Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Do you Mind if i knit?



The Vanessa Cabban who shared her life with us in blogland and through her art was a colourful, generous, warm, funny, inspirational and hugely talented person.

Today at 11am it is her funeral.
A day when we will be thinking of her family and friends.
We will also be remembering her in a way that I hope she will approve.

I posted my idea of a tribute to Vanessa on Instagram a couple of days ago which you can find here.

It would also be wonderful if you could do the same via your blogs. 

As a mark of our online friendship and out of respect for her memory I will be posting a photo at 11am today under the heading Do You Mind if I Knit? #vanessacabban.
Post a picture of something you're making, it doesn't matter if you can't knit. Vanessa made clothes, crocheted, created papier-mache sculptures, brooches, painted and illustrated books. It's the act of being creative and finding happiness there that's important.

What she did do was to make sure she had time to knit a few rows every day to set the day right. 

Penny of Planet Penny has shared this also via her blog, facebook and twitter feed. 

In Memory of a remarkable woman.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

What a busy old time of year this is indeed. 
Plans to relax sipping festive drinks and gazing into the fire remain a dream still to be had.

Well presents are all wrapped (nearly), handmade gifts finished (almost) and the cake's still waiting to be iced!


Before I tell you all the news of the last month, there's something I need to share with you. I spoke of this on Instagram at the weekend and you can find it on my page at Bobobun68 to read more.

I received the dreadfully sad news of the death of Vanessa Cabban on the 17th December in a train accident. I know a lot of people know her through her blog Do You Mind if I Knit where she shared so much of her incredible talent, joy and life. She also is known through her illustrations of many children's books of which we have a few. 

I got to know Vanessa initially through her blog. I asked her when she started creating her amusing and jolly papier mache creatures if she would create something for my daughter Millie's 9th birthday. I would link to the post but I don't know how (you'll find it in March 2011). Vanessa created this amazing papier mache artwork for us and we will always look upon it with such fondness.

She was a genuinely beautiful woman who will be remembered with love by so many of us. 
Her funeral in on the 30th of December.

 

 How do you move on from such dreadful news? I wanted to tell you at the beginning of this post as Vanessa shouldn't be left to the end, but she would want to celebrate the joy in life too so I shall too.


 

 I'll start off by showing you last months Townie dress I made from Cath fabric. 

Her dresses are too short for me, rather expensive and I don't usually like buying mass produced but this fabric really grabbed me big time. So I bought a couple of metres and whipped up the trusty Megan dress from Tilly's book. The only change was that I made capped sleeves with a pleat at the shoulder.


 

I've loved wearing this, it's my favourite dress of the moment.

I also drafted a pattern from a favoruite  blue linen top to use up some tartan that's been in the stash for three years.


In one rare fireside moment, watching a film with Miss Millie, I brought an idea that's been in my sketchbook for a while to life.


Tallulah the Bugsy Malone Moll Brooch cheers up a day no end with her ringing bell.

I've also inherited a 50 year old Ercol table from my mum. It was a wedding present from my aunt and uncle and now we're the proud owners.


There have been quite a few christmas makes, although the girls ones can't be shown as yet.



 

Brogue Bag for my man's Birthday on the 20th and a hottie cover for my mum to go with all the knitted hangers I'm still working on.


On IG I saw on Carter and Brown's page these wonderful reindeer heads so I went off in search of a pattern. 

Two were hooked up for the girls and instead of going on the tree they've hung them over their beds to wait for the man himself.


 The autumn hedgerow pickings have been decanted into bottles and now there's only one and a half left. yum.


I finally finished Miss Millie's Emery dress (fabulous pattern from Christine Haynes) in time for Christmas. I'd whipped most of it up in a day and then had no other free days for a month. How agravating to an addicted sewer.




She's thrilled with it. There'll definately be more made using this pattern.

 

 One night when I couldn't sleep last week I made this at 1am. There's been so much happening that it's thrown out my sleep patterns so keeping busy helps my mind.


Now we've reached the end. 
There will be much more of me next year and probably even after christmas too.

Have a wonderful christmas won't you. Hug all your dear ones close.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

These Have Been mY days

Hello Again.
It's certainly been a fair old while since I stopped by in blogland.

A mixture of a very slow computer that drives me insane and life being busy I believe.

Hopefully you haven't given up on me as I have a fair bit of catching up to don't I, so off we go.



I have to confess I'm on Instagram daily where you can find me at Bobobun68
I've taken part in the Retro9 picks above and at the moment have been taking part in a month long sewing challenge with sewers from all over the world which has been great fun.

Alongside my teaching job I've been getting ever more addicted to dressmaking.
I'm pushing myself to improve upon my skills and hope one day to be able to draft my own patterns without a thought.



Critters have been found and brought home. Mischief was rescused by Miss Millie and still waits for his bowtie. We think he's a donkey, although he doesn't much mind as he is very happy to be loved once more.

 

Occassionally I've sneaked a bit of creative into my day job. After being fascinated by Grayson Perry's series on Identity, I thought my students would enjoy making their own self-portraits. In reality it was myself and my LSA who got more into it.

 

I've also been to market again so I was busy making bits and bobs plus a new green Megan dress. 

 

I always prefer prints to plains so this was a real challenge. There was nowhere to hide the odd mismatched seam so I had to keep unpicking until they all matched up.

Here we are on the day itself (photo taken by Miss Millie the shop assistant).


Here she is busy behind the stall ready to begin.
 



We'll be off once more, next Sunday 7 December, to Little Vintage Lover at Holt Hall between 10 - 4. Maybe we'll see you there.


My other crafty obsession of late has been felt houses. 

After falling for the colours in the Cath Kidston Townhouse print I couldn't stop thinking about making a house of my own in orange and deep blue.



 

I love this fabric so much that in the end I bought 2m to make a dress of my very own. 
I'll show you that next time, aswell as my other makes. It'll be a lot sooner I promise as all the pictures are now loaded. 


Thanks for stopping by. Ta Ta for now.

Monday, 6 October 2014

A Whole lot of Stitchy Time

After another long break I'm back again. 
My geriatric laptop refuses to work late at night, but has kindly jumped into action today.

Thanks for all your lovely thoughts about Miss Millie's room. 
Now I promised to show you the coat I made from some beautiful barkcloth  curtains didn't I.
 



Although I found the fabric at a vintage fair in August I had to wait a while to find exactly the pattern I had in mind. I wanted a 1960's coat, either loose duster or fitted I didn't mind, but I knew I wanted a soft round collar.
I made a twoile of the Princess coat from the Sewing Bee, but the top was way too big and the bottom half far too small. I have a real problem with the sizings of their patterns and if they're to be believed then I'm a size 20.

After a perusal of the patterns in John Lewis I came up with just the pattern I was after. Burda make really straightforward patterns, but assume you know what you're doing so I wouldn't recommend them if you're starting out with dressmaking.
 

 

Once I had the pattern, I couldn't wait for my first day off to get cutting into the barkcloth.

All in all it was a pretty straighforward design. Hemming the lining so it wouldn't pull the coat up was the hardest part to be honest.

 

I had a mustard spot lining in mind, but when I saw this heavier weight grey spot cotton l knew it would be perfect.

 

I couldn't find the sort of buttons that I wanted so I opted for covering some in the lining fabric.
 I'm really pleased with how they contrast with the rose print.

 

The coat is such a comfy easy shape to wear. It has dropped shoulders and side panels in the sleeves and coat body to give it more ease. Perfect for fitting over roomy winter jumpers.


I don't have any particularly good photos of me wearing the coat. 
This is the best there is l'm afraid.

 

 When I wore it to work one teacher guessed I'd made it as the sleeves were extra long which is unheard of when you're tall.

That same week I found a ball of cashmerino yarn in eggy yellow that went perfectly with my new Dusty Coat. 
I've knitted up a pair of Butterfly wristwarmers from Tiny Owl Knits that are waiting for a pair of delicate butterflies to land on them.


When it gets a bit chillier I also have a beautiful 1950's Harris Tweed jacket to wear. 
I found this on a very hot day in August and knew straight away that it was special.

It's single breasted with the buttons fastening far over to the left. I just need to be adding some missing buttons.


 
As always I'm busy making lots more things. One project is finished and I've already been thinking of a ton more to start. I've also booked into two Christmas markets so there's lots of things needing to be made for those too.

The red apple yarn has already become a top and the green fabric is cut waiting to be sewn into another Megan dress. As for now I've no ideas what I'm going to do with the yellow Erica Knight yarn, but I keep thinking a ball of the same in pink would make something warm and stripy.
 


I whipped up a cover for Miss Rosey's iPad mini so that it doesn't suffer the same broken screen fate of mine. 


To be honest I've been having a lot of fun with felt lately. I'm making brooches and dingly dangly festive houses galore.

So that's what I've been up to lately.
 Best to get off and get some more sewing time in before the school run and the working week beckons.

 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Paint Pots

We've been trying to get on top of our house a bit more lately and jolly up the faded bits. 
In reality it's a battle that will never be won completely, but that's half the fun of a lived in family home.

My first promise (which I failed to keep last year) was to decorate Miss Millie's room.
For a whole week I painted like a demon. Sometimes the girls helped me too, but the man of the house kept away from the painting as he's just no good at it (or is that a ploy?).


There's lots of things still to be added as we go along, but the room itself is finished and my girl is thrilled with it. 


 For a few years she's had her eye on this shelf that I found one day at a beach junk shop. 
It travelled on my shoulder, across the river onto the boat ferry and has sat waiting for a wall to be hung on ever since.

A dab of flamingo pink paint completed the job and some scrappy dingly dangly bunting for a colour splash. 
For Millie the best bit was arranging all her nic nacs on her new shelf.

There used to be a huge unused French Armoire in this corner. The corner wall had become black from damp and so the inside of the Armoire smelt so musty. It was a big job sorting those walls out and made me so happy to make it white and clean again.


Miss Millie's room is the largest bedroom here. A big L-shaped room full of light and cosy as it's above the woodburner.

As this part of the room needed to breathe, it seemed the perfect spot for a desk. That meant going off desk hunting as Miss Millie's old desk was a lift lid school one that was far too small for a high school girlie with tons of homework.

I convinced her that a formica table would be so much better than an Ikea job and then hoped the one I'd seen months ago was still in the shop. Big result it was still there and she loves it so a big win.


Between the nook that her bed fits in and the desk side is a gorgeous fireplace that was all faded white paint. Black railings paint brought that back to life and a quick and easy lampshade kit meant I could make her a new shade from fabric she chose from my stash. 

Looking at the chair reminds me I need to recover that too.


Alongside the pink paintwork to offset the white Miss Millie chose turquoise to update her bookshelf. When we finish clearing the garage (this weeks major task) we'll be able to get to the old wardrobe I've promised her. I plan to paint that the same colour.

On top of her bookshelf is a very very special piece of artwork indeed. A few years back now I asked Vanessa Caban (the artist who used to blog at do you mind if I knit) if she could make one of her papier mache creations for Millie's birthday based on a photo and her adoration of sheep.

Miss Millie has called sheep Betty's for as long as I can remember so this sheep is elderly and called Beautiful Betty. A while back I was asked by a lovely lady to make a couple of Leaping Hare brooches for her. She told me later on that one was for her friend the illustrator Clara Vulliamy (Shirley Hughes daughter) as she knew I loved her work. I then told her about reading the Hughes poem of the elderly sheep Betty in Olly and Me to our girls and how that had ended with us shouting "hello Betty's" to each field of sheep we passed. Now our tale and how much it means to us will be passed back to her.
I love when life moves to connect even the smaller pieces together.


On the radiator are pictures and hooks still waiting for me to get my drill out again. 
The fly a kite print I bought a while ago from Jane at Teawagontales fits the room and my youngest girlie perfectly.
While one of my friends Sasha's creations dangles merrily alongside.

The main problem we have in Miss Millie's room is storage. Although her room is bigger than her sister's she just has lots more stuff.

I thought an Ottoman would solve the problem perfectly, not that I expected to find one the first week I headed to the car boot in search of one.


Turning a corner I saw exactly what I was after and for peanuts as the woman hated 
it and wanted rid of it quickly. 

The next day I got to work on it. 
 Sadly the fabric on the top was all ripped and stinky so no saving that. I was really generous too as I covered it in what I had left of my favourite ever Heals fabric. A generous slap of bright pink paint and bashing in upholstery tacks and I was done. 

The other great bargain for her room were the M & S pink curtains which I got at the fleamarket in Southwold a couple of summers ago for £3. This room has been planned for a while you see.

So just a wardrobe to sort, pictures up and bunting to be made and I think I've finished.


My other plan before I go back to work was to finally get our larder decorated. For eight years or so it's languished being useful but hidden out of sight. 

One whole day of paint throwing and a bit of double sided sticky tape to hold the stripy curtains in 
and Punch and Judy's Palace was ready to take its rightful place showing off in the kitchen. 

It's just a bit shorter than it should be as when I dragged it through (being too impatient to wait for my man to get home) the legs fell off!


I just love it so much. There's a bit of larder love going on over in Instagram world too.
After a bit of chat back and forth, I was inspired to make some tiny sausages and bunting for my larder. I'll show you if you like once they're all done.

I'll be back sooner than I have been for a while to show you my latest makes.There's a coat that I've nearly finished and I'm so excited by it.

Bye for now.