Ticking the list off…

I’ve knuckled down a bit here and thanks to a rainy day today have worked though some more of the half done projects.

First up I finished the lavender stack.  It’s pretty high when piled up (it will be fastened with a nice ribbon and tag for selling) so I’m now wondering if I should actually sell them in stacks of two instead?  I should also mention these are quite big 13 x 12 cm in fact and stuffed only with lavender, also the backs are in plain linen, which annoyingly cost more than the Echino so was a bit of a stupid move.

I guess they would then be sold in the pairs above, I haven’t worked out the pricing yet but it’s going to be about £15 for a 4 stack and £7.50 for a 2 stack (before P&P), all thoughts on this are most welcome.

I also spent today making up some new brown Linen Cats (shocking light today so please excuse the photos)

I used to make a dark-ish green linen cat but I found the weave a bit flat in colour whereas this brown has a different warp and weft thread so it has a bit more life to it.  I really like the green button eyes.

I had some dresses already made up but still need to pick the final bead details (for the ‘hair’) and the third is a boy so he needs his tweed trouser/scarf combo.

So, all in all a pretty productive day.  I want to work through all my open projects (which could take some time) and then sort out the studio.  We are having the flooring fitted downstairs soon (wooden over electric under floor heating) and it’s the final biggie of the house, I have become mightily sick of staring at the cheap unfitted lino and I’m ready to put skirting on and pictures up throughout the house, after 4 years here now I think I’ve earned that 🙂

Bright and Sunny…

I had been waiting on a half finished project to be completed before writing this post but as with everyone else I find myself distracted by the beautiful weather, that and my studio being an inhospitable 27 degrees for most of the morning, the down side of all that glass.  So what’s a girl to do instead of sew?  Why do a spot of on-line shopping whilst sitting with my feet in the paddling pool and eating an ice lolly, of course.  Perfect.

As my seasonal taste goes, I am into mixed bright colours the moment.  First up on my little spree is this bundle of Kaffe spots to feed my ongoing spots addiction.

and whilst I was placing an order with the wonderful Saints & Pinners I bought a little bit of the Forest Hills Voile in sea (as with the last Voile I am planning some summer tops….when exactly, I’m not sure, at this rate maybe in time for the summer of 2012!).

I also treated myself to some bright new tea towels from the Pantone/Typhoon range.  Already can’t remember where from, they are pretty common to buy but I cannot keep white tea towels white, they inevitably end up grey so I set myself the challenge of buying solid bright colours and these fit the bill perfectly.

We have been spending quite  bit of time outside, me in the vegetable garden and Charlie mostly playing on the decking around the doorway, usually with his pencils and paper.  He created this bright little scene the other day, note how the shoes are neatly lined up….hummm, art and neatness, wonder who he takes after!

As for the ‘open project’, here is is still very much open.  Honestly, I bought the Echino fabrics back in August (see here) specifically for this, I even cut the squares and stitched up two of the sample lavender bags and that’s where it ended.  The rest have been sitting in a box waiting for their moment.  As you can see it will be a stack of 4 large lavender bags, I figured some people just want some plain (but pretty) lavender squares to pop into their draw or wardrobe to keep things smelling sweet, so that’s what I’m aiming for.  I will complete and photograph soon, I’m making a point of leaving them in the middle of the work bench in the way so I can’t put them aside again.

Right, I am off into the garden to water the poor wilting seedlings and make the most of the sun whilst it’s here!

Bunny Love…

It’s been one of those days today, I woke, did the school runs, did my run (I’m getting a lot better and have dropped most of the intervals but would love to see a bit of weight loss, hey-ho) bathed then arrived downstairs knowing I only had 1 hour before picking Mr C up.  As always, I had soooo many jobs I wanted to do and struggled to decide which ones to attack first, I feel like I’m treading water at the moment but my pyjamas are running out of air quicker than I can blow them back up! (do they still do that in swimming exams?)

I am so far behind in my blog reading I have stopped commenting, the garden is taking up a lot of my time and I haven’t even had a chance to re-read through the comments from the Giveaway.  I realised I never thanked everyone for taking the time to drop by and say ‘hello’, it really is a pleasure to read what has been written, so…huge thank you!

Back to the subject at hand, I have been lapse in many areas and am trying to catch-up, I always feel a lot better as I tick of the mental list in my head so I have pushed myself to complete some open projects and hurrah! I have finished the latest batch of Bunny Lavender Bags.  I think they will be the last as I’m out of wool serge and much as I love them they are quite time consuming.

They are available online at The Shop and also on Folksy.

I am not only having bunny love at the moment but the Ellie fabric from Michael Miller is my new favourite so I finished the first batch of Lavender Birds in new colours starting with this

I have changed the ‘tweed’ wings to linen but otherwise they are to the old design, it’s one I really like and I have a number of these hanging around the house.

Right, I had better get back to the list and to reduce it before M’s next US trip, which is imminent ash cloud and strike permitting, or I really will need more than a pair of PJ’s to keep me afloat!

And the winner is…….

Jill of I should have listened to my Mother blogspot (Jill writes a lovely blog, you should go and check it out) who wrote comment No. 16.  As you can see, I didn’t use the old random number generator, I enlisted the help of my glamorous assistant (oh and mental note: do remember to tidy the background of the shot next time – doh!) and he obliged only after I took photos of his new Gormitis, he was a bit grumpy so I’ll be using the younger but happier to help glamorous assistant next time!  He’s cuter but slightly harder to control.

So, one of the gang will be on it’s way to Jill soon, after which I will pop the rest in the shop.  I have been in the studio quite a bit this week working on some replenishment products in new colours, which deserve a post of their own but I wanted to ‘announce the winner’ before heading outside to make the most of this lovely weather.  I hope you are having some sun and a very relaxing weekend 🙂

And yet again, the packaging wins me over…

It’s pretty easy to get my attention, just put something in nice packaging and I’m all over it.  During my Yorkshire weekend, we (my Sister and I) popped into Waitrose for a quick shop and I took it as an opportunity to buy some sweet things for the boys.

I totally fell in love with the boxes of these Artisan Biscuits, the contents were rather nice too, especially the  Lemon Curd flavour and they were shaped beautifully as well (sorry, we ate them before I could get the camera out!).

I couldn’t resist adding a couple of boxes of fruit Yo-Yo’s to the trolly, again with pretty nifty packaging.

I also recently fell in love with these ‘Postcarden‘ which I saw on Mother Baby Earth blog (if you don’t read Kath’s amazing blog you really should, she was once kind enough to feature The Linen Cat and I’ve been following ever since).

I let the boys choose which one they wanted, Felix opted for ‘Conservatory’ and Charlie for ‘Allotment’

once assembled and filled with the provided cress seeds, they were super quick to sprout

unfortunately, Felix wasn’t as impressed with the taste! He was happy to nibble a bit but wouldn’t let me put any in his egg sandwiches.  As the name suggests, the reverse of the box is a postcard so you can mail them off as gifts, needless to say I’ve stocked up on a few for the many parties F gets invited to now he’s at school; honestly, his social life is much better than mine, he seems to be out partying most weekends 🙂

Memory Lane…

It’s been busy around here.  I was ‘home alone’ again for a while as M travelled with work and if I’m honest I found it hard, it started OK with both boys sleeping well but went swiftly downhill midweek and I gave up my run for sleeping (and I must note, I am most grateful for having the opportunity to go back to bed after dropping the boys off, it’s been a long time since I could sleep during the day).  Still it all improved over the weekend when I cadged a lift to Yorkshire with my sister to visit ‘home’ and attend my 20 year school reunion…..20 years…..I feel old!

On arrival we made a trip to Hubberholme Church where my family are originally from, to visit and clear the grave where my Gran’s ashes are buried.  It’s rare to find time to drive up there but it’s a beautiful setting.

The graveyard has a number of family stones and it was only when we buried my Gran’s ashes that it became apparent I have a family name (Elizabeth Anne Foster) which is purely an accident I am told, sadly many of the older Foster stones have eroded so much in the Yorkshire winds that there is very little left to read.

The church does get a lot of ‘weather’ being so far up Dale and the windows are all protected by mesh outside to protect the glass and stop the birds nesting, this makes it quite dark inside

although it didn’t stop my sister and I from hunting for mice carved on the pews by Robert Thompson (The Mouseman of Kilburn), as we did during our rare visits as children.

The reunion was fun, quite strange but great to see so many old faces.  The slightly surreal feel to the occasion was amplified by lots of old teachers turning up, they looked rather startled and huddled together in a corner around a table, I imagine it was trickier for them to pretend they might know who we all were than for us to remember our favourite teachers.

I then spent a very relaxing Sunday at my sister’s cottage cooking for Yorkshire friends, walking with my brother and sister in the afternoon (I don’t think we have been together, just the 3 of us for years) and relaxing.  It felt quite odd not having the boys to look after, especially as the lunch guests had similar aged children, odd but very pleasant if I’m honest (must do that more often ;)). The cottage is such a nice place to be, I was pleased to see a couple of my Linen Bunnies perched on the sofa and I finally got to see all the Roman Blinds I had made in situ.

The massive (well, they all are actually) blind above was made for the kitchen (more about that here) and it fitted perfectly with the view, echoing the trees.

It made all the hard work (for those who regularly read my blog, you may remember I didn’t enjoy making these blinds, they were very large to sew) worth while.

It was also nice to see some of my Gran’s cross stitch on the walls in the form of a calendar hanging, she was always stitching or knitting, it reminds me how nice it is to have handmade ‘things’ to hand down to future generations, every time I look at a piece of her work I think of my Gran.

Sadly the weekend came to an abrupt close as we had to leave early Monday to dash back to London, we were rather sad to drive away on what promised to be a gorgeous morning and miss out on all the village May Day activities, we’d already planned our day and it included a Bettys trip for brunch, thank goodness you can shop there on-line!

OK, time to close the laptop, you can still enter the giveaway and thanks for all your lovely comments so far, I forgot to mention I can’t reply to them (in case I use the old random number generator, as my comments would also be given a number), it’s been especially nice to hear from some of you ‘lurkers’, being a committed blog lurker myself 🙂