Posts Tagged owl

Wake Up And Smell The Violets

VioletsI sort of knew that violets have a strong scent because there’s those sweeties – parma violets is it? – and also some incredibly strong (and cheap) perfume which I vaguely remember they used to sell in our dear departed Woolworths when I was a tot but I don’t think I had ever encountered the smell  ‘in the wild’ as it were.  We have tons in our garden and they have been bursting out all over for the past week but I still don’t recall smelling them.  Then, yesterday, I went to my friend’s house, parked the car, opened the gate to her garden and I was met by a wonderful waft.  It was a hot day (for March) and maybe  it was very still but the air was definitely full of scented violets.

Talking of going round to Sandra’s, who is my sewing friend, sometimes when we are trying to think of a project to do next, we mess around with little bits of fabric and some tried and tested patterns and this little owl was the result of that session.  I remembered that I had some vintage(ish) folding scissors at home so I left sewing his bottom on until I got home and attached the scissors by a black ribbon, stuck in a decorative pin et voila!


I like that, in french, one of the words for ‘owl’ is  ‘chouette’ which also means ‘nice’ or ‘cool’.

I also asked her to help me with my fumbling crochet attempts.  I am trying to make individual roses to make a blanket but, at this rate, I’ll be lucky to end up with a coaster – although that won’t be any good as the surface is raised and the cup would keep falling over, but you get my drift.  I don’t know what goes on with this crochet business.  It’s supposed to be easier than knitting and I’m good at knitting.  I am having trouble recognising what is a stitch, what is a loop, what is the first loop of the first round and the 3rd loop of the last round – Gaaah!  Anyway, here are my attempts so far.  Do you think it will matter if they are all slightly different sizes?  Will it really matter when they are all joined together?  Should I have used fiendishly expensive Rowan yarn when taking my first baby steps?

crochet rosesAnyway, I promised to show you my knickers didn’t I?  I know you have all been waiting anxiously to see them and now I can reveal those frilly, ruffly, artfully frayed babies!

vintage mannequinShe looks a bit stressed doesn’t she? Not my favourite vintage mannequin but my antique ones have a pole where the sun don’t shine so I couldn’t get the knickers on any of them!  I think these bloomers are cute for sleepwear and, once I’ve ironed out a few of my first timer mistakes, I am going to make some more. I am going to give these to Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder for wearing as sleepwear as, let’s face it, if you put those on under a frock you might as well be wearing a bustle!  However, she did point out that her duvet cover is almost the exact same red and white polka dot pattern and she might disappear into the bed and nobody find her which as the mother of a daughter living away from home and getting up to lord knows what, doesn’t sound too unwelcome a scenario to me!

I’m always searching for vintage, quintessentially french fabric but don’t often find it so was pleased to find this the other day.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

vintage french fabric

I’m still working on hand quilting the birthday quilt – only 2 weeks overdue – but did have to stop for a while as I am completely unable to function using a thimble and, as a result, vaccinated myself against something with the end of the quilting needle and had to give it a rest.  It has now healed up so I will start again tomorrow.  On the hand quilting front though, I did find this in a charity shop which doesn’t go with my décor, is too heavy to post so cannot be offered for sale, and is therefore totally useless to me but could not, under any circumstances, be left under a pile of polyester  sheets, ignored and unloved when somebody, somewhere had gone to all the trouble of putting all those stitches in various patterns, no doubt vaccinating herself against things and using up all the plasters in the medicine cabinet, only to have it flung out with last season’s clothes in a bin bag.  Don’t worry somebody, somewhere, I have rescued your hard work for posterity and will appreciate it more than the ungrateful wretches for whom it was made.

hand quilted throw DSC_0041

Look at all those stitches.  How could you throw something like that out?  I have told my daughters I will come back and haunt them if I ever see one of my quilts in a dog bed.

Have a great weekend and I hope you find lots of violets to smell. x

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Getting Inventive With Vintage French Linen Cloths

Embroidery Hoop

The Key to my Little French House

 You may remember my musings on what to do with my little 4″ embroidery hoops and also with my stash of gorgeous vintage French linen cloths.  Well, here are a few of the results and I’m still thinking……….


French Tea Towel Owl

 I had to make some of my whimsical owls using these.  This one is English – he says ‘hoot’ but I made the first one saying ‘hou hou’ which is, apparently, what owls say in French.  Loving these vintage typewriter keys which my friend Ann (aka Mentalembellisher) sent me and I think make really cool eyes.

drawstring bag

Drawstring Bag French Linen

Somewhere to keep your French bread perhaps.

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More Reasons Not to Do The Ironing

I have just received my pattern, from the ultra talented Jodie of RicRac, and now I’m all set to make a bag from selvedges.  Why? is,  I suppose, a not unreasonable question but if you have ever seen her dress or her chair cover made from selvedges you would want to duplicate just a tiny, tiny part of that amazing creativity from the bits that you would normally cut from the rest of the fabric and  throw in the bin. (see my post about RicRac for enlightenment).  I have been obsessively saving all my selvedges since I first realised that you could actually use them for something but, alas, I have spotted on the pattern that you are supposed to leave at least 1/4″ of the rest of the fabric attached to the selvedge.  oops!  Oh well, if I haven’t got enough, I’ll just carry on  collecting until I have.  I can always carry on using the ones that are too skinny for tying up gifts and packages instead of ribbon – they look surprisingly good.

RicRac's Pattern

Meanwhile, I have been having a bit of a 70s retrospective.  I was never a punk (I couldn’t stand the music then) but my husband was and, over the years, I have mellowed towards the Sex Pistols, the Ruts, the Dead Kennedys and the Buzzcocks and occasionally find myself actually liking some of it.  I was inspired to make (another) owl in Punkish mode – I would have preferred a red mohican but I had this pink stuff so he’s a bit of a gentle punk – less Sid Vicious, more Kevin Kindly, still you get the idea.

A Little Bit Punkish

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I Must Do The Housework!!

I can’t think of any reason to actually like doing housework and ironing but, there’s no getting away from it, unless you want people to think you’re a complete slob, it’s got to be done *sigh*. 

There are always plenty of other things I can find to do rather than the hoovering – usually dog walking, talking to the teens (or more like just listening these days), facebooking, blogging, talking on the telephone, eating, making tea or, most often, creating some new thing that amuses me.   As I sell my things, they must be photographed and I quite enjoy it but it is yet another thing that takes up valuable dusting time. 

I feel I am getting more creative with my photography – I’ll have one sitting backwards on a ladder back chair next, looking sultry – although I don’t think that would be possible with an owl – legs aren’t long enough.


Music Maestro - A Narcassistic Owl?




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