Monday, 30 August 2010

Spots and stripes...

The buttons got covered and looked like a delicious pile of sweeties on my desk!  I'm not too impressed with a few of them that appear to have 'corners' but I was working with only one to spare so I'm hoping that the client won't be too unimpressed.

The binding worked a treat and I'm also hoping that the client approves as the brief originally was for piping.  But I don't do piping (like I don't do zips!).  Piping, to me, is a bit dated.  And I'm a bit of a slacker when it comes to proper sewing.

These are what I have been making.  Ali almost guessed right!  Cushions, though, not a quilt.  Ten square and ten rectangular, made from sumptuous tie silk.  They are going to a well-known shirt-maker and it my first tentative step back into the world of visual merchandising that I left over 14 years ago.

The covered buttons are purely decorative and I used some iron-on velcro for the back fastening.

Friday, 27 August 2010


I am working this week! Yes, working.  And I'm loving it.  I can work at my own pace, in my own space.  I am liking working to a deadline.

This is what I'm working with and you know how much pleasure I get from fabric and colour.

I have made metres and metres of binding, which I couldn't resist rolling up just to see what it looked like!

There is the always satisfying pile of scrappy offcuts next to my cutting mat.

There are lots of buttons to cover. 

My progress is good.  I am more than halfway there.

I am grateful that I have a walking foot on my sewing machine!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The things that make a good holiday...

How do you measure such things?  Could it be long, sunny days?  A break from routine, perhaps?

This year, No2 and I went away with my two sisters, their other halves and their three (each) children.  That was 12 of us in all.  It was a suck it and see idea!  The seven cousins are more like siblings in their familiarity with each other - read alot of bickering and arguing at the best of times!  My clever sister found us a sprawling villa on the Algarve with a wonderful garden, pool, pool room and table-tennis to keep everyone happy.  Me?  Just give me a sunbed somewhere in the shade, perhaps some yarn, and I'm a happy camper.

So, the way I measure a good holiday would be...

...some lush flowers to photograph...

...interesting shadows to filter the heat of the sun...

...endless blue sky...

...a satisfying and wholly portable crochet project...

...perhaps a couple of sunsets thrown in for good measure...

...a sprinkling of sandy toes... of my favourite creatures living in our garden...

...or two...

Ask the children though, and they would, without a doubt, say THE SPLASHING!

Saturday, 14 August 2010


My seed sowing this year was hardly successful - barely anything even germinated.

I have one little success story, though, in a pot on the deck.  Well, three of them actually.

Cleome Spinosa 'Violet Queen'
(American spider flower)


They have been a joy to watch grow into these elegant stems.

I love the way the spiky petals uncurl from the bud.

I will definitely be giving these another go next year.


Off on our summer holiday tomorrow!  Sunny Portugal!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Albino peacock…

My friend sent me these images on email yesterday.  I've never seen anything so beautiful.  So I had the need to share it.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


I'm trying not to take it personally, but something is determined that I shall not be reaping the benefits of growing my own this year.  I've got a feeling it might be a squirrel with a mean streak.  I glanced out of No2's bedroom window a couple of weeks ago to see a rather fat one sitting in amongst my strawberry plants looking pleased with himself.  I can count on the fingers of one hand how many strawberries I have actually eaten from my patch.  Obviously, onions aren't quite so appealing to eat as they get strewn around the garden instead.

Luckily, the blackberries that are ripening on the fence at the bottom of the garden seem to be out of reach for my little furry friend and I have been picking a bowlful every other day and freezing them ready for when my Mum's apple trees are ready to be raided.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


This post is written in the spirit of Pip's post here.  It is about who I am and how I live.  The good and the bad.  I will try and remember the 'C's' Pip talked about.  I will try to be casually confident about having a conversation with the blogging community.

So, here goes...  A week in numbers...

4  ::  number of nights I went away for.

2  ::  number of nights that I slept properly.

2  ::  number of disasters.

1  :: wonderful store manager who found my phone and kept it safe until I tracked it down.  (My whole LIFE  is on my phone - I very nearly kissed her!)

1  ::  number of all-night parties held in my house in my absence.

1  ::  number of hideous teenage sons.

Untold  ::  number of lies told to Grandparents who were left with the responsibility of looking after above mentioned monster.

Lost count  ::  number of times my washing machine has been on since my return.

1  ::  fridge emptied of beer/cider/wine/even a couple of cans of Guinness for my steak and ale pies, for goodness sake.

2  ::  shelves of cupboard emptied of other random alcohol - mainly liqueurs, plus the vodka, gin and rum.  All there for culinary purposes, of course...

13  ::  number of teenagers allegedly running rampage in my garden all night.

4  ::  number of bin bags in dustbin.

10  ::  out of 10 on a scale of how bad my house smelt of vomit and booze on my return.

6  ::  hours spent cleaning (not me, I might add)

10  ::  on a scale of 1 is not very sticky and 10 is unbelievably sticky where I actually need to wash my flip-flops now, stickiness of floor.

100  ::  % glad I don't have carpet downstairs.

1  ::  kitchen table ruined with something nasty spilt over it that has taken the varnish off.

3  ::  weeks left of summer holidays.

3  ::  weeks of being grounded for above mentioned monster.

0  ::  amount of mobile phones and Internet connection for foreseeable future for same monster.

Do you get the picture?  The worst of it is that it was plastered all over Facebook for a repeat performance the following night which resulted in being rumbled, collected by his father, involving the police and me on an enforced lock-down in Warwickshire to avoid murder.

Happy days and the joys of parenting. 

Sunday, 1 August 2010


I feel a bit like I'm on a roll with this daily posting but as I am going away in two weeks, it feels a little pointless in making another personal commitment.  For the month of August, NaBloPoMo's theme is GREEN and this is the brief:

::   I hope this will open up some doors for the gardeners, painters, and photographers amongst us, as well as those with other green planetary thoughts to share.

I reckon I could go for this one too but won't make any promises...

So, a timely opportunity arose a little while ago in the garden.  For some weeks now I have been having some parakeets visit my neighbourhood.  I have spotted one on one of my bird feeders but have not been able to get a photo.  That changed today.  They have been all over the conifers, presumably eating the new buds.

They seem to have one that acts as a lookout while the others get stuck in!  They are very vocal too!

The sky is so grey, it is difficult to see how brightly coloured they are but when they get spooked and fly off, their underneath is vibrant yellow-green.

I will persevere to get some better photos of them - it makes my day when I see or hear them out there.  Sometimes, there have been a flock of at least 20 and when they fly off it is a wonderful sight.