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!
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 ….
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!!
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!
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a little fox. Now this little fox had one special dream that he held tight to his heart and did nothing about while he waited and waited and waited for it to come true. But one day he met a very wise old owl who told him that it’s no good just waiting and hoping for your dreams – you have to make them happen.
So one starry, snowy night, the little fox chose a very bright and shiny star. Then he sat for a long time on a nice fat comfy toadstool and gazed at this star very hard indeed while he wished for some help to make his dream come true …..
And the very next day he saw an advert for embroidery classes. He instantly enrolled and carefully practised his stitches every day. Now his dream really has come true …..
He can embroider beautifully!
A very silly story!! But my fox is all finished and ready for the December Bustle & Sew Magazine. And in the magazine, as well as the pattern for Mr Fox, I am including a link to a new video tutorial that will show readers how to stitch him – especially the shading of his fur. The second picture of my fox is another lovely illustration from Flapdoodledesigns that’s destined to feature on the cover of a new collection of Bustle & Sew patterns – the Woodland Collection that’s coming very soon.