Tuesday 31 December 2013

End Of The Year Sewing...

December was pretty much all about the Christmas makery...

Job done for another year!

Over the Christmas holidays I started a few hand-stitchy things, which I hope will be finished early in January, the sewing machine has not been touched in over a week, and that doesn't feel like an entirely bad thing.

And so with 2013 coming to a close - it has not been the best of years, but heck, it hasn't been the worst.  It has pretty much all been documented in this little corner of the blogisphere, and it should never go without saying that I cannot thank you enough for stopping by, reading my waffle, leaving comments that make my day, and making me smile.

Once again this year has proven the power of friendship built from a love of fabric of all things!  I met up with friends old and new, been involved in secrets group for celebration and to console, I have contributed to charity quilts and bee quilts and stitched up gifts and prizes as well as a huge load of things just for me, me, me!

Tomorrow I will indulge in a pictorial review of the year just gone, and before the end of the week I will be rounding up those FAL makes and plotting ahead for 2014.

If you have the energy to go out celebrating, have a safe New Year, or if, like me, you will be snuggled up under a quilt watching others celebrate on the TV, I will raise a cup of tea to your good health and happiness in 2014 xxx

Monday 30 December 2013

Just blowing through...

The kids went to the cinema with their Auntie and cousin this morning, there was just the small matter of the gale force-winds and horizontal rain to negotiate to get them to The Dome on Worthing seafront!

We took refuge in the Moshi/child-free zone of the M&S coffee shop and watched the world blow by.

If you have come here seeking stitchery, here's a little teaser...

I promise to get the sewing machine out soon, as I am more than aware that I am bringing you here under false pretences!

Sunday 29 December 2013

Time out...

Hubby and I had a nice quiet couple of hours yesterday whilst the kids went off to shout at Robin Hood and his merry men.  With fabric shopping not on the cards in Sevenoaks, I went for the next best thing... stationary.

I love Paperchase, I love a bargain; I could have spent a fortune in the sale, but I only wanted a 2014 diary, so this little lot was as restrained as it gets!

For Christmas though, my sister did send me an Eclectic Maker gift certificate, so I will be having a good think about what to spend that on in the New Year.

However I am hoping that 2014 is going to be the year of the stash - not complete fabric abstention, oh how I really would love to have the discipline to sign up to Jess and Rebecca's Fabriholics Anonymous, but it would never happen!!  But I really am going to try and be a more discerning shopper; a healthy fabric diet, so to speak!  

Stop sniggering ;)

Saturday 28 December 2013


Last and by no means least for the Christmas reporting, hubby requested a stag brooch/badge as his handmade gift this Christmas, so who am I to say no!?

A googled free image, nice quality wool felt from Eternal Maker, some man-flannel left over from last year's man-makes and a little hand-stitchery around the edges.  I think it ended up about 3" tall.

Christmas requests fulfilled.

Friday 27 December 2013


Brit Bee Secret Santa is always fun, and this year was no exception and we all made cushion covers for each other.

I was secretly making for Ceri.  Back when I was first feeling poorly I needed an EPP project, so I pulled some Oakshotts, white Essex Linen and Boo Crew fly-screen, and set myself up for a bit of Triangle City-building.  When Ceri posted her 'Dear Santa' wish list, it couldn't have been more serendipitous!

A nice bright cut of Joel Dewberry home dec for the back, and a concealed zip(!), and this Santa's work was done.

That last little keyfob went in the parcel for Felix too, and both, I am relieved to report, went down well.

And what did I receive?  Jackpot joy!

Santa-Pops made this perfect beauty for me.

Please excuse the ill-fitting cushion pad, but I wanted to use it before getting an insert that actually fits!

So that was a bit of the secret making that was going on here undetected; I'll get a snap of the last of the secret Christmas makes to show you tomorrow.

My parents will be taking the kids to the Saturday morning Panto, and hubby and I will get a couple of hours to regain our sanity!  I haven't been more than 500m from the house in over a week, which, given the conditions out there, is not a bad thing, so a little non-family interaction will be a novelty.  I better go find something to wear other than slippers!

Thursday 26 December 2013

Happy Days...

... pretty darn great from dawn to dusk!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day too, and if the power holds out through storm#2,  tomorrow I'll show you some of those secret makes that were kept under wraps xxx

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas...

Here's to a perfect Christmas!

Almost half of Christmas Eve was spent without power, so to all those whose plans have gone a little haywire, my thoughts are with you especially!

Peace xxx

Monday 23 December 2013

Not Going Out...

Take care, especially British peeps; stay warm, dry and illuminated!

I am quite happy being right here, right now xxx

Sunday 22 December 2013

Done Deal...

I have finished my Christmas making and it feels so so good!

The table mats are ready to wrap; lesson learnt from yesterday, I took photos whilst the daylight was good, albeit before I tied off and buried the threads, but at least they look pretty much how they do in real life.

A charm pack of Bluebird Park and natural Essex Linen from Fabric HQ and all eight actually do measure up at 12" x 15", not huge. but plenty big enough for when there are that many round the table.

I am going to have to start canvassing ideas for next year, as my parents now have their quota of the big makes, or have they earned a year off?!

That done, tomorrow I will have to tidy up my side of the conservatory/dining room so that it doesn't feel like we are eating our Christmas lunch in a fabric addict's lair!

The hand stitching projects are on standby, but honestly I don't think there will be time or energy for much over the next week or so, hence blogging may be a bit more sporadic, but that's going to be pretty much par for the course for everyone.

So for now, have fun with all that last minute prep; stay warm, dry and happy xxx

Saturday 21 December 2013

Holy making Batman!

I'm afraid the shortest day, and not a second's respite from the rain, wind and clouds, and having to have the lights on all day* means shocking photos!

So as best as I could...

The individual Batman and Robin blocks measure up at 10", 3" of sashing and I did that reverse french seam edging so it looks like binding, sort-of, but no raw edges on the inside.

So the 'black' is Charcoal Sketch flannel, the background is Kona Aqua and the faces are some unknown off-white from a scrap bag, all from Simply Solids.

The back is a simple envelope in more of the flannel.  I added fusible fleece to the back of the blocks and then top stitched to keep it from going anywhere soon; so inside looking tidy, and fancy on the outside.

The girls snuck in-progress peeks, and the consensus was that there will be a happy boy opening this up on Christmas.  Result.

We had visitors and swapped pressies, ate chocolate biscuits and watched Christmas films, and I managed to get the remaining 7 table mats quilted - finishing them will be easy now after the miles of straight-lining.

My Brit Bee secret santa cushion cover arrived, (well I am assuming!), and has been popped under the tree for the big day, and hubby made an executive decision for Fish & Chips for tea.  I wore my lovely Christmas jumper too, and when I took it off, *the power went off for over an hour, I am not sure what to make of that!

So that's enough excitement for today, time for a Lemsip and the last of the choccy bics; phew. xxx

Friday 20 December 2013

Twiddly diddly dee - twiddly diddly dee...

See what I did there...

Since photographing Robin, I went on and made Batman, and have just finished turning the dynamic duo into a cushion - woo hoo!  Photos to come tomorrow.

The paper-pieced patterns, freebees, are fantastic, the only unpicking I did was due to my stingy cutting, and even using dark grey Sketch flannel caused no problems.

I will go into a bit more detail with the grand reveal tomorrow; I am going to rest my bunged up head for now, I have one of those colds that makes your teeth ache and lips split; still no more waiting at the school gate for a while, and I do not need to leave the house until Monday!

The outlaws are popping round in the morning, then all I have to do is finish the 7 table mats, wrap a few straggling presents and relax.

I have abandoned the basting plan, but hexies have been cut and if the urge takes me, I have something to keep my fingers occupied with, should I tire of eating chocolates, (like that will ever happen!).

Thursday 19 December 2013

Wrap up...

I spent today wrapping, literally!

I started before 9am and got to a point where I could hide most things away before the beady eyes came home from school; received 3 deliveries and one pick up, and developed a lovely snotty cold in the process.  Still rather 5 hours today than starting after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve, and panicking at 2am!

Everyone bar my Dad seems to have been well and truly catered for; but that's an easy fix between the village tomorrow morning and hubby's last trip to the big shops.

Not a stitch sewn today though, hoping tomorrow will get me a step closer to finishing.

So I have no Thursday random, other than the stalker-ish behaviour I developed over the DPD delivery man, who was due right when I needed to go to school; clicking reload every 30 seconds on the tracker and waiting behind the front door with my coat on and car keys in hand then accosting him before he could get his van door open ;)

Unfortunately there is no official video to my favourite Christmas tune, but click and enjoy...


Wednesday 18 December 2013

Getting Stuff Done...

So hair is cut, a couple of final pressies bought and parcels in the mail.  First table-mat, the man-brooch and a little key fob completed...

The only make I can show you for now!
This evening I am going to cut out freezer paper templates for dear son's cushion.

I am going to make him one of Kristy's Lego Batman panels; if it comes together really quickly I might make Robin too.

The weather is chucking it down outside; I will be doing a drive-by drop off at school off it doesn't stop by the morning, and then home to wrap wrap wrap.  I am going to catch up with all the Liberty programmes too, and hopefully answer the door to a number of delivery people.  I am quite looking forward to it.

If you are in the storm-path, I hope you don't have too much of a disrupted night xxx

Tuesday 17 December 2013

End of those days...

Well my working hours have been clocked for 2013, I have been to dear son's Carol concert this afternoon, and now I can settle into home and village life for the foreseeable - yippee!

Son's class collage of the village
Tomorrow I will brave the post office, get a long-needed haircut, hopefully finish another present and then get another on the go.

I have a badge/brooch, cushion and the 8 table mats to have made by the big day; I would also like to have my Stitch Tease LV Scrap Vomit quilt basted and ready, so that I can put in some quilting miles if and when time allows between eating and snoozing.  Ideally I'd love to get some hexies cut for just in case times not forgetting I have my DWR to finish too; so I think that should be more than enough to keep me going for the rest of the year, don't you!?

So that's the stitchy list; the food list is now minimal, and I have a full-on wrapping day planned for Thursday, when I will discover how overboard, or otherwise, I have been with the present shopping.  Having to hide everything away from 3, actually 4 pairs of beady eyes, means I have completely lost track of who I have bought for or not!

Baring pestilence or plague, I will be ready on time!

Monday 16 December 2013


Today was going so well; penultimate day at work, and home to finish another Christmas present before the school run...

I used Kerry's super tute from the Sizzix Christmas blog hop, and the bundle of fabric from Pin It and Stitch which one little girl had adopted the minute she saw the mice!

Thanks ladies, you are going to ensure a very smiley girl on Christmas morning!

And the not-so-ho?

Our last Tesco delivery before Christmas, (hauling a heavy trolley round the aisles is still not my idea of fun or comfort), and guess what, no freaking turkey crown!  No apologies, just a line of the delivery note, along with the short-life coleslaw and replacement grapes.

One poor lad on the customer service helpline got my wrath; I did warn him in advance, I am fair like that.  We got a without prejudice payment of £20 for the aggro - not enough I reckon.

But be warned; I pretty much demanded that one be waiting for me tomorrow at the Xtra store near work, in fact, whilst on hold I was able to set up a 'click & collect' order for what I wanted - but when the guy rang the store, they informed him there would be none in stock until Wednesday!

Sheesh, I went to the Metro in the next village after tea and got one, smaller than I had hoped for, but safely in the freezer now, so only the fresh bread and veggies to get next week now.

I have never been so prepared, but with all the health issues and rather a lot of stitching miles to cram into the next week, I am leaving nothing to chance, and do not intend to leave the village after I get back from work tomorrow until after the big day.

So please do not rely on anyone but yourselves, especially Tesco - yes Tesco, I am going to warn my friends about your greed and total disregard for your customers; I had almost forgiven you for substituting the nappies we ordered for nappy sacks, all hose years ago!

Sunday 15 December 2013

Singing in the Rain...

Well that's a bit of a fib, but it is raining, and we did go singing, but that was inside, and it wasn't raining then.

Today's tick off the list was the Cubs & Scouts carol service.  As ever, it was a bit organisationally-challenged; all the packs had made painted jam-jar candle holders, the tea-lights were LED, for health and safety reasons, but I did hear at least 2 smash on the floor, hey ho ho ho!

                         Don't blink!
I did get a start on my parent's table mats too, and I even pre-washed the Essex Linen, a first, and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of fraying and tangle at the end.  I am not going to make a habit of it, but I reckoned this was the worthy exception to the rule.

So I am settling in for the Great British Sewing Bee Christmas special and writing a 'last minute' food shopping list, because the shops are shut for a whole day, and you know how we have to prepare as if they are going to be shut until New Year!

Saturday 14 December 2013

Blogging for the sake of it!

Just home from a lovely day at my parents; it's cold and wet outside; I have nothing new to show you, so I am going to let you just get on with watching The X Factor, or your Saturday evening viewing of choice, but also leave you with this...

... just because I miss my sister more than usual at Christmas, and this video makes me smile.

(NB. She lives in NZ, but isn't a Hobbit, before you ask) xxx

Friday 13 December 2013


I have consulted with Mr Random, and he has declared that...

Joanne you are my winner!  The scarf is all yours, the daughter is optional!  I will email you shortly.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and for making me feel like I am not alone in my last minute making panic, in fact some of you have made me wonder what I have to worry about!!

Happy weekend everyone xxx

Thursday 12 December 2013

Really Really Random...

Well spotting this was the most random thing I have seen in a while!

Translation, for those not fluent in 7 year old phonics...

Duck and a bunny which I call Dubunny
If you see one call 085432942
If you see one near your house, go to house 29
Elephant with 6 legs
If you see one call 421829104
If you see one near your house, go to house 94

Linking with the Randomeers, because otherwise it would just be plain weird!

PS.  Last call for my Sew Mama Sew giveaway folks xxx

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Ticking off my list...

I am working through events, concerts and makes at a rate of knots.  Today saw the completion of a secret project, and the arrival of the final supplies needed for my Christmas makes...

...I will be turning this into table mats for my parents, courtesy of a weekend offer over at FabricHQ; I love the Bluebird Park, soooo much.

I also managed to cut the fabrics needed for the requested homemades for the girls, a mini-infinity scarf for one, and some Christmas bunting for the other.  All this before their Christmas performance...

They did great; 'Tock', was word perfect and pretty much the only child who we could actually hear, and the 'little shopper' sang and danced her socks off.

Next on the list this evening, Christmas cards... groan!

Tuesday 10 December 2013


The Rainbow's leader goes by the name 'Woodpecker', so I made her a felt brooch, template from here, which will probably reside on the noticeboard after the girls hand him over on Friday...

I am still debating whether he needs a beady eye!

Seen in its natural habitat, of my SMS Giveaway infinity scarf, which you can find here.

I am hoping to get a couple more Christmas makes under my belt tomorrow, before I get to see the girls in their Christmas performance.  This time next week I will have finished work until the New Year, and it can't come a day too soon.

Monday 9 December 2013

It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

***The Giveaway Is Now Closed***

It was touch and go there for a while if I was going to have to sit out Giveaway Day this time around, both as a giver and as a hopeful winner, but here I am, and I have a little something that I hope you may like to win!

As regular readers will know, I went a bit panic-sewing crazy last week, trying to get as much done as possible in good time for Christmas gifting, and one of the makes on my list was a new lightweight infinity scarf.  OK, not strictly gifting, as it was for me, and I already have about 8, but I had bought some Valori Wells voile specifically for that reason, and didn't want winter passing me by without getting it made.  So I made two!

What I am offering up is a pink/orange dandelion voile infinity scarf, backed with pink Anna Maria Horner.

From memory it was made using c. 18" by 60" cuts, but don't hold me to that!

As modelled by my glamorous assistant.
If you would like to be in with the chance of winning, please leave a comment telling me how many handmade things you still have to finish before Christmas, just to make me feel better; I have 5, including a set of 8 table mats!  Obviously if you don't celebrate Christmas, or make handmade presents, you are not excluded, just make something up, or tell me what you really want to get finished by the end of the month.

Followers get a second bite at the cherry, leave a separate comment telling me how... obviously I like the followers that I can count in my sidebar best, but bloglovin or whatever takes your fancy, is fine too!

This giveaway is open internationally;  I will draw a winner, using Random.org at 9pm GMT on Friday 13th December (lucky for one!), I will be asleep at the official closing time, and out for all of Saturday, so it's then or never.

Good luck peeps; as with these (hopefully) popular events, I will not be responding to individual comments; please make sure you are not a No Reply Blogger (or leave your email address in your comment), otherwise I will have to redraw, and I reserve the right to delete duplicate comments, just to keep things nice and tidy.

If this is your first time visiting, 'hello' please have a look around.  It is probably best to skip back a month or so at least, because things have been a little slow in the health, computer and making departments of late, but I am hoping to turn that all around in the New Year.

Right, time for me to have a pootle round the giveaways, I may be some time.  Good luck everyone xxx

Saturday 7 December 2013


You know how ET and the pot-plant have a symbiotic relationship, and when ET gets very poorly, the flower dies; well apparently its the same with me and my MacBook.  Not sure which of us is the pot-plant; but right now, the MacBook is working, and I am feeling as fine as I have done in the last month or so.  So let's hope there is a nice happy ending for this.

Apparently if I take my MacBook in to see a Genius again, and have already stumbled on the fix beforehand, I get to wear a red t-shirt too ;)

So today sees the beginning of Christmas proper here; heralded by this sight on my way into Brighton, a good omen me thinks...

This afternoon, I took a twin to pick a Christmas tree; so this evening I get to add some sparkle.

Happy days xxx

Friday 6 December 2013

A Remarkable Man...


I spent my teenage years as a member of The Anti-Apartheid Movement, much to my South African grandmother's amusement; I organised a charity ball at school to raise money for the cause, and am forever thankful to my headmistress for fending off the irate parents who objected to such a political stance.  I was at the International Tribute For A Free South Africa concert with my sister, and cheered until we lost our voices.  In 2001 I went to South Africa and visited Robben Island, I was completely overwhelmed by the inhumanity.

The world is a better place because of Nelson Mandela.

RIP xxx

Thursday 5 December 2013


Last night's blog post heralded the famous last words on getting things finished.  No sooner had I put the Mac to bed, and buried a few threads, than I began to feel rather ick, and not long after, I was hugging the toilet.  I remained that way for much of the night.

So an unscheduled day off for me; with boy-child for company.  Fortunately his feeling sick did not amount to anything.  So we watched The Hobbit, well it was on; I slowly stitched away, until I was done.  I also managed to put together a couple of key fobs on top of yesterday's starts, and I have just finished the final non-family present, but that missed out on the photos today.

So here's what we'll be giving...

Reindeer brooches for one of the Rainbow's leaders, (aka Reindeer) and the other for the Cubs leader...

I used a template from the Plush Addict bunting, and the girls chose the heart; sleepy eyes copied from the Mollie Makes foxy brooches.

Key fobs for the two Young Leaders at Rainbows...

Quick and easy with ribbon, the YLs go by the names Ladybird and Butterfly, so it seemed apt.

Covered notebooks for the Teachers and TAs, and one of the Robot ones for my Dad's birthday...

And a retirement gift for the Headteacher...

My original plan was for a laminated cushion, to keep his butt dry when he was out and about doing the artist stuff he is planning on filling his time with.  The laminate was basically pants; the corners started to crack and split no sooner than I had turned the cover through; trust me, the swearing and stamping of feet closely followed.  Hey ho, live and learn... not to use that again!  So a covered sketchbook will have to do.

And finally I stitched closed the 2 Valori Wells/AMH voile infinity scarves, one for me, and one, well, come back Monday.

So how's that for productivity in the face of adversity.  Typically, the MacBook is working absolutely fine again, whilst I don't have the energy left to look at anything more today.  So love you and leave you, with a less anxious look on my face, but hoping the lingering ickiness goes on its merry way really soon, I still have loads to do!

Wednesday 4 December 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today I started 2 infinity scarves, 5 notebook covers, 1 sketchpad cover and 2 felt brooches.

I am planning on having most of them finished before bedtime.

This productivity is bought to you courtesy of staying clear of the MacBook as much as possible so as not to upset it!  The Genius is booked, 11am Saturday.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Bee-n there, done that...

I only have, or rather had, one Bee commitment for December, Siblings Together, and I have finished it already!  Yay me.

A super simple, and going to look so amazing all together, 20" churn dash block...

Made using Moda Potluck, (and they certainly are an interesting bunch of fabrics); I can now get this in the mail and relax into Christmas making.

So thanks, as always going out to the sponsors of this brilliant Bee...




I did pop into Eclectic Maker today; Jo is going to be sponsoring my backing when my month rolls round next year.  I deliberately went in when time was of the essence for getting back in time for school pick-up, and with a shopping list, no deviation allowed.  So we may have chatted to the wire, but I stuck to my guns despite the tempting scrap bags and other stroke-able things.

Mostly interfacing, some laminate and 2 Lush Uptown FQs for a specific project; and home to my lovely Liberty Scrap pack and pink voile, still in the blue tissue paper.

So really, I have no excuse for not getting on with the making then!