Sunday, 26 May 2013

It was Summer - All Weekend

Well, after the "Two Year Winter" and the long, long, oh so long stretch of freezing, icy, chill weather... it's been so nice to have some sunshine!  Of course, what's happening just now, is that we get a day of sun, then several of rain and wind - so sunshine is seriously a bonus these days.

But yesterday and today it has been Summer. For certain.

There are flowers in the borders - even bluebells.
Clematis Montana climbing up the Willow tree,
Apple Blossoms!
The Willow tree is in leaf (at last!).
Mr. Blackbird is busy collecting food for ever-hungry chicks.
I even found an Orange Tip Butterfly on the flowers.
Miffy & Petra have been enjoying the fresh air.
However, the reason I know it is Really Summer, is this:
Dave & James have put the trampoline together!
Summer is here - at least, until tomorrow...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Swap Treasure

Recently there was a lovely idea posted at Sian's blog.  She suggested we should hold a bloggers' Swap of Very Small Things

We e-mailed our details to Sian and she made up a Swap List.  The idea was that you would send a Swap package to the person below you on the list.  So I was sending my package of Very Small Things to Jean (whose parcel was posted today!); and I have received a package from the lovely Jane
What? Oh, yes, the parcel... what Very Small Things did it contain?
Well, this was inside the very nicely decorated bubble envelope... See the friendly message?

And the litle package was so pretty... and exciting...
...and when I opened it, all this gorgeousness spilled out!  Look at the fab little bits & pieces - buttons, sparkly things, butterflies & flowers, tiny folders and die-cuts, little pieces of paper, tags, twine, ribbon, even a cute crochet flower. 
I feel lucky and very spoiled.  Thank you so much Jane, I'm delighted! 
Jane has also blogged about her package today - she received some lovely little things too and seems to be equally happy. 
What a great idea this was - thanks to Sian for organising this!  

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Just a Little Bit Famous...

I got a Blog Feature!  I am very lucky to have a feature post on the Supporting Artists blog. 

Happy Lizzie :-)
I'm a member of the Supporting Artists Team on Etsy.  It's an invitation-only team and they choose a limited number of sellers, from shops selling a wide variety of things.  I was flattered to be invited to join and also very pleased to be asked to submit an article about my shop & workspace for the blog. 
In fact, I had forgotten all about it.  The post had to be submitted a couple of months ago, along with some photos, but I have been so busy since, that it had completely slipped my mind.  So it was a lovely surprise to see the link to my post, on the Supporting Artists Facebook page this morning! 
I am very lucky.  It's a great team, who are very active - I haven't been particularly active myself recently, but now I really want to put a bit more work in on the team's behalf - after all, it's the least I can do really!
If you want to see a photo of my messy studio and read all kinds of waffle about Lizzie Made, then why not go and see?  And while you are there, you might like to look around - it's a really good blog, with lots of very interesting posts, on a variety of topics.  There's also a directory of sellers, listed by the type of items they make/sell - and some of the other sellers' stuff is wonderful.  Well worth a visit! 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Nice Cup of Tea...

I like it when I have some time on a Sunday evening, to just sit in my studio and play with paper.  It's nice to just make anything I want - and this evening, I did just that!

I found some fun fabric in the local sewing and patchwork supplies shop.  They stock a wide range of fabrics, mostly cottons (but also linens, silks and other stuff) mainly for quilting/patchwork.  I often go there and buy fabric and other stitching supplies; of course, the occasional impulse buy occurs.  This particular fabric is a cotton, printed with a design of vintage tea cups & saucers.  I just thought it would make a great book, so I bought a fat quarter and popped it on top of my fabrics box.  This evening, while digging around for ideas for a little project, the fabric fell down and I scooped it up.  Just what I wanted!

This is what I made (photos are not great, as they had to be taken with artificial lighting):

A Cup of Tea notebook!

These are the front and back covers - each is different.  Don't you love this fabric?
It has a silk-wrapped edge and I have attached the covers and pages with a hybrid of a Coptic stitched binding and a traditional longstitch. I used ivory linen thread and I think it looks very effective against the soft green silk.
The covers are lined with strawberry red art paper, to match the red in the cover fabric.  The mossy green of the silk is the same as the green teacup on the covers too.

It has forty pages of my favourite cream coloured text paper.  I had cut and folded these pages last week, so I needed a project for them.  

Overall, I think it worked out very nicely. 
When the sun is out tomorrow (ever hopeful!), I will take some better photos and put this in my shop, for sale.  It was made as just a bit of fun, but I hope my evening's work will make someone smile. I hope someone else likes it as much as I do!

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Holes in the Wall

On Wednesday evening, Jeff the Builder came to see us. 

He did this to the wall on our stairway:

A hole...
A larger hole...
... you can see the upstairs floorboards...
He was looking to see the structure of the wall and whether it was supporting the upstairs landing & other walls. 
Because, he wants to knock that wall down... but we'd rather the upstairs rooms didn't end up being downstairs rooms instead.
Soon, we will be starting a Project.  Quite a big Project too.  Plans have been drawn by the architect and Quotes are being agreed. 
Holes will be made all over the place - but, I'm glad to say, mainly in the garden.  Well, at least to begin with.
No doubt, more details will follow, once something interesting begins to happen... 
Watch this space - and remember, you heard it here first!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Starling Suppertime!

Spring is definitely here now - despite the fact that it's really rather cold today!  We have had sunshine. The blossoms are out, the spring flowers are blooming. 

Our garden is full of birds.  We even have a family of blackbirds, who have all fledged and spend their days following their harrassed parents, begging them for food.  The blue-tits are nesting in the nest-box on our acacia tree - I think their babies will soon be out of the nest too.

And these guys:
Starlings having supper
Dave put out some mealworms last night, on the bird table and on the step.  We immediately had a large group of starlings descend on the garden, filling their beaks as fast as possible. 
I do like starlings - they are so funny and squabbly and friendly.  Their legs are attached in a funny way, which makes them stalk along in a most comical fashion.  They have gorgeous shimmery feathers.  They are so clever and each one invents its own song. They're clever mimics and some of their songs are a really complicated series of phrases, including whistles & squeaks, chirps, warbles, clicks and even imitations of machinery, cars, motorbikes, telephones, people and other creatures. 
It's very rewarding, to feed the birds - especially when we get treated to a Starling Supper Party!


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