P-p-p…picking a penguin

by Helen on September 9, 2014

Hmm … think I might be showing my age! British readers of a certain vintage will know exactly what I mean – remembering those p-p-p-pick-up-a-penguin biscuit ads from the 1970s.  But I digress.  One of my patterns for the current magazine is a cute little penguin softie ….

I was thinking very much about my new son-in-law (still not quite used to typing this) when I created this little fellow as Dan’s favourite animal (OK, bird) is a penguin.  And I’ve been wondering about making some Christmas PJ bottoms for the happy couple – and whether Dan might like a penguin version.  I spotted this really nice flannel by Stella Jean for Wilmington Prints over at the Fat Quarter Shop

Reminds me a bit of my softie!  And then (because I’m quickly becoming a bit of a Pinterest addict) I started putting together a little Penguins board ….

PicMonkey Collage (4)

There are some great Penguin ideas around – hope you like my selection!  Just click here to take a look!



Proud as a Peacock

by Helen on August 13, 2014

I have a confession to make…. once again being a bit slow on the uptake … I have only recently discovered – and have now become – a Pinterest addict!

So what do you think I did after I blogged earlier this week, mentioning Ben, his sad experience and my True Beauty embroidery?  Did I go and do the washing up?  Did I finish painting the porch?  Did I do any one of a hundred things that need to be done?  Oh no … what I did was go and look for peacocks on Pinterest – and after finding some truly beautiful examples I was inspired to put another board together ….

peacock collage

 You can find my Proud Peacocks board HERE.

Mind you, peacocks don’t sound as lovely as they look – when I was much younger I lived for a while in Warwick, very near the castle and was often woken early by the raucous shrieks of the peacocks that lived in the castle grounds.  But these examples really are lovely, do pop over and take a look!


Owls, foxes and our new bunny …

by Helen on August 11, 2014

I’ve been very busy over the weekend working on the patterns for the September issue of the magazine, including my first Christmas pattern of the year (catch a glimpse of my penguin over on Instagram).  In September my thoughts begin to turn away from the beach inland towards the woods as the trees begin to shed the first of their leaves and mushrooms and toadstools peek up through the mossy ground. So I thought it would be fun to create a woodland-style tea cosy for the September issue and at first was considering an owl …..


And put together a whole board of owls on Pinterest while I was looking.  There are so many lovely knitted owl tea cosies, but not many that are sewn.  I was nearly decided upon an owl, when I spotted a lovely illustration  …..


From the very talented EvaJuliet’s shop on Etsy.   I did a little bit more searching and discovered that whilst there were lots of beautiful owl cosies, nobody seemed to have created a pattern for fox-lovers.   So yesterday afternoon while the Newfies were sleeping I did a little measuring and cutting, stitching and snipping and came up with ….

A sleepy fox tea cosy!  Perfect to keep my pot lovely and snug during the colder months.  The pattern for my sleepy fox cosy will be in the September issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.  Which will also have a bit of a makeover, including the new Bustle & Sew bunny on the cover for the first time……


Isn’t she adorable!  Next month’s issue will also have some extra goodies inside with more to follow over the coming months!  This website is going to be given a new look in September too – with the updated Bustle & Sew bunny and a more modern (though still very cute!) style.  I do hope you’ll like it!

And finally … thank you so much to everyone who sent lovely emails and messages of support to Ben after his operation and sad experience with some very rude people.  Image4

He’s now fully recovered and allowed to go swimming again.  Here he is about to dive in - what could be a nicer start to the day? he thinks.


Bunnies and Penguins

by Helen on August 1, 2014

Following on from my earlier post, I am delighted to report that Tilly is a lovely little baby dog – who absolutely adores the present Daisy chose so carefully for her …..

She’s coming to visit this weekend.  I do hope that she likes the Newfies and isn’t afraid of their great size.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it all goes.  One thing that did go smoothly and successfully – at the very first attempt(!) – this month was uploading the August issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.

I sent it out to all my lovely subscribers yesterday, so if that’s you and you haven’t received your copy then please do contact me soonest so I can sort out whatever has gone wonky this end.  And… as everything worked first time when uploading I had a bit of spare time yesterday.  Did I use that time to (a) tackle the rather large and precariously balanced stack of ironing that’s awaiting my attention (b) head outside to wage war on the bindweed that’s threatening to smother my rather lovely pink rambling rose or (c) play around with Pinterest and put together a rabbit themed board in honour of Emily and Arthur from this month’s issue?  I think perhaps you can guess the answer …..

Welcome to my Run Rabbit Run! Board.

I particularly like the rabbit crochet cushion and think it would look lovely on my sofa this winter.   I’m not very good at crochet, though Rosie is – I wonder if I could persuade her …….