the difference a bit of sunshine makes

Yes, sunshine makes a difference in so many ways, but in particular I am thinking about product photos. I have quite a few pieces to add to my Etsy shop and have been waiting for enough light to make the photos pop. Finally, the sun has shone! (these will be going in my shop very soon)

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The cats have been enjoying the sunshine too…

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…and so have Mark and I, with a visit to Lacock Abbey!

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More photos in Deere Diary!

 

 

I think mice are rather nice!

I don’t know where the week has gone! I spent last weekend in London with my stepmother – a lovely chance to catch up, indulge calorifically and enjoy the ballet (Matthew Bourne’s ‘Swan Lake’ at Sadler’s Wells). Then I have been researching and approaching some fantastic crafters to run crafty nights out for the Bath WI. We had an energised and enthusiastic committee meeting, complete with smoked salmon sandwiches and sparkling wine (well it is Bath, darling!). My only concern was the talk of working with the Federation…am I the only one who grew up watching ‘Blake’s 7’ to know that the last thing you should do is work with the Federation!!! (looks around nervously for Servalan and Travis).

My stepmother sent me home with a bag full of her mother’s grandmother’s and we think maybe great grandmother’s lace, table linen, nightdresses and bloomers. Some I will make in to bags, as I am doing with the antique Russian embroidered linen I took home with me the last visit.

drawstring bag made from antique Russian embroidered linen
drawstring bag made from antique Russian embroidered linen

The bloomers are going to theatrical Maddie to adorn Alice in Wonderland.

lace detail
lace detail
antique Russian bloomers
antique Russian bloomers

The nightdress is so perfect it is tempting just to keep it as a nightdress, but it might get more use if I were to turn it in to a Summer dressing gown.

antique nightdress
antique nightdress

 

Sewing wise I have been making aprons and lavender bags and some more Ellen mice…I am thinking of selling sweaters separately, so I can reduce the price of the mice….what do you think?

‘If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake’ apron.

A few lavender bag hearts and cats.

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lavender bag cats

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Ellen Mouse in grey and white, sporting reversible Spring tunics.

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I will put the new mice in the shop on Monday, when I can take some better photos for Etsy. For now I need to chop seville orange rind – baked in the oven earlier – and boil up the marmalade and pour it in to sterilised jars. I love homemade marmalade! Then I need to get my head around mailchimp for my first Deerey Me newsletter, oh and plant some seeds in the grow house. I guess this is where the time goes…on stuff.

 

 

 

We wish you a merry Christmas…

First things first…or no…actually before that…I must apologise for the lack of attention I have given my Deerey Me website. Such a busy time, I confess I have been favouring the speed and ease of my Deerey Me Facebook page, which has had more than a hint of Christmas party about it. I have all sorts of plans for the new year, including lavishing more attention here.

So back to ‘first things’…I drew the winners of my calendar giveaway. First (Aaron) and second (Emma) who commented over on Facebook, but I was delighted that the third name drawn was lovely Caitlin, who commented here. A Sue Deere Photos calendar will be winging its way to all three very shortly.

Deerey Me calendars
Deerey Me calendars

Most years our house is full of gingerbread houses and yule logs waiting to be collected by friends and family but this year my only request for a gingerbread house was received too late for me to have time to make. In fact my only gingerbread house was a handbag for the WI Christmas Fair…

gingerbread house handbag
gingerbread house handbag

I did have my usual Christmas cake gifts to make and decided to use the spherical bun tin I treated myself to a few years back to make mini fruit cake spheres that I turned in to little fat robins…of course!

fat fruit cake robin
fat fruit cake robin
fat robin Christmas cake
fat robin Christmas cake

My mum is not meant to have marzipan or icing, so her cake just has a hint of edible gold spray and some gold plastic reindeer.

non-iced Christmas cake
non-iced Christmas cake
Christmas cakes wrapped and ready to go
Christmas cakes wrapped and ready to go

I have a little more baking to do before Wednesday and last night was our Christmas street party – a great regular event. One of our neighbours has even put an extra shed in his front garden, which he has converted in to a bar…and this year there was homebew on tap too! We gather around a brazier (not to be confused with brassiere!) and sing carols, drink mulled wine and eat nibbles (the mini meat pies were particularly awesome…). My contribution was these melting snowmen cookies I saw on Pinterest.

melting snowmen cookies
melting snowmen cookies

You can use any sort of biscuit/cookie (even shop-bought), spread a dollop of white glace or royal icing and – before the icing dries – pop marshmallows on a greased piece of baking parchment on a microwave-safe plate and zap for no more than 20 seconds (just long enough that they start to puff up). Oil your fingers and squish a melting marshmallow on each biscuit. When cool and dried pipe on arms and faces. Another time I would use larger biscuits and add fondant scarves. I bought rolos and giant choc button to make hats, but again the biscuits were too small…ah well, we will just have to eat the chocolate.

Talking of chocolate, I made some hot chocolate spoons as little extra Christmas gifts. I bought a big pack of wooden teaspoons and filled them with milk and white chocolate and added Christmas sprinkles and edible glitter; when stirred in to a mug of hot milk they will make yummy hot chocolate.

I was worried that this year, with all the Christmas sewing starting in late Summer, I might be fed up with Christmas before it got anywhere near. However, I am delighted to announce that I was still very happy to decorate the house this week. We have so many Christmas decorations…

Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations

…but there’s always room for a few new home made lavender cats!

lavender cats
lavender cats

Actually, I made so many lavender cats and other lavender bags, I ran out of lavender and had to move on to cloves and cinnamon.

empty lavender jar
empty lavender jar

With all the Wintery preparations for Christmas…

note my reflection in the teapot bauble...tripod and all; very proper!
note my reflection in the teapot bauble…tripod and all; very proper!
Christmas mantel

…it was rather nice taking a moment out to look forward to the new year and Spring with a get well card…

get well card
get well card

I intend to be back here before Christmas, but just in case I get buried in icing sugar and shortbread (what a way to go!), I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and/or Winter break.

 

 

 

 

and the winner is…

I drew the winner of the Liberty print lavender heart this morning and the winner is…Vikki Barker! (a ‘liker’ over on my facebook page). I will be posting the heart to Vikki as soon as she lets me have her address.

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support me – I really appreciate it!

 

Deerey Me shop is now open!

I am a little shakey and I am not sure if it excitement or nerves, but my shop is now open on Etsy:

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DeereyMe

It is surprisingly difficult working out prices and postage and wording for listings…and I am sure I will be doing some editing over the next few days and weeks…but the shop is open! I would like to ask a favour and if anyone spots any spelling mistakes or the like, please let me know. In return I would like to celebrate the milestone so if you comment here or on Facebook (I will accept a ‘like’ too https://www.facebook.com/DeereyMe), next Friday morning I will randomly select someone who has commented or liked to receive this Liberty print lavender heart (filled with lavender harvested last year from the lavender we have in the garden.

Liberty print lavender heart
Liberty print lavender heart

Now is the time to enter, while the odds are in your favour…who knows how many likes and comments there will by the next giveaway!

I really appreciate all the support my family and friends continue to give me…

…just a shame the cats can’t be a bit more helpful! I spend half my time making sure there is no cat fur where there shouldn’t be.

Max on the work table
Max on the work table
Max on ironing board
Max on ironing board

some like it hot…

Some like it hot…and some don’t. I am one of the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I like sunshine as much as the next (wo)man; I just don’t like it hot. Give me a cold, icy day with blue skies and sunshine and long Winter shadows and I am as happy as a pig inĀ  muck. Once the temperature gets much above 20C, I start to wilt and with temperatures at the moment closer to 30C, I turn in to the wicked witch of the west country – bad attitude and cries of “I’m melting, I’m melting!”

Everything is taking me longer than usual, but I have been surprised to find that keeping making things takes my mind off the far too hot weather and reduces my whingeing. So I have been quite busy…

1) a herd of seahorses. Actually, ‘herd’ is far too dull a word for seahorses. I understand they move through water through the undulation of their dorsal fin, so I reckon the collective noun should be an undulation of seahorses. What do you think?

an undulation of seahorses
an undulation of seahorses

I think I will add ribbon loops to the seahorses so they can be hung in wardrobes or from doorhandles. Good idea?

2) I have also returned to the granny’s flower garden patchwork we did with Scrapiana at the Bath WI craft workshop. I sew the little hexagons made from Liberty of London lawn by hand which means I can sit in the living room with Mark and nod and smile as he tells me what England has to do to beat Australia at cricket (I understand cricket about as well as I understand Mandarin). At the workshop we sewed together seven hexagons (I used some of Scrapiana’s Kaffe Fassett fabric) which back home I turned in to a pincushion. I use it all the time, and thought it might be something other people might like too. This one I backed with my favourite sage green cotton with white polka dots (it came from a Bath pop-up shop, and I will be very sad once it has all been used up).

Liberty lawn granny's flower garden pincushion
Liberty lawn granny’s flower garden pincushion

3) while I had the Liberty fabric to hand, I decided to make a little pencil case too…

Liberty lawn pencil case
Liberty lawn pencil case

 

4) …and to add another piece of granny’s flower garden patchwork to a larger bag (for make-up or, in my case, sewing machine bobbins). I love this purple fabric, printed with script and highlights of twinkling gold. Don’t try telling me that ‘all that glisters is not gold’, I am a total magpie for anything sparkly.

granny's flower garden make-up purse
granny’s flower garden make-up purse

 

Determined to open my shop this week

Now then, I am determined to sew my heart out Monday and Tuesday and then spend Wednesday and Thursday (and maybe Friday) working out prices and postage and taking product photos so I can open an Etsy.com shop at the end of the week! I think it only right to celebrate with a giveaway; just need to decide what…

 

oh I do like to be beside the sea

I decided to make use of my lovely jar of lavender flowers and some beautiful Liberty lawn (from http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RoseFabric) to make a seahorse lavender bag.

liberty lawn lavender seahorse
liberty lawn lavender seahorse

I will package the seahorse with some shells…and have every intention of making some mini candles in seashells.

seahorse wrapped with shells
seahorse wrapped with shells