New Flower Brooches…

How was it for all you Mums out there? (and Dads of course but I don’t think any read this blog)  For those without kids, it’s just been the half-term holidays for most of the UK.  We survived.  We had a lovely start with a short trip to Yorkshire so stay with Grandma which also incorporated a day in York visiting the National Railway Museum, stocking up in Fat Rascals from Bettys for the freezer and the first ever sledging session for the boys down a hill on an empty plastic feedsack.  I would show you photos but I didn’t take any because I am crap.  Then it went a bit downhill for us with illness laying the boys out for the rest of the holiday and my ever decreasing amounts of sleep meaning I kind of turned into a grumpy monster.  Top that with my turning up to school yesterday to find it was, in fact, an inset day (teacher’s training so no kids) – duh!

Still, I did enjoy the odd bit of hand sewing though and finished up a nice tray of Flower Brooches which have been hanging around cut and ready for some weeks.  I figured that they’d make lovely Mother’s Day gifts and even for Easter they are quite nice.

The buttercup ones are always popular so I re-stocked a few of those

and then I made some new style purple roses with double blooms, they are quite difficult to sew as there is a lot of ruffle to get through but I like the finished results.

Finally, my favourite, some auricula.  I really do like these, probably because they remind my of my pathetic attempt to grow some last year and also because they incorporate my very favourite dark burgundy felt.

I also like the shape of the leaf, they had started out as pale yellow primroses but somehow changed to burgundy auricula.  I’m keeping one of these for myself.

I had hoped to make some more styles but I need to get these packaged up this afternoon (which takes longer than you think) as I’ve just listed them, you can find both new versions here and some of the purple roses on Folksy.

Next post is a giveaway – hurrah!

New wool bunnies…

One of the earliest designs for The Linen Cat was a wool bunny in a Liberty print dress; there were two girl colour versions plus boys wearing denim shorts with ric-rac and shirts, and although I loved them dearly (especially the shirring and the crochet flowers on the girls) I felt, last year, that it was time for a re-design. I often debate moving into more of a 3D design with my softies but it’s not how I had originally imagined them, I have always tried to keep to simple shapes and an almost flat childlike profile so I don’t want to move too far away from this, instead I have given the new bunnies ears similar to the rabbit egg cosy and generally moved the body design to one similar to the linen mice (which ironically started out as the same pattern as the original wool bunny but thinned and tweaked – are you still with me?!).  As a result the new bunny has thinner arms and legs which are ‘jointed’ and a more triangular-shaped head. Next I tried making a bunny in the cream cashmere & wool mix that I normally save for the cashmere bears.  I have a very limited amount of this fabric left but it’s so unbelievably soft that I couldn’t resist.  I would say now that I prefer the more pure white colour of the original wool flannel but it has a much firmer feel and is an entirely different texture, not quite as huggable as the cashmere. I then splashed out on some good old Liberty Tana Lawn in Betsy, but in a new colour way for me, turquoise.  I have always loved and used the pink but the turquoise version has such a retro feel and it looks so good with the cream wool. All this happened almost a year ago, the sharper amongst you will already know that I listed a boy bunny to this new pattern wearing a jolly red waistcoat last year, but the girls have been sitting in a box patiently waiting for their turn.  I had even made a final sample of the dress so it was really only a question of pulling my finger out and getting the actual ones made-up.

And so last week, as I found myself jumping from project to project (I can’t seem to settle on one thing at the moment) the pile of bunnies called to me and begged to be finished in time for Easter.  One of the points of stalling was my desire to have a larger number to list, I generally prefer to have a small pile before adding something new to the shop and I’d planned to make more of the cream bodies, having used half of the original for the boys; but I figured we could be here in a year’s time and they might still be waiting, so I got on with it.

They have cute dresses with an attached white underskirt and broderie anglaise trim and as always everything is in natural fabrics except for the safety stuffing.  I had a bit of a nightmare trying to buy 100% cotton broderie anglaise and now have a stash of polyester mix to find a use for, it’s not that I refuse to use anything other than natural fibers, it’s just the polyester mix doesn’t feel right and I do generally prefer cotton.

I might be a little bit in love with the turquoise version, it reminds me of toys from my childhood.

They have sweet bobble tails

and are listed in the shop.  I plan to put a couple of the pink on Folksy given time, but I’d like to re-photograph them first, when the light is better, it was a bit too dingy today.

I am attempting to have a general clear out and re-create a sale section for the shop.  I did my tax return in good time this year and it gave me an opportunity to look back on both 2010-11 and on 2011-12 (so far) and see exactly what has sold and what hasn’t, I need to use my storage space better as Linen Cat stock is taking over the house so it’s time some things went.  Probably one for another post all to itself, I need to go now and but my little monsters darlings to bed before they dive me crazy 😉