Wednesday, 17 July 2013

You Are Invited On A Country Walk!

So, this post comes under the heading of "Other Stuff" mentioned in my blog title.

When I read other people's blogs, I love to see little snippets of their lives, scattered in among the other posts. It's always fascinating to see other places, and how location can shape your I would like to invite you to share my morning walk. Got your sturdy shoes? Let's go!

First we go out of my back gate and walk along the first dyke.

Dykes are basically drainage ditches that bisect the landscape where I live.

Admire the bouquets of wildflowers along the way!

Cross the little bridge.

Skirt the beanfield.

As we walk, we disturb all kinds of birds and insects. Doves coo, pigeons clatter out of trees, tiny siskins flitter in a group. At other times of year, we might see duck, egret, heron or many other small commoner species. Butterflies of many hues and shiny blue and brown dragonflies can be found everywhere, as can bees and flies of all types. It's not as quiet as you think in the field!

Many small flowers flourish in the margins of the field.

Even on ground as dry as this.

We are bordered by blackberry, elderberry and rosehip scrambling together to form a rough but bountiful hedge.

Back through the beanfield. Almost home! I will make you a cool drink.
What did I discover from my walk today?
Many treasures more precious than jewels...and...I need a sunhat and a spare skirt. Brambles can be unkind!

More sewing to come!
'til next time!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Spring Sewing Swap 2013!

Well, I am really enjoying the social side of sewing + blogging right now. Truthfully, apart from trying to uphold a few standards/meet a few challenges with my sewing, this was why I started this blog. I live in a rural county where the chances of meeting someone with a similar hobby in the normal course of my life are virtually non-existent. I tried making a big effort whenever I met someone new (when it was appropriate - obviously I didn't go around with a loud speaker!), to mention I liked to sew in case they too were hiding this skill. But none of them were, and worse I got a few sideways looks! So until recently my only dressmaking companion has been Gloria, my trusted tailor's dummy. Wonderful in her way, but not really communicative... when I saw Kerry of Kestrel Makes was holding a Spring Sewing Swap, I decided it was a lovely opportunity to forge new links and also give a little back (I had been following some sewing blogs long before I actually took the plunge to join in).

Well, I got lucky! I was paired with fellow dog lover, knitter, sewer and all round good sport, twotoast from Spotty Dog Social Club. Before I show you what I received I want to share a little story. Towards the end of May, I became ill. I have a couple of underlying health conditions which lower my immunity so this is nothing new, but the tonsillitis I had spread to my eyes and my ears/sinus. I only left the house to go to the doctor's office or the odd dog walk in the field (I hate not being able to walk the dogs), for 19 days. It was during a particularly hopeless-feeling part of this period, that my parcel arrived. My eyes did actually fill with tears, it was so lovely to receive such a generous parcel from another part of the world when I was feeling so low.

Here's what fell out on to my table, when I opened the parcel. Where to start?

Maybe with my new sewing pattern?

Or how about this gorgeous, multi-toned wool, which I believe may be hand -dyed?

Or perhaps you are feeling the need for a relaxing bath, with an all-natural Canadian beauty product? (OK, it's nothing to do with sewing - but we all love a pamper after slaving over our hot machines, right?!)

But wait, there's more! Inside the little hand-made zippered bag (which I confess, may be close to being my favorite item in the parcel), there are more goodies!

(Clockwise from left) - Ribbon, little buttons in the shape of sewing notions, a book mark (sigh, I love books), a  snail tape measure (to help with my slow sewing!) and some gorgeous black lace. I want to use this to trim a special top.

All wrapped with such care and attention to detail.

So, time to say some thank-yous! To Kerry, for organising the swap, and to "twotoast" for being my "swapee". You made it really special :)

To see what other swapees received, have a peak at Kerry's blog.
And to see what I sent, go to Spotty Dog Social Club!

Happy sewing, 'til next time!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Summer Sewing Pattern Giveaway

I try not to keep hold of things I am not going to use any more. Like most people trying to reduce clutter, it is very much a work in progress. Books, magazines and patterns (basically, any form of printed paper!) I seem to become attached to and they can frequently be found arranged in artful piles around the house. Apart from being an eyesore, someone else might enjoy looking at some of these things, which I realise but it's slow going reducing the piles. I am inclined to re-read everything before I pass it on, and to be frank I am not going to live that long. My biggest success so far has been with home furnishing sewing books. I am not going to sugar coat this - I hate sewing curtains etc. because they are basically huge squares, and I will only do so if I have to, so FIVE books on sewing home furnishings was somewhat excessive and taking up valuable book shelf! I have donated four and kept the most comprehensive one for next time I have to cover a window.

It's in this spirit I am offering the patterns below to anyone who would like them. They are either too small for me now or I don't think I will use them.

UK Sizes 8,10, 12 - tops for wovens

UK Sizes 6, 8, 10, 12 , classic shell tops/ evening wear - for wovens

UK sizes 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 - casual bottoms for wovens - UPDATE  - DISPATCHED

UK sizes 6 - 16 - pretty summer dresses with bodice choice for wovens

burdastyle magazine issue 5/2012 for snaps of styles see below - UPDATE  -  DISPATCHED

All new in factory folds from smoke free home etc. Will ship anywhere. Closing date 31st July 2013. Any unclaimed patterns will be donated.

As I have a small (yet cherished) blog readership I will be going with first come first served again. Just leave a comment below with whatever pattern tickles your fancy and I will post it to you whenever I can get to the post office.

Happy sewing, 'til next time!