Sunday 31 March 2013

Dippy Egg

The hubby loves nothing more than a dippy egg from our ducks, to the extent that I don't even offer to do them for him anymore as mine just aren't perfect enough!  So for Easter I found the perfect present for him

just right for keeping an egg warm

This is from my lovely friend and blogger Tracy over at Olive and Harry  She, and her partner Stephen run a fantastic animal rescue charity with a no-slaughter policy and she spends her time looking after these animals plus crafting to raise money to help pay for their upkeep.

They have all manner of rescued souls, including some goats who have recently had babies, despite being destined to die at the start of the year.

She has an etsy shop too and makes all manner of crafty things from their home ooop-north.  I have a songbird broach that I bought last year to brighten up my denim jacket

When hubby's gift arrived on Saturday, I was amazed to find within its wrapping, another gift; all bundled up in a doiley and lace.  Inside it's folds was this:

March Hare Broach
A beautiful gift from another crafty soul.  I have to say, the thoughtfulness behind this gift made me cry!  So in return, if you have time, do drop by and say hi to Tracy on her blog (do tell her I sent you), or buy a crafty jewel or two from her shop 

If you are feeling so inclined, you can also join their 1000 club  This is the amount it costs each month to feed their growing number of animals.  All you have to do is donate £1 a month to help.  It's a small amount but it goes a long way.

For today though, my March Hare is disguised as an Easter Bunny and is brightening up my jumper, being worn with thanks and love.

Happy Easter

G x

Friday 29 March 2013

I spy with my little eye...

...something beginning with C

Crafty magazine

I was actually looking for the new Inside Crochet magazine which they didn't have but this caught my eye so I had to buy it!

This is issue 1.  It's got lots of interesting articles in it on photography and grafitti artwork.

It's also got this piece on making insects.  I love these images of insects to make yourself.

There is also this tote bag to make.

And a piece on simple paper sculpture.

And chair upcycling!

There is also an interview with the lovely Laura Clempson who blogs under cupcakes for clara

Owls to knit plus lots more, and it comes with a piece of calico with three project ideas to use it with.

I love the paper it's printed on - that thick, heavy matt stuff.  It smells nice too!

Not only have I got my Great British Sewing Bee book to look at (still), my parents bought me some books for Easter

Hope you're having a crafty Easter too!

G x

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Mollie dolly

I had a sudden urge on Monday to make the girls an Easter present.  Last year I made them both a fabric chick and a little drawstring bag filled with mini eggs.  No worries, I thought, I have plenty of time to rustle something up.

I set about going through my collection of Mollie Makes magazines, and settled upon a Mollie dolly from issue 14.  My friend Lazy Daisy Jones makes these at the drop of a hat; you can view her beautiful collection here.

After spending an hour faffing around on the tablet (the usual reading of Facebook, Twitter, Blogger etc) I finally got the sewing machine out from the wardrobe and set up in the lounge.  So far, so good.

After ironing my fabric choices I then noticed that I didn't have enough felt for hair so had to make an 8 mile round trip to the local habadashary store for supplies!  Make 2 dollies in a day, it was now lunchtime - this wasn't going well!

By the end of Monday I had almost completed one doll and the plan for an Easter suprise for the girls was lost.  At best, I could attempt to finish one doll on Wednesday with promises to make a second after the holidays for whichever daughter would be prepared to wait.

This is the Mollie dolly. 

Hi, I'm Mollie

She isn't perfect, she needs a bit of tweaking but I think my girls will love her regardless of her flaws.

The postie has made today a little brighter by delivering some fabric pieces that I bought off of Ebay. 

A pretty piece of Sanderson fabric!

I stupidly lost out on some fab pillowcases by adding them to my watch list and not buying them when I had the chance as someone else beat me to it.  I'm still sulking about that.

I was meant to be going to a Vintage Market today in Market Drayton but when I got there, I couldn't find it!  C'est la vie.  I've decided to go to the Vintage Village at Stockport next month instead as the hubby is taking the girls away for the night.  I might even get to meet Jane from oooh betty as I think she will be there too!

My copy of The Great British Sewing Bee has arrived and thanks to everyone who contacted me to let me know when it starts.  It's going to be on BBC 2 on Tuesday 2nd April at 8pm.  I think there are only 4 episodes so don't forget to tune in.  Unfortunatly I only had time to flick through the book yesterday but it looks really nice.  I'm hoping that I wil find my clothes-making mo-jo in there and can start making more than a 'hour' skirt.  I'll keep you posted!

Will it ever stop snowing?

G x

Friday 22 March 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee

Is it just me, or is anyone else excited about The Great British Sewing Bee hitting our tv screens soon?

If you have't heard of it, it's the crafting equivalent to The Great British Bake Off and it's due on soon!

Even more exciting, it's being presented by.....


I love, love, love Claudia Winkleman so for me it's a double treat.  Crafting goodliness and the dry wit and banter of Ms Winkleman.  A win, win for me.

I don't know when it's starting but it must be soon as the book is due for release at the end of the month.

I've pre-ordered my copy already through sheer excitement.  I hope it's going to be good.  Apparently it will "provide amateur sewers everywhere with all the technical knowhow and inspiring projects they need to produce a core collection of 25 fabulous garments and homewares. From a child's sundress and a swinging circular skirt to unisex pyjama trousers, a tea dress and a waistcoat, the garments offer something for both sexes and all ages. The homewares and accessories include aprons, bags, cushions and window dressings. In addition to this core collection, 4 winning designs from the series are also included: a simple daytime dress, a child's party dress, a jacket and an evening dress - all with complete instructions and full-size patterns."  (Thanks to Sainsbury's for this blurb)

I have the high hopes that this book will provide me with all the necessary know-how to be able to start making my own dresses.

Watch this space!

In the meantime I hope you are all keeping warm with the increasing amount of snow that is falling.  This weekend, the girls and I are meant to be staying in the Lake District.  This may not happen now.

G x

Sunday 17 March 2013

Aprons and Silver Spoons

The other day, whilst lighting the fire, I imagined myself as a housemaid in a 1900s London house preparing the fire for the mistress of the house whilst she slept and I crept around doing my chores - as I'm sure many others do too!

This week, while shopping, I happened to find myself in the book aisle of my local supermarket and my eyes fell on this beautiful book.  It's called Aprons and Silver Spoons by Mollie Moran and is all about the life of a kitchen maid in the 1930s.  Well fancy!

I love this cover

Mollie Moran is still alive, though nearly 100 now and this is a lovely book, full of her memories of her time serving the gentry, accompanied with photos and recipes from the time!  I'm so glad I'm not a maid!

This week also saw a crochet challenge between Lottie and myself.  Those of you who read Lazy Daisy Jones' blog will know that she has already made a load of squares for her blanket from Mollie Makes issue 24.  When I saw Lottie on Monday, I asked if she fancied making this blanket too.  We decided that we could just about manage these squares even with our limited crocheting skills!

A trip to the wool shop later and we were off.  I have to admit, Lottie got to grips with the squares much quicker than I did, and by the time she left for home, had nearly completed one, whilst I had unravelled my attempt to begin again.

Lottie's granny squares

We have both persevered though and I've made 9 squares out of the 80 it suggests!

Must take better photos!

On a less joyful note, the oven broke on Mother's Day so I've spent the week trying to feed the family without an oven at hand.  I've missed baking and the eggs are stacking up.  Thankfully a new one (well, two actually) will be delivered on Tuesday - boy am I going to go wild with those cakes!
I hope you've enjoyed your week too.

G x

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Winter Warmers....

....Or an Ode to Thermal Vests!

Moving here at the start of January 2010 from a fully centrally heated house was a definite culture shock.  With only single-glazing and not a boiler or radiator in sight we were certainly in for a cold time.  Unfortunately the weather was also not on our side and with temperatures reaching double minus figures at night, sleeping in our clothes was our only option for quite a while.

Not long after we moved in, on one of our shopping trips in order to keep warm (I did this lots, put the girls in the car to drive to the town just so the heating of the car could warm us up), I discoved that Asda did indeed sell the humble thermal vest (also available at other supermarkets I am sure).

Never before in my thirty-odd years had I ever considered purchasing such a garment, but now, faced with the falling snow, I did such a thing.  I purchased two!

Oh what a relief it was.  Somehow this humble garment became my survivor.  I wore them day and night and suddenly life wasn't quite so bad. 

I bought some more!  Now I have a collection of cream, grey, black and navy vests in long and sleeveless combinations and from September to April I can be found wearing these under everything I own.  The girls are now following in my footsteps with thermal vests of their own!

Our grannies knew what they were doing when they too donned their own thermals.

I thank them most humbly for helping me to survive three winters here without heating, but I do long for the days when they can be folded and put away forever.

G x

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Granny skirt sewing

The sewing machine hasn't been out for a while - half term doesn't bode well for craftiness that takes time so it's been packed away inside the wardrobe in the hope that one one of my mummy days I'll take it out and beaver away on some such project. 

Hopefully once my sewing room is regained (it's currently the hubby's office space) then I can stitch, knit, hook and sew to my hearts content without taking up the dining table.

But that's another blog for another time in the not-too-distant-future!

Today I decided to stitch myself another skirt.  I'm no sewing whizz.  I can't add linings, or zips or anything technical like darts and ruffles but I can sew in a straight line!  I found this great tutorial online on how to sew a skirt in an hour and now I have a few of them.

 It does take me more than an hour though!

Today I decided to make another one using an old curtain that I found in a charity shop, a doiley (to hide a rip in the fabric) and some lace.

Want to see the results?!

I'm looking forward to wearing my new creation.

G x

By the way, I've now had over 1000 page views, which might not be a lot to some, but to me is HUGE.  The only thing is, I don't know who most of you are!  Please do say hi x

Monday 4 March 2013

Zoo Capers

Yesterday we ventured out into the sunsine and went on our monthly trip to Chester Zoo.  I say monthly trip for that was the intention when we luckily were given zoo membership for a year for Christmas.  We went initially on New Years Day, full of high hopes of returning again in February only for other things to take priority, and before we knew it, March had arrived.

Giddy up Nellie!

What a difference two months makes though, new animals have been born since our last visit, and many of the more obscure animals were visible as they were making full use of our limited British sunshine.

January's new arrivals

Another new baby!

Sunbathing Cheetas

(Apologies for the poor picture quality - this time I didn't take the camera, only my phone!)

We still didn't see the Spectacled Bears or the Red Pandas though.

I guess that's for April?!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend too

G x