I was surprised – and delighted – to receive a phone call earlier this week from a very lovely lady called Janke. Janke lives in the Netherlands (her English is brilliant) and she was trying to track down a pattern that I’d contributed a long while ago to the now defunct Sew Hip Magazine. It turned out that she was searching for my Elephants in Love applique – part of a series of ”in love” designs I created 2 or 3 years ago. One of the most popular was my Owls in Love …..
But I digress …. After Janke’s call I had a bit of a rummage around my pattern files (I am afraid I am not a very organised sort of person) and realised that I hadn’t shared the elephants in love pattern before. Although it’s quite simple, I think it’s very pretty – so I dusted it down and re-formatted it into a pdf file rather than the working notes I sent off to the magazine. And here it is …
I’ve added the pattern to my Free Newsletter Readers’ pattern library page – so if you’d like it – and/or any of the other patterns I share with newsletter readers, then please just CLICK HERE to subscribe. Subscribing is free – and I promise that I will NEVER EVER share your email address with anyone else!
Ben at about 15 months – what a cute youngster!
And finally – please keep your fingers crossed for Ben’s poor sore paw. Sadly his recovery was very short-lived and he’s limping heavily again. So tomorrow he’s off to the vet’s for X-rays. Hopefully we’ll discover the problem and then begin to treat it effectively so he’ll soon start to feel better.
Remember the song from My Fair Lady? “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain..” Well I think that the rain in England falls mainly here in Devon – this week at least. The garden is knee deep in mud, the skies are grey and Ben and Daisy are bored. But poor old Ben is in the wars again – now he is limping heavily on his left front paw, so he is off once more to his least favourite place. (sshhhh, whisper – the V-E-T) I don’t think Daisy is to blame this time – when he was a youngster he broke a bone in that paw, so he’s had a weakness there ever since.
But today is after all the first day of spring, and there’s a definite spring-like feeling developing in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. Auriculas have long been a spring favourite, with their myriad of colours and variety of blooms – did you know there are more than 1,500 named varieties in the UK? Many of their flowers are dusted with an icing-sugar like powder – which is very beautiful – but easily washed away by – guess what – RAIN!! So over the centuries the idea of an Auricula theatre developed to display them at their very best – possibly the most famous being at Calke Abbey – a National Trust property in Derbyshire…..
And so I thought it would be fun to create a mini Auricula theatre to enjoy all year round – mine is a combination of freestyle machine embroidery and hand stitching, using a collection of felt and furnishing fabric scraps….
Mounted on an artist’s canvas block. And being me – there had to be some animal life in there too! Can you spot the two little ladybirds?
Here’s one of them (sorry it’s a bit blurry – it’s such a dark grey day for photography). The Auricula Theatre pattern (together with a little more history about how these theatres came to be) will be in the April Issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out next Thursday. To learn more and subscribe, please click here to visit the magazine page on this website.
This week is Crufts week, when arguably the world’s most famous dog show prepares to open its doors for the 110th time here in the UK. I found out when reading the paper this morning that there really was a Mr Cruft – Charles Alfred – who was born in 1852. He worked as a travelling dog biscuit salesman before he had the idea of staging a dog show to promote his wares.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Crufts exhibitors received special treatment when travelling by the London & North Western Railway. Charles Cruft had helped to design their special dog carriages (each with its own water trough) and the railway regularly had representatives at the shop to help both exhibitors and dogs with their journeys. I’m sure Ben and Daisy would approve of these travelling arrangements. Although neither has ever been on a train, Ben does enjoy riding on the double decker bus between here and Dartmouth with his special doggy day rider ticket! In honour of this special “doggy” week, I’m re-releasing my “Best in Show” applique pattern:
It’s a really easy project – great for beginners, or a quick make for the more experienced. If you’d like it, then please CLICK HERE to download your free pdf file. Meanwhile – here’s another Crufts fact gleaned from my newspaper this morning…
In 1974 Crufts featured in a murder trial! A jury at the Old Bailey heard that a man who had started an affair with a woman he met at Crufts was then stabbed to death by his wife, with the knife he had used to cut up their dog’s food.
Yes, back in the garden again! This time to take photos of the last project for the March Bustle & Sew magazine – published this Thursday – so yes, I’m cutting it fine, but I was quite determined to include this design as it would make a lovely no-calorie gift for Mother’s Day (celebrated next month over here).
I’ve decided to take all my pattern photographs in the summer house now – I’m trying to achieve a consistent Bustle & Sew “look” and I think the white walls make a nice uncluttered background, working well with all sorts of designs. They also act almost like a giant white box, bouncing light around inside giving a nice bright feel to my photos. This design was a lot of fun – combining freestyle machine embroidery with accents of hand stitching to give it a little something special.
When I’d finished photographing my Star Baker project I thought I’d take some photos of some of my spring blooms. The hellebores are particularly nice this year, but it’s fair to say that they’d have been even nicer if they hadn’t been trampled on by two sets of large furry paws!
Sadly I only took a couple of shots because as I was advancing towards a particularly nice clump of daffodils, I heard a commotion coming from behind me. I turned around, and what did I see?
Mum! MUM!! Ben took my new toy. Make him give it back! MAKE HIM GIVE IT BACK!! What?! You say we have to sort it out ourselves? Right! I’ll show that black furry lump what a determined young newfie can do!
Right Big Bro!! I may be small, but you don’t mess with me! I’m gonna roll you over and jump on you!!
Yabba dabba doooooooooo!!!
Sorry I chopped the top of Daisy’s head off – I was laughing so hard it was hard to aim the camera! It’s a good thing Ben is so very sweet natured and easygoing as he is about five times her size and could easily win any argument if he chose.
And finally – here’s the cover for the March issue, I’ve tried to make it look spring-like, rather like my poor trampled garden.
Hope you like it!