Monday, 20 May 2013

Making Work for Myself!

 The sun has been putting in some welcome appearances recently.  When it does it's lovely and warm, although the temperature still drops quite significantly as soon as a cloud brings some shade.  I prefer that, though, to the sort of sunshine that leaves you longing for a cloud, for a little cool relief.
I joined my daughter and fiance a week or two ago to walk their dogs on the hill above their town.  We met half way with some of fiance's relatives who then walked back with us.

And last week Mr D and I went to the first of a new regular Farmers' and Vintage Market at a nearby manor house.  We were delighted when we turned the corner of the stable block and almost bumped into an 'ostentation' of peacocks, which is, apparently, what a group of them is called (I just looked it up in case it comes up at our next pub quiz). There were at least a dozen of them!

We came home with some lovely, local, home-made goodies;  welsh cakes, leek and stilton sausages and wild boar and apple pies, laid out on a lovely big piece of fabric I got for £4 from one of the vintage stalls. We'll definitely go back again, when we have time to look around the gardens too.

A few days later, I went with my Ladies' Group on a visit to tour the same manor house, (Llanvihangel Court) followed by a pub meal.  If you're ever in the area (and it happens to be open) the house is well worth a visit.  I can't imagine there being a better example of a house of that age anywhere else.  The Lady of the Manor gave us the tour and pointed out many portraits of her ancestors, including her great-grandmother, who was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria.  Unusually for a 400-year-old house, there wasn't a speck of dust or cobweb anywhere, and every room was stunning yet homely, and although the furnishings were from all over the world and from different periods, nothing looked out of place.

On the crafting front, which has been a bit slow lately, I've added these small felt brooches to my collection. The felt is from an old felted jumper and is quite thick and sturdy, making it strong enough to hold its shape well.  The decoration is all reclaimed bits and pieces, including hanging ribbon, from inside new clothes, to make the bows (you know me - I keep anything that could come in handy).

I've also been recycling the already recycled!  I made a cushion cover a while ago with hexagons on a blue background.  It never looked like the vision I originally had but I was reluctant to waste the work that went into it.  However, when my daughter said she wasn't keen on it either, it was time to take action. I unpicked all the hexagons, stitched them into a block and made them into this zipped bag, with the blue from the cushion as a lining. As usual, I 'winged it' with the design as it's another different construction method. This time the seams are on the outside and are covered with binding.  I also used binding to attach the zip on the outside, which was quite fiddly, but meant there was no need for turning it all inside-out and risking sewing things the wrong way.

This was the cushion 'before'
Helen from The Patient Gardener's Blog asked me a few weeks ago where I got the pattern from for my summer top.  Sorry for the late reply Helen but I had to dig it out of the shed again to remind myself.  It's an old-ish pattern from Simplicity, No K2938, and includes trousers, a dress and a jacket too.  I tried, without luck, to remember where I got it from but am pretty sure I didn't buy it new.

Oh, and I mustn't forget............My new job is a part-time receptionist at a hair salon - at the salon I go to, actually!  I was sitting there, having my hair done a couple of months ago, chatting away to the stylist/owner (as you do) when she asked about my work.  When I told her I was redundant and looking for part-time work, she offered me the job. I've already done some 'shadowing' of the current receptionist and one morning on my own, and I start officially next week!  It will suit me quite well at the moment to work 3/4 days a week, leaving time for proof reading, crafting and helping son and daughter with their accounts.

Progress since last time:

Turned cushion into zipped bag
Added more patchwork diamonds to Country Living inspired quilt
Started cathedral window patchwork cushion
Felt brooches

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

In light of the imminent demise of Google Reader, I've managed to transfer all the blogs I follow over to Bloglovin, and I've registered my blog with them.  What I should be able to do now is put this link in the sidebar information, so it's visible all the time, but I don't know how.  After I add another post this link will be out of sight! A possible solution would be to add a new page and put the link there, but that will have to wait for another day because I've got to get on over to Sew Mama Sew and enter a few more giveaways!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Win, Win, Work!

Goodness, it's taken me ages to get back here and post - it was much easier when I could put a quick something together in my lunchtime at work.

 I'd love to show you some photos from our performances of Anything Goes but I'm afraid cameras weren't allowed at the show, and I couldn't bring any costumes home to photograph because they were all hired! However, I can say that the run went really well, I enjoyed doing it (although, for some strange reason, not quite as much as last year), and we had a really good review in the local paper. We have one more performance of the title number, tonight at the Mayor's Show, and then we move on to the next project.

Above is my stall at the craft fair I mentioned last time.  Within the first 5 minutes of the doors opening I sold my first item!  It was a small pink baby quilt and more than covered my costs for the day.  Which was good because I didn't sell anything else after that!  Advice for selling at craft fairs often mentions having a 'story' behind a product to make it more interesting and meaningful - I found the opposite (where the customer has a story for buying the item) is also rewarding.  The granddaughter of the lady who bought the quilt was having a baby girl soon and the baby was going to be the first girl born into their family in nearly 50 years.  I felt quite honoured that they chose to buy my quilt for a child that was obviously very special for them.

I've had a couple of lucky wins lately!! First is this sweet little book that was reviewed and given away by Ali of the wonderful Very Berry Handmade.  I'm dying to have a go at one of these tiny little characters but I don't know where to start - there are so many to choose from.
Ali also sells bundles of lovely Liberty fabrics and I was thrilled to find a little package of pretty scraps in with the book.

My other lucky win was a packet of multi-coloured buttons from Craftseller magazine, that will be a very handy alternative to my stash of mainly browns and whites.

I'm having a stall at another craft fair this weekend and have managed to finish a quilt for a baby boy, this time.  You never know ......!

And I mustn't forget the lovely Marivel of Cristali Designs who very kindly awarded me a Liebster Award.  I think I'm supposed to say something about myself so, here goes:

My favourite colour is orange
I love to read, sew, sing, knit, crochet etc.
My middle name is Mary (so is my daughter's, it's also the first name of 2 aunties and was both my grandmothers')
I also like to watch The Mentalist, Marivel!
Oh, and I've got a new job - probably (more details to come).

Bye for now
Teresa x