Sunday, 27 December 2009
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
The last few weeks have flown by- I expect its been the same for most of you. The cleaning, tidying, shopping etc in the build up to Christmas, seems to take up lots of time. I do a bit of that but most of my last few weeks have been thoroughly enjoyable as I have been busy crafting away and making lots of gorgeous little Christmas gifts for friends and family.
I might blog a few after Christmas but not now as I don't want to spoil the surprise!
Its always hard to know what to buy and post to my friends and this year I decide it was going to be "Twiglet-made" goods. So, at least some of my Yorkshire friends will have received a little parcel with a few of these goodies!!
My photo is just the flowers on my hearth with some of Ms old favourites alongside. The little stained glass Santa candle holder was a gift for Ms first Christmas and from the same folk who made the little wooden Santas. A special Happy Christmas to them if they read this!
Christmas will be different for us this year, as we will be spending some of it with M in her new home. She is cooking Christmas dinner and has done the "big shop" instead of me this year.
So, to all friends and family who read this - All my good wishes for a very happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year!
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Having mentioned this to an old school friend, she remarked that her son and his partner wanted blinds for their lounge. Being the kind hearted soul that I am, I offered to help her to make them.
Last week we went to measure up and yesterday we met up at her house to make them.
I have to say, that although we spent seven years at school together, we have only met infrequently over the years since I moved up to Yorkshire. Moving back to my "homelands" has enabled us to rekindle our friendship. Yesterday was proof that childhood friends are some of the best we ever make.
We arranged to meet in town, so that we could have a quick look round and a coffee, before heading back to start on the gorgeous fabric for the blinds.
The beige linen fabric with cream velour lilies scattered across it was already laid out on the lounge floor, ready for measuring and cutting. We chatted as we deliberated where to start, which lily would look best across the top etc. It was easy to agree and together we measured each blind and then cut them out, as well as the linings to go with them.
The time flew as we reminisced old times, friends and families. We laughed as we worked together, just as we had, as giggling school girls, all those years ago.
With our sewing machines set up on either side of the dining table, we sewed along, managing to get each blind half-finished before tea-time. Mrs Woodroffe, our old needlework teacher, would have been proud of us and indeed her name was mentioned more than once!
I will return next week hoping to find them all done and ready for us to pop over and hang.
It just made me think how good it is to share knowledge and expertise and what fun can be gained in doing so. (Of course having taught infants all my life I knew that already!)
Sunday, 22 November 2009
We all have mad moments and make purchases on impulse now and again!
Having checked out a few of the multitude of charity shops in Shrewsbury I came across this well loved, little sweater. I looked at it on the rail and deliberated, then I put it back where I found it and roamed around the shop. The pretty colour and its cheery embroidery seemed to call to me so that, as I walked towards the door, I found myself lifting it from the rail and paying for it.
Having arrived home with my little bargain, I then had to decide what to do with it. I trawled the web and found lots of websites for using recycled sweaters. Suggestions included; bags, purses, hats, leg warmers, brooches and many more.
I followed the instructions on felting sweaters and washed it a couple of times on a hot wash. The result was a tiny, well felted woolly sweater which I cut up into front, back and two sleeves. As I had never sewn with a felted sweater before, I decided to use one of the sleeves first. At least if I ruined that, then all was not lost!!
So, using the embroidered area, I cut out the front and then used the top of the sleeve for the back of a little bag. I used the rib from the neckband for the top of the bag, adding a button and button hole. The strap is a twisted, felted length of wool. I lined it with bright pink cotton fabric.
The result - well make your own mind up - I think its cute!
Sunday, 15 November 2009
1. Where is your cell phone? Window sill
2. Your hair? Fair!
3. Your mother? A giggler/Departed
4. Your father? A rock/Departed
5. Your favorite food? Honey
6. Your dream last night? Confused
7. Your favorite drink? Chablis
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. What room are you in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? Craft
11. Your fear? Depression
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Daughter’s
14. Something that you aren't? Miserable
15. Muffins? No - brownies
16. Wish list item? Imagination
17. Where did you grow up? Shropshire
18. Last thing you did? Felting
19. What are you wearing? Jeans
20. Your TV? off
21. Your Pets? Borrowed gerbils
22. Friends? Reliable
23. Your life? Busy
24. Your mood? Contented
25. Missing Someone? Yes
26. Vehicle? Rover
27. Something you’re not wearing? Perfume
28. Your favorite store? Any book shop
29. Your favorite colour? Turquoise
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Remembrance Day
32. Your best friend? Wipso
33. One place that I go to over and over? Wipso’s
34. Facebook? No
35. Favorite place to eat? Home
Friday, 13 November 2009
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Clover needle felting hand punch
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Friday, 30 October 2009
Last week we attended a fashion show in this wonderful venue - The Trinity Centre, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury. It is a beautifully designed facility in the grounds of the church and must be a super asset to the area.
We were there for a charity event organised by The Community Council of Shropshire to raise funds for the Grassroots Fund. Now this is a really clever Grant scheme, so, for any Shropshire folk wanting funding for small voluntary and community groups - read on!!!
Every pound donated is matched by the Government so if you include Gift Aid etc - Every £1 donated is worth £2.56 to the fund!!
So, back to the fashion show....
The clothes were provided by Viyella, Country Casuals and Get Ahead Hats and modelled by local ladies. The ticket included scrummy finger food, er - sorry - canapes, kindly donated by Chapel Catering. Tents and Marquees Ltd loaned the catwalk carpet. Wrexham & Shropshire Railways donated 1st Class railway tickets to London and there was a magnificent raffle.
I guess a lot of effort had gone on behind the scenes to ensure the evening went like clockwork.
It really was a super event and will have raised well over £1000 as at least 100 tickets were sold. So, together with the matched funding from the Govenment, that will provide over £2000 for the Shropshire Grassroots Fund which can be used to increase the capacity of small voluntary community groups in Shropshire in years to come.
The Community Council of Shropshire has its own website http://www.shropshire-rcc.org.uk/
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
As she works full time in a very demanding job, she has had little time to help. She is great at the designing and planning and loves doing the "Ideal Home" bit, choosing colours, fabrics and accessories. This weekend however, she decided she wanted to make cushions for her new bedroom. My sewing room is always well stocked with remnants and all sorts of haberdashery bits and bobs. So, off she went in search of the materials to make her cushions.
About three hours later, with a little help from me, she had produced these two little cushions in her grey/pink colour scheme.
I don't have any pink or grey buttons left in my button jar but isn't that what we save them for?
Friday, 16 October 2009
Friday, 9 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
I felt a quick visit to the wardrobe was needed! Way back in my college days of the early seventies when I was studying Textiles (alongside Bruce Oldfield, I might add here!) at Sheffield City College, I designed and made this wayout silk dress.
Of course tie-dye and the colours purple and orange were trendy in the seventies - hence this gorgeous concoction of hand dyed and embroidered silk. The hemline, sash and centre panel are tie-dyed circles and the main fabric of the dress has a marbled effect. The photo below shows the machine embroidery and beading on the midriff panel. I think the idea came from my design sketchbook based on steam engine wheels!! (Boyfriend liked to visit the Railway Museum at York- the old one not that nice new thing there now!!!)
It is still in perfect condition, full length, fully lined and if my memory serves me correctly, wonderful to wear - I haven't done so for a while as it is a size 10 and I am not!!!!! It helped me gain a Distinction in my course work so I guess it must be beautifully made too - sounds like an advert but I think I would need to be offered a lot of money to sell it. It feels like an old friend - lots of happy memories of fun in the Textile department whilst we were sewing, weaving, potato printing but most of all laughing. Those were the days.....
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Calico Kate makes her own cards and also makes gorgeous cushions from vintage embroidered cloths and napkins. If you want something a little different for a gift or card just follow the link.
Wipso and I have been busy with cards, curtains and cosy tops.
She has a holiday coming up and needed her new tops making, ready to take away with her. As you will see if you read her blog http://wipso-astitchintime.blogspot.com/ she has been extremely busy and struggling with a very sore eye too. So - big sister to the rescue - I have made two smart tops for her using the fabric she bought from Abakhan. I think she was suitably pleased!
This week I shall be busy preparing for my visit by friends from Yorkshire so the sewing will have to wait. I am itching to get going on some smocked, Autumn frocks for Phoebe. I found a super, little top in Sainsbury's and have adapted the pattern to suit my smocking. Hopefully I will get it done before I am inundated with curtains and blinds for my daughter's new house.
Today we had the church garden club sale on Wipso's front garden. She has continued this event, supporting the garden club Dad helped set up over 30 years ago. He always allowed them to use his garden and even gave guided tours of his magnificent vegatable plot! Since 1989 when he sadly passed away, Wipso and her hubby in a million have held the sale, twice yearly, to raise funds for the club. All the members bring spare plants and produce to sell. It was like Harvest Festival with apples, damsons, blackberries, marrow, beetroot, tomatoes and lots of plants at knockdown prices! We even had a raffle and lucky old me - I won a bottle of red wine!
So thanks Wipso - I shall raise a glass to you tonight as I watch part two of "Strictly Come Dancing!"
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Amazingly much of the school was just as we remembered it. Of course, there were new buildings, including a smart library and huge sports hall, but mostly it looked much the same. We even recognised cupbards in classrooms and the odd desk or two with ink wells and lids carved with initials from the past - not ours, I hasten to add.
Gone are the draughty corridors open to the elements and threatening frost bite when you ventured out to change classes or worse still strip to PE gear for hockey on the field. The corridors are now glazed and we baked under hot glass as we walked along to Room 3 - the 1960s room. We were hoping to meet old friends from our year but we three were the only ones. We did meet others we remembered and shared their photos and a few happy memories.
Lots of the "old girls" were literally that - ladies who had been at the school much before us - some back into the 30s and 40s. It was lovely to see them enjoying a good natter over their refreshments. The organisers had put on a wonderful spread and even produced a huge celebration cake with the school badge. Our motto, I think, was "haud pro una, sed pro multis" and if my memory and my latin learned all those years ago serve me correctly, means "not for one but for many". Very true I suppose, whichever way you choose to interpret it!!
We took a few snaps of each other and then made our last port of call the old gym where we spent many an unhappy hour in our bottle green knickers!! We opened the door with a faint feeling of trepidation, only to find that it is now a drama hall, an altogether much cosier friendlier place. It didn't stop us sharing a few of our memories of falls from wall bars and struggles to mount leather backed, huge boxes and pommel horses!! We could even recall the names of those lythe, agile beauties who could accomplish all with ease - sadly we were not amongst them!!
Heading for home and a barbecue on this rare sunny evening in my friends back garden, we all three thought it had been an event not to miss but wished some of our other friends had turned up to share it with us.
For anyone interested- left - Josie, Chris, Judith & Gill
Below, gathered around the sculpture called "Femininity" in the quadrangle, are the girls of the Upper Sixth in the summer of 1969. We designed and made that uniform ourselves!!
PS - Thanks Chris, for organising a brilliant weekend.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
My sister suggested the addition of tiny flowers across the centre of the smocking to match those already embroidered on the fabric. Really pretty, I think!
I only have photos and a couple of measurements for the little girl it was made for, so I was delighted to get an email saying that it fit. Better still, little Fleur loved it and insisted on wearing it all that day - success!!!
My other project was a make do and mend - so easy and satisfying to almost have something for nothing.
I used the frills, lace and fabric from a ladies blouse to create another little pinafore dress for my niece. The pattern for both these dresses was copied and adapted from a dress I bought earlier in the summer so no cost there either!
I must say that my sewing lessons from the 1960's have stood me in good stead over the years and my teacher - Mrs Woodroffe did a brilliant job.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Most of the runners yesterday had messages on their backs saying who they were running to remember or cancer survivors to be thankful for. Today I heard the sad news that a young friend, only 27, has cancer which has already progressed to her liver and lungs. It certainly put our problems in perspective and made us really glad that we made the effort to go yesterday and thus raise a few pounds to help beat this hideous disease.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
I just don't know where August went - I certainly didn't spend it sunbathing!!!
We had a few fine days but I certainly felt sorry for all parents trying to keep chidren entertained through their school holidays.
Blogging friend http://pipany-poltiskofarm.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_ had a lovely idea of putting activities on cards in a jar and picking out a different one each day - clever!!
So what did I do....
My daughter is home with us at the moment so she has inspired us to get out and walk more.
We have combined it with picking blackberries and better still, billberries, which have been plentiful on the Stiperstones -along with wonderful views across Shropshire and the Welsh border country. Now I have a well stocked freezer and jars of blackberry jam. I haven't made jam for years so it was quite an experiment but the result is delicious!! The billberries blackened our teeth, tongues and mouths and now I know why you don't often see them on restaurant menus!!
My latest sewing project has been a little smocked pinafore dress for a friend's daughter. She has yet to receive her parcel so I will save the photo until she has seen the real thing. I think its really pretty - I just hope it fits.
We have also been absorbed in tracing my husbands family tree and have found it quite addictive. I may blog more on this later as the everyday history of the times fascinated me. We still have a few unsolved problems to crack.
My sister always said she didn't have time to blog - I think you will see from http://wipso-astitchintime.blogspot.com/2009/07/lets-make-start.html that she does have time and is making a very good job of both blogging and her little sewing business!!
She set me a task of listing -"Things I have but don't need" and "Things I need but don't have"
Interesting thought, so I will be blogging about that later too.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Seven words that describe me........
HEALTHY - I count this as one of the my most fortunate features as, apart from a few minor ailments, I am fit and active and have all my own teeth!!
PATIENT - One of my strongest characteristics that enabled me to survive nearly 25 years teaching infants and enjoy every day. Oh - and remain happily married to G!
CRAFTY - As in dabbling in many different crafts - Jack of all trades, master of none but I have had lots of fun and made others happy too with some of my work.
LOVING - I try to give a little love to a lot of folk and a lot of love to my nearest and dearest.
GIVING - It always gives me pleasure to give to others and its amazing how it comes back in ways I'm not expecting.
BUSY - I am rarely bored and fill every day with lots of different activities - home, garden, visits, crafts, family, friends......
Friday, 17 July 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
We were at Sheffield City College of Education in the early seventies. We lived together with three others for three years in the previously blogged about terrace near Bramhall Lane and haven't met since we left in 1974.
We have exchanged Christmas cards and followed each others lives -births, marriages and other not so happy events. She emailed me this year and suggested meeting up.
I think we were both a bit anxious - 36 years is a long time after all.
We needn't have worried. We met at the park and ride and talked non-stop all the way into town. Shrewsbury is a lovely town to wander around -lots of little streets and pretty shops to dip into. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch, laughing at old photos and catching up on old friends and family. The time flew by and we were soon back in the car park saying our goodbyes and promising to meet again soon.
It was a relaxing day in the company of an old friend. I hope I don't have to wait another 36 years to meet up again!!
Monday, 6 July 2009
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Over the last two years it has been fun to re-discover the county and search out places I had heard of and wanted to visit. So during this weekend of sunshine we headed out into the beautiful south Shropshire countryside.
Firstly, we drove over the Stiperstones with the rocky outcrops including the "Devil's Chair" and then over to the "Long Mynd" and down the narrow road with perilous drops into Cardingmill Valley. Feeling energetic and in need of exercise, we walked up the valley past the waterfall listening to the stream as it cascaded over the rocks back down the valley. We followed the V-shaped valley up steep steps, over rugged rock slopes and then over the top and back down part of the Jack Mytton Way. The four mile walk left us hot and thirsty so we headed off to our next port of call for a cool drink in the gardens of the School House at Acton Scott farm museum near Church Stretton.
This is the venue used by the BBC for the filming of the programme about life on a Victorian farm which was televised a while ago.
We strolled in and out of the farm buildings moving from the warmth of a bright summer's day to the cool of the stone floored scullery or butter churning dairy. We watched the Tamworth sow suckling her piglets and the hand made bricks being "thrown" by the brick maker.
It was just a perfect way to relax and chill out and so typically English.
Our Sunday morning visit took us to Stokesay Castle. I think this must be one of the best English Heritage sites I have visited. The manor house, tower and gate-house have been restored and maintained superbly over the last century and now allow a very atmospheric peep into life in the past. Again, it was a perfect way to unwind just by meandering quietly around the buildings and enjoying the views from the cleverly sited castle with its views out into the Shropshire countryside. We sat in the castle courtyard surrounded by English cottage garden flowers, watching the swallows swoop in and out of the building as they fed their chicks up in the rafters.
I know it sounds like a tourist guide but it really was that good!!