Friday, 30 January 2009

Yay! I've won an award! :)

Well, after six months of blogging, I have finally won an award!! The wonderful Sharon at The Crafty Trundler awarded it to me for always having a cheery word. :) Thank you so much, Sharon - I'm absolutely thrilled!

"The authors say that blogs who receive this award are exceedingly charming. This blog invests in proximity in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be new friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandisement. Our hope is that when ribbons of these awards are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give your kind attention to these writers."

I have to now pass this award on to 8 deserving bloggers. Hmmm, this is the difficult bit, as you're all deserving!! I decided in the end to award it to some of my first and best blogging buddies, as these were the creative, witty, wonderful women who inspired me to start blogging in the first place, and to appreciate more deeply my life and everything (and everyone!) in it. Thanks so much girls!

So, in no particular order:

Blair at Wisecraft, a blogger from across the pond and probably one of the most crafty people in the whole of Blogland!!

Jayne at Country Cottage Chic - I love her blog and her crafty goodies - and she's one of the founding members of the Vintage and Handmade Fair.

Nikki at Ninny Noodle Noo - Nikki was the first person ever to leave a comment on my blog. Her blog is a real wealth of information for crafters and homeschoolers, and she has a fab little shop, too! :)

Pat at The Sewing Room - I can but aspire to be as nifty with a sewing machine as she is!!

Lisa at Periwinkle - I just love her blog, and she was one of the first people to ever leave me a message on my blog. :)

Angela at An Exaltation of Larks - a beautiful, lyrical blog full of wonderful things.

Jennifer at Buttercup & Roses - Jennifer is an inspirational and hard working young lady - you have to visit this blog - her shop is beautiful, and one day I will manage to pay it a visit and buy everything! :)

Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits - how she manages to do so much amazes me - her little knitted animals are beautiful, and she is a true inspiration to all.

Clarice at Story Book Woods - a scrummy blog full of delicious recipes and crafty yumminess.

Yes, I know that was nine altogether rather than the required eight, but so many of you have been such an inspiration to me, that to be honest, it was really hard to just stop at nine!!

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, whether or not you have ever left a comment. I feel truly blessed to have met so many wonderful people since I've started blogging. Thank you everyone! :)

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Patterns and planes :)

Woo hoo!! We're flying with these when we go to New York next January to get married. I really and truly can't wait!! And even Mr Deravelled is getting excited! :)

I am going to have a go at making the bridesmaids dresses myself (with help from my lovely little sister), as I have been searching for the perfect bridesmaid dress for over a year now, and I still haven't found it. However, whilst browsing some patterns, I found the perfect dress!!

What do you think? I have found some gorgeous claret colour taffeta to make them out of. I am having three bridesmaids - my sister, Mr Deravelled's niece, and one of my best friends' (whose husband is Mr Deravelled's Best man). The Moomin will be a flower girl, and I am now searching for a suitably cute historical style dress pattern for her. Any ideas?

Monday, 26 January 2009

Good news and Laura Ashley wellies

I spoke to my area manager at work today, and she has assured me that despite our branch closing in April, my job is safe, and I can choose where I would like to be transferred to. So I feel quite relieved. Now I've got to decide where I would like to work. This move will also mean either less hours on a saturday or no saturdays at all. So despite the fact that my pay would drop, it would mean that I get my weekends back, which would be a wonderful luxury. I need to think long and hard about what I want to do....

I spied these gorgeous Laura Ashley wellies in Homebase yesterday, whilst me and Mr Deravelled were looking at new bathrooms (guess what our next big project will be!!). I couldn't justify the £29.99 price tag then and there, but they are certainly something I will covet for the future!! And what a coincidence that they are the same pattern as the fabric that arrived the other day!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The winners of my giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who entered my very first giveaway. I have now drawn the two winners, using the random number generator at (the first one I came across on Google!!). The two numbers it generated was 7 and 17, which, taking just the first post from everyone in order, means that Thrifty Mrs has won the first set of goodies (with the soap), and Louise at Surfer Rosa has won the second set of goodies (with the notecards). So that I can send you your prizes, please email me your addresses to deravelled (at) gmail (dot)com, replacing the bracketty bits with the usual symbols. :)

Well done, you two. :) Thank you everyone who left a comment - I really wish you could all have won! However, I will be having another giveaway in the not too distant future, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Fabric Scrumminess and Mr Cat

For my birthday, my mum ordered me a load of fabric from Laura Ashley in their sale. Despite her ordering it on 5th of January, as of today, only one metre of it has arrived, which, as I do not need to explain to you, my fellow fabric afficionados, is incredibly frustrating. However, one metre has arrived, and has now been washed and pressed ready to be used in a future project.

I thought I would take a photo of it to show you - it is a pretty well known print (Erin in Chalk), and is 80% cotton 20% linen, so has a lovely luxuriously heavyweight feel to it. However, whilst photographing it, our gorgeous old boy, Mr Cat, decided that he wanted to get involved, as he was concerned by the lack of photos of him on this blog.

So here he is. Well, parts of him, anyway!! He's a grand old man (on 1st May this year he'll be 17!!), who we rescued when he was 11. Mr Deravelled loved him because he said he looked like a lion. lol And he's a wonderful cuddly lap cat, who loves his food and knows to the minute when his next feed is due. Woe betide you if you forget to feed him at that precise moment!!

And here is one of him posing nicely :)

Hasn't it been a glorious day today? A chilly start gave way to a lovely sunny afternoon, and it was a delight to drive home from work today with an orange setting sun warming the fields as I passed them. :)

Friday, 23 January 2009

I feel sad

For several reasons (which I will go into when I have more time) I feel very sad this evening. So any cheeriness that you girls can send my way would be very greatly appreciated. Thanks.

EDIT: Thank you everyone for your kind comments. Basically, I have just found out that the place where I work will be closing in April, leaving me in a position of uncertainty as to my future with the company. When I told Mr Deravelled last night, instead of the support I was hoping for, he instead said that we couldn't afford for our monthly income to go down, and what was I going to do about it. Not the most supportive thing to say!!

But your kind comments have helped me get a little perspective, thank you. :)

Gemma x x

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

A skirt for the Moomin

I have made the Moomin a skirt. It is only very simple, and I didn't use a pattern. I just cut a length of my chosen cotton fabric, from selvage to selvage, to the length I wanted it to be plus enough for hemming and waistband, then sewed it all together.

For the waistband I used 1/2 inch non-roll elastic. Because it is really sturdy, the resulting waistline is really neat and even.

I finished off the skirt with a trimming of broderie anglais, which has a lovely delicate botanical design on it (and it as a bargain from Hobbycraft, too!!). The Moomin has received many compliments when she has worn it, and Mr Deravelled says how great it looks every time he sees it. It's almost as if he can't believe that I could make something so nice!! The cheeky so and so!!

Also, if you haven't already, don't forget to leave a comment on my giveaway post below, for your chance to win some lovely goodies!! :)

I am currently planning out a fleece blanket for the moomin, so more on that later......

Sunday, 18 January 2009

My first giveaway!!!

Finally, here it is. The first ever Deravelled giveaway!

Since I started blogging last summer, I have met so many wonderful people in blogland. So, as a little thank you to all of you for being so friendly and inspirational and wonderful, I would like to offer you my first giveaway.

I wonder what's inside?

Lucky winner number one will win the following: a shabby chic botanic style stiff card box (the perfect size for photographs); a shabby French chic inspired hanging heart with ivory satin ribbon and black reclaimed button (made by me); a still wrapped bar of Culpeper Elizabethan triple milled hand soap (the most delicious vintage fragrance ever!) which is no longer made, so a rare find indeed and taken from my personal stash (aren't I kind!):

And finally, you will also received a handmade card, perfect for Valentine's Day, featuring two entwined hearts joined by a silver gemstone heart. It also features a real metal "zipper" charm, with the word "Love" embossed onto it.

This card, made by me, come complete with a matching pink envelope.

Lucky winner number two will win the following:

You will win a handmade Valentine's card, but this time with the word "Together" embossed on the zipper charm.

You will also receive a set of three handmade shabby chic note cards with matching envelopes, featuring fabric-look floral papers and skeleton leaves:

And finally, you will win a shabby French chic inspired hanging heart with ruby red grosgrain ribbon and ivory reclaimed flower button (made by me):

So, if you'd like to win one of the above two prizes, simply leave a comment below (and state your preferred prize) before I draw the two winners next Sunday evening, for your chance to win. :)

Thanks again for making my time in blogland a happy one.

Gemma x x

Saturday, 17 January 2009

A lovely afternoon

Today we went to a local park to blow away the cobwebs and push the Moomin around on her Iggle Piggle trike. Although cold, it was lovely and sunny - a perfect winter's day.

Then we walked up to a pub that backs onto the park, and had a scrummy meal in the warm. Lovely!

Tonight we're going for another meal - this time with my parents, sister and her other half, to belatedly celebrate my birthday all together. :)

Friday, 16 January 2009

A little shopping spree

Today the Moomin and I went to our local indoor market to pick up some new thread. As you can see, we came away with a little more than the planned white gutermann!! I found some nice denim fabric, which I bought a metre of to make into a tote bag for a friend (she saw mine, and decided she had to have one!). To go with the denim, I picked out a lovely smoke grey zip, to turn the tote into an everyday handbag, with a bit more security when carrying keys and purses, etc.

I got the white thread (hurrah!!), but then also had to take home a spool each of ivory, sunshine yellow, tangerine and nut brown threads, as they were such gorgeous, happy colours. I will use the yellow thread to sew the Moomin's new curtains (I ordered the fabric yesterday - a lovely cheery yellow cotton with white polka dots - the Moomin's choice!!). The ivory thread will be used to sew a skirt I am going to make for myself, the tangerine thread I chose to compliment the denim fabric I bought to make the bag for my friend, and I haven't yet decided what to use the lovely nut brown thread for yet - sometimes it's nice just to know you have it!!

After searching for nearly two years, I also finally found the perfect sterling silver charm bracelet for the Moomin. She received several precious charms for her first birthday and naming ceremony, and I have been searching since then for a tasteful charm bracelet, to no avail. I found this one in H Samuel purely by accident whilst I was waiting for them to replace my watch battery for me. And even better, it had been reduced from £50 to £29.99!! Whoop whoop! :)

I also couldn't resist picking up the latest issue of Country Living magazine. I am trying to curb my obsession with all things home-making magazine this year, but I decided to treat myself to a little light reading, seeing as it was my birthday on Tuesday!!

Right, I'm off to make a cup of tea and get the Moomin some juice. Then I've got to decide what to make for dinner, as Mr Deravelled will be home in about half an hour, after an exhausting drive home in heavy traffic. I'm thinking fish pie. Or maybe stir fried chicken breast in hoi sin sauce with rice. Mmmmmmmm..... :)

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Well, today I had intended to get down to the business of completing several sewing projects that I have on the go (including the giveaway item - coming soon - I promise!!). However, it would seem that the god/dess of sewing had other ideas. First the bobbin ran out of thread, then I ran out of white thread altogether after filling the bobbin. So I had to use a spool of pale pink thread instead. Sigh.

Then the machine started playing up and trying to eat the fabric I was sewing, before acting like the thread tension was all wrong and making everything pucker. And to top it off, the upper thread kept jumping around all over the place and not behaving itself. By this time I wasn't just sighing any more. So, after completely ruining a perfectly good piece of Laura Ashley fabric, I threw a sulk (rather than the machine), and went into the other room to read through the manual, to see if I could figure out why it was being so evil to me today.

Turns out that when I replaced the top thread, I put it on the spool thing the wrong way round, and so the thread wasn't feeding through to the needle correctly, and so was dislodging from the upper thread holder and just basically making a nuisance of itself. So I turned it around and to be fair it did look a lot happier.

But that wasn't all. While all this naughtiness with the top thread was going on, the bobbin had decided it wanted to join in, too, as I discovered when I took it out to inspect it. It had somehow managed to gather together a rather unsavory group of extra threads - all with many ends sticking out all over the place, and it also looked like it had at one point tried to hang itself, it was so tangled up in the mass of knotted threads. So I just started pulling ends out whenever I found them, until eventually there was just the recommended number of ends poking out of the bobbin feed hole, and everything looked nice and tidy again.

I tested that the machine was now working properly on the now ruined Laura Ashley fabric, and, once satisfied that I had done an excellent job of being sewing machine doctor, no longer felt the urge to sew. So instead, I did what we all do when faced with tasks we don't find appealling - I avoided it. I suddenly, and with great conviction, decided that it was desperately important that I press, fold and put away my fabric stash - in full - immediately. So that's what I did. I even found a nice little place for them on the bottom shelf of a kitchen cupboard (my sewing area is in a corner of our kitchen). It took me two hours to do completely (some of the pieces were pretty creased!), but I am very pleased with the result. And despite it being an avoidance activity, I do feel like I have achieved something today. And also, now Mr Deravelled is much less likely to notice if more fabric adds itself to the pile, seeing as it is now nicely tucked away under the tea towel shelf. And, as you can see in the photo, there's plenty of room for more! ;)

So tomorrow the Moomin and I are going to take a trip to our local indoor market to pick up some more white thread from the little fabric shop we like to frequent. Just the thread. Promise. Although, I do need some ribbon. And some broderie anglais to edge a skirt for the Moomin. And possibly just a smidge of fabric to make a little skirt for me.....

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Lunch Date Blouse GIVEAWAY!!!!

Ok, this isn't my planned giveaway, but that of a very inspirational blogger, whose posts I love to read and be inspired by.

Such a beautiful blouse - and such a beautiful woman. :)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Happy Birthday to me!! And a giveaway coming up!!

Well, today I turn 28. I can't believe how fast life flies by. It doesn't seem five minutes ago I was sixteen and sat gazing out of the window in a geography lesson, wishing I was older and didn't have to go to school any more!! (I actually loved school, but geography was not my favourite subject!) Now look what's happened - it's twelve years later, and all that's changed is that I now sit at a desk in a mind numbing job, wishing I was back at school!! lol

I remember playing "Button Moon" with my friend Sally, at age six. I remember being one of the only kids at school one day, age eight, because the snow was so deep, and all the lessons being cancelled and having snowball fights all day (bliss!). I remember the tears I cried when we moved up to Yorkshire from South Wales when I was ten. I remember my first kiss at age eleven (it was awful!). I remember fearlessly walking two miles to my best friend's house, down a long and winding country road, on a regular basis (she lived on a farm), and thinking nothing of it, aged fourteen. I remember breaking my heart when my first serious boyfriend dumped me, age sixteen, and swearing off boys forever (ha ha!). And everything since then has gone by in a blur. Meeting Mr Deravelled; starting a new life with him in his home town, away from all my friends and family in mine; getting engaged; graduating from uni; planning our wedding, then that same weekend finding out I was pregnant with the Moomin (!); the Moomin being born six weeks early, and spending two very stressful weeks in hospital with her, praying that she would soon be well enough to come home; moving house; Mr Deravelled starting his own (still very successful)business; the Moomin's first birthday; falling in love all over again in New York City; the Moomin's second birthday; Mr Deravelled taking a 9-5 in Leeds; planning and booking our wedding in New York and having everyone who we wanted to be there being able to make it (thanks everyone!); and now here I am, sat typing this!

Wow, that was a very potted history of my life, with some ommissions for ease of reading, obviously!!

I have been pondering for a little while as to whether or not I should have a giveaway on my blog, to say thank you to everyone who takes the time to come and read my ramblings. And now it is my birthday I feel there is no better way to celebrate! So, in the next few days I will announce the first Deravelled giveaway of one of my creations. I am no professional by any stretch of the imagination, but if you fancy winning something homespun, keep your eyes peeled over the next few days. :) Now I need to find my camera......

ETA (10.30pm): The Moomin found my camera for me (clever Moomin!!), and so here is a photo of a slice of the gorgeous Victoria sponge that Mr Deravelled made me this evening for my birthday. What a sweetie! Of course, he DID use every mixing bowl and spoon we own to make it, and then left it all for me to clean up!! But we can't expect everything from our menfolk, can we? ;)

Monday, 12 January 2009

My first bag!

Well, after my last post, instead of going away and working on perfecting my doll pattern as planned, instead I decided to make a bag. Yes, a bag. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's fabulous book, Simple Sewing, and I have to say, I'm really proud of my achievment. It took me about 4 hours, start to finish (the fabric cutting out process takes me ages!), and was loads of fun! The photo doesn't really do it justice, so I will explain all the bits. The fabric I used for the outside is a medium weight 100% cotton, snapped up in the current Laura Ashley sale, and is a lovely faded blue colour. The fabric I used for the lining is a cute floral polycotton fabric in baby pink, which I spotted at a fabric stall in my local indoor market (it was a steal, too!!). I used a bit of pale rose coloured velvet ribbon that I found in Hobbycraft to line the edge of the pocket on the front, and all in all, I think it looks pretty good for my first bag!

It's funny, because I didn't really enjoy doing sewing at school. I was always afraid of the sewing machines (after my teacher gave us the ubiquitous girl in previous year didn't look what she was doing and got the needle through her finger speech), and so kept away from them as much as possible. But my little sister had her own sewing machine from a very young age, and could knock up pretty much anything if she put her mind to it. But then last October, she asked me what I would like for Christmas. I had been admiring several Cath Kidston-esque quilts from afar, and so mentioned those to her as an option. However, knowing how tight money is at the moment for everyone, I suggested that she could make me a quilt instead of buying one, as it might save her a bit of money (and we all love something handmade with love, don't we?). She agreed (the darling!), and proceeded to keep me updated with visits to fabric shops etc.

I started wondering what I was missing, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I wanted to try this whole sewing malarky for myself. After all, I had managed to finally conquer knitting last summer (after a million and one failed attempts as a child - much to my mother's despair!!)so, maybe it was finally time for me to conquer my fear of getting a needle stuck through my finger (I actually haven't got rid of that fear, to be fair). I was already ok at hand sewing, but felt that the time was finally right to move on to bigger things. And by bigger things, I mean a sewing machine.

So when my mum asked me what I would like for Christmas, I knew immediately. Knowing nothing myself about the difference between a domestic machine and an overlocker, for example, I left the decision up to mum (she does indeed know best!), and so, on Christmas day, after an age of waiting, I was finally the proud owner of my very own shiny new scrummy yummy sewing machine!!

It is a Brother XL-5600, and I adore it!! It's a model that is now no longer made, but still fab, and I am enjoying getting to grips with it (especially figuring out what all the additional feet provided with it are for - only a couple of them are explained in the manual). Sorry there's no photo of my own machine, but my camera has gone AWOL, and Mr Deravelled's has just run out of battery (not that mysterious an occurence, seeing as the Moomin was playing with it last night!!).

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I did promise to post about my Christmas pressies ;). Mr Deravelled got me a tax disc for my car (it's what I asked for!!), and, just to prove that he is quite romantic (and to balance out the whole tax disc thing) he bought me some gorgeous underwear from AND he picked my favourite colours. AND he got the right size!! Clever Mr Deravelled!! :)

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Very sleepy now, and a photo of a doll

Just a quick post before I finally clamber into bed. The meal tonight was gorgeous, and it was wonderful to catch up with friends we haven't seen in a while. For Craig's birthday (he turned 29), I made him a "Craig Doll", which was dressed in a karate uniform, complete with black belt (Craig is a karate instructor). Evereyone loved the little doll, and were making it do all the karate moves across the table all evening. Here is a photo I took of it earlier.

It's not bad for a first attempt at making a doll. I designed the pattern for it myself, and just winged it with the little jacket and trousers. Although Craig told me this evening that I had tied the belt wrong!! But I don't do karate, so how was I to know? ;) I now have several requests to do mini versions of other people, so I'm going to see if I can perfect the little doll pattern over the next few days. I'll let you know how I get on. :)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Back to normal

Well, the tree and all the decorations came down on Monday evening, and have all been carefully packed away ready for next year. I can't believe the festive season is now well and truly over. It never lasts long enough for my liking!! However, as next Tuesday is my birthday, I have managed to get next week off from work, so things are looking up!!

Tonight we are going out for a curry for a friend's birthday, which I am looking forward to. And a year today me and Mr Deravelled finally get married (after a lot of false starts and cancellations!!), so I am now allowing myself to start to get a little bit excited. Yay!! We are getting married in Ladies Pavillion in Central Park, New York, and it's all booked up now. All that's left to sort is the bridesmaids dresses, Mr Deravelled and his Best Man's suits, the flowers, and the party for everyone who couldn't come to New York, for when we come back. We are also spending our honeymoon in New York, so will be there for a total of 12 nights!! We're hoping for snow (not so much that the whole city comes to a standstill - just enough for it to look good on the photos!)

Here is a photo of Ladies Pavillion in summer. Doesn't it look beautiful? :)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Happy New Year, Everyone!!

Just a super quick post before the Moomin steals the laptop to play her Mister Maker DVD on. I hope everyone had a very happy new year, and that it's turning brings you love, happiness, peace and plenty!!

I will post more later - including pressie pictures!! :D

x x