Oooh, new fabric :D

Yesterday a lovely friend took me to a new (to me) fabric shop… Fabrics Galore in Clapham, London. It was well worth a visit!! I don’t have anywhere for nice dress fabrics around me, so with a couple of dress patterns calling to me, this was just what I needed. They have a fantastic selection of home dec, dress fabrics, gorgeous linens, ohhh the wool blends, quilting cotton….  I came home with a beautiful little pile of gorgeousness.

The first pattern on my list is Dress B here and for this I went for a deep ocean blue linen/cotton blend, with gorgeous Alexander Henry butterflies for the contrasts. I am really into chartreuse right now, especially with blue/turquoise. Unfortunately it doesn’t suit me so I have to go for accents 

And I got some cottons for a skirt at some point.

And this heavenly Liberty cotton lawn for a summer skirt, photos do not do it justice, it’s such an unusual print and the colours are just me right now.

I am having a major departure from my usual plum/brown/hot pink! I blame that photo of the sky and tree branches in my last post…

 

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Spring.

It’s here! Although it would be easy to think it was summer in today’s delicious warmth and sunshine. Yesterday afternoon Sweet Pea and I painted some stones with acrylic paint. Sweet Pea had fun with colour mixing. I gave him two or more colours on a stone, his choice, and he mixed to see the results. It was really lovely, sitting in the garden in the warm sun, painting.

And here are a few pictures of what’s going on in our garden at the moment…

Pieris

Flowering Quince - Madame Butterfly

Contorted Hazel

Dicentra (Bleeding Hearts)

I can't for the life of me remember what this is...

And some pictures taken last week in our local park…

I just the love the sky blue/chartreuse combo

Sunshine itself...

Sweet Pea just loves climbing...

Almost there...

 

 

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Marble painting

Today Sweet Pea and I had some fun with paint and marbles. We lined baking trays with paper, squirted some dollops of paint on to the paper, and let the marbles enjoy themselves! Sweet Pea concentrated on this for AGES, and we now have a kitchen FULL of beautiful paintings, some still drying, due to the amount of paint a certain someone squeezed out… These pictures actually remind me of something rather Jackson Pollock-esque! It is amazing what a three year old can produce with just three colours. They really are quite beautiful. I will try to post photos of the finished paintings tomorrow.

Sweet Pea gets stuck in...

 

Get those marbles rolling...

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I finished spinning…

…and plying, and setting, and drying, and winding :)

And now I have a little ball of yarn that I made all by very own self :D

It won’t go very far so I think it’s destined to be a mug warmer or a little flower brooch or something…

My first little ball

The yarn drying, after setting/washing

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In a spin…

I’ve been spinning! I have been playing with the drop spindle I got from Unravel last week, and I don’t have much, but I do have a spindle full of plied yarn! It is somewhat rustic looking, but it is yarn – and a few days ago it wasn’t, it was fluff, so I have achieved something! A rather satisfying activity for those with purist tendencies…

My spun yarn - before plying

Two similar shades of merino...

After plying, ta dah!

So I think I need to set it now...

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Happy Birthday to Me :D

What a fabulous birthday weekend I’ve had! Yesterday I spent the day at the amazing Unravel festival. This wonderful showcase of yarn, fluff, spinning and all things associated was one of the best craft shows I’ve ever been to. Although the lovely venue, Farnham Maltings, was full to the rafters with gorgeous stuff to buy, it was somehow less commercialised that a lot of the bigger shows. There were lots of opportunities to chat to interesting people, and try out different crafts. I seized the day and tried out spinning and weaving on a proper loom, both of which I loved. I came home with a drop spindle and some beautiful fluff to attempt to spin :) I had a couple of devils on my shoulder (love you really ladies ;-) ) who goaded me until I came away with quite a haul :)

 

Gorgeous cappuccino coloured organic merino fluff

Organic merino yarn, Selvedge back issues, little linen pieces, and some fluffy bits and bobs

 

Gorgeous fluff with sparkly bits

 

Today was my birthday, and my lovely boys made it a very special day. I got a fantastic digital camera, a Canon EOS 20D. So expect better quality pics on here from now on!

 

We spent a few happy hours in the sunshine at Claremont Landscape Garden

Then we came home to have my birthday tea in the garden. IN THE GARDEN! In February! I have never had my birthday tea in the garden IN MY LIFE BEFORE!! Ollie and Sweet Pea had baked me a cake while I was out yesterday, and made it look like a patchwork quilt with lots of coloured Jelly Bellies all over it. It tastes as delicious as it looks :) Thank you boys :*

My garden is springing into life… I have some cute little mini irises in bloom, and my hellebores and hebe are looking beautiful. I am so looking forward to tulip season. It’s going to be a riot this year :)

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Sweet Pea’s first day at school!

Sweet Pea started at his Kindergarten today. He was a little unsure, but really enjoyed himself some of the time. Happily I can stay until he is completely settled, and I think it could be a few more sessions before he’s there on his own, but he’ll get there in his own time.

I made him some bags to take with him – a simple drawstring number for his spare clothes, and a little messenger bag for his snack and drink.

For the messenger bag I used Zaaberry’s excellent tute. For the final stage – sewing the whole thing together – I did it the other way round to the way she suggests. I turned the outer bag inside out, tucked the strap and flap inside, and put the lining inside, right sides together. It was really easy, and I’m guessing maybe easier than trying to stretch the lining round the outside of the whole thing. It’s a great little bag, the perfect size for a pre-schooler, and only took a couple of hours.

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My Hydrangea is finally in bloom!

I’ll post some better pics at the weekend, but for now here are a few snaps of my finished Hydrangea quilt. I have had this one on the go since last summer, so it’s great to have it done :)

It is already getting a lot of use on these chilly evenings!

 

 

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Ollie’s white 40th!

We might not have had a white Christmas, but Ollie got a white 40th birthday a couple of weekends ago! We spent a few lovely days with friends in a fabulous cottage in the East Sussex countryside. The cottage was wonderful, it had an Aga. I want one. Really want one. I came home and started property searching, scrutinising the pictures of the kitchens to see which ones were fully equipped lol.

On Saturday night we had stayed in and had a wonderful meal cooked by a local chef, and by bedtime it was snowing a blizzard. We woke up on Sunday morning to the most beautiful sight. Every branch of every tree was lined in glistening snow. It really looked like a magical winter wonderland. We were pretty much snowed in; thankfully we had a well prepared fireman amongst our party, who dug channels for the car tyres with his shovel! We got all our guests to their trains on time, and the three of us spent another snuggly evening in front of the fire. Bliss!

 

 

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January is almost over…

…and I am in Finishing Off mode! My Hydrangea quilt, which I started last summer, has been my main focus in the last week or so. I added a border to finish off the top, and started to layer it up last week. I had spent quite a while getting the back nice and smooth, taped out on my carpet… not easy when the quilt back is about two inches bigger than the available space on your floor! I arranged the batting on top, and then the quilt top…. only to find that the back was just not quite big enough. Much as I tried to tug it out here and there, convince myself that it really didn’t matter if it was an inch shorter than the top on one side…. my perfectionist tendencies won out, and I toddled off to the Quilt Shop to get something suitable for filling out the back. Sporting a few new stripes down the middle of the back, I got the quilt basted last night, hurray!

I finally finished off my Hot Little Hands wristwarmers a couple of nights ago. I ran out of yarn for these about two rows from the end of the second one before Christmas, and hadn’t managed to track down another ball of yarn in the right colour. Got one a couple of weeks ago though, and the wristwarmers are now done. I’m really happy with these, I think I will be making more for gifts at some stage. It’s a really fab pattern and well worth purchasing. The yarn – Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply – feels really sturdy and warm, and I have high hopes for it wearing pretty well. Hot little fingers crossed…

I have been dying to make a Dresden Plate for a while, and my lovely mum gave me a template/ruler for Christmas. I cut the pieces out last week, and tonight I got a chance to sew them together. I love it! Sooo pretty, and much easier than it looks. I think I will turn this one into a cushion :)

Finally, I wanted to share with you some pics from a perfect afternoon Sweet Pea and I spent last week. It was a beautiful crisp, cold, blue winter’s day, and we ventured to Richmond Park where Sweet Pea had the run of one of the playgrounds there. Then we set off up the steep hill. Sweet Pea, buoyed no doubt by the promise of a cafe at the top (he does love a cafe, that boy…) made short work of the climb and even shorter work of the chocolate muffin at the summit :)

When we were about to leave the cafe a lovely lady came up to me and commented that I was doing a really good job of enjoying my little one. It was such a nice thing of her to say, it really made me feel as though I was not doing such a bad job! I do enjoy Sweet Pea enormously; he is such a funny and gorgeous little thing. We were in Fabric Land stocking up on some interfacing this morning, and as I was paying the sweet little chap asked me, ‘Did you get what you wanted Mummy? What about the spotty fabric?’ – well the girl serving me (and they do see rather a lot of us in that shop, it being a 3 minute walk from our house…) said, ‘He is the most adorable thing ever, I hope when I have a son I will have a conversation like that with him!’ Ahhhh it’s enough to make my heart pop with love!

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