Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What's been made in November?

Wow, is it really that long since my last post??  I realised I had been spending far too great a portion of my time at the computer, getting lost in blogland, drooling over the things other people are making, that actually I wasn't spending as much time sewing... and the Christmas make-it list is piling up!.

So, here I am back again, to show the fruits of my creations, while sitting at the sewing machine rather than the computer.

Do good things come in three's???

These little draw string bags can be found at Jeni's blog... aren't they just super.  These have been made with some fabric I won on ebay, and an old pillow case, and old dress!

And ............

Not a great photo, but the tutorial for these is by Flossie Teacakes.  And last night, my friend's 12 year old daughter came round for an evenings sewing with me, and she was absolutely thrilled to bits to make one of these in an evening.  When she exclaimed "I love it more than my Jack Wills purse" I knew just how pleased she was with herself - and like me, this was her first sewing of a zip making one of these.....   
Or fours????

I have gone beserk on these scraptastic tote bags (Made from an old pair of curtains, an old flowery bed sheet and using up scraps)

The tutorial for these can be found here

So, here is a round up of November's makes.  It doesn't look much when I think of how many hours I have put in.

And, to give you a giggle..... I also made Hope's nativity outfit last night - ingenious pattern I made up myself out of an old pillow case.  (If enough of you are interested I might just write a tutorial, he he!!!)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Nosy parker in town

 Today I am linking up with   parrot150 (2)Kat's blog......

The idea is we learn more about each other's lives beyond just sewing, so here goes.
1)      Tell us about your home:

I live in a small market town in Nottinghamshire, in the UK.  It’s a town of ‘mixtures’ there are some very old houses and properties in the centre of the town, and several large modern housing estates built on around the edges.  There are some very expensive places to live, mostly affordable family homes, and some social housing.

The central focus of the town is the market place.  Thursdays is market day, and has been since the market was established by Royal Charter in 1314. People still come from the nearby villages to buy their fruit, veg, flowers, clothes, meat, fish and other general provisions.  (There is no supermarket for 10 miles in each direction) I wander round the market every week, and always bump into someone I know.

There is a small railway station, which goes in one direction to Nottingham, and in the other direction to Grantham and Skegness (the nearest seaside is 70 miles away).  There are two churches, a Parish church, and a Methodist church.  (This is the Parish church, one of the oldest buildings in the town - tower and spire date back to 1200 or 1300's.)

There are quite a few shops, lots of hairdressers and four cafes (we obviously drink a lot of tea and have our hair cut a lot here!).  I do have to show you a photo of our little wool shop. 

This is owned by Joan, and she can always give handy advice on anything sewing, knitting and craft related.  I don’t buy a lot here, but if I can get it here rather than on line then I do, because I would be very sad if this shop closed, and so we need to support our local businesses.

It’s Autumn here at the moment.... approaching winter, so a bit damp and drizzly some days, but today sunny and chilly.
Here are two random facts about our town (it has a bit of a gruesome history)......

From 1710 – 1739 an insane surgeon who attempted to set fire to the town was forced to live in a small prison especially built in the middle of the market place.

In 1299 a woman was publically whipped as a punishment for adultery.

2) What are the houses like in your area.

I already told you a bit about the houses in the town.... but on my road there are lots of different houses, some are huge, but ours is medium size.  Here is our little group of houses, ours being the small one third one along.  It’s a Victorian house built in 1896, and therefore very cold and drafty in the winter.

An unusual feature of our house is that is has a world war II air raid shelter in the back garden!!  This was built by the owner at that time for his family and the other nearby families to take shelter in during the bombing and air raids. 

Also, our garden shed was once the outside toilet and washroom for the house, as when originally built these would have been the only toilet facilities (now luckily we have an indoor bathroom!!)

Our house is semi-detached, and on three floors as we have a funny room up some spiral stairs into the loft.

Gosh, this is going to make me sound incredibly dull.... in an effort to live as simply as possible the radius of my life is very small.  We don’t go far very often.
As the week revolves around getting my little one to and from pre-school, in addition to this we manage to fit in trips to the local parks, we ride our scooters to the cemetery and collect foliage to make things with, we go and see our friends and we might go to the cafe (you’ll remember we have a lot to choose from) for a special treat.  We help out by running the toddler group on a Friday, and so spend most of Friday there. 

If there is anything going on at the weekend e.g. fete or coffee morning we go along

But there are some beautiful places to visit nearby.  The river Trent is not far from us and so we can go to the lock and watch the boats, and we can feed the ducks.

A bit further afield is Sherwood Forest and the great oak and Robin Hood country....

Statue of Robin Hood by Nottingham Castle

The Great Oak.

Above is part of Nottingham University where I studied.

And here is Wollaton Hall, another favourite place to go.

And my other half has insisted that I include some photos of the two great sporting venues.... Trent Bridge cricket ground, and Nottingham Forest football stadium (both places I never go to, but he spends as much time as possible!)

Our town has buses galore, and they are always coming and going!  They go to Nottingham every ten minutes.  So people can use those.  However we walk as much as we can, and everything is close by, so me and the kids walk daily, apart from on Wednesday when pre-school is just that bit too far to walk – so we use the bike trailer.  (Sorry no photos - too embarasing!) Now, I feel a bit of a banana using this.... but Hope loves it, and has a song that she sings ‘goodie goodie goodie’ when it comes out of the shed!  She waves at everyone as we cycle past, and yells ‘faster faster’ (as I am huffing and puffing up the slightest incline).
We do have a family car though, and use this at the weekend, or for trips out.

5) Is there a type of food that would be quintessential to where you live? E.g. a famous local produce etc...

Our town does not have a particular speciality..... but nearby Melton Mowbray is famous for pork pies.  Not far away, Cropwell Bishop is well known for it’s stilton cheese.  Belvoir Elderflower Presse is also made from Elderflowers in local hedgrows. And amongst my mates, my Victoria Sandwich is pretty renowned!!

So, I know my life is not as interesting as most of yours (I have enjoyed the other nosy parker blogs I have read), but here is a little window into my mundanity!! 

Well done, you made it to the end x

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A crafty birthday!

Yesterday it was my birthday..... and in the true spirit of living simply, and thriftily, I had asked for mainly hand made or second hand presents. (plus a few new things to help with my sewing and recycling)

And, wow did people do a fabulous job, I had such a wonderful day, opening some brilliant presents.

First prize goes to Tracy who made me three things....

The photos don't do these justice, the knitted cushion cover is lovely and soft with great textures in the knitting, and it's just the right colour for my bedroom.  The battenburg tea cosy, is not only fun and cute, but fits on my favourite tea pot (reserved for peppermint and lapsang souchong tea - see pic below!), and the jar is a 'heart in a jar' and contains all the fabric, ribbon, lavender, buttons and stuffing to make a fabric scented heart - what a cute idea (I might just pinch this idea for some Christmas pressies!)

Second prize goes to Nathan and Rachel who found treasure in a thrift store.....

The zips and lace and buttons will no doubt find their way into a project...... and can you see the button tin?  I giggled and giggled and reminisced no end when I opened this, as my Granny had the exact same tin to commemorate the engagement of Charles and Di years ago, and I always rather liked it (being of the age then when engagements and wedding seemed intrigueing!), and so the tin alone (I have a bit of a thing for collecting tins) would have been a good choice for me, but when it was full to bursting of an old collection of buttons I was thrilled.  This was clearly the button hoard of someone who has cut the buttons off coats and shirts and tops for years and years - and popped them in this tin..... so how great that I can give them a second chance.

Third prize goes to Mark - for my cutting mat and cutting knife...... there will be no stopping me now, and also no more excuses to wonky cutting and estimated lengths and widths!  I haven't used it yet, but might just christen it tonight! (look out for it in future photos on this blog)

Here are the birthday girls!


Monday, 7 November 2011

A day of firsts............

What an exciting day yesterday was.......

I was on a training day (towards my catering qualification to be QM on the Guide residentials!!), so reluctantly was out early on a Sunday morning at a remote rural Guide hut surrounded by fields.  However, being out so early on a wonderful Autumn day had it's advantages, one of which was that I saw the most spectacular view of hoardes of birds in beautiful flight.... I had to stop my car and watch for a while, because there were just hundreds of black silhouetted birds against the light blue sky, in incredible formations.  I imagine they were en route migrating to warmer climates.  These birds really lifted my spirits, and I have wondered about them, and their long journey on a off throughout the day. (Gutted I didn't have my camera with me, so sorry no pics)

Anyway, I survived the training day, and the pizzas we had to cook - you will be glad to know.  And, it's all systems go for the Guide sleep over next weekend - more of that in a future post I expect!.

But, I digress, so on to the firsts.

I have won something in a give away..............

My first win - the shrieks of delight were so loud they got Mark dashing out of the bath to see what had happened. It was from Sarah at narcoleptic in a cupboard.... check out her post with her beautiful cat picking out the winners.  It's hard to describe the excitement....  So big thanks to Sarah (and especially to her cat!)

Then the other first of the day, is that I sewed my first zip ever.

Now, I know it's not a master piece, but considering I don't have a zip foot on my machine, I was simply pleased to do this at all.  Don't look too closely at the ends as I had to hand sew some corners over the top, because the material, plus interfacing, plus zip was so thick my sewing maching needle was really grumbling at points.

But this purse was made from this lovely tutorial by Flossie teacakes, which I can absolutely recommend for beginners, as the descriptions and photos were spot on.  I used a girlie material (which is not quite to my taste - but hopefully will be liked by my 13 year old neice) which has been recycled from one of Eden's dresses originally from next! 

So, there you have it.  It's quite an addicitve little tutorial, so I have a feeling there will be a dash to the woolshop for some more zips...................

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A day late for Fresh sewing

This was meant to be done yesterday - but you know how it is with time, it just seems to slip away.

So, I am linking up with

Lily's Quilts

And letting you all know what I made during October.

Now that I add it all up, I am quite proud of myself (the fact that there has been no dusting, hoovering or ironing done this month is immaterial!)

- Two pairs of oven gloves
- One messenger bag
- One knitting bag
- One softie dinasour
- One softie elephant
- One softie monster
- One apron

Here are the photos...........

 I know this apron looks huge - but it's not really, and it's for my Mum when she does her painting and I wanted it to wrap right around so paint would not get on her clothes!  (It's her birthday today, so she will be unwrapping this tomorrow)

 Can you see the softies - they think they are camoflaged!!

 This elephant is on his way to baby Harry who is one this week.

 The monster is going to Ben - again one this week.

 And Daisy the dinasour to Maisy.....

Well it's such a great sunny day here.......... so best get out and make the most of it  :)