Monday, 29 September 2014

Remember the strategies

Not always easy, but pretty nifty if you can.  Sometimes tiredness can simply wash over you and before you know it you're sat slumped in front of the tv.  Not a good look.  And although I say 'you', obviously that's 'me'.  So, these strategies.  Get outside; eat something nutritious; DO something!  Preferably all at the same time.

Which is how come I've wandered round the garden - and found colour!
One of the (many) joys of Pinterest are the illustrations I've found, and this one is especially pertinent today I feel:
In fact, I should probably go through my boards and see what else is on there; now that is definitely something to enjoy doing!

P x

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sneaky peek

Although it's still not quite there, I thought I'd show a couple of snaps of the finished areas in the sewing room.

Depending on the fettle I'm in more time is spent on one rather the other!
The only things missing are the fairy lights.  Next snap.
P xx
The lying around and thinking area, and the actually doing something area!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Not involving travel, hotels or restaurants - just the luxury of spending a day at home.  Being able to wear the equivalent of day pyjamas after showering then pottering in the garden before starting on yesterday's haul of vegetables from the allotment.  And all by myself!  Much as I love company and a good chat along with the coffee, time to think is not to be sniffed at.

There is a good amount of colour still in the garden - those that are supposed to be there right now like the sedum, clematis and red leaves.  Others are 'second timers' and very welcome because of that. - the rosa rugosa especially, with its wonderful scent.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A new look sewing room

It feels like an awfully long time ago, but in reality about a month, I started on a re-vamp of the sewing room.  There was a lot of planning, choosing paper, paint etc but in truth what I wanted was a more streamlined look.  Not to actually lose the feel of it altogether, yet still make it fresher.  The magic that is Pinterest was such a help - take a look here - and made it possible to see the things that kept cropping up in lots of the images.  Such as pale walls with a colour pop of blue along with either mustard or pale pink.
In love with the color of this room: Cape Hatteras Sand in Aura by Benjamin Moore
All quite lovely.  None of it finished yet.  Today was going to be the afternoon it got back on track - the walls have already been painted in Farrow and Ball Skimming Stone - and some of the woodwork has been started.......Some things have been put back, but lots has not.  It was definitely time for change, and not just the walls.  So, lots of books and magazines have gone to new homes, fabric has been de-stashed, yarns have been moved on to other baskets.
But today did not go to plan.  Today was dreary and matched my mood totally.  Ah well, that's just the way it is sometimes.  Yesterday as I sat having a coffee before the school run life felt very good.  Today I realised it still is, but I need to let myself drift a while sometimes - that's when I start to want to create something again.
Which is why my latest place of choice is Merchant and Mills, and am on the hunt for the perfect fabric. 
Note to self:  dreary does not have to equal unhappy.
P x
ps the images are not mine - they are from my Pinterest board and if you visit the board and click on the images it will take you to the original!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sewing workshop

Today was the first of the level 2 sewing machine workshops at French Grey Tales and it was such a good afternoon.  Both were already good at using a sewing machine but just needed a little extra confidence for those pesky little details; buttonholes, zips, bias binding etc.
It's always hard to remember when you first started doing something, but I do remember having a Vulcan sewing machine when about 4 or 5.  Probably sounds crazily young, but it was a household of makers and doers.  A few years later and I could use mam's black and gold Singer - electric! So no turning the handle, just press the foot pedal and go.  Whilst going through different techniques today it reminded me of the way I learnt - simply by doing.  Making lots (and lots) of mistakes but it really didn't matter.  It was practising and playing at the same time.  Must be the best way ever to learn a skill, so why do we often get caught up with wanting to do everything perfectly straight off?  I say we, but obviously mean me!  While I stood there today and emphasised that they should just play around with their machines at home, not using expensive fabrics or even making particular items, it came to me that I should be telling myself the same thing.  Learning how to do something is a very important stage; learning the techniques, the way tools work, the different ways fabrics adapt to those techniques and tools.
With that in mind I'm going to choose a pattern for myself and make it up - but as a practice, learning as I go, so that when I make it as a garment to wear I'll feel more confident in the finished item.  I hope.
P x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Beurre blanc

Last week, after a good while of being incredibly busy with family stuff, we escaped to the Lakes for a few days.  The perfect mix of good weather and a lovely cottage worked their magic.  One of the really good things about this particular cottage is:
 To be able to wake to comforting warmth each morning was so good.  Even  better when there was some porridge inside it. There was also plenty of time for just sitting and reading.  I did take a few books with me, some new, but the one I chose to get into was a re-read: My Life In France by Julia Child.

Well, we're back home and as most of the family stuff is resolved it's been good to get back into real cooking.  And eating obviously.  One of the meals talked about in the book involves beurre blanc.  Never had it before but definitely wanted to try it.  The joys of the search engine; of course it was online! So tonight there was fish with potatoes, greens and beurre blanc.  Who knew such a large amount of butter could go into such a small amount of liquid?  Very tasty though.

P x

Friday, 19 September 2014

Starting afresh

It's fair to say that writing a blog has been a stop/go affair for a few years.  There have been so many changes to a couple of them, and yet they still were not where I wanted to be.  And it is important to get the location right in so many areas of life.
So here we are, in a completely new little hallway - that's how it feels - and it's going to be good to see what lies beyond. 

P x