Monday, 30 May 2011

Bags for sale

So last week I managed to get some sewing done and I have managed to sell some of the bags already and got an order for some more so thanks to my supporters. I will be putting the rest on my folksy page today so pop over and check them out.

So here are some ipod socks, they are made of black jersey and each have a little embroidery on them.

Then here are three different designs of bags.

And lastly a coin purse

Today I have plans to continue my training but its pouring with rain!! I have been doing some walking as well as cycling and today I had planned a 10.5 mile trip on the bike along the canal but I find I'm a fair weather exerciser!! If I plan to continue training I probably need to get over this as I live in England!!

So I shall get on with more sewing as I wait for the rain to stop.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hair ok, biking started

Just in case anyone was worried, my roots didn't rot so I still have hair!! Colour hasn't lifted brilliantly but no grey so got to be good.

Went for the first training bike ride this morning, I did 4 miles in about 25 minutes which doesn't sound very fast to me. However, my legs did not turn to total jelly and I could still breathe and hold a conversation when I paid for my milk and paper. I'm going to check the map and make it 5 miles, I was kind of guessing and following my nose today. Stourbridge is going to be very good for training because everywhere you go there are hills!! And as I have often found on a bike there are more ups than downs!! I have now set up my just giving page so if you want to encourage me, click the link and add to the fund!!

Well I'm off to sew now, I'll post some pics and be putting stuff on my folksy page later in the week, all proceeds towards women v cancer.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Beautiful Shoes

We have been invited to a wedding next week and whilst I have been given a lovely Navy dress with big white polka dots I feel new shoes are probably necessary!! So off to Merry Hill (our local Mall) and I had just walked into the shops and I found the perfect pair!!

They fit perfectly and don't squish my toes at all so that was a done deal and I was on a roll!! Twenty minutes later and I also had a red cardi and navy fascinator to finish the outfit!

I do feel slightly guilty buying finished clothes, especially as I have already had a mad spend up in Oz!! I signed up to wardrobe refashion for life some years ago and I have stuck to it fairly well, until now. But these shoes and cardi will all go with a red fitted Mad Men type dress that I made last week so that has soothed my conscience a bit.

I have noticed a new me made coming up, Me-Made-June and I'm tempted to give it another go, except I have all these ready mades and had a good clear out and I don't need anything new!! Maybe I will have a Let's Sew June and make lots of items for sale to raise money for Women v Cancer.

I have also been catching up on blogs and noticed a trip to Goldhawk Road with Karen of didyoumakethat? She managed to get around 20 sewists bloggers together for a fabric shopping trip, I'm definitely jealous!! Go to her blog and check the fabric fandango post, looks like they had great fun. I enjoyed checking the other sewist blogs as well.

I need to go and rinse my roots before they rot!! I don't think it matters if hair dye is on an extra 10 mins does it?

Saturday, 21 May 2011

New Challenge!! India here I come -on my bike!

Yes you read the heading right, I am going to ride a bike across Rajasthan, a distance of 350kms!! As a friend commented recently, 'If Janey decides to go on a bike she goes on a bike ride!' As you will know , I am constantly fighting the flab and trying to get fitter, which is a tricky thing as I love food and I'm not very keen on movement let alone exercise!! However, one of the things I have always enjoyed is riding my bike and so when I saw the advert for this ride in a magazine, I was quite excited.

Its a charity ride, Women V Cancer, and the money raised goes to support Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, breast cancer care and Ovarian Cancer Action. Between there is a balance between care and research. The biggest challenge is I have to raise a minimum of £3000, but I have lots of ideas, inc a charity dinner and quiz nights, all of which will challenge my organising skills. I will be setting up a just giving page and I'll put the link on here. I have decided to make small bags and purses to sell, as ever I will use recycled materials so all the proceeds will be profit!!

So the training has begun, the bike has been renovated and serviced - just got to do the same for the body on the bike. Action for charity, the organisers, have sent a training programme and encourage us to include other aerobic and fitness training, so last night I went to Zumba. This is basically aerobics with a salsa/meringue/mambe/chachacha bias!! I didn't quite get all the moves but I did manage to move and be breathless for 1 hour so that must be good. I also rode my bike to and from the leisure centre. This morning I'm off to Pilates fitness I will being walking there as my daughter is coming and she is a bit nervous of bike riding!! I did offer her my electric bike but even that didn't tempt her. This has to be on top of regular dog walking so if I don't get superfit and thin doing all of this I guess I have to accept I'm not meant to be that.

I have been doing well on Slimming World since Oz, I have lost 6 lbs which is great but I think most of that is due to stopping my anti-depresssants quite quickly, I know you aren't meant to do it like that but I did and I'm ok so I'm not worrying!! I put 1/2 lb on this week which I didn't understand because I had been eating well and that really just made me want to eat more. I know this is a ridiculous reaction but I'm a girl who thrives on success, but so far I have curbed the worse tendencies in that direction, and only indulged in an ice cream and a bar of choc. So had my rebellion and back on track!!

Now about a month ago Roobeedoo tagged me so I must answer the questions.

1. what size shoe do you wear? if you wear a size 7, can i borrow your shoes?

I wear size 6 so if you can squeeze in Roobeedoo you are welcome, I spent years wearing size 5 because I didn't want big feet and always had blisters and sore feet!! How vain is that! Even today when I buy shoes the Tune-King asks what size I have got!

2. 30′s or 60′s? For style: the 30's every time. I love the flowing bias cut Vionnette (not sure spelling is right!) Age wise I'm not in my 60's yet but being 50 is the fabbest thing that has ever happened, very releasing. Being 30 was hideous, I felt so old and some one knicked my make-up bag from a changing room!!

3. have you ever kissed someone you shouldn’t have? Only, when he kissed me first!!

4. have you ever been poisoned? was it by the girlfriend of the person you kissed? that is awesomely “knot’s landing.”Never been poisoned... except by a dodgy meal in a spanish bar! I had the squits for 2 weeks and lost a stone so there's always a payoff!!

5. who’s on your “celebrity free pass” list (top 5)? \this is a bit tricky, cos like roobeedoo I thought it was about inviting them to a party, then I googled it and realised it was a bit more intimate!! I have to say sleeping with anyone (other than the Tune-king) would seriously change my life and I don't really want to!! But if we stick to the dinner party theme this is my choice.

Fred Astaire

Johnny Depp

Julian Clarey

Paul Merton


I think that would mean I could have a dancing lesson, look at beautiful faces, have a laugh and be loved all around one dinner table. I also think there would be some good conversations going!! So who shall I tag?

Cpeezers at Home,

Did you make that?

Lixie makes it

Tilly and the Buttons

100% Rain

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Home, weddings and bbqs!

Well I'm back from Oz, many £'s lighter and only 2 1/2 lbs heavier so that's all good!! I had such a fantastic time, I went to a quilt show, several yarn shops, a japanese kimono fabric warehouse, a totally amazing vintage trimming shop, where I could have spent my entire holiday!! I fed kangaroos, saw little penguins, koalas, kookaburras and cockatoos in the wild, visited stunning coastline, had a ride on puffing Billy through the Dandenongs and spent several days wandering in Melbourne, which is a real mecca for handmade and fresh new ideas, not to mention the best coffee I have in a very long time! And best of all I spent two weeks with great friends, laughing and chatting, eating superb food and drinking cider. So all in all in a holiday that won't be forgotten, I took about 1000 photos! They need a bit of sorting before I can share them, and I'm sure you will all be grateful for that!!

Yesterday was wedding day and like loads of others we watched Kate and William on the telly in the morning and oohed and aahed over the dresses, and loved the way the couple seemed so relaxed. I'm not a particular Royalist but it was great to have something that was good news to celebrate as a society. We all like to have a chat about 'well-known' folks and I loved the fact that most of the chat has been about positive stuff and not brick-batting their private lives.

So The Tune-king and I decided to have a bbq and invite our neighbours to celebrate the wedding together, we had about 30+ in our garden and had a great time until it got a bit chilly and the we decamped inside with coffee and choccy bix. We didn't know some of the neighbours before yesterday and it was a great way to get to know them. I have a passion for community but in today's modern life we go in and out our front doors, life is so busy and we hardly ever speak to our neighbours, maybe a wave or a nod but that's all. We decided a while ago that to change that we needed to invite people into our home and see what happens and each time we have done it has been a success and we are slowly getting to know the people who live around us. So if, like me, you long to rebuild local communities just invite the neighbours round, and see what happens.

Friday, 8 April 2011


So have I mentioned, perchance that I'm off to Australia on Monday, if you really know me and have seen me at all in the last week or so I may have popped it into the conversation once or twice. I am very excited, and that kinda makes me regress to the state of a 5 year old promised a treat!! Especially as I am going to Australian Seaside!! I will get wet in Australian sea, which I'm reliably informed is called The Ocean (definitely with a capital). Now I'm also wondering where exactly the sea becomes The Ocean, is there a fence?

Now to practical stuff, the fact that I'm going in 3 days and I have spent this last week being excited, means I now have stuff to get ready, I will need money, I must pack and that will probably involve laundry. So although it goes against the grain I must write a list. I usually write lists after I have done most of it as I find it more encouraging to start by crossing things off!!

1. Wind yarn for holiday knitting, check needles, I'm using my Denise set so will be able to knit on the plane. Make sure patterns are on Kindle.

2. Upload latest audio choice from Audible. If you like being read to then I really recommend Audible, if you join their monthly plan, its very reasonable and you can spend hours browsing and listening to samples and deciding what you really want to listen to. You can of course do that without joining but when you pay you don't get the discount!!

I do love a bit of internet window shopping don't you? You don't even have to leave your bed and you can be in bookshops, dvd shops, clothes, fabric, yarn, shoes all are at your fingertips, the choice is endless. you just have to keep an eye on the clicking finger!!

Anyway I digress, back to the list,

3. Pack clothes, I think I've decided what to take and I have learnt over the years to pack lightly but Oz is very different weather wise to here. But on the whole these days I'm always hot, (the eternal cry of the menopausal woman) and if it is really chilly they have shops don't they!!

4. Pack flight bag, then re-pack flight bag because first attempt is so heavy I need a sherpa to carry it for me!! At least Kindle and ipod are lighter than books and maggies. Iwill need spare knickers, some kind of washing/teeth cleaning stuff, bit of makeup to cover the I've travelled for 24 hours look on my face, hairbrush. I have planned travelling knitting, a spring Clapotis, in King Cole Riot, lavender, green and cream.

I have decided shawls are the way forward especially for spring and summer, they are easy to slip on for the extra layer or just have loosely over the arm when all you need is that certain something that is called style!!

Digressing... focus please...

5. Get Aussie Dollars, insurance is sorted, ticket is printed, visa is done so think that is the last bit of paper stuff to do!

So there you are that's me done!!

Well I must be off and try out the new "No more pulling' harness that I have bought for Rosie as her life's work at present is to stretch my arms to twice their length in an effort to get me to the park!! She is such a darling and so wants to please me and do what I say but we have a complete communication block on this pulling thing, we just aren't speaking the same language. This is fairly frustrating as I'm usually fairly fluent in Dog, well I think they understand every word I say!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothering Sunday

I have had a lovely day today being spoiled and chilling!! Started the day with Saturday's Guardian in bed with first mint tea, then coffee and a bacon sarnie, followed by more coffee! Sun was shining so we took the doggins to the park & clouds immediately gathered and we got a bit wet, but it was gentle rain so no complaining.

My Beauty trudging up the steps the dogs have pottered off, in fact I tried to get some shots fo Rosie but she runs so much all I got was grass!!

Here Beauty and the Tuneking definitely look very fed up waiting for me as I try to take arty pictures of park benches!! But hood is down so rain has stopped!

Today I have been reading Tilly and the Buttons and she is talking about never having enough time to sew and doing some research with a diary to see why and if she can make time to do more sewing. That really links to my last blog, not only do I need to push myself a bit but I need to discipline myself to do the sewing!!

I have just recieved my copy of Sewaholic's Pendrell Blouse, which has been made by Roobeedoo and Did you make that?. I really want to have a go at that as I think it could be a good cross between a t-shirt and a blouse for me. I always feel so frumpy in a t shirt but they are very easy to wear. I like blouses but I'm not good with collars, they make me feel fat. This blouse is princess seamed so flattering , collarless and has a variety of sleeve or no sleeves and it is simple enough to allow embellishments. I have lots of passed on t-shirts and I have a desire to pick them apart and try and put them together as this blouse!!

I have also re checked the stash, which sounds way too tidy and organised for my piles of fabric!! I have found quite a few suitable patterned fabrics for summer skirts. I have been browsing The White Stuff Catalogue and I really like the a-line skirts they have in there, very simple style but made in all different prints. Actually I like most of the clothes on The White Stuff!!

But for the next few days I'll be visiting my oldest friend in the beautiful city of York so there will be lots chat, lots of knitting, maybe tea at Bettys and a day out with my just teenaged God-son. I have said anything except I'm not good on scarey rides!!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Today is a new day

Well I have woken today with a real sense of newness! I'm not sure why, except that recently I have an increasing desire to explore more creative outlets but I know I'm avoiding doing anything because I have this fear that I won't be any good at it. So I stick to the safe, mostly knitting, but while I'm doing that my mind is whirring with possibilities that then get stuck in a wall of but you're no good at that!! I feel like I want to get out of the box but I've spent so many years saying I'm no good at design, I'm not clever, I'm just a good technician, I only know how to make things well, but now I feel trapped in that box and I want to try more, push the box out til the walls fall down. Even as I write this, I'm feeling excited about how I could represent that in textiles, that is my medium, because I need the feel and touch to be right as well as the look. Maybe this sense of the new starts today is the impetus I need to make me do this rather than just think about it, then push it back into the box because it isn't good enough for anyone else to see. I'm sorry if today's post is a bit of a ramble inside my head and it may not make sense to anyone else, but I don't think a well knitted garment is enough for me (although that kind of knitting will always be part of me) anymore and saying it out loud here is like a starting block. I'm on my marks, now I need to start the race proper!!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Is it nearly Spring

Well I think it must nearly be spring, the calendar sys it is and last week the weather agreed but the weekend and so far this week have been so chilly again!! I did manage a lovely walk in the woods with the doggins this morning. I love this particular walk and it is lovely in all seasons, magical in the snow but it also gets very muddy so I have not been there for a while. Mud is ok but three muddy dogs make a walk last all morning by the time they are all cleaned!! Today it was sunny and I could hear several woodpeckers, were they chatting to each other, or maybe it was one woodpecker going from tree to tree! I'm not really that much of a nature person so I don't know what woodpecker calling habits are but today it just added to the peace of me and the doggins wandering through the trees. My other reason for liking these woods is that I don't get lost in them, which is a huge plus as I have very little sense of direction and have been lost in a wood on a regular basis since I was about 3!! and that was a fair few decades ago!!

Well sewing and knitting, what has been happening? I haven't really done much sewing, lots of plans but also lots of excuses, I keep reading about everyone else's creations, especially in the latest MMM extravaganza and I do take my hat off to all the participants, I have seen some truly inspiring outfits but somehow even that has not driven me to get the machine out.

I have been knitting, socks for the tune-king and for our daughter and a lace shawl that needs to be blocked, when I remember to order blocking wires!! I am now in the middle of Hooray Cardi from 100% rain, which gets my vote for the best knitting patterns at the moment. I have bought a few of them but I want to make all of them. If you haven't seen this site go and have a gander and I guarantee you will be drooling over the lovely designs.

Well its late and I'm whibbling so I'm off to sleep now.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The weekend is here! and sewing is planned!

Well its 2011 and I have started by doing lots of sewing, I finished my wedding outfit and had a fabulous day celebrating with my friend and her daughter and family. The wedding party looked so elegant and beautiful, and the day passed off well, with lovely food, plenty of friends there tocatch up with and finished with a great disco, that all ages joined in to dance the night away. Proof of this was my hobbling to the car in my lovely evening shoes that are made primarily for looking at and admiring rather than wearing!!

This the Tune-king and I before we left for the wedding, my dress is ankle length and I felt very comfortable and elegant in it, I hadn't quite lost as much weight as I would have liked but I've lost a significant amount since last January and feel so much better so I was ok with that!!

And this is with my fur jacket, I'm very pleased with this little number, the fur is really soft and drapes well so is ideal for jackets and would even be suitable to make something for a child. It came from Fabricland and was a real bargain. It has a pleat in the back with a bow detail and the hem dips at the back. I used a vintage hook and eye clasp from my collection, which I picked up somewhere in my travels, I think a french broccante when we holidayed in Brittany.

The dress fabric came from croftmill and is called Times Square, I lined it as well as it was quite a fine drapey fabric and I felt it needed the support, the lining fabric also came from croftmill. I was very pleased with it, for although it is man made fabric it is very fine and drapey, and didn't affect the movement of the dress fabric. So often, linings these days are acetate and too stiff, they work well on a wool skirt in a straight or a-line style but if your design has any movement or fluidity then I find that lining just destroys that feeling.

I ordered both fabrics before Christmas and despite snow and delivery difficulties they arrived within a week so a good service from both companies. I ordered zips and other haberdashery stuff from Jaycotts which is a fab service, pretty much return of post whatever the weather!!

So onto this weekend, I have some tartan knit fabric that I'm going to make up in the same pattern as evening dress but knee length version, this time I'm going to be brave and cut a smaller size!! The evening dress was fine but I did cut a bit too big and had to make some alterations! The pattern is see & sew B5168 and I think I got very cheaply on one of the many websites I wander through, but sorry I can't remember which one!!

Last week I also attended my big brother's wedding, his third to the same wife!! It was actually a lovely occasion and my usual non-emotional big brother was quite teary through the service and my sister-in-law had a beaming smile, they looked so happy, even better than 40 0dd years ago when I was bridesmaid at their first wedding. I wore a dress I had bought from a friend's dress agency, I've made a slip to go under in matching jersey, as the dress is totally see through!! I will be making more slips like this as they add a bit of warmth and stop any clinging. Talking of under garments, for both weddings I wore Trinny and Susannah magic knicker tights!! They are a bit of a fight to get on but are really comfy to wear and they meet your bra so they keep everything in with no ugly overhang!! I got my reduced in good old TK Maxx, so I was doubly pleased with them!!

Anyway, I'm off now to walk the dogs and then get on with sewing my tartan dress. You enjoy your weekend too!