Heather Hues…

I started writing a very different post, all about big decisions (like where to live) and such, but quite frankly it all felt too serious so I deleted it and instead will just get straight to the subject.

barden fell

On of my favourite times of the year to visit the Yorkshire Dales is when the heather is out, it’s when I’m most keen to go walking and not just because the weather is often at it’s best but because I just love the colours.  I took this photo back in August, when I last visited, it’s taken from Burnsall Fell looking back down on the village, I realise that G+ has done some nifty ‘Auto Awesome’ thing but the heather hues and greens are so pretty so it’s exactly what I imagine when I picture home.DSC_0207 It’s also why I tend to think of this purse as my ‘Yorkshire’ purse, the colours in the tweed reflecting my mind’s image of the colours of Yorkshire, of green rolling hills and Dales and heather moors (OK, I know this is totally romanticised and often it’s actually grey and pissing it down….which reminds me, I once saw a program about buying houses, it was for some Yorkshire lady who’d moved to Australia who was trying to make the big decision of whether to move her family back, apparently someone from ‘home’ had sent her a video of driving around in the rain for an hour to remind her how grim it really is, only she kept watching the video in repeat and feeling homesick as she actually missed the Northern rain – that would SO be me!!!).DSC_0200Sorry for those with good memories who have read about these purse colours from the first time I made this combination, but it proved so popular I wanted to make a second batch.DSC_0187I’m so in love with the brown tweed, with it’s lime green and purple shades running through, I think it’s my favourite so far and I’ve still got enough squirrelled away for a 1940’s suit.DSC_0205

As I’ve covered this subject before, there isn’t much more to say, simply that they are back in the shop.DSC_0121Whilst I was in purse making mode, I figured I’d add another acorn version.  DSC_0120I liked the idea of sticking to brown tweeds for this one, although there is a hint of wine red in the herringboneDSC_0194and for a contrast pop of colour, I lined them in orange silk.
DSC_0200 The down side of using silk is it shows every little crease and bump and even though I’m super careful to push the bag evenly into the frame, it’s inevitable that there are some bumps that look worse for being in a shiny fabric….this really annoys me, as I’m sure those who know me can imagine.DSC_0221 DSC_0235I’m nearly there with all the shop posts, I know it’s been a bit ‘product’ heavy around here and I’m quite looking forward to working on new things, even possibly some sewing for myself which has become a rare thing around here these days.  Watch this space 😉

Acorns 2014

I feel like I am drowning under a sea of paperwork.  Who knew that getting quotes for every kind of insurance was such a right royal pain in the backside, or that if you’ve only ever been a ‘named’ driver, all your years of never having had any kind of accident or driving penalty counts for NOTHING.  It’s all a bit hard work at the moment, on top of which I desperately want the house finished (as in decorated and building reg’s signed off) there is at least a good few months of work to do there, but at the same time I have to get The Linen Cat back up and running, so today, despite Habitat still not delivering me the desk I ordered (I got a coat stand instead, having waited a few weeks for the first available delivery date and now have to wait longer for the replacement.  Poor show.  They make nice things but I wont order from them again), I’ve got on with it and will make do with the floor as a work space.  I realise the timing of opening the shop back up will never seen right, there is no space for a well needed re-design and a fanfare of trumpets, for every photo to be perfect, as I would like it to be.  Life is going to feel a bit stressful for the next few months so the sooner I got on with it the better; on which note, thank you so very, very much for the lovely comments everyone made on ‘the news’, I’m so sorry as I haven’t replied to anyone yet, but I do intend to, it was encouraging and comforting to read them and I genuinely appreciate every one.  Thank you.

Right, in a bid for normal service to resume, let’s crack on shall we.

We’re heading into Autumn so it must be……acorn time – hurrah!DSC_0156One of the most popular things I’ve ever made are acorns, in both the brooch and hanging versions.  I first made them for the shop back in 2012 and sadly I have never got around to finishing the second (big) batch, until now, that is.

The new ones were started with the idea they’d be ready for Autumn 2013, but generally 2013 was a bit of a disaster, what with my lovely Mum being ill that year, amongst other things, and I pretty much stopped sewing for a while…..a long while as my tax return for 2013-2014 shows!!  I like making the acorns though, so it was a pleasure to pick them back up in-between other projects, stitching a bit here and a bit there and slowly watching them form.  The only part I genuinely struggle with is felting the balls as it makes a mess of my hands but that’s a minor niggle really.  DSC_0158Matching them up into pairs always feels like a milestone.


Leaves are added, and for the hanging version neatly plaited.DSC_0032

As they were already started in 2013, these were part of my ‘get ahead’ list this year and to be fair, I was waaaaayyyyy ahead, the above photo being taken in March 2014. Oh yes, go me!


Then things slowed down rather, mounting them up onto card took me a little bit longer, but was finally completed in July.

I’m always amazed at how long packing up can take, but it’s very satisfying, DSC_0033

I like cleaning off an lint with cellotape then pinning them onto cards and popping them into a cello bag, sealed with a sticker, all ready to be posted out.


I would like to take some more shots of these, especially as some of the process ones were taken on dark days and the colour isn’t great, but I also need to just get them listed for now, I know some of you are waiting.


It’s funny how certain things sum up certain seasons and there is no doubt for me that acorns suggest Autumn.  I’m enjoying these final days of sunshine, but I can’t help but start to hanker for cooler days, I know it’s corny but I find myself thinking of hot chocolate, woollens, smoky garden fires and treacle toffee; it really is my very favourite season so bring it on, I am ready 🙂

They are here and – wahoo! – also on FOKSY, oh yes, I have even managed to get my Folksy shop back up and running, and about time too.

Tweed Flower Purses: Part 2 (Acorns!)…

I spent yesterday cleaning and feel so much better because of it.  This is the kind of house where piles of things appear all over the place and build until they look ready to topple over.  I tend to be too busy to do anything about it for a while, then it starts to get to me and I spend a couple of days putting everything away and clearing all surfaces.  I am trying to train the boys to tidy their own things, they are learning but the reality is it’s always going to be me that has to do the majority, so I may as well just get on with it.  I instantly feel less stressed when the house is tidy (or tidier, it’s never going to be properly tidy!), especially when the hallways are clear….I’m pretty sure there’s some Feng Shui thing about clean hallways?!

Anyway, I’m back in the sewing room today and thought I’d better get this promised post written.

So, the big difference with this purse (the acorn one, as the title suggests) is that I was starting with the brooch and making a purse to match.

Shortly after finalising the purse pattern, I pretty much ‘saw’ in my head a two-tone version to go with the acorns.  An all tweed one wouldn’t work, as the acorn would get lost in the tweed pattern so it was clear that it needed to have a plain top part and then a nice tweedy bottom.  Please excuse my crude sketches, they were more scribbles I made one day but I stuck them in my book so I could remember the thought process.

I bought quite a few tweeds in an attempt to get the right combination, but settled on a cream cashmere wool that I already had in and some new herringbone, that has lovely flecks of red and yellow running through it.  This photo gives you some idea of how much fabric is involved, the pleats take up quite a bit, in both length and width.

For the lining I couldn’t resist using some beautiful Heather Ross ‘Snow White’ fabric from her Far Far Away 3 collection.  I have become a FFA addict, but more in that another time.  It was a bit of a challenge to try to get an interesting bit of the print into each purse lining but I do love this fabric and like how bright but golden the yellow is.  I really like golden and mustard yellows but HATE lemon and acid yellow….no idea why.

Something I wanted to try changing was the shape of the purse.  In my head (and my scribble sketch) I had imagined the purses to have more of a slant to the sides, I’d tried to achieve this with the first two batches, but the slant wasn’t exaggerated enough, so I made the purses wider at the bottom and a little lower in height.

A thought generally with the purses is that you could change the brooches over, this colour combination works just as nicely with the buttercup brooch as it does with the acorns.

The cream wool fabric is very thick so these were even more of a challenge to sew, but worth it, I think.

When I showed one to my sister she said, “oh lovely….is it a pencil case?”.  !!!!!!!!!!

and I appear to have got  a bit mixed up when sewing and have produced a ‘left handed’ purse…in that, I mean that the zip is set to pull from the right to left (something determined by the placing of the inside pocket).  What a muppet.  Still, if you’re buying and want it ‘left handed’ do let me know and I’ll send you the one below.

They are listed here.

Guess what my husband said when I showed them to him……”is it a pencil case” – ha ha ha!!

I’ve bought some purse frames to have a play with, I hope to try to keep the two tone tweed idea, as I like this but not sure the pleats will stay.  These are intended for myself and gifts for friends, but I’ll show them when finished.

Thanks for such a great response to the tweed purses in general, I have packed quite a few up and they’ve gone off to their new homes, I was so pleased to get such a positive reaction and especially happy that the price didn’t put anyone off.  Also, this is the last of the shop posts for a while, I know my blog has been a bit product heavy but it’s just that time of year and it’s mostly what I’ve been sewing.

Right, back to cleaning, now I’ve started I might as well move onto the playroom…..If you don’t hear back from me, send in a search party 😉




So when did these first appear?  Back in September 2011 I blogged them for the first time and even then, I’d been working on/thinking about them for a year.

They then appeared again twice more, used as decorations on wrap gifts and lots of you lovely folk asked me when they would be arriving in the shop…..I optimistically said that winter.  Sadly it didn’t happen as I just got snowed under with lots of other projects and the acorns proved to take a lot longer to make than I had anticipated.  I had to spread out felting the balls (for the acorn body) as the whole soap hot water/cold water thing makes my hands itch like crazy, and sewing the cups was a nice little bit of therapeutic hand sewing, but it did take a while for each acorn so I decided to spread it out over the spring and summer months.

Also, I figured that brooches might be a better thing than hanging decorations and this is where I’ve dragged a bit on listing them.  I did manage to make up quite a few brooches, but the hanging ones I made were snaffled up by family and friends before they were even mounted on cards.  I’d hoped to make more but I’m being realistic about time so figured I’d just get what I have put into the shop and if I do get more hanging ones done – bonus.

Ah those group shots do make me happy.

This gives and idea of the size.  You know, the acorns kind of make me giggle as they remind me of comedy ‘boobs’ in a Beryl Cook kind of way.  Perhaps that’s just my mind and not something I should share, but there you go.

So they are now, finally, listed.  Sorry it took so long and if you’re in the market for a new tweed purse you might want to hang on a bit as I have some coming with an acorn brooches attached, I just need to take the photos (although they will retail at about £30, maybe a bit more when I price them out).

Oh and there are 2 hanging ones left, here.