Saturday, May 31, 2008

wiped out

I've been struck down with a horrible virus all week - a fever, hot and cold sweats, continuous headaches, sore throat, you get the picture. The doctor thinks it was triggered by hayfever, which I am very dubious about. I've had hayfever for over 20 years now and never had these symptoms. On further inspection of my throat - which he said was 'raw' he's given me a strong course of antibiotics. I'm feeling a little better today - I sat out in the garden this afternoon to get some fresh air, and I did a little bit of hand sewing too. As you can imagine nothing has been created here this week (except for germs), but I can now reveal my last creation, which is safely now with it's recipient. This is the mini quilt I made for Jodie of RicRac fame: I really enjoyed making it - despite the time pressure to get it done and sent off before my holiday. This was the first time I have made anything resembling a quilt (with wadding and bound edges) as my usual embroideries are just backed and not at all padded.
Thankfully Jodie really loved her quilt - she asked for bright colours and nothing too country style. The spotty fabric I used was a cotton tea towel from Laura Ashley. If you have read Jodies blog you will know she loves selvedges and buttons, so I had to add these in to the mix. I think I am having a problem with birds though - they are everywhere - and I just don't think it's going to stop!

I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend recuperating, nothing too stressful will be happening in the Monda household that's for sure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

things I couldn't resist...

Isn't this the cutest face - this crochet cat is made by anne claire petit accessories and this is how it was made (text taken from the anne claire petit website): The anne-claire petit brand has an optimistic view of the world. In all aspects. From design to production. Cheerful, colourful and especially - made with love. A great deal of the crochet work is done in Asia. A warm bond has grown with various communities living in the countryside, where the women have passed on their handiwork techniques for many generations. Thanks to the crochet work they do for anne-claire petit accessories, the women are able to generate an income throughout most of the year - something from which the entire village benefits. The women work from home doing the crochet work for the new collections together with their neighbours. This brings about a feeling of security and working together that is expressed in all of anne-claire petit's accessories.

Anyone who reads my blog knows I've been on the look out for thick wool felt. I accidentally (honestly it was accidental) stumbled accross the Panduro Hobby shop in Copenhagen, and had to go in - and then had to buy this little lot: mmm thick wool felt.
It's my first day back at work today after my holiday so I'd better go and prepare - I have got that 'first day back at school after the summer holiday' feeling though :o(

Saturday, May 24, 2008

back home again

I'm back from my holidays, which in one way is sad - holidays are great, but in another way it was good because I actually missed my baby cats (sad as it sounds but they are my family) and I was really happy to see them - they, on the other hand had an air of 'oh, you're back are you' which is charming. I also had a brand spanking new laptop to come back to. It arrived the day before my holiday but I was just too busy to even take it out of the box. Is it a problem if cats and laptops make me happy? For some justification of my happiness an explanation about the laptop - this is not any old laptop, this is a something special, for example, if I were still in Sweden I would call it an 'äpple'. Enough said.

We started our holiday with a flight from Heathrow Terminal 5, which was, contrary to what we had heard, really fantastic. Quick check in, and a fantastically designed building, where every last detail had been though of - recycling bins, infrared toilet flush/taps and even very comfortable chairs - all basic but important stuff. We flew to Stockholm which was just amazing and spent 2.5 days there. Then we got on a cruise ship for Copenhagen - just for a day, then back on the cruise ship to the UK - 6 days all in all. These are a few of my favourite pics from last week:

a suspension bridge at night (it was so dark, the exposure took ages, and camera shake set in)
The sea was so calm at some points that you could barely even see it
The Jewel of the Seas - the enormous ship we were sailing on!
waiting for us on our bed each evening was an animal made from towels
This embroidery was a very small part of something much bigger at Harwich International station
the back streets of the old town (or Gamla Stan in Swedish) in Stockholm
ceramic tiles, which were part of a shop front design in Stockholm - the shop was called 'PUB'
detail of ceramic tiles from 'PUB' shop
The sun setting over the sea - leaving Stockholm
Copenhagen canal side shops and boats

of course, I also made a few purchases whilst I was away - I accidentally found the Panduro Hobby shop in Copenhagen - all three floors of it. Will show those purchases next time...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ahoy there matey!

I'm currently sailing the baltic sea from Stockholm to Copenhagen - isn't it amazing that I can email from a cruise ship! Anyway just popping by quickly, apologies for the lack of photo's here today, one thing I cannot do from here is post any pictures (?). Re the picture of Stockholm, this was not one of my own sadly - borrowed it from google images, however I will have some great pictures to share at a later date - especially a really nice one from last night of the moon shining over the sea - really amazing picture post card type view that I have been really lucky to experience and photograph. The sun is shining today, but the wind is, well windy, and pretty chilly (or Baltic whould be apt in this case).
Anyway, off for a buffet lunch and some bingo with the old ladies!


Saturday, May 17, 2008


Hej from Sweden! Just in case you were wondering what on earth has happened to me, I thought i'd stop by quickly and tell all. I'm having a small break this week - curently in Stockholm where i'll be for a couple of days before moving on to Copenhagen, Denmark. Tomorrow I'm going to look for some of the craft and design shops in Stockholm - could be an expensive shopping trip. The weather here is colder than I was expecting - I think we've been spoiled with the UK weather of late and I was expecting more of the same. This feels a bit like a postcard doesn't it - will check in again at some point next week - have a nice weekend, whatever you might be doing :o)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

on my desk on a wednesday

hmm, on my desk today is this, frankly appallingly sight. You may even wonder where my desk actually is:I had a quick tidy up because not even could work in all that mess. It's now looking much better:

Some of my fave things on my desk are these Charlie and Lola tins:not just because they are Charlie and Lola, but because they are bursting full of lovely buttons:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

thank you

The best title I could think of to sum up what I wanted to post about today was a simple 'thank you' to everyone who has left me lovely comments over the last few days. I can hardly imagine myself inspiring anyone at all, but it's nice to hear that I do., I'm pleased you felt so inspired that you bought a new sewing machine :o) (please don't send me the bill tho). So many of you have de-lurked from the farthest corners of blogdom too, thanks you for showing yourselves - at least now I know of some of the people who pop by to read my ramblings.

The winner of the blogiversary party bag is....Comment number 17, Emma and SpannerEmma said 'Congratulations! I love your work and your blog, when I'm having a duff day I always swing by for a peek at your lovely creations.
Threaten your sewing machine with a replacement - this has kept mine on it's best behaviour for the last ten years!'

Emma, please contact me at monda[at]homecall[dot]co[dot]uk with your address details and I'll pop the party bag in the post to you.

And now for something completely different, just a very small sneak peak at the mini quilt I have been making for my swap partner JodieI need to put the finishing touches to it this evening so must pop off and do that now too.

You'll also be pleased to hear that our little stevie had her stitches out and her buster collar removed (the cone thing that she had to wear to stop her licking her stitches out). We've had to keep her in the house for 10 days so it was a blessed relief when we could let her out again - I tried to take a picture of her enjoying the outdoors, but this is as good as I got - she's been non stop enjoying her new found freedom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I am 1 today!

The momentous and special day which I mentioned yesterday is my blogiversary. I am 1 today!

To celebrate 1 year and 154 posts I have a blogiversary party bag give away. The party bag so far consists of a selection of fabric: felted wool blanket pieces, cotton (some Cath Kidston) and linen, and a book called 'creating sketchbooks for embroiderers and textile artists'. I may add a few more bits tooIf you want to be the recipient of this party bag just pop a comment on this post between now and 6pm on Tuesday 13th May and this little pile of goodness could be yours.

I've also realised that monkee maker has her blogiversary today too. A double celebration. Happy Blogiversary MM.

I've been sewing like a crazy sewing lady today, and I've also spent about 2 hours trying to figure out why my sewing machine wanted to chew all the fabric I was attempting to sew. I changed the top and bottom tensions countless times, replaced the bobbin case, cleaned the dust out of it and changed the needle, and finally it seems to be behaving a little better - it's a good job too because I was coming to the point where I wanted to have a tantrum and throw it out of the window.

It's been a lovely day here again today. I spent a bit of time out in the garden and took a few pics whilst I was out there - everything is starting to bloom and looks really lush and healthy:

Friday, May 09, 2008

binding a quilt

I'm doing the mini quilt swap as organised by Lucy Locket. This weekend I'm going to make a start with it - finally! I had been putting it on the back burner because of the craft stall but now I have some time to devote to it.
One thing I was quite apprehensive about is binding the quilt - something I have never done before, and I needed to practice this before I do it for real, so I dived into my scrap bag for some fabric bits.

The first thing I turned to in terms of advice was this:
but I've never really been good at learning by reading, I'd much rather someone showed me what to do. I kept searching and found this, which was much more helpful to me.
I also grabbed the mini quilt which I bought from syko recently to see how she had done it: and felt quite reassured when I did my practice run on my fabric scraps:
If the weather is anything like as nice tomorrow as it has been most of the week then I might even drag the sewing machine into to garden and sew out there.
Speaking of tomorrow, it will be a momentous and special day at monda towers - I'll share more of that with you tomorrow though :o)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

and there's more...

Monsieur, with these shop updates I am really spoiling you! - this only works if
a) you apply a heavy french accent and
b)You remember the Fererro Rocher advert from years ago (on UK televison).

Mummy and baby chicks are now in the shop :o)

Monday, May 05, 2008

shop update

Just a quick one to say that I did a small shop update today. I added some card toppers, cards, mobile phone/ipod cozy's and some brooches. I will add some more bits tomorrow, and probably on Wednesday too. How nice it is to have a fully stocked shop :o)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

my first craft stall

The stall we had at the May day fair was kind of how I expected it was going to be. Both me and my sis sold a few items each, so not a complete waste of a day but not a resounding success either (although our mum insisted on buying something from each of us, and we tried to protest, but in the end just let her do it because she wanted to support us both)

my stuff

my sisters stuff
Very early on in the day we came to the conclusion that we had the wrong audience - and we may have made a lot of money if we had been to the cash and carry and filled our car with boxes of sweets to sell.
At one point during the day two children came up to me to ask me for £2. I asked them why they needed £2 and they said that they wanted to go on the bouncy castle. I told them to ask their mum for some money, and their answer was that mum needed her money to buy some drink (I presume they meant wine/beer etc). I told them that I couldn't give them my money because I needed it and they walked away saying 'It didn't work'. Damn right it didn't - I would say that I was more in need of £2 than those kids were! I'm just astounded how bold (note use of polite word - insert a stronger one if you wish) some kids are these days.

We were not completely deterred by our first craft stall and decided that maybe we should do a craft fair next time - and see how our stuff goes down with the right target audience. The good news about not selling so much is that we both have things to fill up our esty shops. I will do this tomorrow.
Check out my sisters shop here - she's already uploaded some of the stuff she didn't sell.

I needed to make some more greetings cards and people keep saying to me that my cards are not boyish enough. With this in mind I picked some coloured papers from my stash, and started to sew them together
I then added a bit of gocco lettering and did some creative cutting and this is what I have come up with. What do you think? Is this something that you would buy for a man/boy?

Friday, May 02, 2008

last minute preparations

Today I've been doing last minute preparations for the May Day fair tomorrow. In many respects I'm glad it has finally come around because the pressure to get it all done has not been that enjoyable and I feel totally exhausted from spending every spare minute making. The lesson here is to make sure I leave myself plenty of time for preparation next time I do a craft stall.

Today was spent putting the finishing touches to everything. Attaching labels to everything, making a cover for the trestle table, packing the cards I had made yesterday into cello card bags, getting a change float together and taking Stevie to the vet.

On the subject of cards, this is one that I have gocco'd and machine stitched:
To answer Charlie P's question about making labels - this is how I did it:
  • Hand stamped monda logo onto 300gsm card sheets
  • Used a scalloped edge punch to punch out the stamped shapes
  • Used a hole punch on each for a small hole at top of label
  • Cut lengths of string/wool, knotted it and threaded it
  • Wrote short description and price on back
  • Attached to items with safety pin
Still left to do:
  • Making a sales inventory
  • Packing everything up all up into a suitcase
  • Tidying up my messy desk/fabric stash.
This is the state of our poor Stevie after her trip to the Vet today: She has to wear this cone until she has the stitches out - 10 days! It's already been driving her mad - she keeps running backwards and running into the walls - it's awful. I ended up feeding her tonight with a dish held up to her mouth tilted at an angle. We've just given in to guilt and taken the cone off for a spell, just to give her a break - and at least let her wash a bit - got to make sure she stays away from the stitches though.