Saturday 30 August 2008

And the winner is...

'The lines are closed, the votes have been counted' this is not strictly come dancing, but the draw for the brooch. Thank you for all your comments. Its very nice to know that over 40 people wanted to be in the draw. (Although I just had a look at yarnstorm and she has over 2000 entries for her giveaway)

I wrote all the names on paper and cut them up.

Then I put them in my knitting wool holder

and put the lid on.

There they are.

Can you see yours?

I shook it up with my hand over the hole

then I shook it till one fell out.

And this is it.

Its going all the way to Australia to
paddys daughter
And sorry to all those lovely people who didn't win. Thank you for taking the time. And keep commenting.

Now for a confession.
If you have a look at this first, and read how half the pieces were missing. I got in touch with the people I bought it from and they gave me a full refund. Even though it was a year ago. Even though they knew they were right.

Then I thought I'd just have another look at it and discovered that the only pieces that were missing were in my brain and that they were all there (unlike me). So I re-refunded them (thank goodness for paypal!) with profuse and abject apologies and made the dress.

I haven't done any dressmaking for years so it was a struggle. I was making it a size larger for a particular person, but I needn't have. You have to factor in that in 1954 dresses were roomy

I had a job matching the stripes, and the pocket/side zip combo was a nightmare.

But the lovely Rachael looks gorgeous in it and loves it.

These pictures are not meant to be in soft focus,

But we had been out for a family meal and it was late. And I am excited about going to Symi.
I wish you could see how beautiful she is.

Friday 29 August 2008

A Change is as Good as a Rest

We have lived in our house for 23 years.
All the rooms have been redecorated over this period and I don't just mean wallpaper and paint..I mean re-wired, sometimes new windows, re-plastering and so on.

The bedroom was the last thing to be done.
In 2005 it was completely stripped out..this is what it looked like then and we were still sleeping in it.

So you will understand that I may have gone a bit over the top when choosing the new things.

I indulged myself. I make no excuses. 20 years was a long time to wait.
400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Lace pillowcases. New feather pillows and duvets, a mattress cover and a cover for the mattress cover.

All topped off with a one hundred year old hand quilted white and cream quilt from the Antique Textile Fair.

A lovely cream carpet with a big unnecessary extravagant rug on it.
And, after the first dog sick event, animals are banned from it.

I love my bed.
After 3 years I am still very grateful that I have such a lovely bedroom.
But I happy to report that , we will be spending a few nights in another bed.
In another place, where there is a lot of this.

And I shall be getting into it.
Very cheap middle-of-the-night flights have been booked. A little Greek house has been reserved.
House sitting friends have been organised.
Now I just need to lose three stone.
Or take my big wrap.
Don't forget I will be making the draw for the brooch tomorrow, Saturday. Leave a comment on the previous post if you want to be in it. (And you can leave one here as well if you like)

Saturday 23 August 2008

A Little Project and a Giveaway.

A little gentle easing back into sewing was this small project. A little card to welcome a new baby.
Because it was for a friend of a friend I have done my best airbrushing over the name which was pink, so they won't recognise it if they happen to see my blog. I'm sure they won't but you never know.

After my last post I was so touched by all the lovely comments and e-mails exhorting me to cheer up that I felt better immediately. Thank you everyone. As a little extra 'Thank you' and to belatedly celebrate my half century of blog posts I am giving away this Celtic Brooch.

I'll have a draw next weekend so if you are interested leave me a comment and I'll put your name in. (Even if you have been a lurker hitherto..come on!)

Meanwhile I am searching for a holiday.
Flights to The Greek Islands seem to have been booked up, unless we want to pay about £1000, or go to a very busy place.
We will have to wait till next year.
In the meantimewe are looking in the UK, possibly in Cornwall, but I'm not fussy, overlooking a nice little sandy cove, within reasonable reach of good restaurants, at a realistic price, after 4th and before 25th September.
Any ideas?

Thursday 21 August 2008


Small dogs + deep mud + walk =

Dog sitting again. They are a real pleasure.

(Owing to lovely comments, miserableness has been deleted here! Thanks)
Kim of oakmoon left me a lovely comment and gave me this.

Thank you Kim it cheered me up a lot and I must think about passing it on.
There are so many really lovely blogs out there and I am going to choose a couple .

Here are blogs that I find very entertaining and lovely to look at, so I invite them to receive the award.

Beading at the Beach is full of colour and lovely projects,
and if you want to dream of a rural idyll in the USA with exquisite miniature patchwork, look no further than The Shady Grove
I am being very throrough with this award and I am also going to add Margarets blog because I think it looks so beautiful and its quite new so I think she's done very well!
The award also goes to Viv who is a dear and supportive friend and her Hens Teeth is full of gorgeous and unique embroidery.
Sesga has a beautiful blog with lots of cute dolls, both human and handmade! She has probably already has this but I am awrding it to her anyway.
And finally I choose Charlotte from Fancy Picnic. She's having a break at the moment but will be back.
I think I have to choose 6. These awards go round and round and there are so many deserving blogs its difficult to choose. Its worth it because it keeps us all looking at each other for support and inspiration and friendship.

Saturday 16 August 2008

Ups and Downs

Guess where I was yesterday?

The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.
Two hours drive, a lot of walking and 'oohing' and 'aahing,' and a two and a half hour drive back in heavy traffic so no wonder I am tired out today. (Nothing to do with the fact that I called at M&S at the M6 services and bought the components of a meal and ate them too late last night)

I am not comfortable with putting pictures of other's work on my blog but this is just a detail of work by Dorothy Caldwell. I was bowled over by all her work. And she was so generous allowing photography for personal use. I don't know if this counts as personal use.

I confirmed yesterday that the people I have met in cyberspace do exist in real space, and are very nice indeed. First I met a lady from belgium who had bought something from my ETSY shop.
Then I met Viv of Hen's Teeth an absolutely delightful person

who gave me a little package to open at home...just look at this gorgeous pincushion..

I am so lucky to own this little beauty. Thank you Viv. I won't be sticking pins in it..too nice.

Then I bumped into Gina of Fan MyFlame..I recognised the brooch she was wearing! She was talking to Maggie Grey of Magstitch and Workshop on the Web so it was nice to say Hello.
After a bit more walking round I met up with Maureen from Maureens Mixture and she gave me two of her lovely ATCs.

I realised having met all these lovely people, that a photo is only the tip of the iceberg.

I got home to the news that one of the pieces from this post has been accepted for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Open Textile Exhibition at The Platform Gallery. Naturally, being a glass half empty type of girl I am dejected at the rejection of the other two.

I didn't get round to checking the nest yesterday, but went up the ladder this morning and guess what?
While I was looking at Quilts, my little Goldfinch Family was fledging..and I missed it.
Today, the nest is empty.
So good luck little birds, fly well and far..and keep away from Jools...
If you look carefully you just might see the mother in this short clip. (The voice is radio 4)

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Natural and not natural.

Yetserday we had a meeting of the felt group where we reviewed the results of the natural dyeing day in July.
It was made possible by Fiona who spent hours boiling up noxious -but natural-substances in order that we could dye our wools, silks, felts, and threads.

Fiona's, shibori and with fabulous stitching,

Elaine's threads and fabrics,

Christina's wonderful academic record,

my own haphazard selection,

and Lesley's beautiful laminated scarf.

Here they are all together.

Lovely natural subtle shades.

Like these, wild flowers in the field I walk.
They've grown high now, its late summer but it doesn't feel as though we are in August.

Here's the next field.
In the far corner over to the right is a beautiful cottage that was coveted by many and has just changed hands.
Some lucky person with a lot of money is now in this 'Country Living' dream home.

And just look how its been improved, with a feature quite probably visible from outer space.

They've also chopped down half the trees along a very old and beautiful wall.
Oh well. Never mind. I can always walk the other way.
Now talking of gardens....
TA daaa!
A nasturtium at last.
The height, the pinnacle the very zenith of my gardening for this year.

Monday 11 August 2008

Blog love and old jeans. EDITED.. LOOK AGAIN!

Charlotte at fancypicnic has made my week with her post about machine embroidery.
When I wrote the tutorial I didn't know if it would really help anyone but it seems it did. I'm so pleased.

Look what I got this evening from Daisie.
I am supposed to choose 7 other blogs to give it to but how can I? I love you all!
Thank you Daisie.
I've collected a list of 'Daisy ' blogs and called it 'The Daisy Chain'. We've got to stick together.

On the dressmaking front I got a full refund from the online shop where I bought the pattern. They were most apologetic. I have located a similar one in the Vogue Pattern book but its £13.50 so I have to think about it.
Meanwhile I will show you a dressmaking activity I engaged in some time ago for a 'Deconstruct/reconstruct' project in a Group I was in. I used my sons old jeans.
Its modelled by my friend Denise.

While the eyes of the world are on the Beijing Birds nest ours are on the nest hanging from the clematis just inches from our front door. Our front 'vestibule' is now a 'hide' with stepladders so that we can view the 4 Goldfinch babies through the arched window above. There is much preening and fluttering and gaping beaks. I watched on Sunday as Mother and Father goldfinch visited at the same time with food. I can't swear to it but I think Mother fed two of the babes, then Father 're-filled' mother then mother fed the other two. Most of the time on Saturday Mother G sat and watched the rain . So did I.

I stand, at the top of a ladder looking through the fanlight, and here is the nest. Click on the picture to view the little sweeties..or should I say 'Tweeties'? There are 5 of them and they are just sitting up, all blinking at different times, and when a bus goes past they watch it...

Now for a grump.
What is it with FEET?
Every blog I look at these days has toes in it.
The first time I noticed toes was here where I thought they were very sweet, but now they're everywhere.
I'm jealous. I have problems in the feet department. They work, I walk but thats about it.
You will never see my feet in Manolos.
Or a blog post.
Be grateful.

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Dear Anonymous.....

....don't waste your time...I have a spam filter.