Thursday, November 30, 2006

more seasonal musings ...

I found this copy of Martha Stewart Holiday in my local newsagent the other day

and I am very taken with these little fellas.

So a trip to the supermarket produced some candy canes - I wish we got more variety in the colours rather than just the red, white and green which seems to be the only colour combination available here. Anyway I just need to get some felt in pretty colours and then I am going to give them a go. I thought they could make good present toppers or gift tags.

I also strung together some of my stars - I have just a couple of the larger size to make and add to the ribbon. I plan to put them in front of the fireplace just like this but I need to find a better way to secure the ribbon.

The sellotape I used in order to get this photo lasted all of three minutes. Having to re-hang them every few minutes will make for a very tedious festive period.

This afternoon I finally got round to working on my Christmas cards - but more of those anon.

Monday, November 27, 2006

a study in grey ...

when the weather is like this all weekend
the only thing to do is read grey covered books and make starry grey ornaments. The stars are going to make a garland inspired by one in the latest issue Marie Claire Idees.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

'tis the season ...

... to be snotty.

This time of year seems to bring with it inevitable sniffling and sneezing. So what a good excuse to finally have a go at making a tissue holder.

The idea and pattern is cobbled together from various tutorials floating around on various blogs. Belladia is one, Stardust Shoes is another, oh and Whipup is another.

I like it but it isn't right yet - maybe if I had stuck to one tutorial and actually used a ruler to measure and mark out the fabric it would be a better size and fit. I also think it looks rather plain - a little embellishment is called for. But all in all a quick and satisfying make.

Last Saturday, I met Flibbertygibbet. She has a stall at the market at the top end of Marylebone High Street and last week was her first week. This week on her blog she has been showing us all the things she has been making to sell. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood why not pop along and say 'hi'. She is really friendly.

Friday, November 17, 2006

the mitt...

I finished the oven mitt this afternoon. The scanner worked a treat, especially when ably handled by my husband. I decided to bind the edge of the mitt rather than add the pom-pom trim suggested in the Denyse Schmidt book. I had visions of the pom-poms melting and causing horrible burns when near a hot oven.

So now the apron and mitt can be wrapped up and sent off. They were originally going to be a Christmas gift but they are now going to be a birthday present.

The weather has become very wild and woolly - the perfect weather for battening down the hatches and get on with knitting projects (I still have to finish Florence) or hand quilting (my 'Ice Pops' quilt also needs to be finished). It is also a good opportunity to browse through the book catalogues that arrived recently.

There are a few Persephone books that I have earmarked as perfect Christmas presents and the same with Eland books catalogue. Of course the hope is that a couple might make their way to me in turn

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

working the whole day through ...

Honestly, I haven't been sitting here busy doing nothing. Although the extended silence may suggest otherwise. Nope, things have been ticking along nicely.

I have been working on this apron and I finished it last night but had to wait for this morning and the hope of some decent light.

The pom-pom trim was purchased from VV Rouleaux when I was out on the town with Ali.

I have also got the pieces together for a matching oven mitt using the insul-bright that arrived a couple of weeks ago.

I just need to scale up the pattern by 400%. Easier said than done. I don't have access to a photocopier and I am hopeless at scaling things by hand. So here's hoping the scanner will come up trumps.

Both items have been made using patterns in the Denyse Schmidt book.

Plans are also afoot to go to the Cabbages and Frocks market on Saturday to see Flibbertygibbet who has her own stall there over the next few weeks. It is also a great excuse to head up to Marylebone High Street.

Now I really must get on with the Christmas cards ....

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

packets and pom poms...

This morning I went for my usual Wednesday morning run with a couple of mums from school. We just run along the tow path beside the river - it is not too far and it is a social opportunity as well as the only exercise I do every week.

Anyway, I got home to find packages on my doormat. A fantastic surprise packet from Flibbertygibbet, containing this wonderful fabric. I love the patterns and colour.

The winter Toast catalogue also arrived - mmm I love their clothes so much. Yesterday I got some lovely 'thank you' post from Ali - one of her Christmas organisers that were such a hit at her craft fair.
Before work today, I legged it to the library to pick up the Clare Garland book "Toys to Sew" that I had ordered. I have had a quick glimpse through it and it has some lovely ideas in it though it isn't quite what I hoped it would be. It goes so far but not far enough but then I guess it wouldn't have so much commercial appeal. Maybe what I was hoping it would be is an updated and more modern looking version of the Rudi de Sarigny book. However, having said that there are some lovely projects that I can definitely see myself adapting.

I'll leave you with the pom poms my son and I made last night. I don't know quite why but he got a notion to make pom poms and so with nothing else to take up our time we sat and watched Blue Peter and wound wool round some Clover pom pom makers - et voila!

Monday, November 06, 2006

bags and mags ...

I finished the bag last night and so took the opportunity to christen it on a trip to the shops today.

Here is in in all its glory....

the front
the back
... and the lining. The colours of the embroidery thread are the same as the greeny and orangey blobs on the lining fabric.I am planning an early night to night - I think I'll curl up under the covers and flick through the latest issue of Vogue. I don't usually buy it but this is the 90th birthday issue and I like the idea of browsing through all that fashion history. Hopefully I'll garner some creative ideas too.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

remember, remember ...

for it is indeed the fifth of November with all its gunpowder, treason and plot. I am up in the loft which houses my crafty space and listening to all the crackling, whizzing and banging that this time of the year brings with it. I have also had rather a good view of the south London skyline with all the flashs and bursts of colour.

I am supposed to be finishing off a cord bag - one for myself - but I keep being distracted by all the fireworks and now I am sat here writing this. I really do have the attention span of a flea.

It has been a good weekend and it started off so brilliantly by meeting up with Ali on Saturday morning. We eventually parted company in the early evening. The time really flew by, a sure sign that Ali was a fantastic shopping partner and someone I felt like I had known a lot longer than just a few hours. It was so lovely to talk to her and find out first hand about her craft fair experiences, about blogging in general the ideas and support that is out there. Sharing family stories. It was really fun and I am so pleased that Ali suggested we meet up.

We went to all the places we set out to visit and a few others as well.

I bought ribbon and trimmings ...

and some rubber stamp paraphernalia for my Christmas card ideas ....

Now I really wish the weekend comprised of three days so that I could get on with all the ideas that are bristling in my head.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

early to bed ...

Well here I am at 8.30 already in my PJs. What can I say I am shattered, it has been a long week and boy am I glad tomorrow is Friday. An early night is definitely called for.

I think work has been stressing me out too much - but I feel much calmer this evening. The reason for this change of disposition?. Well, I sat down this afternoon and drew some ideas I have had. Just little pencil sketches nothing particularly impressive, drawing really isn't my forte but it felt so good. I know I have said it before about creativity reducing my stress levels but I just don't think I ever really believed myself. I do now.This Christmas I have high ideas of making a lot of my presents and so some of the sketches were for those. Then this morning I suddenly had a vision of a bag I would like to try and make so I sketched that out too. I also need to get on with making my Christmas cards. I have my ideas and hope that when I meet up with Ali on Saturday I will get to purchase some of the bits and bobs I need to see them through to fruition. For the last ten or so years my husband and I have made our own Christmas cards - a rod we well and truly made!

I just dropped that in casually didn't I, did you notice? I am meeting Ali this Saturday. She is coming into London to meet up and get some shopping in. VV Rouleaux is on the list, Blade Rubber and if we happen to pass a Camper shoe shop then that may well get a look in too. I have figured out that there is definitely one within striking distance. I am really looking forward to meeting Ali but I must confess to being a little nervous too. It is just the way I am - I do tend to get worried about meeting new people for all sorts of reasons.