Thursday, 28 February 2013

I have been working hard recently restocking the shelves of my shop with crafty sewing kits.
Every thing was ready to go, parcels packed up to send here  and boxes of kits waiting for new homes all over the shed,
a new brood of chickie kits are waiting for Easter.
All I needed was a couple of new pictures.
But the weather is so dull, so overcast and wet.
Suddenly yesterday afternoon the sun started to peep out from the clouds. I grabbed my camera and turned to the shelf where the critters live, supervising my every move.
They were gone.
What to do?
Well, I did what any well brought up English Gal would do.
I wandered in to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
When I was there I could hear a noise, a faint noise, a scuffling, grunting, squawking, hooting, rahhhhing noise, coming from deep with in the house.
What could it be?
Slowly I crept up the stairs, trepidation filled my every step.
I opened the boy's bedroom and was amazed at the sight that befell mine eyes.

Finagle, Ping Pong and Happy Brown Owl clustered round a computer scratching their collective heads and looking nervously over their shoulders.
But where were the Chickies?

Oh yes there they are all of a flutter clustered round the Buzz Lightyear mobile device, again all of a quiver and a twitter over the foe gathering in the near distance.
My hands flew to my mouth!
Just as I was about to shout out a warning and rush to their aid Batman arrived.

And quickly dispatched the unwanted Foe. 
Thankfully another Batman arrived to give the guys a lift to safety.

I was still worried about that pesky HUGE T Rex though.
But I shouldn't have.
An old mate of mine Rei Mysterio with some more of his wresting friends rushed to their aid and using his finely honed wrestling skills of the Mexican variety brought down that mighty beast with just a balletic dive from the curtain pole combined with a graceful tuck and roll.

When I asked what on earth they had been doing so far from their cozy, safe shelf in the shed the critters explained that gazing down day in day out watching the top of my head bent over a sewing machine has become a somewhat stale view and they want to see some new horizons.
Unfortunately their online research was scuppered by a lack of working fingers. While they were thus distracted the pack? pride? mayhem? of Hungry Dinos smelt the delicious smell of fresh tender critter and started to menace. 
I will have to talk to those boys about feeding them more regularly.
We will all be forever in the Batmen and Rei's debt.
Thanks Guys.
After our heart to heart I sat the critters down and showed them a hands free way of exploring. 
They have promised to not wander off like this again, and I have promised to take them out and show them more of the world.

If you want to know more about the critters you can find out all about them here
Love Nora xxx

Monday, 25 February 2013

A while ago I splashed out.
I bought some socks.
I don't buy socks very often, but I do suffer very badly from cold feet for at least 6 months of the year, probably due to working in a draughty old shed.
These socks weren't so expensive I had to look away while handing over my card and they weren't from any where fancy or exotic.
They were good wholesome socks with a hearty dose of wool in the mix from Marks and Spencer.
So imagine my despair when not two and a half months in to our glorious warm relationship the heels became transparent.
Drastic action had to be taken.
The well used, but never by me darning mushroom was taken off the shelf.
A vaguely matching colour of darning thread found.
I sat down for a pleasurable bit of make do and mend sewing on a Saturday afternoon, that went in to Saturday evening, that went in to Saturday night, that carried on well in to Sunday morning.

Dear God it was boring, I thought it would never end. 
I rejoiced at the advent of the throw away culture we live in that liberated our Grandmothers from this drudgery.
And I still had another pair to do.
Drastic action was needed.
Thicker thread and fun I though may work.
One quick rummage in the back of the shed later and I clutched in my desperate  hand a motley collection of tapestry wools someone had once given me as part of an unwanted stash.

There wasn't enough of any one colour to complete the job, 
but really who cares?

This is much more like it.
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 22 February 2013


It's amazing what you notice when you aren't looking where you should be.
The boys ran riot with their friends, argued in public, got lost, rolled on the floor and beat each other up.
We looked the other way.
It was very pleasing.

Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


My lovely and talented friend Ella, who I don't see often enough (but isn't that always the way with lovely and talented friends? ) Sent me a parcel the other day.
It was stuffed to the gunnels with all sorts of wonders and frippery.
But Ella knows me so well.
She knows what will quicken my pulse and bring forth the mist upon my eyes.
"Norman to Father
Kindergarden Birkdale
I am at a loss for words in trying to tell you how much I love these pictures.
Did Father, did Norman ever realise 116 years later that they would still be on this earth?
Did they realise they would become the treasured possessions of a random stranger?
Have a wonderful half term holidays people.
Enjoy the sun.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

I have been working on some jigsaw pieces for the I am a piece project.

You can read all about this amazing project organised by The Craftivist Collective and Save the Children here.
To become a piece of the solution to world hunger and inequality you need to make a piece of the puzzle embroidered with an inspiring message and send it to your M.P then make another and send it to the Craftivists to be part of their installation in Manchester at the beginning of March.

The Aim is to raise awareness and show that the craft community wants the government to use its power and influence as host of the G8 to tackle injustice.
I've long been interested in these guys and what they are up to, so I was really excited to be joining in the idea of stitching for the greater good is one that really appeals to me. 
In fact I am going along on Thursday evening to one of their regular meet ups in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, I do so love a bit of stitching in public.
The boys wanted to know what I was up to, then they thought in theory they might like to join in.
Might being a very important word in this sentence that I may have over looked in our initial chat.
This morning one was keen and the other was taking pre-teen moody sulkiness to a whole new level.
Finally however he was swayed. I showed him some of the interesting people who are involved, he skipped over Deadly Knitshade as really he knows about knitting due to prolonged over exposure to the Ninja Knitters and generally feels its good but at a distance. 
However a cool beardy man who does stitching. That was something else.
And so Mr X Stitch has a new fan.
The best bit was that both he and the craftivists were sending the boys encouraging messages via twitter, it really made them feel part of the project.
I felt the attention span of the Ginger son would not sustain any thing as labour intensive as your actual cross stitch, but a bit of machine embroidery could just do the trick. 

In fact much against his better judgement he found he was actually enjoying him self.
Though I'm not sure if his message of "HELP" is a personal one or not.

The concept of electrically powered machinery no matter how domesticated for the youngest member of the household did not fill me with glee, so we opted for his favourite of random stabbing of a needle through fabric using a hoop.

He did attempt the cross stitch in the form of lots of kisses on his piece. 

Mummy helped with the words and cutting out, but the rest is by his own fair 5 yr. old hand.
Today I am very proud to say we are all a piece of the solution.

And you could be to, it's not too late, just.
Read all the instructions here and grab some scraps and start stitching.
Love Nora xxx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Today as way of a consolation prize as his big brother and Dad have gone away for the weekend I took the Bombshell out on a quest,
We went on a bag hunt.
Well, last week I spent an afternoon drinking tea, chatting and reacquainting myself with the screens we had made for this Crafty Pint workshop.
Whilst putting the world to rights, discovering pleasing overlaps in our musical tastes and planning our crafty takeover of South West Sixteen Gillian and I screen printed a lot of bags with a lot of images.
Yesterday I realised why she looked so pleased when I offered to heat set them all, a couple of hours, a very achey arm and a very hot iron later, I bribed my two boys to stuff them with flyers for all the events happening at The Railway, the venue for all my crafty workshops.

So this morning the quest began.
Off we trotted to the farmer's market that the pub hosts once a fortnight. On the way there we spotted some of our neighbours struggling home laden with wares. 
"Nice bags!" I called out.
"I know, they are giving them away for free at the market, if you hurry you may get one, they are really fab." they replied

"I know, I printed them!" I swaggered.
By this time I was glad the number one son was away as he would have been cringing at my shameing behaviour.
However Number two son was very pleased to spot some fluttering in the breeze 

and adorning the stalls.
Me, in the end, gratifying though it was to see people taking their dinner home in something I had printed, was just glad to get out of the rain and have a pub lunch!
Have a good weekend people.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 3 February 2013


The odd thing about teaching children to sew is that they always do the exact opposite of what you expect them to.
Well I don't know why I'm surprised, that is what children do isn't it.
I only decided to put the medals on the menu for the last class as an afterthought.
It was supposed to have a Valentine's theme with the kids making pendants based on "love heart" sweets. Then at the last moment I thought may be its too girly for some of my stitchy boys.
So medals it was.
And really medals it was.
There were some pendants in the mix as well, but not nearly as many as I thought there would be.

When I asked this young lady what the L stood for I was told, 
"L is for love........................................Or for looser"
Of course it is, not sure why I had to ask really!
Any way here is a little peek at what some of the darlings got up to.

Another set of happy customers!
And as ever a Huge thanks to not only my glamorous assistant, the staff at The Railway for being so accommodating but also all the parents who continue to support what we are doing.
Love Nora xxxx

The next Flaming Nora class for Crafty Boys and Girls is on Saturday 16 th March,at The Railway, keep tuned for more details.