Crafting, fun and friendship

Crafting, fun and friendship

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

WOYWW 169

TIS THE GIFT TO BE SIMPLE, TIS THE GIFT TO BE FREE,
TIS THE GIFT TO COME DOWN WHERE WE OUGHT TO BE,
AND WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES IN THE PLACE JUST RIGHT,
T'WILL BE IN THE VALLEY OF LOVE AND DELIGHT.

I so agree with Elder Joseph when he wrote this beautiful and deceptively simple song of praise. It IS the simplest things that bring the most pleasure and harmony into our lives...for me anyway, the more so as I get older. So here are two reasons for me to smile..





G3 (with Ron the cat). My gorgeous younger son, who sometimes doubts his abilities, got 12 GCSEs last week, As, Bs and Cs and has been accepted to start 4 A levels in Ancient History, Archaeology, Philosophy and IT.

You did so brilliantly...we are proud of you and love you loads xx






Acanthus!  We have these amazing perennial
plants in our back garden. They grow from ground
level to about 9 feet high! Their common name
(in the UK anyway) is Bears' Breeches..why, I just  
don't know...
One of my greatest joys is to watch the bees at
work. They tunnel up into the deep flower tube, 
carefully avoiding the prickles which always stab 
me!  The whole flower vibrates with buzzing - it is
just the best thing and always makes me smile!
Even funnier is the bee having to reverse backwards out of the flower, looking slightly dishevelled!!



See, I'm smiling as I type this.
I adore its hairy legs!!





I could go on...but to the desk I must go....
Lisa-Jane, a lovely WOYWWer asked if I could make a craft tote bag. Now, I know she's very fond of pink so furtled around in my stash and found this fabric...and then I tried to do bellows pockets...The sort that lie flat against 
the side of the bag but expand if you put things in!



I got the instructions from The Bag
Making Bible by Lisa Lam...it's quite
technical but very useful!
There are two pockets on either side and two normal internal pockets as well. But I wanted the bag to be rigid because Lisa-Jane will be carrying her trimmer in it, so used fusible buckram. Great result but a complete b****r to sew with!!

Other things I've made to be in stock for the craft fairs are this bright and breezy pinny and an over-the-shoulder pegbag (with a spotty lining!!)
And finally, in the midst of rummaging, I found this felt bowl that Julia bought me ages ago! 
I've got a tin of pink twine, a reel of 4mm red ribbon and my owl (made by my Dutch friend, Erna) in it - it's in line of sight when I'm sewing and reminds me of my wonderful friends and how lucky I am....





Wednesday, 22 August 2012

WOYBW 168

It was red and yellow and green and brown 
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach 
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve 

And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey 

And purple and white and pink and orange
And blue



It's nearly like that infamous lyric from Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat in my What's On Your Bed Wednesday pic!!
It all started when I took myself in hand, kicked my Chunky Dunkers into gear (thanks Doone!) and organised seven craft fairs between now and late November!! I HAVE to make some more stock but couldn't see what fabric I still had tucked away in my plastic boxes... so out it all came, on display so I can see what's what....you may notice that my colour OCDness is at work again, but in fairness, it helps me choose co-ordinating fabrics quite quickly :D I'd forgotten about some of these beauties....
It was Stripes/Gingham/Spots warfare last week *grin* I ended up using the ticking for the liner of the bag...
The shot doesn't do it justice, the lining is really fab and quite understated for me (don't faint, Julia!!) But then I broke out the gingham for a pegbag..
Before...
After...
I'll have to do something with the spots next week!!

While searching on the web for summat, I came across a bib tutorial so had a go with a resurrected duo of quilting cottons...
It's for the gorgeous little daughter of a friend of mine...
Simple to make and it tested my 'Sewing a Curve' skills, that's for sure! But I totally failed when it came to attaching the press studs for the fastening. I have the bits, I have the little contraption for attaching. What I don't have is the dexterity to simultaneously hold the two separate parts inside the plastic doodah, while keeping the material in place then whacking said item with a hammer to join the snap thing together. Imagine if you will, a salvo of metallic shrapnel hitting the wall at high velocity accompanied by swearing of the highest order.  Do you think Mr LLJ will notice the pock marks on the wall - it is rather like the new pictures of the Martian landscape....sigh. Dextrous? Moi??? Hmmmmm........

So, off to buy sew-on Velcro tomorrow....and Polyfilla as well.......

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

WOYWW 167

THERE ONCE WAS A BAND,
THE BEST IN THE LAND,
EVERYBODY SAID 'OH MY, THEY'RE GRAND'...
BUT OH, HOW THEY LAUGHED WHEN THE TUBA WENT BY....
You'll see the reason for this lyric later in the post!

If you are thinking of coming to the WOYWW Crop on the 13th of October, please could we have a definite response soon as we need to judge numbers for catering/bums on seats. If you could email Julia, then we can keep the info exchange simple :) Many thanks!

I'm gonna be a Good Girl today (makes a change, eh??) and get straight to my desk...
 Over the shoulder pegbag No. 2. For the daughter of the lady who ordered the stripey version as featured on last week's post...I really hope they're happy with the choice of fabrics!

Do you remember this beach hut material? I decided to kick start my sewing again this week. My 'go-to' when I'm not sure what to make are my shopping tote bags. I can make them in my sleep now! I got out three different contrast fabrics for the lining and wasn't sure which one to use...I did pick one in the end but will have to show you next week! Which one would you choose??
 And what a Pile of Pretty we have here! I've got a bit of a project on the go, which I can't share yet..sorry..but was having fun sorting through all my summery fabrics, some of which haven't seen the light of day for a considerable time!!! I think that colour therapy is essential at times, it just makes you feel better...
Ok, the lyrics explanation...I had quite a few comments last week about me being in a band. Those of you who already know the story can skip this bit!

My name is Lunch Lady Jan and I'm a secret tuba player *grin* I don't care who knows it, I'm a brass band fiend! 

Actually, in brass banding, the tuba is known as the Bass - I play the E flat version, there are tubas tuned to B flat, C, F. I've been musical all my life, singing, playing piano, cello, baroque recorder, tin whistle - but the Bass is my true love. I fell into banding 6 years ago when my son, G3, started in the training section and I got dragged in. I was initially given a cornet but blowing it felt like my head was going to explode! The Band leader told me I had enough hot air to blow it straight, like a party blower!!! Hmmmm... But you can't deny that I have a good pair of lungs and you need a LOT of air to fill a bass. Oh and by the way....the wisecracks about me blowing a big horn....I've heard 'em ALL!!!!
I once read a brilliant article about choosing the right instrument for your child and it was all based on personality - quiet studious types should go for the piano, eccentrics for the bassoon etc etc. If your child was loud, rebellious and anarchic, then they and Brass are a match made in heaven. Need I say more?? Oh, and Brass players are always the first to the bar........  :D
Have a great week, y'all..!! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

WOYWW 166

AND SO I'M THANKING YOU FOR BEING TRUE,
AND STANDING BY ME THROUGH AND THROUGH.
To say I was overwhelmed by last week's comments is a slight understatement! Thank you to everyone who wished me well on my birthday - it was fun, I was spoiled and received some fab prezzies :D
What a lot of pretties!! The bead 'suitcase' and some of these beads were from my boys and friends; well over 50% of what you see are recycled or from the £1 bargain necklaces I bought and dismantled. And the other side of the case...
The same mix of old and new... I had great fun sorting these out while Bradley Wiggins was winning Gold in the Time trial!! These shots would make great jigsaws, don't you think?? 
This tin is from my dear friend Helen from the band I play in...she knows me well *grin* She also made me this initial which I've put on my band bag...
Isn't it fab? There's even a mini tuba button on it!!  I think she should do these for craft fairs!! if you're interested, I can pass on her details....
And Morti made me this fab, funky, oh-so-steampunky tissue box - the detail on it is brilliant..
Love the mechanical dragonfly! Thank you so much, Morti - it's going to have pride of place in my craft room :D
I'm sorry but I don't have a desk shot this week as I've been away at my dad's and nothing got done...but this is the across-body peg bag in its finished state..
It's got a green spotty inside as a contrast to the stripes - seemed to work ok, I just hope the lady who ordered it likes it!
On the way down to Dad's, I took a detour off the M4 and met up with Sam (Hettiecraft). It was lovely to meet her in the flesh!
Funny and funky - I definitely know we'll meet up again!! And Fergus and Monkey of course :D And I was VERY jealous of her shoes!!
Aren't they fab?? Wonder if they do ones big enough to fit my great trotters? That's all folks, I really have to got to get my a**e into gear this week!!


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

WOYWW 165

51 TODAY,
51 TODAY.
I'VE GOT THE KEY OF THE DOOR,
NEVER BEEN 51 BEFORE!!
HOW can I be 51? I'm only 32 (in my head...!) Ah well, aging is mandatory, growing up is optional - and boy, am I doing my best to live up to that!!  It is my birthday TODAY - I've been very spoiled :D  This is from Mr LLJ, the Big O and G3.....but what is it???
See, rusty ol' scrap. Aren't I a lucky girl?? Lol... I'll show you a bit more..
Hang on a minute, rusty old garden shears??? Are the boys taking the mick???
Only kidding!! Isn't it fantastic? I LOVE hares, got a real thing about them. This beauty was created from recycled metal tools and bits by Amy Lancaster. Have a peek at her stuff at www.metalmenagerie.co.uk . I love her work, it's so clever how she sees the shape of an animal in old scrappy bits and pieces. Her chickens make me hoot! Or should that be cluck....


Ok, my desk....
I've got an order for two pegbags so I've dug out a few fabrics to choose from. These bags are going to have an across the body strap rather than a clothes hanger, at the request of the buyer. I've had to modify the design as the usual length bag would require gorilla arms to reach the pegs at the bottom of the bag!! It's working quite well - I may well do more in the future. What is my son's Prom tie doing there???? I promise you I haven't read 50 Shades yet *grin*!


Here's what's in those bowls....
A whole load of swivel clips!! Someone I know organises conferences and she had loads of lanyards leftover from holding ID cards - they came my way and jolly useful they will be for handbag charms and the like. They retail for about 60p each so that's saved some cash! These were also on the lanyards...
I have absolutely NO idea what I'm going to do with these but we had fun at LLJ Towers, squeezing the sides and pinging them across the room like tiddlywinks. The cats enjoyed that game, lol!!


Ah well, that's it from me - am off to drink champagne and eat cake. It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it... :D