Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Nearly there Folks

Hi Everyone, I sincerely hope that no one is reading this blog and that you are all having a good time enjoying yourselves with your loved ones and friends.

This is my last blog for 2013 and I just popped by to say a HUGE thank you to each and every person who has read my little blog since I started it in May.  It has been a total honour to be part of the Blogland community and I have made so many friends and learned such a lot in the short time I have been part of it.  You have shared my ups and downs and always been so positive and encouraging to me.  You have all cared for me and for each other in such a positive and loving way - it makes my heart sing and even on the black days it gives me so much hope for the future.

Have a wonderful evening and Happy New Year - may 2014 bring you happiness, peace, joy and love in abundance. Now then, what about my final make for 2013 - well she is here, a little rushed as I kept getting interrupted whilst making her but she is ok and I would love a name for her as she faces 2014. 

Have a wonderful start to 2014 and I shall see you all very soon.  Big 2014 hugs, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxx  

Counting down........

Hello Everyone I do hope you are all well and happy.  Some of your in other parts of the world will have already welcomed in 2014 by the time you read this - may the new year bring you everything you desire and more.
The coming of the New Year is not something I ever enjoy as I find that I look back and think of the people I have lost in my life, those who I still love and miss with all my heart.  I am afraid lovely Readers that the old black dog comes back and lies in front of my door at this time of the year and I find it hard to get it out of the house.  Writing this to all your wonderful Folks does help as I know that there are some of you in Blogland who know the old black dog extremely well and I can only hope that if he is residing in our home tonight then he won't be bothering any of you for a while.  I do try hard every year to keep busy and active and today I was home early from work so have set to making a little friend to herald in 2014, I only hope he is finished by this evening.
I have cut him out (I keep saying him, not sure why but maybe you can give him/her a name for me?)  Actually looking at her I think she has to be a girl as she is so pink!  Any suitable names will be gratefully received my lovely Friends.
My wonderful husband knows exactly how I am at this time of the year and had a little surprise for me.  When we had gone shopping at Waitrose the other day and I bought the pretty tea towels, he had also spied a little something which he knew would cheer me up.
I love little cheery cups and have loads of them but am always happy to receive a new one for my lattes.  I thought this one was so sweet but he had bought us one each and guess who the designer is:
I had a little giggle as he is not one to look out for such things as he looks the crockery to me, the woman of the house!!  I had to give him an extra special hug as he has had such a difficult year himself and never complains, something I am trying to perfect in my new resolutions list Folks.
Then Lovelies the door bell rang and the Postman passed a parcel to me - I wasn't expecting anything but what a fabulous surprise I had when I opened it.  It was some wonderful gifts from the dearest of ladies who has been so kind to me this year.  I must admit that I shed a tear or two but must show you what she had sent.  She is so talented and everything she sent had been made by her - how very special.
When I unwrapped the parcel the smell was just divine and even the little label had been hand made with some pretty Christmassy fabric, how cute and effective.  The soldier was just perfect for any time of the year and will be staying with me in my workroom.
Then there was a dinky little round pin cushion and the loveliest of hearts with the wonderful smell of lavender, my favourite.  Then there was even more!
The cutest little face cloth with some gorgeous hand made soap wrapped in vintage lace - something to take with me on my travels this year.
Plus two more lovely little fabric ornaments to hang in my workroom, so pretty and vintage looking, I love them!
And finally, but not least, the most beautiful tea towel which she had made herself.  It is the most wonderful quality fabric with exquisite red edging on - needless to say, I won't be cutting this one up Folks as it is too nice.  I am thinking of using it in my vintage cupboard which is nearly ready where it will be on show for everyone to see. 
A huge thank you to my lovely friend out there, I have messaged her already so she knows that I am thrilled with everything.
Lovely Friends, somehow the old black dog, although still there, doesn't seem as imposing as he did when I first got up this morning to go to work - he followed me all the way there and all the way back, settled in my workroom for the duration.  He is asleep now but somehow looks old and tired so I won't wake me up but will just sneak past him. 
I will hopefully be back a little later with my finished owl, fingers crossed.  Hope you are all enjoying some you time with your families and friends.  Big hugs until later.  Dorothy:-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 30 December 2013

A busy day......

Hello Lovely Folks how are you all doing?  It has been a really busy day as I have been working but also found some time to get out and do a little 'craft' shopping in readiness for some new projects.  I hope you are all keeping well and are happy as we cruise up to 2014.
 I have been mulling over the resolutions I want to make and last night I was reading through a very old book of mine which I have had since I was 10.  It is very well worn as I have read it a thousand times and when we were very young I would take it on every camping holiday to Cornwall - it is by Enid Blyton's Book of the Year and it was given to me by an elderly farmer's wife when we camped in their field.  The book had belonged to her daughter who had grown and left home.  The lovely lady asked me to always care for it and enjoy reading it.  As you can see it is fairly poor condition as it was when I received it but I just loved it.

Looking through it I found a lot of leaves which I had collected in childhood - in those days my ambition was to become a write like Enid Blyton and to publish books about nature and the wild!  Apologies for the poor quality of pictures but the light is not good tonight and I am in work tomorrow so won't get chance to take any in the daylight.

I found a little resolution paper which I used to make every year and you can see what I was going to do that year.........I think it still is the same resolution I would have today.
On the back I had written the date - 1962 - a long time ago.  As you can see this was written with a fountain pen which was my main gift from Santa that year along with my new doll.
Last night I wanted to have a go at a project wallet for some of my things.  Last week I had found a lovely range in Waitrose from Julie Dodsworth - I had not seen her range before but fell in love with the lovely designs.  I bought a pack of two tea towels for £9.00 and the quality of the fabric was just lovely so couldn't wait to make something special with it.

I was planning to use Aneela Hoey's project pouch - have a look on her lovely Etsy shop to see all her lovely range.  I am sorry Lovelies as I tried to copy the image but couldn't download it for some reason.  Do pop over to her shop and have a look though.

The project pouch is the same as the lovely one I received from my special friend for Christmas as shown below.
You can see the second Julie Dodsworth tea towel below - it is white with little hearts on it so really cute.

I had to cut out a back/front and three separate sections for the pockets.  The front and back pieces were lined with fusible interfacing and Aneela suggests heavy weight for the outer fabric and a medium weight for the lining.  The only problem I had was that there was a lot of fabric to sew through when all the pockets were lined up.  However it was important to have the interfacing as the pouch needs to be quite durable and able to hold all the bits and pieces.  I left the little Julie Dodsworth labels on as I thought they were really sweet and added something different to the whole piece.
I didn't quite have enough fabric to make the little fastening but managed to find a piece of tea towel from one of my Christmas projects which I felt went quite well with the colours of the main fabrics.  This project pouch takes two tea towels in total plus a little for the fastening piece which is quite good as there was very little waste.
As you know Lovelies I do have a congenital problem with cutting or sewing anything straight and my husband was a little upset that the fastener was a little wonky as was the Velcro - I had decided to forgo the suggested button and buttonhole as I was running out of time and was a little tired. 

This is the completed pouch although it is not the neatest of jobs and I have a long way to go before I reach the standard of my lovely Friend and her wonderful gift to me.  However, I can live with it for the time being and plan to do some more so that I can improve.  These will be so useful as I do plan to be much more organised with my tools this year as I have so many bits and pieces all over the place and spend so much time looking for things.  Are you the same as I am?

The photographs do not really show up the sewing that well so it looks better than it is but for the first trial it is ok and I can live with it.  I am going to make another one straight away and see if I can improve on the bulkiness of it and make it look a little more professional.

For some reason my Lovely Readers I have a great desire to make some owl cushions.  I don't know why but I have been thinking about these for a couple of weeks now.  I make quite a few of these a while ago and then gave them all away, realising afterwards that I hadn't left one for myself!  I am sure that you have also done the same as me.
I had found a pattern from a lovely company called sewintocrafts who sell on Ebay and this is going to be one of my new projects - I have searched high and low for the pattern I used before but cannot find it hence the new one.  You can see why one of my resolutions is going to be more organised. 

Sorry Folks this is a very poor set of pictures but they were taken from the documents themselves and haven't come up very well at all.

I was passing Abakhan today and called in to see what they had on offer as it was a discount day.  I picked up some lovely trimmings which I can't wait to use.
Aren't these just so pretty, cannot wait to use them.  Which one do you like?  Finally I also managed to get a real bargain with this yarn which is so lovely to knit with.  It is one of my favourites and it for a special project which I cannot talk about here but will show you later when it is finished.  I am itching to get started on this one.

Well my Lovelies it has been so nice to talk with you all tonight.  I do hope you are all well and safe wherever you are in our wonderful world.  I am wishing the best for every one of you in the coming year.  Have a great evening/day depending where you are in our globe.  Speak very soon, big hugs to you all.  Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Some lovely gifts

Hello Everyone and festive greeting to you all.  I hope that you are all happy, well and safe.  Time has whizzed passed over the past week and I cannot believe that my most favourite time of the year is nearly over for another year.  I always hate January but am determined to try and be a little more tolerant this year and enjoy each day as it comes.  I hope you were all able to spend some time with your loved ones and friends and enjoyed some nice food and gifts.  In my case I enjoyed the food a little too much as I always do so guess what is top of my resolution list............diet!  However just nip over to the lovely Tina's blog as she really puts into words what I cannot.  I was really moved by her recent post and it has made me think deeply about my life and how I approach things.
I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful crafty gifts which I received over the Christmas, I was bowled over with each and everyone and shall treasure them always.  My lovely husband is always puzzled about what to buy me for Christmas and had asked if I had wanted a new sewing machine.  I have had my Janome one for over 20 years and because I only recently took up sewing it is still quite unused so I decided against a new one, although I was tempted with the ones which do the wonderful embroidery.  However he knows that I am a big fan of Kirsty Allsop and bought me one of her boxes with some delights in.
I can always find room for more buttons and ribbons, just lovely all of them and a new tape measure as well, gorgeous!  Can you see those dinky little magnets which will be so useful for my notice board in my sewing room.
Another dear dear friend of mine sent me these wonderful gifts from the other part of the world.  These are especially special to me lovely Folks as my friend is someone I admire and respect, although we are not able to meet she is one of the most inspirational people I have ever been privileged to know.  I adore the crochet snowflakes which she lovingly made.  I have had so many comments on these over the Christmas period as they are do delicate and beautiful. 
She also made me this gorgeous embroidered hoop which is on the wall and is definitely not going back into the Christmas decoration boxes this year - each time I pass I think of her so it is remain in our lounge throughout the year.  Thank you Sweet Friend, you are a treasure and a Joy to me.
Finally I received a fabulous set of gifts from a very special friend who is so talented Folks and yet does not believe in herself.  This year she has been such a constant and loving friend to me, always supportive and kind even though she has endured many horrible times with her health.  I am constantly asking her to start a blog and hope that this year she will and you will be able to see yourselves how clever and creative she is.  My lovely Friend had left my gifts at my Son and lovely Daughter-in-Law's house as we stayed with them for a few days over Christmas with our little Peeps.  Just have a look at this wonderful box and the magical contents which seemed to go on forever!  At first I was unsure what was in the box..................I loved the vintage newspaper which all the contents were wrapped in, such a lovely idea.
Some lovely buttons - always useful and aren't these just so gorgeous!  You can see the name of the creator of these wonders - Stitchywoowoo who is a wonderful textile artist called Sally Hutson, pop over and see her webpage and Etsy shop.  She is based in Buckinghamshire so I am going to see if she has any workshops which I could go to. 
Some more wonderful things to play with and create - I have masses of ideas Folks but would love to hear what you would make with all these fabulous textiles.
Look at these wonderful ribbons, just breath-taking.
Some beads and buttons
Plus loads of lovely fabric pieces, just heavenly - these will really get my creative juices flowing lovely Readers.
Here are some of the wonderful ideas from Sally to get you started.  I must admit that I am drawn to making some brooches and a journal with all these lovely fabrics and beads - what a wonderful idea and I would love to make up something like this for some of my crafty friends for their birthdays, what do you think Lovely Folks? 
The gifts didn't stop there - knowing how much I love tea towels she had included these two lovely beauties which will make a couple of festive cushions for next year - I adore the pattern and the colours - so Christmassy.
Then another parcel containing this wonder.  I adore this case as she has been so thoughtful in filling it with many wonderful things.  Have a look and see and also marvel at her talent for sewing.........even has my name on the front.
I gasped when I opened it as it was packed full of fabulous gifts.
As you know I have fallen in love with foxes this year so the gorgeous book was perfect.  I have to master cross stitch yet but have no excuse now after receiving this treasure trove.  I am not sure if you have read this book but it is a mine of information and wonderful pictures which really help the newbie like me.
I really want to try and do this little project first, I just love this little pin cushion, so pretty and in vogue at this moment.  Do you like it?
The instructions look pretty straightforward and, as you can see from my project case, I have everything to hand so not excuses.
Lovely Readers I am blessed with all these fabulous gifts from my lovely Friends who I thank from the bottom of my heart.  Friends and Family - where would we be without them..........I am sure that you have all have similar wonders from your loved ones and I am looking forward to seeing them all on your blogs. 
I cannot show you what I am working on at the moment as they are not finished and need to be posted off to some special ladies as we all missed the Christmas post - I do not want to spoil their surprises and know that you will understand.
Well my lovely Friends it is nearly 2014 and each year I make masses of resolutions, write them all down and then usually forget them all by February at the latest.  This year I have decided only to make a few and try and stick to them. More on those in another post in the next day or so.  Do keep safe and well and I shall speak with you all very soon.  Biggest hugs to each and every one of you, all my love as always.  Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx