unbirthdays in May

Two packages were posted this month, to far away.  Each containing something handmade, and something else.

un birthday Kathy

Now, this “K” could have been for quite a few of my blogging friends . . . who was it for?  For Kathy of Sewing etc in the United States.  I finished the monochrome K off as a fabric tray, all in blue because I think that’s one of Kathy’s favourite colours.  I also sent her an old copy of “Création Point de Croix”, thinking she might like to see the kind of designs French stitchers like to sew.

Second package was for Kate of by the babbling brooke in Canada.

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To Kate, I sent one of my monster felt zippy pouches – he could be used as a thread catcher, perhaps?  And a semi- kit (no fabric) with some farm embroidery designs and 4 skeins of DMC.

So happy unbirthday to both Kathy and Kate.  Who will be celebrating their unbirthday in June, I wonder?

happy un-birthdays in April

Three more padded envelopes were posted this month, each containing a little card and surprise un-birthday gifts for three blogging/crafting friends.  Three home-made gifts, all on the same theme . . . but each one totally different.

To Angela, aka Wisher, in Singapore

oops; I forgot to take a photo!  This is one Angela took, when the package arrived.

 

To nanacathy in the UK

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And to Lynn, aka Tialys, in France

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The little “books” contains pin, crochet stitch markers and beaded knitting markers.  Assorted to the colours of the “book” each time. For example:

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So something pretty, and useful, I hope, for crochet and knitting projects.  Blackwork designs on the front were all freebie designs. The first two found on Blackwork Journey but I can’t remember who the designer of the Easter egg is.

oh what a beautiful week!

I don’t know about you, but weather in our corner of France has been amazing this week!  For early April, you could easily be mistaken into thinking it was summer.  Skies have been blue, the sun has been out every day and I have been sitting out in the garden in my summer clothes!  Yes!  Sleeveless tunics, dashing bright orange knee-length leggings.  Sunglasses definitely called for.

Husband has been very industrious in the veggie patch, but I haven’t taken any photos of his plantations yet.  He’s planted 18 tomato plants, 6 brocoli, 3 fennel, and hopes to get more plants in this coming week.  Seeds planted (radish & roquette) are already sprouting, but my beetroot haven’t come up yet.  Strawberry plants are in flower, raspberries bushes are budding . . . and cherry, apricot, and pear trees have all blossomed and mini fruits are in preparation. 

Everything seems incredibly early this year!  Even the Lily of the Valley is showing signs of buds.

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And just look at these lovely  lilac blooms

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Anyway, as I said, I’ve been sitting out in the garden, but keeping hands busy.  My most recent crochet project is

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A little owl necklace purse – yay!  This is a design by the very talented Janine Holmes of Moji-Moji Designs.  You can find the pattern for this project in her free tutorials. 

This little fellow only took a few hours to make, and I’m a beginner crocheter.  As usual, I immediately set to work making more . . .

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Colours aren’t very good in the photo.  After the purple one, I’ve begun work on a dark teal and a lilac.  The main work is done.  Just need to make eyes, beaks and assemble. 

Another reason it’s been a beautiful week . . . I celebrated my un-birthday!

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Received this surprise haul from Jess.  One of her cards (she designs and sells cards and cross stitch designs on Etsy) and some lovely bookmarks.  Somes with views of Guernesey (where Jess now lives) and one, is a metallic Korean bookmark.

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Ever so pretty!  So a big thank you Jess !!

happy unbirthdays in March

Three more of my blogging friends celebrated their unbirthdays in March – I expect you all did, but unfortunately, I can only send a few gifts each month lol.

The three unbirthday gals this month received something hand-made, using some very elegant fabric vignette prints.

unbirthday March x3

To Lilubelle, I sent this one

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It has 4 wooden (curtain) rings and is a thread sorter but can also be used as a needle keep since the fabric is wadded on both sides. 

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To salpal and Lucy, I sent the following

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Only one wooden ring (I thought this was useful to hang them up) and on the back

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some plastic crochet markers and some prettier beaded knitting markers.

Since I started learning to crochet, I’m finding these little crochet markers to be invaluable, and I imagine the knitting markers come in useful too.  I didn’t make the lovely beaded markers, but bought them on Etsy from Just By Mimi.

thank you Avis & Sandrine

I had a couple of unbirthdays this month . . . receiving two surprise packages from friends.

Avis, had had to listen to me whinge about how I broke my flexi-hoop – my fettish flexi hoop that I use when cross stitching on evenweave.  I did have other hoops (wooden) in my supplies, but they’re not the same.  So Avis took pity on me lol and sent me

un birthday from Avis

a brand new flexi hoop, the exact same size as the one I broke . . . and she also included four 4-patches that she had assembled when making blocks for me in February, but finally didn’t use.  I’ll see if I can incorporate these into my own F2F2 blocks.

And from Sandrine

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a great big bundle of bookmarks!

Thank you ladies. 

sugar skulls zipper pouches

Way back, in December 2015, I had a purse making session, using a lovely batch of metal purse clasps I had bought.  I made a whole selection of little coin purses for ladies in the family and close friends, trying to choose different fabrics to suit the tastes of the ladies these gifts were intended for.  Below, is an example.  Purses, left to right, gifted to: my daughter, my sister and my niece T.

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Niece T is in her late 20s, and I thought this pink & purple fabric was perfect.  She loved it, and put it into use immediately, as a mini-make-up bag . . . however, when aforementioned niece  saw photos of the rest of the batch I had made, notably this one, I got the impression I hadn’t chosen fabrics quite so well.

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Sugar skulls on red, was made and gifted to N, 2nd son’s partner lol.  Anyway, my sister (mother to niece T) asked if I had any more sugar skull fabric leftover . . . and could I make a second purse for T.

Now, I did have a couple of purse clasps left over, lurking in the back of my supplies drawer, but I fancied trying something different.  Spent a while on youtube, watching video tutorials on how to put in a zip properly, using that special zipper foot which came with my machine and I’d never used before.  I also had a small piece of the red sugar skull fabric . . . but decided to splash out and buy a new FQ in black.

The result of a couple of hours sewing . . .

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One zipper pouch, 9” x 5” (made to the size of my zip) which, I hope, will be a nice make-up bag size.

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One smaller zipper pouch (approx 5” x 4”) which would be big enough just for a few make-up essentials to slip in the bottom of a handbag . . .

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And another make-up bag sized zippy pouch (about 7.5” x 5”) in the original red fabric.  Zips have been left open in this last photo so you can see the gorgeous contrasting turquoise lining.

These pouches are quite light weight.  I ironed on interfacing to the outer fabric, to give it a little more body, but that’s all.  I learned quite a lot during this sewing project.  Was really surprised at how easy it is to put in a zip when you use the correct foot lol.  In the past, I’ve just used the normal sewing foot.  However, there are a few areas I need to improve on for next time.   I also discovered (to my expense) that even just a few hours sewing was probably more than I should have done and I paid for it the next day.  So, mental note to self:  keep sewing sessions to under one hour for the time-being.

happy unbirthdays in February

Another month, and three more unbirthday gifts were sent out in February.  To Sandra (of the F2F2 swap) more as a thank you really.

unbirthday Sandra Feb

A little selection of ten 5” charm squares in quite soft tones.

To Jess (who has really been throwing herself into patchwork since she started only last year)

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Also a selection of ten 5” charm squares and a little fabric tray (made with 2 charm squares).

And for a good friend’s MOTH, who rather enjoys listening to audio books

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“Amagansett” by Mark Mills.  I haven’t actually read this myself, but the resumé of the plot sounded quite gripping.