Friday, 6 August 2010

Sew Somerset

Look what I found whilst doing some serious 'work' on the computer today. I need this magazine, SewSomerset. Fortunately for me I have found someone who will sell it to me here in the UK, which means I don't have to buy a plane ticket to Canada. Who are my saviours? Rainbow Silks and they have a gorgeous website full of all sorts of things I could do so much with.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

August 1st Quote

My quote for August is:

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Anais Nin

Here is a little about Anais Nin.
Anais was born in Neuilly, just outside Paris. She spent her childhood in various parts of Europe until, when she was eleven, her father, Spanish composer Joaquin Nin, abandoned his family. In the same year, her French-Danish mother, Rosa Culmell, took Anais and her two sons to New York. On the boat that brought Anais away from Europe and from her father she began to write her journals. In 1923 she married Hugo Guiler, who had studied literature and economics and had acquired a good position in an international bank, allowing them to live comfortably.

The couple moved to Paris in 1924. There they lived in various appartments, among them a beautiful house in Louveciennes, but Anais also often had a studio for herself and lived in a houseboat on the Seine for a while. In Paris she and Hugo supported various avant-garde artists, among them Henry Miller with whom Anais started an affair and exchanged hundreds of letters. The book A literary passion includes a great number of the letters these two artists exchanged over the years and provide an interesting documentary of their struggle for recognition as writers as well as their relationship.
Anais Nin in the mid 1930sAnais moved back to New York just before the outbreak of World War II. After a turbulent time in New York she divided her life between New York and Los Angeles, between Hugo and Rupert, a much younger lover and friend. From being a cult figure of the early feminist movement, Anais later rose to international prominence with her writing. She is best known for her diaries but also produced a number of novels and a prose poem in surrealistic style as well as wonderful erotic short stories, published posthumously. Characterized by the use of powerful and, at times, disquieting imagery, her work reveals great sensitivity and perception. 

In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Basic Grey laptop bag

What a grey and damp summers day. I haven't been outside the front door today!

What I have been doing though is sewing. I got out some fabrics I bought at PaperArts several weeks ago, they are Basic Grey patterned fabrics by Moda and are delightful. I used the basic pattern idea from a book called Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan.

I couldn't decide which of the several different fabrics to use so I devized a way to use 4 of them. I liked the idea of the blue spotted fabric as a sort of facing detail, I added a pink pocket on the front which is the same fabric as the lining and flap. I used the brown flowers as the main colour and a different paisley brown fabric for the handles. 

I used my i-top to make a matching badge to go on the flap. First time I had used the large adapter, think next time I will read the instructions.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A card

I made a card, hurray.

I used my new Wall Decor and More Cricut cartridge to cut out the guitar, I then outlined it in black sparkly gel pen. I used Coordinations cardstock and sanded and sewed it. The Birthday Wishes were drawn using pen in my Cricut using my other new Cricut cartridge, Lyrical Letters.

This is for my soon to be 16yr old nephew who plays the guitar. Thought he might appreciate it especially if I put some money inside.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Extended Schools Celebration

Today I displayed my wares for Learn to Sew with Create & Grow. I was at the South Gloucestershire Extended Schools Celebration.

"From drama to dance and playing football to playing the piano, this event highlights the importance of a rich extra curricular programme for all children and young people.

England Ladies’ Rugby Captain, Catherine Spencer, will be a keynote speaker at the event where she will indicate the importance of out of school activities and clubs to the confidence, self esteem and motivation of young people throughout their school years, and to the need to ensure that all parents and children can access appropriate support services to enable young people to maximise their potential."

Presentations were given by School workers and pupils. Olveston School did a brilliant action popular song they had learnt after school. We saw videos of what the children get up to with Playpods full of fun stuff. There was a Market Place where teachers/governors could see what was on offer from outside of education, which is where I came in.

I had examples of sewing that children could do at the Learn to Sew after school clubs I will be running from September. I chatted to several interested people and have various follow ups to do.

I was blown away by the extent of what Extended School is all about, which was lovely to see how much extra to the core, or 3Rs there is. So much is learnt outside of the school day in play and fun activities it is still part of the children's vital learning.

Fingers crossed the new Government sees fit to keep it going. I think it would be something that would be hard to drop and would continue even if the Government change things in that quarter.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Modscraps Challenge

Modscraps scrapbooking shop has a monthly sketch challenge. Giselle submitted the challenge sketch.Here is my version, a very close scraplift of Giselle's original. The LO is titled "It's all about the socks, Mismatched". The photo has 2 pairs of socks, A is wearing one pair and Max is wearing the other, he has a pair on his back paws too! We put socks on his paws to stop his claws making ratatat noises on the wooden floor of the holiday house we were staying in. The socks were given to A for a Christmas present and they are Little Miss Matched socks. Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Sewing for kids

I have just made up some samples for the After School Learn to Sew Club I hope to run.

Here is a pin cushion pal, a happy frog. He is from Level One, where the children learn to cut out fabric from patterns and to do running stitch.

The felt cushion helps them to learn blanket stitch, a bit of design and button sewing.

Level 2 moves the children on to a sewing machine. First they learn how to use it then they practise sewing straight lines and curved lines on fabric. They can then chose to make the heart below.

Level 3 teaches them how to do casings to make a drawstring bag, there are other items to make in each level, 6 levels in total, each taking 6 weeks/sessions.

I am taking them to an Extended Schools Celebration event so the teachers and governors can see what I do and hopefully think that a Learning to Sew After School Club would be good.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Gone veggie

We have gone for the Riverford weekly delivery of veggies and fruit. I love it all. The aubergine was delicious grilled on the BBQ and we had a few bananas over so I made a banana and walnut loaf from Delia. That is going down very well.

They also supply meat packages too, I fancy the BBQ one in preparation for the summer.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tulips on the mantelpiece.

How effective are a few single tulips in individual vases. Even more so with the mirror behind doubling the effect. These were the flowers I put around the room when I ran my last Beyond Chocolate Workshop. The room looked lovely and the Tesco tulips played the staring roll.

They lasted ages too. The vases were borrowed from a friend and were from Ikea.

I must do it again, just for me.

And by the by, what a weird word is mantelpiece?

Monday, 24 May 2010

It's hilly round here.

A fantastic walk in the hills around Uley in Gloucestershire last week. The weather was glorious, just warm enough and not too hot. Shorts and t-shirts day? It could be, it was so still. I donned suncream on the arms.

This was a walk my friend had suggested some time ago and one I didn't feel confident to agree to then. I knew Uley and the hills around! Having been on several walks now I felt confident that I could do it, just needed to go at my own pace. Determination wins through and three hours later we are enjoying a pint of soda water and lime and a bite to eat. The pub is highly recommended, The Old Crown.

We chatted a lot along the flatter parts of the route, taking a break here and there to enjoy the views and the glorious day, we could even here skylarks. The bluebells were a poetic picture, in the woodland and surprisingly to me all over one of the hills. I thought they only grew in woodland or shady areas.

We were remembering those childhood pastimes of the country side; collecting and pressing wildflowers, pinging grass heads as far as you could, telling the time with dandelion clocks making daisy chains, chanting "he loves me, he loves me not" as you pulled the petals off a daisy, tell whether your friend liked butter or not by holding up a buttercup under their chin.

A blissful day and a chuffed me for climbing those hills. Who knows where that first taste of the Cotswold way will lead.

Monday, 17 May 2010

It's a take over

Well not in the permanent sense of taking over a company. I have picked up the reins for 6 months though, running Boaties Frypan in Europe. See

Boaties frypans were invented in New Zealand for those square stoves you find in boats, caravans, camping etc. They are a much better fit than your regular round ones.

And they are such fun to cook with, square pancakes, square omlettes, loads of sausages or bacon can line up side by side. They can even go in the oven, so you could cook chocolate brownies.

It is very easy to wipe clean, can be stored on its side and even better, there are now lids to go with it, less splattering and you can cook your dinner in the oven with the lid. My son has one in Uni, thinks its great, so they can be used anywhere.

Today was my first day and it required a bit of trouble shooting, getting the brain cells working over time. Hope things will settle into normal orders, invoices, accounts and e-mails. Ps, I get paid too.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

It's time to say goodbye

I remember very well, my 18th birthday. My mother gave me a wonderful party, with all my friends. My 18th birthday present was a sewing machine, with sewing basket. It was a fantastic present. I had made things from an early age, cutting a hole in a small circle of fabric was a cape (people wore those back in the 70s) for my Cindy dolls (I wasn't a Barbie girl), I sewed a little sewing bag for my mother, it still survives. I went on to sew my gingham apron in the first year at senior school, I didn't do very well at sewing at school, too slow! Then with my own sewing machine I made my own clothes, light summer dresses, a blouse, a skirt maybe, then later on, loads of children's clothes for little A and J, curtains, cushions, gifts galore. I have progressed from my first sewing machine now, it lasted me 20+yrs.

The sewing basket lasted longer. I had no need to upgrade my sewing basket till recently. It had been overloaded, squidged, awkward to store and much loved.

Now it is time to move on and it has gone to a charity sale, I hope someone loves it like I did. My latest sewing box is not pretty, I can't imagine it being loved but it will be easier to store my, increasing in size, sewing kit, being rectangular, storing those useful rectangular Ferero Rocher boxes.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

It's how long?

Yes, incredibly, as time flies, it is 25 years long and still going strong.

We were married 25 years ago, under the cherry blossom, in Cornwall. A delightful day. So our anniversary was well worth celebrating and we are asking all our friends and family to join us in celebrating with us in June. It will be a big family party, J's 21st, R's 50th and our 25th wedding anniversary.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Gorgeous Spring Day at Blaize

I met up with a friend for a walk round Blaize Castle Estate yesterday. See the blue sky, it was gorgeous, the birds were singing loud and clear among the branches all around us. I had never been here before and I shall definitely be going again, no parking charges, no entry charges and a lovely cafe at Kings Weston House on our walk.

Our first stop was Blaze Hamlet. A cluster of individual cottages surrounding a green, gated from the outside world, very Hansel and Gretal or Snow White like.

Here is Blaze Castle, more of a folly to Blaze House down on the flat.

I didn't take my camera but on a day like this my iphone produced lovely shots.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Latest Creation

A little bit of sewing using my new Moda fabrics and a delightful piece of ribbon. I enjoyed making this, I think there could be more in the pipeline.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Easter Break

We had a few days away staying in my parents house while they were in France. J was collected from Uni and off we went to Dartmouth via Kingsbridge. The sky was blue, no, really, it was.

Tide was out too. J was smiling away as we walked up the high street and I didn't know why then noticed a young lady waving to him on the bus. He can't go anywhere without being spotted!

What can you do when it is freezing cold, torrential rain threatens at any minute and you are on holiday in Devon for Easter? Well, we decided to do the Kingswear to Paignton Steam Train. Have a wander round Paignton and a bit of lunch and returning home in time for tea.

Rain, it did, but luckily we managed to avoid getting too wet with waterproofs and umbrellas.

I had great difficulty taking a photo of these extremely fragrant hyacinths as the wind was blowing a gale and I couldn't keep the iphone camera still.

So despite the freezing cold, gale and heavy showers, we did manage to walk along the sea front. A hot chocolate at one stop and soup at another kept us warm.

We managed to fit in a visit to J's favourite restaurant, Kendricks in Dartmouth, was it going to be Ribs or Steak, Chocolate Brownies or Sticky Toffee Pudding? In the end it was, Ribs, a whole rack and Sticky Toffee Pudding, he did share with his Mum.

Back home to Bristol in time for Dr Who.