Header pic

Header pic

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

WOYWW...

Another stolen week and it's Wednesday again. Where do they all go? Well this week I have only a couple of jobs to do this morning because I finished shortening the 4 pair of curtains I had to do yesterday. Today I just have one skirt to shorten and a pair of jeans to do patch and darn on the one knee. I hope to soon get these jobs out of the way so I can dumf later. [Bet I have customers who think otherwise though :-) ]


I have decided to prepare a canvas with Crayola fabric crayons for a change. It's much better to work on a coloured background than on a white one. For those that have never used these crayons before the idea is to do your design onto a piece of clean paper, turn this over onto your canvas and iron the design on.


It doesn't have to be perfect because I shall be covering this with wool rovings, threads and dumfling gorgeousness :-)

This is my table covered with all the fab new stash we bought at the Woolfest and I'm planning to make use of at least some of these today. I'm in the mood for a field of poppies :-)






Now lastly I feel the need to show and tell some of the magic going on outside in our garden....




These are a row of beetroot emerging. These will be used to make scrummy beetroot chutneys and pickles later in the year.









Little potato plants are starting to show so with a lot of water and just a bit of luck we should have yummy new potatoes before very long :-)





Down the very bottom of our garden we have a wild life area with a bird hide and at the mo it is a real picture with all it's wild flowers. These are of course Forget-me-nots...My Dad's favourite flower and it would have been his Birthday this month.

Even dandelions look wonderful when in an area where they are allowed to grow.









I couldn't resist snapping this Bridal veil plant but I see our 'old lady' Skye felt the need of posing for a picture too. She saw me out with the camera and ran in and sat down just as I was taking the picture :-)





For those that haven't seen my previous blog. We launched the Wedding shelf in our blog shop Monday and would really appreciate you all to pop over and take a look and leave us a comment as to what you think of it all. Any new ideas or special requests would be very welcome.

I hope you all have a brill Wednesday and will all pop over to Julia's to join in the fun of showing us your workspace.

For those keeping up with Paula's progress....She was in rather a lot of pain last night and although the Dr said she could go home she very sensibly declined the offer. I do feel these Dr's like to push patients home too soon at times. I haven't heard from her yet this morning but I will update her blog if I get any more news.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Wedding creations...


Yes folks, we have gone and done it. Today we have launched our Blog Shop Wedding Creations shelf. We have had an exciting morning uploading all our new creations and it's looking wonderful. Please pop along and have a look and leave us a comment as to what you think. If you want to make an order please email me at wipso@toucansurf.com. I'm sure if you can see something you like but want it in a different colour that we will do our best to oblige.

There are more ideas in the pipe line but today we have had 4 pairs of curtains to shorten and you all know what we think of curtains!....and it's Fun day Monday too!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Woolfest goodies...

Twiglet and I had a really brilliant day yesterday at Builthwells Woolfest.

We parked in the car park and had a long long walk to get to the hall but even though I struggled to get there it was well worth the walk. The building was full of stands full of inspiration. Wool rovings, threads and fabrics shouted at us from every corner.

We made our first call to find Sara from Crafts of texture on her stand and to use the voucher she has sent me [£5 off if you spend £30 so who could resist :-) ]. I have been following her preparations for weeks and really looked forward to meeting her for the first time. Here she is next to her stand and don't miss to notice the banner my daughter and her hubby's business made for her [she was very proud of her banner and said what wonderful value it had been]. Do check out the link if you are in need of a banner ....I have 2 either side my drive and I have more than doubled my business in the time they have been there.

We enjoyed a coffee then made our way around all the stands. There were so many fab suppliers of everything woolly. We were like overloaded blotting paper by the end. :-) Twiglet has taken photos of some of the stands and plans to blog them so I'm just gonna show and tell all the fab stash we bought to share.


We got home and emptied our bags out on the table to share our stash between us and thought you'd like to see it all before we split it up. You can see the wool rovings we bought from Sara plus pieces of dyed wool pre felt, silk velvet, wool curls and much more that we found on our search around the stands :-) I'm certain this will all give us fab inspiration for our next projects and neither of us can wait to get dumfing.


Now all we have to do is find space to store it all....or maybe we should just use it quickly :-) To leave you all with a smile I thought I should also include the fab sari silk waste we bought. I can see more poppy pictures being made with this, can't you?

Friday, 23 April 2010

My latest picture...


I have now finished this picture and will now upload it in the blog shop so make yourself a coffee and pop over for a browse.
Happy shopping.
A x

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

WOYWW

Good morning all my fellow WOYWWers. Hope you're all having a great week and aren't too effected by the volcanic dust. I've managed to get all my business book work up to date [getting ready for doing the tax end of year!] and now have 955 customers so it looks like it's not keeping customers from my door. :-)

It's been another great start to the week for me. Funday Monday was especially special because Paula joined us via web cam [and we had a really fun afternoon]. It's brilliant to think that, thanks to the wonderful Queen of snoop Julia, so many friendships have been made and I am certain a lot of them wont be just 5 minute wonders. We all seem to have so much in common and isn't it lovely how crafters are willing to share their ideas? We all have so many skills between us that I am sure we are all benefiting from seeing what others are capable of.....Paula is now sewing and dumfing!!!!! So, beware, it is contagious :-)

I have a mess to show you this week [and no it's not the mess you saw on Monday Paula....but of course you won't tell all my secrets :-) ].


This is my mess today. I have tipped out all my ribbons onto my table ready to sort them. You wouldn't believe all those came out of 3 sweetie jars would you? Over the years they have got very mixed up and it's not easy to find a particular length or colour when making items for the Wedding/Bridal shelf in the shop. This is definitely a 'got to do' job for today!




This is a job I did yesterday. It's a purple Wedding dress. I'm only sharing the top with you so you can see the colour [detail is kept secret]. The bride looks really lovely in the dress cos she has lovely dark hair and plans to have a little flower girl in ivory with a little purple detail to match the wedding dress.



Today I have another posh evening dress to alter and then it's sorting ribbons for me. What are you up to today? Don't forget to pop over to Julia's and join in the fun......


........Oh and remember I may be watching you :-)




11.25....A quick update...


Just to show you all how much better all those ribbons look now they are all sorted :-) Bet I can find just what I am looking for now :-)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

What a brilliant Fun Day Monday it was this week...

This is just a very quick blog because I have lots of sewing to catch up with today. I just wanted to say what a brilliant day we had yesterday. Twiglet came down as usual in the morning and we did the cutting of curtains and the quick jobs that had to be done urgently.

We then cleared the decks here and filled our working table [and most of the rest of the room] with wedding inspired fabrics, threads and beads etc. We looked at what we had already made and planned the items we were going to make. We have been asked for a good luck wedding horseshoe so this came top of the list. Our planning and designing took up the rest of the morning so that after lunch we could make a start on the fun bit.

The first thing we did after lunch was to invite our lovely friend Paula to join in our fun :-) We have both set up web cams in our craft rooms so she can join in our fun. Our other friend T joined us around 2 o clock and the 4 of us had a brilliant afternoon of fun and crafting. Isn't modern technology a wonderful thing? Paula sat dumfing a little bear [well, that's what she said it was hehehe only joking Paula :-) ]. Our friend T beaded up a beautiful red brooch she had dumfed earlier and Twiglet and I set to to dumf embellishments for horseshoes.

Here's to many more fun days in the future :-)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

WOYWW and a wonderful week.....

What a wonderful week it's been since last WOYWW.

Friday was Paula's visit with her body bag full of bear parts. For those that don't know what I'm talking about you can see Paula's blog about the murderous deed. We had a wonderful time together and I'm sure Paula felt, like me, that we had known each other for years. Thank you Julia for being responsible for bringing us all together. It was really good to meet her for real and to see what a remarkable recovery she was making after her major surgery. As our special day was coming to an end I had a phone call from our Daughter saying she was in labour enabling Paula to feel she was part of a very exciting time in our family.

As you can see from previous blog we are now proud grandparents to our second little Granddaughter, a baby sister for little P. Little L came out of hospital with her mummy before lunch having not arrived til 3.27 am. I'm happy to report she is feeding and doing all she should and of course has won the hearts of all who's met her. I'm a very proud Mum and Nanny Annie.

Monday arrived after a weekend of catching up on the missed sleep with all our exciting events. My new 'Really useful boxes' arrived just before Twiglet.

As for 'really useful' I'm not sure the delivery man would agree :-) They arrived in 3 huge boxes and were as much as he could manage to carry to the house.







Our Fun Day Monday was spent emptying, sorting and refilling my new boxes with my stash of materials [and there is a lot of it!]
I'm so chuffed with them. I now have all the materials, I want regular access to, in places I can now reach and all my fur fabric store is now in see through boxes exactly where I know where to find it. It took us all day to do and I have to say a huge Thank you to Twiglet for all her help. Without her I really would have struggled and now we both know where to find any fabric we need.






I do have to say though I'm not sure Twiglet has quite got the right idea for the Wedding/Bridal shelf in our shop :-)







We also announced the winners of our Bridal challenge and the 3 gifts are now on their way to the winners.

3 Lucky winners.....

  1. Ink on my fingers....Hels Sheridan
  2. Love to stitch bee free designs......Stitch, stitch, stitch
  3. Sue's crafty designs....Sue H
Last night was one of 'those' night where Twiglet and I have to amuse ourselves while our men go to watch Shrewsbury Town football team play a game they call football [can you tell how much I love it?]. We dumfed, laughed, beaded, laughed, dumfed, laughed....I guess you get the picture. Yet another night to treasure was had by us both.

I will show you my latest pic. It now just needs backing and it will then be finding a space in the blog shop. I'm hoping Twiglet will at some point show and tell what she made because it's lovely [I won't give away her secrets] and another fun thing we did last night will probably be blogged some time soon but you will just have to watch this space cos I am unable to show and tell just yet.



Today I just have to take in the boned bodice on a posh frock, shorten 2 pair trousers, shorten a skirt and let out the seat on a pair of trousers.....and of course catch up with all my WOYWW friends [it really does fill my day on a Wednesday cos I aim to drop in on you all]. If you want to join in the fun please pop over to Julia's....you never know what friendships you will make :-)

Saturday, 10 April 2010

What a day.....and latest update :-)

I just wanted to say what a really wonderful day we all had yesterday but mine kept getting better and better :-)

We had a surprise visit from Paula yesterday. I didn't know she was coming til the night before so it was a very special surprise for me. I was like a child at Christmas. Her darling OH and her 2 sons came with her and what a lovely bunch they all are. She brought the body bag full of contents that she blogged about yesterday and we all had a really good laugh about it all. I will at some point work my magic on the little bear for her and reassemble her. They came for lunch and we chatted and laughed and chatted and laughed and chatted and laughed :-) We all went to a local pub on their way home for some tea and we waved goodbye to them around 8 o clock. What a really fab day we all had. She was every bit as lovely as I imagined and I was really thrilled to see how well she is recovering from her major surgery [though I doubt she will suffer today!]

I bet you are all thinking 'Aw how lovely'. Well, of course yes it was, but I have to add it didn't end there for me. While we were all eating tea I had a phone call from my daughter to say she was in labour. She went into hospital about 11 o clock and gave birth to little S at 3.27 this morning. She weighed in at 7lb 10oz and is just perfect [although I am just a little biased]. Needless to say I haven't slept well for a couple of nights so please excuse any typing errors.
Update.......She was to be called Sadie but the new Mum and Dad have decided she didn't look like a Sadie when she arrived and she will now be called Louise Amy.....What a lovely name eh? I've had my cuddles and even had the pleasure of changing her first dirty nappy [yes the midwife in me is still there and it really was a pleasure :-) ].

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Dumfing....

I know a lot of you already know what Dumfing is but we have had lots of enquiries lately so I thought I would do a proper blog to attach to the link on the side bar.

Dumfing is our word for embellishing.


Back last October Twiglet and I bought ourselves a Huskystar ER10 Embellisher each and we both agree that this has been our best 'toy' ever purchased.







Up til then we had used single embellishing needles or hand held embellishers with several needles in as shown here with the Brush to work on [I always keep a piece of felt on the top while working on it].





Embellishing needles are barbed needles that push fibres from one material into the other so locking them together. The barbs only face one way so that the fibres are pushed down but the needle then pulls back out clean, leaving the fibres behind. Hand held ones work perfectly for small hand held items like the bears I make but it takes time and lots of patience [and, in my case, fingers that end up like pincushions!]. For larger items the embellisher takes over beautifully. We have made covers for books, brooches and larger pictures to name but a few of the items and you can find some of these over in our blog shop.

We are able to combine threads, wool rovings, fabrics and all sorts of embellishments and produce really yummy things.

Now, I can hear you saying why dumfing? Our machine makes a noise when it works. It goes....dumf dumf dumf :-) From this has come a whole new vocabulary......
To dumf...to embellish
Dumfable....a yummy fabric that will easily embellish [not all fabrics will embellish]
Dumflings....little works of art made using embellishing
Dumfers....The crafty sisters of course :-) ....the list goes on :-)

If you google dumfing you will find our blogs come up top of the list and my son has even tried to get it put in a dictionary :-) I would advise anyone to get themselves an embellisher but beware it will take over your life...in just the best of ways. Here are just some of the ways it has taken over mine and some of the gorgeous things Twiglet and I have made with it.




My box full to overflowing with dumfable wool rovings. What gorgeous colours you can get. I try to keep them sorted into colours and, yes, they really do all squash down so the lid shuts :-)






Yummy dumfable fabrics. Natural fabrics such as wool, silk and linens work best but we have found lots of man made ones work well too so well worth trying anything.






A hand dumfed bear. I have spent many a relaxing night dumfing whilst watching the telly.








Dumfed Poppy picture. I have made, and now sold, very many pictures and really love the 3D effect you can get with fabrics to make beautiful flowers.











A brooch made from dumfling loveliness. Twiglet has made some really gorgeous brooches of all colours and happily takes orders it colours have to be specific.











A beautifully dumfed picture frame. Twiglet has made several frames and each one is so touchy feelie. It's just a shame we don't have touchy Internet :-)




There are so many other really fab cards, books etc over in the shop it's well worth making a coffee, pulling up a chair and having a browse.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

WOYWW

It never fails to amaze me just how quickly Wednesdays come around. Our 'Queen of snoop' Julia really has started something hasn't she? The group is ever growing and I think it is taking over the world slowly. Desks are being exposed with all their crafting chaos and the guilt caused by the exposure is even being the cause for a weekly tidy up in places :-) Please pop over and join in the madness.

My 'to do' rail has just 5 pair of trousers on today so fairly boring as a show and tell. I just have to shorten 3 of them, taper the legs on one of them and the last pair just needs elastic adding to the back waistband. They wont take me long to do so have plans for later [hopefully!].






This is a snap of another job I have lined up for some time very soon. This is a shelf above my hanging rails that my hubby made for me to use as storage. The boxes are where I keep a lot of material pieces and I keep them sealed up with tape to keep the dust out. As you can imagine, every time I need to delve into the stash the tape has to be undone and the boxes soon become torn. It also doesn't help not being able to see what is inside them all even though I do aim to keep it sorted and label the boxes. So.......yesterday I ordered a set of 5 huge 'Really useful boxes'. [Yes, they are on the way Twiglet :-) ] These are see through and have clips at each end of the lids to keep the fabrics in their place. I'm really excited [yes, I'm easily pleased :-) ]. Twiglet has offered to help me sort them so that fabrics I rarely use will be stored up on the shelf and the storage boxes I have at ground level [and I have lots of those too :-) ] will then hold all the fabrics we can use for dumfing :-) :-)

This is my, now sorted, stash that I intend to use for my next dumfed pic. I'm inspired by a picture I've found of hydrangeas so I have dyed a background fabric with pale purple/blue and sorted out all the right shades of yummy fabrics to make the flowers with...watch this space. I dare not say I will be doing this later cos in my case the best made plans.........ding dong that's the door bell again!


Twiglet and I are the grateful recipients of two lovely blog awards. Fellow WOYWWer Anne [Liverpool Lou] said she gave them to both of us so we wouldn't fall out....[well, that would be a first if we did :-) ].... I really love butterflies and blue is my fav colour so I have to say I think the sweet blogger award is the prettiest I've been given :-) Thanks you Anne for thinking of us. They don't come with rules but I will be finding the right time to pass them on.


This is the last week for the Wedding/Bridal challenge over in the shop. Please put your thinking caps on and come up with some really good ideas as to what Twiglet and I can make in fabrics with a Wedding /Bridal theme. We are giving a gift to the best 3 so don't miss out on a chance to win. We will be announcing the winners next Monday.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

My Easter break...

It's been a lovely 4 day break from work. Starting with the theatre and gaining a blog award on the way. I must admit I did sneak in here on Friday morning and do some sewing because hubby had to go into work and what else would I do? [especially with jobs still waiting on my' to do' rail]. So yes I am guilty of that :-) Plus while my sewing room wasn't going to be disturbed by customers I did give it a good dust through and clean...I tend to make a lot of lint/dust with all the fabrics I work with.


I have spent my 20 minutes crafting, 'me time' knitting. [I know, I know, but I can't just sit watching the telly.] I find it difficult now to knit large items with my arthritis, so have to be sensible, but I am really enjoying knitting squares. It's a pattern I've used many times and no longer need a pattern so I find it very relaxing. The little squares are knitted diagonally from corner to corner so aren't boring to knit either. I will be joining them up to make a baby's blanket at some point, but as yet I have lots more to knit as I have only made 18 and they are only just over 4"square [in 4 ply].



I was joined by Twiglet yesterday afternoon while the men were watching Shrewsbury Town lose at football again. We put together a list of all the bloggers who have made suggestions for the Wedding Bridal challenge with the suggestions they made and are planning to announce the 3 winners next Monday so if you want to be in with a chance you just have a few days left to make your suggestions.

We also emptied one of my bags of dumfable materials out on my table looking for inspiration for my next project. What gorgeous colours eh? I think I will be making a picture with hydrangeas on next so watch this space :-)



Of course dumfing won't be on the cards for me today....I have already had 4 phone calls, one customer with sewing and my elderly neighbour is on her way round as I type needing a little TLC and reassurance :-)

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A very special blog award....

I feel very honoured to have received this award today....Not because it's another award but because of who it came from. Paula is a very special lady who has been going through a very rough time [and still is!]. She has had major surgery and is slowly beginning to make a gradual, if but slow, steady progress. She has had a tumour removed from her lung so has a large wound site right around her chest wall making breathing alone very uncomfortable let alone when she has to cough or sneeze. These are little things we all take for granted but I am sure you will all be aware chest muscles move to be used to breathe whether you like it or not and this causes pain. I wish I had a magic wand because she really doesn't deserve all the pain she has had. She drops into very many blogs normally and always leaves a little sunshine everywhere she goes and has become a very well loved friend to us all. Here's hoping she picks up very very soon.

Now the blog award translates roughly as "this blog is charming" and I have to pass this onto 12 other bloggers. My problem is that Paula has already named 12 of the ones I would have named so I would like to pass this onto all who is reading this blog if Paula didn't mention you first :-)
Yep, I'm copping out :-) You know who you are if you read my blogs regularly. I drop into and leave messages on some really charming blogs so please accept this blog award and pass a little happiness on to 12 more.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Breabach....


My Easter break has started really brill. My darling Hubby treated us to tickets to see Breabach at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury for last night. This is a really lovely new theatre and we are great believers in using what you've got or loose it.... Plus, we love live entertainment. I have to say Breabach certainly didn't let us down. They were 5 very talented musicians who obviously really enjoyed what they were doing. They played various bagpipes, whistles, guitars, a violin, a large double bass [in fact considerably larger than the little Scottish man playing it], a bouzouki and also sang and danced. What talent. :-) :-) :-)
We met and chatted to the group members in the interval whilst buying a signed copy of their new album...'the desperate battle of the birds'....and they made us all feel very special. They had, fairly recently, been at a local school in Shrewsbury for a week's workshop with the children so there were a few of the school's pupils in the audience too who obviously loved the group members.
There were lots of tapping feet and clapping and all in all I am certain everyone went home having had a wonderful evening....I know I did. If you get the chance to see them it is well worth getting yourself tickets....they come highly recommended.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Who was I kidding?...

For my WOYWW I boldly stated that as soon as I had finished my Britannia costume I would be having some 'me time' with my fabrics and beads.
Well, before I had finished the costume [and it has now been finished and collected] my 'to do' rail was full to overflowing again and although I have worked non stop since it still is :-) I really can't imagine where all this sewing was done before 'Sewing by Annie'. What I sometimes fail to take into consideration is that while I have customers here either dropping off and collecting [and talking, laughing and telling me all their news] I'm not able to be actually sewing and just sometimes it does seem to become a bit of a drop in centre for friends and relatives......and I love it. May it never change.

What a will say now is that I have done all I am going to do now until Tuesday morning. I am taking the next four days off and plan to have my well earned 'me time'. The sewing can wait. There is nothing life threatening about needing sewing done. I won't be sleeping all of the four days and may come back here on Tuesday with at least something crafty to show for my 'me time'....or I might not :-)

Hope you all have a really special Easter break and manage at least a little time for enjoyment.