Monday, 10 December 2012

Sewing for pleasure

I have had a few enjoyable days stitching a present for my daughter's ballet teacher.  I'm not usually into the whole thing of buying/giving a present for the teacher, but this year I wanted to.  The ballet teacher, let's call her Mrs H, has done such a great job with the class this year - in particular getting the girls ready for their ballet exam (results not due until January, so let's hope they pass!) - that I wanted her to have something nice by way of appreciation.

I browsed my Cross Stitch Card Shop magazines (one of my favourites) and found a cross stitch pattern of the ballerina, and then found the ballet shoes from another pattern, selected my threads and off I went.  Then stitched the finished pieces into the heart, found some matching ribbon and voila! 

I have had so much enjoyment from taking my time over making this.  I'm really hoping Mrs H likes it, but I'm sure she will!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Where have I been?

I met someone in person this morning who had come across my Helen Small Designs Facebook page and through that had found my blog.  I was initially a bit speechless that someone I had never met before had actually found me on-line!  Then she said that it was ages since I had blogged anything.

This is true, so I thought I would tell you where I've been.  In April this year I was in a lot of pain with my hand and wrist.  'That'll be tendonitis then', said the GP.  Obviously he didn't quite use that language, but the casualness of his diagnosis belied the unfortunate impact my tendonitis would have on my fledgling business.

'It needs complete rest. Could take up to 6 months,' the GP added.  I'm glad I didn't know in April when I was tearing my hair out at how long I would be out of action that I would still not be right in December.  So 8-9 months later, x-rays, consultant appointments and several physio appointments later, my wrist is still not back up to full strength.  I have managed to sew the odd few bits here and there, but I do have to be careful as it doesn't take much for the niggling pain to be hovering in the back ground.  And I still can't bear much weight on my wrist.

But enough of that!  I have decided to sew up a few rose petal-filled and lavender-filled purse/pouches and donate them to St Luke's (Cheshire) Hospice.  It is a wonderful place and I am so glad to be able to help out raising funds in some small way.

Here they are, all packaged up and ready to go.  And do you know what, my hand and wrist feel pretty OK!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Inspired by Inspirations

I wanted to tell you today about how inspired I was yesterday reading a blog by CatkinJane.  Her blog is here.

She was saying how she looks at the colours in nature that have been put together naturally for inspiration on colour palettes.

I had never though of doing this, but think it could really help me out of a bit of a hang-up I have got myself into!  You see colours have never been a particular strong point of mine.  Or rather putting colours together is what I should say to be exact.  As a child I remember wearing a colour scheme that I thought looked great but that would have looked good only in the 60's.  I would wander back upstairs to change, but was never quite sure why that khaki skirt didn't go with that black and green striped top and red socks.

Fast forward several years and I so often find myself mentally transported back to being a 7 year old child wondering if that shade of pink fabric clashes with that slightly darker shade of pink fabric!  And don't get me started on 'tones'!!  (although I am getting better!!)

So thank you CatkinJane for helping me look at colours in a slightly different way!  Do have a read of her blog for yourself.

I found these photos that we took a couple of years ago when we visited Eaton Hall near Chester.

These have given me some inspiration and might consider putting these colours together for my next bunting design.  I might call  the range 'Inspired by Nature'.

Doesn't the orange look lovely against the chocolate red leaves?

Look at the lovely red wine and cream colour of this aquilegia.

I would never have put lilac and yellow together, but who am I to argue?

Not a lot of colours here, but it's my favourite picture!  But maybe I will put purply pink and greens together!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My first post!

Hello to everyone!

I am very excited to be starting my new blog!

I have seen a pattern for a lovely handbag made out of flowery velvet so I bought some velvet fabric the other day to have a go!

Trouble is though that I need some co-ordinating fabric to use for the lining, so I'm off to have a browse.  I know that the best way to buy fabric is with your hands so you can feel the texture, weight and be sure you have a colour match, but there's not loads of fabric shops in the nearby area so sometimes I have to buy on-line.

I actually find buying fabric on-line a bit like a lucky-dip at the fair.  You are not 100% sure what you'll be getting but you might be in for a big surprise!

I'll let you know how I get on.