Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sharing is caring-blog giveaway!

Hi all,
Sorry to have been away for so long! I hope you all had a great Easter, we had a very busy one. I can't wait to have the time to write a proper post but I just had to pop in to share a lovely blog giveaway that my friend Lisa is running on her fabulous book-review blog. Why don't you drop by and pay her a visit!

Friday, 11 April 2014


Let me tell you a secret. Sure you won't tell ANYONE? Ok, then. I quite like housework. Not all the time, obviously but every now and again I take the notion for a good auld scrub.
Most of last week was spent writing in the perplexing brain-curdling mist that was my penultimate essay for my OU module for this year, just one more short one to go then the big EMA which is like a mini dissertation and then summer freedom. Hurrah.

After a good sleep I was ready to tackle the cob-webby slovenly hovel that my home turns into with a couple of days neglect. There is something about sitting down with a steaming cup of coffee and home made Lemon and Poppy seed cake and admiring order, clean surfaces, sparkling bathroom and a washing-line billowing with clean linen and all scented with fresh flowers and furniture polish. I found this cute tutorial for a Land-girl style head-scarf on YouTube, great for bad-hair days and protecting those victory rolls while playing at house. I am so tempted to do the shopping looking like this!

Hello, to all of you that are popping over from Daisy's blog. I am so sorry if you were disappointed that there has been no sewing. I wanted to try and source the pattern locally or at least on the island of Ireland but I have had no luck. I capitulated and ordered it from Amazon this morning.

I get so worried about our independent shops when browsing that site -no matter how many times I swear I am not going back I always do.  I am so consistently surprised at the range of items that Amazon carries, how can local retailers survive in this difficult economic climate? Last month, we lost our biggest newsagent in the town, Eason's have a chain of stores all over Ireland and while there were many faults with that particular shop it was a huge shock to lose them. We still have some gorgeous wee crafty shops hanging on my the skin of their teeth though, The Crafty Fox, Quaint, Breda's Wool shop and two of my absolute favourites, Kirwan's fishmongers and Sampson's Craft Butchers. I was a vegetarian for almost twenty years till I moved here...

Do you guys have any favourite shops? I wish I could go back for an hour or so to the weird and wonderful shops that we had when I was little. All family owned business and all so different even those the three I remember best sold the same stuff, groceries, sweets and newspapers. There was one shop that I cant even remember the name off, I don't think it even had a sign but it was run by this ancient old lady and her mother! They never took the dark red wooden shutter from the window and it was so dark inside but that is where my Gran got her newspapers and gossip and a comic for me every week. Twinkle, Bunty and then Judy. I still have some of the Christmas annuals of those comics and when I peek inside I forget I am a middle aged housewife and transported back to being a little girl with white socks and scuffed shoes again!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

All sew together.

I am very excited and a tad tingly. Finally after all the procrastination, at the weekend I made something with my sewing machine. I actually made two pillowcases, they are a little bit crooked, a little bit wonky and needless to say that if Patrick from the Great British Sewing Bee looked inside he would not be impressed by my seams. I had a few anxious moments along the way, I can tell you. First I got a great wedge of fabric stuck in the thingy-ma-jig ( I mean the feed dogs) I thought I was going to have to tearfully phone John Lewis and explain that I had broken my wee sewing machine on its first proper outing!

After managing to remove the trapped fabric with much pulling, poking, cursing and praying to St Anthony,  I then had the shocking realisation that I had not sewn a completely straight seam so there was some gapage in the seams and then I sewed one bit on back to front, it was completely exhausting but sooo much fun. E had a little turn pressing down the pedal to make the machine go while I held the fabric but she kept ignoring me when I yelled STOP so she flounced off and played with her dads iPad. Mr S and O were out for a walk with the dog so I was delighted to show them all my afternoons work when they all came back from the muddy fields and the virtual woods.

Mr S attempted to settle down and watch the football but did look at little alarmed when I burst in to show him yet another mistake. I made the covers from some spare pieces of curtain material that we had left over from trimming our Ikea curtains. Mr S claims that he 'hates' these curtains but so far he has been a complete sport and not complained about the matching cushions now cluttering adorning the bed!

Thank the Goddess of common sense that I did not blithely start learning to sew with my gorgeous collection of vintage scarves. The pattern for the simple covers is available from this cute blog here. I must say while I was sewing I was transported back to first year in secondary school to domestic science, Mrs W and those loathed Bernina machines that I found nigh on impossible to thread. Why, oh why did I not listen to Mrs W at the time? Is it interesting that the two skills that I had the opportunity to learn at school-sewing and violin-the two lessons that I couldn't stand are now the very skills I really really want to be proficient at. Anyway, that is enough navel gazing for now.

So I pondering what to attempt as my next project when I happened to drop into the lovely Lazy Daisy Jones only to find that this lady who is a very talented and witty crafter is hosting a sew along. She is going to hold our hands while we attempt this easy (?) A-line skirt. Fantastic. Now I have to chose some fabric and try and source the pattern here in Ireland. I think I might try and look for a pattern for a similar skirt for a certain seven year old girly, she would love that. So that is why I have a new side button on the blog. Please share your thoughts on the project as it progresses and why not join in. The link should take you there. Lovely. Talk soon.xx
Oh, ps Sewing Bee is back tonight, I have been having severe withdrawals. I do so want Lynda to win and then adopt me and teach me all she knows...