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….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children *** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

You can find me here

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Thank you….

  • sam Them strawberries look so vibrant and yum X #mmbc 22 May
  • Ali Duke I have about 4 knitting projects on the go at the moment, I do finish them, but it takes me a while lol. I love... 20 May
  • Craft Mother Especially if the weather is good. It is lovely. 20 May
  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Being full of ideas is a useful skill even if it does mean that a lot of projects stay unfinished! I love your knitting –... 20 May
  • Angela Webster Sounds like a perfect day to me, you live in such a beautiful area. I bet you need no convincing to get out and about.... 20 May
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Sticky

sewing

Pie dishes and car boot sale

We went to a local car boot sale over the weekend. It’s been a while. I warned the children not to expect to buy anything. Always go with a minimal, mental list of things you’d like to find and avoid impulse buying, otherwise all you’re doing is moving clutter from one home to another. Shifting the problem. It works if one person’s clutter becomes your desired purchase. Everyone wins that way.

So included on my list were garden tools (I could do with another fork), a tailors dummy (I live in hope) and individual pie dishes. I know I could buy all these first hand very easily and have it all straight away, but that’s daft if I can help someone else clear their clutter and save it going to a landfill. It’s one of the reasons I try to buy nothing new.

I’m patient. I can wait to find the right solution.

(Unless it’s fabric. Then the conversation in my head, about the gorgeous new fabric in my hands, goes on a whole heap longer and can get heated. Fabric is my weakness, but I’m working on it)

Also I find items fall off the list after a while, proving I really didn’t need them.

I think by the end, the children were more than ready to go home. They chattered happily in the car about the strange things they’d seen for sale, conversations they’d overheard and no one was upset about coming home empty handed.

Nestled by my feet, were a stack of small pie dishes.

Six of them.

They are the ceramic dishes that Charlie Bingham’s pies come in. I’ve never tried this range of pies. I like to make my own. I’m assuming that the owner of the stall must have absolutely loved them, as she had a box brimming over with these dishes. Empty and clean! Perfect for my pie making. I bought 6 for £1.

Last night, I used them to make fruit crumble. Using up leftovers before my supermarket delivery arrives today. I mixed pears, blueberries and raspberries, with a dash of almond essence. I’m not sure if it was the new dishes, the stormy weather raging outside or the fruit combination, but everyone really loved the crumble. Bowls were cleaned.

The new dishes have given me the chance to try out something else that’s been on my list – bowl cosies. Especially important as the dishes are coming straight out of the Aga and I wanted to protect everyone’s hands.  Turns out that bowl cosies are ridiculously easy to make. A few darts and the flat square turn into a bowl, with the perfect dimensions for my new individual pie dishes.

I’ve made one so far, as a proof of concept. I’m using Aldi fat quarters, with cotton wadding. Sewn up with cotton thread. The theory is that by avoiding mademade fibres, I can put these in the microwave or my lower oven, without fear of anything melting. It makes it easier to lift the hot bowls out. The cosies can either be held by two diagonal corners or in the palm of your hands. Even if it spills, the fabric catches most of the hot splashes before they can hit anyone. Usually me, to be honest.

It’s reversible too. I’m not sure how important that feels to me at the moment. I guess that some dishes will look better against the yellow and others with the blue. Flexibility to change the colour may be nice, but I’m more interesting in making a set of cosies that complement each other but not match. I am not a matching kind of person.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. I’m quite happy with my new pie dishes. Love that it pushed me to dabble in a new sewing project too. It seems to have gone down well with everyone. Even had requests for customised bowl cosies. I like that. It means they are already picturing themselves using these cosies for late evening, garden eating.

Oh. Roll on summer!

PoCoLo

Going Green

Wednesday crafting update

After a very busy sewing weekend (more about that at the end), I needed a small project to pick up this week. Something that didn’t involve handling volumes of fabric. My current quilt really wasn’t going to fit the bill. It’s reached the stage where it’s more than an armful and, without doubt, I needed something different, although I am itching to finish it.

Instead, I’ve picked up my Dear Daughter quilt, which uses the English piecing patchwork technique. Basically the shapes are made with paper and then the fabric attached to it. Eventually the paper is removed, once the fabric is all sewn together. Usually I’d tack the fabric to the paper, but I used fabric glue this time. It’s quicker and washes out.

It felt strange going back to hand stitching patchwork, after a couple of projects using the sewing machine. Much slower and I felt slightly impatient and irritated at first. Once I was back in the rhythm, I remembered how it provides space and more of a mindful time. I began to enjoy it more. I love how different techniques can give such a different experience.

I think this is the last block in the quilt. I have the fabric for the sashing, so maybe I’ll start piecing the blocks together this week. I’m undecided about whether to write the final letter just yet (each block has a letter). I might leave it to the end, or write this one plus one final letter for the whole quilt. Still pondering.

On to a knitting update next. I’m creeping up the sleeve of my blue jumper. Still at the stage of increasing the width, as I head for the shoulder. Probably the biggest news on this is that I’ve finally found the matching needle. Both are 4mm, but I’ve been using a slightly longer needle. The length gives a subtle difference to the balance, I find, but after a few rows it does make a difference. Trust me to find it after finishing one cardigan and almost finishing this one.

Oh and finally I need to add an explanation to this photo. I used it as my Sunday photo, but was too tired to add more. On Saturday, I spent the day with one of my nieces, who happens to be getting married this year. She found a dress that she loved and, without giving anything away, looked amazing in it. The dress although lovely had one feature that was going to prove a problem on the day.

Their reception is in a field. In the UK. If it doesn’t rain on the day, the likelihood is that it will rain on the days running up to it, leaving the surface wet. Her dress had a train. It was also too long all round. By the end of their big day, sprinkling flower seeds on the dress’s train might have been a totally viable option.  To cut (see what I did there) an extremely long story short and to avoid revealing any more details about the dress, the photo above is the remains of the train and length.

Watching her walk up and down her flat afterwards, wearing the dress, I could see how much easier it was for her. It will still get dirty to a certain extent, but it is now balanced. She is no longer fighting against the volumes of fabric. She was wearing the dress and not the other way round. The dress wearing her.

It was a long, long day and I wish I could have tidied up a few more bits, but she’s happy. I couldn’t imagine doing this for anyone else but my nieces or daughters. Full of admiration for seamstresses that make alterations for clients. It was such fun spending a whole day with her. Not sure I’ve ever done that before. We didn’t stop talking.

So glad I could help. I feel honoured she trusted me.

I’ll post up photos of the big day, so you can see the dress eventually.

 

Sunday photo -the aftermath

Miss. I think you need to step away from the scissors now. You’ve done enough. Put them down slowly and walk away.”

The dark side of dressmaking.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

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