Sewchet

Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,


23 Comments

Sunday Sevens #166

Literally, a flying visit to post a few photos for Sunday Sevens.

Apologies to anyone who may have noticed my absence of late, both in lack of posts and  commenting on others – I have every intention of catching up when things die down a little in the real world.

  1. Hardly any rainfall for a few weeks now means the grass looks mostly like this, dry and brown.

img_5763

2. We haven’t seen a Summer like this in years!

img_5741

3. With everyone taking advantage of the good weather, my ‘first cousin once-removed’ held her 65th birthday party outside in her farmyard.

img_5701

4. Cock staying cool in the little bit of shade in our garden.

img_5696

5. A nice cooling pint in the beer garden of The White Lion Inn in nearby Bourton.

img_5753

6. Mr H-L took a picture of the loo roll holder in the pub’s toilet…..

img_5752

7. ….thought his daughter’s fiancé might make us something similar to go with the lamp he made us for Christmas!

img_5072

8. No.3 Son sang with his school in Wells Cathedral.

img_5754

9. The Husband had to go to Munich on business for a week.

Poor thing.

img_5751

10. It’s just been too hot to slave over a hot stove, so I took No.3 Son out for supper one night.

img_5739

11. Much too hot for a traditional English pudding, too, so our B+B guests had to make do with homemade chocolate mousse and biscotti.

img_5730

12. My Eldest invited us around for supper.

img_5722

13. No.3 Son loved having her pet mouse curled up on his shoulder.

img_5748

14. His sister swapped shorts with her brother, No.2 Son, who is twelve and they fitted her perfectly. She’s 27.

img_5711

15. My Auntie came over from Spain to stay with us and we all went out for a meal at The Stag’s Head in Yarlington.

img_5757

16. The next day was No.3 Son’s 11th birthday….but we had a wedding to go to, so he had to stay at his sister’s.

img_5750

17. The following day he had a birthday party to go to himself and had the time of his life go-karting.

img_5749

18. Meanwhile, I utilised time alone without the Mister to go over the hall, stairs and landing with a fresh lick of paint.

img_5727

19. The stairwell is tall and narrow with very little natural light so tends to be quite dark and more than a little boring compared to the rest of the house, as I was lacking inspiration as how best to add interest.

img_5729

20. Then I had a lightbulb moment and added a band of colour to match the front door and hung some pictures all the way up.

img_5736

21. The mother of the little girl who won the doll put these cute photos on Facebook.

22. I had to show you this photo of one of my students who is showing off the shorts she finished in class this week.

img_5713

23. Finally, despite starting The Wedding Blanket back in January or February, I still didn’t finish it in time for the big day last Friday. Luckily, the newlyweds are honeymooning for a week, so I can complete the border and send it to their house for them to open on their return.

img_5758

For all those asking about our planned move, negotiations are ongoing with the National Trust and the Listed Buildings officials, but are looking positive, if more than a little long-winded and stressful. It’s still not a ‘No’, so fingers crossed and watch this space!

 


25 Comments

Sunday Sevens #165

Blimey, this is the first Sunday Sevens post – or any post – that I’ve managed to do in June!

Obviously, there are a few more than seven photos so now’s the opportunity to hop off and make yourself a quick cuppa for the journey, or scroll down and move on to the next blog:)

  1. The Royal Bath & West Show is held every year over the last weekend of May/June and we’re normally in Spain staying with my Auntie as it coincides with the school half term. As No.2 Son is at Senior school now, we don’t feel that we can take him out of school for a few days either side of the holidays like we used to at Primary school, so we were at home. When my sister rang to say that she had a couple of free tickets from a friend that works there, I jumped at the chance to go for the first time in over fifteen years.

img_5610

2. Well, suffice to say that we had a lovely day, just the two of us. She also had free tickets for The Boys, but I decided that they’d much rather have a Boy’s Day Out with their Father than trawl around with their Mum and Auntie all day doing girly stuff. Not that I selfishly wanted to spend the day alone with my sister at all.

Anyway, it turns out they went to watch the latest Star Wars film which was perfect ‘cos you couldn’t drag me to the pictures to watch that!!

And we got to see people on stilts wandering around dressed up in flowers.

img_5503-1

3. There were lots of nice things to spend your money on, although I had my business head on and was concentrating on what might be useful for the future B+B.

Stag’s heads are essential for Exmoor, right?

img_5499

4. As is an outside sauna, surely…..

img_5504-1

5. ….and a hot tub.

img_5506-1

6. On to the more serious decisions like choosing a Water Softening System…..

img_5507-1

7. ….and selecting the perfect wines to stock.

img_5509-1

8. Good decision not to bring The Boys.

They wouldn’t have had half as much fun as we did running around popping the smoke-filled bubbles.

img_5512-1

9. After a fab day, it was back to reality and more B+B guests, this time from Malaysia.

They don’t look very happy in this photo, but they were the BEST group we’ve had to date – hilariously funny and ridiculously appreciative of the meals I cooked for them on both nights of their stay. They even paid over the odds for four jars of homemade jam that they wanted to take back as gifts AND left a generous tip!

img_5525

10. Here’s Tess guarding all their laundry again. Why she loves curling up on it is beyond me; it doesn’t even smell of us, but strangers.

img_5498

11. Still in half term, we invited a few friends around for a barbecue-and-pool day, as the weather was turning increasingly Summery.

img_5529

12. Lots of time has been spent enjoying the garden.

img_5538

13. Relaxing whilst The Pool Cleaner does the best he can with a tennis racquet before the proper skimmer arrives.

Note that the handmade boxer shorts are still going strong.

img_5545

14. And then the haymaking in the fields behind started….triggering my hayfever.

img_5542

15. Probably not the optimum time to choose for a thirteen mile walk through open countryside with two friends, one of whom hasn’t suffered for years, but look at how her eyes swelled up!

img_5520-1

16. This was the view from our starting point in Castle Cary.

img_5516

17. The grass was waist high for much of the walk and, wading through it, you could see the clouds of pollen being discharged into the air. My ribs ached after so much sneezing.

img_5518

18. We made it (on the hottest day of the year) to the market place in Somerton by 7pm and headed straight to the nearest pub.

We would have been there earlier but for the fact that those two refused to walk through most of the fields with cows in, of which there were a lot. By the end, we were all so hot and tired that we walked through a field with cows AND a bull in and guess what? Yep, we were ignored. We could have saved two miles!

img_5523

19. The day before half term No.2 Son had an Inset day, so we went out for lunch.

img_5613

20. The following weekend he had a tummy bug and spent three days flat out on the sofa. Why do kids always look like they’re at Death’s door when they’ve been puking up?

img_5572

21. I bottled up lots of Elderflower Cordial, some for the school fair and some for us.

img_5626

22. Finally, the doll and wardrobe of clothes was raffled off and made £70 for the school (and yes, they did only sell the patchwork quilt that I made for a fiver!).

img_5628

23. The little girl who won it had already gone home, so this is her brother collecting her prize.

img_5631

I plan on doing a separate blog post on the doll later on.

24. I went to Bath for the day with my sister, as she had bought us both a session at Thermae Bath Spa for Christmas.

We started off by visiting the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, which was amazing.

img_5594

25. We had coffee on the Pultenay Bridge and lunch at Thai Basil.img_5608

26. We went for our spa session in the afternoon.

img_5601

27. No photos are allowed in the spa itself, so these are some promotional images I found.

This is the spa at dusk – it’s in a stunning spot tucked up in the skyline with views over the city and the cathedral.

Thermae Bath Spa

28. We went in both the rooftop spa and the inside jacuzzi pool.

Spa day

29. We had cocktails afterwards on the rooftop terrace of a nearby pub.

img_5609

30. Typically, the trains back to The Middle Of Nowhere were 6pm or 9.30, so whilst my sister had her pick of trains I stayed late on my own and had a fantastic supper overlooking the weir again.

img_5604

img_5605

31. Father’s Day came with several cards from the kids….

img_5676

32. ….and these magnificent lilies.

img_5689

33. The hot spell continues and our rhubarb is clearly loving it.

img_5674

34. Here’s Tess lapping up the early morning sun while it’s still cool enough to do so.

img_5690-1

Can you just about see the pile of outgrown dressing-up clothes to the right of the picture above?

35. My sewing class did! We had five minutes before class began and the girls each chose an outfit to wear for the duration.

36. With the husband in Munich all week, it was up to me to take No.3 Son to football training. I treated us to a meal at Thai Mango afterwards. This was just the mixed starters!

img_5679

37. Craftwise, my efforts have been concentrated on the wedding blanket as the big day fast approaches.

img_5497

38. We have also been working like crazy to get the last few jobs around the house finished ready to put the house on the market. The boxing-in of the pipework in the downstairs loo has finally been installed and painted.

img_5692

39. We made another trip to Exmoor to have a second look at our favourite properties and had the obligatory cream tea in Allerford Old Post Office.

img_5647

40. Unfortunately, No.3 Son had caught the bug off his brother and was beginning to feel unwell at this point, so sat out front on the bench seat while we looked around.

Both Grade II listed Georgian properties, this one has Tudor origins at the rear.

img_5632

41. The second one is our favourite and has the bonus of this separate granny flat on the ground floor, spanning the length of this photo. It has its own entrance and private garden – perfect for you and Jessie, Mother, if you’re reading this!

img_5667

In an ideal world, the stars will align, the London flat will sell at the same time as our house and we can choose either one and move in by Christmas.

The reality is that it’s a long drawn out process and the National Trust, although now prepared to listen, have not even yet given permission to allow a business to be run from the yellow house.

But at least we’ve started the ball rolling and in the meantime I’ve got more important things to worry about….

42. …..like this streak of grey hair that has appeared since I turned fifty in March!

 

img_5678

 

 

 

 

 


19 Comments

Sunday Sevens #164

I did actually upload these photos on Sunday, but haven’t had chance to sit down until now!!

  1. There was a blip at the start of the week when the tumble drier broke down – a minor disaster when you have a week full of B+B guests ahead of you. Luckily, Mr H-L used to be an engineer so was able to find and sort the problem.

img_5412

2. Another annoyance when you need lots of eggs for guests’ breakfasts is when the hens lay in the field in a patch of metre-high stinging nettles instead of in their nice, easy-to-get-to coop.

img_5429

3. The week got better, however, and we were in for a spell of hot, sunny weather.

img_5413

4. The Elderflowers are nearly ready to harvest for cordial.

img_5428

5. We took No.3 Son out for supper one night as he had an Inset day at school before breaking up for half term.

img_5416

6. After another sunny morning, the skies turned black and we had the most amazing thunderstorms for a couple of days.

img_5484

7. There are lots of baby rabbits in the field at this time of year and they spend a lot of time in our garden. Can you spot this one?

img_5464

8. Our local farm shop was having an open day, so we took The Boys along. This fabulous yarn-bombed car was the first sight to greet us!

img_5467

9. I had a nice chat with the equally colourful Tamsyn G who is a Master of yarn art.

img_5477

10. Look closely and you will see an antique sewing machine that has been transformed into a light complete with dimmer switch in the form of a cotton reel! If it wasn’t £185 it would have gone home with me there and then. I may have to use some of our B+B takings to go back and buy it…..

img_5474

11. We all had some of the hog roast that was on offer. No, it wasn’t the slightest bit cold, but apparently wearing a beanie whatever the weather is cool when you’re twelve.

img_5470

12. I had a go at some simple flower arranging in the form of a flower crown.

img_5489

13. No.3 Son put my efforts to shame as his was MUCH better than mine!

img_5493

14. Together, they made a pretty table decoration for a few days.

img_5482

15. Craftwise, this week I made some keyrings for the school fair.

img_5423

16. Finished! These socks are now blocked and ready to send to New Zealand just in time for the colder weather.

img_5487

See you next week!


9 Comments

Crocheted and beaded necklace tutorial

In my last post I showed you the necklace that I made to go with the top I had just finished, to add a bit of colour to the neckline.

img_5359

It was quick and easy to do, so I decided to make a whole bunch more for the school to sell at their Summer fair – and here they are!

img_5431

The lovely folk on Instagram said that a tutorial would be nice, so here goes….

For each necklace you will need one skein of embroidery floss. I bought this packet of 30 for just £3.00 from The Works which, as most of the beads were rescued from broken jewellery, works out at only 10p each – perfect for the school fair, or any fundraising event.

img_5424

I chose beads ranging from natural wooden ones to lace covered pearlescent ones.

img_5425

For the necklace itself you will need a 2.5mm crochet hook.

img_5435

Simply crochet a chain to your desired length then fasten off.

img_5436

img_5437

Tie the threads together in a double knot to complete the circle.

img_5438

Weave in the ends through a few chains and trim neatly.

img_5439img_5440

Using all the remaining floss, wrap it continuously around three fingers, leaving a tail of about 12″.

img_5441

Take a 5.50mm crochet hook….

img_5443

….and pass the handle through the loops as shown.

img_5444

Using the 12″ tail, wind the floss tightly, close to the crochet hook.

img_5445

Secure the floss with a knot.

img_5447

Cut through the bottom loops to form your tassel.

img_5448

Leave the crochet hook in place for now.

img_5449

Thread a needle with about 10″ of matching thread.

Take your beads and, starting at the bottom, pass the needle up through all the beads, around the crocheted chain and back down through all the beads.

img_5450

Push the beads up tight to the crocheted chain. Both ends of the floss should be hanging down from the bottom bead at this point.

img_5451

Pass your needle through the top loops that are still on your crochet hook.

img_5452

Tie the ends together securely.

img_5453img_5454

Hide the ends by passing the needle through the wrapped section and trim to the length of the tassel.

img_5455

And that’s it!

img_5456

These are some of the other ones I made.

img_5433

I think the girls at the school fair will have no problem parting with their pocket money for one of these.

img_5431

 


19 Comments

Burda 6610 Tunic

Click on the link to see this month’s project for Minerva Crafts in action! : – Burda 6610 Tunic


25 Comments

Sunday Sevens #163

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing your week in photos as devised by Nat at Threads & Bobbins.

1. Last Sunday, No.3 Son and his partner took part in another dance competition, this time in Portsmouth.

img_5406

2. They did even better this time, and achieved 3rd in Waltz and 2nd in Jive!

img_5407

3. Monday was spent sewing but, as our internet has been virtually non-existent for the entire week, I haven’t been able to blog about it yet.

img_5337

4. Look at the size of these scallops!

img_5379

5. We only needed one each, which is just as well as they were £5 for the two.

img_5380

6. While we’re on the subject of cooking, this is one cake that looks much more appetising BEFORE it’s cooked.

img_5325img_5326

7. Continuing on the theme of medal success, No.3 Son’s school won the inter-school cross country event for their age group….

img_5408

8. ….and No.2 Son was awarded Player’s Player Of The Year at his football presentation evening.

img_5403

9. Tess had her now weekly treat of a doggy Full English Breakfast.

img_5385

10. We ‘had’ to try out the menu at another local pub to see if we could recommend it to our B+B guests. It was lush, so we did.

img_5409

11. Hmm, all that extra B+B bedlinen ironing has taken its toll on the ironing board cover, so we bought a new one. I hadn’t realised it was so bad!

img_5386

12. After our B+B guests left in the morning, Saturday saw us dressing up in red, white and blue for the Royal Wedding celebrations in our village.

img_5387

13. Unfortunately, I tripped in a pothole outside the village hall and broke my toe on the way IN – before any alcohol had passed my lips! I did the typically British thing and carried on regardless, only taking my heels off five hours later to walk home in No.2’s flip flops.

img_5405

14. The village showed the wedding on a big screen in the hall, which was followed by a fabulous hog roast.

img_5410

15. Three out of the six kids came with us and joined in with the patriotic colour scheme.

img_5400

16. After hobbling home in the early evening, we invited some friends around for a barbecue.

img_5396

17. We had blocked out the night on our B+B calendar, so some of our friends stayed the night and it was already warm enough by 10am to have breakfast outside.

img_5395

18. One final photo for Pauline – progress on her socks!

img_5411

That’s it for this week – see you next time!


24 Comments

Sunday Sevens #162

Linking up with Nat at Threads & Bobbins for another edition of Sunday Sevens.

1. I cut No.3 Son’s hair as we were due to spend the Bank Holiday in Newhaven with one of his sisters and the forecast was hot hot hot. Now he looks like a different boy!

2. We all went to have a barbecue with another sister in Brighton in the evening sunshine.

3. Posing for the camera with his niece!

4. We spent a brilliant day at Newhaven Fort. No.2 Son walked through the shot just as I was taking a panoramic photograph:)

5. There were exhibits from WWI and WWII as well as showing how ordinary people lived through the war. The Boys were fascinated with this recreation of an Anderson shelter that many families had in their gardens and that acted as protection from bombs.

6. We actually still have an old Anderson shelter in our garden which is currently used as a wood store. I think it is now going to be restored back to its original form for The Boys to play in!

7. The Boys had SO much fun doing boy stuff, like climbing on the cannons…..

8. ….handling the rifles…..

9. …..deciphering the Morse codes….

10. ……and dressing up in camouflage gear…..

11. ….while we played silly buggers with the ‘Spy Disguises’…..

12. ….and stripping off to blend in with the Neanderthal display:)

13. On the three hour drive back, I managed to get quite a lot done on the current sock project.

14. Cock welcomed us home with an ear-splitting crow.

15. The husband had company from the hens as he made further progress on rebuilding the wall that they have systematically destroyed over the years.

16. Not bad for a city boy!

17. Meanwhile, I prepared all the food for another barbecue.

18. No.2 Son had just enough time to wolf it all down before heading back to boarding school that evening.

19.

20. Building work has started on the barn in the field behind our house. It’s far enough away not to impact on us in any way.

21. See, scaffolding is up!

22. We took Tess out for what has become her now once-a-week treat of a doggy Full English breakfast.

23. Another day we tried a new café for the first time – Marnie’s Vintage Shop and Café in Ilminster.

24. My sister and her husband came to stay and we also had two separate lots of B+B guests this week, so LOTS of washing and cooking.

25. Craftwise, further progress was made on those socks.

26. Last week’s teaser became these cards for the school fair.

27. I was going to make a load of these for the school fair but, as they’re double-sided and take two hours each to make, decided……no.

Well done if you made it to the end – more next week!