Monday, 31 March 2014

Sunshine and smiles....

We'll I don't know about you, but it doesn't take much of the yellow orb to lift my spirits and as I seem to be rapidly on the mend now all the more reason to smile! Thank you so much to all who have sent their good wishes, they seem to have worked. X
You can tell how much better I am 'cos my house has finally had a good clean and so I don't feel guilty about closeting myself away in my sewing room. My biggest problem though was what to start first. I do have several WIPs but somehow they were not calling to me.
Instead with my Cornish holiday looming closer I decided to make myself one or two things that conjure up sunny skies, endless beaches and balmy evenings. (I know this is England and it's not yet April, but a girl can dream!)
Well I started with this,a bit more practical.....

 a top that I love. Light weight but heavy enough to drape well. I bought this stripe fabric of a similar weight from the Harrogate knitting and Stitching show last November and thought it would be ideal. Of course I bought it intending to only make a short sleeved top, so there was a fair bit of manipulation needed to get this one out of only one metre., but I made me a pattern and it worked and I'm quite pleased with the result.

I have also finished a lined tunic from a free pattern I printed out from Angela Kane. Have you heard of her? If you love sewing clothes you should take a look. She also has on line videos showing step by step instructions and although I am not a beginner I found quite a few useful tips. I am considering signing up as a full member now which gives you access to all her patterns. Most are classic styles but as a base for anyone with a bit of flair they could be about all you would need to make most things in your wardrobe.
Finally I have purchased the Parfait dress pattern from Collette patterns.  Have seen this made up recently here and was pretty impressed. This lady is a phenomenal sewer, I would never reach her standard in a million years! Only problem now is deciding from my tons (I jest not) of fabric what I am going to make it from. Spots, stripes, florals or perhaps that Cornish boating scene...or is that a nautical step too far? ( BTW for decency sake mine will be considerably longer. I have no intentions of frightening the poor Cornish folk with too much wrinkled white leg!!)
Well I think that's about it for now except that I have also cut out a jersey dress just like this one but in lime green to practise using my new acquisition which just happened to call to me at the knitting and Sewing show at the NEC. I mean it was my first real outing since this bug bit and I did need cheering up! And just think of all the money it will save me now I can whip up even more clothes.......

Have a good week
Jenny xx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Battling Bugs and plenty of reading......

Well for 3 weeks now I have been feeling really sorry for myself!...... I have been battling a nasty chest infection and I'm fed up with it now.
It started off with a really barking cough, but after a couple of days appeared to have developed into just a head cold, so I decided to go ahead with my planned trip to Scotland.....bad idea!
I did have a lovely time with my sister but spent most of it huddled on the settee under a rug trying desperately hard not to cough. When I got back it seemed to become a little worse and so I had to give in and succumb to a doctors appointment and some antibiotics. I have finished the course now and so I am  feeling a bit better but I am not a good patient and can't stop thinking of the million and one things that need doing and the other million I want to do. I think the thing I am finding the hardest is how weak I feel. Even the simplest activity has me longing for a sit down.
But at least this enforced 'resting' has meant that I have been able to catch up on some reading.
I have just finished The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

Image from Amazon
 Fabulous. Taking you from Cornwall to Australia and back and covering several generations of one family it is brilliantly written and keeps you in suspense right to the end.
Of course having read one of her books I had to try another and am now reading the The House at Riverton.
Image from Amazon
This is totally different and I struggled a bit at the beginning, but am gradually getting into it, so will let you know how I get on.
Another book I have finished is A Jarful of Angels by Babs Horton. You may have heard me sing the praises of her Dandelion Soup in the past,
 Image from

but again this was not what I expected at all and although I did enjoy it and parts which seemed confusing at times were clear by the end , I still didn't find it an easy read, or indeed quite understand the meaning of the title. Have you read it? Can you enlighten me?

I am sure there are many of you hard at work who would give 'anything' to have a few minutes to put your feet up let alone a few weeks, so I will try to accept my lot and just enjoy my relaxation. I know as soon as I am on my feet again and bogged down with housework, washing, ironing and cooking I will look back and wonder why I moaned, but then we always seem to want the opposite to what we have don't we!

Hoping you all keep well, have a good week
Jenny xx

Monday, 3 March 2014

Successes and failures.....

Does it happen to you?........ Asked to make something for someone you have done dozens of times before and it all goes pear shaped!
Some years ago I decided to replace my poor delicate 50s fairy that sat on the top of our Christmas tree. Don't worry she wasn't thrown away, I passed her on to my DD who collects vintage ornaments for her tree, where I know she will be treasured.

Well I couldn't find anything that really appealed so I made one. She wasn't perfect but I've grown to love her and so apparently did a few others as over the past couple of years I've made quite a few.
Now I did make a pattern, but somehow in the sewing room makeover I appear to have mislaid it, and of course you've guessed , I've now had a request for not one but two fairies to take with me when I go on my next trip to Bonny Scotland. ( not long now)
I set to and made what I thought was a similar pattern, but having got it sewn and stuffed, it was hideous!! And I'm not being modest here it really was.

Well several attempts later and by now thoroughly bored with it I finally made a pretty good copy of the original.

 Fairy wings embroidered onto water soluble plastic

Just a few finishing touches needed to the second one and they're done. Thank goodness. And guess what I'll be saying next time someone requests one . Noooooooooo!

My success story is far yummier ! I have finally tracked down a blueberry muffin recipe which rises, is spongy and light, and tastes divine........every time!  And of course is the perfect way to reward myself for having finished the bloomin' fairies.

I love blueberry muffins but my previous attempts at baking them has been a bit rubbish. I cannot lay claim to the recipe though I found it at Attic24  . You can vary the fruit you use, and even put a sort of crumble topping on them but I just love them with added blueberries. Plain and simple.....and so moreish.......

Well I hope you all have a successful week whatever you get up to, and don't forget to reward yourself for a job well done! You deserve it my lovely friends.

Jenny xx