Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Olympic Torch Came to Town! and A Giveaway Winner!

Most of the locations on the route of the Olympic Torch Relay were well-known towns and cities.  How it came to be going through our little village last Friday I don't know, but I'm very glad it did!

 It was a gorgous day without a cloud in the sky; the bunting and flags were up in plenty of time and council workers were around early to line the main street with barriers.  Crowds built up over the morning and school children from nearby towns were bused in as a treat.

 In the build-up to the main event the local handbell ringers entertained the gathering people, a drumming band from another town paraded along the route and Rocky the Bear (the local Music Festival mascot) amused the children.

 As the first few police out-riders drove by and a police helicopter circled overhead we all craned our necks for a better view.  The atmosphere was buzzing with anticipation.
The torch-bearer is behind the boy with the blue T-shirt.  I think you can just about see the flame above his head (I'm not very good at action shots!)

We heard the procession before we saw it. The torch-bearer was preceded by more out-riders, a few advertising floats for large multi-national companies and further support vehicles.  It was a noisy, happy procession with a carnival atmosphere and certainly got everyone waving, clapping and cheering.  Then the procession disappeared onto the next town and within minutes it was like it had never happened - apart from being left with the feeling that we'd been a part of something special; a part of history!!
Right - now to my SMS Giveaway result.  First, I must say thank you to all 61 people who left comments.  I was stunned that so many people liked my little purse enough to enter.  As soon as I get the chance I'm going to checkout all your blogs! And a special thank you and welcome to the 3 who became new followers.  I hope you stick around.  Things can be a bit slow around here but it's definitely varied.  I chose the winner using the standard random number generator and up popped number 47 who was The Hippy Housewife.   So, many congratulations to Cynthia.  I've emailed her directly and now have an address to send the purse to.   

I might have mentioned before that I've been looking in charity shops for Charles Dickens books. I've only seen one and, although I can't remember which one it was, I knew I didn't want it to be my first experience of CD.  Call it luck or divine intervention but in an email from Freecycle last week someone was offering the Complete Works of Charles Dickens!!  I emailed to register my interest, crossed my fingers and, to my surprise, was contacted the next day to pick them up despite there being a lot of other interest.  This is just half of them!!!  I thought "Great! Now I can read whichever one I want to first." And THAT is my problem!! (Or rather one of them - the other being where to put them!)  So, which one do I read first?  Should it be one I've not heard of, one I know well or one I've heard of but don't much about? I was leaning towards the latter option until someone suggested that maybe I should read them in the order they were published, and that put a real spanner in the works.  Now I don't know what to do!  Help!!!

Progress since last time:

Bag for colleague's wife - nearly finished
Mouse cat-toys - still to be stuffed

Planned projects - more bag and cushion ideas
3 quilts to keep plodding away at (Quilt-as-you-go, Tag Square Bee and Hexagon Quilts)

Bye for now
Teresa x

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Hello and welcome to anyone visiting from Sew Mama Sew for the giveaway.
As mentioned in my last post I'm going to give away this little zipped purse for this year's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day.  I made it as a bit of an experiment but it turned out quite nicely so I thought it would make a good prize.

If you're interested in entering for this, I don't expect any jumping through hoops, just leave a comment telling me a little about yourself (if you like - you don't have to) and all will be entered in the draw.

The purse is crocheted in one piece from leftover yarn with a recycled zip, buttons, ribbon and fabric lining to finish it off.  It measures 5" by 4" and is not quite big enough to hold my phone, which I considered as a possibility. 

I'll pick a winner on Friday and will post anywhere.  Good luck!

Edited to add - Since first writing this I've been doing the rounds of what else is on offer in the SMS Giveaway and it's made me realise what a poor excuse for a blog post this is.  I've been very remiss in not introducing myself properly to new visitors and not inviting you to stick around if you'd like to.  For anyone who's not been here before - my name is Teresa and I live in Wales, UK.  I have husband and 2 grown up children.  I love to craft (especially sewing, quilting, knitting and crochet) and try to do as much as I can within a very limited time-frame. So, although this blog is supposed to be about my stitching exploits, it tends to be about that and much more besides, like singing, activities with my friends, village life etc and very occasionally I spout off about something that gets my goat like poor grammar. 

In other news: A work colleague has asked me to make a bag for him to give to his wife.  It seems that I don't even need to advertise to sell stuff!!  I hope the same can be said if I decide to start selling seriously!

Edited to add the result:

Hot off the press and sorry it's a bit late (pc probs) but the winner is The Hippy Housewife!!!  I've emailed her directly with the news and will send off the package as soon as I get the address.
Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 11 May 2012

I wasn't looking forward to this month's quilting club meeting last Saturday.  Two members were giving demonstrations but I often find the projects are not to my taste and prefer to get on with my own work. It was possible to do our own work but I had nothing suitable prepared and doing preparation at the meeting would have been too distracting for others.

I scrabbled around in my shed for something (anything) to do.  I ended up grabbing my crochet hooks and a ball of yarn.  However, as it turned out I was quite impressed with the demonstration project (above).  It's a method called twist and turn. I didn't think much of it at first from the designs in the book we were shown but I absolutely love the version that our member is making.  The colours are right up my street and the chicken centres are so cute. I made a mental note to have a go at this sometime.

As I watched, I began crocheting, trying out another idea I had mentally filed away.  I managed to finish most of the main part of this purse during the day.  I completed it later by adding ribbon, buttons, zip and lining.  I sewed the whole thing by hand and am pleased with how it turned out and how quickly it came together. All the supplies are repurposed. The ribbon is from the lengths you get inside new clothes to help hang them up! I knew they'd come in useful one day.
The old yew tree in the churchyard
On Sunday after Church, OH and I headed off to Cardiff Bay with 4 other couples for a 40th birthday meal. The cupcakes and sparkling wine we had when we got there were a lovely touch organised by the birthday girl's OH. The plan had been to have them on the mini-bus but we ended up on 2 buses (men on one, women on the other) but that's another story.  After a wander and a drink in a bar we headed for an Italian restaurant where we had a lovely meal.  I'm afraid I didn't enjoy the rest of the outing.  Behaviour began to deteriorate (partly due to drink) and incidents occurred (not all due to drink surprisingly), and when we came back to our village hotel (on one mini-bus due to the fact that one couple had already left and made their own way home - separately!!) OH and I went home as soon as was polite.

Monday afternoon, I was off to another church service.  This time to sing in the choir for a Mother's Union Deanery Service.  They said there'd be tea after and I was ready for a cuppa.  I didn't realise they meant full afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes and scones!!   I didn't bother with dinner when I got home!

Progress since last time:
  • Crocheted purse - which I may enter in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway if I get my act together.  They're doing it a different way since I last entered and I'm not sure how it works.
  • QAYG quilt block - one more quilted (2 or 3 left out of 25ish but I've run out of wadding).
  • Mousey cat toys - 2 cut out
  • Bag for friend - cut out.
Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Piles of Purses!

The order for 7 purses has been fulfilled!  My friend thought they were lovely and said they went down well with her grandchildren too.  She decided to give the farm animal ones to the 2 boys and let the 5 girls choose from the rest.
Version 2 of the doggy purse. It's been taken apart and the damaged zip replaced
Most of  fabrics and zips in the purses are reclaimed. Some, like the apple and bee fabrics, I bought before I thought seriously about what I was doing.  With one exception, I haven't bought any new fabric for a few years. 

The exception was last week when I wanted to get a particular colour for sashing my Bee Quilt.  It's been a while since I asked for suggestions on how to put the Bee Quilt together and decided Linnhe's suggestion to use a soft green was good .  I haven't been able to find a recycled source so, after choosing a fabric online, asked a friend to pick up a metre from a shop near where she works on Saturdays (see, I even avoided making a special journey to get it!). However, it appears I now owe my friend a big favour after the lady in the shop managed to to keep her there talking for half an hour!!
Apple purse embellished with Suffolk Puff and matching button
Now the purses are finished my mind is buzzing with all the ideas I tried to surpress until now. As well as getting on with the Bee Quilt I've decided to use one of the bag patterns in my patchwork magazine for a gift for the friend who gave me materials and make one for myself at the same time.  I also want to make more zipped purses, cushions and bags. 
Bee purse with felt circle attached with button.
Making  the purses was a good exercise for me in finding out what materials and methods I was happiest with. 
Purses altogether before being dispatched.
It also made me think about different designs and led to trying out this side zip version.  Although I winged it to a large extent, it came together quite quickly. 

 I couldn't work out in my head how to make it all-in-one so made a separate lining and hand sewed it in.

The Summer social whirl is about to begin with lots of events lined up (which is hard to believe looking out of the window at the grey sky and cold, wet conditions!), including a Wedding Fayre, Music Festival, camping trip or two and Raft Race, over the next few months amongst other things.

Progress since last time:
  • 7 zipped purses - last 2 finished and all delivered.
  • Knitted cowl - I found another part ball of left-over yarn so undid the join and added it to make the cowl a better length. Incidentally, I neglected to mention that the design was largly taken from the Burberry inspired cowl neck scarf by Julianne Smith aka the garter girl.
  • Brown jumper that I don't wear any more has been taken apart and unrun ready to wash and make into something else.
  • Side zipped purse made.
  • Nearly finished quilting another Quilt-as-you-go Block.
It's a Bank Holiday weekend coming up and there's lots planned. Out with the usual gang on Friday evening, mini-bus trip to Cardiff Bay Sunday afternoon for friend's 40th and hoping to go to a craft fair on Monday but let's see how things pan out.

Bye for now
Teresa x