Saturday, 31 March 2012
By Thursday he seemed to be perking up and so trotted off back to school - he's still at that age where he's keen to go. So I took the opportunity during youngest's preschool session to do something I haven't done for an embarrassingly long time... I got on my bike.
Reader, I have a confession to make. I bought this bike brand new when I was pregnant with my oldest, so about six years ago. And then didn't ride it...
First I felt wobbly and pregnant, then after babies one and two arrived I felt vulnerable enough putting myself in traffic, let alone setting off with a tiny child on the back. But at the beginning of this year I wrote a list of things I wanted to achieve this year, and returning to cycling was on there.
I had forgotten how much fun free-wheeling down a big hill in the sunshine can be, it was pretty amazing. Climbing up the other side was not so enjoyable, and my aching legs did mean that I ended up walking for significant periods. I arrived to pick up youngest from preschool sweaty and red-faced with a bit of wheeze going on.
But I did it, and that feels good. Because tackling cycling means freedom for someone who has a driving licence but no car (and I intend to keep it that way).
And where did I go to on my cycling adventure..? Why to the wool shop of course, where else!
Thursday, 22 March 2012
If you'd like to have a go at making your own puffs, you will need:
- Two contrasting fabric scraps
- A nice button
- Two circular things to draw around (I used a small tea cup and its accompanying saucer)
- Fabric marker pen
- Sharp scissors
- Needle and thread
First use your smaller circular thing (let's say cup for brevity) as a template and mark out and cut out a circle from one of your fabric scraps. Place the fabric right-side down on the table and turn a small hem (it's easiest to turn over a little at a time). Then just sew a long running stitch all the way round the hem. When you get back to where you started stitching, draw the thread tight and your puff is formed!
Make another larger puff in a contrasting material and stitch the two together. Sew a button in the middle to make it pretty (and hold the two puffs together firmly). Sew a brooch pin on the back if you'd like to use it as a brooch...
All Our Hearts Content.
Monday, 12 March 2012
The wall of yarn was tempting, but I plumped for a rotary cutter and self-healing mat, as I'd like to do more patchwork and quilting, and these tools make things a whole lot easier (and more precise). Rotary cutters are notoriously sharp, so I'll have to be a bit careful with my fingers as I'm not the most co-ordinated person in the world.
I was a little saddened by the JL haberdashery department, as it did seem to be a shadow of its former self. As a child I remember gorging my eyes on all the reels of trim and fabric as I waited for my mum to choose the right buttons to finish off a hand-knitted cardigan. They still sell sewing machines, but the expert woman who used to advise customers was made redundant a few years ago. Now you're just handed a photocopied leaflet from the manufacturer with a list of bullet points on it.
I also picked up a couple of packets of machine needles, as it's important to change needles regularly and I've been going through them at quite a rate recently.
Sunday, 11 March 2012
So what's a woman to do when she's dejected? Make a quilted tea-cosy with some lovely vintage fabric of course... As a bonus it utilises some of the wadding left over from making the quilt.
The other upside of not being gainfully employed is that I have time to help my friend Ursula set up her new shop, which sells vintage fashion and china, plus some handcrafted items from your truly. If you're in the Bristol area the shop is at 125 Cheltenham Road (just by junction of Ashley Road/Stokes Croft), it's open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am - 6pm. It is currently a shop with no name, but we're working on that...