Monday, 27 April 2015

(Hang) Spring cleaning.

'Hang Spring cleaning!' (said the mole in the Wind in the Willows), after working very hard all morning cleaning his little home. This line always comes to me whenever I attempt a bit of Spring cleaning, because my cleaning efforts never last very long...just like mole I'm ready to throw down the duster and brush and bolt out into the sunshine, without even putting on my coat!

Cornwall's bright gorse calls me away to bright coastal walks...
 Unfortunately,  the first rays of sunshine do like to highlight the incredible amount of clutter and cobweb that the old farmhouse seems to attract like a magnet. So nothing for it but to  attempt to clean bit by bit, starting small, I thought. A quick tidy of my little sewing room then I could intersperse the cleaning with some sewing as an incentive. Shock- I realised that if I was ever to sew anything again this year, it would require a major Spring clean! 

There are no 'before' pics!

After several bursts of sorting-in we go!

At last I could see the wood for the trees...or at least actually walk in! The chair is from my mother, from my grandmother's set of four with table, given at her marriage in 1900. It's a little creaky but at 115 years old it's not surprising! 

Sorted my little 'Quartier des bonnes affaires' ('Bargain corner' in French). I've placed one of my daughter's wedding centre pieces in the corner so I can remember the day whenever I'm in there. The 'Good needlework' picture is the front of a 1930s magazine that belonged to my mother. 

Little wall storage cupboards sorted-East of India gingham ribbon and vintage thread reels from my mother's collection.

Buttons finally sorted, bottled and shelved...

Love this pin cushion storage jar made for me by a crafty friend.

Cleaning up your sewing room it's inevitable you will unearth a whole load of WIPs! 

At last-a clean sewing room, all ready to begin!  Really should start by finishing those left projects but got waylaid by some cute Cath Kidston hexies:

 ...and soon found lots more!

Hexies are so addictive-I love playing around with all the variations you can make with simple 'Grandmother's flower garden'

Summer cushions are coming to mind...what would you make?

So finally a clean sewing room and lots of projects to begin. Lots more Spring cleaning still to be done, but for now, just like mole, it won't take much to tempt me away out into the sunshine!

Have a lovely week,
Best wishes
Alison xx

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Winning crochet!

I could not contain my excitement when I heard I was the winner of the Stitch Craft Create crochet motifs competition. I feel so honoured to have been chosen as winner with my Spring hens motifs!

It was wonderful to receive this fabulous bundle as my prize!

The competition was organised by Stitch Craft Create to celebrate the publication of 'Hooked!' a fabulous new book all about crochet motifs. The designs are whimsical and original -can't wait to get going on them.
Think I'll start with this really cute hedgehog!

It was so lovely to receive the yarn bundle as well as the book, such lovely colours all ready to be crocheted up. I can't thank the judges enough for choosing my little hens, especially as there were other lovely designs as well-if you have a moment do watch the video displaying the winning entries-see it here: 

 Stitch Craft Create crochet motifs competition 

If you are crafty you may know Stitch Craft Create ; I use it often especially for inspiration-many crafts are covered with fabulous ideas, a plethora of patterns, ideas and projects as well as free downloads! The site covers sewing, knitting, crochet and other crafts and has an extensive shop. 

Of course I was delighted to win and it is rare for me to enter any kind of contest- I've never been much interested in competition...who wins is not important.  We should empower each other to develop our individual skills,  this does not have to be against each other. So proud  then that since last summer when I set out  to 'Get back to crochet'   I have proved to myself once again that we can develop our skills by practice, getting a little 'further down the road' of what we are choosing to do. 

The greatest reward is that it has really inspired me to enable others to share this wonderful craft. My plans therefore, for the yarn bundle are to save it for a new project I have in mind...teaching crochet classes. A couple of groups of lovely ladies have already asked if I will do this and although I've been a teacher for all my career I was waiting to build my confidence with crochet a little more before diving in! I would also like to introduce the wonderful primary children to whom I teach beading to the delights of crochet...we may be able to add crochet techniques to our beading repertoire!

Beading Club

So thanks again to my little hens-lots of projects planned to use them for but I think I may just frame them to remember the moment!

Hope you are having a lovely Easter. Here's a little card I made to send to a French friend of many years:

'Joyeuses Paques' is the French for Happy Easter-Paques comes from the Latin 'pace' meaning 'peace', a lovely thought.

Best wishes
Alison xx