Friday, 25 October 2013

Remembering me....

Hello, welcome....oh it's you, yes it's me.......I have finally found myself!!

Term time is always so hectic what with children's stuff and more children's stuff, Me really doesn't get much time or attention. For a certain length of time that's fine but after many months of 'no Me', Me gets some-what frustrated and wants to crawl out of it's pile of clutter and stuff that's weighing it down and shout from the top of its lungs 'Hey, don't forget Me', sometimes as a result of all this busy time Me gets stressed or worse still sick, enough is enough, Me is resurfacing.....Yeah, she's made it to the top of the pile!!!!

This evening my lovely neighbour announced that she had bought a ticket for  Small Boy to go to the local Monster's Ball. Oh course he was delighted! A moment of 'he can go as himself' curtained my thoughts but in true 'Me' style I quickly drew that aside and toddled off to find him an outfit in the depths of our costume basket. Actually I tell a lie there, I delegated the task to Miss P so that I could quickly tidy the house. Me was thinking ahead to the hour or so I would be having 'alone' this evening! 'Alone'...that word has a bit of a ring to it.....aaaalllloonnnnnne.....hehe!
Well Miss P (as expected) came up with several options, the 'Monster dressing gown' or the reversible spider man costume (black side) with a Dracula cape......(mind works overtime and imagines Small boy's face painted up)....yes, that's just the ticket! Of course Miss P extended her delegated task and painted his face too......Ooooh pretty scary!
Upon departure my lovely neighbour asked the Little Lady if she would like to go too...she went as herself!
Just Miss P then, and the whole house to myself for one whole whole blissful hour....arrrr

People often comment about how exhausting it must be having the children around all the time. I can never really understand why people say that, I love having my children around, what spoils things and makes life hectic are the commitments that go with them. Without the rushing around, the children happily find their own entertainment and potter around quite happily for hours at a time, I really hardly know that they are there most of the time. So that leaves Me free to be Me.

I feel that with the time and freedom of the school holidays, I finally have the urge (really big urge) to create, it happens........ Those creative folk amongst you will know what it's like to have a sudden light bulb moment when an idea comes into your head and you feel the buzz of excitement. When I'm creating I truly feel alive.
I've recently knitted some new wrist warmers for the predicted very cold Winter. I had quite a lot of balls of scrumptious Jacob's wool. Real wool is soooo much warmer then the synthetic stuff that's out there, although it can be a little itchy. I could line them if they are very uncomfortable. I choose to live in rather old draughty houses, so these items of clothing are truly essential in the cooler months. I tend to literally live in them.

Secondly I have wanted to make a rag patchwork quilt, they are simple and beautiful (well if you make the right choices with your fabric then they are) and I haven't made one of such kind before so good reason to do so. My little mind wandered off into overdrive yesterday as I was thinking how I could earn a small living utilising my sewing skills and patchwork popped into my thought window. I could create patchwork quilts for individuals using old clothes (baby clothes etc), wouldn't that be a lovely idea? I tend to pass all my children's clothes on to friends and get immense pleasure from seeing their children wearing them, but I think it would have also been lovely to have a bed throw made out of tiny patches of each item to keep forever....something to think about. Anyway, the quilt is coming along nicely, just a little border needed to finish it off and make it just a tad larger. One of the downsides of buying small pieces of fabric when you see them is that if when your project of inspiration comes into fruition sometimes you run out of a particular fabric and so its size has to come to a halt, unless of course you can use your creative imagination to resolve the issue. On this occasion I ran out of the lovely green 'watermelon' fabric. So a large white border it is this space.....
Rag patchwork is really rather attractive. Unlike regular patch piecing you sew each little square together so that the hems are on show on the outside, then you give them a little snip or two and they naturally fray, looks jolly lovely if I do say so myself. Actually I am yet to wash this one but I think (hope) it will look lovely!
On this little number, I added the batting ( that's the stuffing for those who don't know) at the same time as sewing the squares together and I also quilted them with a quick cross on the machine. Normally I sew all of my quilts by hand but this little darling is all done by machine.

Back to my hour of 'child free' peace. Well, I had a little tinker here and pottered about there and looked in this basket and that and, Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about my Acorn Coffee........naa I'll leave that for another time.....

Friday, 11 October 2013

The sewing circle

Many moons ago a group of friends and I set up a little sewing circle which grew into a quite large sewing circle. We were pioneers of our time back then (six or so years ago). Every fortnight us creative folk all of  a similar age, would meet up in someones house for a few hours of unadulterated crafting and nourishment in the form of cakes and hot drinks (sometimes wine ;-)). We created a host of wonderful things from lavender bags, quilts, jumpers, toys to scarves that seemed to go on
forever.....quite literally!!!!
But those sewing evenings of crafting were not just about creating beautiful things, they were also about sharing friendship and a sense of sacred womanhood. We shared stories and experiences, we gained an education in many ways too, we put the world to right. So often in this day of modern living where we all communicate through our computers and mobile phones, we lose the art of togetherness, the feeling of real friendship and belonging, we have removed ourselves from what is reality in many ways (or is this new formed life that we have created the new reality?)

The days of that original sewing circle are over, we've all moved on and our busy schedules just don't seem to accommodate such arranged moments of loveliness in the same way anymore. Crafting has once again become a 'secular' pass time to be carried out in the space of ones own home when a snippet of time permits (or in my case, en route, whilst the children have activities).

Yesterday at our home school gathering, I ran a patchwork workshop. I carefully selected a pretty bundle of delightful fabrics to enable a group of children to make a pretty sampler to take home. Once you can make a sampler and know the process for assembly you are well equipped with the skills necessary to make a whole beautiful bed quilt, a treasure to be used and admired for years to come.
The session went well yesterday, although an interesting point to note was NOT that the children all went away really inspired...oh no....only a small handful of children took part. It was the adults that crowded round the table and formed the 'Sewing Circle'.
Today I met with one of the participants of that group and she couldn't express enough how much she enjoyed being a part of that sacred circle. That small sampler will have carried with it several stories and a memory of friendship for years to come.

I have started to use my sewing skills to make an income in the past year. Things began very slowly with just a little work through word of mouth, but with a couple of adverts placed locally things are beginning to take off. The need for community is becoming all too apparent through that too with clients filling me in on their life's events, it's rather lovely really. It gives each project a sense of meaning. Every little job carries a story...the curtains to stop nosey passers by peering in, the wicker crib that has been passed through the generations that needs relining for a new arrival, the name labels that require sewing on the child's uniform in preparation for a new school.

With the cold weather forcing us into our homes early and the dark evenings drawing in, I think it's time to reconsider that 'Sewing Circle' and invite some friends round for an evening of inspiration!