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Sunday sewing

28 Apr

What a productive weekend it’s been! Disappointing news on Friday afternoon could have made it otherwise but instead I’ve chosen to keep busy – while finding time to chill out too!

Yesterday I caught up with the lovely B to see The Dancer Upstairs at the French Institute as part of the London Spanish Film Festival. Two hours of Javier Bardem plus the hefty slab of coconut and orange cake that followed made for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Check out the beautiful rainbow I saw that evening, too…

Rainbow

It reminded me of a quote I saw on Pinterest recently:

“Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.”

Today, I had my usual early morning walk with the lovely Putney WI ladies (another gloriously sunny AM at Richmond Park) and now, I’ve just finished crafting my first needle case, Sarah Moore style. What do you think?

Needle case 4

Crafting and cream tea = my perfect weekend

19 Mar

There’s nothing I like more than cosying up indoors on rainy days to craft, especially with a generous wedge of homemade cake to keep me going. So imagine my pleasure on Saturday to find myself driving through a torrential downpour to Northchapel in West Sussex for one of vintage queen Sarah Moore’s new crafting masterclasses. I could hardly contain my excitment!

The schedule for the day was to create a personalised notice board, make fabric corsages and lavender cushions, and giftwrap locally produced soaps in antique maps and papers – a lot, perhaps, to cover in one session, but with a seemingly endless supply of scones, Victoria sponges and tea – served using antique chinaware – it was a challenge I couldn’t wait to tackle.

And Sarah Moore is a fantastic teacher. Inspirational, encouraging and patient, she soon had our small group busily cutting antique wallpapers into hexagon shapes and sticking them in a patchwork over a standard cork noticeboard. The transformation was almost instant and it was amazing to see how, given the same basic materials, every one of us created a design unique and completely different.

20130318_141911

We stopped for lunch – a picnic style affair with quiche, figs and potato salads, and apricot crumble (served in vintage teacups) – before continuing with our makes. The velvet lavender strawberries and rose-scented roses smelt heavenly, and ended up looking so wonderful I’m not sure I’m going to be able to give mine away…

Sarah Moore soaps

Sarah Moore soap

It was such a treat to be able to devote a day to crafting – somehow the rain outside made it all the more justifiable – and it was also wonderful to have the opportunity to meet other likeminded makers with a love of all things vintage. When the class came to an end, although I didn’t want to leave, I also couldn’t wait to get home to start sourcing materials for my next project – needle, thread and pinking shears here I come!

sarahmoorevintage.com

Let’s hit the road…

17 Feb

It feels like ages since I was last up in Scotland, even though it was only last month! Now that M and I have got a set of wheels again, we’re putting them to good use with the wee car’s first long-haul adventure to Edinburgh. I love a good road trip – any excuse to visit the Tebay services to stock up on yummy local treats and handmade ceramics. What a great weekend we had too though. We caught up with C and L (happy birthday L!) for a delicious dinner of wood-oven fired pizzas at La Favorita, which has recently reopened following a refurb – check out the light fittings, now on my wish-list for when M and I have our own home again! I also managed to finish off my latest knitting project – a neck-warmer for M, for when he’s on his bike to college. My first attempt at stocking stick, since my course with Mrs Moon last week – I’m quite chuffed with it, what do you think?

Little Miss Married neck warmer

Knit one, purl one

9 Feb

It’s official. I am truly a knitting addict! Having been taught the basic knit stitch by a colleague from work, I have been creating endless scarves and snoods for friends and family, and can’t get enough it. But, I’ve also been keen to master purl – I’m told that once you have these two stitches you can knit anything! So I signed up for a morning knitting course at the stunning Mrs Moon haberdashery in St. Margarets.

Mrs Moon Little Miss Married 2 Mrs Moon Little Miss Married 1

From the moment I entered the shop, I knew I was in for a treat: a warm welcome and floor-to-ceiling displays of brightly-coloured yarns, ceramic buttons and knitting patterns – I couldn’t wait to get started. There were only three of us in the class – the average amount – so it was easy for Mrs Moon co-founder Karen to keep her eyes on what we were all up to and give us personal tips and guidance. We started off going over the basics – casting on and knit stitch – then moved onto purl, stocking stitch, and how to create a rib pattern. We also practised increasing and decreasing stitching and learnt how to cast off – all in the space of three hours. At £35, it was incredible value for money.

Mrs Moon Little Miss Married

Before I left, I couldn’t resist buying a stunning ivory baby alpaca and merino wool mix by Debbie Bliss, which I intend to transform into (yet, another) snood, this time using moss stitch. Watch this space for the results…

mrsmoon.co.uk

I’m a fan – of fans!

3 Feb

Fan Museum Little Miss Married 3

After signing up to it at the end of last year, today was finally the day when I returned to the wonderful Fan Museum in Greenwich for my fan-making taster class. I’d been feeling a little silly all week when I told people what I was going to be getting up to at the weekend because surely fan-making is just pleating a piece of paper, which anyone can do, right? Wrong! The course began with an introduction by Helene Alexander, the museum’s founder, to the history of the fan, its different styles, and the varieties of materials used to make them over the years and then it was over to us (a group of six) to try and replicate the traditional Chinese and Fontange shapes ourselves. I’d treated myself to two beautiful papers from Libertys, especially for the course – one a vintage-looking map of central London; the other an intricate Oriental-themed pattern. What I hadn’t realised it that when you print paper, it distorts the image meaning straight lines become curved and colours richer and more intense. There’s also a real skill required in attaching the spokes of the fan to the paper, and ensuring it opens and closes correctly; there’s so much more to fans than meets the eye. After three hours, we all had two fans to take home. If you look closely, mine aren’t perfect but, for a first attempt, I’m pretty pleased with the results. I’m planning to frame them and put them on display. Fans are works of art, after all. Check out these examples from the museum’s latest ‘The Fan in Europe: 1800-1850’ exhibition – stunning.

Fan Museum Little Miss Married 1

Fan Museum Little Miss Married 2

thefanmuseum.org.uk