Patterns

Proud as a Peacock

by Helen on August 13, 2014

I have a confession to make…. once again being a bit slow on the uptake … I have only recently discovered – and have now become – a Pinterest addict!

So what do you think I did after I blogged earlier this week, mentioning Ben, his sad experience and my True Beauty embroidery?  Did I go and do the washing up?  Did I finish painting the porch?  Did I do any one of a hundred things that need to be done?  Oh no … what I did was go and look for peacocks on Pinterest – and after finding some truly beautiful examples I was inspired to put another board together ….

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 You can find my Proud Peacocks board HERE.

Mind you, peacocks don’t sound as lovely as they look – when I was much younger I lived for a while in Warwick, very near the castle and was often woken early by the raucous shrieks of the peacocks that lived in the castle grounds.  But these examples really are lovely, do pop over and take a look!

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I think everybody loves a pretty pin cushion, and I’m no exception to that rule!

Sometimes it’s nice to use an item that you haven’t made yourself  - there are so many talented makers out there – and as I’ve been hunting for that perfect new addition to my workroom supplies I thought you might like to see some of the delicious designs I’ve discovered online …..

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One: Teacup Pincushion by Coco Rose Textiles (www.cocorosetextiles.blogspot.com)  Two: Cupcake Pin Cushion by CrystalCreates2001, Etsy (www.Etsy.com) Three: Personalised Sewing Machine Pin Cushion by RosieBull Designs, Not on the High Street (www.notonthehighstreet.com)  Four: Jammy Dodger Biscuit Pin Cushion by feltsofancy, Etsy (www.Etsy.comLittle Hedgehog Pin Cushion by the imagination of ladysnail, Not on the Highstreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com

Of course over the years I’ve made many of my own pin cushions, and I think the most popular design ever must be my version of a classic make – the Pin Cushion Mice……

They’re just so cute – and a perfect make to keep kids busy on a rainy afternoon in the summer holidays!  If you haven’t downloaded your free Pin Cushion Mice pattern yet, you’ll find it over on my free patterns page along with lots of other goodies too.

If you do decide to download the Pin Cushion Mice, then you’ll be amongst the first to see my new logo and style – I’m so excited about it!  I’ve just begun the process of updating and revising my patterns ready for my new website coming in September, and thought the Pin Cushion Mice was the perfect pattern to start with.  I do hope you like Bustle & Sew’s new look – I’d love to hear what you think!

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True Beauty …..

by Helen on July 21, 2014

Ben is a gentle, good-natured, friendly sort of dog who loves going out and about making new friends and catching up with old ones.  We are used to people who are perhaps nervous of dogs crossing the road to avoid him, but we’re equally used to friendly folk descending upon him and with many oohs and aahhhs making a great fuss of him.  But last week was a little different.

Once he was up on his paws again after his operations, I took him out with me for short walks around and about.  He still had stitches in his eyes, and his face was partly shaved so he was definitely not looking his handsome best.  But still .. I didn’t expect the totally audible comments of “Uurgh, how disgusting” and “Look at that dog it’s gross…” etc etc that he received from one or two people (not his local friends).    And whilst he didn’t understand the words, he certainly picked up on the tone of voice, and his tail lost its cheerful curl and began to droop sadly.  So I took him home again and he hasn’t been anywhere he might meet visitors for a while – though now his stitches are out and his eyes are nearly back to normal I think perhaps its time for him to venture a little further afield again.    And in the meantime I stitched this ….

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For no matter how odd Ben’s face looked after his operation, he was still the same loving, gentle dog inside, and as I’m sure we all know, the same is true for humans too.  I hope you like it and the pattern will be in the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.

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This is a post of three parts – though in the reverse order to the title above – so first the (temporarily) ugly.  Yes, that’s Master Benjamin who, although he is feeling much better, is looking extremely odd.  The vet had to shave his face fur around his eyes before his surgery and his eyelids are bristling with stitches that won’t be removed for another week.  He’s out and about again now and here he is earlier this morning …

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… enjoying a nice amble through the woods.  I am sure that if he could, he would want to join me in thanking all those lovely people who sent their best wishes for his speedy recovery.  Thank you all, your kind thoughts meant so much to us at a worrying time.

The second part of this post then, is the bad bit.  As I am lucky enough to have customers worldwide, but mostly in the USA, I set all the prices on my website in US dollars.  This in itself is absolutely fine, as PayPal or my other processor 2Checkout, do all the whizzy currency calculations for me and convert to sterling.  The problem is that for the last year the pound has been getting stronger – and that means that my income has been falling.  This time last year I was receiving 66p for every dollar, but now its more like 57p – a drop of 13%.  I’ve been able to absorb this drop up until now, but I simply can’t do so any more.  So I’m afraid that my prices will have to rise next month.

I feel really bad about having to do this so before then, and in honour of “Christmas in July”, here’s the last, and good, bit of this post …..

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I’m having a Christmas in July sale with 25% off everything in my store except magazine subscriptions.

This will be the last opportunity to stock up on Bustle & Sew patterns at these prices, so please don’t miss out as the sale is for one week only.  Just pop across to my store now where I’ve opened up my Christmas patterns section too and enter code XMASJULY at checkout.

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