A finished toadstool handbag and a self indulgent garden tour.

detail handmade toadstool bag

It was weeks ago that I cut out all the fabric pieces for this bag and because I’d never used the pattern before, I had some mild reluctance about starting. It always happens and I know it’s down to the fact that, at some point I’m going to have to concentrate. I am an easily distracted person. I did manage to find some time to focus and I am so pleased with the result!

sewing a mitred corner

I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago to make a start but it was abruptly stopped by a toddler waking from his nap and that means no sewing allowed. I got as far as basting things and stitching mitred corners. I was then disrupted by lost magnetic clasps. Should I even bother with them? Well, I’d bought them and one day they’d turn up so I really ought to give them a go. Two days ago I found them, so sewing resumed.

attaching magnetic clasp

Look! Look at the magnetic clasps! They are so snazzy. I actually put them in. And it was so straightforward. I feel silly now. My one disappointment regarding them is that I placed them too low. They need to be a couple of centimetres higher so that they’re nearer the top. I will know for next time.

toadstool bag detail

I’ve impresssed myself even if I haven’t impressed anyone else. There are straightlines for goodness sake. I never usually manage that sort of thing.

handmade handbag.

There are some untidy areas, such as the attachment of the handles. By that point I was sewing in the evening and getting distracted by the telly so I had some unpicking to do. Strangely I didn’t mind. However, I did mind a little bit when I got a random handle stuck to the handle I was working on. That was unnecessary unpicking. I used this tutorial at thinkliz.com and it was relatively easy. I got the fabric from Etsy.

Anyway, I have been randomly pushing it in peoples faces and parading round looking very pleased with myself, whilst I swing it on my shoulder!

pot plants

A quick tour of the garden in its current state. Here are some flowers I bought at Aldi (!). The salvia and the osteospermum are both Aldi bought.

sun after rain

This is the best hosta I have and I think that must be because it is in a pot. The others are down the bottom of the garden, which once weeded I shall take a photo of.

potted lobelia

I’m starting to wonder if most of this year’s annuals are actually bought from supermarkets because I think this lobelia came from Tesco! I’ve grown them from seed in the past but I’ve had a very lazy year.

pesky horseradish

Yep, the snapdragons are from Aldi too. Beginning to feel embarrassed. Look, I’ve spotted rogue horseradish trying to invade again. The winter before last I spent days digging the biggest hole ever trying to get rid of the stubborn roots…. So, that worked :\

pansy

Pansies from um, Aldi. But that blue salvia isn’t, I grew that from seeds I collected. That is going to look amazing in a few weeks. They all will, I have five or six of them.

nasturtium starting to flower

Self seeded nasturtium. It used to be a deep red but is slowly turning to orange. Each year the orange takes over a little bit more. I still like it.

 

first sweet pea

I was surprised to spot the first sweet peas yesterday. These are one of my favourite flowers. They smell gorgeous and I totally love them. I love you sweet peas!

Sewing machine adventures and walking in the country

sewing machine

This is my cranky old sewing  machine (it’s not mine, it’s my Mum’s). It likes to be used a certain way and it has taken me over two decades for me to really understand it.  I reckon it’s been that long anyway. I’m sure this was the machine I was allowed to use when I was little.

toadstool bag in pieces

Here are the pieces of my toadstool bag. Hmm, I was going to try and add a magnetic clasp to this to make it proper snazzy.  It’s not something I’ve done before. Sadly, I’ve lost my recent purchase of said magnetic clasp. Shame.

purse sewing pattern

I didn’t get very far with the toadstool bag before I realised that birthday presents had to be made for the weekend. Two small purses are being made from a really good online tutorial at skiptomylou. I’ve used the pattern before, about a month ago and I really liked it. Deffo a go-to recipe for a nice present.

new crochet owls

I’ve also been working on a crochet pattern this week. I’m excited by it. Way more than I thought I’d be. These are the prototypes that I’ve been working on. I typed up the pattern and handed it out to my crochet friends for testing. It turns out that pattern writing is tricksy. And because it’s so tricksy, it is far from being ready to release into the wild. Soon.

red salston manor

I had a lovely time on Tuesday evening. I went for a walk along the river Otter. These are the chimney tops of Salston Manor, I can’t believe it is sitting empty! Absolutely bonkers.

There’s a group of  people who meet regularly to walk around nearby places. Nice places, obviously. And no dawdling allowed. This time, we managed to squeeze in a quick drink at the pub too!

sunset bridge over river otter

I took a ridiculous amount of photographs but never really stood still to take them. Therefore, I have a huge selection of blurry pictures and only a few that managed to refuse the blur .

cows at sunset

The first time I joined the Weekly Walk I didn’t take my camera. Then when I did, I didn’t make an effort to use it properly. Tsk.

cows in a field. sunset

I don’t really mind cows. They’re OK. Moo.