I thought I just blinked!

I was horrified to discover almost 2 months have elapsed since I last wrote a post. May was frantically busy for me because I did 3 one day shows and then Art in the Park in Redlands which is always 2 days. Sadly rain, yes rain in May, affected two shows but “Art in the Yard” in Riverside was a wonderfully warm day and lots of people stopped by and shopped. I sold 9 bags and my friend Jill O’Dwyer sold her newest piece, within a few minutes… before I even had time to take a photo of it! It was like a little flying saucer, with flower shapes, a mini “chimney”, 3 feet to stand on, and I would have liked one as well! Many thanks to Tracy and Sue for hosting the event in their garden and providing such a wonderful breakfast to the artists, just before the show started. I hate getting up early, rushing breakfast and then racing off to a show. A cup of tea to kick start the day and then breakfast later when I’m more awake is so much nicer and really appreciated!

So in between shows, I’ve made bags….More London bags….but I came across some world map fabric and by fussy cutting I created some “America” bags which I thought complimented the London bags by fussy cutting America for a front pocket. Having wrestled with a new bag shape for the London fabric I was asked to make it in the world map fabric. The first bag was a reject but found a happy home.2015-04-26 19_opt

This version had an adjustable strap with a vintage plastic buckle and I made a pocket for the front and piped the pocket to make it stand out against the back ground. I also quilted the compass points to just give it a little more something. The friend who bought this bag from me asked for inside pockets so I unpicked the inside seam and inserted pockets….I really quite liked the bag afterwards!

But I couldn’t stop here! I found the Australian fabric I bought a couple of years ago, to make a tote bag for an Australian friend for her birthday, and had a load left from the project. I’d cut some smaller images out from the fabric and used it as front pockets on upcycled denim bags but this shape bag lent itself to the larger Australian images!

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I loved this kangaroo and quilted in the ditch around it. I used cotton strapping for the handle and some light weight blue denim for the flap. I will confess that inserting zips is not a favourite of mine so a metallic snap is a good alternative! (Sorry about the background – I was in a rush to get a photo of the bag before a show).

Of course I couldn’t stop there… I made another upcycled denim evening bag with a beaded handle which I adore! I took the decorated back pocket and made a little wallet/purse to tuck inside having added a “D” ring so it could attach to the key fob!

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And then I got into a conversation with a friend about a quilt for her daughter which included Dr. Who fabrics…. so I went shopping and found Dr. Who fabric! The daughter didn’t want a Dr. Who quilt in the end but I bought half a yard of 2 fabrics to experiment with and I’ve created a monster! A range of small and large Dr. Who front pocket bags with matching or Dr. Who theme lining with Dr. Who ribbon for the key fob!

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Small,  Cyberman on black denim, Tardis on blue denim, and Daleks on blue denim, large enough for a mini iPad!

I’ve been upcycling jeans for the body of the bags, using back pocket sections for the back of the bag, to accommodate anything that’s necessary…. like the charging cable for my new iPad keyboard!  And I’ve sold four of them! With an order for more mid July!  I’m excited!

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Large Dalek bag,

Upcycled black denim, back pocket on the back, large enough for a large iPad, adjustable strap, vintage plastic buckle, and key fob.

So now life can settle down to thinking about the Fall, with some new Halloween throws, a couple of new Christmas tree throws, and perhaps most importantly cleaning the house! 6 weeks of shows takes a toil!

In the mean time the garden is starting to look good, I am already picking a few sweet 100 tomatoes, a second round zucchini is ready to pick with more coming. Beets are doing well. Pepper plants and cucumbers are in bloom. tiny red spiders have attacked the eggplant so not sure what we’ll get from the plant. I’m hoping a 2nd one I bought will produce some fruit. The French tomato seedlings are producing flowers now and the rest need planting, I’d rather they were in the garden rather than waste them! Somehow I manage to water 3 or 4 times a week but its more important now the cool damp May is done and we are into June!

And one last little note of interest… we have barn owl “owlets” (baby owls, similar to those in the kids book Owl Babies) in the palm tree opposite the house and last night for the first time I saw them! They were like little ghosts standing on the edge of the nest looking out and chatting away. Sadly, I have no camera good enough to take a photo, but they looked fantastic through the binoculars.

Remembering Easter!

Once again time has flown by, Easter has come and gone, along with the Downtown Redlands Art Walk and Will is about to complete a second year at university!

The Downtown Redlands Art Walk was great fun. Almost 70 people walked through the Redlands Art Association Gallery and we were busy on State Street. It was supposed to be a noon start so I treated myself to a lie in and drifted down only to find I was one of the last to set up and people were making sales already! Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit or who purchased something from me. The little girl who bought the lemon earrings was thrilled with them she came back to show me she was wearing them!

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Easter weekend, in true “English” fashion, I devoted myself to the garden! At home Easter is a 4 day holiday, from Good Friday through to Easter Monday. As kids we would travel to the cousins, via Kingston Market where there was a fish stall that sold eels that seemed to be as long as the stall, and we’d still eat fish and chips for supper on the road! The weekend was a delight of family meals, shopping in Hitchen Market, learning to embroider and seeing my aunt’s latest creations, getting a new dress made by my aunt over the weekend, reading her precious Worrel’s books, bedtime stories (usually Secret Seven books – such a treat), reading all of our cousins “Bunty” comics, just hang out together and the highlight would be watching the Morcambe and Wise Show. For folklore foodie friends, Fish pie was the Good Friday treat and Easter Sunday there would be a huge roast turkey and all the trimmings. It goes without saying we’d all be given an assortment of Cadbury Easter Eggs while they were still Cadbury’s and not “tweaked” Hershey chocolate! Sadly, my aunt, uncle and Dad have all passed and I rarely meet up with the cousins any more but the memories are still there. I think my uncle spent as much as he could over the weekend in his huge garden, with my Dad helping him!

Morcambe and Wise were the event of the weekend. My uncle had a strong resemblance to Eric Morcambe and came from the same area of the country. He would tease us all, saying he’d just got back from the studios on Thursday night just before we’d arrived!  Oh, how we believed him! Sunday evening’s show was a huge event! We never noticed he was shorter than Eric Morcambe!

I only had 2 days but I cleared the long front garden bed of weeds, Bermuda grass (again) pruned the roses, strimmed the lawn except for the poppies and started planting veggies! 3 tomato plants went out in the front garden, along with 2 butternut squash, and I experimented with the fish head planting method from my friend’s website Sunnyside local. She also suggested companion growing with basil and borage. Each plant is sprinkled around with basil seedlings because they reckon they DON”T get the tomato green caterpillars! Fingers crossed! Of course since Sunday the weather has changed and the temperature has dropped! One plant already has baby tomatoes! It felt so good. I know we are on water restrictions this year, so planting veggies in the flower bed seems a great compromise, I can keep my flowers and grow veggies…cottage gardening. And there is room for more veggies out there as well.

I also started planting out the straw bales.

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Straw bales:The green plant is the wintered aubergine (egg plant), I had a load of beet seedlings which I planted on the damp earth in the shelter of the straw bales, then there are 8 assorted pepper plants, a melon and cucumber all planted in the bales. I got the ideas for the wood uprights and string supports from

1. How to Build a Straw Bale Garden – Modern Farmer



How to Condition and Plant a Straw Bale Garden – Bonnie …


So now it’s a waiting game for peppers to grow, tomato seedlings to reach an optimum size to plant out and the sweat peas and sun flowers to bloom. I’ve planted a round courgette/zucchini and regular ones are now growing! Its exciting.

In the meantime its back to the sewing machine and preparations for the upcoming Riverside Show at the end of April

Happy making!

Spring is well under way

Wow, my denim flower necklace made it into the RAA multi media mini show. Sadly, the blue and white flowers with the butterfly didn’t make it in but the next show is Petal Power and it fits that theme. Take in for Petal Power is Friday 27th March and the show coincides with Redlands AnnualContinue Reading

RAA Multi Media Mini Show

Its that time of year again… The Redlands Art Association opened its door to multi-media pieces no bigger than 14 & 1/2 inches in any direction, yesterday. Hopeful artists submitted a maximum of 3 pieces to be juried into the show. On a cold wet Sunday, 338 pieces were submitted for the jurying process, byContinue Reading

Happy New Year

Yes, I know January has passed me by and February is with us, but its still the New Year. For some of us we are heading towards an early spring and for others they are buried deep in snow and shoveling out paths and drives etc. just in time for what seems yet another storm.Continue Reading

Lovely show at the YMCA last weekend.

It was a fun show at the YMCA Boutique and Home Tour at the weekend. Meeting up with artist friends and catching up with friends I’ve not seen for ages. There was so much on offer for those who were still Christmas shopping. Many thanks to all those who stopped by, and to Donna, whoContinue Reading

Christmas tree raggy throws.

I find it hard to plan for the holiday season in August but once September arrives it seems a slippery slope to December. Making Christmas Tree raggy throws and wall hangings takes time and I always seem to take longer than I think! This year my friend Jillian O’Dwyer persuaded me to open my ownContinue Reading

I love bags…..

I’ve never really been a shoe person, to me they are functional and I just want them to be comfortable to work and play in but bags can lead me astray. They don’t have to be named brands. Its more the shape, style, size, occasion and colours that attract me. As my son’s have gotContinue Reading