Loving life, family, cooking, eating, knitting, sewing, lots of fabric and enjoying a few bottles of wine on the way...( not when changing the baby or operating the overlocker though!)....

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Autumn fashion....Yes Please!

I seem to be having a skirt fest at the moment!. Despite the fact that as a hands on nanny I spend most of my time grovelling on the floor, or leaping about like some mad woman playing on the wii and therefore am more likely to be in my jeans, I do like to wear skirts and dresses.
Over time my taste has gone from the tailored smart to the comfy casual, preferably with thick tights and boots!
My pattern of choice at the moment is the pencil skirt from Angela Kane. After downloading a couple of her free patterns, which I quite liked, I decided to sign up. Now for just £25 joining fee I can download as many patterns as I like. Since there are about 28 ( and new ones being added) I think, that's not bad value at all. One of the best things though is the you tube tutorials. Even as a fairly prolific sewer, I have learned some excellent tips and short cuts.

My first attempt....1991 curtain fabric! I love it and am tempted to make a coat too. I have enough material!!

 You only got the bottom of this photo 'cos I was pulling the most stupid face!

A lined wool tweed, and a close up of the back pleat which I much prefer for Autumn/Winter skirts, much less drafty!

I also made an unlined brushed moleskin with patch pockets, but I loved it so much its been worn and is now in the wash.

I have made another Ponti dress.....

I wouldn't have thought of wearing the mustard with orange, but couldn't be bothered to change. However since the scarf does have both colours in I might be tempted. At least its very Autumnul!

In between busily sewing cushions, bunting and Christmas decorations for our next Olive & Edna pop up shop, I have also downloaded a 1940s dungaree pattern which I hope to wear on the day.......

Saturday 15th November 2014

I'd better get a move on or I could be wearing them with the pins in still...not a good look and somewhat dangerous!

If you are in the area do pop in if only to say hello and taste the wonderful cakes!

Jenny xx

Friday, 10 October 2014

A bird in the hand.....

Quite literally...

  This darling little fellow must have mistaken the reflection in our french doors as his flight path out of our garden!. DH was in the kitchen when he heard a thump and out of the corner of his eye he suddenly saw something drop. As he looked out of the door he saw this blue tit on its back on the patio not moving. He really thought that he was dead. He picked him up and gently cradled him and slowly he began to move.

He was obviously stunned, but didn't seem at all frightened as DH continued to quietly talk to him. He sat still for what seemed ages, though I know it was probably only for a minute or so.

As he recovered  he certainly didn't seem in any great hurry to fly away. I am sure that DH has a touch of the Dr Doolittle's about him as he does seem to have a real rapport with wild animals and birds.  I think being born and bred in the country, around farm animals and nature does make a difference.

So finally our feathered friend hopped onto DHs thumb, had a look around and flew off into the rambling rose above the archway outside the kitchen door apparently none the worse for his accident and having given DH and me a few minutes of absolute joy in watching him make a full recovery.

Isn't nature brilliant

Jenny xx

Saturday, 27 September 2014

How good it feels to bottom it!

As I use my sewing room almost every day I expect it to be a bit dusty. I use loads of fleece and knitted fabrics and cutting them out alone seems to cover every surface with a fine layer of fibres. I hadn't realised however until the other day when in the words of my mother I bottomed it just how mucky it really was! (This was apparently a well known phrase about 50 years ago in Yorkshire, but not used so much now! Although why it was a favourite of my mother a Kentish girl, I have no idea.)
Oh the shame! There was enough fluff to almost fill a cushion., so once I started there was no going back.
It did have its plus points finding as I did one or two things I had 'lost'.... Rolls of ribbon, small scissors and several reels of thread to name a few.
And now its neat and shiny again, for a few days at least and it really feels good.

I've rearranged and thinned out some of my vintage toys and sewing ephemera.

Hung some new bunting (remember the five sided hexagons I crocheted!) They look lovely now linked together and not such a stupid mistake anymore.

Organised my ribbons and trims and bought a couple more really useful boxes to tidy up my fabric overflow.

However I seem to be, rather worryingly, getting a bit obsessed with deep cleaning at the moment.  I'm glad (in more ways than one) that I am well past child bearing age as this sudden urge to tidy my nest might have other connotations. Last week it was the cooker this week the sewing room, whatever next?
I can see I may need to take up yet another hobby before I actually begin to plan Housework!!

Right off now to embroider a baby blanket before I start cutting out and making a mess again.

Hope you have a good week
Jenny xx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Just bits and bobs.....

September...almost over, I can hardly believe it!
It seems no time since we were basking in sunshine and spending endless days in the summerhouse and now its almost time to put it to bed and start thinking of cosy nights inside. Sigh!!.....

Well I haven't been completely idle over the past weeks, but I must say I have definitely slowed down....Lots of bits and bobs really..

I finally finished my grandson's jumper.......and it still fits!

and started one for his brother (I hope to finish this one a little quicker)
I've repainted another fireside chair. We only had one in the dining room where DH likes to watch his sport on the bigger TV, but the grandsons love being in this room so we thought we would take out the child's chair we had here before and give them both a 'grown up' one now. Cant make up my mind though whether to leave the green covers which I made previously or make some more in a toning red or taupe fabric!
I've had to remake the red checked chair cushion too as the springs underneath had worn the  bottom away .

I've been playing with my embroidery machine too! I love all these cushions with deer heads and while looking for some machine embroideries to my taste, I found an article about 'picture stitch' and remembered that this was a function of my machine. So I found a photograph of a deer, and a hare which I also love and set about converting them to embroideries and this is the result for the deer.....

I love it! I know it isn't perfect and no doubt if I were a bit more savvy with photoshop I could make the original image much sharper which would then make the embroidery have better definition, but I think for a first attempt it's not bad. So it looks like I'll be making a few cushion covers in the next few weeks. They'll be lovely to add to the knitted deer cushion I hope to make from the pattern lovely Lucy from Lemonade Kitty wrote out for me earlier in the year.

So together with the pile of dressmaking I have lined up I guess it's just as well the weather's changing and the nights drawing in as I could be locked in my sewing room for some time.

 That is when I'm not glued to Pinterest or playing with this awesome App.....

 A corner of my bedroom and Winnibriggs House in glorious watercolour!.......What do you think. I think its awesome in fact I think I will print off the house picture and frame it........

Well enough of my ramblings, I hope you all have a good  and productive week...

Jenny xx

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

TWINWOOD 2014......Just fabulous again!

Well we certainly picked our day this year. On a somewhat unpredictable weekend we spent Sunday at the fabulous Twinwood Festival and had a glorious day. Though not quite as hot as last year it was perfect for walking about and out of the wind was quite warm.
This year we planned ahead a bit and took fold up chairs.

We found our spot up on the bank so that we could observe the main stage, arena and dance floors and then took ourselves off to visit all the lovely stalls, do some people watching and enjoy the atmosphere.
And that's just it, something we noticed on our first visit last year, everyone is so friendly and there is such a joyous vibe over the whole festival!

It really doesn't matter how you dress whether you come to observe or really go the whole hog. It's a festival that is just so welcoming. Families,couples, groups all having a whale of a time to excellent and varied music from the 30s to the 50s.
Outfit details.....Navy hat, Miss Sally Victor (Ebay), navy floral dress, Simplicity 1587. 
Brown hat, Tootsie and Tiger Ltd Truro, Yellow spot dressButterick B5281

We had some lovely comments about our dress, were asked to pose for some photographs by a gentleman who had just become the new owner of a vintage motorcycle company, and had lots of conversations with other festival goers about where we got our costumes and just generally about the era. It was like being on an outing with loads of friends!

 Gorgeous frocks for sale

Fabulous vintage cars

Young and old getting into the swing of it.

There were some amazing acts and bands from rock n roll to swing, check out the Twinwood brochure for more info here and so many actually dancing it was a real pleasure to watch, in fact there were times when I wish I was 16 again.
So well done Twinwood yet again. We will be back!

Hope you enjoy the rest of the week, the weather is supposed to improve again, so hopefully the children will get a bit more outdoor fun before its back to school.

Jenny xx

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Autumn/Winter Wardrobe 2014

I don't think I would describe myself as a fashionista, but I do confess to loving clothes. I say that with some reservation though as I really have struggled over the past couple of years to find anything on the High Street that isn't intended for 13 year olds or my grandmother!
I don't consider myself old, but I don't want to dress like a teenager or look as though I have grabbed the first thing that fits me each morning.
I suppose I do go for a more classic touch, but I like a bit of fun with my clothes too.
The one thing I do take note of though is the current colour palette.
And guess what, how rare is this. I actually have a wardrobe full of Autumn/Winter clothes in this seasons main colours.


I do tend to lean towards the greyer palette here, but skirt, coat and  I have trousers too will all get an outing teamed with a couple of new tops.


One of my favourite colours. Again coat and trousers, but also a classic dress and cardigan. Just a scarf and top will soon make them seem new to me and save my purse.


Not always an easy colour to wear, but I have seen this teamed with grey, and it really looks quite fresh especially if you keep it away from your face.

Cobalt Blue

Not too sure about this and certainly not in my wardrobe! Truth to tell though I haven't tried it, so perhaps when I next go shopping I might try something on. I'm more likely to try trousers or skirt, but I won't dismiss it completely


I do have one dress and I like to mix jewel colours together so perhaps with a hint of the fuchsia it might get an outing .

Peachy nudes

I have worn these a lot over the summer and so I am quite pleased they will still be 'in vogue'. Especially since with our unpredictable weather I invested in a lovely jumper which will certainly be useful in the Autumn.


Again I feel personally not an easy colour to carry off, but mixed with other neutrals such as camel and cream, seen in quite a few fashion shows it can look quite stunning and ageless.

There are other colours too, caution yellow, whatever that is! And lime if you want to be really daring, so pretty much something for everyone and every taste .

Do you follow any kind if trend? Or is it only that you won't be able to find any other colours in the shops.
I will definitely be recycling my wardrobe, too much there to consider buying anything else. I will sate my shopping need trying to find fabric to make the tops to wear with what I already have, 'cos to be honest I am rather fed up with thin tee shirt tops from well known companies with a £55 price tag which have been made in China!

Off now to research blouse/ top patterns, as if I didn't have enough of those too!
Still a girl has to have some shopping pleasure!

Jenny xx

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A lovely Vintage Day

Well we did it.

Olive & Edna opened their first Pop up Shop yesterday and it was great.

I think both DD and I were to a bit nervous, as our little market town is not generally known for its enthusiasm for anything new, however we were based in one of the loveliest old buildings in the town centre above the delicious Liberty Rose Tea Rooms and although we didn't expect crowds we were pleasantly surprised at the steady trickle of customers and more than this the real excitement and interest shown!
Our customers seemed genuinely delighted with our range of stock, and we were asked over and again when we were going to do more. We were also told of one or two other events where we might have a stand, things we had not heard of, gave out loads of cards and spent  a fun day chatting to people who really seemed to embrace the whole vintage thing.

I even ventured through the town with my trusty wicker basket giving out cards! I'm sure from the look on one lady's face that she thought I was giving out lucky heather!! Perhaps the spotted headscarf did rather give that impression, lol.

Thank you to Claire at the Tea Rooms for making us most welcome and Rachel and Rebecca from The White RobinRevive and Relove, and Kirsty of  Kirsty Marie Vintage Rose  who also have lovely shops based here for their support and welcome both leading up to the day and on Saturday.
We are now planning our next outing and one or two other possibilities which emerged, so all in all it was a good day.

.......... and it was great fun !!

 Have a lovely week, I'm off now to make two dresses ready for Twinwood on the 23rd....

Jenny xx