Thursday, 26 August 2010

When all else fails ................

Thank goodness for tomatoes!

We've had a really disappointing growing year.  
After our nightmare with pea thrips, all our legumes came to very little, which was a shame for the boys, as #2 pointed out as he was ramming the last few tiny peas we found on the rather decaying plants into his mouth, "I like the peas out here, just not the peas in the house" referring to the shop bought peas lying in our freezer.
Out of a dozen or so runner bean seeds sown only a handful appeared and well lets just say they have only just started "running"! The borlotti and french beans have struggled and the sweetcorn is only just looking like we might get a crop.

But who can blame the veg! They started life in a heat wave, struggling for shade and gasping for water
and then they have spent the last two months sat in doom and gloom, and in wind and rain, in what has got to be a couple of disappointing summer months.
So the tomatoes that have been growing in the greenhouse, and have over the last few weeks been producing bountiful amounts of fruit, are a complete treat.

We've had tomato salads, roasted tomatoes with garlic, and gorgeous small yellow cherry tomatoes that don't make it into the house, let alone out of the greenhouse! But even though our allotment hasn't kept us in veg, the generosity of our fellow allotmenteers has. We've had gifts of runners, kale, cabbage, lettuce,and summer squashes, some swapped for soft fruit, which we have done well with this year and some just because!
So with our presents and let's not forget the courgettes which seem to be able to solider on regardless, we haven't gone hungry!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

What are we going to do today?

That was the question asked this morning when we woke to yet another grey, wet and dismal day.
Another day spent cooped up in the house was out of the question and anyway I'd booked the day off so no way was I spending it knocking round the house. So when Mr D said well let's go to the House of Marbles the kids and I jumped at the idea. 
And what a brilliant idea it was. 
A journey over the moors in the fog driving cautiously so to avoid the sheep who have a tendency to make the road their temporary home was well worth it. The House of Marbles is home to a museum all about marbles and glass, amazing marble runs,

the chance to watch something being made

plenty to keep the boys amused

And all set in an incredible setting,

And then there were the very tempting items to buy,

We were very good,
though we do intend to go back before Christmas!!

Oh and I mustn't forget the boys treat of a bag of their own hand picked marbles a very worthy bag of treasure. And the day didn't end there as Mr D had another trick up his sleeve! In the same village was the Devon Guild of Craftsmen an excellent exhibition place and shop that I've been wanting to visit for quite some time. Oh I was so excited!!

And it didn't disappoint in fact it made me wish I'd stayed focused when I was at art college, but as they say the youth is wasted on the young and at the end of the day I had some living to do.

And the treat of a day didn't end there as Mr D knew of a shop nearby that might interest me, just a little!
It's very surprising what can be found in a sleepy Devon Village

A lovely quilting shop with 20% off in August where I managed to get some lovely flannel prints for trousers for #3, 4 fq of  French General Rouenneries to make those napkins that I promised my parents to match their table runner and a couple of other prints that I couldn't leave the shop without!!!!

Oh thank you Mr D,
what an excellent day out regardless of the constant rain, you found that something for all of us!

Friday, 20 August 2010

I turned round and found .............

A sleeping baby!
I guess lack of sleep catches up with all of us

even the youngest of us!
Oh if only!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

A moment of Madness!

I was so happy to see on my return from work yesterday a parcel had come for me. I waited patiently until the evening when the kids were tucked up in bed to open it, 
so I could open it in peace!

But rather than take my time and savour the moment when I realised the vintage pillowcases that I had bought on ebay were in fact still sealed in their original package, a moment of madness came over me, and in my excitement at just how beautiful they were I tore at the packaging, just like a child at xmas, ripping through the bag as if I had no respect for the fact that it was 
in it's original packaging! 

What was I thinking, 
  "I can't believe you've just done that" was the remark from Mr D who was stood watching me and had a look of utter disgust on his face at my lack of respect for the vintage fabric.
And I sat and sulked very annoyed with myself.

Today is another day and I'm back admiring them. The print is so vivid, it's astonishing to think they have lasted all this time unused. 78 is  marked on the bag so I wonder if this means 1978?

I'm in two minds on whether I can bring myself to cut into them or if they should be used for exactly what they were intended for and be given a home on our bed. Though that could be a bit of a shock to Mr D as they are so bright and funky. Maybe a pillowcase dress for #3, we would certainly see her coming! I quite like the idea of a little skirt for her. Whatever I end up deciding to do with them I have learnt my lesson!!
They now have my utmost respect.!

I've just started having fun over on twitter so if you fancy having a tweet click the twitter bag on side column and I'll see you over there!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Clocking In!

I've noticed that my last few posts haven't included much sewing even though I have been busy working away on my machine, so I thought it was about time that I shared with you what I've been up to of late.

You see I've been busy plotting!
It all started after Xmas when a friend was telling me how well her home-made jams and chutneys had sold at the school Christmas fair and suggested that I joined her in a stall at the summer fair. Well I think I was still in my 3 children honeymoon period and the full extent of lack of sewing time hadn't really dawned on me. So quite foolishly I agreed. Well the months went by, spring came and went and I quickly realised that I had very little if any real stock. So I was rather relieved when the school announced the date and I realised I was already tied up with #1's birthday party and my friend was in fact away on holiday.

At first I was rather relieved, but that was followed by a feeling of disappointment. I realised that deep down I had been looking forward to it even if the prospect had seemed a little daunting or should that be nerve wrecking!! I always find it a bit scary when I show people what I make! Now the most sensible action at this point would have been to put my few things away and to gradually add to them in preparation for the Christmas fair. 

But Oh not I, after a day or two of do I or don't I,  I decided to go ahead and open up a folksy account.
Now this is where naivety comes into play. Hats off to all of you that have already got shops up and running. For I did not realise for a second how much time and preparation it would take to set one up. If it wasn't for the recent posts on the folksy blog I don't think I would have got as far as I have and as for HTML's I had no idea they existed until the other day. 

So yes Mr D I do have an idea of what to do with my ever increasing collection of vintage fabrics especially the pile of bed linens that I am struggling to find a home for and are currently taking up a lot of room in our bedroom. I am not for a minute thinking that my new adventure will mean I can give up my part-time day job!! But it would be nice to earn a little to help finance my fabric buying obsession. And as I don't think we'll be moving into a bigger house in the near future I must do something with my ever increasing stash. 
So there you have it.
I hope soon to have my shop up and running but for now if any of you have any advice that you think might be helpful I'd be more than grateful to hear it!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Catching up

We're back from our camping trip a little exhausted, a bit damp, and with a new collection of sticks and stones collected by the boys!
I've spent the past couple of days since our return ploughing through our pile of washing and have been desperate to get reacquainted with my sewing machine. My poor machine has spent it's last days hidden under laundry, one of the draw backs of having it set up in our bedroom. But enough is enough so with the want to make something quick and fun, and after a quick flick through my new books which I had for my birthday,  
(no birthday is complete in our house without a present of books!)

and voilĂ  a beetle bug was made!

It's a nice and easy softie to make and a perfect opportunity to use up some fabric from my vintage stash and also delve into my felt pack which I bought from Ray Stitch. I've been meaning to make #3 a soft toy for awhile now and seeing her reaction to "bug" I'm sure there'll be more to come.

I'm really pleased with the book, "softies Only a Mother Could Love".  I can imagine making most of the softies in it especially these, which would be just perfect for the boys

 I'm also looking forward to having a go at one of the patterns out of Emma Hardy's "Making Children's Clothes". I'm a little disappointed that a lot of the patterns start at age 2. I would have liked them to have started a little younger but I'm sure I can adapt them. #3 seems to have already chosen what she likes best out of the book. A very good choice as the bloomers are for her age.

I couldn't resist Anna Maria Homer's "handmade beginnings". I love the way her books are put together, the photographs are beautiful and even though I wish this book had been published when I was pregnant I'm sure there will be projects that I'll make. I especially like the look of this dad bag;

 It feels good to have had some sewing time but right now it's going grey outside and with more rain forecast I best go and get the washing in off the line.
Some chores are definitely never ending!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Everything but the kitchen sink!

Well the car is packed, 
the kids are way too excited but thankfully finally asleep,
it looks like we have packed everything but the kitchen sink and
tomorrow we are off camping.
It's the first time all five of us will have slept under canvas and I can't wait and then on the over hand I'm a little worried as last time we went camping with just the boys, #2 woke in the night crying wanting to go "downstairs" so much so he became hysterical. He woke the whole camp-site, we had people coming round wondering what was wrong and in the middle of the night with an over emotional son who at the age of 23mths couldn't be reasoned with it wasn't the most relaxing of experiences!! And slightly embarrassing, so we'll see. We're only going for a few nights so I'll see you soon, god help Cornwall!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Weekend Memories

Our weekend was spent discovering little things;

who kept us amused!

Meeting up with relatives we haven't seen in ages

and forming new friendships

I hope your weekend was as enjoyable.