Monday, 28 October 2013

After all the sledgehammer sized hints I was dropping I thought it was probably more than my life is worth not to spill the beans on time.
So here it is kids I have two, yes that is right TWO, of these beautiful textile designs to giveaway.
I bought them at the weekend from Wayward right here in St Leonards On Sea.
Deep down in the basement there are a couple of boxes overflowing with these antique designs. I bought some for my self a few weeks ago, but the thought of those boxes full of wonder kept me awake at night. I just had to go back.

They are old really old. The date on the back of the yellow one is 24th September 1859

Sadly there isn't a date on the back of the red and blue one,
But I do love all this writing on the back of it, if only I could read spidery antique French.

I also couldn't resist some of these beautiful old tin buttons

So there you have it 3 lovely prizes for 3 lovely readers.
Two first prizes of the textile designs and a runners up of the buttons.
I am always surprised anyone out there wants to read my ramblings, let alone leave a comment or come back for seconds. You are all wonderful.
I really do not understand the rules facebook has about giveaways, so hopefully this will work.
You can leave a comment here or on the link I will post on facebook, each comment will give you one entry in to the draw.
The giveaway will end on Sat 9th November at midday, that gives us all time to get the half term holidays out of the way and for my kiddie winks to be back at school and at least between 9 and 3.15 Monday to Friday out of my hair!
I will announce the winners on the Sunday.
Good luck , spread the word, come one, come all!
Much love Nora xxxx

Sunday, 27 October 2013

As I hunker down and watch the wind whip through the trees in the garden, as I listen to the groaning of our slightly dodgy guttering, as we plan cozy evening in front of the fire and wonder if the Hippy will be able to make it to work tomorrow morning. I am making teeny tiny little Suffolk puffs about the size of a penny piece in Autumnal colours and feeling excited.

Excited because I am going to tell you a secret.
But not just yet, just clues right now.
I have been shopping for treats in my favourite local shop.
Not treats for me, not treats for the boys, oh no dear reader, treats for you.
Here is a little picture clue for you.

If you haven't got it you could look here for a further nudge.
Yes, thats right kids I'm planning a giveaway.
Tune in tomorrow evening and I will spill all.
Tell one, tell all, the more the merrier.
Much Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

With a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat I held my last kids sewing class in Streatham on Saturday. I started holding these classes on my dining table every so often way back in 2009.  Back in the summer of 2010 I decided it was time to move out and up. I held a big kids event for a local arts festival and my glamorous assistant, Kirsty, came on board . We moved around over the years from venue to venue, none were ever quite right. But then a year and a half ago a friend of ours started running The Railway. One Sunday afternoon I took a walk down there and had a (not so) quite drink with Shane, his wife Caroline and their kids. The deal was struck.

We have all had a ball over the last 18 months, and Shane and his team have been supportive above and beyond the call of duty for which I will be eternally grateful. But it is time to move on. I live too far away now. These classes were such an enormous part of what I am now realising was my old life, I was really well known in our old haunt not just through the craft classes but other community stuff I was involved in too. Whenever I went back it was hard to leave, and there is that thing of never looking back.
So thats it folks.  I still have one adult class to do, but no more kids classes in SW16 for me.

I hope you have enjoyed the edited highlights of what the scary little darlings made at the weekend.
My glamorous assistant Kirsty and good friend Gillian, of Crafty Pint fame are taking the classes over so the children of Streatham will not go uneducated. Their first class, with a Christmas theme,  will be on 30th November.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Our poor little bombshell, when we moved in to this house not only did his new bedroom have an overwhelming tint of pink but it was terribly empty. A bunk bed and a chest of drawers looked very empty in this new spacious room. We scrabbled about and made do and mended. A set of utilitarian metal shelves from my old workroom, an old school desk that had once seen service as a bedside table, some storage boxes and the promise of something better to come was the best we could muster. 

Tick tock tick tock. Time passed. Promises were put on to back burners while we both coped with crippling workloads and children pining for the life we had left behind.
And then one day there appeared some protest graffiti, well scribbles all over the nasty pink carpet.
It was time to do something drastic.
We called upon some old friends.

Dennis, Rodger, Minnie, Billy, Desperate Dan and of course all of the Bash St Kids.
We bought some old comic book annuals for about a fiver for the lot at a car bootsale.
Then I set to work with a Stanley knife and a bucket of wallpaper paste.

It took a while to do and I learnt quite a lot about wallpapering without using wallpaper, mainly that the Beano uses a better quality paper than the Dandy who in turn uses a much better quality of paper than the Beezer. They all relax and stretch as soon as you have finished smoothing out all the wrinkles and turned round to start pasting the back of the next page. As a result the finish isn't as great as it could be, however it's such a busy wall I'm thinking you will never notice and anyway the Bombshell is only 5 so by the time he is old enough to notice or even care it will all be long gone.
It also took more or less all of the five books to paper one wall.
Since this picture was taken we have spent a lot of time unpacking hundreds of Ikea boxes and constructing flat pack units. There is also a natty green rug on the floor covering up most of the offending carpet, well the bits with the graffiti on it anyway.
Next stop some painting and some new flooring.
Of course now I have to think of a feature wall to top this one for the Ginger one's room.
Ever onwards and upwards my friends the brainstorming starts.... soon.
Love Nora xxxx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

I've been working on creating a new surface to use as a background for some embroideries that are whizzing about in my tiny little noggin.

I am loving the fact I know where each and every piece of textile I used comes from.

Taking a pile of odd and disparate histories and re weaving them in to something new.

I have been doing a lot of work with my students about distressing fabrics and making them look worn. 

It was fun to be able to put some of this in to practice in the work room.

I spent a happy time with the cheese grater on this little lot.
Love Nora xx

Monday, 14 October 2013

On Saturday morning I went out on a mission.
A birthday mission.
My lovely friend Miss Mooney Moon was having a birthday.
I wasn't sure what the results of the mission would be.
But my first and as it happened last stop was at Wayward, the wondrous vintage fabric and trimmings shop here in sunny St leonards.

Deep deep down in the fusty basement there was a box full of these beautiful bits of paper.
Vintage french textile designs.

There were so many.
They were so beautiful.
The choice was so hard.

Somehow I came home with more than just the birthday present.

These beauties are the ones that didn't get wrapped up and given a new home.
I think they would make the most amazing embroideries.
It wasn't until I got home I realised there was writing on the back.
Not only writing, but dates.


And the younger sibling 1899.
Love Nora xxx

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


R is for Reuben 

S is for Spike

These are my entries for the and stitches back to school stitching competition.
Making stitched flash cards.

The competition ends on 15th October, so there is still time if you fancy joining in too.
You can find all the details here.
Mine are machine embroidered images of the boys, using sylko cotton threads, just the ordinary sewing kind, nothing fancy schmancy, on to a heavy duty cream linen. Which I then mounted on to a light weight linen canvas backed on to a woven interfacing.
Love Nora xxx

Monday, 7 October 2013

"I think it would be great to have a project we can all do together"
"What all of us?"
"Yes, a family project"
"Ok, what shall we do?"
We did this.

The design is based on the net huts on Hastings beach.
We spent a Saturday morning sawing



and drilling

And then the chalk board waited until the professional builder who's idea the whole thing was could remember to bring the right drill bit/screws/rawl plugs or what ever it was home from work so we could fix it to the wall.
Well, now its up and we are all mighty pleased.

I was going to show you a picture of it in use, with lots of pleasing and artistic drawings and musings chalked upon it.
But I live with boys and it was covered with rude words in about 5 minutes.
And for those of you not lucky enough to live in Hastings here is a picture of the net huts in all their glory

Not one of my images, I took it from here.
Love Nora xxx
p.s. sorry about the Bob the Builder reference, take solace in the fact that the stupid song is now in my head and will be there all day.