Sunday 30 June 2013

Hooray! spotty curtains

It all went a bit pear shaped this week:

1) Big Sis was poorly but is better now
2) Crochet lessons on Tuesday morning and night
3) Parents evening on Wednesday night
4) OFSTED inspected my teaching at school on Thursday
5) Commission cardigans need to be finished - deadline looming
6) We need food shopping - I have ran out of Pasta combinations!
7) I made dotty curtains for the trailer tent

So sorry I went a bit dotty this week. My plates were spinning but them some wobbled off!

Apparently I am good at teaching (with features of outstanding) according to a man in a beard I smiled and smiled at all morning on Thursday while teaching Science to Year 3,4,5,6. So that is nice. I sort of know I am good at teaching because I enjoy it and that is why I do it! but there you are, we all have to have our boxes ticked.

Annnyhooo, more pressing issues - curtains... What do you think?

They really cheer up the brown and orange vibe that is going on in the trailer tent and because they are a dark colour they keep out the light later on too so the little ones slept well.

I took quite a bit of stuff for a one night sleepover but I was 'stocking' the tent with some essentials so that we can just throw in pyjamas and food next time. A few essential things made it feel less of a hassle.

The little ones picked some flowers and we cooked steak sandwiches. A lot of testing went on this weekend - does the gas work, how much space is there, how does the water work, will it be hot or cold?  
I can't believe some spotty curtains can change my mood about the whole camping experience.
The girls were filthy but having a great time. I knew taking them camping before they could actually help out would have been a mistake. They were so helpful and excited to join in now that they are older.
After tea we went to hear the buzz of insects down at the pond and catch up with the tadpoles. Lots had grown legs and this fascinated Little M.
It is so lush at the bottom of the field.
A steep walk back up the hill and time to light a little fire for the finale - marshmallows.
Yes, we are lying rather majestically on some old 1980's curtains that were in the box seats in the trailer tent from the last owners - I was going to throw them away but that seemed a good way to use them until they finally bite the dust.
Story time outside tonight.
A lovely little adventure for us all, I wished I had brought the radio to listen to Glastonbury but I settled on some knitting and Bloke did the Sudoko in the newspaper. We don't need much to make us happy - Just spotty curtains!!
Hope you all had a good time in the nice weather. Jo X

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Too busy for words!

I am too busy for words! tell you about it at the weekend.

Just dotty with stuff to do. Jo x

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Hooray! Toadstool pincushion

Sometimes I just like making stuff out of stuff. Do you?

I finished a reel of cotton that was in my nan's old singer sewing machine drawers and couldn't bear to throw it away so I made a little toadstool.

It just sort of made itself. I found the felt flower piece which I had saved from something and put that over the bottom to cover the join and the gathers.

Then I added beads and it stands up all on it's very own!

I do enjoy at bit of hand sewing to potter away the evenings. It broke the boredom that is making curtains for the trailer tent. I didn't photograph them because squares are just not that interesting but I got all six finished yesterday. Jo x

Monday 24 June 2013

The Severn Sisters over the Severn

Today we made people clap and cheer. On Sunday I danced on The Ironbridge which spans the river Severn with The Severn Sisters, the tribal belly dance group to which I belong. It was wet and showery and we are still smiling!

There were two groups of Morris men and women and it was all supposed to be a celebration of Summer but it was a bit cold for having your navel jiggling about.

Good one of my crochet scarf belt. I crocheted the bra top too but like to have another layer underneath - I needed one today.

Check out the lovely skirts
We are dancing to live music by a talented clarinet player and a lady who keeps a great beat on a hand drum. We finished to a cheer and a round of applause - then did it three more times every half an hour. I really had a great time and so did the girls watching their mummy all dressed up. What did you do this weekend?
Jo xxxxxx

Saturday 22 June 2013

Hooray! hot-potch tunic

Last Friday I spent the morning being a super domestic goddess and tidied the whole house, top to bottom and with three stories and nine rooms - that was some epic tidying - then I went to work in the afternoon. By evening dinner time the place was a tip again. Kitchen chaos from our meal, the girls prams and dollies, pencils, pens, paper, emptied school bags with after school play etc. Now, I am not a killjoy, they had a lovely time playing after school and we all live here but I thought there must be a better way to spend my Friday morning.

So this Friday Little M and I got out the sewing machine, I helped her make a little drawstring bag so that she could put her baby clothes in it and then she largely left me alone only coming to tell me when she needed a snack and to shhh! because the dollies were sleeping.
I bought some green fabric (my favourite) on holiday with nothing in particular in mind.

So I made this hotch-potch tunic from my favourite book Sew Serendipity. It has the patterns included.

I am over the moon with it because it fits!!!

I should have worn something smoother than belted jeans under it but I was so excited I popped it on and grabbed the camera.

Then I went to work, came home and made a lovely dinner and bloke helped me clean up after just the once while watching the girls collect bugs in the garden proceeded by picking up the days stuff, just the once.
Oh! it felt so much better. Then I put my tunic back on and settled down to an evening with bloke constantly saying to him "I like my new top" 
Sometimes you just have think sideways. Jo x

Friday 21 June 2013

Trouser crochet

Here is a little upcycled project I made this yesterday. Big sis had lovely pink linen trousers that were too big for her last year and this year they were a little short so I added a crochet edge using chains. I added a few bows, just because I saw them in my sewing basket and hey presto summer trousers.


I had to make an even row of running stitch along the trousers before I started to give me a foundation row. Do you know, I would do it to my own trousers! Jo x

Thursday 20 June 2013


Yikes! I am sort of excited and anxious as I am working on my first ever commission pieces. Actually ordered, paid for and needed for a specific date in a particular colour to a lacy pattern.

They are two little lacy shrugs for bridesmaids in, wait for it... 4 weeks time. They are wearing ivory dresses with the pink sash. I know, I know, but I did the back of one in an evening so I am feeling a bit more like I could finish them in time without making my shoulder drop off.
As with crocheting blankets, the border makes all the difference.
I expect some blocking would be good here too.

The pattern is by Kathryn Driffield on ravelry here. The border that drew us in to choose this pattern was unfortunately not able to be reproduced in her pattern details as it was from a book which was a little disappointing. I did not know until I got to the edging section - so there is a lesson in reading through the whole pattern before you start.
Never-the-less the scallop edge I have designed myself finishes it off well. I also tapered the sleeves to make it less baggy. It is going for a fitting tonight and then we can see if I can add the scallop to the sleeves or not depending on the length.
One down, one more to go...Jo xx

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Hooray! Mrs Mouse

Look at this little mouse. I made her last week at craft club with my friend. It is a very useful mouse too you know.
It is a doorstop. Inside she is weighted down with a sandbag.
It is called a 'stargazing mouse doorstop' and was featured in a magazine called Sew Hip (Jan 2009) I don't think you can get it anymore but my friend used to pass them on to me.
She has a dark-eyed friend, Mr Mouse. I will probably give them as gifts or put them on my next craft fair table. I actually have three more cut out so they will be easy to put together in little pockets of time this week.(it will be harder to find the time than make the mouse) The fabric is a Liberty print I have used here and the mouse colour was... um let me think...just under the bed like it is in this house! Hope you get to make something this week.
Jo x

Tuesday 18 June 2013

10,000 pageviews happy

Just a post to say thank you all for tuning in. Today the little counter turned over to 10,000. I was so excited on crochet-class- Tuesday too!

I really appreciate your time, love Jo

Hexagon crazy

I am still quietly crocheting hexagons for a blanket but I saw this in Cath Kidstons's book Patch and thought I would give it a go as I am feeling hexagon crazy.

Those delightful flower head pins were a little purchase I made in Dorset a few weeks ago . They are brilliant for blocking knitted and crochet work because they are long and the head does not slip through lacy work.

The centre is a little piece left over from this cushion in my first ever blog post and the other fabric is from Amy Butler leftover from making this skirt. Crochet Class Tuesday for me... What will they bring to show and tell?

Jo x

Monday 17 June 2013

My Little Rabbits

The girls love a bit of crafting so we had a go at hand sewing these little felt rabbits over the weekend.

Little M wanted to do it 'all on mine own' so I just let her get on with it and somehow, I don't know how, she could just sew! She didn't do that thing I remember doing where you get loops over the edges because you have gone in from the wrong direction. The only problem for her (and me) was that she forgot to keep hold of the needle next to the thread so I had to keep threading the needle over and over again.

Big Sis was fine as she has been to 'stitches' club at school and was enjoying the feeling of knowing what to do. We stuffed it and hey ho ... two little rabbits.
Girl power! Jo x

Sunday 16 June 2013


I think you might know by now that I love anything free. My neighbour brought this huge bag of asparagus over. I love it!

We have had it with butter and lemon with black pepper, mixed in with gnocchi and pesto and lastly as really tasty soup.
I shall be sharing my courgettes with her when we get up to full production, they are just plants at the moment but we can never eat them fast enough when they arrive, life is better when you share.
Enjoying a beer with Bloke on fathers day this afternoon very aptly named I thought... Jo x