Friday, October 30, 2009

It can't be that hard, can it?

I have seen on Etsy for a long time now those cute little acorns that are felted into real acorn caps. Well how hard can it be thought I! I already had the wool part and my lovely former neighbor Rose collected me some acorn caps from her garden. So this weekend, hopefully I will give them a try. I actually have my wish granted for getting a whole extra hour when the clocks go back this weekend. I always love it in the fall when we get to do that. So next week you may see some darling little acorn pictures posted on here. Or you could just see pictures of my poor bandaged fingers as those felting needles are pretty darn sharp.

Yippee, thank goodness it is almost Halloween and I am so happy as I have been nibbling on our Halloween candy stash for the last two weeks. I will be glad to get it out of the house. I so hope that our weather will be dry for all the little trick or treaters.

Well that's it for this week. I am of to go and make some more bath bombs. I did make such lovely ones a couple of days ago but I forgot to take pic's before I sent them to my daughter for the shop. I will try to get some pic's from her to show next week.

Have a wonderful Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I did yesterday

Yesterday was a soap making day. In less than two weeks is our (that would be my daughter and I) first Christmas market. So it was full steam ahead to make sure that we have plenty of products on hand for all the upcoming shows. First up were Peppermint Bars. Next came... ... Lavender Pumpkin Bars... then came...... Lavender Vanilla Bars. Of course you all know me well enough to know that I had to make something that smelled of chocolate. So I made Chocolate Fudge Brownie Bars! Last but not least I finished up with...... some Woodland Soap for men.

My garage smells wonderful (that's where I do my soap making). My hands are lovely and soft and we have quite a bit more product to take to the Christmas craft fairs.

I am hoping that I will still be able to blog on a somewhat regular basis as well as trying to do the craft shows and make more product as orders come in. So if I am gone for a few days I apologize ahead of time.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still making hexies

I am still plodding away with my little hexies. For a change of pace I have been sewing some together just to see what they will look like. So far I am quite pleased with the results. It really is a great carry along project so hopefully they won't take to long to finish. Still deciding on the centers though so I thought I would do those last when I find the right fabric. We had a lovely visit with our daughter over the weekend. Of course I couldn't go empty handed. So I made her a little bucket filled with all kinds of goodies. I even made an early Christmas ornament. A big thanks to Lisa at the lovely blog A Spoonful of Sugar for giving me the idea for that sweet ornament. Fall is well underway in my garden. This is my witch hazel. It really is a wonderful plant to have in the garden. It turns the most beautiful colors in fall and blooms beautifully in winter. It is so nice to look out in the garden and see wonderful flowers when nothing else is awake. Our Japanese maple once again has turned into it's great orange color. Unfortunately it won't stay that way for long as the rain and wind usually strip it of it's leaves pretty quickly. Not everything has changed color. This lovely plant is still nice and green. I thought it looked quite interesting all covered in water droplets.

Well I think it's time for me to go and make some more hexies. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not straight, undo it!

I loved going to school on Fridays. Not because it was the last day of the week, but because it was the day when I had my very favorite class of all... sewing class.

I always knew that I was never going to be a great scholar, as reading, writing and arithmetic never really had my interest. I quite liked history and geography though. I found learning about the past and new places quite interesting. I also had a cooking and a gardening class which I really liked a lot too. But number one favorite was sewing.

At precisely 2.30pm the class started and ended sharply at 4. I remember the first day I walked into that classroom and saw all the wonderful sewing machines lined up around the room. My heart gave a little flutter of excitement as I envisioned myself sitting there creating wonderful garments, quilts etc.

The sewing classroom was one of the biggest in our school. Partially due to the fact that attached to the room was a very large storage area that held the most wonderful treasures. On seeing the storage area for the first time I thought I would faint dead away. There, on numerous shelves were stacks of the most incredible fabric. The smell of the new fabric almost made me giddy. There was spool after spool of every color thread imaginable. As well as binding, lace, sewing tools and whatever else a sewer could possibly want or need.

Class finally started and I was more than ready. In fact I impatiently and naively asked "What will we be making today, Miss Banks?".

Looking me straight in the eye and bringing me down to earth with a bump she replied "Nothing". We all looked at her just dumbfounded as she went on to explain that for the first couple of weeks we would be learning all the correct sewing terms and the correct way to do hand sewing.

As the weeks went by we did indeed learn all the correct terms and sewed by hand until my poor fingers felt like they had been used as a pincushion. I am pretty sure that I muttered some nasty things about Miss Banks under my breath!

We were all given a very large binder to put our samples of hand sewn seams into. When we had perfected hand sewing the time came for a chance to move on to the sewing machines. Not just any old sewing machine mind you. But one that made you work out while you were sewing. Yes our first sewing machine lesson was on an old treadmill machine. It was awkward at first. Kind of like patting your tummy and rubbing your head at the same time. It didn't take me long before I had that thing whizzing along at break neck speed. Of course we had to do the same seam samples that we had previously hand sewn.

All our work was inspected by Miss Banks very detailed eye. It was then I heard for the first time her sewing battle cry. "Not straight, undo it"!. How I hated hearing that. For it meant that we couldn't move on to the next phase. And I was just aching to go into the storage room and pick out that wonderful fabric that I had been dreaming about.

For a few weeks the seam ripper and I became intimately acquainted. Listening over and over again to Miss Banks battle cry.

Then one day, miraculously she said "All complete, good work, time to learn to sew with a pattern!" Yippee, Yippee, Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The following week we could have our pick of three patterns. One was for a baby bib. I remember this because it was the one I picked to do.

So into the storage room we went and pondered over all the fabric. It was a lot harder choosing than I had thought it would be. I still have that problem today. Sometimes it takes me forever to make that choice. I finally settled on a pale pink colored fabric and binding to match. Binding I thought would be a lot of fun. It would really finish off the little baby bib quite nicely. Again naive me.

I don't know about you lot but I need a cup of tea about now. Be back in a minute. Wondering about the above pic? Well that's a new project I'll tell you about next week.

Anyway back to my story. New material chosen with matching binding I set to work. I nervously cut out the bib from the pattern under the watchful eye of Miss Banks... so far so good! I then proceed to the trusty treadmill sewing machine and settle down to attach the binding. Hmmm... this is a little harder than I thought it would be. I struggle along and finish the last of the attaching. Miss Banks comes by to inspect it. Well you've probably guessed it. She now uttered those famous words once again, "Not straight, undo it!". I did proceed to undo it many, many times before it was given her OK.

As the months went by I learned a lot from my sewing teacher. It finally culminated during my fourth and last year at Holywell School for Girls when we put on a fashion show proudly showing off the garments that we had constructed.

As frustrating as it was for me in the beginning I learned that you have to walk before you can run and I have Miss Banks to thank for that.

She is of course long gone now, probably sewing with the angels somewhere. I sure do wish I could thank her though. It is because of her that I just adore sewing and try still to be patient when completing a project.

So thank you my dear sewing teacher for all your hard work. And yes, sometimes I still don't get it straight and I do indeed have to undo it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bucket Crazy!

First on the agenda today is a very big thank you for all your get well wishes. I am still coughing and spluttering but I am hanging in there.

I just love these buckets! I found the pattern to make these on Etsy last week and have been making them ever since. They remind me of Jenn's little taskets only much bigger. This one has become my new knitting bucket. It is so handy to take along in the car when we are going on a trip as it stands perfectly on the floor without falling over.
This one I made from a colorful cherry motif tea towel. I was thinking when I was sewing this one that it would make a lovely gift to a new neighbor welcoming them to the neighborhood. It could be filled with all the fixings for a cherry pie, including the pie pan. Who wouldn't like that! My last bucket will be used in my bathroom to hold my brushes and combs. But right now it makes the perfect place for a little elephant playing hide and seek!

The possibilities are endless. The other nice thing is if they get a little grubby you can just toss them in the washing machine. Yes I sure do love my little buckets!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beautiful Tree and Yucky Me!

I am afraid that this beautiful tree is about all I can upload to my blog right now. As much as I love Autumn it seems that every year I come down with a stinker of a cold and some sort of viral thingy at the start of the season. So I am parked on the couch just generally feeling yucky. I do believe though that I am feeling a bit better today than I did yesterday. So with luck maybe I have rounded the corner on this monster.

I hope you all stay well and I will see you next week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Enjoying Autumn

My little bench taking on the the colors of Autumn. It is so tempting to go out and sit for a bit, but I think it is just a bit to cool. Still never mind I can look at it from my kitchen window and still enjoy it. Even soap making has taken on the colors of Autumn. Warm Rum Nut Cake. Doesn't it make you want to go into the kitchen and whip up a real one. The smell of this one makes me want to bake a real one and eat the whole thing. I guess aromatherapy really does work. Some of the fragrances make me very relaxed and sleepy, and some make me very hungry!

Well that's it for the week. Enjoy your lovely Fall weekend!