sew

Hot crafting, the end of a stressful week, my kind of therapy, a little sew

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It’s hot again! 33 degrees here yesterday. I sat and sewed, staying out of the sun – making more cute things to sell. Doughnuts and cakes seem to be the thing they like in the local teashop so watch this space for more doughnutty and cakey pics. Here are just three coasters/drink mats with the theme. Apologies for the photo quality.  It truly is a ‘snap’ taken in a hurry (reminiscent of those days when you took a photo, sent the film cartridge of 24 photos off to the developers then waited a week to get the pictures back, to discover out of the 24 only 4 or 5 were slightly worthy of being proud of. Anyone remember those days?!)

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Today we’re hitting the 30’s again and I have the sewing machine at the ready.  I know many sewists have several machines, I have just one good one at the moment. What sewing machine brands do others favour?  I have a fantastic Juki HZL e80 with an automatic needle threader and I never use the foot control as it has a on/off/go/stop button as an alternative.  A good friend, sewing tutor, can’t get her head around the button but she likes the automatic threader – less squinting when trying to thread the thread!

Sewing and knitting are definitely my kind of therapy and I just read yet again another article on the internet that someone new has just come to realise it too!  For once in my life I am feeling slightly on trend.  This week has been a little stressful, with a family funeral, the build up to it, the coming down after it.  When time was free I picked up the knitting needles or fabric stash and set to. I can’t say I tidied up after myself, much to the chagrin of husband and son – but decided it was the creating I needed. I am wondering how long I can wing that one!  I always say life is too short to do more than the minimum housework.

Knitting, no photo made the shortlist today – sorry! I did 10cm of a green/white cotton top, just straight stocking stitch, mindless knitting rather than row counting.  I also started a new sample for the shop where I work – as the original has been stolen!!! Yes, that’s right! First I was horrified, then after a few hours decided that I must have made such a good job of it that the thief couldn’t resist.  The power of positive thinking, we should all do that more!   Food for thought here

https://awakenandbreathe.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/the-power-of-positive-thinking/

Wishing you all a good day/weekend/crafting session.

 

 

Blue Sky Tag, a little me

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Lovely blogger Postcard from Gibraltar tagged me a Blue Sky Tag – thank you so much for the nomination and for making me feel truly part of the blogging community.

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Not so much ‘blue sky’ to share with you today though, it’s grey, windy and rainy here is Kent this Thursday aftenoon.

 

The tag is a fun event which runs throughout June, and requires me to answer 11 questions about myself and then nominate 11 other bloggers for the same award (in my case, a few less bloggers!)

 

So here goes, I hope I don’t bore you senseless!

 

1. What do you most enjoy about blogging?

It makes me feel I am not wasting my life away.  Sometimes when a person asks you what you’ve actually been up to, you can’t recall much of significance or even anything they would be interested in. Posting shows I actually got up to something!

2. What made you start your blog and how long have you been doing it?

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I had a lull between jobs, had read a few interesting blog posts and thought it was a great way to share my own love of crafts and love of life.  I started slow three years ago, been a little sporadic, I hope have got a lot better!

3. What most attracts you to a blog and what makes you keep reading it?

Humour, skilled craft show off (or admission of defeat is good too – we are all human!), great photos, written well, punchy (hate spelling errors!)

4. What other hobbies and pastimes do you enjoy?

I post about my hobbies, knitting, stitching, reading, France and the seaside.  I like a laugh with friends. I like movies, theatre and eating out too.  Some bloggers post pics of dinners – I wouldn’t have time as I eat too quickly!

5. Given your time over, without any restrictions, what would be your ideal job? Why?

I would love to have had a better education, learnt craft skills thoroughly, have a well paid business selling things I make rather than things for others to make things with (current job).  Or of course, as my friends and I sometimes say after a couple of glasses wine, we should ‘run the country’… as in become Queen of England/Prime Minister/Chief of Police …

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I’m the one with the blue hair, pink hat, viking hat, red feathers – think we were planning to run the country that day !

6. Which new country would you like to visit?

Fairly recently, Joanna Lumley has done two great series on Japan – so Japan goes on my list.  I also fancy more Caribbean locations such at Guadeloupe so I could enjoy the sunshine and practice my french – guess that combines two of my loves so that might be perfect!

7. What is playing in your headphones right now? Music, podcast, audio book?

Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night in the car today – hubby hates FM so I enjoy blasting it out when driving alone.  Reminds me of being 17 and playing it all the time. Feeling slightly old now reminiscing about being 17, stories I could tell – er, maybe I will leave that until another day!

8. What is your favourite book and why?

I just can’t choose one – so changing the rules it’s going to be 2 books.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova – the sad decline of a highly intelligent lecturer who suffers from early onset dementia.  A revealing read to me, well written and recommend it to everyone.

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Secondly, the classic, Room with A View by E M Forster.  I read this as a teenager, could read it time and again. It brings to life the romance of Florence and an era of restrictions and tentative love.  Just found this review — I have very similar views, though I visited Florence years later, looked everywhere for a ‘Lucy Honeychurch’ or  a ‘Mr Emerson Junior’.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/a-room-with-a-view-by-em-forster-book-of-a-lifetime-the-literary-equivalent-of-hot-buttery-mashed-a6923161.html

9. If you could go to any point in history to witness it for yourself, when and where would that be?

I would quite like to be in the crowd watching Queen Elizabeth II come out of Westminster Abbey having just been crowned in 1953.  It would have been incredibly exciting and as many families didn’t own TVs and we would never have seen such celebration on a grand scale, let alone in colour.

10. If you could eat anything for your next meal, what would it be?

Best memory of best meal, sitting in a treehouse eating curry in Mauritius on our honeymoon.  Can I say that meal again and in the same location?

11. I’m writing this while watching Glastonbury, what would your dream gig line-up be?

From my past, great concerts from Alison Moyet and Sade – so those two for moods and blues and an 80’s blast.  Coldplay for energy and musings. Ed Sheeran for a  bit of something modern and because he’s ginger (have ginger family and friends!).  Phil Collins – loved most things he has ever played – voice from my past and he is currently touring too and is still great. Adele – love her voice and her songs are so emotionally raw (wish I had tickets for tonight at Wembley!). Could go on.  In fact I might just spend the evening playing some of these.

Image result for alison moyetImage result for sade

Image result for ed sheeran Image result for adele

That’s me done.  I hope you enjoyed my 11 answers.  Now for nominating my choice of bloggers. I do hope you will join in, I won’t be offended if you prefer to give it a miss or if you have already been nominated by someone else.

Tialys

My Tangled Yarn

Nothingbutknit2

Dartmoor Yarns

Jackallcraft

Mrs Craft

Puddleside Musings

SewChet

Crawcrafts Beasties

My 11 questions are similar to those posed by Postcard from Gibraltar

  1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  2. What made you blog and what do you enjoy most about it?
  3. What attracts you to a blog and why do you keep reading it?
  4. Other hobbies and pastimes?
  5. Without restrictions, what would be your ideal job and why?
  6. Which new country would you like to visit?
  7. Currently on your headphones/music player? Music, Audio book,  podcast
  8. What is your favourite book and why?
  9. If you could go back in history, where would you be?
  10. What would your next meal be if you could chose and time/place/budget was unlimited?
  11. What were you doing right before you read this blue tag post?  What will you do right after post your 11 answers? Ok, that’s 2 questions…..

 

 

 

A little sewing, repurposing garments, a little quilting, a little musing

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Been a little productive, craftwise, in the past few days, sorting fabric and playing with repurposing some charity shop bargains.  I have ideas to make new summer tops and a pair of culottes.  Having cut out two commercial paper patterns, realised I am so inbetween sizes and  thought about past disasters  I am jigging those patterns so finished garments will hopefully fit me in the right places.  I am not the body size or shape I wish I was (oops! too much good living and too much time spent sitting!)

So I bought a huge men’s shirt for less than £3.00 – am cutting it up. I llke the fabric but it has a stain on it so bought it for the fabric not the garment itself.  I have also taken apart a gorgeous broderie anglaise dress I had two years ago, it had a huge snag on the front (grrr, the washing machine ‘ate’ it!).  I have chopped into it to make a sample fitted top, making sure the darts are in the correct places, then will use it as a sample as a pattern.

I bought some beautiful linen trousers too.  They were made for someone with the longest legs ever – so I have rehemmed them to fit (I actually have long legs but these were ridiculous!)   Also a blouse, which was too short in the body, I added a trim to the bottom and voila – perfect for me.  In fact I wore this combo to work yesterday – so can’t show it off as it’s now in the laundry pile – will show off pics next time.

So, for a pic today …. I have chosen one of a bag I made for a friend last year.  A little quilting, lots of fun I had one Sunday afternoon.

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Thanks for reading my blog post(s).

Countryside themed items – ideas welcomed

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I meant to add this to my last post.  Looking for inspiration please!

I love to hear of crafting challenges. I have not entered into joint challenges online, like those I see on other blogs, though I did join a knitting challenge earlier in the year on Ravelry (not a joint challenge exactly, but a joint show and tell!)

I am often setting myself goals, some of which I achieve, though some become epic fails and I log both on here sometimes … ooops!  Am currently looking for inspiriration with a ‘countryside’ theme – a group of friends hope to have a table sale at a local ‘Countryside Day’ event here in the UK. Thinking of small, reasonably priced gifts for browsers to purchase which are quick to make and don’t cost a packet! All ideas welcomed. I sew and knit, time is limited!

So far, I have come up with squirrels and hedgehogs made of felt – I have 2 patterns but have not started anything!  Outside my house there is an abundance of pine cones – constantly dropping off next doors trees, perhaps there’s something there?  Friends have already made cards and cross stitch mini pics too.  I don’t have much time and am shouting out to others here ! Thanks for any replies!

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My squirrels won’t look as cute as the real thing! 

What’s your inspiration? It’s the beach for me! What makes your craft juices flow?

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A strange week or so.  Still hospital visiting, still a sad time within my family.  However, when we get a chance we take a break and try and do something good for the soul, which means to me a visit somewhere special or a little crafting time.

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Beach hut at Tankerton Slopes, next to Whitstable 

Recently there’s been a trip to Whitstable, one of my favorite places to visit.  I have mentioned this lovely coastal town on my blog before.  It is somewhere I gravitate towards and it’s just over an hour’s drive from where I live.  We usually park at Tankerton Slopes and walk along the prom towards Whitstable itself.  A stroll admiring the beach huts is wonderful.  If it’s breezy then troubles seem to be blown away, if it’s sunny then the warmth eases all the stresses within your bones.  Either way I love it there!

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More huts on The Slopes.  The same day, different skies! 

There’s always been something special about beach huts for me. Someone has been very clever in a Whitstable pub garden.  The Smack Inn reveals the delights of beach huts as a seating area, with a BBQ area and there was a list of gigs coming up too.  We snatched a quick beer before we had to head back but it won’t be the last time we visit.

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Huts at The Smack

I have added to my beach themed fabric recently too, which I guess is inspired by this visit and I feel a bag coming on.   No photo to share – but there will be!

It’s a friend’s birthday very soon too.  She has been admiring this fabric in a local shop.

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At first we both thought of ‘a swingy 50’s skirt’! But it’s a fairly thick linen/upholstery weight and neither she or I are wearers of those anyway!  With a limit on crafting time and knowing she loves stationary … Ta – da – I made a book sleeve and I hope she’ll love it!  My fabulous sis in law gave me a Kaffe Fassett fabric book sleeve as a gift a while ago, it makes my notebook feel special, not just a book stuffed in my bag to be dragged out for notes and queries!  I am hoping my friend has the same delights when she uses it.

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Not much else to show for the last few days.  I have a lot in my head (cotton wool my husband says sometimes!) , lots of craft projects amongst it, but life is getting in the way right now.  I have knitted a few rows here and there, sewn a little too, messed up a couple of ongoing projects, ripped back and unpicked.  There will be more to show off soon.

Signing off for now.

 

 

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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