Friday, 30 April 2010

Fabric obsession - that first cut

I will let you know in my next post whether this worked or not! It's in the oven at the moment. I wanted a heart cake for tonight, but only used 2 oz of flour, etc so it turned out a bit small... We'll see. I'd bought the tin today, as £1.99 seemed too good to leave it in the shop.

I wanted to talk a little about my fabric obsession, because I fear it's getting out of control. I know it's a common problem, but I don't know what to do about it. I am having to rein myself in tightly at the moment, because of funds, but it means I'm rediscovering my stash and I unearthed this gorgeous fabric, and of course decided to try a heart...

which soon became two hearts...

you get the idea. It's a beautiful thick linen mix. Absolutely lushness through and through. And all mine. : )

Another fabric I love and dug out - see the creases?! This one was stored so badly, and I feel cross with myself, but nothing a good iron hasn't fixed. I've left these stored simply because they are so difficult to cut into. It actually physically hurt to cut into them. But I managed it:

And I have to say, I'm rather pleased.

I've made some mini scatter cushions, with those and other stored fabric. Cough cough. And they are pretty.

The more you cut, the easier it gets. I'll keep practising.

Now, the ducks. I just had to show you our ducks.

They were so funny the other morning. The mallard drake is interested in the female. But the Chinese mallard (at least, I think he's a Chinese mallard) is having none of it, despite the fact he's pint-sized compared to the drake.

He got quite agressive. And the drake got nowhere!

Just had to include those pics!

Right, I'll go and see what a disaster is unfolding in the oven. Thanks so much for popping by.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sewing, florals... and the difference between men and women!

I've been getting a lot of sewing done since the children went back to school. Holidays are holidays, and they are precious, but school time is sewing time (well, some of school time, anyway!). But first, I am so happy with what's in the shops at the moment...

Florals! Lots and lots of florals. What's a girl to do!

 I have always adored floral clothing... well, floral everything really. But I have florals in my wardrobe that go back to when I was a teenager. My friends (most floral clothing haters) gave up on me years ago. But this year, I may even see some of them in florals!

 It's actually dangerous for me to go in any shops right now. Especially clothes shops! I rarely buy clothes for myself. But this year, it's a bit different. And I've also picked up some fab vintage Laura Ashley


Just to crash back down to earth, in the midst of all this, I had a bit of a disaster this week when I put a shall-remain-nameless cleaning fluid into my dishwasher and came down to find...

Opening the dishwasher revealed a ton of bubbles and more water poured out...

Won't be trying that again!

So, what have I been sewing. Well, some lavender hearts are half made:

I've also been making more glass cases...

And a few shoulder bags:

It's fun to be able to have some time to sew again. I'll be updating the Sew Happy Shop soon.

Now, about the difference between men and women. Hubs and I are looking to replace my car... it's too old and on it's last legs. And I mean old. Well, we went to look at a possible replacement car today. Two other cars in the seller's drive. Conversation on driving away went:
Me: Nice cars they had (nice meaning, nice but nothing special!).
Hubs: That was £120 grands worth of cars!
Me: Um. Was it? Cripes.
I just don't see it! Ho hum. Sad, ain't I! I think when you drive a 15 year old beaten up boy racer, you just can't see it!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Take a narrowboat on the Grand Union Canal!

We've had a tough few months, and made a last minute decision that we needed to get completely away, once we knew it was possible. We hadn't been planning a narrowboat this year, but it's something we've done a few times before and always found totally relaxing, so we booked 3 days before we went. Not bad for spontaneous living, eh?! The kids were ecstatic. I think that's the only word for it, as we'd said we couldn't indulge it this year.

We all love it... we love the locks, we love the boat, we love the canal, and the wildlife, and the time together, and I feel I've been away for much longer then a week. I liked the aqueduct...

and the shoosh of the water at the lock gates.

And the friendliness of the people we met. There are some truly lovely people on the canals. And there are always swans or mallards to be fed.

We were especially fortunate to be blessed with weather worthy of August. Not bad for April, and very lucky as just before we went we were freezing, and it's now gone chilly yet again. We spent most of our time on the roof, sunbathing and reading books.

That's when we weren't being accosted by the lambs that were in practically every field. They were so sweet.

All of these had their mummys... but were playing together. I'm surprised my 9 year old didn't smuggle one home! I was tempted. They were so inquisitive and full of life and fun.

There were daffodils everywhere. I love daffodils. It's such a strong sign of spring, and warmer weather.

Just before we went, we'd celebrated Easter, and I was pleased at having cast aside my bread making machine and done it by hand. It's a good way to thump out stress, and I've badly needed to find ways to do that. I tried again on the boat, and I think I'll stick to it. It's odd, but it gives a better textured loaf then the one I get from the machine, even though I've always taken it out of the machine and punched it down before reshaping.

There's something very magical about kneading and the whole thing that goes with it. But back to the canal...I must also mention the tunnel... the third longest on England's canal network...

and a half hour passage through...

Yep, we even enjoyed that bit. I love my family.

I've now begun to craft again, inspired and enriched by my time out. I was casting around for something and have started these, reading for updating my Sew Happy shop.

I'll post more pictures soon... Meanwhile, I hope you've all been having a wonderful Easter break. Thanks so much for popping by.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A few bits and pieces...

I finally managed to take the children up to the Saatchi Gallery... and they loved these little chairs, which was a project with local schools. They liked the rest of it, but the chairs were a hit! What a surprise. I liked them as well. There was also the trendy stuff...

which they liked, but weren't quite sure what to make of. I love taking kids to exhibitions like this, because they say it how it is. Brilliant.
I've also been hard at work on a huge commission for my Sew Happy Shop, which has been great fun, but truly exhausting.

It actually even exhausted my poor sewing machine, which had to go in for repair.

But it's now back, and very happy once more, so I've been working on some new ideas... there's just not enough time. I've completed some bunting for starters.

I've been wanting to make bunting for some time, but there's a lot of it out there - bunting is so lovely, isn't it. But seeing stuff everywhere just makes me want to do something different, which is great, because it keeps me interested. Anyway, I realized I hadn't seen much shaped bunting. It's all triangular, So I thought, why not make some with the fabric in mind... I've had this fabric for a little while, and it's gorgeous, really gorgeous. It was obviously waiting for a project like this. I backed it with lush stripey fabric...

Yummy. Have a lovely Easter everyone. Thank you so much for popping by. I'm off to gobble some chocolate. : )