Sunday, 5 November 2017

Autumn Fires and football.

Last weekend we put our clocks back so as to give us a little more daylight in the mornings, but I know it won't last for long. Funny how some mornings seem darker than others and warmer. During this week I have been known to trip happily down the stairs at 6.45 a.m. in just my nightie and feel quite comfortable. Opening the curtains, light appears and the day looks promising.  Yet other mornings I shiver and wrap my beautiful red dressing gown around me just a little tighter. The curtains remain closed for another hour or so and the kettle sings noisily whilst I prepare my toast.

I find myself buying crumpets for tea and lots of comfort food for dinner. To be honest, our summers here in England are so short that my knowledge of summer foods and salads is quite abysmal! Each year I promise myself that I will get a cookery book with lots of summery things in it, but so far I haven't done it. How does the saying go? 'The road to heaven is paved with good intentions!' well that is one of mine.

I celebrated my 66th birthday in October and once that date has passed I turn my attention to Christmas, but not a minute before.  Once again the shops are full of gifty things really early. Last year I think I had them all bought and wrapped but this year I am struggling with some of the people on my list. I think I will have to ask for advice because I don't want to disappoint.


For those of you who like watching soccer (English football), here is a video of my grandson Dylan in a football match yesterday.  He is in red and white, no. 2 (defense) and always kicks with his left foot!  At point 2.32 mins in the video, you can see he nearly gets a terrific goal stopped only by a fantastic save by the other team's goalie! 


Have a great Sunday!


Thursday, 28 September 2017

A New Sewing Machine

I am excited about getting a new sewing machine for my birthday. It will be a Singer C440 like the one in the video above.

As I start using it, I am hopeful that all the new features will be easy to use.  It is several steps up on the machine I already have so I expect it will be challenging for me while I get used to it.

I have watched the video several times and find it very good to follow. I won't say 'easy' but everything is strange to start with, isn't it.

Looking forward to showing you what I make with it soon.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Sometimes I just like to sew...

I'm so enjoying having a little grand-daughter at last that I just love to sew and make dresses for her. I've yet to see her in any of them though?

This little dress is from the Vivienne pattern from and it comes in many different guises. You can make it with or without sleeves, with or without a lining (this one is fully lined), zipped or snaps, circular or box pleat skirt. This one is circular and the circle is 2 metres round - plenty for a quick twirl!

The pattern is also available in many sizes from 1/2 to teens size and all in the one pattern, which is downloadable.

Why not give it a try for your little one?

Here is the video:

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A Visit to Canterbury to see Rupert the Bear

Tourtel was born as Mary Caldwell and raised in an artistic family, youngest child of a Samuel and Sarah Caldwell, a stained-glass artist and stonemason. She studied art under Thomas Sidney Cooper at the Sidney Cooper School of Art in Canterbury (now the University for the Creative Arts), and became a children's book illustrator. In 1900 she married an assistant editor of The Daily Express newspaper, Herbert Bird Tourtel at Eton.[1]
Rupert Bear was created in 1920, at a time when the Express was in competition with The Daily Mail and its then popular comic strip Teddy Tail, as well as the strip Pip, Squeak and Wilfred in The Daily Mirror. The then news editor of the Express, Herbert Tourtel, was approached with the task of producing a new comic strip to rival those of the Mail and Mirror and immediately thought of his wife Mary: already an established author and artist. Rupert Bear was the result and was first published as a nameless character in a strip titled Little Lost Bear on 8 November 1920.[2] The early strips were illustrated by Mary and captioned by her husband, Herbert, and were published as two cartoons a day with a short story underneath. Rupert was originally cast as a brown bear until the Express cut inking expenses giving him his iconic and characteristic white colour.[3]
In 1931 Herbert Tourtel died in a German sanatorium, and Mary herself retired four years later in 1935 after her eyesight and general health deteriorated, and the Rupert Bear strips were continued by a Punch illustrator, Alfred Bestall.[3]
Mary Tourtel died on March 15, 1948 aged 74 at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital and was buried with her husband at St Martin's Church, Canterbury; they had no children.[1]

I have a little ornament of Rupert putting on his magic boots. Isn't he gorgeous!

Here are some of the books from my collection:
How many do your remember?
Do you collect books? If so, which ones?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Grandchildren update

My not so little grandson Dylan and his sister Ruby have just got back from the seaside. The weather was not always sunny, but they did have a lovely time. Dylan is proving a very protective older brother and takes care of his little sister with so much love, it is a pleasure to see.

Grandson Sammy has just had his fourth birthday. Here he is with his cousin Cora and new puppy Max, chilling out on the sofa.

Our little grand-daughter Maren is one month old already. Larry has worked hard on the rug he has made for her and sent it across the pond for her to roll about on. I hope she likes it. Cute isn't it!

I have been busy with the sewing machine, making little dresses. Here is what I have accomplished so far:

The patterns are from Frocks and Frolics. You can download a pattern yourself. They are not expensive and fun to make. Just click on the following picture:

The safari dress was made up from some lovely cotton fabric I had over from a patchwork quilt I made for Sammy when he was a little baby. I looked everywhere for a hat to go with it, but couldn't find one suitable so in the end I made one myself, but it turned out too small. Never mind, I expect Ruby has lots of hats already.

I love the material on the following dress.  If you look really close you can see little baskets of flowers. I covered the buttons in the same material to match and it is fully lined.

This next one is the Kitty dress and there is a discount on the pattern - 25% until 7th August so be quick and get yours before it is too late!  I made it with an Indian design, but you could make it up however you like. More pictures on my other blog,

I call this one the alphabet dress. I just love this material. The red extras are from a tablecloth I bought in Sainsburys last Christmas.  The tablecloth was much too big so I cut a chunk of it off and have used the remnants for lots of other projects since. The skirt is circular so it will twirl beautifully when she turns around. I can't wait to see her in it.

You can see explanatory videos of how to make these little dresses. Some are on my other blog and lots more on YouTube. Just go to Frocks and Frolics and you can follow along.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. We have been lucky in England because it has been cool but in other parts of Europe it has been excessively hot (and horrid) and bush fires have broken out. Trees are burning as I write this. I do hope they can get things under control soon.