Saturday, 28 September 2013

Now he is a big boy and in yr. 1 the bombshell has to do homework.

A small part of my soul shrivelled up and died when I found this out.
Having to fight one of them over homework every weekend is pretty horrific, but two of them?
I was contemplating leaving home.
So imagine my surprise to find out that the kids have spent this week looking at the work of Andy Goldsworthy and the homework was to create your own version of one of his natural, environmental installations.
Hurrah and double hurrah.

The Hippy took the boys for a walk on the beach where they collected feathers and shells.
Then we spent and enjoyable hour in the garden finding colourful stuff which my little man arranged in to happy patterns.

Fairy plates

Feather head.

Big red eye.
Much fun was had by all.

Have a happy, colourful weekend people.
May all your homework's be easy, enjoyable and stress free.
(Although after last week I should remember pride comes before a fall, the Ginger one's homework remains unstarted. Eek.)
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Today the trusty Bernina should have been a blur so fast should it have been working.
But today I have been easily distracted by a friend's debate on facebook that has left me wallowing in memories of libraries I have known and loved.
It also reminded me that as a young girl I thought there was nothing so wonderful as watching the Librarian stamp out the books, or the bank clerk stamping cheques.
It still appeals to me, there seems such authority in it.
I am worried that my old friend procrastination has come to visit again.
Love Nora xxx

Monday, 23 September 2013

I was going to write a post where I swanked about showing off my new tea set and pretended I lived an idyllic life where I can have peaceful cups of tea in the autumn sunshine in my perfectly manicured garden whilst thumbing through a pile of old books I bought at the car boot sale.

But its all lies I tell you, lies.
Well, not about the tea set thats all true.
But with in seconds of carrying the tray out in to the garden this happened

And then before the milk was in the tea this happened

However from this beauty I did glean some topical information

Enjoy the return of the sunshine my friends and thank you all for the fantastic comments on my last post. I am due to popular demand going to show you how I did it later in the week.
Love Nora xxx

The Hippy has just managed to take out all bar one of the teacups in a tragic fish tank related incident.
The fish are fine, the tank is fine, the teacups are R.I.P.
As are any future pretences at the idyllic life that involve garden tea parties.
Tea cups it was a great 30 hours.

Friday, 20 September 2013


Experimentation with much loved photos of family, some hand printed fabric, freezer paper and my printer.
I love love love these pictures of R and L my (very) little brother and sister.
I also really love this one of my old Pa

I took all these pics on a day out to Dungeness early in the summer while the family had all come over from France to check pout the new abode.
We can only get together about once a year which is hard on the emotions, so its great to have memories to keep you warm through the winter.


I have been cooking up an idea for a journal come photo album that will be a record of my family's year, because it really has been quite a monumental and challenging one. Something we can keep adding to as the year progresses.
But something that reflects us all the way through it, from the book used to the decorations interspersing the pictures. 
It will take me a while and I haven't really thought through all the details yet.
But then I rarely do.
Plunging in head first with little thought or planning really is my style.

I got the inspiration for the journal from Vintage Jane and the fabric was part of a package of off cuts and experiments in printing that the ever fabulous Colette gave me last time I saw her.
Have a fun filled weekend kids.
Much Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I have been mulling over a question of an important nature.
I can't come to a conclusion about this one.

May be you can help.
How many items does a collection make?
How many objects of glory do you need to own before it is officially a collection.
I am now the proud owner of two beautiful old travel irons.

The green one I have had for a while, given by a lovely friend who knows me too well.
I love it.
It sits on the shelf just above the ironing board.
I have felt since it arrived in my life it was the beginning of something.
But I was not quite sure what.
The concept of a collection maybe?
Then on Sunday another beautiful little iron of joy complete with its own rusty tin came home to live with me and the little green iron.
So is this a collection?

Is it a proto collection?
A collection in the making?
Or as the Hippy claims a pile of useless old junk.
He also claims you need at least 10 items to make a collection.
But as he has a garage full of rusty old bits of stuff and off cuts of wood I feel the ice is very thin and his opinions count for naught in this regard.
And if I have to wait till I have 10 irons before I have a collection then what is the point?
I'll either be dead or over it by then.
All help on this matter is gratefully received.
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 13 September 2013

T'other day I went on a little trip down the road in to sunny St Leonards.
I went to the amazing Aladdin's cave that is Wayward.
I've blogged about this shop before.
I really can't recommend it enough.
And this is what I purchased

A few meters of something special and vintage eventually destined to find a home in our living room.
Here's a full pic

 I also treated my self to a couple of meters of this

The softest of soft wool, may be it will become a skirt, may be a tunic, maybe a jacket.
Only time will tell.
And then there is this 

Stunning hand printed french trim.
Again, no idea what it will become, but how could I not buy it?
Especially at only £4 per m.
Hope all you Fridays are full of fantastic fabrics.
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Continuing with the new policy of sharing the day job with you all, I thought it would be fun to show you a bit of what goes on underneath.
This little lot is what goes on under a very extravagant Victorian lady's outfit.
Now I will say that not all of this is historically accurate.
Its for the Theatre, its made to create the shape and concept of the show's designer.
If you want historically accurate then you should go to a museum! 
First we have the bustle

This one is made from ticking and has heavy duty steels in to create the shape.
The finished costume for this one is very heavy and so to help support the skirts I make what one of my assistants once termed "the pleasing sea slug"

Which is basically circular frills cut from crin. The edges of which have been wired with polyester filament such as you would find in ridgeline if you cut it apart length ways.
Over the top of both of these goes the petticoat.
A panelled skirt with yet more circular crin frills all down the back.

All this may seem a little extreme, but it does need to support rather a lot.
Over the top of this lot goes a skirt with generous frills at the hem, an apron drape top skirt, also with generous frills. A draped top skirt and then to top it all a long train covered with decoration.
Due to the fact the performer wearing this costume has a quick change from this one to her next outfit, the whole thumping lot needs to go on to one waist band!
It's a feat of engineering in its own right, comprising of petersham tape, elastic, cotton drill, ridgeline and eventually two wide elastic braces.

This job has due to an unforeseen accident for the performer wearing it, ground to a halt for a while, but when its finished I will share more pictures.
Love Nora xxx

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Ok so I promised to show you some more of the costume work I do as the day job.
Take a stunning piece of fabric and make a Victorian idea of what an 17th C corset should look like. 

Take and equally or possibly more stunning piece of fabric to make the stomacher from.
Then cover the afore said stomacher with so much Vintage braid and cut up bits of bullion braid from a sari that the original fabric is more or less an irrelevance.
Eventually the whole shebang will be covered up with a bolero with so much braid on it that this little lot will look tame.
Is it an over worked bit of nonsense or a thing of beauty?
I work on this particular show every year and I have never been able to decide.
But the finished ensemble does look amazing.
When its done I'll show you.
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

So it's not as if I haven't known this day is coming.

Its been written on the calendar since just after we moved here at the end of March.
I have had at least six long weeks to prepare for it.
So why is it that it is now past nine pm on the evening before the boys go back to school and I haven't bought them any new uniforms yet?
We planned to go a couple of weeks ago in the morning, before lunch.
But the friends the boys had invited over to play 
 turned up 
So that was that.
We talked about getting all the old uniforms out this morning and seeing if anything could be salvaged, knees patched, hems let down.
But it never got that far.
It a fit of "Oh God it's the last day of the holidays we have to do something" I bundled the boys in to the car and headed out to the local pool.
The one with a wave machine and slide, the one they love.
Only to find a pool full of old Grandmas doing aqua aerobics.
How dare the pool go back to its term time timetable before all the schools have gone back?
So in an attempt to delay the inevitable return to the homestead and my failure to impose the "no more t.v until you both learn how to behave like real human beings" rule, we had a little wander round the shops.
Well, when I say shops, what I really mean is the collection of aircraft hangers next to the aforementioned swimming pool which houses such retail beauties as poundland and pets at home.
There is however a Next, so I bought lots and lots and lots of socks (more than could possibly fit in this hastily taken picture), enough for a whole year and some disturbingly unnecessary glorious Technicolor pants for the Ginger one. I guess the Bombshell will just have to go commando under his ankle flappy knee-less trousers.
Still there is always next year.
Though I suspect it may take me that long to find the school bags and remember what they like in their packed lunches.
Love Nora xxx