Tuesday, 31 May 2011

I always seem to be doing this.
I'm really really rather busy with the old day job, can't fit in another thing not even with a large pot of elbow grease and a crow bar.
So this is the moment I pick to sign up for a new madcap adventure in the stitched world.
This time its the flowerpress brooch swap.
Can't tell you who its for, but I do hope they like it.

I got so carried away I made some more.

Ho humm, now where did I put those spare 10 minutes?
Oh yes that's right I think I used them up on a little bit of sleep.
How long is your to do list?
Mine is having an extension built for it.
I'm laying the foundations a month next Tuesday.
Also I must say a
for all the amazing and encouraging comments on my tits.
Oh this really is the joke that keeps on giving.
Much Love
Nora xxxx

Sunday, 22 May 2011

So how do you like my tits?
I can show you a Blue Tit
and a Long Tailed Tit.
(This really is for me the joke that just keeps on giving.
And quite frankly if a joke is worth telling, its worth telling a bit too often)

I can also show you a Nuthatch

a Wren

and a Little Gull

Why Nora? Why? I hear you cry
Well I've been teaching a class in felted birds for a a while now and love making them, but was beginning to feel the need for something more challenging to do.
On our recent adventure in Brittany I was comparing notes with the junior siblings about behaviour on family walks.
You see we were NEVER allowed to go charging through the undergrowth whacking things with sticks and whooping at the top of our voices.
Because you might DISTURB THE BIRDS.
Of course we always did all of the above, but learnt very early on to always be at least 20 yards ahead of the old male parental and be ready to sprit at a moments notice.
Dad claims he is not a twitcher,
he says twitchers are way worse than anything he does.
But I say a man who can't hear the oven timer when its going off right next to him and confuses all 4 of his children constantly (despite the 30 and 26 year age gaps) but can hear the call of a Skylark half a mile away and can tell you that the smudge in the sky is not in fact a house martin but a sand martin,
the man who can identify a bird over the phone from a very sketchy and ill informed description from yours truly is a twitcher.
I asked him to identify a bird in one of his (many) bird books that he thought would look good made up in fabric.
He came up with this baby.
The Little Gull.

The body is smaller that other gulls and slightly rounder, so would look nice and plump when made up. It also has quite clear and uncluttered markings.
It was great having an expert around when I was working out the prototypes.
And so Stitch and Twitch was born!
I am probably going to be putting all of these in my shop
when I can bear to part with them,
but I am also working on instructions and patterns so I can start selling them as kits.

I would so love to claim the joke at the start of this post as mine own, but sadly I'm good but not that good!
The credit has to go to my friend, ex studio partner and costume maker to the stars Dominic.
So I feel the need to say Thanks Dom your humour has always really hit the spot, and a really really big thanks to my dear old Dad for being such a boring old fart and inflicting all that avian knowledge upon our unsuspecting childish ears.

On another note the festival season is almost upon us and to celebrate this fact the festival bunting is back in my shops. You can find it here and here.

I am also one of Beth of Do what you love's shared stories this week.
Check it out over here.
Have a happy week and enjoy the sunshine.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 15 May 2011


This week has been all about two things.
Two closely related but quite separate things.
Working in the day job has been fairly full on with lots of deliveries and deadlines.
But to break the stress and tedium this week seems to have also been all about fabric, oh and a vintage peg basket.
Somehow new bits of vintage loveliness just kept arriving in some cases quite literally on the doorstep.
First to arrive was this bundle of scraps from Joanne at stitch art,
as part of the second veryberryhandmade scrap swap.

Then came this beautiful duvet cover
found in a flying visit to a charity shop
handily situated next to the hairdressers where
I took the boys for their bi-annual haircuts.

Next was a bag crammed to bursting from my friend Jane.
A result of her loft clear out and reorganisation.
Lots of bits of 1980's reminiscence.

Tiny bits of fleece, perfect for my next kids sewing class.

And the afore mentioned jumping fish

She is a stronger woman than I am for giving this one away.
I am resisting the temptation to grab the felt pens and start colouring in .
It is I think destined for display on the wall at some point in the future.
Next up was this beauty.
Ordered from Etsy last week. I have some very definite plans for this baby.

So I sat back and relaxed, what a great haul how could I do any better?
How much fabric can one girl find in a week?
Well apparently more.
Yesterday morning the ginger one and I decided to make a quick detour
to the local car boot sale.
Where we unearthed a 1950's apron

a candy stripe sheet

and, just in case you thought I had forgotten
a new peg basket full of happy pegs.

Back soon.
Love Nora xx

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Those of you who didn't read my previous post will wonder what is going on,
a wheelbarrow full of Afro beats?
Call the men in white...
But for those of you who stick about for long enough,
well you asked and I can not ignore your crys.
Unfortunately after much searching for the relevant photo album
the picture I remember so clearly appears not to exist.
So here is a picture of the owner of the wheelbarrow.
And judging by his knowing stare and ample girth he must have made quite a living at it.

For the month of August in 1993 my ma and I went on an amazing adventure.
My Auntie Rose, (she of the kaftan fame), (Auntie in the African sense not the English sense) decided to take us back to her home land.

I was young

free and most shockingly now I see the pictures 18 years later so very very slim.

It was beautiful

Amazing, and so very very funny

And yes my dear old Ma really did try to palm me off in marriage
to the man with the Wheelbarrow full of Afro beats
for the princely sum of two goats, a house in his compound and a bottle of whisky.
May be that explains the scowl on my face!
Happy days.
I think I could probably write a book about all the things that happened in that
long long month.
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

What a weekend.
What a lot of time off we have all had.

This weekend has been all about having a lot of fun.
First the continuing ninjafication of this sleepy backwater of South London,
then the wedding celebrations

and a street party

and then a couple of days of messing about on the river with lots of children and ducks.

But that's just a diversion.
I've been meaning to write this post for ages, but every time I go to do it something else even more pressing has come up.
A while ago I was given this lovely award by the lovely Sarah of
I was really flattered but a little freaked about what I would say.
I try to keep a lot of my life and what I really do out of this blog.
Just because I have a professional persona that has little to do with Flaming Nora.
But recently more of the line and the rules I set out when I started blogging have either been crossed , ignored or bent.
Plus I'm soon to be featured on Beth Nicholls Do what you love blog talking about my professional life.

So Hey Ho Lets Go....

Seven things you didn't know about me.

1. My name is not Nora.
By day I am a costume maker for London's glamorous west end and Hollywood films. In fact I am off tomorrow for a meeting with the designer of the new Tim Burton film. I've also worked on three films which won an Oscar for the costume design. "Shakespeare in love", "Gladiator" and "Elizabeth the golden age".

2. I can't cook and I won't cook.
Well except cakes,
I make a blinding wonky cake,
and sausage rolls,
even though I say so myself they are amazing.
No one can believe a culinary duffer like me can make them.

3. Most of my immediate family live abroad,
Dad, a little brother and a little sister in France,
and a big little brother in Denmark.
Its very hard to only see your Dad or siblings once a year.
Though it makes for some fantastic holidays.

4. I've had malaria.
I caught it on a most memorable trip to Nigeria in 1993.
One day I'll tell you all about it.
About the man on the market with the wheel barrow full of Afro Beats,
who wanted my hand in marriage.
Who my mother nearly sold me to for a bottle of whisky, two goats and a house in his compound.
About goats arriving for a party on a bus.
Of pulling crates and crates of beer out of the boot of a car for the aforementioned party to find lots and lots of chickens looking at me
Oh I could talk all night about it.

5. I love old children's books. Fact or fiction, pictures or words or both.
I have quite an extensive collection of them.
I especially love the Barba Papa books,
the illustration in the is perfect as far as I am concerned.

6. At 5'11" I am actually one of the shortest member of my family, only a couple of girl cousins are shorter. Its one of the bains of my life that I didn't reach 6'.
I mean what is the point of 5' 11"?
Its neither one thing or the other.
Its not tall enough to be proper tall
and its too tall to make it easy to buy clothes to fit.

7. I once had a job working on the chocolate counter in Selfridges.
I didn't last long, but blimey was it good.
I also once had a job as a waitress in a pizza restaurant.
Again I didn't last long.
Can't think why.
Because I am not in anyway a clumsy, bolshie, gobshite.

So there you go!
Thank you for the kind award.

This also seems like the right time to say thank you for all the fantastic and encouraging comments you all leave and to all of those of you who have been deranged enough to become my followers.

I guess all that time and money I invested in the subliminal hypnotism e-course is at last showing results.
Thanks guys I'm still slightly baffled by the fact people actually read my sometimes ranting, always rambling, stream of consciousness ponderings.
Much love to each and every one of you,
your families,
your pets,
your pets families,
your families pets,
oh you get the gist.
Nora xxxx