Hello there

The title of this blog post needs to be sung really as I am doing in my head, another wet Saturday here in Yorkshire, pity as it was so lovely earlier in the week and I was planning a little jaunt. However more time for blogging, knitting and baking :-)

This is a catch up post really (on the grounds that there are no finishes to show at present) and I have been meaning to post a couple of things for a while.

Firstly my very talented friend Helen (she of the quilts) is also making other things including these cute bunnies just in time for Easter.
She will have some for sale through her Etsy shop at some point for £6.50 but if you are interested please go and visit her at the new blog she has.

Helen's bunny

themagpiecat.blogspot.co.uk/

And I have been meaning to post some pics of Ellie as a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding. I just got the disc from her so here she is looking very lovely.

The baby in the photo is the friend’s little daughter Lizzie who I made a bridesmaid bunny for, you can see the bunny on one of the present tables in the last picture.

Ellie bridesmaids

Ellie - bridesmaid 2

Ellie - bridesmaid 3

There will be no blogging for the next couple of weeks as we are off on holiday ;-)

My lovely Mum will be here next weekend (it is her birthday on Friday) and then we are off to Bavaria (or Bearvaria as Jake keeps calling it – think he is expecting to see some bears) for a week of visiting medieval towns and castles. Very much looking forward to it and as usual will take lots of photos!

See you soon, thanks as always for visiting.

Hello everyone, hope that you are having a lovely weekend, I am still knitting bunnies but turning my thoughts to other things as well as work is easing off and I have the summer coming up.

In and amongst the kit making I am planning some other stitching projects. It is while since I did anything stitchery apart from exchange pieces and Xmas ornies but am musing on some long-term projects (would love to do another big goldwork piece) and have some more blackwork gifts planned for later in the year.

I love doing blackwork, have not done any for so long and was reminded of my passion for it when Kerry brought up her sewing basket with her for our dress making weekend and there were the needlecase and scissor fob I had made for her some years ago.

Kerry's blackwork needlebook

This was one of the sets I made for the girls in my old medieval group, here they all are with their gifts, these were done in 2009.The picture below shows Kerry’s needlebook along with the two others I made.

girls-at-ashby

blackwork needlebooks

A couple of years earlier I did a piece for a friend’s wedding, they are re-enactors so I thought they would like this piece based on the effigies we see (and use for costume research) in many churches.

Jenny and Blackie's wedding pic

I have so many more ideas of stuff I would like to do so am going to spend some time lining up the new projects this weekend. You never know – I might win the lottery soon and be able to give up work and is best to be prepared ;-)

Hope you are having fun whatever you are doing, thanks for visiting.

Hello and happy Mother’s Day for all of you in the UK. I have (virtually) met lots of brilliant, creative and dedicated Mums through blogging and I hope that you have all been thoroughly spoilt today.

Here we have a double celebration as my little baby Ellie is 23 today! Seems impossible but time is flying by.

I made her a special cake – which we had at breakfast as she had to leave this afternoon!

Ellie's birthday cake

She is very happy at the moment as she has not only passed her driving test (second time around with only 1 fault) but has also this week bought a car :-)

She is practising at the moment but she is planning to drive to some of the events this year with me so that will be very exciting! She has also had a year’s extension on her contract so all is good :-)

Here is the car – it is called Kim after its number plate! Can’t wait to have some fun trips to re-enactment in it.

Ellie's car

I had some great presents and flowers from the kids including these very pretty button jars that Ellie made for me – perfect in my newly sorted craft room and loads of gorgeous buttons for embellishments!

Mother's day buttons

While we were having our sewing weekend a few weeks ago she was sorting some of the stuff that she left here and came across this pump bag that I made her while she was at school. This was the name band that I stitched for her.

Ellie's pump bag 1

Ellie's pump bag 2

She must have been about 8 when I made it. A that time I was doing a lot of cross stitch and made lots of cards using little motifs like these.

There has also been another bunny from the production line, this one is Isabella and she will be going to live with a friend from re-enactments new-born baby daughter.

Isabella bunny

Am very happy at the moment as it is nearly the start of the re-enactment season, I am going on holiday very soon with Mum and the kids to Bavaria and the clocks have gone forward so there will be lighter evenings! Hurrah for Spring and Summer to follow… lovely!

Hope you have had a happy day, take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello again

Well it is raining here again, which is a bit of a shame as I wanted to go for a walk but true to form the moment I got my boots out it started pouring down.

I could have course have gone in the rain but decided I would just have to sew and knit all day, most of it in front of the TV where I am watching Supernatural on DVD courtesy of Ellie who has been trying to get me to watch it for ages.What a pity, poor me ha ha, it is even too wet for housework ;-)

I have sorted out the error that I mentioned yesterday. I wanted to make an apron as a birthday gift for a friend’s little girl to send with some baking stuff I have bought. I remember Ellie being bought some baking things at a similar age and loving them so I have got cute pink utensils and pretty cup cake cases.

I found a really good free tutorial at a blog called Aesthetic Nest run by a woman called Anneliese who designs beautiful patterns for her 3 daughters (can feel a sewing spree coming on but must, must focus on medieval kit first!) She has an Etsy shop with her patterns and kids’ party printables which look brilliant.

The apron is made out of 2 fat quarters and is very easy to do (especially if unlike me you actually follow all the instructions and don’t put the straps in the wrong place and only discover that after you have hemmed it.)

She has made reversible ones but I made one out of 2 plain fat quarters from my Simply Solids Club stash and some applique motifs from a really cute fabric called Sweet Treats that I bought I couple of years ago.

Izzy's apron 1

And I am very pleased with the result. I particularly like the spotty pocket and straps.

I stitched the Sweet Shop label onto the pocket and added some buttons onto the sweetie jars. Am planning to add some sweets to the package for cake decorating so hope that she will like it.

I used the fabric motifs last year as part of a cot quilt that I made for Ellie’s friend and I still have quite a few motifs left over.

Sweet treats quilt

Have also finished stitching the replacement for the Autumn exchange piece that went missing so that will go in the post next week – fingers crossed this one gets there ok!

Hope you are having a lovely time whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

Hello

I hope you are enjoying your Friday – I have another weekend of sewing planned in my lovely newly tidied craft room.

Would have had a fab finish to show you but once completed realised that I had made a (deliberate of course!) mistake with one part so that will be unpicked, re-sewn and brought to you later in the weekend :-)

Meanwhile we will have a closer look at the quilts made by Helen from my knitting group. Helen does have a blog but can’t find it at the moment (my favourites are still all on my old laptop!)

These will all be going to Spain over the next few months to an orphanage that my Mum supports.

Helen's quilts

Helen's quilts 4

Helen's quilts 2

Helen's quilts 3

Helen's quilts 5

Helen's quilts 6

I love the fabric choices – Helen made all these from stash, isn’t she clever. I would love to be more confident at fabric combining, always seems to take me ages to decide what to use for a project.

Hoping for some good weather for a walk as well – as soon as Google announced the first day of Spring Yorkshire decided to get all wet and windy again :-(

Take care and will update on project soon, thanks for visiting.

I do very much love being an empty nester (not that I don’t love my kids dearly and look forward to their visits) but one of the great joys of having my own space is that I have a craft room.

That along with the need not to spend weekends shopping, cooking, cleaning and washing means I have physical,temporal and mental space to create which is wonderful!

However there are some downsides particularly when you are trying to put together IKEA flat pack furniture on your own. The storage units I bought did come with a warning!

Old craft room 3

I managed in the end but they are not actually screwed together at the bottom as I couldn’t get the last side to fit.

One is missing one screw the other two but gravity seems to be keeping them stable and when Jake is home as Easter I will get him to apply a bit of brute force to see if I can sort it.

I did sort out the craft room when I first moved in using storage I already had.

Old craft-room 4

But unfortunately the CD racks that I had been using as fabric storage fell over (once on my head which was a bit painful!) and the shelving units were very old and unstable and always looked cluttered.

I also got rid of the wooden chest I had there leaving me nowhere to store the small (ahem) amount of fabric for medieval kit that I have.

And I have been buying a bit more fabric since I moved in so was running out of space and rather than being the calm wonderful creative space I wanted it was a mess.

However there has been a transformation.

This was yesterday morning.

Old craft room

Old craft room 2

And this is the finished result.

New craft room 3

New craft room 2

The shelves with baskets and the lovely heart pinboard were bargains from local charity shops. It does still need painting and more pictures putting up but that will be a job for the holidays.

I still have one tall storage unit on the other side with all the small boxes but now all of the fabric is together so that I can see what I have got. I found fabric for a new blue peasant dress yesterday that I vaguely remembered buying but thought had wandered off :-)

More importantly I have got a cutting table which is much better than crawling about on the floor!

So this afternoon I will be enjoying the fruits of my labour finishing off a little project for a birthday.

Oh and you see that pile of quilts next to the cutting area? No I haven’t been mega productive recently, they are made by my very talented friend Helen here in the village.

New craft room

She has been stash busting recently and has very kindly made these to donate to a children’s orphanage that my Mum supports in Spain. Will share pics of those later.

Do have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting!

Hello everyone

Hope you are having fun and that the weather is being kind to you where you live. We have had an excellent weekend and week so far – today there was washing drying on the line :-)

I went out for a long walk this weekend and then afterwards came home, got the garden furniture out of storage, cleaned out the barbecue and planted more bulbs!

I took some pictures of the joys of Spring while walking – I sadly missed a photo of a jay having a little bath in the canal (he was too quick for me) and so was a kingfisher near the local mill-pond but these are some of the beautiful sights from Sunday. The crocuses are mine from the back rockery.

Spring walk March crocus

Spring walk March

Spring walk March daffodils

As I said to a friend at work this week I am surrounded by 360 degrees of excellent walking so this weekend went along the canal passing weirs and old bridges and then up the side of the hill on a footpath I had not used before, through the woods beside a waterfall then back the same way ending up passing the church where this last picture was taken.

Spring walk March bridge

Spring walk March canal 1

Spring walk March weir

Spring walk March canal 2

Spring walk March churchyard

I last did this canal towpath walk the same time last year and blogged about it here and remember meeting a little flock of sheep on my way back then.

Well they had obviously visited us again as they have eaten most of my poor neighbours beautiful crocuses (they couldn’t reach mine as they are too high up on the rockery) and attempted to eat one of my new primulas – for some reason only the yellow one was tasty :-)

Naughty little things but it is great when the lambs come down off the hills so I suppose a few flowers isn’t much of a sacrifice.

Have got some new storage this week so am planning a weekend of craft room transformation – finally all those piles of fabric will be sorted and I can get on with all the things I have to make. Will share end results of the makeover!

Have a good rest of the week and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone and Happy International Women’s Day. I would just like to take a moment to thank all those wonderful, inspirational women whose blogs I read for sharing their lives, their creativity and making women’s work in all respects valued.

Like many women my age I grew up in an era where craft, particularly women’s craft was not seen as really relevant to the modern world.

I had a very traditional single sex education and learnt to cook and sew but never really valued those skills though I have always enjoyed both.

It is lovely to see those things now on mainstream TV (though more is needed – dedicated sewing, quilting, knitting and embroidery channel I say!) and to see many women setting up their own businesses online selling their items and their patterns and sharing their passion for craft.

One woman I think deserves a particular mention (though there are so many brilliant people out there) is Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits who is a wonderful creative crafter and a fab mother and has shared her work with so many people and brightens everyone’s day.

Knitting her bunnies keeps me sane and shares her love and I have two of my latest creations to show you.

Sophie and Daisy

Here are Daisy and Sophie – don’t they look cute together, Sophie in the pink looks like she is a very loving older friend to little Daisy.

Daisy is for my sister-in-law as a birthday gift and is my first go at stripy legs and Sophie will be a present for a friend’s newborn great -niece.These are my fifth and sixth bunnies and I have more to come!

But as well as those I have been making a hat on request for my sister-in-law, the grey one is the one she originally bought and she gave me the multi-coloured wool to create a version of it.

Amanda's hats

This meant my first foray into knitting without a pre-set pattern but I was aided by my friends at knitting group in working out what to do.

I was in my local craft shop (shh don’t tell but I did buy a little tiny bit of stuff for a project I am working on) and was talking to the lovely lady serving me about the Great British Sewing Bee and she told me of a really good blog that she had found that gives advice on techniques used in the episodes.

It is called Little Black Duck Blog and is run by a mum called Victoria and it is going straight into my favourites!

This is the link to Episode 3 about working with stretch fabrics and she has advice and links to all sorts of fab tutorials for different techniques as well as other general sewing tips.

I have a few other projects in the pipeline that I hope to be able to share soon and am enjoying some sunny blue skies here in Yorkshire (among the showers!)

Take care and thank you as always for visiting.

Hello everyone

I am really enjoying watching the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC 2 – would love to live in that workshop, all that fabric and buttons and beads and cottons! I know I have a lovely craft room but that would be heaven.

Ellie, Kerry and I had our own little sewing bee last weekend and we had a lovely time cutting out new dresses for them so I thought I would show you a few pics to document the process.

We have a fairly untraditional style of garment making which mainly relies on cutting round existing garments to make new ones and adapting the pattern as we go along.

We do sometimes use bits of existing patterns for shaping such as bodices etc but mostly it is a case of cut, pin, try on and alter until it all fits.

I have the following pattern which is useful basic dress one – available from the Simplicity web site

Simplicity Pattern

This is Kerry’s new dress fabric with her green dress laid on top of it for cutting out. I was surprised to see how square it is at the bottom – when on these bits fold in and don’t give that impression at all.

sewing weekend - cutting kerry's dress

Here she is in the original dress last year at Bolsover Castle.

kerry green dress

This is the beautiful fabric with her cutting the back. This new one will have fitted sleeves and tippets unlike the green dress.

sewing weekend - cutting kerry's dress 2

If you want to more about tippets or other styles of medieval women’s costume please visit my page here.

Or if you want to see a real genius at work go and visit my very talented friend Kat’s page as she makes the most amazing costume and headdresses.

Ellie is making a new version of a two coloured peasant dress using the old pale pink from the gores in the new dress. She loves this dress which is one I made about 3 years ago but it is a bit short for her now. Here is the original.

ellie-pink dress

We cut this one using her other peasant dress as a pattern.

sewing weekend

After she had removed the gores from the old dress she stitched up the new dress and voila! Here she is in the nearly completed garment.

sewing weekend - ellie sewing 1

sewing weekend - ellie sewing 2

sewing weekend - ellie in dress

It is a lovely sunny day here, a bit frosty but I have just been doing a bit of gardening to tidy up the back, the crocuses are out and Spring is in the air.

Now to spend the afternoon finishing a dress for another bunny while watching DVDs, I do so love the weekends :-)

Take care and hope you are enjoying yourselves whatever you are doing.

Thanks for visiting.

Hello again everyone

Hope you have been surviving the weather ok – especially if you live in one of the flooded bits of the UK.

Luckily we are high up so while we have been freezing cold and very wet have not suffered too much. It has been a very weird week weather wise, snow on Tuesday, howling gales on Weds and thankfully sunshine today so I made the most of it on a very long walk :-)

I have not been out on the hills for ages and neither have any done much crafting, too much work including working the last 2 Saturdays and some very slow projects mean I have nothing to show you.

So we will look at pretty pictures of moors and cottages then!

Marsden Walk Feb 4

Marsden Walk Feb 5

I thought you might like to see some of the houses round here, there are lots of cute little cottages like this one below. The narrow windows were to let in lots of light for the weavers to work by as even before the textile mills were built there was lots of woollen cloth made here.

Marsden Walk Feb

This is a lovely farmhouse in a similar style, what really interested me about this one was all the lovely candlesticks in the windows!

Marsden Walk Feb candlesticks house

Marsden Walk Feb candlesticks 1

Marsden Walk Feb candlesticks 2

Also came across this jam being sold outside another farmhouse – pity I didn’t have my purse with me.

Marsden Walk Feb jam

There was some beautiful sunshine but some good atmospheric cloud, this one I particularly like going up to the brow of the hill.

Marsden Walk Feb 2

And I saw some cute Highland cattle as well.

Marsden Walk Feb 3

As it has been raining so much all the moorland streams were draining making very pretty sparkly displays all along the roads.

Marsden Walk Feb 6

And I finished up as usual at my lovely reservoir :-)

Marsden Walk Feb 7

Now in for a perfect evening of excellent TV (Stella recorded from Fri night, Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge) accompanied by some simple knitting – what a perfect day!

Hope that you are having a lovely time as well, thanks for visiting.

April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Blog Stats

  • 195,902 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers