Glyndebourne 2016: The Barber of Seville

Another year, another opportunity to get glammed up and enjoy a fantastic day out at Glyndebourne Opera House, thanks to my Sister’s generosity.

DSC_0014It was a bit same old, same old, this year, in terms of my outfit. We were in for a slightly cooler day (well, not ridiculously hot and sunny, as it often is) so my vintage 1950’s cloak came out again, along with a regularly worn dress, but I did get new shoes!Eyelashes2Even my Paperself eyelashes returned.EyelashesI did try to take an outfit photo, which is very good of me as I do still HATE having my photo taken…capethis is the best I got, complete with a lampshade growing out of my head.DSC_0019This year, it was ‘The Barber of Seville’ which was just brilliant. Very easy to watch/listen too, and some amazing(ly fast), beautiful singing!

98861444_Barbiere_2_ARTS-large_trans++FmZwAHfbzbyjsBBHX-5Jh9NpogaFEjDXM6mMtQntxXcI know it’s being shown ‘live’ at various cinemas, if you’re interested.98861396_Il_barbiere_1_ARTS-large_trans++ejZIJAt9PEOrlPg-pDq6ICS0p4l5Gu-vHGcy9QMx2TIThe costumes and sets were fantastic, as they always are, but I did note that ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ is back, which is still up there as my favourite set and costumes at Glyndebourne, so far!

The Cunning Little VixenI mean, look at the hens with their cockerel, all dressed as show girls – awesome.106867395_FirstNigh_297078c

Wonder what it’ll be next year (if I get invited) and perhaps I’ll make a change and wear something different…or not🙂

Long Time, No Blogging!!

I wrote my last post in March. MARCH!!! Honestly, I just don’t know where the time is going. Days blur into each other and I’m clearly struggling to keep up, and finding time to blog just hasn’t seemed like a high priority; at the same time, it’s a really important way for me to keep in touch with my online friends, and to promote my sewing (when I have things other than curtains and blinds to show) so I shall be making a firm and proper effort to get back into the rhythm.

DSC_0021DSC_0064Both the boys have had Birthdays.  DSC_0008 2It doesn’t seem very long ago that they were so little.  F is now so tall I have to buy him clothes for a 13-14 year old (and they only just fit) and they are both becoming very ‘grown up’ which I kind of like, as they are great company.DSC_0013F is just about to finish his time at Primary School and in a fitting tribute, his ‘Monster Letter‘ has finally died.DSC_0003I don’t feel very sentimental about it all, really, he’s ready to go and I think Secondary will suit him better anyway, so onwards and upwards on that one.

DSC_0008In the ever on-running saga of our luck with animals, Elvis(eena) the shoulder riding chicken died😦 Which was sad, especially as it was whilst F was away on a school trip, and she was his chicken.

(I have been MUCH better at blogging on my other blog, if you’re interested, although it’s mostly about chickens at the moment: Rock Cottage Year)

DSC_0142And Tuppence was killed on the lane, which I was absolutely gutted about. She was bringing home a mouse, and was knocked a good two meters through the air after being hit and then left, before someone walking down the road found her body and came and kindly knocked on my door.DSC_0008We still have two guinea pigs, a load of chickens (as I allowed two to hatch out some eggs) and Birdie, the fur ball cat (Tuppence’s sister). I keep making jokes that animals will run in terror when we try to buy/adopt them in future, but the joke becomes less funny each time we lose another beloved pet.

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On a plus, I’ve finally started using my Instagram account ( @thelinencat )and can see already that it’ll likely be more active than my blog. I’m a bit crap at the moment, but I’m getting into the swing of it.IMG_20160621_114821And there is lots of sewing going on, just not so much photographing and listing….yet.IMG_20160622_101422Let’s hope this is the turning of a new leaf and I can keep it up.  As above, onwards and upwards🙂

 

Mothers Day and Flower Brooches

It appears I had forgotten about Mothers Day.  To be honest, in the past I’d have been lucky to get a lie in, let alone a present (I took to buying my own, in the end!) and as my lovely Mum is no longer here, it tends to just get forgotten about.  To give the boys credit, they have realised as it must have been mentioned at school and they are planning a day of Star Wars stuff !!!!??? (I think that means us all running around the house like loons playing with lightsabers….I was thinking more training them to be able to make nice coffee and a lie-in, but I don’t have to heart to tell them that).

DSC_0001It’s something I need to be better at, in the future (with the exception of Valentines Day, which I have always hated, if I’m honest), recognising special days and holidays and promoting my work accordingly.  I do make a lot of things aimed toward Christmas but the rest of the year tends to be forgotten about.DSC_0005I’m sewing in the kitchen today, party because I’m attending to a sick hen (Audrey) who’s hanging out on the kitchen table in a guinea pig house (she’s actually no longer sick, but needs one more day of antibiotics before I put her back with the others) so it’s all about hand sewing, which as usual means Flower Brooches, which really would have been a good thing to shout about with Mums in mind.DSC_0050The very first one of these was made for my own Mother, way back when (I just tried to find the post to link it, but I have no idea what year it was).  I’d totally forgotten that the original brooches were mounted on cards, I really liked the idea of giving a card that also has a gift on it….no-one else was that bothered though and most people opted to buy the brooches on their own.DSC_0028The first one was a nice pretty pink, as above, shortly followed by the buttercup (which I should make more of as I haven’t done them for a while!!).DSC_0051There have been many versions over the years,DSC_0001and they featured (as they still do) on my tweed bags (above the original ones with zips).DSC_0016They’ve also made it into quite a few magazines, including Country Living, which was a bit of a highlight!DSC_0031DSC_0039Flower Brooch Auricula Green in HandFlower Brooch Auricula Green BackDSC_0059DSC_0166DSC_0192

DSC_0008They are one of my designs that I’m most proud of as there are so many variations that can be worked using the same base and they are quite fun to make, although there is a lot of work involved for the final selling price.DSC_0007Well, for all those who are celebrating this weekend, I hope you have a really lovely time with your loved ones…..I’ll be donning my Princess Leia outfit and hanging out with small boys, who could wish for more🙂

PS, I know most people write Mother’s Day, but I always think of it as being Mothers, plural.  Perhaps that’s just me…and then I guess it should be Mothers’ Day….maybe?  I never was any good at grammar.

PPS I don’t need an answer to my terrible grammar, anyone reading my blog knows it’s not my forte

Vintage Summer Deer Apron

Following on from the success of the Winter Deer Apron I made *ahem* in 2013 (which you can read all about here),

DSC_0031it was obvious to me to have a go at a summer version, ideally in pretty pink and again using a vintage style deer in the applique.  For those who have been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know the apron itself is an original 1958 pattern that I rather fell in love with (again, more info on the original post) but I adorned it with a deer and trees in my winter version, instead of the cowboy Santa.c76e98340f57083f6f36067cf55f03d3I don’t think I’ve ever showed the deer I used for the apron (I showed some Decal deers which were the front runners at the time).  It’s a plastic vintage one, it comes up for sale all the time in Etsy and such, I’m assuming it’s from the 1950’s and this one even has it’s bell intact!  So cute, it always makes me think of Babycham.DSC_0076For the new apron, the deer got a new stance, I was aiming for Bambi style bottom in the air, sniffing a butterfly style.

DSC_0140Looking back at the photos, I kind of wish I’d gone with the grass and fauna of the top sketch, as my final fawn does look a bit like he’s floating in the air….never mind.

DSC_0059Lots of cutting and snipping and ironing.DSC_0139And stitching..DSC_0155And endless hours and hours of sewing on bias binding!!

DSC_0015But finally, a nice little stack of aprons, all ready for Mothers Day.  Or not.  But they would make a lovely Mothers Day gift, I think.  I’m keeping one for myself, anyway.

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I’ve really struggled to take photos today, the sun was blasting down which is a bonus for everything except taking decent shadowless photos and typically, it’s now gone behind a nice hazy cloud, now that I’ve given up and stuck with my rather grey images.

ApronDeerPinkEditedIt’s definitely the down side of always making new things in small batches, each time I have to photograph, edit and list them; but then I’d be bored if I only made a few things over, day after day.

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They are listed here and hopefully (soon) on Folksy.

Right, back to the grind, too much to do and too little time, and my first day with the boys back at school is flying by far too quickly.

 

Auricula Tweed Purses

I’m sewing, sewing, sewing at the moment and then in the evenings I’m trying to plan a new website, but it’s taking FOREVER.  I’d love to down tools and just focus on the re-design, but that’s not very practical.

DSC_0147The logo part is a real struggle, as I keep changing my mind.  I was all sold on committing myself to using a cat in there (I often wish I’d chosen a different shop name, but as I’m known under this one now, it’d be quite difficult to change it, plus I own the web domain etc etc).  Ho-hum, I’ll get there in the end.

DSC_0007I’m still mostly sewing blinds and then Christmas things for the shop (as this is always where I make most profit).  Last year was a bit of a disaster, work wise, what with becoming a single Mum and all.  I did put the hours in, but I didn’t promote my work or get things photographed and listed when I should have.  I think I’m in a good routine now of shop sewing, blind sewing and taking care of the boys.  Time is still very stretched, but it’s a huge benefit working from home, I did look at trying to work part time elsewhere, but the reality of who would look after the boys in school holidays and outside of school hours put a stop to those plans, for now anyway (it’ll be easier once they are both settled into secondary school…only a few more years to go!), plus my boys are quite ‘quirky’ and certainly F needs his time out at home once he’s finished school, he’d find after school club etc quite difficult.DSC_0045.jpgRight now, my focus is on getting the shop updated with all the stock that’s sitting around in boxes so I’m starting with some Auricula Tweed Purses.

DSC_0051.jpgI made the first of these years (I think!) ago for my Sister as a present.  Her’s has a jazzy lining made out of snippets of left over curtain fabric.

ariculapurse2.jpgThese new ones have silk orange linings, which I think give a nice ‘pop’ to them.  I love how the silk contrasts with the tweed and felt.

tweedpurseariculaburgundy.jpgThe only other difference is that the Auricula Brooches are the second generation ones, that have two yellow centre colours.DSC_0180.jpgYou can find them here, hanging out with Gold Bunnies….because you know what time of year is coming up next😉

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The Plan and How Christmas Went

997001_546611032164849_2806534199451118964_nThis is how I’m planning to approach the New Year!  Ha ha, although I do admit that The Linen Cat is due for a very big shake up. Decisions have to be made about what I intend to make in the future and certain lines are going to be resigned to the sale section. I need my sewing to be more profitable, although the main reason my shop has been so stagnant is all the blind and curtain sewing I have been doing, and that has probably brought in a more consistent ‘salary’ so it can’t be sniffed at. Clearly I still need to get my blog mojo back, both writing and reading, or perhaps move onto Facebook? I think that Twitter has defeated me and my Instagram account has about one photo on it. I also think I should open an Etsy shop and start shipping worldwide, but I’ve said that before and not quite got on with it.

DSC_0153(Miss Bumbles little deer and rabbits came out again)

For now, I’ll quickly show my Christmas photos before it’s indecent to do so.DSC_0150I got off to a good start, with pretty much all my gifts bought and even wrapped in early December, which was good as then the kids got sick, and I mean properly sick as in days and days off school and lots of vomiting all over beds.  I then also got sick, but as always didn’t have time to be ill, so just got on with it, as you do.  Not quite as bad as the pneumonia year, but heading that way.DSC_0147 (1)Then Tuppence broke her leg, right when Buster was due in for his SECOND hip operation, so I had two cats hopping about the living room, not allowed outdoors.  Thank goodness for pet insurance or I’d have had to sell one of the children by now.DSC_0138For our tree, I was inspired by Maison Bentley Style and I pulled out all the 70’s and 80’s decorations. DSC_0144A few of these came from home, when Mum and I cleaned out the attic years ago and she put a box of ‘Christmas tat’ aside for the bin and I rescued it, because I’m a hoarder and I can’t help it!DSC_0148It mostly contained these foil baubles, from the early 90’s, I think, and some amazingly hideous but fab foil flowers things she took off some crackers one year.  DSC_0147A lot of the other things came from the mixed Ebay batches I bought years ago when I was buying true vintage (vintage to me still means the first half of the 2oth century) baubles.  I quite often bid on big lots that were very mixed with things from the 30’s to the 90’s as they tended to go very cheaply. It’s funny how things come around again, the foil things rescued from home can now be bought for a handsome price on Ebay, which did make me laugh, as a couple of years ago you couldn’t have given them away.

DSC_0140I took some time this year to go through and pack up decorations in proper storage boxes. I’ve kept one large box of modern things, (my vintage stuff is kept separately) and it was interesting to see how my taste has changed, this layer was from when I first owned my own home, I was all set to send it to the charity shop but the boys objected.

DSC_0144 (1)This is the style I’ve had for the last few years, lots of glass mushrooms and fircones etc, that I mix in with my own shop Little Birds and Christmas Mice.  It made me wonder, as we had a new style tree this year if perhaps my work designs might change too?  I can definitely feel a shift coming, but I can’t imagine ever designing totally differently, I think my work will always have a common thread and be very ‘me’.

DSC_0146I did also have a mini tree in the hallway window (as they are very deep) complete with tiny coloured lights so I could put some of my more delicate and older decorations up – sorry, I forgot to photograph it!

boys and lunchChristmas itself was fab. We had all recovered from our various sicknesses in good time and were lucky to be invited out to France again, with my Sister and other half.beth apron

I’m sorry, I didn’t really take many photos worth sharing here (they are all quite grainy, although I did take lots of the boys opening their gifts, as with secondary school looming, I think this will be the last year they believe plus I don’t actually like having my own photo taken) but my Sister snapped one of me in my ‘posh’ outfit, complete with deer apron.

charlie christmas jumperI love it that the boys also like to dress up for Christmas, Charlie spent quite a bit of time planning his outfits and was insistent that we brought along three different jumpers….for the whole three days we were going to be away!IMG_3112 copy (1)

charlie walkWe did some nice walking (no skiing this year, which was good as there was no snow anyway!).airportAnd ended our stay with the usual 2 hour delay at Geneva airport on or way back.  Oh, we flew from Southend Airport, which I didn’t even know existed and is now my top favourite.  There is easy parking and no waiting for customs etc….it’s a winner for me.

That’s it for now, really.  Most of the dodgy photos of us are for the relatives that read this blog, so sorry about the quality.  I need to go clean the house now as it’s had animals and children running around it for two weeks and looks like a pigsty, but hopefully I’ll find time to catch up on my blog reading later, it’ll be nice to read what everyone else has been up to🙂