Saturday 9 August 2014

Sew and Tell

So as promised a quick sew and tell, the truth is that if I had my way I would have my bottom firmly screwed down in front of the sewer for a good few hours a day, but hey somehow life gets in the way, but its not all bad.

So first up is my Margot pyjama bottoms. I was so excited when I first learned that Tilly Walnes was writing a book. I absolutely LOVED her in the first series of The Sewing Bee and was guttered when she had to leave. I just love everything about her style, so needless to say when she announced that you could pre order the book, I wasted no time. For those of you who haven't flicked through this fabulous book 'Love at First Stitch:Demystifying Dressmaking', you should seriously do yourself a favour and get your mitts on it. It has some really lovely sewing ideas with some lovely patterns. I really love the fact that the patterns are all full sized, so no enlarging or faffing required, which suits a gal like me down to the ground.

Now for quite some time I have been meaning to make some PJ's and seeing that there are quite a few easy patterns floating around on Pinterest it was only going to be a matter of time before I got around to it. The first time I flicked through this book, I immediately knew what my first project was going to be, yes you guessed it, the Margot PJ's. I bought the fabric, but as is often the case it got put to one side to make room for something else, well that was until I could wait no longer and as they say the rest, well, was history.

These are really easy PJ's that you can make in next to no time. I think all in all (ignoring hand sewing the hem) it took me a few hours, but now that I know what I am doing I suspect it will take me a little less time to make the next pair, they are just too comfy not to!

A few weeks ago, I spied a fabulous looking magazine on no other than the very lovely Daisy's Instagram feed and it was only a matter of days before I was flicking through it.  I love everything about this magazine (thank you Daisy!), it is so varied with so many different and lovely sewing ideas and projects, in fact I can feel a little subscription coming up, ssshhh don't tell hubby! This months issue comes with a pattern for a rather lovely little tunic, so I wasted no time in reaching for my shweshwe fabric, which I purchased during our recent visit to South Africa, and got started.

Again, seriously, this is an easy peasy pattern to follow and such a quick sew for a rather lovely finish. My only criticism about it is that it came out far too big for my liking so yet again I had to take it in! This seems to be an ongoing trend with my dressmaking, but I suspect sooner than later I will start understanding what my true size is. 

If it wasn't for the alterations, this would have taken no more than a few hours from start to finish. It is simple and uncomplicated and for any new sewers out there, give it a go!! I am definitely going to make another one, in fact it would seem a shame not to!

So whilst I was packing and tidying, I spotted a pattern for a sunglasses case (again part of this month's Love Sewing Magazine) and needless to say I just somehow had to make one...

Fortunately it was really quick sew that I just about managed to squeeze in and I must say I'm very impressed with yet another Sewgirl pattern. The only criticism, yes you've guessed it, its a little too big for my liking ;-), in fact its the perfect little make-up bag.

So that's it for today and for my sew and tell. We are soon jetting off on summer jolly and going back to beautiful Tuscany, so needless to say we are all feeling a little giddy with excitement, but as usual there is quite a lot to get ready and prepared, so I better get on with it! Wishing you all a beautiful couple of week and leaving you today with some beautiful lavender from the garden (Ma this one is for you!).

Warm Wishes

Wednesday 6 August 2014

A little trip to the seaside

The day after the schools broke up for the summer holiday we set off for a few days to beautiful Anglesey. After our recent visit (which I spoke about here) we just knew that we didn't want to wait too long before we dipped our toes in the gorgeous coastline around Anglesey. By the time the last few manic weeks of school term was over we were all very ready for a few days of chillaxing by the seaside.

What is it with pitching tents that brings out the 'man' in us all. It surely is a sure way to see who wears the trousers in the house, and when it comes to pitching the tent there sure is a tussle for the braces in our household! Needless to say this can lead to all sorts of dilemmas when the real testosterone kicks in and one knows when to step back jack! So yes apart from the sweltering heat and the fact that it really annoys me that men can just take their tops off whenever they are hot (not fair right?!), not to mention water the plants when they need to spend a penny and then get to take over when pitching the tent, it all went swimmingly well and by the time we were pitched, we were very sweaty and very ready for a dip in the freezing cold Atlantic and cool this hothead of mine! Fortunately for me I grew up swimming in the Cape, so these waters are pretty warm by comparison. I think if you can swim at Bloubergstrand in the Cape, you can swim pretty much anywhere.

We enjoyed lovely cups of teas, ice creams and food from this gorgeous little cafe on Lligwy Beach. For anyone on Instagram, you may very well be familiar with Cheryl's gorgeous feed (@thehouseonahill).  It was so lovely to meet her in person and to put a face to an Instagram account that I love. Our little furry friend, Bryn, joined us for our camping jolly and I have to say the boy was so so good!! I think he has fairly earned his camping badge and deserves a gold medal for being the best behaved dog in the campsite and on the beach! This could very possibly be because he felt at home, after all he is Welsh, hence the name Bryn. We all had a good few giggles at road names called after him.

Little E and myself enjoyed some morning yoga on our first morning followed by a lovely healthy breakfast. There's always something to forget when you go camping and this time it was the kettle!!! (yes OH NO! you heard her say), especially seeing that I am a gal who likes my teas no matter where I am. Fortunately I could use our coffee pot and our friends arrived with two kettles by mistake, I mean what are the chances?!

On our first evening there we enjoyed THE most spectacular sunset and this was the view from our tent. I mean how tiny and insignificant does this big sun make you feel, but doesn't it feel good to know that we are blessed to live in a world where are free to walk outside and enjoy the benefits that this beautiful star bring.

On day two friends joined us for the rest of our stay and it was just jolly nice to be in good company with like minded friends. We enjoyed a trip to the Beautiful Cable Bay, definitely one of my favourite beaches now, where we all just spent the day swimming, playing bats, badminton, frisbee, whilst enjoying lunch and cups of tea on the beach. Lets just say we did it in style (do we need an excuse? heck no!).

We did have a plan to enjoy fish and chips on the beach one night, but sadly it started to rain and we made it to a fish and chips shop where we could sit outside and enjoy our meal and I hasten to add that not only did they allow us to drink some wine, but I also enjoyed some GLUTEN free fish, I mean really, who would have thought! I honestly can't remember the last time I ate fish and chips, but one thing is for sure it was good. 

The rest of the time we just enjoyed Lligwy Bay, our local beach,  which was literally a three minute walk from the campsite. The kids built sandcastles, played in the water, played beach bats and frisbee, whilst us oldies joined in or just relaxed.

We were very lucky with the weather as it all changed on our last night there , which honestly I think was quite fun for the kids as we enjoyed a meal cooked in the tent, games and stories, it was a whole new experience for them.

I was a little unsure about how I was going to cope with camping for four nights, but honestly I can't believe how much I did physically. It was AMAZING!!!! We were all in bed by 11 and the kids were flat out till around 7.30 - 8am every morning (the above pic was the kids flat out till after 8.30 one morning!).  Lets not talk about the noisy birds (not me for once) as its a sore point with the other half! It just felt so so good to have a little taste of life again and especially seeing that we were always big on camping, it feels so good to have done something we both enjoy with our kids at an age they will most probably remember.

I feel that all the hard work I have put in this year is paying off. I swam in the sea, I even played beach bats and most of all I walked, yes I didn't use my wheels once, so it was such a massive breakthrough for me. I will add that I am feeling it this week, but then I can't expect it all to be good without any payback, that's just not the way Fibromyalgia or ME works, but I know that with rest and care it will get better. It is definitely a little trickier now that the kids are home, and despite the fact that we have a super busy week planned, I will do what I know works best, good food, yoga and a little down time.  I am still incredibly strict with my routine and diet and I am feeling all the much better for it. There is one word the keeps coming back to me over and over, if you are DISCIPLINED, you can achieve so much in life!

Leaving you with this sweet little sign, that pretty much sums up how I feel!

Wishing you all a wonderful week.
Warm Wishes

Sunday 3 August 2014

Monthly Mandalong

Helloooo. Well its a good thing I've got this monthly mandalong thingy going on as otherwise I would never get to blogland. Honestly I don't know where the time goes or what I do with it (well I do to some extend), but I never seem to have time to sit down to read blogs or even write to you all. I must confess I do miss reading all your news and staying tuned with all your crafty developments (sorry for being so slack!).  For now though the school holidays are in full swing and it seems I have survived the first week, phew! Only another four and a half to go :-)) she says. We quickly forget just how full on it is having the kids home 24 hours a day! To be honest I am quite enjoying it and we have been super busy, so there's been no time to sit and just be (which I miss!). So without wasting anymore time let me share my recent mandala with you.

As mentioned last month, I agreed to make another Starflower Mandala for Lucy (Attic24) for the Yarndale Festival. At first the idea seemed pretty straightforward especially considering that I had already made one, I mean how hard can it be?! Well my dearies it seems that this girl here grumbled and groused and pulled out row after row, possibly because I was trying to do this on route to Anglesey and back whilst being the co-driver. Is it just me or is being the co-driver harder work than being the driver, especially with non stop demands from the kids at the back? Anyone else have this problem?

So yes for me this gorgeous pattern by the very talented Zelina Olivier does require some attention and its not the kind of project you can work on whilst doing other things (well that was my experience anyway). Once I found a few minutes here and there to do a little uninterrupted crocheting, it was plain sailing. Clearly bad planning on my part, I should have finished it before the schools broke up, lesson learnt (or has it now?!). 

I really loved doing this project in Drops Paris and much prefer the final finish to the Stylecraft Special that I crocheted last month.  I also really love the colours that I used for this starflower. I wanted to have something summery, yes a bit like Ice Cream and I am very happy with the way it turned out. In fact as I was photographing this I found that it perfectly matched our deck chair, so need I say more!

In fact there is a little part of me that doesn't really want to part with this mandala and I have to confess (even if it is through gritted teeth) that I might just have to make another starflower mandala.

So the next Mandala pattern yet again comes from the very talented Zelina Olivier and honestly I am feeling a little exited to start making this pretty daisy in a square mandala. Personally I am already envisaging ticking a few crimbo pressies off the list (ssshhh don't tell anyone!). So for any of you interested in joining in you can find this pattern on the lovely Zelina's blog and you can add the link to next month's link up. 

Photo from Zelina Olivier's blog: Zooty Owl's Crafty Blog

For those of you who have made a mandala this month, you can add it to the link below. Thank you to everyone who has participated to the Monthly Mandalong thus far, it has been fun seeing all your beautiful creations. Honestly I am really enjoying doing this, it is a good way to ensure that I do something different every month and if I am honest also good to be crocheting as I seem to be a little obsessed with sewing right now. Speaking of which, I will pop back before we jet off to show and tell a few sewing makes. For now though, its time to alter a tunic and to prepare the roast dinner for tonight. I hope you all have enjoyed a glorious weekend. Thank you for stopping by!

Warm Wishes