Saturday, 30 November 2013

Sharing my Shame

I am going to try my advent blogging thing again. You know where I blog every day up until Christmas starting tomorrow, so I thought I'd flex my blogging muscles and show you what I've been doing since yesterday afternoon and er...share my shame.

Todays mission. @ochil_lynz  I told you it was baaaaad

This was the photo I took this morning of the area I could use for cutting if it wasn't full of crap! The decluttering started yesterday after work as I started to turn out the chest of drawers that holds my fabric and other sewing bits and bobs.  I thought I'd find out some fabric for my niece to practise on now that she's taken up sewing and is trying to improve her sewing machine skills. She had come around one afternoon after school but being full of cold it was really a 'how a sewing machine works' and health and safely lesson. (Don't try watching the TV and sewing kind of thing.)

I even put Mum to work on sorting charm squares from swaps, left over from projects or just gifts from kind sewing friends.  By the end of the afternoon they were bagged up with my other charm packs. I'm not sure what criteria half of them were sorted by. But at least they are all in one place now. Not shoved in various drawers.

I've got mum sorting charms on the sofa

This is what the top picture looks like after a bit of work. I went through the two drawer units on the bench and the wicker hamper.  I can now see properly some of the lovely goodies I've had in swaps and as gifts over the years. 

Definite improvement.  I could cut if I wanted to!
Excuse the bad Instagram pics. Why is this one kind of photography I can't do even half 
decently? People have been following my clean up on IG all day!

It's amazing what I've found whilst sorting out. I didn't think I had more than a couple of packs of machine needles (although I was sure I had bought several packs at various times.) I found assorted unopened packs all over. They are now in a little drawer of their own. I've found I do have more machine bobbins than I thought - ditto thread. I found some jewellery I thought I'd lost for good. (In the container I thought it was in!)

Seeing as I've saved every plastic press seal bag sent to me (!) I've put all my WIP's in labelled plastic bags in a wicker basket. It's far better than having piles of projects waiting to be finished or in some cases started!

The living room still has unsorted patterns and fabric strewn across it. There are random items on the dining room table. But I see a time when I can sew in the dining room and eat in the dining room and not only will I know what I have...but I may actually really start to enjoy sewing again.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Marvellous Mail and a return of the Mojo?

When my mojo or inclination to sew and blog took a huge nose dive I wasn't even remotely interested in purchasing fabric. I know. Total shock horror. But Instagram has not only kick started my wanting to buy fabric it's started to kick start me into wanting to make. Sometimes though it comes down to finding the time and energy to accommodate what I want to do against all the other things I have to do.  I'm sure you all know that feeling.

My first fabric purchase was these beauties from Mary. Over on IG she was doing a bit of market research into whether buyers would prefer build a bundle, colour bundles or assorted bundles.  Of course I took the research a little too literally and decided I couldn't live without these ones and so built my own bundle. Mainly because even though I've found a few sheets in charity shops they've tended towards the more subtle colours. The vintage sheet quilt I made earlier in the year is already a favourite. I can't explain why it is, it just is. Mum has also announced that quilts are warmer than duvets and of course that means she needs more than one bed sized one doesn't it? I'd like to make her a vintage sheet quilt. (But I'm selfish and want to make another one for me too.)

Great mail day. Thanks @memmens

I think I'll put these by until I get more - maybe via the UK Vintage sheet swap that I hope will get off the ground in the New Year.

Second purchase of the fabric kind was some Denyse Schmidt and other lovelies that fell into my basket over at Fabric Rehab. I wanted some fabrics that were colours I don't have many of and also had a vintagey feel. When I ordered them I confess I was thinking of my honeycomb EPP project. But now they've arrived I'm thinking I should jump on the scrappy trip along bandwagon. Albeit about a year later than everyone else...


I dunno how this scrap bag fell into my virtual basket - honest.

It's not all been about fabric though. I discovered Kate Broughton via pinterest. I went straight to her Etsy shop and bought these birdie and Christmas nail stickers. There may have been another purchase I can't show you, but I'm sure you want hold that against me. Service was speedier than the speediest thing you can think of and the packaging lovely. You can see from the postcard below some of the other lovelies Kate sells. Perfect stocking fillers I think.


Now I need to go make some lists and get plotting. Also dig out a sewing machine for a sewing session with my niece tomorrow who apparently announced that she needed a sewing machine for Christmas! 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Honey Honey

It's that time of year when most of the sewing I am doing I can't share with you for fear of tipping people off to presents. I have however started a new project. It's an EPP project and I just got the mind to do it last night whilst browsing on Instagram and deciding I actually needed to buy some fabric.

I decided it would be good to have a project to do in front of the TV when I'm not up to doing much else and at least it might wean me off my addiction to Pet Rescue Saga on facebook. (Damn that level 145 where I can rescue the pets, but not get enough points to pass the level!)

After cutting myself 75 1.5" honeycomb papers I started getting out scraps and fat quarters that have the sort of feel I'm after.

Scraps ready for basting

I'm wanting something that has a vintage feel to it. Something that might be a family heirloom lovingly stitched together by some previous generation and yet at the same time being completely now too.

Basting in front of tv

It's quite satisfying basting on the sofa with the tv on in the back ground. I'm thinking I'd do a big central panel then some kind of fabric border.  The quilting is my least favourite part of the quilting process. So if this should happen to get bed sized I may just send it out to have it quilted. But that's a way off yet. I'm going to need a lot more than 75 papers for that!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Passing through

It's been a while so I thought I'd just pop in with an update post. I haven't even missed blogging and I've cut down a lot on blog reading too. (In fact I'm feeling more out of the loop than ever!) Of course it might be that I finally upgraded my phone and managed to get on instagram. For a total photo junkie like me it feeds me with a quick fix to take and of course view photos. Totally. Addicted. I tell you everything seems to be an instagram photo opportunity.

Old and New
The phone cosy I won from Sarah@FairyFaceDesigns is perfect for my new phone and even
Chief commented on how nice my case was!

Sewing still remains minimal. I've been making Buttercup bags though. This first one was filled with a few treats for Tanya who had a special milestone birthday. 

Finished and about to be wrapped ready for posting tomorrow.

The second is destined to be a prize for something coming up later in the month. I wasn't happy with the interfacing I used so I am hoping to get another bag made so there is a choice.

I got some thin iron on interfacing from seamstar but it feels papery and I think as well as rustling it's distorted the bag.

Chief and I had a night away last weekend. He'd come down on the Friday night and then as we couldn't check in until 3pm we went to explore a local reservoir where I'd heard you can often see a lot of diverse birds. The weather was pretty rubbish which meant it was difficult to get decent pictures of anything. We will go back though. We also spotted quite a few nice birds: Grey wagtail, kingfisher, red necked grebe and little grebe being the most notable.

Farmoor Reservoir
They do a lot of sailing on the reservoir. You can see in the 
background how murky it was.

Farmoor Reservoir

On the way home we decided to stop at the first pub we passed and after accidentally driving past one we chanced upon The Greyhound at Besselsleigh. We had the most fantastic lunch and have already decided we need to go back there. 

By the time we'd reached home to pick up our bags it was pretty much check in time. Despite getting the last room available at the hotel we were pleased to find we'd had a room upgrade. Chief had a problem with his ear and his doctor told him no swimming, sauna or steam room. So I went to the spa by myself for a bit.  We were going to stay in and order room service until we realised that if the hotel was really full, servicing the rooms with meals might not be a priority and it was quite a walk to our room and lukewarm food didn't appeal. So we headed off to Thame and ended up in the restaurant Chief and I first had a meal together: The Drunken Chef. It's a Chinese place that does lovely food. We ordered a set menu and really there was too much food and we left as much as we ate. 

Part of our feast at The Drunken Chef
This lot was the final of three courses!
That's a rare bit of Chief in the back ground.

At the Drunken Chef
The first picture Chief ever took of me was on his phone in 
the Drunken Chef, so he did another one to update it. This 
one was taken on my phone, so I can compare phone picture 

I will stop by intermittently to blog. Those of you on instagram can follow me there. I'm not sure how I tell you to find me. I'm isisjem over there too.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Just to Say

You may have noticed that my attempt at Blogtoberfest failed miserably around the middle of the month when I went AWOL? I had a couple of days of intense illness and wasn't online and then a lot more days of strange symptoms and generally not feeling well. And during the whole process I seem to have completely lost my blogging mojo. It must be off playing with my sewing mojo. If I'm honest the whole blogging community I've felt part of seems to have changed over the last 6 months or so. I'm sure things like Flickr changing, the popularity of Instagram and peoples lives changing have all had an impact on things. At times I've felt I was blogging for the sake of it.  This year has been particularly hard and stressful and I think I just need to take a big of a time out from my blog to regroup and see where I go from here. 

Last night was the village trivia quiz. The team I was on came second, losing by just three points. We actually got 10/10 on a couple of rounds. (Who knew I'd be able to answer 10 questions by myself on TV theme tunes?!)

Before the quiz my friend Sal came round. We hadn't caught up in ages. This year seems to have sucked so much time out of life. Due to another move she'd had to have a sort out of more of her possessions and asked me if I wanted the following sewing/craft books.  At least whilst I'm not blogging I'll have plenty to inspire me. 

  Crafty reads
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