Click for fun fabrics and trimmings.........

Monday, 30 November 2009

Pause in Advent

As I rushed around yesterday doing mundane housey chores, bigger painty chores and christmas preparation type chores. I thought of the irony that I am taking part in Floss's Pause for Advent.
My life is full and busy, and I don't use my time sensibly all of the time, so pausing during advent to think about what christmas really means to our family is a good idea. I was hoping that by this stage of the year, my christmas crafting would have been complete, my presents would have been bought and wrapped and that I could be sat back enjoying december with the boys. Obviously that hasn't happened, but I do still plan to take time out to enjoy the boys getting ready for the festivities, for the time we are all off school and work together with nowhere to go, we can relax, welcome guests, take time to enjoy being a family. Instead of the usual weekend cramming in jobs and activities.
After making my advent calendar..heavily influenced by this one...I decided that this year as well as a chocolate treat the boys could have a little note, letting them know how many sleeps are left and details of an activity that we can do each day. The idea taken from here. I am thinking I will include going with daddy to choose a tree, watching big brothers stagecoach panto, making cards, colouring in christmas colouring books, making cookies, going to see Father Christmas...any other ideas gratefully recieved!!
The suggestion was met with mucho eye rolling from Mr 14 year old, though I suspect he will be just as eager to see what the note says each day and will be the first to get stuck in to a painty, gluey, glittery activity!!
As well as the new handmade calendar, the big boys have their shop bought choccy ones, I have a traditional door opening one, we have the advent tree (as blogged about last year), now 14 years old and slightly worse for wear after the baby got hold of it last year...and an advent candle. This was bought for last years advent period and mislaid, the plan is to light it at dinner each evening......
As a family we are not especially religious, but one of our family traditions is to make sure that the boys know that the meaning of christmas extends beyond chocolate calendars and gift lists!!
(We always just assumed they realised until W, when he was about 7 or 8 said isn't Jesus lucky having his birthday on Christmas Day......).
We are already introducing a few christmas story books at bedtime and I will now be reading them The Christmas Story alongside Maisy's Christmas Eve and suchlike...
And this delightful stitchery will be displayed during advent as a reminder to us all....
(picture and stitchery courtesy of Miss Hetty Rosepepper)
Today I need to deliver these advent cards to the mums....we found them on a stall selling Japanese stationary on a Christmas market in New York...really wish I had got one for me too!!

Thursday, 26 November 2009


photo from google
I know we don't celebrate Thanksgiving this side of the pond. But would it not do everybody good to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for?
I am thankful that my boys are healthy and happy, that I have a mostly fabulous husband who works very very hard to provide for us all, and for my wonderful friends - in real life and blogland!
And before you all reach for a bucket ;)
I'm thankful for Yankee candles....fairy lights.....toasty warm ugg boots....gingerbread latte....and Amazon (couldn't have finished my christmas shopping without you!!)
Its nearly the start of advent, THE calendar will get the big reveal at the weekend, and I really need to crack on with my christmas crafting...but first, I have a night in with the girls to cook for and a 12 year old's birthday to belatedly celebrate, school and sharing him with his father has got in the way so we are pausing his birthday and restarting it on Saturday!!!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Whilst we were away my lovely husband celebrated his birthday. We marked the occasion by having a leisurely breakfast where nobody spilt anything, then catching the metro to catch the Staten Island Ferry. This would provide us with a marvellous...and free..view of the Statue of Liberty. It was cold, and windy, and wet ...and lovely husband was underwhelmed by her size!!!( I quote...hmmm thought it would be bigger!!!!) But it was lovely. Even lovlier was that after we had got off the ferry, back on, then off again in Manhatten, we caught the metro once more up to SoHo, heading for Sullivan Street. Here. I'll spare you the lousy map reading tales and the walking round in circles ones too and get onto the fabric I bought for myself. Whilst lovely husband stood like a spare part!! Not many men would be prepared to do this for their wives on their birthday lol!!!

It was my turn to be underwhelmed....whilst the little shop was full of beautiful quilting fabrics...there was nothing there apart from a couple of designs that blew me away.

Now in the shops defence, I am most certainly not a quilter and have an untrained eye, but I was just expecting some more 'wow' factor lots of them on this site.

The staff were friendly..left me alone to dither whilst being there to help...and the prices were good. We pay a lot of money for quilting fabric in the UK!! Most of the fabrics were about $9 a yard so half a yard cost the same as a FQ over here.

These photo's were taken in my bay idea why the light is so awful.

From the left the 1st 2 are Aunt Grace Classics - I love the blue and satsuma orange together.
The middle 3 are Aunt Grace Authentics - these will be turned into a hexy patchwork lap quilt...

The next 3 are Amy Butler - from her new Love range.

I also got a yard of this Alexander Henry nursery print...well it said nursery to me...I will save this for making new baby gifts.

Apart from the authentics, I bought because I liked, with no project in mind, which is why my haul is quite restrained. I had no projects in mind and as I said before nothing else totally bowled me if I'd have found other fabric shops the story could be very different!! Next time we go I shall research fabric shops with more care!!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Charity Listing in Blogshop

I have just listed a Christmas Stocking in my blogshop...
The fabrics were donated by one of the lovely forum members at SCC who has a textile recycling business. She challenged us to make something saleable out of the items she would randomly send us.....
The proceeds will be donated to the forums adopted charity KIN - which raises funds to give children in Kenya a better life.
I'm enjoying making stockings at the minute....does anyone know where I can get myself an extra 5 hours a day????

Friday, 20 November 2009

paper bag swap

I was nervous about this swap after signing up...actually having to take the scissors to somebody elses fabric *yikes*!!!
But I got over it lol...and what I made for Rachel can be seen on her post here.

Yesterday I had another parcel opening session - complete with sighs and oohs and ahs again!!
lots of parcels to opening, very exciting!!
Rachel is a very talented crafter, and I did do some little screams when I opened!!!
I love this patchwork stitchery that I am going to wall mount, and I will be following Rachel's advice hehehe!!
I love the addition of the recipe card and am thinking this is an idea I may adopt, its a great idea to pass on recipes and can't wait to give this choccy brownie recipe a go!! (love the card with the good enough to eat pic on too!!)

Now I embarrassed myself with this beautiful patchwork item...when I opened it I placed it around my neck..and thought what a lovely scarf....then I thought..hmm actually I think its a placed on my bedroom chest (thinking all the time that it would look lovely on my newly painted dresser...when its done....)

So I email Rachel and say thank you...and guess what!!! Rachel meant it as a scarf *blush* but has graciously told me I can use as I like!! (probably thinking what a numpty lol!!!)

Its gorgeous and if I use as a scarf it will crease!! On my dresser it won't and I can stroke it as I walk by...but if I use it as a scarf I can look at it all the time...hmm decisions!!!!

Some Christmas lovliness, wooden candle holder and a cute robin decoration...Rachel's stitching is perfect.....This pretty brooch is on my pink cardigan already...jellybeans are in my tummy :)

And a fab pincushion sitting next to some bath fizzers that smell of sweeties - yum :)

Thank You so much Rachel, for my fabulous makes and for organising the paper bag swap. Its been fun..once the worry passed, I enjoyed making for somebody with their choice of fabric.

Hoping for a bit of sun tomorrow so I can take pics of my purl purchases....also hoping for some time to use some!!!

The countdown to Christmas starts here for me...I plan to do some wrapping this weekend...I'm usually done by now...and I want to put the boys advent calendar together with chocs and activities.....not many sleeps now!!!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

undeserved kindness

A while ago I sent a piece of manky old oilcloth off my dining table to Sarah of Red Gingham. Sarah has blogged about it here.
I say was perfectly fine...once I cut round the iron mark....someone was ironing on the dining table....don't ask!! I was glad that it could be reused as I would have stored it away and never used it.
Returning from holiday I collected some parcels from the sorting office and got a very lovely surprise.
Too lovely. Sarah is very naughty...look what she sent me.....
fabric...and sweeties....(m's and m's as C calls them...they are gone!!!!)
cute kiddy and white christmas fabric...perfect for me. Just my style. But Sarah knew that. Does anyone else sometimes think their blog friends know them better than their real life ones???!

I am going to have such fun making with these the holiday is over Christmas must begin!! I have some serious crafting to do....
I just love the bird decoration attached to the it!! Such a lovely touch to make a special present even more special...I may steal the idea for Christmas Gifts....

Sarah you are a star...I told you that you made me cry. I was totally overwhelmed. And I hope you get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing you made me very happy :)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Back to Life

So we are back.
I am totally in love with New York.....may have to restrict my unnecessary purchases next year so I can save up for another trip quicker.

NY was everything I had hoped it would be. We had a great, busy and very tiring time.....we walked miles and miles, and I have learnt that Ugg boots do not provide adequate foot support if you are walking more than half a day!!! Next time I will wear proper shoes.
We did all the usual touristy things, used the metro, ate VERY well indeed in some very lovely places, celebrated a birthday. Found this shop. Relaxed.
The shopping was underwhelming to be honest. Having been told NYC was THE place to shop, I wonder if its just me!!! We didn't go to shop, but the places we did visit, I can't say anything was any different or any cheaper to anything I could get through careful shopping in the UK.
I have some lovelies to show and tell , of course I did some shopping!!!) but whilst I get my head round the unpacking and washing, I'll bore you to tears with my snapshots!!!

I haven't actually sorted through the pics yet and edited or deleted so these are a bit random but anyway....enough of that.....I'll go and take pics of the fabric I bought....much more interesting!!!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

before I go.......

Just time to show you my 'stash' - make from what you have swap that Gem sent me......
I love Gem's choice of fabrics, lots of CK ...and I love these CK inspired birdies....they are hung on the very bare wall near my sewinbg table......
Now, I have had to hide these from my mum, she loves them too - fabulous patchwork coasters with the neatest round and round sewing in the world!!!! - They are a perfect match for my spotty tablecloth too.....
A lovely lavender heart...again CK floral with a spotty back.
(photos took after dark in unnatural light last night - apologies!!)
This beautiful hanger is hanging on the side of my wardrobe as I don't want to hide it inside!!! (Its not just me who does this is it???)Bunting greetings cards for me to send to people I like!!!!
A painted canvas - currently in the playroom but waiting for me to sort out the shelf in the hallway I think.....
Gem also kindly gave me some pieces of CK fabrics and gorgeous ribbons, this one is my fave, its alighter weight too, very pretty and will be used in my hexy patchworking - more on that when I get back (had I mentioned I was going on a small vacation hehehe!!!)...
She included some really lovely floral ribbons, and a paisley one too. I love them and they obviously will never be used ;)
I am up to date with swaps before I go.....
this one posted today.....
And the reason for our trip.......
kindly bought by some 'good' friends lol!!!
On Thursday I will be married to a 40 year old man!! I have generously given up some suitcase space to carry his cards so we can have a fabulous birthday. The lighting and singing was done early so that his boys could join in......
Thank You again for all the NYC advice...see you when I get back :)