It’s raining, it’s pouring (again)…

Everything is sopping wet.  To be honest I don’t mind, the dirt on the roads and pavements after the snow was really quite depressing and I’m happy it’s all getting washed away, plus it means I can hole up in the house, sewing and baking and pretending I can’t see all the mess and dust that I should be dealing with (I so need a cleaner).

I have lists both on paper and in my head of things I’d like to make, new products, things that never made it into the shop last year and new colour ways of firm favourites.  I go to sleep each night with this list running through my head then I suddenly think of another thing to add, it never stops really, my head is very busy.

The big difference is I am under no pressure (other than my own) to do anything, I can make as much or as little as I like and I do prefer to work this way, especially after the madness of the end of last year.

For this reason I have a number of projects on the go, but most of the week I’ve been batching up new Lavender Owls.  I ran out last Autumn but after rustling some up for the Saint Patrick’s Trian Visitor Complex I remembered how nice they are and how cheerful the colours and I felt in the mood for bright stripes, so here they are

listed on Folksy

but for now, not on my Linen Cat site as I’m busy creating a new one with a different hosting company which I hope to make live soon.  Or not.  It all depends on what I decide to do off the list next 🙂

The Early Bird…or in this case Owl…

I am home alone (again) and the boys were up early today – 4.55 am!  I know in my heart anytime after 5am it’s best to get up and get on but today I tried to go back to sleep.  I had to bring Mr C upstairs to the big bed where F was already lounging after coming up the middle of the night, I tried stern Mummy voice, “back to sleep boys!” and of course they wriggled and giggled and them jumped all over the bed.  I lay there wondering if I should buy an old CoffeeMaid (can you still get those?? better still, is there a ‘full-english-breakfast-maid’?) for future early mornings then I dragged my tired butt into the bathroom and got on with it.

The good thing about all these early mornings is how much work I am getting done, it adds an extra few hours to the day, after a coffee and with the aid of cbeebies I can sew guilt free until it warms up enough to open the doors and head outside with the boys.

I have noticed on Google Analytics (which I have set up on the shop pages) that the biggest search hit bringing people to the shop is ‘Lavender Bags’, more importantly I am on the first search page (Google UK search that is not the whole world, I am not up for world domination yet! – I just checked and I am back down to second page but it’s still fantastic) so for the purpose of keeping up stock levels, for the past couple of days I have been sewing new owl lavender bags.  I took a few ‘in progress’ photos and here they are:

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It’s been a while since I made these, first I had to cut new patterns (the old were the originals on paper scraps, they are now in brown paper and fully marked up) then I cut out all the pieces needed.  I find a production line method works best for me, it took the best part of a day (whilst on Mummy duty and with a walk in the woods etc) to get these cut out.

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At this stage I was thinking I’d forgotten how long they take to make, stitching the eyes on drives me a bit nuts after a while.  As you can see feet, ribbon etc are stitched into place before putting the backs on, I find this a lot easier then trying to get them straight whilst stitching both sides together and it ruins the final owl if the ribbon doesn’t hang correctly.  After taking this photo I changed the back fabric to a plain pistachio green cotton which works much better than the gingham planned.

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This is my favourite bit, turning them out and having a neat little stack of owls.  I store them like this, stuffing with lavender to order (or in small batches) so as to keep the lavender fresh.

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The linen on the candy striped owl (which is about to hang on my kitchen wall units I like it that much) is vintage linen which was a set of curtains from the 60’s bought by my Gran and is in amazingly good condition.

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The back of the blue stripe owl is in lovely funky floral fabric which is the perfect finishing touch.

Right, I am in need of another coffee in order to keep going as I am starting to feel the lack of sleep now:)