I'm not sure who's going to be more excited on Ruby's birthday...her or me.
We've chatted for ages about her getting her own machine and I decided at 9 she was probably old enough. I wanted to wait until I felt she was old enough to have it in her room and be responsible enough to use it on her own there.
The night before her birthday I'm going to put it up on a new desk in her room, that will also be a surprise.
I am beyond excited to see her reaction when she wakes up.
I am well aware that I am going to have to have nothing else planned for that entire day, so we can both play at her machine all day. It's going to be a hardship.
I am also well aware that I am going to have to keep my fabric stash under lock and key from here-on-in...
It seems this week that alot of us are making things from our scrap piles. Maybe it's a belated spring clean...trying to tidy up a bit. Or maybe it's wanting a piece of a favourite fabric that all we have is a tiny scrap, not big enough for anything substantial.
I bought these sunnies this week super duper cheap in the Gap sale. So super duper cheap they came without a case.
So there was an excuse if ever I've had one to throw one together. I'm obviously going to be using this alot. It's going to be in and out of my bag all summer long. I want something pretty when I do. So a quick dive into my scrap pile to find the most beautiful, treasured pieces that I had.
I love Cloud 9 fabrics and Aunty Cookie's, so I'm over the moon that I get to carry a piece of these around with me every day.
And despite the fact that my sister (how very dare she) said she would like one, but without that awful yellow *gasp*, I love the little ray of sunshine peaking out.
For a long time now I've wanted to learn the art of screen-printing. As you well know I have a thing for hand-printed fabrics. I love the individual-ness of them and the depth of colour that you can get. I also love the less graphic and more individual approach. Screen-printed fabrics can be simpler, where just one image can speak a thousand words.
I got my chance today to begin, what I know is going to be, my love affair, my obsession, my new creative journey, thanks to Manda. Manda started this journey a few months ago and those that follow her know, as to be expected, what a natural she is. So what better teacher!
I began with a design that I have used quite a bit in embroidery and set to work by printing on various pieces of linen, just to get the feel for it. I have to say at this point that my, oh so wonderful, teacher had taken all the donkey work out of it and prepared my screen for me and all that was left for me was to play with fabric and ink...perfect!
As I imagined, I am hooked. I love it. And, as I anticipated, my head is bursting with ideas that I want to do and directions I want to take it. But I need to remind myself to slow down, take one step at a time. It will all happen...
I've talked before about the joys of blogging and how it enables us to find others that ordinarily are too far away to reach. Like all of you, I have met through blogging, Twitter, Flickr so many wonderful, talented people all over the world and closer still in Britain, who I consider to be my friends.
One such friend, is my very talented artist friend, Tara. Tara and I met a while ago now and whilst we have only met in person a small handful of times, I consider her one of my close friends. A day hardly goes by that we aren't in touch (normally on the scrabs board on Facebook it has to be said ;-))
We 'met' when we were both running our own online gift shops (Tara has subsequently closed Boutiko and is concentrating on her life as an artist). We instantly had a lot in common and became each others sounding board, helpline and general buddy.
Tara, generally doesn't sew. She paints. I think this gave us respect for each others talents. Her work is amazing. It is generally mixed media and she uses a lot of wording in her work. She was doing a series of little dolls on canvasses that I just had to buy for Ruby's birthday. I'm still itching to give them to her.
Tara came back from a recent trip overseas to new Zealand and was inspired to start her "Portrait of My Friends" series. They are so clever and beautiful and I loved them. It was around this time that I had begun my love affair with Log Cabins, which it seemed Tara had quite a thing for.
So our swap idea was born. I was going to do a log cabin for Tara and she was going to do a picture for me. Perfect!
Tara picked the colours and I decided on the rest...a little like she is going to do for me. I finally had time to make Tara's cushion this week, although I am slightly perturbed by one thing...it looks too at home on my bed!
But this one is for my buddy Tara in celebration of why I blog.
Isn't this piece of vintage fabric beautiful? It's circa 1930-50s
Each scene is approximately 3" square, so it's quite appropriate that I should find this after my post about scraps yesterday.
I was originally drawn to it by its colour-ways. I have a bit of a penchant for a red and aqua combination.
And then the wheel cogs began to turn in my brain when I thought how perfect this was for using in pieces. Maybe a scene could be a centre of a log cabin...maybe a whole row could be a detail on a cushion or throw...a scene alone would make a stunning card.
I'm surprised that nobody else had snapped up this little beauty...although not so little...33 x 52"...so lots of potential for lots of mini projects...in fact, I've just thought of another one...
(Btw I bought it right here...go check out Jo's fantastic vintage Etsy store and grab yourself something fabulous)
I've told you before about my inability to throw even the teeniest scrap of fabric away. You just never know when it is going to come in handy.
Even scraps as tiny as this...
...can be made into something like this...
Now, I would never cut into my treasured Cloud 9 fabric just to make a card, but when all I need to do is bend down next to my desk and sift through the scraps, it's like finding the perfect jewels. If ever I was tempted to tidy up and throw away all these scraps, this has certainly convinced me to be less hasty.
I've been rather caught up with this order this week...but, in a good way. It has completely taken over, but what better an excuse to be tied to my studio sewing all week. Honestly, there are times when I simply love my job (remind me of that in a few months when it's tax form time again...ugghhh).
My job includes sewing AND shopping. I needed a fair few ribbons for the pot holder hangers and, me being me, I wasn't satisfied with the ones already in my stash. If there's one thing I feel very strongly about, it's the little details that make or break a look. So if the handle didn't gel, then the whole piece was going to look all wrong. And just one ribbon wasn't right for all the different pot holders, so again, as you can see, several had to be purchased. I wouldn't want to give the impression that I cut corners with my work after all. So a quick stop of at Daisy Park and my shopping was complete.
I'm really pleased with how the whole "Sand & Sea" Collection is coming together and can't wait to see it all in situ at Harewood next week. I'm rather proud of this one.
(Thank you all so much for your help in locating the Denyse Schmidt fabric I was after...and a massive thank you to Kirsten and Ryan who have come up trumps and are sending some...I owe you!)
I had a very big order earlier this week from a beautiful local stately home. The items they have chosen are going to be part of a 'Made in Yorkshire' space in their gift shop. Because they are all going to be displayed together I wanted the whole look to be cohesive, rather than my usual eclectic mix and match approach. Thus the 'Sand and Sea' Collection was borne.
I'm really pleased with how it's coming together and am loving the challenge of making every piece work. However, I am having a bit of a crisis. I have decided that it is going to fail if I don't have this yellow and mushroom dot from Denyse Shmidt's out of print County Fair Collection. (Below is a larger sample of it in blue to get the bigger picture)
And therein lies the problem...it's out of print. And as you can see I don't have enough to make ANYTHING! Not even a flower to sew onto my Needle Cases.
So I am now resorted to begging. If any of you out there know of anywhere that just may have this in stock or have some in your stash that you would love to trade with me for something I may have that you are after and can spare a little, I will be eternally grateful and my collection will be (in my eyes, at least) complete.
In reality I know I am being just a little bit crazy and my very first Collection will stand up more than adequately without this beautiful, stunning, crisp, fresh, sunny, perfect piece of fabric...
We Brits have been enjoying the best summer in recent memory. We wake up and there's sunshine. We go to bed and it's still warm. Honestly, I don't care how wet and miserable the winters are if we get a decent summer in exchange.
One of the advantages of a decent summer is seeing an abundance of flowers in the garden. One disadvantage of having dismal summers is not noticing what is around us. We don't spend enough time being out and about and seeing what is there.
Today I noticed that my sweet peas have started to materialise due to that aforementioned sunshine and I managed to pause for a while to appreciate them. And it reminded me of another reason that I blog. I blog to record my life. To go back and recapture the pleasures in life when it is too wet, too cold, too busy, too frantic to appreciate what is around us. I don't know about you, but life is sure passing me by, but right here, right now, today, I can look back and feel the heat and see what it produces. Long may it last. And if it doesn't, I can come right back here and remind myself that it once was.