Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Still in the pink

It would appear that I need peace and quiet to blog and I'm afraid last week that was in short supply. Since the sun decided to make an extended appearance it seemed like the perfect opportunity to replace our front door and a window, a job that had been scheduled for some time but weather kept delaying. While our local joiners have many qualities and abilities, stealth isn't one of them.

I made a vain attempt to work outside but the pond residents were making such a racket I found it difficult to concentrate. Just in case you think I'm exaggerating you can have a look here to see what I mean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVflYLM4DQ. I can actually hear them in the house, even with the windows and doors closed.

Our yearly pond residents, look closely

their parting gift

The majority of them have left now, their job for this year done. Peace and quiet reigns once more.

Unfortunately I haven't been quite as productive, a bit of a worry really, especially since I have my first craft fair of the year in  just over a month. However I have had another go at 'pink'. This is one of my favourite designs so I was far more comfortable making it. I have taken on board suggestions from the last pink post and have gone with a different embellishment, trading the woollen brooch for something smaller and more structured. In the meantime your feedback would be appreciated on this offering.

On another note, last week I was very fortunate to have received my first ever blog award from Hazel and Blue Thanks so much Becky, it's really appreciated

This award is for blogs with 300 followers or less, to showcase their blogs, and hopefully encourage some new readers. I now have to choose some people to pass it on to. No easy task since there are so many enjoyable, informative and entertaining blogs out there. I have decided to choose these peoples blogs, not only because they are all well worth a read, but also because I know they fit the criteria ( there are a so many more I would like to include but I don't know what their following is )

A pretty varied lot, hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Monday, 21 March 2011

New Season's Aims

Spring has most definitely sprung. Plants are beginning to show signs of struggling in to this years finery. Birds are in full voice, even if they could do with a little help from a choirmaster, and after a week of work the pond is quivering with frogspawn. 

So, true to my word of earlier this year it is time to set about accomplishing some new season's aims. To ease me out of hibernation the first thing I've done is volunteer at one of the local charity shops. It will be strange to be back working in a shop environment after so long but I'm really looking forward to it. 

Next step was to get making again. I've already spent more time in my workroom in the last week than I have in the previous 3 months. Yes, that may have something to do with the fact that I no longer risk breaking a leg or getting soaked to the bone on my way to it, but it's mainly because I'm eager to get started on some new projects (the 'pink' bag being one of them). I bought some fabulous new fabrics at Hobbycraft (S.E.C.C.) a few weeks ago and I'm keen to see what I can do with them.

Another aim was to set up my Folksy shop, ( actually that was one of last years aims that wasn't quite met, but better late than never eh?) It took a bit longer than I was expecting since I'm not what you would say 'a natural' at all things computer related. This is a sample of what I have listed at the moment. I'll be listing more when I have the time,... and patience! ( I'm assured I'll get quicker, because getting any slower would be against the laws of physics)

But my main aim this year is to do what I enjoy. When I decided, 2 years ago, to increase the number of craft fairs I was doing I had no idea that I would get to the point of finding 'making' a chore. Everything fell by the wayside in the need to produce something new for each fair I attended, and it wasn't always something that I enjoyed making. I stopped painting, since I wasn't likely to be taking art to the fairs, and I stopped designing because I didn't have the time to waste on R&D.

Looking out at the garden these last few days brought it home to me just how much I had also neglected it. Now, I like a little wilderness as much as the next person, but when that wilderness is tending towards jungle you know you have to call a halt. I made excuses about how tidy gardens were the cause of a decline in our natural wildlife and I was doing my bit provide shelter. Pah! More like I was too busy with my crafting 'chores' to find time for any others.

So with that in mind I've decided to limit the number of craft fairs I'll be participating in this year, probably the decision that prompted my Folksy shop opening. I also think it's one of the main reasons I'm now back in my workroom, and loving it.

Of course, just because I'm calling them new season's aims doesn't mean they won't go the same way as their January counterparts!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The colour of Spring

At last, my lurghi has left me ( many thanks for all of your get well wishes ). Just in time too. Never mind the occasional hail, sleet or snow storm, the frogs have arrived in the pond so it must be Spring. Hurrah!

I sat outside to have lunch yesterday, granted I was wearing a thermal vest, polo neck and a fleece, but I was still outside. Glorying in the sunny blue sky, listening to the frogs and being startled every now and again by battling crows in the trees. Filled with a new sense of purpose I felt it was time to tackle the bag I had been putting off most of the winter.

On a shopping trip with a very good friend I was 'persuaded' to buy a lovely Linton tweed. Now, I use Linton fabrics quite often so I don't want you thinking that's what required her strong arm tactics. No, it was the colour. It was pink. And I do mean PINK! 

Being Dutch my friend has a completely different attitude than mine to colour. I hate the idea of falling in to a stereotype here but I think it would be fair to say that as a Scot I'm not the most flamboyant when it comes to hues, tints and tones. I'm not sure if that is a national trait ( but to be honest you just have to look at most of the ancient or hunting tartans to get a good idea! ) or whether it's more to do with being the youngest of 4 girls. As clothes were likely to be passed down the more practical colours were chosen, in classic styles that wouldn't appear dated by the time they reached their final recipient. 

With that in mind it's no surprise that when fabric shopping I tend towards the blues, greys, browns and greens. The joy of making bags is that although the outside may be practical, bordering on puritan, I can always shake it up a bit with a funky lining. Sort of like a hidden, guilty pleasure. 

But my friend was having none of that. She wanted to shake me out of my comfort zone. To stop me being practical and allow myself to be frivolous for a change, and not in secret. So yesterday I had a go, I'm just not sure about the results.

A work in progress

I found it really difficult to design and make something that was so far removed from my normal colour palette. I wanted it to be structured but squishy at the same time, so I put darts in the rounded corners, a central pleat for volume and a rigid top panel.

It's not a huge bag, the more space I have the more likely I am to fill it with junk and my shoulders won't stand the strain anymore ( it's an age thing I'm sure ) Again, I'm not sure whether I've got the proportions right.  I've used a vintage leather belt as the shoulder strap, it's a sort of toffee shade that I've tied in with the wool brooch embellishment (that's still a work in progress, it may need a little something added to it).

I wouldn't normally post an unfinished item but in this case I think I'm looking for a little feedback and inspiration. Moving out of your comfort zone might be all well in theory, in practice as far as I can see it just results in a lot of hair pulling and self doubt!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


I've been battling a lurghi for the last couple of weeks. What started as a simple cold developed into sinusitis, that wonderful ailment that leaves you convinced your brain is being forced out through your eye sockets. 
This led to a persistent cough that's seen me banished to the spare room in an effort to ensure that at least one adult in the household gets a decent nights sleep.

From that you can assume I've not been at my most productive!

Quite frustrating really, especially since I participated in Very Berry's fabric swap last month, my first ever. I managed to get a parcel sent to my swap recipient Hooked Yarn and I received this wonderful bundle from Hazel and Blue last week. 

It made me think of spring when I opened it, all those fresh colours in soft tones. Some designs traditional, others quite funky.

I've been desperate to get started on something with these fabulous goodies, but it's difficult to cut in a straight line while coughing up a lung! So I'm just going to have to be patient and hope the syrup starts working (although now I'm not sure exactly what 'for coughs' means!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...