Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Going viral

I have simply never known such a year for illness in this house. It seems that one child or another has been ill since Christmas, there have been very few school weeks that both of them have completed in tandem. The eleven year ol
d suffered a virus for several weeks and finally the robust eight year old came down with a temperature last week. One week later she is still running a temperature. The doctor tells me it's viral.

And she kindly shared her germs. With both The Technical Advisor and I. No prizes for guessing which of us is suffering most. I think I am turning the other side today, my viral rash has appeared, it makes me look rather odd but does generally mean that I am finally getting the better of the germs.

Roll on Easter holidays is all I can say. This family needs R & R and chocolate.

I have a lot of work to do and things are going very slowly. The craft fair date is marching towards me and I think there may be some late nights ahead, but I will not let those darned germs get the better of me. Let's just hope that the viral rash has subsided by next week, it may very well put shoppers off! I did manage to add those cheery shopper bags to the Handmade at Poshyarns shop today, it took way too much technical wrestling let me tell you.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keeping the bookshelf busy

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago. I left a comment on a fairly new to me, very enjoyable blog, Tales From the Village , and guess what?

As a result of my comment, the very lovely people at Appliances Online treated me to a happy afternoon filling my basket on Amazon.

Now I normally decline any sort of advertising/reciprocal linky type stuff as it makes me feel a little uncomfortable and I prefer to keep my blog clutter free, however the people at Appliances Online were so very undemanding and generous. Furthermore I did indeed buy a fridge from them and found their service excellent, add to that the thought that they may be similarly generous to one of my dear readers (so do leave a comment) meant that I really could not say no.

I had fun on Amazon, first there was : The River Cafe Cook Book I know, I am so very late to the party on this one, I don't know why this book has not been on my shelves for years, a serious error. I believe it is known as a classic and this is well deserved praise indeed, I bought a second hand copy in near perfect condition.

Then I chose Baking Made Easy Hmm, not sure. I love her style but this was something of an impulse buy and if I am honest with myself, I could quite live without it. Beautifully photographed and a good selection of recipes but I already have really good versions of most of these recipes. I am not saying I don't recommend it, for someone with shelves less full of cook books it might be an excellent addition and I will certainly be trying the Whoopie Pies very soon.

I saved the best for last, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children Love, love this book, I will write more about it when I complete one of the projects. I am such a fan of Oliver & S patterns and this book does not disappoint, a wonderful selection of projects with Liesl's typically high standard of detail and finishing; if you follow her meticulous direction you can be assured of producing garments of the highest quality. The book has been really well designed with clear images and lovely full size patterns. You can read more over on the Oliver & S website.

Right, I am off to pour wine, eat chocolate and read a book. Heaven.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Cast in gold

It has been a long winter, too many grey days, too cold, spring too slow in arriving.

But I think perhaps I have been too busy of late, too occupied with other things. For at some point in the last few weeks the days have g
rown longer, the sun has climbed higher and grown warmer.

Whilst preparing dinner I suddenly realised that the kitchen was bathed in golden light. It flooded in at every window, painting everything it reached. I stopped my rushing, picked up my camera and took the time to notice and drink it up, to relish and luxuriate in the moment.

Shafts of golden light fell upon the emerging buds of the young apple tree branch cut down by overzealous neighbours and placed optimistically in a jug of water.

The old wooden pew was brushed with a warm glow, the wood made warm and welcoming in that magical light.

The bowl of fruit turned golden, bathed in sunlight.

Light danced in the corners of my kitchen that day, it was brief but glorious, I felt filled with hope.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love - a day of silence

Earlier this week I found myself standing quite still in my kitchen, chores forgotten, as I listened to a radio report from Japan. A representative from ShelterBox described arriving in a city and seeing no signs of life, there had been no displaced people sighted along the way. No apparen
t signs of life, in a city.

A day of blog silence, more information here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Folded and pressed

I cannot claim to love ironing, my iron and I have shared a very chequered history. There have been long periods throughout the last 25 years or so when I have seemingly managed not to iron a single item for months at a time.

My mother did not enjoy ironing and it became my pocket money chore at a very early age, once I left home she got rid of the iron & board altogether and became adept at careful flat drying of items upon the Aga's hotplate lids.

In recent years I have learned to accept that ironing must be done and indeed I even now press bed linen & tea towels. I do not love to do it but I pace myself with a little each day and that way I can just about keep on top of it all.

There is one type of ironing that I rather love though. New fabric must be washed and pressed before use and the sight of a length of newly acquired fabric blowing on the washing line is sure to lift my heart. The rhythmic pressing of that fresh smelling fabric follows and as my iron moves across the meterage I become familiar with the pattern, the handle, the weave, each colour. I make plans for that fabric and feel inspired as I steam it into smooth submission.

And at the end I have the pleasure of folding that fresh, crisp fabric. Corner to corner, end to end. It lines up perfectly and I smile as I gaze at my orderly stack of beauty.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Hopelessly helpless

I have been incredibly busy these last few weeks, there have been
highs and lows, at times I feel I can conquer all mountains, I am superwoman and at other times I feel like lying down on the ground in a crumpled heap, defeated and deflated.

Such is life.

The highs are all good, work related things. I have been busy with orders, new designs and booking craft fairs, I have felt strong and positive, a sense of achievement.

The lows are all impossibly beyond my control, there are family and legal matters that require attention, things that must follow a course, that are taking time and energy but resolution of one sort or another is in the near horizon at last.

And then the car wouldn't start. I gazed into the depths of the engine and had my own little emotional breakdown, a feeling that the end of the world was nigh, I wept for so much more than a non-starting car.

But I came in, breathed deeply, thanked heaven for telephones and helpful friends to take over the school run. I took out my camera and for a few minutes I focused on the little things, letting the anxieties blur into the background, focusing on tiny piles of calm.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

and keep smiling

I was really rather pleased with yesterday's freehand sewing adventure and when woken too early this morning by an ageing dog I found my mind quickly abuzz with variations and plans.

Once my caffeine levels were fully restored and my charges had all left safely for the day I entered the sewing room and quickly pushed aside other more pressing, but much less amusing, projects and got to work.

Because it was essential I visit the butcher's shop this very day and it was entirely clear in my mind that this trip might prove quite impossible without my brand new shopping bag dangling oh so delightfully from my shoulder.

A friendly missive upon its front should remind me of my reason for leaving home this cold March day and save me from being distracted from my mission, which, believe it or not, really can happen all too easily. Thankfully the bag was completed and sausages procured, success all round.

There are most certainly more bags in the offing and I hope to have some in my shop as soon as light and wind conditions allow for better photography!

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I have decided to begin selling at local craft fairs, the decision both terrifies and thrills me.

After the initial swell of excitement I began to panic, to toss and turn, I need to expand my range, create new stock, my mind went blank, or rather was paralysed in overdrive. Too many decisions.

And then today I took the dogs out, I ran with them, the sun shone and the ideas began to form a line, they ordered themselves and the future was clear. I felt myself smile wide and long. There is still a long way to go but now I have a list.