09/03/2013 § 27 Comments
Now, this has been a strange week for me. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m at home, and I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that I must rest and relax. No day job for me at the moment, though home and family are going to need all my strength and support next week on Friday and for a while afterwards. I need to conserve my energy and be very strong.
I enjoy sharing my own designs and creations here, on my blog. I feel as though I’ve made contacts and friends with so many like-minded people but in truth, I’m a very private person, and I don’t think I’ll share the details of what’s happening here, in public. Over the next couple of months, I’m likely to pop in and out of blogland as time allows. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some sewing and manage some photos.
Today I’ve made a little friend to keep me company in the coming weeks. And I’ve LOVED making her – Thank you Alicia for this super pattern. I’ve so enjoyed the simplicity of hand sewing, whilst sharing the sofa with Belle this afternoon, my grandmother’s silver thimble on my finger and my little pincushion alongside. I had bits and bobs and scraps of fabric and yarn – plenty to make a bunnykins. From the very start, I knew she’d have red boots!
Rosie’s a character – a sweet character. She reminds me of a 12 year old who’s just shot up and her skirt is just a tad shorter than it should be! (I turned up too deep a hem)! She still loves her own dollies though, and has a little bunnykins toy of her own. She may have a basket of flowers soon, but today has been a day for total chilling out – I didn’t even make it to the shed to hunt for the tiny dolly baskets that I know are hidden out there somewhere!
Tonight I shall dream of her trotting around when I’m fast asleep. They’ll jump fir cones on the hearth and canter up the folds of the quilt over the sofa back and stand on the top ridge, surveying the dark home. His little hooves will move silently over the hearth mat and past the sleeping dogs, down the steps to the kitchen and back up – hold tight Rosie!
Hope to see you soon.
I’m linking up to Handmade Monday and will pop round later to see what’s been made this week.
Miss Maggie Rabbit (Rosie) now has a friend to keep her company and I can’t wait to show her to you (She’s here). At the moment, she’s sitting on the mantlepiece, surrounded by the prettiest tiny pink roses in a stylish planter (Thank You, Caroline), and bunches of tulips and cards (Thank You, Boys)!
10/02/2013 § 26 Comments
I was, and I won an amazing prize!
Firstly, I must thank Wendy of 1st Unique Gifts who has organised the Handmade Monday link-up (over 100 of them) and who set up Handmade Harbour “It’s a friendly place for the handmade community with interviews, tutorials, craft business advice and more.”
I can’t quite remember when I first joined in with Handmade Monday, but I soon realised the huge benefits that result from popping over to see what other ‘creatives’ have been up to, catching up with their projects large & small, seeing their amazing completed works and leaving (and receiving) cheery comments. Secretly, I suspect that Wendy is an awesome character, even though we’ve never met. To run a business and create such a buzz for others requires a very special set of skills, a strong character and a keen interest in people.
Leaving a comment, to enter one of the celebratory 100 Handmade Monday giveaways, I crossed my fingers and HOPED I’d win. The prize was something I really needed and it had come along with just-perfect timing.
“A Personalised Marketing Plan”
This giveaway is a really exciting one for anyone running a small handmade business!
a personalised assessment of one lucky winner’s work, marketing and online strategy. It will cover customer profiling, copywriting, SEO, photography, etc., and will lead to a marketing strategy for the winner.
and I won!
What a fantastic prize. Mike has been in touch and asked lots of sensible, leading questions. I’m having a good think about the answers! Many thanks to Mike and Anna for offering their time for this prize.
I’m excited and am full of hope that during this year my little Adaliza textile hobby-business will grow, and flourish. I think of Adaliza as rather like my bay tree – she arrived in a tiny pot which I sometimes forgot to water, any care I gave her was rewarded with new shoots & leaves, since outgrowing her pot, she’s now planted in the garden and at this point, my beautiful bay tree grew and grew. Adaliza – you’ve just been planted out – put down your roots and reach for the stars!
There’s another chance to win the prize again here (there’s a link to the magazine where it’s offered).
Now, I’ve got a quilt to finish and a huge crochet blanket with just a couple more rows to go, PLUS some questions to answer, a calendar of fairs to organise and some amazing fabric that I’m not allowing myself to even look at until current WIPs are completed!
Do pop over to see what everyone else has been up to at Handmade Monday 103 – and join in!
03/02/2013 § 18 Comments
a strange combination?
Oranges first then …
Very satisfying indeed. 10 Seville oranges, turned into 10 bottles of Dark Ginger Marmalade. I love making marmalade and have a method that’s evolved over many years …
1 wash the fruit then cut in half and roughly into segments
2 barely cover with water in a deep baking dish, add a sprinkle of cloves, a couple of cinnamon sticks, some root ginger cut into slices and a couple of bay leaves. (I adore the flavour and smell of bay).
3 stick it in the oven for a couple of hours on a medium heat and then allow to cool down a bit so it doesn’t burn your fingers
4 get stuck in – with your fingers – remove the juicy bits from the orange skin. Put the skin to one side. Put the liquid and juicy mush through a sieve. Pick out the bay leaves, a couple of slices of ginger and the cinnamon and pop them into the preserving pan with the liquid.
5 slide a sharp knife along the underside of the skin segments, to remove any remaining pith, then slice orange skin into slivers. Add to liquid.
6 measure (or guess, in my case), how many pints of liquid you now have and add 1 lb sugar to every pint. Dissolve the sugar slowly over a medium heat, stirring gently
7 add some glace ginger if you like it and my secret ingredient, to make the marmalade good and dark – 2 tsp black treacle
8 boil it up until it reaches ‘jam’ on the sugar thermometer, remove bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and large pieces of root ginger
9 sterilise jars & lids in the oven, on 100 degrees, then using a wide necked funnel and jug, bottle it up – fill jars right up to the top
10 place a waxed circle on top and seal tightly while still hot
11 write your labels and pop them into the cupboard to set
Voila – Dark Ginger Marmalade – that’s the oranges done!
Now for the Songbird …
Songbird is the name of a new quilt. Inspired by Scandinavian colours and style – simple, modern & functional …
This isn’t a ta’dah moment as there’s a long way to go with this massive king-sized quilt. I bought just a scant half metre of the patterned fabric in Sherborne a couple of weeks ago. I could hardly wait to get started. It’s such an unusual and subtle pattern despite the strong colours. It needed vibrance and contrast but I didn’t want to detract from it, so settled for a narrow palette of reds & white and there’s a touch of sage at the sides, but you’ll have to wait to see the full reveal.
I’ve been busy practising free-motion quilting too and have progressed from my happy stippling pattern to a simple heart and pebbles. I bought my first fabric pen yesterday in Bath, and have tested it – it sponges off easily, leaving no trace.
Bath was marvellous in the winter sun – lunch with our lovely boys and the quickest buzz around my favourite shops. A new cloche hat from the antiques market too!
Have a lovely week – I’ll be wanting to quilt, in every moment that I’m doing everything else!
What’s everyone been up to over at Handmade Monday? Do pop over to see.
27/01/2013 § 16 Comments
be sure to pack your Teddy Bear Blue quilt!
It’s all twinkly stars with gingham check, stripe and polka dot teddies tumbling around in every block.
I’ve used my favourite white flannelette as backing and a lightweight wadding in the middle. We want little people all snuggly, but not boiling over! The binding is a simple blue gingham which is just visible over on the left of the middle photo. I’ve just this minute finished the hand-stitching around the binding edge – phew! And all in time for the 101st Handmade Monday too.
Can’t resist one last (will we have more?) snow photo of the collies earlier in the week up at Farley Mount …
Enjoy your handmade week whatever’s on your needles, hook or cutting-out table.
I’m preparing a talk on Scandinavian quilting too. I have Trine Bakke’s Scandinavian Quilt Style book already – it’s one of my favourites, really inspiring and achievable projects; but if you know of any other interesting source materials, I’d love to hear – I need to impress! I’ll share all the details when I know more.
Have a lovely week.
20/01/2013 § 8 Comments
Break out the champagne & bunting, balloons & streamers …
it’s Handmade Monday and it’s very special ‘cos it’s Wendy’s 100th Handmade Monday!
Congratulations! Many thanks, Wendy, for hosting all of us over at the Handmade Harbour and giving everyone the chance to meet up and compare makes, recipes & ideas.
My week has been busy (and snowy):
Here’s to the next 100!!!
06/01/2013 § 20 Comments
I’m back into patchwork and quilting again …
Sunflower Farm is now all pinned up and ready for quilting & binding. I’ve chosen a soft pure white fleecy fabric for the backing this time. I’m itching to experiment with some different quilting patterns – freemotion quilting in swirls I think!
If You Go Down to the Woods quilt is still being pieced together but I love the combination of twinkle stars & teddies and there will lots of white – my current ‘signature’ for all quilts at the moment! Can’t wait to finish them.
Talking of which, I haven’t shown you my new gadgets yet …
These are nifty little devices that take all the huffing & puffing out of making your own bias binding – and save loads of £’s if you usually buy it! I bought them here and I now have 4, in a variety of widths. The 3 smaller ones came in a pack and I bought the huge one separately. I use them on ‘straight-of-grain’ strips too as I don’t always need the extra stretch of bias cut.
They’re really easy to use …
Each gadget has the width of fabric on the top and it’s much easier to feed in if the end is cut into a point.
You can see that it curls round on both sides as it goes in. I used a pointy tool (below) to encourage the fabric right through to the other side. It went through very quickly and wasn’t at all fiddly.
Then, as if by magic, as you pull the pointy end, the fabric is beautifully folded. It just needs to be ironed as it comes out and I pull it under the iron – make sure you don’t scorch your ironing board cover though!
I haven’t finished a quilt since I bought these but I used them to make interesting strips for some patchwork cushions that I made at the end of last year and which promptly waltzed off to new homes before I’d had a chance to photograph them!
Do pop over to Wendy’s HandmadeHarbour to see what everyone else is up to in the dim & chilly days of mid-winter. Winchester was buzzing and busy this afternoon when I popped in to see how the first Retro Market of the year was going. It’s a new venture, to have markets on the first Sunday of January & February, and it looked as though it was going really well. I decided to wait until March before starting up again – a chance to replenish my stock and develop some new lines!
Have a good week.
PS :: I’ve just noticed that this is my 250th post! What a lot of blogging in almost 2 years – my 2nd anniversary is on 20.1.13!
01/10/2012 § 7 Comments
or maybe, your moped!
I’m SO excited by this fabric. I bought just a little of it in Bath on Saturday and the panels are magnificently detailed, black & white images of mopeds – or Vespas.
I decided to stay with the monochrome theme and have used pure wools – one check and the pure black to provide what I hope is a suitably stylish backdrop for a super stylish scooter! A bit of sparkle, in the silver ric-rac braid just completes a very retro cushion.
Let’s have a closer look …
What do you think?
There are lots more panels and I’ll probably stray from monochrome at some point, but at the moment – I’m loving it!
So, on your bike and pop over to Handmade Harbour where Wendy is hosting another Handmade Monday.