Monday, 5 December 2011

Isle of Tea: The Delights of Turkish Tea * Guest Post

Today I'm the guest blogger over on the Isle of Tea site. What a pleasure to be invited......

Isle of Tea: The Delights of Turkish Tea * Guest Post: Arrrrfternoon ladies and gents. We just love this guest post below from Cajame Creations . It's great to read some genuine insider information.....


Monday, 28 November 2011

A Redwork Christmas

My mind was turned towards a particular style of needlecraft today by Amazon.... and another of their crafty little sales e-mails.  They must make an absolute fortune with people like me and their "one click to buy" scam  marketing genius ..... "ooh - look at that... Half price too....  whoops... Click.... I've bought it!"

For once I was good and didn't succumb.  It did get me pondering on Redwork though, and I've found some delightful festive pieces to have a look at.  I don't know what it is about Redwork I find so appealing?  The simplicity of the stitching, the naive quality, or is it just the sheer contrast of the red and white that makes it so effective?  What do you think?

Anyways.....  I just know that you haven't got enough to do with the run up to Christmas.  Sew.....  I thought I would tempt you with a few designs - I've even found the source of the patterns for you.  How thoughtful am I?

Pattern for sale here
I love this pillow.  Not that I ever make anything purely Christmas themed, but if I did - this would be top of my list.  I love the humour of the design.  The scrawny little tree is fabulous, and I like the ric-rac trim and scalloped edging.  As far as I can see, the pattern is a printed version rather than a PDF file - the link takes you straight to the sale site.

How about this little cutie-pie?  Now this would be such a quick sew.  Simply charming, and the pattern is available for free download from  What's not to like about that!

A simple but very effective wall-hanging this one.  According to the "Pin" info, this is a free pattern - but try as I might I can't get the link to open.  Looks jolly straight forward though, and extremely quick to make up.  Even I could manage one of these in time for Christmas.  (Cor - did you see that pig go flying past then?) From GailPanDesigns  A lovely site and a great source of inspiration..... there are some fabulous makes on the blog, so if you don't find this make, it's highly likely you'll find something else irresistable.

These Christmas Stockings are gorgeous..... though is it me, or does it look as though half the feet are missing?....  uses less fabric I suppose!  The Redwork embroideries are quick to do, and could be used on a variety of items.  The pattern is free to download from

I shall end this post with these pretty napkins.  Not sure if they're supposed to be a Partridge in a Pear Tree, or a Dove in an Olive Branch.  Whatever they are, they look festive to me, and I like them a lot.  Yet again, I have been hampered by lack of linking.  I've spent ages trying to track these pretties down..... I WISH people would link items properly!  So I'm sorry, I can't tell you if these are items for sale - or if they're a pattern.  Shame. 

I've really enjoyed looking at Redwork this afternoon.  I've even been tempted to start a dedicated Redwork board on Pinterest, if you'd like a quick gander at the non-festive makes I've pinned.

Keep Calm & Crochet On

Tried to track this back, but original post is lost amongst scores of re-blogs - shame
Whilst Pinteresting about this morning, I came across this poster - and thus - another crochet blog post is born.  I've found quite a few interesting things; now that I've pinned them down, I wonder what the chances are of finding the original source...... or maybe a pattern?  Let's have a little look:
Find the pattern HERE
I love the style of this hat, and the pattern was found on the first click - if only it were that easy every time!  Beanie hats and berets don't suit me at all, but caps do, and I reckon the little brim on this would make it perfectly wearable.  Checking out the pattern details on Etsy (5 dollars - PDF download), it doesn't say if its to fit an adult or child - I can only hope it's for an adult from judging the dummy head in the picture.  It's wearing lipstick......... perhaps that's a clue?
Buy the pattern HERE
I'm loving the shape of this one.  It looks lovely and chunky, and quick to work.  Check out the size of the stitches - it would crochet up in no time!  I'm thinking dove grey, with a deep pink or plum coloured button as the centre of the flower.   The same designer has a host of other crochet patterns for sale.... well worth checking out.
PDF by TwoGirlsPatterns on Etsy
These are cute little slippers, and look fairly straight-forward.  The pattern is for adult shoe sizes - US 5-10 (which I'm pretty sure is UK 3-8).  I think they're quite lovely.
by Suzana Davidovic - FREE pattern on Ravelry!
This cowl pattern is winter perfection as far as I'm concerned.  I love everything about it.  The snug drape, the simple pattern and the edging.  I want one...... NOW! (and I will cocoon myself in it all winter).
pattern on Bigu blog - Mexican, with translation
Ok, so Babushka dolls (or whatever you may call them), may be a little "last year"..... the world's gone owl mad instead - but.....  I'm still particularly fond of them, and I'm liking these little lovelies.  Whilst I have no wish for a crochet bookmark, surely another use could be found for something so pretty?  The pattern is on the blog, and they're a sweet way to use up scraps.  Tree decorations perhaps?....... or a cute little garland?
by Carlinda Lewis - PDF pattern for sale on Ravelry
And for everyone still in the throes of a hooty fixation, here's a darling little owl beanie pattern.  This would look super cute on a toddler.  However.... if you're so inclined (though I would urge you to think very hard about it), the pattern is also available up to adult size.
Free! Afghan square patterns on CrochetMe
I love everything about this blanket.  The colour combination is unusual, and works beautifully - the orange with turquoise..... who'd have thought?  Gorgeous!  Some of the patterns are really unusual.  On researching, I have discovered that this was the result of a charity crochet project.  Brilliant idea.... and even better, the patterns for the squares are now all available on the blog....  Free!  So what's stopping you?
from pattern booklet by Annies Attic
I'm going to finish today with this gorgeous cowl pattern.  Isn't it lovely?  I've bought a complicated pattern by Annie's Attic in the past, and found it easy to follow - so I'm sure this will be perfectly doable too.  I love the shell pattern around the neck and face-line.  It looks so cosy and warm.  My only nark is the pointy end to the hood, I'd look like a pixie planted in fertiliser.  I think I would have to make a couple of plaits and little pom-poms to detract from the point.

So there we are....

until the next time I manage a little round up of crochet loveliness....


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Shining Hexamples

From Lily's Quilts (gorgeous blog) There's even a Hexalong - instructions and all!
Whilst dropping hubby at work very early the other morning (I needed the car later), we were sat at traffic lights when I noticed the most amazing hexagon ceramic tiles on a building. Very arty, beautiful colours, and applied to look as though they are tumbling out of the wall - stunning. Once home and dressed..... (yes - I did go out in my jim-jams and slippers - ... it's okay no-one saw me - it was still dark), I have spent a pleasant wee while gazing adoringly at hexagons via Pinterest. Personally I've never completed anything made out of hexagons, though I've started a few. I did quite a bit of a quilt top many years ago, spending hours on it. I wonder whatever happened to that? So... one thing I know for sure - is the amount of time involved with sewing the little lovelies. Simple as they look, they sure are labour intensive. One day, I may dabble with them again, but in the meantime I will admire from a safe distance, and feel humbled by the patience of the creative genius behind such wonderful makes.

I will share with you a few stunning hexamples......

1.  Just look at this gorgeous quilt above.... it's quite beautiful.  I love everything about it; fab fabrics, a great mix of pattern and design..... an eclectic masterpiece.  Do pop along and have a look at Lily's Quilts site - it's quite lovely, and a firm favourite of mine.

The Beekeepers Quilt - by Tiny Owl Knits

2.  Isn't this knitted quilt stunning?  The patience required to knit all those little hexagons... I could weep!  As to joining them all together - oh my!  What a wonderful heirloom piece.  It would be no good having one of these in my home, the cat would make it her life's ambition to destroy it as soon as possible.  The blog post by Stephanie Dosen on her Tiny Owl Knits site, has some great photos of the work in progress - and should you be so inclined - there is even a link to the pattern so you can create your own.

3.  I'm loving the cheerful mix of fabrics in this WIP by Ruth's Designs.

So summery and bright - how could anyone fail to be cheered by it.  Looking through her flickr set of makes, this is just one of many wonderful works. 

4.  Crochet gets in on the hexagonal act too.  I simply adore this zingy blanket by Coco Rose.

The blog post containing this little beauty showcases several other crochet creations, all of which are fantastic.  I'm also rather taken by the pretty little cushion which compliments the blanket perfectly.  Duck-egg blue is my favourite colour.

5.  These darling cushions by nanaCompany are so charming.  The mix of tiny florals in colours that would normally clash, work beautifully.  I love the mix of pale pink with zingy red.  It brings a very traditional style bang up to date, and the neutral linen background really make the hexagons leap out at you.

6.  I'm totally blown away by this stunning purse.  Before I checked out the Linen and Raspberry blog, I assumed the fabric was a rather wonderful piece of printed hexagons.  Oh no!  This is teeny-tiny patchwork perfection.  Go check out the blog, and see just how tiny those little lovelies are.  I absolutely adore this make, and love everything about it.  From the gorgeous fabrics, down to the pretty purse handle... this has to be one of the loveliest creations I've come across in quite a while.
7.  And if the thought of hand-piecing all those awkward little shapes together isn't daunting enough.... why not do a bit of embroidery on each?  How pretty will this look when it's finished.  I wish I could find the link for the original post, but I can only track it back as far as google and no further.  
8.  If you can't get enough of the shape - how about hexagons made from hexagons?  Wow!  Again another WIP with sooo much work involved, but won't the finished piece be awesome?  I have tracked this picture back to Pleasant Home though I can't find the original post.  Shame.  (wish people would provide proper links in the first place!).

Looking at all these wonderful makes leaves me feeling in awe of other's talents.  The combination of patience and time involved simply blows me away.  I'll make something with hexagons one day, I really will!  Until the day I bite the bullet and start a hexagonal masterpiece, perhaps I could cheat a little and do something like this with one of my old machines......

A few scraps of pretty paper and a tub of Mod Podge = instant hexagonal gratification!  Find the post on ModgePodgeRocks

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Winter Sun Makes - Part 2

Another day, another make!

This time an upcycling project, combining the old (and worn out) and the old (vintage). 

Could I get to sleep last night?  Could I heck.  By half twelve I'd given up trying, and went into my sewing room to mooch about.  I couldn't machine anything, or the noise would have woken up my husband in the next room.  So I was..... basically..... faffing about.  I started picking up bits of fabric with a thought of making something else to wear on holiday.  I really didn't have a clue at this point what to do; all I knew was; that either this piece was too short, that piece wasn't wide enough or the other piece was the wrong colouring for my skin tone.

After discarding everything within the reach of my desk, I moved towards my cutting table.  You need strong nerves for this at the moment!  It's part-buried under a mound of previously hacked fabric, along with bits that I have rescued from a previous life.

As I picked up a ratty old pair of jeans discarded by hubby, inspiration pinged in.  I studied the jeans a while.  They really were a tired mess, and way beyond any useful purpose.  You know what I mean.... that sorry state when you know full well that a charity shop would be too ashamed to sell them.  (Plus they were already minus most of a leg, which I'd hacked off for a previous project).  All told, they didn't have much going for them.

I've seen skirts made from jeans before, but I've never made one.  I like the style where the legs get unpicked and crossed over to form a straight skirt.  Not only was this not possible as there was the slight problem of missing a leg, but - my hips were never designed for a straight skirt!  Scrap that idea.

For want of anything better to do, I grabbed the rotary cutter and wooshed it across the jeans at just above crotch height.  Yeah!  I've got a belt!  The vision of me trying this microscopic little number on is not something I want to think about again in a hurry....... bleurghhhhh.   If only I had the bum and legs of my dreams - it would have been finished!  Darn sure I've seen skirts for sale shorter than this.

Back at the rummage basket, I began looking for fabrics that matched the very worn denim colour.  I've got boxes of fabric hidden behind more fabric, but the palava involved to get at it, was beyond me in the early hours.  Therefore it was to be something from the basket, or not at all.  I spied a cheerful little bundle of patchwork loveliness, all muted pinks and faded blue.... perfect!  The fact that it was a skirt - age 4 - wasn't going to beat me.  If you've read earlier blog posts, you'll know that I often source fabric from children's clothes.  At car boot sales and charity shops, you can pick lovely pieces up for pennies.  I didn't even buy this one - it was thrown at me in a "you may as well have this old thing as well" way, along with a bag of other bargains.

After hacking off the waistband (just the right size for a headband), I tried it against the cut edge of the jeans.  Too narrow.  Hack another tier of frill off.  Too wide, but not by much......  I think I can do something with this!  With the right sides together, I pinned both layers together at the side seams and centres.  One tuck lined up to correspond with the jeans pockets, and it pinned together like a dream.

Safely pinned, and ready to sew in the morning, I sat and pondered what else to do with it.

Now if you read yesterdays post, you will already know that I have something of a penchant for vintage lace doilies.  I just happened to have another one in front of me - and it just happened to fit rather neatly over a back pocket.  The one on the front is more a matter of necessity.... and is doing an excellent job of secreting an ancient oil stain.  Yikes, but sewing that little critter on nearly jiggered my machine!  Even though I'd remembered to switch needles to a heavy duty one, it struggled.  So many layers!  I got there in the end by turning the wheel manually.  I'm sure you're not supposed to, and no doubt I've knocked a couple of years off the life expectancy.  (If there's a danger list for machine abuse, I fully expect to be lurking somewhere amongst the upper echelon of culprits). 
To make the finished skirt look more original and finished (rather than the just plain quirky is it at the moment), I removed the old jeans labels.  A little offcut of the patchwork fabric took the place of the belt label.  I have added an "Irresistable" label of my own, printed from a vintage advertising poster and reduced.  In reality it's lovely and clear, but my i-Phone continually fails to grasp the merits of a close-up shot and only works properly when it feels like it.   A raid of the button tin and that bit's done.

In place of the rear pocket tab, you will now find Vivacious Mavis in all her glory.  How I love that bit of historical advertising genius.  Oh....  though on re-reading, I realise it's not Vivacious Mavis, but Vivadou's Mavis!  How boring and ridiculous.  Thoroughly dissapointed by that.  Much prefer my version.

As a final flourish, I have added some vintage buttons at random intervals, and a little cotton ribbon trim to one front pocket.  As the frilly material is lightweight, I have strengthened the seam by going around with a band of the same cotton ribbon.
Et Voila - la skirty thing ces't complete!

 It's certainly different, I know..... but it is very much me.  I love anything quirky.  Just have to cross my fingers now that my legs don't look too tree-trunkish in it.  The only cost involved was the ribbon trim - it's the only thing I've bought.  So taking that into account, and the sundry bits and bobs - I suppose this skirt has cost a grand total of £3.  Didn't take long either.... a couple of hours, tops.

Another item done and dusted...... hmmm - what to make next?

Winter Sun Makes - Part 1

I'm being rather optimistic in calling this Part 1.  I may never get as far as a Part 2 ...... you never know!

In a few short weeks I shall be away on my winter hols.  Sun, no sand (hate the gritty stick to everything stuff), and several gallons of alcoholic combinations a day.  Can't wait.  The only moot point is the fact that I have little in the summer clothes department.  The summer here this year was dreadful, and I never bought anything.  Therefore I'm left with a ratty selection of well worn old faithfuls, and a pile of lovely stuff that I will only be able to fit in if I shave 3 inches off each side of me (and suck my stomach in).

The only answer is to make a few things.  However simple; as long as I have something to pootle about from room to pool via dining room, I will be happy.  I have no dress-making patterns whatsoever.  The thought of unfolding that infernal tissue paper and cutting out, for the end result not to fit (does it ever?) puts me off even going to look for a suitable pattern.  Best try a bit of cobbling together then. 

I've been wondering what to do with this gorgeous bright fabric for ages.  It was sent to me as part of a rather wonderful surprise package by the designer Jennifer Paganelli - which many know as SisBoom on Twitter.  I'm a huge fan of her fabric designs and was blown away when I received my package.  This lovely paisley (oh - how I adore paisley - it's my perennial favourite of the fabric world) forms part of the current West Indies range.  If you want a pick-up on a dull, dismal day, just go and check out Jennifer's Sis Boom blog,  it will work wonders.

This has to be the quickest skirt ever!  If it wasn't for the fact I had to dismantle my machine half-way through and attempt running repairs (it worked - phew!), I would have finished this within the hour.

There is a shocking lack of design involved.  I couldn't be fussy and cut panels, as there wouldn't have been enough material to work it.  There was just enough length to make an above knee skirt, if I was skimpy with the hem.  It's not a proper hem as I'd have liked, but a quick run around with the pinking shears and a turn-up and stitch.  As it's intended as pool to bar wear, I don't think anyone will notice!

I've no idea how big the piece of fabric was to start with - measurements?  Pah!

I simply cut it in half length ways.  Then there was just enough leeway between the width of the fabric and the width of my hips to enable me to cut a slice off to pattern match the sides fairly well.  A quick whizz down the sides, and that the front and back done!  Did I say this skirt was very basic?

The waistband is just a turned-over channel threaded through with 1 inch wide elastic.  I've secured it at quarter points around the waistband by a few vertical stitches.  I do so hate it when elastic twists inside a waistband. 

As the skirt shape is just a tube, I knew I was going to have to introduce a bit of give in the hemline, or I'd be walking like a trussed up chicken.  But how?  The solution was staring me in the face, peeking out of the wire basket full of "pretties" above my desk.

A vintage lace crochet doily to the rescue!  I've got loads of them, as I can't resist picking them up when I see them sold for next to nothing.  I always feel so sad for them when I see them lying unloved in a box - all that work!  Of course, this means I now have a big basket of them - and no firm idea what to do with them.  My stash has just gone down by one............... back of the net!

I really was winging this.  I cut the doily into quarters, praying it would hold it's shape without unravelling just long enough to sew on.  A pin to hold in place at the top, I just folded it down so an edge met the end of the skirt.  Did the same both sides, then stitched as close to the edge as I dared.  Then I ran along the seam again with a very small zig-zag stitch to secure firmly, finally cutting out the small triangle of skirt fabric behind with my applique scissors. 

I'm rather taken by the end result.  The skirt now has four little kick pleats, that drape beautifully.

And do you know what?

It fits!

You'll have to take my work on this.... my knees only see the light of day on holiday

I've even got an idea for the next make!!!!
(shame it came to me at midnight, meaning I was up until half three this morning cutting and pinning.  What a mix-up this one is.... upcylcying to the nth degree)


Monday, 14 November 2011

My Bucket List (my 100th Post)

As this is my 100th post - I wanted to write a memorable post for myself.  So here is my bucket list, in no particular order.....  can I manage 100 things I would like to do?  It's going to be a jumble of thoughts, dreams and aspirations.  Whilst some are definitely doable, others most certainly aren't.  But where are we without dreams?

I wonder how many of these will be shared by others? ......................

1.  Write a book and get it published  This has been my dream for as long as I can remember.  If only I could knuckle down and write!  I've been making a start by writing articles for craft magazines, which I've thoroughly enjoyed.   One day.... when I decide on my subject; it could be sewing related, a thriller, even an erotic novel.  I know I have the imagination and the writing skills, it's just the "get down to it and concentrate" that I lack.

2. Run a sewing workshop/coffee shop  Totally pie in the sky, considering my finances, but how wonderful would it be?  I have it all planned out in my head, including layout, style - even the coffee cups!  Perhaps when I win the lottery.

3.  Become a morning person  I waste so much of the day in my morning zombie-like state.  I would love to be that sort of person that jumps out of bed all zingy and fresh, all raring to go.  Never likely to happen, but I live in hope.

4.  Own a motor-home  This is definitely a dream I hope will turn into reality.  To be able to chuck the hubby and dogs in and drive!  I want to show my husband my favourite places in the UK first - including Welsh borders, the Highlands, Peak District and North Devon.  I've been around most of the UK, but there's a few bits I haven't visited.... the Lake District being top of my list.

5.  Tour Europe in motor-home  Once the UK is under my touring belt, I would like to up sticks and tour Europe for a few months.  I've driven through most of it before, but would love the opportunity to travel without the pressure of time and stop wherever takes my fancy.  Rural France, the Alps, Switzerland, Austria,  Italian Lakes.....  I could go on!

6.  Master Photoshop  I'm pretty good at Photoshop, but lack the skills to create the digital art that is in my head.  I get so frustrated with myself, and looking at the pages of instructions turns my head to mush.  I hate following instructions, and tend to the live by the rule that if I can't fathom it out by myself I don't do it.

7.  Cage Diving with Great Whites  I've dived with sharks before, and found myself in the middle of a school/pod/gaggle? (whatever the term is) of hammer-heads.  It was quite magical and they looked so beautiful, it never occurred to me to feel frightened.  I've sold all my diving kit now, but I would still love to visit South Africa one day and drop down in the water in a little cage.  It would be awesome.

8.  Swim with Dolphins  I've so nearly been there!  I've seen lots leaping along beside the boat....  I've even kissed one (though sadly I don't remember, as it was after a "booze-cruise", and even the photographic evidence doesn't trigger a memory).  I've swam in a dolphin reserve in the Red Sea, hoping that Flipper would come and play, but the crafty devils stayed tantalizingly outside the swim zone.

9.  Fly in  a glider  I've been parascending off a mountain, and it was the most amazing experience.  The total silence, and the feeling that this must be how a bird feels.  A gorgeous 40 minute drift down to earth - and one of the best experiences of my life.  I would love to go up in a glider and float around.

10.  Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army This has been one of my ambitions since a young child.  Be assured I don't want to walk all of it mind you!  Just a little bit would do.

11.  The Pyramids  I've been to Egypt diving, but didn't get to see the Pyramids.  Such a shame, since I've been fascinated by all things Egyptian since seeing a Mummy on a school trip when at infant school.

12.  Grow old with style and grace Please..... let me keep my teeth, my eye-sight and my hair!  Let it go grey in a delightfully silver way, rather than the grubby steel I strongly suspect will be the outcome when I finally decide to abandon hair dye (which will be far beyond any reasonable age - should I make it that far).  Let me trowel make-up into the ruts in a manner that doesn't resemble a startled hag, and let me only embarrass the children when I do it on purpose, and not as a matter of course.  Let me never stop having fun, but let the "dancing on tables when drunk" phase gradually out...... as it should have done already!

13.  I want to be a Christmassy person  I'm so not.  Loathe it.  Dread it.  Ba Humbug!  I would love to be one of those people that look forward to it, plan with relish and enjoy.

14.  Wing Walk  I'm definitely up for this, in a blood curdling screaming-like way.  Should the opportunity ever arise, and there's a little plane that can take my weight.... I'm in!

15.  Rally Driving  This is another of my life-long dreams.  Even before I passed my test, I had visions of me screaming around the track.  I love driving, and have spent years pretending on the country lanes.  Though my need for speed has calmed down considerably (I was definitely a "boy racer" in the past) a weekends driving course would be the best present ever.  Pity the co-driver.

16.  A day at the Races  Preferably Ascot.  I shall wear a knock-out dress and the biggest, daftest hat possible.  I will get spotted by the TV cameras for being a lady of ultimate style!  (in my dreams..... in reality, most likely to get photographed for knickers on show, or passed out on Champagne).

17.  Water-ski  I love the water..... and speed.  However, the lack of any balancing skill means I am never likely to be able to stand up on water-skis.  I will attempt this one day, even though I'm sure it will result in me being dragged along on my face.

18.  Canal Boat holiday  This is making me realise how many wishes are water based!  I've long wanted to do this, but have never found anyone else willing to go with us.  Yes, it would likely end in a stuck in lock disaster, but I want to experience it.  Needn't go far....  a floating pub-crawl with wine for the voyage.

19.  Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge  Of all the things I could wish to do in Australia, this is surely a daft one..... and I blame Blue Peter totally for lodging this in my brain. 

20.  World Tour  A year off, a round-the-world ticket, a ruck-sack.   Oh yes!

21.  London to Australia bus  Yes... you can!  Only just heard of this myself..... and can't stop thinking about it.  I would be a screaming hippy come the end of it, but what a journey?

22.  Peru  I have no wish whatsoever to eat roast guinea-pig, but I would like to visit the ruins.  I hope I can go whilst my feet are up to it!

23.  Walk the Cornish Coastal Path  I've done most of it over the years, but there's still some bits I haven't fitted in. 

24.  Have an Aga again  I have had three in various homes, and love them.  They become the centre of a home, and I miss mine terribly.  A reconditioned one will do!

25.  Route 66  Preferably on the back of a Harley.

26.  Whale watching in Alaska - if a lovely cruise is attached, so much the better.

27.  May I see my children become happy and content adults  I don't care what they do, I just want them to be happy.

28.   Silver Jewellery  I want to be able to make it.  I know what I want to make, my head is full of ideas.   I have most of the stuff too, but am afraid to start in case I am totally crap at it. 

29.  Let me have more patience!  Not too much to ask for ... surely?  Oh boy, but I haven't got any.  I am the queen of throwing things at the wall in a huff.

30.  Las Vegas  I want the glitz, the pzazz and the "hit me in the face" vulgarity.  I want the theme park on the roof,  the gondolier ride in the hotel.  I want to visit the Pawn Stars shop.   And the money to squander in the casino (never been in one in my life, and only card game I can play is snap).

31.  Grand Canyon  Looks awesome on the television.  Can you imagine what it must be like to stand and gawp in reality?

32.  Niagara Falls  I went last year as part of my New England road trip with my mother-in-law (a long diversion, but oh- so worth it).  The trip on the Maid in the Mist is every bit as exciting as it looked on Blue Peter all those years ago.  I want to go again with my husband, and see a bit more of Canada whilst there.

33.  French Bulldog I just love these bat-eared little critters.  I'm a huge dog fan, and have had several different breeds, including Rottweiller, Shar-pei, Spaniel.   My current baby... Phoebe the Bichon - well, I can't imagine life without her.  She's a real-life teddy bear and an absolute darling.  One day... I will have a French Bulldog though - I adore them.  Next time hubby comes home with an English Bulldog instead, he can take it back and change it (never again!  Poor Buster, he's loveable, but quite the thickest, impossible, smelliest creature ever).

34.  Bobsleigh Run  I am decidedly miffed that a group is going from my local pub in the next few weeks, and it's a men only group.  Why couldn't there be enough women wanting to go?  I would LOVE to do this (though at my current size, I would probably get stuck).

35.  Tiger Sanctuary in Thailand   Tiger's are THE bestest animal ever.  I've no idea whereabouts in Thailand it is, but it's run by monks.  Not that I need an excuse to go to Thailand anyway, but it's a good one.

 to be continued.........

I realise at this point I am never going to get to 100!  I've already done quite a few things that would otherwise have been on my list.  It's made me realise, that other than my travelling ambitions.... I'm really rather happy with my lot.  Other than an Aga and Motor-home I have no major worldly-goods desires (just as well - considering the cost of the one's I do want!)

Hmmm.  I've decided - this is a list I will add to as I think of things.  You never know.... I may even get to cross one or two off over time.  Here's hoping!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Silent Sunday

"Sewing my way through life one stitch a a time"

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A Frosty Noel

Considering I'm the least Christmassy person I know, it's a bit of a mystery why I entered a decoration swap.  I saw it on Twitter (as you do) and thought - why not?  Today, with a name and address sitting in my inbox awaiting a delivery, I thought I'd better get cracking and make something.

I'm not sure which one I'll send yet, but there's a choice of two.  The "Noel" heart above.  A red corduory heart, reverse appliqued behind a cream wool outer (I'll get rid of this huge blanket eventually!).  I've chain-stitched the wording using white Perle 12 thread.  The flowers are simply "yo-yo's" which I've stitched into the centres a few times to pull in to form petal shapes.  To hang, I've used a length of vintage brocade trim.  It's a bit big for the Christmas tree, but I think it may look rather nice on a door handle or at the window.  So..... do I send the heart?  or do I send Frosty?

  Frosty is about the same size.  Funnily enough he's also made from a piece of THE blanket.  I fear he looks a bit hypnotic (or stoned) with the blue button eyes.  His nose is red from the cold by the way, and nothing to do with the fact that I couldn't find any carrot orange thread.  I had just enough felt to make a little scarf.  Bless him, he looks totally bemused.

One of them will be winging it's way through the post tomorrow.  Which one do you reckon will be best received?

PS.....  I'll be making more of these snowmen.  I did a big batch of them a couple of years ago and attached them to presents.  A bottle of plonk - with "Cheers" as the wording.  A scarf with "Be Warm".
They are so quick to make.  I know it's really simple, but if you fancy making one for yourself I'll be posting the template, along with a selection of suitable embroidery words in the next few days.  A great way of using up scraps, as long as they white or cream.  And rather than a felt scarf, they look jolly lovely with a knitted or crochet one (which I may make a few of this evening, if I can locate my bag of yarn).

Monday, 7 November 2011

Grumpy Monday

It's been one of those days today!  You know the ones - where anything that can go wrong.... will.

It's no good me writing anything, as if I do it will be very sweary.  As I type the bathroom is in an intermittent state of flood, as my resident DIY plumber attempts to mend the toilet.  I sit biting my lip, doing my best not to scream.  Rather than write a sorry tale of woe - I shall attempt to put the mood of the day in picture form.....
Today wasn't even worth getting up.
(Though I did traumatise a delivery man in my waking moments)
I'm trying - I really am!
Have you seen the size of my panties?  I mean.... have you?
Makes no bloody difference
As long as the toilet flushes by the end of the night, I don't care
Haven't even got a bottle of wine.
If I had these, they would be plastered to my forehead.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Silent Sunday

"Sewing my way through life one stitch a a time"

Saturday, 5 November 2011

All you need is Love

Finished...... at last!  

Phew - as a commercial venture this is surely one big flop, simply due to the time it's taken to do all the hand-stitching.  I must have spent at least 10 hours working on this one little pillow, so I can't see myself putting it in my Folksy shop anytime soon.  I'm rather pleased with it though, even if I don't know what I'm going to do with it now!

I've done another little piece of reverse applique on the back, behind a small oval panel of wool.  This time a heart to go with the theme, and I've finished off the bottom of the envelope flap with a little row of cross stitch kisses.  After so much time hand-sewing, it was a matter of moments to whizz around the outside with the sewing machine to finish it.

The only place I can think suitable for it would be on the bed, and it certainly doesn't go with any of my bedding.  Oh no.....  does this mean I now have to make a quilt to match? 

Sobs quietly.