Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Two posts in ten minutes boy I am smoking, forgot to add on the latest party invite. Ellie is having a penguin party this year and we are going pottery painting. I decided to keep it simple and only 7 friends are invited (2 of which I now know can't make it). I am not going to do food but I will make her a cake. We are going to be making an igloo apparently :0 aah Mummy's skills put to the test again :)
The wings lift up and have a funky patterned paper underneath. The writing was on the back of the invite. I have been thinking about offering a personalised invite package on my etsy shop but not sure whether it would fly. They would be fairly expensive because of the time involved but I may give it go.

Okay I give up I am hopeless with this blogging :) hey ho. A few things I have been making lately. If I get time tomorrow I shall upload some of our holiday photos from this summer.
Butterfly bags as a commission for Suzanne. I had such fun making these bags, I am finding moving away from the heavy zigzag bordering is suiting me much better and I feel gives the piece a bit more life.A lavendar and purple bag for Oli
The names were hand embroidered to resemble the trail of a butterfly and i rather like how they turned out.
Detail of butterfly
Dinosaur bags

I finally got around to making some new cushions for our sofa. You know things are bad when even the husband says things are starting to look a bit tatty :) Still we have had the sofa since we got married. This is Fergus' favourite place to lay about. The old throw we had was not machine washable and looked disgusting. I have been trying in vain to keep this new one clean but Fergus is definitely not understand the concept of staying off!

I used up a lot of my spare fabric to make these. I had planned on making a quilt to go over the sofa but as usual time never allowed and I couldn't face the old throw any longer.

Last month Mum and I went on a wire sculpture course taught by Celia Smith. Her work is absolutely fabulous and we had commissioned her to make a NeeNee goose for Dad's sixteeth birthday. I will up load pictures once we have had a bright day to take them. I make a chicken in the end and he is rather funky with coloured telephone cables all over him. Mum made a cockeral which is out of more natural wire colours of copper and grey. It was lovely to get away for the weekend and not to hear "Mummy, Helen, can I, she said, he hit" but it went by so quickly.
I have a few prototypes in the making for some christmas decorations but, this year I am not going to be doing a show at home. We are off to Disneyland Paris before christmas and for once I wanted to just enjoy the season rather than run around filling orders. That being said I am still taking custom orders for a few things here and there.
Right off to go and start designing the christmas card for this year.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Little Creations
I thought I would post a few pictures of a little bag I made for Maddie way back in April to house her new little friend. Maddie has a large peg shelf which she uses to hang up her numerous bags and paraphernalia and I got so worried about the plastic being over her bed I decided to take action and make her some fabric bags so I could sleep at night. I really enjoyed making this bag even though it was my first attempt at squared off corners. I would love to make a few more in different sizes to add to her collection.
Below is the fish I referred to in my previous post. It is large and used for a pj bag. I made it back in April as a commission for my friend who wanted something to put in her son's bedroom to house his pj's. I have posted about Hilary's boy's rooms before and posted pictures on Flickr. I suppose I should make more of an effort to put my pictures up as and when I make things to hopefully prevent this from happening but I wrongly had worked on the theory the less I put up on the net the less likely I was to be copied!
all the fishes scales where made using fabric I had previously used in the blanket, drawstring bags and duvets in Corey's room.
Well it is oh dark hours here and I haven't been able to sleep as usual. We are off to my parents today, J is taking Euan up to Gloucester with Grandad to the Rugby open day. They went last year and had a blast so thought they would have another look see. Mum and I are probably going to play gardens with the girls. I spent all of Friday in my front garden and cut back my lavender. It has been beautiful again this year but all the rain and wind had caused it to flop all over the path, the postie plus several friends kept complaining they got soaked coming to my door when it was wet and then had to run the gauntlet of the bees when it was dry. It was a shame to cut it as the scent was fabulous. I also dug out a lot of geraniums as they were rather brutish a few bits had rotted off under the lavender and just getting rid of the dead delphinium, lupin and allium heads took all day and nine bin bags!
When we got back from Scotland I had a lovely note from a lady saying she admired my garden and would love to know who had designed it for me and would they be interested in doing hers. It was rather flattering but amusing since it is all my own work and I am definitely not a garden designer. I gave her a call and popped round for a coffee. She was a really lovely lady and had the most beautiful house and gardens but like all of us has such a busy life that the time was not there to create like she would want to. We chatted plants and I promised to let her know when I was going to plant my bulbs this year. She kindly offered for me to bring the children up to use her pool and tennis court, bless her she hasn't met my loud threesome yet!
I had been pleased with my spring garden this year but the summer just didn't quite come together for me, some of this was down to the yucky weather but mostly down to placement, so I think this winter will be spent hopefully planning out how I might change it around a bit. I was aiming for a big blousey garden that all meshed together which it did in places but not in others. i do need a bit more structure for the winter as well which sounds expensive if Mum and I visit the garden centre today - oops sorry John :0
Right I suppose I should attempt to get back to sleep otherwise I will be a crabby bear later today.
Night all Hx

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Has it really been three months?
Wow I can't believe that it has been three months since I wrote on this blog! We have just got back from our annual jaunt up to Scotland to visit the relatives. We had a lovely time and have some fond memories of places and people visited.

Callum and Megan my niece and nephew were amazing they entertained my children a treat and are turning into really well rounded and lovely children. Megan and I had a little nail painting session were I gave her and a friend a french manicure. I got to see Megan in her prom dress for next year and she looks absolutely gorgeous. Callum looked after Euan and brought him home covered in mud on several occasion's.

They day after we arrived John took Callum and Euan off for a stadium tour at Murrayfield. I believe they all had a good time with quite a bit of damage being done at the shop afterwards! obviously it was all for Euan's new rugby season and very much needed ;)
Meanwhile I was sneaky and disappeared early Wednesday morning on a train to go and see some friends. In the evening I stayed with Eileen and Adam Watts who spoilt me like made. We had dinner with the family and then a few of the girls I miss terribly came round for a wee drink in the evening. Eileen pulled out all the stops including a delicious Choc Cake (Oh so not on the slimmers world diet!)
I got to have a hug with this little fella who I had not seen since he had not been born when we moved.
I got to spend the day with my good friend Hilary which was so much fun, I knew I had missed her but oh I had realised how much. She (or rather Euan Thank You!) treated us to lunch at the Links and I had the most divine Mozzarella and caramelised onion ciabatta (also so not on the diet). Afterwards we might have done a little bit of retail damage in St Andrews. I have started to collect Suzie Watson pottery and would like to build up a dinner service but it is so expensive, Farmore Expensive had 20% off so I stocked up on a couple of bowls! I also managed to snag a lovely red cardigan from White Stuff and a T in the sale at Fat Face. Even better for me they were both size 16 YES been a while since I was that size. I must thank Hilary's mother in law though as we were shopping she was babysitting especially Corey bless him who has chicken pox.
John picked me up on Thursday morning and we headed up to Aberfeldy to go on a highland safari. We had a fabulous time and booked it through our Tesco clubcard. I am not sure I would have payed full whack but it was definitely worth it through the clubcard system. We had a lovely driver who was very informative and good with the kids which was great. We saw lots of deer, stags, sheep and this little fella below We also looked at deer tracks which lead us to a little stream where we say tadpoles, toads and beetles. I made me stop and realise how were are always so busy getting from A to B that we don't stop and look at what is under out feet. Again we had a delicious lunch (Venison Sandwiches oooh so not on the diet :) ) and then headed up to the house of Bruar for a quick nosey about. I might have sniffed out a few more Suzie Watson pieces which was rather nice, the girls got some lovely cozy and very fluffy Joules socks to keep them warm this winter.

On Saturday and Sunday John and I headed off on our own up to Glen Coe for the weekend to celebrate our 11th Wedding Anniversary. We stopped in to see Gus and Kirsty who don't seem to have changed at all in years. Their children however have, Lindsey is now a beautiful teenager who was a delight to meet and David is 17 now, when did that happen. After that we headed up on the hills and yes the above picture is me doing a victory dance on top of the Pap of Glencoe, a 742 metre high hill that seemed to pretty much just go straight up! there might have been sweat and a few swear words but thankfully no tears. It did take me a lot longer than the book predicted to get up and down but I did it. I have told John I am choosing the anniversary jaunt next year and something about New York and Fabric along with Scrapbook shopping might feature high on the agenda!
This is a picture of the Pap of Glencoe from our hotel room, taken after a wonderful power shower and before another lovely meal.
Monday was spent at the Glasgow Science Museum where we watched a film at the Imax theatre and then had some fun with the exhibits. We also went up the tower but Maddie was rather happy to get down from there.

The last few months have been busy as I have been working three jobs to help the old coffers as well as the usual round of kids and house jobs. John has had a month off before he starts staff college in a weeks time. The kids have had good summer holidays so far, Tom the son of my parents neighbour gave them some intensive swim lessons and it was wonderful to see them come on, I just need to keep taking them now.

I have just stumbled over folksy.com which seems like it is the UK version of Etsy. I was intrigued until I found an almost blatant copy of my fish pillow case that I did for Hilary. I have heard of other people who have been copied but never really experienced except in my fabric design days but this certainly hit me between the eyes. I now a lot of people see my work at my friends houses and have said to my friends oh I looked on your friends blog and I thought I might do something similar but never have I seen a direct copy before. We all look at other peoples work and use it to influence our style and direction but hopefully most are tactful enough to take it in a different direction and not blatantly copy. Ah well enough on my soap box for now. I have been busy creating but not for sale only for commissions. I hope to get back in the saddle once the kids go back to school.

Right husband and children are hungry so I am off to see if I can duplicate that lovely ciabatta I had at the links.

Love to all Hx

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Upsetting Day
Today was meant to be a good day. I had a friend visiting with her new little baby girl that I was yet to see. We had plans for lunch and to let the children play together, she also has a three year old. I saw her pull up outside my house waiting for traffic to clear before she pulled in and then bang, a Travis Perkins lorry with a trailer and digger ploughed into the back of her. Oooh my heart was in my mouth, I rushed outside and thankfully apart from being incredibly shock up they seemed to be all ok. Poor Alicia was in such shock and worry for her little ones. My mind raced back to five years ago when it was me in the car with two of my precious babies and my accident. The ambulance took her off to hospital to get checked out as her back and neck were showing signs of damage. My fingers are crossed for her that she is ok and that the little ones don't suffer to many nightmares about what has happened. Bless him Dillon was very angry with the silly man for breaking his Daddies new car. I remember Euan being upset when the tow truck guy took away my car, I guess it is their release, their way of dealing with the shock.

So on a happier note I did manage to give her the presents that I had made for little Thea and for Dillon.

This is is the first time I have used my thread to actually draw an image on a bag. I have done this numerous times on my scrapbook layouts and cards but always fussed to much about loose edges that can fray before. I thought sod it and gave it a go, I am pretty pleased with the results. I had difficulty controlling the speed of the machine unfortunately so the thread patterns aren't as smooth as I would like but not bad for my first attempt. Next time I think I might just sew with the feed dogs down and free machine stitch. I would like to do some bags for Maddie' room like this.

I made a matching card to go with bag simply out of paper and a pen.

This is the present for Dillon, I had seen pencil rolls on a site somewhere on Flickr and loved them. I thought they would make fantastic gifts for little ones.

I have made several of these and they are in my etsy shop at the moment. Below is the one for Dillon.

This afternoon I decided to have a quiet one, even I felt a bit shaken up and I wasn't involved. I allowed the kids to have a play on the x box and settled down for a bit of inspirational surfing. Ellie came in an hour later crying and saying sorry. "Why are you sorry Ellie?" "well I was pulling on the curtains and they broke" right said Mum lets have a look shall we, thinking that they probably had only come off their hooks. No Ellie had pulled the whole rail out of the wall ripping a she load of plaster with it *%">*. GREAT aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh I could have killed her. I spent Monday filling in all the cracks and putting up things that were bugging me, I didn't want to have to start this again, especially with such a big bloody hole. Oh the joys of children.

So I am hoping for a quiet night but quite frankly I would love to just go to sleep now. Ellie is meant to be going for her first "friend" sleepover but I was oh so close to saying no. She has lost her ipod, favourite pillow and toy for the week along with her pocket money. When I asked why she was hanging off the curtains, she just responded she thought they would come down. Well yes they did love and was it the effect you desired? no Mummy. What did she expect? Oh deep joy.

A few other photos from this month. We had a go cart party for Euan which was a huge success. Sorry if I haven't sent out thank yous to all of you yet. Euan and I made and iced his requested cake which was R2D2 this year. Note to self, as much as I love this "work with the children idea" not on birthday cakes again it was so stressful ;)

I am in the process of designing invites and party bags for Maddie's this year. We are going to be having a cookie decorating party and the theme is Scottie Dogs, all in white, brown and orange. I have the invites done and just need to decide what to put in the bags and make the name tags. Then I will need to get baking cookies. I think I have 12 coming so I am not sure how many cookies I will need to make. Anyone got a good receipe?

This is a sneek peek of something the kids and I did at Westonbirt yesterday. It is for Father's Day so I shall reveal more once Daddy has got his surprise.

The weather is lousy again today and tomorrow I am meant to be helping Mum with her pebble mosaic in the garden. Not sure we will be able to attempt it if this rain continues. Friday we are off to a friends for lunch and then we are back to the weekend again. I am not sure where our time is going. I hope to pop back here later this week and show you some more bits and pieces I have been up to but for now I am signing off and taking Ellie to her sleepover against my better judgement.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A busy month for the tooth fairy ...........
It looks like it could be a busy month for the tooth fairy in this house. Euan came home from school on Thursday and started to wobble his tooth. Within a few minutes he said he could bend it backwards, look Mum I can turn it around, ah Mum it has come out! His other front tooth is also wobbly, going to have to scrapbook this I think. Ellie sat at dinner that night and was complaining about having a sore tooth, she had bumped it the other day so I just nodded and said not to worry it would just take a bit of time to heal. Dinner continues and so does Ellies moaning. I asked J to have a look to see if he could see anything and bless her both her second set of large front teeth have already broken through the gums behind her baby teeth which still haven't dropped out. Ouch my poor baby I felt so bad. The baby ones are wobbly so I am not sure what to do? I think a phone call to the dentist to sort this one out. Molly, Ellie and Maddie modelling their hand made easter bonnets.
On Saturday we had an easter egg hunt at the house for some friends and their children. Well 21 children to be correct! We were slightly worried in the morning when it started to snow like crazy that we would have an interesting time finding eggs in the snow drifts. Friday was spent baking, much to Ellie's enjoyment (she really just likes licking the bowl I think). We made crispy cakes, mars bar cakes, caramel shortbread, cupcakes, chocolate triangles and pecan cups.
The annual easter tree was erected and decorations hung. Every year I swear I am going to get a proper tree I can bring out instead of searching the hedgerows for suitable branches.
Easter Sunday we awoke to find the easter bunny had paid us a visit much to the childrens excitement. Messy bunny mind you I had to get the hoover out after the kids had been down, his footprints had gone everywhere! Sunday was spent in slobby bliss. I didn't get out of my Pj's until noon as I was finishing off the book "The Kite Runner" which I thought was excellent, I definitely want to see the film now. The afternoon was spent painting up some christmas ornament prototypes which turned out really rather well. All in all a great day.

Today we had a lazy morning and then popped over to my parents for the afternoon and dinner. The kids had a blast trying to fly planes in the garden and then enjoying home made plum crumble YUM for dessert.

Freaky weather, that is not snow it is hail stones which have accumalated in just a few seconds.

more cushion sewing using the Bridgewater tea towels. Two cushions this time, front
and back and
a little heart with the spare fabric.

Well that sums up my time since Thursday, I hope you all had a lovely easter, we certainly did.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Star Cushion Frenzy
I seem to definitely be in a red, white and blue phase at the moment. A few star cushions I made last week but hadn't got around to up loading. The two square cushions are 16 inches and the middle one is 40x60cm
Red Star Cushion
I am loving my new bias tape maker I cannot believe how much easier it is to make the tape without all the burnt fingers now!
back of Red Star cushion
long cushion with patchwork sides and the white star is stitched with red.

back detail

Blue Star cushion with patchwork background
Blue Star back.

This bunting is for a friend who is like me "a bridgewater pottery freak" well not freak but definitely an avid collector. Hilary wanted some bunting but since you cannot get bridgewater fabric YET (are you listening people you are missing a sales opportunity!) I used some tea towels to create my own.

Right show and tell over for tonight. Not much else to report except I did see the most beautiful barn owl hunting in the field opposite tonight. A neighbour mentioned she had seen him last week during the day and I had hoped he lives around here and will stay. I think I will need to pay more attention in the early morning and early evening. The kids were fascinated.