Sunday, April 29, 2007

Making flowers

I love it when my girls say, 'mama, can you help me make ...... ?'

Here's my 8 year old busy plaiting some strips of cloth to make the centre piece of a brooch for her friend Katie's birthday present. She chose the colours and the fabrics and we made the brooch together. It is a version of our 'Raggy Flowers'. The centre piece made from plaited strips and the petals stitched either by machine or as we have done here with a simple running stitch and with pinked edges. These petals were backed on felt as an experiment. It gives a more structured feel. (whereas the others below still have that blousy soft feel which i rather like).

It looked really sweet and her friend was delighted.

The pretty floral fabric is from a soft lawn Laura Ashley dress that my youngest used to wear. We have a cupboard at home full of precious fabrics for special projects. She wanted to use some of her special fabric for the gift as she loves Katie too.

Here are a few more which are available at not on the high street ...

Pretty pink floral ....

Soft blue pale denim feel...

Whacky vintage green floral.....

Fun red and white polka dot...

G x

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A new neighbour for my bees?

What has happened to the bees?
Well they are still safe in my blue tit box after closing up the small entrance with fluff ( you can just see it in this funnily angled shot). Never knew they did this. Must be pretty cosy in there.

I saw something else late this afternoon when I returned home from the Flour Loft, which both fascinated and excited me. A robin who frequents our garden (am convinced it's the same one who visits each year) has been collecting moss and has been flying up near the blue tit box which is under the wisteria. Now, next to the tit box is a robin box and it rather looks like our sweet robin is making it's nest there... right next to the bumblebees! Hope they get along. Will try and get some better pics of our robin.. here is one i took .. you can just about make her out.

I gather she makes her nest all by herself, then after she has mated the mate hangs around and feeds her while she nurtures her brood. Will keep you posted.

Monday, April 23, 2007


This is a picture of Esther our pioneer doll. She used to have a mate called Zeb but unfortunately he is no longer around. There are some Zebs out there somewhere though. We only made a few... maybe one day we will be inspired to make him again. Esther nowadays is mainly made to order. She has been created in many different colours. My favourite being in soft lavender needle cord with a small lilac check blouse and bonnet. Almost kept her, but luckily I still see her now and again as she took up residence at my lovely friend Sarah's house.

Today has been a doll day.....
The Flora outfits have been stitched and her apron sewn. Just her clogs and hat to do now, then clothing her, adding the hair and embroidering her face. Quite a few processes to each of these sweet gardener dolls. We do love making them though.

Isadora is our fairy doll. She was originally made in plain coloured linens. Last Christmas we showcased a vintage and retro Isadora range, which proved really popular. We have been sourcing fabrics for these today and have 10 different fabrics ready to cut and make into dresses.

We also have a new doll which we are prototyping... we shall keep her a secret for the moment ... and if she works out we will post her later on. We are still musing over her name.
Speaking of names Cherry at pixie wood has opened up a competition asking for readers to name a bag... think I might have a go.
Cherry is the first person who has read this blog (other than my family) and made contact. Thanks so much, it made my Sunday!
Also check out her 'In the bag' on her food blog about creating a recipe from three pre chosen seasonal foods. A really great idea. I will be checking back for inspiration.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Busy bees...

I have visiting bumblebees in my garden who have made a nest in my blue tit box. At first I thought they were honey bees but after chatting to a local bee keeper she reassured me that they were in fact small bumblebees. The bird box is in the eaves above the door to the outbuilding and if we forget to shut it carefully they give out an almighty hummmm ( a kind of collective pissed off buzz ). They are fascinating to watch during the day as they are constantly busy. I now fully understand the saying ' as busy as a bee'.

Alice has returned from her fortnight in the sun and, like my bees we have been very busy.
We have been finalising quantities of new stock to make for our forthcoming shows, including the Christmas ones! Crazy I know but as a very small business, organisation is the key (well so we hope).
As we make many different products its always hard to know which ones will do best at which shows. We tend to take more of our popular seasonal lines and a small selection of the others. Using recycled and salvaged fabrics means all our items vary so it's great to do fairs as visitors see this variety first hand. Stock is pretty low at the moment so next week we really must start sewing. I think some loud music should help. We have new neighbours in the studio above us and we have already warned them that when a song we love comes on the radio , the volume goes up and we dance around the room. Co co cabana is a tried and tested favourite! It's such a long song though that we get really knakered... but a nice cup of tea usually revives us.
Happy Weekend ( if anyone is reading this ) G

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More florals...

This lovely weather has put me in a sunny mood.

Am loving all these colourful fabrics. Really enjoyed cutting them out.

All destined to be flower brooches.

Have stitched a large quantity up today and tomorrow i will chose complementary buttons as a finishing touch. This process usually takes ages as i am very particular about getting the perfect button for each brooch!
So.. till tomorrow. G

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wonderful florals

Finally back in the studio!

Was seduced by a basket full of florals that just kept talking to me so ignored what i should have done today and started playing.
We do spend a lot of time playing.... as i'm sure most would when faced with such yummy fabrics....... the hardest thing is deciding what to make from them.

These delicate beauties (4 of which are liberty tana lawn salvaged from blouses) are destined to be born again into... amusingly.... blouses for Flora (our gardener doll). Have chosen and cut linen and corduroy to complement for her trousers. Hope we can do the fabrics justice.

Flora was originally created in 2003 for a Spring show and she has appeared in many diffferent colours. We love to individually design each doll and vary them each time. Doing 10 the same just wouldn't be fun now would it?

Looking forward to having Alice back in the studio on Thursday after an extended break. I do miss her fun and energy. We seem to inspire each other and it's great to have the company and someone to bounce ideas off.
In my 'previous life' I made costumes for theatre and dance and worked from home.... It was often quite isolating. I wish the blogging world had been around then!..... i love the friendliness and openess of support and sharing of ideas.
I'm still very much a beginner at this and any feedback on these first posts would be greatly appreciated.
Also it'd be great to know if anyone has found this blog yet!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

The last one is mine...!

Popped into to the studio to finish a few jobs and collect some sewing to bring home to do tonight.
common occurrence during the school hols... back and forth with full bags of works in progress resulting in piles of sewing taking over my dining room and Alice's cellar!

My 8 year old daughter ca
me in with me today whilst my youngest was at a party. We have 4 children between us. 2 girls for me and 2 boys for Alice. All 4 have grown up together since being babies and are great mates!

I have really enjoyed these Easter holidays being in full time mummy mode, although I must confess I am really looking forward to a full day at the studio... lots of ideas for new things to make.

We have done some lovely things this holiday, the most pleasing was watching my girls have great fun making these corn flake chocolate nests to fill with eggs. They did some with chicks in too for their friends. I remember making these with my mum when i was a child. We made a few batches over the week and have finished the last ones today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Little hearts

I did manage to finish some orders today though and also post off these rather pretty beaded hearts for a customer.
Hope she likes them!
I love how the glass beads catch the light. G

Springtime in the garden...

I love the spring with new shoots emerging and the promise of things to come. Creating our garden is an ongoing project but this year my husband is keen to get his hands in the earth and join me in growing our herbs and vegetables.
As the weather here has been glorious we have all spent the Easter weekend in the garden. We have cleared and moved plants (including this blubell) and have created a rather large new veg bed from railway sleepers. It's pretty big (in height rather than area) and required some strength. After being flooded last year in freak weather we are trying to raise everything... just in case.
So even though the kids have been out for the day out with their grandparents I didn't make it to the studio today as i'm still in the garden!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Welcome to the Flour Loft

After reading many great blogs we thought it would be fun to start one too....
So here goes....

The Flour Loft is our refuge....a place to share ideas, further our creativity, put the world to rights and generally have a laugh.

We love listening to local radio, drinking cups of tea, eating biscuits and designing and creating textiles from our collection of recycled and salvaged fabrics.

At the moment we are on an Easter Break, enjoying family time. We will be back in the studio on Tuesday and will post again.

Happy Easter! G & A