just not here, but here!
just not here, but here!
..... is here. Just for a change.
Last year I found a great fabric to recover an Ikea chair; only it just didn't sit right. Literally I suppose, as well as in look. The fabric was lovely - great colours - but it was a heavy upholstery weight, and I think, just too heavy for the cushions on the chair.
So, while visiting one of my favourite fabric shops, I saw this:
and just knew it was the perfect replacement. It's a finer fabric, but feels as though there's wool in it too for a bit of structure. The chair was covered the next day and I'm happy with it straight away. It was also good to feel confident in the sewing room again - I just knew I could do it, and that it would be finished in a couple of hours - no hesitating!
There was a great Scandinavian style grey check fabric in the shop too, which made its way home inside the same bag. That's for some dining chair cushions and also a table runner. But for another sewing day I think.
A couple of months ago, after reading a magazine, I decided to write an article and send it in. Just a small one, but still..... And now it's out there for all to see:
It's in this magazine:
There's the chance to provide a few more articles, so I'm a little bit happy with it all!
(That's my little white Geranium phaeum Alba just blocking out Alan's elbow.)
There has been lots of time spent in the garden over the past few weeks - not doing too much, of course, but pottering in a very delicious summery way. If there's one thing that has been special, it's the amount of colour this year - spread throughout the garden and not concentrated in small patches.
I do love it when it comes together like this!
But not finding any. Hmm. I do know - in my heart if not in my head - that what's really needed is to be spending more time out of the house. Still a bit difficult at the minute, but this time around it seems such a long time to be basically housebound. Thank the Lord for the internet and all its pretty pictures. I'm especially enjoying looking at Emma's blog - lots of her own lovely pictures, but some great links to others too. Like this:
I've seen Emma's images before - and used them on Moo cards - but there are so many more to look at on her on page.
The colours of those gold, yellow and pink poppies just call out to be made into something. But what? Best take a look at Craft Gawker too.
I've missed not being able to bake the past few weeks, but have made up for it by reading lots and lots of blogs and books on the subject. A strange consequence of this is that I feel as though I'm a bit 'baked-out' - how is that possible? But jam making is happening - blackcurrant, and my all time favourite - gooseberry and elderflower. It's real alchemy adding some elderflower cordial to the gooseberries; takes the taste into the superb as opposed to just great! Overnight the redcurrants have been filtering through a couple of sieves ready to be made into redcurrant jelly. Yum.
The making in the title refers to sewing rather than jam though. One of the things I wanted to try was making some pinafore style dresses. Of course I sat for hours in the sewing room making up designs, drawing them onto paper, adjusting them, checking the sizes for everything from length to armholes etc, etc. When I thought about it, I realised that I was trying to do something that others spend many years at college trying to master. Pattern making is not straight forward - especially if you're looking for a good end fit. In other words, why was I trying to re-invent the wheel!? Honestly, sometimes I think I'm a little bit crackers. So, I had a good look around at what was already available, and would be suitable for using as a template for my own design, and found this and a good source of them here. Once I was visiting such a lovely shop, I had a little look round some fabrics too and was smitten with this:
Sometimes it's very good to just stop everything, take a good look around and assess. Obviously I've had (too much?) time on my hands and I've taken advantage of it. There are so many good things to enjoy and often those are the things that get sidelined whilst too busy doing other stuff. Which is why it's good to pause.
One of the good aspects of enforced down time, has been the chance to take a good look around the garden, seeing what works and what doesn't. But also, what I really like and what I really don't like. There's an area of border that has pretty much defeated me all the time we've lived here, but now I can see a plan evolving that involves very little work for a big impact. Very exciting and I'm so looking forward to making a start on it.
The other area that has been given a lot of thought is the sewing room and what happens in there. I love sewing and I love being able to sell what I sew, but often it's too easy to get caught up in the latter, and not spend enough time on the designing etc. It was probably time for a re-launch anyway, but Hayley's lovely shop (see Chardeleigh's gift shop in sidebar to right) is relocating in August and that is a fantastic chance to start making some new things for that.
Busy, busy, busy! And it's very good to be able to sit and write at the computer again.
Last week was spent in Dumfries and Galloway; not somewhere I've been to before, but I did know that there are many lovely gardens and nurseries round about. The cottage was lovely - though no mains electricity or anything; the windmill and the rayburn were wonderful and kept us warm and cosy and well fed all week long.
Because the rain always stopped for us as we left the cottage, the gardens and nurseries were a joy to visit - too many to talk about them all, but a couple yielded some plants I've been looking for and others that I didn't know I needed.
Of course, this only explains the last week; before that? Well, there have been lots of things going on - family visiting from Australia, gardening etc. But really? Just very preoccupied with what's coming up this week: another major op but one which I hope is just as successful as the last and will mean being fully mobile again.
Wish me luck.
Mencap is running a great campaign just now - please take a look at the link. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do - but let's face it, making and baking are no strangers in this house, so there will definitely be something happening!
(Click on either of the pictures, or the Mencap link to take you direct to their campaign page - some great ideas.)
Will post more soon.