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.

 

a storm in a teacup

At the end of March I will be running a crafty workshop for the Bath WI. We will be making pincushions in teacups (and flower pots), so I have been busy designing and making some samples to take to the WI on Wednesday so people will have an idea of what we will be making.

a storm in a teacup
a storm in a teacup
little felt house and garden
little felt house and garden
flower pot pincushion with felt flowers
flower pot pincushion with felt flowers
button heart on pink linen
button heart on pink linen
teacup and flower pot pincushions
teacup and flower pot pincushions

tempus fugit…time flies!

You may have noticed a decided absence of posts. It is not that I have not been working at all – there have been custom orders and stock developments – but there have also been distractions in the form of visitors, days out with Mark and needing to get things done for the Bath WI. We now have no visitors, Mark is back at work (for a couple of weeks anyway) and my lovely comrades at the Bath WI committee have taken quite a bit off my shoulders so I have two weeks to work very hard…before Mark and I hand over the house and cats to our regular ‘sitters’ and head to Devon for a week in a listed barn conversion; peace and quiet, lots of photos and perhaps a little crochet beside the wood burner (probably alone as Mark has spotted there is a PlayStation in the property!).

So first of all, let me share some of my distractions…

Stourhead National Trust house and gardens:

Stourhead 17 Sept 2014 - 007

Stourhead 17 Sept 2014 - 140

 

 

The Courts, National Trust gardens at Holt:

the courts 18 sept 2014 - 069

the courts 18 sept 2014 - 096

 

Afternoon tea at the Bailbrook House Hotel:

Bailbrook House - 16

 

Yeo Valley Organic Gardens:

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 034

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 045

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 130

And now the work! I have been having fun printing photos on to cotton poplin, and there are now options in my Etsy shop to request custom orders using your own photos…the kids, pets or holiday snaps! Christmas present for Granny?

garden cakes and lavender bags - 11

 

photo fabric 1 - 07

photo fabric 1 - 15

photo fabric 1 - 16

garden cakes and lavender bags - 15

garden cakes and lavender bags - 16

In addition, there are organised people getting ahead with their Christmas shopping and I have had a number of custom orders including Wizard of Oz Christmas stockings – I liked the ruby slipper one so much I made an extra one to pop in my shop, and am always happy to make items personalised with names and/or photos.

w of o stocking 19 sept 2014 - 3

wofO stocking2 - 2

Ahoy me hearties!

Just at the moment it is a bit of a struggle fitting everything in to the day. All things I enjoy, but I am being pulled in so many different directions….having to ration cups of tea with friends at the moment as I just don’t have time. If that means you, I am really sorry!

Anyway, I am trying to organise my days so I can fit in a wee bit of sewing first thing, followed by paperwork and by lunch time make sure I am stripping wallpaper in the front bedroom.

There are some achievements from my efforts, for example my very organised fabric stash (I won’t show you my haberdashery and art supplies drawers, as a lady should not post photos of her drawers!)

paper boat and bugs - 09
workroom/dining room all tidied up

I have cleared out a load of craft books and magazines I am hoping the WI ladies will take away with them at the next Crafty Night In and made some shelf space. However, there is one spot I am going to have to leave empty for Max the cat!

cat on a shelf
cat on a shelf

In addition, yesterday I had one of those wonderful days when you get to realise a project you had only ever seen in your mind. I popped in to the Plush Addict website to get some more linen look cotton (great for book bags) and stumbled across some fabric with a newspaper print. It called to me…“Sue, Sue, buy me and turn me in to a paper boat made from fabric..!”. Yesterday I did just that.

I made a paper version first to get the right size rectangle to start with and used it as a pattern (plus seam allowance) to cut two pieces of the fabric and one of interfacing. Ironed the interfacing to one of the fabric pieces then sewed the two fabric pieces right sides together, turned it inside out, ironed it and top stitched around the outside. Then I just made up the paper boat, ironing at every stage and hand sewing a few stages to help it keep it’s shape. I know I should be modest, but I confess I am a wee bit chuffed at how it turned out!

paper boat and bugs - 11
‘paper’ boat
paper boat and bugs - 10
ship ahoy!

In addition, last week I had a short telephone interview about crafting and well-being; the way having something to create and to focus on helps deal with anxiety and depression. It is all the more pertinent with the sad news of Robin Williams’ suicide. I am very fortunate and haven’t had much trouble at all with anxiety or depression over the last couple of years, but I am aware of how it lurks in the shadows looking for an opportunity to creep back. One of the reasons I wanted to do the interview is that I believe we should talk about how we feel. Anxiety and depression are not signs of failure, just of being human, and talking about it helps us know we are not alone and that there is always the choice to keep on living…the darkness will pass. It is so sad that the world has lost someone who brought so much to people’s lives through his work.

As the interview was by telephone I had to provide a photo...a selfie of me and my sewing machine.
As the interview was by telephone I had to provide a photo…a selfie of me and my sewing machine.

10 (random) things I love…

One of my favourite blogs is Knitsofacto, and Annie has been sharing 10 (rather wonderful) random things. In addition, with my Bath WI hat on (a virtual hat…although I rather like the idea of us all wearing hats!), I have been researching local artists and crafty people to run workshops for us. It has been, and continues to be,  lovely and fascinating seeing what people make and how they market themselves and I love reading their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. It gives me a warm squishy feeling that the world is full of such nice people. One of the creative types I have signed up for a Bath WI workshop is Sami of ‘Made by Sami‘ and I have been enjoying her blog posts about 10 things she loves…do have a look at her Little Red Button blog.

These two ladies have inspired me to think about 10 things I love (in a random sort of a way):

1. Mark. He is mischievous and troublesome but he has sparkly blue eyes, a kind heart and an indefatigable sense of humour – and he puts up with me even when I am, as he describes it, grumpilicious.

IMG_1101

(oh and his work colleagues are going to love this photo!)

2. Cats. Our two cats in particular. They are brothers from the same litter, but Max is long-haired and of a generous stature, while his brother Rio is short-haired and of a more athletic build. They are affectionate and loving…and only dribble a little bit.

cats 6 sept 2013 - 14

3. Sewing. Everything to do with it – fabric, haberdashery, designing, making…even unpicking, as long as it is not too often.

IMGP3576

4. Baking.

hippo baking - 1

 

5. Stately homes and gardens

barrington and lytes cary august 2013 - 141

6. The City of Bath

IMGP9482

7. The seaside.

IMGP1061

8. Friends and family

chelsea physic garden - 80

9. Bees

bee1 fullsize

10.  Afternoon tea (and teapots)
lacock aug 2013 - 57
 

I would love to know what your favourite things are!!