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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Some sewing firsts . . .

Last week we had a Bank Holiday here and in keeping with English tradition, it absolutely tipped it down with rain ALL day.  So what better excuse to stay cosied up indoors (yes, I will admit: we turned the central heating on) and do some sewing ?

I just couldn't resist this lovely knit fabric when it arrived at Sew Me Something.  It's part of the Indelible collection  from Art Gallery and it comes in cotton too.   But I've been wanting to learn to sew with knits for ages, and I thought the design on this fabric would be just perfect for a maxi skirt. 


I didn't have a pattern, but the design was quite simple with an elasticated waistband.  I very rarely  tuck tops in anyway, so the wide elastic works absolutely fine for me.   I basically followed this tutorial here (although it took me a lot longer than 5 minutes !)

So despite this being my first ever time sewing with a knit fabric, my trusty overlocker (serger) did the trick and I'm really happy with how it turned out.


It was also my first time using a twin needle,  so I had to practise that a bit first but it was actually fairly simple & does give the waistband & hem a really nice neat finish and now I can't wait to use it again on my next knitty project.

Oh, and don't you think my new skirt goes just perfectly with the wedges that my 
lovely sis gave me ?


Now I just need summer to stick around for a wee while longer so I can wear them  : - )

Happy Sunday out there . . .
'til next time,
xoxo



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What's hookin' ?

The sun has returned and it's a beautiful day here in the Midlands. So after a lovely long walk in the woods with the two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world, I took my morning cuppa, my book and my current hooky project, outdoors.  It's a mild, autumnal temp but on the deck where I'm sheltered from the wind it's just perfect - and so lovely to see the sun again after being battered with rain for the past few days.  I'm really not ready for summer to leave us quite yet . . .

So, do you want to see what I've been crocheting lately ?
Well I'm going to show you anyway  ; - )

Meet Emma, the Bunny -  I think she & I are kindred souls . . .


can you spot the little bumble bee too?

 " Emma is an extremely lovable bunny whose aura is kept in balance by regular dates with her yoga mat.  She's a very house-proud mummy rabbit and her warren is her sanctuary.   Although often reluctant to tie up her ears and get on with the housework, she does a very fine job once she sets her mind to it.  Her creative talents have long slept dormant while other people have become a priority, but it looks as if that might be about to change.  Once there's a vase of fresh flowers and a pot of Earl Grey tea brewing on the side, it's time for Emma to get out her needles and create. " **




. . .  and Seamus the Alpaca . . .




" Seamus fancies himself as an actor. The only major downside of boasting a face that's good enough to pull off any type of hat is that you are continually fighting a battle with the unruly hair that sits beneath it.  Seamus has been the lead in his village's Amateur Dramatic Society for the last 25 years, and that has only accelerated the growth of his larger-than-life character.  No one can deny the power and depth of his singing voice;  every day it can be heard bellowing from the open windows of his thatched cottage in accompaniment to the dawn chorus. "  **



Emma & Seamus - the best of pals already

And on the reading front,  I'm half-way through my Book Club selection for this month:  Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, but I do keep getting distracted by a little pile of sewing & crafty mags sitting patiently on my bedside table.

Linking up today with Ginny's weekly Wednesday Yarn Along  - do pop over and have a wee peek.  You may even like to join in ?


'til next time,
xoxo

**credit: patterns & text from the oh-so-adorable book:  Edward's Menagerie by Kerry Lord.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

IPP - the crafty side of things . . .

One of the most fun things about having creative & crafty friends to stay over the summer, is that there is always the opportunity to learn something new.   So when Lesley arrived with a bag full of beading & felting things,  Jen  & I did a little dance of joy.
The three of us first met, just a little over two years ago in Washington DC, USA where our hubbies were attending IPP.  Within minutes of being introduced, we'd discovered amongst other things, a mutual love of all-things-crafty.  And that was that. . . a firm friendship was born.


Fast forward to August 2014 and once more our boys were gathered at the annual IPP conference - this time in London.  So crafting plans were laid and first up was a bit of beading . . .

Left to our own devices whilst the boys were out & about (running around in some not-so-secret nuclear bunker - yes, seriously . . . read a bit about it here if you're interested), we donned our comfy gear, ordered take-out for dinner and turned the dining room into our crafting studio. 
Lesley makes the most beautiful beaded jewellery and had brought everything along that we needed so we set about making ourselves each a pretty bracelet under her expert tutelage.

bracelets in the making . . .

. . . and the end result :-)

Next on our list was "Learn to needle felt", so after a little excursion to The Cotton Patch for more supplies, and a re-location to London, we set up a makeshift craft space at our hotel, and went about ticking that one off too.


 
turning a bundle of wool roving into a sweet little penguin


expert tutor at work . . .


The call to dinner interrupted our crafting session,  but a little later we reconvened in the hotel lobby bar and had an impromptu workshop for a few of the delegates' kids . . .




. . .  and between us we produced 3 penguins, a Mallard duck, a dinosaur & 2 very scary monsters . . .




How cute is this little menagerie ?

Sadly all good things must come to an end, but as Jen winged her way westwards to California and Lesley crossed the pond home to Canada, we're already making plans for next year . . . 
hmmmm . . . .  what shall we make ?
: - )



'til next time,
xoxo

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A very British invasion . . .

You may recall that a wee while ago, the Hubby commissioned me to sew 150 little bags in some fab Brit fabrics (read about it here if you'd like).



  So whilst these would all contain a mechanical puzzle gift for his fellow metagrobologists attending the IPP in London this year, I thought I'd make something for the girls too and set about sewing a whole bunch of zippy make-up bags as a little reminder of their trip to sunny ol' England.

all cut out & ready to sew. . .


Don't you just love these sweet fabrics?

And we girls had a great time . . .  

 a river cruise & a yummy lunch in Stratford upon Avon,



a trip on the Severn Valley Railway from Kidderminster to beautiful Bridgnorth,






 a lovely wander around London, taking in the sights and the shops,






 and a visit to the beautiful Kew Gardens,



complete with a spot of yarn bombing . . .






We also managed to squeeze in some fun crafty things too - some beading, some needle-felting, and a wee bit of crochet . . . but that's a whole other blog post  : - )

Now our friends have all returned to their little corners of the world, but I hope, with lovely memories of their English summer of '14.

"Haste ye back . . ."

'til next time,
xoxo

Thursday, 14 August 2014

It's a tie . . .

So,  just a few days before our lovely friends arrived to stay from far & wide and I had a wee bloggy break,  I took a fun workshop at Sew Me Something - to learn to make a tie . . .

Fabric all cut out & ready to sew . . .


some pinning, some sewing, lots of laughs . . .


and some nifty hand-sewing & intense concentration.


 Ta - dah . . .
four fabulous ties



and the Hubby wore it to work this morning, so I think he likes it  ; - )


Oh, and there was cake . . . which was yummy . . . of course . . .



Did I mention it was fun ?  Can't wait to make another . . . and another . . .
(I'm thinking Christmas pressies already)

'til next time,
xoxo



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

And the winner is . . .

Helloooo out there . . . I'm back in the Land of Blog, and when I finish all my chores and emerge from under the pile of laundry, I've got lots of fab new crafty adventures to share with you.
  But for right now, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who entered my celebratory giveaway & a BIG welcome of my new bloggy followers - thanks for popping in  : - )

So, using my usual method of selection - my resident random number generator, aka The Hubby - I'm happy to announce that the winner of the adorable Edward's Menagerie book is . . .



 . . . comment no. 12, 
 the lovely Birgitta from Handmade and Off-Centred .  

Birgitta lives in beautiful Iceland, and if you haven't already discovered her blog, please do pop over and say hello - I know you'll get a warm welcome.

Congrats, Birgitta - and I can't wait to see which of these adorable little creatures you'll make.

Back again soon,
xoxo



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