Wednesday, 31 December 2014

It has been a long time.

Hello all you Lovelies out there in Blogland.  I have not been around for a time and I am so sorry that I have not been in touch.  Life has been extremely difficult in many ways and I found it so hard to concentrate on my blog.  I have missed you all tremendously and hope that I can restart in the next week or so.  Dearest Friends out there I do wish you the very happiest of times for tonight and for the forthcoming 2015.  Have a lovely evening/day and enjoy yourselves.  Big hugs and loves from me as always.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Hello Again!

Hello all my lovely people, how are you all doing?  It has been a while since I caught up with you all - we have just returned from a lovely holiday with our little Peeps.  I must say that holidaying with our three was fabulous - tiring but so enjoyable.  The energy children have is fabulous and although I had plans of writing up some posts I am sorry to say that I failed miserably as each minute was spent with them all - lovely!  I hope you have all had some time away or are planning to do so, even just for a few days.  It really is a tonic.
We had a few days at home before setting off for the wonderful Isle of Anglesey for a mobile home in a lovely spot near Newborough Beach which has one of the largest areas of sand dunes found in Great Britain together with a wonderful forest containing 2,000 acres.  Much of the area is a nature reserve and is famous for kite flying.  As you can see it was just lovely.
On our way there on the Saturday we stopped off at one of our favourite places - Llanfairfechan - Pavilion Beach Hut which is right on the beach front.  The Peeps were all hungry and excited at going on holiday so the Beach Hut provided a little break for everyone.  They were closing early that day for a wedding and I must say that it is a fabulous venue on the right day as it was when we were there.  The photo doesn't show it but they put up loads of bunting and decorations.  We waited for the bride to arrive and she looked lovely.
Beach Pavillion Cafe
As you can see, the two girls were very interested in what was going on!  They were very disappointed that the bride wasn't wearing a veil, although she had beautiful flowers in her hair but both girls were not impressed - you can't be a real bride if you don't have a veil Grandma!
They were also very intrigued with the wedding cake as I was.  Rather an unusual design don't you think but I am sure it was delicious.  I am sorry about the photograph but didn't feel that I could just encroach on a private function.
We also spent some time in Caernarvon and went to the Castle there although the children really wanted to be on the beach every day so we tried to make sure they had their wish.
The fabulous tree house is part of the Plas Newydd National Trust House and it is a wonderful place to visit if you ever get chance.  The views over the Menai Straits are just spectacular.  The following two views are the wonderful work of Waterborough.
All the children just loved the tree house and you can just see them waving to me from the tiny windows.  They played in there for ages and it was a struggle to get them to come out for something to eat!
However, most of our days were spent on the glorious beach and they just loved being there.  I took loads to food and drink for them plus there was a fabulous family on the car park who provided some really good freshly cooked snacks and drinks, plus ice creams of course so none of us starved.  Staying on the beach until early evening was fabulous and I didn't want the days to end.
Some delicious snacks!
I was also on hairdressing duty every day although I don't think I did such a fabulous job but it was fun.
Sadly the time to come home arrived too quickly and Mum and Dad returned on Sunday to take them home.  We had a nice little party for them and too soon we were waving them all off.  Being such a silly Billy I got quite emotional and shed a few tears as I had enjoyed them being with us so much.  Hopefully we will be able to see them very soon.  Children grow up so quickly and I know that once they are older they may not want to spend time with their grandparents which is why we try to keep a special relationship with them.
When we arrived home I had an email from Blist's Hill asking if I was available to take part in the special events going on in remembrance of the start of World War 1.  BBC Midlands were filming three short clips spread over the evening to mark the occasion.  I readily agreed and was told I would have a new outfit for the occasion - wonderful.  I have never been in a film before so was unaware about how much time is spent hanging around but there were 24 volunteers in all so it was a lovely time to get to meet other people who do what I do at Blist's Hill.  I didn't take many photographs as obviously they wanted us to be in particular places and keep our mobiles out of the way.  It was quite different being there when everyone had gone home.
I must say that I wasn't too impressed with my outfit.  They top and skirt were way too big so had to be adjusted and the hat was too small!  It is not my best look but all they had so I had to just get on with it. 
The first clip was at 5.30 and I was chosen with another gentleman to walk arm in arm up the street whilst the presenter was talking - I haven't found that clip although they said it went out live to the news channels.  We then had to wait around until 6.30 when there was a clip of the manager walking down the street with the presenter talking about the event - we had to stand in groups by the shops and my back was to the camera all the time!  There was a long break until 10.30 but they team looking after us laid on lots of food and tea/coffee and we had masses of DVDs to watch - we plumped for Dad's Army as it seemed appropriate.  We were able to chat to everyone and have a walk around the grounds.  At 10.30 we got into position in the street and it was a clear crisp evening so excellent for filming.  The presenter talked to the oldest volunteer - Ron - who is so sprightly at 85 - about a diary that his family had found which had belonged to his grandmother's Son who sadly died during the War at only 23 years of age.  There was only one light which was then put out.  They had asked us to write a postcard each either from someone in the War or someone at home.  I chose to write to a brother called James.  We were then asked to read them out and I had a big lump in my throat even though they were all imaginary - Radio Shropshire recorded these.  The whole evening really helped me think about the terrible losses on all sides of young men in their prime - it was the War to end Wars - sadly that didn't come true. 
Yesterday I had to go to Llanwrst and found the most wonderful new shop there - lovely Folks if you get a chance do try to get there to see it.  It is filled with the work of local artisans and run by a fabulous gentleman called Craig Ryder who has such a passion and enthusiasm for the array of fabulous things he is showcasing.  He also sells some fantastic vintage items and I could have gladly bought tons of things home with me.  The shop is called Pentre Pethau/Vintage Village.  He also has a Facebook page and asked if you could pop over to see it.
I apologise for the lack of clarity of the photographs as it was getting late and the light was fading but please pop in if you are around North Wales, it really is worth a visit.
I must say that there was something for every type of artisan - soaps, crochet, knitting, craftwork, you name it, it was there.
I loved this gorgeous cot - it was only £40 and I thought it was so sweet.
I really had my eye on the bottom case in the photograph below - could see me storing lots of things in there.
I will have to go back soon Folks.
Well my lovelies - it was back to work today for a few hours just to ease myself in - the holidays have gone passed in a whizz but I am off tomorrow and hopefully will have a day out somewhere.  I need to catch up with everyone now and get back into a routine with my blog as I have really missed writing up my posts.  As you have noticed I have made absolutely nothing whilst the children have been here and am itching to get back into making once again.  I am hoping to start more regular posts and keep up to date with all your wonderful news.  Have a fabulous afternoon/day wherever you are in the world and keep safe and happy.  Love you all to bits.  Dorothyxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Well the sun is still shining here.............

Hello all my Lovelies how are you all.  I hope everyone is fit and well and enjoying life.  The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirl with things going on in the house (new bathroom!), sorting out the new curriculum at work and generally keeping everything ticking over.  I must admit that I have been fretting about my blog big time as I haven't had the time to devote to it as much as I want to.  Time seems to drip through my hands sometimes like water but I need to make more of an effort.  I think this year has been particularly stressful and demanding on may aspects of life and sometimes I feel as if I meet myself coming back.  I am sure all of you are in the same boat, much worse probably, but I am always amazed at how much you manage to produce with so little time. 

This week I am getting all ready for the arrival of our Little Peeps for 11 days whilst Mum and Dad are away - we are both so excited about this.  I just hope that they have a good time with two old fogies like us.  On Sunday we had a small family 1970s party for my eldest Peep who is 21 and has just graduated.  Lots of you gave me so many helpful suggestions about what I could do.  I had some 1970s hits playing all day which was fun and tried to do some vintage food, although it all looked very similar to what we have today!
To give you a good giggle here is a photograph of me in a vintage late 1970s Laura Ashley dress which I found on Ebay.  I was doubtful that I would fit it into it as I have put on a few pounds this year and desperately want to lose some weight.  However, it went on and looked ok.  It was really strange as a couple of guests said that they really liked my dress and where did I buy it from so it obviously didn't look that vintage.  Do you like it?  I am thinking of making something out of it if I can as I am doubtful that I would ever wear it outside....................
I wanted everything we gave to Lauren to be hand made so this was her cushion.  I made three of these for her and she had chosen the fabric herself from a wonderful selection of Elephant in my Handbag.  It is Riley Blake fabric and a dream to work with.  She had just decorated her room and this is the accent shade she wanted.  However, I wanted to make one cushion a little different so had my lovely friend Sarah from Molly Felicity Designs weave her magic once again for me.  The photographs obviously are 21 years of age so not as digitally enhanced as they are today but Sarah as always did a really fantastic job in creating this lovely collage for Lauren.  She was so surprised and loved it - a big thank you to Sarah for always coming up with a fabulous service.
I have wanted to make Lauren a little doll for ages - every girl loves a doll, no matter what age.  Well I do anyway...........I had a lot of help with this lovely Liberty design from my sewing class but it turned out really well and Lauren loved it.
Besides these little goodies I made her a school house tunic dress, a  hot water bottle cover and a covered diary but was in so much of a rush to get them all finished along with her bag that I completely forgot to take a photograph of them all!  I know that you have seen the finished bag in the last post but I am so embarrassed at forgetting the photographs!!
I also made for party bags for the ladies in the party and filled these with chocolates and covered notebooks.  The outer fabrics are Cath Kidston tea towels and the inner ones are pieces I picked up at the Birmingham Rag Market for £2 per metre.  These fabrics have been just fabulous this summer as I have used them up on so many things I have been making.  
Well Lovelies I had every intentions of being so calm and relaxed over this period and getting everything done in plenty of time for the party but guess what?  Yes you have got it in one, I was running around trying to sort everything out before it all started.  I decided on a pink and white scheme for the few decorations I put up but they did look really sweet.

Lauren didn't really want an iced cake so I decided just to go for a plain sponge and decorate it with some fancy 1970s characters and also added some nice cupcakes which my lovely friend helped me out with.  The books you can see on the table are some vintage girl's annuals from the 1970s including Bunty which was the first comic I ever had as a child and has remained my all time favourite.   Which was your favourite comic?
The stand for the cupcakes is a fabulous cardboard one which I found in Lakeland Plastics in Chester.  It is an ice cream seller and I just love it!  I filled the centre of it with cakes and it comes with some paper cones which I put some little sweeties in.  I tried to get as many vintage style sweets as I could and I must admit they loved these.
I think I am going to get a lot of use out of this little thing.
The little do went well and I must admit I had loads of food over, I do tend to over buy on these events as I worry about running out of things for the guests to eat.  I think Lauren had a nice time and hopefully we did her proud on her little tea party.  I enjoyed it too once everyone was here and the food was on the table.  It just went too quickly.
I have been continuing to make some of the school house tunics although Rachel says it is time to move on to something else but I just love the thought of being able to make a garment which I can actually wear outside with confidence.  This is my latest one which was made from fabric at the half price sale in John Lewis, it was just lovely to sew with and do easy to come together.  As you can see I always have to make my brooch to go with it.  I am hoping to adjust this pattern and make some heavier dresses for the autumn/winter which I can wear with dark tights but at present I am loving wearing these with white linen trousers.
Well my Sweeties I hope you are enjoying life - I hate to say it but the world seems to be completely insane at the moment and I try to keep looking at all the positives we have in our lives.  My heart and prayers go out to the many poor souls who are suffering in our world at present and I hope that things resolve quickly for everyone.  I am now going to catch up on all my wonderful blogging friends - big sorry to all of  you as I feel that I have not been around so much to keep track of your fabulous posts - have a wonderful day/evening wherever you are.  Do leave a comment if  you have time as I do love to hear from you.  Sending you all big hugs and loves.  Dorothyxxxxxx

Monday, 14 July 2014

I have missed you all very much....................

Hello my lovely Friends, I hope you are still all there..........I feel as if I have been away an eternity but you have never been far from my thoughts.   Life has been a tad full of late and it seems to have taken it's toll on my blog time.  I had a good think about it over the last week or so and came to the conclusion that not writing my blog made me feel miserable and disconnected with all the wonderful people I have 'met' since I started blogging.  I have felt very guilty about not keeping up with all your fabulous posts and know that I have a lot of catching up to do.  I hope you will all forgive me and understand how life is at the moment and there is a lot more going on than I can discuss here, most of it quite time consuming.    

The students have now finished and are all on their way to university which was emotional, seeing them all off on another journey in their lives.  I find it a little hard to say goodbye to them as the journey we travel together is so intense and emotional at times so I have to make sure I have time to get them all out of my system.  Thankfully a lot of them keep in touch and I can follow their successes at university and beyond.  I have been teaching on this same programme now for 18 years and often wonder where all my lovely students have ended up.

Alongside this a good number of my very close colleagues have taken retirement or are moving on with their careers - the bags have all been given out and appear to have been a great success.  One of them ended up on a college trip to Paris - Rachel my lovely friend took this photograph of it in front of a very famous landmark!  She loved it and said that she carried every day of her trip - my first creation to ever go abroad.

I must admit that the time spent on making all my bags for my friends and colleagues has been so well spent as they were all so appreciative so making the hard work all worthwhile.  There is something special about making something for someone and seeing their appreciation - it is just food for the soul - much better than chocolate!

I have been working on my sewing/knitting so don't want you to think I have been slacking - this is my latest schoolhouse tunic - a pattern I just love.  It is so easy and the results are always good, for me anyway.  

If anyone had said to me a year ago that I would be able to make something at home independently and actually wear it in public, I would have laughed  so I feel that I have travelled a long way since then.

I mentioned in my last post that my eldest granddaughter reaches 21 in August and has also just completed her degree.  We are all so proud of her and she has asked me to hold a 1970s tea party (thank you to everyone for all the fabulous ideas).  She asked me to make her a blue bag, her favourite colour and I know that she loves caravans and flower power so I am hoping this bag fits the bill for her.

It was a joy to make although I did go a bit OTT on the decorations!  Looking at it now it would appear that possibly the creator of this was on an LSD trip when choosing the fabrics!

The inset is really very special and made by the fabulous Bobbie Oliver who has been fantastic in helping with other projects which I can't show you yet.  Bobbie is a true professional and really takes time with all her creations, making sure that they completely fit the bill.  I am so pleased that I have found her - a big thank  you to you Bobbie.  The colours are from Lauren's university which Bobbie found so I hope Lauren will be pleased with it.

I love the message inside and hopefully Lauren will keep this little bag for a good few years to remind her to a special time in her life.  I have a few projects on the go but they are secret at the moment - stuff for some special people which I cannot share as it would spoil the surprise.

Last weekend my eldest Son asked if I could 'rustle up' something for a special couple who he met on holiday.  They have just found out they are having their first baby - a bit of a surprise and he is going over to visit them in Ireland this coming weekend.  I must admit last week was especially busy and I didn't have time to go out and buy anything special so had a quick look in my sewing/yarn stash.  I would have liked to have knitted up a little cardigan or jacket but really didn't have the time to devote to it.  

I found the fabric below at the back of my cupboard.  It was one I bought a couple of years ago in IKEA at a time when I wasn't sewing at all.  I just loved it and thought how cute it was, I have the feeling that it was about £3 - 4 for a small roll.  I knew that one day it would come in handy.  I thought about a small pram throw and rather than quilting it in the usual way I just traced around some of the flowers and animals with some fancy stitching so that I could attach the lining.  It didn't take too long to do  and whilst it is not the most professional I hope they both like it. 

I found this cute little birdie in the Cath Kidston sewing book and thought it would be quite pretty in their nursery. I filled it with lavender and the smell is just divine - wish you could all smell it Folks, it is gorgeous.

I only had enough of this yarn and made up a pattern in my head - I found a little patch of a pram and this sits quite nicely on the cover.  Maybe not the usual baby colour but it is pretty - more of a silver grey as the photograph doesn't pick up the shade very well.

So here is the little package I have 'rustled up' and is on it's way to my Son's house ready for his trip to Ireland this weekend.  I do hope the couple are pleased with them.

I had to pop into Chester this morning to pick up some supplies for Lauren's party and spotted these lovely things in Liberty Bell's window.  As you know this is one of my most favourite shops in Chester and Sue, the gorgeous owner, has always been so patient and helpful with me.  I have been a quite a few of her workshops and am planning more this autumn.  She is such an inspiring lady and so talented.  I love this love cushion and of course had to go and buy a piece - not sure what to do with it yet but I love it!

I also love this cushion - it is so colourful and pretty.  I just adore appliqué - something you might have guessed by now.

Oh just look at this bag - although I don't really think I can give any more bags out now as people will be getting fed up with them.  Rachel, my sewing teacher says laughingly that I have to get over my 'bag period' and start making other things but I do enjoy them.  This little one is really cute - do you like it?

Well my Lovelies you don't know how good it is to be back with you all - and I must now catch up with all your fabulous news.  I hope you are all well and happy, enjoying a glorious day/evening wherever you are in the world.  One of my wonderful Sons is in Boston at the moment and it seems to strange to pick up the phone and speak to him from all those miles away - it is though he is in the next room.  I feel the same when I am blogging as I know that there are hopefully lots of people from around our globe who visit from time to time.  To all of you I send my love and best wishes, big hugs and loves.  Do leave a comment if you have time as I do love hearing from all of you.  Dorothyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx