Chat, Crafts, Other, Sewing

Lovely stash

I went into Dublin at the weekend. It must be tourist time because the big stores have their top-hatted doormen out. Do they keep them in a back room or cupboard the rest of the year like Richmond from the IT Crowd? I LOVE Dublin. And since finding that the fabric and notions store from the old Woolen Mill (now a restaurant) relocated to Capel St as W. M. Trimmings, it’s a city visit with extra joy.

I top up my fabric stash and buy notions and trimmings and threads and other gorgeous things, darling, just because it makes me happy. I have no vision what these bits and materials will become. It’s sheer acquisition. I can’t even put the bag in the boot – it has to be beside me, under my watchful eye!

Once home, I like to pore over it and enjoy the colours and just revel in the Lovely Things. Like Smaug from the Hobbit, I preside over my treasure most greedily. The more I have, the happier it makes me. A  feast for my senses, a Smörgåsbord, you might say. (Groan, an AWFUL pun, I know).

On the way home I popped into Ikea. And bought a couple of metres of ‘useful’ (bwahaha) fabric and some other bits. Cheap and cheerful. The fabric. Not the experience. It’s never pleasant there on a Saturday.

Cat Cushion

Then home where I had lots of tweed fabric waiting to get made up into cushions. This design was inspired by stationery***  I had seen somewhere on the net. Lots of work in Illustrator to create all the elements for the applique work. Lots of fussy cutting and bondawebbing. Lots of stitching round each of the elements. But worth it… I really like the end result. The outer is a rich-wool mix tweed, as is the mouse. The cat is mainly 100% cotton with some tweedy bits for decoration. The inner is a feather filled cushion to keep it soft and plump and ever so comfy.

***  I see, all too often, the word Stationery spelled with an ‘a’. Yes, Stationary IS a word in its own right but means static, not moving. It does not means paper-related articles like cards, writing paper or drawing materials.

An easy way to remember how to spell the paper-related word is to think ‘E for Envelope’. This may make me sound like Big Bird from Sesame Street but I don’t care. ***

Samsara Dicky Bird Babies

Finally, made a few more Samsara bird babies. I didn’t really like using felt (even double thickness) for the beak so now use a four-fold cotton instead to give the beak a bit more peckability and perkiness. I adore making them and the filling them with lavender leaves my little sewing room beautifully fragrant. The whole experience is very absorbing and zen-like, almost. Ahhhh.


And talking of Ahhhh  here’s Jess chilling out. Comfy, warm and content settled down. She was fast asleep with five minutes of this photo being taken!

Now to grab something to eat before I get on with stuff I have to do.  Which reminds me… Yesterday I made a big batch of meringue nests (recipe from Mary ‘Bez’ Berry – the best IMHO). Six eggs to make 16 nests.

Now, I’m a very confident cook and have made meringues dozens of times and am really blasé about cracking those eggs and separating the yolks from the white. I have a glass for the yolks and put the whites straight into the mixing bowl. For some reason I had a hunch not to do that and check the whites into a different bowl first then put the white into the mixing bowl. Good bloody job I did. The sixth egg white was streaked with yolk. Dodged a bullet there. Intuition or what?!

Anyhoo, used another egg to make the meringues. And used the yolks to make a Spanish Omelet with mixed salad and chips followed by a bowl of blueberries with natural yoghurt and a meringue nest for our tea. Nom Nom.

Chat, Crafts, Other, Sewing

Pillow Talk

First cushion almost done. Phew! All seams are overcast so no raw edges to fray inside the cover. Had one slight hitch – the thread – the Güterman cerise silk – ran out while I was overcasting the last side. Went to get some more and it was out of stock. Luckily, there was a shade close to it but not a perfect match. Happily  it didn’t run out while I was stitching round the lettering on the front cover.

I say ‘almost’ because I want to cover a large button with the cotton fabric and make a button hole in the back. It’s more for aesthetic reasons than functionality as it closes beautifully, the couple of inches overlap is just right but I think a fat , accessorised button willl be just the job to add that little extra something.

This cushion will be going to the craft fair on the 24th and is a fairly big ticket item as all the fabric and thread was expensive and I’ve put a lot of time/work/care into it. And if it doesn’t sell, I’ll keep it for the next craft fair and if it still doesn’t sell, I’m keeping it. All the expensive items are going to be things I would like to own and so won’t be sorry to have it to myself, in my home for me to enjoy!

Next one to finish will be the Love Bunnies… or maybe I get on with the ‘Home’ one while the machine is threaded up with the dark pink. Will post soon enough so you’ll see then.

Time for tea. Tonight is one of my favourites. Chicken fillets, chopped and fried with onion and garlic, peppers, tomatoes, green garlic -stuffed olives and courgettes in a spicy tomato sauce (home made) with some boiled rice and a fresh salad with raw garlic and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I heat up a coriander and garlic naan or two, or garlic bread, or just plain french bread to accompany it. All go well.

Chat, Crafts, Other

Putting my fat feet up for a couple of days

Fat Feet

Just had to post these cute big  fat slippers I got at the weekend. They are the the slouchiest, smeggiest, comfiest bit of kit for my feet. All cotton and perfect for lounging around in. HE thinks they look like oven gloves. I think they’re dead cute and am loving them. I took the top picture myself looking down at my feet then rotated the image 180° to give you a different perspective on them.

Hello! What’s my Christmas Pudding mold doing out in April???


And it’s lined with clingfilm… hmmm what’s happening here?

I’ll give you a big clue. It IS edible (OMG, is it?!) and it’s Earth Day tomorrow…… sure you can guess now.

Will be popping out for some white chocolate to melt some over the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ trying to keep them poles apart…. (bigger clue for the hard of thinking’ here – not being judgemental just keeping it light for a smile or possible amusement).

Final touches will be to print a logo or flag, if I can find a suitable image for Gaia or Gaea, depending on how you prefer to spell it.  If I find one, will print and glue it to a cocktail stick then pop it on top.

Just in case you don’t know, Gaia was a Greek goddess and the birth mother of our beautiful planet, in fact, (‘fact’ –  well, you know what I mean), not only gave birth to mother Earth but the whole of the universe. She was a very busy lady and must get showered with presents every Mothers’ Day).

Anyway, whatever you do tomorrow, if you’re not actually celebrating Earth Day at least send our planet some love! It could do with it.

A card

The first card I’ve made since Christmas. I find card making a real chore and over-complicate them by designing the middle first – usually creating a pop-up just so I can use the Cougar and possibly show off a little bit. That’s time consuming. It’s laborious in that pop-up design can be fairly iterative in that it takes a few cutting outs and tweaks before it’s ready to go. Not forgetting problems with the carrier sheet – too sticky, not sticky enough… it can become very (s)wearing.

Then I think about the front… by that time I’m bored silly with the bloody thing. Done the hard bit. BUT the biggest problem is then that I haven’t made a standard size and have to make a bloody silly envelope to put the damn thing in. Bleh.

Yesterday was the crisis of realisation. It was the day of the birthday. Do I kick the hephalump slippers off and trundle myself off to the shops to buy one? Or just make one?

I made one. This time I got smart and started with the envelope size! Ya-Ha! After that, the rest was a breeze. loved watercolouring. Loved printing text on a path to personalise the greeting inside (font is Peach Sundress – free from Da Font if you’re interested). It was a pleasure to do. Ahh.

Inside the card:

Well, that’s all folks, till next time. Be good and play nicely.

Chat, Crafts, Other

Bunny scented pillow

Time to let the bunnies out. It’s nearly Easter and bunnies do what bunnies do and that’s make lots of little bunnies. I’ve been making lots of bunny templates in Illustrator and using them for topping lots of things as appliqué templates. This is a little bunny pillow for a babies’ room.

This smells gorgeous. They all do. More to follow…

Chat, Crafts, Illustrator Tutorials, Tutorials

Bobbin’ Along

I have more fabric than I’ll ever need. Said no Sewist, ever. But I do have bags and bags of ‘scraps’ and want to use them up them so have been making lots of little patchwork and applique houses like the three above. Not sure what I’ll end up doing with them but am thinking along the lines of a tote bag with a panel of houses on the front.

I got a Simplicity felting machine for Christmas – the idea being I could use up ever smaller scraps but am nervous of it and have broken a couple of needles already. I watched a few You Tubes for project inspiration and was somewhat dismayed to see a woman show her co-presenter something ‘very special, indeed’… It was fluff from her tumble drier with some sparkly fibres winking through the grey detritus.

What next? Dyson disjectimenta? Belly button boogers? Interstitial toe manure? Under-bed dust bunnies and muff mallows? There is a time to just let go, for me, anyway. I fear becoming a hoarder and accept there aren’t enough hours in the day for me use what I’ve got without finding new sources, however wabi-sabi they may be to some. I say  ‘go find a sparkly fibre shop’ and leave the tumble drier fluff alone.

Another Lavender Stuffy

These projects are perfect for small bits of material and with some lavender or stuffing with lavender oil are perfect hung in the wardrobe to help keep moths away and clothes smelling fresh. E-mail me if you would like the template.


And stitched up this mosaic of  strips and bits. It has a charm of its own. No idea what to do with it as yet but something will come to me.

Colour Me Happy

And scraps of wadding look just beautiful with lots of different stitches in rainbow shades.The pinking round the edges just sets it off nicely. What is it? No idea. Again just using up bits and bobs. It won’t go to waste, though. Too pretty.

TeaBags Twinset

Am making another tea pot cosy – a ruffly one (see Annie Bonnet) and am adding a little teabag embellishment for a bit of fun.

The template is below. Basically I fused my main fabric onto Bondaweb and cut out two small rectangles and two small teabags. I cut out the larger rectangle and larger teabag in wadding, laid a short length of Butcher’s Twine between them (on one side) and bonded the main fabric to the wadding making sure the twine was sandwiched inside.

I did a little free motion stitching on some spare white material to sew the word ‘Tea’ (used an air drying pen to make sewing it easier – you can still see traces of it as it hadn’t quite faded away in the picture). Obviously, stitched it onto a teabag then fused the second main fabric pieces onto the other side of the wadding.

Stitch around the fabric – it looks prettier, secures it and finishes it off nicely. Take your pinking shears and trim around the wadding for extra cuteness.

La La I’m Not Listening Fingers

Like my latest USB? I love robots and this one looks like it’s got its fingers in its ears, hence the ‘La La, I’m not listening fingers’. So it’s name is La La. It’s head pulls off for the USB insert (in case you didn’t already guess).  This will probably lead to some amusement at some point ‘Darling, have you seen my La la?’. Snaaarg.

Off to get some washing on the line. The weather report warned of snow and ice but the God of the heavens said ‘all things nice’ and let the sun shine down on Ireland (this little corner, anyway). It’s beautiful.

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