Poor Phone

Before my tragic phone story I want to welcome my Grandparents back to the UK. I picked them up at Heathrow last night and they are off on a cruise of the British Isles next week. We had a lovely day today at Hatfield House but I can’t share pictures because…

Yesterday I had my phone in my pocket and for a split second it went swimming in the toilet. Upon extensive internet research I have it sleeping in a bed of rice to dry out. Various websites said never to turn it on right away but of course you want to check it’s working so darn, did that. Then it said to not use a hair dryer to dry electronics but of course in my panic I did! Basically it will be a miracle if it works again. I feel lost without it and it’s my phone too, grrrrr….. I might have to bust out the old digital camera which seems so ancient tech now.

At least I’ve taken a number of photos of projects I’ve been working on lately so I can share one now.

I’ve had this little kit for awhile now to make a belt that I got from Greenwood Quiltery. I was bored the other afternoon so whipped it up…

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It was easy to cut and sew together but annoying to pull right side out. With all my knitting I couldn’t find a straight knitting needle to save my life to help with the poking. I know I have one but just couldn’t locate it when I needed it (I use all circular or double pointed for everything). It took me along time to do this part, mainly with my teeth…

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It did get done though…

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It’s cute but could be a bit longer. I’ll spare you a pic of my waist!

2 Sunny Days

I’m happy to report that my rant about the horrible weather worked. (Well, only for the weekend because now it’s cold and raining again.) I’m sure I had something to do with it though! Regardless, it inspired a nice long cycling ride with John through the Chiltern Hills to a nice coffee at a great little cycling repair/cafe in Redbourn that we found recently called The Hub…

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We were finally able to have a sunny picnic too…

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John has been wanting to take me to Hampstead Heath which is a large green space north of London. It was a beautiful day and it seemed everyone was out eating ice cream, including John…

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In Hampstead we also found a lovely National Trust property called Fenton House. The gardens are still maintained as they would have been and there is an amazing collection of harpsichords, porcelain figures and needlework inside…

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(According to the talkative Trust volunteer, behind me is a house owned by director Ridley Scott who only comes to stay a few weeks a year.)

The house also boasted one of the best views of London, to be seen from a tiny balcony that I braved for pictures…

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I was also quite taken by these lovely chairs…

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On the way home we just had to stop to take a picture of this field near our house…

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Lovely!

Quick Craftiness

Not a big project to share but one I’ve been meaning to finish for awhile now. When my mom was here last year I got these lovely not so little Liberty print letter patches. I thought I would add then as a quirky detail to my Liberty fabric couch quilt. See bottom right corner…

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(I love how this quilt jazzes up this otherwise boring cream sofa.)

They were iron-on letters and the edges never stuck down properly. I knew I needed to sew around the edges but never got around to it. Yesterday I wasn’t the feeling the best and was lying on the couch with this quilt over me. I had also been hand sewing the binding on a quilt the day before so there was thread and needle on the table beside me. (Actually who am I kidding there is always some thread and needles lying around, much to John’s chagrin!)…

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Sorry, I digress…I was somehow inspired to start sewing around the “A” with the matching thread that just happened to already be threaded in the needle beside me and TA DA! It finally got done…

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Yeah me!

Seriously!

This is not a great weekend adventure post or a crafty moment. I just need to vent about the horrible and depressing UK Spring weather. Actually, not Spring, extended winter. It is now the coldest Spring since 1979. I hope I am truly conveying my horror, disappointment, annoyance etc. If my words aren’t enough this was me this morning before work in a Rowan worsted wool sweater that I knit years ago. I hardly ever wear it in Canada anymore because worsted weight is too hot for me indoors nowadays…

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I should just be happy I get some wear out of this Rowan classic right! I don’t feel happy about it though.

Here is me heading to work with my winter coat on. I’m really not exaggerating…

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It’s miserable. I only hope it warms up for the Bank holiday weekend. I’ve just felt so bad for the kids at school this week because of course it’s May so why would you think to put the heating on, even though it hasn’t been over 10 degrees. Unbelievable!

Ok vent over 🙂 I will focus on maybe going to Hever Castle with John this weekend (home of Anne Boleyn, so cool)!

New Shop Find

I had a lovely day yesterday with a new crafty friend. We got in the car and made it to a new store I found online about 40 min away in West Hampstead called The Village Habedashery

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I was really impressed with this little shop. They had the most modern quilting fabric that I’ve seen here so far. Of course I’m still slowly finding stores but this was definitely a keeper. They had an excellent little sale section and I picked up some Cloud 9 and Monaluna fabric in larger pieces to go with some others I already have…

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I love the new Riley Blake Hipster line. They didn’t have it all but I did pick up this yummy faux cross stitched number…

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Isn’t this Aneela Hoey Sew Stitchy panel to die for…

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Of course love the Jay Cyn Mermaid fabric as well. You just have to get large pieces of the Storyboek II Collection because it’s mostly larger scale prints…

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As I’m in the midst of a sewing clothes bug I also got these cute little girl dress patterns…

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Lastly, I picked up a couple more Sew Liberated designs. They say if you loved the School House Tunic then you will love the Esme top, so we’ll see…

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I was a bit annoyed that the sizing guide appeared to be missing from Esme but I emailed Sew Liberated and I got a quick and polite reply to tell me that I had a first printing copy and they had forgotten the sizing guide, one was attached to the email. Now I’ll be off to the races with this one too I hope. It’s another Bank Holiday weekend coming up and the May half-term week off school so I’m sure I’ll get in some quality sewing time.

I’ve said this many times before but there is NO time to work a real job anymore!

School House Tunic

Every now and then I fancy myself a seamstress. I’ve had the School House Tunic by Sew Liberated for awhile now but haven’t felt like tackling any clothes…

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I’ve also had the fabric which I discovered was fabric by Ty Pennington! For those in Canada and the US you will know who I mean. I didn’t realise that when I bought it. I thought it would look good for this tunic. You be the judge…

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John is utterly amazed that I just whipped this up while he was away in Copenhagen last week. He was even more blown away that I actually wore it to work today. He’s cute.

I made the 10-12 size and I think it’s a bit big but fits my wide shoulders. I admit I have not progressed to the stage of being able to adjust patterns in the pre-cutting stage. I kind of just pick a size and hope it fits. As a result I don’t always love the finished product. I dream of being able to fit a pattern more correctly to my body but I know it will come in time. I’ve ordered a couple of recommended books on the subject and hope to take more professional sewing courses soon. Before we moved I took Introduction to Industrial sewing at George Brown College in Toronto. We learned all different hems, seams, darts, and sewing curved seams. Unfortunately, we moved before I could continue with more basics like zippers, sleeves and collars. I was looking forward to the third section of courses where you made a tailored shirt. One day I’ll get to it. I think I have more skill at it than I think but I lack a bit of confidence with commercial patterns.

Here is some of the process…

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It was fun. I’d like to do another in white islet for the summer.

May Sugar Block Club

I finished my May Sugar Block of the Month Club block about a week ago but just haven’t shared. This fifth block is called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”. Here is Stitchery Dickory Dock’s block that I needed to follow…

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This was a fun one and mom said it’s here favourite of mine so far…

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(Ooo, just noticed the yucky join of the bottom left block, oh well!)
I like how it turned out with the fussy cut centre. I’m also happy with my choice to keep and all white background.

Of course mom has finished hers as well. Apparently she didn’t like her first attempt but I love it!…

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Her second block is gorgeous too!…

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I think mom’s showing me up in this BOM club.

Jane Austin

SORRY, I THOUGHT THIS POST HAD PUBLISHED BUT IT’S SAVED AS A DRAFT AND IS FROZEN AND WON’T UPDATE SOOOOO…. I COPIED IT AND POSTED AGAIN…

I love busy weekends but it takes so long to update everyone because I get so excited and want to share everything! This is the end of our bank holiday weekend though, a nice look around the quaint town of Chawton. One of Jane Austin’s brothers inherited the lands around Chawton and Jane, her mother and sister Cassandra came to live her for many years before she got ill and moved to Winchester. It was an idyllic setting and you could just picture Mr. Darcy riding through the streets. The house wasn’t open when we got there so we took a 20 min walk through some of the country side where Jane and her sister walked most days. As usual I loved looking up…

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At 10:30 the doors opened and we got to look around the house…

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I was blown away by how many artefacts they had on display of Jane’s. They had samples of writing, a lock of hair, some pieces of amber jewellery and a small table that they believe she wrote on daily (see below). Unfortunately, I had a horrible cold all weekend so didn’t read as many of the exhibits as I would have liked but I still enjoyed the morning. It’s definitely worth a visit if you are a Pride and Prejudice fan, hmmmmm!

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Glamping

Eventhough it’s cold here the beautiful English bluebells are out…

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I had an interesting experience this weekend. I have met a lovely group of ladies in an organisation called Ladies Circle and this weekend we went glamping! Yes, camping in style. We went about 2 hours away to Kent to the Livingstone Lodge and safari park for the “African experience”…

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Aspinall’s mansion was interesting to see before we left…

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We got on safari trucks and froze our way through seeing some animals…

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Wild dogs!

Our campsite was very nice and had a stunning view across the channel to France…

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The tents were pretty flash inside for camping; unfortunately, the little heater didn’t help much so I’m very happy I Canadian’d up and brought along my -12 sleeping bag!…

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We had a lovely dinner together with lots of laughs…

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It was wonderful to have sunshine this morning and we got to see a few animals on the ride back to the cars…

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Another great weekend!

No More Donkeys

Sadly no funny donkeys did we see for the rest of our trip. Before we headed out to Salisbury we had to pack up our cases and I got to use this cute little drawstring bag that mom made me to put your dirty clothes when travelling…love it…

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We had another unbelievably gorgeous day here on Sunday. After packing up we headed a few miles down the road to Salisbury. This is the cathedral town that inspired Ken Follett’s famous book The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and close area around were stunning. It truly looked like nothing had changed for years. There were medieval buildings around the close as well as lovely homes where people still live! We got to go in one of the house as it was a National Trust site…

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I thought the cloisters courtyard was the best part…

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Further up the road from Salisbury is Old Sarum which is the site of the first cathedral and castle from the time of William the Conquerer before they moved it to Salisbury…

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We finished the day on Sunday by visiting a National Trust home called Monttisfont which is a beautiful house built around a 13th century monastery. You could still see parts of the old building in places throughout the house, like the old wine cellar…

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We finished the day at another nice pub…

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Stay tuned tomorrow for our Jane Austin adventure on the bank holiday Monday.