Double Red Rose Flower Brooches…

Finally the sun came out, just for a moment but long enough for me to snap my work bench.

I find this a very satisfying shot as the flower brooches do take quite a long time to sew.  There are lots of steps from making the leaves (free machine embroidery on tweed backed in felt) to cutting all the flower petals, stitching them together, stitching the beads on…twice…because I like them firm and would be really upset if any fell off,

to neatly stitching the backs.

This was the shot I was waiting to take (wonky camera angle there but it’s too late, they need packing up asap).  I actually started these before we went on our summer holidays to Yorkshire, I like to take some hand sewing with me for the rainy moments but lucky us, we didn’t really get any so they mostly came back home unstitched.  I did finish them over the last few weeks of the school holidays though and shortly afterwards I took the individual shots but no group ones (as above), which are the most satisfying to see.

They are basically a red version of the purple double rose brooch I made in spring.

I like them and the reason there are only six in the card mounted shot is that, that’s all I have left because some of you were very quick off the mark and spotted them listed before I’d blogged them, prompting a hasty packing up and posting off, of quite a few.

The rest are here, along with a re-stock of the usual red and mixed pink roses.

Acorns next!!

Mrs Fox in Green…and a small rant about cycle helmets

The weather this week is totally freaky.  For those that have seen photos of my studio, you’ll know it has a wall of glass that allows me to look out into the garden and mist into a dream world when I should be working ;), this week it has been tipping it down in half the garden whilst sunny and dry in the other half.  Wierd.  Today it’s just tipping it down and as it’s so wet, I’ve just given M a lift to the station because he broke his wrist yesterday in yet another bike accident.  I’ve said this before, but if you are a road cyclist, please, please, please wear a helmet.  M and I disagree in this, he doesn’t think it should be compulsory and he probably does know more about it than me, but having seen another totally smashed up helmet, I am very grateful he was wearing one.

So, I was going to take some pretty pictures of new flower brooches but in this gloom, that’s not going to happen, instead I’m going to show you a project from the summer that I already have photos of – Mrs Foxes in Green.

This is my original Mrs Fox, minus her cape.  She has a shirring halter-neck dress, in liberty tana lawn.  This has always posed some problems, the shirring is on such a small scale, I have to be very carefull to get the stretch just right, otherwise the dress is easily too tight or too loose, and tana lawn is too fine a fabric to cope with much unpicking!

When I made new foxes last winter, I made the green capes ready for a Green Mrs to go with the then new Mr Foxes but that was a far as I got with the girls.  I was too busy making up Purple and Blue versions and ran out of time for Green ones.

Shuffle forward to July, when I found myself making up new foxes as part of my ‘get ahead’ list for this winter.  I decided to have a re-think on the girl dresses and after a play around,

I came up with a dress very similar to the ones I made for the cashmere bunnies, so a kind of simple neck tie dress, with arm holes and in the case of Foxes, also a large space for the tail.

I found some pale green cotton lawn for the lining and I had hoped to sandwich some broderie anglaise lace between this and the liberty tana lawn, but realised I wouldn’t be able to get it to do the tight curve above the tail space so opted for some cotton ric-rac instead.

It works really well, I think, and I’m pleased with the final result.

Otherwise the design is the same.  Same cape and a hand woven flower in the ‘hair’.

Here she is dressed.

And with the cape.

And hanging out with Mr Fox – I think they make quite a dashing pair!

They are listed here, along with the other foxes, including the remaining Mrs in Blue and Purple.

Give away: Leaf Lavender Birds…

Well, Autumn has certainly arrived today.  I’ve just driven to the village and coming back see our lane is strewn with leaves from the poor horse-chestnut trees (which all have leaf miner moths and drop their leaves rather early), the branches are looking very bare now and there are rivers of water running down either side of the road.  I don’t mind, to be honest, I’m kind of ready, I want to unpack my wool tights, make treacle toffee and drink hot chocolate.  I don’t live in a dream world do I 😉

I’m also, finally, ready to start the winter product listings – hurrah!  I’ve worked quite hard over past weeks to catch up and in the last few days it’s all coming together.  I’m starting with the lavender birds, they are the same as last year as they sold so well and I really like them.  I hope to add another colour version but as I made these up over the summer holidays (when I was attempting to ‘get ahead’) I feel I should just get them listed.

When I made these for the first time, I was expecting the red/gold version to be the most popular but it wasn’t the case, the green ones flew.  I stupidly used my last of the green fabric (which is Cloud 9 – Leaves) for some purse linings and then realised, too late, how much I loved it and how I wanted to make some more birds.  Luckily I managed to source some from Etsy and had my lovely husband bring it back from the US for me, it’s a definite bonus of his working there often.

So I thought I’d give a single set of two lavender birds away, you’ll get one each of the green and the red leaf versions, just leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a name out of the hat on Saturday 6th October.

I’ve also listed some more of the gold and snow blossom lavender birds, they can all be found here in my on-line shop and hopefully some on Folksy soon.  I should mention that sadly the birds have gone up by 50p this year, when I costed out the material and making time they just weren’t adding up as they should.

On a random note, another lovely internet friend has started blogging – Chloe of Flagon & Satchel.  It’s already a wonderful read with very beautiful photos so do pop over and say hello if you can.

Finally, I have been getting ahead on my Christmas shopping and couldn’t resist these hand cut snowflake cards by Saffa.  They are wonderful, as always, and have been squirreled away in my x-mas box along with a few other things.  I’m spreading the cost and panic this year by getting in there early.

I should be on a roll now, and pending good light for photo taking I hope to spend the next week updating my shop so that I can be free to work on some new designs for November, I have lots of ideas in my head, desperate to get out and it’ll be a shame not to find the time 🙂

Tweed Monster Purses…

I’m happy to admit I’m struggling.  I always do at this time of year, I imagine that as soon as the boys start school I’ll have loads of time and I’ll be able to crack on, sewing during the day and have a (finally!) tidy house, bake the odd cake, potter in the garden, all that idyllic life stuff but no, in reality I feel a bit stressed, I have so much I want to do and although I am now ‘free’ from 9am-3pm the time seems to be disappearing into a black hole of laundry, teachers meetings, trying to get the garden ready for winter and making blinds (which I HATE, just for the record).

Well, enough moaning, I know most people in blogworld are feeling the same,. I find when I feel overwhelmed, I need to just get my head down and sew when I can, even if I don’t feel like it and tick off lists as it keeps me motivated and reduces the stress.

I’ve been working through some of the ‘open projects’ that have been sitting in boxes for months, if not years.  I started some little monster pouches using up tweed left over from Tweed Bunny Purses a very long time ago and last week I buckled down and got them finished.

There are only a few.  I talked a while ago about maybe adding tweed monsters to the existing corduroy ones and maybe making them a little larger (for all those big kids out there who want to be able to fit a credit card in – me included!), this is still an open plan but unlikely to happen until early next year.  For now these are made up from odds and ends, and are the usual size, they have cute crochet zip pulls that make me think of Ermentrude from the Magic Roundabout.

They have varied floral linings – I took loads of photos of the lining fabric etc, but the light hasn’t been great so my photos generally are a bit crap.

As with all my monster purses, they are a bit wonky, those eyes are really, really hard to zig-zag around as they are quite a tight circle and it’s hard to keep it neat.  I like to think it all adds to the character.

The final one is a bit different to the others.  For some reason it makes me think of Vivienne Westwood, maybe it’s the slight punk quality?

I haven’t packed them up yet, need to do that now and then get back to blind making so I can be free to sew nice shop things next week.  You can find them listed here, do please let me know if you see any mistakes, I sometimes get listing blindness, where I can’t see bad spelling etc, it all just merges.  I am slightly dreading listing all the new autumn stock, it takes ages but I’ll admit is very satisfying once done.  Just need to get all the photos taken.  Next week.  I hope 🙂