Thursday, 29 November 2007

Corner of my home...

OK a quick change over of sewing machine...I have been using my embroidery machine the last couple of days, I finally finished my order...Friendship birds...there is a photo later in the post of a few of them...I plan to keep a few behind to make a Christmas Decoration...I few twisted willow branches, glitter and the birdies... This week has been all about getting stuff done, I have so many new things to play with I felt it important to finish a few things first. The main thing I have been meaning to do is make a quilt for my older child, my younger one has one and I think someone is feeling left out. As he is a true Pokemon fan I am going to make a quilt with some of his favourite characters on the moment I am just busy embroidering them on to good pre-washed cotton...
So here are a few of the little birdies...I worked in batches, I don't like working like this as it feels a little soul-less, sadly though if your working for money and not just the love of it something usually has to give....Each one gets a little circle tag on its ribbon stating that it is a little 'Bird of Friendship'. Maybe I am not cut out for orders, I like to make things in mind for a person...If I plan to make a go of selling my work I think I will need to have a change of feeling about this.
Now on to knitting, this has been such an easy project and I have been able to knit whilst sitting at the table with the kids, waiting for my photo's to upload, waiting in the car for school to end, bathing the kids etc...Most of it has been stocking stitch...pretty boring, but great if your multi tasking!!!!
All that said...until I got to the neck, now I have done the same neck on another sweater, my Mom had knitted it and just wanted me to make the neck up. Easy and really effective, so I guess I got over confident and whilst watching a Doris Day movie on a rainy afternoon, I completed it...WRONGLY!!! So I had to unpick it and I cut into the fabric so it was a recovery job...I am cross with myself but, I will get away with it, its just not as good as it should be...NOTE TO MYSELF....Do not under any circumstances rush the last bit of your ruin it that way.
I leave you with the little scene that greeted me this morning when I came down to make the children's breakfast....a little early perhaps, but none the was to be had!!!

SO I am off to buy a load of plastic boxes to store all my summer clothes (mostly unworn this year due to the rain) as I need to start getting the spare bedroom ready to be a bedroom and not a junk room for guests over Christmas...Oh OK I admit a bit of sewing will get done too...My word I also need to get some organising and baking done for the school Christmas fair...its Thursday already...EKKKKKKK

Monday, 26 November 2007

Mommy's fab weekend!!!!

Wow, what a fab weekend. I was really looking forward to this weekend, filled with all the things I love. It started off with some family time on Friday evening and between myself and my boys lots of playing, making and dancing took can't beat a family disco in the kitchen at the end of a busy week...we all had our cocktails...of course the boys drink was just pretend!!! On the Saturday I left the boys for a day out with their Daddy and I headed off to my patchwork class. Oh how I loved this session, I so wanted to have a go at folding fabric. I love origami so I thought this would be fun. Trust me it was...
Look at these little lotus flowers...they need to have their petals sewn down, although I like the look of them like this...Saturday evening after travelling through all the village's Christmas lights being switched on in the area on my way home, I got the children to bed and ordered in a curry, which went well with a nice glass (or two) of wine and a little hand sewing. An early night was needed as it was off to the Harrogate Knitting and stitching show. I was meant to be going with a couple of friends, sadly though this never happened, boy did they miss out it was GREAT!!!! I do think this is the best show as it does concentrate a lot on design. Plus Harrogate is such a lovely place and despite my reservation about big towns and cities...this place is a little special.
I headed straight for the stall that sells the Boden fabric so I could top up my decreasing Boden stash...As I went on a Sunday I did run the risk of things being sold out, this was way out weighed by the lack of crowds...yes you could actually walk around without being pushed or shoved and see the delights on offer. I worked the three large rooms one at a time so as not to miss anything, then started my purchasing....
This little lot is all the goodies I just felt like buying, some reduced wool to go with my crochet squares I am making on an ongoing project, some funky beads, a little wool dyeing kit, some minkie, a couple of patchwork patterns and a selection of kits to make up with the kids around the Christmas art table...with the idea to make some more for friends children. Christmas is all about 'making' in this house.
I did go for buttons, I love topping up my collection, a great Christmas vintage pack, a few buttons to go around my scarfs, a pin for my knitting pashmina and a selection of buttons for corsages. Sadly I had missed out on the lucky dip packs..usually £5.00 for a bag of buttons, last year I bought the boys one each just for them to play with and they gave hours of fun...not to mention Mommy picking up stray buttons until June!!!

I adored this bracelet, its very me, I am not really in to posh jewels, I like it to be fun so this was a great little find. I bought a few little extra charms as pressies for my friends.
The other good thing about this show is all the work on show, lots of new designers showing their work for the first time and of course some established ones, I could not comment on this without mentioning Julie Arkell (Treefall did a good review). Love her work or not you can not get away from the childlike dreaminess of it all...I think its cute and very clever although someone did say that they found it a little creepy, but is that not part of the design to get such reactions about your work? It really does stir up emotions.
I manged to get to one of the fashion shows, to busy shopping to see any more. I was lucky enough to get to the Rowan design show, some lovely pieces, although my next big knit is going to be a sublime vintage jacket...I fell in love with at the show and I even tried one on so I know its a good look on me, sadly the shop had sold out of the pattern, but I plan to make it my next BIG project. All in all the show was a great success for me, one I recommend, most of the shop assistants came across as very friendly despite it being their last day, the ones that were not...well I did not shop with them. I am a big customer services person, I think it is very important, without it you might as well do all your shopping on line and cut out the human contact all together and then where would be? I did not drag my boys around the show, they went off to a model show just up the road...both of them collapsed into bed at the end of the weekend. They do have their own rooms but they like to sleep in the room with bunk beds and more frequently I am finding them curled up in the same sweet.
A rather long post today, but I could not leave it without showing pictures of the rest of the family, once the house was quite the animals came out to play, the GPs had a bit of free time with some tasty treats and Archie the rabbit needed a little home comfort rest after his visit to the vets last week.
So all in all a FABULOUS weekend all round. Thanks for the lovely emails you have been sending me of late, I am still having a problem replying to blogger emails, they keep bouncing back into my spam file. I so hate not replying to comments and mail...I really appreciate your comments. Thanks again and I hope you had a great its on with my Santa hat as its the run up to all things Christmassie from now on...

Friday, 23 November 2007

Grey, wet cold and miserable....

Grey, wet, cold and after day for at least a week, a few British bloggers are not taking pictures due to lack of light. Well today was a break from that...the sun shone, cold clear and crisp. The day is drawing to a close with the most amazing clear night sky with a beautiful perfectly rounded moon...the children have been running around on the grass which is already frozen and on a short trip into the village the road salter is driving around. So I am assuming the quietness in blogland is due to many people celebrating Thanks Giving and the start of the holiday shopping. I am so looking forward to seeing what everyone is up to on the Christmas run up. Last year I got so much inspiration, so many ideas I only managed to get a small selection of the goodies I had in mind actually made up. My favourite being the match box advent calender with daily 'activity' treats...such as painting Mommy's toe nails different colours...walk in the woods...baking cookies etc. The other one I loved was the button picture, I saw this on a few blogs last year and from it I got re-acquainted with my glue gun and made a great button wreath with a cute picture of my babe in reindeer antlers. Oh and the daily giggles from the saucy interpretation of No appropriate behaviour's children's Lego advent calender. (For some reason I can not link to No appropriate Behaviours blog...if you want to take a through my side panel)
So lots of stuff to look forward to. I am pleased to report all the activity seems to have settled down here now, I am still working on lots of stuff...which I will start to take some pictures of and get them up on the blog. I am moving from one thing to another and its quite fun, lots and lots of sewing and some calming knitting in the evenings.
Its a bit of a Mommy weekend ahead, I have a busy one planed, Its my patchwork class, I will be leaving it a little early as there is a Christmas parade on I want to take the children to in the early evening, a band, candle lit parade and hopefully some mulled wine to keep the chill away.
Its also the Harrogate knitting and stitching is a bit of a drive for me, but always worth I am sure I will have some delights to show and tell next week.
Here's to a fantastic weekend, enjoy the sunshine, its not going to be around for long then it is back to the grey, wet, cold and miserable...

Photos...1)Knitting corner 2)bedroom knitting chair 3)ME!!!4)Fireplace in the bedroom5)Similar picture previously shown...this time its my child taking the picture and waving away...


Wednesday, 21 November 2007

A little ray of sunshine...

Oh boy its kind of hectic around here...yep its the Christmas vibe!!! I am working on an order and its taking up lots of my free time, not that I am complaining. So in between this and a dentist appointment, emergency vets appointment, trying to arrange the schools Christmas craft room, and keeping up with the time is a little manic at the moment. Little things make me smile, watching the children play, the first snow fall on the surrounding hills and the little gifts of nature...

Wishing my blogging friends across the pond a VERY HAPPY Thanks giving.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Oh La La!!!

Bonjour...well its been a bit French around here for the last few days. The childrens village school had a French education day and in keeping with the traditions of this household they dressed up. Talk about cute...The school did a superb job...all decorated in French colours and flags, french music, games and dancing...the best bit being a French Cafe. Oh how I would have loved to have been in on the act... So on a wet, cold Saturday morning the children wanted to carry on the theme. We opened the Tree Cafe again. (If you have been reading for a while you will know that my older one designed the cafe sign earlier this year so we could have our very own little cafe here at home.)
We sat down to enjoy our French breakfast with lots of yummy-ness to dip into our Hot Chocolate, whilst we munched, dipped and slurped we looked through a few of my old Paris books from when I spent some time living there. Then of course the photos came can imagine the comments from your children as they look at pictures of you from thirteen years previous...long blonde hair, very thin and holding a glass of wine (or even a bottle) on most pictures...Oh the youth of the day!!! The pictures of the Eiffel tower went down very well, once they accepted that this was their Mommy on the pictures they thought it 'cool' and 'mint' that Mommy had been to all these places.
We tried out lots of french words, even the little one had ago. I knew a French Market was on in the near town so we took a trip to have a look around and the boys ordered in French a crepe each. The excitement as they spoke to a real French lady. The atmosphere of the market only really took off once the late afternoon light turned to darkness. All the sparkly lights and music gave it quite a cosmopolitan feeling. On the way home we stopped for coffee and milk shake. Then it was a quick rush for an evening out with the school gate Moms at a local restaurant.
I returned home to find my youngest had a temperature and ended up being poorly through most of the evening, I do not think he had recovered from last weeks sickness. So Sunday was spent curled up under Duvets, drinking yet more Chocolate and coffee watching Christmas movies...We even looked for the Christmas Cd's...I think they must be in the decoration be fair it is a little early. SO the 'making side' was a little quite this weekend...I managed to make a few Christmas decorations (see breakfast photo for a little peep into my secret pressies) some knitting was managed in between the having to lean on Mommy whilst watching telly.

'Sweetie, sit up a little so Mommy can do a little knitting on your sweater'

'No Mommy, your tummy is so comfy I do not want to move'

Mmmmm I think I need to join a GYM!!! (Nar!!!!)

(Last photo...a coffee shop...OK the ceiling of a coffee shop...seriously always look up when your out and about it is often so much more interesting!!!)

Friday, 16 November 2007

Retail therapy and Happy Families!!!

Retail therapy and Happy Families...well not quite. Its been an emotionally charged week which has left me with a serious need for comfort and in true style of a fabric and yarnololic I have been doing some serious work on my own form of Prozac...buying fabric and yarn...When something arrives and looks this can not help yourself as your smile creeps across your face until you look more like a silly clown than someone with the grumps!!! Hurrah! I found an Internet fabric shop that does not rely solely on paypal The shop is Button I rummaged through their on line shop and clicked away at all the stuff I have had my eye for a while especially the Melly and Me pattern's I have craved for for some months now...
Yer I know its not the greatest of pictures, let me assure you the goodies are amazing, as I type quite a few of the fat quarters of Amy Butler and Heather Bailey fabric are already cut up and waiting for me on my cutting board ready to be made into this years 'handmade' Christmas gifts for my friends...No I can not tell you what it is, although I am confident that none of them read my blog (except for you Caroline:-)...yep even you are going to be subjected to the usual 'Suzie Sews' handmade goodies...'Not again' did I hear then?)
Anyway I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to all the people who left me comments and emails about was a difficult day, I spent a lot of it either in tears or trying hard not to show any emotion. I had my little one with me as he was still a little off colour and he was a rock for me. He gave me lots of cuddles and big smiles. I visited the Hospice where my Dad passed away and I spent a little time at the graveside. I saw the wonderful nurse that my Dad had called an Angel...I still could not go up to her and thank her as I was trying hard to hold it all together. Then I pulled on the armour to visit my family, my family are a bit 'stiff upper lip' so me falling apart just would not do. Sadly my brother did not make it and it was just my Mom, me and the little guy. I think I had rather thought we would all be there for each other, but maybe we are all emotionally in different places. I am pleased I spent some time in the place my Dad and I spent special time together before he passed away. I have a post in memory of my Dad, I will post it up to the blog maybe at a less intense time.

So it was ironic when I was thrifting on a retail therapy shopping trip...I found this amazing pack of Happy Family cards (see above picture) the cards are lovely...I have great plans for them...
What about these shell buttons...stunning...they are large and will make great corsages with some beautiful fabric...I use Wise Craft's tutorial a lot when I make my little flowers, if you have not tried it yet...I assure you its good results and very addictive.
Then I came across a scruffy little bag you could hardly see through...I had a peek and was delighted to find all these lovely vintage cake decorations ideal for little Christmas Fairy cakes on my Christmas Eve party table, OK the Shaun the sheep is not vintage but I know someone who will be very happy to give him a good home especially if he comes with his very own cup cake!!! (The jar of decorations came from my Mother in Law, I rescued them from being thrown away when she had sadly passed away.) With all that retail therapy what about a little crafting activity...Would I let you down??? I finally got round to making my Amy Butler tissue box cover (Search under Amy Butler in Amazon and the kit should be there) from the sewing kit box...I do find Amy's instructions very complex and it has put me off using her detailed patterns (I adore her weekend bag pattern) this one was marked as easy and I struggled to master it... especially the top bit with the hole as it is fully reversible...I unpicked it and put it back again...then the Penny Dropped...I got it, once you know how it really is easy...I took my time and followed it word for word...most unlike me as I usually go off and do it a different way...I like it...only my tissue box was not square...
Ah knitting..I feel I have neglected my knitting on my blog, yet I knit every day...I had bought a sale ball of this lovely red yarn and mixed it with a Debbie Bliss Cashmarino Arran I mentioned I like to do it my way...I had no pattern for a little hat so I got a little baby hat pattern and tried to master the maths of knitting and make a hat for me. I think it was when I knitted the first couple of rounds I knew I had not worked it out correctly...stubborn me though I carried on...I worked all evening on it until the wee hours...assuring myself I could add a fleese lining it to make it fit my head add buttons and embroidery on to the stripes...Once finished I fell about laughing...It was HUGE. It was tried on by all the family amongst silly comments and giggles. Once the house was quite the next day I sat down looked at the hat and had a brain wave...its wool..I will felt its perfect for my little one...Ah at last a Happy ending!!!

Have a great weekend and I will see you for cuppa on Monday!!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


Oh thank you guys for the wonderful comments about my little ones picture (see previous post)...well as promised here is the end result... He adores it so much, I wrapped it up in colourful paper and gave it to him in the morning (having been up till 1.00am to finish it). 'Mommy that's my picture'...followed by 'Mommy you made this for me'...
I don't know who was happiest..him or me!!!

Now a few goodies have arrived in the post this week, amongst all those catalogues for children's toys!!! SO when I opened one to discover it was my giveaway win from a special blog friend at Wildcraft Farm, I was rather excited. I was not disappointed...its a card...well I like cards but, this one was special...see the lovely embroidery design on the front, well inside the card are the instructions and design sheet (full size) to make it up...what a great gift idea, you could send the card and if its a very special person you could buy them the threads and fabric to make it with. Now that's one great pressie do you not think? This lady is full of ideas like this...go check her out...

Just a short post today as my little one is curled up on my bed wrapped in a big fluffy blanket as he is off school poorly. I will not have time to post tomorrow as its a difficult day for me, its the second anniversary of my Dad's passing. So I will be going to see my Mom and brother. Not to leave you on a sad note though I thought I would show you a little knitting heaven...well it makes me happy...very happy!!!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

WIP-having a little fun!!!

Just a quick one today to show my current project (well one amongst many) my little one sat at the table the other day and was playing with the paper and pencils, apart from stick men and just managing to write the first couple of letters of his name he has not actually drawn that much that from an adults perspective you would recognise. He very proudly called me over to share with me his current masterpiece...I was already to 'Oh' and 'Arr' about it then my draw dropped...'Me draw a Moo Cow Mommy' He excitedly pointed to the letters and went in a farm yard voice ' Look...Moo'
It was one of those moments that if your a Mom you will know what I am on about if your not a Mom you will think me a little pathetic! Anyway as a creative Mom I had to do something to mark this occasion. SO I headed off for my best wool felt and photocopied the picture (high resolution) and sort of traced it on to the felt...I plan to embroider it and who knows, a book bag, quilt hanging or a cushion something like that...Mmmmm best get of and get the threads out. Have a great weekend.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Therapy for the soul

Therapy, yep that's what I need and what better than a whole day spent 'making'. I started the day off with my usual cup of coffee (yer I am back on the stuff, I managed to get it down to one cup a day, now I am back on to three or four...must stay a-w-a-k-e). I had big plans for the day sadly as I am still un-nerved by the whole 'car' incident I could not focus as I would have liked to. So I took on small projects that gave me such satisfaction once finished...the Christmas cards...I make two kinds, fabric ones and paper craft ones...this batch was my fabric selection...slow and steady at first. Then I got the guinea pigs out for a little free style roaming and whilst they chirped away to each other I cut out and assembled all the bits...very relaxing. (For those interested in my little GPs they are starting to calm down and seem happier, Sarah from Paper and String sent me a link to a website which has helped sooo much)
Then it was time for lunch...I had a few calls to make so whilst I chatted on the phone I put together some carrot and coriander soup...the Express way as Nigella Lawson would refer to it!!!
One bag of pre cut carrots, one union, a little butter to soften them together, flour to thicken the soup, pint and half of veg stock...leave to simmer, blend with a handful of fresh coriander. When serving stir in a little double cream if desired...So that was lunch done.. On to some quilting, finally I faced the dreaded compass block...I found this incredibly hard and could not get my head around how it all went together, saying that I am pretty pleased with the results and I love the the fabric colours, the background fabric is actually a light green... So then we had the school run and the inevitable messy art table...the boys are really into drawing their own road maps at the moment and then getting out the little cars that belonged to my brother when he was little and running them around the track...we even have swimming pools and coffee shops on our hand made eh?
After the madness that is bedtime and the chaos of tidying up the days mess I sat late in the evening and finished my little pin cushion (whilst watching Hero' got to love Christopher Eccleston) and that was a blow to blow record of my creative little day of therapy...

I thank you for the amazing advise you left me...I am going to sit down with my older one and show him all your comments...also to show him that not everyone out there is angry. (I could say so many other words than 'angry' but I do not want to go over the whole experience...for those that asked I was not driving the car, which might be just as well as I do not know if I could have handled been forced off the road...Hollywood action films have a lot to answer for...)

Thursday, 8 November 2007

This is for you...

Just a short note to show our (my little family) appreciation for all your kind thoughts and comments, they have been of great help to us. We are all OK and the accident has left no physical damage to us, the creative vibe has been a bit knocked and I have found myself walking through the house feeling a little empty and without purpose and if I am honest a little nervous about going out. Today I am taking things in hand and I am off to my sewing room, I managed to sort through some books last night so all my sewing books are now in there and I take great comfort in being surrounded by books. SO I apologise for the lack of creative activities and I shall make amends today and get busy...

Any ideas on how to explain to an eight year old that every time we get in the car we are not going to be attacked...

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Lost for words...

An unusual post from without lots of words...My family was involved in a three car road traffic accident caused by someone with rather severe road rage. I want to point out that we are all well and no physical harm was done. My older child has taken the brunt of it emotionally. So I am lost for words...there is just no flow or rhythm . So as not to let you down I thought I would share some Autumnal pictures taken last week ...

I need to credit my older child with this picture...yes I know its out of focus but you know, I kind of like it.

Pictures: 1) The leaves blow in the house 2)Garden steps 3)Walk in the woods (taken by my older child) 4) Memories are made of this 5) The end of the day-flying home (taken from the bedroom window)

Monday, 5 November 2007

Honest..this is November in England!!!

The weather here continues to be outstanding for this time of year, after all the rain and flood's in the summer the Autumn is just stunning. So I took a little blog break and ran away to a little hide away cottage by the sea with my kids. Lots of little crafty things came with us, the craft box was overflowing with stuff for the children...lots of coloured pencils and papers and lolly sticks to glue together for me, well I decided to not take my sewing machine and concentrate on my knitting for the week, I took a little embroidery with me just in case I got a little twitchy. No sooner had we arrived we settled straight into our holiday groove, being with the kids was amazing, school has changed my youngest, instead of being sweet he is now quite the cheeky monkey!!! The days started off leisurely with playing and reading, cleaning out and making the evening fire, a run around the garden, then pack up a picnic and we would hit the beach...Day after day of glorious sunshine, the children even went for a dip or two in the sea, believe me that sea is cold at this time of year!!!
We did not get to do much sight seeing as we did spend most of the time on the beach, it never stops amazing me how children can just play for hours in the sea and sand...we did lots of walks along the beach a little beach combing and even stayed on the beach one evening when it went dark just so the kids could experience the sunset and the bats flying was all very exciting for them (yer and Mom too)!!! We did get to visit one seaside town (Scarborough) and on the first day we ventured into York. I have mentioned before I am not a city girl at all, so it was a treat to go in on a bright crisp Autumnal day. I spent a long time in a camera shop playing with a Nikon camera...Mmm Mr Santa have I been a good girl? We also spent a lot of time in book shops and I came out with an alarming selection of books and as a real treat I ventured into Borders, I always find this shop a little impersonal but, you can not fault it for the amount of stock...I treated myself to an armful of American magazine, I did not even know you could get some of them over here, guess that's what happens when you don't go to a city much...
So armed with my many magazine, some celebrating the Autumn and others looking forward to Thanks giving and Christmas I found it really hard to get into the seasonal spirit when I was just sitting on a beautiful beach in jeans and a it felt like the beach was just for us no one else around. Lots of Hot chocolate was consumed and to many packets of crisps (a holiday treat). I decided not to do a holiday educational theme (remember the summer theme was cotton, the production of and use of...the boys still love their tied dies clothes they made). I did however get some inspiration from The Creative Mom podcast, in the summer she carried around blank index cards and pencils and when she was out in a restaurant with her children she would get them out and do some restaurant art...I loved this idea, so I bought a pack of cards and some small pencils kept them in a little case and between the three of us we drew pictures on the beach, in restaurants and in front on the fire at night when we warmed up our toes and I had my first glass of Mulled wine for the season...
The plan is to continue the project and make a ring book, a cover needs to be designed so this hopefully will come together over the next few days.
My older son carried his camera around with him everywhere we went and he took some pretty good pictures, funny how he leaned to the more woodland scenery whilst I shot the beach scape's. Yes we did spend some time away from the beach, being surrounded by fantastic woodland we would have been mad not I am sure I will be posting up some pictures of our nature walks...if I can only get my little one to keep a steady hand whilst taking pictures, he gets so excited and rushes off to take the next picture when his rather slow camera has not had a chance to get the last shot...lots of lensebaby type pictures without the cost of the lense!!! All in all it was the holiday I had hoped for, and once again I face the empty feeling of a quite house...

Craft projects for the holiday...a rather plain but adorable Debbie Bliss sweater for my youngest which got just about half finished, a single granny square, lots of drawing....endless reading of craft books to keep the ideas flowing as we venture into the grey cold wet days and the dark nights...