Tag Archives: cats

The Night Before Christmas – with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore…

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the flat

Not a creature was stirring, not even a cat

‘It’s so disconcerting’, Lynne Pussycat said

‘They’re being so quiet it fills me with dread…’

‘You’re awfully suspicious!’ said RR to Cat

‘They’re being angelic, let’s leave it at that!’

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 And so off to bed went the whole family

And left out for Santa a large G&T

A carrot for Rudolph, a plate of mince pies

‘Cos from the North Pole it’s a long way to fly!

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But then at some godawful hour in the morn

(Don’t know when exactly, but way before dawn…)

A tremendous commotion broke out in the flat

‘Oh, what the heck’s happened? And where are the cats?’

RR ventured forth, to have a look-see

And discovered the kitties had toppled the tree

Had trashed all the presents and munched the mince pies

And sent Santa’s G&T soaring sky-high

Till it fell to the floor in a broken-glass puddle

Those dastardly cats, what a horrible muddle!

They were charging around as if they were possessed

Leaving in their wake such a terrible mess…

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 And so Christmas morning, at quarter past three

Was spent re-erecting the darned Christmas tree

Re-wrapping the presents, and calming the cats

Restoring tranquility throughout the flat

And two hours later, both tucked up in bed

Lynne Pusscat and Richard lay down weary heads

And said as they snoozed off and turned out the light

‘Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!’

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Dreaming in Turquoise

Over the winter months, I tend to do less dressmaking. In the summer I love wearing flirty skirts and pretty sundresses, both of which are fun to make, but during the winter I usually feel less inspired. I’ve been working on the same dress for a couple of months now. It’s a simple shift dress, made from an off-cut of beautiful grey wool which I picked up for a song in New York back around Thanksgiving, and I’m lining it with a gorgeous turquoise coloured satin. The dress is coming along well – all that’s really left to do is line and hem it – and if I like the end result, I’m planning to use the same pattern to make a dress to wear to Miss S and Mr E’s wedding in May, using some glorious pale blue French linen I bought in Paris a few weeks back.

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Shift dress                       Lining

But as February is coming to an end, my thoughts have once again been turning to the warmer months ahead, and, in particular, to our upcoming holiday. In two weeks’ time, RR and I are flying away for some summer sun in the Caribbean. We’ll be spending 3 days relaxing on Barbados, followed by a week-long cruise aboard a Clipper ship. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to it immensely! We’ve never been to the Caribbean, and we’ve never been away in the winter to some place sunny, and we love Clipper cruising, so we’re both very excited! But what to take to wear??? Back in January, I had a massive re-organisation of my sewing room, and since then all my dressmaking fabric has been moved from the top shelf of the spare room wardrobe. It’s now temptingly on display in my glass-doored fabric cupboard, bang in the middle of my sewing room. I see it every time I’m in there or walk past it (which is most of the time, to be honest!) And sitting on the top of the stack of dressmaking fabric are some beautiful prints, ideal for making pretty, summery skirts and dresses. DSC00644 So the combination of our upcoming holiday and having all my fabric on view has got me inspired with my dressmaking again. So far, I’ve made two summery skirts, and I’ve earmarked some fabric to make a sundress to take with me on holiday (which is also turquoise – my new favourite colour, it seems!)

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              A-line skirt with wide yoke and box pleats      Panelled straight skirt with flared hem

I’m back in the UK at the moment (hopefully the skirts will still fit by the time I get back home!), but now I’m absolutely raring to go with the sundress and my wedding outfit for May. And I’m pretty sure that when I do get started next week, I will have plenty of ‘help’ from my chief sewing assistant, Mr. Boy. Whilst Mimi Bubba likes to help me quilt, usually by plonking her not insubstantial bulk on top of whatever I happen to be piecing or quilting, Mr. Boy prefers to help out with dressmaking. And his favourite activities to help with are stealing tape measures and lying on top of crinkly-sounding  pattern paper. DSC00665 What a helpful boy! It’s a good thing I love him, isn’t it?!

When RR’s away…

… Lynne Pusscat will play!!!

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve just waved a fond farewell to RR, who is off back to the UK for work. I’m joining him at the end of the week, and we will visit family and friends, watch 2 rugby games, eat a lot of curry (and Fish and Chips and Chinese takeaway and Jam Doughnuts…), go and see the Lego Movie, and drink copious quantities of tea, before returning to Switzerland happy and exhausted and several pounds heavier.

Incidentally, not 5 minutes after RR had left the apartment, Mr Boy had claimed his side of the bed and is currently revelling in his new status of “Man of the House” 🙂 I don’t think he’s too distraught at the departure, do you?

Mr Boy on bed

RR’s driving back, as he’ll be in the UK for 2 weeks. So I sent him off with my sewing machine, which is in need of a good service. There are no Janome dealers here in Switzerland, and the local sewing machine store wanted 300 CHF ( around $340, or £200) and 3 weeks to service my machine.  300 CHF??? Three weeks???! Dear Lordy me! So, she’s off on holiday to Bath where, for around a quarter of the price and a turnaround time of 1 day, she’s going to get a jolly good service and tune-up by a proper Janome dealer. Hooray!

In the meantime, I shall be playing with my lovely new machine.

Oh yes, a new sewing machine!

I took advantage of the January sales to invest in a lightweight sewing machine that I can take away on quilt retreats and to classes. My MC11000SE is a wonderful machine that does everything I have ever asked of her, and more, but lightweight she’s not! She weighs in at around 50lbs (23kg) – and is way too heavy for me to lift. Not a great feature when I want to take her places…

So meet my new machine – the Janome MC5200.

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What a little beauty!

At a weight of 18lb (8.5kg) she’s infinitely more portable than her big sister, but has plenty of features to keep me happy. I’ve not had a chance yet to have a proper play and explore exactly what she can do, as I’ve been busy finishing The Quilt from Hell, but now I have five blissful days free to sew, sew, sew, before I join RR in England!

So RR’s en route, the kitties are settled in their accustomed spots in my sewing room, the apartment is clean and tidy, the freezer is full of food, and I have a stack of projects in my head and a lovely cup of tea at my side. What more could I ask for?

Let playtime commence 🙂

WIP Wednesday

Sadly not much to report this week, despite all my good intentions.

I finished putting together the quilt top for the Broken Herringbone quilt along – I absolutely love it! It makes me think of beautiful, vibrant stained glass windows, and it was an absolute joy to piece. I’m still trying to decide how to quilt it, though. Any ideas?

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Then I fixed the zip on mum’s bag and made a couple of little extras with the remaining fabric – a mini make-up bag, and a glasses case. I think she’ll like it – well, I hope she will, anyway.

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These gifts are currently winging their way mum-wards, courtesy of my lovely friend Chris who has taken them back to the UK with her to post -this is going to save me a small fortune in stamps, so thanks, Chris! I can hardly believe that it’s only mid-November and I’ve already finished one Christmas present – get me, super-organised Pusscat!

I also finished my summery polka dot top – I took it in a few inches at the sides, covered the buttons with the darker turquoise fabric I’d used on the shoulders and added some more as a contrast ruffle hem using my Extremely Complicated New Ruffler Attachment. I thought it was super-cute until RR said it makes me look like a waitress in a 1950s diner. And the sad thing is, he may well have a point there 😦 Hmmmm. I do still like it, though, and I’m already dreaming up new ruffler-related projects…

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I’m now planning my next dressmaking project too – a simple tunic dress, made from a gloriously soft pink corduroy, which I’ll wear with long sleeved t shirts over the winter. RR remains unconvinced, as he thinks the fabric “looks like something your nan might cover chairs with”. He has a way with words, that one…

And whilst I worked on these projects, one of my little helpers deserted me. Mr Boy, who usually likes to chill out with me in my sewing room, has instead been helping RR re-configure the Lego Death Star after Master I’s visit. It had temporarily turned into Jurassic Death star, with the addition of bits of Lego T-Rex to make it super-fierce, but now it’s just back to being a moon-sized Imperial battlestation, soon to be destroyed by Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance…

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Anyway, hopefully more will be going on next week – I’m planning to finish off my Kitty Camouflage quilt top, get started on a quilt for baby Daniel, and make some placemats to take to our friends in NY for Thanksgiving.

All the things I was going to work on this week, in fact.

Hmmmm, better get a shift on, then…..

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced – pop on over and see what other people have been up to 🙂