Monday, 29 September 2008

Cushion update and Cath Kidston-esque curtains

Well, sorry for the delay in posting, but I've had a bit of a mare in trying to upload photos. I haven't managed to get all I wanted, but I wanted to blog about progress on the cushion...and my curtain find!

The cushion has a frill. I've never done frills before. I had to cut a piece of gingham 36 inches by 4 inches, and a floral pattern 36 inches by 8 inches. Then each is cut into four length ways, and the four strips from each joined - to form a floral strip that is 4 x 36 inches long by an inch wide, and a gingham strip 4 x 36 inch long that's 2 inches wide. Phew. Then one side of the strips has to be hemmed:

So that means folding it over and over again and ironing it and then doing the same to the other, and then hemming it. Lost the will yet?! I almost did. I don't even want to work out 36 x 8. All I know is it seems to go on for ever!
That's not the worst. I now have to cut a third - a larger frill. I've decided I may cheat and use a wide bit of lace if I can find something that suits!
Now, next I've got to run a double line of stitching on the long side opposite the hemmed edges to then gather them up so they fit around the cushion top. Good grief. As if I haven't got enough to be doing. Why on earth I challenged myself to this, I'll never know. Although I'm beginning to - it's in the back of my mind that this'll be for my mum's birthday. She'd better love it, that's all I can say!
I'll try and post another picture soon.

As to my curtains. I'm excited about this. These are the curtains the previous owners left and so they've been in place for ever. I have hated them with a passion.

I crumbled when I walked into a charity shop and saw these...

I now smile everytime I see them (though they don't really go with our walls - I need to chop off the pink, I think, because they have the pink at the top, and a thicker width of pink at the bottom).

I'm not sure, but I think these are a Cath Kidston design for Ikea. Any clues from anyone?

And does anybody collect Colcough bone china. I think I may have started. I found such a pretty pattern today in an antique fair, but just a few bits. I'll try and post a picture soon.

And a huge thank you to Melmel and Debbie at Debbie's English Treasures for passing on the Super Commentator Award to me. It's lovely of you both - I'll add your names at the side above the award. Big hugs.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Thank you, Melmel!

I am a very lucky Lace! My lovely friend Melmel did a giveaway, I thought for a gorgeous Liberty wrist pin cushion and thimble holder. I was lucky enough to be drawn. Well, look what arrived...

It was sprinkled with lavender - you can see a couple of dots's not because my carpet is in need of a hoover! But it smelt fabulous. But how lovely is that wrapping and tag!

The wrapping turned out to be two gorgeous napkins...

My eldest decided that Mrs Hen, who was tucked safely inside the napkins, should introduce you to the rest of the treasures. She took a series of photographs to show them off. So, first of all, Mrs Hen came across a Cath Kidston soap - after finding a yummy background oilcloth in the parcel that was just perfect for the photographs!

I've never had a Cath Kidston bathroom smellie before, and it's so cute. We loved that.
Mrs Hen went a little further and found a glass heart...

Delving deeper, two heart buttons.
We were so excited by all this.

The gorgeous Liberty thimble holder, complete with thimble:

It was all so beautifully wrapped. Just look at the notepaper on the right!

Mrs Hen took them all back to her nest, where the wrist pincushion was hiding...

Now, I entered this giveaway, partly because I love liberty fabrics, but also because I'm very norty with pins. I sit on the sofa, pop them on the arm of the sofa (sticking up, of course), and always swear to myself I'll remember to put them away. What happens? I forget! I blame it on my age. I seem to forget an awful lot. Anyway, youngest happily came along, and promptly sat on four of them the other day - well, I do tell them not to sit on the arms of the sofa, but I did think, oops, I need a wrist cushion. (He wasn't badly hurt - I think it was the shock!) And that was when Melmel's giveaway popped up. So thank you Melmel for this, and you have totally spoilt me, and it's very timely. I feel very lucky.

So does my youngest!

Now, progress on the cushion: it's looking fab. I'll post a pic soon, and let you know what comes next. I don't feel rushed on this, as White O'morn Cottage is the only fool among you who stepped in, and she's so much more advanced than I am. But it is doing very well!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Sorry, Mr Lace!

Mr Lace hardly ever looks at my blog. It's my territory! lol. But yesterday he glanced over my shoulder and saw the picture of the muffins and asked if people had enjoyed them... once I'd explained I'd offered all you lovely peeps one. (I'm laughing now!). Apparently, and I can't think how this happened, I really can't, cough cough, I forgot to mention that he baked those muffins. In fact, he bakes all the muffins in the Lace house. I do bake, but I can't do muffins.
So I shared his muffins out and didn't say a big Thank You, Mr Lace.

So here is my thank you. And, cough cough, very public apology.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Muffin, anyone? Cath Kidston frustration

Hello all! Hope you've got a cuppa, cos I've got muffins for you today. You have a choice: raspberry and white chocolate, or if you're two of my three kiddies, then white chocolate! Yum. Hang on, let me just grab a raspberry one and I'll start.

Now, progress on the cushion. I've machine stitched the patchwork pieces.

This is all coming together in a very relaxing way - it's a lovely project. And I'm so glad White O'Morn Cottage is doing one too - hers looks fab. I finally just decided to baste/tack the hems of the hearts. Thank you for all your advice. It was fun doing this last night in front of the TV. So, now they look like this.

Lots of these fabrics are really special to me, and it's going to be a lovely memory cushion. The yellow comes from a gorgeous fabric I still have that were curtains in my childhood bedroom - I'll post a pic at some point. It has lovely flowers, set on a yellow background. The pintucked white fabric is from a dress shirt my hubbie wore to special dos, in the days we could go out. Haha. So when I look at it, it makes me really happy. Even the tiny bit of Laura Ashley was part of a big piece I picked up on a trip to a car boot with my middle daughter. We ended the morning with a fabulous brunch by the river, and so it reminds me of that Sunday. So this cushion will tell me stories every time I look at it. I think that's how it should be.

Now, I'm a teeny tiny bit frustrated with Cath Kidston. They finally sent the samples, which I'd asked for three weeks ago, and had to chase... and they are tiny. But I'm also now more confused. I have the large samples from going into the shop, and had decided to go for the antique rose on white. However, this appeared in the samples:

I can't remember asking for it. I love it, but it's really hard to tell from such a small piece what the whole landing area will look like. I think it's Herbaceous borders. It has a blue element, but I'm not sure how that will look, as I can't see much of the blue. How on earth do they expect you to decide from these piddly samples! Hmmmm.

So, I'll muse a bit more. I may have to make a special journey back to see if I can pick up a bigger sample in the shop. Have any of you got this paper up? I'd love to see a pic of it in situ.

Have a good day all.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Awards, cushion progress, seaside. Phew!

Well, I'm the very lucky recipient of two awards, and I'm very grateful for them. Huge thank you to Tatting Chic for my SuperCommenter Award. I have never tatted, but want to one day, and I discovered Tatting Chic's blog some time ago and was hooked. Her enthusiasm and passion shines through each post, and I love her lacey creations - I love anything with lace, but tatted lace is something I'm very intrigued by.

And another huge thank you to White O'Morn Cottage for my Gift of the Gab award. I don't really know what to say. I'm speechless. Haha. I love the fact that some of you visit again and again, and I feel I've got to know people through blogging in a way I never thought possible. I really do appreciate my blog friends, and I love these awards. Now, I need to pass this on to my lovely friend Angel, as I think that is the perfect choice. If anyone's got it, she's got it!

Well, we've had a fabulous day at the ...


We desperately wanted to go, as blue skies and boiling hot weather are so rare at the moment, and we wanted to grab whatever we could for a day out with the children. It was fabulous. They got the idea for sandball fights, and got absolutely spattered, head to toe - you should have seen the bathwater tonight! I was intrigued by their arsenel - I've not seen sandballs before!

Aren't they grand!
They also had fun attacking a sand mountain...

And, an added excitement were the Red Arrows, flying about 100 ft above our heads.

I checked the website, and sure enough, they were appearing at the Isle of Wight, not far from where we were. What a nice coincidence. So, we all feel energised by the day.

Now White O'morn cottage has happily agreed to make a heart applique cushion with me. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my previous post about this. I'm glad someone's doing it with me, though. I've now cut the squares - they should each be 4 inches square. And you need to cut 12, 6 in plain fabric and 6 in patterned. Mine now looks like this:

And I've had fun playing around with the positioning. Once I'm happy, I'm going to machine stitch the squares in position. Apparently you have to hem the hearts. How on earth do you do that - they are small, curved and fiddly! So yes, please, Elizabeth D... a little bit of advice!

I think I'd better finish there before I bore you all. Do let me know if anybody else is going to try this. I'm off to check out White O'Morn and see how she's done!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Heart cushion

Well, I'm going to try my first bit of applique and patchwork. As I've never done this before - well, save for an awful attempt which I won't even go into - does anyone fancy joining me, so we can do it together? I thought it would be fun to make it together. And yes, I really haven't got time for this either. lol.

I've chosen a cute heart applique cushion from a book I've just found in the library called Cornucopia of Cushions by Susie Johns. Look - it's a good pattern, and looks straightforward, but it would be great if someone could join in, and we could do it bit by bit. Anyone up for it?

So, first off, you have to cut a heart template measuring 7 cm at its widest, and about 6 cm from the point to the dip in the middle at the top. Does that make sense? Then you have to cut 12 hearts...

Six in a patterned fabric and six in a plain fabric. I've not got enough plain fabric, so I've come to a halt. Anyone gonna catch up and join me? Let me know, post some piccies on your blog, and I'll tell you the next bit...

go on, please someone.

And BM, I am still attending to the 90 things out of one pillowcase challenge!

Now, I also haven't shown you all I got at Fred and Happy's sale. Lookee! More!

I showed you the wonderful tablecloth a while back. But look at the screen and the candle holder and the enamel pink jug and the knitting needles.

Um, and the table. I'll have to get a better shot of that!

Good, huh!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Christian the Lion

Anyone seen this...

Christian the lion

(link attached), or, more likely, am I the only one of the 14 million plus people who didn't catch it! I'd heard about it, but only saw the Youtube last night. Loved it!

Cath Kidston or Laura Ashley?

Well, I can't decide. I've stripped most of the wallpaper off our landing, and am now faced with the dilemna of choosing which wallpaper. I'd phoned CK a couple of weeks ago asking for samples, and have had nothing from them. So I gave up and went into a branch and got them. I've now popped up two Cath Kidston's, and two LA's, and I love all of them. So, what to do?

I'm worried the blue will be a little dark. I'm also worried we'll tire of the bird design, if it's all over the walls.

And it's just so hard to choose...

Any ideas? I think I'm slightly opting for the CK Antique Rose on white. But if you have any alternative shabby chic papers you could suggest, I'd love to hear them.

Meanwhile, we're working our way down the stairs. Littleun put on a coat and hat and goggles after he got sprayed with chippings of wallpaper from above, so of course I just had to grab a pic!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Humphrey Lyttelton

I adored Humphrey Lyttelton from early childhood. I was fed a steady diet of Humph jazz, any jazz in fact, all through, because of my wonderful dad, who was a big fan.

I watched a programme about him a couple of nights ago, and it reminded me of the happiness he brought to my childhood home, and the sadness I felt on his death earlier this year. He was born just a couple of months after my father, same year, and in terms of my dad's love for big band jazz and all the greats, Duke Ellington, etc, etc, and their silly senses of humour, their love for life, and their positive outlook, they could almost have been twins. I remember going to a Humph gig in the 1980s in Putney. It was a fantastic evening, in a small pub. At the break, Dad met Humph in the men's. Humph appeared back for the second set, but not dad. In a very loud voice, Humph said
"I've been told if I have to begin this set on time, to play very loudly because one of our small audience is stuck in the loo." And he gave one of his famous stares. We laughed so much, when Dad walked back in to Humph's (very loud) accompaniment.
Dad met him three or four times altogether at different gigs, and each time found him genial if approached, and of course terribly funny.

We both became big fans of I'm sorry I haven't a Clue. What a programme that was! Though it was absolutely filthy in terms of the 'lovely Samantha'.

Anyway, bit of an odd post, because the programme made me think of my lovely dad. I was blessed with the kindest dad I could have had. I don't remember him once saying he didn't have time for me. He'd come home from work, and immediately settle down to be pulled around and dragged into endless games, and I don't remember him getting angry. I really don't. I simply don't know how he did it. That man didn't seem to get tired. But he had children later in life and saw us as God's blessing. We felt it, and although he's been dead some years, I still feel uplifted by it.

So, thank you, dad.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Heirlooms - Just look what I found!

Well, I popped into a charity shop just before school pick up today, and stumbled upon the most amazing piece of patchwork. Take a look:

and a little closer:

What is it, I hear you ask! Well it's a single bedspread, and absolutely beautifully worked by hand, with tiny pieces patched perfectly together. There's even little horses and riders on several of the fabric shapes, perfectly centred. I hesitated in buying it only because I was thinking, well, what would I do with it?

I was a little confused because of this...

Yep, there were two. And I felt so upset. And that's when I bought both. So why was I upset?

When I find something rather special like this, I begin to wonder about its history. I figured that somebody's nan has spent weeks cutting and stitching these for her grandchildren. What other history could there be in finding a pink one and a blue one? How sad that they've ended up in a charity shop - it suggests it was very much an unwanted gift. Or perhaps there's another reason. But they certainly weren't made for the charity shop to sell them for £5 a piece.

I have to confess in my initial thoughts, I'd pondered cutting them up to make bags! Well, no way. I brought them home and examined them, and the craftship is incredible. Even more importantly, my children have laid claim to them. They all love them. I'd thought to take off the skirts, and still may, to make them into more useful throws, but at the moment the children want them left as they are. So they will become heirlooms for us. It's just sad that we weren't the intended recipients. I feel sad the person who made them won't know they've ended up in a home they are truly appreciated.

I threw the pink one over a table, and it's also a fabulous tablecloth. Anybody seen the picture in the Kaffe Fossett book where he provides instructions for making a frothy tablecloth. Well, I have my own one now, and it's made me think perhaps I won't cut the skirt off!

I then picked up two more rather special craft pieces: embroidery this time.

Both for £1. Again, beautifully handworked. It would be a boring world if we all loved the same things, but crafting like this is something else and I can't believe my luck.

As to the beautiful flowers. Well, funny thing that. Yesterday I posted about how I still loved my wonderful hubby after all these years. Now, hubby doesn't read my blog - he doesn't like the amount of time I spend online particularly. And I'm not sure he would have appreciated my being so publicly soppy about him! (I doubt he's in a minority there.) But out of the blue, these arrived yesterday!

For no particular reason at all. He just wanted to remind me he loves me. He does that sort of thing from time to time, and boy is it appreciated. I am definitely one of those girlies that loves romance and flowers and the whole soppy thing. He even remembered to ask them to include some of my favourites. And have you spotted the little butterfly the florist has popped into the arrangement? How cute is that!
I love my husband so much. Thank you, darling man. For ever x

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The mystery revealed! Ha ha!

Do you remember me buying this at Fred and Happy's sale? Wanna know what it is?

But first...

Now, a little while back I was tagged by my new blogging friend MaryPoppins. I have to post a link back to the person that tagged you (tick!) and post 6 unknown and basically unimportant things about yourself then tag 6 friends (hmmm, think they've all been tagged, so job done really, but if you haven't and you want to join in, jump in and let me know you've posted!).
This has taken some thought, but here goes ...

1. I volunteer once a week at my local RDA (Riding for the Disabled), which gives me a lot of satisfaction. We recently had an exciting visit from a rather special person, which we were all invited to attend. So this is the closest I've ever been to royalty...

She was lovely, and spent far longer than her alloted time.

2. Rather naughtily, I kept my eldest off school for the occasion, as I figured she wouldn't get such an opportunity every day. And she was sniffling slightly. I reckoned she was just old enough to remember, whereas my other two were a little bit too young.

3. I cry easily at sad things on the telly/in newspapers/on films/anything... ever since I had kids of my own. Never used to well up like that.

4. I am pretty impulsive. I like sudden arrangements, in terms of going out, etc. We book our holidays at the last minute. I strip off wallpaper without checking with my lovely hubs first. I've just started our landing, 10 years after moving in, cos I have never liked the heavily embossed wallpaper. We painted it a bright yellow when we moved in to try and hide it, but I've never really accepted it. I've almost finished my little bathroom. (Shouts, Angel! ;-))

5. That's another thing. I am still passionately in love with my wonderful hubby. I was blessed to find the right person way back in the early 1990s, and my feelings for him are stronger than ever. The original passion hasn't gone - it doesn't always go. I miss him when he's away, and my heart still leaps when he walks back in. A true soul mate. Soppy, huh! (That's not to say that we don't have our moments! He wasn't impressed by the wallpaper stripping. Haha.)

6. I'm the worst when it comes to being silly with my children. I often initiate the wee and pop-off jokes, and giggle the most... In fact, I am totally irresponsible when it comes to sillies, but I won't allow them to swear. Yuk to that.


So now I can show you the bean bag - see, nobody guessed! - I got from Fred and Happy. I fell in love with it, and so have my children. This means it wanders around the house rather a lot! But Mr Forty Winks decided he was happy to demonstrate it for you. I will post more pics of my treasures, I will...I just seem to keep getting sidetracked with other things to post about.

And finally, I don't put up pics of my children. But this is so special to me, I just have to. It was one of our wonderful French days this summer, on the gorgeous Ile de Re.

A perfect day on a perfect holiday.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Glass topped tables makeover

I wanted to show you my little tables, which I picked up at a car boot for a total of, oooo, £4 recently. I'd been looking for a nest of tables for some time, but I wanted glass tops, and those aren't so common it seems - or the glass has been broken. Anyway, these turned up and it was a fun little project.

I love this Laura Ashley paper - it's on my daughter's patchwork wall. And now it's persuading me to keep the tables (I had thought I'd sell them, but I don't think I can bear to).

The blue isn't as powerful as it appears - it's an LA colour, and is very chalky. It goes perfectly with the paper. So I'm a happy bunny again.

I love autumn, once we've got back into our routines. It's been harder this year because of two of mine starting new schools, but all seems to be well so far. My yr 7 got a bit upset today, because she'd lost something and had to go on a bit of a trek around unknown corridors to sort it out, but a year 9 looked after her, while a year 10 gave her a hug. That so wouldn't have happened at my school, and it's typical of the whole ethos of the school. I'm so pleased for her. When schools work well, it's a lovely feeling.

One of the things I particularly love about autumn is it means plenty of opportunity to have...

Lovely warming stews with oodles of dumplings. I'm sorry - I just have to post a picture of food, because Melmel and Angel are making me so hungry lately. :-)

I've been tagged, by April at Cake makes the world a better place, and thank you for that, but I'll have to give it some thought!

And with that, I'm off to bed. Nighty night. And thank you once again for all your comments. I love reading them. xxx