Sunday, December 30, 2007


I ordered some fabric from The Glorious Color Shop that arrived just before Christmas, but I was almost too busy to look at it. I have just been casting glances in the direction of that pile during the last week and felt a surge of joy every time - funny that one can react to colour and pattern that way, isn't it! The first one is a Martha Negley design, then there is a Philip Jacobs design in two different colourways - I just couldn't decide which I liked the most... -and then of course, the man himself, Kaffe Fassett, his Verbena and Spots in two colourways. I had no plan whatsoever for these when I ordered them, it was just a case of "I have to have!"

Imagine my joy then, when I picked up my latest order from Amazon, including this great book, and discovered that there are several quilts in there which might work very well with my fabrics. I can't wait to get started now, and thought I'd spend the day sewing. But it was not to be - a friend invited me for lunch, and I couldn't very well turn down the opportunity of spending a pleasant day with friends now, could I? But soon...!
I also ordered these fabrics from a different outlet - a bit late it seems, I had to search all over for them - they were all over the place last year, but didn't tempt me then, but then I saw a great quilt in the latest issue of Quilt Sampler and suddenly felt the urge to make something similar.
It's good to have plans isn't it - now where is that website where you can purchase extra time?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Knitted heart

We've had a very peaceful few days here. For the first time in ages I have the whole week between Christmas and New Year off and it has been wonderful to

relax, spending time with family and friends. The last few days I have been so idle that I was beginning to forget how to get up from the sofa... The mere thought of going into my sewing room to start a new project, or heaven forbid, finish something, was enough to make me feel faint.
I had some knitting wool and a few needles handy, though, and found this pattern via Melody Johnson's blog, and just had to have a go. I might have stuffed the heart a bit too much, and I must say I prefer Melody's version. I only just realized that is because she has knit her squares in stockinette stitch, whereas I followed the pattern slavishly and knit every other row on the back in knit instead of purl. Hers has a much smoother finish, so if I were to try again, I would do that. The pattern claims that once you have tried these hearts you will want to make lots, but I'm afraid not. It was fun to have a go, but with me it's all "been there, done that" so I'm off searching for something new.
The yarn, by the way, is Regia and is a leftover from my first attempt at knitting a pair of socks since my schooldays. The result was disastrous, however, so I'm not going to show them here! I can't be bothered to unravel and reknit, so I have cast on for a new pair - different colourway, different pattern. Maybe I'll have something to show at the end, or maybe not...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Deck the halls

Christmas for me is all about traditions, seeing family and friends and also adding something new every year. These little fellows have been a part of my Christmases for as long as I can remember. They used to grace my grandmother's dinner table all set out on a mirror tile surrounded with cotton wool - a frozen pond surrounded by snow in my imagination.
My dear gran has long since left this world, but I inherited these figurines and feel like I'm greeting old friends every December when it is time to let them out of their little box. They have been joined this year by a sequin tree my cousin's youngest girl made for me last Christmas - a mix of old and new.
I love Christmas and all the hustle and bustle it contains. I thought that this year I had it all down pat, though - no stress, not too many unnecessary tasks. I'd keep it simple, just enough effort to make it a special few days...
But wouldn't you know it - once the Christmas preparation snowball starts rolling it grows, and grows...
You know how it goes: "I'll just make a few homemade presents this year, no stress at the last minute!". Well, I've only just finished the last piece of hand stitched binding on the last present...

And then it is the baking. "I'll just make some ginger bread and buy the rest."
Sure! But I always make brownies, must make some this year too. And now that I'm at it I may as well make those lemony coconut squares. And maybe some candy? Before you know it the tins are full, and your arms are ever so slightly longer from having carried all those shopping bags of ingredients home...
"Well, it will be dark when the guests arrive, I needn't bother too much about that dusting... "
- Yeah, right - a day off from work and seeing the place in sunshine and there's no doubt about it - cloths and dusters to the rescue. Better shine those windows too...
"Well at least I won't spend that much time shopping this year".
Who am I trying to fool - of course I find myself braving the crowds as usual trying to find just the right things for everybody.
And just when you think you are ready, there's always someone you haven't thought of who suddenly pops in with a present, and you have that mad dash to find something, while pretending you had something already prepared...
So why do we bother? 'Cause it's also a lot of fun! Getting your decorations down from the attic. Making your home shine in all it's glory and gathering your friends and loved ones around you - it's a wonderful time of year really! - fa la la la la la la!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting there, slowly, slowly

Well, at least I have started my Christmas shopping now. The first couple of presents are bought - one is all wrapped up and ready for a special friend - shh, don't tell!
I couldn't resist this tin decorated with vintage photos - such a sweet litte boy! It might become part of a Christmas gift, if I'm able to part with him, that is... Some pressies are in the making as well:

I was tidying up the other day and in a pile of computer printouts I found this little stitchery I made ages ago. I remember scanning it to post a picture, and then I must have forgotten all about it. It didn't even need seeing to with a hot iron - the weight of the paper had made it nice and smooth... (A great way to press one's work for someone who thinks the definition of housework is to sweep the room with a glance...)
I added a border and some quick quilting and voila: a finished present! Sorry about the blurred photo - I never seem to find myself at home during daylight hours these days... I'm also working on a sewing basket for my mother. I have combined a couple of different patterns from some Japanese books. The instructions are well illustrated, but as for the rest you have to read between the lines, so I'm kind of making it up as I go.
It has an inner basket with three compartments, and I'm going to add some stuffed yo-yos inside the bigger basket for the small one to rest on so that you get a big compartment in the bottom. I'm not explaining this very well, but there will be more pictures later! I have also made a lid and there will be zippers...
I'm going to add some more bits and pieces to it - so do come back: all will be revealed!

I have been too busy lately, but I'm going to make some time to relax now and create more of a Christmas mood here. Tomorrow I'll venture up into the attic to see if some of my Santas and snowmen would like to come downstairs, and to look for some stripy fabric for elf stockings: I have every intention of trying my hand at Calamity Kim's Christmas Elf - she is generously providing the pattern to download - go and see for yourself - it's great!

Looking for last year's Christmas decorating post, I realize that I was even later last year, and Christmas did arrive anyway, so according to my personal schedule I'm actually early this year!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December inspiration

I came across a copy of the latest issue of Marie Claire Idées yesterday. Like many bloggers I have discovered that this magazine is just full of inspiration, and the latest issue is no exception. I have spent a happy afternoon with a cup of tea and a lot of eye candy - there are just so many things to be inspired by, cute angels, stockings, embroidery, baked goods - I haven't really got my head around the fact that Christmas is approching, but this magazine is giving me a kick start. Click on the picture above to go to Flickr for a closer view.
I love this yo-yo throw in silky fabrics and with huge yo-yos (the green ones are made from 21 cm/8" circles!)

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of advent and weather permitting, time for a pre-Christmas market. That should help my Christmas spirit along...