gracie's quilt has got.

And speaking of Gracie, her blog is nearly ready - she finally got her header the way she wanted it. Watch for it over the weekend.

Happy Friday. Hope you have wonderful plans for the weekend!

Jx


Pleasure

Hearty-garland
Fabric, paper and wire 

Happy Valentine's Day
My children couldn't understand why today isn't a school holiday, I said something to the effect of "Really everyday we should pronounce our love for one another, so it's not really worthy of a day off school or work is it?" In place of a day off, now that they've both actually gone back after illness, they'll have special after school treats, because to me Valentine's Day is also a good excuse to indulge a tiny little bit.

Making lots of simple things and using up scraps of vintage pieces brought us pleasure over the weekend. Tristan and his blog, Gracie and her first sachet made completely by hand on her own.

First-sachet
Heart by Gracie

And me sewing gifts with some of my favourite textiles. My favourite part is seeing how satisfied and proud T & G are when they make something; anything - a cake, a collage, a bookmark, a website.

Vintage-stitching
Vintage stitches

Part of the weekend was also spent touring the senior school and meeting teachers where Tristan will move up in a years time. He will have even later days; really mainly being home just to sleep. It was a good reminder to me that these days of relaxing and making together are numbered, so we'll enjoy them while we can.

I hope you find pleasure in the simple things today and also by indulging yourself and the ones you love just a little bit too.

Jx


Comfort and things

Rainy-day-biccies

Because the weather is stormy and children (and mother) irritable, today comfort in the form of baking was needed. Oatmeal & milk chocolate chunk cookies with tea perked us all right up and even helped get us through homework and a small mountain of laundry.

Tristan has started a blog all on his own. I'm not sure how much time he'll have to update it because of his long school hours but please check out his first posts if you have the time. I have a feeling my camera will start disappearing ;)

T's-Collage
You can read about his inspiration for this collage on his site

And I "spotted" this sweet toadstool treatment on a child's blanket on Bella Bobbin. It's made with the Mouse House appliqué pattern .

5403869767_c5c5fc2a6d

Bella Bobbin is full of spotty treats, I'm loving the look of the toadstool cakes.

Happy Sunday to you,

Jx

 

 


Indigo day and cheerful stitches

Coins-&-cotton

Yesterday was a full day of dyeing and stitching at the Indigo Shirbori workshop. I felt like a little kid, dunking fabric and objects in a big vat of dye and eagerly anticipating the results.

The circular pattern above I made by sandwiching 20 pence, 50 pence and 10 pence pieces together with clamps on a folded piece of fabric.

Coins-&-clamps

I'll share the rest of the dyeing later including some stitched pieces. I loved the whole magical process.

If you're in the West Sussex area this one day workshop takes place each term at the Art Works studio. There will be a new list of courses for next term soon.

Flower-meadow

Today was spent in a very different way, with two children home ill. I should thank whatever bugs they have for waiting an extra day before rearing their ugly heads, a day earlier and I'd have missed the indigo and I would have been very blue ;)

We had a quiet day at home with a little cheerful stitching by hand.

Be good to yourselves and stay healthy.

Jx

 

 


Winners and a warning

Warning

Warning: Don't leave your puppy in the car for 10 mins while you pop into the shop unless you take your prescription sunglasses with you. It's easy to be fooled by an otherwise saintly nature and very cute face.

Pippi---CUTE!!!

I couldn't be cross with her, I left them in the car with the full knowledge that she's an opportunist. And besides, it was such a gloriously sunny, beautiful day yesterday I didn't care, except when I was squinting.

Bad news is I'll have to save up for new ones. Good news is, today I don't need them because it's stormy and I really was wanting new ones anyway :)

Today we have the teddy winner, winner number three, she is Jasmine from my paper heart.
Also, the winner of the surprise giveaway number four is Katie R.

I will be in touch with both of you via email later tonight.

Thanks to all who visited and entered. More giveaways soon as I enter my next phase of organizing which will include facing up to my textile habit.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Jx

 


Another winner

Stitch-along-1
Feeling Stitchy Stitchalong pattern

Today's winner is Tara from Ontario. Tara wins the linen & Liberty monogrammed sachet. I'll be in touch Tara via email. Tara's lovely blog is called Resting on a Branch, pay her a visit.

Over the weekend I whipped up a top that Margie recently made too. I've had this Built by Wendy pattern at least two years and she inspired me to get it out and use it. I had the perfect drapey linen for it and the top turned out lovely, until I tried to put it on and realized it will fit Gracie and not me. I haven't sewn a garment from a pattern since I was a child, I think I followed instructions better back then. Gracie now has a new top waiting for some embellishment.

I decided to used up some yardage of shirting fabric I've had in my stash for way too long and try again. It's a grey pattern with a fine line running through. The crisp cotton is perfect for stitchery and when I saw this pattern on the Feeling Stitchy Stitchalong and thought it would be sweet for a flowy top. I think this might be the first embroidery pattern I've ever followed too, except the ones I draw myself. This pattern should be quick as it's mostly lazy daisy stitch, perfect for me right now. 

You might be able to spy something quite special in the photo above, look carefully. Wait, perhaps this picture is better.

Sunny-stitchalong

Yes, there it is - the SUN!!! After several days of high winds, rain and cloud today feels like a gift. I'll say good-bye now, I'm off to enjoy the warmth and check the progress of the bulbs in the garden.

See you tomorrow with the names of winner three and surprise winner four.

Jx


A winner and thankfulness

Tea-pot
 
My two helpers chose a few names from my pretty blue teapot (thank you Claudia xoxo) and found three winners for our giveaway. Then we decided (after rather loud negotiations) that in fairness, there should be a fourth name chosen so each child could pick twice, don't you agree? That fourth winner will receive a surprise package, contents unknown until the postman hands them over. 

The first name plucked from the pot is, Amy from Gift of Green. Amy you've won todays prize, the teacup pincushion. I'll be in touch via email.

Last week was so busy yet productive and the week ahead will be the same. The highlight being on Weds when I attend the Indigo Shibori dyeing workshop. I've been waiting for this class to come available for a very long time and was even more eager to take it after seeing Margie's results. I think I've found a puppy sitter so more all day excursions like this will be in my future.

I've also been thinking a lot about good friends near and far this past week and was amazed at how finely honed my powers of telepathy are getting because I then found this sweet post by big-hearted Pam and these words by wonderful word weaver Pat. I assure you Pat, you're the first person who's ever called me a diligent organizer ;)
I'm so grateful for both of you and all the friends I've made here.

Happily there's so many more good people to be found out there then bad. Unfortunately, Sonia has recently experienced the uglier side of the Internet resulting in her setting up a new blog; be sure to visit her new home.

And, a giant happy birthday today to my big brother Mikey, we love you Uncle Mikey!

Happy Monday everyone,

Jx

P.S. The next winner revealed tomorrow.