Monday, 30 September 2013

Little houses

On a whizz about BlogLand the other day I pinned the following on my Pinterest board from The little house by the sea.

In fact I pinned a few things, this one quite some time ago......

..... and I have some magazines and books, all marked at the pages to do loosely with 'houses', including this from Mandy Shaw of Dandelion Designs which featured in Issue 21 of Simply Homemade magazine.

It all started with wanting to design a Tooth Fairy thing-a-ma-jiggy to hang on doors to put teeth into to escape from the groping under pillows and potentially disturbing the recipients of pennies.
I didn't want a tooth shape, or necessarily a bag or indeed anything with a fairy (not too appropriate for boys!), so I started thinking about Fairy Cottage....what would a Fairy live in?

I looked for toadstool houses or little whimsical cottages as inspired by a freebie in this issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.....

but needed to add a pouch as integral to the design.

Then on The Patchsmith the other day I saw these from Retro Mama ......
The Patchsmith had redesigned WITH POUCH!

I dug out some free fabric that came with this issue of Simply Homemade magazine a couple of months ago......

and I made this................

Here's the detail on the front.......
It is gorgeous and I love it......but it's not quite right. So I decided to do something a little rash....

I've digested all the designs and sewing techniques used in the projects that I have gathered (and they are all very similar, coz let's face it how different can you really be when 'building' a house?!) and  tried to design one myself!

It ended up a bit wonky as I wasn't too neat about placing the design on the front or neatly sewing as it is, after all, a prototype!

Ready to see my mad idea?

OK, let's go....


Bonkers isn't it? 
But I just adore the roses round the door and the bunting!  Here it is up close.....


I wasn't brimming with confidence but now I've finished, I am terribly excited!  Not bad for a first attempt.  My lack of drawing skills does show in the shape of my toadstool....but I'll work on that.

Fabulous little stash-buster as you only need odds of fabric and floss.

Any ideas on a better shape for my toadstool, or how to ensure the stem and top appear separate are very welcome!

Thanks so much for dropping by, nice to see you,


Family Fun in the French Alps

So you've had the cultural bit, and here is the Family Fun bit.

I just thought I'd put these separately so that those who like scenery could dip into that and those that fancied some snaps of Tiddly Toes screamingly excited in her snorkel could chose to see those too.... here we go......... tired lady on the way there!

...trying to keep up with the big girls (Teenage Daughter on the left and Teenage Friend on the right)

...the colourful Carousel, it had to be ridden EVERY evening!

Tiddly Toes took this picture of donkeys at Baume les Messieurs.

A pony ride on 'Est', he was one chubby, hungry horse!

Out on the lake with Daddy...she LOVED riding in our little dingy.

Snorkel fun!

Daddy trying to explain how you put your face in the water AND breath!

MORE Carousel!

After a hard evenings Carousel riding, all self-respecting girls need Candy Floss!
Alfresco breakfasts......
Alfresco dinners......

and picnics on the beach!

Playing with friends....

....and having fun on your own!
We really had a most wonderful time, we're glad to share it with you, we're sad to have left and happy to be home.
The computer has been red hot since we got back....not least of all with a bit of purchasing!  More about that soon.
Until then, take care,

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Christmas has started!

I can't believe it!

Last time MIL was here she ordered 3 stockings for smaller family members who live some distance from us in the Midlands. She wants to be able to fill them with little goodies.

So using my trusty pattern from FabricWorm which you can find here I set to and created.

And here is the finished result.......


Not sure where I got this snowman fabric from, but it is still available from Suzzetts Fabric. (Not sure about the cuff.)

These fabrics are both from the In From the Cold range by Moda available from Fat Quarter Shop or C & H Fabrics.

And this one is Tinsel Trees available from The Eternal Maker, (not sure about the cuff).

So, Christmas has started here, in a way...and so has the Christmas Fabric buying...I'll show you some stash another time.

Until then,
Happy stitiching,

P.S. I've entered this into the September PinAddicts Challenge, if you want to take a look at the other entries, go to the right hand side of this post and you will see it says 'PinAddicts Challenge' and 'This is a BlogHop', you can click on the entries there - why not have a go yourself ? Nora xxxx

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The French Alps

I don't intend to bore you rigid with a blow by blow account of each day of our holidays...BUT..... it was SO stunningly beautiful I just had to share some of the scenery with you. So here we go........

We were wandering about discovering the park one evening and as we walked towards the lake were greeted by this sunset.  It was beautiful, and if you can imagine being in light clothes and feeling warm, it was that totally wonderful warm, holiday feeling. 
But this view was short-lived as within 2 minutes the sun had plummeted to this.......

(sorry it's a bit blurry...firework mode!!  yeah!...but you get the gist!)
After 8 hours of travelling to get here the French side of The Channel, we had a day of rest, closely followed by a shopping day with a twist!
On our shopping venture we decided to go to Baume Les Messieurs, last minute decision, and a joyful one!
Take a look at it..........

The thing with the black 'hood' on the top (in the centre) is an ancient Abbey with parts dating back to the 9th Century....mind-blowingly beautiful.  The village is nestled in a gorge with a river flowing through.
At the end of the Gorge was this.....

 ...which you could go inside and see this.................



....and this!  And so much more that just doesn't show well as it glistens, but just can't be caught on camera.  It was the most stunning set of caves.
after another day of rest and family fun (which I shall bore you with in another post!).  We decided to drive the 90km to Geneva in Switzerland.
We passed through this village......................

It was very odd.  At the fork in the road, one road stayed in France and one went through the border into Switzerland.  Can you just see the roof of the little house behind the sign?  Well, that was in France, but when we drove up the other fork in the road, the garden was in Switzerland with a gate in the 3 ft high fence!
I can't show you any more pictures because we got 6 miles into Switzerland and Tiddly Toes was sick!  I can tell you with the twists and turns we were all feeling a little delicate (and quietly were quite pleased that we had an excuse to turn round and go home!), we have been to Switzerland.....6 miles into Switzerland!
After another day of rest which still had us feeling a little off colour, we decided to brave the bends and head to Nozeroy, a stunning little 16th Century Medieval town, look......................

It was so pretty and it was deserted, until that is until you came to a restaurant and you could hear the hubbub and lunch service...the French now how to party, even in the middle of the day!
As we wandered a circuit of the town we visited the church, it was crammed full of ancient Bibles and amazing art work.  And this most beautiful stained glass window.......

Sadly that day was a bit rainy, so the pictures of the local market are not sharable due to a drippy lens and bad light, but let me tell was fantastic and we got to taste loads of olives, pastes, bread.......tummy rumbling yet?
We visited the market at Lons le Saunier, but silly me forgot the camera so I can't show you the stunning park and waterfalls, or the town square...ggrrrrr!
By this time, doing a cultural day and a play day, we were at the end of our hols!  We decided on our last night to take a pedalo onto the lake, I just thought I'd show you the clear, green-blue water...........

the view to the end of the lake...........

and the sandy beach................

We had a wonderful time and we hope you have enjoyed your little trip to the French Alps in Jura with us.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The bucket list

It seems to be the in thing at the moment....a bucket list.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it is a list of must do things before a deadline.

For example a friend of mine is 49 soon and, with help from her friends, wants to compile a list of 52 things to do, one each week leading up to her 50th birthday!

It could be learning a new thing, making a parachute jump, going somewhere get the idea.

Well, I've never had a bucket list as such, but I have had one or 2 things that I would like to have done before I get too old (whenever that is!)

One was to see a baby born, and, of course, I was there for my lovely friend Emma, and with her Mum and husband as we welcomed Tiny Angel into the world...WOW! What an experience. One I shall never forget. Tiny Angel and I will always have that special bond.

One of my other 'would like to do's' was to return to a childhood love, ballet.

Ultimately to dance on stage and maybe to progress to pointe shoes.

Yeah, I know, it's never gonna happen right?

Mmmm! Or is it!?

I began ballet back in October 2011 (after a 35 year break!), it was bad! Not the ballet, me!

Shocking really, but I loved it and the music and gentleness of my hour together with the fitness benefits and some lovely ladies really made me feel good.

Shock horror.....July 2012, the dance school put on a show at our local theatre and us Golden Oldies got to dance to 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square'.

I was so pleased to have actually done it and we got an amazing reception from the audience.

When I look back at the DVD of the performance now, it is excruciating...let's just say that having only danced 8 months at that point, I have improved!

Earlier this year our dance teacher took a break for maternity leave and we continued our classes with a wonderful, young Australian lady called Ingrid, my, did she push us hard! We needed it though.

Well, to my utter delight she pushed and pushed and when she left in May for Jenny to return I knew I would begin Pointe classes.

After a few weeks of Pointe in ordinary shoes to strengthen my feet and ankles, I arranged to meet the lovely Ingrid in London to where she had recently moved, for some expert support in the Bloch shop in Drury Lane, Covent Garden.

I never go to London, and if I were to venture there it wouldn't be alone, so it was really odd to get onto the train at Horsham bound for London Victoria, little was I to know that later in the day I would also manage the underground and return journey on my own too!

I met up with Ingrid and we took the tube to Covent Garden where we emerged into the sunshine and just wandered. We did Covent Garden market, the Royal Opera House and the theatre at Drury Lane which is showing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, originally by Roald Dahl........

(taken for Tiddly Toes who adores the films)

We eventually make it to the Bloch shop and the trying of several pair of shoes,

the first pair were Serenades and oh so comfy, but we carried on until we hit THE most comfortable pair by Axiom (and thankfully a tad cheaper). Here's me trying another pair on.................

After this little session, Ingrid and I decided to find Neals Yard for an alfresco lunch, why Neal's Yard?

Take a look at this.......

so colourful, it really is uplifting.

And here is the beautiful Ingrid.....

We had a wonderful day and I cherished the time with Ingrid, she was the perfect person to come with me.

Want a closer look at my shoes?

OK then......I can't resist showing you.....

It was a bit odd trying to stand on them and hang almost upside down to take this one!.....

So there we are..... not only restarting ballet lessons, but a show AND my absolute dream, learning to dance En Pointe.

Thanks for letting me share my dream achievements with you, I'll see you again soon.