Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Pooh, promise you won't forget me, ever?"

Christopher Xavier Gerbil passed away on Thursday night.

He had been to the vet and was on antibiotics, but I knew he was struggling to fight off whatever infection he had. He slept on my lap and in my arms all of Thursday evening and died during the night in his sleep in his warm and cosy home. I'm glad he had a nice quiet last night.

Like Samson, Christopher was awesome. He was always active, always moving. He was feisty and exciting. He could chew up any cardboard box in under a minute. He was always the one I had to search under beds and cupboards for after I had let the two of them run around for a few hours. He'll be missed.

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Relaxing in Kerry

Paul, myself and a few of our friends went to Ballinskelligs in Kerry for a long weekend.

It was lovely. There was no plan, just a chance to relax and unwind and not think about work, etc.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sewing with Pippa Blue

About a year ago, I went to a sewing class with Pippa Blue and Andrea from Lush Stuff in which I made a super pretty A-line skirt!

Last week, I did my second class with Andrea and Pippa Blue in which I made Amy Butler's Anna Tunic.

With cute buttons...

I had a blast!

These classes are so helpful, informative and encouraging. Andrea was the teacher and Eva, who runs Pippa Blue with her friend Ger, was there to assist, give tips and help, iron and make coffee. There were five women at the class, including myself. We all got along very well and it was really nice to sew and chat with some like-minded people. The class ran from 11 am to 6:30 pm, which was a bit over the scheduled time, but there was no rushing or pushing us out the door, which I really appreciated. We didn't even notice the time passing! When myself and a few others got stuck at spots, we were encouraged by Andrea and Eva to rip out our stitches and start again, which was a big lesson in patient, careful sewing. If I had started out making the Tunic by myself, most likely I would have given up after a few hours. Or left it to the side to return to "one day". It was nice to be in such an environment, one with a perfect mix of laid back attitude and motivation.

For anyone in Galway with a desire to learn to sew and use your sewing machine or even knit and crochet, keep an eye on Pippa Blue's Classes & Workshops page! I promise, you won't be disappointed!

P.S. If you're wondering, the fabric I used for this dress is Erin McMorris Summersault Raindrops in Turquoise. Isn't it so pretty?! I figure, with all my talk of summer being over and autumn setting in, I could at least keep up the cheerful spirit for a little longer!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old (and New) Crafts: Sewing Fun Dolls

I'm building up quite the lovely collection of craft-related books. I'm very proud of this modest collection of about ten books. Books on knitting, crochet, sewing, papercrafts, em... learning perl... and, a little less relevant but so interesting all the same, sustainability and natural household cleaning. I like this collection because it reflects what interests me. It's nice to relax in my space and pick out a book to plan my next big project, even if I never get around to the actual crafting. 

Planning mythical projects is a guilty pleasure of mine.

One of the most fun and challenging books I have is Let's Make Cute Stuff: Fun Dolls by Aranzi Aronzo. I received it as a Christmas gift from my sister, Aoife. And oh my, it is so fun!! The dolls are adorably sweet!

I've made three dolls from the book so far, two a few years ago and one last weekend. I made these dolls using jersey and terry cloth, two of the most difficult fabrics I've ever used. I swear, I went around the bend with both of them! I'm reminded of this because I pretty much hand-sewed the Turtlie Doll last week. Trust me to pick out the two most challenging fabrics from a book with much more user-friendly choices, like felt! Why didn't I start with felt? But oh well, look at the results!

I'm pretty pleased!! Sure, they're not perfect, but they're handmade and individual. And the challenge involved in making them was all the more awesome, because I did it! I made them!! Go me! (Ahem...)

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in sewing, even pure beginners, as I was when I made my first doll. The instructions are very easy to follow and the patterns are flawless. Just, maybe, start with a few felt projects first. (:
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