Saturday, 27 February 2010

Things that make me cheerful:

1. Making and creating with the children at my art and craft workshops

I had a lovely time with a small group during half term making fridge magnets out of old CDs, bottle top bugs and fish mobiles. This week I have been asked to run a twice weekly after school arts and crafts club at a primary school nearby, which is very exciting. I start on 8th March and I am so looking forward to it!

2. Vintage embroidery

I received this pretty embroidered table cloth in the post from my mum and it makes me feel very cheerful indeed! Such pretty colours to brighten these dull, damp and cold days that we've been having. Oh, how I am looking forward to Spring, its flowers and, hopefully, some sunshine - I'm sure that would make us all feel a lot more cheerful!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend (whatever the weather!).

Back soon,


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Tips for Tat

It's not very often that my 16 year old daugher and I have the chance to go charity shop browsing together so that in itself has been a real treat during this half term week. I've not had much luck in charity shops recently so I was delighted to find these:

Vintage pattern books and some old spoons...they're only EPNS but I love them, especially the small one from Harrods!

My daughter loves vintage clothes and has promised herself that, once her GCSEs are over, she is going to have a go at making herself a dress with some vintage fabric that she bought a year or so ago. These vintage patterns at 10p each were right up her street! The green dress in the centre is her favourite!

A bag of delights...well, to me anyway...full of embroidery threads and tapisserie wools for 50p!

Looking through our finds when we arrived home, we were both amazed at the intricacy of the gorgeous lace in the 'Tatting Designs' booklet and my daughter wondered how it was done. I had never tried tatting, but I knew that it involved a shuttle and that I didn't have one amongst all my bits and bobs, which meant that we would remain unenlightened! Imagine our surprise when, as I continued pulling different coloured skeins of embroidery thread from my 50p bag of delights, I found a shuttle complete with small piece of tatting (shown in the foreground of the photo below)! There was no longer any excuse not to tat! So we consulted YouTube for video demonstrations...the ladies there make it look so easy! I was all fingers and thumbs with it - lefthandedness, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! My daughter had slightly more success!
Hers is the piece that looks slightly more like knotting than tatting, but she has improved since and can 'double' and make a 'picot'! I think it could be a while before we have this gorgeous lace collar and cuffs set from 'Tatting Design' though!
Such skill, such patience and such beautiful end results! Any tips on how to tat?
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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bringing me sunshine

Over the last couple of weeks the lovely ladies behind Life of Cattoo, SparklePetal, Hand Knitted Things and Mrs Mac have all sent me a:

How wonderful to hear that my words/pictures brighten somebody's day...thank you very much indeed!

I'm going to break all the rules by not passing it on in the "official" way...after all, how could I possibly choose 12 blogs that bring me sunshine? There are so many wonderful, cheerful, entertaining, uplifting and inspiring blogs out I'm am going to unofficially award it to all of the blogs I follow and to all my followers - thank you all so much for brightening my day!

I had intended to publish this post on Sunday evening, but...

Naughty cat No.1 took up position in front of the keyboard and in front of the monitor...he always likes to be at the centre of things!

When you have a moment why not take a quick look at some of the 'Blogs that brighten my day' listed in the sidebar...that's if the cat will let you, of course!

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Nostalgia, Flowers & Romance

A few weeks ago I read a blog post that brought back so many wonderful childhood memories, especially of my fondness for Holly Hobbie in the late 1970s. This rush of nostalgia meant that I simply had to find the cushion cover I remembered making and that I referred to in my comments on the lovely Sarah's blog! And I found was neatly folded inside a Woolworths bag inside an old suitcase, which also contains things like my school recorder, stamp albums, scrap books and newspaper cuttings.

So, here it Holly Hobbie cushion cover, made with help from my mum, to whom I owe so much for teaching me how to knit, sew, crochet and create! Oh how I loved Holly Hobbie...and I have to admit that I do still love this cushion cover, despite some rather bad stitching and its gentle padding with old tights (used as stuffing in so many of my childhood creations!).

I remembered the cushion cover, but had not remembered that the fabric I had used was that which I am now using to make these!

I have a received a gorgeous basket of flowers...not from my Valentine, but as a 'thank you' from my lovely neighbour B. They are so pretty...
and are arranged in this very useful, floral fabric-lined basket!
I have the house to myself today, which might not seem a romantic way to spend Valentine's Day. However, hubby is out rugbying with our son and I shall spend the day pottering, sewing and crocheting, so we are both doing things that we love to do! Everyone will return home this evening and my day's pottering will be undone once more...piles of muddy washing will be deposited by the machine, the hall will be re-cluttered with shoes and kit, and the house will once more be filled with the voices of those that I doubt enquiring what there is to eat! The romance of family life - I love it!
In the meantime, before I potter, I think it's time for coffee and cake!
Hope you're having a lovely day whatever you're doing!
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Thursday, 11 February 2010


I couldn't resist rushing back indoors to grab the camera to take some photos of the amazing ice patterns on the car windscreen the other morning. Such wonderful nature's own cut glass!
Neither can I resist a floral pattern when I see these had to come home from the charity shop with me on Tuesday. I think they are supposed to be table mats, but I propose to use for small hand cloths in the kitchen. I'm not sure if they're vintage, but they're unused and of a lovely, thick, barkcloth type fabric and I just love those vintagey roses!

And more gorgeous, vintagey roses to look at on the cover of March's Country Living magazine, which has just arrived...a recurring pattern it seems!

Time for coffee and quick browse through the pages....
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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Doing well!

I am so pleased to say that my lovely neighbour B is home from hospital now and doing well. Needless to say, I am checking on her all the time to make sure that she is alright...I just cannot help it! I don't think she minds though...not yet anyway! It's so good to have her back and, of course, the pussies were delighted to see her!

I am also pleased to report that Amaryllis is doing well...

despite having suffered the further trauma of losing a flower bud as a result of the antics of a couple of high spirited teenagers!

I don't whether the broken off flower will do well, but the flower in the pot is just beginning to open today...
and it is so beautiful...I love those colours!
I have been making lots more vintage embroidery handbag mirrors this week...
as they've been extremely popular since they were featured in the Telegraph Magazine! It was lovely to receive this pretty 'thank you' card from a customer saying that she was "thrilled to bits" with her mirrors.

I would also like to say thank you...thank you to everyone who has commented on my blog over the last couple of weeks...I appreciate it so much and I've not forgotten you! I hope to find the time to catch up on what all you lovely people have been up to very soon but, at the moment, it seems that doing well at one thing means not doing quite so well at others!
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