Hello! I am still here…!

I spoke to my mum today and she asked if I still have a website…erm…oops. Life has become very busy as I have moved from full time textile artist to part-time textile artist and part-time office manager at Demuths Cookery School. It’s quite tough fitting everything in to my week, but there are definite perks…like getting to take part in the Andalucian Spanish Tapas class to see it from the students’ point of view!

As well Demuths, the Bath WI is still taking up a lot of my free time…all very exciting though as Gardeners’ World came to film our garden in the Bath Botanical Gardens and our Kitty showed Rachel de Thame how to pickle runner beans!

Of course there is still time for sewing and the odd craft market. I went to Corsham Creative Market for the first time and had a lovely time – back there again on 7th November.

Still loving freemotion embroidery…with a miniature artist trading card and an embroidered washbag.

 

cards, cake and crafty nights out

 Very Berry Handmade artist trading card swap

Last year in my sewing exploration I stumbled upon artist trading cards (ATCs) through a swap organised by Ali at Very Berry Handmade (brilliant for all things fabric and sewing – lots of excellent tutorials). I have posted photos of my secret garden card, and here is Alix’s gorgeous Pride and Prejudice card I was lucky enough to receive.

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Pride and Prejudice ATC by Alix at Used-To-Bees

I am such a fan of Jane Austen and the card is so beautifully made, I was over the moon when it arrived. Alix writes a blog at Used-to-Bees, which is full of lovely things and well worth a look (I subscribe to her posts as I don’t want to miss anything!).

 

diamond anniversary cake

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time will have realised by now that, as well as sewing, I like to bake. Friends and family often ask me to make celebration cakes and this week I was asked to make a Diamond Wedding Anniversary cake…with two cats on it. It could have been a problem as I knew it was 60 years, but had it in mind that 60 was a ruby anniversary…eek. However, I checked first and switched from a sparkly red 60 to a sparkly white 60.

Hilary the Hippo wanted to help…

hippo baking - 3
Hilary the Hippo, “can I lick the bowl?”
hippo baking - 2
mmmm….springy and coming away from the sides
victoria sponge with vanilla butter cream and raspberry jam
victoria sponge with vanilla butter cream and raspberry jam
cat cake - 1366
black cat anniversary cake
cat cake - 8
diamond anniversary cake

 

 

the Bath WI crafty night out

I quite recently took over organising craft workshops for the Bath WI – what we like to call our ‘crafty nights out’. Yesterday lovely Eirlys at Scrapiana came over (with lemon drizzle cake) to show us how to make scalloped bunting. There is something so sociable and relaxing about sewing with friends. We talked non stop, ate lemon cake and flapjacks and even did some sewing. It was just a really good evening…can’t wait for the next one!

bunting making - 01
Eirlys shows us what we are aiming to make
bunting making - 03
you can almost hear the concentration!
bunting making - 05
I really covet Eirlys’ Singer Featherweight sewing machine…sigh…
bunting making - 08
can you tell we were having a good time?
bunting making - 09
Look at this teeny weeny sewing machine!
bunting making - 11
lemon drizzle cake and apricot flapjacks and earl grey tea
bunting making - 13
Sheila’s perfectly sewn bunting waiting to be sewn on to tape
bunting making - 14
Trish’s almost completed bunting
bunting making - 15
Kitty wanted pointy bunting and Eirlys was happy to oblige…and it looks fab!
bunting making - 16
love seeing everyone’s choice of fabric

I chatted far too much and didn’t actually sew my bunting until today…ta da!

my bright bunting
my bright bunting

 

Molly the mannequin? Delia the dummy?

You may have spotted a tailor’s dummy in the bunting photos – it is another early birthday present (this time from Mark’s mum and dad). I see her as a Delia…must be the apron!

Molly the mannequin? Delia the dummy?
Molly the mannequin? Delia the dummy?

 

And finally…

The cats have been as cute as ever…Max took a particular liking to a new shoe box, but it really wasn’t big enough!

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brotherly love

 

 

 

 

 

Max shoe box - 1
Max in a shoe box
Max shoe box - 2
cute or what!
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you could do with a bigger box Max!
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I did warn you…

 

 

in an English country garden

Most weekends I get up early, have breakfast and catch up with my guilty pleasures of the Graham Norton Show, the Great British Sewing Bee and Babylon 5 (no excuse for the latter as I have every series on dvd, but Watch started showing it all again from the beginning…and I can’t resist!) and then I get on with some sewing while I wait for the snoring to cease upstairs and the dopey love of my life to stumble downstairs in search of coffee…generally at what I like to call lunchtime. However, last weekend I skipped my catch up tv (but not breakfast!), donned an old patched pair of jeans and paint-daubed shirt and headed in to the garden.

The sun shone and the sky was blue…and in no time at all so were my hands, and my nose, and my ear…and even Rio the cat had a blue streak that had to be brushed out.

a painter's eye view of the garde...from under the picnic table
a painter’s eye view of the garden…from under the picnic table
how exactly does one manage to get paint on one’s ear???

Now the three raised beds are a delightful forget-me-not blue and waiting for top soil, the picnic table is a soft wood sage and the arbour and archway over which the wisteria grows are forget-me-not blue. My next free weekend I will start on the shed…sage to match the picnic table I think.

Apres-painting requires relaxation…

cheerful garden ready for lazing in

Max the cat also wanted to enjoy the steamer chair!

Sue the cat cushion
Sue the cat cushion

Of course, as well as painting, a sunny weekend calls for a camera…sorry, there is no escape from my photos!

garden 16 March 2014 - 25

garden 16 March 2014 - 22

garden 16 March 2014 - 21

garden 16 March 2014 - 17

garden 16 March 2014 - 14

garden 16 March 2014 - 02

garden 16 March 2014 - 08

garden 16 March 2014 - 09

Artist Trading Card swap

I have done some sewing…honestly! I signed up for the third (my second) artist trading card (ATC) swap with Very Berry Handmade and the theme this time is ‘books and literature’. With gardens on the brain, I turned to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden”, which I loved as a child and still reread every now and then. I cannot tell you how much I loved making this tiny little picture (when I say liitle, I mean little – 3.5″ x 2.5″). Machine embroidery really is the chocolate fudge cake of the sewing world!

The Secret Garden ATC
The Secret Garden ATC

Mother’s Day special offer!

Mother’s Day in the UK is 30 March this year and I am offering free standard UK delivery so there is no excuse not to treat your mum to something lovely. Just enter code MUMSDAY at checkout: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DeereyMe

Valid until 1 April 2014.

pinnies and pencil cases

Much later typing this than I planned. Spent most of yesterday in the garden – a bit of tidying up straggly plants, sweeping leaves and lifting turf where we plan to put raised beds. I confess that my arms rather gave out – it’s hard work! – and I left Mark and his dad lifting turf and his mum picking up leaves and went to make soup and put together bacon butties. Foolishly I decided to do some sewing in the afternoon, planning to do the last hour’s work turf-lifting this morning, but today has been wet all day! It did however, mean I could do more sewing and make some more jam jar snow scenes today.

First, however, my lovely neighbours whose house backs on to ours kindly agreed to model some of my aprons – thank you! I had a really nice time, chatting away and drinking tea (and their little girl is so fab, I might see if I can borrow her sometime if she perhaps fancies decorating gingerbread houses for Christmas…my nieces are all far too old for such things these days). Unfortunately, I clearly was paying too much attention to the foreground (and the chatting…I do like a bit of a chat!) and realised when I looked at the photos that quite a few have my bags and the other aprons messing up the background. Some judicious cropping has resulted in some usable photos, but I must concentrate more another time.

Yesterday’s sewing took the form of a couple of pencil cases. I love this Star Wars fabric and had seen a pencil roll for coloured pencils and wanted to have a go. I think I will change the design a little another time, but it’s quite fun. Sorry about the poor quality photos – should have taken them earlier in the day!

coloured pencil roll
coloured pencil roll
pencil roll
pencil roll
pencil case
pencil case

Today’s bit of rain-induced sewing was a larger version of the Autumn artist trading card (ATC) I did for the Very Berry Handmade ATC swap – another ATCer liked it and asked if I would make her one too (and what’s more she is making me one in return!).

bigger version of the little dog Autumn ATC
bigger version of the little dog Autumn ATC

Finally, a thank you to the Book People – not only are the books I ordered as Christmas presents really nice, the cats really appreciate the box!

oh cute!
oh cute!
cats in a box
cats in a box