I love visiting our local garden centre, Avon Mill near Loddiswell. It’s grown up around an old mill on the River Avon and is a great outing for us all – dogs are allowed too – that’s well behaved dogs Miss Daisy! When I was a youngster I used to dread my parents’ trips to Watkins Roses, our local garden centre. Back then these places were soooo boring, just acres of plants which had no interest to me at all as a child. But today garden centres are so much more than just plants. Avon Mill has a lovely restaurant – their jacket potatoes are to die for, and a selection of small shops, including a deli with a sweet counter …
Yes, a couple of those pink and white sugar mice did find their way home with me! There’s always plenty of cheerful colour, delightful on a grey December day …
And there’s lots of colour in my latest pattern for the January issue of my magazine too ….
Two Dala Horses and some folk embroidery. Bright primary, happy colours using simple felt applique and crewel wool worked on a neutral linen background. It’s funny how designs develop – I was thinking of horses as 2014 sees the Chinese Year of the Horse, but I also really love the folksy Scandinavian look and the Dala Horse appealed as a good way to combine these two ideas. I’m enjoying rediscovering crewel wool, I haven’t worked with Appleton’s wool for many years and I’d forgotten how much I like it – look out for more crewel work in future issues!
But what about the splashy pups? I hear you ask! I think I mentioned that Avon Mill Garden Centre is directly on the River Avon – there’s bit of a clue there! Back soon to show you what the terrible twosome got up to!
Having a bit of a busy weekend with Rosie – we’re pressing ahead with wedding preparations and this weekend visited two florists in Totnes, Emma Vowles and Blue Geranium (the image below is a Blue Geranium bridal bouquet – isn’t it beautiful!)
But before Rosie decides, we will return for a proper planned appointment with each florist, before which we need to work out our exact requirements, bouquet, buttonholes, table arrangements ……. so much to think about! But nice though. Rosie has an app on her phone now that’s counting down to the big day – to the nearest second – so we know exactly how much time we have. Table runners and napkins after Christmas – lots of sewing for me!
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a little less sewing this week as I’ve been working hard on my Furry Mr Fox tutorial and I’m delighted to be able to say that my video tutorial is finished – well, actually my two video tutes as I’ve broken it into two 10 minute sessions.
If you’re not a subscriber, then the pattern and tutorial for Mr Fox will be available to purchase after the December Magazine is published on Thursday. For Bustle & Sew Magazine readers, the links to the video tutorials will be included in your December issue.
But as well as looking forward – I am planning lots more videos & extra stuff for magazine subscribers next year – sometimes it’s fun to look back too. I received an email last week asking about my Marching Elephants pattern. This design, based on an old childhood colouring book page, was one of my earliest, so I dug it out, dusted it off, updated and improved the pattern instructions …..
And if you’d like to make your own Marching Elephants (I think they look a bit Christmassy – maybe I’ll make a Christmas version too?) then please just CLICK HERE to download the free pdf file.
It looks like this year the trend for cute and kitsch Christmas jumpers will be just as strong as ever – I know the two trendsetters in my family, Rosie and Dan, have already purchased their woolly apparel.
Although I love the look, as the Christmas cook I find that any sort of jumper becomes far too warm and toasty as I baste the turkey and stir my bread sauce on Christmas morning. For this reason I’ve resisted investing in a Christmas jumper as I end up feeling extremely hot and bothered by the time lunch is served. But I do feel a little left out which is why this year I’ve decided things are going to be different! I too am going to be seasonal and festive wearing my new Santa apron.
Some easy machine applique and cheerful red ric-rac braid will ensure that I look just as festive as the Christmas jumper wearers – and won’t end up feeling as roasted as my turkey!
And a nice wrap-round style fasted with a button at the back will ensure that my Christmas outfit isn’t spoiled by any spills and splashes – perfect!
The pattern for my Christmas Santa Apron will be in the December issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine, published on Thursday 28th November – so you’ll have plenty of time to make your own apron before the big day!