Marathons, Sewing, and Eric and Ernie

It's been a busy week this week.

My Significant Other ran the London Marathon.  I know.  How fab is that?  26 long miles.

He was completely brilliant and I am so proud of him.

You can learn more about his fundraising, (And see a cheeky pic of the two of us!) by clicking here.  

And I've been sewing.  Something really lovely.  And I've surprised myself.  Because I've been working from a pattern, and I didn't know I could do that!  I was hoping to be able to post pictures of what I've been working on here today.  But it's taking longer than I thought to finish, so please bear with me!

So, I thought now would be a good time to introduce you to my cats.

Eric and Ernie.





  Chillaxing on their cushion.




Eric is the black, slinky moggy.  Ernie is the big, floppy tabby.

A few years ago my Significant Other and I went to the cat rescue.  I had planned to only get one cat.  When we got there we saw Ernie and decided we couldn't leave without him.  Then the man who worked at the rescue centre pointed into the back of a basket and asked us if we'd take the tiny, black dot curled up in there, home with us as well.  "No-one will want him because he's too shy, and he's not too well."  He had a runny nose and runny eyes.  And was curled up with his back to the world.  We hadn't even seen him until he was pointed out to us.  I couldn't leave him behind.  He was Ernie's brother, and the thought of no-one wanting him brought out the best in me.  I wanted him. 

Eric and Ernie had found a new home.




"I might be small but don't mess with me."
This is Eric at a friends house.  We liked to go visiting...



When Eric and Ernie were kittens, we liked to go visiting.  I would ply them with food carefully place them in their little wicker basket and we'd go, with food and litter tray in tow, to visit friends.



This is me and my chins, with Ernie.  Out visiting. 





When they got big enough to realise that their wicker basket wasn't all that, I couldn't go visiting with them any more.  It didn't matter how many pieces of ham I piled in the basket, they weren't getting in.



He ain't heavy, he's my brother.



And then they grew up.







From being a little kitten with runny eyes, Eric grew up to be 15lbs (he was weighed at the vets last week!) of sleek, panther cat.  Eric loves to curl up on your lap.  He talks to you with funny little miaows.  And is unbelievably loving.







Ernie likes to follow you from room to room.  If there's a box to climb in or a blanket to hide under, he's your man.  He doesn't like to sit on your lap, but loves to curl up on the back of the sofa with a paw resting on your head.  He also has the fluffiest tummy ever.

Do you have cats?

Lots of Sunshine

All this sunshine is a wonderful thing.  I wake up every day and feel happy.  And I'm not a morning person.  Ask my Significant Other...

The only drawback is that the the rising sun streams straight through the bedroom window, and directly into my eyeballs, at 6am.  And my bedroom is white.  And the curtains are white.  And as much as I am a total sunshine supporter, full beams of the stuff bouncing off the white walls and curtains, straight into your eyeballs, first thing at the crack of dawn, is, well, a bit much.

So I hit on the idea of making a pretty blind, to sit in the window recess behind the curtains.  Just to take the edge off those gorgeous rays.

With a bit of creative thinking, I decided to adapt a quilt table cloth made by my aunt.  My aunt lovingly cut the squares from little dresses and blouses that my sister, cousin and I wore when we were little girls in the seventies.  Pretty much every square tells a story from my childhood. The dress I used to spin in when I was five years old.  The dress, with little people on penny farthings, I wore to the zoo with my dad's sunglasses.  I thought I was so cool.  Lots of happy times.








 I was given this table cloth by my cousin after my aunt died and it has sat safely in my dresser ever since. Mainly because at some point after making it my aunt cut out two random squares from near the middle of the quilt, and as a result it had a big ole hole in it!

My aunt was a wonderful woman.  Kind, generous, loving, resilient.  She had a very painful, progressive illness, but she never became absorbed or dominated by it.  She was outward thinking right till the very end.  And she made me laugh like a drain.  When my aunt was admitted to hospital for the final time, I was taking a creative writing class.  I would visit her in the ward, and take the things I had written to read to her.  No matter how much pain she was in, or how miserable her day had been, she always wanted to hear what I had written.  And I would sit by her bed and read to her.  Sometimes, one or two of my short stories would have some choice language in them.  I would tell her about that before going ahead and reading.  I didn't want her to be offended.  But she would just say to me, "Is it integral to the plot?"  "Yes."  " Go right ahead."

And I would sit and quietly read to her, while she sat smiling and listening.  I'm glad that we were able to spend that time together.










With some nifty alterations, the holes have been removed from the quilt my aunt made, ties have been sewn, and my blind has been hung.












The sunshine streams through my new blind each morning.  Reflecting the colours of different materials that remind me of happy times.  And I remember my aunt and how much she loved me.








What a lovely way to wake up.

And my eyeballs no longer hurt.



Letting Go

I'm going through a sewing phase.

The ebb and flow of following creativity seems to be a bit of a meandering journey.

First baking.

Then soldering silver.

Then knitting.

Or drawing.

A little bit of sewing.

Or painting.

And now, it seems, sewing, again.

Have you ever had a time where you are full to the brim with ideas.  But don't have the energy to do what you want to do?

It's an odd, uncomfortable  feeling.

This week I have had oodles of ideas for things I want to sew.

Blinds for my bedroom.

More bunting.

Dolls. 

Slippers.

And yet more bunting.

And I've looked into the garden and have known that I need to spend time getting things in order there too.

But I haven't had the energy to do it.

And so, instead, I have taken a breath.  And a step back.

I've taken a rest. 

And I found some items I knitted before Christmas.  That needed finishing off.  So instead of darting off in a new direction.  I slowed down.  And finished some of the things I had already started.


Ta da...








The knobbliest, chunkiest mobile phone holder this side of Knittingdom.








With big, floppy bow for added charm.  I thought that the bow might be a step too far.  But then decided that sometimes less is just, well, less, and went with it...


Then I finished this...








A knobbly, chunky, mini hotty cover to warm my tooties when they feel a bit Spring-chilly.



 



 
Sometimes it's good just to slow down.  Take a breath.  Have the ideas.  But finish something else before starting on something new.

Sometimes it's just good for the soul, to let go.  To slow down.

And to have a rest. 


A Grand Day Out

Today my Significant Other and I had a Grand Day Out. 

We went here...














And we bought this for me...









Oh, Happy Day!

I know material things aren't meant to be the answer for personal happiness. 

But I have to tell you, handing over twenty five of the Queen's English pounds to buy a Cath Kidston oil cloth bag was a very glittery moment for me today.  Only matched by the experience of carefully organising all my special handbag things inside.  Very glittery indeed.

My Significant Other didn't see anything that he really fancied in Cath Kidston.  So we went elsewhere and bought him some nifty running gear.  More about that next time...

I hope you've had a glittery weekend.

I have. 

 

Swags, and Swatches and Silks. Oh, my!

There is a curtain "boutique" in the village near where I live.  They specialise in making the most beautiful curtains.  Using gorgeous silks, cottons and brocades.  Their window displays are the curtain equivalent of Tiffany diamonds.  Swags and swatches and silks.  Oh, my!

I love going past and peeking in.  Oodles and oodles of swatch catalogues.  Tie-backs.  Embroidered silks.  Rich colours.  Textures to sink the fingers into.

I was passing there a few weeks ago and thought I'd chance my arm.

"Excuse me.  Do you ever have any swatch catalogues that you need taking off your hands?"

I told the lovely lady owner about my creative experiment.  One year to change my life by embracing being creative. She was very sweet, took my name and number and told me she'd call if anything came up. 

I forgot our converation. 

And then she called.  

"I'm sorry, we don't have any swatch catalogues for you, but we've gathered together a few bits and pieces here, if you want to come and collect them."

When I arrived at the shop, the lady went into the basement and hauled up the stairs the mother of all plastic sacks.    Packed to the gills with oddments of material cut from larger pieces during the curtain making process.

It was too heavy to carry and so was dragged to my waiting car!

When I got home I tore straight in...

Oddments and off-cuts of all different shapes and sizes.  Some big enough to make a small cushion cover.  Others that would make beautiful pin cushions.

And then it came to me.

Bunting.

I love bunting. It reminds me of Summer fayres, morris dancers and cream teas. Three of my favourite things...

The material was so beautiful it needed to be displayed.  What better way to display lovely material than to hang it from your rafters?

So I set to putting needle to cloth once again.

And it's getting a little out of hand.

I am currently typing this from under a pile of bunting.  I have made bunting for my bathroom.  And am currently sewing bunting for my bedroom.

I keep dipping into the bag and finding another gorgeous piece of silk, or brocade.  And I can't leave it lying unseen in the bag.  If I don't sew it into bunting it won't have fulfilled its curtainy destiny, I tell myself.

If I don't manage to restrain myself soon, people are going to start knocking on the door asking to buy cakes, pots of tea, and knitted egg cosies.  And men in flowery hats are going to start hopping around my garden doing things to sticks. 

Here is the bathroom bunting. 

















I think it adds a little springtime cheer to the room.  What do you think? 

Oops

In a bid to update my blog and bring it to new levels of loveliness, I ran amok in my html text. 


It did not go well.


As a result I have deleted some of the loveliness I wanted to keep and have added ugliness I had no intention of adding.


So, if you are visiting for the first time, do not leave shaking your head, never to return.  Please visit again.  And if you are one of my lovely, glittery followers, be assured, business as usual will be resumed as soon as the lovely lady, Lena, who designed my lovely blog gets into my html to undo the damage I have done.  (Thank you lovely Lena!)


Lena is responsible for designing a whole host of gorgeous blog layouts at Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates, many of which are completely free to download and use on your blog.  And if you manage to make a mess of it, Lena will help you undo the mess you've made.  She is Simply Fabulous.


So, I will be writing a new blog post a little later this week.  In the meantime, I'm going to take myself to the naughty-blogger step, and have a think about what I've done.  And the next time I get all excited about running amok in my html text,  I'll save an extra copy of the orginal text before deleting it.  A valuable lesson learned I think.






Glittery Jewels

My Jewellery Designs

I love designing and making jewellery. A little bit more than is decent I think. Click on the images to visit my original blog post about each of my designs.

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Words Words Words

I like words.  I like the way they sound.  I like how they look.  And I like words for what they represent. 

So the current trend for having words as decoration in the home makes me very happy.  

I have wooden letters painted with gold leaf spelling out "BATH".   Laid out, funnily enough, in the bathroom.

When I first displayed them, my Significant Other asked me why I was labelling parts of the house.  I explained that I had wanted "RELAX" but the shop didn't have all the letters to spell that out.  So I had to go with either "RELA" or "BATH".  You can see why I chose "BATH".

I also have the word "LOVE" laid out in my living room.  It's my favourite word.  It's a powerful word.  I like that I can see that word when I'm in my home.  It reminds me of what's most important.

And in my kitchen, I have this...








As profound statements go, it's right up there with "Custard Cream", "Sausage" and "Gin".

I like words.  They make me smile.




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