pillow

The preparations gather pace ….

by Helen on May 15, 2014

I can hardly believe it – just six – yes SIX weeks left until THE BIG DAY!!  I don’t know where the last year has gone, time has just flown by, moving ever faster as we hurtle towards Rosie & Dan’s wedding day on 28th June.  And there’s still so much left to do!  This morning, had anyone been watching, they would have seen me in the summerhouse, with a snowstorm of notes around me, trying to organise my to-d0 list…..

Stacking up the coffee cups as I shuffled, reshuffled, crossed-out and annotated my notes.  The mint leaves in the teapot aren’t for tea, but rather to help keep bugs away – quite successfully too I’m pleased to report.  After a while, the organising became all rather too much, so I decided to take a break and try out my bunting idea for the kitchen instead …..

Apologies for the poor image quality, it was a bit dark and I was using my phone.  I have now worked out that I need strings of 10 flags to cross the room from side to side – now all I need to decide is how many strings to use, then add bunting-making to my list!  My bedding plants arrived today too.  We have grown quite a lot from seed, but after planting out it became apparent that a few more were needed …..

They’ll need planting out very soon indeed, but that’s a nice relaxing, fun task! I also had a lot of fun making a couple of new cushions for Rosie & Dan earlier this week – another project for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine ….

Mr Right and Mrs Always Right!!  I’ve seen quite a few Right and Always Right ideas online, but this is my own version – hope you like them – and that Rosie & Dan will too!

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Woodland Friends

by Helen on October 16, 2013

This morning I woke to hear the sound of rain lashing against the window panes, such a grey dreary start to the day. But for once the weather forecasters were right and by lunchtime the rain had cleared and the sky was a beautiful clear, washed-clean sort of blue.  So I called to my furry friends and we headed up into the woods behind the village .. 

Walk in the WoodsWe had fun squishing through the fallen leaves, and Daisy was happy to pose for her picture …

Walk in the Woods

Then home again – the newfies for their afternoon nap and me to my workroom to finish my Woodland Friends cushion covers.  I couldn’t decide on the right button for my badger’s eye, and became frustrated chasing the smaller buttons through the jar with my fingers – they kept slipping away and out of sight.  So in the end I gave up and tipped out the contents of the jar onto the floor for a proper rummage through its contents.   So many buttons – it’s a good thing that Miss Daisy isn’t allowed in the workroom – I’m sure she’d also enjoy a good rummage through them ….

Woodland friends wip

The pattern for my Woodland Friends cushion covers will be in the November Bustle & Sew Magazine, published on 31 October ….

Woodland Friends Cushions

 There’s a badger (spot the button eye … such a small button – but I’m confident it was the perfect choice!), and a stag head.  I added some patchwork squares to the bottom and side so the cushions mirrored one another.  Then I backed the front panels with old blanket and quilted the patchwork, stitching around the edges of the applique animals so they’d stand out nicely.  

When working on these cushion covers I did wonder about appliqueing the animals onto vintage linen, but in the end I decided to go for a bolder effect with this medium weight linen.  Sadly I can’t remember the fabric’s name or designer as it’s been in my stash for quite some time, but I do like its clean, modern look.  I managed to take a couple of pictures of the finished cushions before my photo session was disrupted….

Newfies at play

 …by my two furry friends, well rested after their afternoon nap, now wide awake and looking for trouble!  Mind you, if Daisy carries on batting Ben’s ear like this I think she might find herself in quite a lot of trouble rather sooner than she might like! 

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Elephants in Love Pattern

by Helen on April 7, 2013

I was surprised – and delighted – to receive a phone call earlier this week from a very lovely lady called Janke.  Janke lives in the Netherlands (her English is brilliant) and she was trying to track down a pattern that I’d contributed a long while ago to the now defunct Sew Hip Magazine.  It turned out that she was searching for my Elephants in Love applique – part of a series of  “in love” designs I created 2 or 3 years ago.  One of the most popular was my Owls in Love …..

Owls in Love Cushion

But I digress …. After Janke’s call I had a bit of a rummage around my pattern files (I am afraid I am not a very organised sort of person) and realised that I hadn’t shared the elephants in love pattern before.  Although it’s quite simple, I think it’s very pretty – so I dusted it down and  re-formatted it into a pdf file rather than the working notes I sent off to the magazine.  And here it is …

Elephants in Love Applique

 I’ve added the pattern to my Free Newsletter Readers’ pattern library page – so if you’d like it – and/or any of the other patterns I share with newsletter readers, then please just CLICK HERE to subscribe.  Subscribing is free – and I promise that I will NEVER EVER share your email address with anyone else!

Ben and his Teddy Bear

 Ben at about 15 months – what a cute youngster!

And finally – please keep your fingers crossed for Ben’s poor sore paw.  Sadly his recovery was very short-lived and he’s limping heavily again.  So tomorrow he’s off to the vet’s for X-rays.  Hopefully we’ll discover the problem and then begin to treat it effectively so he’ll soon start to feel better. 

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Coffee does refresh you!

by Helen on February 21, 2013

Life's a Beach

 (Another of Rosie’s photos – just looking at this makes me feel cold) 

 Brrrrrrr… it’s chilly here today.  Spring has packed her bags and retreated southwards and we have returned to grey skies,  now accompanied by a vicious easterly wind that penetrated right through my several layers of clothing (thermal vest, woolly jumper, even woollier cardigan) when I went outside to play with Daisy yesterday.  Her fuzzy puppy coat seems to keep her nice and warm though, and Ben simply loves this kind of weather.  I have trouble getting him to come indoors – he’d far rather lie outside, basking in the frigid air, than be safely tucked up in his cosy bed indoors.  I spent a while outdoors with the small furry monster(!), throwing her ball, tugging on her rope and generally pottering around before retreating to the warmth of the woodburner and a nice cup of coffee. 

Coffee Refreshes You

 Which sort of brings me neatly to showing you another of the designs for the March issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  It’s hard to quite make out the text in this photo but it actually says “Coffee refreshes you” – it’s a companion piece to the “Tea revives you” cushion I created back in those balmy summer days….

Tea Revives You (1)

It was in the June 2012 issue of the magazine.  I’ve made the coffee pot design a bit sharper with less of a vintage feel – which reflects my feelings about these drinks – coffee is consumed in the morning, while I’m working, whilst tea is my drink of choice for relaxing with some stitching or a good book later in the day.  Townie Husband loves Earl Grey, whilst I’m more of a PG Tips kind of woman – I wonder if that says anything about our personalities?!!?

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