Sunshine on a Rainy Day…

It’s truly miserable out there.  I have mentioned before, that I quite like rain and wintry weather, but scrap that, right now I’d be extremely happy to see some sunshine.  I’m bored with wet, cold, bleurgh weather.

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In contrast to outside, my workbench has a much more summery feel.  Whilst attempting to use up existing fabrics, I came across some cute Cosmo Cricket fabric – Girl Friday, Flowers, in green.  I bought it last year, with a specific project in mind,  that has since been abandoned and it’s been sitting in my stash since, getting lonely.  I kind of fell in love all over again, especially with the sweet little buttercups and bees and as I was re-stocking linen mice, I couldn’t resist making a few extra.

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The boys have sunny yellow shorts….and upside down petals! Doh!  The pattern runs in all directions and I have no idea how I managed to end up with mostly upside down blooms and insects on the boys ‘top’ but I did.  Never mind, still cute, I think.

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For the girls, I made a slight change to the collars, in that I scalloped them, ideally I’d have also added a little ribbon bow in the middle, but then they would be less suitable for younger children (possible choke hazard), so sadly it can’t be.

DSC_0035It’s only a mini batch, but they are tagged and listed on my own site and girl Folksy.  I still need to finish making up some of the other, regular, linen boys and maybe another new colour girl, but I’m happier that this section of the shop is looking a bit healthier now.

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I also completed the buttercup brooches.  Always a favourite, they spend most of the time ‘out of stock’ so it’s nice to have a batch of those done as well, although it’s taken me a few days to write this post so some are already gone.

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I remembered to photograph the new Spring labels I had made last year from Moo.  These go onto the back of the packages of brooches and little birds, and I’m happy with their cheery colours, they seem very apt for Spring/Summer products.

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I had a great weekend, hanging out a my sister’s, eating lovely food and being spoilt for my birthday.  I decided to dress up a bit and wore another ‘new’ vintage dress, this time the lovely green cotton number below, which came from Simplicity is Bliss Vintage (Etsy, US – I’ve used their photo).  I’m a bit in love with this frock, especially the colour, green with pink roses, it’s also great for throwing into the wash and hanging dry without the need for ironing.  I do like easy care vintage.
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Let’s hope we get a change in the weather soon, I’d like to get out into the garden and tidy up, but right now I’d just sink into the mud.  The plus side is, it keeps me in the mood to work in winter products, so I’m getting ahead nicely there and I’m currently planning some sewing for myself that involves original 1940’s patterns and lots of tweed.  I do love a bit of tweed 🙂

Back in stock – Lilac Linen Mice..!

I mentioned, in a recent post, all the half-finished projects that are presently living in stackable IKEA boxes (the best things ever BTW) waiting patiently to be completed.  I have made it my goal to try to empty those boxes in coming weeks, even though, what I really want to do is fiddle with new designs.

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First up are linen mice.  I think I cut these out last Spring, when Country Living showed and interest in them (along with other things that they did go on to use in the Emporium pages and for shoots) and I thought I’d better do a re-stock.  They are a slow burner, the linen mice, I tend to sell one to a person, often then followed by a few repeat orders, which makes me believe they are nicer in real life than they appear on the web; or, and I do know this to be true, they are fantastic for younger children, as the ears are brilliantly ‘suckable’ and they can be popped in the washing machine (wool wash only) which is a winner.  Either way, they are a steady plodder, from a sale point of view, but I really, really like them so I intend to keep them, for a while, at least.

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Now, I like strong colours and I’m hankering to make one in a navy dress with white spots, but I know they wont sell, people (understandably) like the pinks and purples, the more girly tones, so my priority was to make some more of the lilac version.  They are rather cute.

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So, they are finished and have been listed here.

Hope your weekend is off to a great start, I’ve just come back from swimming lessons (C’s) and I’m about to enjoy my first glass of wine, knowing that Friday night is Thai takeaway night – hurrah!

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It’s all Yellow…

I have spent the day so far cleaning, not as in the last post nice spring cleaning but necessary monotonous cleaning.  It’s dull and I’m bored of it now so I’ve sneaked back into the studio to do a quick post of some new goodies in the shop.

I mentioned in the last post that I had other plans for the new yellow floral fabric and one of those was a small batch of linen mice, I generally need to re-stock these and I plan to mostly stick with the original dots for the girls but I couldn’t resist a few in yellow for spring.

I also made some new Little Birds using the above as a lead for the colours

all pinks, yellows and some purple.

They have been mounted on their cards,

photographed (badly, very dodgy tones there, one to re-photograph on a brighter day) and listed in the shop.  I have also listed them on Folksy and was pleased to find some orders waiting for me this morning, it’s always nice when new things sell, means I’ve got them right.

OK, back to the cleaning and then school run, where does the time go?  I think this week si going to fly by 🙂

Pirate Mice…

Now, I forgot to hide these one day and the boys found them almost finished, I felt rather mean gently taking them away but before you think I am an evil mother, they would gladly have one of pretty much everything I make if I let them plus I have promised a special one each in their Christmas stocking (which I have explained I will post to Santa so he has it ready for the big day).

These were really good fun to make, my brain is already buzzing with Linen Mice Specials for next year!  I do hope to make some new Super Hero mice this side of Christmas but I’m not making any promises, I need to try and reduce my handmade present list and finish the acorns first.

They are listed here.  Acorns next 🙂

Red Riding Hood Linen Mice…

I had forgotten about inset day at school this week, followed by lunch out with my Mum and Aunt (down here visiting my Sister from Yorkshire) and then coffee this morning with some friends, all in all there hasn’t been much sewing done.

On a very happy note, I did manage to finish and photograph the new Linen Mice specials so without any more chat here is the first, a sweet Red Riding Hood version.

My only regret is I did think of adding a white underskirt with a lace edge but I could keep on adding more detail and there has to be a cut off point, I keep thinking how yummy this shot would be with a lace underskirt….ah well, she does have very nice white linen frilly knickers.

The linen for the capes was hand dyed and the colour mixed as I had a very specific kind of dark scarlet in mind that I couldn’t get from using straight Dylon dye colours.  It’s always a bit hit and miss, even though I do lots of mini dye tests when mixing the colours but on this occasion has worked a treat.

This last photo makes me very happy, you know what I’m like about ‘neat little piles’ shots 🙂

And just so you understand how long some things take me to complete, the below photo was taken back in May!!!  Now I had planned this as an early autumn product but I got side-tracked, as you do.

Still the few that are left (sorry, half were already spoken for) are listed here.  Also, just to be clear I wont be making any more girl Linen Specials this side of the New Year, I had hoped to make a batch of Ballerina Mice but time hasn’t allowed and I think I am done with the fiddly turning out, as above, that is like squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle.
Next post, Pirate Mice.

Supermouse..!

The snow means sewing had to be put on hold as the kids were off school most of last week and I had plenty to do including bake bread as our local village Tesco was restricting all customers to 1 bread product only (I kid you not). We survived, I was a Brownie you know and like a challenge; I must admit though, I am very relieved that our underfloor heating went in earlier this year as quite frankly, it’s a tad nippy out there.

So, as the title suggests, after a day of blatant TV bribery on Friday I finally finished the Supermice and here they are :

There is a definite nod towards retro Robin costume (as in Batman & ) and I like them, although I didn’t make many and some are already spoken for, the rest are listed here.  They are quite difficult to photograph in the dimmed light, the colours are maroon and yellow with capes in the same ‘Burlesque Red’ linen used for the Foxes suits.

C took a fancy to the mice all the way through and kept running away with capes, masks and eventually finished mice so I promised him one of his very own, I was thinking of a Christmas stocking filler but no, apparently he wasn’t willing to wait that long so I spent Saturday running up two extra mice for the boys (F also demanded one, his reaction to the originals was ‘cool, I like them’ which is praise indeed from a 5 yr old obsessed with plastic toys).

I wasn’t entirely excited by the boys colour combinations but I said they could choose and both were very happy with their Supermouse & Starmouse (as named by F who asked for stars on his Christmas Elf Mouse sorry, I mean Starmouse).

They played with them for the rest of the day and took them to bed, what more could I ask for 🙂

Fairy and Ballerina Mice…

First, huge thanks for the response to the monster purse in the last post, sorry I haven’t replied to any of the comments yet, I’m a bit stressed at the moment and slightly loosing the plot.  Basically, it sounds like if I made these and popped them in the shop they might well sell, it simply comes down to time, first I need to crack on with promised Christmas commissions and we’ll see how it goes.

And so, as the title suggests I have finally finished the Fairy and Ballerina Mice.  I have to say, for some really odd reason these little ladies rather stretched me to the limit, I have broken 12 needles (yes, 12!!!!), thrown 10 little ballet shoe wearing legs in the bin (ribbons too short or twisted and unrecoverable) and twice stitched the fairy wings into a side seam.

The turning out of each Mouse was a squash and a squeeze.

But, I got there in the end and every little bit of effort was worth it as I love them.

So here they are.

Listed here

and here.

I couldn’t resist adding little ribbon roses, so they come with the obligatory ‘not suitable for children under 36 months’ but you could always remove the roses from the Ballerina mice.

I’ve shared them out between Folksy and my shop (as linked above) and now I feel a well deserved pink silk break, it’s on with Superhero Mice next!

PS, Spot the mistake in that last photo 🙂

Work in Progress: Christmas Mice

Well, we followed the boys colds with another one for C, only with added throat infection and then M being away, so as always when ‘home alone’ I’m a bit tired, but getting on with it.

I am always amazed at how much I get done with the boys early starts (we had 4.50 am on Thursday, I was delighted) for instance already today I have done 2 loads of laundry, baked 2 loaves of bread (1 white and 1 walnut, it’s a baking kind of day and we are out of bread), a Madeira cake and done F’s homework with him.  That’s pretty good considering it’s only midday.  I should stress, it’s not always like this but when tired, I kind of force myself to keep moving that way I manage, if I stop I will feel exhausted and unable to cope and although this does happen it’s better for us all if I can just keep going.

And so, I had set myself the task of finishing all the Foxes by the end of this week and it was going nicely until Friday when I was thinking of my list of Christmas designs and how late I am getting.  I then got slightly obsessed with the planned Christmas mice, thinking of how I would construct them, what materials I need to order and whether they should be young child friendly or not (ie no beads or buttons) and the poor Foxes have been put aside for a few days whilst I  play with silk and linen.

There’s a way to go and sadly my machine is being a bit temperamental (time for a service I think) but you get the idea.  I like them, they make me smile 🙂

Spring is springing…

Oh sunshine, now isn’t that a treat?  I was about to go for a potter in the garden but on opening the door realised it might be sunny but it’s not very warm so I though I’d catch up on some much needed blogging instead.

I noticed these in our lawn the other day, I shouldn’t be a surprise as I planted them last year but I forgot they were there, it’s so exciting to see the first signs of colour in the garden and it inspired me to make up another batch of Linen Mice

this time in my favourite colour way of the (expensive…whimper) linen I adore, the colour is aptly named ‘Snowdrop’ which I think says it all and teamed with some of the Kaffe Fassett Spots in Lilac makes a very Spring like Mouse.

I had bought the ‘Snowdrop’ linen some time ago (from Tinsmith) especially for making Blossom Egg Cosies, we have a Japanese Cherry Tree in our garden that I love, the frilly pale pink blossom really lets me know that Spring is here and I thought during Winter it would make a nice focus for some Spring products.

I knew how I wanted the cosies to look so it was just a case of working out the best way to make the blossom, in the end they are done exactly the same way as flowers we made at Primary School to decorate Easter Bonnets each year, isn’t it funny how you can remember such odd details?  I can precisely  imagine making these with the headmaster’s wife, minus the beads and in crepe paper not felt!

For the final cosy, I opted for single coloured blooms, it works better and is less fussy with only one pink used, I am really pleased with the result and feel these are very ‘me’.  I have kept one to add to my kitchen shelves where I keep a mixture of vintage and modern glassware.  They were listed a short while ago and a few sold rather quickly so I only have 6 left, not sure if I plan to make more before Easter as they are quite time consuming.  The other pink flowers will not go to waste, I had planned brooches which were, of course, all for Mother’s Day but I also think they will make nice Easter gifts.

Still in love…

With the Kaffe Fassett prints paired with linen. This time, I made a batch of new Mouse Egg Cosies using my current favourite combination of brown and yellow.

As with the recent Bunny Egg Cosy (which I realise, have yet to be added to the shop) the lining is in red herringbone brushed cotton with a thick interlining between so the cosies do, actually, keep the egg cosy!  I am running out of the recently purchased brown linen, originally bought for the Linen Mice, it’s so expensive but kind of perfect and although I have tried I can’t find a cheaper replacement.

The Ladies (see last post) have been very helpful this week, they came over yesterday to look at the pricing of all my products, we had everything laid out and they put them in price order and said what they felt was a fair amount to ask.  Generally they were a little higher than me, but they have a good eye and both sew so it was a very useful exercise.  As a result there has been a little price shuffling on both the Folksy and Linen Cat shops and I am finally getting on with listing all the new products, there’s still a way to go but I’m getting there and everything should be updated in the coming days.

Lastly I have been finishing off half done projects

and packing up orders.  Lets hope for some brighter weather for photos in the coming weeks 🙂