Scary stuff…

We are all in the early stages of our first ‘back to school’ cold.  Oh joy of joys.  Along with M being away a lot with work (so I get the pleasure of early mornings all on my own, as most of you know, I’m not very good at these!) and the nights awake with one or the other of the boys, dishing out Calpol and throwing Olbas Oil around the room, I’m starting to get a bit run down.  I had plans for this week, deadlines I had set myself but I’ve switched to simple short projects that keep me happy but leave lots of time for feeling sorry for myself and eating chocolate.

At the weekend we did the much avoided trip to ‘the shopping place’ (otherwise known as Bluewater to us grown-ups, soulless but practical and the boys love eating at Carluccios) to buys some new clothes for the boys.  F fell in love with the above hoodie, as he is currently in a Halloween phase prompted by school.  He has a party this weekend which is fancy dress and has decided he would like to go as a skeleton, who am I to argue?

I spent a fun hour yesterday making the promised mask, it is simply white cotton layered with some interfacing and appliqued with black cotton.  Nice and simple and made to the same design as the above hoodie, although to different dimensions (I made a template in paper first to get the size and openings correct).

I realised half way through that I needed to make a mask for C as well and then as a final touch I gave them some gold teeth with a spot of fabric paint.  Along with the super cheap skeleton pyjamas I’ve ordered for both the boys, they will be very happy.  I will admit, it’s times like these I miss the idea of a little girl, I could have a field day making fairy crowns.  Still, I wouldn’t swap my boys.

Also rather scarily, I have finally registered as self-employed and am now sorting receipts for my first tax return.  Again, what joy.  I’m way below my personal limit and wont even need to pay NI contributions but with the shop ever growing it’s time to get organised to avoid backdated tax issues and a possible fine.  I know lots of us ‘crafters’ have huge dilemmas with the whole thing so I thought I would let you all know how it all goes, it will require a post all to itself I think 🙂

Something for me…

I have lots of good intentions about things to make for the house and for myself, but realistically very little time to actually make them; I did however sit down last week and sew something just for me.

I’ve had this project in my head since our Yorkshire holiday, when I picked up quite a few pheasant feathers with the boys, I wanted to use them along with some tweed to make my own Bunny Purse.

Sadly, we didn’t collect enough and they have ended up with our other ‘found’ objects, sitting on the window sill.  Instead I raided my Millinery trimmings stash (you have NO idea how much this feather fringe costs, I used to buy it by the cm it’s that expensive) and came up with

I’d planned to use a brown tweed, one with quite a lot of texture but I fell so in love with the green bought recently from Fents that I changed my mind.

Oddly, as I took the tweed out to work with, the weight and texture felt very familiar, turns out it is the same one used as the recent Fox bodies, only in a green colour way (I mentioned in a recent post that the eBay supplier I buy from must source his fabrics from the same Mills as Fents as quite a few were familiar).

I didn’t want to crush the feathers, so my new purse travelled on the outside of my weekend bag to Yorkshire, where I was going to a surprise party for my sister’s 40th.  The party has been six months in the planning (by her boyfriend) and was a huge event, with a marquee at the Family farm, a number of bands (including a Take That tribute band), great food and of course great company.  I danced and danced, and quite frankly my legs still ache from a night in these heels strutting my stuff on the dance floor.  Incidentally, along with two of my cousins we were the last people standing and only retired at 3am, needless to say we all have young children and were a little over excited to be child free for the evening.

The purse was quite popular and it raised a few questions.  I made the lined cavity most of the body and head (in my first batch, only the body part is an actual purse) so I could fit my iPhone in; but along with an eye liner, some money and a lip balm, it was full.  Is this big enough?  I kind of feel if it gets any larger it might lose something.  Secondly, there was quite a lot of discussion about price so I was wondering how much you would feel comfortable paying for one?  Please don’t be shy to say, any thoughts are most welcome.

Right, back to the grind, I am getting all the Winter duvets onto the beds today and allowing my poor legs to recover by generally taking it easy 🙂

Work in Progress: Foxes…

I’ve been matching up ears

stitching tails

making neat little piles of mini clothing (you all know how I love neat little piles of work!)

and I’m so nearly there but just ran out of thread.  Rats.  Oh well.

I really want to get some more of my list reduced so I’ve spent most of this first child (ish) free week working on Foxes in the second colour way.  I so enjoyed stitching the dark heather capes whilst in Yorkshire and wanted to continue with these lovely Autumnal tones.

The second colour way is based on the tweed I had and some Liberty Tana Lawn bought especially for the job.  It’s one of my favourite prints – Mirabelle – but in the plum/olive colours, not everyones choice but I love it, I have a bit of a thing about luscious deep purples.  I then couldn’t decide on green or dark plum for the linen, but decided to reach for the ‘Burlesque Red’ dye by Dylon as I had some in stock and have been desperate to use it (all the linen for the fox clothing is hand dyed).

So sadly, I need to order new thread but I think the break is welcome, the studio needs de-fluffing after a week of tweed work, it has a tendency to get everywhere and I have a little ‘me’ project I would like to do tomorrow.  But there will be Foxes, soon, I promise 🙂

Bits and Bobs…

I am feeing a bit more settled today, so part of the anxiety must have been F going back to school.  I’m not entirely sure why as despite the odd off day he quite enjoys going, I think it’s more the frantic mornings and school runs; we have really enjoyed the more relaxed start to the day over Summer.

So, I seem to be running out of everything at once at the moment.  I sent off a Linen Mouse yesterday (I love the boy version of these) and now only have one left in the grey Asha print, yet another thing to add to my ever extending list of things to do.

On packing said mouse, I had no tags ready so I spent some time in the evening getting a new batch beaded and threaded (phew, one to tick off!).

I decided to reduce my list a bit more this morning by making a start  on the new Christmas Birds.

As written in my recent Holiday post, I am very eager to get on in the mornings and I find it best to work on kitchen table projects whilst M sleeps/bike rides so I keep my impatience at bay.  The boys are generally happy to play and watch TV and I bring down some of my ‘work in progress’ boxes, these usually involve cutting or hand sewing, things that can be packed back up easily or stopped if the boys need attention (I love these stacking boxes from Ikea, I have quite a collection now as they help me keep organised).

I also don’t like to waste any leftovers, many of my designs come about from using up these pieces.  It’s a sad but true fact that I have zipbags full of snippets of felt waiting for their moment, but I enjoy working this way, I like the challenge of designing with these remnants in mind.

Above is my felt flower box, which was a way of using scraps left from the Bright/Christmas Birds and ended up as Blossom Egg Cosies (I have many other projects in mind for these beaded flowers, including the suggested Tea Cosy for next year).

M is back from his bike ride and we are off to look at bunk beds for the boys today so time to pack up the boxes and get the boys dressed and ready 🙂

Goody, goody, yum, yum..!

So we are back and I’m struggling to settle for some reason.  I have a slightly permanent feeling of mild anxiety, I’m not sure if it’s the very busy few weeks we have ahead (M is away a lot and his Mother is visiting amongst other things) or the very long list of sewing I need to do.  It could even be the sudden change of F being back at school (he started today; yes I know, on a Friday, how mean is that!).  Either way, I hope the feeling passes as it’s making it very difficult to get any work done.

Still, we came back to a clean house (due to my tidying it for M’s Birthday Party before going away) and some nice goodies for me.

Here we have

the new Orla Kiely book, ‘Pattern’ which I had on pre-order as I’m such a fan.  I haven’t had a chance for a proper read but on first glance it is full of beautiful images and prints, as you would imagine from Orla K.

Next, a Japanese pattern book from M is for Make.  I have quite a collection of these and plenty of things I intend to sew (at some point!).  I love that a sheet with translated sewing terms is always included, although most of the patterns make reasonable sense from the images, but I love the simplicity of the designs and photos generally in these books.

I’m not normally one for badges but I couldn’t resist this little fox from Joanna Rutter.  I was actually on a silver jewellery hunt when I came across this (and I should mention that Joanna has loads of other pieces now on my wish list) but as I seem to be fox obsessed at the moment (more on this in the next post) the beautifully crafted badge seemed a must.

Lastly is the Hungry Ginger Cat from Tokyo Inspired !! How cute is that? It’s all said in the photo, I think.

OK, need to go and collect F from school, hopefully his first day back has gone well.  Oh and meant to mention, I am having real problems (again) leaving comments on blogger, I keep getting an error page after submitting them, so apologies if you haven’t hear much from me but I end up giving up after a few attempts.