Thursday, 29 November 2012

What a week!!!

What a week.... I had problems loading photos to another blog site that I sometimes write, and realised that soon I might have the same problems with my blog.  Now I know that not many people read my blog or even find it half interesting, but it keeps me busy and I do have to use my brain a bit so I would hate it if google stopped me rather than me deciding to give up writing of my own accord..  
So, I had to try to research a few things and it seems that to keep adding photos to a blog without exceeding the limit, photos need to be of a certain size, and the best way to do this is to use 'picasa' photo editing, and to upgrade to Google +1, don't ask me what 'Google +1 is, but I do think I have managed to upgrade, and am now trying to use picasa.  I think also I may have changed my profile picture, I was very happy with that little Poppy, but I may now have an embroidered hedgehog ....we wait and see what happens in the next couple of weeks. 

Other than getting frustrated and taxing my poor little brain, I read an item on how to improve photos for your blog.  The big thing seemed to be to get natural light i.e. take photos by an open window ..simple!!!!  The other thing I have noticed is that some bloggers take their photos on a white background, so I decided to practice some quilting techniques that I have followed from this site.  This lady even explained that a good way to quilt is to print on paper and sew over that.  I printed from EQ6 a stencil and pinned it to my WHITE fabric.....ready steady go...

Not too shabby
centre completed and ready for the next step..

Paper off 
some straight lines added

bit more quilting to fill in the gaps

Mmmmmm think I can improve on this - given time.
washed and ready to go

ready for a photo shoot
Photo shoot number 1.
I'll explain about the purses later
 I needed some sort of table that I could use for photographing so out came the butler tray that I painted and "dĂ©coupaged" years ago.  I used some beautiful old fashioned ladies to decorate it and included a photo of my Mum as a young lady, and one of me as a 2 or 3 year old.

Mum in the centre and I am the baby on the left.
 My Mum and Dad had a family of three, then at the time and they should have been taking things easy and looking forward to grandchildren my sister arrived and 4 years after that I came along ! Both must have thought of putting their "head in the gas oven", but  I like to think I kept them young. My dear Dad died when he was 79 (I was just 21) and my beautiful Mum lived to a ripe old age of 91.

Practice taking photos.....
What do you think?

At least I did have something to show you in my 'photo shoot'.  Yes, another purse.  I ordered a couple of purse clasps and these ones were the 'no sew' type.  I think if you are going to use these, you must be in the mood for stickyness as it is rather messy trying to get the fabric in the clasp and I prefer the 'sew in' ones.

So, I have to ask myself if its been a good week for progress, and I am not sure about that.  I think it might take a while for me to get used to the new photo editing program and I have no idea what will happen with this google+1 thing .... in fact I don't even know where to find my google.... what a thing to say, it even made me chuckle.  But, Oh how I wish I was more computer literate.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Whoa!!! Lots going on this week

Sunday was a brilliant day, so the bikes went on the bike rack and we were off to Stanwick Lakes. The sky was a beautiful Azure blue and it was reflected in the lake.  

Just one of the many lakes

I am so glad we took the opportunity to get out and about because I think that was the last time we saw anything of the sun for the rest of the week.

Now Monday was one our 'All days' at Highampiecemakers, and time to get down to making some small bits and pieces for Christmas.  I decided to make some coasters for wine glasses and gift tags for special people.  I don't usually get much done on Mondays...well, other than a good chat, so to get two items finished was quite an achievement for me.

8 coasters and 11 gift tags

Baking day on Tuesday, and its the first time I have made a coconut cake in years.  It was very tasty, so think it might be a regular bake.

I also played at making a coin purse.  I had seen them first here and although I didn't want to join in the blog hop, I just loved the look of the purses and wanted to make one.  So a couple of clicks on the Mouse and I was the proud owner of the pattern from Madame Samm's Pattern.  I have had a purse frame for over 10 years and never got around to using it and realised it had been waiting for this pattern.....

Cute don't you think?
The frame is a bit fancy, but I have ordered some plainer ones and can't wait to make a few more of these.

I have also been playing with pincushions, and this site has some really great patterns and tutorials. The hardest thing about this one was getting a plastic pot that was suitable and not full of body cream.  
Pot found, fabrics chosen and cut
It really doesn't  take long to get them together

Flower petals cut and sew ready to roll

VoilĂ  ! 
Is there more........yes of course.

A friend came over and we made these cute vinyl project bags.  The pattern is from here and is super simple...... I say that, it did take us all day to get the first one made, but once finished I just knew I had to make another.  

Filled ready for my Hexie project.
About 24 years ago I embroidered these cute Teddy's and Carousel Horse.

Some things just can't be thrown away 

 It was framed and has been on the walls of many of our houses, but this house doesn't have loads of wall space, so I took the embroidery out of the frame and it has sat waiting for a new life........ what do you think?

New life for these cuties

Two more purse frames have arrived in the post today, so guess I might be making purses over the weekend. Yeah!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Time Flies

It doesn't seem like a week ago that we woke to a cold but bright frosty morning.  The skies were  blue and the sun shining, so we felt we could not miss out on a walk.  Luckily living where we live there are plenty of country walks to choose from, but this week we went to East Carlton Park.
I just had to take a picture quickly of the frost, because it was not going to last long once the sun got on the fields.
The White magically turning green
Just around the corner in the sun

Just look at that sky

Northamptonshire countryside
Not so many bright colours left, but still beautiful..
Oh so quiet 
and some leaves to kick about.........never too old to kick those leaves, and everything looking so clean and fresh.
Not even a dog walker 
even the boots stayed clean

who has clean boots after a winter walk?
I spent the rest of the day making a tea cosy.  I had seen a picture somewhere on the internet, and made a mental note to make my own version one day, and that day arrived.  The hardest thing was making the pattern for my very own tiny tea pot, but once I had that sorted the rest was a piece of cake.... or pudding as the case may be

White is not the best colour for a tea pot, but it does look cute.
I have been tidying my fabric cupboards and needed a box to put a few more fat quarters in, so off to scour the internet.  I found a couple of tuts on fabric boxes, but the one I chose to make was from here I have made mine a bit bigger but it works perfectly.

finished ready to be filled

Filled to capacity 
On the same site I found this little hexagon bowl.  I have reduced the size considerably as I thought it might work as a small trinket bowl, but working on such a small item the 'floor' gets a bit lumpy, so not sure it will be used
I still like the look of these so maybe I'll have another try
The weather men tell me we are in for a cold night, so that might mean a nice bright day tomorrow and if so I think the boots might see the light of day again ....OR could it be a day for the bikes?


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Getting back to normal

About 5 years ago we had an extension to the house which was to be my sewing room well according to my hubby its the work room, but we know differently don't we.  The room has been wonderful, in fact for me the favourite room in the house probably, but recently I thought I could smell a dampness but Mr. D said he couldn't smell it, and I let it go...... that is until I could stand it no longer.  I decided to pull out the cupboard that stores most of my fabric as that seemed to be where the smell was at its strongest and low and behold there was the offending mould growing on the wall behind the cupboard.  We called in the builder who after talking to a number of experts told us that he thought the problem was caused because there was little or no ventilation in and around that corner and that was the probable cause.  After a bit of discussion, we called in a carpenter to raise the cupboards and lower my sewing machine into the work space (because I am such a shorty I would never reach the machine).

Goodness look how clean and tidy it looks

Back to the real world and a working sewing room
It doesn't look that much different, but it certainly smells much better.  Had to alter my sewing mat, but that was my only input.... well other than packing everything up, then unpacking again and that is a lot of work.

I have finished the Tilda sewing doll, she now has her sewing machine and the item she is working on,  and is ready to be wrapped in Christmas paper 

Must make one for me
The other finished bit for me is my Dancing Ribbons mini quilt.  I thought hard about the binding, and in the end made scrappy binding with the same fabrics as the ribbons... Must find room on the sewing room wall for this one.

I do love this mini, so bright and cheerful
I told you about the group on flickr that I have joined this month.  I showed you the beginnings of my 3.5" blocks in the last post, this is how they looked when I had finished.  Unfortunately I took the photos at night and as the colours were not true I was supposed to take more photos in the morning, but so intent on getting them in the post I forgot..Boo Hoo!!  still you get some idea of what they look like.
Six with pink buttonhole stitch and Six with blue

My other work in progress is still 'in progress'.

I had forgotten just how long it takes to get all of the lazy daisy leaves sewn, and there are a few more before I get on with the tiny rose buds (french knots), but once all the embroidery is finished I only have to turn up the hem and add the buttons and button holes. Yeah! 

I have also been planning (with a little help from my friends) an "all day" sewing day at our local sewing group Higham Piecemakers.  I have spent hours and hours scouring the internet looking for small decorations etc that we can make and believe me its easier said than done.  There are a few things out there and this is what I have chosen to try.
So hope they like them.  

Friday, 2 November 2012

Owww! nearly forgot

Oh my goodness I almost forgot to show you this, yet another 'thing' not quite finished.

She is going to be a Christmas gift once she is finished, but I can show you because I know the person it is for does n't look at my blog...... Boo Hoo! but what can you do when you own kids won't pop in to see what you're up to ( I'd beat her soundly, but she is bigger than me :)  )
I only need to attach the sewing machine to the doll, and put a piece of fabric under the 'needle'.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Lots going on...nothing finished

I think I am a bit like a butterfly..... flitting from one thing to another and actually not completing anything at the moment.  

I have made many smocked dresses for my granddaughters and one of my favourites is one from the Country Bumpkin magazine called 'Gathering Roses'.  I made it a couple of years ago for my youngest granddaughter, but when I spoke to her just a couple of days ago she informed me that it was now getting toooooooo short and she needed another.  She has asked for it to be exactly the same as the one she already has........so I am in the process of making this dress for the third time.

Lots more smocking to do.
Smocking finished, now for the bullion roses that give this dress its name.

Lots more bullions, but you can see where they will go

There's still a bit more to do before this is finished, so you will see this again I am sure.

No. 2
Remember this....

Look what's happening...

                          Yep, paper being removed...... looks promising

Not finished, still got to sandwich and quilt...... 

With all this going on....should I really be getting into something new.  Of course the answer is NO, but my online friend has asked me to join in with this group here.  I used to make bitty's each month, but had to give it a rest for a while and now only join in occasionally.  This months themes were Christmas/winter and Aliens, now I am not into Aliens, but Christmas ....that's my thing.  So this is mine so far
Doves and olive leaves ready.
Tomorrow I hope to get these 12 little blocks completed and in the post to America then I can sit back and wait for the other 11 ladies to send me their beauties. 

What next is on the list??????