Saturday, 20 June 2009

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I'll begin.......

Apologies for not posting last night. I've been so busy these last few days that after arriving home from work yesterday and pouring myself a glass of chilled pear cider, I collapsed onto the sofa and fell asleep with Toni Braxton crooning quietly from the stereo. Cut to 9pm and Nathan returns from the allotment. It is somewhat difficult to remain in slumber-land when your partner is thrusting a plastic dish of home-grown new potatoes under your nose (unwashed, I might add) and saying 'look, LOOK, the FIRST crop THIS year' with a gleeful smile. Anyway, suffice to say I was extremely tired......

But let's get down to business! While I am reluctant to allow my blog to become a series of reviews of the work of others, I feel duty bound to let you in on my latest purchase. Having tracked down my parcel from Amazon on Wednesday (just how irritating is Royal Mail when you pay an additional charge to have something delivered first class, only to be subjected to one of those floppy, barely readable cards that merrily informs you that, owing to the size of your parcel, you have no option but to drive all the way down to your local P.O. sorting office and collect it yourself')I was delighted to spend the next couple of hours ohhing and ahhhing over the lovely book I now owned! Emma Brennan's 'Making Vintage Bags' is certainly one of my better purchases! The cover of this book does not do justice to the content within:

I will admit that, although the book professes to offer 20 original sewing patterns, there are more like a dozen or so with some bags differing only in terms of the fabric choice and embellishments used. Nonetheless, this is still a fabulous book. Emma's instructions are clear and concise which is perfect for the beginner sewer. Furthermore, there is something fundamentally inspirational about the way this book is produced. I cannot put my finger on it but something within these pages genuinely compelled me through an amazing creative journey and I have, thus far, spent many happy hours contempleting various ways of making these designs my own. All this before I even sit down to make one! I would certainly recommend this title.

Perhaps I ought to explain the motivation behind my getting this book? My good friend Zola Purdie recently donated a rather gorgeous vintage sewing machine to me. It is a lovely Singer 201K from 1958 and runs like a dream. I swear, I am no engineer and about as far away from your typical man as I could get (please keep the eyebrow raising to a minimum - I know it was an obvious statement to make!) but this little machine actually feels like quality! Anyway, I was, up until this little gift, only really a fibre fiend. I knitted, crocheted, spun etc but had never really thought about delving into fabric/textile crafts (well, no more so than to imagine my glory at wrestling some gorgeous slip of a thing into a Dior-like creation that just happened to be made by MOI!). So essentially, yes, this was my starting point for my foray into the sewing world. I wanted something small and relatively simple to begin with, but did not want to compromise on style. I'll let you know how I get on.....

Incidentally, Zola has just recently sent me some pictures of her latest 'make'. This is all her own design and made specially for her darling neice. Isn't it adorable?!

Zola has just started writing her own blog - check it out at Although I am slightly biased, you really couldn't hope for a nicer, more genuine or funny blogger!

Now for something a tad more strange. Picture me, sitting at work yesterday, almost noon and I am tap-tap-tapping away on the keyboard of my computer. Suddenly the mobile rings - Nathan. I answer and am immediately advised (and I mean immediately - Nathan has no patience when he is excited and I did not even manage to get out a tentative "hello?")that I am now the, and I quote, proud owner of half a flock of sheep.

Err.... excuse me? Evidently Nathan's mum, Gill from Artisan Threads, has 'gone halves' (what does that mean??!!!) with us on a flock of sheep, arriving on her land in Scotland next week. Very nice, me-thinks! I love all animals and sheep are no different. I begin picturing myself shearing them by hand (who am I kidding? I've just had a manicure!) and rhythmically spinning the wool into yarn on our old Ashford traditional spinning wheel. That is, of course, until I am reminded that Nathan's mother is slightly more, shall we say, organic? Rural? than I am and therefore it would only be a matter of time before next years lambs are slaughtered for their meat. Only now do I see the irony in the fact that my favourite film is 'The Silence of the Lambs'. Please, please, please people - leave your comments here to back up my claim that my sheep should be seen as pets and I am certainly NOT a farmer!!!!

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