ben

Too much time on my laptop

by Helen on September 23, 2014

Everything is getting very exciting here at Bustle & Sew HQ – well in MY opinion anyway!  Poor Ben thinks I’ve become very boring as I’m spending so much time on my laptop ….

This is because my new website is nearly ready to launch, so I’ve been very VERY busy updating, tweaking, adding new links and deleting old ones ready for THE BIG DAY next Wednesday 1st October.  And of course this week is Magazine publication week too, which is always a busy time.  I’ve just uploaded the preview, so if you’d like a peek between the pages please click below:

 

Hope you like it!

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Lovely mellow Sunday ….

by Helen on September 7, 2014

Early September is one of my most favourite times, and this year it’s been especially lovely down here in south Devon with misty mornings, heavy dews and beautiful golden days … so welcome after the horrible grey days towards the end of last month.  The Newfies love this time of year too.  Now the weather’s a little cooler they can go out and about more, and as there are fewer visitors I can relax and let them run free again.  It’s not that they’re unfriendly – no – the problem is quite the reverse, in that they can both (but especially Daisy) be rather too friendly which can be a little alarming if you’re not used to, or don’t particularly like, dogs.

Today we went up to the woods at Woodleigh, about 20 minutes from home.  This collection of four woods is very extensive, and we haven’t by any means explored them all yet.  I’m hoping to find the path down to the river now I’m able to walk longer distances again (with the help of my trusty walking pole).  That’s the River Avon, the same river that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.

This is the path down through the fields into the woods, which stretch right down to the river along the valley floor.  And if I were to turn round and cross the lane, then I could walk another two or three miles the other way too.  The woods at Woodleigh were the first to be acquired by the Woodland Trust and are grouped on the outer edge of the tiny village of Woodleigh with its twisty lanes and picture-perfect English cottages …

And on the way home there’s the chance to stop at the garden centre, which like so many has diversified and so, after browsing bulbs, bushes and other gardening goodies, it’s fun to pop into the little deli and choose from a lovely array of local  ……

and some not-so-local produce …

Before heading home for a gentle snooze (the Newfies) and some seasonal sewing (me).

Here’s the first two completed projects for the October issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine and I do hope you like them.

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New visitor .. new dress

by Helen on September 3, 2014

For the last few days we have been a twelve-paw household!  Eight large black sturdy paws, belonging to two slightly goofy newfies – and four slender golden curly paws belonging to Tilly, Rosie and Dan’s little goldendoodle puppy.

Here is the naughty Miss Tilly making herself very comfortable in a TOTALLY forbidden place, deep in blissful dreams and happily waving those four small paws in the air ….

Like all puppies, her bouts of frantic energy, chasing, scampering, nibbling, stealing things she shouldn’t and generally being a bit of a pest, are punctuated by periods of deep sleep, from which she can only occasionally be persuaded to wake for her photo …

(It’s so much easier to photograph a dog that isn’t all black!).  Tilly shows no fear of the newfies at all, even though Ben and Daisy are probably about 10 times her size, and doesn’t hesitate to use them for a pillow when the need for sleep overtakes her (yes, that’s Ben’s bum her head is resting on above – see the full pose below!)

We loved having her – though she has totally worn us all out.  It’s nice to have a peaceful few days to recover our energy levels until she returns for a longer period while Rosie and Dan are away on their honeymoon.  They are heading off to a much warmer, sunnier place, a very long way south and so, along with my Christmas projects for the October Magazine

I’ve been doing some totally tropical(!) dressmaking for Rosie.  We were both delighted with how the Camber dress pattern from Merchant and Mills turned out – it was a dream to make and fitted Rosie’s body shape really well with only minimal adjustments needed.  Rosie chose a much brighter fabric than I’m used to working with – but I think it looks very nice – extremely suitable holiday wear ….

Just the hem to take up now and it’s finished, then onto the next one – only a few days left to finish it before they’re off.  Luckily it’s a really user-friendly pattern. The pieces fit together well there are no zips or other fastenings, and now I’ve worked out the yoke construction I don’t think it takes more than 3 or 4 hours in total.  Better not tell Rosie that though, or she’ll be wanting one for every day of the week!

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Owls, foxes and our new bunny …

by Helen on August 11, 2014

I’ve been very busy over the weekend working on the patterns for the September issue of the magazine, including my first Christmas pattern of the year (catch a glimpse of my penguin over on Instagram).  In September my thoughts begin to turn away from the beach inland towards the woods as the trees begin to shed the first of their leaves and mushrooms and toadstools peek up through the mossy ground. So I thought it would be fun to create a woodland-style tea cosy for the September issue and at first was considering an owl …..

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And put together a whole board of owls on Pinterest while I was looking.  There are so many lovely knitted owl tea cosies, but not many that are sewn.  I was nearly decided upon an owl, when I spotted a lovely illustration  …..

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From the very talented EvaJuliet’s shop on Etsy.   I did a little bit more searching and discovered that whilst there were lots of beautiful owl cosies, nobody seemed to have created a pattern for fox-lovers.   So yesterday afternoon while the Newfies were sleeping I did a little measuring and cutting, stitching and snipping and came up with ….

A sleepy fox tea cosy!  Perfect to keep my pot lovely and snug during the colder months.  The pattern for my sleepy fox cosy will be in the September issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  Which will also have a bit of a makeover, including the new Bustle & Sew bunny on the cover for the first time……

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Isn’t she adorable!  Next month’s issue will also have some extra goodies inside with more to follow over the coming months!  This website is going to be given a new look in September too – with the updated Bustle & Sew bunny and a more modern (though still very cute!) style.  I do hope you’ll like it!

And finally … thank you so much to everyone who sent lovely emails and messages of support to Ben after his operation and sad experience with some very rude people.  Image4

He’s now fully recovered and allowed to go swimming again.  Here he is about to dive in – what could be a nicer start to the day? he thinks.

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