Thursday, 30 July 2015

Adventures in Fruit Picking

Once again, I've strayed from the sewing machine.  Mostly in the name of fruit acquisition and adventures to farm shops (when not in a larp my adventures are of the tamer variety).

On Monday my Squire and I headed of in search of a pick your own.  We wanted redcurrants and raspberries and in Pucklechurch we found both!

 All of the above photo's were kindly taken by my Squire on her phone as I left my camera at home.  Fail!

We came away with 1.6 kg of raspberries and exactly 1kg of redcurrants.  Look out for more jelly escapades in the near future!

My fruit adventures continued on to Tuesday when I was walking home from work.  I decided to take the longer route and come along the canal path then through Linear Park.

I found blackberries along the towpath (and a fair few friends to catch up with!), then in the park I found wild plums!  I'm not sure why this excites me as much as it does, because I left home vowing never to eat a plum again and up til now I haven't.  But the ripe wild plums tempted me and so I bought them home and made crumble.

beautiful tiny wild plums!

Wild Plum Crumble
I have a cape and a cloak made, that just need their owners to model them for me and then they will be on the blog, so hopefully next week I'll have actual larp kit to show again!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Consolation Prize

As I said last week,  Small Bean has become a big sister.  Now, as a big sister myself I understand how upsetting that can be, so I thought she deserved a consolation prize!

I made this

I found the tutorial here, and used scraps from my spotty alabama chanin dress.  It was a nice simple sew and I really enjoyed making it. 

Small Bean, it must be admitted, wasn't at all interested in it when given it, but that is hopefully just because she was under the weather, rather than her opinion about my skills at sewing bunnies!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

DI Craft Swap - Spring

Another DI Craft Swap!  This one had the theme of spring and was, as ever, great fun!

I sent to the lovely Pixie and Hannah sent to me.

I knew Pixie liked embroidery, stationary and quirky things so I set about making her an embroidery hoop to hang on her wall and an envelope pouch.

I also added a sicilian lemon candle, pack of veggie notecards and some washi tape to my parcel.

Pixie has written her own blog about the swap here!

Hannah sent me such lovely things!

She handmade me the adorable elephant, beautiful coasters and fabulous purse and my bought gift is the awesome picture of the discworld!  I loved opening it and I felt very spoilt by Hannah's incredible thoughtfulness.

I bought a new handbag the other day and this purse goes beautifully with it and just fits in (it's a really small handbag), so that's my new going out combo sorted!

 I have named the Elephant Eggbert (don't ask why) and he's now living in my spare room as he matches the blue decor.

The picture is not yet up on the wall but only because it's so beautiful I have to find the perfect frame for it!

The coasters are all in use, but it's a bit messy here so no photos of them doing sterling service balancing my many cups of tea!

As ever, a huge thank-you to Hannah for organising these wonderful swaps!

Monday, 20 July 2015

New Arrival!

I have become a pseudo-auntie for the second time!  Small Bean is a somewhat disgruntled big sister and Tiny Bean is a delightful addition to the world.

Clearly, such events need to be celebrated, so accordingly I made a few gifts!

The dress is from this tutorial.  I used red and blue cotton and a fancy machine stitch for my top stitching.  The buttons are adorable wooden ones painted with flowers. 

I decided to run up a nappy cover to match and went with this tutorial.  I used more blue cotton and did a few lines of the fancy stitching across the bottom.  The elastic was a little fiddly to thread, but I managed in the end!

Lastly, these little shoes, which I found instructions for here.  I made these the first night we thought labour was about to happen, as I was waiting for the call to go look after Small Bean.  In the end it didn't happen for another 5 days and Small Bean and I had a very enjoyable Saturday together!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Garden Days

Whilst crafting is happening here, at the moment a large chunk of my time is also being taken up by the garden.

My tiny little pocket of land is an over abundant producer of berries right now.  I have gooseberries, raspberries, cherries and blackcurrants currently and the apple tree is already laden with apples which ripen steadily.  So I pick and I pick.  I spend most of the evening hours, watering, picking and snipping at the plants as I wander in the cooling air.  It's lovely!

A typical day's harvest looks like this

The blackcurrant crop is the best we've ever had, so I've been busy using my strainer

And turning the resulting juice into

I need more practise, but the way the crop is coming on I shall have lots of opportunity!  See you next week with some sewn things, as a new little one has come into the world!

Monday, 13 July 2015

An Afternoon in the Kitchen

Can produce a multitude of things!

My first attempt at blackcurrant cordial.  Needs more sugar next time!

A bowl of gooseberries, topped and tailed and ready for freezing!

Two pies, thriftily made of leftovers

Raspberry jam from the last of last years frozen raspberries!
It was a great afternoon and I really enjoyed doing such a large amount of cooking!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Indulgent Day Dress

So, on a trip to the fabric shop some months ago I bought a lovely navy t-shirting with a purple and white butterfly print on it. 

Fast forward to last Friday and I decided that on my day off I was going to make something for me and what I was going to make was going to be a maxi dress, using Alabama Chanin and the Grey Spot Dress as my inspiration.

I made it more or less the same, only I added another ruffle onto the skirt to make it longer.  Apologies for the dodgy photos, I forgot to take any until I came home from the birthday party I went to that evening!

I made this in about four hours, though I didn't rush it.  It's a very comfy dress and I felt very pretty wearing it!

I suspect there will be more Alabama Chanin dresses in my future!  I do dearly love everything I've made from it so far!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Guest Post!

Today I am guest posting on Oranges and Apples!

I have written a tutorial to show you how to make a taggie blanket.

I hope you all enjoy it!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

WIP into and FO

Yes, it's time to show I've finally finished off another WIP!

I've been working on this whilst waiting at the school gates for a term, so it's been very slow but steady progress!  A friend came over and sat with me on Friday afternoon whilst I put the last few stitches in!

I then washed, dried and ironed it and here's the end result!

One cotton lawn white work embroidered shawl!  It will probably be used as new vampire kit as we're going to be starting and 1880's chronicle later in the year.

 It's very comfy and the embroidered border goes along both short sides with a more intricate 'knot' at the point.

 It's quite large but that makes it super comfy!

I like how it sits on my shoulders and I am really pleased that I've finished it but I have no intention of sewing another!

 Have some fun close ups of the embroidery, now I've figured out how to do that on my camera!

Oh and if you liked the mask in my last post, it came from Eternal Designs!