Monday 28 April 2014

Grown-up books

This is the first time I have attempted this, but a single blog post linked to both of my blogs!  I decided that as the nature of today's post fits in with both of my blogs it would be a good idea to try!

Recently I made three book purchases, all by the same author.  These are not newly published books, or even new copies of said books, but books I saw on my parents' shelves growing up, and now I am a grown-up, thought I should own too.

Shall I reveal what they are?





Yes, I've been buying books by the wonderfully talented Edith Holden.  Did you know that she went got a scholarship to the Birmingham School of Art?  How difficult must that have been for a woman in the Victorian era?


Tragically she died in 1920 at only 49 years old, whilst trying to break off a bough of chestnut buds reaching out over a backwater of the Thames.  She fell into the water and drowned.

Thankfully her books live on, and her illustrations are just as wonderful today as they were then.

G x

Friday 25 April 2014

A sewing bee winner!

Hellloooooo! Have you missed me?!

Just back from The Lakes.  Had a lovely time, lots of photos to follow etc but just wanted to mention my little win whilst I have time....

Lake Windemere

Last week I entered a competition on Twitter via Abakhan to win afternoon tea with David from the Great British Sewing Bee.

Guess what?!

I won!  I'm off to Mostyn tomorrow with my sewing pal Lottie for a two-hour 'make a pair of leggings' workshop followed by afternoon tea with the man himself!  How exciting!

Will blog all about it next week - what would you ask him if you had the chance?!

G x

Friday 18 April 2014

I blame the sewing bee!

Oh yes I do, for making us all think we can sew and whizz up clothes in a short amount of time.

WELL WE CAN'T. Or at least I can't, especially in the time given!!!!

This week, as the girlies were having an impromptu break at Grandma's I decided to get out my new, yes that's right NEW sewing machine and make something wearable!!!!

After all, I have the machine they use on the GBSB and the first book of the series, so how hard could it be?

Flipping frustrating that's how hard!

Step one - choose pattern and cut it out.  I went for the tunic top that comes with the pattern. Easy peasy.

Step two - follow the instructions for sewing in the zip.  Oh, hang on a min, I haven't done this on a machine before.  Several hours and many unpickings later, I managed it, but not as the book told me to do it!

Step three - continue.  I'm getting the hang of this.

Step four - sew the armholes.  Hmmm, this bit was a real issue.  I just couldn't do it.  I spent a very, very, very long time trying to work it out.  I shouted a bit  a lot and threatened to bin said top.   I was not a happy bunny.  Hubby suggested his mum come over and have a look at it.  But I wanted to DO IT MYSELF!  (Yes, I'm still shouting)!

I put it away.  I made myself a skirt in the meantime.  I didn't get cross with that.

Then I found a youtube video of exactly the same top, and exactly the same issue!  Yes!  This was the answer to my prayers. 

No it wasn't.  Hubby and I watched said video many times, I still couldn't work out what on earth she was doing.  In desperation I sent a text to a certain Lazy Jones telling her I needed help.  Then I went outside to read my book!

Ms Jones finally called me back - help I yelled.  I need you.  Be round in 5 she said - then we remembered we live about 4 hours apart.  We talked, she advised, I listened.  I was ready to try again.

Step five - go to sleep and leave the top for another day.

Step six - get up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle.  Start armhole one more than once, sew armhole two perfectly first time!  Feel happy!

Before pressing!

Step seven - cheer very loudly when said top is finally completed after many, many hours of trying to get it right.

Step eight - discover that top does actually fit once you try it on!

Man this making your own wardrobe lark is going to take some effort!

G x

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Mrs Bertimus at Hope & Elvis

Did I say I was off to Hope & Elvis at the weekend?!  Mmmm, I thought I did!  I braved the two hour drive back to Nottinghamshire to visit the wonderful studio of the lovely Louise Presley for her first ever Mrs Bertimus crafty day. 

I was soooo nervous!  I'd been to the studio two years ago for a Dottie Angel and Ted & Agnes crafty day, but had never attempted a mixed-media workshop before.  Originality, paint and getting messy are not words that could ever be associated with me!  Thankfully I knew there were going to be cakes so at least I could spend all day munching if nothing else!

Louise's studio

Work by the talented Mister Finch
It was lovely to be back there.  Louise and Miss Debs are just as adorable as they ever were - and they make a mean lunch too, and then there was Mrs B herself!  We 'chat' online but what would she really be like in real-life and not as a 'virtual friend'?

I'm pleased to say, she is totally adorable, very passionate about what she does, and so funny.  I had a wonderful time with her, and her assistant Sam (who reads this blog - or so she says) and laughed, and laughed all day.

I also got to catch up with Caroline who I met last time I was at the studio, and some other bloggy woman who calls herself Daisy Jones tagged on to me and didn't leave my side!!!!!  It was the best day ever. 

Who is this crazy woman?!

Lots of different sorts of crafting, by all sorts of very different people.  I have to say, I didn't quite know where to begin but in the end I made a picture on wood to put up in Agatha van, and a fabric piece too that hubby says cannot possibly be a broach but should be hung up somewhere (out of sight probably)!


I also treated myself to something made by Letitia herself - there was lots to choose from but in the end I went for this lovely bag - gorgeous isn't it!


Letitia also bought us all a present - how gorgeous is this?  It's been put straight into Agatha van for safekeeping!

If you haven't been up to Hope & Elvis I would definitely recommend it.  Louise has lots and lots of very talented people visit, so do pop over to her website and look at the workshop list to see what's going on or coming up.

I'll be back for sure (if they'll have me)!

G x