Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taking time to smell the flowers

I'm back from Amsterdam, and have to say I had an amazing weekend. I was a bit worried about spending time in a strange city on my own and navigating myself around without getting lost, but I was worrying for nothing and had a brilliant time.

Here I am among the tulips - what an idiot I must have looked trying to get a picture of myself!!
I will be taking a few more days to get back in to things before I start blogging again in earnest, but I have lots of things to share with you so hopefully the posts will come along regularly. In the meantime why don't you sit back and relax with me, maybe join me in a cocktail or two?Cheers!! X

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Be back soon

I'm off away on holiday for a long weekend, and I'm off work next week for an enitre week, yipee!!

So I'm going to take some time to recharge my batteries and get stuck in to some work for my City and Guilds course so I will be taking a little blogging break.

See you when I get back. Hopefully I'll have lots of wonderful pictures to share from my trip to Amsterdam. X

Swap goodness

A quick post today to share with you lots of lovely swap goodness. You might remember back here, I offered up a couple of red ATCs that I made for trade. Jane and Kathy took me on the swap offer and look at all these loveliness that I got in return.The ATC is from Kathy and the tissue holder and bookmark from Jane. What a lucky girl I am to receive such great trades :)

PS I just want to say a big thank you to all those of you out there who are taking the time to read my blog and also anyone who leaves a comment. Things are a bit frantic at the moment and I haven't had time to reply to everyone recently, but I do appreciate you all. X

Sunday, March 20, 2011


You know that spring is in there air when cute little lambs start to appear all over the countryside.Cute no?Seeing these little fellows has reminded me of the little sheep sampler I had in mind to make a couple of years ago. I made a few little sheep in different stitch techniques then it fell by the wayside, I really must dig them out and start working on that again.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday - Green around the Gills

It's Saturday again so time for a Rainbow challenge update post. I have to admit I'm feeling a little frustrated at the moment, I've been feeling under the weather on and off for a few weeks and it's really dragging me down now. I'm trying to carry on but just feel that I'd be able to get so much more done if I was feeling well.

Anyway enough moaning - it's time to bring on the green. That messy pile of scraps on the cutting table the other day has now been turned in to a few ATCs.'Ticker Tape''Dream''The Jungle King'

These are all up for trading so if anyone is interested just leave me a comment and make sure I have a way to get in contact with you - there are no rules for the trade, you send whatever you wish and you don't have to be part of the Rainbow Challenge.

I have also started on a much larger project which has used up some of the green scraps. It's an applique quilt of a frog pond - the design is from Lynette Anderson. This is my progress so far.There is a long way to go and I know I started this too late on in the month to have it done by the end of the green round but hey we don't have to follow the colours strictly so it'll still count next month too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Recycled and Reused

I really haven't had time for much the last couple of days, the cold I thought I had shaken off is back with avengeance. Even when I'm ill though I find it hard to sit idle for too long so I decided to sit and do a bit of mindless stitching at the machine.Do you remember that pile of postcards that I wanted to reuse? Well some of them were good to go as they were and just needed some new backing so that's what I did to keep me from going insane for an hour last night. Not very exciting I know but still every little helps, right? I just have 11 more cards to revamp and recycle and my swap is done :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kitties in the Sun

We had some beautiful sunshine last weekend. Sadly I spent most of it indoors feeling ill and sorry for myself, but I couldn't resist sneaking out with my camera when I saw Oscar and Molly rolling around in the garden.We've had a couple of fence panels come down in the winds over the last couple of weeks and I haven't had time to get them all cleared away. In the meantime the cats seem to be enjoying the mess as one giant scratching post.Cute!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Green Goodness

I've been waiting on some advice on my C&G course before I go any further ahead with the work, so yesterday evening I decided to have some fun and mess around with green.
Well a mess is what I got, look at the state of my cutting table. But I do now also have some little green ATC's in progress. Hopefully they'll be done in time to share on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Army Is Marching

Between having company on Saturday and feeling ill over the weekend, not much has been going on round here the last few days.

The only advantage to sitting on the sofa feeling ill and sorry for myself has been that the Zombie Pumpkin Army is now finished and ready to march.I know you have seen some of these little guys before so I hope you're not going to be too bored seeing them again. Last time I think I had 11 made, now there are 21 and they are ready to march on Amsterdam at the end of the month.Here they all are (sorry for the head tilting picture, I've tried a couple of times to upload this and no matter what I do it wants to stand on it's side!).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Messing Around by the River

It's been a while since I had an out and about post. So here are a few snaps from a walk we had last weekend. (If you've been over to my C and G blog, you'll have seen a couple of snaps from this walk already).We went for a little wander which took us round the outskirts of a local village called Box. It's a walk that I've done before but last time it was a bit later in the year and there was plenty of lovely sunshine. This time it was fair but pretty chilly in the air.Dave decided to try and warm up by letting his inner child out and climbing some trees....... he also had to jump on this rope and have a swing. I had visions of having to drag a very wet and sorry for himself man out of the river, but thankfully he managed to hang on and keep dry!
We weren't the only ones messing around on the river that day. Mr and Mrs Duck came over to say hello but they didn't stay long the carried on splashing and quacking up river.It wasn't all messing around by the river though, we had to put in some hard work with and uphill climb and we got charged down by one big and angry horse who didn't seem to like the fact that the public footpath went through his field. The climbing effort was worth though for the lovely views back down and over the village.We were in fits of laughter trying to take a picture of us with the view in the background. We ended up with lots of shots of cropped heads and even some of the ground!! This was the best of a rather poor bunch. :-)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday - Chequerboard and new ideas

I managed to get my chequerboard blocks stitched up this week. Sorry about the picture it was taken on a pretty overcast day so doesn't really show up all the lovely fabrics in their best light.It was interesting sorting through all the scraps, as I was cutting the green squares I was thinking there are so many different greens here these blocks are going to look awful, but actually I was pleasantly surprised when they all got stitched up. Some how all these different tones and shades just work together - well I think anyway, I'm sure some of you may think different.You might remember that last week I was struggling to find any inspiration from green, a lot of you left relly encoraging comments and some great suggestions so thank you. I've started on a couple of little things but also something a bit bigger - inspiration came through the letterbox the other day in the form of a pattern - one that I'd forgotten I had ordered so I now have lots of green options to work on this week. I'm going to keep you in suspense though and you'll have to tune back next week to find out what I'm doing......

Friday, March 11, 2011

Recycle and Reuse.

Recently I have been having a really good sort out. I'm trying to take stock and remind myself of everything that I have in the craft room. I'm getting ready for an exciting new stitching adventure...but I'll tell you more about that another time.

I used to swap a LOT of fabric postcards. I have been organising and sorting and have finally managed to get all of the cards I received neatly filed away. I have plans to make a hanging a la Kate to get some of them up on display at some point soon. In the sorting process I came across many spare cards that I made for swaps which for one reason or another didn't get used. I had a search round a couple of yahoo groups and have found a big 18 card swap to join, which will help me reuse and recycle most of this lot.

Some of them are ready to post as is but quite a few need some extra work. Some were from my very early days of swapping and there isn't too much to them so I want to try and make some improvements before they go out in the mail, so there may be some before and after posts in the coming weeks. BUT I'm feeling really good about the fact that they will get used. I love being able to reuse and recycle.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Falling in Love Again ...

...... with fabric.

Well I guess strictly speaking I've never really been out of love, but I have been having a good sort out of my fabric bins recently and have come across so many lovely fabrics that I'd forgotten I had.

I'm excited to see which ones will get used in new projects over the coming months!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Iris Unveiled

Iris is done. I've been having a hard time getting some pictures of her that I like, but nevermind I can't wait any longer and just have to put her up here to say hello.As you can see she has moved on and has a head and everything. I added some flowers to the bottom of her skirt and I'm a lot happier with the way it looks now.These flowers match the one that I'd already added to her bodice. They come from a couple of bunches of artificial flowers that I picked apart.I didn't finish her off exactly as the pattern in the book. I decided not to add netted ruffs to her sleeves, instead I just tied on some torn strips of left over sari silk.I also didn't add ribbons to her legs as in the original pattern. I had to change out the fabric that I had first chosen for the legs as I didn't have quite enough. It got replace with a fabric that has a pretty dragonfly pattern so I thought the legs didn't really need anything extra.I raided my yarn stash for her hair, and while I didn't have anything that stuck strickly to the colour pallette I'm happy with what I picked out.

I'm really looking forward to the next colour pallette now so I can try another doll. I just hope that I have time for everything now that I've signed up for City and Guilds

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Purple Patch Pillow Party

While I'm still struggling with the greens I thought I'd work on something else until inspiration hits. So it's time for an interlude in purple.

At the beginning of the year I signed up for a 'Pay It Forward' challenge on Facebook. I'm sure you've all heard of the concept, but just in case you basically sign up to receive something handmade from someone and in return you pledge to 'Pay It Forward' and make for others.So I have been making something for my friend, Claire. When I asked her if she had any requests she came back and said she was happy for me to make anything I liked but added that she particularly like purple, red and cats. As I've already made a red quilt and we had red month last month I decided to go with purple.Can you tell what it is yet? .................Aren't these guys just the cutest? I made a new pillow, using a pattern from 'Alley Cat Tales.The pillow has been delivered and Claire loves it, I have to say I do too. I can see another one of these getting made just for me.This is also going to be my entry for the Blogger's pillow party this month.
Blogger's Pillow Party

Don't forget to click on the badge to go take a look at the other entries. There are some amazing pillows being made!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Iris is getting dressed

I've been procrastinating with Iris. I am trying to get her dressed and have been having trouble making up my mind. The problem really stems from the fact that I am trying to be good this year and use stuff that I already having rather than keep running out to buy more. The pieces I have aren't really big enough/long enough/wide enough but I am trying to make do.Here is what I have for the skirts so far. I'm not happy yet there is a huge amount of embellishing to go before I can fix the things that I see wrong here. I need to get my needle out though as the deadline for the challenge is fast approaching.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I'm a student again

Three posts in one day, has to be some sort of record for me!! :)

It might make up for the fact that things may start getting a little quieter here soon. I have just signed up for a City and Guilds Machine Embroidery Course.

I'm so excited (and extremely nervous). I have a new blog that I'm going to dedicate to the CandG work. It's here if you fancy following me in my new adventure.

I will still be posting here though too :)

Somebody stole my head......

The order for my doll needles came through really quickly so I have been working on Iris again.

Last night I had all the limbs attached and had her propped up out of the way while I was reading the directions for the next step of attaching her head. Doesn't she look freaky sat there all headless?

Mug Rugs

I just realised that I forgot to tell you all about the fabulous Mug Rugs that I received from Beth Laidlaw (no blog to link you to) in the Quilting Gallery Swap.I love them! Beth was also kind enough to send me some wonderful fabrics too.I'm so pleased that I took part in this wonderful swap. Thanks Beth!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday - Hello Green

I'm kind of sad to say goodbye to February and the reds, I think there was so much more I could have done with red, but time just got the best of me. Anyway onwards and upwards as they say it's time for some Green.I have a little confession... I'm sad to say so far green is not inspiring me. I have been sorting through the scraps and cutting out some squares for my chequerboard blocks. Usually at this stage I have plenty of ideas jumping out and screaming 'make me'. but so far I'm coming up blank.

It's not that I have anything against green even. I know that some people out there have an aversion to certain colours but I can honestly say that there isn't a colour out there that I don't like. I'm hoping that inspiration will hit me soon, otherwise Scrappyhappy Saturday may turn in to Silent Saturday for the next few weeks. I'm sure something will come though, no doubt inspired by some of the other Rainbow Challenge Participants. Go here if you would like to have a look at all of the wonderful blogs for yourself

Friday, March 04, 2011


Some of you might remember me telling you that my two white kitties are very skittish. They are extremely nervous even around me a lot of the time and I have been owned by them for 10 years now! It look weeks and several attempts to catch them at my old house and get them moved here, and it's been several more months for them to build up the confidence to start exploring the whole place here and not just hide out in the bedroom.

So imagine my surprise when I was sat at the computer last weekend minding my own business only to turn round and find that Hugo had snuck himself out of the open window and was sat in the breeze staring back in at me!Since taking this picture he has learnt to use the cat flap and is now regularly seen disappearing outside. He never stays out for long though he's just too scared of ... well pretty much everything. I'm really pleased that he is making this progress though and am hoping that he will start gaining extra confidence in his old age, and who knows maybe he'll even encourage Hector to go out with him.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Iris is coming to life

Look the body parts are starting to pile up round here.......Iris is starting to come to life. I'm sure you will have noticed that this girl has had some colour added to her face.I'm really quite pleased with how she turned out. The faces have been really my biggest fear in the whole doll making process, but Jan's book gives some really clear instructions on how to construct and colour the face features.She is by no means perfect and I had to improvise on some of the colours as I didn't have exact colour matches in my water colour pencils as given in the book but she's relatively realistic looking so I'm happy.

Things have ground to a halt in her construction though for the time being. I'm having a few problems with the arms.I'm not sure that it's picked up too well in the photo, but the fingers are made positionable by adding some chenille sticks (pipe cleaners to some of us!!) in to the hands. I wasn't able to find any white sticks and tried to take a short cut by adding some coloured ones that I managed to buy, but I'm really not happy. As the flesh fabric is so light the colour is showing through the fabric a lot.

So I'll be making some new arms as soon as I can get hold of some white sticks. I also need some extra long needles for adding the arms and legs to the main body. Have things on order, just need to wait for them to arrive in the mail so I can continue......

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Linen Love

Isn't it strange how sometimes you live in a place for years and yet never really venture in to some of the places right on your doorstep? There is a little shop in the town that I live that sells nick-nacs and brick-a-brack and well just about anything you can imagine. I've often looked in the windows but somehow never walked in. Well I took those steps the other day and look what I found.A box of vintage linen handkerchiefs. They are a bit tired and in need of a clean but they were really cheap so I decided that they just had to come home with me.Not sure what I'll do with them yet, maybe I'll just clean them up, maybe I'll have a play and dye some, maybe they'll just chopped up and incorporated in to projects down the line somewhere. Any suggestions?