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