Sunday, 30 March 2014

A little break

Hello Lovlies, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous Mums out there.  I hope you were spoiled today and received many special gifts and tokens of love, you deserve them.  I had some lovely cards and gifts from my wonderful Sons which all made my heart sing.  My eldest Son came over yesterday and stayed for the night and we managed to get out for a bit of fresh air in the fabulous scenery of North Wales. It was so good to feel the wind and sun on our faces.  We had time to talk about everything and also to have a little giggle together.  A perfect day.

I also managed to pop over to IKEA one night last week and picked up some fabric which my lovely friend Coddyette had told me about.  It is such fun and I cannot wait to make something out of it.  As you can see the children can even colour it in with the special pens which you can buy.  I am thinking about what I can make, any ideas from all you talented bloggers out there would be really appreciated.
I also managed to find some old cushion covers which I have  unpicked and have loads of ideas in my head about what to do with them.  I have washed them carefully and unpicked them all - any tips or suggestions would be gratefully received Folks.
Well my lovely Friends this is a very short post as I have so much to do but I really wanted to stop and say hello to you all.  The changes on my blog continue so please don't get confused by the changing images.  I am not 100% sure of the way it looks at the moment so Laurence and I are going to work on it together to make it as perfect as it can be.  Sending a huge thank you to Laurence who is one of the kindest and most Christian people I have ever met.  I do hope you all have a wonderful week with lots of fun and smiles.  Thank you for your continued support which means more than you will ever know.  Take care of yourselves and be happy.  Big hugs and loves

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Talented Engineer working on the line

Hi Everyone just a very quick message to say hello and I hope you are all well and happy.  Some of you may have noticed some mysterious changes in my blog.  This is due to a very talented engineer friend of ours Laurence who is working some magic into my little corner of the world.  The front page at present is only temporary as I have to work with Laurence (my input is minute!) in order to find some good background templates to brighten up my blog in preparation for our first birthday celebrations in May.  Nearly one year Folks I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone and how much has happened in my life both positive and not so positive.  You have been there with me every step of the way and you will never know just how much that has meant to me.  I am planning some giveaways on my blog birthday so do keep a watch.  I am hoping to write a post very soon as I have not been idle I promise.  Meanwhile I have been trying to keep up with all your wonderful news but please be patient with me if I haven't left any comments, life is very stressful at the moment so I am just living one day at a time - I am hoping that the sun will soon come out again in my corner of the world.  Be happy Everyone and keep smiling.  Thank you for sticking with me.  Love you all and sending big hugs.  Dorothy xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday Sewing

Hello Lovelies, I do hope you are all well and happy.  I am desperately trying to catch up with everything and keeping myself busy. I am sorry that I haven't caught up with all your lovely posts as yet but I promise I will do it this week.  I have been sewing flat out so as not to give myself a minute to think but tonight I wanted to share something I made this weekend which I have fallen in love with.  I do hope you have all had some good weather - we have had a mixture today including rain, hailstone and some sleet and some sunshine so lots to choose from!
 As you probably know if you have read my blog before, I am a big fan of the lovely Lillyblossom and I have used a lot of Helen's patterns.  In fact when I started sewing I used one of her lovely bag patterns and was so amazed how easy it was to follow.  I noticed on Thursday that she had a new pattern for a bag which I absolutely loved so I bought it from her Etsy shop. 
This photograph doesn't do it justice as the colours are just fabulous.  I have never sewing pleats before but wanted to make a new holiday bag for my lovely daughter-in-law.  I did one for her last year and she loved it so I thought it was time for a new one for this year's holidays.  On Friday afternoon I have some time off work in the late afternoon so I popped over to Abakahn to see what they had in.  I knew that I wanted something bright and summery.
I thought that these fabrics were so cute - L absolutely loves beach huts so I am hoping that this will be a hit with her.  I love the blue spotted fabric and it matched well with the beach hut colours.  I hope you all like it. 
I don't know why but I have taken to inserting some design features inside bags now as well as outside.  I think it adds some interest and maybe a little surprise.  For this one I wanted to put some individual huts with initials of the family on each one, plus of course, some of my lovely buttons, always a favourite with me.
The fabric was a dream to sew, such good quality and easy to put together and the inserts fitted in well.  I must say that I was worried about the pleats but they were just easy to put together and finish.  Thank you Helen.
I appliqued a beach hut for all the little Peeps and their Mum and Dad so I hope it brings a smile to their faces.
I am so pleased with the finished bag and feel that it is the best one I have made so far.  However, there were some hiccups as I did find that the amount of fabric and liner quite bulky when I was sewing so I need to trim back either further next time.  I have enough fabric left over for two mini beach bags for the little Peeps which I will show you once I have finished them.  I thought I could fill them with little 'holiday' goodies for them all.  Do you like it?
I am already thinking of other fabrics to use and may make one for myself even.  It is funny how working with a particularly sunny fabric can help your mood, this one certainly did today and I had a big urge to motor down to the beach - however it was sleeting at the time so might have been a bit chilly for swimming.
Sorry it was such a short post today Folks but I need to keep writing and keeping up with all your lovely blogs.  I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday wherever in the world you are.  Keep safe and happy always.  Sending you all lots of loves and hugs as always.  Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

It has been such a long time

Well my Lovely Friends how are you all.  I am sorry that I have been away for such a long time.  It has been a combination of things which has kept me away from my blog.  First of all the pesky gremlins have stayed around for such a long time and are still there, hidden in pockets, somewhere inside this computer.  I am nearly there now thanks to my lovely Friend who has been so helpful and kind trying to sort it all out.

The other reason which I cannot go into is due to something which I had to do.  It has been planned for a while and I knew that I had to face it on my own.  It has been a week now and was such a distressing thing to have to do.  I cannot explain how dark the world is to me at this moment in time.  It is nothing to do with illness but is linked to someone I love who isn't around anymore sadly.  I miss him every day and at this moment in time this pain is just unbearable. I did think about not returning to my blog as I cannot face much at the moment, just putting on a brave face and taking one step at a time - my students all keep me going as we have been so busy.  In the midst of all this we had a programme inspection and happily my area came out with an excellent outcome so all the hard work I have put in has kept my mind very much occupied during the day.  My sewing has been a blessing as well as I have tried to carry on as best I could and have produced some things to show you.   

However at the back of my mind each day I was really missing all of you and had crept back at times to read up on your blogs and decided today that I would return because the friendship and warmth I have experienced since starting my blog last May has been incredible.  You will have to bear with me for a little while as it may be all a jumble but hopefully I will get stronger once again and be able to smile and laugh.

Well I think the best thing to do is to just let you see what \I have been up to over the past week or so.  I have always wanted to have a go at a child's dress, for years now I have looked at magazines and thought it would be such a nice thing to do. I had bought this cheery pink fabric from Abakhan recently - it was so spring like I just couldn't resist. 

I just loved these little flower buttons, so cute.

I cannot wait to see one of my little Peeps wearing this one.  I had some fabric over and so of course had to make something else................

Do you like this little bag?  As usual I go OTT with decorations.....Rachel my sewing teacher says that I should call it a 'Dorothy Design'!

I couldn't stop and had to put something on the bottom.

And inside too.......

Not sure if I am doing this for the little Peeps or me!

The little Peeps are just crazy about Frozen but getting hold of any fabric is just crazy but I managed to get another piece from Ebay with enough to make two little bags and some brooches which went down a treat.

I love putting little designs inside the bags now as I think it is a cute surprise when you open them up.

The lovely Sarah from            did me some more photographs but unfortunately the ones I sent were a little out of focus but I was able to use them inside each bag for the girls.  They loved seeing themselves inside the bag and there are not arguments about who they belong to either.

I love using the machine to write with, it makes everything so personal.

Do you like this one - the fabric is from IKEA which I really love and only £5 per metre.  I love the little bag and the fabric for this was chosen by the Peeps when we visited Blists Hill Victorian Village a couple of weeks ago.  It was so easy to do.  I need to give you the name of the designer which I do not have to hand but will let you know on the next post.

I chose different coloured buttons to make it look pretty and cheerful.

Well lovely Friends this is just a quick post to say hello again and sorry about the silence.  I am so glad to be back but forgive me if my post isn't as coherent or interesting as I would like it to be.  I need to catch up with all your lovely news now and send some messages to you all.  Be happy and keep safe wherever you are in our wonderful world.  Sending you all my loves and hugs as always.  Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Where are all these gremlins coming from?

Hello all my Lovelies how are you all doing?  I have been trying desperately all week to upload my photographs for a new post but have failed miserably.  Our lovely friend tried to fix things tonight with a phone tutorial for me but he couldn't do it so is coming over later this week to have a look at my computer. It would appear that there is a problem with my computer boo hoo!  All week I have been thinking of you all and wishing that I could talk to you but hopefully everything will be fixed soon.  Hope you will be patient as I want to be back with you all as soon as I can.  Keep happy and well and above all

Hopefully see you all soon, sending you all my love as always. Dorothy:-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A late evening sewfest!

Good morning all your lovely Bloggers out there.  I hope you are all fit and well - I wanted to send you all a quick post today as I enjoyed a little 'sewfest' last night which I really enjoyed. 
I have also been trying to 'tidy' up my sewing area which is the tiniest room in the house (no it is not the toilet).  I always admire your lovely spaces and would so love to be minimalist - the Lovely Daisy has written about her sewing space and it was just gorgeous but I don't think I will ever achieve this as I have to cram so much into such a small place.  However, I am not grumbling because before I had this room my craft things were just all over the house, under the beds, in boxes stacked in wardrobes, in the loft, you name it they were there.  You can imagine how much time it took to find anything and then it would be too late to start.  I would often end up buying more things because I had forgotten what I had!  Not a good way to be. 

My lovely husband had definite ideas about all of this and resisted, for many years, the necessity of using up a room just for sewing - needless to say he has the garage and a large workshop outside which houses all his tools and they still find their way into the house.  I did manage to soften him up and he agreed that I could use smallest room we have as my area so it is a big improvement on what I have had.  I will show you a few pictures but please remember that the room has quite a few cupboards and they are al stuffed with things - I think I need a bigger room - maybe I can lobby it in Parliament - will you sign the petition?  Only joking, I know that I am one lucky girl to have my space and I love it.   Sorry about the shadows of the lights on this first picture, it is such a tiny room it is difficult to get a good view of everything and there is not much natural light coming in.  As you can see this has some fabrics and lots of boxes with things in - I am keeping a book now with a list of where everything is - only problem is that I must not lose that book!

I bought this little cupcake container about four years ago from Argos and have never used it so it was stuck in the cupboard in the kitchen.  I spotted a photograph in a magazine and one of the designers had her cottons in one so out it came this week and in popped all the cottons thus freeing up cupboard space.

These two little cutey dogs were a find in a vintage sale last year - my husband hates them as they are old but I love them.  They sit on top of one of my cupboards.

I have some shelves above my tiny desk which you can see are crammed - who says she wants a minimal look!  I love to have some things on show as I enjoy looking at them.  I have two tiny sewing machines, very similar to ones I had as a child and I think they are adorable, they still work too.  You can see the little red one which is my favourite and also my sylko box which is an absolute treasure to me, I wouldn't part with it for the world.

Below is the second vintage machine which is the bigger version and meant for the older girls!  This works just fine and I have had one of my little Peeps have a go on this one - she loves it.  As you have probably guessed I am big into pink fairy lights........

We are actually getting down to my 'work table' now - some of you may need to go and lay in a darkened room for a little while. 
You can see my little Sophie Tilley dolls sitting here, waiting for new clothes to be made, two of these belong to the Peeps but we have big plans for a whole wardrobe for each dolly in the summer.

Finally, my cosy little corner - the little dolls and things you can see belong to the Peeps who always manage to leave little bits and pieces, I love it.  I have just read any article in the newspaper saying that a designer has said that she believes that a tidy desk is a tidy mind - goodness knows what she would think of this...............deranged?
The photograph below is a very old one and has been in our family since I was a child.  It originally stood on my Mum's dressing table and I never tired of looking at it as a child.  There is a big story about it.  My great grandmother left Ireland and ran off with an American many years ago leaving my Grandad in the care of some farmers.  She married in the USA and then returned back to Liverpool many years later when my Grandad had married and had 13 children of his own (obviously no televisions or computers then).  My great grandmother offered to take one of the children back to the USA and bring them up as her own.  She wanted my Mum but she was only four at the time (Mum is 86 now) so my Auntie Mary who was twelve said that she would go.  So in 1932 my Auntie Mary boarded a ship bound for New York from Liverpool on her own and sailed away. 

She went to school and college and eventually met and married Uncle Max who you can see in the photograph.  She tried to get home to visit but had to cancel as the war had been declared here in 1939.  So she and Uncle Max married and she joined the WAVES (equivalent to our WREN in the UK) and he joined the US Navy and this is a photograph of them in their uniforms.  To me they were just like film stars and I always wanted to look like her.  Uncle Max was a medic and was involved in the Japanese theatre of war and would never speak about his experiences afterwards as he said they were too awful. After the war they adopted a little boy called Michael and again she booked to return home to see the family but was struck down by appendicitis so again had to cancel.  My Grandma (Auntie Mary's Mum) died the following year very suddenly so she never got to see her again.  Auntie Mary eventually made it home in the 1960s to see her Dad (my Granddad) and the week after she went home he also died very suddenly but at least she got to see him. 

Uncle Max died about four years ago and Auntie a year later.  Sadly the year after Uncle Max died, their only son also died.    I loved Auntie Mary and Uncle Max and it was wonderful that I was able to go and visit them and stay, they were such a loving couple.  The last time I saw them both she gave me my great grandmother's engagement ring which had been passed on to her - she wanted me to have it as I was the eldest of the grandchildren.  I wear it every day and treasure it and will pass it on so that it remains in our family.  Sorry it is a bit of a rambling story Folks, you have probably nodded off by now!  Have you got any lovely family stories, I find them so interesting.
Now then, after all that meandering around my room, what did I do last night?  Well I was catching up on all your wonderful blogs yesterday and caught up with the Lovely Daisy who was talking about a stitched journal workshop she had been on - I thought her work was just lovely and it brought back to me a workshop I had been on last year in Leek, Staffordshire at a lovely shop called Bibelot.
This is the project I set out to do........................ not sure why there is come granny squares underneath it but I was quite new to blogging then so probably couldn't work out how to crop the photograph properly!  Well I chose an 'easy' one thinking how quickly I would do it, the rest of the group had chosen very complicated designs so I had it in my mind that I might actually do a couple in the afternoon....................................I was clueless about how difficult it was.
Is this art or a captured spider caught in the machine..
Honestly Folks, I couldn't manage to control the needle or anything.  It looked so easy when we were shown but doing it was another matter.  I managed to iron on the petals and then tried, in vain, to draw around them in some semblance of order.........impossible, was there a fault on my machine I asked?  No, I realised the fault was with me............
I was that embarrassed at my finished flower that I decided that beads were the only answer to mask my sorry attempt at machine embroidery.  Honestly Friends the other ladies had fantastic results but I was definitely bottom of the class on this one.
 It was supposed to be framed for the living room but never ever saw the light of day once I finished it at home.  Reading Daisy's blog the other day bought it all back so while I was tidying up my room I found it - still in the bag so I had an idea last night.  Make it into something useful.
I wanted to use one of my blocks from the lovely Theresa from yesterday's post and chose the 'Make Beautiful Things' patch. 

I also felt that I should incorporate some of my own work - hence using the embroidered flower.

I lined the bag with a piece from a tea towel which I had cut up for another project ages ago - the remnant just fitted the inside of the bag.  It also gave me a chance to practise the dreaded zips, I am not perfect at all and have to constantly check that everything is in the right order but I am determined to crack these this year.

Here is it - I am so pleased with the patch, I think it is adorable and cannot wait to make some more - these will make fabulous gifts for my lovely friends who are into crafting.  Do you like it?

This is the other side with my 'machine embroidery', I don't think you have anything to fear with me Theresa but, it does look ok on the bag I think.........

 I stumbled a few times with the zip and had to unpick one side as I had stitched it the wrong way around.
I also put my name on the bottom but didn't think about leaving enough space for the corner pieces so you can see where it all ended up!

Well my Lovely Friends that is it for today.  The gremlins are still around and uploading these photographs has taken an age so there is obviously still something amiss which I will have to sort out.  I am sorry that this post has been a bit rambling but I wanted to catch up with you all.  Have a lovely Sunday wherever you are and keep warm, safe and happy.  Sending you lots of loves and hugs as always, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx