Saturday, 28 August 2010

Memory Lane...

It's been quite a week - in fact, couple of weeks since I last posted but I've been time travelling and it's both exhilarating and tiring!  After my week in Finland I was straight down to London for a reunion - my first ever organised reunion - with some of the lucky winners of an essay competition Barclay's Bank launched back in 1980.  I had no idea what to expect and have only really been in touch with one of my fellow travellers - and that has been rather sporadic.  As usual I arrived in a bit of a fluster - traffic going down was pretty grim so I had no time to ponder what to wear or really how I looked.  I was just hoping against hope that everyone else was in the same boat!  One given was that we had all aged in 30 years - although one lovely man was kind enough to ask me if I kept a portrait in my attic (must have done an OK job covering up the grey hairs afterall!)  We had a lovely meal on the 31st floor of Clifford Tower on Canary Wharf - brilliant views over London and plenty of wine flowing.  It's amazing how shared experiences can bind you together despite the passage of time and all the stuff that life throws at you.  We drank, reminisced, laughed and bonded all over again late into the night - in fact, shock, horror - didn't even go to bed!  I felt 18 again (until the wine wore off, that is).


2010 ... not the full compliment but not a bad showing...

The lovely Annisa (far left) organised the reunion.  She was nicknamed Klaxon on the trip due to the strident tones of her Sheffield accent - a bit of a shock to many of the public school boys and girls who were with us.  She has since been renamed by Peter Bradshaw as Queen of  our Hearts which is much more fitting.

And what better way to stave off a hangover than to top up with champagne in a fancy bar on Canary Wharf?

This isn't my man unfortunately but he took care of Annisa and I like a true gentleman.  Don't think I look too bad for an old gal on two hours sleep and what must have been red wine running through my veins by this point!

The bright lights and life of the big city can turn a girl's head but when I saw my bag of wool squashed in the corner of the car boot, neglected all weekend I felt a little guilty and am rekindling my romance with my crochet.  It's not quite as exciting but it keeps me out of mischief.

I took a couple of days off to recover, having visited an old school friend on the way back up North - haven't seen her for 30 years either so it was as real blast from the past weekend.  Rounded the mini break off with lunch at Castle Howard with another lovely friend - am feeling very blessed in the friends department at the moment.  Here she is with the type of guy I usually meet :)

Am thinking one of these fine gentlemen might look nice in the garden ...

Although the weather seems decidedly Autumnal so perhaps I should brave the chill wind and the drizzle and get out to do some tidying up.  

Wishing you a peaceful and relaxing weekend.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sew-along-a-laptop .....

I take it all back - sorry Lynne, the instructions are very easy to follow when you have the visual in front of you (and yes, read the instructions properly!)

Version two of the union jack from Lily's Quilts tutorial 

Although I still went a little 'off road' with this one as I wanted to use some of the lovely - but very expensive Tilda ribbon I had but once I realised I was supposed to sew directly onto the paper template it all became clear!  Derrr!  I've no cushion pad for this - oh dear, will have to go cushion shopping but first I have to do the day job so I'm off to Finland for the week.  Damn the real world - just when I was on a roll with the sewing machine I have to go and earn some money to fund my 'habit'.

Big sis, Mum and I have spent a lovely Sunday afternoon cutting, sewing, laughing, creating, eating cake - good job we aren't working on piece work rate - we'd be in the poor house but the creative juices are flowing and the results will be coming to a website (made-and-found) near you soon.

Nana Go-go - I asked My Mum about the cushion pattern - she said it was in the Woman's Weekly forever ago so I'm not sure if you can still source it or not but it was called Sit-In and is a star design (that's all she's willing to give away) x

Well, better go and pack.  Have a great week!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

And sew it was ...

phew! Where did Friday go?  I decided against staying in my pjs all day - knowing my luck someone would call round to see me!  I headed to the sewing room but had to have a bit of a tidy up first, then I got distracted making hexagon templates for another project that is rattling around in my head.  Then I had a chat with Will and couldn't tear myself away from Miami Ink which he was watching.  I'm not really into tattoos but the amazing art work involved along with some of the stories that inspire people to get tattoos are really touching.  Anyhooooo, before I knew it half the morning was gone so I sprang into action (well, not exactly sprang but...)

Want to see what I got up to on that horrible, rainy, windswept day?

Well, the cushion stash went from this....

to this.....

I couldn't decide between Greengate or Cath for my rocking chair cushion so..... I used both!  Reversable, piped, zippered and square!

photo's a bit blurry - think I had sewing fatigue at the time of taking it.

These are for Michael's new place as he is rather owl obsessed and since I didn't have much of the fabric I used some tea towels as backings.

Very thrifty and rather effective, even if I do say so myself.

I also had a go at a union jack cushion from Lily's Quilts template - I found it quite tricky to follow hence it didn't turn out quite like hers but I will have another go and see if I can improve!  It looks quite nice from a distance ...

It was no mean feat I can tell you as I had a tea-shop related incident on Thursday - in short I got a splinter the size of a toothpick down my thumbnail from one of the old chairs in our local cake haunt.  Scant sympathy was forthcoming from my sister and mother but it put me right off cake I can tell you and yesterday it felt as though I'd had a telegraph pole under my nail, never mind a toothpick!  I'm pleased to report it has stopped throbbing now and has not impeded my crochet nor my sewing  - much.  Maybe I can blame the wonky stitching on my injury!

Talking of cake... I got the urge to bake .....

The red velvet cup cakes disappeared before I could even take a photograph and the Victoria sponge was last seen being escorted into the summer house (or perhaps it would be more aptly named the Ark) by Michael and his friends.  I hope there's still some left!

I'm on a mission to find some fabric for the last remaining large cushion pad for Will's room and then I'll be able to buy more cushion pads guilt free!  Hang on, there's someone at the door - probably the men in white coats coming to cart me off to the loony bin for cushion fetishists (reckon I'll be in good company and definitely see my sister, the queen of cushions, there!)

In the foreground is a glimpse of a £1 car boot refurbishment project I'm on with - one of many ...

Yes, we all know it's an illness but it's relatively harmless, isn't it?

Have a great weekend all x

Friday, 13 August 2010

And the rain did pour ....

again!  I woke to the sound of rain hammering against my window and the copper beech tree leaves rustling fit to drop and my heart sank.  But only momentarily because my next thought was Yes, today will be the day I spend sewing and creating!  Michael still has my car, I can't garden so sewing it is!  Yippeeee!

Yesterday I was thinking it doesn't get much better than this...

the last of the evening sunshine, the latest Country Living mag and my granny blanket on the go.

But today I'm thinking this could be a good day too.

And, as luck would have it the fabric I ordered from Fabric Rehab arrived too so off I go....

 the blank cushion pile that has been cluttering up my hallway and causing much mirth for the plumber will be transformed and my flimsy may even become an eiderdown today ... who knows?  

And do you know what?  I may just stay in my pjs all day!  

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Pimp my Hide (away)....

Contrary to popular myth (and rather amusing comments by big sis) neither my home nor my 'Wendy' house are completely crocheted - yet!  I have made a few updates to my hideway though - can't call it a Summer House anymore as it's done nothing but rain since I got it and it seems that Autumn is knocking rather loudly on the door.

The Hide-Away has been cosied up with some lovely voile drapes that I bought back from my stint in the USA (a pair of Shabby Chic curtains from Target which I cut down to make two sets), the window frames have been painted duck egg blue and there are lots more 'things' as my Mother likes to call them (she being a minimalist is constantly amazed at mine and my sister's fondness for 'stuff')

There's a green man to ward off any evil spirits (from the fab Green Man Gallery in Pickering) and in the background a lovely wire heart hanging tea light which Anne bought me on our last trip to Helmsley - where we will be heading again soon as she is lusting over a beautiful scarf we saw in a very lovely little shop there (the name of which escapes me now and seems to be happening more and more often!)

Some more very apt signs 

A new chair and cushion from Ikea 

modelled here by Anne at our last sisterhood evening

Mum gave me another of her fabulous creations which sits rather nicely on my refurbished sale room rocking chair

Here she is (right) completing the gusset for another one - this time for her own home whilst listening to Jan trying to work out where she is on the pattern for this scarf (on the go since forever!)  Adele (exit stage left) was looking rather bemused too!

So, the patio is laid (after much sweating and cursing as the rain lashed down soaking me right through to my underwear) - it's not quite finished as I need a few more slabs to fill in the gaps and also have to re-lay the brick wall - but that's a job for another day.  The inside is just waiting for electrics and the ceiling being painted.  Will (my youngest) hasn't spent any time in it - 'it's very girlie in here, isn't it Mum?' (my plan is working), Michael (my middle son) just cast his eye around and chuckled - as he does much of the time, especially when I am sitting on the sofa surrounded by wool and books.  Ben (my eldest) is a man of few words and hasn't seen it in it's current state but his last comment was 'very nice, Mum' (pursed lips, raised eyebrow, thinking she's off her rocker).

A quick update on the young sisterhood progress.  A much more sedate affair compared to the 'mature' sisterhood gatherings - probably because there's gallons of tea instead of gallons of wine!

Harriet's blanket is coming on nicely although she has also started her first patchwork quilt so the crochet may suffer - let's see...

Rachel's pile of granny squares is growing too - my full admiration goes out to her as she struggled on with her red squeaky wool, not to be defeated.

as is the pile of empty Diam bar wrappers (another Ikea purchase - damn that place!)

oh yes, there was cake - there's ALWAYS cake - this time Red Velvet cup cakes a la Hummingbird recipe.

Well, I had promised myself a day at the sewing machine but the sun is shining - finally - so I am a bit torn. 
 First things first though - time to get out of these pjs!

oh, and before I forget - note to Amanda, no, I am not an air stewardess - I just get to spend quite a bit of time on planes!