Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Open the box

Have you been wondering where I've been? Curious as to what I've been up to? I have been cutting up card! Yep for about a week I have folded, glued and scored....repeat.... Finally I have finished seven wedding invitations and fifty hen-do invites-phew! The invites have been made following the colour scheme of Anna's bridesmaid dress- stop cringing- it will look lovely! Each invite is slightly different but each are boxed.

Open the box to reveal the first hit of colour, lots of die cut flowers with little touches of bling. (and snotty trails of PVA but I'm hoping everyone will be polite enough not to mention them!)
Open the card to reveal the harlequin within. The card has four hidden compartments. The details of the ceremony and reception lay within the easy to find boxes. There is confetti in the top boxes- if any one can get them open! These were a total labour of love, but very satisfying to have the end result and to get them posted off today.
The fifty hen-do invites were much more simple, but all different. I hope they give a flavour of the vibe I am hoping for on the day. These have also been written and I have started to hand them out. I have spent a long time thinking about all the friends I wanted to invite, I didn't know what to do about you, my lovely blog pals. You guys have been offering friendship and support for years in some cases so I wanted to include you if I could. If you think you might fancy a trip to Kent in July for a girly day of fun please let me know, I would be delighted to send you an invite!

What you can't see, hopefully, in any of these pictures is the huge quantity of plaster dust billowing around the house at the moment, we are into our third week of building works . There will be more to show when the dust has settled! xx

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Thanks for your supportive comments on my last post. I have been feeling a bit perkier as other parts of life fall into place and other stresses fade away. In good news; my oven is fixed! My gorgeous friend Sam has agreed to do some needle felting at my hen do. The local cinema has said they will be able to put on a matinee for my hen day, something black and white and lovely. I have got stuck into making my wedding invites and hope to rope Simon in tonight with lots of card cutting. I have finished the above sample of contemporary Assisi work. I have also finished the bag for the charity shop and they Loved it, which is very very nice. The builders will start some work at the back of our house tomorrow after us waiting over a year.
So perhaps life isn't so bad. I must go and see of I can find a lemon to knock up a sponge in my newly working oven- the lovely Alan who fixed it for me reckoned a lemon drizzle over a coffee and walnut- and who am I to argue?

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Floral tribute

I have been creating new seasonal decorations for our house for just over a year now. Just bits and bobs as I've fancied, you know how nice it feels to put the Christmas decorations up? Well I'm hoping to reflect valentines day, spring, mid-Summer and Autumn and get the same buzz. These little cotton flowers are certainly lifting my spirits at the moment. They have been knitted following a Nicky Epstein pattern and sewn onto some fine ric-rac with a button middle. The garland cost me just a couple of pound to make and has filled a few relaxing evenings.

I am glad to have been cheered because some of the sadness I mentioned in my previous post has come to it's full conclusion with the death this morning of my uncle. It is sad that he has died, but not half as sad as his illness leading to his death and the trauma caused to all concerned. I am absolutely sure he is resting easier now. There are still more sad resolutions to come, which are laying heavy on my soul, gosh that sounds melodramatic, but perhaps you know what I mean? Lets hope there are more light moments to come too- that's how life works isn't it- light and shade?
On the light side I am focusing on creating for the charity shop, they have given me a bag of proper wool jumpers which had been part felted by their previous owners and now boiled to death by me! I have been working on making one into a bag for the shop to try selling, it's all a fantastic experiment.
I have also been invited to a fancy dress birthday party. Last year I made a dress for the theme of the 1920's. This year the theme is literary figures, in the interest of feeding my dark humour I have decided to go as Miss Havisham. I have collected some clothing to alter from the charity shop- I plan to have a LOT of fun with this one, mostly to make up for the gloom of reading 'Great Expectations' to make sure I am accurate. God but Charles Dickens did write about some miserable lives, it reminds me of the more modern genre of 'tragic life stories' which I wouldn't read for 'pleasure' either!
Lastly I will be visiting Hobbycraft in the morning to get the last few bits and pieces for my wedding and hen invites which I was unable to get from my local independent.
Here I shall insert an informal enquiry. I want my hen do to be a reflection of me and as such I am hoping to do some making with my friends. Is there anyone local who might be able to offer a kind of workshop for a morning? We are in East Kent and I hope to do something like felting, cake decorating, soap making or some such. Let me know if you know of someone who might be able to help? Thanks. x

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Braid-y bunch

200 Braids to Loop, Knot, Weave and Twist by Jacqui Carey is fantastic. I feel like I could almost leave this review right at this point….really what more can I say? I’ll try to tell you why, but perhaps at a very reasonable £9.99 you might just take my word for it? I have always loved ‘braiding’- plaiting anything and everything, wildly spinning pencils in synchronisation with Mum from either side of the living room to make a twisted cord and then moving to knotted friendship bracelets. There is something very exciting about changing the colour and texture of a thread by introducing it to new friends. Many a hideous yarn has found a new place in the world of the beautiful once married up to something a little more sophisticated (an analogy for real relationships?). The book breaks down into sections rather like my own journey into braiding, here are instructions for plaiting, weaving, knotting and twisting. These instructions are excellent and well illustrated, the books second section is a gallery of braids-ideas-ideas-ideas- I was positively bombarded with them as I leafed through this section. I wondered why anyone would ever buy a metre of edging off the roll ever again when here was a catalogue of the most sumptuous, just waiting to be born at ones own fair hands! I will need to look at braiding and collect some samples for my City and Guilds and I am totally confident and thrilled that this book will hold my hand all the way through. Mum has already had a play making her favourite twisted cord and laying three side by side and stitching through them from side to side- fabulous! Our only tiny criticism is that this book is a very dense square little volume and as such doesn’t stay open very happily on its own and braiding needs all your hands (and sometimes a spare!). So as I say, fantastic, genuinely, something for everyone, a book which will grow ones skills and maybe make you drool a little.....(if that’s just me, please pretend I didn’t write that).

I haven't done a book review for ages, I have another to come along in due course. Meanwhile my Easter garland is nearly finished and ready for a grand reveal. Look after yourselves, see you soon. x

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Distracted by .....distractions

that's how it goes with life. I have stuff going on at the moment, some good and exciting, some sad, some cross making. I don't feel able to share the poo stuff on a public platform so I'll just share the nice bits shall I? The exciting bits are a lot to do with our up-coming wedding. Mum zoomed down to help me choose an outfit- which I can say no more of as Simon reads my posts- and we have been to Weymouth to organise some more bits and bobs. I bought these fabulous double sided wrapping papers in Margate old town and plan to use them for my hen day invites.
Whilst in Weymouth I picked up some shoes to wear on my big day. They are a Red Herring special edition. Simon made me buy them shooting down every protest with a rather frisky glint in his eye- he did at one point ask in a sweet concerned manner 'are they comfy?' Honestly, boys just don't get it do they- or they don't care! I came home and let Mum have a look at them nestling in their bag...'slut' she said. I do believe that on my wedding day I am presenting myself to my husband and if a little touch of slut gives him a happier 'happiest day' then I am happy to oblige! Anna has picked out some fabulous fabrics for her bridesmaid dress, which has meant my colour theme is hot pink, sugar pink, warm yellow, leaf green and of course slut red! The venue for our knees up following the ceremony is a community centre where I spent a great deal of my happy childhood, it makes me well up just thinking about it- apart from the fact it's only costing £55 for the hall hire, including use of their own bouncy castle- hooray! Right enough wedding news- I'd hate to bore you all with it.

I have been working hard on my City and Guilds but the current sticking point is another design unit- the stitching relaxes me but not quite as much as the design modules tie me in knots. It's good to have a challenge though, no really, I have to hold that thought. I have treated myself to working on this sample of contemporary Assisi, using random cross stitch and a stencilled shape in the centre.
I have also been involved in great new project at our local Sue Ryder shop. They put a sign up asking for volunteer sewers so I was brave and put my hand up. It turns out the lovely manager wanted to make bunting from fabric which she would otherwise have sent for 'rag'. I have made a couple of lengths now and the fabric she is giving me is ace-some gorgeous old sheets, (made in the U.K) some old blouses and napkins and tablecloths. It makes my heart brake to know that other treasures are being sent for rag- I want it all- to up-cycle- to re-cycle- to love! I hope the project grows and grows because I have missed making things for others to enjoy- my City and Guilds is very hidden- and this 'work' and raising funds for charity is feeding my soul in a way that is very necessary right now.