Wednesday, 28 November 2007
I've always found the marker pens where the ink fades away after 24 hours to be a bit of a disappointment, for the lovely crisp lines they allow you to draw seem to dissolve almost immediately with exposure to light or heat and so the minute my fabric gets anywhere near my sewing machine lights it is a race to sew along my guidelines as fast as possible (and you can just imagine how attractively that turns out!). A dressmakers chalk is another option, but I sometimes find that for smaller items it is too cumbersome and doesn't give a fine enough line, so up until now I have stuck to a combination of squinting, sewing in the dark and cursing a lot....but now those days are behind me.
Meet the wonderful push-up chalk pen! It comes with with a selection of chalks for you to load in to the pen in all manner of colours and gives a satisfyingly thin line that brushes off quite easily afterwards. I now cannot imagine a sewing life without one.
I must also tell you about a green and thrifty option to marking that was recently brought to my attention by the lovely Hazel (who I must implore to start a blog so that I can link to all the loveliness that she makes!). Hazel sent a near-finished bar of soap for me (at just the point where the bar has turned into more of a wafer with slightly sharper edges) and suggested that it is a fantastic way of marking on lines...and it is! Mid bag-making session using some dark suiting and having an argument with the dissolving pen (which doesn't really show up on that type of material anyway), before the push-up pen had come into my life, I suddenly remembered it, and I have to say it is the most perfect, green, and economical option.
Monday, 26 November 2007
If only I had known last year how easy it is to sew a Cash's name tag on with a machine! When Zebra Girl started in Reception I was such an eager beaver that I even sewed name tags into each individual sock by hand! It took hours and allowed much time for unhealthy brooding and apprehension....a year on and I have to confess that on occasion, when in an extreme rush, I have resorted to using a (whisper it) Biro! Oh, how quickly standards have slipped! I feel quite ashamed of that: there is something about having Cash's name tags sewn in to children's clothing that says 'cared for'...I must go back to doing this, not least so that Zebra-girl & Dinosaur-boy will find them as nostalgic and lovely as I do once they are grown...
The mirror that I have displayed a couple of the hearts on was a gift from my lovely father...he guiltily scours boot fairs at first light during the summer months and on one particularly fine 'booting' day bought me this for me for only 50 pence! ('Guiltily' because my mother disapproves and, increasingly, because his study is starting to resemble a boot fair itself as this is the only place he is now permitted to deposit his haul). I love my mirror though.
Friday, 23 November 2007
This is the box my mother bought me for keeping my buttons in...I love it and think of her each time I use it.
...and here are its contents:
All this...and much more...fits under our very low bed! Oh for a dedicated sewing room. Ian has told me to find out how much it might cost for us to take a corner off Zebra-girl's room and added on to our own, so that his body parts might be free from the dangers of the pin-infested space he currently inhabits at bedtime...but somehow, despite the fact that her bedroom is far larger than ours, I would feel horribly guilty and selfish about stealing part of what she considers to be her space, so I'm trying to think up better storage ideas instead.
How do you store your sewing things, those of you who don't have a sewing room? Or tell me how you store them even if you do have one, so that I can properly imagine how lovely that must be! I love storage and thinking about perfect storage solutions. How do you store your ribbons and threads?
Tomorrow evening? I will be tidying my upholstery-weight fabrics, which will be most therapeutic as the day times are to be dominated by 3 children's parties this weekend!
Oh gosh, look at that, Ginny! I appear to have done it again!!!
I hope everyone has lovely weekends. x
Wednesday, 21 November 2007
I was up until 1am last night working on one of the Christmas presents I'm making...and Ian very sweetly got the children off to school and nursery this morning so that I could get straight back to it at 7am, as I had been awake half the night trying to work out the best way to get some seams to join up neatly and had finally woken with a plan that I was desperate to try out...so I stayed in my pajamas until lunchtime sewing, while we chatted and I listened as he played funny songs on his guitar for me. A lovely morning.
Afternoons we filled with walks in the drizzle to the bakery to buy Coffee Swiss Rolls (yes, more than once in three days...?!) playing eye-spy with Dinosaur-boy to distract him from the cold and the fact that Ian has persuaded me that I must start leaving the pushchair at home (perhaps I need this more than Dinosaur-boy...I'm not ready to have two children that walk everywhere yet). On our walk there is a very long low wall for him to walk along, carefully balancing. There is something about walking a child along a wall...one of my favourite things...oh dear, I am in a pondering, pensive sort of mood...perhaps I am feeling a little sad that I finished filling in his school application forms yesterday?
At the start of the week Ian had promised the children an end-of-his-mini-holiday special tea on Wednesday...oh gosh, what an unhealthy week we've had...macaroni cheese (there was lots of broccoli too!) and then this ice cream extravaganza that made Zebra-girl's eyes practically pop out on stalks, such was her delight. In the picture you can just see the edge of Zebra-girl's rainbow bowl, which I love. And here's Dinosaur-boy's, which takes up the owl-theme that I've been admiring on various blogs over the last couple of weeks. Both are from the Tate Modern when they were running their Colour exhibition (...but what a shame I forgot they weren't dishwasher proof...I seem to have antiqued them somewhat!).
After tea, Ian and the children built this tower for balls to go down, which ended up being taller than Zebra-girl.
My favourite bit of it is this bit pictured below: it reminds me of a birdhouse stuck up on the top of the tower like that. I also like the shadow it makes on the wall.
And has anyone noticed that Blogger has added a slideshow feature to the Page Elements section? (you can see it in action on the right, entitled 'my pictures')...but has anyone yet discovered how you link to a particular flickr folder, rather than just a general one?
Monday, 19 November 2007
How clever to be able to make all it's wiring and gears though....he is the sort of man who takes whole television sets apart and then remakes them just for fun.
On the sewing-front we are not too far off finishing making things for the Christmas Fair, and I am also eagerly awaiting the Royal Mail van each day which should be carrying fabric from the States for me, so that I can continue with making my family's Christmas presents. So many ideas...so desperate to discuss them...perhaps I need to set up a secret Christmas blog!
Thursday, 15 November 2007
I am very happy, for they go in at the ankle (so no sausage legs...well, apart from what's naturally there resembling sausages, but there's little I can do about that...or maybe that's called eating less chocolate, but where's the fun in that!?), they don't bag at the top (so no wellington accusations) and they even add nearly 1.5 inches of free height (although I then feel so tall that I develop a slight stoop to compensate as I'm so unused to that sensation that I feel very conspicuous... weird given that my new height is only just above 5ft2')!!!
How irksome...to only see in a photo that the doormat needs straightening!
Anyway, I have been up nearly every night until midnight for nearly two weeks frantically sewing Christmas presents (why?...it's still so far away!), so tonight I'm having a night off. I spent half an hour this afternoon having a look at some new blogs (well, new to me anyway) and am feeling inspired by all the owl-themed things that seem to be around at the moment (I'd never been to Moon Stitches before...but I love it!) and then more owly inspiration at Creative Little Daisy and again at Lucy Kate Crafts. I also came across London Mummy who has the most fantastic blog and makes beautiful stuffed houses (and more recently a church, which is amazing)...my description of them does them a disservice as a 'stuffed house' sounds a little odd, so do go and have a look yourself as they are wonderful!
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Thursday, 8 November 2007
Here is a picture of my favourite shop there: Cloth House, which was completely dreamy (although a little pricey)...further down the road I found silk shops, Borovik (where I bought some fabric for my mother's Christmas present and some fabulous suede remnants), and also The Fabric King (this actually had some good fabrics, but psychologically I had a mental block about buying from a shop with that name...it made me think of burgers and sweat shops).
I took the sausage boots back and successfully got my refund and then bought some new boots in Camper (horay!) - beautifully made, a size 35 (so hard to find) and just all round gorgeous...but alas on my return it was suggested to me that they actually looked like Wellingtons as they are a little gapey around the tops!!!! Ian says this is no bad thing as it is an obvious invitation to eat more in order to fatten up my legs...but while that mission could be fun, I really just want some nice boots to wear right NOW without having to eat 200 doughnuts to look right in them (and without having to buy new jeans to accommodate my extra middle)...oops, another trip to London then?
Anyway, boot crisis aside, my sewing machine is busy and I have a hundred ideas whizzing round my head for Christmas presents that I want to make; one of which involves decoupage, a technique I've always wanted learn. I saw this chair in the decopatch brochure and I think it would be the perfect way to do up an old mirror that I have that I have wanted to pass down to Zebra-girl.
I must also thank LucyKate who has nominated me for a SMILE award and in the process made me smile too! Thank you!!! I will pass it on when I find out how you find out who has already been nominated...if that makes sense!