Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Addictions

When I stitch I really get into it. You could call it obsessive, I call it creative therapy.

I made one top.
I showed you that the other day.



Then I made another. 

Then I made a smaller version of the other two.

I also cut out the shapes to make two more because you know there are a lot of days in the week that need clothes to be worn.



My man laughed and wondered if I was getting a bit OCD about the tops.

I plan to make him one next.


I simply adore the latest one above. I made it out of fabric destined for the ironing board to repair a very torn and tatty cover. I was in need of a pink fix for a top and this was just the ticket.


Then I thought I'd better share the top love, so I made one for Little Bun out of fabric she chose last summer. If I'd been a sewing top obsessive last summer she might have had it sooner. Last summer I was strictly whizzing up dresses.


I'm also halfway through a skirt to go with her new top. 

A plain denim skirt was requested a while back and so the fabric has been patiently sitting there waiting to become just that.


It was lovely being a sewing obsessive to tell the truth.

One morning I had crafty company.
My fabrics spread out at one end, while Little Bun drew, stuck and planned at the other end all watched by new to her Sindy. Bidding for Sindy dolls on ebay has become the latest thing


Day 1 of sewing I had company for half the day and then off she went with her daddy to watch Rent a Ghost. Sindy's and old TV for Little Bun, Miss Rosey is the only modern girl in this house. I think she despairs of us sometimes, although she does love The Herbs, Magic Roundabout, Rainbow, Hong Kong Fuey, Bagpuss and Lovejoy.

Day 2 of sewing I stopped halfway through to pick up my new knitting and watch Thoroughly Modern Millie (an absolute favourite of mine and partly the reason for a wee girls name). 


Next time I stop by here I'll show you what this is and where it comes from. 

Most naughty of me as I still have a sleeve to finish on my other knit and a whole body to go on the other. 

Rolls her eyes in despair at yet more obsessive tendencies.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Wrap Me Up In Plastic

Not literally, please, no kinks here. It's just that I love the plastic stuff you know.

Bright colours, pale pastely colours, kitsch designs and downright great to wear everyday designs hit the button for me.


I wear a different coloured ring everyday. My hand feels far too light without the weight of one. My man even chose a bright blue plastic ring for our wedding day as his excema won't allow him to wear a ring other times. 

I'm always on the lookout for new rings. I've quite a few in the waiting to be glued back together again pile. When in need of a new colour ring I always turn to Daniella at Acorn & Will as her rings are my favouritest. Handy then that my friend Ruth stocks tons of Acorn & Will in her shop Glory Days too. 

Setting the link to Daniella, I spied a pink elephant brooch that has brought on the wants - oh dear.


Alongside rings I also wear a brooch everyday. From felt ones, crochet ones to plastic fantastic ones - I love them all. Some are missing as they get lost on coats and cardis all over the place. Great joy when they're discovered again, just getting a new brooch once more.


To tell the truth I get covered in quite a bit of plastic, 'cos I also pop on a plastic bangle each day to jangle on my wrist. 

Plastic toys always get the big thumbs up from all of us too. 

On a quick Sunday Co-Op shop with my man we found this little frog pair abandoned in the sweetie pile. Frogs give me the creeps because they're too like my worst fear ever (can't even write the name of the thing that's how bad my phobia is), but these are plastic and sweet so I can cope.


Mr Fish is a much loved favorite of mine. Bought from Daniella, must be five years ago now, when she used to come to our Pick 'n' Mix Makers Markets. Her stall as a delight of plastic kitsch goodness won the sweetie jar for best dressed stall.


Hand cream apple bought for me by Little Bun will sit by my side even when she's empty.


Add to all of this the wind up toys, the hopping and spinning toys, the games and throw in St Clare of Assisi the Patron Saint of TV and you have a happy collection.

St Clare entered our lives as did so many other useless, but cheered us up plastic things from a fabulous shop in Brighton called Cissy Mo. We couldn't find them when we last visited which was sad.


Other plastic friends adorn the kitchen windowsill to make washing up a better experience.

Add to that a love of tins, tin toys, fabrics, baskets of yarn, books and so much more and I wonder how we even manage to fit into our cottage.



Plastic is Fantastic don't you agree?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Free to Stitch

Little Bun and I decided to go out foraging on the last day of the holidays. Miss Rosey's teenage ways meant she could do what she wanted which was snuggle up at home with films. We miss her company a lot these days, but times change I guess.

It wasn't long before we were a three again though. We did a double take as we walked past a shop window and then rushed inside to purchase the happy gnome. He travelled home with a seat belt round him as I was afraid he might smash. Little Bun named him Mr Digby and being a slightly frail gentleman he's taken up residence on the kitchen windowsill.


Before heading off to for afternoon tea we had a quick rootle around in the old shop of all sorts of stuff.

Straight in the door and my thrifty girl spied a basket full of lace bundles, all a £1 each. She also required some invisible thread to do convincing flying of things in the mini videos she makes.
 

Now those Easter holidays are over and here I am with a couple of days holiday before I head back to work next week. 

 Today my man did the school run so I didn't have to leave the house once. That meant even more uninterrupted time to get on with my sewing plans.

When I realised I hadn't eaten my Easter egg the day just got even better

 

I'm saving my eggs (donated by Miss Rosey) in my Easter basket(made for me by Little Bun) for another day as half an egg finished me off.

 

I chose the bottom fabric for a simple top I'd planned to make a few weeks back. It's a mixture of the silk vest pattern from the first Sewing Bee with my own tweaks. 

Tweak no 1. I really don't like the exposed zip's on dresses and tops so I opted for making a placket, and a rouleaux fastening. 

I didn't have enough fabric to make the back facing which is usually the way when buying vintage fabric. Actually, I think the contrast of this yellow sheeting looks so much better. 
Which reminds me, I still have a dress half made in this fabric to sort out


A first for me was choosing to bind the edges of the facings rather than simply hemming them. I've always loved the internal finishes in Noa Noa clothes (often thin ribbons of velvet or lace with spotty satin linings). Now I have a top that looks as good inside as it does out. 

 As the front is darted and I'd taken out some of the ease of getting the top on and off by removing the zip bit, I decided to leave the bottom edges open. To tidy them up a bit I added a small bit of spotty yellow ribbon.

 

By mid-afternoon I had a finished top. 

One that I'm thrilled with and it fits perfectly too. 


 Being on my lonesome means there was only me to take some odd pictures to try and show you what it looks like on.


 I'm thinking I could add sleeves perhaps, make is longer, or even add a belt. Whichever I chose to do, I do know I'll be making a few more of these tops. They're the perfect way to get a brightness fix, they're really comfy to wear and I think they'll look just right with bare arms in the summer.


I do love it so when a days sewing ends in success not nasty disaster.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Strolling here 'n' There

Last week we had the kind offer of a Pug babysitter.
This meant we could get away from home longer than usual and so at 7am we were London bound.

We have so many things we want to show the girls and so we pick a different route each time we visit. 

We park at Gants Hill and get the tube in so we get there as quick as can be. This time we got off at Green Park so we could stroll through as much green space as possible for our country loving Little Bun. Cities tire her out if she sees tons of people and too many pavements so this was good planning for a long day. Miss Rosey on the other hand craves cities and shops. A balance has to be struck. 

First stop was the monument opened in 2012 to commemorate Bomber Command.
Then underneath The Wellington arch and past the 1914-18 Artillery Monument, which was being renovated, to hop into Hyde Park.

I used to love coming to see the shouty people at Hyde Park Corner in the years I lived here. All very quiet today, public shouting of beliefs doesn't seem as popular as it used to be.

We strolled towards the Serpentine enjoying the morning air and getting excited about the day ahead.

After touristy bridge shots we crept past the geese, avoided falling in the Lido and stopped for breakfast by the water's edge.





We planned our route so we'd be able to take in the biggest monument probably ever built by a wife for her dead husband. Our heads and hearts were weighing up the reality of those who would have been living in poverty and ending up in the workhouse alongside the size of this creation. Nothing changes though as I can think of quite a few modern day elephants that have been built while people still languish on the borderline of society.
Directly opposite Albert's memorial is the Albert Hall. Miss Rosey has the chance to sing in the Albert Hall later this year with her school choir, still not sure if she'll choose to go or not.

Not suprisingly after this we headed down Exhibition Road to one of our favourite museums and a first for the girls. We had planned to go to the Imperial War Museum (most favourite of all), but strangely in this significant year 2014 it's closed until the summer?

At the bottom of the road we found the V & A. I was all bubbly with excitement.


We entered by the side doors so first stop was the Fashion displays. Joy of joys. 


I've missed out some era's as I didn't want to overload you, so I picked some of Little Bun and I's favourites.
I adored the late C19th velvet evening coat. Little Bun fell for the Schiaparelli coat.

Clothes from the 1920's that remind me of those worn in Thoroughly Modern Millie.


Women's fashion full circle from the crinoline to the fullness of Dior's skirts.


These beautiful gowns from the 1930's have small features that I'm wondering if I could try making myself. I'll certainly have a go and if I don't make a pigs ear of it then I'll show and tell.


After the delights of the clothes we headed upstairs to see the drawing, paintings and performance areas.

This Widow Twanky costume made us jump out of our skin.


Once we had taken in the visual feast and seen the Great Bed of Ware we headed outside for lunch.

Next stop on the tour was Covent Garden.  First visit was the Moomin shop for a few purchases. 
Afterwards we wandered and then we heard the most wonderful Opera singer's voice filling the market. 

Peering over the balcony we were treated to the most wonderful show. The singing was sublime and all acted out with the greatest comedy act. This is what we'd brought the girls to Covent Garden for and we couldn't have asked for a better street performance. A few pounds in the hat to show our appreciation and off we went hungry and thirsty again.
 

We ended our day lazing outside the market before deciding we were ready to head off back homeward bound. 

On our walk back to Holborn tube luck of luck we passed a Hope & Greenwood shop. Easter egg shopping was quickly sorted, no peeking in the bag. 

I even got to do a spot of knitting on the way home as my man took over the driving.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bouncing Along

I was about to start by saying how much I love Spring, but then I thought, you know, I actually love all of our seasons as much as each other. I love how our year is broken into four bits all with different festivals, foods and changes in nature to look forward to. 

For now though it's Easter time and that means chicks and bunnies to me (oh and family feasts and chocolate too).



It also means lots of lovely days doing just what we please. 

Mid-week we headed to Foxley Woods. Foxley is an ancient woodland with the most stunning displays of bluebells.


 We had a leisurely meander with Little Bun and her friend following behind lost in chatter.


Spring also means a beautiful play of light on the walls. It makes getting up early less of a hideous thing for a night owl like me.

We actually managed to rise at 6am this week so we could drive down to London for a day of this 'n' that (I'll show you what we found next time I pop by).


 Another thing I'm hugely in favour of with seasonal festivities is the baking that goes with it. 

I made fairy egg buns for the girls, a Simnel cake (slightly burnt so it's best to just eat the middle bit) and a few cheese scones for the cheesy addicts. 

Little Bun and I still plan to knock up a few bunny and egg shaped lemon  biscuits as they've become a tradition of ours.


Today I've been playing chauffeur. Little Bun and her daddy have been planning a long off the beaten track walk for a while now and today was the day. 

Once I'd delivered them to the track I did the horrid food shop and then was greeted with the lovely sight of a sleepy bee waiting on the doorstep just for me!


 Miss Rosey got on with our lunch while I hung washing and generally faffed about with some of our animals.

Maggie and Bluebell in synchronised dance routine. Little Olive was busy in a bush laying eggs somewhere so missed out on the dancing.


 Further up I found Pixie had made another break for freedom. Not surprising as her outdoor run is very Heath Robinson (badly made and falling to bits if you don't know of the bloke).

 I left her to it. She's old and doesn't get too far, plus I needed the crack team to help me catch her.


 Walking back to the house I saw the ladies were still prancing and a dancing.


 No sooner it seemed than I got in to eat my lunch than I was called to come and collect the hikers. Six miles in and they found the path was blocked off so back they'd come tired, but happy.

Once home I sat down with my latest knitting and hooky obsession while uploading pics.

I opened up my bag of 4 ply cottons a couple of days ago and ever since I've been in colour heaven.


I'm loving working on these beautiful doilies and already have lots of other colourways planned.

I tried them in DK cotton at first, but they grab me best of all in the finer 4 ply.

 

Alongside these, last minute as usual, I started knocking up an egg cosy or two or three for friends who don't eat chocolate (hard to believe these people exist, but they actually do).


 Well it's been a lovely old week so far of Springtime goodness. 

Now thoughts turn to whether or not the Easter bunny will show up, will I burn the lunch and is it rude to squeeze in a spot of knitting when we have guests? 

Happy Easter to each of you.