Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A dream come true

Can you remember this picture from my March Journal?

I was listing pros and cons of house buying...

Here is a bit of it...

and here is another bit...

Ta Daaaah !!!

As you see  I get to choose a colour for the door as it is the wooden original, yihaa! At the moment it is uninspiring beige. You will be swamped with the pictures of the renovation for the next umpteen years. It is going to go slowly, partly because of the funds being tight, but also because we like to get a feel of the house first before we make big decisions. 

Also we are not going to let it due to the rules of mortgages, so it's going to be our family home.

We call the house our nest. 

PS. I am working on getting a crow to land on our chimney as soon as I can get one of those funny spheres on it!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Seaside Memories Workshop

In the beginning of June I attended a workshop with the title above. It was given by Mandy Pattullo, a gifted and generous textile artist. We made textile collages with seaside themes and the above was my main collage. It takes quite a while to get it right and then stitch it together. As usual Mandy had a pile of lovely fabrics with her, as well as shells and other things. I had taken stuff with me; the feathers, drift wood and the sea glass in the picture later. After I came home I attached my pictures on pieces of linen. They were not attached on a piece of matting in the moment of photographing as they should be and  the linen background could do with ironing again.

I think the picture tells better than words about the techniques, but if there are any details you want to know, just ask. If you are wondering about the driftwood and the big shell, they were glued with a hot glue gun. (Horror of horrors, cheating!)

Mandy was encouraging people using mostly glue gun in their smaller pieces, maybe just using a lot of shells and a few stitches. I had to stitch the second one as well, that's just me. Obviously the glass and wood are glued.

Monday, 29 July 2013


I cannot say that I am that organised at the moment, although I am an organised person by nature. I made some more of the jars I showed here to use in the kitchen. I am not sure how often I actually need the painted label on the jars, but decided to add them anyway. These jars have dried rose and Calendula petals for later use in my homemade soaps.

The great achievement was this: I finally got around to paint all the jar lids of my spice jars. They are ordinary glass jars from mustard, mint jelly etc. I always keep these little ones as they come handy often. Previously I had put a little white sticker on the lid with the name of the spice and cellotape over it to make it waterproof(ish). It was entirely functional, but not nice to look at and at times difficult to spot the spice I needed.

I am so pleased with the result, especially as I am nearing the age when reading glasses might become a must. The bigger and bolder the writing the longer I can pretend that I don't need them as yet.

A good while ago I found an old ugly folder and covered it in IKEA waterproof fabric. (I am a messy lady in the kitchen). I used PVA glue to attach all the fabrics, easy-peasy!

Inside I clothed this home organiser in polka-dots and pockets. I keep my home accounts, recipes for food and homemade cleaning stuff in it as well as the receipts of the current month. I also pop into the pockets all sorts of coupons, which I am unsure whether I need or not and weed them out regularly.

  In the picture you see a chart. It tells me how much children should sleep at different ages. That's just an example what ends up here. I also have extra labels for preserves, stickers(??) and shopping lists. Basically random stuff which is used , but does not merit a folder for itself. I don't really want a home-planner with cleaning routines, Christmas count-downs, party planning and so on like some uber organised ladies. This is enough for me and it can be changed as needs must. I do like that the folder looks and feels good in my hand as I use it almost daily.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Presents for sisters

I have taken a far longer break than intended. Actually I didn't intend to take a break at all. It just happened in the busyness of life. I better show something to make up for it. The picture above was taken in the latter part of May, before I pruned many hundreds of grape bunches and flowers from my grapevine. I will show you soon how the grapes are doing now.

My little sisters both have birthdays in summer. One of them had a round one, so she got gifted a "big" present, a quilt for her sofa. It is really weird how these things pan out: She had told me already before Christmas that she wished to have one, so I have been planning it since that. I have done it several times over in my head, drawn it carefully and calculated the needed fabrics, started on it and discarded a big centre panel and still finished it in the last moment. In the end I actually changed the design totally!

I made it in colours I know she likes and last year I gifted her a couple of cushion covers, which would go with the quilt. I decided to quilt with an irregular wavy line as I like it a lot. The back was solid red and I embroidered a dedication patch with our signatures on it. Although I admire the old fashioned embroiderers' skill doing very neat stitches, I find it far more charming where an actual handwriting or a child's drawing has been embroidered.

I styled my little sofa in our living room with the quilt and a couple of my own cushions to see what it would look like covering a sofa like ours.

The other sister had sent me some fabric and asked if I could please make her another skirt. I made her one last year using one of her old skirts to draw a pattern with. We made some adjustments to the pattern and now I have it in my pattern folder, so I can dig it out when she needs one. We were talking on Skype just before I started sewing and she mentioned that she actually quite fancied one in very light grey colour as well. As it happened I had suitable fabric in my stash and offered her to make the skirts as her birthday present. Handmade and useful! She was delighted with them. I must mention here that she is my "pocket sister", very minute in all directions and finds it extremely difficult to get fitting clothes. In addition she is rather clever having a small, but well working wardrobe, where the components need to be in colours working together in all sorts of combinations. So finding them in shops is a mission and a half!

It's funny how the skirts look big in the picture. But go and have a look at a hanger and see how small the waist actually is. These are tightly fitted skirts in the top with a mermaid or bell bottom. They are made of five panels and have a lining. The fabric is jersey, so small mistakes in measuring or cutting are not that detrimental.

I was laughing at myself, because sewing the grey one I made countless silly mistakes. The skirt is very simple to sew and yet...I managed even to sew one panel upside down! Luckily I noticed before putting the lining in. I wondered how the top half had such a funny shape...

That was a wordy posting.  Have you had any time to sew? Any delicious mistakes? Let me know, it always comforts me that even very accomplished seamstresses make mistakes. Hoping to be back very soon to show more of what I have been doing.