Life In Devon

Thought for the day ….

by Helen on April 16, 2014

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Pink, pretty and cutting up curtains …..

by Helen on April 15, 2014

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who left such lovely comments about my mice – and my disappointment, it was so kind of you all.   I’m going to be doing some more projects for that publisher and the editor has been in touch about my picture, so fingers crossed all will be well next time!  I was also touched that one or two people said they’d know my work anywhere and wondered if that might be because I try to make all my softies look nice and kind and cheerful?  

At the moment I have a few of my bunnies from last month’s magazine scattered around the house all ready for Easter …

Spot the little chap on my kitchen windowsill, looking very comfortably settled next to my lovely pink roses( a bargain from Tesco!).  My sewing tin heaped with hexies has just crept into the corner of this picture (there’s a tiny bit peeping out from behind the hen jelly mould) and I hope to be able to show you my completed hexie project very soon indeed.  It’s been a bit of a slow sew – lots of lovely handstitching which I’ve really enjoyed.  I do try to include all sorts of projects and something for everyone in the magazine each month, so I’ve also put some embellished tea towels into the May issue ….

Featuring simple machine applique they’re really quick and easy to make – and would be a great make-to-sell if you’re having a stall at a fete or fair this summer.  These are for Rosie though as I’ve used up some of the scraps from her wedding fabrics, so she and Dan can think happy wedding thoughts even while they’re washing up!  

The boxes next to the kettle are part of my wedding preparations too. They’re holding some sweet pea seeds I’m germinating for Rosie’s wedding garden, whilst the tea pots on my pink chair are destined for the tea tables at her reception, they’ll look so pretty filled with flowers.  But even with all the wedding preparations I’ve managed to squeeze in a little sewing just for me ….

I’m still keeping to easy patterns whilst I practise my half-remembered dress-making skills.  This top was made from Indygo Junction’s Perfect Pullover pattern.  It was soooooo simple – I’d totally recommend it to beginners or less confident dress-makers.  I’m not sure if I went a bit over the top with my recycling though – I made my version from part of an old curtain, a thrifted pillowcase and some leftover Laura Ashley scraps from Rosie’s childhood.  Can I really go out dressed in an old curtain and half a pillowcase I wonder? 

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Pride goes before a fall

by Helen on April 13, 2014

It’s true to say I was feeling very proud.  At the age of – no, some things are best not mentioned – let’s just say at a slightly more mature age than one might expect – I had become a cover girl!  That is to say, my little mice had been chosen for the cover of a new British bookazine “Handmade Gifts.”

“Look it’s us – we’re famous!”

When my copy arrived I couldn’t wait to open it.  Yes, there were my mice, beautifully photographed and the pattern looked wonderful too I thought, though I did wonder why I can’t make my template lines as neat and straight as theirs.  But then …. my eye strayed to the credit box and my heart sank through my boots ….

“That’s not our mum!”

It’s not me!  My mice have been credited to another person (who may or may not be called Helen Dickson) entirely.  Now, I am sure that whoever this lady is she’s a very lovely lady, but the fact remains – she isn’t me!  I am notoriously camera-shy as you know, but I feel I need to set the record straight – this is me….

Back and front view just to be sure!  The magazine editor apologised profusely, but of course it’s too late for any change to be made.  Still, it’s hard to be downcast for long when there are bluebells in the hedgerows and hexies in the sewing tin….

Yes, watch out for some English paper piecing and lots of little hexies in the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – perfect handstitching to take out and about with you now the warmer weather’s here. (or on its way at least!) 

 

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A lovely start to the day..

by Helen on April 8, 2014

I woke up this morning feeling happy and energised – the sun was shining!!  It’s amazing how much difference this makes!  I leapt out of bed(!) and was instantly inspired to finish arranging my collection of vintage schoolroom posters.  I inherited these from my Mum who was an infant school teacher for many years and I think my workroom wall is the perfect place to display them …..

It’s all looking very cheerful, although I don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist and that organised chaos is probably the best I can hope for!  Then, even before breakfast, I sewed a little of my new top – the first dressmaking project I’ve undertaken for many years…..

I’ve chosen a pretty Rose & Hubble floral print and the pink gingham is the facings.    I discovered a lovely easy pattern – the Esme Top from Sew Liberated which I thought would be perfect to begin with.   All this early morning work made me feel hungry though, so I switched off my sewing machine and headed downstairs for breakfast……

I do find that I need plenty of energy at the beginning of the day – those naughty newfies take a lot of looking after!  But pre-wedding diet plans dictate that although pancakes are fine (cooked in non-stick pan without oil) golden syrup and/or Nutella definitely isn’t.  So it’s lemon juice, no sugar for me!  

But not for my furry friend!  Sorry Miss Daisy, no tasty scraps for you this morning!  Now I’m hoping the sunny weather will continue – I have plans for rose planting later on ….

So Rosie can walk under an archway of roses on her wedding morning – which isn’t too far off now – and there’s still so much to do.  It’s a good thing I am feeling energetic this morning!

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