Here comes the rain again…and again…

Well isn’t it just sods law that come half term and all it does is rain. ¬†It’s getting into the time of year when the garden will start to take up more time, as always I am sure most of April will be spent pottering in the vegetable patch and I would have liked to get a head start over half term as well as get the boys outside for a good run around but hey-ho the bright side is I get to sew instead ūüôā

So, I have been batching up Cashmere Bears as they have proved very popular, especially in the woodland print

and, I finally got around to starting the new Lavender Bunnies. ¬†The basic wool shapes were cut out back in Jan 09 when I made the first batch but I found them quite a chore and only did half so I’ve been putting off the new batch. ¬†It makes sense to get them in the shop in time for Easter as they do make quite a nice alternative gift to chocolate, or better still, as well as chocolate!

I was quite enjoying myself until the final stitching then I remembered why I was in no hurry to make more. ¬†Still I do like them in the Kaffe Fassett Asha, which is sadly hard to see in these photos as the light really isn’t helping to show the colours at their best, they are much brighter and prettier in real life.

I will make some in girly colors for the next batch which will use up the final pre-cut shapes then they may get relegated to the ‘past design’ box despite their popularity ¬†(I still have to stuff them with lavender which I also remember was a bit of a nightmare, getting the lavender into all the corners through a small gap).

As I wrote recently, I am rather in love with the Kaffe Fassett, Asha and Dots fabrics at the moment. ¬†I had seen them a number of times over at Saints and Pinners but they hadn’t taken my fancy until choosing fabric for the Linen Mice, now I can’t get enough. ¬†Oddly, I had a look though a few other K F fabrics but really didn’t like many, so maybe that’s why I had dismissed them so easily.

I have been trying to photograph the finished Linen Mice ready for listing but the weather is making it rather difficult, still, here are the last two colour versions and I am oh so in love with the boy mouse with his yellow shirt and brown cord shorts. ¬†I don’t like to have favourites but if pushed brown mouse wins my heart.

Best off and get the boys dressed as we need to do a food top-up shop.  Hope those of you with children are enjoying half term and the rest of you are avoiding any public place with kid appeal, in order to keep your sanity!

And the winner is…

Drum roll please…..

Shelley, as you left the 3rd comment, Yeah! There will be a little mouse with matching bird on it’s way to you (I will email you for your details).

Thanks everyone who left a comment, I found out about loads of new blogs to add to my reader list and it’s nice to see some new people found their way here to read my random mutterings.

Must also apologise for some really dodgy photos recently (the above being and example). ¬†I envy other peoples blogs that contain such lovely images, I have good intentions but find the light and more often than not the kids sabotage my attempts! ¬†As an example I spent a lot of yesterday morning trying to get a good shot of the new spring felt birds as the light outside was perfect for good colour without much shadow, but with the boys using the tripod as a robot and the light changing quicker than I could rush back out to take the shot it didn’t work out. ¬†Oh well, the best laid plans and all that…

Right, sorry for the quick post but we have plans, I am making the most of our Saturday with only a few bad coughs and an ear infection between us, believe me that’s the best it’s been for a while!

I just put this photo in as I am loving the new Moo.

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!

Blog Birthday Giveaway…

It appears I have been writing this blog for exactly a year (whoo-hoo) and to celebrate I am giving away one of the new Linen Mice. ¬†It’s nice and simple, all you have to do is leave a comment before Midnight (GMT), Friday, 5th February and please be sure that I can contact you via the comment. ¬†I am happy to post worldwide (although worldwide postage will be by regular Airmail so may take a while) and ¬†I will remember not to reply to comments this time (duh!) so that I can use a random number generator to pick the winner.

Nice and straight forward. ¬†Sorry for the brief post, both boys managed to get sick over the weekend so we’re running a little behind here and I am in Nurse Mummy mode, but I didn’t want the occasion to pass by without a mention, especially as blogging has opened a whole new world for me and I love it.

Good luck!

Linen Mice…

I love Ocado, there is a feeling of satisfaction having a fridge well stocked with nice food and I’m afraid in my case not having to take the kids with me shopping. ¬†The only hard bit is getting the bags emptied quicker than Charlie can remove all the things he wants to eat, seriously, I am amazed how much a 2 yr old can pack away.

Mr C started Pre-School yesterday, there has been a delay to the new term due to road works, I have been waiting for this moment for 5 years it will be my first regular time alone and please don’t think I am wishing my children’s early years away, I am aware how precious this time is but I am more than ready for a little time to myself. ¬†So what did I do, dance around the house to loud music whilst sipping a mini bottle of Champagne, watch day time TV¬†other than Cbeebies? ¬†No, rather pathetically I did some sewing and not a lot of it at that. ¬†I sat down and suddenly it was time to pick Mr C up, where did the time go?! ¬†He had a great time by the way, after the initial tears just to make me feel guilty he was, “brilliant” apparently.

Shall we get to the photos?

I stitched together the first batch of mice, sadly my dyeing session of unusable linen didn’t improve it enough so I have some on order (in brown), but the first 2 colour ways are up, boys in Kaffe Fassett’s Asha in grey with royal blue cord shorts and girls wearing Dots dresses in magenta.

After the recent pattern tweaking, I ended up back at almost the original, with the neck a little wider to allow space for the stuffed arms and legs to fit inside.  When I see the above photo I tut at myself for cutting the corners, it weakens the seam and when making costumes is a big no-no.  Old habits die hard, but it was difficult to get the corner shape without a trim.

I love the ‘road kill’ shot, I had to resist the urge to stuff them as I went along, just so I could take a photo of the piles of flat little mice.

I am really pleased with the finished result, I was worried they may end up a bit twee and not fit in with my other designs but I think they have kept a ‘funky’ feel (or I hope so).

The light was awful this morning so these aren’t great photos and please excuse that fact that they are not stitched up yet on the sides but I had decided to have a no sewing day and get down to some house tidying. ¬†It’s all getting a bit out of control and I am slightly jealous of the number of spring cleaning bloggers out there, I do feel much more relaxed when it’s not such a tip but have a habit of putting housework last on my list. ¬†On which note, I had better get on as it’s already lunchtime, oh, thanks for all your lovely comments it really is nice to read what you think, makes me feel a bit more connected.

Projects in process…

It’s warmed up today and after a few more inches of snow yesterday, we now have a snowy drippy mess. ¬†I am quite looking forward to seeing what’s left of my garden once the final bit has gone and I’m happy, for now, to say goodbye even though I’ve loved every minute of the Winter Wonderland we have been experiencing.

One thing I will be grateful for is the delivery services getting back to normal, UPS were happily holding onto a number of parcels and the post is a rather slow, as a result I have to keep stopping mid project.

I was waiting quite a while for the new labels, as above, which I’d hoped to use in the spring birds. ¬†They are a slightly scary maroon colour with gold lettering but I needed a colour that would ‘mingle’ with the ribbon tails of the birds and allow me to add a tag without it being too intrusive. ¬†In the end I decided not to use them, I will on next winters birds but they didn’t look right here.

(The labels come from Woven Labels, I normally use orange or green lettering on a white background, also I had just been kneading bread on the below photo so please excuse my grubby nails)

So, having waited a few weeks for the labels I am no longer using (duh!) I got to work on putting the first batch of birds together, only to run out of stuffing.

Yellow are done and the rest are waiting half finished for their stuffing and marathon bead eye stitching session, then I will need to wait for a sunny day to photograph them.

I wanted to mention the amazingly cheap plastic ‘boxes’ I’m using from Ikea. ¬†They are part of my new organised self, ¬†I’m very lucky to have a studio space even if it also serves as our spare room but I do frequently move between the kitchen table and the studio, due to being a full-time Mum and having to go where they boys need to be. ¬†The stacking boxes make life a lot easier, I can keep projects separate and empty the kitchen table quickly for eating.

The lack of stuffing means I’ve also had to halt the Linen Mouse project, even though the fabric and dye have arrived. ¬†Thanks for all your advice, I am sticking with the mouse design with stitched ears (which I was supposed to do before fully stuffing the original) and a bit of pattern tweaking. ¬†I love being able to ask advice via blog, sometimes I feel a little isolated in my own small creative world and the whole blog thing helps me feel connected. ¬†I love this online community.

After a bit of thumb twiddling boredom mingled with the guilt of knowing I should be tackling the mountain of housework I started on new egg cosies, rabbits to go with the existing mice.

Right, best get on, they wont stitch themselves up!