Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A long day.........

Hello all you Lovelies out there - I hope you are all well and happy today/this evening wherever you are in our beautiful world.  It has been cold and windy here today so not much of a day and I have been working for most of it.  However, I have been working hard on my shipping order to ensure that I stay on target for the set date when I give all the bags to the recipients.

I wanted to share something with you today.  I have spoken about this before and I know that lots of you share similar problems as I do.  Since around 12 years of age I have experiences very deep spells of sadness and I suppose you would call it depression - I try to stay away from the D word if I can so I call it sadness.  I am sure most of you know all about the Black Dog - the World Health Organisation have made a little clip which I watch from time to time and I have included it here in my post if you wish to watch it - I do understand if you don't.  I think it explains the Black Dog perfectly and I always feel a little better after I watch it. 

My own black dog must have only been a bit of a puppy when he attached himself to me and over the years he has followed me everywhere.  I have tried to lose him in the USA, most of Europe as far as Poland and the majority of the Scandinavian countries.  I have also visited almost every Scottish island plus many others around Ireland, Wales and England but he has kept up with me Folks, always bounding around waiting to leap on to me at the slightest chance. Over the past few years I have almost accepted him as he is growing old like me but he still alarms me at times even after all this time. 

For over 20 years I practiced as a counsellor both in education and in the medical field specialising in grief and depression so I should have 'all the answers' at my fingertips but it is different when you are sitting on the other side of that chair.  The past year has been one of the most traumatic and upsetting of my whole life so black dog has been with me all the way.  My blog has helped enormously as he cannot sit on me when I am typing so have to lie on the floor away from me and I can ignore him.  All of you have helped me so much and I thank you all for this - when things get very difficult I tend to try and watch the clip below as it always makes me smile a little and puts things into a bit of a more reasonable perspective.  If you have a similar beast following you it might help, I hope it does. 
Youtube - The Black DogThe Black Dog - Youtube - just click on this line and hopefully it will work.  If it doesn't then go to Youtube and type in The Black Dog.

Now on to more cheery and productive things Folks.  I am still working on my shipping order you will be pleased to hear.  I only had a little of the sparkly French fabric which I used on my other bag but found this one in my cupboard.  It is not as fancy as the last one but the lady I had in mind for this bag is quite serious so hopefully she will like it. 

I used a CK tea towel and repositioned the label to show that it is her fabric - I hope that it doesn't infringe any copywrite laws or anything - obviously I am not selling them either so this should be ok.  I know from things I have read on Etsy how careful everyone has to be with craft things.   I had fun with the brooch as I wanted something to represent a can can dress.  You can see it clearer in the photograph below.

I thought a nice little crochet butterfly would look cute on the handle.  By the way a few people have asked about my pattern and it is one of favourites from Lillyblossom it is the PDF Reversible Contrast Tied Tote and costs £3.67 which is good value as you can print off time and time again. All Helen's patterns are so easy to follow and I have used them ever since I started sewing.

Rather than put applique patches on with the name I have embroidered the name in using my machine which is fab as it cuts down on the preparation time.  I kept the buttons to a minimum as it was a buy pattern anyway.  I hope Rachel likes it.

I wanted to ask your advice Folks as I know that there are many sewing experts out there in Blogland.  I use iron-on interfacing for the bags using it either on the outside fabric or the inner fabric.  Rachel says it is better to use it on the inner if possible.  I have tried soft interfacing but the bag sags, heavy weight stuff which makes it difficult to manoeuvre the fabrics.  I always seem to find that fabrics (inner and outer) seems to crinkle and I struggle to get a nice even finished which frustrates me no end.  You can see it on the picture below Folks but I am going to have to live with it or else I will never finish the bags.  What do you think?  I finished this one last night before going to bed.

I was up really early this morning as I couldn't sleep so I thought I would start Jackie's bag and cut everything out ready.  I know that blue is her favourite colour so used another CK tea towel (Folks I buy these in the sales in January and keep them for projects like this) plus a cheaper (£2 per metre) fabric to keep the costs down.  The inner fabric was just awful when I was trying to iron on the interface and it kept creasing up with little bubbles - it looked terrible so I cut out more and can use the other pieces for brooches.  I carried on this evening once I got home but don't feel that happy with it and would like your thoughts.  You always give such good advice.

In the photograph below if you look to the left you can see that it is not that even - I put the two little butterflies in to hide the crinkling a bit but don't tell Jackie!  I am not happy with it and feel like starting again but my husband says that once she goes shopping with it she won't notice them - I am still undecided?

The other side is a little better (see below) although I think the photographs make it look better than it actually is or am I being too picky?

The outside looks ok in the photograph below but again I am not happy as it was difficult to get the creases out effectively.

The one thing I did enjoy with this bag was the brooch as I had bought a load of net from Abakahn for £1 so I can cut wild and loose with it.  The jury is out with this bag Folks and if I have time I might make another one for Jackie - maybe I am tired and being too critical of myself.

Finally I wanted to show this picture.  My husband has always been good at drawing - he is trained in engineering so everything he does is precise and balanced.  I have been talking to him about going to a local art class as he does a lot of artwork with the Little Peeps.  Anyway, to my amazement he rang the lady at the weekend and agree to go this morning (just to try it mind you).  He loved it and really enjoyed his morning.  This was his first introductory project which Margaret his art teacher set him.  I just love it and could it is on a Marks and Spencer plate.  When I told him this he just laughed and said that I should get my eyes tested very soon.  Do you like it?

Before I go tonight I wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for being so kind, caring and patient with me.  You all have really helped this year.  I am not sure if you remember but one of my New Year resolutions was to volunteer in some capacity.  I tried to get some work with the elderly but drew a complete blank and can only assume that possibly they thought I was too elderly myself to do it!  Now on Thursday I have an interview with another organisation - yippeeeeeeeeee - I won't tell you about it just yet in case I jinx the whole thing and get turned down so keep your fingers crossed for me.  I will tell you how I get on afterward on Thursday evening. Meanwhile have a super day/evening  tomorrow wherever you are wonderful People.  You are all the tops!  Please leave a message if you are able to and I would love some advice about the interfacing if you have any.  See you all very soon, big hugs and loves, Dorothy xxxxxxxxxxx


  1. Your bags are lovely Dorothy - I use iron on interfacing on the lining fabric and a thin wadding for the outer.
    Your husband's painting is fabulous!

    1. Your bags are fabulous Dorothy-you are so talented! I use so much Cath Kidston fabric, I really must try your idea of the teatowels. I have made a few bags and like you, use interfacing on the lining fabric but Gill's reply above about using wadding is a great idea-it would offer a little more weight and strength. Your husband's painting really is very good! It reminds me very much of the Quimper pottery designs-wonderful colours! I can definitely see it on a plate as well. Hope you are feeling better soon Dorothy-I fully understand what you describe and had seen the excellent clip. I have been inspired by you and have actually started designing a blog at last! Take care xx

  2. Beautiful bags Dorothy. Your friends are going to be delighted with their gifts.
    I use Vilene H640 fusible fleece on the outer fabric of the bags I make and the thinner Vilene H630 on the lining. This combination gives a nice firm bag that doesn't sag and definitely no bubbles.

    Hope this helps.

  3. I hope from our email exchanges that you already know that I think that you are a lovely, kind, caring and thoughtful lady Dorothy, but in case you didn't know, I am telling you now!! I am sorry that black dog follows you, I think that all that you do is even better for that! Take care of you and don't worry what others think, and as far as your lovely bags go I am sure that the recipients will be so pleased to receive them that even if there were any flaws they would not notice or care!! I am so pleased to have found you in blogland. xx xx xx

  4. Now just imagine somebody gave you one of those glorious bags - you would be so happy with it and yet when we make things for others we can be very hard on ourselves. They are wonderful and your friends are going to adore them. Not sure how to deal with the bubbly interfacing as this has happened to me as well - perhaps the iron is too hot? As for that wretched black dog I know a little of it as I was visited for a spell in my twenties - fortunately it now knows it's place and owing to the support of my wonderful family and friends rarely pops up nowadays. I can empathise though and the video was so accurate - please know that others can understand. Wishing you lots of hugs Dorothy and will be thinking of you on Friday - hopefully next time we'll get to meet! Jane x

  5. Sorry Dorothy it's me again! Thought you might like this http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/it-will-be-sunny-one-day.html xxx

  6. Your bags are gorgeous my lovely friend, and you are being awfully hard on yourself methinks but anyway, apart from using a firmer fabric for the lining and interfacing both outer and inner, I, like Gill, use wadding to back the outer fabric and then I usually free-motion-stitch them - although this part could change!
    Your lovely man has produced a gorgeous rooster - much talent been hidden in there - bring it out! I'm so happy that he has ventured out into classes, bless him! xo
    You and I have an understanding re the sadness thing so I'm not touching on that right now but I do want to remind you that you are a very special lady and my very special 'sister' and friend! As much love as you can hold coming your way lovely Dorothy, Joy xoxo

  7. Dorothy you are a special person. I wish I had a blog. I am pleased to see the rooster he is gorgeous well done hubby. My daughter has the black dog just now - bullying in the workplace after 17 years teaching and practicing nursing. So your words are a real help. Love the flowers maybe you could teach us how to do them and the bags just beautiful. Take care xx

  8. Thanks for the video link. I thought it was a very well made video and food for thought. I exercise a lot and can vouch for the way it makes me buzz with health and happiness afterwards. Your bags are great, by the way. You definitely have an eye for material.

  9. Feel for you, Dorothy. I have had the black dog visit me too, at various times in my life but I call it the blue meenies. Love the bags, they are so well made and thought out. Good luck with the interview.
    Jacqui x

  10. Wow, your husbands picture is wonderful. I would be proud to have that on my wall. It reminds me of things I have seen on the Continent.
    Your bags are fab, stop fretting about them you silly thing ;0)

  11. What a talented hubby you have. I love Razzy Rooster! :-)
    Thanks for the link to the video - exactly how I'm feeling at the moment - just come back from visiting my youngest son and his wife, and am missing them dreadfully again. I need to get out for a walk!
    The bags are gorgeous - your friends will be delighted with them. I know what you mean about interfacing though. A couple of things you could try; do you use steam setting on the iron? If you do, try turning it off, if you don't, try using it. Also try altering the temperature of the iron. I found on most fabrics I needed to use steam with a slightly lower temperature; still not always perfect, but better results much more often.
    Good luck with your interview on Thursday - whoever they are will be lucky to get you. Jude.x

  12. The bags look amazing again Dorothy! I would use the interfacing on the lining and I like the idea of adding batting to make it all sturdy. Are you perhaps shifting the iron around too much when you fuse the fabric to the interfacing? I find if you just push the iron straight down and up again there is less chance of stretching the fabric. I think it's the stretching that makes the bubbles and creases. I do think that no one is going to notice the little imperfections that you feel the need to point out ;) These are lovely, cheery bags, and the ladies are going to be amazed at the work you've put into them. Don't point out the bits that you're not happy with, and no one will be the wiser. You've got a real talent for this sewing kick! Love your husband's razzy rooster painting, it would make lovely cards if you got them printed off. I've been very negligent in blogging lately, and am catching up with all your posts! I'm sorry to hear that you have a black dog at your door, but it sounds like you've learned some helpful techniques for keeping him at bay. I think you've made some wonderful friendships through your blog, and most likely with all those that you work with. You're a very special lady and am happy to count you as a friend. Take care, and big hugs to you. Wendy xox