pattern

Fox in a Frock and my Easter sale

by Helen on April 6, 2014

I do enjoy making softies, which means that there’s a softie pattern in almost every issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine (I have to limit myself to just one!).  I’m busy working on the May issue now, and as an antidote to all those Easter bunnies and chicks (lovely though they are) I thought I’d create a fox.  But not your ordinary, everyday sort of fox – oh no – my little lady is a fox in a frock!

I had so much fun making her – and my overlocker came in very handy for gathering the skirt of her frock – though it’s easy to do with long machine stitching of course – I just enjoy playing with my new toy!  I’ve given her nice stripey laces on her black boots and embroidered dainty flowers on her little felt collar.  She’s actually quite a large softie for me – though very slender – measuring around 15″ tall.  Her arms and legs are jointed with strong thread and buttons so move quite freely…

Here she is nonchalantly perched on the edge of my ribbons box, casually swinging one elegantly booted paw!  You’ll find her pattern in the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – once all those spring lambs are safely out of the way!  But at the moment we’re still eagerly anticipating Easter – though chocolate is likely to be severely limited here at Coombe Leigh as wedding day diets are underway! So as a different sort of treat, I’m having a egg-stremely good (groan!) good sale here at Bustle & Sew …..

There’s 40% off everything in my store (except magazine subscriptions) until Easter, so if you were thinking of stocking up on a few projects for some holiday stitching, now is a great time to shop.  Just CLICK HERE to visit the Bustle & Sew store and don’t forget to enter code “EASTERBUNNY” at checkout to receive your egg-stra special discount. xx

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Spice jars, bunting – and Daisy too!

by Helen on March 12, 2014

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who said such lovely things about my newly redecorated kitchen – so very kind of you all.  Lots of people also wanted to know about my herb and spice jars….

Now looking very smart on their newly repainted shelves.  I must admit that, until now, I didn’t know very much about them either as I inherited them a long time ago.  So I thought I’d do a bit of research …

I have a set of 24 jars and I use most (although not all) of them.  They sit on their own shelves which were a sort of boring brown wood shade before I repainted them as part of my kitchen makeover.  After some googling around I was able to uncover that they were made by an American company – Lenox – in 1989 and are known as the Lenox Spice Village.  The shelf I painted (probably a terrible thing to do!) was the original display shelf, and as well as these little houses, just 3″ tall, there were various larger cannisters for flour, tea, sugar, cookies and so on.  A lovely touch, I think is that the insides of all the lids are labelled with the jar to which they belong – so you can be sure that after washing you always return the correct lid to each jar….

They are just as beautifully decorated on the back and sides as they are on the front.  They’re also easy to find on eBay – as I discovered when doing my googling.  Full sets only seemed to be available from the US,  but I discovered odd jars on eBay UK.  The full sets are between $100 – $150 on eBay including the shelves.  

After all that googling and loving the Lenox village set, I thought that maybe my spice jars would be set off nicely with the addition of some of my own Village bunting…..

I’ve always found bunting to be one of the most difficult things to photograph.  First I tried in the garden – and after taking probably a couple of dozen photographs was only happy with this one.  So then I thought I’d try in the kitchen …

Better, but still lacking something.  Could that something perhaps be …..

The prettiest (and naughtiest!) little newfie in Chillington?  Perfectly posed – thanks Daisy!  

And if you’d like to make your own village bunting, the pattern will be in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine

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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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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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