Pink Auriculas

Spring is the time for new auricula brooches…..and as we are now very much in Summer, I thought it was time I finished them!8811757633566As always, it starts with me trawling through photos in the internet, looking for inspiration.  I was sure I wanted to make a pink version and originally, I was very keen on the idea of a nice pale pink, like the middle blooms above (I have NO idea where this photo came from, I’m pretty sure it was a seed catalogue so I don’t feel shockingly bad about posting it here, but if not, and it belongs to someone I’m really, really sorry, just let me know and I’ll credit/remove it, as you wish).

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But, I am very picky about the felt I use, it’s always 100% wool and I’ve tried many suppliers but some are a bit too thick to be easily manipulated into the petals, so I’m sticking with my original source, the only problem there being that I’ve used most colours available and all the pale pink options just didn’t look right, so I changed plan and went for the brighter pink in the bottom left corner.
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I’m really pleased with the results, they are quite zingy, without being too bright.  Annoyingly, they are really difficult to photograph and get the colour to show, so like the trooper I am, I just gave up and decided to use the photos I have 😉
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I’m also struggling, generally, to take process shots as I changed my lovely Victorian trestle table some time back for a more modern glass worktop, it is very practical and looks good, but it’s not nice to take photos on (I have just re-arranged my entire studio, which took me FOREVER, although I am now the Queen of solo furniture moving, photos to follow at some stage).DSC_0155

I’ve been resorting to taking photos on my wooden work tray and also my old desk, that now houses all my packing supplies.  My Mum bought me this.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it was back in the mid 80’s and I was disappointed about being told I would be getting a second-hand bike for Christmas (long story, I wasn’t allowed a new one as apparently us kids ‘didn’t look after them properly’) and Mum knew I was upset so she used her own money to buy me a desk as a trade-off.  I wanted a melamine thing in bright colours (but of course) and luckily, Mum having clearly much better taste then me, bought this beauty instead.  Thank goodness my 80’s early teen style didn’t win, the melamine would have long since been binned.

(Oh, quick mention, the two lovely drawings on top of the desk are by the fabulous Saffa, who has a new website – Saffa Barkhorder – for her beautiful drawing work).DSC_0162

See, grainy, dark photos.  Poor show Beth.  If you can’t take the time to photograph things properly how do you expect them to be shown at their best! (I talk to myself all day long, I may as well do it in my blog too, thank goodness for cats and guinea pigs, at least if they are in the room I appear less mad).pinkariculacutout

Better, but still not great.

Oh, and whilst I was making a new colour batch I re-stocked some of the green ones, as they tend to be quite popular.  They are both to be found here.
DSC_0138Right, I’m off to read a book about taking product photographs as that seems like a good plan.  Toodle pip for now.

Roses and Moo Minis…

Glyndebourne was EXCELLENT!  I didn’t take any photos.  Sorry.

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Since then, F has had another birthday (where does the time go!!).  It’s getting difficult to get gift ideas together for him, we’re reverting to Amazon vouchers so he can choose, later, what he wants; I’d rather that, than putting things on a list for the sake of it.  He is currently obsessed with Minecraft, Sonic and turning out bucket loads of drawings.  He has just started reading ‘Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman as his school book, so at the moment we are all being given rings with our personal animal demons on, I got a cat, which is pretty spot on really.  Clever Boy.

I am not so clever and have just spent about a week wondering why I couldn’t upload any photos to my blog, then I realised my storage allowance is full – doh!  I couldn’t be bothered to upload images elsewhere and link back so I paid for extra storage (£14 per year), I stupidly didn’t take the ‘bundle offer’ thinking it wasn’t relevant, then remembered that I already pay for no ads (because they annoy me…but I may have to review that bit, having just realised how expensive it is!) so the bundle wouldn’t have cost much more and I could have done a lot of personalising to this page, which I would like to do in the future.

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I also wrote an entire blog post yesterday and then it got sucked into a black hole when I hit the publish button, which on the back of a crappy day, left me deflated.  All was fixed in the evening with carbs, wine and my continued watching of movies I’ve missed over time (M used to watch a lot on planes, so I’ve complied a list of movies I’d like to finally see and I’m working through them whilst I’m a football/iron man widow).

In the daytime, I have been sewing lots, mostly autumn things so I can’t show then yet as they aren’t photographed, instead here are their tags, which come in the form of Moo Minis.  Look!  They have optional rounded corners now – hurrah!  That made me very happy.  The cards came back much darker than the images I’d uploaded, which I wasn’t ecstatic about but they are usable and I ordered loads, as they were on sale, so they should last me a while.

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Forcing myself to get on with the half-finished autumn bits was great for my mojo.  I decided to spend a week doing nothing but sewing, during school hours, (I have to go into parent/cleaner/gardener/cook mode, when they get back) and the satisfaction of my half-finished project boxes emptying and my shop boxes filling is a joy, it has really got me back on track with renewed enthusiasm for The Linen Cat.  I’ve tried this method before, the you-will-not-leave-this-desk-until-the-box-of-things-you-are-avoiding-is-complete method and it works well for me.  I struggle to get going, sometimes, but once the tidy piles of completed work start to form, my enthusiasm returns.

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This box of roses is typical of things I have sitting in sewing limbo.  They were cut out and half-stitched last summer, to be fair I cut many other flower brooches that did get finished, but these were abandoned, incomplete.  Since then, they’ve travelled to Yorkshire, Centre Parcs and goodness knows where else, in the hope I’d get stitching, but after a little push and a couple of days hand sewing they are finally done, packaged and ready for the shop, come September – yay!

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It spurred me onto some purse making (I have been trying to finish acorns as well, they still need to be packaged).

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I had to abandon them mid-way as I ran out of interlining, I get through loads on purses and have just opted to buy a 25m roll.  I took this forced break to draft new cardboard patterns.  I always work on brown paper, but for things that will need repeat cutting, I often move to laminated card so the edges wont get worn.  It was also a good opportunity to stick interfacing samples onto card and label them, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone to buy more and couldn’t remember what kind I’ve been using.

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I had planned to put my feet up and enjoy the latest issue of selvedge magazine.  It’s the only subscription I still get, having cancelled all my others over the past year, but I think my mini tidy in the purse making box has spurred me on the sort out the studio in general.  I now find myself clambering over boxes and piles of fabric as I try (yet again!) to re-jig the space to work better.  We’ve just given up our spare room to F as he’s getting too old to share with C and it was always his room anyway, so the excess furniture has to go somewhere.  In typical me style, I then got upset about the state of the walls in here, for those who have been reading my blog for years, you might remember that this room once had the spare bed in half of it, then half became the kids play space, before I begged to be allowed it all in return for removing as much of my clutter as possible from the rest of the house.  As a result the walls are covered in sticky little handprints, pencil marks and scraped paint, so to add to the chaos I am now attempting to paint it patch by patch as I move furniture around.

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It’s proving to be hard work and I’ve rather abandoned the rest of the house in the process, but there is a sense of satisfactions as each little bit becomes clean and white and the accompanying furniture is put to good use and tidied.  I even brought some roses in from the garden to pop on the desk as that simple detail makes me smile (as long as I don’t turn around to look at the rest of the room!!).  Hopefully there will be some photos, when I’m done, but for now it’s back to the grind.

Half-term Holidays…

It’s snowing very gently outside, it has been since yesterday.  It wont settle, as the ground is too warm, but it looks very beautiful, gently floating down and makes me want to go for a walk….the boys (and M) have other plans, they are swimming right now and then we’re off to Maidstone Museum, because it’s really not very far away and we’ve never been, we do love a good museum.

DSC_0028Half term has gone well.  I’ve been admiring, cleaning and mending (where needed) lots of new (to me) vintage purchases, made over past months (which deserve a post of their own), including this fabulous fabric, which came from the UK-based Etsy shop NiceworkByTheYard.  I have no idea what I’m going to use it for, but I fell in love with the little clothed animals and it kind of jumped into my virtual shopping basket.  The colours, as it sits on my desk, seem to be reflected in my recent work.

DSC_0032I’m trying to get a batch of brooches ready, as they sell quite well for Mothers’ Day and it works well for me to be hand sewing when the boys are around.  They are mid way done, sitting on their project tray waiting for beading and then brooch backs, before being photographed and listed.  The red roses are for next winter, yet another thing started this last time around that had to be abandoned.DSC_0034I also have this fabric, which I am rather taken with, it’s ‘Red Folklore’, by Isso Ecco & Heart (Lecien) and it came from The Eternal Maker.  Again, when I ordered it, I didn’t have a specific project in mind, I just fell in love, but now I know exactly what I’m going to use it for and I couldn’t resist abusing my husbands regular US trips by ordering some in mustard and grey (which I can’t find here in the UK) for him to bring back next time he is over.

DSC_0030The boys have been amazing this holiday.  Although there have been the obvious squabbles, they have mostly played really well together, choosing to go outside lots, despite it being quite cold and inventing games together.  It has allowed me to get quite a bit of sewing done and I’m pleased to have made good progress on some projects that have been in the pipeline for months, if not years – more in the next post.

PS, just got back from Maidstone Museum and it was a great afternoon out, another of those fab Victorian collection museums; lots of costumes, animals (stuffed, as they tended to be back then) and much to the delights of the boys, an Egyptian mummy.  We had fun, I’d happily go back there.

Packaging 2012…

Perfect timing for us in the UK, that directly after the hose pipe ban kicks in, all it does is rain.  Oddly this actually makes me happy, I find it much easier to buckle down and work when it rains and I rather like the sound on the roof (the studio is directly under the eaves).  On a slightly less happy note our underfloor electic heating has broken in this room,  so it’s a bit nippy in here and I find myself working in fingerless gloves and wrapped in a scarf.  Not ideal.

And so, I have a new toy, which sadly I hate.

I have been happily making do for some time now with my trusty little corner cutters bought forever ago, they have served me well, cornering all my business cards etc, in fact pretty much anything not pinned down gets cornered around here (even the tooth fairy sends messages on little cornered cards), but they are hard work and not really up to the job of slicing through the many mounds of thick card I need them to.

So I upgraded to a ‘Corner Buddy’ made by LeMORE and in all honesty I hate it.  It’s a bit cheap and nasty, only it wasn’t cheap, it cost £60.  It does have interchangeable blades (4mm, 6mm, 10mm) that are replaceable and that was a main attraction for me, I need 6mm for my business cards and 10mm for brooch mounts and ideally something I can buy new blades for when these get blunt.

Now, I do need to give full credit to the on-line shop I bought them from (Joyce on-line), the 6mm blade that came with the ‘buddy’ has a kink and they didn’t hesitate to offer to replace it, they were also friendly and helpful on the phone and had I of called them before buying my corner cutter, I know they would have helped me choose one more appropriate to my needs (ie, slightly more expensive but better.  I would have paid more for the next grade up machine).

Anyway, it does do it’s job, so all is not lost, it doesn’t feel a quality piece of machinery but you get what you pay for and in terms of a heavier duty table top cutter it’s probably perfectly fine.  I try to tell myself this, anyway, then I will feel less disappointed.

I have been meaning to do a post on packaging for ages, the ones I’ve done in the past have been quite popular so I thought it’s time for an update.

I am quite particular about how things are packaged, partly for the customer’s experience but also for mine when it comes to storing and ease of getting orders ready and posted.

For instance, I used to pack the ‘Little Birds’ in PIP boxes (so the ribbon tails don’t get crushed), they were mounted, ready on A5 cards, then packed with tissue (apple green, as always) and a MOO mini card with beads attached to hold the tissue (using a green dot sticker, as above) and a thank you card.

This was a bit time consuming and the birds were quite difficult to store, so now I still mount them on the same cards but I have figured out a way to be able to also put them in cellophane bags, so they can be stacked for storage and stay nice and dust free, and I don’t have to worrying about the tails being crushed.  Perfect.

The cards I use for this are A5 size and printed by Overnight Prints.  I use the same cards, cut down for mounting flower brooches on.  I did consider, when placing my last order, getting some in A6 versions so I didn’t have to cut them, but I like the square look, and it was cheaper, in the long run, to bulk order A5 and halve them instead.

On this point, I have given up on paper cutters at the moment, I find they get blunt very quickly and in all fairness, most are not intended for cutting card, so I stick with my trusty Swann Morton surgical scalpel, a wooden cutting board from the kitchen (I’ve never bought a self healing matt) and 10A size blades (I have been using my scalpel handle since I was a design student, it has, and still is, serving me well).

I use a Woodcare Craft Collection hole punch, as it allows me to get holes quite far into the card….it’s not ideal and I could do with something a bit heavier weight, it needs to be able to punch at least 5cm in so any ideas are most welcome.

I swapped last year from using mini MOO’s on packages and additional ‘thank you’ cards to using a single business card on ribbon.  I also buy these from Overnight Prints, they are great quality, they do take a while to arrive and are maybe not the cheapest but I will always return here.

I found threading the wooden beads on the old MOO mini cards etc took up a lot of time and it seemed silly to have a separate details/thank you card plus a repeat attached to the packaging.  I’m pretty sure in a lot of cases these end up straight in the bin anyway.  As above, on my original business card order, I only had one side printed and used a stamp for the other.  I was trying to cut corners, I figured it gave me an option of small blank cards if I wanted to write a note and it was cheaper. Wrong move, I am officially crap at stamping and so I’ve just recently placed a new order with both sides printed.

I still use MOO a lot.  I like to add mini MOO cards to larger items, I figure these are often given as gifts so it’s nice to have my details there as well as on the actual parcel packaging.  I try these days to get the tags on directly after finishing a batch of animals and before storing them,  anything to speed up the packing and sending out process is good, and I often attach care details if it’s appropriate.

I am also using the large MOO business card stickers on the backs of some of my cellophane packages, such as brooches and little birds.  These products go directly into jiffy bags to be sent out so there is no added tissue or tag etc.  In an effort to get even more tidy, I may get some sticker versions of my business cards printed, that way everything would be uniform, saying that I love that you can have a number of images for the same price at MOO.

Finally, I keep all my packaging prices written down and updated, it allows me to see exactly how much it is costing me to parcel something up, I also write down the postage (which is all about to go up in price I’m afraid 😦 ).  I would love to say I am very green with my P&P but that’s not true, I do favour cardboard boxes and tissue when possible but there is a lot of work to be done reducing my use of jiffy bags and new love of cellophane.

Below are my most recent lists, some details may be wrong and may need updating, the ‘-‘ price is the price per item, even when you can’t order them individually, it simply allows me to see how much each one costs.  These lists are really for my records but I thought they might be useful anyway 🙂 :

Rajapack

All excluding P&P at £10/order

Brown Standard Postal Boxes (bought in 50′s)

A6 215 x 155 x 50                          –  35p each

A5 310 x 220 x 50                          – 50p each

Lrg Flat 430 x 310 x 50                          – 80p each

Lrg 430 x 300 x 120                          – £1-65 each

Rajabul Mailers (their Jiffy)

White 300 x 450 (50/pack)             – 44p each

Tissue paper (bought in a Ream/500 sheets)

Green                                                 – 4p/sheet

Kraft bags (bought in 250 packs)

Very Small 120 x 190 x 45            – 5p each

Small 160 x 250 x 80            – 9p each

Large 240 x 390 x 75            – 16p each

Brown Paper Roll

Recycled 220m @ 90 gsm             – £30 (inc vat)

Smart Packaging Store

I bought Jiffys (Jiffylite) from here simply because I needed them in a hurry and they offer free next day delivery.

Lrg Letter 220 x 320 (min 50)             – 26p each

Lrg Letter 170 x 245  (min 100)             – 15p each

Simply Envelopes

http://www.simply-envelopes.co.uk/

They allow you to order small quantities and delivery is £4.50 for next day (optional).  I had struggled to find a supplier of mailbags in small quantities, more importantly they had a good price on large Biodegradable Poly Bags.

Prices exclude VAT and there is no min order

Clear Cello Bags 230 x 167 (A5)                          – 7p each

130 x 210                                    5p each

Jiffylite 115 x 195 (A6)                                                  – 19p each

290 x 445 (lrg)                                                 43p each

Featherpost Bubble 180 x 165                                    27p each

Biodegradable Poly Bags – 595 x 430             –            – 36p each

Overnight Prints

http://www.overnightprints.co.uk/main.php?A=pc_landingpage

Love em!  Prices below include VAT @ 20% and allow £6 postage towards each pack of cards on the basis of ordering 2 lots each time so this covers the £12 set delivery

A6 postcard, one-sided, no extras             – 25p each (on 100)

A5 postcard, one-sided, no extras             – 30p each (on 100)

DIN Long, one-sided, no extras            – 12p each (on 250)

Business cards, one-sided, no extras – 11p each (on 250)

Moo

http://uk.moo.com

Including delivery and vat @ 20%

Moo Mini – £28.36 (box 200)                        – 14p each

Moo Stickers – £35.08 (box 100)                        – 35p each

Defenda Boxes

http://www.defendapack.co.uk/

Free P&P plus prices shown include VAT

PIP Boxes

For the below DL (long and thin to fit DIN packages) size, the Die Cut make up into a box, the other needs to be taped into place.

DL 217 x 108 x 20 Die Cut (bought in 100 batch)                        – 33p each

DL 217 x 108 x 20 (bought in 150 batch)                         – 20p each

C5 (fits A5) 218 x 159 x 19 (bought in 100 batch)             – 33p each

This is what I’ve been up to…

I had the best day out in London, many thanks for all your best wishes.  I was really very reserved with my shopping, only a couple of meters of Tana Lawn from Liberty’s in my joint favourite pattern, ‘Wiltshire’ (my other is ‘Mirabelle’, if you’re interested).

The BBC recording was a Kander and Ebb special for Friday Night is Music Night, so it was mostly classics from Chicago and Cabaret, hosted by Joel Gray (from the original film and musical) and with none other than Tony Hadley as one of the singers.  I kept expecting him to burst into singing ‘Gold!’, although I’m not sure the other audience members knew who he was, we were the only people there with our own teeth.  Still a good day all round and I thoroughly enjoyed myself (thanks sis!).

Back to business, I began sewing a new dress from some of my lovely Voiles, but to be blunt with you it all started to go wrong and having taken so long to get my sewing mojo back, I abandoned it for something with a more immediate ‘hit’.

I recently saw this post over at the purl bee and rushed off to buy myself a Hana Ami Flower Loom.

It’s exactly the kind of thing I would have been given as a child and I enjoyed my first couple of attempts at weaving flowers.

I really like the idea of finely woven ones but I’m undecided on the results, I need to play a little more; still, it’s the perfect quick pick up put down project that fills the little gaps of time and has an immediate result, I’ll be needing some of those over the summer holidays :/ I can’t tell a lie, I am a little worried about six weeks of full time children, but I’m keeping optimistic and have lots of little projects lined up, both for them and for me.  In fact, if you hang around I have a second post to directly follow this, where I have finally started on some new products – hurrah!

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!

101st post?!! Blog Anniversary Giveaway…

Ha, ha, so I wanted to do a Giveaway for my 100th post but I have somehow got myself muddled so this is in fact the 101th post Giveaway…oh, well, the best laid plans and all that 😉

I guess I should really write about how much I love blogging (which I do) and how I enjoy the on-line community it has brought (which is also true) but instead I’m going to waffle on about my favourite product, the Linen Cats & Bunnies.

OK, so the first shop item I ever made was a Linen Bunny, which I created for my oldest son (now about to turn 5!) followed by a Cat version and that’s how The Linen Cat was born, as simple as that.  They remain one of my favourite things to make, not least because I don’t make any two alike, I will often make more than one dress or set of trousers in the same fabric but they will always have different trimmings.

(I have just checked my blog for a link to the full bunny story only to realise that this is a double celebration as The Linen Bunny itself is now 2 years old!!)

It’s been a while since I made any, as they sell in flits, nothing for a while then I’ll sell quite a few, usually to the same family or group of friends, so it appears that they sell better in ‘the flesh’ as it where.  I think the price might put people off as compared to many homemade looking, but mass produced softies they cost more but they take quite a long time to make and the material costs are one of the highest, I also think the attention to detail doesn’t come over very well in the photos and the restriction on MrSite to 1 photo is a bit of an issue (I could pay to upgrade, allowing me 3, but I am a little unhappy with some bugs on MrSite right now).

Finally, the ‘not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts’ I know puts people off.  Quite a few Linen Cats & Bunnies have been given as Christening presents and I guess most sensible parents would not be daft enough to put an item with buttons and beads in bed with a chewing baby, or allow them to play unsupervised….I could loose all the beads/buttons but I so love the detail of the back button on the boys tweed trousers, I’m not sure I could part with that.

So, for giveaway, we have either the Oatmeal Girl Linen Cat in Flower Dress with Red Buttons (as above) OR an Oatmeal Boy Linen Cat in Tweed Trousers with Red Trim (also as above).  The winner can choose which of the two they want.  To enter, please simply leave a comment on this post.  That’s all, nothing fancy just say ‘hi’.  I will close the giveaway on Friday 14th May (midnight BST) and I’m happy to post worldwide so anyone can enter (but the package will be sent by Airmail so might take a while).

Finally, I know you know this, but I really enjoy reading everyones comments on my blog and I totally appreciate anyone who takes the time to write.  I do try to reply and rest assured that anyone I know about I do also read your blogs, some as a lurker and some ‘out in the open’, I am just quite bad at leaving comments sometimes, for which, I do apologise 🙂

In love with green…

Blimey, it’s been a while since my last post, I have slightly lost my sewing Mojo recently and have been busy with other things.  I started running again last week, with Mr C in Pre-school I finally have the time and I am not really a gym kind of girl, I get very bored but I love being outdoors so running it is.  I have found a nice route directly from C’s Pre-school through a quiet lane and then out into the fields, I am not a natural runner, I find it quite difficult but I run in intervals (at the moment run 3, walk 2) which means I get to have a good look at my surroundings in between huffing and puffing my way along, I love watching the seasons change on my run route and really need to loose some weight after having the boys so this suits me very well.

I’m loving the green everywhere, we have been lucky to have so many sunny days, all the garden is springing into life and I have been planting seeds like crazy.  We made the most of the weather at the weekend with a trip to Groombridge Gardens and Enchanted Forrest, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.  The boys loved it, the peacocks were giving us plenty of tail displays

and I fell in love with the woods and all their fun details including these little ‘fairy’ houses along the river banks.

It was also my Birthday over the weekend.  I don’t really do much these days, I was very pleased to get a lie in and nice breakfast complete with a Paddington Bear cake and balloons, hummm, wonder who chose those those then!

C, has rediscovered F’s Linen Bunny.  Mr C has a Linen Cat but he had the above in bed for cuddles after waking in the night and taking him down from the shelves, C was feeding him carrots at dinner the other night, it’s sweet to see as this really is mainly a plastic toy household now the boys are getting older.

Despite not doing a lot of sewing I have a number of projects in the pipeline.  I fell in love with the above Water Bouquet in mint by Amy Butler (from Saints and Pinners) for making new Lavender Birds, I love picking out the ribbons for the tails.

There are other new designs that need to be made up into samples,  just need to get sewing instead of prancing around the garden planting things and absorbing the sun, on which note I had better get on as the day is disappearing fast.  I win the award for the most uses of the word ‘love’ in one blog by the way 😉

I hope you are as lucky with the weather as we are and are finally feeling the effects of Spring.

Postcards and new Moo…

I spoke too soon on my last post and the boys have caught another ‘bug’ so poor F was off school yesterday and was sent home today after having a nasty coughing fit in the playground.  Typically he is now running around the house, showing no signs of illness except a slight bunged up nose, but that’s the way it goes.  C is holding up well and is just a tad snotty so it could be worse.  Well it was worse with the house alarm going off at my sister’s (whilst I fed her cat), police turning up and plenty more but that was this morning and I intend to make the most of my afternoon now everything has calmed down.

I came home from picking F up to lots of lovely parcels, mainly of supplies (tweed, felt and beads) and a second batch of postcards ordered from Overnight Prints.  I’ve noticed that they have put their prices up (or more accurately, their sale prices are no longer available) on Offset print quality postcards.  On past orders, I have paid £9.98/100 A6 and £19.94/100 A5 but on my last order placed just before Christmas, I opted for the new (cheaper!) Digital Print Quality instead of the pricier Offset for my A5 cards to mount the new felt birds on, I am happy with the result, I also opted to pay to have the corners rounded (£2 per 100, I think) but it’s not quite as nice as using my own corner cutter.

There has been an offer on A6 postcards Prices (DPQ 20% off 50) so I decided to take advantage and order some prints of the new Linen Boy Mice (of which I haven’t blogged about the new brown/yellow version yet – he’s soooo cute).  They arrived this morning and although not as good as the Offset quality, the price difference more than makes up for it.  I also decided to cut the corners myself so that’s a nice job for this afternoon, I find it strangely relaxing.

Whilst ‘updating’ my packing for spring, I ordered new Mini Moo cards, in the past I have choosen a large mix of photos but this time I have opted for just the two, a linen cat and bunny in nice bright colours, one matching the new postcards (the mice hadn’t been made at the point of ordering or I may have used them as well).

Finally, thanks to a tip off from Flora who has just been picked as a Folksy Featured Seller (well deserved) we have become addicted to Okido magazine, so much so that I have subscribed and ordered any remaining back issues, which arrived this morning.  F LOVES it and that’s a big deal as he is mainly into plastic things and cartoons so to get him to sit down and enjoy an art and science magazine is a miracle plus the design is fabulous.

Right, best get on and tidy…a much needed order of tweed arrived this morning and it’s very musty so not sure how I’ll deal with that but I can’t use it as it is!

Awards and the perfect fabric…

First I wanted to say a huge thank you to Nerys over at Crafty Jemima for passing along  the ‘Sunshine Blog Award’.  I was most definitely not a little ray of sunshine that day, I was a grumpy old bag to be honest so it cheered me up no end to be on her list of 12, go read about her other choices here (I was in very good company!).  It also shamed me into remembering that Anne of Andamento passed along a ‘Kreativ Blogger’ award agggggeeees ago (read here) and I never told you, or linked back to her (really sorry Anne).  It’s one of my failings, I need to reply to emails and texts asap or they get missed in the mayhem of life with young children.  Back to the point, thank you ladies for thinking of me when you chose your blogs, I will be passing them along, but need to take time to find bloggers on my list who haven’t received them already, I just wanted to say thank you whilst it’s fresh in my mind.

Right, on to the second part of todays waffle, the perfect fabric.  Don’t you just love it when you match the perfect fabric with a project you are working on?  For instance, the Liberty Tana Lawn that I use for Wool Baby Bunnies is just right for the dresses, but wouldn’t work for the Linen Cats, they need a quilting weight and I seem to favour Japanese prints (mainly Kokka), or fabrics with a retro feel.

So I was very pleased when my little bundle of Kaffe Fassett fabrics arrived from Saints and Pinners and I just knew they were perfect for the Linen Mice.  I have never taken much notice of them before, they have never appealed but I am suddenly in love with both the Dots and Asha prints.

Lastly my fabric arrived back with M from the US, I can only order small amounts as he generally travels with a small bag but it’s so much cheaper, so here we have:

Alexander Henry In the Kitchen Fabric, Apples and Pears in Blue

Alexander Henry In the Kitchen Fabric, Apples and Pears in White

Alexander Henry Monkey’s Bizness Fabric, 2D Zoo in Primary

Girl Friday by Cosmo Cricket, Flowers and Butterflies in Green

Michael Miller, Joyful Damask in Lime

all from the Fabric Closet and mostly destined for Linen Cat dresses (oh, yes, I use quite a lot of Alexander Henry fabrics here as well).

I see the Shopping man in his nice Ocado van arriving, so best dash.  I have a Linen Mouse post to follow.