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Sunday Sevens #87

Sunday Sevens is half right this week in that at least I’m posting on a Sunday. I really must work on the ‘sevens’ part though, as demonstrated by the 24 photos that follow…..

1. Wisteria is one of the many reasons that May is my favourite month. Georgian architecture, cottage gardens and the odd perfect blue sky are one of the many reasons to love England.

2. Talking of architecture, I snapped up this book in the charity shop this week for just £2.00.

3. Bought these quilting clips which should be useful for bulky fabrics or when pin marks would ruin leather/PVC.

4. I ordered a couple of metres of this fab ‘ice cream truck’ fabric from Ditto fabrics while it’s in the sale. It’s even better in the flesh and I’m tempted to get some more.

5. Mr H-L and I had a day out in Salisbury. First stop is always the Old George Inn, now run as the Boston Tea Party café, for Eggs Royale where we sit in the same place – a Grade One listed bay window which still has a few of the original panes of glass. On the wall opposite is a list of all the landlords/licencees since 1320!

6. Its Grade One status means that no fixtures can be permanent, including the lighting. I love the quirky solution of suspending old teapots wired up as pendants over the table.

7. Breakfast provided the necessary sustenance for Mr H-L to survive not one, but TWO fabric stores whilst we were there. Franklins were celebrating their 60th anniversary and the shop is more of a craft centre spread over two floors. They hold a good selection of quilting-type cottons, if a little on the pricy side at £18.95 per metre. I bought mine from the bargain bucket where everything was £2.95 per metre:)

8. I can’t imagine spending that much on a sewing machine…..

9. Fabric Land is one of nine branches spread over Southern England and this particular shop is pretty good, stocking completely different fabrics to Franklins. Their full price printed cottons were £3.95 per metre – an important factor when considering my workshops are all-inclusive and I need to make a profit.

10. As a treat for being a good boy in the sewing shops, I took Mr H-L for a quick pint in The Haunch of Venison, also dating from 1320. If you get a chance, follow the link and read the brief history as it’s quite interesting.

11. See the bread oven in the left of the inglenook?

12. Here it is close up, now secured with iron bars and a padlock due to its macabre contents having been pilfered several times in the past.

13. Why anyone would want to nick the mummified remains of a hand, chopped off of a man caught cheating at cards, is beyond me, though!

14. Here’s the accompanying poem that describes the grisly event in more detail.

15. My recent fabric buying bonanza has culminated in this towering pile of cotton prints, all of which are destined for Summer sewing workshops.

16. There are some lovely combinations for the kids to choose from for this PJ and pillow project.

17. Mr H-L rustled up a tasty breakfast on Saturday morning….

18. …..whilst I whipped up some butter and a quick loaf.

19. Love Sewing popped through the door later in the morning, so everything stopped for half an hour while I put my feet up with a cup of coffee.

20. No.1 Son’s team won the Cup.

21. Here he is with the winner’s medal.

22. Mr H-L’s shorts are finished and ready to be blogged on Wednesday.

23. Last night’s sofa project was this crochet pincushion which was a free gift with Mollie Makes this month. It might be going in this year’s #stitchingsanta parcel……

24. Sunday morning will see me squeezing in a couple of hours of selfish sewing while Mr H-L does the grocery shopping, No.1 Son has gone to see his girlfriend, No.2 Son is at the stables and No.3 Son is happily colouring.

Said project is a white linen triple-layered dress which has caused me one very big practical problem at the moment. Stay tuned for an update;)

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series thought up by Nat at Thread & Bobbins – follow the link to find out what it’s all about and how you can join in, too.


Free Motion Embroidery Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting a free motion embroidery workshop for four lovely ladies who, very grudgingly, allowed me to take just one photo of them!


The workshop was a birthday present for the lady on the far right and, apart from the sewing, included lots of lovely tapas-style food and prosecco – not a good combination and, yes, one glass did get knocked over on the table!

None of them had ever attempted this type of machine sewing before but, after giving them a run through of the basics and a demonstration, they all managed to accomplish a few little samples.


If I remember correctly, the lady who created the brilliant musical notes below doesn’t even own a sewing machine!


About an hour in and after much laughter and false starts, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and got the hang of it – I love these seed heads.


My advice was to keep it simple to begin with and make sure the backing fabric isn’t too small to manoeuvre under the needle.


All the ladies said they thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and could see how addictive it could become.


I have dabbled a little, myself, with free motion embroidery, with things like this: –

But what I would REALLY love to do is something as fabulous as this! (image courtesy of DaysInDesign).


A course with Katie Essam is top of my wishlist right now…..


Sunday Sevens # 82

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series to show seven photos of your week outside the blog. Visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins to find out more. 

1. The girls made rag dolls in a workshop this week.


2. The boys made superhero bunnies!

3. Whilst No.3 Son was at a football camp in Taunton, we took No.2 Son for a walk at Combe Sydenham country park. We found a lovely pub, The Notley Arms in Monksilver, but forgot to take a photo.

4. Sneak peek of the guest bedroom redecoration project – now completed and a blog post will follow.

5. We were invited to lunch by a family member who has a farm and her little border terrier decided that Mr H-L made a very comfortable cushion.

6. Mr H-L and The Boys recorded the scores of the T20 final the old fashioned way.

He even downloaded a proper score sheet – what a nail biting game that was!

7. Homemade sun dried tomato bread, proved in the sunshine on the back of the sofa and ready to be baked.

8. Remember the little vintage sewing table that No.1 Son bought me for my birthday/Mother’s day? He painted it and I added a bit of bling in the way of a touch of gold paint.


9. The hand painted lines are very wobbly but I like them that way. A bit of gold paint was dry brushed onto the dull knobs, too, just to brighten them up a bit.


10. In use at last! I love it. Perfect for storing bits and bobs for hand sewing in the lounge and means I don’t have to hike up to the sewing room in the loft for a needle and thread. 

11. And finally……we drove past this truck transporting a greenhouse frame and spotted it on the front page of the local paper this weekend!



Sunday Sevens #66

Sunday Sevens is here again – seven-ish photos of your week to show what you get up to between those bigger blog posts. Check out this article over at Threads & Bobbins to find out how YOU can join in.

  1. We made a grand total of £609 profit from the Christmas Supper in the Village Hall – and leftover veg meant bubble ‘n’ squeak for breakfast on Sunday!

Bubble and squeak

2. Whipped up a couple of very basic Angel costumes for The Boy’s school Nativity (that’s another bedsheet gone). Don’t they look sweet?


3. As part of their interactive advent calendar, this week The Boys donated some of their old toys to charity….

Toys for charity

……we had a family “Top Trumps’ night….

Games night

….and we bought a bagful of shopping to add to the box in church for The Lord’s Larder, a charity that helps the poor and homeless.

Donate to the lord larder

4. On Friday, H-R and I went on our annual Christmas shopping trip to Bath while the Christmas market was still in full swing. We’ve been going every year since she was four, so this is our twentieth anniversary!

Eggs Royale for breakfast

We usually have Eggs Royale for breakfast as soon as we arrive and this year was no exception.

Eggs Royale

5. I bought the latest Big Issue from a lovely chap who dressed his companion up for the festive season.

Homeless dog

6. A local school was fundraising for a new piano by carol singing in the high street.

Carol singing

7. Mulled wine and mince pies outside is a great way to rest your feet in between all that shopping.

Mulled wine and mince pies

8. A day of Christmas Craft Workshops on Saturday resulted in these colourful stockings….

Christmas Stocking Workshop

….and Christmas Bunting.

Christmas Bunting Workshop

9. Finally, to round off a brilliant week, last night hubby and I went to a party dressed up as Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones in ‘The Mask Of Zorro’.

It took an ENTIRE king size duvet cover to make his outfit!!

Zorro fancy dress


Hope you didn’t choke on your croissants:)

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My Craft Studio

I love having a good nose into other peoples’ craft studios/sewing rooms/work spaces – whatever you want to call them. They’re just so inspiring!

Anyway, when we no longer had the need for a fifth bedroom (for which, read ‘loft’), I laid claim to the peaceful space under the eaves and set about creating my perfect workspace.

Perfect for me, that is, so I could put my hands on whatever I need immediately, without wasting precious sewing time hunting for pair of (sharp) cutting shears, NOT the really expensive pair that my husband ruined borrowed to cut cardboard (“But they’ll be fine – I only used them once….”).

Nobody comes up here, not because they’re well trained or under threat of death, but because there’s nothing of interest up here for them (apart from my old iMac which has been superceded by the latest model for my Photography business, but is perfectly suited for browsing Pinterest and Blogging). So I spend many happy hours in creative peacefulness surrounded by fabric and yarn – there’s even a pretty fabulous view when I stand up and look out of the velux window.

The fact that I still enjoy peeking into other craft studios prompted the creation of a separate, easy-to-find, dedicated page devoted entirely to images of my new space. Find lots of photos of my loft craft room under the tab named “My Craft Studio” at the top of the page. Here’s a taster…(click on the image for a larger picture).

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