Tuesday, 18 December 2007

6 days really it cant be

When i first started my blog, I was writing new posts about 3 or 4 times a week and now i just don't seem to find the time. I can find the time to read other peoples wonderful words of wisdom, but not to update mine which is sad. I love blogland. So anyway we are nearing the end of Oliver's first time in school. He is shattered, on the verge of being ill with something or other and i am knackered with the sewing, cooking, school runs, swimming lessons and god knows what else.

I am now continuing this post on another day. Oliver has finished school, and is full of beans. The whole village seems to be ill so we are trying to avoid any germs. I have completed all of my bag orders and have made the puppet theatre (except the case which i will do this weekend). The basket bags look really good and have already been distributed. The fabric for each of them is similar as they are for different people and everybody fell in love with this one fabric. I have tried to keep each one original by adding different handles or lining fabric etc. I am so pleased with the finish on them, even if i do say so myself they are looking really professional.

Oliver had his nativity play before the end of term and he played a candle. IT was the sweetest thing i have ever watched and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I would show you photos but as all the other children are on stage as well it would not be fair to the other parents to have their children put on this blog without their agreement. Needless to say he looked fantastic and even sang "we wish you a merry Christmas" and signing it at the same time. They learn sign language as a matter of course at his school which is fantastic.

Trying desperately to get everything ready for Christmas. We are driving down to the in-laws on Sunday for the day where the children we get to open their first lot of presents. I get round this by explaining that Santa only delivers the presents in the stocking by the fireplace, otherwise it just gets too confusing with presents from school, friends etc etc.

I am cooking the Christmas meal for everybody and at last count we have 10 for lunch

Sorry couldnt resist putting this photo up cute eh

Happy christmas fellow bloggers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

The good and the bad

So last week i had two craft fairs. One was the big village Christmas fair and one was a small affair around a friends house - a Christmas shopping lunch.

Setting up in the village hall was fun for the Christmas one. I had taken hints from Anna to have lots of stuff for a fiver. I hadn't had time to make the hair slides but had zippered pouches and carrier bag tubes. My friend Cath had a stall there as well selling hand made cards with photos she has taken on them, They are absolutely wonderful.

So table set up, bowl of chocolates as an enticement, even gift vouchers on table and i was ready.

Having never been to this fair before i had no idea of what to expect but early on i was told that it would be busy busy busy and as my stuff was of high quality (their words not mine although i chose to agree of course :) ) it should sell really well. So excited i was.

They were right, it was busy, shoulder to shoulder in fact, it seemed the whole village and its mother was there but not it would seem to buy anything over 25p. People had come for the warmth, mulled wine and free sausage rolls and mince pies.

I sold two hats and had some interest but that was it. the poor lady beside me who had knitted necklaces with jewellery wire (they were fantastic forgot to take photo) didn't sell a thing. even my friend with the cards had a poor night. there was one winner though. One stall was selling home made Christmas decorations for 5p each. She was cleaned out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So i packed up, grabbed a bottle of wine and my homemade chocolate and chili ice cream mentioned here and went off to our book group Christmas meeting and had a fantastic night although got a bit tiddly (which was all Liz's fault and not mine by the way). the ice cream was a huge success, really creamy and lovely. recipe to follow.

And so a few days later, complicated babysitting arrangements sorted (the fair was 12-2.30) I shipped my stuff round to Catherine's house. I was welcomed by the smell of home cooking - soup, mince pies and nibbles for all the guests and a table in prime position by the Pampered Chef demonstration. The atmosphere was great as i was surrounded by friends and it was fantastically successful. Sold 3 baskets, glasses cases, all of my hats plus carrier bag tubes not to mention the interest in holding handbag parties in the new year. Way hay. Just loads of work to do before Christmas now but hey, I love making basket bags. So happy days!!!

PS in between the two fairs i got poorly and mum got rushed into hospital for emergency surgery but that's life. !!!!!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

hmm yes well

Obviously i meant 2008 (see below). Hard to tell i used to be a proof reader isnt it

Just to say

That if you only plan to read one book in the whole of 2006 make sure it is this one.

The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
It is upsetting, beautiful, uplifting and dramatic all at the same time. I literally couldnt put it down and was going to bed at 8pm just to have a couple of hours with no distractions so i could read it.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Lucky Seven

Right as mentioned in my previous post i have been tagged by Anna.

The Rules
Link to your tagger (see above), and also post these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself (random or weird) on your blog.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Oki Doki

Seven random facts

  1. This used to be a party trick of mine at university and i can still do it but obviously don't. I have a very big mouth and i can fit my whole fist (including knuckles, thumb, practically down to the wrist) in my mouth. No idea how i found out i could do this. I can also fit a cigarette packet (not that i smoke i hasten to add - university days again) length wise in my mouth.

  2. I got run over by an ice-cream van when i was 2 or 3. All the mums including mine were talking and i wandered over to the front of the van, leaned up against it and licked my lolly. the poor bloke driving the van could not see me as i was so little and drove off. I went under the van and out the other end. Luckily i was completely unharmed. A couple of inches either way and it would have been a different story of course. The poor man driving the van was in a right old state apparently (as was my mum) and reported himself to the police and resigned immediately. Bless him. he must have been devastated

  3. I was a vegetarian for 14 years even though i hate mushrooms (they squeak yuch)
  4. I hate flying. Big metal contraptions in the air does not make any sense to me at all. And yes i know they stay up there because the air pressure is greater underneath the wings than on the top. Doesn't help my fear although my fear doesn't stop my flying anywhere i am just not a nice person when i do it.
  5. I talk A LOT
  6. I have had a poem published in a magazine called "Desire". It was a very long time ago when i was sending any piece of writing off to anyone who would read it.
  7. I am ridiculously untidy. I cannot be tidy. I have tried, I have failed.

That was harder than i thought. Right the 7 people i am tagging are

Lucy Locket, Lisa, Ali, Susanne, I craft, Polly and dolliedaydream

Sunday, 2 December 2007

I tag you tag

Hello. Cor what a week. MArtha really ill, trying to get ready for the Christmas craft fair (and failing) and hoping that i am more prepared for Fridays Christmas sale at a friends house with lots of different traders. People are coming to buy Christmas presents as opposed to window shopping.

The first fair is in a couple of hours, closely followed by the Book group christmas party. I am taking my home made chocolate and chille ice-cream which i am sort of making at the minute (not that i am disorganised or anything).

I will post the recipe later along with my reply to Anna's tag - 7 random facts about myself.

Wish me luck for this afternoon.

ps - hint do not read Baggage by Janet Street Porter - awfully written and dull.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A quickie

Just a quick hello today. I have had no sleep for two nights (literally) as Martha is really very poorly with her asthma and a chest infection. A year ago we had the same problem and she ended up in hospital on oxygen so I am hoping that we are not going down that route again.
I am trying to spend every spare minute during the day sewing for the craft fairs next week when yes i know i should be catching up on sleep. I have been told off by Andrew Anyway i got two orders out last week for funky school bags.

They are just plain totes, made in a heavy canvas so that they did not need to be lined or interfaced. The leopard skin one is groovy and is for Georgina who loves black and hates pink. A girl after my own heart. The second is for her sister Lizzie, who wanted a picture of all of her favourite animals on the front but after discussions with her mum we settled for a black cat. Hats off to all of you who create with applique, I find it so tricky although i am happy with the cat.

The photos are crap because their uncle was waiting downstairs to take them seconds after i had cut the last threads off so i had a second to take a quick photo.

The labels are my new hang tags from moo cards

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The little one

So I mentioned that i had an order for 2 bags, one for the mum and one for the 5 year old daughter. I have finished the small one and i am so pleased with it. It is a similar shape to the brown basket but much much smaller and no bag feet or hard bag bottom. I did use craft pelmet interfacing though to give it structure.

I was pleased with the colour of the pink, it is almost a perfect match to the pink in the flowered fabric
This photo is quite deceptive, I will post a photo of the two bags together tomorrow to show accurately how small it is in comparison. The weather has been so shitty here today that we have just had no light.
I added some yo yos on for detail which i feel adds a nice detail and a magnetic closure

Altogether i am really happy with it what do you think??

Monday, 19 November 2007

Busy Busy

The days seem to have disappeared in a flurry of chaos otherwise known as swimming lessons, french lessons, doctors appointments and sewing sewing sewing. Oliver's social life is so hectic at the moment god only knows what it will be like when he is a teenager!!!!!!!!!!!

Martha decided to eat coffee granules which was an entertaining half hour last week. Before you have me down as an absolutely awful mother (which is not far off the truth), the jar was by the door for recycling, she managed to unscrew the lid and stick her cereal spoon in and scrape out the dregs. NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Had a fab time with my friend Liz on Friday night. We managed to venture into 5 pubs in the village in the course of the evening, we were hoping to do all 7 plus the fire station bar but old age drew us to the comfy leather sofas in The Angel and there we stopped. It was not a drunken evening i hasten to add although not completely sober either. We bumped into lots of old friends, one lad i hadn't seen for 16 years!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a good night.

Anna aka Marmadaisy sent me some gorgeous hair slides she makes with yo yos on. She has been selling them at craft fairs and sent me a couple of examples so i could copy the idea for my fairs on the 3rd and 7th. I have bought the slides to decorate today.

I am not holding out too much hope of selling bags but hope to sell little bits and bobs and hand people my card for future reference. I will get busy with these over the weekend and next week especially now Amy Karol has given permission for deisgns from her book to be sold. I have had lots of interest in Martha's hat so it will be fun to make some to sell. I have just finished one in cow print fleece with a small felt cow dangling down. I will do a hat photo post soon.

I have made a couple of bags in the last week and I am working on a couple more.

The following is a bag i made yet again from my fav Amy Butler pattern this is for my friend Hazel. She fell in love with the fabric. Alas there is no more

The other bags i have been working on are orders I have received, 3 from the last bag party i held and 2 from a friend of a friend of a friend of a etc etc etc.

One of the orders is for matching bags for a mother and daughter. I have been given complete control over style and fabric etc. As the daughter is only 5 i have chosen to make a smaller more girly version of the mothers bag as opposed to identical.

The fabric and handles and pretty much everything apart from the lining is from U-Handbag. I am really pleased with the way it has turned out and i love the toffee coloured handles. I should have taken a photo of the bags bottom because it is extremely neat (even if i do say so myself).

I have picked the paler pink from the flowers as the colour for the exterior fabric of the daughters bag. This is a scaled down version of the basic basket but with fabric handles and yo yo decoration. The lining fabric will be the flowered fabric featured here. I thought using the same fabric but in slightly different ways was a cute idea for mother and daughter. I am making the smaller bag at the minute and will hopefully have photos here tomorrow.

Origami was my new crafty venture for today. The ring i had bought for Naomi my sister in law arrived today so i followed Lisa's tutorial which can be found here to make a gift box for it. this is how it turned out. Maybe not as neat as Lisa's but not bad for a first try. I really like the patterned paper inside, i bought it today from Hobbycraft

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Christmas Crafting

So, on my handmade only present theme, I have ordered a fab cupcake ring off Robins Jewellery Box on Etsy, and a print for Andrew for Christmas from my friend Graham's site. Funnily enough i haven't bought one of the prints where he is showing everything he has got but walk 4 from Procession of the Dead. I am under the impression that Andrew never reads my blog so hopefully he will not know what he is getting. As you can tell if you link to Graham's site, his stuff may test the boundaries but it demonstrates what a talent he is. ( I was going to say what a talent he has but if you look at "meat the Grahams" this could be taken in the wrong way.)

Anyway, I have a table at a craft fair in the village on 3rd December and i am currently making little things that are not too expensive. Photos are to follow later but i keep forgetting to take them whilst making the stuff.

I am making little gift bags with a christmassy theme,
zippered pouches
I may make Christmas decorations
carrier bag holders

I also keep meaning to take photos of my moo cards but because my camera is constantly in a new hiding place away from Martha, I keep forgetting where i have put it.

Anyway photos to follow honest. Plus a new bag for my friend Hazel which is lovely.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Tuesday, 6 November 2007


So i have taken the Handmade Pledge see right toolbar. I have seen it on many blogs and then Lisa wrote about it here. It is just a fab idea.
I have a Christmas Shopping party to display my goodies at in November and a Christmas Fair in the Church at the beginning of December plus a few orders from the party last week to be getting on with so busy busy.

This is a new bag made from an Amy Butler pattern for my sister in law's birthday - It was only a month late hey ho. I am really pleased with. I have changed the pattern slightly in that i have used the button purely for decoration using a magnetic closure instead. I have also made the handle slightly longer so although it is a bag to be held in the hand if you want it over the shoulder the option is there.

I am not a big fan of the colour pink but i really adore this one. The fabric is from ReproDepot.

Anyway regarding the hat, see previous post, I calmed down during the day and eventually found it quite amusing that "hatgate" was tearing through the village of Toddington with spottings of Martha's hat on this little girl prior to my argument with her. It then mysteriously disappeared in the afternoon, probably the pointing and shouting of "isn't that Martha's hat" made the mother think that she should leave it at home. I am glad i kept my cool (to some extent - i didn't swear or call her names) and i have made Martha a lovely new one and have embroidered her name into it which is a sales trick i am going to try at the craft fair. every silver lining etc etc.

During my time which was meant to be spent tidying up the sewing room today I flicked over to Sew Mama Sew and they are posting tutorials for each day of November. It is only the 6th today and i have a list of stuff i want to make, so nip over there for Christmas prezzie ideas.

Oh yeh and before i finish here is another bag i have made in the last week - no wonder my sewing room is such a tip

Monday, 5 November 2007

So upset

Do you remember this hat i made for Martha??

We had mislaid it and I was getting a tad upset but thought that she had probably thrown it out of the pram when we were not looking and that some kind person would find it and put it on a wall somewhere in the village. This is what normally happens in this community when something is found on the road. Believe me i am always finding Martha's discarded socks lying neatly waiting to be collected.

This morning on the walk home from school, I saw a child in Martha's hat. Obviously Martha's no mistaking it and i did make it after all. I asked the mother if she had found it on the street as we had lost it. I was then told quite brazenly that she had bought it on Dunstable Market and that she had a matching scarf. I explained quite patiently that she could not have bought that particular hat on the market as I had made it, had photos of the process and the design at home. She continued to lie, I was so angry and told her so and then walked away. My friend was standing there open mouthed at the cheek of this person I know it is just a hat and that i can make another. But i am shocked and stunned at the way in which she told bare faced lies to my face.

I will make another one but my faith in human nature has been dented somewhat. That is the second rude person i have met in a week and the second to upset me. Maybe i should toughen up.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Thoughts, Bags and WOnderment

I am sitting here listening to the bangs of fireworks, a half finished bag to the side of me, a baby in bed who is shaking with fear and a son at the display eating hot dogs. I have spent the last 15 minutes or so reading some fantastic blogs. Suzannes and Ali's to name two. really thought provoking and interesting. When i read these blogs I am constantly amazed not only by how much enjoyment i get from reading them but how much some women seem to achieve in their day and yet still have time to write these fantastic words. Susanne is even going to attempt a novel in a month. I can tell you if i attempted that i would need a good Chenin Blanc on a drip. I am constantly amazed with the talent and versatility of people.

Anyway i have been busy making bags. Here are a few photos of them

The bottom basket is made from a faux suede and is glorious. The photo does not do it justice at all. It is a really elegant bag and i am proud of its finish. Alas it has gone to a new home. The top basket with the grey fabric with flowers is so special simply because of the fabric. Bought from the lovely Lisa it is just phenomenal. There are lots more bag photos to come but i just thought i would put these up for now.

Happy Bonfire Night everybody

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Please let it be me that gets the sweets Wordless Wednesday

I did it

Just a really quick post to say i completed the Bupa Great South Run - 10 Miles on Sunday in torrential rain and gale winds. Slower that i wanted but the conditions were awful. Walked majority of last two miles as it was impossible to run against the wind along the coast. It took two hours, so 10 minutes longer than i had planned. I have raised nearly £600 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign. Photos will be following soon.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Cor what a week

It started off badly last Sunday with Oliver at A&E on a nebuliser, as he had woken up at 5.30am unable to breath. He was slightly unwell for a couple of days after but the anaesthetist said he was well enough for his op which then went ahead on Tuesday. A panic attack on Oliver's part just before they put him to sleep and Oliver fainting just before we were due to come home all made for a fairly stressful day!!!

Mum had her op on Wednesday and that went well but taking bits of bone from her hip and putting them in her leg is making movement difficult as i am sure you can imagine.

Being stuck in the house has slowly driven me to insanity and there have been many tears this week with the stress of everything. But Oliver has been incredibly brave (apart from when Martha decided to head butt his lap!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and seems to be on the road to recovery. We are even going to venture to put trousers on today and leave the house.

So what do you do when times are hard (apart from leave a teary message on someones blog apologies for that Lisa)? You make Darlek biscuits.

It isn't the best shot of Oliver but at this stage he could wear nothing on his bottom half so i was trying my best to keep his willy out of the photo. Anyway believe it or not those biscuits tasted fab so thanks to Cath for buying him the Darlek set.

I have managed to make this bag though. I have actually made loads for the party on Thursday but haven't taken photos yet. I played around with photoshop with this one following the advice on craftboom

I made this bag from a remnant found at my local interior design shop Asquith Interiors.

Wish me luck for tomorrow as I am taking part in the Bupa Great South Run to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital. Only 10 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No training in the last two weeks. Half a stone put on due to chocolate consumption. No problem then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Finished bag

So all those mad pieces of fabric have come together to make this bag which i am really pleased with. Also quite pleased with my photography. I am still getting to grips with photo shop (as you can tell from the shadows) but i am pleased. I used tips from Lisa at Craft Boom If you havent visited her new blog yet and you are trying to sell your stuff then do the advice is invaluable.

This is design that i drew up, I would say original but it isnt really is it?? I see bags that i like the shape of when i am out and about and that is what i try to recreate. Therefore not really original. (do you know sometimes i can feel my philosophy lecturer in my ears 14 years on - maybe quite a good sign as it means that the white wine hasnt completely pickled the few brain cells i have left). However i am really chuffed that the pictures in my head made themselves into reality.

It has sides and and a solid bottom. I made the inside of the lid look groovy as well. A metallic clasp fastening and a shoulder length strap.

What do you think??

Thursday, 18 October 2007

I am official

Well i thought it was time to think seriously about whether i want my bag making to become a business in the long term and the answer was a resounding yes. Although Martha is only 16 months she will be at pre-school in the blink of an eye and i really want something that will make me a little bit of money. So i decided to get all official. I had been thinking that i needed to open up a separate bank account so that i can keep an accurate tally on all of my ingoings and outgoings. Considering that i am trained in accounts (apart from a brief utterly glorious spell as a textile researcher and writer for an educational resource) my accounts are shocking. So i opened up the account and then was informed by my mate Liz that if i didn't register myself i would get into a big pile of goo. SO i phoned up a lovely bloke in the Inland Revenue and Joanna Bags is now officially formed. All very exciting and I would love to celebrate, however children are in bed and Andrew is in Ireland. But hey ho, Chenin Blanc for one please waiter.

Martha just before i attempted to get her into bed - not looking overly tired is she???

Oliver just out the bath on the computer before bed. Handsome chap isn't he??

I am working on a design at the minute for a really really REALLY wacky bag. Well the bag design itself isn't mad but the fabric is mad as mad pie. Look

Can you tell what it is yet

I know what i want it to look like and it is going well but i am having to make a few bits up as i go along to get the shape right. Drawing on the knowledge gained by avidly reading Lisa's tutorials.

I will hopefully have it finished by tomorrow and will post photos.

Following on from my last post about Oliver's surgery, my mum is now booked in for an operation on her leg in the same hospital on the following day!!! So not a stressful time ahead at all. I have requested that hubby take a couple of days off work. It is only fair i think, although if you speak to his work you would think i was asking them to pay him a million pounds an hour rather than take 2 days off work. HHMMM Do we work to live or live to work?????

Even if you truly enjoy what you do for a living, should it take over every waking minute??

Monday, 15 October 2007

Time drawing near

So I spent this morning at the hospital with Oliver for his pre-operative check. Oliver had a severe infection in his willy 18 months ago which is involved a 4 day stay in hospital and a small operation. All good fun at the time as i was 7 months pregnant with Martha. Anyway to tidy things up as it were he needs to be circumcised and the date has come. It is booked for next week and I am feeling incredibly nervous about it. Not only do i dislike the thought of him being circumcised but general anaesthetics are scary things and no mum wants their child to have one.

Plus it means that we have to try and keep him germ free between now and then. Bloody impossible when he is at school full time but it does look like our weekend with his cousins will be cancelled - just in case!!!!!!

I have lots of lovely leaflets from the hospital to read tonight. Oh joy.

The date of the bag party is another one that is looming closer and closer. This one will be scarier than the last as it is not being thrown by a friend of mine but by a relative of my neighbour who i have never met!!!! Of course me being me i am leaving all the sewing until the last minute.

I have been trying in vain to take a fab photo of the velvet bag i made on Saturday but no matter how i take it the velvet looks covered in fluff. I am not whizzy enough yet at photoshop to play around with it so i will just show a photo of me posing carrying it before a night out.

You see if i could use photoshop i would try and rub out that stray piece of Lego under the radiator. The frame is a silver one with a chain and finger holder. The flower is made out of an orange silk with a beaded middle.

I had a fun shopping trip in Ikea last week looking for large stackable boxes to house my ever growing mountain of fabric and of course i ended up buying this little lot.

The big cushion cover with the butterfly on it is being transformed into a HUGE tote bag with cotton twill handles. Very simple, very bright and full of fun. Who said that winter should be all tweed and wool.

The silky fabric on the right hand side was a remnant from my local interiors shop Asquith Interiors and i think i got it for about 75p. It is going to be transformed into silver framed evening bags.

I have lots of things to make, lots of gorgeous fabric to make it with, I just need a good kick up the back side to get on with it. Although i have made a hat for my friends daughter today and a tea-cup cosy for my brother's birthday.

If you are wondering why i was all dressed up, I was on my way out to a banquet for my brothers birthday at the local pub.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

camera is working

Right so with the aid of Andrew and the instruction manual my photos are now on the computer. I still haven't managed to copy over all the blogs yet so I will have lots of catching up to do on the reading front when they are all set up.

I am really pleased with this new bag. I took the pattern from Bend the Rules Sewing. I used a pattern simply because i have not used pleats before and so i wanted step by step instructions. Although it is a good guide book i certainly would not recommend it for the novice sewer. Lots of points are missed out that make the difference between an ok bag and a really smart looking bag. It is taking for granted that the user has a knowledge of sewing when in fact they could be using the book as a starting point. She also states that she hates using pins. Used correctly, pinning is a vital part of putting together a bag. Obviously some fabrics such as oil cloth cannot take it but as Lisa points out in her blog, if you pin within the seam allowance the pin holes will not be seen

All that being said it is a fab style of bag and has a solid bottom using Timex, so it can be placed on the floor without crumpling to the ground. A facet that my friend Louise finds essential.

I am really pleased with my embroidery attempt and will be using this technique on other bags from now on

I have also just completed a velvet bag my own design this time and will post photos later today. Have a good Sunday. I am off to snakes and ladders

Friday, 12 October 2007


So, I have a new computer woo hoo, but all my addresses etc for blogs are on the other computer. I am systematically going through them and adding them to my list but the feed thingy will not work so i am losing my patience. I have a new camera so that pretty photos of my bags and things will not look blurry but i have no idea how to download the photos onto the computer and i have yummy new things to show. A copy of photo shop has just turned up and i need to install that which will probably make my brain explode AND i held a NCT coffee morning this morning assuming that a couple of people would turn up as is the norm and....wait for it.....17 adults turned up with their children. If one more person had turned up they would have had to have drunk their coffee straight from the kettle. I am actually too scared to go downstairs and see the mess.

On the plus side i have had my new fireplace put in and i would show you a photo but cant see above moan.

SO i am going to eat Thorntons chocolate cake

Rant over. Have a good weekend

Oh yes my Moo cards turned up today and they are fanatstic so thanks to DOmesticali for that tip

Sunday, 7 October 2007

A bit of cultcha

I went to the theatre last night with two friends from book group. we went to see The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist a play from the book of the same name written by Robert Tressell. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist (TRTP) is a classic novel. It is brilliantly written drawing you into the lives and hardships of the characters whilst smacking you in the face (without you really noticing it) of the injustices that were around then and are still around today. Rich v Poor etc. TO put this monumental novel onto the stage to me seemed impossible to carry off. But it was some of the best acting i have ever seen. The venue was The Hat Factory in Luton. The stage is small and the atmosphere intimate - we were less than 6ft away from the stage. The stage was the same level as us. Just 4 actors played all the parts, one of which was female. It is impossible for me to put into words the effect the acting had on us. It was true to the book completely, and everybody left the theatre with an awe struck expression. Sadly it was only on for one night at this venue as it is touring the country. If you live in England click here for all of the dates.

I am now off to make a complicated bag which not only has embroidery on it but also pleats - now where is the bottle of gin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Friday, 28 September 2007

Winter's here

Thanks to Domesticali and her rave reviews of Bend the Rules Sewing, I bought the book. How glad I am. Not only does it have fantastic inspiration for simple bags that i can adapt but it also has inventive ideas for quick and easy things to sew with a difference such as a pixie hat for children. Having a little pixie of my own called Martha I decided to make one. I am so SO pleased with the results and have had lots of comments around the village from other mums. Mainly because i keep going "look at her hat I made that". For some reason I am more excited about this then i am with bags. It was a tad fiddly around the pointy bit but basically very easy to make. I have already thought of ways to adapt the pattern to make a few more funky designs. Babies can carry off anything in a hat and my poor daughter will be wearing them all.

I now really really need to tidy up my sewing room as I cannot see the carpet (this is no joke) so that i can make the puppet theatre for Oliver's friend.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

And a bag is finished

In between clearing up vomit, washing endless loads of laundry, shouting abut the state of the house which i had spotless only 5 days ago, I have made this. It is another basket bag, but they do seem really popular. Both the handles, fabric and metal bits and bobs come from u-handbag. I really like this even though i am not a big lover of the colour pink. Being a red head means that pink is not worn too often.

Anyway just recently at my cousin Danielle's wedding, which was absolutely fantastic by the way.

I managed to pinch this lovely fabric (see picture below) It had been used to dress up Martha's high chair for the wedding breakfast. As the latter part of the year is upon us, and posh parties are looming, not for me obviously but other people that have a life outside nappies, i thought it would make a lovely flower pin for an evening bag. An idea mainly pinched from Lisa at yes you've guessed it U-handbag Click here and you will see her latest bag for the Sewing World December issue. I am a big fan of this magazine but my ignorant husband describes it as the kind of magazine that is featured on "have i got news for you".

On another note. Oliver who is 4 1/2 has started to ask questions about God. They say Grace at his school - the village school being linked to the C of E church St Georges. I have no faith unless you can include worshipping glasses of white wine and gin and tonic. However i appreciate it is something that needs explaining to him so that he can make up his own mind in years to come. My friend has taken her daughter to church this morning as her daughter who is very bright has been asking questions for sometime now.

I really do not want to do this for the purely selfish reason that i do not want to go to church. This may seem hypocritical when you learn that i got married in church and Oliver has in fact been christened. Although when does the subject of religion veer that far from hypocrisy.?? All during my Philosophy degree the subject of religion and the existence of God has always been one that i have stayed away from as I could never reach any conclusion. I still can't. My husband does believe however and it is for this reason our marriage was held in a church and for this reason we got Oliver christened. As for Oliver saying Grace before his lunch at school this is not something that bothers me as if we remove GOd from the equation, all children in affluent parts of the world should be taught to say thank you for food before they eat it. we live in a part of the world that has so many riches when large chunks have so little. I want my children to grow up saying thank you for the little things and remembering how lucky they are for the choices they are given.

My sister-in law has suggested getting a big book on all the world religions and explaining them to him in simple terms so that he doesn't get his horizons narrowed by just learning about one religion i.e Christianity. A concept i whole heartedly agree with. But how to do it without confusing the poor thing i do not know. Has anybody else faced this crossroads before and found themselves in a similar situation??

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Is there anything worse than vomit

First day at school

The schools are back. The weather has changed. The germs are flying freely and seem to be stopping on my children on their way around the area. Is there anything worse than clearing up vomit. The conversation has changed in the playground to who has been sick last night. Once upon a time i used to have a brain, i even managed to get a Philosophy degree and yet now i find what intellectual capabilities i have left discussing the minutia of regurgitated food. So my creative rut has been replaced by a vomit induced void.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Bag attack again

It seems like a lifetime since i have made anything pretty with my sewing machine. Creatively i have been through a very dry period. Nothing to say on my blog, not sewing, still managing to read but only because the book club is forcing me to. So i have decided to get myself out of this pit of inactivity as i have birthday presents to make plus stock to get together for a handbag party and a craft fair, both planned before Christmas.
Maybe it is the calm of having Oliver at school that has caused my creative lull or the fact that i have worked so hard recently that once i stopped i could not get going again. Or it could be that i have become addicted in quite a serious way to Facebook. I am constantly playing scrabulous on it. For those of you who don't know it is online scrabble. So, I come into the spare room, to look through fabric or to write my blog and then i spend my time looking at facebook, looking for the next word. Consequently I am finding it hard to say anything constructive which does not involve trying to get three letter word scores. Maybe i need help.

I have been reading other peoples blogs of course and one that i really enjoy is Lucy Lockets. It is so much fun to read and even has music playing on it. How cool is that.
So, my next three projects are two bags made out of the following two fabrics which are just yummy

No idea why the pictures are different sizes

and a making a puppet theatre for Oliver's friends birthday. Hopefully it will go as well as Alis