craft

New job/old job! Sew impossible today!

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I have a new job.  I start tomorrow.  Well, it is a new job, but it’s kind of an old job too.  I am returning to a Company I left more than five years ago, with a little more responsibility this time and perhaps a slightly different mindset. I am somewhat reassured I know what I’ve let myself in for, however I am also full of trepidation and cannot settle to anything today.

If a friend asked me whether they should return to a job they left I would probably say ‘don’t go back/move forwards’ for a whole host of reasons, especially if they left through choice, as I did.  I have mulled over this very thing. Circumstances have changed slightly, location of job for one.  The Company is moving forwards itself too.   I am hoping there is a mixture of knowing what I am doing, plus a few new challenges and new faces.

I am so lucky to be given this opportunity. However, I had kind of gotten used to not working! I’ve been crafting more and loving it. The job is only part time so I shall still sew and I shall still knit, perhaps not quite as manically, but hopefully as productively.  Today, however, it just isn’t happening –  I have picked up my sewing and held it for ages without stitching a stitch.  I have rummaged in the knitting bag next to my seat yet not been tempted to pick up sticks and actually knit. This feeling of being unsettled is just a temporary blip – I hope!

So, a few of pics of a recent trip to Devon, instead of the usual crafty updates in bulk! This part of the UK truly is a wonderful place.  Unfortunately for us, the drive there took 8 hours rather than 5, less said about that traumatic part of the trip the better !  Goodbye for now, back another day!

 

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Two weekends ago,  hubby and I posing in the sunshine at Salcombe.  Lovely place to visit !
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The view from where we stayed in Bigbury on Sea, across to Bantham Beach. Glorius!
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We walked across the sand to Burgh Island, took refreshments in the Pilchard Inn, thinking of the smugglers who frequented many moons ago!  You have to time your return if you want to walk back – if you miss the tide then there’s a sea tractor as otherwise you’d have to swim or wade !

Heirlooms? No Family Crafted Items survived, but memories do. A little current patchwork therapy too !

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I just read a lovely post, Blankets and Blessings, by thechickengrandma.wordpress.com and it has made me feel thoughtful about life, past and present (reblogged here on my site for interest and musings).

We all come from somewhere and someone.  When we are gone what do we pass on?

What kind of material history do we leave?  Some people say it’s not the material stuff that matters, and true, memories might matter more.  However, I am sure I am not the only one who would love to have more physical reminders occasionally.

I lost both parents (a mother and a stepfather I considered as my father for 30 years) but I often still feel a little lost myself, like a ship without a compass. I am in my 40’s, with a family of my own, and siblings too.  My parents were great influences, and of course I took them for granted, as all children do. I have many wonderful memories, and can pull those up in times of sadness.  I also have a couple of pieces of jewellery, of no value at all apart from sentimental.

There wasn’t a big collection of family hand me downs, not a heirloom christening gown, wedding dresses, memory quilts.  My mother and grandmother crafted all the time, however, nothing much was really kept.  Once it outgrew it’s purpose or fashion changed,  it was usually gifted to charity (that in itself is a kind and brilliant thing).   Perhaps some would say this was also a blessing, my siblings probably would, clearing the house there was lots of ‘stuff’. I kind of miss my grandmother’s handmade hexi quilt for one thing. I remember her making it, showing me how to cut hexigan shapes with card and cover them in fabric and I remember the quilt on her spare bed. Indeed, I have used this method myself to quilt and it reminds me of her (see below!). I miss my mother’s wedding dress. She had made it herself in 1961, though that’s a whole story in itself (my mother and true father divorced and my sister and I as children were allowed to play dressing up with her wedding dress!)   My mother sewed and knitted, she dabbled with macrame, tatting, crochet, many other things.  I remember she made floral displays from coloured stockings and wire (one even for her best friend’s wedding tiara!).  She made cards too sometimes.  She was pretty much an all-rounder craftwise (oh the hundreds of tea cosies she made for a local charity shop too.. flew off their shelves like hot cakes!) Nan was slightly less so, but she still knitted and sewed, and as a keen WI member she baked cakes and made jam, even writing this I can smell her kitchen.  The one thing I have of my Nan’s is a mixing bowl and I love using it occasionally, though also terrified of accidently breaking it as well. My Dad’s material legacy to me is very little, it’s more things he said and things he did that make me smile.

So, what will my own craft legacy be – if anything?  I knit, I sew, I dabble.  I have a son who has never wanted to craft and has no interest in anything I make.  I have a husband who tolerates the crafting chaos, and fakes an interest in completed items! I have gifted various knitted and sewn things to friends over the years and currently am doing so for new babies in the family and for friends.  Perhaps they will become their family heirlooms, or perhaps not.  Who knows?  I would like to think in years ahead someone might find something I made in a long lost storage box and be delighted to rediscover it!

Many current WIPS. One is this …..

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I started with a few hexagons about six years ago, a project that was going to be a large cushion, but having rediscovered it I am going to make a lot more and turn it all into a throw for a sofa.  Not an urgent project, more like an ergonomic past time that will be dipped into over months and years!  Don’t expect to see the finished item here too soon! 

Signing out for now. Feeling nostalgic having had a couple of recent big family celebrations.
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A week of stitching

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Over the Easter weekend I was poorly, but I did get a little stitching in before the weekend and a lot (a lot!) since then. I’ve been having a sewfest (if there is a word – or if there isn’t one, there should be).  It’s been like an obsession.  Whenever I could I sat and stitched, pieced fabrics together, played with design,  patchworked, quilted, sorted fabrics, etc.  I’ve made mistakes, undone the mistakes, restitched, rejigged old patterns, browsed sewing books and so on and so on.  It’s been total indulgence in my crafting world.

I started with the beginnings of a bright green and orange quilted playmat, the cutest nursery prints, mostly fabrics donated to me by a very good friend.  She heard I was sorting out my stash and thought she would add to it. It was so much fun chopping up fabric and piecing it back together.  The top went well and I was on a roll!  In fact, we sat and quilted together. The backing was not quite as successful… more later.

Next I undid a peg bag I had started two weeks ago – I wasn’t pleased with it, slightly skew on the measurings.

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Second time lucky – ta dah!

 

Then I was sorting through some more of the fabric from the same friend. I found the beginnings of a baby patchwork quilt – I asked what she might have been making and for whom – she couldn’t remember! There were random sized strips stitched together – the prettiest designs in pinks and yellows.  I turned it into a bag, lining it with dotty pink fabric from my stash (so I did get to use some of my fabric after all).  I tried to follow a pattern in a book – which presumed you knew a lot about making bags – well, that was fun (sarcastically said, there was more than one attempt with the lining and a lot of frustration!)  Still, you learn a lot as you go sometimes, and I learnt a lot this time!.

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Then I still had some of the same fabric left.  I pieced it, backed it, quilted it, chopped it, added a zip – and voila – a fabric pouch. I based this on a previous project, which I still use as a make up pouch.  However, my own one had nasty raw seams inside.  This one, has posh french seaming. Having only done french seams once before I was quite proud of myself. Now who wouldn’t be happy to have this for girly bits and bobs such as hair accessories?

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And then that pouch got a brother – in blues and greens – maybe not for hair accessories this time –  for a picnic bag/day out bag to store tissues and wet wipes 

You can see a few things went well.  Back to the first project, that baby quilt.  I attempted the backing, totally off kilter – I was still feeling under the weather.  I should never craft when I am poorly. Whether it’s sewing or knitting, it just does not go well! So, off came No 1 backing.  A trip to a fabric shop later (why is it sometimes your stash does just not have the right fabric for the job?)  and No 2 backing was perfect.  Just to add the quilt padding, stitching the opening and then maybe hand tying, or maybe not – when finished it will be on show here.

As for what’s going on around me the rest of the week? We are currently having a new roof on our house.  There is noise and chaos surrounding me! I am squirrelled away indoors.  Occasionally I step out of the front door, look up for falling debris, before offering the roofers more tea and biscuits.  A happy builder is one full of tea and biscuits I find! So far, so good. Two skips full of 80+year clay tiles, one wasps nest discovered.

Bye for now.  Back to creating.

London Craft Week

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http://www.londoncraftweek.com/about

Anyone going anywhere ?

Anyone know what would be extra worthy of a visit for Craft Week?

Just wondering.

NaKniCromo done !

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The Ravelry challenge is over today.  To finish what I started –

 

Day 30 – 30th March 2017 – what crafts would I like to learn? There must be a whole host of undiscovered crafts out there, ones I have never had a whiff of!   I can think of a few I am not interested in but there must be so many more and I look forward to finding them.

Day 31 – today – end results – two completed baby jackets, both photographed recently, three quarters of a cardigan for me, also photographed in progress – that’s one thing I had really hoped to complete!  I have sewn as well as knitted – I made felted doughnuts – 10 large, 10 small, 4 embroidery hoops with freehand machine embroidery and hand stitching, a french stick bag – oh I haven’t photographed that yet – that’s for me to take to our house in France.  It’s taken 10 years of saying ‘I really could do with some kind of long bag to keep our bread in!  I have semi-sorted my yarn stash, been shocked at how much I had and why I purchased a lot of it.  I’ve sold 11 lots of yarn in online auctions and gifted two bags of crafting things to charity. All in all my crafting world at home has been attacked and it felt good.

Spring has sprung here in the UK.  Perhaps a lot of this sorting out has been a little bit of a Spring Clean!  I made an awful mess along the way!

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That Friday Feeling !

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I’ve got that Friday feeling – when you feel your work is almost done and the weekend is about to begin. It’s odd but strangely pleasant as I officially finished my working week on Wednesday! I have no plans for tonight and a quiet weekend ahead of me. The weather forecast is cold, wet, maybe even with a flurry of snow. I have yarn and needles, food in the cupboard, family at home, so I think I am all set for a happy few days.

When I worked full time away from home years ago this time of day (mid afternoon on a Friday) brought excitement and anticipation to the fore. It often brought sheer panic at the same time as I looked at how much work needed to be completed before I could shut up the office and head home! There were many times weekends started at 5.05pm on a Friday night with a few drinks in the pub before getting a later train home. There were other times when I dashed home as fast as possible and speedily changed into my glad-rags ready to go straight out again. Then there were some Fridays where I called in the curry house on the way home to place an order for a meal to be delivered half an hour later once I’d reached home and put my cosy clothes on for a lazy evening on the sofa! Then there were Fridays with a toddler at my ankles, those Fridays where I couldn’t wait for my hubby to get home and takeover the childcare. Oh what a lot of different Fridays there have been. I could go on and on ..

What about now? What about recent Fridays? Well, Fridays are just for me. I can be selfish on Fridays during the day. I consider myself very lucky on Fridays. Sometimes I stay in my pjs a bit longer than other days, maybe even watch some breakfast tv followed by a little daytime tv too. Fridays can be for catching up with friends and/or chores or I can create things for pleasure or to sell ‘one day’. I decide how to spend my Fridays and luckily at the moment this does not involve working elsewhere.

So today, coffee and a giggle with a friend, a trip to the gym (to work off the almond croissant eaten with the friend), homemade soup for a late lunch sitting on the sofa followed by a little knitting. Sadly the knitting became a mini disaster but I didn’t let that bother me, no, not on a Friday!

The end of the day will hopefully be just as indulgent.

Keeping My Head Warm

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lanastopberet

Life’s been busy!  Christmas flew by.  New Year flew by.  Where have the first couple of weeks of 2014 gone to?  Those new year resolutions so wonderfully planned have not yet kicked in, well, the start of two have but the list was immense!  One resolution was to knit more – and I have.  I intend to post on here more pics as the pile of knitty things grow.  Another resolution was to tidy my craft stash and make sense of my craft supplies – whether I shall use or lose them.  So far I have tidied just one cupboard and then closed the door to the craft room – out of sight out/of mind …..at least for another day or two.  So, here’s the first of the 2014 projects finished (admittedly just started before the New Year began, but finished within the first week!)