Giveaway: Linen Rabbit Egg Cosy

It always amazes me how quickly things move on from Christmas. I LOVE Christmas, but come to New Year’s Day and I’m ridiculously keen to get the decorations down.img_20190109_121612Like half of the World, I am currently drinking only water, eating lettuce (in an attempt to undo the festive excesses) and dreaming of Spring.dsc_0323It’s the same with my sewing work, I’m all for flowers and bright, sunny colours, I’m done with Winter tones.dsc_0324Despite being away, I squeezed in some sewing over the holidays. The floral cushion was a little something for me, it took such a short time and I’ve had both the cushion pad and the tapestry hanging around for months and months waiting. I do find it difficult to carve out any time for sewing for myself.dsc_0326I also managed to run up a batch of new Linen Rabbit Egg Cosies, because…img_20190109_121136ta-da! I made Country Living again. Can’t lie, chuffed to bits.dsc_0334I did make more of the ones featured, with the woodland print ears, but I still had the Liberty Tana  Lawn out from my Fox and Badger making laying on my worktop and I couldn’t resist making some with ‘Mirabelle’ ears too.img_20190109_130012I also remembered that I have one of the very original rabbits left from years ago, with the first ears (I ‘improved’ the design with the second batch as it bugged me that it was so difficult to make the ears neat and symmetrical) so he’s here for giving away to anyone that comments on this post. I guess I’ll randomly pick a name on the 26th January.dsc_0344I’m not sure if I’ll make more, even with the newer ears they are a bu*%er to stitch evenly and the linen I use is also a nightmare to iron, but I can imagine lots more Liberty Tana versions in my head and once I get a plan I find it difficult to ignore. We’ll see.

 

 

My Cupboard is Bare…

Rain, rain, rain….wind, wind…rain, rain, rain.  Even I (with my love of rain) am bored now.  Saying that, the sun is trying really hard to come out, as I type, so perhaps we’re due a break?  At least my house has electricity and isn’t flooded.

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As, theoretically, in shop terms we are now in ‘spring’ mode, I figured it is time to remove all my festive stock and see what I have hidden away.

Not a lot apparently.

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Oh dear.  I really am short of spring/summer stock.  I’m not sure I’ll continue making egg cosies in the future, although the magazines love them (some of these have been in Country Living, Oh Comely….gosh quite a few mags actually) they don’t actually sell all that well, they tick over nicely, but I’m not sure they deserve the cupboard space, so I’ve listed the last few and we’ll see how it goes.

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Lavender bags I am almost completely out of, which is rare, as I normally have loads in stock.  I have no monster purses, no cashmere bears….only one cashmere girl bunny left….I really have a lot to do.  I’ve been a bit distracted by working on things for next Christmas (don’t judge!) it feels really good to know that come next September, when I’ll be doing the reverse of today, I wont open a cupboard, only to feel like old Mrs Hubbard.  I would like to organise my time better this year, maybe on Fridays I sew ‘winter’ things, or similar, so I can really keep one step ahead.  Saying that, I’d also like to sew more for myself, get the garden sorted and make time for some local trips to National Trust properties that the rest of the family aren’t interested in (bit random this last one, but our yearly subscription just renewed and it was clear to me how rarely we use it, considering how many sites there are near here and I quite like the idea of pottering around a nice house or garden with no kids in tow…maybe with a nice cream tea afterwards).

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I changed my board over for inspiration….

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and bought another little gem from Miss Bumbles….who’s shop I may be a bit addicted to.

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Finally, this arrived late yesterday.  Oh how I agonised over the decision to buy a second machine.   I love my manual Bernina (1001), it’s done me proud for 20 years and I have no intention of giving it up, but whilst I had some money, I made the decision to buy a second computerised machine, I figured it’d be a nice way to spend the cash, on something that’ll hopefully last me for years to come but that I wouldn’t otherwise have bought.  I’m looking forward to playing with the buttonhole and fancy stitches….I’m worried I’ll be disappointed and prefer my nice manual buttonhole system on my ‘other’ (I refuse to say old as that would make me ancient) machine, I’ll let you know how I get on, oh and just for the record, if I were buying a single machine, there is no doubt at all I’d have gone for the ‘new’ manual Bernina 1008, but as that’s just an updated version of my own machine, the whole point was to get something a little different.

I haven’t even turned it one yet, I have a blind to make, once that’s done my reward will be to play on this beauty and get to know it, I quite like the anticipation, plus I really need to get the blind finished 🙂  Yep, I’m weird like that.

 

Green Auriculas and Giveaway Winner…

It’s a beautiful day today, sunny and a little warmer than it has been, so I am looking forward to a potter in the garden later.  I plan to hunt for signs of spring in the borders, see exactly what has survived the winter (and the pesky squirrels and chafer grubs, who keep eating my bulbs).

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My recent sewing work has been echoing my need for spring.  Ever since I made the green auriculas for my tweed messenger bag, I figured they’d be a good addition to this year’s flower brooches and I’ve been carrying a tray of relevant hand sewing around with me for weeks.

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I know these images have been popping up a lot in recent posts (sorry, there are other things on the go, not just new flower brooches) but with Mothers’ Day nearly upon us, I thought I’d better get a move on and get them completed and listed.

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So, after a couple of days of frantic sewing, here they are,

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and the backs

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Even though we have had some quite clear days, with good light, they were difficult to photograph and to get the colours correct.  Most annoying as today is perfect for taking photographs but sadly too late, they are mounted on card and bagged up, so I could finally list them, here.

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Whilst I was creating a new colour version of the auriculas, I also re-visited the original design of the burgundy ones.  When I made the recent brooches for tweed bags, I added a second yellow ring to the middle, I really like this as it adds a nice pop of colour to set off the mustard and dark red petals, so I decided to add this as a standard from now on.  There are a few of the original burgundy auriculas left, but I’ve popped these up on Folksy, with the new ones on my own site.  Please don’t think I’m treating Folksy as the poor cousin, it’s just easier for me to keep them separate, with the relevant photos in the right places this way.

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I still need to finish up the latest batch of buttercups, which are currently out of stock, then I’m done with flower brooches for a while, it’ll be nice to tick one of my re-stock items off the (rather long) list.


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Which brings me nicely to the buttercup bag winner – number 1 was picked by the random number generator, I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘number 1’ picked before, so Fran of Patchy Rose, congratulations, I’ll email you for your address and get your purse into the post.  Thanks everyone that entered and for your lovely comments.  I hope to have another giveaway soon.

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Finally, I wanted to show you this lovely parcel, that arrived last week, how nice is the wrapping!

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It contains Claude the Cockerel, which I bought from Julie and Helen’s Folksy shop Haggiz.  I fell in love and as I’m about to start a week of solid house clearing and cleaning, I thought he’d brighten up the mantlepiece, along with some other birds I’ve collected over the years that come out to decorate the house near Easter (which I know is a bit away, but the boys like seasonal decorations so we tend to rather string them out).

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Julie was extremely kind and added in an extra, in the form of a notepad and cover in what happens to be one of my favourite fabrics, as I was the first Folksy customer to Haggiz.  Perfect, I plan to put it into action this next week when I get a grip on the house and it’s contents.  I wont be getting much sewing done, but I do have some half written posts and things to show, so hopefully I’ll find time for that, but I know taking a week out to tidy and, essentially spring clean will make me feel so much fresher and calmer, so it’ll be worth it.

I’m off to the garden now to hunt for green shoots before starting Sunday lunch, I hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂

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! 😉

 

I’m back….sort of…

After the blog lull of the Easter Holidays everyone else seems to be back in the swing of things and I am feeling suitably guilty at my lack of posts.  We had a nice break, once we got over the flu/cold/eye infections, we made the most of the beautiful weather with lots of trips to our local parks, zoos and woods and there was a daily ‘picnic’ in the garden for the boys lunch.  I have to admit though, I was ready for them to go back to school, they had become a little bored towards the end and I was starting to feel like one of those stressed entertainers you see at some kids party, all smiles and jolly faces, frantically trying to keep the kids entertained but inside screaming, “get me out of here!”.

I was holding off blogging in the hope of showing you all my lovely new makes but I am finding myself distracted by the house which I want to Spring clean and decorate (and tidy first!) and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  I have found time to made a start on some new Linen Cats and Bunnies,

there is a bit of a boy shortage in the shop plus it will soon be my 100th post so I am planning to give one away (I will hopefully be blogging the giveaway shortly, once the girls are completed).  As you can see I am enjoying the bright colours of Spring flowers in our garden and this is reflected in my fabric and trimmings choice.

That is, of course, the final distraction, April is rather a busy time in the garden but things are getting under control now so I should be able to spend some proper time in the studio soon and finally finish some of the projects in process, now wont that be nice!

In love with green…

Blimey, it’s been a while since my last post, I have slightly lost my sewing Mojo recently and have been busy with other things.  I started running again last week, with Mr C in Pre-school I finally have the time and I am not really a gym kind of girl, I get very bored but I love being outdoors so running it is.  I have found a nice route directly from C’s Pre-school through a quiet lane and then out into the fields, I am not a natural runner, I find it quite difficult but I run in intervals (at the moment run 3, walk 2) which means I get to have a good look at my surroundings in between huffing and puffing my way along, I love watching the seasons change on my run route and really need to loose some weight after having the boys so this suits me very well.

I’m loving the green everywhere, we have been lucky to have so many sunny days, all the garden is springing into life and I have been planting seeds like crazy.  We made the most of the weather at the weekend with a trip to Groombridge Gardens and Enchanted Forrest, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.  The boys loved it, the peacocks were giving us plenty of tail displays

and I fell in love with the woods and all their fun details including these little ‘fairy’ houses along the river banks.

It was also my Birthday over the weekend.  I don’t really do much these days, I was very pleased to get a lie in and nice breakfast complete with a Paddington Bear cake and balloons, hummm, wonder who chose those those then!

C, has rediscovered F’s Linen Bunny.  Mr C has a Linen Cat but he had the above in bed for cuddles after waking in the night and taking him down from the shelves, C was feeding him carrots at dinner the other night, it’s sweet to see as this really is mainly a plastic toy household now the boys are getting older.

Despite not doing a lot of sewing I have a number of projects in the pipeline.  I fell in love with the above Water Bouquet in mint by Amy Butler (from Saints and Pinners) for making new Lavender Birds, I love picking out the ribbons for the tails.

There are other new designs that need to be made up into samples,  just need to get sewing instead of prancing around the garden planting things and absorbing the sun, on which note I had better get on as the day is disappearing fast.  I win the award for the most uses of the word ‘love’ in one blog by the way 😉

I hope you are as lucky with the weather as we are and are finally feeling the effects of Spring.

Loving the post today…

It’s an odd day, this morning whilst dropping F off I found myself talking to another Mother whilst standing in a blizzard of snow, by the time I got home it had stopped and now the sun is shinning and there is no evidence of this mornings ‘cold snap’.  Mr C is off Pre-School again as he is on the end of bug number two, I noted this morning that in this whole term of C starting Pre-School, something regular readers will know I have waited for, for 5 YEARS!!!! I have in fact had only 2 mornings child free as on the others one of the boys has been off sick.  It means my plans to get a bit fitter and thinner by rowing and running have not exactly worked out, never mind though, my time will come.

I am waiting on supplies needed to finish off projects, is it just me, of is there nearly always something missing?  In this case it was a long hole punch for mounting the spring birds on their cards, I have a number of hole punches, none of which were right so had to buy yet another.  I found one perfect for the job made by the Woodware Craft Collection (manufactured in my home town of Skipton no less) only to then have to order removable stickers for holding the hanging threads into place.

I was, therefore, waiting patiently this morning for the postman to come with my stickers, which didn’t arrive.  Instead I was much cheered to find parcels containing beads, Country Living and – hurrah! – my very first delivery from Graze.com.  I get a bit over excited about food that doesn’t come from my fridge, it’s not that I don’t have and can make good food but I get very bored at times.  M finds it weird that I get so over excited about ‘eating out’ at the weekends, even if it’s just a Pret sandwich, but the thrill of eating something I fancy, on a whim that someone else has made is pretty high for me.  Soooo, the idea of a little box of nibbles arriving in the post is fabulous, even though I could buy the same for less money (£2.99/box), it’s the fact that someone else has selected and delivered it that works.

It hasn’t lasted long, I’ve eaten the nuts whilst writing this post and C has helped out with the ‘Dairy Free Chocolate Buttons’ and the ‘Dried Strawberries’, still there are some nice Olives for a snack tonight.

I am working on a few new designs, I’ve been stitching felt blossom, something I started back in Autumn but have not yet evolved from paper to finished product.  There is still a lot of tweaking to be done, but it’s getting there!

Right, off to plant February seeds as the sun is out even if it is a tad nippy.