Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Springy things

As usual my head has been bursting with ideas of things to make. Things I want to make for the buns, things to sell at the Easter market in Southwold, things just for the joy of making things and finally to have something to put on my as yet empty folksy shelves. Life always seems to have other plans and so I seem to live in a permanent limbo of WIP's. I think I will have to settle for what I have achieved and stop worrying about the list in my head of all I haven't yet done. The problem of being a perfectionist is that you drive yourself nuts and probably everyone else too?






I absolutely love applique work with felt. The choice of colours are so intense and as there are no fraying edges to worry about it satisfies my love of quick results. Did I also say I was very impatient. In my workbox there are a pile of these egg cosies to be finished off and little chicks in various stages of life. These chicks are so very cute, I found them in Nicki Trench's Super Cute Crochet. I actually want to make eveything in there as each page you turn emits another ooohhh - aaaahhhh and a bunlike can we have one of those. I always agree. Drat now my list is even longer. This lovely sugar mouse is from the same book. I made another in green, but he has weight issues and so he kept rolling over.
I also love making little Yo Yo brooches. They're a good way of using up scraps of fabric. I always add vintage buttons. The rose in the centre of the pink dotty is from a collection of 30 I won on ebay. They are from New York so I sat until the wee hours to make sure I won, I wanted them badly and they are really worth it.





At the car boot I'm always on the look out for vintage children's card games to put my brooches on to. I love these happy family ones I'm using at the moment as once you take off the brooch all the gorgeous faded colours are revealed.



I've been making these button hearts for a while now as they sell well and look so pretty. I've only recently started putting a scrap of fabric on the wire to add a bit more colour.


Finally some crochet flower brooches in grown-up colours. I've made some zingy bit too bright ones for the hair ties for little buns party. I'll try to remember to put them on another post. The pink brooch at the top has got to be wrapped in a moment and delivered to a lovely friend who is having an operation tommorow. I hope she likes it.


Sunday, 29 March 2009

My Beautiful Little Bun

For weeks now, really it's been months, my beautiful littlest bun has been counting the days with excitement to her birthday. Yesterday Saturday 28 March she turned 7 and she was far too ill to really notice. On Thursday night she started being sick and this just went on through Friday and into the early part of Saturday. I feel so sad for her as she was looking forward to so many things. Handing out sweeties at her new school on Friday; going to our favourite farm and then family party tea on her birthday and today a tea party with proper games with eight little friends. Yesterday she was too ill to really notice and asked her big sister to choose each present to be opened and for me to pull the paper off for her. Bless her she tried so hard and said wow at each delight. Eldest bun was an absolute star and looked after her. By the evening we were so worried we called the doctor and now she is rallying a bit. She woke this morning feeling brighter and all excited that she would be able to have her party. As she planned balloons and games it seemed so cruel when we had to explain to her how she is contagious for three more days and so we would have to cancel it. Luckily nearly all of them can come next weekend and so she will still have that party girl moment. Most importantly she is getting better and has asked for waffles for breakfast and yorkshire pudding and peas for tea.
I chose this photo of her as for seven whole years now she has smiled and lit up the world with her sheer delight in the simplest of things, her swing being one of them.
I adore you little bun.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Flowers and Fashion


Before meeting my mum this morning I had a quick dash around the car boot. I was jumping for joy when it started up again last week. Then I only came away with a couple of plates and some leeks. This week I found this gorgeous green glass vase which looks perfect with roses in. I also couldn't believe my luck when I found these embroidery scissors. I've wanted them for a while now. I have a perfectly fine boring pair, but I really really wanted these beautiful birdy ones and now they're mine.





After we had finished getting all the final things sorted out for little buns birthday tea party, we went to choose some flowers from the market. I try not to spend as much as I used to on flowers, so I was torn between two of my favourites - anenomes, which were my wedding bouquet and arunculas. I settled on the arunculas in the end. They look so beautiful all wrapped up tightly ready to burst forth in yet more colour. The book they are laying on is CK's Vintage Prints which was waiting in the letter box for me when I got home.






Today I thought this vintage blue glass jug was perfect to set off their sunshine colours. I have far too many vases and often settle for jam jars so I can scatter them all over the house.





I realised as I was writing this post that I was also wearing some subtle flowers today. The floral lace panelling on this blouse was my reason for buying it. My favourite clothes are from Noa Noa and I love anything similar to their style. Our local Rainbow has a Dorothy Perkins tucked in the corner and that's where I found this top and fabulous ring.




Much later on, after tea we did our usual last minute mad dash to start and finish a project. Tommorow night is the Brownies recycled fashion show. The buns had to design and make clothes from recycled things. They had drawn the designs a few weeks ago, but the making never quite happened. Considering we had about an hour I think the results are pretty darned good.






Little Bun in Philip Treacey's latest with feathers, straws and recycled tissue paper.


Eldest Bun in Vivienne Westwood's newsprint t-shirt.



Monday, 23 March 2009

Catching Up




Mother's Day was wonderful. Two gorgeous little buns and a Mr Bun to snuggle with in bed and me being given gifts. Mr Bun and little bun also brought up coffee, biscuits and daffodils picked from our front garden. While I opened my cards and gifts, the buns tucked into the biscuits. Eldest bun had chosen this lovely little roses glass pot for me and little bun chose the sugar bowl. I have ideas for our bathroom to be painted in this shade of primrose yellow with lots of pink and floral curtains to give it that extra something. I can see this becoming a soap bowl once the paint brush has been and done its job. This may be some while though as there are yard of hideous teraccota tiles to paint white first as we can't stretch to re-tiling such a large room at the moment. Where was I? Back to Mother's Day.
My other presents were these gorgeous framed pictures they had drawn and coloured in. Little bun has done Posh Molly her cat and eldest bun is floating over a garden filled with her favourite things. I'll have to get the drill out as our walls are made of the hardest hard stuff and then I can put these up.


Little bun also made the flower pot at Brownies (eldest was too ill to go) and the daffodil card was made at school. In it she has written "thank you for looking after me, you chase all my bad dreams away, you are the best mummy in the world, you are perfect." Their love is so pure it melts me, when they are teenagers I think I will use this as evidence to remind them how nice I am really.


For my mum I spent all Saturday embroidering a tray cloth with the words Tea Time and cups and a gateau underneath. I was really really pleased with it. However, you'll have to take my word for it as I forgot to photograph it. In January 08 I set myself three goals - to teach myself to crochet, embroider and get hens. Well they all turned out very nicely and I really enjoy all three. I prefer crochet now to knitting as I like the quick results you can get. I'm a very impatient person. Freeform embroidery I love as it can be done on practically anything to jazz it up and make it interesting again. The range of coloured threads and the different stitches you can use give it the same quality as painting for me. I can draw out a picture and then give it colour and texture and feel excited as I watch it all grow in front of me.
I did do some knitting this week though. I have a two week sale coming up for the Easter holidays in Southwold, so I need to be restocking. I made these flower posy brooches, the other ones are yet to be finished. I've also been working on chicks, mice and knitted cakes amongst other things. Each time I make something new the buns desperately want it. I feel mean, so I let them have it and then I have to make yet more. It's good market research though, because if they don't like it I know it's not working as an idea. Eldest bun is brutually honest and at eight she already has very good taste.

I've also got to crochet twelve flowers for hairbands and slides as party gifts before the weekend. Little bun is seven on Saturday. On Sunday we are having eleven little girls here for a tea party. We have quite a few rooms here in our cottage, but they are all pretty small, so we thought eight girls, including our own, would be perfect. Now we have changed schools little bun has met a few more she wants to come, how can I say no. So with a squash and a squeeze I'm sure we'll all have fun.
In honour of the party we found this fantastic disco ball in a junk shop. Little bun has wanted one for ages and so she was thrilled when we saw it through the window. It now hangs from the beam in the dining room, gaily cracking me on the head everytime I walk under it. I smile and curse quietly.


Now to commerate the Union Jack craze I thought I would show you our wooden bunting. I bought it over a year ago to brighten up the bean I painted white. I bought two lengths and so it runs across the room cheering it all up no end.




Finally I wanted to say thank you for your kind comments about the buns changing school and their illnesses, it is really appreciated. I just wanted to add that when eldest bun went to the hospital clinic on Saturday it turned out she was dangerously close to developing pneumonia. I had taken her to the doctor a week before who told me her chest was clear and there was nothing wrong, despite it sounding rattly and dreadful to us. She has been awake at 4am every day as she coughs so much and can't sleep anymore. By Saturday she was burning up and feverish. The doctor at hospital said it was a chest infection and we had caught it just in time. Thankfully she is now on strong medicine which smells like bubblegum and tastes like battery acid. She refuses it and so I kindly say ok I'll book the hospital bed now then shall I. Down it goes, followed by a sweetie or two and now she is on the mend.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Barriers to Spring




Since my last post I've had a couple of others all witten in my head. The images are all ready and waiting on my camera, but the laptop won't play ball. I've erased tons of stuff, but can't load onto Picassa and so I feel in limbo between this world and the world of blog. It's out there and I can't quite touch it. I'm not too technical and Mr Bun really hasn't a clue (not overall, just about this) so will have to keep fiddling and see what happens.
The picture above is from one of my book buys last week. I really love the idea of making a patchwork curtain to hide things away. I don't know if any of you recognise the kitchen as I've already seen it in Country Living and then another article (can't remember where). There are so many of these lovely homes that get used and I see them in knitting books, craft books and interiors magazines.



I could only get hold of two pictures that make sense. This little scene was set up by little bun. She emptied out a couple of paper bags to see what I had bought from the wool and haberdashery shop in the week. Then she had a lovely half hour sorting everything into it's colour group, asking me if I thought it all worked. I felt it deserved a picture to record this rainbow of colour. It reminded me of the colour wheels we painstakingly mixed for and painted in those first weeks at art colllege. Once done I don't remember ever using them again, I've always felt constrained by referring to something, I much prefer having a quick look and then jmping straight in.











I also wanted to say Happy Spring everyone and lets hope all the nasty bugs and yucky stuff finally get shown the door around here. Eldest Bun has been ill for three weeks coughing all night and looking far too pale, little bun has just sneezed and I feel as if a steamroller played with me in the night. So I look out at the blue skies and I feel really uplifted, but I can't get the ooompph to get out there much. Lying prone on the sofa seems a better option once I've fed the animals.

Monday, 16 March 2009

New beginnings

It's only been a week and a half since I last posted, but in blogland that can feel an age. When I started this blog I only intended it to be a place of happy nostalgic creative news. About creating through being a mum, crafting, cooking and the general creative spirit of life. Sometimes this just can't be the case, because however much I put an upbeat spin on here, behind the scenes real life is going on. Real life meant that I didn't have any energy left for writing and then when I sat down to upload my photos my computer wouldn't play ball. Finally I have them on, but Picassa won't let me make them more attractive, so sorry for their slight fuzziness. Also everything is squashed today and won't let me move it.

In a nut shell after months of worrying about the buns at school we have finally moved them to another one. Today is their third day. It was a very hard decision to make as their old school is in our village and is right for them in so many ways, but not in others. They have some lovely friends who they have known since Nursery school. We struggled between what we wanted for them educationally and their happiness. In the end we made the decision, but this last week at school has been hard. watching them with friends, hearing them talk about future plans. On Friday night I felt awful as the reality of it hit the buns. Some of their friends had given such thoughtful gifts and handdrawn cards which brought a lump to my throat. However, on the first morning little bun was up at 6.30am full of joy and excitement for the day ahead. She has soaked up our message that she will be adding to her list of friends. Eldest bun is far more cautious, but she has a nutty and confident little sister to hold her hand and guide her through what lays ahead and forever more. As an only child this is where I know they are truly lucky because they have one another and they adore each other. I didn't need to worry though as they have already made new friends and are having a great time.
So back to blog news, last week I ordered some gorgeous books from Amazon that I've wanted for a while now. I've only managed to get two images sorted out so far. Sublime Stitching is fabulous and really inspiring with the range of ideas for embroidery. This and the others, which I will reveal next time, have all given me a much needed creative lift and so I'm now bubbling with ideas and plans.
These cats are destined for eldest bun. For a pillow, cushion or clothes - I don't know yet. I love them, so maybe I should have some for me too.
The other fantastic parcel to arrive was this tin of vintage buttons. I only just got it at the last minute on ebay. I remebered I had wanted it two minutes before bidding ended and couldn't believe I got there in time. The tin they came in is simply gorgeous and takes me back to the tins of toffee hidden in my christmas stocking. The horses on the front remind me of our tin horse Prince, so really I think I like the tin just as much as what's inside.
In true style though I also forgot a more fabulous collection that ended yesterday. So I've started leaving post it notes over my screen to help me.
Just read note which reminds me I must go and eat my lunch now.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Three days in one

First thing on Sunday the sky was incredibly blue and the air felt positively spring like. After dippy eggs for breakfast we took ourselves off for a bit of sea air. We parked at the pier end of Southwold, between the resting beach huts. They sit there waiting for the winter to be over so they can get back to the sea front again. Mr Bun and the buns raced off ahead and I was dazzled by how beautiful the light was making the sea sparkle all around us.








The pier was rebuilt after being bought in 2001 I think it was. The original was visited by holidaymakers coming from London Bridge on steamships. They sailed from the C19th through to the early 1930's. Then a storm damaged the end of the pier and finally during the war a mine finished off the rest.




Today we played beside it so I can't show you any pictures, but it's such a lovely pier to promenade on, drink hot chocolate on and go and experience some truly eccentric thrills from being frisked by rubber gloves to going on a submarine trip. As you can see by the big splosh in the sea, we played ducks and drakes as well as collecting more stones. When we wandered underneath the pier the smell of chips hit us so we had no choice but to get a couple of packets to share. They tasted so good.










We walked on for a bit further, but didn't get as far as the guns before eldest bun felt tired, so we headed back to the car. On the drive back the sky started to get darker and darker. Once home it rained so heavily the house was really cold and dark. The only option was to snuggle in front of the woodburner with a hook and some wool. I was soon joined by two buns, Mr Bun, cats and a dog.




Strangely enough, two hours after this awful dark storm, the light went back to this, just as if the day was starting all over again.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Coughs and Sneezes

Last weekend I stupidly said we haven't had any colds this winter. So of course it was inevitable really that eldest bun came down with one the next day. She has been off school all week feeling dreadful and so I've been cooped up too. Somehow this has zapped any creativity I might have had planned. Apart from making the buttons bags on Monday and crocheting flowers, I've been unable to get myself motivated. So instead I attacked two buns bedrooms. As they hoard as much as us it took nearly a day and a half, but now they are done and looking lovely with bunting up too at long last.




I also finally put up this frame. We bought these vintage cards in Kensington Gardens in the North Lanes while I was pregnant with eldest bun. They were part of the plans for her nursery. Funny those ideas you have and how it all turns out so differently. Both buns ended up staying in our bed and then in a cot in our bedroom for the first year. It felt so odd to have carried this little person around for nine months and then put them out of sight. That first night hearing our first baby snuffling in the dark in her moses basket lasted about five minutes. We were both up carrying her into bed and that's where she stayed for the next six months. Then we moved house four times before settling here, so it's taken a while for this picture to finally be framed and hung in her bedroom.




Then when we were on holiday in North Norfolk we found these gorgeous cards in a secondhand bookshop. So they hang in little buns room and make me smile every time I walk past them.




As my inspiration for this post comes from a week inside I decided to show you two more of our memorable finds. Here is Prince, so named after Mr Bun's horse that he had as a child. Prince fell to pieces in the end and so he went to toy horse heaven with lots of tears all round. When we saw Prince 2 in a fleamarket we knew he had to come home with us. He is a much loved part of the house and is staring at me as I write this having just had a mornings gallop across the floor. His faded and slightly worn appearance makes him all the more beautiful I hope he stays forever.




The next find is a tin toy that we were told was made by a prisoner of war out of cans. It is magical in an odd way and makes me think of helter skelters and end of pier rides. More often than not a family of Sylvanian's are whizzing past in the boats.




As the week wore on the food supplies dwindled and I felt stir crazy. With eldest bun getting better, just having a small amount of energy I thought an hour in John Lewis' wool department and then a cake would be just the thing. We looked at all the lovely sewing kits for children, for inspiration (me) for potential shopping (e.bun). They are packaged beautifully, but when they are things I can help the bun's make from scratch I object to buying them. Then I think am I just being a meanie?
We wandered to the wool part next and saw the next Debbie Bliss magazine was finally out so I got that and a few more balls of cotton for my flowers (to be shown soon).


This gorgeous ribbon was also asking to come home with us so I said ok then.



Before heading off for cake we had a look at Amy Butler's new Spring fabrics. Eldest bun chose the ones she would like for summer skirts, just got to find some patterns for little girls who are tall. Eldest bun is 8, but the height of a 12 year old and little bun who is on the verge of 7 is a nine year olds height. So it's never easy finding clothes that fit and look their age. Finally thinking I should be making more for them so we have more choice.
After cake we headed back to the car through the cooking department and couldn't resist these cute little measuring jugs. For me they are the best buy in a long while. They simply make me smile, will I ever actually use them ? I don't know. Does it matter? No. Are they gorgeous to just look at? Yes. Also they will probably come in handy for toys teaparties. I love them so much I took three pictures of them.















Monday, 2 March 2009

Buttons and threads

Eldest bun has been off school today so I've been inside all day despite the gorgeous weather. Instead I tackled the enormous ironing pile and then finished an order I needed to send out. I was asked to make a button bag in a material that would co-ordinate with the pincushion and needlecase the lady bought. So as green and red were the main colours I came up with this -




I've sold all of my button bags and badly needed to make some more. As we had a while before picking little bun up from school I made a couple more. Over the next few days I must start building up my stock of goodies again. I made one in pink dotty fabric and cheered it up by embroidering a couple of flowers on it.







The other one is from remnants of vintage curtains that I need to line, put new header tape on and finally hang. Another one of those jobs that are just waiting to be done.





Finally I have some threads from the 1930's to show you. I picked them up at the weekend from a junk shop. They are too lovely to use really, but I had to have them. I'll probably put them on my next stall.





Now after all this gorgous craftiness it's back to the horrible reality of putting away the piles ironing.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Finished at last

On Saturday evening I started sewing the fabric onto the back of eldest bun's crochet cushion. I managed to finish it just before she went to bed and she was thrilled with it. It's been cuddled ever since. Poor little girl woke up on Sunday morning full of cold and feeling pretty poorly so she needed to snuggle on the sofa under blankets and surrounded by cushions. We lit the woodburner and put on a film. Her new special cushion gave her that extra bit of comfort.
As I read little bun her bedtime story on Saturday night she asked (in such a sweet way so it was very hard to refuse any request) if I would be able to finish her cushion. I stayed up until 1am finally sewing the flower on the middle, knowing that there would be two happy little buns instead of just one. I popped it on her bed so she would see it when she woke. She was just as delighted with her new so soft and squashy cushion. I can't think of anything better than enjoying making something and then giving the gift to someone who loves it.


I decided to cover the backs of both cushions with fabric so they could have a bit more colour on them and to be truthful I didn't fancy repeating the round in the same colourway. Here is Eldest buns from the front -



and then the back in my favourite pink polka dot.



Little bun was discussing colours as I was finishing this one off. She announced that pink was her least favourite colour (so you'll like your pink cushion then I thought). Purple was her favourite and then green. We know about purple adoration so her blanket and walls are all different shades of that colour. Therefore, I fancied a change from that colour, hence the pink with yellow edging. So I opted to put a bit of green in her flower, otherwise it would have been blue.




Funnily enough the fabric I used on the back is something I've never quite liked, even though I chose it. Here on the cushion it looks perfect and I really do like it.It was obviously waiting for this project.




While on the subject of projects I have two little proteges. Since being taught the basic knit stitch there is no stopping them. This is after tea on a school night, needles out and off we go. I never thought we would be saying to them "only one more row and then it really is bedtime." Little bun is left handed, but I have taught her as a right handed knitter so she is doing really well.



With eldest bun feeling poorly on Sunday we invited the grandparents over for a visit. They came with comics, sweeties and grapes for the invalid. I used to lay on the sofa in front of a roaring fire and my mum brought in bowls of black grapes (seeds removed) sprinkled with sugar. So she brought these in honour of that memory. I thought it was a good excuse to make cakes for afternoon tea, plus the ladies have been laying four eggs every day without fail so we had quite a few to use. I inherited these fantastic scales from my mother-in-law who sadly is no longer with us. She always baked so I like knowing that they are still very much in use for her family.





Little bun and I made a chocolate cake which rose like a tower. The last one looked like it had been sat on. For me it's pot luck, they all taste good so I'm happy. We also made some buns.




Can you see the smiley face she put on the top?