Sewchet

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Sunday Sevens #132

Linking up with Natalie at Threads and Bobbins for this week’s Sunday Sevens – a weekly blog series in photos.

1. Progress on the ‘Scrappy’ blanket has been good.

Although I had to buy five more balls of yarn so it’s no longer strictly a scrappy blanket.


2. Managed a glass of red and a homemade pork pie at the pub whilst The Boys played in the playing field behind. We even sat in the garden as the rain held off. Still chilly enough for a jumper though. Well, this is 3pm in August!


3. Another day, another pub. Our local has been closed for a couple of months and is now under new management. The Boys took their light sabres to use as guns. As you do. Our walk takes us past this thatched cottage in the village.


4. A pint and a bag of crisps. It should be written into the Human Rights bill.


5. The blackberries are coming thick and fast – I’m picking over three pounds a day from our bush in the garden alone! Good job it’s thornless. The apples are from mum’s tree.


6. A rare Chinese takeaway – The Boy’s favourite treat.


7. I gave No.2 Son a ‘holiday haircut’.

8. I didn’t realise he had this much to lose!

9. Breakfast at Heathrow airport before heading off to France for the week. It took us an hour and a half to drive to the airport and just forty-five minutes to fly to Paris!


10. I love France’s café culture.


11. And food!


12. Pretty street corners of the district we stayed in – Croissy sur Seine.


13. We did the sights, after all, the last time I visited Paris was as a schoolgirl back in 1979!

L’Arc Du Triomphe


14. Tour Eiffel


15. Sacre Coeur


16. If you turn around 180 degrees, the view over Paris from the Sacre Coeur is breathtaking. Here are two of the Littlies taking a break – we walked eight miles that day!


17. The iconic Metro.


18. We walked the quick way up to the Montmartre district (for which read ‘steep’). Mr. H-L can be seen about half way up the steps struggling to keep up!


19. Montmartre is all about the artists – and they are everywhere.


20. It was fascinating to watch portraits come together before your very eyes.


21. Of course, we HAD to have chocolate and banana crepes while we were there!


22. Relaxing with the locals.


23. Lots of good food and drink (again) and good times spent with family (again).


24. Landing in London to – you guessed it – more rain!


25. Still, we’re grateful to have Fifi to come home to. I’ve vowed not to leave her again as she has needed an emergency trip to the Vet’s whilst we’ve been abroad the last two times. She has recurring mammary tumours and a heart murmur which flare up frequently. Whether she’ll survive this latest bout remains to be seen, but at least she is comfortable and happy – for now.


She’s lying on the bed beside me whilst I type this, snoring quite contentedly wrapped in bandages and her little rainbow coat.

Bless her.


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Sunday Sevens #125

A bit late with this week’s Sunday Sevens as we’ve just come back from a few days away. Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins who thought it up initially, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing seven-ish photos of your week outside the blog.

1. The Bluebells are at their best everywhere now, covering shady wooded areas in a glorious carpet of colour.


2. May is the month for Wisteria in England and it is beginning to flower on many a house locally. These are just a few I snapped whilst walking the dogs earlier in the week.




3. Lighter and sunnier evenings mean that riding is more fun for The Boys.


4. Ali from Thimberlina put a pic on Instagram of a really pretty top she had made. I tracked the pattern and fabric down and ordered it straight away!


5. Our Ascot Ladies’ Day tickets arrived! Now I’ve got to start thinking about making a frock….


6. The only crafting I’ve managed this week is this crocheted lily for a young lady called Jenny who is terminally ill. She requested crocheted flowers for her coffin and the IG community rallied around immediately to make her final wish come true, pledging flowers with the hashtag #aflowerforjenny.


7. Mr. H-L took me out for breakfast to ‘At The Chapel‘ on Friday as the start of our weekend away. Then we picked The Boys up from school and dropped them at my brother’s before driving on to Ross-on-Wye – more about that in a separate post.


Hope you had a good week – in fact, I’m just going to sit down and catch up on some blog reading now to see what you’ve been up to in my absence. Ta-ta for now!


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Sunday Sevens #118

1. The wallpaper for the downstairs loo arrived and is even better than it looked online. Can’t wait for it to be finished!


2. The obligatory pancakes were served up to the family on Shrove Tuesday. 


3. This half-finished lampshade has been picked up and is well on the way to being completed at last – only a year after I first started it and it’s been sat on top of the piano ever since, reminding me!


4. Hubby took me out for lunch after the disappointment of having to watch him eat last week when I was recovering from a bug.


5. We also managed to pop out for breakfast one morning in between some marathon sewing sessions.


6. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen lots of posts recording my progress on our fancy dress outfits last week. My sister had a Glastonbury festival themed 50th birthday party, and I made all of our costumes.

The Boys were Shirley Bassey and Freddie Mercury.


7. We went as Dolly Parton and Tom Jones.


8. I tried to recreate Shirley’s and Dolly’s outfits as closely as possible to the ones that they wore when performing at Glastonbury. It was also 80’s fancy dress, so I decided to make Freddie’s most iconic look. Mr H-L grew his goatee like Tom’s and we even sprayed his hair to make it more evenly grey.


9. My dear sister snapped this pic of me the morning after, looking the worse for wear after a BRILLIANT night.


10. Cooked breakfast, roast dinner AND a Chinese takeaway in the evening was what it took to make me feel better!!


Linking up with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins, Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing what your life is like outside the blog.


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Stitching Santa Reveal #1

Everyone loves a Secret Santa, don’t they? Apparently so, because 45 lovely ladies (and a man!) signed up for #stitchingsanta 2016, a themed Secret Santa for fabric and yarn lovers who blog or Instagram. 

To read all about it and to join in next year, have a look at this post.


I participated in both the sewing swap and the knitting/crochet swap, so was treated to two parcels under my tree in time for Christmas Day – although I didn’t actually find a quiet moment to myself in which to savour their opening until the 28th December!

I had a lovely pub lunch in Wells the week before Christmas with Claire who, together with regular input from her lovely black labrador, blogs at Mollie & Claire. Claire had drawn me as the lucky recipient of her knitting/crochet parcel – and Boy, was I treated!

We have even both been to Stephen and Penelope’s in Amsterdam – highly recommended to anyone who visits this wonderful city. This project bag contained all my goodies and sat under the tree for about ten days……..


……during which time a mouse had chewed itself a little doorway……


….and helped itself to the tasty fudge within!!


There was plenty to go around though, so I didn’t mind sharing with a cheeky little mouse:)

Just look at this mountain of presents!


I must admit that I went straight for the one that looked like it might contain the hand dyed yarn that Claire had not-so-subtly hinted at previously. Dyed with her own fair hands, Claire had even caked the skein for me so it is ready for use. It’s utterly gorgeous – 400m of sock yarn in the perfect shade of pink, which may become a shawl or socks. I’ll take my time deciding what to make with it as I want to make sure it gets plenty of use.


More handmade items were revealed in subsequent presents – one of Claire’s many Mandala creations is far too pretty to be used as a mat of any kind and is destined for the wall in my studio so I can enjoy it every day.


I love this slouchy beanie hat and couldn’t wait to model it, so here it is whilst I’m in my PJs!


It sparkles with silver sequins – here’s a close up.


Two little felted baubles with yet more sequins!

I rather think they’d make lovely earrings:)


What about this ceramic heart brooch? How sweet?


I can’t tell you how bloomin’ useful this stitch counter is going to be. I’ve got two of the kind that go on your needles but, as I’ve invariably got more than a few knitting/crochet projects on the go at any one time, it will save me swapping between needles.


Claire also threw in some sewing related gifts – anyone who sews will appreciate the quality of these threads.


I love the snowman ribbon!!!!


A pack of Christmas pud decorations for the tree next year.


Some pampering treats which smell divine – when are they going to invent scratch ‘n’ sniff for the internet?!


Now this really is lovely and will be used every day until it’s all gone.


Claire even included a gift for Fifi and Tess from Mollie! That’s if No.1 Son hasn’t eaten them before we get home from France, mistaking them for iced biscuits……


I even rescued all the satin ribbon, which was beautifully tied around several of the gifts, for future use.


Finally, this car decal made me smile – how true are those words?!


Thanks so much Claire – I feel thoroughly spoiled!


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Crochet Daisy Garland

If you follow Kate of Just Pootling blog, you’ll be familiar with her lovely crocheted garlands. As soon as I saw her Late Summer Daisy Garland, I knew that I’d have to make my own version for our newly upcycled kitchen dresser


I have lots of suitable cottons already, in a whole range of colours, so thought it would be fun to make a multi-coloured daisy garland. I followed Kate’s instructions, which can be found by following this link.

Each daisy took about twenty-five minutes to create, so I just made a few as and when I could fit them in over the course of a few weeks.

I made thirteen daisies in total – seven coloured ones and six white ones, so that every other daisy on the garland would be white.

This shows what a difference blocking makes!

I actually used spray starch and an iron to block the daisies, which is very quick and means the daisies are slightly stiff so should hold their shape without flopping.

I opted for a simple chain stitch cord on which to mount the daisies and continued crocheting, measuring as I went, until the chain was long enough.

 The daisies were spaced three inches apart with a three inch tail at either end and simply sewn on to the crocheted chain.

A hook was screwed into the dresser at either end and another in the centre, then the garland was hung.

Isn’t it pretty? The perfect finishing touch, I reckon.

My friend loves it so much that she asked me to make one for her. Why aren’t there ever enough hours in the day…..?


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Sunday Sevens #102

Time for another Sunday Sevens as organised by Nat at Threads & Bobbins . Not that we’ve heard much from Nat lately – where are you Nat, we miss you?

  1.  Working on the lacy border for the Baby shawl commission that I’ve been slogging away at for a few months. Baby was due yesterday and I’ve run out of time! Trouble is, I get a numb bum if I sit for more than two hours at a time, so I can’t knit it any faster.

2. Whilst I’m still in my Summer linens and flip flops, I’m looking ahead to more typical Autumn weather and thinking about what to wear on the chillier days to come. I’m making the main view in orange and brown Ponte Roma – very seasonal colours. It’s actually a dress which looks like a skirt and top and I reckon it’ll get a lot of wear as it’s as comfortable as a tracksuit but MUCH smarter for everyday use. In fact, I’ve already got plans for a second one in different colours.

3. I finally got around to buying some spray starch for all those crocheted daisies that I made back in July. What a difference it makes. These are going to be a garland for my upcycled oak dresser.

4. As you probably know, I cook a LOT, so should be pretty good by now. However, cakes are not my forté – they always taste great….but look rubbish. Not this time! I used this Carrot Cake  recipe and followed it to the letter and it actually rose!

5. I doubled up on the icing so that I could put some in the middle, too, and topped it off with the grated zest of an orange.

6. Here’s what’s left of it on the far right after a friend hosted a very successful charity MacMillan Coffee Morning during which over £200 was raised!

7. My iPhone 5s is currently residing in a bag of rice. Why? Dear husband left it in his trouser pocket and it went through a wash cycle. I think it’s too far gone to dry out in a bag of rice. I’ve got 18 months left on the contract and no phone so you can imagine how cross I was. Anyone got a spare one…..?!

8. No.1 Son took a snap of the harvest lunch (as I no longer have a camera phone…). It was taken at the end when people had started to leave  so you’ll have to believe me when I say the hall was full and it was a lovely atmosphere.

9. And finally……#stitchingsanta 2016 has started! Click on this link to sign up and take part this year.

Save


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Sunday Sevens #93

Better late than never, here is this week’s Sunday Sevens!

1. Is Summer ever going to come to England? Eleven degrees centigrade and it felt chilly enough to light the fire. I haven’t abandoned the flip flops just yet though.


2. Working on prototypes for a commercial commission and my table looks like this. Why can’t I be a tidy sewer?


3. We walked to the pub in the rain – again.


4. This gorgeous yarn arrived from the USA.


5. It’s going to be a laceweight, circular baby shawl – if I can ever work it out. I’ve frogged it twice already.


6. A nightshirt and pyjamas were completed in classes this week.


7. Remember the shop window with the cardboard city from a couple of weeks ago? Cardboard bird boxes have replaced them, complete with Astro turf and garden birds helping themselves to the top of the milk.


9. I started making some crochet daisies. Just because.


10. No.3 Son won Manager’s Player of the Year for his outstanding goalkeeping this season.


11. No.3 Son posing for a photo at Hauser and Wirth Gallery in Bruton.


14. At the bar inside, I just HAD to try their homemade Dill Gin.


15. My daughter in her new car. It suits her, don’t you think?


If you fancy joining in Sunday Sevens, visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins where you can find out how to take part. As you can see, it doesn’t have to be on a Sunday or seven photos…..