Embroidered pillow cases

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I actually finished these quite a few weeks ago, I finished most of it before I went into hospital and finished the last few bits after. The patterns are from Sublime Stitching.

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My favourite one is the camping one, my least favourite one is the bunny rabbit one, purely because I hate the colour palette I chose. It’s all well and good using colours you don’t normally use in your work, to change things up a bit but sometimes there’s a reason why you don’t use those colours and I guess I’m just not a pastel girl. Also, as the other three pillow cases are very definitely not pastel, the rabbit pillow case looks very odd next to them.

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I bought the patterns as a .pdf, with each patterns split into two (so they could fit). I printed the patterns on Sulky Solvy and as you can see with the bee hive pattern, I didn’t quite join the two pattern halves together well. Still, I’ve been meaning to embroider some pillow cases for ages, so I’m glad I finally got round to it!

5 things I liked- 29.7.16

1. I grew up in a bygone era where there were only 4 channels and no internet, let alone internet streaming, so I was much less discerning about what I watched (eek, even Antiques Roadshow if I was really bored). Back then TV channels weren’t afraid to show really old repeats either but there was nothing wrong with that because I grew up watching some classics, The Flintstones (yes, that’s a classic) Mash, Porridge and The Adams Family. I’d somehow forgotten about The Adams Family, until I saw that some genius has hand coloured some of it and oh it brought all the feels back.

2. Comic Con has meant lots of good trailers being released, although so much of it is for 2017 stuff, how can I wait!

3. Sesame Street have started doing some really cool collaborations, I love this one.

4. Politics is pretty awful at the moment but I do love the one ‘fun’ long running politics story in the news at the moment, the ongoing battle between Larry the Cat (resident of 10 Downing Street) and Palmerston (feline resident of the Foreign Office). The latest installment of the saga involved Palmerston invading number 10, Larry was not impressed.

5. Clothes are really exciting me at the moment, I’m still a little limited about what I can wear, no way do I want anything but the softest of fabrics on my stomach scar but a girl can dream and dreaming is just about what I’m limited to at the moment, as I’m still on medical leave and I only get statutory sick pay and when I go back to work my hours will be reduced. But let me get myself off that economic downer and show you what I’m drooling over on Boden.

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The Supersoft Ballet Top, except in black, not the colour shown in the photo. As well as the low neckline at the back, it also has a higher neckline at the front. Heck, if I were loaded I’d also buy one in navy blue and maybe the navy / ivory stripe too. I think this top would also look good on Girl Lacer (she’s getting to the age where she’s starting to be able to fit into adult clothes) and she is an actual ballerina. (And double heck, the model even has her hair in the same style I’m currently trying to grow my hair out into).

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Featherweight Polo Neck, except in black (spot a theme developing?). I am so glad polo necks / turtle necks are coming back into fashion this autumn, I am still heavily influenced by an interviewee I once saw, at a tender age, on Wogan, looking stunning in a black polo neck, black jeans and a black leather jacket.

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Lightweight baseball tee (actually in the colour shown), I have a fondness for baseball tees and they’re not always easy to find.

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And finally the Sally Coat; I need a new coat this winter, my faithful, signature, woollen, purple coat has seen too many winters and is now also too big for me (in a way that is not flattering). I know exactly what sort of coat I want, I’ve been thinking about this for months and weirdly, duster coats are now apparently ‘the shape of the season’. The Sally Coat seems to be a pretty good match to this dream coat I’ve been carrying round in my head, the right shape, woollen and navy blue (I would also go for dark grey but they don’t do dark grey for this coat). Whereas the other three dream items could well not end up in my wardrobe (*sob*), I can’t escape that I need a new coat and it could well be this one; I won’t need a winter coat for a few months yet, so I’m going to continue looking (which is more than half the fun).

(All photos under 5. from Boden).

As If

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Yay I’ve finished an embroidery! This one is part of the Feisty pattern set from Urban Threads. I realise that the ‘as if’ is meant to be ‘as if’ as in ‘Yes, I’m going to be Britain’s next top model . . .  as if’ but as I was stitching this, the ‘as if’ reminded me far more of this Neil Gaiman quote from Make Good Art –

And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.

I think there is a lot to be said for acting ‘as if’ you have a trait that you would like if you’re not feeling confident; such as acting as if you’re an old hand at doing speeches, behaving like someone who has run their business for years, instead of is only just starting up, etc. etc.

Anyway, I enjoyed embroidering this, even though I literally had to take long breaks between each letter, leaf or petal, as my arm was getting tired, it was worth it.

The Night Stalker

The Night Stalker (DCI Erika Foster, #2)The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another DCI Erika Foster book, in this one she’s investigating a series of murders where someone has been literally breaking into people’s houses and hiding under their beds. Erika’s still being the slightly predictable know it all maverick but I love how Bryndza writes the people around her, definitely a series I’m looking forward to the next book for.

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5 Things I liked – 22/7/16

1. This interview with Ruby Tandoh, who is a bit of a food hero of mine, she says a lot of sensible stuff about the whole current wellness fad, particularly about the demonisation of ‘working class’ foods and how expensive the wellness equivalents are. As I recover from my surgery, I am trying to eat more healthily but I’m not going as OTT as some of those wellness books go,  I’ve tried cooking from them before (not that I’m up to peeling much more than a carrot at the moment) and a) it’s expensive b) nobody else in my family really likes it. So my healthy eating at the moment consists of lots of salad vegetables, juice, marmite, cheese, hummus and beef jerky (for protein and iron).

2. The plastic surgery to put me back together has resulted in me being a different shape, so some clothes shopping over the next few months is in order. It’s given me the opportunity to rethink my wardrobe a bit; I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes over the last few months anyway, clothes are a confidence boost for me, so I might as well utilise that. I don’t mind having a small wardrobe (in fact I need a small wardrobe, my clothes storage space is about to get even smaller next month) if every piece of clothing makes me feel good. Anyway, I’m having to be controlled with my clothes buying, I’m a bit broke and I’m still wearing mainly jersey, as it’s still the most comfortable thing against my operation scars but I have bought a few things this week; two shirt dresses, a tunic dress and a couple of M&S secret support vests (underwear is a constant challenge for me right now, I’ve spent more money on underwear in the last month than I have in the whole previous year) and well, put it this way, I couldn’t have worn those things with my old body, so that was definitely a big like for this week.

3. I love this interview with Pip Jamieson about creative start ups.

4. I love the Twitter account for the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London (@ravenmaster1), he must have such cool job. He posts some amazing photos and vines, I particularly like this one.

5. I love, love, love, this short documentary on Shirley Hughes, she is a massive inspiration to still be working and creating at 89 and it was an education to see her work on one of her distinctive illustrations.

The Girl In The Ice

The Girl In The Ice (DCI Erika Foster, #1)The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first in a new detective series, The Girl In The Ice is about the murder of a girl from a rich but dysfunctional family. Erika Foster is a detective with the required troubled past, newly transferred to Lewisham, she also has the required traits of stubbornness, the ability to seriously piss off her superiors and act as a magnet to dangerous situations. But the old cliches work here, Erika is a sympathetic character, she has a mostly good team around her and the plot was a surprisingly interesting one, with lots of twists and turns (I hadn’t been expecting to like this book quite as much as I did).

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The Teacher

The TeacherThe Teacher by Katerina Diamond

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Set in Exeter, it opens with the murder of a school teacher with an extremely dodgy past but the plot soon spreads out to the wider city and beyond, as more bodies turn up, the victims of gruesome deaths. Part of the team investigating the deaths are two disgraced DSs and it is only them who think that the obvious suspect didn’t do it.

The writing style with this one is not great, far too much tell instead of show and the dialogue, particularly at the end, with all the high stakes conversations with the bad guys and the tortured internal monologues, was a bit cringeworthy, however Diamond did manage to make her four main characters, sympathetic and believable, so I still managed to get engaged by the story.

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