Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Marvellous Mouthy Stitches

Having been suffering from a touch of swap fatigue I was tempted to sit out all swaps - however fun they looked. But when Cindy, Hadley and Susan got together to create Mouthy Stitches my resolve went out the window in oh about 2 seconds flat!

Today I received my pouch from the lovely Ceri who blogs here at Inspired by Felix.

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OOoh what's inside?


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O.M.G - is this really for me?

I'd seen this pouch come up in the photo pool and read the blog post about it here and was secretly willing it to me because it looked absolutely perfect for going away on tripettes.


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Lovely lovey scraps - and some of those goldfish I've wanted forever! I'm really stupid because I've just realised I've covered over a lovely screen printed 'J' that Ceri sent me. Blast it! I'll have to retake a picture for next time!

Isn't it lovely? I've already started putting toiletries in the bag ready for my trips.  I like to leave a wash bag ready to go, so I don't suddenly get the offer of a night away and find I pack in so much of a hurry, I forget something important. So thank you so very much Ceri!

I have to say the timing of this package arriving couldn't be better. No, not because of an imminent trip away for me, sadly.  I'm dangerously close to having a little pity party right now. Not only do I have all these 'funny turns' to deal with (although thankfully now I have a hospital appointment through for May.) which I'm sure are making me more tired and jaded than normal. But I have ongoing car trouble and so does Chief. Chief's car trouble means he is unlikely to get down to see me before he goes abroad.  I'm hoping he's not away too long because right now I feel like I want to see him more not less. Of course I am already one up on Chief in as much as when he goes away he won't have such a lovely wash bag in his kit ;-)

Edited to add: If you're looking for my give away go here - I'm loving the answers you're coming up with. I don't want to give too much away, but lets say I think one of you has been round my house having a sneaky peek in that box!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Giveaway - Guess What's in the Box?

I've been promising a little giveaway for a few posts now and today I've finally got my act together sufficiently to tell you about it.  If you want a chance to enter all you have to do is tell me what's in this box. Simple.

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Fairly standard shoe box for the Birthday Brand of Kids Shoes. 

I will give you a couple of clues. (Don't get excited I didn't say they would be good clues!) First off the original contents of this box have nothing to do with what's in here now. I suspect the original contents were a pair of my school shoes from Primary school. Yes, it really is a very old shoe box.   The second and more relevant clue is: I bet if you could see inside this box right now you'd think. 'Ah - Melody Miller!'.

I'm not going to tell you what you could win, because it has a connection with the question part of the giveaway and would render that question pointless because I'd be telling you the answer! I'll just say it'll be a little hand made something by yours truly.

If the thought of something made by me sight unseen is not tempting you, then I will tell you I'm also including these:


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Rare as hen's teeth in the UK some fob making hardware.

I'd actually bought a few of these 50 of these just before Christmas thinking everyone could have a funky fob for their Christmas presents. Then I forgot I had them until I read this post of Hadley's and realised that quite a few of you (particularly if you're in the UK where these are nigh on impossible to find) might like some fob hardware to do your own funky fob making.

I'd also like to point out that I reserve the right to disqualify anyone from entering who makes comments about how my carpet needs a hoover because it seems to be full of thread. Er no seems about it. It was either hoover up or take the picture, so I could do the give away and I am thinking you'll all forgive the threads for the chance to grab a bit of fob hardware, no?

I'll leave this open until next Sunday, which I think is 4th March?  Everyone who guesses will get an entry and I'll add an extra entry for anyone who gets the box contents right. Then I'll get a lovely assistant to do a pull the entries out of the hat thing.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday Stuff!

I do like these spring like days with lots of blue sky, sunshine and warmth in the air.  Day's when it feels like anything is possible. It's Mum's birthday tomorrow and I did offer to take her out today. Only she said she'd had a busy week and would rather do stuff at home.  So she spent some time in the garden and I cleaned out the bathroom cabinet. I was ruthless. I do not need to keep toiletries that are well past their best and not about to be used (or the dregs of a bottle of dettol that should have been used by 2003!).

Before lunch I did squeeze in time to sort out scraps to send to my partner in the Mouthy Stitches Swap. This is what I've pulled so far and hope she likes what she sees?!

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Then I made lunch - something with a summery feel to enhance that feeling that summer really is close by!


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I was too lazy to prepare the Moroccan style Red Salad from Scratch, so we'll ignore the green bits of pepper. I was even too lazy hungry to pick those out of the mixed jar of peppers!

After that I headed out for a walk to deliver a birthday card. I decided that I'd walk down the field behind my house to get to the recipient's house and take my camera with me.  I didn't take too many pictures.

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More of the village from the field.

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Red Hill - this mound of a hill is said to be what inspired Tolkein when he wrote The Hobbit. Although lots of areas apparently claim the same thing. 

I then found  that despite the house where the birthday lady lives (I can hardly call her a girl when she's about to have her 80th birthday!) having at least 4 obvious doors, there was no letter box in any of them and no sign of where her mail goes. So I ended up taking the birthday card for a walk and will have to trust it to Royal Mail, as I'm sure they know where her mail receptacle is!

When I got home I caught up on some blog reading and saw this great tutorial by Judith.  I've been very slack in making any of Bee Blessed Blocks. Not pure laziness, but the fear my stuff won't measure up. It's why I've never been brave enough to join a Bee. Oh. The. Pressure. This block looked fun though and I'd not really done any of this improv piecing before, so it was a chance to try something new. I so didn't want to mess up because it's bad enough that life hasn't been so great for people so far, without them being given a quilt, only to find that someone making a block for it has the sewing skill of a blindfolded six year old! I figure though, if Judith receives the block and it's really not up to scratch then she can, ahem, accidentally-on -purpose knock it off of the sewing table into the rag recycling bag...

Once I'd made the centre improv bit, I rewarded myself with a slice of Chocolate Tart I found had accidentally thrown itself into my shopping basket in Waitrose yesterday. ::wink:: ::wink::

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I think my girl has her arms outstretched ready for a great big hug! Oh and the chocolate tart was only put on the cutting mat for the photo. I removed it well away to eat so there are no chocolate smears on this girlie!

I spent ages with my scraps picking out some lovely ones for the border, but before I could get on with that I got distracted by other stuff like Chief on the phone suggesting a Back Gammon match before he went to bed. He had a very late night thanks to being on duty and a couple of incidents. 

Tomorrow it's a day of celebrations for Mum's birthday. But I'm hoping it will be give away day here!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Birds & Being A Grown Up

I really don't know where the time has been going too. It feels like it should be at least Thursday and it's only Tuesday.  I was hoping the next time I blogged it would be to show of the cushion cover I blogged about here. I have still to assemble it although it is now hand quilted in Perle.  Life has kind of got in the way big time! As I mentioned in this post. Chief did make it down on Saturday Sunday at Stupid O'Clock.  We headed off to Otmoor and into the Chilterns, so that he could try out his newly repaired camera and lens (Yes, how unlucky that within less than a year both had developed some faults!). Anyway, I haven't taken my camera out much, so it was a chance for me to put it through its paces too.  I am still a bit frustrated by the quality of some of the shots. I keep having remind my self I'm a beginner at this DSLR malarkey. I still have to sort through everything I took but here are a few obvious favourites:

Long Tailed Tit on feeding station at Otmoor
Long Tailed Tit just departing the top of a feeding station


Fieldfare at Chalgrove
A Field Fare - one of the few that would stop still long enough to have it's picture taken.


Male Reed Bunting at Otmoor
A Male Reed Bunting


Red Kite at Tetsworth, Oxfordshire
A red kite - I was disappointed that my Kite pics didn't have more definition until Chief pointed out the Lens I was using was never going to give me that sort of definition at these ranges.

Before too long it was time for Chief and I to say our good byes and I was pretty exhausted due to the very late night and us cramming in as much as possible.  

Monday though I spent the evening being a grown up.  I was asked to see if I would like to fill a vacancy on our Parish Council. For those outside the UK the majority of  Parishes in England have local councils which consult on thing that go on in that Parish. Issues that effect the local community like road condition, parking, public spaces, public amenities, planning etc. Whilst the Parish council has limited powers, they do consult and work with the bodies that do, to act in the best interests of the Parish and community.  It has always felt to me like something that grown ups do. Not people like me. Councils probably need younger people (even younger than me) but it's the sort of thing you associate with older people, much older than me anyway!  The plan was I'd go along to the meeting - see what went on then consider joining. What actually happened was within minutes of the meeting the Chairman proposed me, someone seconded the co-option and I became a parish councillor!

Reading matter.
Some of the stuff I need to read and forms regarding declarations of interest. 

Today, is Shrove Tuesday so I did the pancake thing. Not my best ever pancakes and not eaten with anything more exciting than sugar and lemon.  

Shrove Tuesday
Pancake cooking.

So the bad news is no more sewing since my last post. The good news is I've thought of a give away for you all. So hopefully it won't be too long until I can blog about that!




Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Crafty Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood!

It's time for another


Diary of a Flutter.Kat


link up and this time it's all about the crafting!


1)  What are your preferred crafts? Do you have one primary one that you do most of or do you dabble around in many different crafts?

These day's I pretty much only sew. Either patchwork/quilting or making things like bags and other accessories. I do other creative stuff like Photography and cooking.

However, I have a LONG list of crafts I've done over the years. Some have been little flings and others full blown affairs. These include (and I say include because I bet I'll post this and think of 10 more!): Lace Making, Jewellery Making (I even did some enamelling when I was at school.), fabric box making, jewellery making, needle felting, dried natural material landscapes, pot pourri making, collagraph printing, embroidery, tapestry, mixed media collage, decopatch, scrap booking, card making, mixed textile art...yeah lets stop there!

It's nice to see home made gifts in use

I made Chief this desk set for Christmas a couple of years ago now.  I got a basic desk set and covered it with decopatch camo paper. I had previously covered a elephant and a small wooden box for Chief's birthday and he really liked it. He sent me a picture so I could see it in action. Far from thinking it was cool at least one of his colleagues suggested to him: 'I should get out more'. I don't care. He was probably just jealous because he didn't have a camo stationery station to keep his office bits and pieces. 

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Torchon lace items I made when I was really into Lace Making

I think you can kind of tell why I'm a bit of a Jack of all trades and master of none.  

I was going to illustrate this post with lots of pictures of some of the other crafts, but I've not got any other pictures right this minute, if I get any comments requesting more of a show and tell; I'll take pictures and do a proper blog post at some future date.

2)  What avenues inspire you most in your sewing/crafting that we might like to check out?

Like most people that are probably reading this the Internet and things like other blogs, flickr and Pinterest are my greatest sources of inspiration these days. However, that's not always been the case.  I took a night school in Collagraph Printing with a local artist.  It was fantastic and I'd have loved to have continued printing, but even if I could have afforded some kind of press and the printing inks I wouldn't have the space. There are printing co-operatives you can join to share resources, but I wasn't sure travelling across the county at pre-arranged times would encourage me to develop this craft. I did do a further weekend course with the same artist and it was lovely to create amongst a like minded group of students. For this reason I'm really quite envious of the modern quilt guilds that have popped up in some areas thanks to the networking enthusiasm of bloggers.   


I also used to help out a lady that specialised in a specific kind of natural collage landscape. I learnt a lot about preserving flower and plant materials and the kinds of things you could do with it.  I could have pursued this craft, however, I really felt it was this ladies 'own' and didn't want to step on any toes by developing it myself. In a way it's a shame because she retired some time ago and I'm not sure anyone has really progressed her craft. 

3) Are you a one project at a time person or do you have "craft ADD" - OR are you somehow like me and have a combination of both?

I try not to have too many WIP's on the go at any one time, but I do get easily distracted and have a tendency to start new things. I'm really itching to make a fabric book embellished with lots of textile goodies I've squirrelled away. But then I remember all the quilty WIP's I have on the go and really should finish them!

4)  What is/has been your longest ever Work in Progress (WIP)?

Umm given what I've said in answer 3, I wonder if I'll ever get that fabric book underway because this is my longest work in progress.  It's what I called my 'Grudge Quilt' as it was started or well under way, during a very bleak time of my life and ended up as a bit of sewing therapy. I think that's part of the reason it's not been finished because I associate it with that period of my life and I really don't want to go back there! Oh and it's all hand sewn too. Maybe one day I will finish it -  it would be the biggest quilt I've made to date!  I think it was started some time in the 1990's.


Grudge Quilt
Blue and white hand sewn hexagons.


5 ) What are some of your crafty projects that you've made recently (or not so recently is ok to) that you'd love us to see?

I really feel now that I should be able to whip out of the bag something you've never seen before. But it's 22.30pm as I started writing this post (Before I got the news Chief was on his way down and needed me to keep him awake and alert for the 2.5 hour journey to me!) and in order to show you something you've not seen before I'd have to go and unpack a portfolio of collagraph prints or hunt for some jewellery I've made.  So I'll show you yet again this hexie quilt - which is my most treasured recent make because it led me to start blogging and being part of this lovely community.


the piecing of the top is finished!
1" hexie charm quilt in rainbow colours

6) Do you have a piece of fabric or craft item of any sort with a story behind it that you'd like to share? 


Well if I'd refreshed my memory as to the questions before I started this blog post I'd have probably saved the hexie quilt picture above to share in this part of the post! So I'll leave this post with a photo of an item I bought with a job lot of sewing goodies. I have no idea what it's for and have blogged about this before in the hope someone will know exactly what it's for!



Mystery item

This item is metal it has a crescent shaped cut out in the middle of the widest end and has 2 inches marked out on it. Doe anyone know what this is for?

Now I'm off for a snooze as it was after 2am before I got to bed, then I was up too early for a Sunday and out with Chief and our cameras taking pictures of birds.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Two good and two bad.

I have car trouble!!!

I got in my car to come home from work and when it started the car was juddering and vibrating like no tomorrow.  It felt like my little Nissan Micra had turned into a dumper. I knew my brother had borrowed it because of the changed seat position.  I gave my Mum and lift home and she said my brother had taken her shopping and although the car had been fine on the way to the supermarket, when he tried to start it to come home it took three attempts for it to start and was doing the juddering thing.  When I pulled up outside my house it stalled.

I phoned the garage I bought it from. Explained the situation, explained the service was due and could I book the car in. You'd think it was easy wouldn't you? Only they couldn't do the service at all next week. I asked if it was OK to drive because I don't fancy a car that's vibrating like I'm in a washing machine and cutting out and I wanted to know if it was safe to drive. They said bring the car over and just leave it with us and they might be able to look at it, but not do the service. I said, OK my brother would bring it in, but could I book a courtesy car because the garage is on a motor retail park in the middle of the countryside with miles to proper civilisation in easy walking distance. They said yeah no problem they could give us a courtesy car on Friday of next week! I said well that's no good because I'll be without a car all week and if you don't get chance to look at it on Friday then I'll have to wait into the next week.  In the end I agreed they would book a slot to look at it while my brother waited and they'd be able to either sort the problem or advise whether it was OK to drive (Given it will be driven over there I'm not sure finding out whether it's OK to drive after a drive across the county is very comforting!). I can't really take it to another garage because the car is still under warranty and I don't want to do anything to make claiming on that warranty difficult if I need to.

If this wasn't bad enough Chief phoned and said he'd been trying to get out working tonight to get down, but that wasn't going to happen and it might not happen at the weekend either. Given he might now being abroad   at the beginning of March, it might mean I don't see him for quite a while if he can't get down on Sunday.

So the working week has had a very stressy end.  There were two nice things that happened though. So I'll focus on those. First off I pieced together the cushion top from fabric I showed you here.


366-48 February 17 2012
Melody Miller, Sweetwater, Tula Pink etc in shades of beige, teal, white and green

I sort of made it up as I went along and now I wish I'd added some intentional wonk and maybe cut the pieces out before. Having said that looking at it in the photo it looks better than looking straight at it on the floor. I'll quilt it tomorrow and then assemble it and see how things look then. Well it's not like I'll be going anywhere in my car!

Oh and if you're wondering what the second good thing was - I won £25 on the Premium Bonds. 


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Sweet Melody (Miller of course)

I am not sure where the week has gone too. I don't seem to have found time for sewing and I can't even blame the half term for it as I have no kids!

Monday night I got together with a friend. It was third time lucky as I'd had to cancel previously due to one of my 'funny turns' and then Mel had had to cancel due to the weather the second time.  It meant a delay in my getting a birthday present. I like late presents. It extends the fun just a little bit longer.

Last Birthday Present of the Year 
The body wash has sparkly glitter in it. 

 We went out to a local pub for a couple of courses of Thai food which we decided to share, so we could try different things. I should have learnt my lesson last time and we should have foregone starters. The portion size is far too big to be having starters and mains and as a result I went to bed feeling so stuffed and woke up at 2am feeling really REALLY blurgh from self inflicted over eating. I vowed I'd never eat Thai food again...I think I may have said that the last time too!  ::wink:: ::wink::

Tuesday, was Valentines day.  Chief didn't sign his card to me, but there were a few clues:

Valentine
Hmm Eiffel Tower

I didn't get out on Sunday to post a card to Chief so did it on my way to work (8am ish) on Monday. In fact I posted two cards to him at the same time and in the same post box. Both had first class stamps. One turned up yesterday (a day late) and one turned up today...two days late. I'm not sure how that is logistically possible given they both took the same route at the same time.  Chief had hoped to get down only he's got another bug laying him low. So fingers crossed not too long until he's up and travel ready!

Today, in a token attempt to get at least a bit of sewing done. I pulled some fabrics together for a cushion I thought I'd make for myself:


Possible project.

I loved the Melody Miller fabric with the typewriters on it since I first saw it and even though a panel wasn't the cheapest you could get, I couldn't resist.  I've been pulling some other fabrics that I thought might play nicely with it.  I may be back next time with a cushion to show you...here's hoping!

Edited to say - Blogger appears to have changed it's word verification process and as a result I am finding it impossible to comment on some blogs as the word verification is not showing up. You know sometimes when a photo won't load on a blog or flickr you get a funny page icon with red and blue dots in it? Well that's what I'm getting and of course if I can't see the word verification I can't enter it and therefore can't comment :-(


Is anyone else having problems?



Saturday, 11 February 2012

Highlights of My Day So Far

I thought it might be fun to show you some pictures of the highlights of my day so far. I say highlights because I figure you didn't want me take pictures of me soaking my shower head in vinegar to remove lime scale or doing a pile of ironing?

When I got back from a trip to the supermarket this morning I took my new camera out into the garden to do a bit more practising.  I have so much to learn! I also can't see very well on the screen what I've taken, so I really do have to wait until they're on the computer to evaluate. These are some of my favourites.

Sparrows
House Sparrows enjoying a bath in the gutters

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Frosty fence topping

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Blue tit amongst the catkins

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Long tailed tit on the feeder

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Ice on the summer house.
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Dunnock 

 Then I had a late breakfast. Waffles, fresh fruit (drizzled in maple syrup) and a mug of hot chocolate.

Late breakfast


After this it was time to crack on with my Mouthy Stitches pouch. I do hope my partner likes it. I'm not going to say if she's commented or not on the scant sneak peeks I've shown so far. I have found it hard to really gauge fully her tastes. Which may just mean I'm rubbish at reading between the lines.

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Ok close up it looks more rubbish than if I showed the whole thing which I am not going to!

I broke off to go and make myself lunch.

  Lunch 
Greek style Salad with some crusty bread.

 Then I finished off the pouch. I'm kind of worried now one side needed some extra detailing, but that's going to be hard to rectify now I've finished the pouch.

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This doesn't give much away!

I tried a new way of doing the ends based on how I put zips in things like cushions and I'm really pleased with the results.
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Just need to go and pull some scraps. I wonder what my partner would really like or really loathe?

After this I did a few chores and watched You've Got Mail for what felt like the 99th time and kept wishing that I lived in place just like Kathy Kelly/Meg Ryan's apartment in the film.

So that's pretty much been my day so far. How was yours?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A box of delights

I had another one of my 'turns' yesterday. I suspected one was coming on towards the end of the previous day. I just hoped I was wrong.  Anyway, by the time I surfaced from my pit it was almost bed time. In fact I've developed a liking for nightwear. I figure if I'm going to spend so much time in bed I may as well have something cosy to wear and not the pj's I've kept 'just-in-case-I'm-ill' and that actually I suspect might make anyone who saw them, feel ill. Up until recently I was always an au naturel girl in the bedroom department so any top tips about where you get the cutest pj's from will be gratefully appreciated.

When I did surface I did watch a bit of the football. I'm not into watching sport on TV. Probably because most of the time the TV is on I'm also doing other stuff like sewing or sorting or using my laptop. With most sports you have to watch and concentrate or you can't follow what's going on. As I hadn't had the computer on at all yesterday and didn't feel up to much, I could just about manage lying in the dark, watching the FA Cup rematch between Sunderland and Middlesbrough, with the sound turned down low. I wouldn't have bothered, but Mum wanted to watch it and Chief was actually at the match.  I couldn't spot him.  He was apparently sat in the front row opposite the players tunnel. It sort of felt a little strange and at the same time comforting, that he was probably in my living room for a few hours, even though he was at the other end of the country.

F A Cup replay

Today when I returned home from work I found a parcel had been delivered to me and what a box of delights it turned out to be.  Can you remember when I won this give away over on Sarah's blog? Well I was a bit concerned that my prize had got lost and that Sarah would think I was a rude sewing madam that couldn't be bothered to say: Ta very muchly.  Then I had an email from Sarah saying my prize was on it's way after some posting difficulties and well life gets in the way sometimes doesn't it?  

I guess I was expecting a few random scraps. So when I opened the box to this I was a tad aghast.

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And even more so when I had chance to inspect the wonderful contents!

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Look at these gorgeous Japanese fabric charms. I'm loving the quirky cuteness of these.

Then there was this little lot!

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Gorgeous scraps and some mighty large ones at that. Loving the Summersault and spot the Echino and Ruby Star!!

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A beautiful card and gorgeous Echino bookmark which was in use about 20 seconds after this picture was taken.

So how's that for a box of delights then? Thanks very much Sarah! Today has been a much better day.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sunday, Snow and Sewing

Went to bed Saturday night and it had started to snow. By the time I got up and dressed this morning it was white on the ground, but no pretty snow coating on trees and shrubs and a definite thaw under way. So I took out my new-to-me camera and decided to put it through it's paces. Chief has been really helpful with advice as he's a stage or three further on than me and about to do a year long photography course. I'm hoping I'll reap the benefits with him passing his knowledge on!  At the moment I'm frustrated that I don't know enough about the manual settings to achieve the image ideas I have in my head. I guess it's a good sign as I don't like the Auto buttons on this camera and find myself switching to the 'creative' modes so I have more influence over things like white balance, ISO etc.


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The tiniest amount of snow and the robins come out and pose.

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If I knew what I was doing in this second robin shot, the robin would be brighter and more defined. I do however, like this shot because the camera is telling a big fat lie and making you think the robin is on a branch with a snow topped field in the background that seems to stretch on forever. In reality this was not the case. The background was a bit snowy, but it was some vertical snow over a tin roof. Chief says I go for the arty creative shots, I suspect he may be right. 

When I'd done things like clear the path of snow and drag the rubbish bins out. I went inside to warm up my freezing cold toes and started work on my Mouthy Stitches swap item.  It's been made in my head for some while. However, the rules of the swap say it has to actually be made in the real world because no partner we know of is telepathic and able to download the made item from my head to the their hands. 

Fabric pull

I started pulling fabrics in red, white and blue. That'll teach me to have 'The King's Speech' on in the background!  I've got a lot of ideas for my partner and you may or may not be seeing something that ends up in the actual pouch. So I'll leave you with this sneaky peek. It looks significantly less inspiring close up as it does viewed from a distance. Ho hum that might be the story of my sewing life...


ideas for Mouthy Stitches



Saturday, 4 February 2012

An actual post with sewing in it!

Today I did some sewing! It's felt like it's been so long. And even though there are a few WIP's knocking around here, I really felt I wanted to make something small and achievable - not just add to more UFO's.  So inspired by those fabrics I pulled and showed you in the last post I made a table runner.


P1110625
Yes folks it's very brown, in various shades and tones with a few other colours like orange and blue thrown in.

Some of you may not like it just because it's heavy on the brown. But I think some colours such as brown get a bad press. I have a theory that when most people that say they don't like brown* (*insert any colour you frequently hear people say they hate.) it's not really because they hate brown. It's because the majority of fabrics in that colour are, by contemporary standards, a bit old fashioned.  I have a theory this is why many people say they don't like peach, purple, pastels, batiks etc. It's because they are not in fashion at the moment and because the uber cool designers are not using them we fear, if we say we like them in certain circumstances, we'll find the next time we do a swap we'll get something circa 1985 and not in a cool retro way?! 

Anyway, the colour may distract you from errors in this: like the fact it's actually too long for my table when it's folded down, but not so long I can easily drape it over the edges. Or that the same numpty that didn't think to measure her table, also trimmed the ends and completely wonked them and didn't notice how bad, until she had - er- bound and finished the runner. And yeah before anyone thinks it out loud, a couple of the blocks are upside down compared to the others. But you know what? I really don't care because this is an item to be used, probably messed up and is not being gifted to someone or sent off in a swap. It's given me a sense of achievement today and if I was going to muck up some sewing, better it's a doesn't-really-matter table runner and not something more important, no?

The table runner was not the only 'brown' thing I made today, as I whipped up some cakes.

Cake!
Chocolate cakes!

I must have been having a ditsy day because I started making the cakes and realised I was short of some ingredients and had to improvise: not only had I no cup cake cases, but I'd got hardly any of the standard size fairy cake cases. It meant I had to really load the paper cases with mixture, so a few have come out a bit mushroom shaped. It hasn't ruined the flavour because obviously I had to try a couple just to make sure!

I also have some very nice mail to show you! Kaelin aka The Plaid Scottie has an Etsy shop and I've been known to buy a few items when she has a destash. The great thing when people destash is you can buy stuff you'd procrastinated about and missed out on.  I'd really wanted to try some Country Fair fabrics as it's home decor weight. I'd been eyeing up a couple of the designs in the yellow and berry colour ways because I thought they might be good for bags/cushions. When I saw Kaelin had some in the blue I thought I'd stop dithering and get some.  This was just before Christmas and I got a message from Kaelin saying she was sorry she hadn't posted it and she hoped I wasn't waiting on anything to finish a project or something, because she was making me a little something and with Christmas looming she was a bit behind. It did me a favour because I figured I'd have time to use up some of my fabric stash so I could sneak this in my bulging drawers!  After Christmas when I fell of the fabric buying waggon in order to get fabric for the Over the Rainbow Charm Swap, I thought seeing as I was off the waggon, I could buy a layer cake of 'It's a Hoot' that Kaelin was destashing. (For those of you looking for where the layer cake is hidden in the picture, it's hidden in the drawers because this is the fabric mum liked A LOT when she saw a charm pack I'd bought and so I intend using the layer cake to make her a quilt and am keeping it out of sight for now!)  

DS goodness

The present Kaelin made for me was the cute little drawer string pouch. Kaelin also included some pretty fat quarters. 

So that's my Saturday and when I last looked out of the window it was snowing. Sigh. I really don't do snow or ice if I'm being perfectly honest. And at some point my wellies have gone AWOL. I have a habit of leaving them in the side porch and I wonder if someone has pinched them.  I may be at home doing a lot more sewing if this weather continues!