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?!!?



You might have noticed that I’ve been extremely quiet this week (most unlike me!).  You may think it’s because I’ve been spending all day on the beach, splashing around in the surf with my faithful canine companion.  Well .. it’s true … there has been some splashing – it’s been very warm here for the last few days and Ben has been enjoying lovely cooling swims in the early mornings.  His coat is very thick and he doesn’t enjoy the heat, so when we get home from the beach I wash the salt water from his fur and leave him to drip dry in the cool slate courtyard at the back of the house.  He really seems to appreciate this, and hardly moves at all until it’s time for his tea!

Group Photo

But there has also been a great deal of work going on here at Coombe Leigh.  With the magazine deadline looming I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches to my projects for the June issue (out next Thursday).   That’s them above, photographed in the gazebo… with a definite country garden theme… 

Two Lovely Tea Cosies

There are twin cosies  to keep your teapot snug in case of cool breezes.   One features a 1930’s inspired posy of garden flowers with hand embroidery and applique, whilst the other is a very patriotic scrappy Union Jack version.  Then there’s the teapot cushion…

Teapot Cushion

Here in good old Blighty we appreciate the restorative qualities of a really nice cuppa – so I’m spreading the word with this machine applique cushion.  Then there’s my favourite … the little bunny pyjama case …

Bunny Pyjama Case (2)

 Isn’t he cute nibbling on his lettuce leaf?  He’s fairly large – he closes along his base with a 12″ zip, but you could always downsize him to make the most endearing pencil case.   Also in this month’s magazine as well as articles and vintage patterns, you’ll discover more free motion quilting from Leah Day and an interview with Emily Taylor, designer of the Verona fabric collection for Riley Blake.  I used her fabric in my final project for this month’s magazine, my Summer Roses table runner …..

Summer Roses Table Runner

 Seen here on the table in my gazebo after I’d finished my photoshoot.  And of course if you subscribe before the June issue is published you’ll receive not only all these patterns, but the full May Issue too and your free gift, a copy of my e-book “The Stitcher’s Companion.”  All for your first subscription payment of just $5.50 – a real bargain – but only for the next 5 days!  Just click here to learn more and subscribe.  And I’ll leave you with another photo of my bunny …

Bunny Pyjama Case(1)

 Hope you like him!!


The Olympic Torch and a nice cup of tea!

by Helen on May 22, 2012

Torch in ChillingtonIt was very exciting to see the Olympic torch pass through our village on Sunday morning.  I think the entire population was outside lining the route – and quite a few visitors from other (less lucky!) villages too.  Everyone got into the spirit of things, waving flags and cheering – even the pirate from outside the old Fish and Chip shop was dressed in patriotic style!  In the end it was all over too quickly – the torch flashed past and was gone ….

Tea revives you

 … so we all went inside for a nice (very British) cup of tea.  For, as it says on my cushion pattern for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine … “Tea Revives You” and after all that cheering we needed plenty of reviving!