Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Nearly there!

There hasn't been much in the way of sewing going on in my little corner of blogland this month sadly. So, this month's New to Me link party will be a stitch free zone!

The main reason for this sewing hiatus is this!

So, the good news is that work has finally started on fitting out my sewing room but, as you can see, the bad news is that it is nowhere near finished :(

Hopefully, next month I will have a lovely new, organised sewing space to show you!

We have been somewhere new recently though. It was our wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago so we took the opportunity to celebrate with a trip to Dundee to, amongst other things, visit the brand new V&A Dundee museum.

The building which, apparently, has no straight, external walls is pretty stunning even on a grey, misty morning. The permanent Scottish Design exhibition was really inspiring too, but I left the building feeling rather underwhelmed to be honest. There was a lot of press coverage of the lead-in to the museum opening and it was (and is) very much touted as a must see destination, but even although I normally love grand gestures in public art (and this is a very grand gesture!) the museum itself seemed more empty space than anything. It probably didn't help that the big ticket, temporary exhibition Videogames : Design/Play/Disrupt didn't appeal.

Much more to my taste was the Verdant Works museum we visited the next day.

We were given a personalised tour of the Jute Mill, which told the story of the Jute industry, a mainstay of Dundee between 1790 and 1890.

Lethal looking machines like these were turned on to help explain the many processes that raw jute went through before becoming the product that was exported around the world, bringing much needed wealth to the city.

I wonder if the early settlers travelling in their waggon trains across America knew that the fabric for their sacks and waggons came from a city on the coast of Scotland? I definitely didn't know that :)

 When we visited there was an exhibition of printed textiles by the local photographer/artist Kit Martin.

 Kit's beautiful photographs of pollinators and wildflowers are digitally printed onto jute fabric and exhibited here in embroidery hoops. They were much more my style :)

If you ever find yourself in or near Dundee I would definitely recommend that you make the time to visit the Verdant Works museum, it is really well laid out and every member of staff that we encountered was a treasure trove of information. The coffee (with Dundee cake naturally!) was good too :

That's my New to Me this month and now it is your turn to share anything that you have tried/experienced for the first time this June. As ever the link party will remain open until the end of the month so there is plenty of time to get off that fence and have a go at something new! Also, as ever, we keep it real here so celebrate the successes and the failures regardless of which side of that fence you fell :)

I would love it if you mentioned the link party in your post and would really love it if you also visited the brave linkers, who deserve a (virtual) pat on the back for their efforts!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, 26 May 2019

A walk on the wild side

Welcome to this month's New to Me link party, where we celebrate our attempts at trying out something for the first time whether it was a success or not!

This month I had hoped to share with you my new, very organised and very tidy sewing room, which was due to be finished yesterday! Sadly the work has not yet started as the designer and fitter has had to rush away to be at a family members hospital bedside so, as of this moment I have an empty room and sewing supplies in boxes and cupboards all over the house. Hopefully the patient will be on the mend soon and I can start dreaming of crafting in a room where everything has a place and finding anything doesn't take so long that I have forgotten why I wanted it when I find it :)

We did visit a New to Me place this month, The Sill, which is the home of the National Landscape Discovery Centre in the Northumberland National Park. The centre was being built when we lived in the North East but had not been finished by the time that we moved to Scotland. A recent trip back to the North East for a family get together meant that we had our first chance to visit The Sill on our journey home.

The roof of the building above is a garden walkway where all of the flowers growing are examples of the flora of the whin grassland in Northumberland. The centre is situated near a fort of Hadrian's Wall, and the first section of the walkway has plants that are typically found along the route of the wall, the species at the top section of the walkway are examples from the Northumberland coast.

I am not much of a plant identifier so I have no idea what these examples are but I thought they were pretty enough to photograph!

I think these may be Red Campion, but I could be wrong :)

It was a blustery day when we visited definitely not a day for sitting out on these rather lovely deckchairs! There was no protection from the wind at the top of that roof, so we were very pleased to find that the Centre's cafe did an excellent line in coffee and cake! If you ever find yourself in the area the Sill is worth stopping for and will make a nice change from all of the Roman sites along Hadrian's Wall.

So that is my New to Me this month now it is over to you to link up and share what you have been trying out this May. As ever the link party will remain open until the end of the month and we are here to commiserate over failures as well as to celebrate successes so be sure to link up regardless :)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, 3 May 2019

A Bear Necessity

Our son and his family moved in to their new home just before Christmas (one week before our new grandson arrived!!) and have been settling in ever since.

One of their first moves was to install a bookshelf and comfortable chair in the bedroom of our 2yr old grandson. He loves his story time and has a great memory for his favourite books so skipping pages is never an option :)

Comfort is, therefore, a high priority when settling down with a book pile before bedtime, so when I came across a pattern for a Bear cushion in a recent Bustle and Sew magazine I knew that it would be the perfect addition to that reading corner.

It was really straightforward to make, the cushion itself is made with grey fleece with white, black and pink felt for the nose and ears. The pattern used grey felt for the cushion body but I thought that fleece would make a more comfortable cushion so went with that instead.

The details of the nose and eyes are embroidered on. I could have used buttons for the eyes, which would have been better from a size point of view but thought that embroidered eyes were better for safety.

I delivered the cushion a couple of weeks ago when we went down to visit and I am delighted to say that it was a hit!
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