Pretty Pink Lavender Birds…

This is going to have to be a quick post as I’m due on school run soon.

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I have new lavender birds.  They are pretty.   They are pink.

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They are still not photographed as well as they should be (curse you iPhoto for changing your editing tools grrrrr, why yes, I am a bad workman and will happily blame my tools in this case and not my shoddy camera skills), but they are listed here.

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Incidentally, I have just reduced my SALE section by another 10%, partly because I need to make room for new stock.  It will break my heart slightly to see so much hard work go for such a low price, but that’s the way of the world and I’d rather they go off to new homes than sit in a box unloved.  I need to update all the photos and see what else I have to add, but for now it’s mainly linen cats and bunnies, with the odd squirrel.

That’s it, short and sweet as I need to dash 🙂

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 🙂

Summer Lavender Birds…

I was going to talk about how my ‘home alone’ stint is going but so far it’s something along the lines of ‘lack of sleep, 5.30 awake every morning….ill kids…tired…very tired…shout rather too much’ and let’s face it, that may continue to be the pattern for the next 7 weeks so I’ll try not to keep mentioning it.  Much.

So, instead, here are the new lavender birds to match the little felt ones and the Summer collection colours of Racey Helps.

I’ve made similar before and they were very popular, the Ellie pattern fabric by Michael Miller is perfect as not only do the colours fit the theme but so does the simple, bold, retro flower pattern; I’m so glad I still have some of this fabric left.  I’ve only made a very small batch this time as I have quite a few lavender birds made up at the moment, you can find them here.

Still not decided what to do about Folksy, thanks so much for all your honest thoughts on this, and I’m still quite distracted with decorating.  I’m off to Glyndebourne tomorrow, I’m most excited, Mum is looking after the kids.  It’s set to be quite chilly and cloudy so I’ve abandoned the idea of wearing a silky, floaty dress and instead I’m going in a nice plum tulip dress once donated to me by my Sister (some of my nicest clothes come from her, she is also the one generously taking me to Glyndebourne).  It’s a good excuse to wear my Chia Mihara, Colibri shoes which I saved up forever for and had to buy direct from the Chia Mihara shop in Spain (the only place I could get them in plum), and added bonus, I don’t need to squeeze in time for a home pedicure.  Hope it doesn’t rain.

Spring Cleaning…

Spring is most definitely all around at the moment.  I haven’t listened to any music today, just the birds which are making rather a lot of chatter and with the sun streaming through the studio glass, it is making me very happy.  It wont last, apparently, we are due some low temperatures in the coming days but the general mild temperatures and sping-like feel has made me very enthusiastic to clean both the house (I know, it’s a miracle!) and my shop.

As always I like to start the new year with new colours, and often this is inspired by a fabric.  In this year’s case it’s a lovely sunny yellow (airing on the mustard side, I don’t do any other kind of yellow, especially not acid coloured) ‘Daisy Garland’ from the ‘Just Dandy’ collection by Josephine Kimberling for Robert Kaufman bought from M is for Make.  I love it and have gone a bit overboard with my plans for it’s use, but for now, I’m starting with lavender birds.

I pretty much also always start the year with new birds, I like to change the ones I have here hanging around the house and it fits in with the spring cleaning vibe I’m feeling.

I have also batched up some birds in the fabulous ‘Sophie’ by Chez Moi for Moda.

I’m surprised I like this print so much as I generally prefer a more graphic style.  It reminds me of an old-fashioned painted gypsy caravan, a painter in a village near used to own one and I was in love with is as a child, each time we visit Groombridge I imagine rescuing one of the rather dilapidated ones they have as part of their woodland walk and bringing it back home to return it to it’s former glory.

They were a nightmare to cut, the floral pattern is large and it was difficult to make sure each bird had a fair share of flowers verses background, but I do like the result so it was worth the slight fabric wastage involved.

Both birds are listed here.

On a completely random note, I just discovered that Susan Hill, who wrote ‘The Magic Apple Tree’, one of my favourite books, was also the writer of ‘The Women in Black‘ which for some reason surprised me (I haven’t read any of her fictional work so I didn’t know she had written such a famous ghost story).  I only discovered this after coming across a trailer for the new film version starring Daniel Radcliffe, weirdly I am one of the few not to have seen the stage play, but I did watch the TV version back in 1989  which was shown on Christmas Eve when everyone was out except my brother and me, we ended up so scared he slept in my room on the put up bed.  I have never forgotten it and can remember every detail to this day.  There you go, bit of random chatter for you there and my, hasn’t Daniel grown up! 😉

 

Red and Gold and a bit of Green…

My desk today is covered in half finished projects I’m trying to complete.

I feel the need to tidy things up and get organised and this means trying to reduce the mass of plastic boxes stacked around my studio, waiting for attention.  Some have been here for many weeks, in a few cases months.

It’s all very gold and red (normally it’s green and purple and pink on my table) and I’m enjoying the new colours.  I noticed when we returned after the short holiday that the leaves had all changed on our school run, and in what seems like only a few days those beautiful coloured leaves have dropped leaving bare branches.  Shame, I do like autumn colours and feel a little like we missed it this year, perhaps there is still time for a park or country house visit this weekend to take in the remaining show.

I made another acorn and leaves up for wrapping a present last weekend for a friend.  I am half-way through a batch for the shop but it’s taking a long time to chain stitch the acorn cups and I have to spread out felting the acorns as it makes my hands very dry using all that soap and hot water.  It’s fun though and I’ve promised the boys we can do some felt making this Christmas, maybe some decorations or cards for teachers?

That’s it today, short post and sorry, I’m behind in replying to comments but it feels quite hectic here even though the boys are back in school.  Time to dig though draws and find all the winter woollens, my favourite time of year 🙂

Pop open the champagne…

Seriously, there may be the popping sound of a very small bottle of pink fizz opening tonight (well, some sparkling Aussie stuff anyway, as I am the only drinker in the house I have no excuse to open actual champagne) as I have finally updated my Folksy shop.

Long time coming but there have been so many distractions and today is the first in ages that I have felt in control of things and slightly relaxed.

I spent this afternoon stuffing lavender bags and getting this lot ready to send off to Armagh (another order from the lovely folk at the St Patrick’s Trian Visitor Complex), I had to make up new monster purses and extra brooches as I didn’t have any spare, in fact I still don’t have new monster purses for my store, they are on my ‘need to make last month’ list along with new lavender owls.  I will get there eventually, I’m sure.

For now I am concentrating on new items and I have finally managed to photograph and list the new Autumn lavender birds.  I started these a very, very long time ago, they were one of my sewing projects I took on our holidays to Yorkshire this Summer (stitching the eyes on that is)

and the tails of the green birds were used for the ‘grass’ in my ‘Gone Fishing’ photo as they were sitting on my desk at the time waiting to be stitched up.

I do like the new birds, they have a perfect Autumn colour palette in my mind; a nice mix of greens, golds and reds

I’m sure many of your will recognise the fabric as ‘Cloud 9 – Leaves’, I have it in a few colour ways and jumped on the red as soon as it appeared on-line some time ago, stashing it away for this time of year.

I have also made and listed (go me!) some new ‘Folk’ lavender birds, these were made to match another project which I may be some time in completing so I thought I’d get the birds into the shop now.

I loved the slightly miss match colour of the folk fabric so much it prompted me to also make a matching version of ‘little birds‘.  Now, if there is a prize for the worst photo in this post this last on wins, I do struggle to get the burgundy felt that I love and use so much correctly captured and I will need to re-take this one with a longer exposure, but at least they are listed and I can relax tonight knowing that my poor Folksy shop isn’t shamefully bare.

I have many other things also completed and ready so be prepared for some coherent posts complete with nice matching photos, now that would be nice wouldn’t it? 😉

New Birds…

I’m feeling a little melancholy today, not necessarily in a bad way, I’m listening to ‘girly warbling folk music’ as a friend of mine would say (she once made me a mix tape with this as the title, back in the olden days when people made mix tapes) and it’s raining outside which I LOVE.  I’m a big fan of rain, I kind of assume that’s because of being brought up on a farm in the Dales in the middle of no-where on a windswept hill…..maybe.

The music and weather fit the pace of my sewing perfectly as I’ve spent the last couple of days hand stitching flower brooches, which is generally taking a lot longer than I’d anticipated although it is nice to work at this slower speed.  I’m slightly worried about the pricing of these now though as there is a lot more work involved than appears, which is never good.

I’ve also been stitching eyes onto some new Lavender Birds, in orange

and pink

they can be found here and on Folksy.

On a completely separate note, F lost a tooth the other night, I wasn’t quite ready (I’d planned a Monster tooth pouch) so had to write a hasty note from the Tooth Monster (the Fairy was busy, apparently, or so the note said ;))

I *borrowed* (ahem) an image from Jamie Hewlett, because he rocks and so I could add a PS the note which reads:

‘I don’t look like the picture, that’s my cousin doing his shopping, I am green’

I plan to put a different photo on each time that isn’t the Tooth Monster so F can make up his own image in his head.  I may have created rather a chore for myself as he already has 2 more wobbly teeth but I couldn’t resist starting a Tooth Monster dialogue.  F doesn’t do Fairies.

I also wanted to show you this great Dotty Baby Bib I bought a while ago from Jenny from her shop Sew Vintage Obsessed, oh how I wish these options were there when my two were small, how fantastic to have such a stylish (and very well made) bib, it almost makes me want to have another baby (not really).  In case you don’t know her, Jenny also writes a lovely blog here.

Ok, the sun has come out and it’s time I stopped swishing around in my studio listening to lovely harmonies and wishing I still had long hair and not very short, very red hair instead 🙂

Nearly forgot, thanks for all your comments re housework, I’m glad it’s not just me and I’m a bit behind in my blog reading so apologies if I haven’t commented for a while.

Listed: Bunnies and Birdies…

Finally, after a morning of slight stress and ice cream bribes (entertaining kids and updating your site don’t go together), they are listed.

And…

and…

All to be found here in the Spring Specials section and a few here on Folksy.

I had quite a lot to say about the new bunny purses, I bought the tweed forever ago (in the Winter actually) and have fallen in love with it, there is a beautiful golden fleck that runs through it giving a really nice texture, in fact so nice I’m keeping a Turquoise purse for myself.  I’ve also only finished half the pink batch but really feel I need to get them listed.  I wont say any more, I managed to delete the entire front page of my shop this morning by accident (obviously) and have spent the last hour re-creating it so I need to go and have a click through, make sure everything is working, oh and I’ve added ‘customer accounts’ in the hope it stops people having to add their full address details whenever they buy.  Again, hope it all works as haven’t been able to test it.

Back to the boys….how much longer to go? 😉

Work in Progress: Cream and Turquoise…

I had a rare, excellent night’s sleep last night and what a difference it makes!  Both boys slept through until 6.30 and there was no insomnia (which I’ve sadly started to get again recently), but today I feel full of energy and I am determined to close out some of my open projects so I can take Easter off to play with the boys and work in the garden.

On my (just cleaned) work bench I have

new lavender birds, half the batch here waiting for their eyes to be stitched on,

Sample bunnies with new heads,

those bloomin’ bunny purses that have been waiting in the wings for an age.  I really want to get these finished and listed this week.

As I’ve just tided my worktop, I wanted to show you some of my new ‘bits’, I do love having things around me when I work that I enjoy to look at and that make me smile, in this case a new Wolfie beaker and Snowflake coasters from Donna Wilson.

The beaker is holding a new batch of 2B pencils, I use these for marking up my patterns and on the side there, my new favourite gadget a  Jakar pencil sharpener.  Now, I know it looks lazy, but as most Mums reading this will know, if you have kids that enjoy drawing you spent a huge amount of time trying to a. find the pencil sharpener (even though I own about 10) and b. sharpening pencils.  I have been on the hunt for an old school vintage desktop one for ages but gave up and bought this new one instead.  I can’t link to the shop as you’d be shocked at the price but oh my, it was a dream to use and I spent a happy 30 mins sharpening every pencil in the house, I was in geek heaven 🙂

Lastly, as it’s very dull and wet outside, I’ve just switched on my little rabbit hospital light that was my bedside lamp as a child; I do love it, there were a number of years when I couldn’t get lightbulbs, but with the selection you can buy these days that’s no longer a problem,

I used to be fascinated by the interior scene when I was younger.  My sister has a mushroom house with mice, I think, equally cute and retro.

As it’s Tuesday I get the whole day to work, it’s the only one where C is at pre-school for the full day, it quite excites me (as well as saddens me, where has the time gone?) that all my week days will be like this from September onwards, I will miss having his cheery little face around but I can’t wait to work on TLC full-time.  On which note, I do hope everyone got the school places they were wishing for?  It’s such a hard thing to go through, we are lucky to get a sibling place this year but I feel for anyone who is unhappy with their given school, you really have my full sympathy.

Right, back to work, it wont sew itself 🙂

Little Birds…

I’ve just made my entry for the Little Bird Event at the Dukes Gallery, Lancaster.  In their own words:

‘This colourful and vibrant installation of a flock of birds asks you to join in by creating one yourself. Birds can be 3d sculptures, made in any medium to be hung in The Dukes gallery. The birds will then be sold to raise money for charity’. (All Proceeds go to Women for Women International.)

The entry date is 15th March, so not much time left, but such a great idea to be involved with if you have a free morning to make a birdie.  More info here.