E is for……..

E is for ………..Esme, Edie and Evalyn

folding bunting

folding bunting

It’s been such a while since I blogged and it has also been an even longer while since I got to do some sewing.

unravelled

unravelled

Then……. all of a sudden, there is a bunch of baby bunting to make.

IMG_5191

card, bunting & blanket

Joy!!

flags

flags

3 little girls born to 3 work colleagues and all born in July.

colours

colours

What a treat to be able to do some sewing again.

And welcome Esme, Edie and Evalyn :-)

natural skincare

IMG_4072

I made some skincare about this time last year and I have gifted some of it, used lots of it and learned some things about what is best for me to use and make.

I absolutely love the body scrub which exfoliates and moisturises at the same time but it is bit messy, the solid moisturiser is lovely but not very practical in the jars so I have been thinking about the best way to improve on those both in particular.

IMG_4054

The solid moisturiser needs to be in a bar so that you can rub it all over during a lovely warming shower and the scrub really needs to be solid to avoid the waste.

I have also been thinking about scents as I still love the smell of Temple Spa’s Sugar Buff and although it would be so easy to keep buying it, it’s expensive and I’m sure I can get closer to the smell of it if I keep trying.

IMG_4079

I have some of the solid moisturiser left and will finish it before I make any more so today I made 2 batches of sugar scrub; one version is solid and the other is soft but not lose and I’m quite please with them both.

I already prefer the solid one which is so very easy to use, not at all messy and there is absolutely no waste in getting a well exfoliated and moisturised body in the shower. Completely convenient for a busy time pressured life.

IMG_4060

Body Scrub Bar Recipe:

300g of organic or fair trade brown castor sugar (500g for the loser bars)

200g solid coconut oil

100g white bees wax

1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil

1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil

essential oils as follows:-

10 drops of camphor

10 drops of juniper

10 drops of lemon / 3 teaspoons dried lemon zest

20 drops of Patchouili

10 drops of orange

10 drops of thyme

10 drops of rosemary / 5 teaspoons of dried and broken up rosemary leaves

10 drops of fig

10 drops of eucalyptus

melt solids in a double boiler, allow to cool slightly. add almond oil, vitamin E. Pour into sugar and solids mixing evenly.

pour into silicon moulds and allow to cool (freeze them inside a sealed plastic food bag if you want to make a large batch and save it).

the vitamin E helps to preserve it so it should last for 6 months but freezing the bars will prolong this.

IMG_4064

Since my last post about home made skincare, I have used the oil blends that I made. They are lovely and I find I use them both as moisturisers and as cleansers. They have kept my skin feeling lovely and soft. With an oil cleanser, it moisturises as well as cleansing so it is another time saving way to treat your skin. Applying extra oil over night certainly helps but the oil cleansing alone has made such a difference.

I’ve also made eye make up remover that is so gentle (equal parts olive oil and distilled witch hazel in a squirty bottle applied to a cotton pad) and inexpensive that I will never buy eye make up remover from a shop ever again.

IMG_4076

As well as today’s sugar scrub bars, I made a non greasy hydrating spray and a coffee ground face scrub. I have yet to try them out and I’m not sure about the coffee grounds so it will be interesting to see what the results are like.

IMG_4083

Watch this space, I will be making more skin care like toners and face masks at some point in the future. I’m a complete convert now and plan to replace all my skincare with home made as my shop bought products run out.

Baby Walton is here

IMG_3985

Joseph Thomas Walton born 05.04.15 at 8lb 7oz.

IMG_3988

He is the first of many boys in our family not to be born in March although he was due on 25.03.15. I think the little chap got quite comfy in there and nodded off.

IMG_3989

He is a little brother to Ella and a great nephew to me.

IMG_3992

His dad Gareth & mum Natalie have just finished decorating his nursery in their new home which will be filling up with lovely presents for him as we speak.

IMG_3997

It’ll be interesting to see what his big sis thinks of him now he has finally arrived. She was very much looking forward to his arrival but I suspect that sharing mum & dad won’t quite have the appeal she thought.

IMG_4003

We will visit in a few weeks when things have calmed down and the exhausting flow of well wishers of the first few days has ebbed away.

IMG_4034

It’s very exciting and since it has corresponded with me finally finishing the Jungle Chums blanket, it seems a fitting welcome present. I popped it in the post with a few cuddly jungle toys to adorn his newly ready nursery room and hope he enjoys it.

IMG_4037

 

Doggy Decor

chinese crested silhouette

My friend V was invited to look around the Dog Photographer of The Year Exhibition at the Kennel Club in Mayfair and I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along.

detail

detail

It is a fabulous place and the exhibition was inspiring but it was made all the more special as we were shown around by one of their gallery residents, Paul. He is a fantastically charming and interesting man with a vast knowledge of the artwork in the gallery, The Kennel Club’s history and also of the artwork in the vast archives.

cute crested

He took us to meet the organiser of the exhibition, and he kindly introduced us to the librarian who shared a look at some of her favourite books from the Club’s fascinating collection.

fluffy tail

It was a rare treat on a Monday afternoon that I would be more than keen to repeat.

cushion decoration

I know that V despatched an appropriately appreciative thank you card straight after our afternoon of delight but having met Paul’s gorgeous little Chinese Crested Terrier, Loui, I thought he might like something that showed off his little pooches fabulous head of hair.

IMG_4047

Loui is a rescue dog having been injured quite badly with knife cuts in his original home.  I know that the circumstances surrounding his injuries are not as straight forward as they might sound and he has stormed the damage well. There are no signs of his early traumas at all and he is a disarmingly cute and very, very affectionate.

I completely fell for him!

IMG_0856

Jungle Chums

flamingo square

My progress with the jungle chums blanket I started for Bertie quite some time ago is slow but I am gradually getting there.

Work is constantly  busy and because it stays at our house, I only get to work on it at weekends. Recently there has been no time and we have had visitors so there hasn’t been much sewing for me.

tiger and banana tree ready to appliqué into place

There are 7 squares completed and 5 more to go before I can attach and appliqué them to the main green cover. The finish will be plain backed, a brown edge and then I will hand quilt the spaces between the animal blocks.

If I were doing it again, I’d probably do it a bit differently and make it more like the patchwork of Max’s blanket or Henry’s blanket with the appliqué squares forming the middle of each repeat. I am attaching the animal squares by appliquéing them to the blanket so I will have to get my edges spot on.

elephant

I love the characters, especially the lion (who has also become a favourite cushion for little boys like Jack and Arthur), the tiger and the elephant.

the leopard waiting to get his spots

I’m hopeful that my next blog about this will be it completed!!

canine cushions

JRT cushion on my sewing chair

JRT cushion on my sewing chair

I made a JRT cushion for our sofas a while back and have found a few minutes to finish the other ones that I cut out and prepared at the same time.

grey gaberdine cushion with stone coloured daschund

grey gaberdine cushion with stone coloured daschund

I love the striped linen daschund one & I’m really tempted to keep it but we don’t have a daschund (yet!) so it’s not necessary, really.

stone coloured daschund detail

stone coloured daschund detail

Silhouette appliqué is simple and effective and with a huge soft spot for dogs, these canine cushions are becoming my favorites.

My sis & friends have labs and we also have friends with a beautiful lurcher, all of which would make fabulous silhouettes.

grey striped linen cushion with grey daschund

grey striped linen cushion with grey daschund

They will have to go onto my huge the list of ‘to dos’.

Once I’ve finished the jungle chums blanket which is my next unfinished project to get done, I need to get on with a patchwork quilt requested of my by a very special girl what seems like a very long time ago.

grey daschund

grey daschund

I think I need to give up work, it’s definitely getting in the way.

weekend workspace

vintage table cloth

vintage table cloth

Well I have finally got my little sewing corner finished and the wine box shelves are in place with everything just where I need it now.

workspace shelves completed

workspace shelves completed

I started arranging this little weekend workspace in spring 2014 but managed to finish it in October (just not had time to talk about it).

rows of buttons

rows of buttons

I’m really pleased with the use of the wall space that the wine boxes provide and it is an inexpensive way to get storage and shelving.

It also appeals to the recycler in me so ticks many boxes (!!) and only took about 10 minutes to install.

my gorgeous little singer featherlite

my gorgeous little singer featherlite

I have somewhere away from my sewing table and sewing machine to store my collection of vintage table cloths, napkins and cloths, the staggered line breaks up the width and the spaces between are perfect for those long awkward knitting needles.

sewing table

sewing table

There is a stash of unfinished work (no!!) in a trunk nearby and some fabrics in a rather nice basket ready to be turned into something. All this and a commission for the pooch pouches (Sorry it is taking so long, Barb. I haven’t forgotten!!)

cut glass bowl of threads

cut glass bowl of threads

Now I need to find some ever elusive time to sit there and get busy.

scraps and spares

scraps and spares