Thursday, 30 June 2011

I've got a new bird.
She isn't quite what she appears at first.
Soft and stylish on the outside, but with a heart of stone and legs of steel.
She has no judging eye, she cannot see what I am up to,
she can only be with every gram of her flinty interior.
She came in to my life at the end of last week.
Due to the suicide of my trusted camera, and then speedy delivery my new working model from a certain online store that rhymes with Glamourzon
I can now bring you my new love.

She is from Myrtle and Eunice and came to me as part of the recent
Flowerpress brooch swap.
Do you know Myrtle and Eunice?
check it out.
Its fab.
You can read all about the apparent trauma of making me a brooch here.
So funny because so many people tell me how hard I am to buy for.
I think I'm totally transparent and really easy to read.
Yet again I am proven wrong!
I also received this amazing T is for Towel

Not just your t towel ordinare.
A t towel hand printed with good humour.
I didn't realise what a hole there was in my life until now.
Of course I need humour in my t towels.
Because lets face it there is nothing humorous about what you do with them.
I love the tutu.
But that may be something to do with the day job.

But possibly not as much as I love the treads.

It took us a while to work this one out.
It was a slow brain day in the flaming house.

Though I doubt this one will be a working t towel.
I think it will be hanging along side my treasured signed Billy Bragg t towel,
one day when I get my act together...
I am a very lucky Nora this week.
Don't forget to check out the workshop I am running for the Streatham Festival next Tuesday.
Love Nora xx

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Here is a little bit of information on a workshop I am running

very very soon as part of the Streatham Festival.

If any of you lovely people out there fancy the trek to

South West 16 in good old London Town

I would love to meet you!





An evening of stitching and twitching.

A sewing workshop making

decorative hand stitched

fabric birds.

Every one is welcome,

if you think you can’t sew you are wrong!

Let Nora show you how its done, no sewing ability too great or too small

At The Earl Ferrers Pub, 22 Ellora Rd, Streatham, SW16 6JF

£10 per head

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

When it all gets too much the best thing to do is strip off to your pants and dance around the garden whilst your Dad turns the garden hose on you.

Thankfully for all of you I was working.
Love Nora xx

Monday, 20 June 2011


cast your mind back
back a bit more.
Ok you can read all about the pair of love birds here.
Finally after many many months of planning, booking, rescheduling, rebooking, more rescheduling, more... oh you get the picture!
Any road up, to cut a short story long last Wednesday the
Hand Stitched Art Collage
class finally happened.
We gathered at the Lovely Liz's shop,
on a slightly damp Wednesday evening.
Taking as their inspiration a large pile of vintage textiles and trims and
some old images printed on to textured paper the girls set to work.
Weaving everything together in to a collage with a story attached.

What happened to this young bathing belle on a blustery weekend at the coast?
Apparently what ever it was it left her with a twinkle in her eye.

Then there was this exquisite oriental beauty who met a robust young scotsman in the 1930's

As the blossoms fell from the trees they fell in love.

But then we changed tack.

Who were this saucy pair?
Sharing an illicit afternoon of chocolates, lace and spats.
What ever happened there appear to be several momentos of the afternoon that survived the passage of time!

And finally a collage almost like a travel journal

A napkin saved from that most wonderful of hotels on the riviera,
the stars shining at night,
the yachts,
the automobiles,
the mother of pearl buttons on her evening gloves....
Oh the romance, the high life, the good times.
What fun we had!

I was a very proud Nora at the end of the night.
The lovely Ladies worked hard, had fun and crated some fantastic pieces that will look amazing on which ever wall they end up on.
For more Flaming Nora courses and classes look here.
The next one is on 5th July at part of the Streatham Festival and will be held here.
We will be making lovely little decorative birds.
But panic not if you can't make it, the class will be repeated at Bermondsey Fayre in the Autumn.
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Come on everybody lets go to the beach!
Lets go rock pooling!
Rock pooling is one of our favourite family activities,
so its little wonder that I chose it as the theme for the latest
Flaming Nora story telling adventure.
Do you know this book?

"Splash!" by Henrietta Branford and Rosalind Beardshaw.
Who knows where it came from, or who gave it to us.
I certainly never bought it.
But it has been a firm favourite in our house since the Ginger one was young.
The wonderfully illustrated story of a little girls adventures
on the beach, in the sea, in a rock pool.

Its been quite a while since I last hosted a story telling and craft morning
plus its now wet and gloomy
it seemed a trip to the beach was in order.
The children made blow fish.

I found the template for them on Made By Joel's web site.
Have you discovered Joel yet?
If you have young kids he is a must.
A site packed full for clever and interesting crafts for kids, most of which seem to work perfectly for pre school as well as school age
(delete as your mood dictates) darlings/ monsters.
Jonah was doing "neat"

Jessie did colourful

Jonah became a shark

As did M'pilika

The boys drew up a storm

While Jonah was still neat.

M'pilika blew and the fish whizzed along the line.

We had a huge school of fish

and Jonah finally finished his neat.

And so to the story telling.
The bombshell came prepared for all eventualities

We applied our suncream, brushed the sand from our hair and between our toes
and we JUMPED in to the water
the icy spicy water
the shivery shakey water
from the deep blue sea.

And the children had a right soaking.

before settling down on their beach towels for star fish snacks

For more pictures of the morning follow the link to flickr on the right.
Do you have any favourite children's books or craft?
I would love to know what they are.
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The 8th June 1911 that is.
Somewhere in deepest darkest Liverpool Mrs Ogden went in to labour.
Before the day was out a new baby was screaming her head off after a timely
smack on the bottom.
And there we have her Mary Hutchinson Ogden.
My Grandma.

If she were alive today she would have been 100.
I think of her more or less every day.
I certainly quote her most days.
My best friend and mine's friendship has been defined by one of her pithy quotes.
One of 11, 6 girls Lilian, Ethel, Mary, Edith, Eleanor (Nell) and the unstoppable Elsie, and 5 boys, the twins Ron and Ralph, Ellis, Charles who tragically died aged 12 after a fall down the stairs whilst suffering from scarlet fever and a baby boy who sadly neither my old Dad or I can remember the name of who died in infancy.
In the early 1930's she met a young man called
Ted Grimshaw who took a bit of a shine to her.
In fact he pursued her all the way to Ireland where she was working.
He asked, she accepted and a terraced house back in Liverpool beckoned.
Four children later and my old Dad and his siblings were all terrorising the neighbourhood and sleeping in a chest of drawers when they ran out of bed space for all the many children during the many family parties.
She was a great knitter, and used to knit all our jumpers when we were little, but had to give up when her arthritis became too bad.
I am not a great knitter but I do enjoy it, so long as it isn't too complicated and means I can show off, hence all the yarn bombing.
Grandma was a show off too, always to be found holding court at any gathering of more than two people, she did so love to hog the lime light.
She was also a master of saying the inappropriate a little too loudly.
We all remember the "Bunny Darling Bunny"
said in a stage whisper that would have reached beyond the back of the stalls
when ever she passed a woman in a fur coat.
Or the "In some lights she could be almost beautiful"
when we were getting above ourselves and preening for too long in front of the mirror.
Or my absolute favourite whilst staying with my Aunt and Uncle she was sleeping in my cousin Rachel's bed room.
It was the Mid 1970's and Rachel was at a delicate age and obsessed with
the Osmonds.
At Dinner she announced loudly that she hadn't had to turn the light on when she went to bed the night before.
Really why?
Oh I got undressed in the light reflected off of the Osmonds teeth.
Que a sniggering table of adults and an upset girl of a delicate age.
Oh God this really is starting to look like my C.V!
She loved dressing up and putting on shows with us kids.
No really I must stop now!
To deflect from what is becoming a long list of the dubious qualities I have inherited
I thought I would show you these pictures.

I made them when I was 18 as Christmas and Birthday presents for her.

They have been on my wall for years now, my Uncle Don gave them to me after she died.
But looking at them closely now I am impressed by the detail I managed to stitch in to both pictures.

May be I should take them down and give them a dust every so often!
So there we have it, a Grandma is for life, hers, yours, everybody else's,
not just for Christmas.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 5 June 2011

I've discovered some where new!
How exciting, finds like this don't happen all that often.
Well not to me anyway.
Its a shop on Norman Rd in St Leonards on sea.
Its only open on a Saturday.
So wasn't I lucky that we went for a weekend staying with
Well really I was only going to check out her lovely new beach hut.

Any way I digress.
Wayward is an amazing place full to the ceiling with stuff.
Fabrics, trims, buttons, threads, tapes, ribbons and all of it vintage.
All served up by the beautiful Betty.

Check it all out.

It did feel like being the kid in the proverbial sweet shop.
We really didn't know what to look at next.
I was very restrained and only bought a little bit of lace.
I'm now saving all my birthday money and am back off there in a few weeks for
a child free weekend
to spend spend spend.
Ooh the anticipation of it all!
Much love Nora xxx