roses

Pink, pretty and cutting up curtains …..

by Helen on April 15, 2014

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who left such lovely comments about my mice – and my disappointment, it was so kind of you all.   I’m going to be doing some more projects for that publisher and the editor has been in touch about my picture, so fingers crossed all will be well next time!  I was also touched that one or two people said they’d know my work anywhere and wondered if that might be because I try to make all my softies look nice and kind and cheerful?  

At the moment I have a few of my bunnies from last month’s magazine scattered around the house all ready for Easter …

Spot the little chap on my kitchen windowsill, looking very comfortably settled next to my lovely pink roses( a bargain from Tesco!).  My sewing tin heaped with hexies has just crept into the corner of this picture (there’s a tiny bit peeping out from behind the hen jelly mould) and I hope to be able to show you my completed hexie project very soon indeed.  It’s been a bit of a slow sew – lots of lovely handstitching which I’ve really enjoyed.  I do try to include all sorts of projects and something for everyone in the magazine each month, so I’ve also put some embellished tea towels into the May issue ….

Featuring simple machine applique they’re really quick and easy to make – and would be a great make-to-sell if you’re having a stall at a fete or fair this summer.  These are for Rosie though as I’ve used up some of the scraps from her wedding fabrics, so she and Dan can think happy wedding thoughts even while they’re washing up!  

The boxes next to the kettle are part of my wedding preparations too. They’re holding some sweet pea seeds I’m germinating for Rosie’s wedding garden, whilst the tea pots on my pink chair are destined for the tea tables at her reception, they’ll look so pretty filled with flowers.  But even with all the wedding preparations I’ve managed to squeeze in a little sewing just for me ….

I’m still keeping to easy patterns whilst I practise my half-remembered dress-making skills.  This top was made from Indygo Junction’s Perfect Pullover pattern.  It was soooooo simple – I’d totally recommend it to beginners or less confident dress-makers.  I’m not sure if I went a bit over the top with my recycling though – I made my version from part of an old curtain, a thrifted pillowcase and some leftover Laura Ashley scraps from Rosie’s childhood.  Can I really go out dressed in an old curtain and half a pillowcase I wonder? 

Share/Bookmark

{ 4 comments }

A lovely start to the day..

by Helen on April 8, 2014

I woke up this morning feeling happy and energised – the sun was shining!!  It’s amazing how much difference this makes!  I leapt out of bed(!) and was instantly inspired to finish arranging my collection of vintage schoolroom posters.  I inherited these from my Mum who was an infant school teacher for many years and I think my workroom wall is the perfect place to display them …..

It’s all looking very cheerful, although I don’t think I’ll ever be a minimalist and that organised chaos is probably the best I can hope for!  Then, even before breakfast, I sewed a little of my new top – the first dressmaking project I’ve undertaken for many years…..

I’ve chosen a pretty Rose & Hubble floral print and the pink gingham is the facings.    I discovered a lovely easy pattern – the Esme Top from Sew Liberated which I thought would be perfect to begin with.   All this early morning work made me feel hungry though, so I switched off my sewing machine and headed downstairs for breakfast……

I do find that I need plenty of energy at the beginning of the day – those naughty newfies take a lot of looking after!  But pre-wedding diet plans dictate that although pancakes are fine (cooked in non-stick pan without oil) golden syrup and/or Nutella definitely isn’t.  So it’s lemon juice, no sugar for me!  

But not for my furry friend!  Sorry Miss Daisy, no tasty scraps for you this morning!  Now I’m hoping the sunny weather will continue – I have plans for rose planting later on ….

So Rosie can walk under an archway of roses on her wedding morning – which isn’t too far off now – and there’s still so much to do.  It’s a good thing I am feeling energetic this morning!

{ 7 comments }

Roses all around the house ….

by Helen on March 9, 2014

Or … I’m still loving my vintage Sanderson fabric!  I think I mentioned a little while ago that I had the most amazing find while shopping in Kingsbridge – 3 1/2 yards of Sanderson roses fabric for just £5!!  It was the end of a roll and I found it in a small family-owned shop on Fore Street amongst lots of other bits and pieces – I think they’d been clearing out their storeroom.  I used it to line the blind in my kitchen and added a narrow border either side.  It’s quite discreet inside, but looks lovely from outdoors.  I didn’t take a photo outside (sorry) – but here’s a picture of the finished blind looking down the kitchen towards the back door …

It’s a simple Roman blind, and I was able to reuse all the fittings.  The most expensive part was the pink check fabric from Susie Watson at £25 per metre – but my bargain fabric and re-using the fittings meant my blind was still very affordable!  On the windowsill is possibly the last of my wonderful pink camellia flowers.  They have been wonderful this spring, but sadly are now coming to an end..

After finishing my blind, I still had well over a metre (about a yard and a half) of my Sanderson fabric left, so I decided to take spring into my front room and make a simple patchwork cloth for my table using a combination of my favourite Susie Watson fabrics as well as the Sanderson roses…

I included some sage green squares as I wanted the tablecloth to work well with the green wallpaper in the front room…..

I’m quite pleased with the result.  I think that incorporating similar fabrics into both rooms brings them together, helping them flow into each other harmoniously.  I don’t have curtains in the front room as the window still has the old shutters, so the tablecloth isn’t “fighting” with any other bold patterns.  

And finally – back to the kitchen – where two sleepy newfies are settling down for their post-walk afternoon nap – hopefully they’ve left room for me to clamber onto the sofa behind that snoozy Miss Daisy!

Back soon with my finished Alphabet Quilt – thanks for the suggestions – and I hope you’ll approve of my choice of border.

{ 14 comments }

Hippos and roses – a day of two halves

by Helen on February 27, 2014

Yesterday was crisp and sparkling, so I decided to take the Newfies up to Blackdown Rings – an Iron Age Hill fort just north of Loddiswell – about 20 minutes from home.  The views from the top are stunning, you can see for miles and miles… 

walk01

 Though Ben and Daisy quickly lose interest – they’re eager to hurry along to their favourite part of this walk…  Soon after their invasion in 1066 the Normans built a motte and bailey castle on top of the old iron age earthworks and although all traces of their building have long since vanished (it would have been a wooden structure) a whole series of pits and hollows remain …..

walk03

 Which in the winter months fill with clear, fresh peaty rainwater.  THIS is what the Newfies adore.  

walk02

I think Daisy in particular has been watching too many nature programmes!  I am sure she’s pretending to be a hippo – and of course she isn’t content with swimming around once, but has to go back and do it all over again just to make sure I’m watching her!  

And yes, that is a brisk and bitter wind you can hear throughout this video – very sorry about that!  It was just a bit chilly down in the shelter of our village, but very cold indeed up on Blackdown Rings with a bitter north-westerly blowing straight from Dartmoor!  I was very pleased to return home, and begin work on the new blind for my kitchen window.  I’m redecorating, as you know, in honour of Rosie & Dan’s wedding.  My Cornishware jars look very pleased with their newly refurbished home ….

Kitchen redec well under way!

When I went into Kingsbridge to purchase header tape and blind cord for my blind, I was delighted to find 3 1/2 yards of vintage Sanderson fabric – the same that my parents had for their bedroom curtains way back in time!  And for just £5!  So I snapped it up – it works brilliantly with my pink gingham ….

Kitchen redec well under way!

I’m using it for a trim down the sides – and also for the lining – my blind will look just as pretty from the outside as in.  It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll be sure to show you when it’s done.

Kitchen redec well under way!

Perfect to show off on Rosie’s wedding day!

{ 4 comments }