Posts tagged ‘gifts’

January 29, 2012

What no Fairies?

We’ve had a month of madness here and I’ve barely done any sewing let alone any blogging about it – as you will have noticed! We’ve eaten some fantastically tasty new dinners and been out and about at the seaside with the rellies as well as out walking here but my creativity is feeling a bit squished and I’m getting antsy.

I am struggling with the annual irk of winter which is that we spend too much time indoors and too much mess is made that doesn’t get cleared up. I really do still believe that fairies will come in the night and everything will be cleaned and tidied by them ready to start a new day. Or, if they can’t make it at night then they will come when we are out during the day and I won’t come home to washing that need processing or dishes that need to be washed.

We have been making envelopes at a rate of about six a day for the last week since the wonderful The Crafter’s Companion Enveloper Pro was delivered by a very patient post man. This poor man has to come to our house in a van now to deliver parcel after parcel containing vinyl albums bought for pennies on ebay by El Famosisimo.

We’ve also had a run on badge making so we are surrounded by snipped up bits of paper and magazines as well as all the washing which I have been drying on the really useful Ikea Pressa peg things on the shower rail or the door frame as I can’t be bothered to go to the shed and put them in the tumble dryer. I feel like I am the only person who has piles of clean folded clothes on the sofa which don’t move (no fairies again) as well as piles of clean plates that get dirty then clean again and don’t make it into the cupboards in-between those states and paper everywhere. I just can’t be bothered to keep moving things and putting them away ALL THE TIME…. I think I need to go to housewife boot camp or something to sort myself out as I’m twenty years into this job and I have still not really got the hang of it.

I have a few finished things and more unfinished things to show for a month’s worth of thinking about sewing:

What you see here is what can be sewn from 1 meter of denim: one pair of trousers for Miss Amoo – now 128cm tall, one bodice for a simple A line pinafore for Miss Froo and one back piece sewn from the leftover denim ready to be cut to shape and attached to aforementioned bodice if I can find more denim to make the front.

The bodice is completely lined with a bit of one of Mr G’s ink-stained shirts and finished with poppers so as soon as I get some denim there will be no excuse not to get the thing finished. This is proving tricky though as there is currently absolutely no denim in my favourite shop. Local folks will know that this small town is disproportionately well supplied with dress and upholstery fabrics, notions, yarn and more in three fantastic shops all called Masons. The ladies tell me that ‘He Who Does All The Ordering’ hasn’t been well and some things haven’t been restocked lately as his mojo is taking some time to find again. That and the price of cotton is ridiculously high at the moment and denim is hard to find at reasonable prices. So, disappointingly, the only useful bit of the metre is the trousers which have been well worn already.

The other thing was a last minute birthday gift for Mr G. The story behind this is that the caravan came with a stainless steel tea pot which we have been using on a daily basis. We have had tea pots before but always ended up breaking the lids somehow so the hinged lid of the metal pot is a real bonus.

Now that Mr G is getting into drinking green tea and decaff Earl Grey he needs a littler tea pot at the office doesn’t he (this is my thinking, not his). I left it til the last minute and bought a brand new shiny pot for one from an old fashioned hardware-and-more shop in Oxford that is close to where Miss Froo’s drama thing happens. It is the kind of place where you have to ask if they have something as everything is everywhere. On enquiring, the chap moved some plastic sieves on a high shelf to reveal three different sizes of boxed tea pots. This kind of shopping is much more exciting than buying him yet another pen, I can tell you!

This was the winner and is is seated on a hastily but carefully sewn tea pot mat to save scalding his desk. This is the first time in years that have bound something without using the Singer bias tape foot but the thick cotton (from trousers) the batting (fleece) and the backing (check shirt) wouldn’t fit through the foot so it was old fashioned half machine, half hand sewing that got the binding so neat. I’m so happy with it that I offer you an extreme close up as a bonus.

I have yet to cut any of the Rag Market fabrics to sew anything for myself so I plan to do something about that next month. Or not. Depending on the effect produced by the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Australia.

October 13, 2011

Back from the Big Smoke

Wow! That is just for starters. Birmingham’s World Famous Rag Market is really something else.I have never seen so many fabric notions in my life. Ribbons, trim, pom-pom edging, beaded zips, twinkling, jingling, jangling things in all colours and designs and so many mind boggling things to dazzle the senses. Who knew that I could find all this a mere hour and a bit away from home?

I am getting too used to living in a small town! Birmingham was busy, busy, busy with people everywhere I looked and some of the buildings were amazing. Queuing to get up an escalator was a novelty as we don’t even have any buildings with escalators here in our town!

Anyhow enough with the awe-struck city cum country girl thing and onto the business of the day. Scruffy Badger and Minnado had organised the Birmingham rendezvous for like minded bloggers to get together to buy fabric and that is what we did – as well as eat a bit and drink a bit and chat a bit. I didn’t take my camera so if you want to see what we saw you can pop over to Scruffy’s to have a look.

What I brought home was this little lot:

This is a metre of lovely soft brushed cotton which was one of the most expensive fabrics I bought at a whopping £5 per metre. It will probably become a smock or pinafore for Miss Froo

This is only half a meter but it was too lovely not to have a little bit of it. I will probably make it into purses our use it to accent something else. The green-ish fabric underneath is a herringbone sort of wool-feel which is satin backed. I got a metre for a skirt and some of the others also bought some as for only £1 per metre it looked very useful as it won’t need lining.

Next are two knits, both for me. The blue one will be a long sleeved top and cost something horrendous like £3 per metre and the white patterned one might be a vest or scarf and cost just £1

This purple and black striped knit has a lovely handle and is said to be Marks & Spencer quality. It certainly feels like it and it has washed beautifully. This will be a top for Miss Amoo once she settles on a pattern she likes.

Only four more things to see – hang on in there!

Some grey stretch suiting which I hope to make trousers from – probably New Look 6190

Stretch lace with a scalloped edge? Who knew such a thing existed? Half a metre will make some glamorous undies to sit alongside my upcycled jersey t-shirt undies in the drawer.

Then to the notions and some swaps. Thank you to Mimi for the pattern and Sarah for the letter A brooch. Miss Amoo loved it as much as she loved the purple paisley ribbon! The wild velvet ribbon is to re-hem my orange wool skirt for a new winter, the beige-ish velvet ribbon is to hide the fraying bits of the neckline of a jumper (thanks to Mimi again for this idea) The bundle of cream elastic is for edging undies with and I also bought some jumbo ric-rac in golden yellow and turquoise but these have been hidden away by Miss Amoo and bits already used to make badges with – see below!

So that’s all the fabric purchases. I also bought a little envelope of Bay leaves for 40p and some beaded bangles and mango lollies which brought the grand spend total to a very decent £37.20. I was so pleased to have been able to get such a variety of fabrics despite not being able to get any fleece backed sweatshirt material for some trousers for Miss Amoo which was on my list.

All in all it was a fantastic afternoon out with some lovely ladies and I am looking forward to sewing all this fabric up over the next few months and then perhaps meeting you all again one day. Next time I won’t order soup so that I can eat with a bit more decorum like the rest of you!

February 25, 2011

Quite busy

Sorry about yesterday’s miserable nimby-ism. I needed to make a note of it somewhere but today I’ve given myself a poke in the eye and have some better things to share.

We bought Miss Amoo some Hama beads for her birthday and there has been Hama-ing on a daily basis here since last week on their own and with friends so it seems that new beads are required. Who knew that 3000 beads might not be enough? Another crafty gift from a friend which has had a lot of table time this week was a paint your own Money Monster so we have been in between paint and tiny weeny beads which is a bit messy.

So we have been out in search of more beads and after visiting our two favourite shops and a toy shop we came home with some good finds.

More beads

Stripy cotton jersey fabric from the remnant rail for a nightie for Miss Froo whose current hand me down is giving her a heat rash at night (what is it with my kids and nightwear at the moment?) and a useful little ruler cutter with its own little mat from the charity shop for only 75p!

The friendly man was behind the till at the charity shop again today and wished Miss Amoo happy birthday plus a week (he has a good memory) but the ladies in the fabric shop were a bit fraught after having to tidy up after a day’s worth of kids faffing with everything they could lay their (reportedly) grubby hands on. In WHSmith we overheard a couple of mummies complaining that they couldn’t wait til Monday to get the little terrors back to school and how stressful the week had been. Then we heard the same kind thing in the precinct combined with people arguing with their children.

Before the holiday I heard people talking about children being absolutely exhausted and really needing the half term break to come sooner. Now half the population seems to be unhappy that they have half term at all. Has no-one put two and two together and thought that perhaps shutting the little people away from society five days a week, forty odd weeks a year doesn’t actually get them used to society or allow society to get used to them? Or that having to sit still for several hours a day and do things you aren’t interested in for six weeks or so might not be the best lead in to a happy relaxing break?

The world has gone mad.

December 22, 2010

No evidence

I have been creative, I have learned some new skills and rediscovered old ones, I have been to new places, read new books, socialised with people and (partially) fulfilled my domestic duties.

I have no photographic evidence of any of these activities and you may not believe that I have done them. You may not even believe that my living room floor is clear of the stuff that often covers it as you haven’t visited my house to see that it is so.

The fact that you have not seen it, and have only my word for it, does not make it less true, does it?

Take heed, Home Education Visitors.

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