Spring felted wreath version 2!

I did enjoy making the other wreath, but was going to be showing my ladies group how to make one so I thought I would adhere more to the original Bustle and Sew pattern, with a few minor adaptations, little felt flowers and using a heart willow wreath rather than a wooden sewing frame. 
It took some playing with different methods of creating flowers, but in the end I found these were the most satisfying – not only are they simple to make but very easy to do while watching call the midwife, you can save the fiddly bits for the more gruesome birth scenes! I must admit I loved the whole retro thing, especially the lovely fifties dresses, but having watched this programme I am so pleased I was born in the 60’s, it seems that birth control was the fundamental change for women more than getting the vote! 
I have found felt such fun to work with that I might make a few more items, Eternal maker had a beautiful spring cushion on display in the store it was very inspirational. Although these days it is hard to keep ideas at bay and concentrate on the process in hand! 
We had a lovely afternoon tea at Bosham Walk Craft Centre – it is well worth a visit, I had a wonderful piece of victoria sponge I managed to get some beautiful filet lace for £5! There is a fantastic beading stall as well as some fantastic vintage stalls and craft shops. Needless to say we bought some Chilli fudge at the shop on our way home! More walking in order me thinks! 
After walking the dog, I practised making more bread! Still in the experimental stage, this time using Allison’s country Grain flour, and I knew at the early kneading stage it was going to be a lovely loaf! I am beginning to get a feel for the elasticity in the bread. I had a great success with white bread, but I wanted to make something a little more wholesome but wholemeal flour is far too heavy, but this is just right. The dough enhancer is definitely worth using, but I am beginning to wonder at the ceramic tins I bought, they seem to make the bottom of the loaves doughy, although that might be me being too impatient and getting it out of the oven too early! Either way the experimentation continues! I don’t give up easily – and the bread was yummy!  

Sew little bit of love

This is my new best friend, I have been struggling all week with an infection and finally got my antibiotics today. I am grateful to live in a country where they are not only available but also at a reasonable cost thankfully I shall soon be feeling better and back to my usual bouncy self. 
The reason this little cushion is my best friend is that it is filled with bulgar wheat, you can heat it up and this lovely warm square sits on my lap and gives such a gentle comforting heat that eases the tummy pain. 
I love how things evolve, I made the ribbon weave last year and created the front with the little buttons and hand embroidery but then I did not quite know what to do with it. I had plans to make it a wallhanging, or a cushion but it was only the other day that I realised it was the perfect size for a wheat bag, (about 20cm square). When you are feeling poorly there is nothing like a bit of love and warmth to ease the pain and this little heart has finally found its place in the world. 
You can make all different shapes long sausage shapes to go round an aching neck, I have even made a eye mask for a lady who had fallen and bruised her eyes. You can also put these in the freezer to keep you cool for bruising or headaches. 
I backed it with the remaining teal velvet I was given at a WI meeting two or three years ago. I had made a Christmassy cushion with it as well and had shown it to the sewing world editor earlier in the year, she wanted it for a project and so I thought I would give it a wash, that wasn’t the best idea because the fabric was not colour fast! It was a disaster and I had to start all over again! Have you tried shopping for christmas fabrics in early August? giggles the shop assistants do doubt my sanity at times, but they know me well not to raise their eyebrows until I have left the shop! 

Small Pleasures

This is the view of my kitchen window sill, I thought I would post it here, because it was while I was doing the washing up last night that the title of this post occurred to me. 

I have been on quite a journey two years ago I was living in a large detached house with a garden and a large art studio, but when I left I spent a year living with other people. It isn’t until you have to cook in someone else’s kitchen that you begin to really appreciate your own. 

I know the view from my window isn’t rolling hills, and my kitchen is a quarter of the size I used to have, but, as I washed the dishes by hand I realised I had learned a good lesson, happiness is found in small pleasures.

I remember a time when I would stack dishes in the dishwasher it would be a chore, but now, I wash my dishes by hand as I don’t have room for a dishwasher, and it has surprised me just what a simple pleasure it is. I am connected to my beautiful things, it is only as I am putting loving care into cleaning my favourite pan, that I remember what a pleasure it is to use it. My plates are very pretty and as I wash them and wipe them clean, I am given a moment of the joy of owning such a charming pattern. I am connected with small things that make me happy. 

We are bombarded with images of large houses and big gardens, but I am happier now in my small flat than I ever was living in that large house. I don’t spend my weekends worrying about the garden, weeding and watering. Yes, I do miss sitting out in the fresh air, but if I really want to do that I can sit in the communal gardens and enjoy them while the gardener cuts the grass. It takes me no more than an hour to clean my flat, but in a large house, it never seemed to get tidy. 

That isn’t to say I don’t miss some things, like having a fresh egg from my own chickens, or having room for a big party, but on the whole, I feel happier and more content that I have in years. 


The larger bottle is de-ionised water that I have collected from my tumble dryer, and the other little bottle is vinegar, the best cleaner by far. Washing up uses less water than a dishwasher, and now because I don’t have a big house to keep clean, I often use my airing cupboard to dry most of my clothes, again, as I hang them to dry, I can appreciate them, rather than throwing them in the dryer. I love pretty bottles, it makes cleaning a pleasure, and it is magical to clean my possessions as I spent a year without them. I do enjoy having appliances that make life easier, but I think we also lose that connection with our possessions. 

More is not always better, some times it is about finding the simple pleasures.