Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Groovy summer

This continuing heat and long summer days always takes me back to the summers of the '70s. Making such admittances publicly is unusual for me as inevitably, if you have such years stored fairly clearly in your memory then you have to be a certain age!  (of course I was very young then..) 1976 was memorable for its long drought-everyone had a scorched lawn as the heat just went on. Retreating to a local outdoor pool was the greatest pleasure-floating about on the water and coming out for an occasional ice cream was a delight, whilst listening to Mungo Jerry on the transistor radio..  Memories are formed by such experiences and thus mine, whenever a hot summer appears are stirred with thoughts with all things retro and psychedelic, surfing and camper vans- and of course we get lots of those down here!

Anyway this weather led me to thoughts of some lovely bright retro patchwork planned for some time. I had a collection of some gorgeous designs from Amy Butler, Michael Miller, Robert Kaufman etc  which I had mixed as a hexagon collection for my little shop Farmhouse Traditions .

They have sold  so well and I am almost down to the last of these now. I had become so fond of the designs myself I started putting them together into a few 'Grandmother's flowers'.

These designs are so funky-I love the Michael Miller one with the little woodland creatures on a black background- 

I can spend ages just trying out combinations of colours and love popping a special one on the middle!

This bright psychedelic design with the hearts is fab!

I am thinking of combining Michael Miller's 'Ta-dot' pink with red spots to separate the 'flowers'. What do you think?
 Room for a few more 'Peace' and 'Love' to give the feel of Woodstock '68 (no I wasn't there though I wish I had been!)
...and maybe a few more camper vans and retro ice creams!

My hexagon projects usually end up as cushions...maybe I'll make a bag this time-you would definitely see me coming!
Such thoughts about those heady days of the 60s and 70s make me want to dig out those flares, pop a few flowers in my hair and locate the Peter Frampton LPs still hiding somewhere in the loft. Oh well, maybe I'll just peruse my Retro Summer Pinterest Board instead - groovy baby!


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Enchanted Durgan

A 'dream' of a day this week.  I often spend quite a bit of time in the Falmouth area, due to my work and also sometimes dropping off/picking up daughter from the university.  Over such long days I dreamt that as soon as work (which I fit into these days) eased off  I could make the most of the 'in between' time to explore the area more. Finally it happened - me free and daughter needing to be in uni...glorious weather so time to head off with the dogs and explore!  

Mawnan Smith lies just south of Falmouth at the head of the Helford River (remember Frenchman's Creek? ) When exploring some months ago  I discovered an idyllic walk next to  Glendurgan Garden. ( National Trust - if you love gardens it's a must). Just before the gardens you head left-park in the National Trust car park down the lane on the right. A path leads you through glorious woods down towards the Helford. The woods were shady and cool on such a sweltering day! The path beckons you onwards and you glimpse the Helford through the trees.
A little further downhill and you're treated to a stunning vista with little boats bobbing around on sparkling waters. 
A little beach appears..

Almost there.... This is the idyllic little village of Durgan. 
The sun was beating down from a cloudless sky! 
The village is only accessible by car to residents-the only way out the other side is via the coastal path. I had a little wander around the village...

 Pretty cottages and locally handmade cards on a vintage chair.

 Mmm...Roskilly's ice cream! Did you see Cornwall with Caroline Quentin? She did a feature on this family-run business in Series 2.
Scarlet geraniums at a cottage door.
A little boat tucked away behind the sea wall.
 Getting very hot-time to sit on the little beach and peruse  my new craft magazine!
 Ooh what lovely makes-love these shabby hanger covers-must make one for my older daughter's wedding dress! (had forgotten about the wedding for the moment...it's the end of October-plenty of time!)
 Well if I can't have any Roskilly's maybe I'll get younger daughter to make some of these delicious looking beauties!
A little hot on the beach so I retreated back to the woods and settled in a lovely spot. Ah-Frenchman's Creek! Easy to see why Daphne du Maurier was so inspired by Cornwall's rugged beauty.
 Such a beautiful, relaxing location-gazing out onto the water you could almost imagine nothing had changed for centuries...an enchanted place.
Eventually it was time for the climb back up....in the heat!  Plenty of water rest stops were the order of the day as I reluctantly headed back. If you are ever in the area-do visit enchanted Durgan!

What an uplifting day-enjoying the beauty of Cornwall in the sunshine. When you live and work here it is easy sometimes to overlook the beauty of the area, rushing from place to place never stopping to 'smell the roses'. In the rush of life and work do you sometimes overlook the beauty of the area in which you live? Have a happy, sunny and relaxing weekend! xx

Friday, 13 June 2014

Down to the sea.

Well due to a busy work week my crafting has been a little on the back burner. Today was such a welcome day off and in this glorious summer weather it was time to leave everything else and get down to the sea.

 I spied this cute heron making the most of the tide being fully out and a large pool where he could fish to his heart's content.

 He saw me peeking from behind a rock with my camera but didn't go far-the lure of whatever was caught in the shallows must have been too tempting!
The sky can be described here as 'Cornish blue' and today you could see why-it was glorious! a perfect June day-such a clear sky!

I made a little camp in the rocks while the dogs played in the waves. 
I shouldn't really have introduced my little Oscar looking like this- he is much smarter usually! He is only a baby- just 5 months and it was his first really proper beach visit. He got so excited he decided to roll around in the muddiest rock pool he could find. 
 Here he is looking a bit better!
My younger daughter, now free from university work entertained the dogs while I sat in my little camp with a hot chocolate...never go down to the sea without your thermos!
I love it when the tide has just washed out-it leaves behind so much flotsam and jetsam...and shells. Here are a few seen just where I was sitting.
  I brought back the razor shell for my seaside themed craft room collection.
Oscar wore himself out playing with 'big sister' Bonnie the labrador, while I just sat and gazed out to sea...

'I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
and all I need is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...'

I memorised Masefield's 'Sea fever' when I was a girl, as I thought it conjured up a delightful picture of   freedom and escape.
Going down to the sea is the perfect antidote to the stresses of everyday life and work-how lucky we are to be able to living here in Cornwall. Where do you take time out to enjoy this glorious summer weather? Wherever it is hope you have a beautiful, relaxing and warm, sunny weekend! 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Sweet baby girl.

I should probably title this post 'My busy week' like last weekend. Thank you so much for your lovely comments  - I really enjoyed reading about the crafty activities you'd been up to last weekend.

In between seeing my trainee teachers this week for final lesson observations I have been working on such a sweet project. I was commissioned by a friend to make personalised bunting for a new born baby girl. She had seen the one I made last year for my eldest daughter's friend's baby 'Emma Jane' (her Mum adores all things Jane Austen!). For Emma Jane's I used Tilda muted roses on a pastel green, with pink lettering. I use the Sizzix Serif large alphabet dies for the letter cuts, so the bunting flags need to be quite large-approximately 11ins x 10ins.
I popped on some little flowers and butterflies in Cath Kidston's pink spot and Tilda gingham. I made the bias binding from the same spot. 
I added another flag at each end, one with a heart and one with a butterfly applique. 

The new baby is called 'Merryn'. Isn't it a pretty name? This is quite a popular name here in Cornwall. It is old Cornish meaning 'joyful', and can also be associated with the village of St. Merryn on the North coast. The brief for Merryn's bunting was that her mum favours polka dots and muted florals. I decided to go for the Cath Kidston pink polka dot for the flags and make the letters in 'Spray flowers' .This is a gorgeous design featuring sprays of old roses on a white background. 
I popped on  a few little flowers, butterflies and vintage buttons.
Hope no one can date the bear! -It was given to me at a few months old and has been my loyal companion through life's rich tapestry ever since . He always looks very sad-he did not have clothing until about 30 years ago when I made him the 'Paddington' jacket from an old top. I did not have a pattern-as you can see!

Anyway, I do hope little Merryn likes her bunting and that she will keep it in future years-hope it lasts as long as my old bear! 
Many thanks for popping by. Hope you have a lovely, relaxing weekend and some sunshine. I love reading your comments-do let me know what you're up to! 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

My busy weekend.

When my eldest daughter was a little girl her favourite book was called 'My busy weekend'. It told a simple story of a little girl helping her parents with the shopping, stretching up to the fridge to help put it away,  hanging out the washing,  walking the dog , and helping her daddy in the garden. Ah- the simple life!  It all sounds a bit 1950s now I come to think of it but it must have been the late 80s/early 90s. As we go through these routines every weekend I often think of it! I just don't know where we get all our washing from-anyone would think we ran a B & B!
Anyway. today I did manage some time to work on a few bits and pieces. I love 'altered art' and rubber stamping and like using this media to make vintage tags for scrapbooking, cardmaking and gifts.

These are 'botanical flowers' - a lovely lady has just ordered 50 for a hotel wedding in Scotland-so lovely to think that they are going to be used in this way! 

I call these ones 'Mannequin' or my 'corset ladies'!

I can spend many a happy hour playing with my vintage look stamps. I just love anything with an Eiffel Tower or French wording...
Ooh la la! I stamped different designs onto kraft card to make vintage-style luggage labels.

Then I made some more of these cute 'spools' to present my vintage haberdashery on. 
So many crafts-so little time! 

I have had to spend a little time today in preparing for tomorrow as I have work...only a few hours though as it is just  part-time and I always look forward to seeing my lovely trainees again!

Have you had a 'busy weekend'?  Hope you made time for crafting!
Alison xx