Sunday, 21 December 2014


Dear God what am I doing here?
I thought I was taking a break.
But then something happened today.

Something that would be impossible not to blog about.
I was in the old town doing some last moment panic present buying and two things happened.
While I was in A.G Hendy's home store I bumped in to an old friend from the days when I worked on big blockbusting films, it was lovely to catch up we possibly haven't seen each other for 12+ years.
Whilst we were chatting away and paying for our purchases the lady at the till asked me if I was going to The Tudor House.


Ooh, what? No! Really? How exciting!
The old Tudor house in the heart of the old town has been stripped back and restored to somewhere near its original interior, though with added hot and cold running water and flushing conveniences, in much the same way as the home store has been.

Alistair Hendy himself was there welcoming people and chatting about the house and the years of work that have gone in to it.

They have open days for it a few times a year, but somehow I have always missed them so far.

Of course because it was a day off and because I was doing nothing more interesting than Christmas shopping I had sadly forgotten my camera. 
Which means all the pictures I took were taken on my phone. Though I am impressed by the quality of them.


It was stunning, so atmospheric and intriguing.
So there are a lot of pictures.



The garden was almost as interesting as the house being mainly taken up by a huge gunnera plant.

There was even an outdoor shower (warm) next to the out building.

Its open every day between now and Christmas eve, so if you are anywhere near I would heartily recommend a visit as a little Christmas treat.
Love Nora xxxx

Saturday, 20 December 2014


DAY 31
So I have  more or less done it, blogged every day for a month (with a couple of gaps). 
31 posts in 34 days.
Its blooming nearly finished me off!
I would never have thought it would have been quite so hard.
But on the upside it has got me thinking about this blog again, thinking about what I want to write, taking pictures, enjoying writing again.
I still have mixed feelings about blogging, when I started, oh so long ago it was fun, there was a great sense of community and mutual support.
Although these things haven't gone they just don't seem to be as important as they once were. But I guess this happens when ever a field becomes commercialised. The relentless self promotion just isn't for me, I don't have the time nor the inclination. Which is part of the reason I was finding it so hard to blog. I know I am not the only one of us who feels this way. I have seen once prolific bloggers dwindle to one post a week, to once a fortnight, to very occasional.
But its not all bad, this month has reminded me of what I loved about blogging so I guess I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet!

And in between blogging, sewing, Christmas shopping and coping with overexcited end of term melt downs form the boys I have been making decorations.
I used this tutorial from Patchwork Heart.
They are making me very happy!
I shall return, may be tomorrow may be next week, its nice to have no pressure.
I may also now have time to actually visit some of your places and leave comments of the encouraging nature that you have all left for me.
Thank you its been wonderful reading all the messages every one has left, and it would appear I have made some new mates along the way, so hurrah all round on that one!
Love Nora xxxx

Thursday, 18 December 2014


Hunting through old tins and boxes, looking for inspiration for a sewing related collage.

 Nearly there, its coming together slowly but surely.
Whilst searching I did find the smallest of old tins hidden deep with in a box full of crumbling old bits of paper.

So small I had to put a shirt button in for scale!
Love Nora xxxx

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


Oh dear it happened again, sorry for the absence yesterday, there was a big day job deadline in the workroom that involved me working late and by the time I had finished.... Well you know how it is, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at the computer for anything other than a light bit of brainless facebook browsing.

Yesterday today was looking to be long and stressful with costume fittings on two different shows one first thing in the morning and one finishing just in time for me to catch the rush hour crush on the train home.
And yet somehow after a couple of quick calls it turned out to be a real humdinger of a day.
One of the best I have had in quite a while.
First off a spot of work, followed by a leasurly mooch round Borough Market.

It was wonderfully festive and made me feel all Christmassy.

Some of these may have cakes come away with me.

Then a long lunch with a couple of brilliant girl friends neither of whom I ever see enough of. 
Much gossiping and catching up went on.
After which we all hot footed it up to the National Portrait Gallery to check out the Grayson Perry exhibition.


When I watched the "Who are you?" series on channel 4 earlier in the year the Ashford Hijab was one of my favourite pieces, it didn't dissapoint.
Please go if you can. 
It was all wonderful. 
I may need to go again.
All followed by another round of work and then a surprisingly empty train home.
Love Nora xxx

Monday, 15 December 2014


Today has been a busy day, back in the heart of costume making, in a bit of a flap and rushing to meet a deadline.
There was no time to take photos of anything interesting.
So instead I am going to show you some pretty pictures.

This was for my Sister in Law Lizzie's significant birthday at the end of the summer.
The Hippie's Mum had given me a beautiful old pocket dictionary that had once been given to her father by an Uncle.
It seemed fitting to use her Granddad's dictionary as a base for Lizzie's present the stitched initials of her little family.
The paper was very fine and delicate and it was tricky to stitch without ripping. 




I am planning another one of these very soon and thought that I might write it up as a tutorial, so if you are interested in the idea of stitching on to paper, watch this space.
Love Nora xxx

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Day Twenty Eight
I think it is safe to say I hate homework. (At this point all my friends who read this blog are either turning off or curling up in to a little ball and gently rocking back and forth). I have very strong opinions about it. But now is not the time and this is not the place for that rant.
Lets distill it down to the very essence of the argument. It is a blight upon family life. Having a child in secondary school has only but solidified my views.
However, oh how there is always a however, the little man has actually had some really great homework to do recently and about 3 weeks to do it in.
Now he is in yr2 they have been learning about healthy food. 
He had to make a 3D plate of healthy food.

After some discussion he decided he wanted to make it out of fabric.
Phew! Hurrah!
With only a little help from me, some cutting out and tying of knots and the technical working out of the plate the little man got stuck in and made it all himself.

It was great seeing him work out how to use the sewing machine and get excited as each piece started to come together. 


He even mastered free machine embroidery.
The bird on the plate was a perfect finishing touch!

Chip off the old block? 
Only time will tell, one day soon I'll share his art work with you...
Love Nora xxx

Saturday, 13 December 2014


Day Twenty Seven
This afternoon just 10 miniutes before the sun slipped below the horizon I took these photos.


I know it was 10 miniutes, because that was how long it took me to walk up to the old town, visit the cobblers and return, and when I returned the sun had gone gone gone.
The sea was irridescent and the sky a beautiful array of orange, yellow and pink.

I love these views of the fishing beach you glimpse from between the huts. 


Its definatly a working environment rather than a pleasure beach and one of my favourite places in Hastings.
Love Nora xxx

Friday, 12 December 2014



Today I have nothing to say, so here are some pictures of the Sea defences next the harbour wall at low tide.They sort of remind me of Henry Moore or Barbara Hepworth.

Tomorrow may be the words will have returned.
Love Nora xxx

Thursday, 11 December 2014


Day twenty five
A small homage to the greatest Christmas song ever made in another rusty old tin.

The background is a snowy scene of Broadway printed on to some silk organza with the words of the song embroidered over the top.

I know there is a huge chunk of the song missing between the beginning and end of the lyrics included in this piece, but hey there really isn't the room for them all. So I picked my favourites.

Who knew that a. drawing pins could ever come in such a pleasing tin and b. it was probably made before the song had even become a twinkle in Shane Macgown and Jem Finer's eyes.
Giving unloved objects an extra layer of history makes me very happy.

Though I do feel the broadway scene is missing something, possibly some Christmas sparkle and glitz. I shall sleep on it.
This is more or less the last piece I have made for the Mad Old Cat Lady open studios this weekend. 
I am thinking of reopening my Folksy shop and putting any unsold items in it on Sunday, hopefully this is a good idea!
Love Nora xxx

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


The girls of the yarn bomb club at the college where I teach have been working hard and today was the day.
So while the rest of the class decorated and prepared the classroom for the Christmas party, some of us braved the cold to decorate one of the bleaker areas of the college grounds.

 We have crochet icicles

Pom poms

Lots and lots of pom poms

Granny squares

Hodge podge knitting

Jingle jangle dingle dangles

And a candy stripe crochet lamp post cosy

I think they may well have got the bug as they are already planning a bit of guerrilla knitting with a Valentines theme.
That's my girls!
Love Nora xxx