A most enjoyable morning

by Helen on August 21, 2014

Yesterday I was very busy all day working hard on the September Magazine.  It’s coming along very nicely and I’m particularly pleased with the cover – featuring my new 21st century Bustle & Sew bunny ….

But while I was very happily occupied, somebody else was feeling a little bored and fed up with the lack of attention….

“Come and play, or what about a lovely walk, come on … puhleeese Muuuummm …..”  

So today I took them both on one of their favourite expeditions – down to the River Avon at Loddiswell.  The river runs clear and cold down from Dartmoor and there’s a beautiful path through woodland alongside, perfect for a gentle relaxing stroll.  But have I ever experienced a gentle relaxing stroll along this path? No.  I have not.  This is because I am towed along by two over-excited, impatient-to-get-in-the water Newfoundlands rather faster than I would choose to travel!  I can’t let them run loose too early as the river banks are very steep and although they’d get into the water absolutely fine, I am not at all sure they’d be able to get out again very easily.  But eventually we reach the wide curve in the river where there’s a lovely shallow shingle beach.   Leads come off and there’s a mad dash for the water …..

River Avon at Loddiswell, Devon

If you’d like to see the image above in a larger format, then please just click on it to view in Flickr.  I wanted to show you how beautiful the river is so took a whizzy panoramic shot on my phone.  I don’t know if you can make out the Newfies – Ben is on the left digging for river stones, while Daisy is paddling around looking for sticks.

As you can see, he’s quite back to his usual self again… collecting some really very large stones – almost too heavy for me to easily pick up.  I took a shot of his collection (he likes to arrange them neatly on the shoreline) next to my feet so you could see their size …

All those large rocks are the stones Ben has retrieved from the river bed!  Hope he doesn’t break another tooth.  Then home for a little sewing. …

This time for Rosie.  She’s asked for a new dress and chosen the Camber Dress from Merchant & Mills.  I’m really enjoying this pattern – there is a most interesting yoke construction and set in sleeves, so lots to think about while the Newfies slumber after their walk.

{ 11 comments }

Summer seems to have fled!

by Helen on August 19, 2014

Today I finally disassembled the wedding rose arch – summer seems to have fled – the evenings are drawing in and it’s sooo chilly in the mornings.  But it’s still only August and I’m not ready for autumn yet!  Most of the fields have now been cut and we’re enjoying the freedom of roaming across the stubble before they’re ploughed again later in the year.  It’s fun to walk along the hedgerows ….

blog01

A fresh new perspective on “our” woods as now we can walk around the perimeter on the other side of the hedge.  And sometimes it’s fun to run and play among the enormous bales of straw – the newfies that is – and you can see how happy Ben is now his eyes are healed and his tooth is no longer there to hurt him ….

 There are autumnal flowers from my garden in my lovely mother-of-the-bride Emma Bridgewater jug ….

blog02

Poppies around the edges of the newly cut fields ….

blog03

And on my latest Pinterest board too (yes, I’ve been playing again!)

http://www.pinterest.com/bustleandsew/poppies/

But surely summer can’t be over yet – after all it’s still warm enough for swimming!

blog04

{ 5 comments }

A solution to my sewing envy

by Helen on August 18, 2014

“The main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is an emotion related to coveting what someone else has, while jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else.”

Neither envy nor jealousy are attractive emotions  and I must admit I wasn’t too clear on the difference between them until I found the definition above.  Then I realised that jealousy is most frequently exhibited by my rather greedy Newfies. Ben in particular will stare very hard indeed when treats are being given out to make sure he, rather than Miss Daisy, has received the largest, tastiest portion of whatever’s on offer.

But I have not been suffering from jealousy, but rather have been the victim of a nasty case of sewing envy.  Let me explain ….

Earlier in the year I watched, and very much enjoyed, the Great British Sewing Bee.  Above is the winner, Heather, with the object of my sewing envy – her pincushion dog!!  Oooooh, how I envied that dog.  Every episode she would retrieve it from her bag and place it firmly on her work table knowing she’d have everything she needed readily to hand.  I, on the other hand, am always losing my tape measure, finding my needle book is elsewhere and scissors, well let’s not even think about the places they need to be retrieved from.

Over time though, I came to realise that it wasn’t so much Heather’s dog itself I was envious of, rather than the idea that all those essential bits and pieces could be instantly to hand in a practical and easily portable form.  Then, one afternoon, as I was sitting in the summer house drinking (probably about my third cup!)  tea, inspiration came to me …..

My September House pin cushion.  It’s more than just a pin cushion though.  Firmly stuffed with a few beach pebbles weighting the base (Heather’s dog always went down with a satisfying thud), it has a needlebook hidden in its roof as well as pockets for scissors and tape …

And then some room for pins of course ….

And my case of sewing envy is cured!

The pattern for my September House pin cushion will be in the September issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine published on Thursday 28th August.

 

{ 23 comments }

Ask the Bunny … Softie Making

by Helen on August 15, 2014

Last week I asked if anyone had questions they’d like to ask the Bustle & Sew bunny.  I received quite a few queries which I’m beginning to put into some sort of order to answer in the coming weeks.  These included an email from a lovely lady called Baa who wanted to know about my free booklet “Making Beautiful Softies” as she couldn’t find the link to download it.  I had a bit of a rummage around and was amazed to discover that I actually put this together way back in 2011 (which is probably why Baa couldn’t find the link!) and it was well overdue for a dusting down and tidying up.  So I spent an hour or two on polishing it up a little and putting it into my new format, and here it is!

The illustration on the front is by my very talented friend Jacqui of Flapdoodledesigns, and shows two of my ever-popular Pincushion Mice.

Just CLICK HERE to download your free copy of Making Beautiful Softies, and if you don’t already have, and would like, the Pincushion Mice pattern, then please just CLICK HERE.

Both the booklet and pattern are free and I’m happy for you to share them with as many people as you wish, providing you don’t change them in any way.  And if you have any questions you’d like to “Ask the Bunny” then please do leave a comment below or email me direct.

{ 6 comments }