Sunday, 24 February 2013

My Inner Martha

This weekend I unleashed my inner Martha again. I know I'll never be like her but sometimes it is nice to try. 

For some time I had some slate samples on my kitchen table; the tiles didn't make the grade for the bathroom but as with everything I couldn't bear to throw them out. Thank goodness I found a small piece of turquoise felt as I was tidying up my fabric stashes last week. With the help of a bit of PVA I now have some lovely coasters for my new look lounge. 

After making a few bracelets for the updated Busy Betsy shop I made a yummy coffee and walnut cake from the lovely Sainsbury's Cook Britain cookbook. It was my first attempt and I was rather pleased with the recipe; it looked and tasted exactly the same as the one in my favourite deli for a fraction of the price. The down side was that I ate a third of a cake over the weekend. With Mini Betsy complaining that I do not do enough exercise I felt rather guilty and only had salads for lunch. However I do feel that soon enough there will be plenty of times that I will be working up a sweat as this morning I received a rather unexpected call: 

After having been on a waiting list for nearly three years I am finally the proud landlady of an allotment!! I made Mini Betsy very happy today, she can't wait to take our tools and plant seeds. Unfortunately that is a long way off. The lovely ladies at the allotment gave me some magazines to study and on the first page I read that potatoes need to be in by or around 1 March. With all the weeding and clearing rubbish to do I think I might miss that deadline this year! I will need a lot of advice (and help!) so if anyone can point me to some good blogs I would be most obliged. 

Now to finish of the day, feeling rather pleased with myself I just made a feta and mushroom parcel, ready to go in the oven and to be enjoyed whilst watching the fabulous Mr Selfridge. After that I shall delve into some gardening books.

This was one very pleasant and surprising weekend!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Bunting & banter

I am not sure if it was the wet winter months that caused a flurry of bunting making parties or whether people are still in the party mood following the Royal Wedding and the Diamond Jubilee but there is definitely a need for jolly flags around. 

With a suitcase full of red and purple I went to a lovely 10 year old who was very keen to do a sewing party for her birthday. The "Little Miss Sew & So" package can be tailored to any age (even to those who cannot handle a needle) and a popular activity is bunting making. 

The girls at this party were fortunate enough to have a sewing circle at their primary school. Not many schools have that luxury and I believe it is crucial to keep these skills alive, I have come across too many girls in their 20's and 30's who literally cannot sew on a button.

There are of course many ways to make bunting but this jolly troupe went for the traditional triangular flags.


Some of them had not done any sewing before but got the hang of it really quickly and decorated their flags beautifully with hearts and flowers. I did bring some felt stickers, so I suppose I made them cheat a little but we are pretended they were put on using Bondaweb and I promised not to tell anyone!

Afterwards the party girl's mum sent me a lovely letter:

"Thank you for a lovely party on Saturday. Some of the girls who had very limited experience of sewing were really inspired by the party and their parents have come up to me in the playground and said how they haven’t stopped talking about it and they have been sewing and finishing their bunting at home. So it inspired some girls and my daughter loved it, showing her friends her talents."

Thank you, this cheered up my day! 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Something old, something new...

.... something borrowed, something blue.

That is exactly what I packed in my suitcase to take to a hen party in Manchester city centre this weekend. The hens had decided on a crafty afternoon and I was asked to bring green and blue fabrics to make bunting. The bride did not know anything about me coming or what the girls were going to do, which was very exciting.

When it comes to bunting making for a wedding I always like to bring vintage fabrics along, I think it adds a romantic touch and of course it is the "something old". The new were the other fabrics, the blue well that was one of the colours and for the borrowed we had some scissors that were in the hotel apartment.

The bride was very excited and after some deliberating as to whether they were going to make individual bunting to take home or something together, the girls decided to make a long line of bunting for the wedding and made a lovely design, each decorating two flags with some plain ones at the ends.

I am looking forward to seeing the finished result in the wedding pictures and will post them when they come in. Unless of course they appear on the Busy Betsy Facebook page. Please 'Like' if you haven't already. 

And if you'd like to do some bunting making, do get in touch