felt

Happy colours, splashy pups (part one)

by Helen on December 10, 2013

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 …

Sugar mice in potYes, 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 …

Garden centre colour

 And there’s lots of colour in my latest pattern for the January issue of my magazine too …. 

handukkar 004

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!

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Fred & Ginger: A Giveaway to Enter!

by Helen on December 6, 2013

I haven’t had a giveaway here on my blog for quite a while so I think it’s time to put that right!  But before I tell you what it’s all about, I really must show you a picture…  In my last post I mentioned the problems of effective time management when living with two furry friends who feel that my life should be spent giving them everything they want.   In Daisy’s case this means playing and lots of walks.  She has developed a habit of sitting next to the table as I work and if I ignore her then she begins to stare – very hard indeed!

DaisyIt’s very hard to concentrate when she’s doing this, which of course is the whole point!  ”Work not going too well Mum?  Let’s go for a walk instead, or perhaps a nice game of tug-o-war will help refresh your brain.”  Little monster!

Fred & Ginger

But back to my giveaway….. I’m a bit of a Strictly Come Dancing fan (how dare they eliminate Ben?!?), and my Saturday evenings are filled with tinsel and twirling – on the TV that is – not me!  So I thought it would be nice to include a Strictly-inspired pattern in the next issue of the Bustle & Sew e-Magazine.  And here are Fred and Ginger, the two little ballroom dancing rats, seen above in profile, and below in all their glory ….

Fred & Ginger

 The giveaway is your chance to win a Fred or Ginger kit (your choice) that contains everything you need to make your very own little dancing ratty!  They’re quite large – about 12″ from ears to toes with moveable joints – buttons and strong threads and lovely button noses.  

Caption Competition

 To enter all you need to do is leave a comment on this post and, just for fun (not essential), suggest a fun caption for the picture of Fred and Ginger above.  The winner will be chosen by random selection.  The giveaway will close on Thursday 12 December and winner will be announced the following week.  I will post your Fred (or Ginger) kit anywhere in the world – and hopefully it will be with you before Christmas!  

Good luck everyone!

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Softies – not just for Christmas!

by Helen on December 1, 2013

Bustle & Sew Softies

I’m already looking beyond Christmas makes – to the next issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – unbelievably that’s January 2014!  But the fun (and the softie-making) won’t stop when Christmas is over – here’s a sneak preview of the first pattern for the January issue ….

Mouselet

 Here is Fred, looking a little forlorn.  He is still waiting for (1) his outfit and (2) his beloved – I have a bit of a Fred and Ginger moment going on here in honour of Strictly – watch out for developments!!

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Rosie Paws and Sparkle Reindeer

by Helen on November 16, 2013

I sometimes feel as though I’m running on the spot when it comes to Christmas presents.  I love to give handmade gifts to my family and, as well as sewing, I enjoy knitting too.  

I’ve knitted for Rosie since before she was born(!), all kinds of jumpers, cardigans, hats and scarves, and even now she tells me there’s nothing like some hand-knitted paw-covers to cheer her day.  So when I found a lovely pattern called Cathy Rose Mitts from Sandra Paul  (she features them on her blog here)  I felt sure Rosie would appreciate discovering them under the tree this Christmas.

They don’t take much yarn, so I uncovered some I had leftover  from an earlier project, and set to work.  It’s a great little pattern and I was delighted with the results.  So delighted in fact, that I kept them on the chest in my bedroom where I could gaze at them in satisfaction.  But, as my mum always used to say, “Pride goes before a fall.”  And because I was proud of my work and enjoyed looking at them – I forgot to hide them before Rosie came to stay.  She spotted them and loved them too!

Rosie Paws

Put them on …. and took them away with her!  So now I am back to the beginning again.  I have another idea for Miss Rosie, but this time I’m keeping my work well under wraps.  Rosie is a major snaffler of my work and on her last visit as well as these little mittens, my Baby Owls Draught Excluder found its way into her car and home to Bristol with her…. 

Owls Draught Excluder

 But she won’t be allowed to snaffle my latest pattern for the Bustle & Sew Magazine – my Sparkle Reindeer!

Sparkle Reindeer

 Some easy applique, vintage buttons and LED battery-operated Christmas lights – cool to the touch and with the bulbs poked through holes in the fabric/board – these really are sparkle reindeer!

Sparkle Reindeer

 It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas here at Coombe Leigh – and the December Magazine is shaping up to be a very festive issue indeed! 

Sparkle Reindeer

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