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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Winner, a Swap and another Bloggy Get-together . . .

I do so love a long weekend, but it really does throw me off kilter . . .  
Usually I work on a Monday, but Monday was a holiday and I worked on Tuesday instead. 
 So yesterday felt like a Monday but was actually a Tuesday, which means I woke up this morning thinking it was Tuesday but it's actually Wednesday (still with me ? )  - which is why when the alarm service guy arrived at the door for his scheduled appointment at 8.30am this morning, I greeted him with surprise . . . and still in my PJs . . . OOops. 
 I just pretended that I was expecting him, and hoped he'd think that it's really quite normal and acceptable to swan around in one's PJs sans make-up before 9am. 
 And hey, don't judge me - it could have been worse . . .
; - )

Right, enough about that and let's get on to more exciting things shall we ?

a Winner . . .

Thanks to everyone who commented on and entered the little giveaway in celebration of my 200th post.
 My resident Random Number Generator (aka The Hubby) selected comment #17 and the lucky winner is . . .

the lovely Joy from Joyjinks Creations,
all the way down under in beautiful Western Australia.



Congratulations Joy, and your Kate Dress pattern will be winging it's way south to you shortly.

Thanks again to Jules at Sew Me Something for your generosity in donating this fab giveaway - And if you can't contain your disappointment at not winning this time, remember all three of the lovely patterns are available at their online emporium - just pop over here.


a Swap . . .


Now a wee while ago, Jo over at Three Stories High organized a little Spring Brooch Swap and I was lucky enough to be paired up with Chrissie at Chrissie Crafts.  But Chrissie and I both had things happening around the swap date so we agreed to swap once life had calmed down a bit.  And last week, this fab little parcel of gorgeous goodies arrived in the post:


Thank you sooo much, Chrissie - I LOVE my pretty lace brooches and my special little puzzly one too : - )
And the chocs were dee-lish-ious . . .



I think this little brooch will be permanently attached to my favourite denim jacket for the season.

And thanks to Jo too for organizing this fun swap . . . can we do it again next Spring ?

. . . and another Bloggy Get-together.

Lovely Jane who blogs at Plain Jane is organising a get together of fellow bloggy peeps on Friday, 30th May 2014 at Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire. 
The plan is to meet up for a picnic and spend the day nattering and crafting and exploring this beautiful National Trust property.
Would you like to come along and join us?

 It'd be sooo lovely to see you.
So hop over to Jane's blog and leave her a wee comment or drop her an email if you'd like more details. 
And for my fellow Midlanders - I've got space in my car for another 3 peeps so if you'd like a lift, just let me know : -)

* * *

Right, I'm off to do some baking for Book Club tomorrow morning . . .
It is Thursday tomorrow, isn't it ?
; - )

'til next time,
xoxo

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Go Walkies . . .

Last Sunday, the two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world set out to take part in the annual Go Walkies fundraising event in aid of Guide Dogs.
 Aunty Heather and I tagged along to keep them company, to make sure they didn't fall jump into the canal or ate bothered the wee lambs in the fields, and looked both ways before crossing any roads.




It was such a lovely warm, sunny Spring day - just perfect for a 6.5 mile meander through the beautiful Worcestershire countryside.

the lookout sheep ?

Aunty Heather and Ben heading up the first hill

the view from the top

NT Hanbury Hall

mama ewe keeping an eye out for those pesky pups . . .


the best swimming pool for pups

The pups managed to raise £70 for Guide Dogs, and were most delighted with their goodie bag of treats that they received when crossing the finish line.  Yay for Ben & Jerry, and a big thank you to our family who sponsored them  : - )

So . . . what's next on the walking calendar ?

Well, on Saturday 10th May I'm taking part in my first ever Moon Walk,  through the streets of London . . . by moonlight . . . in my bra . . .
 and all for another excellent cause, raising money and awareness for breast cancer. 
No pups allowed this time, just me & my team The Rockaboobies . . . and several thousand others . . .



I know that we all get requests for donations to worthy causes on a regular basis, and that charities are a very personal thing,  but if you would like to add your support, any amount little or big will be most appreciated.

It's quite simple - just click on the link below:

http://wtwalk.org/moonwalklondon2014/gillian-33

Thank you  : - )

Hope you're having a happy week,
'til next time
xoxo

ooh, and ps.   Don't forget to enter my giveaway here if you'd like to win one of these fab patterns . . .

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A sewing Saturday . . . (and an oh-sew-lovely giveaway)

We're having a lovely (cr)afternoon here today - or at least, I am.  The other two that make up the "we" are the two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world who are in fact currently snoozing the time away.  The Hubby has gone out for the day, and I've run all the errands that needed doing this morning so now it's me-time . . . woo hoo : - ) 

 So, what to do first ?
Well, methinks I'll show you the latest addition to my handmade summer collection - 
meet the Kate dress . . .


It's a wee bit chilly here still, so for Spring I've teamed it with a long-sleeved T, cotton scarf, jeggings and ballerinas.  But once things start to heat up and the sun comes out, so will the bare legs  !

Now if you've been reading this blog for a while, you may recall that I had barely done any sewing since I left school (eeek . . could that be 30 years ago already ?).  So it was with a wee bit of trepidation, and not a lot of confidence in my ability, that in March last year, I signed up for the "Make Me a Vintage-style Dress" workshop at  Sew Me Something  in Stratford upon Avon.



And I  L.O.V.E.D  it . . .

One dress led to another, and then I made a reversible skirt (with a button placket and everything), and then a bag, and then another dress, etc etc etc 
and I was completely hooked.

my early works !

And now the lovely and oh-so-talented Jules Fallon who designed all these fab things, and who has encouraged me and so many others with her passion for all-things-sewing, has just launched her very own Sew Me Something range of patterns.

They were introduced to the world at the "Sewing for Pleasure" exhibition in Birmingham last month
 (I was sunning myself in the Caribbean, so didn't get to go) and Jules has kindly offered one of the patterns for me to giveaway here in celebration of occasion of my 200th post.
(See, I told you she was lovely . . .)
 

So - which one do you fancy ?

There's the Kate Dress . . .**

3 different versions in 1 pattern


the Beatrice Pinafore  . . .

3 different finishes changes the look



or the Viola Skirt . . .

completely reversible

As I'm sure you know, Stratford upon Avon is the home of William Shakespeare so Jules has named all the patterns after some of the Bard's heroines. 
 And they're all suitable for beginner & budding sewists.  Seriously, the instructions are sooo well laid out and easy to follow.
  There's more about each of the patterns over here

Sooo, to win one of these lovely patterns, all you need to do is leave a comment below telling me which one you'd like - and make sure I have a way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner (especially if you're a no-reply blogger).  
The giveaway is open worldwide and will close at midnight (GMT) on Monday 21st April 2014.


And if you fancy all of them, the good news is that you don't have to be anywhere near Stratford upon Avon to get one - just pop to the Sew Me Something Online Emporium  - they'll post them anywhere that Royal Mail goes  : - )

Good luck and happy Saturday - hope you're having a good weekend too.

'til next time,
xoxo



** BTW for all fellow fans of The Great British Sewing Bee - I've just noticed on Jenny Taylor's Facebook page that she's also just made a Kate dress  :-)


Ps.  Thanks for all your kind and lovely comments about the fabby little sewing machine pincushion and I'm pleased to tell you that the birthday girl loved it just as much too.





Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sew happy . . .

And sew the story goes like this . . .

A week or so ago, I was reading Bev's blog over at 44th Street Fabric (she makes the fabbiest of quilts and is always ready with a cheery wave - so do pop in and meet her)  where she'd mentioned the lovely Jennifer Jangles.  So, as one does, I followed the link and discovered the wonderful designs of said Jennifer Jangles and as soon as I saw this one, I just had to pop over and buy the pattern.
(I mean, you can see why, can't you ?)
 
And then it just so happened that my sweet friend Clever Alice (a.k.a Mrs Purple Pepper) who loves to sew, was having a birthday . . .  so I delved into my fabric stash, wound the bobbin, threaded my needle and set to work.

And here's the end result -

 t a h - d a h . . .  


Some bits were a wee bit finicky but I had oh-sew-much-fun making it.  
A perfect cushion home for all those pesky pins that never stay in their tin and always seem to end up on the floor.  Now I need to make one for myself too  : - )


OOh and just BTW before I go . . . this just happens to be my 200th post - woo hoo - and I've got a fab wee giveaway planned in celebration, so stayed tuned and watch this space.
'til then,
xoxo



Sunday, 30 March 2014

from Ship to Sheep . . .

Hello out there, lovely peeps - and happy mother's day to all the mamas in the UK
 (and most especially to mine)

I'm back, after a fab holiday island-hopping around the beautiful Caribbean, and looking forward to catching up with you.  We had just over two weeks of glorious sunshine and celebrated our special wedding anniversary in style.  I won't bore you with all the hundreds of pics we took, but I would like to share just a few - so here's a wee peek . . .



We flew to San Juan in Puerto Rico, and from there sailed to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten, St Croix, St Thomas & St Kitts.

 


Aruba & Curacao were on the itinerary too, but unfortunately a problem with one of the ship's fixipods meant that we got stuck in St Kitts and then had to meander our way very slowly back to St Juan instead.  But hey-ho, there are worse places to be stuck : - )




So, from ships to sheeps -


Meet Milly . . .

 

 Ain't she sweet ?

And her loyal friend & trusty sidekick, Morris . . .


This was my little holiday knitting project - very quick and easy to do whilst hanging around an airport or during endless hours on a long-haul flight.
It's a free pattern from Millamia which can be found here if you fancy knitting a flock too.
Milly & Morris are going to live at Sew Me Something in Stratford-upon-Avon (lucky them, eh?) so that all our lovely customers can see how beautifully the Millamia yarns knit up.  I think they'll be quite happy there  : - )

Of course, Ben & Jerry will miss them . . .




 . . . but maybe not that much . . .



I'm off now for a little trip around blogland to catch up . . . 
'til next time
xoxo


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Leaving on a jet plane . . .

". . . my bags are packed I'm ready to go,  I'm standing here outside your door, I hate to wake you up to say good-bye. . ." 
                                                                                                       - John Denver




Well actually my bags are still waiting to be packed and I'm not nearly as organized as I should be but I've been running around all week trying to get things ticked off my "To do-before-I-go" List and I really didn't want to leave without saying goodbye.  I'll be taking a wee bloggy break whilst enjoying the  (hopefully, because I will be most disappointed if it's not)  sunshine of the beautiful Caribbean islands.

I shall not be completely idle on the crafty front though, because you know I always have to have a holiday project on the go too.  Time spent hanging around airports and on long-haul flights just seems so much more tolerable when one's hands and mind are happy, don't you think ?


So my little knitting bag (don't you just love those cute wee sheeps?) is brimming with yarny goodness and I can't wait to make a start.
I promise to show & tell when I get back, but in the meantime I'll leave you with an update on the Shari's Chevron Blankie project:  I am so loving this pattern.



Thanks for all the lovely comments on my previous post - you really do say the kindest things - and a big welcome to my newest followers too  : - )
I haven't managed to do as much blog reading as I'd have liked to lately, but I do hope that things will be calmer on my return and I'm looking forward to catching up with you then.


"So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me . . ."


'til next time,
take care & be happy
xoxo


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

It's sew me . . .




here's one someone made earlier to serve as our inspiration

I've been dying to give this a try for ages, so last Saturday I spent the morning doing the "Pretty Little Clasp Purse" workshop at Sew Me Something in sunny Stratford upon Avon. 




  Most patiently and ably taught by Rachel, and kept company by Sarah & Heather and some other lovely crafty peeps: 
we cut, 
we sewed, 
we embellished, 
we sewed some more,
 and we glued.  
And it was so much fun. 


 

 Oh, and did I mention there was cake ? 
 (Thanks Rachel, it was dee-licious)

And at the end, we lined up all our pretty little purses with pride . . .




Each one quite unique yet equally pretty.

 

  Here's my little make - I decided not to embellish it as I just love the fabric as it is, but I'm definitely going to be making a few more and hopefully be a wee bit more creative with the next one.


Just a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning, don't you think ?

Hope you're having a lovely week,
'til next time
xoxo




Friday, 21 February 2014

Yay, it's Friday . . .

Another week has flown past. 
 I seem to be saying that a lot lately. 
 But really, it has. 
 I always start the week with the best of intentions and thinking I've got loads of time to get the things done that I want to do . . . and then suddenly Friday comes around again and there are still a whole bunch of things on my list. 
 Do I need lessons in time-management, d'you think, or does this happen to you too?

Anyway, my excuse for this week is the BBC and their excellent coverage of the Winter Olympics. 
 In between the usual flurry of chores and errands, I've spent way too long snuggled on the sofa with the two most-adorable-pups-in-the-world cheering on Team GB. 
 But it's not been entirely unproductive as I am making great progress on my Chevron Blankie . . .



Just a few more rows to go before I introduce the soft green stripe.  I'm sure I'll get there by the time the men's Curling team finish their final medal match this afternoon  : - )

And I've managed a wee bit of sewing too . . .





with a pretty cotton lace trim, finished.  Some of you asked about the pattern:   it's the Hollyburn skirt from Sewaholic.  Tres simple . . .

And another Infinity scarf .


So my S/S '14 wardrobe is coming along nicely, now we just need the weather to improve.  Having said that, it's a lovely sunny and (relatively) mild day here today - a nice change after all the rain of last week.

Right, time for lunch then I'm hopping back on the sofa . . .
Go Team GB

Wishing you a truly lovely weekend,
'til next time . . .
xoxo
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