Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Here we go.....

I'm really sorry... I know it's not even December yet, but I really wanted to show you some of the new decorations that I have been making this year. Last weekend we had a young friend to stay who is going to have a stall at her local village Christmas fair... she needed some help and inspiration.... no need to ask me twice!!! We emptied every craft box ( and there are several of them hidden away under beds and in cupboards) and fabric stash, set the sewing machine up and got to work. I must have sewn about 30 hearts for the girls to stuff and add ribbon to. Then it was my turn to play! I found my HUGE tin of old buttons and set to work, leaving the girls to stuff, and set about making these yummy decorations..... I am so pleased with how they have turned out.....
.... and they look great on my driftwood tree.....
I mentioned to the girls that I thought that I might not have a conventional tree this year, but take some long walks and look for some long twiggy branches that I could decorate instead.... this was met with cries of horror..."You can't do that, we must have a 'proper' tree"!!! The jury is still out on that one!
Don't you think these will look super on a twiggy tree? Not bad for a first try??!

More buttons.... Star of Wonder...

... and finally, my favourite.... a ribbon wreath. I saw this idea when I went along to Creative Stitches in Exeter in September and fell in love with it. I managed to find these amazing ribbons at a fantastic little shop in Totnes that has buckets of them for you to rummage through... all at 50p per bundle!!!! Bargain!!
I think I'll be making more of these... watch this space.

We all had a brilliant weekend being creative... the girls went on to make snowmen from polystyrene balls and fake snow... pics soon, button hearts AND... a huge MESS!!!!! I'm still finding snow everywhere!!

Must pop off now, more teaching in Sidmouth tomorrow, small people to tuck up ( Ok, they're not that small but they still like being tucked up... and I wouldn't miss it for the world!) and then off to bed for me!

Have a peaceful sleep and a happy Thursday

Love Yvonne xxx

Monday, 23 November 2009

Catching up...

I have been in such a stew just lately.... really wanting to post to my blog, feeling guilty that I have promised a free hand embroidery tutorial and not done that yet, wanting to keep up with all of your lovely blogs and comment on them, post some pictures of what I have been up to, but... as you already know, a whole month has passed since I last posted..... sorry! there have been so many events, trips, makes and projects to tell about, but, apart from the fact that my internet connection is VERY intermittent.... grrrrrrr... and it takes A.G.E.S to upload pictures... more grrrrrr.... I have been extremely busy. As quick as I make jewellery, bags, pictures etc... they are selling. Yay for me, but not so yay for you as I haven't had time to photograph them all!!!

Ah well.... here are a few pics that I have managed to take....
More splishy, splashy pictures..... these are now adorning the walls of Pebbles........

Poppy fields.....


The sea....... this one is now sold!!!


Fireworks.....

Hmmmmm.... couldn't come up with a name for this one... any ideas???

Field of flowers...

I've also been to The Bead Lagoon and taught several more classes... this one was a little more advanced and we did some wire work.....
Ooooops, you shouldn't have seen that... how did those Jaffa cakes sneak into the picture??? Mark and Kate are so good at keeping us going with endless cups of tea, coffee and Jaffa cakes.... mmmmmm!!!

Wrapping...

Shaping and bending....

Concentrating hard....

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I have also been doing a bit of galavanting.... my favourite pastime.... well, one of them.

I went here.... any guesses???

.... and my MOST favourite place..... here...... for a spot of R & R, walks along very blustery beaches, lots of lovely food, new friends made and a spot of retail therapy!!!
Just look... isn't it gorgeous?
Oh, and I've also been walking on Dartmoor... just look at the colours... stunning!
Avon Dam.... not too far from home



Well, that's a bit of a whistle stop tour of the last month or so.... Sorry it's been soooo long. I started out on my blogging adventure thinking that I would post something of interest every day, but life just isn't like that... it's filled with many days of mundane chores and work, with a few exciting adventures in between!

Having said that, Christmas has come early here and we have been having fun making some small pressies and decorations... if this awful soggy rain stops I will take some pics to show you... It was good to have some light, creative relief as my small nephew has been really poorly over the last few days.... his family are missionaries in Macedonia and they were on holiday in Bulgaria visiting friends when he had to be rushed into hospital. He is making a gradual recovery but is having to come back to the UK to have yet more tests as they have no idea what is causing him to be so ill... for those of you so inclined, we would love you to remember him in your prayers... his name is Evan.

Thank you xxxx

Monday, 19 October 2009

Bags and beads

I promised you last week that if the sun shone again I would rush outside and take some pictures of the other bags that I have been making... well, here they are.....
As you can see, I have been inspired by the lovely heathery colours that are filling the moors at the moment...
The main body of these bags is made from a vintage blanket that I have dyed and felted...

I do so love this squirly, circley design.. It's so much fun to do.. if you've never had a go at freehand embroidery on your sewing machine, I would urge you to give it a go... it's not nearly as scary as you think it will be and you will be amazed at what you can do!!



This one is very retro don't you think? I'm especially pleased with this bow detail too... It's definitely all these little details that set you apart from other designer/makers and also add that little extra something


This was definitely my most favourite make of the day.... a new cushion for the sofa!

I just love the colours together and the big shiny buttons!!
I do get moaned at for having so many cushions on my sofa, but I think you can never really have too many can you?
As an aside..... see all those gorgeous cosmos flowers? Well, these are the ones that I grew from seed back in the spring, and they are STILL flowering profusely. I will be planting these again next year too as they are so easy to grow and give so much pleasure.
I took a trip here last week ( I know it's loathed by many!!!) and came home with a few extra things that snuck their way into my shopping basket... such as some new sewing threads... oh, and underneath them is my new table cloth... I LOVE the colours, and, although it's waterproof... I vowed I'd never have another one of those now that the children are all grown up - I really wanted to have grown up, vintage, fabric cloths (I do have those too), this doesn't look at all plasticky, just bright and colourful... yay!

Oh... how did they get in there??? More fabric I hear you say... well..... yeeessss!! Just a couple of metres for a few more bags and other goodies that I want to make. The sewing bug has really caught on again... I think I was shamed into it by a very dear friend... you know who you are J... who was shocked at my lack of sewing over the last few years and said as much... thanks for the shove!! So, watch this space for some more fabricky goodies in the near future...
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Well, here we are at The Bead lagoon..... This is the lovely shop in Sidmouth where I take jewellery making classes on a regular basis....
... and here we are inside... all prepared and ready to go....
I love the wall paper and curtain fabric.. it gives the shop a warm welcoming feel...
My students trying to choose their beads for earrings and necklaces...
This is the hardest part of the morning I think... choosing colours and styles!!!

Well, wouldn't you find it hard with all of this amazing selection to choose from?


... and this.....


Scrumptious!!!! If you are ever in the area this is a place NOT to be missed, you will be amazed by the selection and quality of the beads...

Here are just a couple of other shots of the shop... as you can see there are many, many trays of beads and findings and plenty of inspiration in the form of jewellery that has been made by Kate, at The Bead lagoon, and also some of my pieces too!!!

There are several more workshop dates in the diary now....
Saturday October 24th... Beginners workshop 10am - 1.30pm
Thursday November 5th... Beginners workshop 10am - 1.30pm
Saturday November 14th... Wire work jewellery workshop 10am - 1.30pm
Thursday November 26th... Beginners workshop 10am - 1.30pm
Saturday December 5th... Jewellery making for Christmas presents 10am - 11.30 am and 12pm - 1.30pm
I would love to see you if you are in the area.... and if not, why not treat yourself to break and stay at Pebbles, which is not far away, and come along to one of the workshops... you will not be disappointed with either!!!
I am now off to try and finish my promotional literature for some workshops that I will be holding at The Flavel in Dartmouth on the first three Tuesday evenings in December... could be difficult though as when I came to find the photo paper on which to print my posters, I discovered that there is only piece left... hmph! ... the others having been snaffled by a certain daughter who is taking photography as an 'A' level... grrrrr! Looks like I will be off to the shops then!!!

Bye for now xx

p.s if you would like to know how to do freehand machine embroidery on your sewing machine, please let me know and if there's enough interest, I may put a tutorial on the blog.. woo hoo.. my first one!
I'm happy to give you tutorials on jewellery making too if you would like them... just let me know

TTFN xx






Monday, 12 October 2009

Blessings..

Today was one of those days that took a while to get going. After running the girls to school in Dartmouth, clearing up the morning mess and having a quiet time I was struggling to decide what to do... it's not that I didn't have anything to do, just where to start and... what do I really want to do... just like the endless times I stand in front of the wardrobe in the morning unable to decide what to wear, and then nothing feels right... ever have that feeling..... when you don't feel right in your skin... or is it just me? Anyway, I'm rambling again!! I spent some time doing not very much in particular, before deciding that what I really wanted to do today was to sew... then the decision was... what do I want to sew... aghhhh!! As you can tell, it was a bad start, life didn't 'feel right' and I couldn't settle to anything. I decided that I was going to make some more little bags like these....
I had a stall at the Torquay Food and Arts Fair at the weekend and made these little bags to put on my stall... I really love them, they`re so jolly and colourful. They are made from recycled blankets that I have machine dyed and then added applique motifs using the many, many fabric scraps that I have stashed away in every nook and cranny!!
This green one was my favourite..

...... very autumnal...

This one was photographed before I added some red and white spotty heart buttons to the handles, but I still love it...
It was too late tonight to take some photos of the bags and cushion cover that I made today.. I will endeavour to take some tomorrow as long as the sun continues to shine!

It was the right decision to sew and the fact that I completed several items made me feel a little better.
However, the highlights and blessings of the day came from my children. I decided that after not having spoken to Josh since I took him to uni, I really needed to hear how he was doing, so I picked up the phone and called him. Well... you could have knocked me down with a feather!!! I was expecting him to be his usual mono syllabic self, but I was speaking to a different lad!!! He sounds different... is that normal? As well as really enjoying the course, he has volunteered to be the student rep for his course (wow!), joined the outdoors society... walking, climbing etc... (wow), done some washing (wow, wow!), is going to find some volunteering work to do (wow), eating sensibly(wow), been to church on the campus.. more than once (wow), and is generally throwing himself into uni life... including frequent visits to the student bar!!! I am so proud of him, he really is coming out of his shell and that is a real answer to many prayers!
The other blessing came home on the back of a motorbike!!!! Harriet has been through a rough time just lately.... as well as suffering under the weight of A levels, Ucas forms and Uni decisions... all of this together has caused her to feel down about herself and her future... Anyway, tonight after school she went with a few friends down to the beach and then was offered a lift home on the back of a motorbike!!! (Good job I didn't know about this before she turned up!!) The look on her face as she arrived outside the house was a picture... mouth open, eyes popping out from under the helmet and the biggest grin you have ever seen. I love the fact that she 1. has the opportunity to do things like that and 2. grabs them with both hands... never on to miss out on an experience.. fantastic!! This has really lifted her spirits and mine too... FAB!
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I thought you might like to see a few pics from the Food and Arts fair that I had a stall at this last weekend......
As usual, I had a great time... I just love chatting to people, meeting the people who buy my product and inspiring others....

Oooo look, there are some of the bags that I made...

I was really pleased to have an electric point this time as I think it makes a real difference having some light on the product. Also, we were inside a shopping mall which didn't have great lighting...

Here is my beautiful green glass jug and glasses that I picked up from a local thrift shop... they are brilliant for displaying my earrings on..
I had so many lovely comments about my product and the look of the stall, it was a real encouragement to me... note to self.. have more faith in yourself! It was a definite shot in the arm... I think that it is hard as a creative person to work in a vacuum, you really need to interact with people, which is why I love my teaching... on that note, I have another workshop at the Bead Lagoon in Sidmouth on Thursday.. I would love to see you if you can make it.
So, at the end of a mixed day, I am thankful for the creative gifts that I have been given, for children finding their way in life and overcoming their own personal difficulties, for food on the table, a roof over my head, the warmth of the autumn sun, for the opportunities to share my passions with others and to walk the road with those who need friendship and support.
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