Monday, 13 December 2010

Check list

Watch neice's  Christmas navitity- Done
Visit to a local ChristmasVictorian Evening- Done
Ride on Steam train to see Father Christmas- Done
Buy a Real Christmas tree- Done
Decorate said Christmas Tree- Done
Hang Wreath- Done
Mincemeat made-Done
Mince pies made- Done
Mince pies eaten- Done
Shopping trip for presents- Done
Wrap presents- Done
Making Christmas presents-*

*Note to self: Maybe next week.

Hope you are all getting loads of christmassy stuff done and dusted, in a calm, non- panicky fashion.
Ahhhhhhh not long to go now.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tate arrives

Yipppeeee Tate has arrived from Little Cotton Rabbits. He arrived in a cardboard box with a rabbit stamped on the side and was wrapped with raffia in white tissue and a pretty snowflake paper. It looked lovely but in my rush to see him I forgot to take photos.

Cute isn't he. Thanks for making him Julie.

Busy week this week we might get our tree tomorrow, hurray. Well I better go and finish my snowflake garland ready for the decorating.

Sending warm woolly wishes,

Friday, 3 December 2010

Good things come to those that wait

And wait he has done. Its taken me since October 2009 to get around to finishing Little OB's advent calender. I had big plans like always too extravagant. I was inspired by the wall hangings on Susie Watson's website. I have been a fan of her china for a while and have quite a few pieces, but I also love her textiles.

Last year when I invested in my super duper sewing machine I was keen to try out all my new gadgets. So I started a wall hanging using Susie's winter house as a starting point. I used loads of different stitches and suddenly I thought it would make a great advent calender. I added pockets all around the edge and used felt to number all the pockets. I had ideas about sticking velco on the picture and putting little creatures in the pockets such as birds, stars, reindeer, geese so he could stick them on the picture. I have got about six bits ready this year so he may have to just enjoy the chocolates- nothing like leaving everything to the last minute.

Also I have exciting news that after four years of trying to buy a little cotton rabbit from Julie. I entered a random number generator competition the other day to win one of her christmas rabbits and I won.

I can't believe it. I don't have a picture yet she has all her creations in her flickr account. He is called 'Tate' how cute is his jumper, he is in the post as I speak- hopefully he doesn't get stuck in a snow drift.
Happy snow days to you, keep warm

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

He's coming

It getting quite Christmassy around here. The temperature is dropping, snow may be on the way, and the log burner is keeping us warm.
I have listed the christmas stocking that I have made over the last few weeks on folksy hence the christmas scene. We don't usually put our decorations up until the 12th of December. They were left over from the table sale. It was quite good considering it was on Children in need night and there was very heavy fog.

I found some beautiful glass decorations in Marks and Spencer's yesterday. What do you think?

I love toadstools and the little vintage style soldier was too sweet to resist. I have looked all year for some vintage christmas baubles but found none so these will have to do. I absolutely love christmas especially getting the perfect tree and I spend hours decorating with christmas music in the background and the fire roaring away. My OH isn't interested so this year my little OB is coming up to 2 so hopefully he will want to help. Of course when he goes to bed I will have to rearrange the tree so its just so.

This a screen print I did in the summer.I got it out when I bought the decs and thought about it. I added an embroided border and green grass. I am not sure what to do with it, there are only so many cushions I need. Any ideas?

I have bought my first presents today from Cath Kidston with 15% off today it was an unexpected bargain.

Happy Wednesday
Sarah :-)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

A mix and match

I have a christmas fair tomorrow evening, its the first one I have ever done. I am struggling to find my 'thing'. The trouble is I love crafting but I have tried just about every one. I always painted, then I rediscovered knitting, then sewing, then my friend bought me a crochet day course and I was hooked. Excuse the pun. I have had a go at felting, screen printing and I want to try extreme knitting soon, after seeing it at the Knitting and Stitching show.

I just love making thing it means I have lots of different things to sell but they are all different. I don't suppose it matters. I think I need time to discover my own style. Always working full time always meant I never had any time to craft, but since having my little one I had alot of time off and now I just do two days a week. I started rediscovering things I wanted to try and had time during his naps to craft.  How do you feel about your style?

Little OB is due to start pre- school soon so I hope to have alot more time to find out what I am really good at and develop a style. I hope to start screen printing again when I get my studio up and running. I did a 8 week course last year and loved it. Time is always the problem I need to carry a sketchbook with me to sketch ideas and things that inspire me. I would love to develop my own fabrics that I could use for quilts. I have recently read Prints Charming. They have a really interesting style with simple repetitive patterned fabric and they embroider over the top to emphaise pattern, oh dear this is turning into a bit of a critique... ahhh reminds me of school.

Anyway I have lavender birds, crocheted cushions, pencil rolls, make up bags, bunting, christmas stockings and vintage cake stands to sell. I guess I will learn on the job and find out that way.

'Hideous' thought OH but I thought it was beautiful and ever so useful here is the new addition to my house a handy stool with huge storage cupboard for fabric stashing. I suggested that little OB keeps some toys in it he considered and then said ' Bee Bees' so we shall now keep insects in it instead. What do you think?

I am obviously going to recover it in some delightful floral fabric and maybe give it a new coat of paint, I don't know if it is Lord Loom, but I apparently I am distancely related to him which is quite nice. It currently awaits it floral fate in the long line of other furniture to be restored...more jobs to do.

The roof is on my studio and its looking great and the windows arrived late yesterday. I can't wait to move in, lots to do though...
Happy Midweek!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

So long Puffball and Dirty Stop out.

Its been a sad week. Two of our chickens died suddenly Dirty Stop Out on tuesday and Puffball on wednesday with no warning. We called the vet, worrying that they had something infectious. She diagnosed a respiratory disease, which she said is going around. Luckily I think we caught it in time and the remaining eight have been treated with antibiotics.

This is a painting of Puffball, a buff orpington so called because she was yellow,very large and fluffy.

Dirty Stop out was an araucana, a blue egg laying breed. She got her name because when we first got her she wouldn't go in the house at night, we would have to catch. RIP.

On a lighter note I have progressed with my blanket for Little OB. I am hand quilting in parallel lines down the strips, I love the rusticness of it.
You can see where my quilting went a little awry on the second row down. I didn't baste it together because I am too impatient for quick results and so the fabric was pulled too tightly. I have now redone the sections where this happened and its looking much better. I have the dreaded binding to do next, I will have to consult my sewing books. Any helpful tips are most welcome? Does anyone else have problems with binding? 

The roof on my studio is being started tomorrow hooray, we are having cedar shingles. It going to tone in with our summer house roof which the OH made from broken pallets last year. Hopefully i' ll have some new photos soon as long as the rain holds off.

Have a good week,

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

a space to call my own

My nagging and subtle hints has finally paid off my mystery building project is the best thing in the world. Seeing as my house is about to explode with fabric, wool and cotton flying out the windows my lovely, very clever I might add OH is building me my own work space- a garden office no less.

Its amazing and I am so excited. I have been planning it for many years since I was at school dreaming in the art room during many a lunch break spent painting. Over the years my design has evolved and my needs and taste have changed. Its strange how your taste changes isn't it.

I always wanted a large butler sink where I would wash my paintbrushes, a massive table for painting and huge windows to flood the room with light. During my studies to be a garden designer I dreamt of a Diamuid Gavin style building with a drop down draw bridge that would lean out over a shallow pond with water lilies and day lilies. Now I have reined in my design to suit a meagre budget and to be baby friendly. My needs have changed too, I don't paint much any more although when little O.B goes to pre school next year I may have the time. I now need a place for cutting, sewing and ironing and mostly storage. I have a large collection of fabric and wool now and have to buy it whenever I see it just in case I need it one day. Now I need loads of storage and I am not kidding...I can't help it I just love fabric.

Now my planning and dreams are coming true. A space to call my own I can't wait. Obviously there is still alot of work to do- electrics, plumbing for a sink, cladding it, a roof and then the never ending task of painting it. I have already planned my colours cream woodwork, cream windows and a sage green door. I have always wanted a sage green door, my mum and me always point out the particular colour we love when we visit cute country villages, my dad and OH are sick and tired of hearing ' thats the green, that one'.

Hope to show you a finished picture soon but I fear the budget won't last much longer and my OH will run out of steam. I won't mention the summer house he started two years ago that is still not quite finished. Here's hoping I will be in soon. This is more fabric I bought today I love the grey contasting with the bright flowers, 60's I think? See my problem I can't help it, it jumped into my hands screaming 'take me home -Just love me'

Ohh I forgot to mention I recieved my christmas and art cards from Julia Crossland, they are beautiful. Take a look she is a very talented artist. Her Father Christmas cards are so jolly and the art cards are beautifully illustrated with magical happy scenes. Thanks Julia I love them.

Have a lovely week, hope its filled with creativity
Sarah x x

Monday, 18 October 2010

Can you guess what it is yet?

I thought I would share with you a strange happening in my garden. The wood fairy ( he wasn't fairy like at all really but it sounded better than 'the wood man') came in the week and delivered piles of timber and they seem to be taking root in the ground.

Can you guess what it might be??? Its only my best dream come true and I am so excited !!! But you will have to wait to find out what it is unless you have guessed already.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Where do I start?

Well its been busy round here lately, there has been jam making, thifting, making, harvesting and a visit to the knitting and stitching show.

A bountiful harvest for soup and crumble making.

Here is a picture of my favourite stall at the knitting and stitching show, its Worn and Washed from Kim Porter she sells rolls of recycled fabrics bunched together in different colour themes. They are like jelly rolls just recycled fabrics from old shirts, bedlinen etc. My HB bought me a large bundle last Christmas and I made a beautiful quilt from it, it was my first ever quilt and its pretty and snugly, perfect for a retro caravan quilt. I bought a small roll this time mainly checks in red and blue perfect for a small quilt for OB to match his pirate theme in his nursery.
This time I will hand quilt it like the picture above I love its rustic look.

Here is what I have been busy making for a friend who has just had a baby.

I made the blanket from Anna Maria Horner's flannel and got the label idea from a book called 'Last minute patchwork gifts' its printed on printable cotton and then I tried my skills at embroidery. I was really pleased with the result and hope the little girl cherishes it for years to come.

Some crazy old fabrics I found looking for someone to rescue them in the charity shop. I don't have any projects in mind yet I need them to be neatly folded on the shelf and left to wait for inspiration.  
We have been harvesting loads of blackberries and damsons lately so I thought I would have a go at making a jelly with them. It's a hedgerow jelly I mixed them with elderberries, and some random red and blackcurrents we froze after picking them in the summer. I didn't take a picture of the finished products but be assured my toast loved it. The book is from river cottage 'The preserve book'. I've done loads of the recipes from it tomato sauce, preserved pears, pickled garlic, souper mix they have all been easy to make and taste great.

Here is a gratuitous bakery shot inspired by the best programme in a long time ' The great British Bake off' they were chocolate and vanilla Viennese whirls. I love baking and tend to do it a bit too much at the moment. I have to give them to my HB to take to work so I don't eat too many. I just like making stuff be it food, craft or art.
Happy weekend I hope it full of crafting, baking and all things nice.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Little bites of delight

For my birthday this year my friend bought me a cup cake course, where we would learn how to decorate teeny weeny cakes. I have been so looking forward to it for ages. Sunday we travelled to London near Camden town. The day was organised by Cocoa Box in a hotel. We started piping the cupcakes and they were then baked in a mini oven.

We learnt to make sugar craft bows, ice cream cones and cupcakes to decorate the tops of iced cakes.

We also piped swirls and decorated them with all sorts of sugary delights and edible glitter for cup cake bling.

We had to decorate 8 cakes but unfortunately the box they supply can only carry 6. I had to carry the other two in my tummy, such a shame.

We had a great time only a shame it didn't last very long.

Here are a few of my vintage finds from this week a big haul in the charity shop. I' m loving the cherry tablecloth not quite sure what to do with the material yet.Hmmm, some sort of nylon concoction.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Rainy day activites

We had a stay at home day today- building dens with the living room furniture, making cushions and eating jaffa cakes. Little OB had his first taste of den building using blankets and cushions from the furniture. He loved it so did Spike the naughty kitten, lauching himself on our heads as we snuggled under the covers.

When the weather improved in the afternoon we headed outside to play on his tractor and in his water filled sand pit. I got time to do my folksy photoshoot, under the summer house, except someone else got in on the act.

Despite the help from Holly I got all my photos done. The bunting didn't come out as good as I wanted but I think it looks pretty. I just wanted it to look more arty, blowing in the breeze, its hard to capture the right look with a ugly barn with corrugated iron in the background.
Oh well, the cakestand looked good staged as a vintage tea party. So upset I wasn't invited and there were no cakes!

Thats all for now.
Have fun.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Splashing about

Yesterday had a promising start with a brilliant blue sky, so off to the Splash park we went. It's a outdoor, splashy, water jet park its great fun. Little OB loved it running in and out of the water jets. This only lasted about ten minutes and then he was more interested in where the water went- into the drains.

Then we had a quick walk by the river to see the boats, its very picturesque.

In the style of Bobobun we visited the Wednesday boot sale, I got a whole hour to look around before Little OB started to launch himself from the buggy. I got some great vintage buttons for the backs of my cushions and some 50's barkcloth with rich orange flowers on it. I have no idea what to use it for yet but no doubt I'll think of something. I also found a book man where I bought three lovely ladybird books, I was disappointed when he told me he started the morning with 80 books with their original dust covers. Mental note- Must go earlier next week.

Well thats it for now, Squiggle

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Fun in the sun?

Well, we had some sun on our short break to Mersea Island, not much but some, we took our little caravan, my parents and two little monkeys and set off for a bit of fun. Little OB had his cousin to play with and spent the entire time laughing with her. We have a giant bike trailer that's also a buggy so getting them and all their toys to the beach is a breeze. This was when we decided to get the tiny ferry to Brightlingsea, the ferry man had to do two trips as their were lots of people waiting, it can only carry about ten people. We had a 40 min walk to the beach where the ferry lands and about five mins until we arrived to go in the lido. Errhh the weather put a stop to those plans as it was very windy and pretty cold so we stopped at the salt water pond and its little beach and played in the sand.

We spent the rest of the break relaxing and walking along the very long sea wall taking in the fresh sea air and getting lots of exercise. I love the colourful beach huts in East Mersea especially the ones with bunting hanging up- I can't resist the pretty little flags blowing in the wind.

We had a lovely time and can't wait to go back as soon as we can. I got some crocheting done to, my hexagon blanket is growing, slowly but it is growing.

OHH it looks like I was inspired by the colours of the beach huts, maybe I was..

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Taking The plunge!!

Well this is it I am starting a blog and going to stick with it. I am on the internet enough looking at all other people and their crafty lifes so I have taken the plunge. Hope I am interesting enough for someone to read this!
I live in Essex in a small cottage with my husband and little 18mth old 'LOB'. We also have 11 chickens, a ragdoll cat and a tag along moggy with two little 8 week old kittens squeezed in with us. Its getting cramped.

Add ImageWell in the spirit of other blogs here's what I have been up to so far this week. We had planned a family day out today to Brightlingsea to try out the lido and the icecream but the rain put paid to that so I finished off some teeny tiny projects. I made some crocheted flower squares months ago to make into a flowery cushion but other things got in the way and quicker granny squares won. So I decided to make them into small lavender cushions and backed them with some vintage fabrics from my ever expanding stash.
I stuffed them with polyfil and dried lavender and popped them in my etsy shop. I thought I would give etsy and folksy a go to see if I could sell things I make.

I only started crocheting in January. My friend booked me on a crochet course in John Lewis for my christmas present. I was useless in the class and felt like the class dunce but I was determined so when I got home I practised and practised until I got it and had a eureka moment and then I was off.
I have made lots of granny square cushions and have started a hexagon blanket to complete the look of my cath kidston bedding. Lots of bright colours it could take years for me to finish.
I have also found a new book this week for more crafty ideas ''The Homemade Home''. LOB and me went to have a quick look around Hyde Hall RHS gardens this week and found it in their shop. I haven't heard of it before and it has lots of good ideas for thifty projects around the home. I loved the china transfer idea, taking children's drawings and using a special transfer paper to put it on plain china to spruce it up, really cute. There is other good stuff too, nice cushion ideas and other bits and pieces too. When I get around to trying it out I' ll show you.
Well that's it for now, have fun.