Wednesday, May 30, 2007

wet days ...

Whilst it is frustrating that the rain keeps coming down in near biblical proportions it does provide some good opportunities.

Some sewingI have been working on the Barcelona 'A' line and some more bags.

Walking along the river (when the rain lets up slightly)
to look at the nesting parakeet
she keeps nice and dry in her little home as her husband braves the rain to bring her food.

and after 'fessing up to some dubious record purchases in my last post, I decided to dust off the vinyl and then listen to them on this. Nice and loud to drown out the drumming of the rain and to try and kind of get into that teenage vibe again.

Despite the opportunities it provides I do wish it would stop raining. It would be lovely to have some sunshine for the last couple of days of the half term holiday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

7 ...

I've been tagged by Knitting Ingrid and Maxine so here are seven random things about me.

1. I was born in the Chinese year of the Pig and my element is metal. Which apparently means I am strong and assertive, passionate, cheerful, industrious and worth my weight in gold. But not a very good judge of character and tend to think other people are better than they really are. I am also prone to naivety, materialism, superficiality and laziness. So now consider yourself warned.

2. My favourite facial wash is Mario Badescu's Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. So much so that I used to get it Fed Ex'd from New York (that sounds so extravagant doesn't it?!). Luckily there are now a couple of places in London I can get it from.

3. I am currently reading 'Salt' by Jeremy Page. It is a book set in one of my favourite places - North Norfolk but I have only really just started it so the jury is still out on what I think of the book although so far it is favourable.

4. I used to have a gap between my front teeth, the technical term is a diastema, but I had it filled a couple of years ago. It was not much fun studying Chaucer's 'The Wife of Bath' because she was 'gat-toothed' a sure sign of a whore back then - that made for fun in class.

5. I used to do Judo and got as far as orange belt otherwise known as fourth kyu.

6. The first CD I ever bought was 10,000 Maniacs "In My Tribe", which was far cooler than the first record I bought which I think was Bucks Fizz "My Camera Never Lies". Bucks Fizz were the first band I ever saw play live. I saw them play Mansfield Leisure Centre and their support act was Bob Carolgees with Spit the Dog - oh, I tell you it was a real classy evening! I later went on to see many more bands play live and most far less damaging to my street cred.

7. I am scared of clowns or indeed anyone dressed up in a character outfit. Just the thought of them makes my skin crawl.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm back ...

and I had a brilliant time away - I don't think I have laughed so much in ages. I was crying with laughter on more than one occasion.

We did the cultural bit we walked the nine streets, we marvelled at the Van Gogh Museum, we reflected at Anne Frank Huis, we enjoyed the tranquility in the Begijnhof, we climbed numerous steep staircases, we ambled by the canals, we tested and tasted food samples at the Saturday market in the Jordaan area ....

I'll warn you now I made no fabric purchases. I think I have been more rather gratuitous on that front over the last couple of posts so I will spare you. I did see the most amazing ribbon shop but sadly it was closed Fridays and Saturdays - typical closed the two days I was there. I also spotted what would probably have been an amazing button shop but didn't go in or even look in the window. And truth be told I wasn't there to supplement my supplies.
But I did come back with some food items - yummy biscuits, delicious chocolate, scrumptious sprinkles for toast and a tub of satay sauce. I love foreign supermarkets so much. All the fascinating alien packaging and products that are on display just make me happy. OK, I know, I'm weird.

We had a wonderful meal out at this place and we spent lots of time just drinking wine and talking and laughing, having fun and relaxing. We were lucky the weather was as good as it was just perfect for strolling around chips with mayonnaise in hand. For sitting outside cafes enjoying a drink and watching the street entertainment which was dubious to say the least.

Where to next? I have a hankering to head over to New York but will have to save up my pennies for that one, even with the exchange rate being so favourable.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

yet more fabric ...

Well, my bags are packed and I'm ready to go but thought I would just leave you with a little lookie at what the postman delivered today.Only some scrumptious Denyse Schmidt "Katie Jump Rope" fabric from Cia's Palette. The colours and designs are even more gorgeous in the flesh. And even with the increased customs charges charged by the Post Office it was well worth it.

I can't wait to get back from Amsterdam and start using all this beautiful fabric that has plopped through my door recently. However, I am not looking forward to my credit card statement plopping through the door!

I'm back on Sunday so see you then and I hope you all have a lovely weekend in the meantime.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

just messin' around ...

I had fun this morning. Housework was done in record time leaving me a couple of free hour before work so I just messed around. Yesterday I finally bought me a glue gun and today I got busy using it

I had seen this thumbtack idea over on howaboutorange and have been wanting to have a go at them for ages. I'm really pleased with the four that I made and although they were quite time consuming they were very theraputic to make. My noticeboard is crying out for nice pins so there are certainly more of these little babies on the cards.

Following on the theme I thought I would use some of the larger buttons to make some fabric badges.And then just as I was leaving for work look what the postman brought.
The much coveted Amy Butler fabric which I ordered from Get Knitted and who despatched it extremely quickly. And look a pen and lolly popped into the package for good measure. So I certainly see some more skirts on the very near horizon. But they will have to wait until after the weekend as I am off to Amsterdam tomorrow for a couple of days.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

here it is ...

sorry the photo isn't great but there was no way I was going to model it personally. My legs are the palest bristly mess you can imagine and really wouldn't set the skirt off to good advantage. I promise to model it when my pins are in better shape but, in the mean time, my stand-in will have to do.

The hemming was finished this afternoon and it wasn't as bad as I was making out. I think I was just lacking in concentration yesterday. In order to get the frayed edge to the layers that the photo on the pattern shows I need to wash the skirt a couple of times. I might bung it in the wash this evening as I have a dark wash going on but there is always that thought in the back of my head that I may open the machine to discover the skirt has disintegrated. As a result I usually hold off washing one of my own made skirts as long as possible. But I want those frayed edges so into the wash it must go.

I have carefully folded away the pattern pieces and plan to make the 'A' line skirt as soon as I get the chance and get some of the fabric I am craving. I am hoping some of the latter may arrive in a couple of days. Wine may not help when it comes to hemming but it sure helps to loosen the purse strings.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I hate hemming...

I have been making the Amy Butler Barcelona Layer skirt and I am not the only one. But I am now at the hemming stage which I always find so tedious. No matter how hard I try I find it so hard to get the hem to look even despite having a dummy to help me - and no I don't mean my husband!
I ordered the pattern from U-Handbag on Wednesday evening and it arrived on Friday - so Saturday I went off to buy some fabric. I really wanted to make it from one of the new Amy Butler Lotus designs but Liberty didn't have them so I opted for the Lashes pattern from her Belle collection. And whilst I came away feeling it was second best I am now really taken with it.

On Sunday afternoon, as the rain lashed down, I cut out all the pattern pieces. Interestingly, whilst on the Wendy Mullin skirt I was a medium I am small in Amy's patterns. It shows you really need to check the measurements rather than just relying on what you 'normally' are.

I then started sewing but by Sunday evening I had to get my trusty stitch unpicker out - I had made a boo-boo. Luckily nothing major but I hadn't read the pattern properly and assumed I should be doing one thing when really I should have done something else - as they say it is dangerous to assume. So I gave up at that point.

After work today I carried on. I don't have a concealed zipper foot so opted for a normal zip and put it in my own way. The fabric closes over the zip so it is sort of concealed. My own way also means I didn't have to bother with the hook and eye. Next the sides and lining were all sewn up and inserted. And so now you are back where we started, with the boring old hemming.

I have had a quick try on and it is a very comfortable skirt to wear. The pattern is very easy to follow, although far more wordy than the commercial patterns I am used to. Which meant I tended to skip through it and just look at the diagrams hence my mistake.

I definitely plan to use the pattern for the A line skirt that is included and thanks to Monica I now know where I can get some of the Lotus fabric from. I'll post a photo of the finished skirt when I have finished the hemming but that won't be this evening as I have had a glass of wine now and hemming and wine do not mix.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

aqua and pink ...

mmm I just love this colour combination at the moment. It is a light summery version of the red and aqua that was so popular around Christmas time.The gingham makes me think of hazy lazy summer picnics - sadly the weather here at the moment is as far as it could be from summery. It's so wet, so blustery, so yucky. Oh hang on, what on earth am I thinking, that is typical British summer weather.Look at this goodness which landed on my doormat today. Anna, my vintage button swap partner, sent me some more goodies.A lovely leaf brooch with incumbent ladybird and that key is the key to my life.

And just look what my dearly beloved came home from work with - the latest issue of Blueprint.
I'm just loving the photos of Purl owner Joelle Haverson's gorgeous shop and home.So now I am off to sit down with a glass of wine and gaze wistfully at all that scrumptious fabric and wool.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

what was that? ...

it sounded like a cold lonely wind blowing through this deserted little blog - ahh, indeed there goes the tumbleweed rolling along.

I know it has been ages since I lasted posted. What can I say? After all that lust I think I was over taken by sloth. But really it was only slothfulness in relation to this blog. I have really been working my little butt off.

We had family visiting us for the Bank Holiday weekend so there was lots of cleaning to be done, making up of beds, buying in of supplies and so on in preparation. There was seven of us fighting for sleeping space in our little flat so I am not sure how well everyone really slept. But it was all worth it as we had a lovely time.

The only thing I have really had time to do is to make some cards. One is a belated Birthday card - oops.and the other is one of several thank you cards I have had a lot of thanking to do recently and whilst it was tempting to buy a pack of 'thank you' cards I opted to go for a more personal approach.

Thank you Yarn Shop Girl - Sorry, I couldn't find your email address - for your generous offer but I haven't a clue what Martha Craft stuff I would like until I see it and then it would probably just confirm that I would really rather like all of it. It's the packaging that really does it for me. I have always been a sucker for anything in gorgeous, well thought out packaging.

Finally, I spent this evening cutting out some fabric for another bag - it's in my new favourite yummy colour combination. It's too dark now to take a photo so I'll post about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

lust ...

what can I say, I am just a wicked girl who is guilty of the sin of lust. It is something I try hard to keep under control but boy is it hard when I browse through my favourite blogs.

My biggest feelings of lustfulness are for the Martha Stewart Crafts line of products. I first heard about them here and then here and now that their website has gone live the feelings have reached fever pitch. Sadly though there is no international shipping - are they totally crazy?. So I suppose if I can't act on my feelings of lust then I'm not so bad?! But honestly, all those perfectly packaged crafty bits and bobs is just too much for a girl to bear.

But my lust is also extending to the latest books from Persephone Books. I received their bi-annual magazine a week or so ago and I now have a strong desire to get my hands on Frances Hodgson Burnett's book 'The Shuttle" all about an American heiress who marries unhappily into English aristocracy and how her sister comes to her rescue. Perfect sunny weather reading.

It has to be said those little silver books with their understated covers and amazingly beautiful endpapers are enough to drive anyone to lust and covetousness no matter what the subject or author of the book. It is a happy consequence that the books are a wonderful read too.

Last year I lusted after Jane's amazing tulips. Her wonderful photos showing their colours and shapes in all their glory did nothing to sate this lust. It was made worse by a visit to the Chelsea Flower show where huge tulip displays made my head spin with possibilities. So I acted on my lust and planted some bulbs of my own and have been justly rewarded.

Lust is good when it is this beautiful.