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There is nothing more lovely than waking up on a Saturday morning (without the alarm going off) realising it is Saturday morning (yippee no work), knowing that Sunday follows Saturday (yippee still no work), remembering that you did all the housework in the previous two days (the joys of working from home meaning you can get the boring stuff done in between work) so realising that the next 48 hours are just yours for stitching :-) Added to that the fact that next week is the end of term with a couple of Christmas dos to attend and then I am on holiday!

And I have discovered (and made) a new Christmas ornament which is will share with you in a minute – I may just be the happiest bunny on the planet!!!

Plus my lovely son has returned from University for the holidays so not only is it very nice to spend time with him (and lovely daughter from next weekend) but he very kindly does the stuff like vacuuming, popping to the shops and jobs that need a tall person.

First the important task of telling you who won the giveaway for my 7th blogaversary. Thanks to the random number generator the winner is ‘Like number 3′ who is Pam in the UK.

Please could you e-mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your address so I can send your ornaments out. Thanks as well to everyone else who liked and for all the lovely comments.

We had another little ornament making session recently (or Crafternoon as Sharon discovered they are now called from my new Simply Crochet magazine). Helen, Sharon and Sammy from knitting group came for an afternoon of festive making and a little bit of fizz!

Apologies for the bad light, it was actually sleeting most of that day, but here are Sharon and Helen discussing the all important issue of which buttons would look best on Helen’s heart and stocking.

Crafternoon 2 - choosing buttons

She used some Scandi fabric in my stash to make these.

Crafternoon 3 - stocking and heart

Here is my work in progress picture.

Crafternoon pictures

27 Suffolk Puffs with little buttons attached turns into ……

Crafternoon 4 - puff bauble

A Suffolk Puff bauble!

I was actually looking for instructions on how to make a Suffolk Puff Christmas tree when I found this very cute idea.

I cut out all of my puff circles to 2 and a half inches originally, sewed them up and attached buttons to cover the hole and then pinned them on to a polystyrene bauble (2 small pins underneath each button) whereas the original tutorial says to sew them together round an ordinary bauble but that looked a bit tricky.

The original  tutorial for the Suffolk Puff (Yo-Yo) bauble can be found here at Cut Out and Keep

I may well have to make a whole load more of these (probably not before Christmas)  but this could well be next year’s gift bauble to friends and family as it is so cute!

In my searching for Suffolk Puff Inspiration I found this lovely blog, Potter, Wright and Webb  that looks at all sorts of traditional crafts from the UK which I thought may be of interest.

So I do hope you are going to have an equally lovely weekend, I have now got to go and put the pedal to the metal (sewing machine not car) to finish up presents that need to go in the post on Monday.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

I am having a very festive weekend, the last bits of decorating have been done and last night was the Marsden lights switch on so the village now looks very pretty.

Our local Morris dancers and fire jugglers were out too so that was very nice. Along with a glass of mulled wine and a mice pie it was a lovely couple of hours.

It is attempting to snow today as well but it is mainly slushy hail at the moment, hope things don’t get too bad, my Mum and Aunt are flying in from Spain today as sadly we have a family funeral to go to tomorrow so the last thing we need is bad weather!

My tree is up and it is not only a Christmas tree but a memory tree, as few years ago I got rid of all the mass-produced baubles.

Xmas tree

Now I only have ones that I have made (which remind me of many happy hours of stitching) and special ones bought mainly on holidays or hand-made from other craft fairs.

This year’s hand-made by me have been added ,one flower and one hexagon so far, maybe more to come if I have time.

Xmas tree ornie 2

Xmas tree ornie 3

And here are the special ones both from Bavaria, our visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber  where we found that amazing Christmas shop.

Xmas tree and ornies

Xmas tree ornie 4

I have also made a few more Christmas flowers for friends.

Xmas tree ornies- flowers

I am getting on well with the bee quilt, here is my inspiration. Details of the source in this post.

Vintage fabric bee quilt

And here is the progress so far, really enjoying doing this, am limiting myself to seven hexagons for this one due to lack of time and it will be appliqued to a cushion cover.

bee quilt progress

bee quilt progress 2

bee quilt progress 3

bee quilt progress 4

bee quilt progress 5

All of this is from my stock of vintage linen, embroidery, lace and crochet with added beads and maybe some embroidered flowers if I have time.

Hope you have had a good week, don’t forget to like my giveaway post from last week as I will picking a winner on Friday 12th Dec.

Thanks for visiting.

Well all those years ago when I started I didn’t realise I would still be blogging 7 years later. Thank you everyone who has visited, liked, followed and commented. I really appreciate all of your bloggy love :-)

As is now traditional for me I am going to offer a Christmas ornament giveaway, please ‘like’ this post and I will choose a winner and send them a selection of hand-made ornaments.

Thought I would indulge with a run through of some of my makes over the last few years so people can see what sorts of things they would be getting.

Xmas Baubles

JBW Stockings 1

JBW tree ornie 1

Small xmas hearts 2012

Baubles Sept

Xmas mini stockings

Hexi Xmas ornie 5

Sewing day Nov - hexi ornie

Xmas ornie - flower

I do love making ornaments! Have just put my tree up and am really enjoying looking at all of the things I have made over the years.

I will pick the winner on Friday 12th Dec so that I can get them in the post in time.

Thanks for continuing to visit – I really appreciate it.

 

Hello just a quick post to say the random number generator gave me number 2 and that was the ‘like’ from Cat. So Cat please contact me at alisonmrayn@yahoo.co.uk to tell me what you would like, I happy to make anything at all just let me know what sort of thing, what type of stitching and fabric/colour choices.

Thanks to everyone else who liked, I will be having another giveaway for my blogaversary in early Dec as well!

Well this is unbelievably my 400th post so I thought I would celebrate by inviting you to like this post and I will pick a winner who will receive their choice of handmade small from anything they have seen on my site.

It could be a pincushion, brooch, scissor keep, needlebook, Christmas ornament, pouch, compact case, phone or kindle case etc. Please click like and then I will choose one person and contact them and ask what sort of fabric colours you would like for the gift. I will pick a winner in 2 weeks – on Sunday 5th Oct.

We have had a busy weekend sewing – Jamie, Ellie and Kerry have been here and we have been making shifts and coifs for the girls and a tabard to go over Jamie’s new armour (due next year).

Sewing weekend - Jamie tabard

Sewing weekend - Jamie tabard 2

This is a work in progress but you get the general idea, it is made of wool and will be lined with red linen.

It won’t have the pleat in as we were just working on length. This picture shows Jamie hard at work making the pattern for the dagging on the white part of the tabard which involved drawing round a wineglass!

Sewing weekend -Jamie cutting

Kerry had also made a new head-dress – a coronet, she is very talented and creates the most wonderful stuff out of very everyday materials and ‘found’ jewellery.

Sewing weekend - Kerry coronet

Sewing weekend - Kerry coronet

ewing weekend - Elle pinning

I have been making more flower brooches –  the one below from a charity shop broderie anglaise skirt that I have also used for phone covers etc. and these other ones from stash fabric.

Sewing weekend - brooches

Sewing weekend - brooches

Ellie brought me a present as well – the best sort – vintage fabric, look at this beautiful lace that someone had given her to go to a good home! I think I shall add it to the things I am going to use for the bee quilt inspired cushion I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

Sewing weekend - lace from Ellie

Term starts next week and I have a submission due for my doctorate (which I have written but may need more work) so I am going to be doing very little else but work for the next few weeks.

I have saved lots of the lovely National Trust textile pictures to post about while production slows down here at Maison Ryan ;-)

Thanks as always for visiting and don’t forget to click like!

Hello there

Sorry that I did not get around to posting this yesterday but got distracted finishing ornaments and forgot!

The winner of my Christmas ornaments giveaway is Rachel – sorry but I can’t link to your blog at the moment. Could you e-mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your postal address and I will send your ornaments.

Thanks for visiting – ornament finishes update coming soon!

Hello everyone

Hope you are all well and happy. I have been having a very lovely quiet weekend making ornaments for my upcoming craft fair next Sunday and decorating my house.

The tree is up, the baubles are out and all is looking pretty :-) It is a little bit earlier than I normally do it but I am so busy this week and next weekend with various Christmas related things that I thought I would indulge myself (since the kids aren’t here to tell me I am mad lol).

I have taken some pictures of the latest makes – apologies as my camera has run out of batteries and so these are taken on my phone and in not very good light.

The first one is more of the ribbon pine cones that are so pretty and the second picture is of two ribbon tress that I made using the same technique.

Xmas cone ornies

Xmas tree ornies

I have had the polystyrene cones for these for a couple of years but only just got around to making them and they are just for me! I had a lovely day yesterday watching the Doctor Who 50th anniversary programmes while doing these.

Both designs are from Sue Schofield of Springwood House Designs, and are from the book ‘Fun with Ribbons’.

Books and kits and the polystyrene shapes are available from her website as well as oodles of lovely ribbons so go treat yourself and make something nice just for you. It is really easy, no sewing just pinning!

It is also my 6th blogaversary tomorrow so to celebrate I am giving away three of my hand-made Xmas ornaments to one of you lovely people.

Thank you for all your support and appreciation for this blog, it is really nice to know so many people enjoy what I do.

All you have to do is comment on this post – I will pick the winner on Friday 13th December (which will be lucky for someone!)

I will return next week, hopefully after a very successful craft fair, really looking forward to it. I am at Oakwell Hall in West Yorkshire if any of you are in the area.

Thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone

Having used my human random number generator aka Jake the winner of the giveway is Gemma H. If you can mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your address I can post your ornies out to you.

Thanks

Hello everyone

I hope you are all well and happy. I have had a really lovely day, it has been perfect winter weather, frosty with blue skies and sunshine.

I made my beetroot soup with some of the contents of this week’s veg box then went for a wonderful frosty walk along the valley up from the Tunnel End Canal Centre following the stream.

These are some pictures of the frozen canal and the frosty stream, lots of lovely patterns of frost on the leaves at my feet, it was all very crunchy!

Dec-winter walk 2

Dec-winter walk

Dec-winter walk 3

This afternoon I made some more Christmas ornaments for my upcoming debut at The Loft Craft Centre at Standedge. What a perfect day!

It is also my blogaversary. I have now had this little old blog for 5 years.It has been an interesting 5 years (for blogging and my real life) and I now am using blogs more and more at work (and running sessions on blogs for my students) and still really enjoying reading the blogs of those people who I first met.

I have also added many new blogs to my list to reflect my changing craft interests, looking more and more at textile and pattern designers and those who use vintage fabric, which has had a huge influence of my latest collection of vintage embroidery.

One of the main themes of craft work at The Loft is to reuse and recycle so I am planning lots of wonderful things with all the new vintage stash I have.

I think it is particularly significant that my vintage stuff comes from local charity shops as I would like to think I will be repurposing the handiwork of local women.Here are my latest finds bought yesterday before the Christmas lights switch on – four embroidered tray cloths and a linen tablecloth with lace inserts.

Vintage embroidery - Dec 3

Vintage embroidery - Dec 2

It also gives me a chance to track the progress of work, I started this a long time ago on a Quilt Group workshop and have finally finished the Christmas sofa throw using the Stained Glass Quilt design. When I get some more backing fabric the matching cushions will appear! I have added little brass charms to each panel.

Dec- xmas throw 1

Dec- xmas throw 2

The blog has also been a lovely record for me of all the wonderful things me and my family have done, it was very poignant just recently to post about Ellie’s graduation and to look back at that first post of her arriving at halls for her very first year of University.

I have just posted about Jake leaving home and will look forward to four years time when he graduates. So blogging is a lovely way of me saving my memories.I have been able to share more detail with family and friends of all the lovely holidays we have had. So blogging is fab!

To celebrate I am going to do my traditional giveaway for a selection of my Christmas ornaments. This year I have made a range of simpler more Scandinavian style ones as well as my usual traditional ones so when you post please tell me which sort you would like.

To enter the giveaway please put a comment on this post. I will leave the giveaway open until Friday 14th Dec to give me time to post things out to the winner.

As usual thank you all for visiting – without you it would just be my random musings into the ether and I really appreciate all of the likes, comments and subscriptions from my readers.

Have a happy week ahead!

Hello there

You may remember a post a while back – April I think when I commented that it was very warm and sunny – warmer than we usually get in April in Yorkshire or even July in Yorkshire, well this was one of those weekends that proved my point.It has been very, very wet for virtually all the weekend. So no garden fettling but I did manage to get a pic of my lovely new clematis blooms during a bit of sun yesterday.

clematis - july

Poor Ellie has been very rained on during her dig – she is down south at the moment doing an archaeological dig at some standing stones as part of her course. She can cope fine with the rain (it’s just like most of the family holidays we have after all!) but unfortunately her lovely new Zandra Rhodes tepee tent that I bought her for Xmas has on its first trip out proved to be not waterproof at all! They have been very flooded so she has had to retreat to her little tent and we will have to be sending that back to the suppliers with a little note when she returns! Apart from that she is enjoying herself and they are hoping for better weather next week.

We need to wish Becky, her friend and future housemate who is also on the dig with her a belated happy birthday, it was her 21st birthday this week so a very, very happy birthday Becky and I hope that you and Gemma liked the pressies Ellie made you and that you liked the sparkly elephant that starred in last month’s Scavenger Hunt.

Becky and her boyfriend Chris have just come back from staying in our house in Spain and they sent me a very wonderful bouquet of flowers to say thanks and a fab card that she got from Moonpig which had loads of their holiday snaps on it – what a brill idea! Thank you very much Becky and Chris, you are most welcome! Look at these lovely blooms – I don’t know what the little multi-flowered ones are but they are so pretty and I love lilies.

flowers from Becky and Chris

I have had a very busy week again including trying to sort out more IT issues (Jacob’s new birthday computer 0 restored wireless network 1) so some success on that front, bizarrely it will connect fine when downstairs but not when in his room, despite the fact that my laptop will – humm! And 2 hours on the phone with technical support could not fix it – it is a good job that I am a woman who knows my ping from my command prompt I tell you! However he is very happy as he has a super new graphics card and all is very pretty and the games work well, and I have regained access to my laptop of an evening (hurrah!).

To offset this I have a bit of fabric fettling in between marking and decorating. Have managed to work out what I am doing with the farm quilt despite a couple of ‘oops I have measured that bit wrong’ setbacks and have now put together all the labels with the spotty sashing – pic below shows 5 of the 12 that make up the quilt top.

Farm quilt label block

Since I took this pic I have added another row of sashing between all the label blocks in a green gingham so it looks very pretty. Am pleased that I have managed to work out the design myself and that I have done all the sashing using joined piecing which I have seen others at quilt group do but had not attempted it before (aren’t you impressed at all these new words I know now, I am, it is like a whole new language!)

I am very much enjoying my adventures in quilting – we have a ‘Sit and Sew’ day next Saturday where as the name suggests we shall spend all day sewing so I hope to have the quilt top done and possibly backed and part quilted as well as it needs to be finished within a few weeks for a birthday gift.

I have also been enjoying finding out more about quilt techniques as I have discovered a brand new resource from a link on a quilty blog. I was reading Tonya’s Lazy Gal Quilting blog and she mentioned the Quilt Show  and I have been having great fun watching their videos (from the comfort of my sofa thanks to the newly restored wireless connection!)

I like the way that as well as all of the free stuff when you register you can buy access to the individual shows you like without having to take out a yearly subscription and I think at about £1.50 a show that is very good value as they last an hour and are very informative.I watched a really good one on 1930s quilts the other day and am going to go back later and browse some more.

Last but not least I have picked a winner for the 200th post – using a random number generator which other people have mentioned as good way of picking. I had five comments on the post so numbered them in order and the winner is Number 2 – Lorna (no blog). I am mailing you Lorna to ask you what you would like as your ornie. Thank you to all who commented and I will be having another one in a few months in Nov as that will be my 4th blogaversary!

Well I hope that you have had better weather than we have – my Mum arrives next week for a visit so I am hoping that she will pack some Spanish sun in her case, meanwhile  we will look on the bright side – at least I have got out of cutting the front hedge this weekend!

See you next week with hopefully a completed quilt top, thanks for visiting.

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