Life and Thyme!

Life!

You make your plans and all goes to pot! Or one darned thing after another. But we are getting there. There was a wonderful weekend in the Cotswolds, now I am on auto pilot for Christmas.

Leaving you with Master H making a Christmas decoration at Cogges Farm museum in Witney, Oxfordshire last weekend.

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Be back sometime… have a Happy Christmas one and all

Busy!

I think we are all busy this month, certainly if you are a crafter it is time for a bit of overdrive. Here’s what I have been up to this last week.

I went to a half day workshop for Christmas decorations. It was a little disappointing in that we only got to make item but it is quite sweet. A ribbon Christmas tree.

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Basically a polystyrene  cone with folds of ribbon pinned in. The strips are 6 cms long and pinned by holding the long edges right sides one on top of each other. Approx 3 metres in two colours needed for  a 14cm cone.Mine is only 12cm so I adjusted the amounts.

Next I have started to fill the little baskets I bought at the stitching show with rosebuds and decorating the lid with a ribbon and button. I shall be using my homegrown lavender in the screaming boxes.

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From the top

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And finally I completed the tunic I was knitting for Miss F which is miles too big and won’t be her size for another year I think!!

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If you have enjoyed my Creative Embroidery posts and the Stitched Project I have started a new blog for them . I posted my November Stitching project on there which you can find at avoicethroughstitchhere

And now I am heading to Handmade Harbour for crafty inspiration.

Love to know what you have been making this week.

Nice Surprise

Yesterday I toddled into town, went to the library, borrowed 4 new books , bought some bird seed, went to the butchers and greengrocers, enjoyed the aroma of the chocolate shop whilst buying a Christmas present and came home to find, oh Joy, a package for me. From Jessica at To Boldly Craft my bookmark exchange partner.

Inside this charming bookmark designed specially for me.

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and ,oh yes, and..

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a pretty notebook and a pin cushion.

Thank you so much.

 

Autumn leaf project update

First of all a big thank you to everyone who helped me out with comments on my Autumn Leaf stitching project last month. Your suggestions were really helpful. So what did I do? Well, I painted up some more yellow fabric and made some more leaves. I then used machine embroidery to quilt the piece and  added veins to the bigger leaves. Then I made it into a cushion. I do like a cushion!!

Here we go -adding the big new leaf to the centre.

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Adding the leaf veins

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You can see the machine embroidery too. I really really loved doing this part, I went over and over the fabric loving the texture I was creating.

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A little yellow leaf. and the final cushion

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I learned such a lot from making this.  I did machine embroidery and it wasn’t scary, it was fun. Design.. have I finally learned that I should plan things put properly before plunging in. This is still on the messy side,too much is well too much!  I don’t think I have finished with autumn leaves by a lone chalk, but less is more.

Mr E still didn’t ask about the pile of leaves in the fireplace. They remained looking lovely, as a result of pressing them between newspapers. I burnt them ceremoniously when I stitched the last stitch. And he hasn’t said a word about the new cushion… being polite or merely unobservant?

Meantime I have started , well am starting a new blog called A voice through stitch which you can access by hoovering over my name top right hand  corner. Or by clicking here I will be posting my next Stitching Project on there very soon. I felt that these rather personal stitching responses to the world around me don’t quite fit in my NanaCathy blog hence the new blog. As always I am technically challenged with what I am trying to do , but hopefully the new blog will be ok. Love it if you went for a visit in the next week or so when I make my first stitch post. Thanks.

Once again thanks for the comments on my autumn leaves and if you care to leave another, well that would make me very happy.

 

Last Thursday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.  I went to see what was new, to top up on supplies and to have a great day out. I didn’t attend any of the workshops, I did check online but there were none I fancied.

I am still not certain what I made of it!! I had been to a previous show ( about 8?years ago maybe)in Harrogate but I think that was a combined embroidery and hobby show, so slightly different. Certainly the earlier show was held on the Showground which had plenty of parking.

The location for the Knitting and Stitching show was in the exhibition centre smack in the middle of town with NO parking. So problem one is find the exhibition centre, problem two find a car park, problem three find your way on foot back to the centre, problem four on leaving remember how to get back to your car!

I don’t like crowds. And as I don’t like crowds I went on the first day and was there shortly after the 4 day show opened. Having bought my ticket, which took less time than I imagined and got inside , guess what? It was crowded, very, very ,very crowded! I figured that everyone had got through the doors and stopped at the first few booths, so I plunged through the hoards and indeed the crowds thinned and I was happier.

I found my way to a couple of stalls I was really interested in. The first being Adelaide Walker from whom I had bought my felt supplies by mail order. Now I would love to be able to show photos of the various stalls I visited, but it was crowded and many of my favourites had a no photo sign, so instead all I can share are the photos I took when I got home ,of the goodies I bought.

The first being this merino wool for felting.

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From there I visited a booth for the International Feltmakers Association, where I had a really interesting, informative and friendly conversation. I then went onto a lady who made fabric collages which were so pretty that I bought two kits for Christmas presents, and I wish I had bought more,  and one for myself. Again this lady was really helpful and happy to chat.

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By now the crowds had caught up for me. I will be honest I was totally staggered by the number of people who attended. In places it felt like a rugby scrum. And from here on in any thoughts of having nice friendly chats with stall holders went out the window. Which was a real shame, because this is a chance to talk to experts and in some cases professional practitioners of the crafts I love. And was what I liked about the show I had attended a few years ago.

There were plenty of stalls for knitting, but as I am pretty sussed on knitting and have two yarn suppliers I am more than happy with, I just had  a casual look round these stalls, and there were no yarn purchases.

But Fabric was a different matter. There were many fabric stalls most offering fat quarters. I did a lot of looking around as the prices varied quite considerably. But here’s what I came away with.

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and these

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Now if I couldn’t cope with the crowds, neither could some of the stalls. Not only didn’t they have time to chat they could barely keep up with their sales. By midday many were looking very harassed and some were already selling out of popular items. It was probably a shop lifters paradise.

One of the biggest scrums surrounded the stall where I bought these. Maybe it was a poor layout but three staff couldn’t keep up… and many shoppers were using their elbows to good effect

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These are baskets for potpourri and lavender to decorate and

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and these precut hearts. And one Christmas present.

There were a couple of more disappointments along the way.  One well known supplier of all things crafty had a series of demonstrations going on, including the weirdly named xpandaprint, only problem was that the demonstrators were so engrossed with what they were doing they forgot to speak.

And the other one, well the prices. It struck me that threads, experimental packs etc were more expensive than I would have expected. I go to such events with cash only to ensure I don’t overspend, so I think carefully before each purchase, and I actually came away with nearly a quarter of my budget left as I didn’t like the prices.

I won’t mention the toilets, or how hard it was to find the exit when I had had enough, which was nearly two hours earlier than I expected.

It is great that so many people want to attend, but maybe the show should be somewhere with a bit more space and a car park!

On the plus side I did get the above items. I chatted to a really lovely fellow attendee over a sandwich at lunch . But would I go again, the jury is out on that one!

Oh, I nearly forgot the best purchase of the day. Look at these lovelies below, wooden hearts and buttons and beads galore, and £1 per pack. I saw some stalls charging nearly that per button.

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Have you been to this show or the one in London, what did you think? What is the best way to see whats new?

Final Doll Update

Oh yes she is finally finished. Materials purchased circa 30 years ago, worked on mostly this year , driven on by the wish to present Miss F with her very own Nana made rag doll. Meet Mary Jane ( Until Miss F renames her).

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Her little face

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Her pinafore, see the pleats at the bottom

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and the sleeves

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there are many imperfections and mistakes. This is quite the hardest bit of sewing I have ever done and I have made trousers for myself and dungarees for Master T,but this was so fiddly and the seam allowances were pathetically  tiny,  but it is made with love, which I hope overcomes the flaws in execution.

Pattern was Simplicity 6147

Joining with Handmade Harbour

 

 

Bakes like Berry!

After a couple of weeks off baking due to Birthday Cake ( mine) I baked another cake from Mary Berry’s 100 Sweet Treats and Puds. Finally I have the Bakes like Berry to hoot and hallooh about. This one is great, super, gorgeous,and divine, the sponge is as soft and light as can be , in short SCRUMMY!

Guernsey Apple Cake

(why Guernsey,but if all the cake on Guernsey is like this I need to visit)

7″ cake tin- round

8oz SR flour

grated zest of 1 lemon

1 level tsp baking powder

4oz butter

8oz light brown sugar

2 big eggs

6oz eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped

icing sugar to dust after baking

oven 160C/gas 6

Line and butter the cake tin

Mix all the ingredients bar the apples in a bowl. Then fold in the chopped apples.Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours till done

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and dust with the icing sugar.

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It did dip in the middle but then so does the one in the book

Here’s my piece

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Love to hear of any baking plans this weekend

 

 

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