Tuesday, 21 June 2011

It's Been a Long Day!

Longest day today and thankfully it stayed very mild and mostly sunny here in Cambridgeshire which was very welcome and meant that at 10 O'Clock it still wasn't properly dark.  There's something special about being outside late at night in the warm still air.  The gardens are very quiet as my neighbours, being of the more mature age group, are already tucked up in bed with their coco.  Which means I can sit out here in the garden and simply listen to the stirring night wildlife and watch my cats leap around trying to grab things that to my human eyes look like they are not there at all! Tis very funny to observe.

Yesterday evening I never made it outside as I got seriously sidetracked practicing on my chine.  After all this time I have only just realised that I can use two spools of thread on it, how cool is that.  So I had to try it out didn't I.
This is what I ended up with, some beach huts all in a row.  Can you see the satin stitch, it's done with one needle and blue and white thread.  Because of the use of two threads it gives a really nice thick coverage.  I don't if you are meant to use two threads with one needle as there are stitch options on the machine using a twin needle, but hey it works.
All I need to do now is find a frame that actually fits it, or maybe I could just mount it onto some white board inside this frame, which by the way was pine but has been sprayed with white satin paint.
Some of the other stitches on the machine also looked great with the two colour threads.  If I get a chance I will post a piccie of all the different ones over the weekend.

Happy summer everyone, it officially started today apparently, so does that mean we get our heatwave they promised us?  Love Lolo xx

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Little Bit of Sewing

So, last weekend it was all about the paint.  This weekend it was all about the zippers.  I had got it into my head during the week, you know when you are sat at your desk thinking about the stuff you'd like to be doing if you didn't have to be at work.  Or is that just me?  I wanted to make something with a zip in it.  My trusty little Brother sewing machine is now permanently out in my craft room and I was itching to get stitching (excuse the pun!).
After a minor setback of not having a zipper foot then dragging my poor mum to Dunelms.  Where I have to say we were very dissappointed, half of their fabric section has gone, and coming home empty handed only to find that I infact did have a zipper foot already.  Sorry mum!  Turns out in one of my organisation frenzies I had stored all the bits and bobs that came with my machine in an easy to see into clear box, but, said box was hidden away from view, oopsy!  
After a little play with all the feet and testing on some scraps I was ready to go.  And these were the end result.
I wanted some applique on the front of them and for that I used the above equipment.  My Sizzix Bigz flower die and Crafters Companion stick & spray.  I love using Sizzix dies as they cut practically anything including upto 8 layers of fabric at a time.  The stick & spray is repositionable glue for fabric and is really light so doesn't show through your lightweight fabrics.
The stick & spray holds your applique in place whilst you stitch it on the machine.  As you can see my applique stitching skills are definitely up for improvement!  It's really tricky, I think it would be easier if I had one of those machines that can keep the needle in the down position whenever you stop sewing.
I lined the bags so they are just as pretty on the inside and are the perfect place to store my Cath Kidston mini toiletries, a recent ebay purchase.  After getting some of these for my nan for mother's day we are all now hooked, the texture is gorgeous and doesn't leave any greasy residue.  Much better than we were expecting if I'm honest.
This neutral one is destined for my mum to keep her hair clips in on her dressing table.  I've added a zipper pull with beads on and some cabouchons to her flowers coz she is a very special lady.  Who else would go all over the place at a moments notice to help you find something for your latest craze!  Mums that's who.
I've got a feeling mine and my families houses are going to be filled with zippered bags of all shapes and sizes as I am well and truly hooked on the zipper effect!  Hope you are having a lovely weekend, and thanks for popping by my little blog. Lolo xx

Monday, 13 June 2011

Everything is gonna be all white

Saturday started off nice and sunny so it was out with the washing on the line.  Then on the way back into the house I looked at all the stuff piled up in a corner that I had collected over the past couple of years, still waiting to be made over.  I made an executive decision to stuff the housework, I was gonna get out the paint tin and brushes.  And I did literally there an then I started, still in my good clothes.  This is what I often do, stop one thing to start another, no preparation.  My sister would be horrified at my disorganisation and planning.
 Some of the items in their before state.
And this was the result after painting all afternoon.  The sun had gone in by now and it was getting a little chilly but I was pleased with what I had achieved.  They will need another coat of paint and some bits will need sealing so they can stay outside, not sure what to use for this so if anyone has any ideas for me that would be most helpful.
Cute enamel planter was a recent car boot find for £2 and just perfect for the reduced herb plants I got in Waitrose the other day.  I planted them into bigger pots with some good compost so hopefully they will last the season.
Old lantern from a local junk store, although I don't think it's old, might even be from Ikea?
Fell in love with this birdhouse at a garden show, and it was very reasonably priced at £7.  I need to find a proper home for it once the garden renovations are finished.  Do birds really nest is these things or are they just decor items?  I have no idea.

It felt great to finally be doing something with this lot and even better that it didn't matter what mess I made as the garden landscaping has yet to be started.  Please be sunny this Saturday so I can play some more!

Thanks for popping by.  Lolo xx

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Brighton - The Grand Hotel

It was the bank holiday weekend at the end of May and we were off on a trip with our friends to visit that well known resort on the English coastline, Brighton.  True to England the weather changed drastically that week from 8 weeks of sunshine to gale force winds and dark clouds.  Resulting in a rather larger than normal luggage load for a two night stay!
We arrived at our new home for the next few days, that lovely old lady, The Grand Hotel.  Greeted by porters dressed in their traditional uniforms, I’m sure they thought we were there for a month when they unloaded all our bags! 
It's hard to believe that nearly 27 years ago this tragedy happened.
When you walk into the lobby of this hotel the history and grandour take your breath away.  Yes she is a little tired around the edges but hey she’s been here a very long time!!
The staircase is rather impressive too!  Can't you just imagine elegant ladies making their entrance down these back in the 1920s.  Meeting with their friends for a cocktail or two in the elegant bar.
We stayed in one of their apartments up on the top floor, the Josephine Suite and we looked directly over the sea where that other old friend of Brighton, the original pier lies eerily out in the waters.  You can tell how grey it was that day as it is almost impossible to see where the water ends and the sky begins.
 Look how stunning it was in it's heyday, circ. 1929.
That evening we went out for a lovely meal and then onto the casino at the New Marina.  I myself was getting excited about the next day as we were off to the Lanes and a lady called Cath has a shop there that I just have to visit!  Lolo xx

Friday, 10 June 2011

My kind of travel!

Isn't it just fabaroony!  This car is just too cute for words, the suitcases are luscious.  I kind of feel at home with this piccie as my little old car is constantly being filled up with old furniture and bits and bobs I find, it just aint as darn lovely as this one though, sigh!

Lolo xxx