Monday, June 30, 2008


Today i met a one day old baby. His name is Rufus. He was born early yesterday at home after a wonderfully natural labour. Everything went well and he and his mum are doing great. He is so perfect with skin so peachy soft. I am truly smitten. Luckily i will see him lots and i have also been asked to be his 'fairy' godmother. I had better dust off my wand!
There is something so special about a new life, i can't quite explain how i feel holding a newborn... i think for me it is the miracle of life, it represents hope, and the future. all truly amazing.

So welcome to Rufus and Congratulations to Alice and Nick. x

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

a special commission

Yesterday when i picked up our smallest person from school she was full of beans and very excited. She couldn't wait to tell me that she and 2 of her friends had come up with an idea for a competition to run in her class.

They had created a character called Shiny the Star with their idea being to ask their friends to place Shiny in a scene, ie colour a picture of Shiny in an interesting place. The prize, they had concocted was to be a star shaped Shiny softie, which my little one had volunteered that she would organise with her mummy, as her mummy 'did sewing'.
She was eager that we must do it straight away... so we set about making Shiny come to life.

First she drew a picture of Shiny.

Then she chose the fabric.

A pattern was drawn by her, complete with scaled up face, was pinned to the fabric and 2 star shaped pieces were then cut out, by me.

She transferred the face on to the top piece of fabric ready for me to hand embroider to her specifications.

Then with right sides together Shiny was stitched up, clipped, turned through and stuffed.

My small person, who is also a budding photographer, decided she would like to take lots of photos of Shiny. Here are a few of the ones that she styled and took.

Boy racer Shiny on scooter.

Gardener Shiny.

Shiny on bike.

and finally Shiny having fun on Hoppy.

She had so much fun playing with Shiny that i think she may be sad to give him to the winner.
I expect we shall be making a Shiny mark 2 soon!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

today is a bag day...

hey... i got my sewing mojo back today and have made a handbag.

As most of my fabrics are packed away at the back of the new, still to be finished workspace which is full to the brim, i raided my little home stash instead. I am not sure where i got this piece of retro silk from but it has been in the cupboard for ages. I love this fabric and have often thought about making a dress from it. I have just under 4 yards of it so decided that i could make a handbag and still have plenty left to use for another project.

The shape was based on a small linen handbag that i designed in the past but i scaled the pattern up to shoulder bag size and elongated it slightly as an experiment. I was too impatient to make a prototype so just went for it. The whole bag was backed with a canvas to give it some body as the silk was very soft and floppy.
Taking inspiration from the florals in the fabric i appliqued on a flower motif and highlighted it with tiny seed beads. Once i had made it up i thought that a long strap would work well with the proportions of the main bag. For this i used a complementary furnishing fabric sample. The bag is lined with a gray satin. It has an integral pocket with a bound edge made from a piece of the main floral fabric.
As you can see from this mosaic i had been more inspired by my river walk on Sunday than i had realised! I also have been wearing washed out old jeans and a green tee shirt today. It seems different days bring different colour inspirations. I wonder what colours tomorrow will bring...

click on the image for a bit more detail
g x

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Things i have been doing since my last post....

wow ... it seems to be over 3 three weeks since i last posted here... so i thought i'd better get back on the horse so to speak. Hope you are all well and that you have been enjoying this welcome change in the weather.
Here are a few of the things that i have been doing since my last post...

*making chocolate cake and place settings with the girls for my dad's 70th birthday celebrations, which all went well. He looks fab for 70 and has so much more energy than me. He goes dancing about 5 times a week which keeps him fit. I think he is amazing but then i would as he is my dad.

*missing my husband when he went off to New York for work. (no purl soho visit this time but he brought me back a dress... brave man!)

*watching my eldest daughter turn 10 (growing up fast).

*tee shirt labelling.

*trip to see Nim's island (sweet film) with new 10 year old and her best friend, which produced a few tears from me.... has anyone seen it?

*took 10 year old and best friend clothes shopping (an insight into the future).

*making pizza.

*more tee shirt labelling.

*had eight 10 year old girls (all from the same class) and a 7 year old round for a party. Forgot to ask another grown up to help... i was seriously outnumbered and they really forgot that i was there. They were hugely noisy but extremely good fun. My plan was for them to play some party games, hang out and play and after eating tea make their own Sundae style dessert. It worked well and i have to say i enjoyed being an honoury 10 year old for the afternoon!

*nursing a 10 year old with a violent tummy bug... poor girl. (not party related i hasten to add)

*enjoying taking photographs of poppies and poppy seedheads.(see sweetmyrtle).

*making a carnival headdress with my 7 year old.

*planting out veg and getting the veg beds up to scratch.

*taking nightly slug hunts by torchlight with my old man (who is obsessed).

*running a quiz night at our local school with a few friends. This had been planned for earlier in the year so we had put most of the questions together. One round which worked well was a spelling test (i know i would have been rubbish)... there were a good few teachers there who we thought would appreciate being on the other side for a change! The spelling round was left till two thirds through so by then a fair bit of alcohol had been consumed. Four teams were all in the running to win so the atmosphere was great... friendly but with underlying competitiveness!

*picking the first raspberries of the year... tasty!

*even more tee shirt labelling!

*waiting for a baby to arrive.... still waiting. I will let you know as soon as we know. Thank you for your best wishes to Alice... i have passed them on to her. She is feeling great although a little more uncomfortable now that the head is down and ready to go! should be very soon now. x

*planting up pots... a new thing for me... we have seeded sunflowers so i put them in the centre of a pot and surrounded them with either salad leaves, spinach or nasturtium and with a rare bit of genius from me i surrounded some with alpine strawberries which i have running all over the garden. They are great in the garden to keep the weeds down but i do thin them out at this time each year to allow other plants to grow so it made perfect sense to put them in pots.

*ran a plant stall at the school fair sun burnt and yes and brought a few plants home too.. true to form in purple and pink.(scabiosa and thrift)

* and finally more bloody tee shirt labelling... hopefully this week we can complete this mammoth task as i am so desperate to get into proper designing and sewing again and i would so love this blog to get back to being about the things i make. I am sure this will happen one day soon but first we still have a studio space to finish.. which is the next job.

Gosh this is a bit of a rambling list, though i could have gone on even more... If i have managed to keep your interest to here i'll be amazed.
Have a good week.
g x

ps. while i have been typing this post the girls have been creative with fimo for their dad! ( see pic above)