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A new Humphrey for you

by Helen on February 15, 2014

Phew …. it’s been a busy few days what with one thing and another!  I’ve been working hard on a couple of commissioned designs as well as the March magazine, so haven’t been around much online recently.  But here I am now with a new updated Humphrey pattern.  

Humphrey was one of  my original free patterns – based on a vintage design from my own childhood.  I’ve updated that old pattern and included some a few tips on how to stop fabrics fraying when hand stitching your softies.  If a softie’s quite plain I sometimes feel felt can be a bit (whisper it) boring so it’s nice to use a patterned fabric, though you do have to deal with the fraying issue. I thought Humphrey needed this patterned treatment  which in his case has acted a bit like a face-lift!  He now looks a lot younger than his age recreated in a lovely vibrant pink check …..

If you’d like to make your own Humphrey, please just CLICK HERE to download your updated free pattern.

I’ve had to keep Humphrey – and his friend, the famous super-model(!) Sidney well out of Daisy’s reach while taking their pictures.  I think she is becoming rather jealous that they take all my attention while I’m sewing them …….

Wonder what she’s thinking!  

She enjoyed her walk today though – the first time for ages that we’ve enjoyed a bright sunny morning – perfect for a longer excursion.  But the bridlepath was blocked by a fallen tree – a casualty of the recent gales.  

We approached the problem in various – but very typical – ways.  I stood back – assessed the situation, measured by eye and decided I could clamber over the tree through a gap in the branches.  Ben used his enormous strength to force a hole then shoulder his way through the lower branches, whilst Daisy – oh dear – couldn’t wait to follow her brother through the hole he’d made but  twirled round and round in mad excitement, then made a flying leap, became stuck in the tangle of ivy festooning the trunk and had to be rescued.  Silly puppy!  Then home for a little stitching on another project for the March magazine….

A vintage illustration from “The Rosie Posie Book” by Anne Anderson. I’m really enjoying stitching this – it makes me think of summer days to come and I hope subscribers will love it too.

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Three easy Eco-Totes …. and Sidney!

by Helen on February 11, 2014

Thanks so much to everyone who left comments on my last post or emailed me.  I’m not embarrassed about cutting up my ironing board cover at all now – in fact I shall be looking for even more ways to reuse and recycle and will definitely be implementing one or two of your ideas.  Of course a great way to cut waste and help the environment is to stop using plastic bags, something that we’re particularly keen on down here in Devon.  I always try to have a reusable bag tucked inside my pocket or handbag when I’m out shopping – and as last year’s bag is getting little the worse for wear I thought I’d include some new designs in the March issue of the Bustle & Sew eMagazine.  There are three versions, all featuring easy machine applique.  I started by photographing the Twelve of Hearts bag ….

Rosie’s already claimed this one when I’ve finished writing up the pattern!  But the bag seemed a little flat and empty in the photo.  Then I remembered a small softie who is always wanting to join in the fun …..

Yes, it’s Sidney from the August 2013 Magazine!  He would make the perfect model for my tote bags I thought.  So I brought him downstairs and tucked him inside the Bunny Love bag …

Where he looked rather nice.  Then we tried the Fabric Daisy bag – Sidney was clearly becoming accustomed to his new career in modelling and posed to perfection!

I’ve included these bags in the magazine as part of my series “Making Money from Making.”  Part Two in the March Bustle & Sew eMagazine is all about pricing – and includes why it’s important to offer makes at different price points as well as not undervaluing your time.  The eco-totes are speedy, but attractive makes that I think would prove very popular at craft shows – and  if you’re not making to sell (or give away) – they’ll be great for carrying your own shopping home!

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Daisy’s Birthday Pawty

by Helen on November 10, 2013

Yesterday was a very special day – it was Miss Daisy’s first birthday, and Rosie, her number one fan, decided that we should mark the occasion with a canine birthday pawty!  They spent the morning baking …

Daisy's Birthday Pawty

….a  whole pile of crunchy peanut butter treats, as well as a doggy birthday cake …

Daisy's BirthdayBefore long it was time for the birthday girl to put on her pawty hat ….

Daisy's Birthday

As her special guest was about to arrive – the extremely handsome Lionel ..

Daisy's Birthday Pawty

Whilst the youngsters played and the humans chatted  (Daisy was sure Lionel was laughing at her hat!), Ben just wanted to sample the cake …Daisy's Birthday Pawty

 Not long to wait Ben!  Light the candle and join in the singing .. Happy Birthday Miss Daisy, Happy Birthday to you.

pawty3

 But all too soon the pawty came to an end and it was time for Lionel to go home. Everyone, especially Daisy, had a wonderful time.

Daisy's Birthday PawtyHappy first birthday, Daisy.  We hope you had a pawfect day!!

 

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An Autumn Afternoon

by Helen on October 5, 2013

The rain clouds have all blown away and today was a wonderfully warm, mellow autumnal day.  The newfies love this time of year – all their summer lethargy disappears – and they eagerly anticipate their daily outings.  Today we visited Snapes Point, always a favourite  …. 

An autumn expedition

 We don’t actually live very far from Snapes Point as the crow flies, but because the estuary meanders between the hills, disappearing into innumerable little creeks and inlets, it takes us about half an hour to reach the car park.  Then Ben’s first through the gate ….

An autumn expedition

 The field where we went blackberrying last month has all been ploughed now, and there are far fewer boats in the creek than we saw just a few weeks ago…..

An autumn expedition

 A very autumnal feeling – lots of little mushrooms scattered across the fields …..

An autumn expedition

 I’m not very good at identifying fungi, so when we got home I consulted my books …. 

An autumn expedition

Rather old – positively vintage in fact – but I’m sure that fungi won’t have changed that much!  I didn’t find my little mushrooms though since, as usual, I became distracted by the illustrations, so much work – such detail and lovely colours.  I much prefer botanical illustrations to photographs …

An autumn expedition

 Wonderful!  But I am good at identifying different hips, haws and berries in the hedgerows and was delighted to discover an abundance of beautiful scarlet rose hips.  I gathered nearly 2 lbs, and intend to try making my Auntie Joyce’s rose hip jelly tomorrow …. 

An autumn expedition

 But tonight we all have tired legs, feet and paws – so it’s an evening in front of the TV for us.  Should we choose Strictly Come Dancing (my preference) or another rerun of The Wonder of Dogs (as preferred by Daisy?!)?  

An autumn expeditionSorry Daisy – I’m in charge of the remote – so it’s Strictly tonight I’m afraid!!

 

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