Yet more Bold and Brilliant colour…

These arrived in the post this morning


for the linen cat/bunnies and whilst putting them away, I realised just how pretty a lot of my supplies are and couldn’t resist a few photos.  (The beads came from beads unlimited as it was the only place I could find bright coloured 8mm varnished beads at a reasonable price).


One of the many collections of silks that I own, in this case in a silk roll that I inherited from my Gran.  I hope, in time, to replicate this for the shop along with a few other of my Gran’s sewing things.


My ric-rac jar, filled with brightly coloured (and some nice berry, blues and greens for the boys trousers) ric-rac.  Most come from Ribbonmoon where I also buy buttons, ribbons and other haberdashery supplies that I want in small amounts.


Finally, Nora’s lovely crochet flowers.  These are from a recent order and will soon be put to use.  I love ordering from Nora, she always delivers exactly what I ask for and is so lovely to deal with.

I could go on, there are the many bead jars, boxes of ribbons and neatly rolled bias binding but I figured I might be taking it a bit too far, besides the sun is shining and the garden calls.

Bold and Brilliant Colour…

It occurred to me over the weekend whilst working in the garden that my taste in flowers is similar to my taste in fabric.  The top flower bed has been a riot of colour, filled with bright tulips (Ballerina, China Pink and Jan Reus to name a few) against acid green euphorbias.  I would love to say that I planned it all without any help, but that would be a lie, I have taken most of my ideas for the garden from combinations suggested by Sarah Raven in her book ‘The Bold and Brilliant Garden’ (I also use her book ‘Grow Your Own Cut Flowers’ rather a lot).


When designing, I especially like to mix bright coloured cotton prints with pale linens, wools and tweeds.  For those who read my blog or who have visited the shop site, you will already know my designs tend to follow this trend.  I also like fabrics with an element of nature, especially flowers so you can imagine my excitement when the below fabric (Garden Party by Anna Maria Horner) arrived in the post:


And not only is it beautiful but it arrived the next day and was packaged perfectly in powder blue tissue and ribbon.  It came from the on-line fabric shop Saints and Pinners which I wouldn’t have know about had Karen over at Blueberry Park not highlighted in a recent post (so thanks Karen!).

I don’t normally sew at weekends, it’s family time, but I couldn’t resist making up a couple of new dresses for the linen cats/bunnies and here they are:


New linen cat and bunny

New linen cat and bunny

My husband even mentioned that he thought it was the nicest cat/bunny dress yet, which is high praise indeed as he doesn’t normally take any interest in my sewing.  In fact I love it so much I went straight back on-line to order some more and had to resist all the other lovely fabrics available, well I didn’t entirely resist I snuck in a half yard of Westminster Fabrics Social Climber in green and pink.

New fabric…

Now, after a few glasses of wine at the weekend I decided to buy some new fabric to make the berry cushions from my last post (I know, any excuse and a bit naughty as the whole point was to use small left overs of fabric I already have – oops!). Now you know how it is after a few glasses of wine, it’s very, very easy to buy on-line and can, on occasion, go wrong. Not in this case, the below bundle arrived in the post this morning and I am very pleased to say the least. I also treated myself to some new cat/bunny dress fabric (the bright Michael Miller fabric on top) which is very yummy. All of this was bought for a very fair price from Fabric Inspirations one of my new favourite fabric sites.


I also finished the tweed cushions I have been making for my sister and felt the need to photograph them (actually half of them as I made two of each).

And, finally, I have got my act together and started listing on Folksy as I need to increase my sales, so I am quite pleased with my day so far.  I am twitching to sew with the new fabric but the sun is shining and outside calls so we are off for a walk.

It’s Raining…and I love it!

I know most people hate rainy weather but I love being tucked up indoors watching it rain and what a great excuse to stay inside and sew instead of work in the garden?  The best thing at this time of year is how green everything is.  We (the boys and I) went for a walk yesterday in our local woods, which have sprung into life with bluebells, anemones and milkmaids (the flower obviously, not a bunch of ladies carrying pails of milk) and there was a lovely fresh green just after rain smell.  I like rain so much I even like walking in it, my husband would say this is because I am from Yorkshire, where as he points out when we visit, it is always raining (which is not true, but it does rain quite a lot).

Anyhow, considering Felix is off pre-school for Easter I am surprised I have had a chance to sew but I have been working on new products for the shop for a homeware collection.  The ideas have been in my head (and sketch book) for a while but I have finally made a start on samples, beginning with some cushions.

I recently bought some lovely new linen and wanted to put this to use so I have decided on appliqued cushions, one based on Winter Berries and the other on Magnolia Flowers.  There is a lot of room for improvement, I think I will keep the Magnolia cushion in creams and whites for the flowers, which need to be bigger and the piping cord should be in a colour (I was going to use the printed cottons as a contrast but didn’t want to waste it cutting it on the bias so I will use cord covered bias binding instead, on the samples I used the linen).  I love the slightly retro feel that linen and the colour orange have so I love the Winter Berries.  I will also make them in reds and tweeds I think.  Anyhow, I am pleased with the first run and they will make nice additions to the living room and eventually to the shop.

I have also been making cushions for my sister from some Harris Tweed she brought back from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  I am a bit jealous as I rather like them but the kids would destroy tweed cushions in a matter of days.  I used invisible zips on the back but as you can see from the photo, the ‘invisible’ zips open out a bit once a cushion pad is put in.


Winter Berries Cushion

Winter Berries Cushion

Magnolia cushion

Magnolia cushion

Tweed cushion

Tweed cushion

Happy Easter…

The boys were very happy to see that the Easter Bunny had dropped by our house this morning and that they were allowed to eat some of their chocolate eggs for breakfast.  In a moment we will be visiting our neighbour, Malcolm, as apparently his hens lay chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday (the boys like to go and feed the hens and stroke the many ferrets that Malcolm keeps), then we will be off up the road to Auntie Tori’s house for lunch with friends…eight adults and six young children, it will be lots of hectic fun.  We are taking some egg cosies and flowers from the garden as a present.

Hope you all have a lovely relaxing day and that the Easter Bunny has dropped by your house.


Very welcome gifts…

Just a quick post.  It was my Birthday a few weeks ago and  I had asked my sister (who wanted to know what I would like) for a new Orla Kiely bag which she brought around yesterday – isn’t it pretty?  

I love Orla K, I love the retro style and the bold prints.  I have been a fan since the very early days and always have an Orla K bag on the go.  In fact I have a yoga bag (shame I haven’t done any yoga since I had my oldest son Felix, who is about to turn 4), make-up bag, travel bag, purse…the list goes on.  I also have quite a few Orla K clothes but I am sneaky and always buy them in the sale, they are rather pricey for me otherwise.  The bag was delivered with a lovely hard backed book with the new spring/summer collection so I am going to make myself a coffee and have a good look through.

Oh, little tip for anyone living in London, the big Fenwicks on New Bond Street always used to have a great stock of Orla K clothing during sale time, not sure if they still do but long after everyone else had sold anything half decent, Fenwicks would still have a lot at bargain prices.  It is also in this store that I discovered Saltwater clothing many years ago.


As if one blog wasn’t enough…

I had a thought over the weekend that blogging would be a great way to track the garden for a year, both the vegetable and flower growing; and the cooking that goes with it.  I realise the problems already, one being time, there already aren’t enough hours in the day and the cooking bit might get a bit tricky…chutney, does that go in my crafty blog or my gardening blog as it’s made with home grown produce?..hummm, I’ll figure that one when I get to it.

Anyhow, if you have an interest in gardening, or simply want to have a look at what my house/garden/kids look like feel free to pop over and have a read at Rock Cottage Year. (I didn’t say the title was very original!).

As a tempter here are my favourite Spring Flowers in the garden at the moment – Coronas ‘Sylphide’ (bright pink)  and Muscari/Grape Hycinth (my fav. ‘latifolium’ which has pale blue at the top).