Sunday, 10 June 2012

Buckingham Art For All

Spent a happy hour wondering around artists' studios as part of Buckingham Art For All, a two week celebration of all things arty, locally.

Lovely, lovely work from Paul Bursnall

Tlws Johnson Designs and she does workshops!

It never ceases to amaze me just what's on you doorstep when you choose to look for it. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Ring of Bright Water

As a sulky twelve year old I did not appreciate the absolute gorgeousness of the holiday getaway my parents had 'dragged' (my words) me to, in the mid 1970's.  With a head full of disco and a suitcase full of cheesecloth, 'middle of nowhere' to me then was, as you can imagine, my idea of 'not much fun.' Try persuading your own children now and see how far you get. "What no WiFi!" But hindsight, retrospect or nostalgia are wonderful things and imagine my delight when I saw that 'Ring of Bright Water' was appearing on TV a few nights ago. I selected the record button hastily, knowing that at some stage I would be able to savour the moment. That moment came last night when I spent a blissful hour or so reminiscing with a tear in my eye and smile on my face.

What is she rambling on about? OK long story short. The cottage in the film is the cottage we stayed in during that holiday. Not quite as dilapidated as it appears in the film I hasten to add.

Skip to about 6:30 to see what talking about

Yes, it is in the most exquisite location on the West coast of Scotland not too far from Oban and at the time was totally unappreciated by me. The wonders of the internet have allowed me to see if it's still there and it certainly is.

Holiday cottage in highlands
Courtesy of Scotland Holiday Cottages

We fished, we swam, watched otters, clambered over rocks and in the end even I had to admit it had been a fantastic holiday. Coupled with the fact that it was the summer of '76, we all went back sporting Mediterranean sun tans, no one would believe that we'd holidayed in Scotland. So there you have it, a trip down memory lane. Which holidays stick in your mind and why?

Monday, 27 February 2012

....and now for something completely different........

A short while a go a lovely lady approached me for a custom make. Being an avid fan of Harry Potter and needing a cover to go with her kindle she decided to combine the two. The design was up to myself, the only stipluation was that the word "lumos" should appear somewhere on the cover. Designing long distance is not  easy but it is do'able due to the marvels of modern day technology and helped by having a such a nice person to deal with. So there was many a communication whizzing back and forth across the Atlantic.

Suggesting designs......

......and materials.......

.......and then by jove the actual thing!


Harry's glasses were the obvious choice, embellished with a little gold thread......


....a cosy lining to protect the precious gadget......

........and a button and loop fastening to hold it all in place.

It got me thinking about the last scene of the last HP movie, you know the bit where the three main characters stood in the ruins of Hogwarts. I know for some people it was the end of an era, certainly for those three. I watched it with a tear in my eye.

So a little spark was lit, linking kindle covers to characters or quotes from books, should keep me busy for a bit.

Anyway it's Handmade Monday today and with a bit of luck I might make it over there just in time. I look forward to savouring all of those lovely crafty blogs.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Armchair slipcover

OK I've managed to peg out washing today and these little fellas are starting to show their faces.......
 I'm feeling very Spring like, helped along with a generous dollop of sunshine onThursday morning and the fact that I actually went out without my coat yesterday!

Hello, my dear followers. Life has been busy, as it is for us all, but I'm still enjoying the wonderful world of Key Stage One, even though one of my pupils did ask me the other day "Mrs Lovis, why have you put your dressing gown on?" as I donned what I thought was my best cardigan in an effort to provide an extra layer of warmth in my classroom. Out of the mouths of babes....... :)

Lots happened since my last post. Obviously been busy with the job (Mr Ofsted is breathing down our necks -Oh Joy) Had a birthday. Yay! Attended a speed awareness course (naughty!), became a Great Aunt, been horribly ill, but not done much sewing until this half term, when I've been desperately trying to finish off a couple of long overdue projects so that I can put my design head back on again.

But first let me share with you what is probably the most perfect birthday present ever.
Just look at this gorgeous hand made card and matching gift tag.......!

Lets have a closer look.

and look what it was announcing.......

Big squeal! A sewing stamp set, which I haven't stopped stroking yet......

.....and then even bigger joy....just look at all of this......fabric!!!!

Regular readers of my blog will know Vicky, a fellow blogger and also my buddy. She had cleverly thought I could make use of the leftover bits of fabric she had. I was touched by the thoughtfulness of this present and wondered how exquisite her fabric choices have been. Such a great idea for a fabric freak like me. Thank you Vicky.

The birth of my niece's beautiful baby daughter has made me come over all babylike and I've been scouring shops for wool and have a few little fabric ideas which I hope to bring to reality in the not too distant future (who am I kidding!)

Let me show you the slip cover I made. If you're a follower you'll know that one of the things I made before Christmas was a roman blind and window seat cushion for a lovely lady who wanted to give her teenage daughter's bedroom a bit of a makeover. Don't have any pics I'm afraid as it was all very Hush Hush and I haven't had a chance to go round and take a few snaps since Christmas.

But what she also asked me for was a slipcover for a winged armchair.  As far as I'm concerned slipcovers are definitely not for the faint hearted. But a casual slip cover was what was required and before I could stop the words tumbling out of my mouth I heard myself saying "OK then,I'll give it a go." 

With great trepidation I started this project feeling a little (LOT!!) out of my comfort zone
and then I remembered the marvellous Miss Mustard Seed or as I like to call her now, 'my new best friend.' You simply must visit her amazing blog. Here is the link to the video tutorials I used for my chair. They were my saviour. Of all the incredibly useful things she said the thing that stuck most in my mind was 'Just think of it as making a dress for your chair'.  'Yes', I thought, 'I get that', and so with pins in my mouth and fabric rectangles at the ready, I started to make 'the dress' for the chair.

This is the result. I'm not expecting a round of rapturous applause but it has certainly whetted my appetite to do more slipcovers although I wouldn't recommend starting with a winged arncahir.

Joining the arms to the wings was the worst bit. I added a couple of ties on the back to keep everything in place......

.......using cotton twill tape. (I think I probably love this as much as I love my linen thread)

The cushion added the final embellishment and was made using some of the fabric I had left over from the roman blind.

I'm quite excited at the moment as my eldest son is due back from his school ski trip this afternoon. I can't wait to hear what he's been up to, although I expect I'll get the mum rated version :)  I think that's probably all for now. I'm off to pay long overdue visits to your lovely blogs and catch up on all your news.

Thanks for stopping by.
EDITED TO ADD: Have decided to enter this into Wendy's Handmade Monday so why not pop over and see what that talented bunch have been up to :)

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Time for an explanation.....

You could all be forgiven for thinking that my New Years Resolution was....'to stop blogging altogether'....far from it.

A little while before Christmas I was presented with a teaching opportunity which I couldn't resist. Some of you may or may not know I am/was a primary school teacher. And those of you that are/were teachers will either know exactly what I'm talking about or will think I'm utterly bonkers.

Suffice it to say it's mornings only, until July, so I thought I would give it a go and see if I could maintain a burgeoning little sewing business and a teaching career at the same time. The lack of posts will tell you that the answer to that question may be a resounding NO! However I have had a lot of setting up to do and I'm hoping that sewing time which at the moment is at a premium will happily fit into a weekly routine at some stage.  I do miss it so!

Happily though, on Saturday morning I was able to sit down and sew. I'm currently working on a slipcover for an armchair and a few more kindle covers - can the world ever have enough?

I was thrilled with the way the covers sold at Christmas and some of the feedback was just lovely. It's what we need occasionally isn't it.... bit of a boost to make us think we're on the right track.

So forgive me if my posts may be a little spasmodic for a while and I know I've got a lot of catching up to do with your lovely blogs. It's fantastic that I have a couple of new followers too, welcome! Of course that takes me up to the big 100 so I shall be organising a little giveaway some time soon.

As it's Handmade Monday time those wonderful Handmaidens of the Monday variety will have been strutting their stuff again so I shall be keeping a keen eye on Wendy's blog for more gorgeous makes and useful hints and tips this week. Her business continues to go from strength to strength.

So all that remains to be said is a very belated very 'Happy New Year' to you.  Let's hope it's a good one for us all.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


......... I seem to have dropped off the blogging radar about two weeks before everyone else. Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and to say thank you for such a lovely bloggy year. Your comments, your stories, your makes, thanks for sharing them all with me.

So whatever you're up to at the moment....... be it.....

.......switching on lights........

........ having fabulous friends for dinner.......

.....making angels.........

.....hanging bunting.......

.......decorating cakes.....

God....please don't look too close, I'm sure it will taste OK. Thanks Delia.   

....watching buds burst into blossom.......

......gorgeous aren't they........?

My friend informs me it's Japanese quince

 ....waiting for Santa.....

 ....or taking it all in your stride....

Harry 'The Leopard' as he was recently christened

.......have fun and I'll see you all very soon.

Happy Christmas everyone x

Monday, 12 December 2011

Handmade Monday - Christmas Cards

I'm afraid this week was definitely a case of killing two birds with one stone.  I've been very busy with my shops just lately which is FANTASTIC but it has left me with little time to 'playsew', so apologies for the lack of all things 'sewy' recently and today is no different. I had lots of cards to make and Handmade Monday to prepare for. So I'm just going to share a few pictures with you of some of the designs I've made so far....

From quite traditional.......

to a little more clean and simple.....

I love this rustic creamy card stock!

Can you see the sponged edges? I used a cherry red

My 'corner rounder' punch is my most used punch!

........and probably my own personal favourite....just because I had so much fun, masking and sponging.....

Pretty little Poinsettas stamped in a cherry red on a sponged cherry red background

.......stamping and scoring......

Can you see the score lines?

.......and embossing!

Shiny, shiny Christmas!

After a few weeks of a total lack of festive feeling I am now fully in the throes of festiveness.

Even my younger son who hasn't crafted for yonks suddenly got a creative urge over the weekend, I think it's infectious at Christmas isn't it? I love it when this happens, just to see how happy he was snipping and sticking.

Tree is up!

Anyway must press on, although I've got a visit to Wendy's blog first to see what those other Handmade Monday ladies have been up to.  If you fancy a visit to my Folksy or Etsy shops there are still some things left :)

Thank you for coming to say hello and welcome to some new followers, nearly 100, how exciting!