Wednesday 31 August 2011

Every now and then I shock myself and sit down and yearn to do something a little different (different for me in any case).
I'm normally quite a simple kinda gal..simple needs, simple likes and that particularly applies to my sewing tastes.
But every so often I see something that inspires me and gets me wishing to try something a little different. This also coincided with me being asked to produce a piece with something a bit more than my usual minimalistic style.

I can't say too much about the above piece and the project. I'm not even sure I should be showing even this fuzzy glimpse, but, hey, it's my blog right? And you'll know soon enough... (suffice it to say I'm just a teensy bit excited about what it's for...)

In the meantime, while I was in this crazy phase, (I know, wild, huh?) I also played around with some of my pieces of fabric, just to see what happened and how it would turn out.

There isn't really much more to show than this. It's merely time out from my usual to spend some time creating something that I wouldn't normally.
I really should step out of my comfort zone more often...I do enjoy it so.

Monday 29 August 2011

I applied and am delighted to say was accepted on to the Saltaire Arts Trail Makers Fair.

There is a teensy problem in that it is less than 2 weeks away and it is STILL the school holidays and consequently I have very little stock so far.
I am sure I will have enough to take...if I don't sleep much between now and then, that is.

It's a well renowned and reputable craft fair, so I am honoured and excited to be part of it.
If you fancy a day out it will be a lot of fun.
If you do make it, please come along and say hello.
It will be wonderful to see you.

Saturday 27 August 2011


Do not adjust your screen...the following blogpost is brought to you in black and white...well, grey anyway.

Following my screen printing session this week, I was drawn to making up some pouches in grey.

We have Wave in Grey...

and we have Hexie in Grey...

I don't know if it's just my mood this week, or my usual affinity with grey, but I'm rather liking them.

If you are drawn to more colour yourself, next up will be something with a bit more zing...

(For all you mutual grey fans, the first are in my shop...the rest to come very soon.)

Friday 26 August 2011

I have had a lot of amazing advice about printing onto fabric, so thank you all for that. I'm eager to try them out.

I'm also very eager to do it this way...

Wednesday 24 August 2011

It was my first trip to the screen printing workshop today since the summer hols began, so I was filled with anticipation and excitement to get in there and try out a couple of new designs that I've been working...

~ hexie and leaf ~

~ waves ~

But it didn't all go according to plan...
There was...

...the good...

...the bad...

...and the downright ugly...

I learnt 2 things today...

...first was to make sure the squeegee is securely at the back of the screen so that when you actually print a good piece you don't go and ruin it by the squeegee flying off the back when you raise the bed;-(

...second, use a little masking tape to secure lightweight fabric in place and prevent blurring.

One thing I have been struggling with when printing on fabric is this blurring and I haven't been able to work out how to prevent it. Today Gina (remember my guru who knows everything?) was about so I asked her how I could stop it. I don't have this problem with paper or heavier fabric, so I knew it was all about the fabric moving, but my brain wasn't engaging as to how I could stop it happening.

All it took was a secret ingredient - masking tape - and my blurring days were behind me (I hope).

Quite frankly, I'm disappointed with all you screen printing aficionados for not sharing this little secret with me.

Monday 22 August 2011

I love commissions. Even little ones that merely involve an old fave design redone in a different fabric.

My lovely friend Roz requested a zipper pouch set in an owl fabric for a friend's birthday that is involved with this.
I had the perfect fabric and am absolutely delighted with how it's turned out. The fact that it is a flannel works beautifully. They are so tactile.

That clever designer at Cloud 9 has come up trumps yet again and hopefully the birthday girl will be just as delighted.

ps as a consequence of the commission, my pouches are now available to purchase in this fabric here and here.

Saturday 20 August 2011

I have just discovered a gorgeous range of fabrics by Sarah Jane. I'm not sure why my finger wasn't on the pulse with these as they are just oh so perfect for my Pencil Rolls.

They aren't widely available in the UK, in fact I have only found them here and here. Perhaps you know other stockists, so please share if you have.

I just love this range. It's so quirky and fresh and fun, with a lovely vintage edge. I often find it harder to get good girl deigns as, for me personally, they are too sugary sweet and girly girly, but these have such a fun element. The hopscotch design is just fab - such fun and I love the balloons with the bunny and little girl hanging on for dear life!

It's equally hard to find good boy designs too - more because there just aren't as many fabrics designed for boys.
But again these are just perfect. They aren't overly glaring and again, have such a humorous, quirky edge to them.

The paper aeroplanes is such a fab design and I think the rocket one will be a huge hit with little boys everywhere. I think they may edge their way into more than just my pencil rolls...

These fabrics are just a few of the range and I'm dying to get my hands on this one, that I could only find in the US, as it will be just perfect for the rolls...I think only about 4 more sleeps til it's here...

ps these pencil rolls are based on the original design by Manda over at Treefall Design

Thursday 18 August 2011

Wednesday 17 August 2011

I wonder where I get it from...

Grandma recently moved into a care home. She absolutely hated being on her own after Grandad died earlier this year. She didn't need or want any of her possessions with her and so sent us all round to give everything good homes.
Not only was there a beautiful old oak chest of drawers for our bedroom, but I laid claim to some of Grandma's threads.

My sister caught site of the boxes and immediately we recognised where we both get our sewing and storing addictions from.
Unfortunately because she is as addicted as I am (even if not as productive - she has a 'proper' job) I did agree to split the collection...

...I did manage to procure the yellows and greys however ;-)

Monday 15 August 2011

It's my favourite time of year, but at the same time not.
I love summer and I love long lazy days when we don't have to rush from activity to activity, endless hours of deadlines.
But juggling this with working is no fun.

I think a lot of us are the same.
Working from home means many interrupted weeks of trying to keep on top of work whilst not really having the proper time to do so.
My kids are getting older, which does mean they can be abandoned to keep themselves occupied. But guilt, coupled with knowing that means hanging out in front of the electrics for hours, soon gets me attending to them rather than getting on with the piling up work.

Tomorrow we are going out for the day.
No work, no neglecting children, just summer fun.
The day after we'll be back to neglect...

Friday 12 August 2011

Rather than bore you all senseless by posting each aspect of our trip to Israel separately, I'm doing one intense whistle stop tour of a few of the special moments that we had.
Then it's over.
Back to real life.

As I told you last time, we spent a good deal of time on the beach. This was mainly spent on our local beach (top pic) but we did venture a little bit further up the coast one day to Caesarea. Caesarea is an ancient port city with an equally ancient aqueduct that runs along the beach.

Our beach visits also included pizza delivery directly to the beach when we went to visit family a bit further up the coast.

You would be forgiven in thinking this was just a beach holiday, but, despite the incredible heat, we did fit in quite a bit of sight-seeing. The highlight of which was our mini road trip down to The Dead Sea in the desert.
The drive down alone was incredible, with the vast desert scenery, along with camels roaming around.

One of the main reasons for heading down to this area was to climb Masada. Masada is an ancient ruin where the Jews took refuge from the Romans and was the site of the monumental suicide rather than falling at the hands of the enemy.
The ruins themselves at the top are incredible (and I'm not generally a history nerd) and well worth the climb to visit.

It's traditional to climb early to get to the top to see the sunrise. So we set our alarm for 4am, having to be at the base for 4.50am at the latest. The kids were absolutely brilliant and rose to the challenge of the experience.

In normal conditions it's not really a difficult climb, a mere 2km snake path to reach a 500m height, but when you are doing it at over 30 degree heat, that's where the challenge comes in! Coupled with knowing you've a timetable to keep point going to all that effort if you miss the sunrise!

(Having said that, you have missed it because I've forgotten to post a pic of it...will do as an amendment after!)

Needless to say, Ruby and I took it slower than the boys, as depicted by the pic above...they literally ran up the whole thing!

Fortunately we got up in time to see the spectacular sunrise and it was more than worth the effort. This was definitely one of life's incredible experiences.

Whilst this area is all desert, there are several wonderful springs and pools and we were rewarded later that day going for a mini hike to bath in them. Absolute bliss!

Masada is down by the Dead Sea and we went for our customary float. It is such a weird and wonderful experience being in this viscous sea.

Yad Vashem is the world's living centre for Holocaust research and the Jewish People's Living Memorial to the Holocaust. It is a must culturally and educationally to listen and learn that this never happens again.

I couldn't post a trip to Israel and omit a reference to Yad Vashem.

Jerusalem is a beautiful beautiful city, full of evocative sights and smells, from the Arab Shuk, to the Western Wall and everything in between.

We were obviously there at an extremely hot time (temperatures rising to 40 degrees) and sight-seeing is definitely not the easiest thing to be doing, but it would have been beyond rude to not show the children, even a little, around Jerusalem.

Ruby had her birthday in Israel. Being an August baby she's very lucky, at the tender age of 10, to have celebrated her birthday in various locations around the world. This one, arriving into double figures, was incredibly memorable.

(More on my baby turning double figures and the effect on my psyche another time...)

And so we near the end...back to Tel Aviv and in particular the beautiful old port of Jaffa, beloved to be the oldest in the world (mind-blowing), we as a family have lots to consider.
Whilst it figured as a beach holiday, it was oh so much more and hopefully provided us with many wonderful memories and experiences that we will treasure for a long time.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

We are back!

We had the most incredible 2 weeks in Israel, visiting family, friends, unbelievable places and doing a lot of this...

...reading on the beach.

Israel is a vibrant, hectic, colourful, noisy, sensory-overload of a country and they sure know how to enjoy life.

This is the more peaceful end of the life we enjoyed while we were there. I'll be back soon with more...