Sunday, 29 June 2014

Flower Power

Although I bought the first couple of editions of Mollie Makes and admit they are very pretty and visually appealing I've not been tempted to susbscribe or buy on a regular basis. I don't think that they really offer much that is new. But I was tempted by the free gift on this edition as I thought it would make an excellent project for my Young Embroiderers who met yesterday.
I made up the kit as a sample to see whether it was something they could do. (Silly me... of course they could!) You'll note that I substituted a couple of the fabrics... I'm just a little too OCD to have those red florals in with the blues.

... and then I made up another (still matching those colours)

Then I had a little play around and made a double layered version...

and several double layered versions.

and today I tried some different sizes... totally inspired by the girls who immediately asked could they make them smaller. My next challenge is to mix up those colours!

But you don't want to see my samples when you can see what the girls did yesterday. I've mounted these onto cards as they are going to be entered into our Embroiderers' Guild Regional Day competition next week, which is to make an accessory.

These three are from sisters Abigail and Sophia (Their other sister Francesca took hers home for her teacher.)

These were both made by Bluebell

The two above are from Eve and Elena, also sisters (who are only 8 and 5)

These were made by Ruby, Neve and Molly

And these three are from Chloe and Martha
Don't they all look fabulous... and not one of them has my obsessive desire to make the petals match... and I have to say they look all the better for it!
Most of the girls made more than one brooch during the day and the ones below are the ones that they all took home with them.

This was my last session as Young Embroiderers leader but I intend to keep coming along as a helper whenever possible because we always have such a brilliant time. And they never fail to teach me a thing or two!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

In Bruges

Thank you so much for all your kind anniversary wishes.
We went away for a few days to celebrate in the beautiful city of Bruges.
We had three days of sunshine to wander around the ancient cobbled streets along canals and to soak up the wonderful atmosphere.

We did all the tourist stuff including climbing the 366 steps to the top of the Belfry...

Where the view was stunning.

We ate chocolate, frites and waffles (not all at once)... and even sampled a beer or two

It was our first holiday together in over two years and it was very much appreciated. After getting off the Eurostar last night, we rounded it off with a glass of champagne at St Pancras station before getting the train back home.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ten Years

This was us ten years ago today...
And this is us now...

It's been a good ten years.
(But crikey, I look a hell of a lot older!)

Monday, 23 June 2014

The Blog Post of Shame!

For those among you who are under the illusion that I am some sort of Domestic Goddess... please look away now as I am about to show some distressing images.
I am often asked if I have more hours in the day than anyone else. People comment on how much I seem to get done.... but I am about to reveal my secret...

I never put anything away, I hardly ever do housework... I am slovenly beyond belief. This is my studio a month ago and even I can't believe what a mess it is.

It was time for drastic action.

It would not do to shove things in bags and stuff them in cupboards... this time I needed to go through every box, bag and drawer. There needed to be a serious cull!

I collect and save the most ridiculous amount of useless junk. There were these endless cross stitch kits collected from magazines from years ago. If I didn't make them then when I actually did cross stitch there's not much chance I'll do them now... they all went!

Along with the pot of googly eyes. I don't even know why I would even have multi coloured googly eyes but they must date back to when I did a lot of workshops with children...

As did this large booklet of fruit prints...

I was about to throw them out when I turned the page and found each page of prints had a letter on the reverse.

And I weakened and put them back in the cupboard.

But there have been six bags of fabric to the charity shop, a huge sack to the dump, several bags of rubbish and I've filled our recycling bin with paper and old magazines. I've even thrown out Johnny Depp...

Every year at Open Studios at least one visitor would tell me my calendar was on the wrong month and I'd have to point out that actually it was the wrong year but I just rather liked the photo...

But I thought after seven years it was probably time he went.

And this is my studio this afternoon!

It is so clean and tidy I keep having to go in and look round!

There is still too much in there and I probably needed to be more ruthless but at least I can actually work in there without it being a health hazard!

And I have vowed to unpack my bags after teaching workshops, put things away when I've finished with them... and learn to say no when people say " I've got this bag of fabric I'm throwing out... would you like it?"
You've heard me say it!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tea Break

After taking a huge bag to the dump, six bags to the charity shop and having filled my recycling box with old magazines, I've still not finished clearing up my studio. There will be photos when I've done but today I needed a break from the clearing and cleaning.
Having cleared a path to my sewing machine I transformed a couple of old embroidered tray cloths into a pair of tea cosies.

Adding a little free machine embroidery to complement the hand stitching.

A pretty addition to the one I made last week.

And I'm pleased that I hadn't cleared out these old embroideries but instead have given them a new lease of life.

And while I was in the mood I made half a dozen cards too...

After all, not much point in having a clean and tidy studio for Open Studios if I haven't got anything to sell!

Now I must dash... I'm typing this with half an eye on the football "Come on England".

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Birthday Boys

This young man was twenty five on Saturday....
and this young man is... well older than twenty five, today!

This year I made them a cake to share, not that Joe was around for his birthday nor all weekend for that matter!

I'd seen various versions of this pigs in mud cake on the web so I can take no credit for the design... but it seemed like a good occasion to give it a try.

Various family members (minus Joe) gathered for a barbecue on Sunday...

and no-one complained about having to eat pig's bums!

Happy birthday Stewart and Joe (who got a slice of his cake yesterday).
Meanwhile I have spent all day yesterday trying to clear out my studio... not just the usual "stuff things in boxes and hide them in cupboards" type of clearing up... but proper sorting out and throwing away. I realised I will never use all the stuff I've accumulated nor finish all those half started projects even if I live to be 200 and desperate measures were called for. At the moment it looks far worse than when I started and I fear I may never be able to reach my sewing machine again... watch this space!