Thursday, 31 October 2013

A busy few days.....

Hi Everyone do come in and make yourself at  home.  How are you?  It is so lovely to see you all again.  I had meant to write a post earlier this week but have had some wonderful guests staying with us for a few days and we have had a fun time but not a minute to spare!  The weather hasn't been too kind unfortunately but we made the best of it doing some crafting, baking and having a Halloween party to finish, even went ghost hunting around the park but fortunately didn't meet any!
I am only writing a short post today Folks but am planning to write one tomorrow as well in preparation for the giveaways - just getting the bobbin dolls ready to be photographed for the prize draw tomorrow.
Remember this little dress which I made a while ago?  I was worried that a. she wouldn't like it and b. it might not fit.  Well the little lady in question did like it and it fitted, thank goodness. 

She posed in it for you all to see.  Forgive the socks, we were on our way out to the park and she refused to take them off.  She particularly loved her bag.

This is the back, not a good photograph as she was wriggling and wanting to go out for some fun.

I had bought some letters from Hobbycraft and some decopatch papers.  I have not used these before on a particular project, only lined drawers with them.  We didn't manage to finish the letters so they are awaiting some varnish and I will show you the completed project when this is done.  The girls did their own letters C and E, plus they made one for their brother who was away this weekend.  He hasn't seen it yet but I am hoping he will be pleased.
Little C busy with hers.

Such hard work!

Miss E very busy doing one for Mr D.  Hope he appreciates her hard work.  She doesn't want me to show you hers yet until it is finished.

A few of you lovely Folk had asked how I made the tea towel bags so I am preparing a short tutorial for you.  The expert sewers out there will have to avert their eyes as I am not a good sewer but they seem to turn out ok, not perfect but hopefully I am improving with each one.  I am going to use two tea towels from a pack I bought ages ago at IKEA, loved them as they were such pretty colours and designs.  I will use one as the lining and the other as the outer and will be putting Christmas gifts in them for my friends instead of using the usual Christmas wrapping paper.  This year my theme is going to be brown paper and red ribbon.   

I loved the combination of the two colours - reminded me of Tilda fabrics, do you like them?

Well lovely Folks I will have to love you and leave you as I have to go to work now.  The few days I have had off have been fabulous and the party went with a swing, sorry I didn't take many photographs as I like to give the children my full attention when I am with them.  I am hoping you have a wonderful day and enjoy Halloween tonight.  I will be back tomorrow with the giveaways and hopefully the tutorial in the next day or two.  Have fun and take care, lots of love to you all as always. Dorothy:-)xxxxxxxxxxxx







Friday, 25 October 2013

Friday at last!

Hello Everyone do come in - I hope you are not getting the rain which is beating down here - it has been torrential this afternoon and thank goodness it went off slightly so I could manage to get out of the car and into the house without being completely soaked to the skin!  Do make yourselves at home and have a cuppa.  Like some cake?
Well it has been a week and a half and I am exhausted I must admit. All week I have been popping into the wonderful blogs I follow and trying to keep up with everyone but I have not had any time to write any posts myself so many apologies to you all.  However I have tried to do something throughout the week so I have not completely ignored my craft work.
I found a lovely colourful magazine today which just caught my eye.  As you know I am trying hard not to buy so many magazines as they are expensive and I do find that sometimes they contain patterns from the books I already have so a bit of a waste. I was rather tired on the way home so treated myself to the magazine and it is rather lovely.  The projects remind me of the work of the lovely Helen Philipps who I am a big fan of.  It is called Pretty Patches and this is the second edition I think, there is another one due out in early December so do keep a look out for it.

I loved this little bag - so cute!  Do you like it?
My lovely daughter-in-law is a real fan of Downton Abbey - I must confess I have never watched it myself as I don't bother that much about the television as I would rather be doing something practical.  For ages I thought the series was called Downtown Abbey and didn't really think it was about the gentry, although I didn't think too hard about it.  When I went to one of my classes at Liberty Bell all the ladies and Sue were talking about the latest developments in the series and it was only then that I began to understand it a little more.  Last time I was in Liberty Bell the lovely Sue said that she was expecting some of the Downton Abbey fabrics in late October and I was thinking about trying to do something special for my daughter-in-law.  They are now featured in the magazine but the only problem is I have no idea which character my daughter-in-law likes so will have to ask some creative questions when I see her this weekend!  Do you like the fabrics?  I know that the series is very popular across the pond with our lovely cousins in the US but I am not sure about any other countries.  Perhaps you can let me know?  It would be lovely to find out.
Last Sunday I set myself the task of finishing the cushions for my daughter-in-law who is visiting with my gorgeous little peeps this coming week.  I knew that it was going to be a very hard week workwise so didn't want to leave myself too much to do on these.  I got up early and set to work, it was really nice to do them altogether.  I hope she likes them - do you like them?
Now this week I decided that I would try to do one small project if I could and I managed three so am pleased.  I thought about making carrier bags to put gifts in this year and using brown paper plus some red twine or ribbon to dress them, possibly do some handmade tags if I have time.  If you remember when I went to Liverpool a little while ago I bought some Cath Kidston Christmas tea towels and some very cheap Primark tea towels, so I set to work.  I love this little red one, so cheerful and the Primark tea towel sits well inside it.
A London Christmas, quite a lovely one this - I know my little granddaughter loves going to London, especially Buckingham Palace so she might like this one for her Christmas shopping in Harrods!
This blue one is rather nice too - not sure which one I like the best, although I am drawn to the red one as usual.  Which one would you prefer and do you think people would like their gifts in these?
Meanwhile I have also being trying to do a few rows of knitting per night, not got much done but have started the next cowl for my eldest granddaughter.  My friend at work also loves them so am going to do one for her too.  I have loads of this Rowan Big Wool from years ago and it is knitting up like a dream.
I think this is a lovely shade of grey and black.
Finally lovely Folks a little update on my cupboard.  It has been really slow work as my dear beloved has not been able to work at it that much but it is nearly finished.  Apologies for the poor photograph quality as it is laying down on the floor but I just wanted to show you how far we have got with it.  I am getting excited now and thinking about what I will fill it with!
Well my lovely Friends I must leave you now as I have tons of jobs to do before our little lovelies arrive on Sunday.  I am planning lots of crafts with the girls and then a party on Tuesday night - vampires, witches and ghouls - lots of fun!  I will be sad to see them go on Tuesday night but plan to have a few days crafting before going back to work - I have to get my giveaways ready for you all, my how time has flown!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and will be speaking to you all very soon.  Thank you for being there and being such a wonderful support to me.  Love you all, Dorothy:-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Having a creative break

Hi Everyone how are you all doing this Sunday?  I hope you are enjoying some rest and maybe some crafting, hope so.  We went to our Son's 40th surprise meal last night and really enjoyed ourselves - it was a welcome break from work. 
The cowl for my granddaughter was a success and she loved it so am about to make three more.  I found so much yarn stashed away from when I used to go the Rowan workshops up in Yorkshire in Holmfirth.  I was very much into knitting then and had a passion for it.  Often at the end of the workshops they would offer yarn at reduced prices so I would of course snap these up.  The only snag would be that they would usually be colours I wouldn't have chosen or else they would not be the weight of yarn I would usually knit it - but a bargain is a bargain, or is it?
Anyway this yarns has languished in the cupboard still all wrapped up waiting for a project and, if you wait long enough one is bound to come along and it has!  Do you like the colours - she loved them all so I will make the three as they are so easy to make.
I have been working really hard today on all the work I have to do for my day job but decided tonight that enough was enough and I badly needed to do come crafting.  I have some projects to catch up on in readiness for the grandchildren hopefully coming to say the week after next.  These are: the fox cushions to complete for my lovely daughter-in-law, the princess cushion for my granddaughter (have made one already) and I have to turn up the hem on the Liberty print dress I made for her as well.  I have cut out the fox cushions ready so will try to finish these tonight.
It is a busy week at work so I need to get my skates on, plus clean the house properly, buy lots of food for them and plan all the adventures we are going to have.  They have already asked for a Halloween party and want me to dress up as a vampire!!  This should be good fun.  So as you can see I have tons to do but I don't mind as I love to keep busy as all of you have. 
After making the little red bag in sewing class last week I have decided not to bother with the diary covers as I made such a mess of that one.  Instead I will make as many small Christmas bags as I can and put gifts in them.  I think they are quite cute and hopefully people will enjoy using them.  These are the colours I have picked out for the next one.
I shall use the Cath Kidston tea towel on the outside and use the Primark tea towel as the lining as I think it will look quite pretty with the reds.  What do you think?
I have also found a few new blogs which I have put on my blog list which look very interesting.  Do have a look and see what you think - Flossie Teacakes, I'm a ginger monkey, A cuppa and a catchup and Cluck Cluck Sew.  Do have a look at them as they are all interesting and very informative (for me anyway). 
Well lovely Folks this is really short and sweet for me tonight.  I have to get going on the sewing so will have to love you and leave you all.  Do leave some comments if you are able as I do love to hear from you all.  You are all the reason I keep going so a huge thank you to you all.  I am sorting out the giveaway this week and will be posting some pictures for you all to see.  I am looking forward to seeing who the lucky winners are.  Have a good week and I will speak to you very soon.  Big hugs to you all, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Full Week

Hi Everyone do come in and make yourself at home.  How are you all doing?  I hope you are fit and well and enjoying life.  I was full of good meaning this week to write up another post but unfortunately, work got in the way.  This week has been exceptionally busy with very early mornings and very late nights - not good news for the craft Folks.  My lovely students are all getting ready to put their university applications in and we have been working hard on their statements and forms - it is a very stressful time for them all and I am like an old mother hen with them so try to give as much support as I can.  However, it is quite exhausting but we have a break the week after next so I will hopefully have some catch up time for my lovely husband and myself.  I am hoping to see our gorgeous grandchildren over the holiday, have missed them all so much. 
I have been trying to keep up with a little sewing/knitting this week so have not completely forgotten it all.  I don't tend to sleep very long so try to do something each night if I can, even if it is only for 20 minutes.
On the way home tonight I spotted this new magazine in the shop and had to buy it of course, although I am trying to cut down on the number of these which I buy.  It looks very colourful and has some nice projects in. 
I don't know about you but I love Jane Foster and have treated myself to her new book, just waiting for it to arrive any day now!  Do you like her work?  I always feel more cheerful when I look at her designs.
I loved these pillows, so gorgeous but I am not sure how many more cushions I can make.  However it would be a challenge for me to cut out all these pieces of fabric accurately!
I did manage to get to my sewing class this week and bought some fabric from Rachel, it is another of John Lewis's fabrics, not sure what they make with it.  Has anyone seen this in the store - probably made up into cushions.  Would love to hear if you have seen it sewn up.  Just liked the colours as it reminded me of autumn. I think I got a bargain here.
I had a go at making a cover for a diary as part of my hand made gift drive - you can't see the colours properly in the photograph but it is black on the top and I have used some of the fabric I had over from the bag I was making.  I am not that happy with it and was going to put some buttons on to tidy it up but am not sure.  I don't think it is good enough to give to anyone as a Christmas gift.
As you can see, not very professional inside either!  As usual I was rushing it along as I didn't have much time this week.  I have to slow down and take more time with everything.  I was reading the lovely Jo's blog of Three Stories High tonight and she was talking about making things in steps - she was talking about her crochet.  I really identified with her but I lack patience sometimes and try to cram everything in.  Something you know very well lovely Readers having read my previous posts.
I also started on the next set of  bags for my friends at work.  I had spotted this piece of fabric at sewing class and bought it off Rachel.  My lovely friend Sarah absolutely adores the colour green so I know that she will love this - have to take my time and get it right though.  I am getting better with the zips but still not that confident so I will waiting for sewing class before putting one in this one.  I am not sure what colour to line it with though - any ideas?  I have some lovely white satin or shall I look for some green or brown?  Any help warmly received lovely Readers.
Do you like the beading?  I am really going to put a lot of beads on this one to make it look very pretty.  Hope you like them.
I also made up this little 'Christmas' type bag which I thought I could fill with sweeties or such.  It is made from one tea towel from Primark - I think I got 4 in a set (all different designs but mostly red) for £3 which was a bargain.  I do love the red and white.

It was so easy to make so I must be getting more confident in my sewing - hopefully!
I also finished off the last of the three teapot bags for the lovely ladies in the café at work.  Do you like this one?  Rachel helped me with the zip and it looks ok. 
I will tell you about the book next to it in a mo.
I picked this up in a charity shop the other day and just love it.  You know how much I enjoy reading about the war years and how women coped with all the difficulties they had to overcome.  It also reinforces the knowledge that nothing under the sun is new in our craft world as it has all been done before.
Look at this little scarf below - so pretty.
The blanket and gloves are so in at the moment - would love to see them in colour.
This looks difficult - not sure that I could cope with turning up a hem like this?  What about you lovely Folks?
You would certainly need a steady hand to do this!
How about recovering that settee - remember they didn't have all the gadgets and fabrics we have now but they were so resourceful.
I love the kettle on the table and those applique designs are so familiar.
Finally I am busy finishing off the cowl for my eldest granddaughter but have hit a snag - have run out of yarn.  It says on the label that the one ball should be enough and I have checked my tension and it seems ok but I must be doing something wrong.  I have some yarn from years ago in the cupboard of similar weight so am going to try and find it.  I am meeting her tomorrow for a special meal for my lovely youngest Son who is 40 so I need to finish it tonight - have to get my skates on!
Well lovely Readers I have to love you and leave you tonight.  It is terribly stormy here and raining very heavily.  I do hope you are enjoying better weather.  I hope to catch up with you tomorrow or Sunday to give you an update on how the cowl went.  I have loads of projects to finish this week as I have deadlines to meet so I will have to be busy, busy, busy.  Have a wonderful evening/day wherever you are in the world, keep safe and be happy.  Big hugs to you, lots of love, Dorothy:-)xxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A rainy weekend

Hello Everyone do come in out of the rain - it has been pouring here most of the day and quite chilly.  I hope that you are enjoying a little better weather than we are here.  Have had a busy couple of days but managed to find a bit of time to have a day off yesterday.  Hope you have enjoyed a good weekend so far.  Do let me put the kettle on for a cup of tea and some cake maybe?  Please make yourself at home, it is so nice to see you again.
Yesterday I decided to go for a trip home to Liverpool where I was born.  I always drive to the other side of the River Mersey and catch the ferry across the river.  I love the feeling of being on the ferry as my lovely Dad worked on these for many years painting and restoring them each year so that they were always ready for their duties.

The ferries were involved in both world wars and came under enemy fire and were granted the Royal charter after their feats in the second world war.  They were then rebuilt back to their former glory and have continued ever since.  I love going on them as I feel close to my lovely Dad who is no longer with me.  It always brings tears to my eyes when I am on one of them and heading towards my home city. 

Of course I had to visit a lovely shop for a latte and my wasn't it all set up for Christmas!
Made me feel very Christmassy.
Had to buy a few things for the tree - I know, I know it is too early but I couldn't resist!
I just had to put this little birdie and his house on my tree at home (not a Christmas tree I must add!). I couldn't resist this little fellow with the red breast - again he is in my little cage at home - the door is always open so he can fly out at any time.
There seems to be a few little feathered friends in there now.  I also had to have this little sparkle sign, I am just drawn to my sparkly things - maybe it is my age and I will grow out of it.
I also spotted this lovely cushion - do you like it?  Foxes are all in this year.
They were rather pricey though.  More about this later.........
I popped into the haberdashery department and bought this book.  I have been looking at it on Amazon for ages and have been going back and to about buying it.  It was there and I had a good look at it and treated myself. 
There are a few nice little projects which I could use with all the hexagons I have found recently in my loft.
This is another nice little project.
Finally, before heading home I stepped into Cath Kidston and found these lovely tea towels which I couldn't resist.  They would be so nice as place mats or bags - what do you think lovely Folks, you know how much I love my tea towels so are probably not surprised I bought them.
Now to update you on what I have been doing craftwise.  On Friday evening I stitched some beads on to my bag for the lovely ladies in our café at work.  I am keen to get this one finished as this means that 3 gifts will have been completed and I can make a start on the rest.  The only problem is that I keep adding people to my list - I either have to give up work to have enough time to finish them all by Christmas or cut down the list or make smaller gifts - any advice?????
I have also made a start on a project I have had since last summer - this lovely loop scarf which I want to make for my eldest granddaughter who is in her final year of university and needs something warm when she is out and about on the campus. 
It is so easy to knit and I made a start on this last night after I had finished my sewing - it was so nice to sit back and relax with it.
Now finally to the cushion.  When I went to my sewing class last week the lovely Rachel always has bits and pieces of fabric in her box to sell.  I couldn't believe when I spotted these - only £6 for the large piece and £1 for the two smaller pieces.
What a bargain, what a find!
I know that my lovely daughter-in-law would love these.  I messaged her from Liverpool asking her if she liked the cushions and she said - yes please!  So last night I set about working on the fabric I had from Rachel - I think I will get 3 large cushions out of the piece and smaller ones from the rest of it - might even try and make a couple of little fabric boxes with the front of the fox on one and the back on the other.........Who knows

I used my wonderful Lilly Blossom pattern once again, I would be lost without this - it is so wonderfully easy to use.  It really didn't take long and I was so excited at the result.  The whole fox uses a bed pillow and is so comfy.  My daughter-in-law's reaction - It looks so professional.  Folks this is such a compliment to me as I know that I have a lot to learn but hopefully I am making progress.
Here it is - she would like three of them so two more to go.....................
Lovely Friends I want to say a huge thank you to all of you as you have helped me along my journey since starting my blog.  Without your support and comments I would have given up so a big hug to you one and all.  I am busy preparing my Sophie Tilley bobbins ready for the giveaway in a few weeks.  I hope you all have a fabulous week and enjoy yourselves.  Lots and lots of love to you all.  Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx