Thursday 31 December 2009

Call me a bit slow but it has suddenly dawned on me today that not only is it New Year's Eve, but the end of a decade. I know, I know, where have I been hiding! The thing is it is my Grandparent's Wedding Anniversary today. Not just any anniversary, but their 70th. And as you can imagine this event has been much anticipated and for me anyway, has slightly distracted from where we are at in the world in general.

My Grandparents are the centre of our whole family and as a consequence we are an unbelievably close-knit family. Whether some of us are living overseas or elsewhere around England, it's as if we are never away from each other. That is true from the grandparents down to the now 3rd generation of the grandchildren's children.

From when we were children, we have always had a family tradition of Friday afternoon tea being held. When we were all little we used to gather after school. Big plates of bread and butter and jam, crumpets, and chocolate cake would be devoured. Then us kids would scatter ready for 'It's 5 to 5, it's Friday and its'....'! (If you're old enough you'll know what I'm talking about!)

This tradition still takes place today and no matter where abouts in the world you happen to be, you know that anyone who is in Leeds will be gathered at Grandma and Grandad's.

It may not be Friday, but guess where we will be this afternoon, celebrating an incredible event?

Wherever you may be on the cusp of this new decade, I hope it will be a memorable and special dawning for what is to come. Happy 2010 xx

(P.S. The wonderful card was done by the amazing Helen from storeyshop who came up trumps by producing this card super quick over the xmas period when yours truly hadn't got her act in gear quite soon enough to order in plenty of time. Thank you Helen, you are a star!)

Wednesday 23 December 2009

It's my Mummy's birthday today, so the kids and I are just about to pop over and go and take her cards and presents. Unfortunately this present I ordered hasn't arrived in time. It's my own fault. I can't expect miracle postal delivery at this time of year. So last night whipped up this tea towel for her, so I wouldn't be going empty handed. I know it looks a bit raggedy. It's a linen mix and embroidering it creased it all up. And our iron is broken!

I need to give full and entire credit to the inspiration coming from Sam of Inklore. Sam is incredibly talented and produces the most beautiful screenprinted designs on her textile work. I've been a fan forever. Go check her out if you don't know Sam already.

One of my daughterly duties is to buy my Dad's card for her. He's disabled and can't get out on his own, so I always get one for him. Normally I get an overly slushy 'To my wonderful wife, I love you' kind of card, but when the kids and I were in town earlier this week I found this card and could not resist. You'd need to know my Mum and Dad to know how utterly appropriate this is!

Happy Birthday Mum! Wishing you a very special day for a very special Mum. (Managed the gush after all ;-))

Friday 18 December 2009

How appropriate we should wake up to this winter scene when I was planning to send my festive cheers to you all this morning! I have no idea if it is due to last, but it always looks beautiful while it does. I love the light that comes into the house when there's snow outside. There's such a mysterious glow.

The downside is we are heading down to London today for a family celebration and I'm not relishing the extra time in the car it is going to take or the amount of extra layers we will have to drag with us.

Still, I suppose it is winter after all!

The children break up from school today, so I'm not very sure how much time I'll get to come on here over the next couple of weeks. And we'll all be busy with our families and own celebrations. So if I don't see you for a while I wish you a very merry Christmas and looking forward to sharing lots more with you in 2010.

I'm going to leave by sharing with you a scene that I think will be featuring quite highly over the next couple of weeks - having time to cosy up and drinking lots of hot tea!

(Latest purchase from my trip to Anthropologie)

Happy Christmas everyone xxx

Friday 11 December 2009

Isn't that a pretty site?

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know about my mad dash out yesterday to get wadding for my kits. I can't actually believe I ran out of one of my basic components. I really wasn't in the mood to head out...far too much to do at base camp...and with all the Christmas shopper traffic on the roads, it wasn't as straight-forward as it should be.

Needs must so I dropped everything and off I went.

It really wasn't too painful a trip. The traffic was pretty cloggy but not as bad as it could have been. I grabbed the aforementioned wadding (4 large bags) and on my way to the till, happened upon. That's right, happened upon...the above embroidery threads. It would have been rude to walk straight on by, so into my basket it popped and now it's sitting all serenely on my desk waiting for the right moment to have a play.

That moment may be days, weeks away. In the meantime, isn't it a pretty site?

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Imbetween the hecticness of work at this time of year, I've been trying to make a few of my presents. I'm not doing too badly, surpAlign Centrerisingly, but no doubt there will be the last minute franticness. I'm still planning on making all the children their own initial keyring. There aren't too many of them so it shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

I made a friend this purse. I was playing around with some of my new stash of Mikodesign fabrics. I think she'll be pleased with it.

Then the in-laws. My in-laws are very hard to buy/make for but I'm quite pleased with what I've come up with. My father-in-law is taking us all away next summer for his 80th so I've made them both a Passport Holder...useful and appropriate! I even spoilt them by cutting into my precious Liberty stash.

Hopefully they like it enough to at least use it next summer...if they don't lose it/wear it out before then.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

Could not resist sharing this with you... What a cool idea to make with old sweaters! Check it out here along with other felt holiday projects.
Life is somewhat running away with itself at the moment and I am not blogging as often as I would like. There is so much going on around here at the mo. Some the mundane, some the pre-Christmas madness and some very exciting stuff that I am desperate to share with you.

But I can't. Not yet anyway.

Hopefully by next week I'll be able to spurt it all out!

In the meantime I wanted to show you how well I had got on with my Sashiko cushion. I absolutely loved doing it and am really pleased with the result. I think there'll be plenty more of this going on.

Monday 23 November 2009

Harrogate was hosting the Knitting and Stitching Show this weekend, so Manda and I popped along on Saturday afternoon. The show itself was okay. We both wanted to go to get some much needed fabric from Fabrics Galore., which we did with gusto. I'll tell you about that later in the week.

But the highlight was definitely the Sashiko and Japanese Fabrics stand. I have definitely found a new love.

The fabrics there were utterly stunning in their simplicty. They actually had these that I had previously purchased on Etsy. But it was the Sashiko panels and threads that won our hearts.

As you can see the colours are just divine. And their texture is simply sublime. And since I was incapable of waiting to have a go, I tested it all out last night and the threads are just a joy to work with.

There were several different panel designs and after much deliberation I chose this one. It comes with half the fabric printed and the other half plain to then turn it into a cushion cover.

I am totally in love with this process of continuous running stitches building up the design. The needle simply glides through the fabric (oh yes, you have to buy the Japanese needles too). If you haven't experienced the art of Sashiko, you really must give it a try. It is effortless, yet immensely rewarding and I have a feeling that this will be a welcome evening distraction on a regular basis.

And the good news is that it is all available online right here.

Friday 20 November 2009

I'm rushing around like mad today. The week was definitely shorter than usual and usually it's short enough. But I just received this amazing package I had ordered from Erika of Mikodesign and I just had to share it with you.

First of all it was wrapped beautifully...

Second of all Erika had included these little stamped bags too. How gorgeous are they?

Then the pile of handprinted fabrics was never ending...

I particularly love this little girl bunny and will think up something very special for that, although I have a feeling if someone else sees my stash she'll have her own ideas;-) But just check out all this!

And there was loads more too! As ever, the most simple of designs are the most appealing. Well, for me anyway.

I am so excited by this and have a million and one ideas in my head of what I am going to do with it. Go check out Erika's blog and Etsy store for more inspiring work from her and pick up your own stash today. Haapy weekend all...must dash...x

Wednesday 18 November 2009

I've been involved in a Hand-stitched Embroidery Swap on Flickr this month. I'm not sure what possessed me to do it as my last swap ended in tears as my swap partner disappeared off the face of the earth after receiving my lovely bunch of goodies and I never got to get hers (I am genuinly concerned that something awful did happen to her as she has literally fallen off the end of Flickr with not a word from anyone).

I was invited to join the swap by Kate, my lovely friend on the other side of the world, so I couldn't refuse her. I have to say it was a fantastic experience. This is my first 'making' swap. The others were swapping fabric and I think this made the whole thing such fun. We all posted our progress pics and oohed and ahhed over the ones we hoped we'd be getting. (It was a secret swap - noone knew who was giving to who)

I was very much oohing and ahhing over the progress of Tacha's pics of the embroidery I subsequently received. Even from the first posting she did, I was intrigued and mesmerised. As for the finished article, well, just look at it, it's stunning isn't it?

Tacha had obviously done her homework on me. I mean, would'ya just look at all tha blue and red?? I could not have bought a more perfect embroidery. And I love it's position in my kitchen.
Thank you, Tacha, it is more than perfect.

As for my creation...this is what Kate received from me...

Yes, that's right, Kate ended up being landed with me as a partner! Apparently she loves it...or so she says...

Above all, this was a fantastic experience, meeting lots of talented, wonderful people. Can't wait for the next one!

Sunday 15 November 2009

Sunday Stash #6

Again, not so much a stash in my possession, but one that will be any day now...

My American aunt is on her way over, so as ever I have ordered a shed load of fabric for her to bring with her for me. Here's just some that I'm hanging out for.

This lovely little lot is coming from Sew Mama Sew.

(Go see more SS goodies over here...)

Friday 13 November 2009

::friday flickr favourites::

I'm a bit obsessed with these colours at the moment and hope you'll enjoy perusing these lovely examples. Hopefully it all works and the links will take you through to more about these artists.

1. Mini Quilt Monday 2. Citron Stack 3. Crafting 365 4. Bosch 5. grey and yellow linen clutch 6. Crafting 365: 285Mottle 7. Yellow and Grey Wing Chair 8. Pete and Pearl 9. side plate

Enjoy and Happy Friday!

See more :: friday flickr favourites:: here

Thursday 12 November 2009

Something for the house

Yesterday ... or was it the day before now? I lose track ... it was Ladies Day. Today it is the turn of your home.

I've been coveting these beautiful cushions by Roddy & Ginger for aeons and finally they are here at Blueberry Park.

If you are a regularly reader, you know all about my soft spot for hand printed fabrics. And my soft spot for cushions. So it's hardly surprising that these were going to hit the spot.

Virginia, the talent behind this vintage inspired company, handprints stunning retro inspired designs onto linen or cotton using water based dyes.

I love the freshness and colours of her designs and never tire of gazing at them. Go check them out right here and tell me what you think. I know you'll feel the same way as I do.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Something for the ladies

Today has been another exciting day at Blueberry Park. We've had a delivery of these beautiful felt corsages.

Anna Johnson is the talented designer of the A Alicia label. She makes beautiful corsages from the most exquisite felt. This range of colours is so autumnal and stunning.

From Winter White to Burnt Sienna, Anna has produced a range that is already proving to be a big hit.

Anna cuts and sews every felt petal by hand so each brooch is utterly unique. The sculptured shape of the flowers makes them little works of art.

Whether you are accessorising a sweater, dress, coat, bag, hat these will be firm favourites on any outfit.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Sunday Stash #6

Not so much a stash I currently have...more one I am lusting after.

Knowing my willpower with resisting buying fabrics, unlike this lady, no doubt it will be purchased quicker than you can say...well anything really...

And if you'd like to test your own willpower, head over here.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Lucky lucky me

A while ago I commented on one of my cyberspace friend's blog about how much I loved a shirt she had designed. (I would show you her original design, but I can't find the blog post!) Almost by return, the lovely Kylie emailed me thanking me for the comments and what were my measurements so she could make me one.

I was flabbergasted by her kindness. She didn't want payment, she was just touched by my comments and would be honoured to make something for someone who genuinely appreciated her work.

I accepted her kindness (well who wouldn't?) but only on the proviso I could make something for her. Kylie chose a pin cushion and needle set, which seemed insubstantial to be honest.

Today it arrived and I am blown away by how gorgeous it is, how beautifully it is made and by the fact that it is mine! Not only will I enjoy wearing this ALOT, but every time I do it will remind me of that lovely lady on the other side of the world, who I have 'met' and become friends with through this wonderful world of blogging.

Thank you so much, Kylie xx

(Now all of you, if you haven't come across 3 sheets before, go check out Kylie's wonderful blog and shop)