Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What a lovely surprise!

Hello Everyone do come in out of the cold, how are you all doing?  It is so lovely to see you again.  Well I had some absolutely fantastic news today - I won a prize from the lovely Gilly - how exciting and unexpected!  I am over the moon with it all.  I have been following Gilly for a little while now and she has the most interesting and exciting blog - please pop over to see her when you can, she is
such a genuine and sweet lady and you will love her.  Below is my prize - isn't it wonderful, can't wait to start sewing with it all.  A huge thank you Gillyxx
Now lovely Friends I must ask a favour of you all.  If I ever, ever mention that I am going to make some bunting will you all please shout a big NO!  I really wanted to make bunting a few months ago and was so excited when I started the Christmas project which I enjoyed doing but and it is a big but it began to bore me at the end.  My lovely Son asked me to make some for two children and I didn't feel that I could say no as they are lovely little dears so I quickly made up just one set of bunting with their names on - thankfully very short names!
I was speaking to Rachel in my sewing class - she is such an expert at bunting and makes them all the time to sell.  However she admitted that sometimes she also gets so fed up doing them - only this week a lady had rang her to ask her to make a huge amount of bunting with lots of names on them.  The lady wanted them in double quick time and although Rachel was loathe to turn down the order she said that she had so much to do that she couldn't face doing them.  I can understand this.  Do you love doing bunting lovely Friends?  There is a lady at my sewing class who makes them all the time and sells them at work and at fairs.  I asked her about it and she said that she found it so relaxing as she can do it standing on her head - so there you go, it takes all sorts.  As for me, I think my bunting projects are over for now...............
I also had a go at making an Advent Calendar - this was one I found on Ebay for a couple of pounds a few years ago.  It is made by Buttonbag and has £14 on the back of the box - I think I paid £5 so it was a bargain.  I have had to make it in a hurry and, looking at it, I can I could have done a better job with the pockets as some of the patters are too close together.  However, time is pressing and I need to get it posted tomorrow in time for the 1st December.  My Son is really pleased with it and it is ok but not my best.   I am trying to be a little more kind to myself and take on board some of the lovely supportive comments you have all been making - it means such a lot to me dear Friends, thank you all so much.  It is not quite ready yet and I am going to back it with some red fabric - see what you think
Finally, we have a full weekend coming up in a couple of days.  We are picking up our three little Peeps on Friday afternoon.  We are going to their lantern festival and then bringing them back here while their lovely Mum and Dad visit the Good Food Show in Birmingham.  Every year we have a little party and our dear Friend Chris, otherwise known as Santa comes for a surprise visit bearing lots of gifts for them.  We usually do it around the 18th but this year the little Peeps have that many things to do we have had to bring it forward.  So, over the past few days I have been trying to get the house in order ready for Christmas - seems strange at this early stage as I usually do it a little later.  This year sadly I am having to do most of it myself but it will be worth it.  I have bought the girls two sparkly party dresses and tights and my hairdresser is coming to curl their hair.  All exciting stuff. 
My lovely Dad adored Christmas and insisted on the house looking like a grotto and I must admit that I take after him.  Luckily for me my beloved is exactly the same so we have a lot of decorations up.  We have two trees, not sure why, inside and then a big one outside.  I haven't had time to go and buy the outside tree yet but have managed to put up the two inside trees.  This is the one in the lounge which I try to keep to a Scandinavian theme if possible.  I was working quickly last night so may re-arrange it slightly later on.
Below is the one in the sunroom which has everything on!  I do love the thrill of Christmas and will let you all know how the Santa visit goes.  The Peeps do not know he is coming but the eldest D is guessing already.  He is nearly 9 so may not believe for much longer.  However, little E and tiny C are full on believers!  Are you a believer?  Yes I am - truly...........wonder what he will bring me??? 
I have to leave lovely Friends to put up some more decorations - have work tomorrow and then food buying for the party.  Thank you all once again for the lovely comments and all the encouragement you give me - I don't know what I would do without you all - wish I could send you all something special.  Big hugs to you and lots of love, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 24 November 2013

December is nearly here Folks

Hello Everyone how are you all doing?  It has been a funny old week and a tiring one.  Sadly my loved one at home hasn't been too good and all the plans made have had to be rearranged.  Being the main carer is a responsible role and an emotionally draining one too.  The relationship you knew so well shifts and things change, not always for the best so a lot of readjustment has to take place on both sides - not easy but I still have him and love him more than ever.  I even considered leaving my blog as I didn't feel that I was doing the best I could on it.  I love blogging and the wonderful virtual friends I have made through it have all been unbelievable so I knew that it would break my heart to leave everyone behind.  I just hope you can bear with me when I don't have time to write more posts as I really don't want to give any of this up - sometimes I wish I could treble the hours in the day so I could get everything done - and done well!
Lovely Friends I have tried to keep busy and have been frantically trying to finish off some of the gifts I had promised myself I would do this year.

I managed to knit up these little lovelies for the peeps who are coming to stay next weekend - can't wait to see them all.

I am trying to get on with my banner which is so easy but really needs finishing as soon as I can.  I am trying to knit three squares at a time but have to watch that I don't get confused with the diagrams!  Could end up with a completely different message which might not be such a good idea............
I also sent off for some fabric this week from Seamstar - yes I know that I said that I wouldn't buy anymore and I have been really good but I have been pretty sad this week and this cheered me up no end. They are such lovely patterns, I just love them and will have to use them this year come what may.
You cannot see it very well but if you look below the fabric on the left hand side is flannel and is so gorgeous to touch and feel.  The one of the right is cotton and I am open to suggestions as to what I can make quickly with these, I have a few ideas in my head which, as usual, is stuffed with all manner of things.
I have also been trying to crack on with the bags I am making for Christmas gifts, I have stuck to my original plan of only using fabric/tea towels I already had for these and so far have kept this going.  I love this green one which doesn't use a tea towel but the fabric was a tiny bit left over from ages ago so I think this fits in with my criteria.
I just have to bead this one and sew it up properly.  As always I am struggling with the zips but Rachel from my sewing class is really helping me with this.  I don't think I will ever get them right Folks!
These are the other two - the pink one is two tea towels from Tesco and the other from Marks and Spencer and I  think they are both very pretty, hope you like them Folks.
Finally I have managed to make two cushions for us.  My husband asked me to make some after seeing the ones I had made for our gorgeous daughter-in-law.  I didn't think he was that bothered but said it would be nice to have some of our own.  They are both tea towels as well but I had to be economical with the fabric and line the backs with a different fabric.  The bird one is from Marks and you might remember me buying them a little while ago, whilst the red one is of course from Cath Kidston.   I must admit I prefer the red one myself as it reminds me of a vintage pattern.  Which one do you prefer?
The photo below shows the plain red fabric but I think it looks ok.
Finally - what I did yesterday.  My lovely Man and I had planned to go to Birmingham to see my Son (my eldest) receive his second degree.  He had worked so hard for this and I was understandably proud of his achievement.  However this last week my husband has been unwell and it would have been too much for him to go so sadly I had to go on my own.  I decided to go by train rather than drive and left around 6.45am to catch the 7.30 which got me into Birmingham for 9.30.  It was so busy with the Christmas markets starting this week.  Below is a picture of the big wheel and nearby was a skating rink - I am going again in a couple of weeks with my eldest granddaughter so will post more photographs then.
My Son's other guest had been unable to attend at the last minute due to family commitments so it was just the two of us.  What a wonderful day we had.  I was so proud of him in the Symphony Hall and very tearful when I saw him being presented.  We went out for a special meal afterwards.  My wonderful husband was so gracious about it all and paid for our meal which made it even more special to us both.  I didn't reach home until 10pm absolutely exhausted but in the best possible way.  The train journey home was a bit of a nightmare being packed and noisy with disruptions but I finally made it home safe and sound. 
Below is the view outside the hall near where we had our meal - it looked just like Venice with all the canals around it being lit up with lights and decorations.  There was a wonderfully Christmassy atmosphere with everyone around.  A special day. 
Well my lovely Friends I must leave you all again and get on with some preparation for work and hopefully some crafting as I have so much to do as you all have.  Your blogs have been fantastic this week and have kept me going so a huge thank you to you all.  I hope to speak with you very soon so do take care each and every one of you.  Big hugs to Everyone.  Lots of love, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hello - I am back - again!

Hello Everyone I do hope you are all fit and happy.  It has been another long week but hopefully I have broken the back of the current project I have been working on and can finally see some light at the end of the long tunnel.  I have missed you all and really wanted to write up some posts this week but it has been difficult to say the least. However, I am not going to dwell on that as I am just so glad to be back with you all lovely Folks.
Here in the UK Christmas is coming into it's own and everywhere you go the shops are now glistening with tinsel and fairy lights. It is hard not to get on board with this, Christmas fever is something which seems to creep up shortly after October comes in and then it is frenzy! 

I had popped into a few shops this week just browsing and was delighted to see that crafting is still on the market when it comes to gifts.

This is the Kirsty Alsopp range in Marks and Spencer and very pretty they are too.  I am a fan of Kirsty but I know some of my crafting friends are a little sniffy about her but I do enjoy her programmes very much.
I was working late most evenings last week but popped out for a coffee and bought myself the second edition of this magazine.  I am not really into quilting but would love to have a go at patchwork but I am really taken with the wonderful things you can make, some of the quilting blogs are fabulous - I would love to have a go but not sure if I could really stick at it - maybe something for the future when I have more time?  What do you think lovely Folks?
I did spot this little gadget though which I am going to have a look at for my sewing - it looks a handy little things.
I haven't been entirely idle this week Lovelies as I had to finish the bunting and some Christmas cushions for my lovely daughter-in-law.  We had a lovely surprise late in the week as they had to come up to our way for family visits and said that they would be coming for tea on Saturday.  I was so pleased as we both love to see them all - however it meant that I needed to press on and finish all the bunting and cushions.  I really wanted her to see everything and take it home.  It was a push but I did it.  I used the lovely LillyBlossom pattern which is just so easy for me and managed six cushions in two nights using the left over Christmas fabric which I had used for the bunting. 
The shiny red and green fabric was from John Lewis and only cost £8 per metre so I bought a half metre of each colour.  These really fit into the Highland theme which is so in this year.  They look almost plastic in this photograph but are much nicer to look at in the flesh!   I used a combination of all the fabrics for the fourth set of bunting - the first three had the children's names on and the last set was plain except for some applique which I sewed on.  Hope you like it.
Here are the other two sets, just realised that I didn't take a photograph of the third set, never mind.  I can't wait to see how it all comes together when she puts it up for Christmas.
Well my Lovelies, I must love you and leave you now as I have a ton of things to do.  I had a wonderful day yesterday with our little Peeps and family so must tidy up today and start catching up with my crafts and blogging. 
The gorgeous Marianne from Ladybird Diaries is doing a Christmas Decoration swop and I have been linked up with Jilley from Love to Craft - I am so excited to be doing this and have a few ideas about what to make for the swop. If you haven't been over to see these two fabulous blogs do go now.  They are both so interesting and make fantastic reading, I love them both. 

I do hope you have a fabulous Sunday with lots of fun and love.  Do take care and leave a comment if you have time, I really do love to hear from you all.  Hopefully catch up with you all very very soon.  Big hugs to Everyone wherever you are in the world.  Dorothy:-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 8 November 2013

Sorry I have been away - I have missed you

 Hello Dear Friends how are you?  I am so sorry that I have been away from Blogland this week, it wasn't intentional at all but work has been so so busy this week and I have been working 12 plus hours per day.  I am sure that lots of you work that many hours anyway and I take my hat off to you all.  However, being in work that long, doing all the usual things we all have to do such as eating, sleeping and sorting the house/family out doesn't leave me much time to do any craft or blogging.  I have really missed you all this week and hope you will forgive my absence.  Sometimes it is like that in life - something calls on you which you have to attend to which means that other things have to wait.
Now lovely Peeps I am sure that you are wondering about the Giveaways - no I hadn't forgotten.  The lovely Sophie Tilley chose two numbers at random to decide who the winners would be and she picked 3 and 36.  I had asked my lovely husband to randomly put numbers to all the lovely people who had entered and the two people chosen with those numbers were the gorgeous Jo from Three Stories High and the lovely Marianne from Ladybird Diaries.  I honestly wish I could send each and every one of you a gift but well done to our two winners.  I do hope you like your parcels when they arrive.
Here are the two little ladies just about to packed up and sent to their lovely new homes.  I know they will both be well looked after with Jo and Marianne.
As you can gather it has been very quiet on the crafting front but I am hoping to spend a little time this weekend doing some bits and pieces - there is bunting to make, cushions to finish plus some other bits and bobs I am working on.  I am going to catch up with all the lovely posts I have missed this week to see what you have all been up to.
I have started the Debbie Abrahams Christmas Banner - at least got the first square done.  It was so lovely to be knitting with beads again, I had forgotten how much I love it.
I love the colours and am hoping to crack on with this tonight and tomorrow evening.  Do you like it?  I have also been finishing off the first cowl - it is so easy to do, even when I am tired so I hope to finish it this weekend.
Well lovely Folks that is it for now.  I have other work to do before I am settle for this evening but I hope you are all well and happy.  I hope you don't get fed up with me leaving you from time to time.  Years ago there was a woman called Shirley Conran who was called 'Superwoman', you won't remember her as you are all too young.  But, I can remember even then trying to style myself on her and doing all sorts of things plus bringing up four very young boys of my own.  I haven't changed much as I still like to think I can keep going but obviously I am certainly not 'Superwoman' anymore, probably never was. 
I will hopefully speak with you all again tomorrow, have a lovely evening or day depending where you are in the world.  Big hugs to you all, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hello Poppets

Hello Everyone how are you all doing?  It has been a mixed day here weather wise with torrential rain followed by sunshine, however it has been on the rather chilly side.  I hope you have all enjoyed a good Sunday and have a special week ahead.  Do come in out of the cold and make yourself at home.

I am afraid  I do not have any news on the giveaways yet Folks as I am waiting for Sophie to pick out the winning numbers, I am hopeful it will be a little later this evening and then I will let everyone know.  The bobbin dollies are so excited as they are going to new homes somewhere, I shall miss them but know whoever wins will look after each one well.

I wanted to talk to you about my trip out yesterday to Liverpool.  I visited a vintage sale whilst I was there and picked up a few bits and pieces which you might like to see.  Today I have been working on work related things but managed to finish another set of bunting for my little peeps.  Only one more to go then the three will have their own personalised decorations for Christmas.

I really enjoyed doing these but I have to work to a system otherwise I get easily distracted.  I don't want to let this project slip through my fingers as I need to get them done and dusted well before December - have had quite a few requests from the family for these which is nice but obviously puts pressure on my time.  I am sure you will all keep me on track though Folks.
Now down to the vintage fair finds.  I have a favourite seller who always seems to have the things I like at a good price and yesterday was no different.  I spied this little cigar box when I went to their stall.  These were very popular in the `1950s and 1960s when smoking was very popular than it is now.  I had a few which I kept little treasures in - I can assure you that I didn't smoke the cigars!  The stall holder wanted £2 for it with the contents intact.

I had a peep inside and there were some bits and pieces but didn't have a close look until I arrived home.  Inside was my favourite book from my childhood.  I am sure you are all too young to remember the tales of Milly Molly Mandy.  I loved her so much and followed her stories in school.  I wanted to be Milly Molly Mandy.

I hadn't realised what year they had been written.  This part of history was another world to the one we have now.  Some things are better, other things we have lost forever.
I knew the map of Milly Molly Mandy's house like the back of my hand and would love to trace her adventures using the map. 
One of the illustrations shows Milly and her family - I presume that I am now the Grandma sitting in the corner with her knitting!  A far cry from the grandparents of today I think.  Do you agree?
There were a few other little things in the bottom of the box - some bias binding, always useful.

Some interesting little packages - interesting to see that most of the mending was centred around cigarette burns, something unheard of now.
At the bottom of the box there were also some packets of sewing machine needles, not sure if they will fit mine but nice to have these dinky packets.
I also spotted this little box - it attracted me because I could remember seeing the Christmas paper before when I was a child.  In those days the wrapping paper was rather limited so you generally saw the same or similar patterns, certainly not like today. 

The stall holder asked £3 for this and threw in some cotton reels as well.  I peeped inside and could see some embroidery.  There was another lady at the stall who was very interested in this box so I quickly paid for it before I missed it.  It is a table cloth and whoever has started the embroidery was very talented as you can see below.  Now I must tell you lovely Folks that the photograph below is the wrong side of the material, yes the wrong side.


Below is the correct side and you can see how well she/he has crafted the flowers, they are just lovely.
It was a strange feeling when I found the needle still in the fabric threaded ready to continue with work.  Do you think there is a message for me here?  I am always talking about doing it but never seem to get around to it.  Maybe this is a challenge for me - I would love to hear what you all think.

There were lots of lovely colours just waiting to be used in this project - no instructions but I guess it is fairly self explanatory.

Now I think my final find will be interesting to the lovely Jo from Three Stories who was recently discussing using older patterns and how much the sizes varied with our measurements today.  I picked up a plastic bag and the stall lady said I think you might like this - it was £4 but when I saw the date I thought this was a bargain.  Look at the postmark - 1966 - 47 years ago, a lot older than you lovely folks.  The postman/postwoman had even written a little note to say that the householder was out so it was being returned to her the following day.

It was a pre-cut dress from Woman's Weekly - there was not price on the package which was a shame but the postage was 1s.6d which is about 7p in new money today.   I certainly love the style and it is something I would wear now.  Do you like it?

The instructions are a little short but then everything has been cut out.

This particular dress is a 36 inch bust so a fairly good size for then and now.

All the clever sewers out there will recognize these instructions I am sure.

The fabric has to be dry cleaned and is very scratchy, I don't think I could wear this all day without a lining.  Below are the two arm holes, zip and binding.

The lady has done a bit of sewing on the bust and the darts as you can see.

I thought the way it has been cut out to be rather strange - in fact I thought it was ripped when I first took everything out.
So what do you think I should do with it Folks.  I cannot see me wearing it to the office next week if I am truthful but I would like to see what it looks like when it is completed.  I am thinking of taking it to sewing class next week and asking Rachel to help me put it together.  I would be grateful for any ideas about this - it would seem a shame to cut it up and to be honest I am not that taken with the fabric or the colour. 
Well my lovely People I must leave you once again to return to my work which I have to do in preparation for tomorrow.  Speaking with you is such a warm delight and I am hopeful that I will be able announce my giveaway winners very soon.  Have a fabulous day tomorrow Everyone, keep safe and sound until we next meet again.  Big hugs to you all, lots of love, Dorothy :-)xxxxxxxxxxxx