Friday 29 October 2010


Finished at last! I've made a real marathon effort this week to complete the rabbits, write the patterns and list them in my Etsy shop. They are 15cm (6in) tall and, as you can see, extremely plump little characters. When I'm designing I like to have a theme to work with and for this one I chose winter which includes Christmas of course.

I've always loved dressed rabbits and stories about little rabbit families. This was one of my early books and the cold blustery weather portrayed on the front cover is just what we are experiencing today.

Here are three more of my vintage bunny books which you might have seen in one of my recent posts.

And who remembers watching Rag, Tag and Bobtail? Gentle tales of woodland folk, not a bit like the stories in TV programmes made for today's children.

This is one of my oldest books dating from Victorian times. These storybook rabbits look almost human don't you think?

I mustn't forget the rabbit tales everyone knows featuring Peter in his little blue coat and Benjamin in his enormous tam-o-shanter (I love that hat!).

Little Grey Rabbit is the last of my vintage bunny books and here is the cute little lady industriously writing her party invitations. Doesn't she look neat and well organised? I'm afraid my life isn't at all like that.

At the moment I could be portrayed by this little Santa with a perplexed expression realising that Christmas is only a few short weeks away and the sack needs filling. Perhaps I should take lessons from the well organised Little Grey Rabbit and start writing my Christmas cards now. Then again, perhaps not!!

I hope you have a bright, sunny weekend wherever you are.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Fairy greetings

Greetings friends. Today I've been photographing my new rabbits and preparing patterns ready for my Etsy shop, but now rain has well and truly stopped play. It is only 2pm but so grey and overcast I'm having to work with all the lights on and that as you know isn't ideal for photographing.

This little bunny is named Tinsel Toes and she really makes me smile.She's supposed to be a Christmas fairy, but why wait for December for a bit of magic to come along? I'm popping her picture in this post in the hopes that a bit of magic will come your way today but perhaps above all else.... she'll make you smile.

Hopefully my bunny patterns and pictures will be complete by the end of the week.

Enjoy your day and see you next time.

Friday 22 October 2010

Smiles on a rainy day

Another wet day here in England's Lake District and just to prove it I've taken a couple of photos for you showing my rain soaked roses looking pretty sorry for themselves. But wait ........... this isn't going to be a post about rainy day blues because wet weather means I have the perfect excuse to stay snug and warm whilst pottering about indoors. When I've finished pottering I can sit quietly with a warming cuppa and enjoy a good book or magazine......... bliss!

I have no new magazines to browse through today so my Lucie Attwell annuals were my chosen reading material (no surprise there!) Mabel Lucie Attwell annuals were printed from 1922 to 1974 which means there are 53 to collect. For the first 27 years the books were printed in monochrome but in 1949 full colour was introduced which must have delighted children (and mothers) everywhere. 

Over the past couple of years I've built up a small collection of 11 books, mainly from the 1950s. After this date many of the illustrations were produced by MLA's daughter Peggy and, although beautifully drawn, they don't have quite the same appeal as the earlier ones.

I never fail to be completely charmed and amused by the illustrations and little stories each annual contains.

Let me introduce you to this busy little mouse who always makes me smile. She's quite tiny and you have to look closely into a picture to actually find her. She never plays any part in the story but as she appears in several annuals I think MLA must have been fond of her.

My childlike imagination tells me that every time some action took place Mistress Mouse just happened to be passing. (I think we all know someone like that!).

In the picture below the barrow deposited its load across the ground just as the mouse and an elderly gentleman strolled by.

And look........ here she arrived just as the picnic began. How lucky is that?

And here she is again, this time shaking her umbrella at some jovial youngsters having fun! 

What a great idea it is to encourage young children to looking really closely at pictures in order to spot small or disguised objects. Top of my 'can you spot?' list would have to be Richard Scarry's Goldbug book entitled 'Cars and Trucks and Things that Go'. (Available from Amazon).

In order to write this post I sent my (adult) son a text message asking him to email me some pictures of Goldbug. He willingly put aside the scientific research paper he is busily writing in order to oblige and the pictures were returned within 15 minutes!

'Cars and Trucks and Things that Go' is my son's favourite book of all time. He was approaching two years old when we gave it to him and you can see by its condition that it has been well used. Each double page spread is crowded with vehicles of every shape and size. Amongst the drivers and passengers there is just one little yellow character 'Goldbug' and the object of the exercise is to find him. As a tiny tot my son spent many happy hours on his dad's knee searching for Goldbug.

Above is my son's much loved book. Note the scientific research document below that has been set aside whilst photographs were taken. My son knows how to prioritise!

Can you spot Goldbug?

Can you see him on the bus?

And here he is being carried away by a breakdown truck (this was always cause for both concern and amusement).

My daughter was also passionate about Richard Scarry books and I thought I'd finish this post with one of her books which contains 500 things to colour and make. A definite favourite for wet days like today.

We all love Richard Scarry books in this family, perhaps you do too.

Have a happy weekend wherever you are.

Monday 18 October 2010

Happy curtains

Greetings friends. Many thanks to everyone who left a comment last week when helping me to choose curtain fabric for my new craft room. After a great deal of thought I opted for the alphabet design and I'm thrilled with it. I bought it from an excellent online shop named Kids Curtain Company. The shop sells gorgeous fabrics and made to measure curtains so do pop over and take a look if you are thinking of getting curtains for kids.

The primary colours and fun designs on the curtains seem to perfectly reflect the happy personalities of the little dolls and toys that regularly pop off my knitting needles.

They are making everyone smile

and everyone keeps smiling even when the rain is falling outside.

Surrounded by colour and so many happy faces I've at last been inspired to pick up my knitting again after my summer break. 

I've asked the Jolly Tot dolls to give you a clue as to what should be appearing in my Etsy shop in the next week or two.

The three little characters with the long ears are the clue by the way!

Friday 15 October 2010

Wonderful wool

I'd been cutting out curtains all morning so was glad to finally sit down with a cup of coffee and browse through my latest edition of Country Living. I was thrilled to see a large part of the magazine concentrates on my favourite natural fibre, wool, and the yummy pictures have inspired me to do a quick post for the weekend.

Living in the English Lake District I see a great many sheep on a daily basis and can never understand why their wool is more or less a waste product these days as nobody seems to want it. Apart from preferring to knit with wool when I can, I love tweed fabric and some of the modern variations in gorgeous vibrant shades are mouth watering.

To celebrate our sheep and their wonderful woolly product I grabbed a few balls of wool, and odds and ends of tweed and quickly put together some little autumnal scenes of my own. I hope you enjoy them.

Sadly I now have to return to the curtain cutting. Wishing you all a happy weekend. 

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Golden afternoon

Autumnal greetings friends. Knowing that many of you are fond of pink I have brought you a little selection of this pretty colour from around my autumn garden.

Don't you just love these delicate roses growing round the window?

Paper pink hydrangeas, sedum and sweet scented verbena, 

and of course the inevitable rosy red windfalls that the birds enjoy.

This afternoon has been gloriously golden and warm

but the shadows lengthen as the sun prepares to dip behind the hill and a growing chill sends me scurrying back indoors.

Farewell to you all from our golden garden.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Little dog Fido

Today Kate and Tilly met an old toy dog who has lived with our family for many years. He's a friendly little fellow but I could see the two girls looked anxious and wondered why.

The reason it seems was because they'd been reading about a mischievous dog named Fido in one of my Lucie Attwell annuals.

Poor Kate and Tilly, no wonder they looked anxious. The two little dolls held tightly to their own hair and hurried away to play elsewhere.

and the poor little dog was left wondering what he'd done wrong.

Do you have a little dog like Fido living with you ?

Monday 4 October 2010

Posies, pirates or ABC

Although both my children now have their own homes their old bedrooms still contain remnants of their childhood years. I'm currently decorating my son's old room and have been deliberating long and hard about which colours to use. The walls and paintwork are white but a number of colourful old toys sit on the shelves. I now use the room for my growing family of knitted dolls and craft items and so have set my heart on primary colours as opposed to the pastel pinks and blues I normally prefer. 

On a recent visit to a local curtain shop I spotted this wonderful pirate themed fabric in the colours I've been looking for.

And so today I borrowed the book of fabric samples and here it is beside the window with one of my daughter's model ships to add atmoshere. 

Oh dear! Here is another fabric in the same goreous zingy shades.

Which to choose?

Let's ask Tilly and Kate to put their heads together and give it some thought.

Taking the fabric to the window Kate indicates that this is the design they prefer.

Do you agree?

But that's not the end of the story. Whilst in the shop I found some pretty pinks and blues that would suit my daughter's old bedroom. The room also needs new curtains so I borrowed the sample book.

She's a Brambly Hedge sort of person and her old room reflects that so I reckon one of these would be just right........ Pink or blue?

Or perhaps I could use both.

What do you think?

Note about the fabrics:-
The pirates and alphabet fabrics are from the 'Pirates and Princesses' collection produced by Prestigious Textiles
The pink and blue florals and stripes are from the 'Secret Garden' collection by Ashley Wilde